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Mary Kimm

Stories by Mary

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.”

Editorial: Income Gap Alive and Well

Statistics make life in the area sound idyllic, but many families are left out in the land of plenty.

Northern Virginia is a place of wonder and plenty. So says the New York Times this past week in, "Income Gap Meet the Longevity Gap," (March 15, 2014).

Editorial: Voting Against Virginia?

Local proponents of expanding health coverage for poor people have a point about those in the General Assembly voting against it.

When Delegates Scott Surovell, Charniele Herring and Rob Krupicka, along with Sen. Adam Ebbin got together to make the case for expanding Medicaid in Virginia, they brought slide presentations, charts, spreadsheets, poll results and more.

Two Days' Difference

On Thursday, March 6, birders (left) bundled in many layers braved below-freezing temperatures at Riley's Lock in Potomac to look out at 1,000 water birds, many of them unusual to the upper Potomac River. Two days later, with temperatures in the 60s and sunny weather on Saturday, March 8 providing a welcome contrast to ice, snow and low temperatures near zero just a few days before, many people in Potomac took to the outdoors, like this stand-up paddle boarder (right) on the Potomac River at Riley's Lock. With water temperature in the river at 41 degrees, however, the wetsuit was essential.

Editorial: Fundamental Freedom To Choose To Marry

Virginia is historically slow in extending rights.

In 1967, Virginia was one of 16 states that banned interracial marriage and had criminal penalties for violators. Mildred Jeter, an African-American woman, and Richard Loving a white man, married in 1958, were convicted and banished from living in Virginia for 25 years to avoid serving a one-year prison sentence. On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, overturned the convictions of Mildred and Richard Loving, declaring the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.

Editorial: Fundamental Freedom To Choose To Marry

Virginia is historically slow in extending rights.

In 1967, Virginia was one of 16 states that banned interracial marriage and had criminal penalties for violators. Mildred Jeter, an African-American woman, and Richard Loving a white man, married in 1958, were convicted and banished from living in Virginia for 25 years to avoid serving a one-year prison sentence

Editorial: Pet Photos, Stories for Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a bi-annual themed edition, will publish Feb. 26. We invite you to send us stories about your pets, photos of you and/or your family with your cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes, lizards, frogs, rabbits, or whatever other creatures share your home or yard with you.

Editorial: For Nonpartisan Redistricting

Virginia is a purple state, gerrymandered to bleed red.

Consider that in statewide elections, Virginia voters have chosen Democrats in the last two presidential elections, for U.S. Senate, for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Almost none of these elections was by a wide margin, but it’s clear that Virginia is a purple state leaning blue.

Editorial: Few Thoughts on General Assembly Action

Yes, allow homeschoolers access to programs in public school.

It’s possible that this is not the right bill exactly, and in general, we favor local control. But it is wrongheaded of public schools to force families into a take-it-or-leave-it position.

Pet Photos, Stories for Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a bi-annual themed edition, will publish Feb. 26. We invite you to send us stories about your pets, photos of you and/or your family with your cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes, lizards, frogs, rabbits, or whatever other creatures share your home or yard with you.

Editorial: Extend Health Coverage in Virginia

Standing on what is essentially scorched earth, Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly have condemned hundreds of thousands of poor Virginians to living without health coverage even though it would be fully funded by Federal money for the next three years, and with Virginia paying 10 percent after five years.

New Name, New Look, Same Community Coverage

Chantilly Connection, formerly the Centre View Northern Edition.

Welcome to the Chantilly Connection, formerly known as the Centre View Northern Edition. The new name and new look (The Connection newspapers have a full photo on the cover) are intended to clarify the mission of the paper and its place in the Connection family.

Looking to Hear from Readers in New Year

As local, weekly newspapers, the Gazette Packet’s mission is to deliver news readers need close to home, to help readers enjoy great local places and events, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives.

Editorial: Looking to Hear from Readers in New Year

If you know of a person or an organization doing important work, something newsworthy or something that might make a good feature story, let us know.

Editorial: Looking to Hear from Readers in New Year

As local, weekly newspapers, the Connection’s mission is to deliver news readers need close to home, to help readers enjoy great local places and events, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives. To succeed at any of that, we need your help.

Editorial: Happy Holidays, Safely

SoberRide safety net, 1-800-200-TAXI.

Holiday party season is well under way, along with winter weather advisories. It’s up to individuals to make good decisions about celebrations that involve alcohol and how to handle transportation.

Editorial: Who Will Be Hurt?

Innovations, changes and cuts designed to help the budget should be subject to analysis of how they will affect those on the short end of the economic and digital divide.

As Fairfax County faces a tight budget year and Fairfax County Public Schools consider significant cuts, clearly some changes are going to affect services on the ground. As various proposals emerge, there should be some specific analysis of how changes, innovations and cuts would affect the poorest one-third or so of the county’s residents specifically.

Editorial: Holidays Are About Giving in Potomac

So many needs, so many great organizations, give locally where your heart leads you.

The holidays are about giving. They are about children. The holidays are about sharing, about joy, about alleviating suffering for others. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation.

Editorial: Holidays Are About Giving in Alexandria

So many needs, so many great organizations, give locally where your heart leads you.

The holidays are about giving. They are about children. The holidays are about sharing, about joy, about alleviating suffering for others. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation.

Editorial: Holidays Are About Giving in Arlington

So many needs, so many great organizations, give locally where your heart leads you.

The holidays are about giving. They are about children. The holidays are about sharing, about joy, about alleviating suffering for others. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation.

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Editorial: Holidays Are About Giving

So many needs, so many great organizations, give locally where your heart leads you.

The holidays are about giving. They are about children. The holidays are about sharing, about joy, about alleviating suffering for others. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation.

Editorial: Shop Locally, Shop in McLean

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

An effort to support locally owned businesses has resulted in the recognition of Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year that is Nov. 30. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is known as a dedicated day of national zeal for shopping. Presumably the next day shoppers can focus on local shopping.

Editorial: Proof Every Vote Matters

Elections have consequences, including very close races.

Tuesday morning, a full week after an Election Day that included races that were more suspenseful than anticipated (and also many races that were foregone conclusions), we are probably more than a month away from certifying the winner of the Virginia Attorney General race.

Editorial: Be Part of Children’s Connection

Call for student artwork and writing; deadline Dec. 6.

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

Editorial: Vote Nov. 5 or Before

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

For voters in Virginia, it is hard to overstate how important it is to go out and vote next week. All Virginia voters will see statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, plus one delegate race. In addition, there are a few local races in Alexandria and Arlington, a bond question in Fairfax County and a referendum question about the housing authority in Arlington.

Editorial: Halloween Party Safety Net

Make plans for a safe celebration; SoberRide safety net for those over 21.

Halloween is now a major holiday for adults, especially young adults, and also one of the major holidays each year that involve partying with alcohol and the risks of drinking and driving.

Editorial: Don’t Let Negatives Keep You From Voting

Choices are stark; think about what principles should guide governance in Virginia for the next four years.

Every Virginia voter will have the option to cast a ballot for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and their member of the Virginia House of Delegates. While much of the coverage and advertising at the top of the ticket has been negative in the extreme, it will still matter who is governor. Don’t turn up your nose, hold your nose if necessary, and go vote. You can vote on Nov. 5; most likely you can vote before that.

Editorial: Get a Flu Shot, Register to Vote

Getting a flu shot has never been easier.

Editorial: Vote

It will matter who is elected governor.

To vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 15, 2013. You can check your registration status online by visiting the State Board of Elections website at www.sbe.virginia.gov. There you can also download a voter registration form and mail or fax it to your elections office address.

Editorial: Addressing Virginia’s Economy

Ending gridlock in Congress and supporting health care reform would be huge steps in supporting economic recovery in Virginia.

The strength of Virginia’s economy, especially Northern Virginia’s economy, comes significantly from federal spending. So while the governor and other elected officials claim that Virginia’s success is because Virginia is a low-tax state with fewer regulations, it’s worth considering that the sequester and continuing gridlock in Congress threaten Virginia’s most important resource, federal spending.

Editorial: Small Steps to Fight Homelessness

Efficiency apartments would serve 20-somethings, service workers, retirees and more.

One way to prevent homelessness is to think small. It doesn’t take much space to house one person. Sure, many houses in our area have 1,000 square feet and sometimes two or three times that much per person, but that’s really not necessary.

Editorial: Later Start Times for High School

It’s past time to act; let this year be the year.

Tuesday morning, Sept. 3, the first day of school in Fairfax County, Dr. Karen Garza began her official day at 6:30 a.m. at Chantilly High School. While Garza was making herself available for interviews before the first class started at 7:20 a.m., many students were already on the school bus.

Editorial: About the Connection

As your local, weekly newspaper, the Great Falls Connection’s mission is to bring the local news you need, 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 milestones and events in the community and people’s lives.

Editorial: Library Mission

Further cuts to library budget must be analyzed for impacts on needy families.

The current proposal to “streamline” services at Fairfax County Public Libraries comes on top of disproportionate, and some would say Draconian, cuts since 2009.

Editorial: On Federal Dollars in Virginia

State’s role as one of the biggest “takers.”

We received some emails and phone calls about the expansion of Medicaid in response to last week’s editorial.

Opinion: Issues That Matter

Mental health services discussion gives insight into real differences between candidates.

It came as somewhat of a relief to have the candidates for governor in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D), discuss an actual issue that matters to many Virginia families this week at a forum on mental health issues.

Opinion: Issues That Matter

Mental health services discussion gives insight into real differences between candidates.

It came as somewhat of a relief to have the candidates for governor in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D), discuss an actual issue that matters to many Virginia families this week at a forum on mental health issues.

Editorial: Enjoy Tax Holiday, Donate School Supplies

Good timing to help those in need.

It is debatable whether recurring tax holidays for different seasonal needs are good policy. But since this weekend is Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies and clothing, it makes sense to take advantage of the savings, and to spread the wealth around. The savings are more significant this year with the new sales tax increases in effect as of July 1.

Editorial: Share Wisdom With Newcomers and Others

The Connection's Newcomers and Community Guide publishes in late August.

Our Insider's Edition Newcomers and Community Guides, will publish the last week of August. What tips do you have for someone getting to know your community? We're hoping to share the places, activities, events, organizations and volunteer opportunities your neighbors might not know about. What great places and activities do you want your new neighbors to know about? Events that should not be missed? Organizations that do a great job? Places to volunteer? Tips for navigating your PTA or your school’s front office? We'd love to have your photos to go along with your suggestions.

Editorial: Share Wisdom With Newcomers and Others

Almanac’s Newcomers and Community Guide publishes in late August.

Our Newcomers and Community Guides, Insider's Editions, will publish the last week of August. What tips do you have for someone getting to know your community? We're hoping to share the places, activities, events, organizations and volunteer opportunities your neighbors might not know about.

Editorial: More Than Disclosure Needed for Virginia

Time for limits on campaign contributions as well.

At least until after November’s election, most candidates in Virginia seem to think that there should be some reform to Virginia’s campaign finance and disclosure rules. At least it seems likely that most will support expanding disclosure rules to require disclosure of gifts to immediate family members as well as candidates/officials.

Editorial: HOT-Lanes and No Metro for I-66?

Did you miss the public discussion and input? So did we.

One day when I was stuck in traffic on I-66, I was briefly entertained by the license plate of the vehicle in front of me. "66 SUCKS," it read. No question, commuting on I-66 is a bear.

Editorial: Ready for Your Pet’s Close-up?

The Pet Connection, a bi-annual themed edition, will publish July 24. We invite you to send us stories about your pets, photos of you and/or your family with your cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes, lizards, frogs, rabbits, or whatever other creatures share your home or yard with you.