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Victoria Ross

Stories by Victoria

Seven Schools to Implement Back-to-School Soda Ban

FCPS conducts pilot program banning sugary sodas in seven high schools.

Healthy eating habits begin early, and in an effort to curb consumption of sugary drinks by students, Fairfax County Public Schools will be conducting a pilot program in September that will ban sugary soda drinks in seven of its 25 high schools.

Fairfax Republicans Nominate Bryan ‘BA’ Wolfe for Sheriff

Wolfe faces Democratic nominee Stacey Kincaid in Nov. 5 special election.

When retired Fairfax police officer Bryan “BA” Wolfe was selected as the Republican nominee for Fairfax County Sheriff last week, he vowed to “restore the public trust” by making the 500-member department more “accountable and transparent.”

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Preserving History’s Jewels

Fairfax County considers new “resident curator” program to save historic properties.

“A successful resident curator program would allow the county to restore, maintain and protect important historic properties at little or no cost to the public.” —Cindy Walsh, Fairfax County Park Authority’s Resource Management Division director

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Fairfax County Public Libraries: Version 2.0?

Staff, volunteers urge supervisors to reconsider “disastrous” library reorganization plan that cuts staff and services.

In a world where the Internet has replaced newsprint, e-books have supplanted paperbacks and the latest films stream directly to laptops, how do public libraries compete?

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City of Fairfax Remembers Geraldine ‘Gerry’ Estep Sherwood

Avid arts supporter, community center visionary, died Aug. 5.

Geraldine Estep Sherwood, a longtime city resident and avid supporter of the arts, died Aug. 5 in Fairfax, leaving a legacy as the visionary behind the Stacy C. Sherwood Center. Mrs. Sherwood donated $5 million for the construction of the state-of-the-art facility. Opened in 2011, the center was named in honor of her husband, who served as a member of the Town of Fairfax Council (1956-60) and City of Fairfax City Council (1960-64) and who died in 2002.

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National Night Out Celebrated in Lorton Park

Lorton Community Action Center partners with Lorton Library and South County Cares to host family celebration.

Hundreds of families gathered in Lorton Park last week for a night of music, games, picnics and more in recognition of the 30th annual National Night Out celebration. “The overcast skies did not deter the enthusiasm of children and adults who created pipe cleaner critters, played games, enjoyed free hot dogs and snow cones, shared their artistic talent through sidewalk chalk, and enjoyed a live music performance by the Amazing Gospel Souls,” said Linda Patterson, executive director of the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC), which co-hosted the 2nd NNO celebration at Lorton Park along with the Lorton Library, Friends of the Lorton Library and South County Cares.

Cops on the Block

Fairfax County Police join hundreds of neighbors at National Night Out events.

“Is that a real gun?” His eyes wide with excitement, 7-year-old Mauro Vargas ran up to Officer Ron Manzo the minute he spotted the blue uniform at the Ravensworth Baptist Church in Springfield on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

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VA Adopts: Campaign for 1,000

Governor McDonnell promotes adoption, foster care during Fairfax County tour.

The atmosphere was festive as more than 100 people—including adoptive parents, children and state and local officials—gathered in the Fairfax County Government Center atrium Tuesday, July 30 to welcome Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) during the statewide tour to promote his “Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000” initiative.

Unlocking the Door to Affordable Housing

County considers establishment of residential studio option to assist with housing affordability.

Like most areas that have seen explosive growth in the past 30 years, Fairfax County’s stock of affordable housing has dwindled as it’s grown into one of the nation’s wealthiest counties.

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Petersen Plays FDR in ‘Annie’

City of Fairfax Theatre Company produces “Annie,” the popular “rags-to-riches” Broadway musical, with surprising ties to Fairfax County.

Lanier Middle School was packed this weekend as nearly 400 people turned out to see local families, a state senator—and even a mayor—in The City of Fairfax Theatre Company’s production and performance of “Annie.”

Roessler Named County Police Chief

New police chief vows focus on diversity.

Edwin C. Roessler, named Fairfax County's police chief at Tuesday's Board of Supervisor's meeting, promised to launch a Diversity Council in an effort to recruit, promote and respond to Fairfax County's increasingly diverse community.

Unlocking the Door to Affordable Housing

County considers establishment of residential studio option to assist with housing affordability.

Like most areas that have seen explosive growth in the past 30 years, Fairfax County’s stock of affordable housing has dwindled as it’s grown into one of the nation’s wealthiest counties.

Fairfax County Animal Shelter Temporarily Suspends Intake of Dogs

Canine influenza suspected culprit after dozen dogs become ill.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter has temporarily suspended its intake of dogs, after one dog died of pneumonia and about a dozen more dogs have exhibited symptoms of an unspecified upper respiratory illness.

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TB Investigation Expands at Lee High School

Health officials say “no reason to restrict activities.”

On Monday, Fairfax County Health Department officials announced they are expanding the tuberculosis (TB) investigation at Robert E. Lee High School, in the wake of reports that as many as 430 students and faculty could have been exposed to the disease.

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New Buses Join Springfield Service

Local and state officials gathered on the penthouse terrace at Metro Park in Alexandria last week to announce the addition of six new state-of-the-art buses to the Springfield Circulator Service.

Kincaid Wins Democratic Nomination for Sheriff

Kincaid promises to push for pay parity and reach out to diverse community.

Stacey Kincaid, a 26-year veteran with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department and self-proclaimed “rookie politician,” handily won the Democratic nomination for sheriff during a special election Tuesday night, July 23 at W.T. Woodson High School. The final vote was 605 to 315 votes, according to Democratic officials who counted each ballot by hand.

Unlocking the Door to Affordable Housing

County considers establishment of residential studio option to assist with housing affordability.

Like most areas that have seen explosive growth in the past 30 years, Fairfax County’s stock of affordable housing has dwindled as it’s grown into one of the nation’s wealthiest counties.

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Making Sure Children Don't Go Hungry

Our Daily Bread provides meals for children during summer break.

For most children, summer means the end of homework and tests, and the beginning of cookouts and carefree summer vacations.

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Mapping it Out

City of Fairfax gets strategic about future of parks and recreation.

On a summer Sunday afternoon, several people huddle over a giant digital map of Van Dyck Park spread out across tables at the Sherwood Community Center, musing about future amenities at the City of Fairfax’s oldest and largest park, located just across the street.

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Celebrating Community Spirit

Always civic-minded, Burke resident Diane DiPietro gladly volunteered to be a board member of the Kings West Swim Club, a popular community gathering place in the Kings Park West subdivision.

Virginia Voters Get More Choices in 2013

Northern Virginia has most two-party races on ballot.

While the Virginia governor’s race is the one getting the most attention, both nationally and in the state, Virginia’s House of Delegates race is shaping up to be the most competitive in a decade.

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Virginia Voters Get More Choices in 2013

Northern Virginia has most two-party races on ballot.

While the Virginia governor’s race is the one getting the most attention, both nationally and in the state, Virginia’s House of Delegates race is shaping up to be the most competitive in a decade.

Headed to the Beach This Weekend? Find Alternate Route to I-95 South

VDOT shuts down I-95 South for bridge work at Dumfries Road; detours to Route 1.

Motorists heading to Virginia Beach this weekend—or any southern destination on I-95—often take the beltway in the middle of the night to avoid traffic delays and other traffic headaches.

Giving a Local Voice to the Civil Rights Act

Congressman Gerry Connolly embarks on yearlong history project to mark 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act; seeks personal stories and testimonials.

Next year, the nation will mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act. Last week, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) announced he is embarking on a yearlong living history project to gather testimonials and stories from local residents about the civil rights movement and preserve them for posterity.

Petersen to Governor: Explain, Deny, Return or Resign

Petersen first Virginia legislator to suggest McDonnell resign over alleged wrongdoing in accepting gifts from prominent donor.

The tipping point for state Sen. J. Chap Petersen (D-34) was the $6,500 Rolex watch.

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Let the Sparks Fly

So. It’s July 4, 2013. Independence Day. A federal holiday celebrating our freedom from Great Britain. The National Day of the United States.

Fourth of July Trivia

Information provided by Smithsonian Children’s Magazine press releases. For more trivia, go to newsdesk.si.edu. Joke courtesy of Elle Ross, 7, of Vienna.

Let the Sparks Fly in Reston and Herndon

It’s not too late to enjoy local 4th of July festivals, parades and fireworks.

So. It’s July 4, 2013. Independence Day. A federal holiday celebrating our freedom from Great Britain. The National Day of the United States. And you have nothing planned.

When a Bill Becomes a Law

On July 1, sales taxes go up for Fairfax County residents.

“We needed to at least make it clear that you risk a reckless driving offense if you text and drive.” —Del. David Bulova (D-37)

Let the Sparks Fly in the County

It’s not too late to enjoy local 4th of July festivals, parades and fireworks.

So. It’s July 4, 2013. Independence Day. A federal holiday celebrating our freedom from Great Britain. The National Day of the United States. And you have nothing planned.

Fourth of July Fun Facts

Information provided by Smithsonian Children’s Magazine press releases. For more trivia, go to newsdesk.si.edu. Joke courtesy of Elle Ross, 7, of Vienna.

Let the Sparks Fly

It’s not too late to enjoy local 4th of July festivals, parades and fireworks.

So. It’s July 4, 2013. Independence Day. A federal holiday celebrating our freedom from Great Britain. The National Day of the United States. And you have nothing planned.

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Housing's Roaring Rebound?

In February, Patricia Stack, a broker with Weichert Realtors, held an open house for a single-family home for sale in Vienna just listed for $739,000. Within three hours, more than 70 people toured the home.

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Housing’s Roaring Rebound?

Pent-up demand creates seller’s market for Northern Virginia real estate.

In February, Patricia Stack, a broker with Weichert Realtors, held an open house for a single-family home for sale in Vienna just listed for $739,000. Within three hours, more than 70 people toured the home. “The home went under contract substantially above list price,” Stack said. “2013 has started with a bang in Northern Virginia real estate. In fact, it appears to be a market more like 2005-2006 than anything we've seen since,” Stack said.

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Balenger Story: Walking Tall

Nick Balenger, paralyzed after a swimming accident, walks at the Lake Braddock graduation ceremony.

Every Lake Braddock senior who walked across the George Mason University Patriot Center stage for a diploma received applause and praise for 12 years of hard work. But only one student received a standing ovation for simply walking.

Tuberculosis Clinic Set Up at Lee High School

Three people at the school identified as having active TB.

Following reports that as many as 430 students and faculty at Robert E. Lee High School could have been exposed to tuberculosis, Fairfax County Health Department officials set up a special clinic on Friday, June 21, to provide testing and information on the infectious disease.

Housing’s Roaring Rebound?

Buoyed by low mortgage rates, low regional unemployment, growth in the number of households and rising consumer confidence, the residential real-estate market in the region has rebounded in a big way. Unlike the last five years, demand is up and supply is down. In fact, in some particularly desirable neighborhoods, the transition from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market is all but complete. Call it the new “reality in realty.”

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Housing’s Roaring Rebound?

Pent-up demand creates seller’s market for Northern Virginia real estate.

In February, Patricia Stack, a broker with Weichert Realtors, held an open house for a single-family home for sale in Vienna just listed for $739,000. Within three hours, more than 70 people toured the home.

Supervisors Pass Home Day Care Ordinance

Bulova calls for town hall meeting to educate providers on new rules.

“There is a tremendous need for quality child care in the county and we want to help make sure there are a sufficient number of providers available.” -- Board Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large)

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Springfield Boy Scouts Help Plant Trees at Burke Lake Park

New trees replace mature ones torn down by Burke Lake Dam renovation.

When the renovation of Burke Lake Dam began last fall, many residents in the leafy South Run neighborhood were concerned about the dozens of mature trees construction crews had to rip out to gain access to the dam.

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Splat! Boom! Bang!

Springfield musician makes classical music playful and accessible to children.

"I love to see kids get involved during a concert. It’s absolutely hilarious; they are up and down, whooping and hollering, listening to the music and the story." —Cory Hills

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Carfest Revs Up Springfield Days

Popular event open to all makes, models.

Carfest fans, it’s time to start your engines. One of the most popular attractions of Springfield Days returns this year, featuring cars in all makes and models, including antiques, muscle, classics, street rods, customs and exotics.

Sundog Productions Expands in Fairfax

Sundog hosts grand opening of new 40,000-square-foot facility on June 1.

Sundog Productions, which has been creating custom tie-dye and screen-printed “wearable art” for more than 20 years in the City of Fairfax, announced Tuesday, May 28, the grand opening of its new 40,000-square-foot facility on Saturday, June 1, 2013, 11 a.m. at 3850 Jermantown Road.

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Richard Byrd Library Adds Mystery to Summer Book Sale

Every summer, booklovers and bargain hunters eagerly await the Friends of the Richard Byrd Library book sale, one of the largest in the region with more than 10,000 books, many in pristine condition.

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A Soldier’s Story

Burke man honored for heroism in disrupting pivotal “Easter Offensive.”

In November, 1971, Captain Denis Gulakowski began what he thought would be a relatively “safe” tour of duty in Vietnam. The Cold War military conflict had escalated steadily since 1955, and reached a high of 500,000 troops in 1967. By late 1971, the number of American troops in-country had been greatly reduced as President Richard Nixon implemented his “Vietnamization” program to extract the United States from the war.

Being a Warrior, Now and Then

Q&A with Lt. Col. Gulakowski: Reflections on Vietnam legacy.

Lt. Col. Denis Gulakowski of Burke is a retired Army officer who served more than 25 years. From November 1971 until November 1972, he did a tour of duty in Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he participated in several battles, one of which disrupted the North Vietnamese attempt to overrun areas of South Vietnam during the Easter Offensive (Nguyen Hue Campaign) of 1972.

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Celebrating Partnerships

Fairfax County, FCPS honor 12 public-private partners during awards ceremony.

He envisioned a service project, contacted Fairfax County Public Library staff to gauge interest, and put the wheels in motion to create a program where older students offer tutoring to younger students in communities where there is a significant need.

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We Are Family

Community celebrates foster families during annual 5K walk at Lake Accotink.

They walked, ran or rode trikes, all in celebration of foster families at Lake Accotink Park on Saturday, May 18.

Fairfax County Attracts Innovative Technology Firms

More than 1,400 jobs added to local economy in first quarter.

Continuing consumer demand for innovative technology such as web filtering, data security and cloud computing has helped Fairfax County post gains to the local economy, countering the sequester effect stalling business growth in other sectors. According to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), 27 businesses added more than 1,400 jobs in Fairfax County during the first quarter of 2013.

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Celebrating ‘Everyday’ Heroes

Molina Healthcare honors local residents for making a difference in the community.

In the 1980s, Vienna resident John Horejsi and a “ragtag” group of social justice pioneers learned that Virginia was charging sales tax on food stamps. They discovered the sales tax boosted the state’s coffers by $9.5 million every year, money that they believed belonged to poor families for food or other necessary items.