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Mary Kimm

Stories by Mary

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Editorial: Connection Papers Win Awards

Variety of coverage honored at annual Virginia Press Association conference.

On Saturday, April 18, a group of journalists from the Connection Newspapers traveled to Roanoke for the annual Virginia Press Association event to collect awards for business reporting, government writing, writing about health, science and the environment, feature writing, sports writing, column writing, obituaries, cartoons, entertainment pages and writing, public safety writing, editorial pages and writing, page design, informational graphics and more.

Editorial: Counting Homeless; Solution Is Housing

Results of the annual census of homeless show progress, persistence of the problem, and some worrying trends.

On the night of Jan. 28, 2015, there were 1,204 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax County area.

Editorial: A Big Election Year in Virginia

Register, research, vote. And vote again.

Every year is an election year in Virginia. Here are a few examples that demonstrate that while elections are ubiquitous in Virginia, they are neither simple nor unimportant. Wade in, a lot depends on figuring this out and voting. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of candidates.

Editorial: Good, Bad and Ugly

A look at recently ended session of the Virginia General Assembly.

The 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly came to an end last week, and some of the biggest news was about what it did not do.

Editorial: On Police Information and Secrecy

Time for change in public access to police information.

The first meeting of the Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission will take place next Monday, March 23, and it comes with hope for real change.

Editorial: Managing Mental Illness in Jails

Natasha McKenna’s death provides window on national concern.

A national report released on Feb. 11 highlighted the prevalence of people with mental illness incarcerated in local jails.

Editorial: Not the First or Only Time

Secrecy around police shootings has been a problem for at least a decade.

The official position of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on the need for changes in policy after the shooting of John Geer by police in Springfield in August of 2013 appears to be that this is the first time police policies have been a problem: “Policies for handling police-involved incidents, which served us well for decades, were inadequate in this complicated situation.”

Editorial: No Justification for Secrecy, Delay on Geer Shooting

Everything about this case erodes public trust and demonstrates police departments should not be allowed to apply “blanket” exemptions to release of information.

After waiting 17 months for any information about the investigation into the shooting death of John Geer, the information released last week is deeply troubling.

Be Part of the Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a bi-annual themed edition, will publish Feb. 25, 2015.

Editorial: Outlook

Many bright spots will be overshadowed in the coming budget season.

Long awaited, the opening of the Silver Line promises to bring transformation to Tysons and around the current station in Reston, with another Reston station and Herndon to come.

Editorial: Baby Steps, Not Enough

Supervisors should take action, not defer to “outside expert,” on absurd and outrageous behavior of police department.

Finally, now that the Fairfax County Police Department has taken stonewalling into the arena of the absurd, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has at least said it is time for change. It is a step, but a step that continues the appearance of obfuscation if not outright obstruction.

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Lower Price, Higher Demand in Alexandria

The appearance of gas for under $2 a gallon at the new Liberty gas station at 442 North Henry St. in Alexandria attracted enough attention that regular ran dry while this photographer was trying to fill the tank.

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Potomac: First Snow of New Year

A fast moving storm dumped a few inches of snow on Potomac and the rest of the region beginning before dawn and continuing through the rush hour on Tuesday, Jan. 6, bringing 4-6 inches of snow in some places, more than predicted, with temperatures in the 20s.

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.

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