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

Bleachers, HVACs, Tile, Paving, Walls and Roofs

Noonan explains the City schools’ needs.

At the recent, joint meeting of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission, Schools Superintendent Peter Noonan detailed the City Schools’ five-year CIP. “We have outstanding students and teachers and world-class facilities,” he said. Yet several needs still exist, including the following:

Tease photo

Claudette Ward of Centreville: 80 Years Young

Family, friends celebrate her birthday on Sunday.

More than 100 family members and friends gathered Sunday afternoon, Jan. 18, in Centreville United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall to celebrate Claudette Ward’s 80th birthday.

Tease photo

Chantilly: Otal Named Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Brookfield’s Otal Honored

Brookfield Elementary counselor Carole Zendle wanted to nominate Kathleen Otal, the previous school year, for the FCPS Elementary School Counselor of the Year. But, saying she doesn’t do her job for recognition, Otal wouldn’t let her. This school year, though, Otal — also at Brookfield — relented. Zendle nominated her and Otal won.

Phony Stamps in Fairfax: Two Years Probation

A local businessman has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. He is Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax.

Tease photo

Equipment Replacement and ADA-Compliancy

Parks and Recreation and Historic Resources offer CIP proposals.

With an eye on the upcoming City of Fairfax budget decisions, various department heads recently presently their FY 2016 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) wish lists to a joint work session of the City Council and Planning Commission.

Fire Department Presents Planned Capital Projects

They include fire station, training-center needs, plus traffic preemption.

During a Dec. 2 joint work session of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission, Fire Chief Dave Rohr presented his department’s proposed FY 2016 CIP (Capital Improvement Program). He said the funds are needed for three projects.

Tease photo

Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey Not Running for Reelection

‘You reach a time where change is appropriate.’

After giving his State of Sully address Monday night, Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) said his next words almost matter-of-factly. “Regarding the upcoming elections in November, I will not be seeking reelection,” he said. “You reach a time where change is appropriate, and that time has come for me.”

Tease photo

Was Downtown Traffic Switch Successful?

City Council hears results of professional study.

To create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown area, in August 2006, the City of Fairfax reconfigured Main and North Streets from one-way to two-way. Now, though, the City Council wants to know whether it was a good decision or if it’s been detrimental to the Old Town area.

Tease photo

Christmas Comes to the Hanley Shelter

Police officers from the Fair Oaks District Station, plus students from Chantilly and Centreville high schools, helped bring Christmas to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter. On Dec. 19, they brought new, unwrapped toys to the Fairfax shelter, which serves mothers and young children.

Tease photo

Fairfax Academy Students Create Own Horror Films

All three levels of the Professional Television Production classes at the Fairfax Academy recently presented original horror films they created based on only two sentences given to them by their teacher, Matthew Balthrop, a new addition this year to the Fairfax Academy family.

More stories