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Victoria Ross

Stories by Victoria

Sarvis: Warner-Gillespie Debate ‘Disappointing’

Libertarian candidate says chamber’s decision to include only major-party candidates in U.S. Senate debate a “disservice” to voters.

After a full day of campaigning at Fort Belvoir on Friday, Oct. 11, Robert Sarvis talked about his campaign for U.S. Senate, and his disappointment in not being invited to participate in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Debate — a major televised debate hosted by The Fairfax Chamber at Capitol One’s convention center in McLean. “The Fairfax Chamber informed us that it was nothing other than ‘tradition’ to only invite major party candidates,” Sarvis said. “But this was after we formally requested an invitation, noted that over 145,000 Virginians voted for Robert Sarvis for governor in 2013, and sent them a petition signed by over 1,000 Virginians in support of a three-candidate debate.”

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Warner, Gillespie Clash in U.S. Senate Debate

Stark distinctions on same—sex marriage, immigration, abortion and healthcare.

In front of an audience of Northern Virginia business leaders, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Republican challenger Ed Gillespie honed their attacks on each other during a sharp, wide-ranging debate Tuesday evening, Oct. 7.

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Comstock's Comfort Zone

GOP candidate Barbara Comstock believes a woman's place is in the House ... of Representatives.

It’s just weeks before Election Day, and the contest to replace retiring Republican Congressman Frank Wolf in Virginia’s 10th Congressional district has become one of the most watched, most expensive and most contentious races in the country.

‘A Personal Touch’

Barbara Comstock rallies veterans at Fairfax County Republican Committee Breakfast.

Barbara Comstock, the Republican candidate in the hotly-contested 10th district Congressional race, was on a tight schedule. After speaking before a crowd of military veterans on Saturday morning, her campaign staff was nudging her out the door, reminding the candidate that the breakfast was the first of several campaign events on her calendar that day.

Bridging Political Divide

Democrats hope Foust’s reputation as a “bridge-builder” connects with voters.

Straightening his tie, John Foust is preparing for yet another “meet-and-greet” event at the Clifton home of Democratic supporters Terry Matlaga and Kevin Bell.

A Plum Good Time!

Democrats gathered to support Dranesville Supervisor John Foust at Del. Ken Plum’s annual Family Picnic.

The powerful thunderstorms that drenched Northern Virginia Saturday night had the good sense to wait until the crowd of similarly powerful forces of nature – aka political VIPs - rallied, stumped and socialized at Del. Ken Plum's (D-36) Annual Summer Picnic and Pre-Election Rally.

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Extreme Politics

Foust, Comstock stake out opposing positions during first debate in hyper-partisan 10th district Congressional race.

Forget first-debate politeness. Republican Barbara Comstock and Democrat John Foust — the candidates vying to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf in Virginia’s 10th Congressional district — sustained the hyper-partisan tenor of their campaigns during a debate-style forum hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in Herndon last week.

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Heads Up Football Flourishing in Fairfax County

Program reduces concussion risk by teaching players to take the “head” out of tackling.

It wasn’t that long ago when youth football coaches believed a player’s toughness was measured by his ability to play through the pain. Concussions and other serious injuries were just “part of the game.”

You Can Run, But You Can’t Win?

Fairfax County fires attorney for winning city council seat.

Like many lifelong City of Fairfax residents, Nancy Fry Loftus is proud of her hometown’s character and charm — a Norman Rockwell postcard of small-town life in the heart of an increasingly urban, diverse and bustling region.

A Message of Taste and Beauty

Karin’s Florist wins National All-Star Floral Design Competition.

Vienna floral designer Bryan Swann of Karin's Florist recently took home the title of All-Stars Champion in VaseOff!, a nationwide design competition hosted by the Society of American Florists (SAF).

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What’s Offensive about Redskins Pride?

Absolutely nothing, if you’re state Sen. Chap Petersen.

A lifelong Redskins fan, Fairfax state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) has had it up to here with all the talk about the need to change the name of his beloved football team. He vented his frustration and indignation on his blog — Ox Road South — but said he was leery of tackling what he deemed the forces of political correctness in the "War Against the Redskins" until June 18, when the Federal Patent Office blocked the team’s Redskins trademarks, declaring that the name was "disparaging" to Native Americans at the time the trademarks were registered — as far back as 1967. That action pushed Petersen off the sidelines to lead an offensive attack.

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Meals Tax: Tasty or Revolting?

Supervisors digest task force’s final report on hot-button issue.

After hours of simmering debate, the Meals Tax Referendum Task Force’s presentation to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Tuesday was a mere amuse-bouche, whetting the appetite of board the for the group’s 170-page multi-course written report.

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Eat. Drink. Pay?

Fairfax County task force debates voters’ appetite for another meals tax referendum.

It has been 22 years since Fairfax County asked voters to approve a tax on restaurant meals, an issue that ignited protests, caused deep divisions among community leaders and threatened to melt down several political careers. The reverberations of that epic failure — what many consider the third rail of county politics — continue to echo in the ears of county politicians.

10th District Democrats Nominate John Foust

Democrats cancel convention uniting for Dranesville Supervisor for Congress.

The field of GOP contenders vying for retiring U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s seat is still crowded, but the Democratic pool of political hopefuls dwindled to one on Monday: Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville).

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Mr. Horejsi Goes to Richmond

In the fight for social justice with patience and persistence.

Every year, dozens of high-priced lobbyists descend on Virginia’s state capitol.

Board Advertises Higher Tax Rate

Rate gives board flexibility, options in determining final budget.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 Tuesday to advertise a higher real estate tax rate that could add about $100 to annual tax bills, which will be on top of the $332 county homeowners will see this year as a result of higher real estate assessments. Setting the advertised tax rate formally begins the two-month public process to adopt the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, and the rate represents the maximum potential tax rate for FY2015.

Preventing Teen Suicides

Recent deaths shine light on FCPS suicide prevention programs.

Every 15 seconds, a teen in the United States tries to commit suicide. Every 90 minutes, one succeeds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011.

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Bulova: ‘This Will Be a Challenging Budget’

Fairfax County average homeowner will see tax bill increase $330 under County Executive’s proposed $7 billion budget.

Fairfax County Executive Edward Long, Jr. unveiled a $7 billion budget proposal Tuesday that reflects his "cautious and deliberative approach to budgeting," a result, Long said, of continuing uncertainty over federal spending and sluggish commercial tax revenues.

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How Red Is the 10th District?

Wolf’s retirement sparks crowded political stage as both parties vie for coveted Congressional seat.

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s announcement in December that he would not seek reelection to an 18th term in Congress came as a surprise to both Republicans and Democrats. Wolf’s retirement notice instantly set off a feeding frenzy among politicians maneuvering to gain the Northern Virginia Congressional seat.

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‘Friends’ Create Community of Hope

Friends of Sadie collect record number of blood donations at fifth annual blood drive for childhood cancer.

Under dozens of rainbow-colored hearts and tables laden with Valentine’s treats, friends and family greeted each other with hugs and kisses as children chased each other through the halls of the Woods Community Center on Sunday, Feb. 9.

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Sadie’s Gift

Inspired by one child’s struggle with cancer, Burke community prepares for fifth annual "family-friendly" blood drive to give other children hope.

Erin and Ethan Lauer of Burke vividly remember the history-making snowstorm that buried the region with more than three feet of hard, wet snow exactly four years ago this week. Dubbed "Snowmageddon" by local and national media, the blizzard shut down most businesses, schools, and the federal government for weeks. Snowmageddon, meteorologists said, rivaled the snowfall production of any other major snowstorm in recorded history. The ferocious storm came in two rounds. When the second wave hit, temperatures plummeted into the high teens and winds gusted over 40 mph. The Lauers held little hope that friends and neighbors would dig out of the ice and snow to attend a Valentine’s Day blood-drive for their infant daughter, Sadie, who had been diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer called Neuroblastoma when she was just 3-months-old. The family was in for a surprise.

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Into the Budget Fray

Bulova highlights accomplishments, challenges in annual address.

Despite the lingering impact of an anemic economy, and the regional ripple effects of federal sequestration, Fairfax County residents will see some concrete signs of progress this year.

Let Sun Shine on Virginia’s Financial Disclosure Laws

State legislators turn attention to ethics in wake of McDonnell gift scandal.

As members of the Virginia General Assembly convene for the first time since last February, legislators are stampeding to introduce ethics legislation in response to the gift scandal which engulfed then Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). The revelations last spring about numerous undisclosed gifts and purported loans from businessman Jonnie Williams to McDonnell — including a $6,500 Rolex watch engraved to the "71st Governor of Virginia" and $35,000 in gifts and catering for his daughters’ weddings — shined a spotlight on Virginia’s porous financial disclosure laws.

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What More Could FBI Want?

Virginia leaders tout merits of Springfield site for FBI HQ relocation.

A high-ranking delegation of Virginia politicians gathered in Springfield Tuesday morning in a renewed effort to convince the Federal Bureau of Investigation to relocate its headquarters to a warehouse site in Springfield. The move in the high-stakes, highly competitive regional competition comes after site selection guidelines eliminated almost all other Northern Virginia locations.

Every Tweet Counts

How Republican Brian Schoeneman earned wrath of his party by making sure every vote counted in county.

On the morning of Nov. 6, the day after the general election, it appeared that Republican Mark Obenshain had eked out a razor-thin victory over Democrat Mark Herring to become Virginia’s next Attorney General. Like most hotly-contested political battles, the close race generated even closer scrutiny.

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Library’s Beta Plan: Dead on Arrival

Supervisors endorse Library Board’s recommendations to increase funding, discard beta plan.

"You can assume that the BETA Plan is dead. I will make that motion tomorrow." In her email to a concerned library patron the night before the Board of Supervisors Nov. 19 meeting, Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large) put to rest speculation that the board would resuscitate the controversial beta plan aimed at streamlining the county’s library system.

Vienna Boy Receives Champion of Character Award

Wolfi Gottschalk, a 9-year-old football player for the Vienna Youth Inc. Buccaneers, received the 2013 Fairfax County Champions of Character award for the Providence district male athlete.

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Fairfax County Wants You

County launches "Transportation Dialogues" to get feedback on public’s priorities.

Not since 1987 — when today’s 40-something motorists were newly-minted drivers — has Fairfax County seen any new revenue stream for its traffic-choked roadways or relief for the region’s chronic gridlock.

Stacey Kincaid Elected County’s First Female Sheriff

Kincaid, a Vienna resident, pledges commitment to diversity, department’s employees and community outreach programs.

Democrat Stacey Kincaid, a 26-year-veteran of the sheriff’s department, made local history Tuesday by becoming Fairfax County’s first female sheriff.

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Battleground? Not Exactly

Competitive state races gave voters more choices, but they stick with incumbents over challengers.

Every two years, Virginia holds all of its statewide elections.

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Sheriff’s Race Heats Up

Kincaid, Wolfe trade barbs over guns, vandalism.

Like many of her neighbors, Vienna resident Jane Li said she didn’t know Fairfax County had a sheriff’s department until a few weeks ago.

Voters to Decide on $250 Million Bond

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Fairfax County voters will be asked to approve a $250 million school bond. If approved, the schools plan to use the money to:

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Making Voters Feel Welcome, No Matter Their Language

County election officials have stepped up outreach efforts and volunteer recruitment efforts.

“I was touched with the Korean community’s efforts to help us translate materials and provide volunteers. … And so we're trying to encourage other pockets. My next target is Vietnamese. We’ve also printed recruitment brochures in Farsi, Arabic, Chinese Korean, French, and Spanish.” — Cameron Quinn, Fairfax County’s chief elections officer

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Delegate for the 42nd District

Ed R. Deitsch is challenging Republican incumbent David Albo in the 42nd district.

The House of Delegates has legislative power, with the Senate, to enact laws. Delegates serve a 2-year term and are eligible for re-election. The salary is $17,640 per year. A delegate must be at least 21 years old at the time of election and be a resident of the district he/she seeks to represent.

Two Challenge Filler-Corn in 41st District

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn challenged by Republican Fredy A. Burgos, Independent Christopher F. DeCarlo in the 41st district.

The House of Delegates has legislative power, with the Senate, to enact laws. Delegates serve a 2-year term and are eligible for re-election. The salary is $17,640 per year. A delegate must be at least 21 years old at the time of election and be a resident of the district he/she seeks to represent.

Delegate—37th District

Republican Patrice Winter is challenging Democratic incumbent David Bulova in the 37th district.

As a health care provider, I have seen how Affordable Care Act has affected patients and even how companies are doing business. Seeing Virginians have access to high-quality and affordable health care is a top priority.

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Denim Do-gooders Help Put Zip on Homelessness

Deltek hosts “challenge breakfast” to turn $5 into $25,000.

Casual Friday got a twist on Friday, Oct. 18, as thousands of employees throughout Fairfax County became denim do-gooders by throwing on a pair of jeans to help prevent and end homelessness. Deltek, Inc., the Herndon-based global software and information solutions company, kicked off the third annual Jeans Day in Fairfax County by hosting a fundraising breakfast. The company, founded in 1983 by Don deLaski and his son Kenneth, hosted one of the first Jeans Day events in Fairfax County. “We were excited to see Deltek host this challenge breakfast that welcomed businesses, nonprofits and other community leaders interested in helping to make jeans day a huge success this year,” said Dean Klein, director of Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH). “Even though we continue to have great support from longtime supporters, we also saw so much energy and enthusiasm from new partners.”

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What’s in a Name?

Virginia legislators work with Korean American groups to push for “East Sea” in textbooks.

Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) may be light years apart on most issues, but on one issue they’ve reached a consensus.

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What’s in a Name?

Virginia legislators work with Korean American groups to push for “East Sea” in textbooks.

Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) may be light years apart on most issues, but on one issue they’ve reached a consensus. Last month, they both pledged support to Virginia’s growing population of Korean Americans to use the dual names of “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” to denote the body of water between Korea and Japan in Virginia’s textbooks. Koreans view the “Sea of Japan” designation as a legacy of Japanese colonial rule. Currently, more than 2.5 million Korean-Americans reside in the U.S. and nearly 150,000 of them live in Virginia. “As governor, going forward, I will wholeheartedly support the effort … to have our textbooks and other teaching materials reflect the concurrent names as we pursue education excellence in Virginia,” Cuccinelli wrote in a Sept. 16 letter to the Korean Community of Virginia. “As governor, I will ensure that as new texts are purchased or downloaded, they reflect this important historical truth …,” McAuliffe wrote to the Korean Community of Virginia on Sept. 25. For the past year, state Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37) has been leading Virginia’s legislative efforts to add the “East Sea” in public school textbooks.

Residential Studios Put on Hold

Supervisors establish committee, plan additional public outreach.

At the recommendation of Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-Large) and Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday deferred its Nov. 20 public hearing on a proposed residential studios (RSUs) amendment to conduct additional community outreach.

Now What?

Fairfax County braces for “domino effect” of federal government shutdown.

“We live in a ‘company town’ and the company is the federal government, so most of us have family and friends who are federal employees or contractors impacted by this shutdown,” Long said in a memo emailed to county employees Tuesday. Long said his biggest concern was the “domino effect” the shutdown will have on the local economy, and “the short-term uncertainty that will impact business decisions.”

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Social Justice Matters

SALT forum gives candidates a chance to tell voters where they stand on social justice issues.

But one group also thinks voters should know where candidates stand on social justice issues when they go to the polls Nov. 5. “Our elected officials have a great deal of influence on the common good, so it’s reasonable that we find out where candidates stand on these issues,” said John Horejsi, founder of SALT (Social Action Linking Together), a non-partisan, faith-based advocacy group started in 1983.

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Willkommen! Guten Tag!

Bulova puts “fun” in fundraiser at Lorton Workhouse Arts Center.

Oktoberfest arrived early as more than 300 friends, family and high-profile Democrats gathered at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center Sept. 22 for the 27th annual German-themed political fundraiser hosted by Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Guests enjoyed German beer, a traditional German oompah band and a smorgasbord of Bavarian food, including bratwurst, sauerkraut and German wines, during the afternoon event.

Residential Studios Put on Hold

Supervisors establish committee, plan additional public outreach.

At the recommendation of Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-Large) and Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 24 deferred its Nov. 20 public hearing on a proposed residential studios (RSUs) amendment to conduct additional community outreach. The board also established a Planning Commission Residential Studios Committee.

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Wear Jeans to Work, Help End Homelessness

Register now to participate in Jeans Day Fairfax on Oct. 18.

Just by wearing jeans to work, you can actively help nearly 3,000 men, women and children in Fairfax County who face homelessness and hunger every day. On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Friday, Oct. 18 “Jeans Day Fairfax,” the third annual Jeans Day event in Fairfax County.

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A Loving Neighbor Remembered

Friends, family remember Navy Yard victim Martin Bodrog as “humble” and devoted to God, family and his beloved Boston Bruins.

Isabel Bodrog recalled an awkward moment in high school when her friends started complaining about their fathers. When it was her turn to talk about her father, Martin Bodrog, she searched for something to say.

‘Horrible and Senseless’ Tragedy

Four area residents killed in Navy Yard rampage.

Decorated U.S. Navy Commander Martin Bodrog’s life was cut short when 34-year-old Aaron Alexis opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, Sept. 16, killing Bodrog and 11 others. He was remembered in a moving Celebration of Life service at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield on Saturday, Sept. 21 attended by more than 1,300 friends and family.

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Navy Yard Shootings Hit Close to Home

Four Fairfax County victims killed in Washington Navy Yard rampage.

“Marty was a kind and caring man. He had such a sweet spirit and was in every way a man that lived his life to honor Christ.” —Pastor Steve Holley of Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield

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Local Business Leaders Spotlight Opportunities for UK Companies

Fairfax County EDA organizes Sept. 26 seminar in London.

Fairfax County’s Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) officials announced Tuesday, Sept. 17, that local executives will speak at a London seminar to spotlight opportunities for British companies interested in homeland security business opportunities in the United States.

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A New Beginning for Fairfax County Public Libraries?

Library trustees vote to discard beta plan in favor of more public outreach sessions.

On Wall Street, a “beta” test refers to assessing the risk, volatility and expected return of a particular portfolio. If Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) officials had a crystal ball to assess the volatility of its planned beta tests this fall, it’s likely they may have steered clear of the project that became a quagmire of epic proportions.

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