Politics

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

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Tom Rust to Retire from General Assembly

Rust improved life for Herndon, and for Virginia, say many.

Right after she was elected mayor, Lisa Merkel invited Del. Tom Rust to lunch. “I said, ‘How do you get things done?’ He said, ‘You have a vision and you stick with it and you keep pressing ahead,’” Merkel said. “It was a great lunch.”

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2015 General Assembly Session Draws to a Close

The 45-day 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly came to a close last week, one which Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) described as “pretty calm, mainly because guys on either side have stayed away from divisive social issues they’ve pushed in the past,” and Sen. Toddy Puller (D-36) assessed, “For the most part, I think they did accomplish some good things.”

Arlington County Manager Avoids Tax Rate Increase

Homeowners to face rise in property taxes through higher assessments.

Beneath the surface of the County Budget there are several notable changes that could have a sizable impact on the lives of many Arlingtonians.

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House Passes Keam’s Bill on Food Allergies

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation this week to require restaurants in Virginia to train their employees to be aware of customers with food allergy and safety issues. Del. Mark Keam’s House Bill 2090 and its companion Senate Bill 1260 introduced by Senator Creigh Deeds passed both chambers of the Virginia Legislature with overwhelming support. Both bills are now headed to the Governor’s desk.

Celebrating Black History Month

This week in Reston.

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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.

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Virginia General Assembly Reaches Crossover

Bills live, die or fold into other legislation before review by the opposite chamber.

As the current meeting of the Virginia General Assembly neared the one-month mark, legislators in the House of Delegates and Senate had to finalize work on bills they would send to their counterparts for consideration.

It’s Time for a “Place”

The community of Great Falls is abundant with creative talent. Our ability to socialize our children into many layers of being in the world is truly remarkable: the home and school, the beach, the mountains and ski slopes, the world of the spirit, the arts, the sciences, technology, philosophy…exploration in nature, taking walks, journeying on the river, photographing nature, looking out the window while doing homework - connecting with the tree spirits, the herd of deer, the birds outside the window, all hanging out in the same tree. Our children have access to the knowledge of the world through the centuries on their phone, laptop or computer.

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Del. Filler-Corn’s ‘CARE Act’ Passes the House

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn’s (D–41) HB 1413 passed the full House of Delegates on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. HB 1413 or the “CARE Act” addresses the important role of the informal and family caregivers and improved communication with them and medical providers. Specifically, the bill looks to improve healthcare and reduce preventable hospital revisits by having hospitals formally acknowledge a patient’s family caregiver at the time of admission and provide critical home care instruction before discharge.

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Separate But Equal Amenities for Alexandria

Class-segregated pool at proposed housing complex dampens council enthusiasm for affordable housing project.

A proposal for a mixed-use housing complex in Alexandria swiftly became an argument on classism when the developer revealed the pool would be off-limits to residents of the affordable housing section.

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Too Poor for Benefits in Alexandria

New advisory panel tackles lack of healthcare options for Alexandrians.

An estimated 5,000 people living in Alexandria are without access to healthcare. Without any assistance from the state, the struggle for many Alexandrians has potential to grow into a city-wide moral and financial crisis.

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GMU Students Rally to Lower Student Debt

Members of GMU Student Power Travel to Richmond to voice concern over rising debt.

Twelve students from George Mason University traveled to Richmond with the Virginia Student Power Network, rallying and calling for debt-free education, and for increased educational opportunities for undocumented students. Rodrigo Velasquez, a junior at Mason from Springfield and GMU Student Power’s organizer, was one of the 12 from Mason who also went to Richmond.

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Referendum for Land Purchase

A referendum for a parcel of land north of the Dulles Toll Road is being put forth by Reston Association. The parcel, owned by Tetra Properties, will be sold to Reston Association after a voting process that ends in May. “It seems to be a good way to get control of a property that, over time, can be subjected to a lot of pressure as the surrounding areas around it develop,” said Lake Anne-Tall Oaks Director Eve Thompson.

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Impromptu Motion Struck Down

Singh resolution reaffirming Town position failed.

A prior incident between a councilmember and the town manager lead to an impromptu motion. Councilmember Jasbinder Singh motioned for a resolution at the Jan. 27 meeting calling for the town manager - currently Arthur Aselene - to give council members any material they want to decide on resolutions.

Call for Candidates for MCC Board

The McLean Community Center (MCC), an agency of Fairfax County Government, is seeking candidates to run for open seats on its 2015-2016 Governing Board. The Board provides oversight and guidance for MCC programs and facilities, which include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Teen Center (OFTC). The MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

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