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

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Cannons, Hayrides Music and Fun at Fairfax's Civil War Day

Civil War Day set for Historic Bleinheim on April 25.

Civil War camp life and weapon-firing demonstrations are among the highlights of the 15th annual Fairfax Civil War Day. It’s set for Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Historic Blenheim Estate, 3610 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax. Courtesy of the City of Fairfax, Historic Fairfax City Inc. and the Fairfax Rifles – Company D of the 17th Virginia Infantry Living History Organization – residents will be able to step back in time for a glimpse of life here in the early 1860s.

Burke Filmmaker’s Work Will Help Others

Zinn’s documentaries going to schools, hospitals and rehab centers.

Monica Zinn is just 21, but she’s already made two documentaries with the potential to change people’s lives for the better. And now, both have been selected for distribution to K-college schools, hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation programs in English-speaking countries worldwide.

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Paul VI Presents 'The Addams Family'

A continuation of the popular, 1960s TV show, “The Addams Family” will take the stage at Paul VI High. A musical comedy, it features a cast and crew of 75 and promises to be rollicking, good fun.

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Local Students Take on Poodle Skirts, Rotary Phones for 'Bye Bye Birdie'

Liberty Middle presents the musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Featuring a cast of 60, the iconic musical, “Bye Bye Birdie” will burst upon the stage at Liberty Middle School. Show times are Thursday-Saturday, April 16, 17 and 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 during school lunches and at the door.

Meet GOP Candidates for Sully Supervisor

Backgrounds of the Republican contenders.

Three men are competing in the Republican primary to run in November for the Sully District supervisor seat being vacated by incumbent Michael Frey. They are John Guevara, Brian Schoeneman and John Litzenberger.

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Three Republic Candidates Have Their Eyes on the Prize

Three Republican candidates for Sully District supervisor debate the issues.

School Board member Kathy Smith will be the Democratic candidate hoping to replace the retiring Michael Frey (R) as Sully District supervisor. But the Republican candidate will be chosen April 25, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., at a Firehouse Primary at Westfield High.

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Chantilly: Reducing Congestion, But Adding Students

Proposed plan amendment would allow homes at Stonecroft/Westfield boulevards.

Across Stonecroft Boulevard from the Sully District Governmental Center in Chantilly are 50 acres of undeveloped, vacant land. And an amendment to Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan for this site is now being reviewed.

Real Estate Tax Rate Is Still a Work in Progress in City of Fairfax

In the city manager’s proposed budget for FY 2016, the residential real-estate tax rate would increase by 2.5 cents – to 1.065 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The City Council can ultimately decide to lower the tax rate but, for now, it’s advertising it at the proposed amount. Meanwhile, it’s holding public hearings and workshops on the budget, so the idea will receive a great deal of thought and discussion before the budget is finally adopted and the tax rate is set.

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Commercial Community Appearance Awards in Fairfax

Three buildings and grounds are honored.

Three City of Fairfax buildings and their grounds were honored recently with 2014 Commercial Community Appearance Awards. Their owners/managers received certificates at the Feb. 10 City Council meeting.

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Getting Dirty for a Good Cause

Staff and volunteers plant native grasses along Big Rocky Run.

Wearing sturdy boots and wielding shovels and wheelbarrows, some two dozen people recently left their comfortable offices to dig in the soil at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. When they were done, a variety of native grasses had been planted to beautify the Big Rocky Run stream valley and help stabilize the banks there. Participating were staff members and volunteers from Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES), Stormwater; Park Authority; and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD).

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