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Jeanne Theismann

Stories by Jeanne

Hog Wild

Sweet Fire Donna's opens in Carlyle neighborhood.

BBQ fans lined up Feb. 27 to sample the fare at the opening of Sweet Fire Donna's, the latest offering from “Mango Mike” Anderson, Bill Blackburn and Anderson's wife Donna.

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Rotary Club Accepting Grant Applications

Deadline is March 31.

The Rotary Club of Alexandria is currently accepting applications for its annual grants to organizations that provide services to Alexandria's children, seniors and families in need.

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Hernandez Honored for Community Service

Giovanni Hernandez, a senior at Bishop Ireton High school, was presented with the Student Community Service Award by the Rotary Club of Alexandria at its Jan. 28 meeting at Belle Haven Country Club.

By George!

The questions were fast and furious as nearly 100 local Boy and Girl Scouts slated to march in Alexandria's Washington's Birthday Parade met with President George Washington (Alexandria re-creator Don De Haven) during a Feb. 16 reception at the Old Dominion Boat Club.

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Young Proposes $634.8 Million Budget

City Manager Rashad Young submitted his proposal for a $634.8 million General Fund Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 before City Council Tuesday, Feb. 25, reflecting an increase of 1.6 percent over last year's budget while maintaining current real estate and personal property tax rates. “Expenditures are growing at a faster rate than revenue,” said Young in detailing his proposed budget during a press briefing earlier in the day. “The challenge always is how to put together this big jigsaw puzzle to meet the needs of the different constituencies and stakeholder groups.”

Obituary: F. William “Bill” Bauers

F. William Bauers Jr. was just 18 years old when he joined the Texas National Guard with plans of getting an appointment to West Point. But he was called to active duty less than a year later, qualified for Officer's Training School and went on to get his pilot's wings before ending up in Europe in January of 1944 flying B-26 Marauders. “It was exhilarating to be a pilot back then, to be in Europe and to be part of a force fighting against what we perceived as the enemy,” Bauers would recall of his service during World War II. “The war created a sense of urgency because we never knew when we said goodbye if it would be our last time.”

Obituary: Peter C. Williams

Peter Carrington Williams, a prominent attorney and director of community service projects for the Alexandria Rotary Club, died suddenly Feb. 13 while helping a neighbor clear snow from a driveway on Collingwood Road. He was 67.

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Community Mourns Loss of Ruthanne Giammittorio Lodato

When John and Debbi Kelly decided it was time for their two young children to study music, there was no question that their neighbor on Ridge Road would be the family's piano teacher. What they didn't realize was just how much that teacher would become a part of their lives — and their living room.

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Wreathlaying Marks Reagan's Birthday

Passengers traveling through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Feb. 6 joined in singing “Happy Birthday” to commemorate the 103rd birthday of President Ronald W. Reagan during a wreath presentation ceremony at the airport's statue of the former president.

Bank Makes Donation to Police Foundation

$6,500 raised for Fallen Officers Memorial.

Officials from John Marshall Bank gathered Jan. 30 to present a check for $6,500 to Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook and Police Foundation Chairman Willem Polak to go towards the building of a Fallen Officers Memorial at APD headquarters.

‘Ella’ has Scatitude

MetroStage production runs through March 16.

Based on the book by Lee Summers and conceived and directed by Broadway royalty Maurice Hines, “Ella” takes the audience on a musical journey through the celebrated singer’s life.

Chamber Salutes New Chairman

United Way's Haggerty takes the helm for 2014.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed United Way Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Joseph V. Haggerty as its 2014 Chairman of the Board at the Chairman's Community Reception Jan. 23.

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Bittersweet Gathering

Sherry Party pays tribute to founders Vola Lawson and Lois Walker.

More than 150 women from throughout the community gathered together Dec. 15 for the 43rd annual Women's Sherry Party, an evening made bittersweet by the recent passing of two of the event's founders. "It's hard to believe Vola and Lois are not here," said vice Mayor Allison Silberberg of Vola Lawson and Lois Walker. "I can still see Vola sitting in her usual chair and Lois checking everyone in at the door."

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First Night Welcomes 2014

Fireworks and Fun Hunt highlight New Year's Eve celebration.

Revelers from as far away as Paris celebrated the New Year in Alexandria as a dazzling display of fireworks lit up the waterfront to signal the arrival of 2014.

Association of Retirees Elects Officers

Dutzman honored for 15 years of service.

More than 70 members and guests joined Police Chief Earl Cook and Fire Chief Adam Thiel in attending the annual Alexandria Retired Police, Fire and Sheriff's Association holiday celebration Dec. 12, where the 2014 officers were sworn in for the coming year.

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‘Curtain Up!’

Edelen shines in Signature Theatre production of "Gypsy."

She was always more tease than strip, and ever since she first shared the stage with Tessie the Tassel Twirler in the 1920s, she was determined to be famous for more than feathers and falsies. She was Gypsy Rose Lee, the queen of burlesque, whose 1959 memoirs inspired the award-winning Broadway musical "Gypsy," now playing at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre.

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Alexandria's New Book Shelf

DreamDog Foundation creates citywide literacy program.

Passionate about sharing the gift of reading, the DreamDog Foundation intends to get books into the hands of every child in need in the City of Alexandria through its new literacy program called Alexandria's Book Shelf.

Association of Retirees Elects Officers

Dutzman honored for 15 years of service.

More than 70 members and guests joined Police Chief Earl Cook and Fire Chief Adam Thiel in attending the annual Alexandria Retired Police, Fire and Sheriff's Association holiday celebration Dec. 12, where the 2014 officers were sworn in for the coming year.

Alexandria's New Book Shelf

DreamDog Foundation creates citywide literacy program.

Passionate about sharing the gift of reading, the DreamDog Foundation intends to get books into the hands of every child in need in the City of Alexandria through its new literacy program called Alexandria's Book Shelf.

Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet Dies at 61

Longtime Old Town resident Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet died Dec. 18, 2013 at her home in Alexandria.

Santa's Helpers

BFSPA makes holidays bright for area children.

BFSPA makes holidays bright for area children.

Firefighters and Friends collect more than 3,500 toys for area children.

Christmas came a few days early for more than 100 children from local Head Start programs as they picked out toys during the annual Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue toy drive Dec. 17 at Penn Daw Station 11.

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New Year’s Eve

First Night makes Alexandria the place to be.

Billed as the largest family-friendly New Year's Eve party in the greater Washington area, more than 100 live performances will take place throughout Old Town as part of First Night Alexandria, a day-long event filled with entertainment and culminating with a fireworks finale over the Potomac River along the waterfront.

Santa's Helpers

SSSA students donate to Firefighters and Friends toy drive.

Students from St. Stephens and St. Agnes Upper and Middle School donated more than 300 toys and gift cards as part of the 2013 Firefighters and Friends annual Holiday Toy Drive.

Deck the Halls

Vintage ornaments recapture holiday magic for Old Town resident.

The Christmas tree as we know it today dates back to the 16th century. But until the mid-1800s, they were mostly decorated with edibles like fruits and nuts. That's when German entrepreneurs based in the glassblowing center of Lauscha had the idea to begin producing decorative tree ornaments made out of blown glass.

‘Tis the Season

Greed, ghosts and redemption in LTA’s ‘A Christmas Carol.’

It’s a tale nearly as old as time: The miserly Ebenezer 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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Let There Be Light

'A Christmas Story' wins Best in Show.

Crowds lined Alexandria's waterfront Dec. 7 as nearly 40 boats cruised the Potomac River to take part in the 14thAnnual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.

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Vola Lawson Dies at 79

Former City Manager was a trailblazer for women, minorities.

In the midst of the turbulent race relations of the 1960s, a proper Southern Belle from Atlanta joined the Urban League in picketing Alexandria's City Hall, where the Confederate flag still flew proudly above Market Square. Little did the young bride know just how much her courage and leadership would help shape the next five decades of the city's history.

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Shop ‘Til You Drop

More than 30 female artisans will showcase their crafts Dec. 8 at the 16th Annual Women’s Holiday Art Show in support of the City of Alexandria’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

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43rd Scottish Walk Weekend

Be prepared as pipes, plaid and pageantry fill the streets of Old Town Dec. 7 during the 43rd annual Scottish Walk Parade, the centerpiece of a weekend of holiday events that includes a Holiday Marketplace, Designer Tour of Homes and Taste of Scotland cocktail reception.

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Thinking Small

White House Drug Czar visits Holy Cow.

White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske paid a visit to Del Ray's Holy Cow restaurant Nov. 30 as part of President Barack Obama's initiative to support “Small Business Saturday.”

Toys for Tots

Firefighters partner with Marine Corps in annual toy drive.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will once again partner with the U.S. Marine Corps in the annual Toys for Tots program and are asking residents to drop off new, unwrapped toys at their neighborhood fire station.

Tales of Triumph

Dominion Power's Johnson launches new book.

Sherman Parker was only 14-years-old when he was selected as one of two African American students to desegregate King George County schools in rural Virginia in the 1960s. Shunning a police escort, he still remembers the angry crowds that greeted him on his first day of school.

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Above and Beyond

Four honored for volunteer service.

Volunteer Alexandria presented the 19th annual Evening in the Heart of Alexandria Awards Oct. 25 in a tribute honoring the exceptional volunteer service of four individuals.

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Lois L. Walker Dies at 73

Memorial service is planned for Oct. 26.

There was never any doubt that Lois Walker cared about the City of Alexandria, a place she called home for over 40 years. On Sunday, Oct. 13, the former City Council woman died in Kayseri, Turkey after contracting pneumonia while on vacation. She was 73.

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Circle of Stars

USO honors top corporate donors.

The USO of Metropolitan Washington honored its top corporate sponsors Oct. 4 at the 10th Annual Stars and Stripes Night gala, naming 37 corporate donors to its 2013 Circle of the Stars.

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Digging into the Future

Construction moves forward at The Exchange at Potomac Yard.

Mayor Bill Euille and U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) joined City of Alexandria officials as the JBG Companies and MidAtlantic Realty Partners held a ceremonial groundbreaking Oct. 9 to officially launch The Exchange at Potomac Yard, a mixed-use development along the Route 1 corridor in Alexandria and Arlington. “Unlike the folks on Capitol Hill, we are moving ahead and keeping people working,” said JGB managing partner Matt Kelly, referring to the federal government shutdown. The first phase of the 19-acre development will include two multi-family communities with a combined 65,000 square feet of retail and nearly 400,000 square feet of office space. The Alric, with 323 residential units, broke ground last February with occupancy expected in September of 2014. “This project is about a future generation of Alexandrians and Northern Virginians,” said Moran, who also made a reference to the lack of productivity on Capitol Hill. “This will be part of a new community where residents can live, work and shop without having to deal with extended traffic interruptions.”


DRA artists express spirit of Del Ray.

The Del Ray Artisans held an opening night reception Oct. 4 for its latest exhibit, “Del-Ray-Geous,” a members-only show of works that expresses each artist's impressions of the spirit of the Del Ray community. “I tried to capture the unique architecture and feel of the Del Ray community,” said artist Durell Hope, whose colored pencil drawing on display featured the Del Ray Café restaurant. “There is so much vibrancy to this community. It's a very special place and I hope my work reflects that.”

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Healthy Advice — Free

Alfred Street Baptist Church’s community fair offers screenings, immunizations and seminars.

More than 300 people turned out Sept. 28 for the 2013 Alfred Street Baptist Church Community Health Fair, where free health screenings, immunizations and seminars were offered as part of an effort to increase and promote health awareness.

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Review: ‘Come Blow Your Horn’

The American Century Theater dazzles with Neil Simon classic.

It’s been more than half a century since Neil Simon’s “Come Blow Your Horn” made its Broadway debut, launching one of the most successful playwriting careers in the history of the American stage. Filled with what would become Simon’s trademark wisecracking repartee, the autobiographical portrait of a young man leaving home to experience the swinging single lifestyle of the ’60s is performed to perfection by The American Century Theater at Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two in Arlington.

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Review: A Stitch in Time

Powerful “Gee’s Bend” debuts at MetroStage.

It’s officially known as Boykin, Ala., with a population of 275. But the former slave plantation on the banks of the Alabama River gained prominence as Gee’s Bend, an isolated African American community known for the role its folk art quilts played in the struggle for Civil Rights.

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Review: Mean Girls

"The Children’s Hour” at Port City Playhouse.

In 1809, a girls’ boarding school opened in Edinburgh, Scotland, closing a few months later amid rumors involving two of its teachers. The decades-long lawsuit that followed was the inspiration for playwright Lillian Hellman, who more than a century later penned the critically acclaimed “The Children’s Hour,” now playing at Port City Playhouse.

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One Step at a Time

TC grad makes 3,600-mile run for veterans.

When Brendan O'Toole was in high school, he and his friends repeatedly watched “Forrest Gump,” with O'Toole joking that one day he was going to recreate the film character's run across the country. For most young men, the conversation would end there but for O'Toole, a 2007 graduate of T.C. Williams, it was just the beginning.

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Life in the Farce Lane

Cooney’s “Caught in the Net” opens at LTA.

Few will ever compare Ray Cooney to Shakespeare. The king of British bawdiness doesn’t pretend to be the Bard of high-brow literature, but as Britain’s recognized “master of farce,” Cooney’s comic genius is unmatched and on display in “Caught in the Net,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria. Written as a sequel to “Run for Your Wife,” “Caught in the Net” is a fast-paced farce that finds taxi driver John Smith juggling two families in different parts of London. When his teenaged children discover each other on the internet and decide to meet, John’s already complicated life descends even further into disarray.

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For Fallen Heroes

Post 24 hosts newest Medal of Honor recipient.

The Medal of Honor is the U.S.’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. On Aug. 26, Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter became one of only 79 living recipients of the award during a whirlwind day that began at the White House and ended at American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria. “It’s an honor and privilege to have a Medal of Honor recipient at our Post,” said Commander Jim Glassman at a private dinner welcoming Carter, his family and members of his unit to the historic Old Town American Legion building. “We not only welcome Sgt. Carter but also his fellow soldiers whose bravery during the Battle of Kamdesh kept the outpost from being overtaken.”

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All in the Family

Trio rocks Hard Times Café.

After a 20-year absence in Alexandria, the female trio of Huxtable, Christensen and Hood took to the stage Sept. 8, performing to a capacity crowd at Hard Times Café in Old Town. Cheering on the group were Hard Times founders and brothers Jim and Fred Parker, husband of vocalist Carol Christensen, along with their sons Ned and Jonathan Parker. “I think I'm the only Parker without any musical talent,” laughed Ned Parker, whose brother Jonathan is a professional jazz saxophonist. “I guess that's why I'm taking the tickets at the door.”

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Remembering Those Who Serve

First Lady marks Patriot Day at Fort Belvoir.

First Lady Michelle Obama marked the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with a visit to the new USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir.

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Leader Of The Pack

Firefighters distribute 2,400 backpacks to children in need.

Children receive backpacks from local firefighters

'Service Above Self'

Peter Knetemann is 86th Rotary Club president.

“Rotary … seems to attract a neat kind of person. Our members are looking beyond themselves and that's what sets us apart.”

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The Mane Attraction

Firefighters to hold Cuts for Kids Days.

Students from throughout the region will be treated to free back-to-school haircuts thanks to Alexandria and Fairfax County firefighters who are sponsoring the third Cuts for Kids Days Aug. 26-28 at area recreation centers.