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Jeanne Theismann

Stories by Jeanne

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Salute to Women 2013

11 honored for outstanding achievements.

The Alexandria Commission for Women held its 33rd annual Salute to Women Awards March 18 in a ceremony that honored 11 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community.

Party Animals

Mardi Growl raises $50,000 for AWLA.

Supporters of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria celebrated their own version of Mardi Gras with the third annual “Mardi Growl” bash March 8 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “This is an incredible evening,” said former City Manager Vola Lawson, for whom the AWLA shelter building is named.

Gaining a NICHE

Designation spotlights Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s elder care.

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital recently earned the designation of being a NICHE hospital. NICHE, which stands for Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders, is the only national designation indicating a hospital's commitment to elder care excellence. Inova Mount Vernon Hospital is one of the first hospitals to receive the NICHE designation in Fairfax County.

Thousands Gather for Laboy

$80,000 raised; Biden pays visit to APD.

One by one, more than 3,000 people from throughout the region slowly passed by the motorcycle of wounded Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy as they waited in line March 10 to attend an Old Town fundraiser that raised more than $80,000 on his behalf. “We were expecting hundreds and got thousands,” said Capt. Shahram Fard, a trustee with the Alexandria Police Association that co-hosted the event at Virtue Feed and Grain Restaurant.

Wonder Women

Salute to Women Awards to honor 11 civic leaders.

The Alexandria Commission for Women will hold its annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet March 18 to honor 11 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community. Honorees at the 33rd annual banquet, a benefit for the Alexandria Sexual Assault Center, will be recognized for their accomplishments in civic life and for the improvements they have brought to the well-being of Alexandria's women.

First Night Donates to Schools

$3,000 given to music programs.

For the second straight year, First Night Alexandria has donated a total of $3,000 to the music programs at T.C. Williams High School and George Washington and Hammond Middle Schools. “First Night Alexandria believes in promoting the artistic talents in the city's public school system,” said FNA board president Kerry Donley as he presented the awards.

Distinguished Service Award Given to Berg

Former ACPS superintendent honored for exceptional leadership.

Former Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent Herbert Berg was recognized for his exceptional educational leadership Feb. 23 with the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators. Berg, who lives in Alexandria with his wife Paula, was presented the award at AASA's 2013 National Conference on Education in Los Angeles, California.


City among top arts communities.

The City of Alexandria has been recognized as one of America's Top ArtPlaces, one of only 44 communities to receive the designation in 2013, as a new study revealed a $70.7 million economic impact generated by the local arts industry. In a March 5 event held at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, the City of Alexandria Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association announced the findings from the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV national study conducted by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit arts advocacy organization.

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Music In the Air

ASO celebrates Kim Allen Kluge.

The Symphony League of Alexandria held its 26th annual Symphony Ball and Auction March 2, celebrating 25 years of Maestro Kim Allen Kluge at the helm of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.

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Thinking Big

Big Lots opens in West End, donates $1,500 to Samuel Tucker.

Closeout retailer Big Lots officially opened its newest store in Alexandria's West End March 1 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Big Lots executives and local city officials.

Snow Denial

City spared from mid-Atlantic storm.

It was a snow day without the snow, or at least without any discernible accumulation for Alexandria despite predictions of up to 12 inches that led to the closing of schools throughout the city.

The Ballyshaner’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day Parade pays tribute to Vietnam veterans.

In what was perhaps the biggest turnout since its inception, Alexandria celebrated its Irish heritage March 2 and paid tribute to Vietnam Veterans in the 32nd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Sponsored by The Ballyshaners, the parade was founded by Pat Troy, who officially stepped down as organizer following this year's event.

How To Help

For anyone wishing to help the family of Officer Peter Laboy, the Alexandria Police Association is coordinating efforts for individuals and organizations to show support or donate to the family. “We have set up a Facebook page that will update everyone on Officer Laboy's progress and any specific requests of the family,” said APA board of directors trustee Capt. Shahram Fard.

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Witnesses Recount Feb. 18 Shooting

Chief Cook offers condolences to Sellers family.

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook offered his condolences to the family of Taft Sellers in a Feb. 25 press conference that detailed the investigative process in place regarding the city's first police-related shooting since 2009.

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Higher Taxes, Cuts in Services

Young proposes $626.6 million budget.

An increase in property taxes along with cuts in services to Alexandria residents are part of the $626.6 million General Fund Operating Budget proposed Feb. 26 by City Manager Rashad Young for fiscal year 2014.

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Silent Shakespeare

Synetic Theater makes a splash with “The Tempest.”

With more than 2,500 gallons of water and a lot of creativity, Arlington’s Synetic Theater transforms its Crystal City stage into Prospero’s magical island in “The Tempest,” the ninth production in the groundbreaking theater’s Silent Shakespeare series.

Animal Welfare League Hires New Executive Director

Megan Webb to lead Vola Lawson Animal Shelter.

Megan Webb, an animal shelter professional with more than 15 years of management experience and extensive knowledge of both shelter and field operations, has been named the new executive director and chief executive officer of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. “Megan's knowledge and management expertise within the sheltering community will enhance the AWLA's growth and strengthen our relationships within the Alexandria community,” said AWLA board chairman Charlotte Hall in making the announcement.

‘The Drawer Boy’

Canadian classic debuts at Port City Playhouse.

It was 40 years ago when a Toronto theater company crafted the basis of a play by sending a group of actors to live and work on the farms of Ontario. The experiment became a landmark in Canadian theater and was the inspiration for Michael Healey’s “The Drawer Boy,” now playing at Port City Playhouse.

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MetroStage Garners 7 Helen Hayes Nominations.

Griffin named a “Helen’s Star.”

Theatre Washington has announced the nominations for the 2013 Helen Hayes Awards with Alexandria’s MetroStage Theater among the 25 theatre companies nominated in 26 categories.

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Honoring the Greatest Generation

Post 24 veterans pay respects to Iwo Jima survivors.

Representatives of American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria visited with World War II veterans in Arlington Feb. 15 during a reunion of survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

And the Winner Is …

Greener Cleaner voted 'Heart of Del Ray.'

The votes are in and Greener Cleaner has been named the 2013 “Heart of Del Ray,” an annual award presented during the Valentine's Day holiday by the Del Ray Business Association.

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Gadson Addresses Annual Breakfast

Janet Barnett receives Distinguished Service Award.

The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association held its annual breakfast Feb. 18 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Old Town in the traditional kick-off to the city's George Washington Birthday Parade celebrations.

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Uncommon Valor

Survivors reunite for 68th anniversary of Iwo Jima.

The morning of Feb. 19, 1945, dawned eerily quiet as Private First Class Carl Norton made his way toward the shores of the remote Japanese island of Iwo Jima. But in an instant, the 20-millimeter dual purpose guns buried in the side of Mount Suribachi exploded, erupting into one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history.

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‘Shakespeare’s R&J’

Tragic tale debuts at Signature Theatre.

At first glance, they are the model of Catholic school conformity, trained to recite in unison as they learn their catechism. But then an illicit copy of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is discovered, disrupting the lives of four prep school boys in “Shakespeare's R&J,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

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'Catch the Wave'

Renner celebrated as chamber board chairman.

With a theme of “Catch the Wave,” the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce officially celebrated John J. Renner II as its incoming board chairman Feb. 9 at the annual Chairman's Gala.

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She’s Promoter-of-the-Arts-in Chief

Del Ray Artisans welcomes city’s new arts director.

The arts community turned out in force Feb. 8 to officially welcome Diane Ruggiero to Alexandria as the new director of the Office of the Arts.

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Celebrating the Maestro

ASO concerts marks 25th anniversary of Kim Allen Kluge.

Showcasing talent from throughout the city, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra celebrated the 25th anniversary of Maestro Kim Allen Kluge with a weekend of concerts Feb. 9 and 10 that featured the world premiere of River Poem, an original piece by Kluge and his wife Kathryn Vassar Kluge.

Motorola donates $15,000 to Police Foundation.

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook was joined by Mayor Bill Euille Jan. 24 as the Alexandria Police Foundation was presented a check for $15,000 on behalf of the Motorola Solutions Foundation's Public Safety and Security Institute to benefit the police foundation's memorial fund.

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The Final Countdown

Remembering the Space Shuttle Columbia.

He was just 16 minutes from home. As a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, Arlington native David Brown was going through final landing preparations aboard STS-107 to conclude what for 16 days had been a routine mission. At 9 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2003, that changed.

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For Those Who Serve

World's largest USO facility opens at Fort Belvoir.

Less than two years ago, it was just an overgrown lot in the shadows of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. But on Feb. 5, the world's largest USO facility welcomed the community with a grand opening celebration of the new USO Warrior and Family Center.

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Helping Nation’s Heroes

Inside the new USO Warrior and Family Center.

Growing up in Richmond, Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston never imagined what awaited him when two improvised explosive devices detonated next to his vehicle in Mosul, Iraq in 2006. The Cornell University computer science graduate was severely injured, his spine nearly severed and his face badly scarred as part of his mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Leading the Charge

Gadson to keynote Friendship Veterans Breakfast.

Colonel Gregory Gadson, Garrison Commander at Fort Belvoir, will be the featured speaker at the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Breakfast Feb. 18 to kick off a day of events in honor of George Washington's birthday.

A Lullaby to Birdland

MetroStage premieres “Ladies Swing the Blues.”

Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee. Their voices defined the history of jazz alongside the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. But it is the indomitable influence of Charlie “Bird” Parker that sets the stage for “Ladies Swing the Blues: A Jazz Fable,” now playing at MetroStage.

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A Noble Cause

Charity event raises $6,200 for Special Operations families.

Their victories are unknown, their successes and accomplishments unheralded. Yet our nation's Special Operations troops are considered America's best — the toughest mentally and physically and the most elite of units on any battlefield.

Bragging Big

American Century Theater shows off through Feb. 2.

The American Century Theater’s production of “The Show Off” is playing now through Feb. 2 at Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington.

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The Bare Necessities

LTA debuts “The Full Monty.”

The year is 1992 and unemployment is high in Buffalo, N.Y., where former millworker Jerry Lukowski hatches a plan to earn some quick cash by producing a Chippendale’s-style strip show in “The Full Monty,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Bragging Big

American Century Theater shows off through Feb. 2.

Aubrey Piper is self-centered and self-deluded, a pathological liar and shameless publicity seeker determined to climb Philadelphia’s social ladder by any means necessary in George Kelly’s Pulitzer Prize nominated “The Show Off,” a production by The American Century Theater now playing at Gunston Theatre Two in Arlington.

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Happy New Year

Thousands celebrate First Night Alexandria, flock to fireworks finale.

Revelers from as far away as New Zealand celebrated the New Year here as a dazzling display of fireworks lit up the Alexandria waterfront to signal the arrival of 2013.

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The Way We Were

A look back at 2012.

Dominated by a hard-fought City Council race and the ongoing battle over the waterfront, Alexandria citizens had no shortage of topics to debate over the last year.

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DASH-ing All the Way

Employees of the DASH transit system pose for a photo with Santa (aka DASH driver Charles Johnson) in front of the King Street Trolley Dec. 15 to kick off a day of free photos with Santa at Market Square.

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Bovine Intervention

Del Ray's Holy Cow, ACT partner for local charities.

With checkbook in hand, Bill Blackburn sat down Nov. 27 to write the first check payable to ACT for Alexandria as part of a partnership between the community foundation and the recently opened Holy Cow gourmet burger restaurant in Del Ray.

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Inova Dedicates Cancer Center

Facility named for supporters Joseph Viar Jr. and Bonnie Christ.

Inova Alexandria Hospital held a dedication ceremony Dec. 12 to officially name its cancer center in honor of longtime Alexandria residents Joseph Viar Jr. and Bonnie Christ in recognition of a $1.25 million Legacy of Life gift through Viar's estate.

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That's What Friends Are For

Firefighters and Friends annual toy drive to help 4,000 area children.

For 45 Head Start preschoolers, Christmas arrived a week early when they entered Penn Daw Fire and Rescue Station 11 Dec. 18 to select a toy of their choice from the thousands that had been collected as part of the 2012 Firefighters and Friends annual toy drive.

Titanic Success

T.C. teacher, student honored for community service.

The Titan pride of T.C. Williams High School filled the Dec. 11 meeting of the Alexandria Rotary Club as both a T.C. teacher and student were honored by the organization for their community service.

ACVA’s 2012 Superstar Awards

Washington introduced as new tourism chief.

The Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association presented the 2012 Superstar Awards at its December Tourism Marketing Forum Dec. 7 at Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, using the occasion to formally introduce Patricia R. Washington as the new president and CEO of the city's tourism agency. “I am excited to be in Alexandria,” Washington said.

Curtain Up

Everything old is new again at Old Town Theater.

For nearly a century, The Old Town Theater served as a venue for entertainment ranging from vaudevillian stage shows to silent films, puppet shows and contemporary Hollywood blockbusters. But after the marquee dimmed and the doors were boarded up earlier this year, the Alexandria landmark is once again ready for its close up.

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LTA’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

Opening night of the holiday classic welcomes families from the Georgetown Hospital Pediatric Oncology Center

It’s a tale as old as time: The miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge is ethically and emotionally transformed after being haunted by visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come in the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Working Together on Toy Drive

Occasionally Cake partners with Firefighters and Friends Toy Drive.

When Sabrina Campbell volunteered to help put together a tribute to local police and firefighters, she had no idea the event would lead to a chance meeting with Capt. Willie Bailey, founder of the Firefighters and Friends Holiday Toy Drive.

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Scottish Walk Celebrates 42 Years

Pipes, plaid and pageantry filled the streets of Old Town during the 42nd annual Scottish Walk Parade.

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Shop ‘Til You Drop

Dec. 9 Holiday Market to benefit women’s programs.

More than 30 female artisans will showcase their crafts Dec. 9 at the 14th Annual Women’s Holiday Art Show in support of the City of Alexandria’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.