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Mary Kimm

Stories by Mary

Editorial: Merry Christmas

A message of peace and joy.

Merry Christmas. It’s a magical time of year, and perhaps Connection Newspapers has over indulged in displaying the many rituals of Christmas on our pages in the past few weeks. In events around the area, a sense of community has infused holiday parades, Christmas tree lightings, menorah lightings, choral performances, singing of carols and other traditional events with warmth and joy.

Editorial: Make a Plan, Talk About It

Here is help in keeping impaired drivers off the roads.

The holiday party season is upon us, and with it an increase in drinking and driving. It’s up to you to make a plan to get home safely.

Alexandria Editorial: Be Part of Children's Gazette Packet 2014

Annual edition showcases youth art and writing.

During the last week of each year, The Gazette Packet devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

Editorial: Be Part of Children's Connection 2014

Annual edition showcases youth art and writing.

During the last week of each year, The Connection devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

Potomac Opinion: Be Part of Children's Almanac 2014

Annual edition showcases youth art and writing.

During the last week of each year, the Potomac Almanac devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children.

Editorial: Holidays Are About Giving

Give thanks and share; tens of thousands of families around us are in need.

The holidays are about giving, and giving thanks. The holidays are about children and family. The holidays are about sharing, about joy. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation. The holidays are about alleviating suffering for others. Surrounded by the bounty in so many neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, many of us see little signs of the massive unmet needs here. But in Fairfax County Public Schools, more than 52,000 of the students are poor enough to receive free or subsidized meals, a significant measure of poverty.

Editorial: Why Shop Small? Shop Large Locally

Small business Saturday isn’t enough; don’t wait until then, and don’t stop after that.

There is a joy to shopping in local stores at the holidays, to participating in community traditions and celebrations, to walking along a sidewalk with the streets decked out for the holidays, to being greeted by someone likely to be the owner of the store, to finding gifts that are not mass-produced.

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Honoring Potomac’s People of the Year

Chamber salutes its honorees.

Friends, family and members of the Potomac Chamber of Commerce gathered Thursday evening, Nov. 13, at Normandie Farm Restaurant to honor Potomac’s People of the year, including Citizen of the Year Barry Perlis, who moved to Potomac in 1976.

Arlington Opinion: Why Shop Small? Shop Large Locally

Small business Saturday isn’t enough; don’t wait until then, and don’t stop after that.

There is a joy to shopping in local stores at the holidays, to participating in community traditions and celebrations, to walking along a sidewalk with the streets decked out for the holidays, to being greeting by someone likely to be the owner of the store, to finding gifts that are not mass-produced.

Opinion: Thanksgiving Help for Those in Need

Roll up those sleeves and help.

This week is the week to jump in to help the many organizations that will help needy families through the holidays. Here are a few ideas of how to help, but the opportunities are limitless.

Editorial: Thanksgiving Help for Those in Need

Roll up those sleeves and help.

This week is the week to jump in to help the many organizations that will help needy families through the holidays. Here are a few ideas of how to help, but the opportunities are limitless. More than 236,000 people living in the area do not have access to enough food to sustain an active, healthy life for all members of their households, according to Catholic Charities. That is to say, more than a quarter of a million people, including many children, go hungry on a regular basis.

Thanksgiving Help for Those in Need

Roll up those sleeves and help.

This week is the week to jump in to help the many organizations that will help needy families through the holidays. Here are a few ideas of how to help, but the opportunities are limitless. More than 236,000 people living in the area do not have access to enough food to sustain an active, healthy life for all members of their households, according to Catholic Charities.

Every state and local office that represents Potomac was on the ballot Nov. 4.

Every state and local office that represents Potomac was on the ballot Nov. 4.

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Comfort Zone: Smaller Than the Safety Zone

Neighborhood archery hunt set to begin Nov. 7 is postponed.

Reducing the number of deer by lethal means can be divisive in residential neighborhoods, said George Timko of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This was not news to the 100-plus residents of a Potomac neighborhood who had gathered to discuss planned bow hunting in their 500-home neighborhood.

Potomac Day

Potomac Day

Editorial: Change for the Better in Fairfax County Schools

Later start times, full-day Mondays; who knows, next maybe gifted-and-talented programs for poor students?

Who says big bureaucracies can’t make big changes? One year into the tenure of Karen Garza, we have two huge changes that between them impact almost every single student, every family with children in Fairfax County Public Schools.

Editorial: Yes to Fairfax Transportation Bond

$84 million for pedestrian, bike and trail improvements.

Of more than 75 projects included in the current proposal, on the ballot for Nov. 4, all but seven are designed to make Fairfax County safer and more inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Coming: Children’s Almanac

During the last week of each year, The Almanac devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

Editorial: Coming - Children’s Connection

During the last week of each year, The Connection devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

Editorial: Does Change in Voter ID Laws Matter?

More than 22,000 active voters in Northern Virginia are without the required ID.

For the current election, new, more stringent voter identification laws are in effect.

Does Change in Voter ID Laws Matter?

More than 22,000 active voters in Northern Virginia are without the required ID.

For the current election, new, more stringent voter identification laws are in effect.

Editorial: Deadly Medicaid Debacle

Literally killing poor people who could have health care, while refusing to give Virginia’s economy a boost.

The poor people of Virginia are so seriously harmed by the actions of the Virginia General Assembly in refusing to expand Medicaid at little additional cost to the Commonwealth that those harmed should have some legal recourse.

Editorial: Change Is Coming, Right?

Legislators on changing the culture of cash and gifts in Virginia: Crickets.

With former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen facing what could be decades in prison after their convictions for corruption, a reasonable person might reasonably expect that members of the General Assembly would be gearing up to make some big changes.

What’s on the Ballot; How to Vote

Election Day is Nov. 4, 2014, but you can vote as early as Sept. 19.

Every year is Election Year in Virginia. This year, every Virginia voter will choose one member of the U.S. Senate and their member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

About the Connection

As your local, weekly newspaper, the Connection’s mission is to deliver the local news you need, to try to make sense of what is happening in your community, to gather information about the best things in and near your community, to advocate for community good, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record achievements, milestones and events in the community and people’s lives.

Election Day Nov. 4

Every state and local office that represents Potomac is on the ballot Nov. 4.

If you want some choice in who will represent you on County Council, as County Executive, in the Maryland General Assembly, now is the time to engage. If you think it doesn’t matter much, these are the people who make land use decisions, decide what to do with county property, who set tax rates, who decide how much money will go to schools, who control services that affect traffic and many other things that affect quality of life more than anything that happens at a national level.

Editorial: Back to School - Good Steps, Good Intentions

The first day of school in Fairfax County is Tuesday, Sept. 2, but Monday, Sept. 8 is the beginning of something important. For the first time in decades, elementary school students will have a full day of school on Mondays instead of being sent home hours early. This action makes so much sense in for families with children in elementary school. The ability of Superintendent Karen Garza to facilitate this change to go into effect right away is remarkable, and we hope a promise for more changes ahead.

Editorial: Accountability for Police in Northern Virginia

There is more transparency in the police shooting in Ferguson last week than in police shootings in Northern Virginia.

This is not Ferguson, and tanks do not roll down the streets of Northern Virginia driven by police officers pointing sniper rifles at residents.

Editorial: Brightening Outlook for End of Summer

Local pleasures to offset discouraging news.

The news here has been a bit discouraging, and that’s without considering the human tragedy and disaster of several different international situations.

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Sunflowers for Wildlife

Sunflowers for Wildlife

The peak bloom of 25 acres of sunflowers off River Road is past, but the fading flowers will leave seeds that attract songbirds and other wildlife for some time to come. Goldfinches and Indigo Buntings are visible by the the dozen as the sunflower seeds mature.

Editorial: Finally, Marriage Rights Protected in Virginia

On July 28, 2014, in affirming that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, Circuit Judge Henry F. Floyd writes: “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.

Editorial: Tragic Consequences

Money lost by refusal to expand health coverage, but also life, health and livelihood.

The Virginia General Assembly’s refusal to expand Medicaid, extending health coverage to as many as 400,000 Virginians has resulted in the loss of about $1 billion in direct payments. But that understates the loss, failing to calculate the cost of the lost health of thousands of Virginians.

Editorial: Save a Little, Help Others Prepare for School

Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies is a good reminder to donate supplies and dollars for children who need help arriving at school prepared.

Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies and clothing is Aug. 1-3, and it makes sense to take advantage of the savings, and to spread the wealth around.

Editorial: Hurray for Full Day Mondays

Hoping that later start times for high schoolers follows quickly.

For decades, Fairfax County schools have sent elementary school students home after half a day on Mondays. This was never a good idea, and it has been more damaging to family schedules and student learning with the increase over the years of two-income households and greater economic diversity.

Editorial: Safe Fourth

Talking and planning are the best safety measures; SoberRide offers a safety net.

Independence Day is a national celebration, and for many, that celebration includes alcohol. The summer overall and July 4 in particular are times of greater risk for drinking and driving.

Editorial: More Affordable Housing Needed

Anticipated job growth to exacerbate problem.

In Northern Virginia, affordable housing means more than human services or helping those who are less fortunate. It means more than housing the chronically homeless, although that is not optional.

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Kayaker Safe at Home

Apparently unaware of a three-day search effort, a kayaker made his way home safely after capsizing in his kayak near Great Falls.

The Difference a Week Makes

The heavy rain overnight Thursday, May 15 led to high river levels.

Editorial: On Voting in the 8th

Vote this week at your convenience in person absentee, or be sure to vote on Tuesday.

Chances are that if you are a registered voter in the 8th Congressional District, your mailbox has been letting you know that many candidates are running in next week’s Democratic primary.

Editorial: New Measure - More Living in Poverty

Inside the Beltway, that is Alexandria, Arlington and parts of Fairfax, 32 percent of children are living in poverty or near poverty. In Fairfax County, 26 percent of children live in or near poverty. This is according to the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

Plastic Horses Sold for Charitable Purposes

Inspired by Potomac artists nearly 10 years ago, plastic horses were painted and sold for charitable purposes. Above is the only one that was sent to greener pastures.

Editorial: Remembering on Memorial Day

Fewer deaths as military operations wind down, but 22 veterans a day die of suicide.

In Arlington over the coming Memorial Day weekend, the organization TAPS, or Tragedy Assistance for Survivors, will hold its 20th annual Military Survivor seminar and Good Grief camp for young survivors, children of all ages. TAPS offers support to anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died in the military, whether from combat, suicide, terrorism, homicide, negligence, accidents or illness. http://www.taps.org/

Editorial: Virginia Proves Elections Matter

Health and economic issues are entwined.

Some people continue to assert, either with their words or by simply abstaining, that voting just doesn’t matter. Here in Virginia, nearly every day we prove that is incorrect. All of Virginia’s elected representatives who are elected by the entire state are of the same political party. They are all Democrats: Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring and Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

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Farmers Market Now Open

The Potomac Village farmers market opened on Thursday, May 1 and will be open 2 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays until October at Potomac United Methodist Church at the corner of Falls Road and Democracy Boulevard.

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Editorial: Trending in the Right Direction

Commitment to ending homelessness shows progress, but more affordable housing is needed.

On one night in late January, local jurisdictions in our area fanned out to count the number of people who were literally homeless. Fairfax County released its numbers last week; Arlington and Alexandria will do so in the near future. In Fairfax County, the commitment in 2010 to end homelessness in 10 years has resulted in significant progress, even in the wake of the great recession. The number of people literally homeless decreased by a third from 2008 to 2014, from 1,835 to 1,225 counted this year. Many non-profit organizations have partnered to prevent homelessness one family or individual at a time for those on the brink and to house chronically homeless individuals. There is so much still to be done.

Editorial: Past Time for Later Start Times

Teenagers are sleep deprived, and sleep deprivation takes a significant toll on safety, health and learning. We’ve known this for decades. But for decades, literally, Fairfax County Public Schools (and Montgomery County, Md.) have let a combination of reactionary blabber ("buck up and get moving;" "just tell them to go to bed earlier") and organizational resistance prevent implementing a solution to this very real problem. Getting up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. to hop on a school bus at 5:45 a.m. or even as late at 6:30 a.m. to get to school by 7:20 a.m. is not healthy for teenagers. It is nearly impossible for teenagers to go to sleep before 11 p.m. or midnight. Fairfax County high school students average six hours of sleep a night on weeknights. Research shows they need nine hours of sleep. Research has also quantified the costs of sleep deprivation.

Editorial: Celebrate Earth Day

Get outside with your family, participate in group activities, or just walk in your favorite park.

Earth Day is April 22, observed April 19-27 and beyond. Fairfax County offers many useful and educational ways to enjoy the day. Don’t miss the chance to get outside, observe the developing spring weather, flora and fauna. Here are some of the opportunities:

Connection Papers Win Awards

Reporting, photography, design and editorial cartoons commended at annual Virginia Press Association meeting.

"Great work exposing serious challenges and obstacles in the way of the public's access to public information. The articles are well written and well researched, providing concrete and compelling examples of the flaws in the systems." That was what the judge said when awarding first place for In-depth or investigative reporting to Michael Lee Pope in the Arlington Connection. The Virginia Press Association announced its press awards for 2013 at the annual meeting on Saturday, April 5, in Richmond.

Editorial: Challenging Budgets

Local Government should be able to access income taxes to give relief on real estate taxes.

Northern Virginia governments are facing shortfalls in the classic budget sense: projected revenues are less than last year’s expenditures plus increases in costs.

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Hunters’ Unplanned Renovations

It was just before 9:30 p.m. on a snowy Sunday night at Hunters Bar and Grill in Potomac Village. In the pub, no one was sitting at the table closest to the front window, and Fred Berman was sitting with his wife and daughter at a table between there and the bar. Then there was a huge explosion as a car drove through the front wall, smashing through glass, brick wall and tables. “I thought I was dead,” said Fred Berman, who owns the restaurant with his brother Murray. “Somebody drove a car through our window and then it went out as fast as it came in.”

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