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Arlington Officials Release Previously Secret Construction Bids

County leaders change position on secrecy of bids; refuse to reveal expectations.

New documents released by Arlington County officials show the four bids for the new aquatics center at Long Bridge Park range from $81.9 million to $82.8 million.

Challenges of a Lean Economy

Could a meals tax be the answer to fund the schools?

The school budget, roads and money were the main topics Monday night, Jan. 20, when Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) gave his annual, “State of Sully” address.

Richmond Diary: Delegate Filler-Corn’s Shares Observations from 2014 Virginia General Assembly

Today marked the opening of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session. The Session kicked off with the 48th Annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast, where I joined 900 other Virginians to offer prayers for our country, armed forces, and legislators. It was an early start to a busy day, but an inspiring way to kick off the new Session. During the first floor session of 2014, all the new and returning members took our oath of office to serve our country and our Commonwealth.

Proclamation Celebrates Harry Lee and Robert E. Lee

The following proclamation was issued by Mayor William Euille on Jan. 10.

Hybrid Tax Repeal On Its Way

Commentary

The General Assembly is now in full swing with action on major bills starting to move through. The first bill I introduced was the repeal of the $64/year tax on hybrid vehicles – HB4. In the last few days, the Senate approved the repeal of the Hybrid Tax. A vote by the full house comes later this week.

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Into the Budget Fray

Bulova highlights accomplishments, challenges in annual address.

Despite the lingering impact of an anemic economy, and the regional ripple effects of federal sequestration, Fairfax County residents will see some concrete signs of progress this year.

Council Escapes History Buffs

A couple of weeks ago news broke that Councilman Justin Wilson, of historical Del Ray, the city's sin capital a century ago, introduced a bill that some old-timers thought would banish naming city streets for Confederate generals who many consider heroes. Second reading on Mr. Wilson's proposal is scheduled this Saturday (Jan. 25). Along with the no naming, council will also eliminate an old ordinance preventing lewd co-habitation in the city. No squawks on this.

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Imagining a Transformed Springfield

Executive Director of Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce shares her thoughts on 2014.

Last year may have been a big year for Springfield, but according to Nancy-jo Manney, the executive director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, 2014 will be even better.

Education, Transportation, Mental Health

Del. Bulova unveils his legislative priorities.

Greetings from Richmond! The 2014 General Assembly is now in full swing. In addition to considering nearly 2,000 bills, we will adopt Virginia’s biennial budget, which must be balanced as required by Virginia’s constitution. Thanks to everyone who has contacted me about issues throughout the year. This session I have introduced 13 bills and several budget amendments. Below is a summary of issues and initiatives I will be working on during the 2014 session.

Garza Proposes $2.5 Billion Budget for FY 2015

Proposed Fairfax County public schools budget would cut 731 positions, increase class size.

At the Jan. 9 School Board Meeting, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza released the proposed budget of $2.5 billion for FY 2015. The budget proposal requires an additional $98.1 million, or 5.7 percent increase compared to FY 2014, from Fairfax County, which the school system says is due to uncontrollable factors such as enrollment growth, retirement rate increases and the structural deficit. The FY 2015 proposed budget is an increase of $59.4 million from last year’s approved budget.

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Virginia Supreme Court Opens Access to Audio Recordings of Oral Arguments

Policy change overturns blackout instituted in 2008.

Members of the Virginia Supreme Court have a New Year’s Resolution — become more transparent.

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Alexandria Registrar Tom Parkins' Retirement

Alexandria Registrar Tom Parkins, second from right, was given a bi-partisan send off into retirement Dec. 12 as the Alexandria Democratic Committee and the Alexandria Republican City Committee came together at Port City Brewing Company to honor Parkins' 13 years of overseeing elections in the city.

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Chantilly Robotics Student Testifies Before Congress

Explains why it’s a valuable STEM program.

Chantilly High senior Brian Morris, CEO of Chantilly Robotics Team 612, testified in Washington, D.C., last Thursday, Jan. 9. He spoke before the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Board of Supervisors OKs Roundabout

It’s a go for the controversial roundabout planned for construction at the Braddock/Pleasant Valley roads intersection next to Cox Farms in Centreville. Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors endorsed Supervisor Michael R. Frey’s (R-Sully) motion of “no opposition” to it, by an 8-2 vote.

A Musical Keynote

Sweet Honey in the Rock to highlight Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration.

Reston Community Center presents the 29th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 18-20. The highlight of this community-wide celebration will be a keynote address by Sweet Honey in the Rock. Audience members will enjoy a community lunch served family-style followed by a keynote address that explores how music and activism have contributed to civil rights movements over the years. The performance will also be sign-language interpreted. Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music from the rich textures of the African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey in the Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, hip hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey’s collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms. The metaphor of "Sweet Honey in the Rock" captures completely the essence of these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs rising out of the struggle for justice everywhere.