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.
City of Fairfax ushers in the holiday season.
Christmas in the City of Fairfax is always special. And a full slate of activities from Dec. 3-19 is sure to make holiday spirits bright.
Musical extravaganza, ‘Christmas Undercover,’ takes the stage.
“It’s a really cute plot with a detective feel to it, plus Santa Claus,” said Director Raynor van der Merwe. “There’s a strong storyline that sets up beautiful vocal and dance numbers that further tell the story. It’s a very entertaining show for the whole family. For two hours, the youngest to the oldest will be transported to a different world.”
Just the thing to put people into the holiday spirit is “Christmas Undercover.”
Now in its 25th year, the nonprofit Our Neighbor’s Child (ONC) provides financially struggling, local families with new toys and clothes for the holidays.
CFTC presents ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’
It’s WWII in England when four siblings make their way to a world called Narnia through a magic wardrobe. There, they have all kinds of adventures, including defeating the White Witch, the self-proclaimed ruler of Narnia. That’s the premise of the City of Fairfax Theatre Co.’s upcoming production, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” It’ll be presented Dec. 1-4 at Truro Anglican Church, 10520 Main St. in Fairfax.
Britepaths seeks community’s holiday help for neighbors in need.
“We anticipate serving about 2,000 families, as opposed to 1,500 last year,” said Britepaths Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “Normally, we share them with our other nonprofit partners. But what is concerning is that, this year, our partners are scaling back – so we’re in desperate need for people who want to become sponsors.”
Provides food, household items, diapers, English classes.
Most churches are involved in various missions, and Centreville United Methodist Church (CUMC) is no exception. Describing the church’s congregation as “generous and mission-driven,” its mission director, Michelle Formica, recently discussed several of the church’s missions.
Our Neighbor’s Child provides toys and clothing.
When Centreville’s Kelly Lavin and some friends got together in 1991 to provide Christmas gifts for some families in need in their community, they did so for 15 children. Fast forward to now, and that number has grown to 1,876 children.
OLLI holds annual event in their honor.
Drafted in 1944, Pelzner was trained as a diesel mechanic and assigned to the USS Alchiba supply ship. “We took supplies from the U.S. to the Mariana, Marshall and Caroline Islands and to the Philippines,” he said.
Some 300 people participated in the 17th annual “A Taste of Fall with FACETS,” Nov. 5, at the Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax. And by evening’s end, they’d contributed more than $80,000.