Back to profile

Victoria Ross

Stories by Victoria

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Program Keeps Students ‘Jazzed’

The students packed into Halley Elementary School’s cafeteria were loud, unruly and boisterous. But then so were the teachers, parents and volunteers cheering them on. This display of school-approved rowdiness was a celebration of the success of an innovative after-school program that targeted at-risk and underprivileged students, courtesy of the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC).

Tease photo

Local Models in Down Syndrome Foundation Gala

Event raises more than $400,000.

Twenty-five models with Down syndrome rocked the runway at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself” Gala on Wednesday, May 8, at the Ritz Carlton in D.C. The fashion show and fundraiser is designed to raise awareness about Down syndrome, one of the most frequent chromosomal conditions affecting an estimated 400,000 Americans.

Tease photo

Quick Takes

Q&A with Pastor King Rhodes.

Pastor King Rhodes is founder and senior pastor of His Church International Christian Center (HCICC) in Springfield, and has been involved in Christian ministry and community outreach for more than 20 years. As a longtime advocate for foster youth, Rhodes and his ministry help support the mission of Fairfax Families4Kids, a foster-mentoring program for teens in Fairfax County. On Saturday, May 18, Rhodes’ church will sponsor the organization’s 5-K Walk during Foster Care Appreciation Month.

Through the Looking Glass

Northern Virginia Players presents “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.”

Beginning May 17, the Northern Virginia Players will perform Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” Join Alice's madcap adventures in Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with the Tweedles, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game.

Tease photo

Burke Civil War Marker Unveiled

The sign commemorates the “Bog Wall Ambush,” an 1861 Civil War skirmish.

Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock) and members of the Fairfax County History Commission gathered at the intersection of Dunleigh Drive and Braddock Road on Sunday, May 5, to dedicate a new historical marker commemorating the “Bog Wall Ambush,” an 1861 Civil War skirmish. The Fairfax County History Commission hosted the dedication ceremony, which was followed by a reception at historic Oak Hill.

Absentee Voting Starts Now for Democratic Primaries

Primaries held for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

The State Board of Elections reported Monday, May 6, that absentee voting began for the June 11, 2013 primary and all localities met the required 45-day deadline for mailing absentee ballots to voters.

Tease photo

Helping Those Who ‘Can’t Catch a Break’

Community support for Northern Virginia Family Services grows during tough economic times.

“Most of us here lead privileged lives. You can and should make a difference in Northern Virginia.” —Earle Williams

Tease photo

Women Mean Business

In the two months since the much-hyped and dreaded sequester took effect, the daily economic forecast has been almost as painful as the slow grinding of bureaucratic wheels. But here’s some good economic news, especially for aspiring female entrepreneurs: the numbers are in your favor.

Tease photo

Governor McDonnell Endorses Springfield Site for FBI Headquarters

In letter to FBI director, McDonnell says Fairfax County site will advance “national security mission.”

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has publicly endorsed the Springfield warehouse site for the new FBI building headquarters. In an April 30 letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller and Dan Tangherlini, the acting administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, McDonnell said the federally owned warehouse is the best choice for a number of reasons.

Tease photo

Opening Doors for Neighbors in Need

FACETS marks 25 years of community service.

“A few years ago my life underwent two major changes that shook my world. … My husband and I separated and then I lost my job.” Lisa, a Fairfax mother, delivered that blunt statement during her speech to a crowd of more than 400 people during FACETS’ “Opening Doors” Benefit Breakfast on April 25.

Fairfax County Union Officials Say Board’s Budget Fails Staff, Residents

Supervisors maintain cuts necessary to eliminate projected $169 million shortfall.

On the day the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the FY2014 budget, the leaders of Fairfax County’s four public employee unions issued a joint statement saying the budget “failed” staff and county residents.

Tease photo

Fairfax Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, a highly-decorated Blackhawk pilot.

1st Lt. Robert J. Hess of Fairfax, a highly-decorated U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot, was killed Tuesday, April 23, in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon report from Friday, April 26.

Get Ready to Shop!

LCAC Purse & Prom Sale starts Friday.

The Lorton Community Action Center will host its annual Purse & Prom Sale starting this Friday, April 26, through Sunday, April 28.

Tease photo

A Beautiful Mind

Powerful play takes students inside the mind of autistic teen.

In 1996, Bernie DeLeo was exactly where he thought he should be. A former actor-turned-film producer and writer, DeLeo was living in New York City with his wife and young son. He had an agent, and had just gotten work on a sitcom—Life’s Work—starring Michael O’Keefe. But one weekend, while he was in Los Angeles, he got a call from his wife that irrevocably changed the course of his life. Charlie, his 3-year-old son, had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Tease photo

Fairfax County Budget Reflects ‘Increasing Needs, Decreasing Revenues’

"We as a board spend a lot of time talking about helping people in need, I can only say that when it came time to tax them, they were sadly forgotten." —Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield)

Autism Speaks Volumes for Student Volunteers

Fairfax County Public Schools use latest techniques to teach autistic students. v

In many ways, the three best friends—Anna Kate Martin, Devin Martin and Sarah Carmen—are typical sixth-grade girls.

Karen Garza Hired as Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools

FCPS Board lauds Garza’s “openness” and “willingness to engage” community.

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously approved educator Karen Garza of Texas to be the next superintendent of the 181,000 student district at its April 18 school board meeting.

Tease photo

Helping Homeless ‘Close to Home’

Springfield man launches the 25th Project Charity Golf Classic to benefit homeless.

“On Christmas Eve, my church has a gift-wrapping party, and we’ll wrap whatever we have, from tents and sleeping bags to flannel shirts,” Herriott said. “As The 25th Project has grown, we have expanded our goals and now provide tents, batteries, sleeping bags, tarps and other life essentials.”

Tease photo

The Comeback Kid

Paralyzed after tragic accident, Nick Balenger throws out WSLL’s Opening Day pitch.

"You always get a special kick on Opening Day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen,” said baseball legend Joe DiMaggio.

‘We Have Not Forgotten’

Residents rally in Vienna to support stricter gun control measures.

Less than six miles from the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, more than 100 people gathered on the Vienna Town Green Saturday, April 13, to urge Congress to support stricter gun control measures.

Tease photo

West Springfield Woman at Boston Marathon Carried to Safety by NFL Champ Joe Andruzzi

Friends and family pray for the Wittich family.

The Wittich family of West Springfield was excited about attending the Boston Marathon, one of the historic city’s prominent annual civic pride events. On Saturday, April 13, Christine Wittich, a West Springfield High School student, posted several tweets about the upcoming trip. “Wittich invasion has commenced. Is Boston ready?” and “Yay for being that matching family,” with a photo of mom Julie and sisters in matching blue t-shirts. But after Monday’s bomb blasts transformed the Boston Marathon into a scene of chaos and terror, leaving three dead and more than 100 injured, Wittich’s tweets became more muted.

Tease photo

City Votes 6-0 to Get Out of Water Business

Cost of owning water system outweighs civic pride.

After a half century of controlling its own water system, the City of Fairfax voted unanimously Tuesday, April 9, to get out of the increasingly costly water business.

County to Complete Road Projects

Projects that came in under-budget free up $11.2 million.

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists received a bonus Tuesday, April 9, when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors reallocated $11.2 million in existing funds to complete more than 12 planned pedestrian and road improvement projects.

Tease photo

Animal Control Officer Nabs Elusive Shih Tzu

Officer’s dogged pursuit saves sly pup from life on the streets.

Just 13 pounds of matted fur and fluff, “Biscuit,” a sly shih tzu, evaded capture in the Franconia area for nearly two years, porch-surfing and stealing cats’ food to survive.

Children ‘Dress Up With Grown-ups’

Medical Care for Children Partnerships funds medical, dental care for children of uninsured working families in Fairfax County.

“To me, children are the most beautiful creatures of God and there is nothing comparable to being able to give them a healthy and happy smile.” —Dr. Tehreem Butt, recipient of the Dr. Jorge Arnoldson Award

Tease photo

Artists at Work At Oakton Elementary

Public art project caps two-year renovation of school.

The kinetic sculpture—16-feet-tall, with bright blue and green swirling arrows—looks like a classic Alexander Calder mobile on exhibit at the National Gallery of Art.

School Promotes Family Fitness

First Oakton Elementary Fun Run features magician, face-painting and free fun!

On Sunday, April 21, local families will hit the pavement in the heart of Vienna in an effort to raise money to support educational and enrichment programs at Oakton Elementary School (OES).

The Perks of Planning a Park

The City of Fairfax launched a new website Monday— Our Parks, Our Future—where citizens can engage, communicate and collaborate with the Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department and other residents on a new parks master plan for the city.

Tease photo

Egg Hunters on a Roll at Van Dyck Park

Van Dyck Park was filled with more than 1,500 egg-hunters on Monday, April 1, when the City of Fairfax hosted its annual Easter Egg Hunt at the new, larger location.

Tease photo

Fairfax County’s Homeless Population Declines 12 Percent

Emphasis on rapid re-housing, prevention keys to success.

Despite economic obstacles and fallout from across-the-board sequester cuts, Fairfax County’s number of homeless individuals declined 12 percent decline in the past year, and 26 percent since 2007.

Tease photo

Better Training, More Technology

The bipartisan commission released findings, recommendations regarding long lines on Election Day.

"The commission has identified a variety of improvements and efficiencies to ensure access and convenience for voters in future elections.” —Sharon Bulova

A Voice for the Voiceless

Q&A with SALT Coordinator John Horejsi.

“When there are bills affecting the wealthy the committee rooms are filled to capacity, but when issues affecting the needy, the hearing rooms are empty.” —SALT Coordinator John Horejsi

Local Perspective

Small-business owner tackles the sequester.

Raul Danny Vargas has beaten the odds all his life.

Armed Men Arrested After Burke-area Burglaries

Fairfax County police charged two Springfield men after connecting them with a series of burglaries that took place in the Burke area during the afternoon hours of March 19. Andrew Kovch, 27, of Vogles Way and Jimmy Le, 23 of Grey Fox Drive were charged with burglary, attempted burglary and grand larceny.

Herbstreith Receives LCAC’s Founder’s Award

Gala raised $120,000 for Lorton Community Action Center.

The Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) presented Christine Herbstreith, a Lorton resident since 1954, with the organization’s Founders Award at LCAC’s “Spring into Action” Gala on Saturday, March 2, in front of a crowd of more 200 attendees.

Tease photo

Going, Going, Almost Gone?

Signs of progress as old Springfield Mall gets torn apart.

“The more they tear it apart, the happier I get.” —Supervisor Jeff McKay

Tease photo

Sequester’s Impact in Fairfax County? TBD

Local leaders say “uncertainty” biggest fallout of sequester so far.

“From the perspective of business community, businesses are adept when they understand what’s coming. They see a problem; they solve it. The uncertainty is driving them crazy.” —Jerry Gordon, president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA)

The Bad News, the Good News

Q&A with Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee)

Q: What are you hearing from your constituents about sequestration concerns? A: “Where are the grownups?! I don’t think most folks are focusing on the economic or political impact, although there are certainly concerns about furloughs and potential job losses from those who work for the Federal Government or contractors that do business with the Federal Government. Most people seem to be shrugging their shoulders and commenting on Washington idiocy.”

Sequestration: Local Perspective

Springfield small-business owner tackles the sequester.

“The uncertainty is the worst thing. How did we get into this? How do I survive and make sure my employees have a good standard of living? It’s mind-boggling,” Tony Coombs, owner of TC Associates—a Springfield-based cyber-security and professional consulting firm—said during an interview at his headquarters last week.

Bulova Appoints Mary Cortina, Faisal Khan to Park Authority Board

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large) recently appointed two new representatives to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board.

Tease photo

EPA Will Not Appeal Court Decision on Accotink Watershed

EPA regulations could have cost county $300 million.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effectively ended a two-year legal battle with Fairfax County when the agency announced last week it will not appeal a federal court decision favoring Fairfax County’s handling of the Accotink Creek watershed.

Tease photo

Bicyclists Pedal Onward, Despite Legislative Losses

FABB promotes extended hours on W&OD Trail.

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, Northern Virginia bicyclists are back on the roads and trails, despite the Virginia General Assembly’s antipathy for bike safety bills this session.