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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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Reston Gardens of Note Benefit Two Local Non-Profits

Event embraces the beauty of gardens, music, and fellowship

Ticket holders for Gardens of Note 2021 enjoyed the self-guided tour of five residential gardens in Reston plus pop-up musical performances by members and friends of The Reston Chorale, a Fairfax County choir.

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Reston Hosts Pride 2021

Affirmations for greater support of transgender and gender diverse individuals

The freedom to celebrate one’s authentic self and raise the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals as part of its rainbow are only two segments of Reston Pride engagement.

High School Seniors Awarded Scholarships

Provided by Reston Hospital’s medical staff

Ten Fairfax County high school students in the Class of 2021 received scholarships from the medical staff of Reston Hospital Center in recognition of their academic excellence and plans to pursue careers in healthcare.

A Gift of Being a Father

Father’s Day 2021: Capturing dad moments

Being a father is a gift.

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No Hot Water Issue Returns for Some Lake Anne Plaza Condo Units

Supervisor Alcorn provides 3-point target plan, including revitalization

Ongoing lack of hot water is an issue again for nearly all condominium owners at the 27-unit, mixed-use Quayside building located at Lake Anne Village Center in Reston.

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Special Permit Decision for Great Falls ‘Convent’ Deferred

Opponents claim build will exacerbate dangerous traffic conditions

On June 9, the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) held a public hearing on the application SP 2020-DR-105 by Stonecrest Home Arts, Inc.

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WANTED Feedback Involving No-chase/Chase Fairfax County Police Department Vehicle Pursuits

Flurry of proposed revisions should discourage pursuits of suspects in non-violent felony incidents.

Police vehicle pursuits create the potential for officers, residents and suspects to be killed or seriously injured.

Viewpoints: South Lakes High Graduates Reflect on Graduating in Pandemic Time and Their Next Challenges

Viewpoints: South Lakes High Graduates Reflect on Graduating in Pandemic Time and Their Next Challenges

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‘We Shine Like Stars’: South Lakes Class of 2021 Prevails Over Pandemic

South Lakes High School (SLHS) walked a reported 565 graduation candidates at its Commencement Ceremony, moderated by Senior Class Officers and held at W.T. Woodson High School on June 4.

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Saying Good-bye at Herndon High

Cheers loud and proud honor HHS grads.

Herndon High School held its "Class of Two Thousand Twenty-One Commencement" on June 2 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va.

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Holding Dear: 2,364 Local Souls Lost to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Northern Virginia Regional Commission holds Remembrance Ceremony

On March 21, 2020, the Fairfax County Health Department reported its first death of a resident due to COVID-19.

Viewpoints: Langley High Graduates Reflect on Graduating in Pandemic Time and the Next Chapter of Their Lives

As the Langley High School graduate candidates lined up for their Commencement Exercises at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va., on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, The Connection asked random groups of students three questions: How do you feel graduating in the pandemic time? Where do you go next? Where do you see yourself five years from now?

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A Roller Coaster Ride for the Langley High Grads

Saxons learn life lessons during the pandemic.

Langley High School held its Commencement Exercises on June 2 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va.

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‘Godspeed,’ McLean High Class of 2021

Highlanders honored at June 1 Commencement

Members of McLean High School's Senior Class of 2021 who processioned in their red caps and red gowns across the stage at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va, on June 1, left with more than their diplomas and academic learning.

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Decision Time for Virginia Democrats

Democratic Party Primary Tuesday, June 8: Initial voter turnout low but enthusiasm high

Voters across Fairfax County headed to the polls Tuesday, June 8, to cast their votes in person at the Democratic Party Primary.

Paying It Forward

Immigrant's $20K a month awards create opportunities for individuals experiencing economic hardships

A Vietnamese refugee turned philanthropist who works in Reston knows first-hand the fear and challenges of poverty.

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Falling in Love with ‘The Beautiful Game’

Local teen coaches young players with disabilities.

For more than a year, Aeshan Kapil, 16, of Herndon volunteered as a TOPSoccer coach for the Great Falls Reston Soccer Club, U.S. Youth Soccer.

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Rolling to Remember Convoys Out of Herndon

Iconic town tavern holds Memorial Day event

On May 30, Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Historic Herndon held its annual Memorial Day Weekend event.

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Memorial Day 2021 at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial

Citizens honor U.S. Armed Forces Members who died in battle or as a result of their wounds.

Local citizens gathered at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial at 11 o'clock the morning of Memorial Day 2021.

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Fairfax Dems Clash with Supervisors

Demand firing of FCPD Chief Kevin Davis

The Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) called on the Board of Supervisors ("Board") on May 25 to terminate Kevin Davis's employment as Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department.

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Yummy in the Tummy at Burke Farmers Market

The direct farm-to-table approach is fresher and more nutritious.

The Burke Farmers Market, operated by Fairfax County Park Authority in the VRE parking Lot, 5671 Roberts Parkway, was the first to open in the County program for the 2021 season.

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Bike to Work Day Returns for 2021

20th Anniversary subdued, but carries double the fun in Herndon

May is National Bike to Work Week, and this year, Bike to Work Day celebrated its 20th Anniversary.

Candidates in the 2021 Democratic Primary for HD34

Meet Jennifer Adeli and Kathleen J. Murphy (Incumbent).

Voting has begun for the 2021 Democratic Primary on June 8.

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Friends of Riverbend Park Receives Donation

Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Philanthropy Group supports charitable organization.

Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Philanthropy Group presented a donation check on Friday, May 21, 2021, for $3,000 to the Friends of Riverbend Park (FORP).

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Fairfax County School Board Member’s Post Fosters Heated Reactions

Amid division, voices seek to be heard.

With Ramadan's ending on May 13 and on May 14, Fairfax County School Board Member Abrar Omeish posted what some considered controversial statements on her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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A Perfect Day for the Pedal-Happy in Hunter Mill District

Two-wheeling ‘Unity in our Community’ at the Inaugural Tour de Hunter Mill

Cyclists of all abilities gathered early Saturday morning, May 15, at Reston Community Center for the inaugural Tour de Hunter Mill.

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Southgate Community Center in Reston May Be Renamed

Board Matter unanimously approved by County Supervisors on naming the community center after Catherine M. Hudgins

Southgate Community Center in Reston may be getting a new name soon.

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Reston Singer-songwriter Releases Single

‘Pattern’ doubles down on the blame game when 'being ghosted.'

Emerging singer-songwriter Amanda Cunningham of Reston shares her struggle with personal accountability, power when forming close friendships, and self-esteem in her newest single, "Pattern" (2021).

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McLean Farmers Market Opens

Flavorful, nutrient-dense fruits, veggies, produce, and more

The McLean Farmers Market at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road, opened for the second day of its weekly spring to late fall season on Friday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to noon.

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Eric Knudsen Receives Glen Sjoblom Award

The award recognizes service contributions to the development of the Great Falls community.

The Executive Board of the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) recognized Eric Knudsen on Saturday, May 15, as the recipient of its 2021 Glen Sjoblom Award for his “long-time, extensive and meritorious service to the community of Great Falls.” Local, regional, and state leaders attended the special program held at the Great Falls Village Centre Green. GFCA honored Knudsen, who tirelessly devoted himself for several decades to enhancing Great Falls through his work on local transportation, land use, and environmental matters. GFCA established the Glen Sjoblom Award to recognize its members who excel in serving their community. It is the organization’s only award for outstanding service. Current GFCA President Bill Canis said that without this kind of civic involvement and activism, the community Great Falls citizens and others know today would have withered away. “We are gathered to celebrate the people who are dedicated to that philosophy,” said Canis. Eric Knudsen is one of those people. Glen Sjoblom is the 2019 Award recipient. He put the award in the context of the long commitment of GFCA’s pioneering board members, those who served the community since the organization’s founding in 1968. According to the honoring resolution, Knudsen served on the GFCA board with a distinguished record for more than 15 years, including three years as president, three years as vice-president, and additional terms as chair of the Transportation and Land Use & Zoning Committee. AS PRESIDENT, Knudsen improved the efficiency and management of GFCA board proceedings, collaborating with past presidents to create GFCA’s first Policy & Procedures Manual that guides the organization. His prioritization of on-site visits to personally evaluate land use and transportation issues provided accurate perspectives and insights. The documented visits became a hallmark of GFCA’s work, validating issues the organization brings forward to the staff at Fairfax County and Commonwealth and developers. Knudsen launched ongoing investigative and mitigation efforts in the community to control stormwater runoff. He participated in a GFCA committee tasked with overseeing the cleanup of chemical spills in the center of Great Falls that threatened residents’ well water. It culminated in a program managed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Leading land use negotiations with the County and developers led to the rezoning of Brooks Farm and plans for a SunTrust Bank. According to the resolution, Knudsen became a “driving force for the establishment of the Great Falls Grange Foundation, serving as the GFCA representative in establishing that organization to preserve one of our community’s most important historical assets.” Knudsen also co-chaired the Transportation Committee. In collaboration with co-chair Joan Barnes, they worked to have the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) revise its proposed plans for the intersection of Route 7 and Georgetown Pike, reducing congestion and ensuring greater safety. Knudsen initiated and managed negotiations with engineers and county staff to narrow Walker Road, facilitating pedestrian crossings in the commercial center. Knudsen’s interest in citizen input in the widening project of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Tysons led to the Route 7 Working Group. This eight-year commitment advised VDOT and included participation by the McLean and Reston citizens associations. SPEAKERS at the May 15 award presentation praised Knudsen for his record of service. Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola (D-31) commended Knudsen for giving residents a voice by reaching out to them for verified consensus. She called these characteristics the hallmark of strong nonprofit organizations. GFCA Board member Gary Pan worked with Knudsen to establish the Great Falls Grange Foundation. He commended him for helping to breathe new life into the historic building and providing a new level of community involvement. “I have worked closely with Eric Knudsen on numerous transportation and land use projects over the years,” said Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville). “His leadership has improved life for residents of the Great Falls community. In 2011, I selected him to represent Dranesville as Lord Fairfax. He is a worthy recipient of the Glen Sjoblom Award for community service,” Foust said.

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It's a No to Fire Station #42 Monopole in Vienna

County and Milestone had not reached a lease agreement

The proposal to construct a telecommunication facility, with a 114-foot monopole tower at County-owned Wolf Trap Fire Station #42 in Vienna, died on May 4 after Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville District) presented a Board Matter concerning Milestone Communications/ Special Exception to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during its regular meeting.

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Mother's Day 2021, With Love

Motherhood is a messy, complex state of being.

Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes, not designated by birth or raising another human.

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Ceremonial Swearing-in of Fairfax County Police Chief Davis

On Monday, May 10, the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) tweeted, "This morning, Chief Davis was surrounded by family, senior staff, and members of the Board of Supervisors for his ceremonial swearing-in as Chief of Police."

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Fairfax County Community Presses New Police Chief and Chairman for Answers

Citizens call for starting over on police chief, not being part of Davis' “redemptive” career journey.

On day four in his new position as Chief of Police Fairfax County, the ghosts of Kevin Davis' law enforcement past clung heavily in the County's public arena of the May 6 virtual Community Input Session hosted by Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay (D-At-large), Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Lee).

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It’s Freshest and Tastiest at Herndon and Reston Farmers Markets

Local Fairfax County Park Authority Markets open.

The 2021 Fairfax County Park Authority Reston Farmers Market and Herndon Farmers Market recently opened under COVID-19 guidelines.

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Ten-Year-Old Advocates for Sidewalks Along Georgetown Pike

Creates and releases an online community petition

Ponteha Aryavand, 10, of Great Falls introduced an online community petition in mid-April for a continuous yet undetermined length of sidewalk along Georgetown Pike in Great Falls.

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‘Long May It Turn’ in Great Falls

Colvin Run Mill reopens with a new flume and waterwheel debut.

Colvin Run Mill opened in a grand celebration for its first grind of the season on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

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Fairfax County Police Chief Begins Job with Trust Deficit

Faith leaders question 'flawed' selection process and Supervisors' values during prayer vigil.

Approximately thirty interfaith leaders from across Fairfax County gathered in the "First Amendment" area outside the Fairfax County Government Center at noon, Tuesday, May 4.

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Davis Promises ‘Blue Waters Ahead’ for Fairfax County Police

Advocate ACLU People Power Fairfax joins the Fairfax County NAACP and others calling for new search

County To Hold “Community Meeting with Chief” Thursday, May 6.

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Fairfax Supervisors Didn’t Know About Davis History

Community organizations call for Chairman McKay to rescind Davis' appointment.

Police Chief

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Fairfax County Dems Cancel April 23 (HD-36) Candidates Debate

Incumbent perplexed as challenger 'is stepping back' from campaign.

The Fairfax County Democratic Committee canceled its Friday, April 23, 7- 8 p.m. public debate to be held virtually between incumbent Kenneth "Ken" Plum and challenger Mary K. "Red" Barthelson.

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Mother Nature and Beer at Earth Daze in Herndon

Clean Fairfax and Aslin Beer Company, Herndon location celebrate the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day.

Looking to better the environment and celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, Clean Fairfax and Aslin Beer Company hosted Earth Daze on April 24 at the Elden Street Herndon brewery.

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Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Hosts Spring Tea

New scholarship established in Holly Ann Kuga’s memory

The Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Scholarship Fund held its Spring Tea 2021 fundraiser on Sunday, April 25.

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Kevin Davis Appointed Fairfax County Chief of Police

Supervisors respond to a new era of policing.

Coming out of a closed-door session on Friday, April 23, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prepared, as Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason) said, “to select one of the most important hires it undertakes.”

Fairfax County Supervisors Validate Hire of New Police Chief

Aware of concerns, comments provided

Media reports concerning former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, appointed last week as the new Fairfax County Chief of Police, raise concerns about his employment history, including allegations of excessive force and violations of civil rights in 1993 and 1999.

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Springfield Romance Writer Releases New Book

Contemporary fiction inspired by her life as a military spouse

Springfield resident and USA Today Bestselling author Tif Marcelo discussed her recent novel release, "In a Book Club Far Away" (indiebound | amazon | kobo | barnes&noble | book of the month).

A Primary Race to Watch: VA House District 86

Early Voting for Democratic Party Primary begins April 23 in Fairfax County

Early Voting at the Fairfax County Government Center for the Democratic Party Primary Election begins April 23.

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Tree Planting Ceremony Held in Herndon

Arbor Day Foundation Program recognizes the Town of Herndon as a Tree City USA community and recipient of the tree Growth Award

The Town of Herndon hosted its 32nd Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony on the Town Hall Square, Saturday, April 17.

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Fairfax County Board to Review Colvin Run’s Concrete Channelization

Recommends proposed county, state, and federal process changes

Part 2 of a series. Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill District) presented a Joint Board Matter with Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville District) on Tuesday, April 13.

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Community Helps Hoof Beloved Great Falls Horse’s Medical Bills

Delfina back home, but support needed for the long recovery

On April 8, a beloved 18-year-old Norwegian Fjord named Delfinia at the Lift Me Up equestrian center in Great Falls suffered a severe case of colic, abdominal pain.