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.
Spring is almost here! It’s time to think about getting out and exploring what our wonderful city has to offer in the way of recreation and cultural activities. There is something for everyone, especially for seniors. If you are curious about what’s out there, come to Senior Services of Alexandria’s next speaker series event to hear from Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and Alexandria Library about special programs for seniors. This free program will be held at Chinquapin Recreation Center at 3210 King St. on March 12 from 9:30 a.m. – noon. Light refreshments will be served and free parking is available.
To the Editor: Parking spaces, parking spaces where have they gone? It seems that every time I say that parking in Old Town is becoming near impossible some uninformed member of one of our boards or commissions tries to tell me that that there are excess parking spaces in the Old and Historic District. Well, as all of you know that's not true. In fact, the parking situation is going to get worse as our esteemed transportation director continues to recommend to the council members that they take parking spaces away from us.The taking of the 27 parking spaces on upper King Street is a good lead-in followed by the taking of 66 parking spaces at the King Street Metro.
Colonoscopies save lives. Just ask Audrey Marcoe. The 83-year old Alexandria resident underwent a colonoscopy in December at Inova Alexandria Hospital due to a severe bout of anemia that left her exhausted and significantly underweight. Her doctors suspected she might be bleeding into her colon. The exam revealed a large cancerous tumor on her ascending colon that was likely causing her anemia. She would need surgery to remove it. “I was surprised at this, truthfully,” she said. “I just never thought I’d get it.” Cancers of the colon and rectum — part of the body’s digestive system — are unfortunately rather common, especially among Americans age 50 and older. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among men and women combined. It will cause an estimated 50,000 deaths this year alone. Fortunately, those numbers have been declining for the last two decades thanks to proper screening, increased disease awareness (remember TV anchorwoman Katie Couric’s colonoscopy on the “Today” show?) and advances in treatments and surgical techniques.
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.