With more than 25 years experience in journalism, I’ve written and edited newspapers in California, North Carolina and Virginia. In California, I worked for a weekly paper in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’m from originally.
In North Carolina, I worked two years (1990-92) at the Sun Journal, a daily paper in New Bern. There, I covered county government, commercial fishing – which is a big industry there – and the Gulf War.
New Bern is near the Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, so I did lots of stories on the effects the war had on the wives and children left behind while the husbands and dads were fighting in Iraq. As one elementary-school teacher told me, “If one child’s father or mother is killed, the security for the rest of the students is shattered.”
In addition, my photographer and I were lowered by helicopter onto the USS Iwo Jima as it returned to port in Morehead City after deployment. I got to interview the sailors and Marines aboard ship and experience, firsthand, their welcome back by local residents who greeted them in the water in hundreds of small boats to escort them home.
I also interviewed parents of Marines killed in the war, as well as a Marine pilot whose aircraft had been shot down overseas. He spoke about what went through his mind while parachuting into the desert and what happened to him while he was a POW. Luckily, it was toward the end of the war and he was eventually freed to return home.
I also worked three years for the Prince William Journal, covering the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, as well as a slew of criminal cases. And I’ve been with Centre View for almost 19 years, covering Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fair Oaks and Fair Lakes. For the past few years, I’ve also covered Fairfax and some of Lorton and Fairfax Station for the Connection.
New proposal swaps apartments for condos.
There’s a plan afoot to redevelop the Oak Knolls Apartments. But the proposal has changed significantly since it was presented last spring to the Fairfax City Council.
New façade, better parking, less big trucks and traffic.
For many years, the Lotte market in Fairfax has been a popular grocery store, especially with its Asian customers. But its exterior has been an eyesore to the public.
Besides participating in robotics competitions, team Robowiz also did community outreach via the START (Spreading Technology And Robotics Together) program. It partnered with the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) to encourage children with autism to develop an interest in robotics.
Local robotics team heads to two state championships.
It’s a big deal when a team, academic or athletic, reaches the state championships. But it’s even more impressive when that team does it in two, different states. Meet team Robowiz – 10 local students who’ve reached that level in both Virginia and Maryland. The eight boys and two girls live in Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax and are in grades eight through 10.
City Council Votes to Improve Section of Roberts Road in Fairfax
Pending receipt of the necessary funds, the west side of Roberts Road in Fairfax – between Main Street and Sager Avenue – will be getting a new sidewalk, curb and gutter. The Fairfax City Council approved this action at its Jan. 13 meeting. Not all the residents are happy about it and not all the Council members are in agreement. But in the end, it’s believed that the project will make the city more walkable and this portion of Roberts Road safer.
Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival was Feb. 7-8.
The Chocolate Lovers Festival Committee is again supporting the Fairfax Kiwanis Meals for Young Minds Program with multiple, food drop-off locations during the festival. This program provides meals to local, elementary-school students who don’t have food to eat on the weekends.
It’s always fun to bring home souvenirs from the Chocolate Festival, and two of them are the official, Chocolate Lovers Festival Cookbook and the annual, commemorative Valentine.
Naomi Project joins Our Daily Bread to help struggling mothers.
For the past 19 years, the nonprofit Naomi Project of Northern Virginia has worked with high-risk, pregnant women and new mothers to help them have healthy pregnancies and babies. It’s now become a program of the nonprofit Our Daily Bread (ODB) and, on Jan. 22, the two groups celebrated their union. “It’s a natural offshoot of what we’re already doing with moms,” said ODB spokeswoman Heather Webb. “This is another way that we can help them build families and get on a better financial footing.”
Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is Feb. 7-8.
Get your sweet tooth ready – the 23rd annual City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is this weekend, Feb. 7-8. Featuring delicious, chocolate fun for both children and adults, the event includes a Taste of Chocolate, a Chocolate Challenge, musical performances, a chocolate movie – “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” – fairy tales, a fire-safety puppet show, face-painting, a Chocolate Caper mock trial, cupcake-decorating, magic, juggling and open houses in historic buildings.