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Jeanne Theismann

Stories by Jeanne

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.

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Wickedly Witty

Additional shows added for LTA’s ‘Avenue Q.’

They sing, they dance and — OMG — they even have sex. They’re the potty-mouthed puppets (and their human counterparts) of “Avenue Q,” the Tony Award-winning musical now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Oh, What a Night

National Night Out celebrates 30 years.

Thousands of residents turned out across the city Aug. 6 as Alexandria celebrated the 30th anniversary of National Night Out, a program designed to promote neighborhood spirit and law enforcement-community partnerships in the fight against crime.

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Obituary: Claude 'Buzzie' Harris

Rotarian, former Little League commissioner dies at 81.

It was 1957 when Claude “Buzzie” Harris first laid eyes on Nancy Cooper at a party at George Washington University.

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Puppets for Puppies

LTA musical to benefit local animal charities.

With an abundant use of profanity and episodes of "full puppet nudity," the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q” is not the usual fare from The Little Theatre of Alexandria. But when the storied theater company debuts the Sesame Street-style show July 27, each performance will serve as a fundraiser for several local animal charities.

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TACT Celebrates Traditional and Same-Sex Marriage in 'I Do, I Do'

The times they are a-changin’. When "I Do! I Do!" first opened on Broadway in 1966, the musical by the “Fantasticks” duo Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt was a hit. Based on Jan de Hartog’s popular 1951 play "The Fourposter,” the show chronicles a half-century in the life of a successful marriage.

Piece of Cake

It was a party 264 years in the making as Alexandria celebrated its birthday July 13 with a day of fun and entertainment that culminated with a fireworks display over the Potomac River accompanied by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's playing of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Bench Warmers

Local judge spearheads Substitute Judges Institute.

Attorneys from across Northern Virginia gathered July 9 at Manassas Regional Airport to participate in the Institute for Substitute Judges, a seminar designed by Alexandria General District Court Chief Judge Becky Moore to provide intensive training to better prepare attorneys to serve on the bench.

City To Host National Road Racing Championships

12 km course to include Del Ray, Old Town.

Elite runners from around the world will take to the streets of Alexandria Nov. 17 when the city hosts the .US National Road Racing Championships, a 12-kilometer race that will serve as the finale to the USA Running Circuit series.

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ACVA Bids Farewell to Merrie Morris

ACVA, business community bid farewell to Merrie Morris.

The Alexandria business community turned out in force at the Athenaeum June 20 to bid farewell to Merrie Morris, the longtime director of membership and public affairs for the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

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EagleBank Lands in Old Town

Newest branch opens at 277 S. Washington St.

More than 175 people from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and local business community joined EagleBank in celebrating the official opening of its latest branch with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on June 19 at the bank's facility in Old Town. “It's great to be back in Alexandria,” said EagleBank vice president and branch manager Ed Velarde, who returns to the area following 15 years of commercial banking experience with J.P. Morgan in New York.

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And All That Jazz

Fostering the Future cruise benefits Fund for Alexandria's Child.

More than 225 people donned their finest Great Gatsby attire aboard the Cherry Blossom riverboat for the 10th anniversary of the Fostering the Future cruise June 27 to benefit the Fund for Alexandria's Child.

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Chamber Awards Spotlight Acts of Valor

Laboy, Weismann among honorees for heroism.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce recognized first responders from the Alexandria Police Department, Fire Department and Office of the Sheriff at the 27th Annual Valor Awards held June 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Legion Installs New Officers

Glassman to lead veterans organization.

Vietnam veteran Jim Glassman was sworn in as the new Commander of American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria during a June 12 ceremony to install the organization's 2013-2014 slate of offices and board members.

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Thousands Attend Food and Wine Fest

2nd annual Food and Wine Festival attracts thousands.

More than 5,000 people attended the second annual Alexandria Food and Wine Festival June 22, which was held in the Carlyle District of Alexandria.

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Let the Music Play

10th anniversary Garden Party cultivates ASO support.

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's 10th annual Garden Party drew more than 175 people to the Belle Haven home of Isin and George E. Ludlow June 20 in an event that capped the 25th anniversary celebration of Maestro Kim Allen Kluge.

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‘Twentieth Century’ a wild ride at LTA

Oscar Jaffe has a problem. Following a string of flops, the theatrical impresario is desperate to find a financial backer, a hot script and a dazzling leading lady. He finds all three aboard the Twentieth Century, a luxury train and the latest comedy farce now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Miracle League Ends Season with Festivities

The 2013 Spring Miracle Baseball League completed its season June 1 at the Kelley Cares Miracle Field with Uncle Slam from the Potomac Nationals baseball team on hand for the closing game festivities.

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Firefighters Praise Two Jefferson-Houston Students

Jefferson-Houston students receive AFD certificate of appreciation

Firefighters from Stations 208 and 209 paid a visit to Jefferson-Houston Elementary School June 12 to present a certificate of appreciation to a brother and sister for their composed handling of a 911 emergency call during a life-threatening situation.

Uncommon Valor

Chamber to honor first responders; Weissman posthumously receives Gold Medal.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce will recognize 21 first responders from the Alexandria Police Department, Fire Department and Office of the Sheriff at the 27th Annual Valor Awards to be held June 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Collateral Damage

Several cars damaged by drunk driver.

Four unoccupied vehicles suffered significant damage when they were struck by a drunk driver at the intersection of Payne and Wilkes streets in Old Town on the evening of June 5.

‘Ghost-Writer’ Extended to June 16

Playwright joins cast for Talk Back.

Michael Hollinger, the playwright behind “Ghost-Writer,” paid a visit to Alexandria to see the MetroStage production of his play and participate in a Talk Back following the June 1 performance.

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Wine on the Water Fundraiser Benefits ASF Programs

The Alexandria Seaport Foundation held its third annual Wine on the Water fundraiser June 1 to benefit the ASF programs for at-risk and disadvantaged youth. “Through our apprenticeship programs, we change lives,” said ASF board member Kelli Back, who introduced new executive director Mari Lou Livingood to the crowd gathered at the foundation's boat building workshop in Old Town. Attendees enjoyed a wine tasting s

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The Sushi Bar opens in Del Ray

Sushi Bard for Adults Only Opens

The Sushi Bar, featuring cuisine by award-winning Master Chef Saran “Peter” Kannasute, officially opened its doors June 4 on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. With a lounge-like atmosphere and intimate decor, owners Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn decided to make the restaurant adults-only, a concept that has drawn some criticism.

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Undersheriff Tony Davis Retires

Colleagues praise his service

Following a law enforcement career spanning more than 30 years, Alexandria Undersheriff Tony Davis was feted June 3 at a retirement luncheon in his honor attended by more than 100 friends, family members and colleagues.

Livingood Takes Helm at ASF

Mari Lou Livingood has been named the new executive director of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, replacing Kent Barnekov, who stepped down earlier this year.

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Signature revives classic Sondheim

For Bobby, the word marriage is actually a sentence — a jail sentence. A perpetual bachelor, he is turning 35 and surrounded by five married couples who all have an opinion about his lifestyle in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

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Summer Fun in Alexandria

Summertime and the livin' is easy in Alexandria, where the calendar from Memorial Day to Labor Day is filled with holidays and events that celebrate our city and culture — both American and for the traditions of some of the many ethnic communities that make up the colorful and diverse fabric of the city.

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'Fair Winds and Following Seas'

Old Dominion Boat Club holds 133rd flag raising.

Dreary skies and weekend rains cleared as members, dignitaries and guests of the Old Dominion Boat Club gathered at the foot of King Street May 19 for the 133rd annual flag raising ceremony. “These flags symbolize the unity between the city, the state, the United States and the Old Dominion Boat Club,” said Mayor Bill Euille prior to the yearly tradition of hoisting new flags to kick off the official start of a safe boating season. “This ceremony is a tradition that has been passed down for 133 years to the young people of our community.”

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2013 Athletes of the Year

Britt McHenry to keynote Sportsman’s Club dinner May 29.

Washington sportscaster Britt McHenry will be on hand as 26 of the city’s best high school athletes are honored for their academic and athletic excellence at the 57th annual Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Awards dinner May 29 at the Westin Carlyle Hotel. A sports reporter for ABC7/WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8, McHenry is also the host of News Channel 8's High School Sports Final. Her keynote address will be the first given by a female in the history of the Sportsman’s Club.

Opposition Heats Up over City's Plans for Founders Park

Council to be asked to amend current restrictions on special events.

The proposed amendment to allow special events in Founders Park took center stage at the May 10 annual meeting of the Founders Park Community Association. “I can't believe the city is proposing this,” said one attendee who asked to remain anonymous. “There should be more respect for Ellen Pickering, Chuck Hamel and Patricia Golubin for saving this land. The park would not exist at all if it weren't for their efforts back in the '70s.”

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‘All For One and One For All’

Synetic sizzles with “The Three Musketeers.”

The mantra “All for one and one for all” springs onto the stage as Synetic Theater brings to life the fiery, bombastic ensemble of lovers and fighters in the Alexandre Dumas classic “The Three Musketeers.”

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Spring for Alexandria 2013

Serving the community.

For three days, thousands of Alexandrians came together for the 6th Annual Spring for Alexandria, a citywide weekend of events that focuses on giving and service throughout the community. Co-sponsored by ACT for Alexandria, Volunteer Alexandria, the Alexandria Jaycees and the City of Alexandria, the series of events kicked off May 2 with the ACT Generations of Giving Gala at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.