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Bonnie Hobbs

Stories by Bonnie

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Introducing the City of Fairfax's First, 24-Hour Park

Old Town Square open for business and fun.

It wasn’t just Saturday morning’s ribbon-cutting that signaled the official opening of the City of Fairfax’s Old Town Square. It was all the people who gathered there, the children playing in the splash pad and the friends and neighbors enjoying themselves afterward at the Derby-Q festival.

61 Sports Events over 10 Days

Fairfax County hosting the 2015 World Police & Fire Games.

A huge event on a scale Fairfax County has never before seen — that’s the 2015 World Police & Fire Games. It’ll run June 26-July 5 and promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for area residents.

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Food, Fun, Music and an Astronaut at Chantilly Day

Fourth annual Chantilly Day celebration is May 16.

A festival filled with fun and entertainment — that’s what’s in store at the fourth annual Chantilly Day celebration. It’s set for Saturday, May 16, at the Sully Place Shopping Center, off Route 50 West in Chantilly.

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Neighborhood Outlook: What’s on the Horizon for the City of Fairfax

Homes, grocery renovation and road improvements.

Several development projects are either proposed or in the works in the City of Fairfax. Below is a snapshot of some of them:

Roundups for the Week of April 29, 2015

Roundups for the Week of April 29, 2015

Neighborhood Outlook: What’s on Chantilly's Horizon?

Homes, shops, restaurant and Wegmans proposed for Westfields.

With the downturn in the office market, developers are looking at vacant parcels of land in the Westfields area of Chantilly as a place for residential and other uses, instead.

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Guevara Wins GOP’s Nod

A 16-vote victory to become Republican candidate for supervisor.

It’ll be John Guevara vs. Kathy Smith in the upcoming race to represent the Sully District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Fairfax Old Town Square Debuting in Style on May 2

Ribbon-cutting and Derby-Q event.

The City of Fairfax’s brand-new Old Town Square will make its debut Saturday, May 2, with two special events. First, at 9 a.m., will be the official ribbon-cutting on the City’s new gathering place that features decorative fountains.

Woodson High Premieres Musical 'Waiting'

Seated right onstage, the audience becomes part of the action when Woodson High presents an original musical, “Waiting.” It presents a slice of teenage life, as seen through the eyes of servers at a diner. The cast and crew of nearly 70 have been rehearsing since February, and the show is the world premiere of a play by Sarah Motes Ashley. She and Woodson Director Terri Hobson attended Woodson together as teens.

Fairfax High Presents 'Big: The Musical'

In today’s world, many young people spend so much time on their smartphones that they miss chances to just go out and play. But Fairfax High’s production of “Big: The Musical” reminds them and others to sometimes be kids again and have fun doing so.

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Chantilly Students are Opening a Serious Chapter in History with 'Radium Girls'

Chantilly High is performing the play, “Radium Girls.”

A slice of American history is presented in Chantilly High’s production of the drama, “Radium Girls.” It features a cast and crew of 35, and Director Ed Monk says his young thespians are doing a terrific job.

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Westfield High Presents "Pajama Game" May 1-2

“Pajama Game” is Westfield High’s Cappies show.

Featuring a cast and crew of 60 and a 25-piece orchestra, Westfield High presents the musical comedy, “Pajama Game.” It’s the school’s Cappies show and the students have been rehearsing since March.

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Centreville High Takes on Teddy Roosevelt, Murder and Comedy

Centreville High presents “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

A comedy about an unlikely subject, “Arsenic and Old Lace” takes place in a house in Brooklyn in the 1930s. Two, sweet, elderly ladies, the Brewster sisters, live there and are well-liked by everyone. But they have a big secret ...

Centreville: International Showcase Set for Saturday

Centreville’s diverse restaurant scene will be front and center at the Centreville International Showcase, this Saturday night, April 25, from 6-9:30 pm., at Centreville United Methodist Church, 6400 Old Centreville Road in Centreville.

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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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Fairfax One: ‘Ambulance in the Air’

A close-up look at Fairfax County’s police helicopter.

Members of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) recently toured Fairfax County’s heliport, got to speak with a pilot and saw the Fairfax One helicopter up close. It’s a twin-engine, Bell 429 and does both police and medivac missions for the county. And one of its pilots, PFC Nick Taormina, is a paramedic as well as a police officer.

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City of Fairfax Seeks Public Input to Improve Old Lee Highway

To the City of Fairfax, Old Lee Highway is a critically important road leading residents to homes, schools, businesses, shopping, the police station, Sherwood Community Center and Van Dyke Park. But believing it can be improved, the City applied for and received a grant for technical assistance to help determine what should be done there.

Chantilly Police Commander: ‘Everyone Is Here to Help’

Lt. Todd Kinkead heads the station’s Criminal Investigations Section.

Basically, the officers of the Sully District Police Station are successful at what they do and things should only get better from here. That was the message presented during February’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting.

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Chantilly: ‘State of the Station’ Meeting Reviews Statistics

Residents receive statistics and information at “State of the Station” meeting.

Residents at a recent meeting of the Sully District Police Station and its Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) learned about crime and policing efforts in the Sully District. They also received information about last year’s crime trends and the ways local police here are serving the community.

Centreville Students Shine at Science Fair

Projects included music, sports, energy, hearing and plant growth.

At Centreville High’s recent Science Fair, students displayed their projects in the school cafeteria for judging; below are details about a few of them.

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Insight Memory Care Center Celebrates New, Larger Building in Fairfax

It was raining outside, but warm and cheerful inside, when dignitaries gathered March 4 to cut the ribbon celebrating Insight Memory Care Center’s new home.

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Fairfax High Band Students Shine

Fairfax High band members made their school proud at the recent, All-District Band auditions, March 6, at West Springfield High. Fairfax had the most students selected of any high school in the district. Some 36 FHS band students were chosen and another nine were named alternates.

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Fairfax Man’s Relative Who Died in 1863 Is Reburied

James Davis died in 1863, but he was just buried last Monday in the Oakton Baptist Church Cemetery in Chantilly.

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Chantilly: ‘I’m Just Thrilled To Be Here’

Blakley takes helm at Sully District Police Station.

Right from the start, Bob Blakley planned to become a police officer. Born in Clearwater, Fla., he joined the Police Explorers in 10th grade. And when his family moved to Georgia the next year, he started an Explorer post there. “People say it’s a calling,” said Blakley. “I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

New Commander Stresses Community Relations

As the new commander of the Sully District Police Station, Capt. Bob Blakley has big plans.

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Tour The County Animal Shelter

Making the most of its expanded facility.

Members of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) got to tour Fairfax County’s Animal Shelter last Tuesday, March 11. They were divided into four groups and each learned about the shelter from a guide.

Fairfax City Manager Presents Proposed New Budget

Would raise tax rates, fund employee merit raises.

The thing to remember about the proposed City of Fairfax budget for FY 2016 is that it’s still a work in progress. City Manager Bob Sisson presented it last Tuesday, March 3, to the City Council, but there will be work sessions and public hearings before it’s finally adopted on April 29.

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Hail to the Champions

Chantilly High wins VHSL One-Act State Competition.

Long known for its outstanding theater program, Chantilly High just added another award to its collection. On Saturday, March 7, the theater students became state champions, winning the VHSL One-Act State Competition.

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United at Last With Family

Man who died in 1863 is reburied in Chantilly cemetery.

James Davis died in 1863, but he was just buried Monday in the Oakton Baptist Church Cemetery in Chantilly.

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Guilty or Innocent? What’s the Truth?

City of Fairfax Theatre Company presents ‘Doubt: A Parable.’

Uncertainty about whether a priest committed a crime is at the heart of “Doubt: A Parable,” the upcoming play by the City of Fairfax Theatre Company.

Kamp Washington Triangle Redevelopment Approved for City of Fairfax

Residential/retail project will include 24 affordable units.

It is not a perfect project and not everyone got what they wanted. But it will be a vast improvement over what’s there now, and it includes some much-needed affordable housing.

Day of Celebration: Homeless No More in Fairfax

The first residents move into Kate’s Place.

Kate’s Place consists of six apartments for extremely low-income and formerly homeless families. And to the mothers and children who just moved in, the homes are more than a roof over their heads — they’re a lifeline.

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Oak Knolls Project Makes Big Changes in Fairfax

New proposal swaps apartments for condos.

There’s a plan afoot to redevelop the Oak Knolls Apartments. But the proposal has changed significantly since it was presented last spring to the Fairfax City Council.

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Big Changes Planned for Lotte Market in Fairfax

New façade, better parking, less big trucks and traffic.

For many years, the Lotte market in Fairfax has been a popular grocery store, especially with its Asian customers. But its exterior has been an eyesore to the public.

Team Members Teach Children with Autism

Besides participating in robotics competitions, team Robowiz also did community outreach via the START (Spreading Technology And Robotics Together) program. It partnered with the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) to encourage children with autism to develop an interest in robotics.

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‘You Start with a Box of Metal’

Local robotics team heads to two state championships.

It’s a big deal when a team, academic or athletic, reaches the state championships. But it’s even more impressive when that team does it in two, different states. Meet team Robowiz – 10 local students who’ve reached that level in both Virginia and Maryland. The eight boys and two girls live in Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax and are in grades eight through 10.

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‘The Sidewalk Will Increase Safety’

City Council Votes to Improve Section of Roberts Road in Fairfax

Pending receipt of the necessary funds, the west side of Roberts Road in Fairfax – between Main Street and Sager Avenue – will be getting a new sidewalk, curb and gutter. The Fairfax City Council approved this action at its Jan. 13 meeting. Not all the residents are happy about it and not all the Council members are in agreement. But in the end, it’s believed that the project will make the city more walkable and this portion of Roberts Road safer.

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Thousands Throng to City of Fairfax

Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival was Feb. 7-8.

Meals for Young Minds

The Chocolate Lovers Festival Committee is again supporting the Fairfax Kiwanis Meals for Young Minds Program with multiple, food drop-off locations during the festival. This program provides meals to local, elementary-school students who don’t have food to eat on the weekends.

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Chocolate Cookbook and Valentine

It’s always fun to bring home souvenirs from the Chocolate Festival, and two of them are the official, Chocolate Lovers Festival Cookbook and the annual, commemorative Valentine.

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‘It’s Such a Good Fit’

Naomi Project joins Our Daily Bread to help struggling mothers.

For the past 19 years, the nonprofit Naomi Project of Northern Virginia has worked with high-risk, pregnant women and new mothers to help them have healthy pregnancies and babies. It’s now become a program of the nonprofit Our Daily Bread (ODB) and, on Jan. 22, the two groups celebrated their union. “It’s a natural offshoot of what we’re already doing with moms,” said ODB spokeswoman Heather Webb. “This is another way that we can help them build families and get on a better financial footing.”