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Donna Manz

Stories by Donna

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Vienna Musicians Rock With a Legend

Earl Slick joins School of Rock students in workshop and performance at Tysons.

A guitar rock legend is coming to the McLean-Vienna area and students from the Vienna School of Rock will be joining him onstage the weekend of March 9. Earl Slick, lead guitarist for rock-star David Bowie, will perform each set with the students. For rock-music fans, this is a big catch.

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Family Pets Are Family in Vienna

Local pet parents share stories of their special family members.

Animals, from dogs and cats to chickens, rabbits and hamsters, come into the lives of humans and complete the family circle. Proud parents that they are, local residents described the attributes of their family’s pets.

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The Optimist Club Honors Students

“How do you let your friends know their value?” was essay topic.

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna awarded three local high school students cash prizes for their winning essays produced for the Optimists International competition, “How do you let your friends know their value?” The presentation took place Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Optimists’ semi-monthly meeting.

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Circus Artwork Wins International Award

Applegate Gallery owner creates whimsical piece for picture-framing competition.

Sara Applegate, whose framing and art gallery sits on Church Street, won an international competition in late January for a framed artpiece. To call Applegate’s interpretation a “frame,” is akin to calling a Ferrari just a car. The piece, whimsical yet complex, features five three-dimensional circus vignettes. The individual components are mostly vintage lead collector pieces. “Once I found those, I fell completely in love,” said Applegate, who picked up several character pieces at the Frederick Antique Emporium. Two pieces were created in 1948 by Britains, a lead soldier manufacturer that produced a circus collection series. The remaining three vignettes were produced by the same company in 1998. Applegate bought those on E-Bay.

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Comic Books Are No Laughing Matter

E.G. Comics in Vienna features thousands of titles, from vintage to current.

Edwin Gumel really knows his comics. His store, E.G. Comics, has served Vienna and the surrounding area since 1990. He doesn’t just sell comics and graphic novels; he grades their condition, he catalogues them, he knows what back issues are worth. Among his stock are niche collections and the more well-known ones, such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Dark Horse Comics.

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Raising Puppies for Veterans

Veterans Moving Forward pairs disabled U.S. vets with therapy dogs.

Wanted: supporter of U.S. veterans, likes to be licked and take long walks, looking for a committed relationship. Reply to Michele Khol, puppy-raiser training coordinator for Vets Moving Forward, Inc. [VMF].

A Novel Idea

Vienna author focused on love story of two disabled people.

She was impetuous, passionate and a bit on the wild side, a shady past behind her. He was sensitive, introverted, a bit shy, with very little “past” behind him. Like night and day, their lives intersected briefly. Like many star-crossed lovers, they forged a relationship despite obstacles that obstructed their paths. It wasn’t religion, race, class or family feuds that thwarted intimacy. It was their disabilities. And their struggles anchor the plot of a new novel by Vienna author Robert “Bob” Rudney.

Ritz-Carlton to the Rescue

Tysons Corner hotel leaves “Footprints” in community.

It’s not uncommon for Vienna-McLean businesses—from defense industry contractors to hospitality providers—to make themselves good neighbors, vital partners in the community in which their presence is known. They come into schools, they mentor, they support wounded warrior programs. They embrace the community spirit envisioned by their company’s corporate philosophy. Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner goes beyond McLean and Tysons, extending its hand to local service clubs, nonprofit and humanitarian projects, and to the hotel’s dedicated project, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Fairfax County Region [Fairfax BGCGW Club].

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Vienna Veteran Campaigns for Commander of American Legion

Mardi Gras fundraiser benefits Dan Dellinger’s campaign.

Other than time he spent in the service of the U.S. Army, Dan Dellinger lived most of his life in Vienna. He went through Vienna schools, as his children did. He served as a Vienna Town Council member and as an officer of Vienna’s American Legion Post 180. He’s active in local civic clubs. Now, Dellinger is stepping out into the national spotlight, traversing the country in his campaign to be elected the American Legion’s next national commander.

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Winter Fun Abounds in Vienna

Area hosts events to chase away the chill.

The Vienna-area hosts a variety of fun indoor events during the cold season. From live theatre to live music, from food and gaming to Washington’s most revered political satire, there’s a bit of something for every interest.

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Neil Simon’s ‘Proposals’ Presented in Vienna

Vienna Theatre Company presents a light-hearted glimpse into family relationships

At home in the Vienna Community Center, the community theatre draws local thespians and artistic and technical crew

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PostNet Business Center Opens in Vienna

Print shop supports businesses and non-commercial needs.

When James Cudney turned his back on the road warrior life a couple of years ago, he turned inward to the community that his family lived in, loved and supported. If he was going to downshift a speed, he was going to center his professional life in Vienna.

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Family Remembers Life and Legacy of Kidnapped Libyan Human Rights Activist

Mansur Rashid Kikhia’s family lives in McLean and Vienna area.

Nineteen years ago, on Dec. 10, 1993, Libyan human rights activist and lawyer Mansur Rashid Kikhia, was kidnapped from his hotel room in Cairo, Egypt and spirited out of the country. Last month—December, 2012—Kikhia’s death in Tripoli was confirmed to his family, now living in the Vienna and McLean areas. On Saturday, Jan. 12, Kikhia’s family and friends celebrated the life of a man dedicated to human rights for all.

Author Reminds Children All Animals Need Sleep

“Animals Need Zzzs, Too” looks at the ways different animals sleep.

When Vienna resident Patricia Britz worked at the National Sleep Foundation, she fielded calls from parents wanting information on sleep needs of their children. Sleep, Britz observed, is not as valued as it deserves to be.

Aging with a Digital Connection

Local specialist guides seniors through the social network maze.

There’s a digital revolution blowing through Fairfax County and Vienna resident Cherie Lejeune is fanning it. And it’s not the tech-savvy young ones Lejeune is reaching out to now … it is the aging population who will use social media and networking software to maintain social networks and family relationships.

Viewpoints: What are your plans for 2013?

The main event of 2013 will be to commemorate the unveiling of the plaque honoring the Freeman Store's inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. This is scheduled for Saturday, April 6. The Freeman Store is the only building in the Town of Vienna that is on the National Trust's register.

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Vienna’s Top Stories of 2012

From devastating wind storm to parking garage, Vienna saw diversity in its news stories of 2012. Trees toppled on houses and cars during the June 29 derecho that ravaged the region and thousands of Vienna-area residents were without power for days as emergency crews worked to repair downed power lines. Vienna heard business news, as well, with the founding of a new Vienna Business Association and the proposed Church Street parking garage.

Vienna in 2013

A look at the new year through the vision of elected officials, citizens.

Q: What are the most important issues or challenges facing Vienna businesses today? What is the Town Business Liaison Committee doing to promote Vienna businesses?

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Christmases Past

Neighbors share traditions and memories of the holiday season.

Some Vienna neighbors shared their recollections with Vienna-Oakton Connection readers.

Viewpoints: What do you like most about the holiday season?

Residents answer the question, "What do you like most about the holiday season?"

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Marshall High is the Face of Fairfax County

Upwards of 90 countries represented by student population.

The schools that feed into George C. Marshall High School are the academic home to children from all over the world.

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Art & Craft Showcase Attracts Crafters, Shoppers

Many of the artisans at the 30th Annual Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild Art & Craft Showcase over Thanksgiving weekend are regulars at the show at the Vienna Community Center.

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Walk of Lights at Meadowlark

In one of the season’s more spectacular holiday gestures, the chairman of the board of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Brian Knapp, ceremonially threw a switch at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, illuminating hundreds of trees and scenes within Meadowlark’s 100-acre parkland.

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Vienna Arts Society Hosts Treasury of Art Show

More than 150 juried pieces went on exhibit at Community Center.

The Vienna Arts Society’s [VAS] 43rd Annual Treasury of Art Juried Show and Sale opened to the public on Friday, Nov. 16, closing on Nov. 18.

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Give a Gift, Share a Gift

The season of sharing and gift-giving is upon us. The malls and chain stores scream “sale” and mass-produced merchandise, made in other countries, flies off the shelves. This year, why not seek out the unique, the one-of-a-kind gifts sold in places that offer personalized, welcoming service, the kind of place where the owners and staff are truly happy to see you.

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Vienna Honors Veterans

American Legion Post 180 program salutes those who served country.

Vienna honored Veterans’ Day at a program hosted by Vienna’s own American Legion Dyer-Gunnell Post 180.

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Vienna’s Fair-est Saturday Presents Early Holiday Bazaars

The Vienna Woman’s Club and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary host their annual fundraisers.

What better way to kick off the holiday season than with the first of Vienna’s festive bazaars? On Saturday, Nov. 10, there are two of them, adjacent to one another, no less.

World War II Veteran Recalls Wartime Experiences

From making machine guns to joining the WACs, Vienna resident shares memories.

World War II veteran Carolyn Fix may have slowed down somewhat as she approaches 90 years old, but she has not lost her sharp wits and her memory of her wartime experiences.

Viewpoints: "What issues are most important to you in this year’s election?"

“Three issues really are on the top of my mind. The security of the U.S. I am very concerned about the defense of the United States. Secondly, the economy. We’ve done nothing to bring us out of this depression. Third, unemployment. Twenty-seven million people out of work is unacceptable. I think it’s time we get a new horse-holder up front.”

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Civil War Dead Honored at Flint Hill Cemetery

Historic marker unveiling set against illuminations, living historians.

Even a thinly-veiled but luminous moon contributed to the theatrical mood at a dark Flint Hill Cemetery on Saturday night.

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Vienna Halloween Parade Keeps Them Smiling

Floats, emergency vehicles, bands and costumed children set the mood for festive evening.

The weather during the 66th Annual Vienna Halloween Parade on Wednesday, Oct. 24, did not merely cooperate, it begged the community to revel in its balmy temperatures and clear skies.

A Veteran’s ‘Best Friend’

Rescued pets help veterans overcome PTSD.

The Vienna Woman’s Club funds scholarships for local students, supports homeless high school students, contributes food and goods to a local charity, and, now, is fundraising on behalf of American veterans and first-responders with PTSD.

Unveiling History in Oakton

The Oct. 27 program at Flint Hill Cemetery honors the memory of the 165 veterans—from Civil War to 20th century wars—buried at the historic Oakton site.

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Vienna Preschoolers Help Less-fortunate

F. B. Meekins Preschool partners with Emmaus Church to bring food and goods to Our Daily Bread pantry in Vienna.

To kick off the season of sharing, F. B. Meekins Preschool in Vienna partnered with Emmaus United Church of Christ to give its preschoolers an opportunity to share their good fortune and bounty with families less fortunate.

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Big-Band Floor Show Comes to Vienna

Benefit fundraiser for SCOV is next-best thing to the Copacabana nightclub.

If you know who Glenn Miller was, what drugstore soda fountains were, or if you have ever watched a Thin Man film, the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna [SCOV] is returning you to those times.

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Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Holds Annual Open House

Equipment, activities, draw hundreds of families to Saturday’s award-winning event.

What little child—or grownup child—doesn’t like fire engines and ambulances? Vienna youngsters got their chance to climb aboard emergency equipment, learn about fire safety, jump in a bounce house, get tattooed and nibble on free hot dogs and popcorn, all while at the Fire Prevention Week Open House presented by the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department on Oct. 13.

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Oktoberfest Brightens Vienna Saturday

Annual festival draws families.

Oktoberfest, on Saturday, Oct. 6, started out as picture-perfect autumn day… sunny blue skies with a mild temperature, perfect for strolling. By early afternoon, dark clouds rolled in, but the families with young children made the best of their time at Oktoberfest.

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Church Street Garage Discussed

Town and architect invite questions, comments.

The Town of Vienna and project architect Paul Layer conducted another round of citizen meetings on Sept. 27 to discuss the proposed Church Street mixed-use building, a small complex of parking garage/retail and condo apartments, developed as a private/public partnership. Approximately 25 concerned community members turned out for the mid-afternoon meeting, while a much smaller number participated in the evening meeting. The evening meeting, however, featured a greater interaction between speakers and fellow citizens.

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Oktoberfest Returns on Oct. 6

Festival is partnership of Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce and Town of Vienna.

It’s time for oompah music, wurst and beer. Add a diversity of children’s activities, a marketplace and live entertainment for kids and grown-ups and you get the 5th Annual Oktoberfest sponsored by the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce [TRCC] and the Town of Vienna. The all-day festival takes over the Town Green and the historic Church Street corridor on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Talents Galore at ‘Arts by George!’

The 7th annual George Mason University ‘Arts by George!’ to be held on Saturday, Sept. 29.

A bevy of incredible talent is set to entertain as the seventh annual George Mason University "Arts by George!" is coming on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. Arts by George! will take place in the de Laski Performing Arts Building on Mason’s Fairfax Campus, as well as Harris Theater and a tented plaza next to the performing arts building.

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Fall Fun Finds in Vienna

Event-filled season begins now.

Fall is the festive season in Vienna. There are the traditional annual events—from the Halloween parade to the Church Street Holiday Stroll and everything in-between—to new multi-generational activities. Local holiday craft fairs and bazaars are big, as are elementary school book fairs, a great place to buy holiday gifts for children that not only make them happy, but, support the schools as well. One of the nicest parts about school book fairs is that anybody can visit and buy.

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Vienna Businesses Form a New Community Association

Vienna businesses are building their own association.

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but, if Vienna businesses wrote a song, they would lament that the newly-renamed and newly-relocated Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce left its heart in Vienna. When the Chamber changed its name from the ViennaTysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, it also announced a move out of Vienna to Tysons Corner. That did not sit well with several Vienna businesses, neighbors who feel they are the business heart of Vienna. “The surprise came not so much as the move as it was the name change,” said VBA co-organizer Kathy Georgen of Georgen and Scarborough.

Vienna Gardens Open to Visitors

Vienna Sustainability Garden Tour showcases innovative conservative ideas.

The 2nd Annual Vienna Sustainability Home & Garden Tour is a paean to conservation and a resourceful means of creating sustainability. From homemade deer fencing to energy-efficient homes, the 11 homes and single business participating in the Sept. 16 tour showcased vegetable and flower gardens that thrive in Northern Virginia.

Fall Farmers’ Market Brings in the Best of Autumn

Vienna market showcasing pumpkins, root vegetable and hardy flowering plants.

The Vienna Farmers’ Market—on Church Street, in the caboose parking lot—is transitioning from summer harvest to fall specialties, all this under sunny blue skies and crisp air. If you’ve been waiting for that first seasonal bite of crunchy, juicy locally-grown apples, now is your time.

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Growing Hope in Vienna

For families looking for free family fun, look no further than the Vienna Town Green on Saturday, Sept. 29. For the seventh consecutive year, the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna hosts its annual Walk & Family Fun Day for Growing Hope, a local nonprofit resource dedicated to supporting children with cancer and their families.

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Marshall Renovation, Celebration Goes On

Marshall High celebrates 50 years of academics and sports.

“We are very lucky all our kids graduated from Marshall,” said Rennert. “It’s a little jewel in Tysons Corner.”

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Koi Show Features the Art of the Species

ZNA Potomac hosts 19th Annual Koi Show at Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna.

Over the weekend of Sept. 8, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens turned into a nirvana for koi fans. The ZNA Potomac 19th Annual Koi Show returned to Meadowlark for the fourth consecutive year, bringing in koi owners and Meadowlark visitors. The koi show was open to the public and free. “It’s so enjoyable,” said koi exhibitor Chuck Lockard, Vienna, who also maintains a saltwater pond. “I have a patio, I sit outside and watch them. It’s a fabulous hobby, and it ties into my landscaping and gardening.” Lockard’s kidney-shaped pond holds about 18,000 gallons of water and 25 koi. Vienna was well-represented at the Potomac koi show. Other koi hobbyists from the Vienna area entered their koi, as well, or came to the show to buy koi for their home ponds. “Raising koi is a lot of fun,” said Vienna hobbyist Gretchen Lindsey, who bought her home with a koi pond already in the yard. The previous owners had not constructed their own koi pond in their new house so Gretchen and her husband were left to care for the ones left at the Lindsey home. “All we had to do was feed them. I thought, ‘this is easy.’”

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Coffee for a Cure at Caffe Amouri

Lymphoma survivor leads team to fundraise on behalf of lymphoma research.

“Until 1995, my lymphoma was a death sentence … Because of research, there are many of us who are alive. My medicines were not around five years ago, and here I am, cancer-free.” —Valerie Kappler, Vienna, Remission Rider

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Vienna Remembers 9/11

Vienna’s American Legion Post 180 partners with town to honor the dead and the brave of Sept. 11, 2001.

Sept. 11, 2012, was eerily similar to the warm, sunny day 11 years ago when terrorists hijacked four American jetliners, slamming them into buildings and the ground. As much of a day of infamy as was the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sept. 11 is commemorated every year throughout the United States. And every year, Vienna’s American Legion Post 180 partners with the Town of Vienna to honor the memory of the dead, the bravery of the day’s heroes and the sacrifices of those Americans actively battling terrorism daily.

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Celebrating Middle Eastern Food, Culture

Holy Transfiguration Church hosts 12th annual food and culture festival on Labor Day weekend.

If you love freshly-roasted aromatic meats, rich syrupy pastries, exotic dance and music and very congenial people, you’ll love the ethnic food festival in McLean that brightens Labor Day weekend. For the 12th consecutive year, the parishioners of Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek-Catholic Church on Lewinsville Road are throwing its annual Middle Eastern Food Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.