Bonnie Hobbs

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.

Recent Stories

Tease photo

The Seven Faces of Erin Peterson

Annual Gospel Celebration of Life is this Sunday, April 13.

Nearly seven years have passed since Centreville’s Erin Peterson — an 18-year-old freshman at Virginia Tech — was killed in a massacre there, along with 31 others. But although short, her life counted; and each year, the local community gathers to remember her. This year, the 7th Annual Erin Peterson Gospel Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, April 13, at 4 p.m., at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 6600 Old Centreville Road in Centreville. The theme is “Keeping Hope Alive: The Seven Faces of Erin – Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mentor, Visionary, Peacemaker, Inspiration.”

Tease photo

Bonsai Show Coming Up at Garden Center

Learn about, see and vote for favorite trees.

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tease photo

Bonsai Show at Garden Center

Learn about, see and vote for favorite trees.

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bonsai experts will give demonstrations, and attendees may vote on the trees they believe should then compete at the Potomac Bonsai Association show at the National Arboretum.

Tease photo

‘Victims’ Rights Are a Necessity’

Honoring crime victims with walk, words and candlelight vigil.

Siobhan Russell was just 19 when her ex-boyfriend killed her. Ron Kirby, a noted regional transportation planner, was murdered in his Alexandria home in November by an unknown assailant.

City Is Advertising Lower Tax Rate

Although City Manager Bob Sisson recommended maintaining Fairfax’s residential real-estate tax rate of $1.06 per $100 assessed valuation in Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the City Council is advertising a lower rate.

‘Goal Is to Spot Kids in Crisis’

Police, others take suicide prevention training.

Although there have been four recent incidents of teen suicides in Fairfax County, the Police Department has planned to offer Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training for its officers since October 2013.

Tease photo

‘Luck, Be a Lady Tonight’

Paul VI presents ‘Guys and Dolls.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 90, Paul VI High presents one of Broadway’s most popular musicals ever, "Guys and Dolls." The school’s Cappies show will burst upon the stage Friday-Saturday, April 11-12, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13, adults; $8, students and senior citizens, at www.PaulVI.net, and $15 and $10, respectively, at the door. "The actors are creative and enthusiastic, and they really wanted to do ‘Guys and Dolls,’" said Director Katherine Miller. "They knew the songs were terrific, and this show has lots of roles for boys – and I’ve got lots of male actors this year. I’ve also got tremendous singers, comic actors and physical actors, all dedicated to this show."

Good News for City of Fairfax

Less unemployment; Lowe’s and ALDI planning moves here.

There’s good news for the City of Fairfax: its unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Virginia and two new businesses are interested in locating here.

Tease photo

In the City of Fairfax, Appearance Matters

Four properties are honored for design, landscape.

Part of what makes a city a nice place to live in is the way it looks. And the City of Fairfax recently honored four properties with Commercial Appearance Awards for 2013. They are the Joshua Gunnell/BBG building, Chick-fil-A center, Fairfax Regional Library plantings and the Community Garden at City Hall. The Community Appearance Committee (CAC) received nominations from the community, and then professional judges considered them and decided on the winners.

Tease photo

Bringing LOVE to Vienna for 2015

sh>Resident proposes a life-sized work of art for the town.

The state slogan is "Virginia is for Lovers" and, as far as Suzanne Zolldan is concerned, "LOVE" is exactly what the Town of Vienna needs. Specifically, she’d like to see the word spelled out in letters somewhere in town. Toward that end, she addressed the Vienna Town Council at its March 17 meeting and explained her idea.

More stories