Drawn from the 15 weekly community newspapers published by Connection Newspapers.


Mount Vernon Letter: Legalized Extortion

Letter to the Editor

Thank goodness we have the Dillon Rule in Virginia. That rule precludes localities such as cities and counties from taking any actions not specifically authorized by the state legislature. The House of Delegates and State Senate have both passed Bills (HB 770 and SB 549, respectively) the intention of which is to place limitations on the ability of localities to extract unreasonable proffers from property developers.

Mount Vernon Letter: Beware of Scam Artists

Letter to the Editor

Beware of IRS impersonation scammers. I received a telephone call in mid January 2016 that IRS was filing a suit against me and to call a call back number provided for more details.

Mount Vernon Column: Coal Ash Bill Fails, Other Bills Move Forward


As we move towards the midpoint of the General Assembly Session called “Crossover,” we are required to finish work on all bills in our respective chambers. Things are picking up in Richmond.

Mount Vernon Column: State Should Pursue Education Initiatives


Having grown up in the Fairfax County Public School system and with a daughter at West Potomac High School, ensuring Fairfax County students receive the highest quality education is a top priority of mine. Education is an investment that we make in our children to ensure that they are given the tools and opportunities to live up to their potential. We are fortunate to live in an area with a school system that is recognized for its excellence.

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Column: Out-of-State Animals Find the Good Life in Alexandria


About once a week, Chestina Merriner loads four or five dogs into a white van and makes the 150-mile trip from Wardensville, W.Va., to Alexandria. Destination: the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA).

Alexandria Letter: City Deserves Ethics Commission

Letter to the Editor

There are several issues that are not addressed that are really at the center of the ethics controversy. Although the City Council unanimously approved its Transparency Resolution on Jan. 30, there are a number of shortcomings in its creation, inception and implementation.

Alexandria Letter: Washington’s Wider View

Letter to the Editor

Although George Washington traveled widely in what became the United States, he left the mainland only once, when he sailed to Barbados with his older half-brother Lawrence in 1751.

Alexandria Letter: Empathy, Please

Letter to the Editor

Enough. With regard to the recent letters that strongly support the installation of lights at the T. C. Williams football field, I ask you this: would you subject your spouse, your kids, your parents and grandparents to a loud speaker so obnoxiously loud that you have to give your kids earplugs to sleep?

Alexandria Letter: Advance City Ethics Code

Letter to the Editor

Mayor Silberberg and City Council may be commended for starting an effort to write the city’s elected officials an ethics pledge and code to present in about nine weeks.

Alexandria Column: Building Strong Children at Community Lodgings

Commentary–Community Lodgings

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Alexandria Column: Three-Part Gun Deal Passes State Senate


As the fourth week of our legislative session drew to a close, all three pieces of legislation comprising Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s gun deal passed the Senate. The first component of the deal – SB610, introduced by Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) – restores and expands interstate reciprocity for the concealed carry of firearms, reversing Attorney General Mark Herring’s December decision that severed agreements to honor concealed handgun permits (CHPs) from 25 states with weaker restrictions than the Commonwealth.

Letter: Failure to Perform

To the Editor

I am a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School and was displeased by homeowners in my community who failed to remove their cars from the streets knowing that plows would be coming through or shovel their sidewalks.

Letter: Lodge a Protest or Pick a President

To the Editor

On March 1 Virginia voters in the Democratic Presidential primary will choose between Senator Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Voters wanting a Democratic President should ask three questions.

Commentary: A Debatable Deal

Opponents of legislation to prevent gun violence have said for years that current laws on the books should be enforced before new laws were passed, but they quickly changed their minds when Attorney General Mark Herring moved to enforce Virginia’s law on recognizing concealed weapon permits from other states.

Potomac Column: Better Ingredients, Better Outcomes

Improving food in Maryland schools.

The 436th Session of the General Assembly of Maryland convened on Jan. 13.