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Donna Manz

Stories by Donna

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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.

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Church Street Garage Debated

Proposal submitted under Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act.

“This is an opportunity to get Church Street to work better.” --Mayor M. Jane Seeman

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Vienna Insiders Perspective

What makes living in Vienna special?

Everyone knows that the best advice comes from experience--and that's true even in the small things. Newcomers and old-timers alike can find a refreshing look at what we love about Vienna herein. Looking for the best place to eat? Forget yelp and find a local blog or ask a neighbor. Wondering about the places to be on the weekend? Finding an in-the-know peer can be the antidote to a all kinds of boredom. So, c'mon, you've got no excuse: do your research and get exploring.

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Oakton Senior Loves Her Girlhood Home

86-year-old Pat Price lives in house she was raised in.

Pat Price lives in her girlhood home in Oakton. Not in the same place, but in the same house. Price is 86 years old now. Her Oakton bonds go back to before 1850 when her great-grandmother took over as Oakton School’s first teacher. A great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. Her “people,” as she refers to her ancestors, have been in the Vienna-Oakton area for more than 150 years.

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Free Fun in Vienna

There’s a bit of free something for all around town.

From free concerts on the Town Green to Civil War-era exhibitions and festivals to presentations, there are lots of free things to do in the Vienna area for every age group. Even those not-quite-free things are a bargain for what you get. The restored and newly-repainted red caboose across the street from Freeman House is maintained by the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna. Children are always welcome to climb aboard, but once a month or on special occasions, the Optimists open the doors to the caboose for the public to walk through.

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Vienna Woman Follows a Slippery Slope

Madison grad training for skeleton in winter Olympics

Since graduating from Elon University, Veronica Day’s life has gone downhill. And well it should be because Day, a Madison High School graduate in 2007 who was track and field three-time All-State, who broke Elon’s track and field records, is at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s training facility at Lake Placid, honing her skill at "skeleton," a relative of luge and bobsled. She’s preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

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Moonlight Shines in Vienna

“Moonlit Musical,” children’s theatrical production, premiers in Vienna.

What child has never imagined herself to be on-stage, bowing to adoring fans? If you are a child living in Fairfax County, you have a good shot at stardom.

National Farmers' Market Week Starts in Vienna

USDA launches National Farmers’ Market Week from Vienna’s Church Street farmers’ market.

USDA Under-Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ed Avalos launched National Farmers’ Market Week from Vienna’s Church Street farmers’ market on Aug. 4.

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‘Footloose’ Takes Foot in Vienna

Musical comes to Vienna Community Center for five performances, starting Aug. 3.

"Footloose" hit the big screen with a bang in 1984. More than 15 years later, it opened on Broadway. Now, "Footloose" comes to Vienna.

Terrorists Across the Street

Vienna Author’s ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ reflects on pre-9/11 activities in Vienna.

If it weren’t for the reported suspicions of Mark Gilleo’s mother, "Love Thy Neighbor" suspense novel may never have been written.

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Markers Dedicated at Oakton Schoolhouse

Cooperative effort between Hunter Mill Defense League and County produces interpretive panels.

In 2007, a group of Oakton-area community supporters, along with Chevy Chase Bank and the owners of Appalachian Outfitters, saved the historic Oakton schoolhouse from demolition. With funding from Chevy Chase, the building that once stood on the corner of Hunter Mill Road and Rt. 123 was moved to its current location on Hunter Mill Road, just a few hundred yards from where it originally stood.

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Caffe Amouri Celebrates 2nd Birthday

Coffeehouse offered free hot dogs, live music throughout day.

Caffe Amouri turned two and the coffeehouse threw a party for the community out front on July 14 to say "thanks" for its support. And the community returned the thanks with their presence.

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L’Auberge Chez Francois Grows a Garden, a Brasserie

Great Falls culinary icon integrates nature and heritage in classic French cuisine.

Washington’s iconic culinary destination, L’Auberge Chez Francois, is as much a cultural experience as it is a dining venue.

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Kids’ Music Program Brightens Summer

Wolf Trap’s Theatre-in-the-Woods presents song, dance and puppetry.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts isn’t just for adults. Its education outreach programs feature performances for young children, from kiddie-rock music to classical ballet and global performing arts.

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A $1,000 ‘Thank-you’

Bazin’s waiter gets big tip for service.

Michael Manetti wasn’t doing anything he does not normally do when serving the party of 12 at Bazin’s on Church Friday night. He says he was there when they needed him, not when they didn’t. Manetti knows when to be unobtrusive. When the party’s host signed off on the bill, Manetti got the shock of his professional career. He was given a $1,000 tip.

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Vienna Celebrates with Festival, Fireworks

Music, food, kids’ activities highlight festival at Community Center.

Vienna celebrated the 4th of July in style … old-style, that is.

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Summer Stories, Song and Sprinklers Kick Off on Town Green

Weekly Wednesday fun starts at 1 p.m. behind Freeman House on the Town Green.

For children, one of the great joys of summer is running through sprinklers. Preface that with a story and fun songs, like the Hokey Pokey, and you have an old-fashioned country-style afternoon. Historic Vienna, Inc. partners with the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation every Wednesday to provide music and sprinkler-power on the Town Green.

Vienna Police PIO Retires

Bill Murray looks back on 23 years with Vienna Police Department.

After 23 years with the Vienna Police Department, five of which were spent as Public Information Officer for the department, MPO Bill Murray is retiring from the police force, effective June 30.

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Summer’s in Session in Vienna

Fun abounds throughout town.

From toddler to teen, 20-something to Social Security, there are activities and events in Vienna to please any age demographic. Most, unbelievably, are free.

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Town Green Rocks with Kiddie-Rock

Rocknoceros Kicks Off Kids’ Concert Series on Town Green with huge crowd.

On June 20, local kiddie-rock stars Rocknoceros kicked off the children’s concert series on the Town Green. One could hardly find grass among the ground cover of blankets and lawn chairs and humans of all ages and heights, from newborns in carriers to grandparents.

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Vintage Baseball Game Draws Fans, History Buffs

Baseball played by 1864 rules comes to Vienna.

A Mid-Atlantic Vintage baseball tournament and living history exhibition on June 23 continued Vienna’s sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War.

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Honoring Outstanding Student-Athletes

17th Annual Scholarship Hall of Fame Banquet recognizes former VYI players.

June 12 marked the 17th annual presentation of the Vienna Youth Inc.

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Student Supporters Honored for Dedication

Delta Kappa Gamma education society recognizes selfless missions at awards banquet.

Local school staff and community groups, from building supervisor to principals and Vienna Optimists, were recognized by the Vienna-area chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma education society for going beyond job descriptions to benefit school children.

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Civil War-era Baseball Comes to Vienna

1864-rules games, exhibits, highlight the Civil War Living History Exhibition.

Baseball, as played 150 years ago – except for beaning the runner – comes to Vienna on Saturday, June 23, as three 1864-rules teams play a series of exhibition games for the community.

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Music for Khristin

Vienna Idol, Kyllopalooza benefit Khristin Kyllo Memorial Fund.

For two weather-perfect weekend evenings, the Vienna Town Green thundered in music, from soloists to bands, pop to folk, all in the memory of Vienna student Khristin Kyllo.

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Book Sale a Big Vienna Draw

People from across region gather to browse over thousands of books.

Historic Vienna, Inc.’s annual two-day mega-book sale covered all day June 9 and 10. Tents covered the rows and rows of genre-organized books, thousands and thousands of them.

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Vienna Farmers Market Gearing Up for Summer

Spring stock giving way to hot-weather favorites.

The Vienna Farmers Market is boasting a colorful palette of produce now, from spring-like floral pastels to the richer hues of red strawberries and deep-green kale. In between are local meats, freshly-made breads, sweets, herb mixes and granola to hot-off-the-stove prepared small dishes.

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Boulevard Extension, Ramps Questioned

Westbriar-area residents upset over proposals for new exit ramps.

If remarks by residents and applause from the audience were an indication of the emotional climate at the open house meeting hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation on May 31 at Westbriar Elementary School, the consensus was that the plan to extend Boone Boulevard, destroying Tysons’ only remaining forest, was a bad proposal that never should have gone to the table. That a developer – JGB – supports the position of homeowners, brought two traditionally-adversarial fronts together in a moment of unity.

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Blessing Pets in Vienna

Antioch Christian Church holds second pet blessing on June 1.

Under big shade trees on a sunny June 1, Pastor Randy Beeman of Antioch Christian Church blessed pets there in the flesh and those there in spirit. They came from Vienna, Reston and Herndon seeking grace for their pets, part of the family. It was the second annual public pet blessing since Beeman became pastor of the small white church on Beulah Road.

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Vienna Brings Out Its Heavy Equipment

Annual Public Works Day draws hundreds of children.

The dream to climb aboard construction and heavy-duty equipment and emergency vehicles came true for hundreds of children on May 24.

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ViVa! Vienna! Takes Over Town

Marketplace, food, live entertainment draw thousands.

It takes a lot more than blistering, pounding heat to keep Vienna-area families and neighbors away from ViVa! Vienna!, the Vienna Rotary Club’s three-day Memorial Day weekend festival.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Hits Vienna

The Pure Pasty Co. makes celebration cake.

It took a four-month period, two pounds each of butter, flour and sugar, eight pounds of mixed dried fruit, home-made marzipan and fondant, brandy and artistic finesse to create the spectacular Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee cake at The Pure Pasty Co. on Church Street.

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Concerts on the Green Kick Off Summer

Free performances run two to three times a week.

The Town of Vienna concert series on the Town Green kicked off on May 11 when the U.S. Navy’s own Sea Chanters performed to a crowd-covered lawn.

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ViVa! Vienna! Launches Summer with Fun, Food and Marketplace

Three-day Memorial Day weekend festival hits town on May 26.

It’s back, and more fun-filled and family-friendly than ever … It’s the annual three-day ViVa! Vienna! Memorial Day weekend festival sponsored by the Vienna Rotary Club, abundant with more than 325 vendors, all-day free live entertainment and 24 kid-friendly amusement rides. The Historic Church Street corridor closes down completely on May 27 and 28 when the area hums with festival life. On May 26, opening day of ViVa! Vienna!, Church Street remains open. Only amusement rides and the food court are operational on opening day.

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Vienna Women’s Club Hands Out Scholarships to Local Students

Three recipients receive $1,000 each to help with college expenses.

For 50 years, the Vienna Women’s Club [VWC] has recognized outstanding academic and community achievement with its annual scholarship awards going to deserving local high school students.

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‘Ticket to Art’ Benefits Vienna Arts Society, American Legion

Annual art raffle and silent auction on May 19.

"Ticket to Art," the May 19 fundraiser hosted by the Vienna Arts Society [VAS], has partnered with American Legion Post 180 of Vienna this year. The purchase of a $125 "ticket" to art entitles raffle winners to choose an original art piece valued between $150 and $650.

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Vienna Idol Celebrates a Local Life with Music

Caffe Amouri and Whole Foods sponsor music competition to benefit Khristin Kyllo Memorial Fund.

As fiercely-competitive as she was in the sports arena, Khristin Kyllo was equally as fiercely-loyal to her friends and family. When she died suddenly in December 2010, in her dorm room at Princeton, her friends and classmates rallied around the family of the former James Madison High School softball and basketball standout.

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Vienna Teen a Robowiz

Local team scores big in robotics in international competition.

Neeraj Prasad, a Vienna 13-year-old 7th-grader, loves science and technology so much so that he lives for science and technology.

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Walk on the Hill Graced with Sun and Warmth

Community views home gardens, relaxes to music.

The weather was postcard-perfect for the 2012 Windover Heights Walk on the Hill … heavenly blue skies, a bit of contrail here and there to lend a modern art pattern to the sky. Neighbors strolled and chatted, the Green Hedges Jazz Band and the Vienna Community Band played on an expansive lawn, and Windover homeowners served refreshments. The Old Time Machine performed at the historic cabin on Walnut Lane.

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Vienna Specialties on Display

Hundreds enjoyed the food of 30 food vendors before rain hit.

Vienna went on a global food odyssey on April 28 as the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD] hosted its inaugural Taste of Vienna food festival on fire station grounds.

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A Taste of Vienna Celebrated

April 28 food festival benefits Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

You’d better hit the gym now if you want to prepare for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s [VVFD] first annual Taste of Vienna food festival, scheduled on April 28.

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History Revisited in Vienna

Freeman Store Historical Plaque unveiled.

More than 100 members of the Vienna-area community and a cast of local dignitaries took part in the program at Freeman Store on April 21 at which the plaque commemorating Freeman Store’s historical designation in the Commonwealth was unveiled.