Catie Warren is a 2009 Woodson High grad and her brother is a freshman there. Now a writer, after last week’s tragedies she wrote the following about high-school life in general on TotalSororityMove.com: Yesterday, a student from my former high school died tragically. He was 15. Just a baby in the grand scheme of things; a young boy with his whole life ahead of him. A life filled with graduations and relationships and jobs and little ones. A life filled with happiness and joy and precious moments, laughter that makes your belly roar, silliness that makes your cheeks hurt, and love that makes your heart skip beats. He had his whole life waiting for him. Instead, he chose to end it. His death marked the fifth suicide at this school in four years. And. It. Has. Got. To. Stop.
No downside to gaining health care for 200,000 or more; 30,000 jobs and millions of dollars for hospitals from expansion of Medicaid.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe is right to make expansion of health coverage part of the budget process.
As one who has worked on human rights issues for many decades, I am excited about the positive changes that are occurring at such a rapid pace in laws and in peoples’ attitudes about sexual orientation, especially same-sex marriage. Most of the people I talk to under age 30 don’t understand why this is even an issue. Unfortunately because of some of my colleagues in the legislature, action by federal courts will be necessary to bring about changes in the law. As time passes there will continue to be residual harsh and discriminatory feelings on the part of a minority who cling to the past as there has been with every advance in civil rights, but most will look back in bewilderment over what people were thinking in refusing to grant the same rights to all people.
Fairfax County is preparing to stick it to our public school teachers again, as they have done for several years. New Superintendent Karen Garza has submitted a 2015 budget to the nominally Democratic Board of Supervisors, a budget including serious cuts (though not so much in fat central admin) and a modest 2 percent pay boost for teachers who’ve not had one in last three years, counting the year they got a nominal salary raise more than offset by an increase in their retirement contribution. But, the Supes promptly pleaded dire poverty in this county with incomes averaging over $105,000/year. The Supes say they will cut the budget.
A woman walked into a pet shop in Fairfax City. She went there often, sometimes just to pet the animals. But that day she finally saw the puppy she wanted. It was one of the smallest dogs, white with brown spots. She took it home and named it Bailey.
Thanks for the well-documented article on the political trends in Virginia's 10th Congressional District ("How Red is the 10th District?" February 19-25, 2014). The conventional wisdom among political prognosticators is that the District leans Republican. However, recent voting patterns suggest that a strong Democratic candidate could be well within striking distance for a win. Consider the following: first, in the past two gubernatorial elections, the Republican nominee won the 10th District by only 1 percent. Second, the seat is now open, and retiring Congressman Frank Wolf’s name recognition and constituent service record are not in play.
Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is just common sense – but sadly, in Virginia, our system is backwards and works to protect criminal access to guns.
Last week’s Great Falls’ Connection carried a story on a topic of interest to many: horseback riding in Great Falls and the role of Blacks Hill Stable, LLC, in providing a commercial riding venue ["Molster Family Stable Awaits Special Permit Decision"].
While we’re exchanging pleasantries here, in semi real time – although this column will not be most read until March 6th (I need to submit it on Monday, March 3rd as we go to press on Tuesday, March 5th), I feel the obligation, given how last week’s column ended, to update you on the results from my February 26th CT Scan. Presumably, by the title you all have determined that as of this writing, Saturday, March 1st, I have not heard back from my oncologist. Typically, I would have already heard from him, electronically. But so far, not a peep, electronic or otherwise and believe me, I’ve been checking, as you might imagine.
The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants to fill a position on the Montgomery County Planning Board for the expiring term of Democrat Françoise Carrier. Her term will expire on June 14. Carrier, who serves as the Planning Board Chair, has indicated that she will not apply for reappointment. No more than three members of the Planning Board may be from the same political party, and each member must be a resident and registered voter of Montgomery County when appointed. Members serve four-year terms and are limited to two full terms. The position can be filled by a Democrat, Republican, a voter who declines to affiliate with a party, or a member of another party officially recognized by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Within the next few weeks the Alexandria City Public School (ACPS) Board plans to decide on a way forward for Jefferson-Houston (JH) School. The School Board discussed three options at its Feb. 20 meeting for the school’s future. You may be saying, I don’t have a child in school, why should I care? Because the city (and you as a tax payer) has invested $44 million for a new JH school building to open this fall which will double the school’s capacity. Meanwhile, everyone is working hard to reverse more than a decade of low achievement.
This past week we began the process of amending the House budget proposal. I joined a number of my colleagues in objecting to cuts to public safety and economic development programs as well as to the proposal to spend $450 million on a new office for the General Assembly at a time when we are not adequately funding core state services.
To the Editor: To all the neighbors (yes, neighbors, plural) on the south side of Old Courthouse Road between Course Street and Pine Valley whose sidewalks I shoveled today: Don’t thank me, I didn’t do it for you. I did it for all the kids – including mine – who walk to school, or who would, if only there were a safe pathway to walk. I know the sidewalks probably don’t seem important to you; after all, once you cleared your driveway, you’re pretty much good, going straight from your car into your house through the garage or carport. You may even think the sidewalks aren’t even your responsibility, being public property and all. (You’re wrong on both counts.
We live near the newly established Fairfax Connector Bus 432 route to the Spring Hill metro station. The bus will begin running when the Silver Line starts operating in a few months. This one-way bus route will run along residential streets in Fairfax County and the Town of Vienna. A portion of the route connects Old Courthouse Road and Beulah Road via Creek Crossing Road, East Street NE, and Church Street NE. Last May, 95% of residents of these three streets and contiguous side streets signed a petition to the County requesting a route adjustment. Among many alternatives acceptable to us, we proposed routing the bus to continue up Old Courthouse to Beulah, maintaining service for our neighbors on Old Courthouse and Beulah Road who want the bus. Our repeated requests have been denied.
I made it. It’s five years after receiving a terminal diagnosis on February 27, 2009 from my oncologist: stage IV non-small cell lung cancer, accompanied by a "13-month to two-year" prognosis. Let’s be honest, medical professionals don’t toss around the word "terminal" because you’re going to be treated at an airport. Presumably, they know their facts and figures as well as the patient’s present condition, confirmed by a variety of diagnostic results from X-Rays, CT Scans, P.E.T. Scans, lab work and of course the ever-popular biopsy, so their diagnosis/prognosis is a bit more than an educated guess. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to every rule and until proven otherwise, I was not about to succumb to their statistics. Still, based on the best medical knowledge available at the time, this patient (yours truly) was given a limited life expectancy and encouraged to take the vacation I had always dreamed of – for obvious you’re-life-is-now-shorter-than-you-ever-imagined-type reasons, and yet, five years hence, here I am.