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Bonnie Hobbs

Stories by Bonnie

A Classic Romance Comes to the Stage

Woodson High presents ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 100, Woodson High will present the classic, romantic play, "Pride and Prejudice." And there’ll be entertainment, both on and offstage.

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Come, Take a Trip to 19th Century Fairfax

Civil War Day is April 26.

Antebellum Virginia will come to life during Fairfax Civil War Day. Featuring wagon rides, cannon firings, house tours and a soldier encampment, it’s set for Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at Historic Blenheim, 3610 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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‘The Best High-School Musicians in Virginia’

Three Madison students to play in All-State Band.

Three Madison High students will be performing this weekend in Blacksburg with the Virginia All-State Band. The talented musicians are senior Go Eun Jeong, junior Daniel Schwartz and sophomore Mike Niebergall. Only the top musicians in their district bands got to audition for All-State Band. Auditions were held Feb. 22 at JMU, with hundreds of students from across Virginia vying for a spot. Each had to play various scales, plus an excerpt from a song written solely for that audition. They also had to sight-read new music and play it on the spot.

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‘Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles’

Liberty Middle presents the musical, ‘Fiddler on the Roof Jr.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 45, Liberty Middle School presents “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.” Show times are Thursday-Saturday, April 3, 4 and 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and during school lunches.

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‘We Felt Like We Deserved It’

Vienna teen competed in synchronized ice skating Nationals.

Since age 5, ice skating has been a huge part of Brynn Thomas’s life – and the Madison High freshman wouldn’t have it any other way. She does synchronized skating and, she said, “The thought of going on slippery ice on tiny, thin blades is thrilling to me.” In synchronized skating, team members skate to music in unison while demonstrating their teamwork, speed and ability to perform intricate formations and challenging step sequences. And Thomas and her teammates on the Arlington-based Capitol Steps competed recently in the Synchronized Skating National Competition in Colorado Springs.

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Creek Restoration Project Honored

The Community Appearance Alliance of Northern Virginia (CAA) last week honored the Wolftrap Creek restoration project. Town of Vienna and Fairfax County representatives accepted an award recognizing the two entities’ partnership that transformed a section of Wolftrap Creek in Vienna’s Wildwood Park. Because of it, the creek was changed from a deeply incised channel with eroding banks to an environmental benefit for people and animals. The work restored more than 2,500 feet of the Creek by reshaping the stream banks to a gentle slope and planting vegetation.

Walk, Candlelight Vigil Honors Crime Victims

The free event to kick off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 6-12.

Fairfax County remembers local people who’ve been victims of crimes. And on Sunday, April 6, at Fairfax Corner, they’ll be honored via the second annual 5K Walk and Candlelight Vigil.

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Fairfax Apartment Fire: $2 Million in Damage

A two-alarm fire Monday afternoon at a Fairfax apartment building displaced some 25 residents and caused an estimated $2 million damage. Roughly 80 City of Fairfax firefighters raced to 4311 Bob Court, March 24, around 3:45 p.m., after a report of a fire with people trapped in the building.

‘The Taklimakan Desert Is in Which Country?’

Fairfax boy, 10, to compete in state Geography Bee.

Rohil Bhinge is one, smart boy. A fifth-grader at Mosby Woods Elementary, he’ll represent his school, April 4, in Farmville, at the state Geography Bee.

Walk, Candlelight Vigil Honors Crime Victims

Fairfax County remembers local people who’ve been victims of crimes. And on Sunday, April 6, at Fairfax Corner, they’ll be honored via the second annual 5K Walk and Candlelight Vigil. The free event, in front of the movie theater at 4100 Monument Corner Drive in the Fairfax Corner shopping center, kicks off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 6-12. Each April, law-enforcement agencies, along with organizations and communities, join together to observe this week. The goal is to promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and the people who work advocating on their behalf.

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Chantilly High’s International Celebration

Featuring food and entertainment, Chantilly High’s International Night was Wednesday, March 19.

‘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.

Our Daily Bread Receives Grant

Our Daily Bread (ODB) is always helping people in need; now it’s receiving a helping hand to continue carrying on its work. The Fairfax nonprofit has just been awarded a $25,000 grant by the United Way of the National Capital Area (NCA). The money will expand ODB’s ability to provide grocery cards via its Food Bridge Program. These cards are given to Fairfax County residents participating in ODB’s supplemental delivered-food program, as well as to people referred to the organization for emergency food assistance.

Baking a Difference for Children

Icing Smiles to be featured at cake show in Fairfax.

Icing Smiles, an organization that provides custom cakes for critically ill children, will be highlighted at The National Capital Area Cake Show at Fairfax High School.

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Drummond Is ‘Hitting the Pause Button’

Fairfax Councilman not running for re-election.

It wasn’t a conclusion he reached easily. But after much consideration, Dan Drummond’s decided not to run for re-election to the Fairfax City Council.

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Having Fun, Raising Money

Life Time holding Zumba-Latin Fusion dance class for MDA.

Peter Callas is living a happy and productive life, both personally and professionally. But it wouldn’t have been possible without his own determination, the love of his family and support from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Vienna Town Manager Unveils Budget Plan

Proposal keeps real-estate tax rate the same.

Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton has unveiled his proposed budget for FY 2014-15. What happens to it next is up to the Town Council and the residents.

Roundups

St. Baldrick’s Sign-Ups A St. Baldrick’s Day event is slated for Sunday, March 23, at 4 p.m., at Fast Eddie’s in the Newgate Shopping Center, at Routes 28/29 in Centreville. The event raises funds for childhood cancer research. People volunteer to have their heads shaved and raise money in advance for the privilege. Then all those being shaved get it done together while others cheer them on. Sign up at http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/149/2014. In addition, Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Centreville is giving a 10-percent discount on services and 10 percent back to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation when customers mention St. Baldrick’s.

‘Highly Motivated and a True Leader’

A 26-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, MPO Ray Ordonez is the Sully District Station’s and its Citizens Advisory Committee’s 2013 Officer of the Year. He was honored as such last Wednesday, March 12, at the station, and every one of his roll-call officers turned out for the ceremony.

Two Sully Police Officers Honored

Because snow cancelled February’s meeting of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee, two officers of the month were honored last week. Station Commander Ed O’Carroll recognized PFC John Kolcun for February and PFC Joe Compher for March. He and the CAC feted both officers during the CAC’s March 12 meeting at the Sully District Station. O’Carroll said Kolcun was being acknowledged for “his diligence out on the streets. He’s permanently on night duty so, when we’re all home sleeping and safe, he’s out there fighting crime.”

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Mayor Silverthorne Kicks Off Re-election Campaign

City of Fairfax Mayor Scott Silverthorne kicked off his re-election campaign Sunday afternoon, March 9, at Red Hot & Blue. Attendees included Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th), Del. David Bulova (D-37th) and former Fairfax mayors, John Mason and Rob Lederer.

‘I Have to Protect Society from You’

Requejo sentenced to five years in prison.

Even if Eduardo Requejo was sexually molested himself, as a child, that didn’t give him the right to do it to anyone else. That was the message Judge Brett Kassabian gave him last Friday in Fairfax County Circuit Court. He then sentenced Requejo, 23, of Fairfax, to five years in prison for sexually molesting an 8-year-old girl.

Work Beginning on Ashby Pond Trail

It’s full speed ahead for the construction of the Ashby Pond Park Trail. Work was set to begin Monday, March 3, with construction expected to last approximately 90 days, until May 31. The park will be closed during construction and, weather permitting, should be open again in June.

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Fairfax City Budget Proposal Unveiled

Includes no increase in property-tax rate.

The City of Fairfax is on firm financial footing and the real-estate tax rate is not proposed to increase in the coming fiscal year. That was the message City Manager Bob Sisson brought to the City Council last Tuesday, Feb. 25, when he unveiled his proposed FY 2015 budget.

Trying to Stay Strong Through the Grief

Woodson High community mourns two students.

Tears, sad faces, hugs, stunned silences, churning emotions and unanswered questions – all are part of the reaction of the Woodson High students in the wake of last week’s tragedies: Two of their classmates have died.

Roundups

Time To Spring Forward Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 9, at 2 a.m. So before going to bed Saturday night, residents are reminded to turn their clocks, watches and other electronic devices forward one hour. CAC Meeting on Drugs The Citizens Advisory Committee of the Sully District Police Station will meet Wednesday, March 12, from 7:30-9 p.m., in the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. In an adults-only presentation, a detective from the Organized Crime and Narcotics division will talk about dangerous drugs in Fairfax County and what’s being done to combat them. R.S.V.P. to FCPDSULCPO@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-814-7018.

Federal Convictions for Vienna Man, Parents

Filed false tax returns to conceal drug-dealing proceeds.

Many families enjoy doing things together. However, the Yeh family of Vienna chose to do something illegal – defraud the federal government.

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Motion, Distance, Flame Retardants and More

Students participate in Madison High’s science fair.

Madison High’s Feb. 5 science fair brought out the curiosity and creativity in the students participating in it. Below, some of them explain their projects:

Oakton Fire Causes $20,000 Damage

Fire officials say improperly discarded smoking materials caused an accidental fire in an Oakton home. Damage was estimated at $20,000. The incident occurred Monday, Feb. 10, at 2615 Hunter Mill Road.

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‘Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again’

Chantilly’s Emily Price has come a long way. In 2006, at age 14, she played Dorothy in The Alliance Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Now 22, she’s performing in the Broadway national tour of “Mamma Mia!” The hit musical is at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., March 4-9. In the story, a young woman named Sophie is getting married in Greece. She wants to learn who her father is, so she invites three former suitors of her mother’s to the wedding. “I play Ali, one of Sophie’s best friends, who’s come to the Greek island as a bridesmaid,” said Price. “Ali’s quirky, funny and excited to be reunited with Sophie. I love it; I get to jump around and have a blast every night with wonderful performers. The audience loves the show — we always get a great reaction.”

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Professionals Offer Theater Workshops

Broadway actress and audio/visual tech coming to Fairfax High.

Broadway comes to Fairfax with the arrival of actress Candi Boyd, currently appearing on Broadway in the play, “Jersey Boys.” On Sunday, March 9, she’ll present a musical-theater workshop, “Broadway: Behind the Curtain,” at Fairfax High – and it’s open to all area high-school students.

Locals Receive Governor’s 2013 Fire Service Awards

Stilwell, Hollingsworth, Wais and Rosenthal are honored.

Four local people were among those honored last Saturday, Feb. 22, with Governor’s Fire Service Awards for 2013. They were feted during the Virginia Fire and Rescue Conference at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. This year marked the 12th anniversary of these awards, which formally recognize excellence in Virginia’s Fire Services. Award recipients included Renee Stilwell, Capt. George Hollingsworth, Hassibullah Wais and Philip Rosenthal. Below are the details of why they were honored:

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‘Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again’

Chantilly’s Emily Price has come a long way. In 2006, at age 14, she played Dorothy in The Alliance Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Now 22, she’s performing in the Broadway national tour of “Mamma Mia!” The hit musical will be at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., March 4-9. In the story, a young woman named Sophie is getting married in Greece. She wants to learn who her father is, so she invites three former suitors of her mother’s to the wedding. “I play Ali, one of Sophie’s best friends, who’s come to the Greek island as a bridesmaid,” said Price. “Ali’s quirky, funny and excited to be reunited with Sophie. I love it; I get to jump around and have a blast every night with wonderful performers. The audience loves the show — we always get a great reaction.” Price was drawn to acting as a child. “I was shy, so this was a great outlet for me,” she said. “I also fell in love with the idea of diving into someone else’s shoes and getting into their feelings and lives on stage.” Her first show was Alliance’s “Oliver” in 2003, followed by “The Music Man” in 2004. “I grew up with [Alliance founder] Elaine Wilson as my director,” said Price. “She allowed the ensemble members to work together to create something artistic. I remember having a lot of fun — it was like theater camp for me. I was also a counselor during their summer production of ‘Willy Wonka.’”

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Westfield High To Present One-Act Play Festival.

Postponed because of snow, Westfield High’s Winter One-Act Play Festival has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 9 in the school theater. On the bill are comedy, drama and even a full-length musical. Here’s what’s on tap:

Mountain View Department Awards

Mountain View High presented the following Department Awards, Feb. 5, to graduating seniors: English, Nina Iandolo; Business, Alexis Kharin Arriola; P.E., Reynaldo Gonzalez Martinez; Art, Nina Iandolo, Joshua Todd McDow, Trong LeDuc Bui; EFE, Aya Elhadi Abdelhalim; Family and Consumer Science, Chakoda Lanora Robinson. ESOL: Level 1, Jose Ramos Cantarero; Level 2, Ting Shi Zhong; Level 3, Evelin Clavel Delgado, Reynaldo Gonzalez Martinez; Level 4, Milton Fernandez Lemus, Maria Villafuerte Pineda.

Vandalism Suspects Arrested

Police have arrested three adults and obtained petitions charging two juveniles in connection with the recent series of vehicle vandalisms in Centreville. The apprehensions came about after a resident called police Friday, Feb. 21, around 4 a.m., to report a loud noise and a suspicious vehicle in the area of Bull Run Post Office Road. Responding officers from the Sully District Station found the vehicle and stopped it on Bull Run Post Office Road near Sudley Road. Several smashed mailboxes were also discovered in the area. Further investigation led officers to identify five people they believe were responsible for the Centreville vehicle vandalisms.

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‘We Will Not Tolerate Unsafe Driving’

Police want motorists to get the message from their new cruiser.

There’s a new weapon in the Fairfax County Police Department’s arsenal, but this one has four tires and an engine. It’s a new cruiser covered with messages warning people not to drive impaired or distracted. It was unveiled on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Sully District Station, and the station’s commander, Capt. Ed O’Carroll, explained its significance.

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‘Zipping Along and Flying on the Ice’

Two local teens competing in synchronized skating Nationals.

Emily Dillard and LaDan Nemati attend two different high schools; but on the ice rink, they’re teammates. Dillard’s a freshman at Fairfax High and Nemati’s a freshman at Paul VI. And on Feb. 27, they and Team Ashburn will compete in the Synchronized Skating National Competition in Colorado Springs.

Vienna Seeks Feedback from Town Residents

Will conduct a survey on its programs and services.

The Town of Vienna wants to see how well it’s doing, so it’s going to survey some of its residents to find out. Toward that end, it contracted this month with ETC Institute to do the deed.

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‘I Like Gliding Across the Ice’

Vienna teen competing in synchronized ice skating Nationals.

Vienna’s Ceci Picard isn’t an Olympian, but she is an accomplished ice skater. And on Feb. 27, she and her teammates will compete in the Synchronized Skating National Competition in Colorado Springs.

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