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Commentary: Efficiency Over Effectiveness

At the time of this writing, the General Assembly seems to be on course for an earlier than scheduled Feb. 28 adjournment date. For a part-time legislature that in recent years has found it difficult to stay within its 60-day session in the even-numbered years and 45-day session in the odd-numbered years, finishing work ahead of schedule would be unprecedented.

Wise Investor Group Raises More than $21,000 for Hopecam

The Wise Investor Group at Robert W. Baird & Co., a team of financial professionals offering financial planning, portfolio management, investment analysis and account services, announced that their Annual Seminar raised more than $21,000 for Reston-based nonprofit Hopecam.

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Herndon Forbidden to Govern Itself?

Virginia House squashes Town’s move to November elections.

The Virginia House of Delegates blocked the Town of Herndon’s plan to move town elections from May to November. The change would have begun in 2016. Despite passage through the Virginia Senate with a unanimous 39-0 vote on Jan. 26, the House of Delegates never voted on Herndon’s bill. After the bill cleared the Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns, the House voted to sent it to the Committee on Privileges and Elections on Feb. 20.

Rio Comes Back from College

Tory Cheshire, of Great Falls, on her horse, Rio, who is meeting her family’s german shepherd puppy, Hunter at the barn. Cheshire loved her horse so much that he went with her to college and lived at a barn near Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., for four years.

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Best Friends of Great Falls

The late British-American writer Christopher Hitchens once wrote, "Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."

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Honored for Optimism

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna recently hosted a communication contest for deaf and hard of hearing children with three neighboring clubs on Feb. 4 at P.J. Skidoos restaurant in Fairfax. Four hearing impaired students from Canterbury Woods Elementary school made a presentation on "How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements in the Future" utilizing the Optimist International contest guidelines.

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Vienna Woman Raising Puppy for Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence – a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, is proud to announce that Vienna resident Barbara Weigand recently began raising an assistance dog in-training for Canine Companions for Independence.

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Yes, Cats Can Be Trained Too

Reston cat trainer Lisa-Maria Padilla gives techniques to train feline friends to do tricks.

Lisa-Maria Padilla, 53, of Reston was recently in Del Mar, Calif., close to San Diego, for the largest cat show in the West coast, called the San Diego Cat Fancier's Show, which featured more than 400 cats. She took her cat named Racy Mooner, a blue Abyssinian ("Abys") who has a Facebook page, there to do cat tricks and introduce people to training techniques.

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McLean Loves its Pets

Pets connect owners to the wild world around them.

When it comes to pets, McLean is much like other communities. Our pets are pampered, doted on, and loved. And with good reason. According to these McLean pet owners, the unconditional love they give in return is immeasurable.

McLean High Crew Wins Top Honors

McLean High School rowers won a total of seven gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals at the 2015 MidAtlantic Erg Sprints, hosted by TC Williams High School on Jan. 31. Many of McLean High medalists are now headed to Boston to compete in the C.R.A.S.H -B Sprints on March 1st. (

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Bark and Call

Mobile Pet Grooming Comes to You

Marzi Sharifi started HoPPooH in Fairfax, a mobile pet grooming service, in 2013. With her two vans and groomer, Sara, HoPPooH—which means little dog or dog in Persian—will come to the pet owner’s door to groom and style man’s best friend…or his cat.

Shelter Gets Creative To Save Lives

Volunteers, social media assist in pet adoptions.

Since 2013, Fairfax County has been the largest jurisdiction in the United States with a placement rate of animals above 90 percent. Last year alone, nearly 2,500 animals were adopted, which is nearly double the adoptions just two years earlier.

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South County Boys’ Basketball Wins First Conference Championship

No. 7 (lowest) seed Stallions upset No. 1 Woodson in 3-OT classic.

The South County boys' basketball team won its first conference championship Tuesday night.

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Centreville Wrestler Love Repeats as 195-Pound State Champ

Wildcats place second in team standings, Westfield produces two champs.

Centreville's Tyler Love ended his high school career with three state championship between wrestling and football.

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McLean Wrestler Grammes Wins 152-Pound State Title

Junior’s confident approach pays off with championship.

McLean had two wrestlers reach the final at Friday's state tournament.

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Vienna: Oakton Girls’ Basketball Continues Winning Ways

Cougars win 10th conference/district title in last 11 years.

The Oakton girls' basketball team defeated Chantilly on Monday to win the Conference 5 championship.

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Priceless Puppies, Future Service Dogs

Photographer Joan Brady of Great Falls volunteers with a nonprofit called which raises and trains service dogs, including psychiatric assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD and assistance dogs for children with disabilities.

Editorial: Managing Mental Illness in Jails

Natasha McKenna’s death provides window on national concern.

A national report released on Feb. 11 highlighted the prevalence of people with mental illness incarcerated in local jails.

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Fairfax County School Board Discusses New AAP Center at Poplar Tree

Board seeks more community feedback before taking action.

Greenbriar West Elementary School is far from the only Fairfax County Public School with an overcrowding problem.

A Powerful Musical on Reston Stage

Reston Community Players producing “Sunset Boulevard.”

“It is a huge production, but at the very heart it is an intimate story of people in conflict,” said Mark Hidalgo, director of the Reston Community Players’ upcoming musical “Sunset Boulevard.” “The characters are all struggling with the impinging outside world.”