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Jerry Fill

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Mount Vernon: Dave and Catherine Voorhees Leave MVCCA

Almost a decade of service.

The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations formally thanked the volunteer efforts of two committee chairs, David and Catherine Voorhees, who announced recently that they intend to move to Delaware in June.

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Mount Vernon: Alice’s Kids Donates Items to Enhance Student Self-Esteem

As a seventh grader growing up in Long Island, current Mount Vernon resident Ron Fitzsimmons missed 60 days of school because he was too embarrassed to go. After his father abandoned them, Fitzsimmons’ family survived on welfare, but only just.

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Mount Vernon: MVCCA Honors Retiring Elected Officials

Recognizing 85 years of public service.

The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations (MVCCA) honored retiring elected officials U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8), state Sen. Linda “Toddy” Puller (D-36) and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland on Sept. 23.

SFDC’s Role: 30 Years Later

Growing priorities for Richmond Highway corridor.

The unanswered question is whether or not Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) has the tools, independence, and support to achieve its mission of economic development and revitalization.

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Alexandria: Calhoun Hams Celebrating 35 Years At Farmers’ Market

Tom Calhoun first opened his Calhoun Hams/Meat Market in 1980 at the Alexandria Farmers’ Market at Market Square in Old Town. It continues as a mainstay of the Saturday market today.

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Mount Vernon: Helping Veterans in Business

SFDC hosts business roundtable.

Assisting veterans, women, and minorities in starting, growing, and sustaining a small business was the focus the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation’s (SFDC) 5th Business Roundtable Speaker Series on Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Springhill Suites Hotel on Richmond Highway.

Mount Vernon: Park Award Honors Ann Smith

Her donation was given in memory of her late husband, Lt. Colonel Gary F. Smith.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation, a charitable organization which supports the Fairfax County Park Authority, is honoring Ann Smith with a 2015 Eakin Philanthropy Award. In memory of her late husband, Lt. Colonel Gary F. Smith, Ann Smith worked with the Park Authority and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland to identify Grist Mill Soccer Field #5 for renovation into a state-of-the-art synthetic turf soccer field and renamed the field as the Lt. Colonel Gary F. Smith Memorial Field.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: "Thanking the Police"

During the Gum Springs Community Day Celebration on Saturday, June 20, the Gum Springs community paid special tribute to the Mount Vernon District Police force.

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Mount Vernon: SFDC Hosts Retail Summit

What can work along Route 1?

Three experts in retail development made presentations at the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation’s retail summit at the Hampton Inn & Suites on Tuesday, June 2. They offered case study examples of the evolution of thinking in planning, designing, and implementing retail developments which have applicability for the Route 1 corridor.

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Primed for Primary

Democratic supervisor candidates make their cases at Gum Springs forum.

The four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Mount Vernon District supervisor expressed their commitment and passion before approximately 60 attendees on Monday night’s forum at the Gum Springs Community Center. Primary election day is June 9.

Looking Out for Senior Citizens in Mount Vernon

Barbara Sullivan leads organization that helps residents age in place.

Founded in 2007, Mount Vernon at Home now has almost 200 dues-paying members.

Mount Vernon: Dougherty Connects Chamber with Community

Focusing on small business and economic development.

Prior to becoming the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce executive director, Dougherty worked for U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Later, she served in several senior positions during the Reagan Administration. This included assignments at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Energy.

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Mount Vernon: Candidates Seek Primary Victory

At forums, four candidates seek to differentiate themselves.

Mount Vernon residents have not experienced such intense political competition to choose a Democratic nominee for an elected local office in a generation.

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Many dog and cat adoption opportunities in Mount Vernon.

Thinking of acquiring a pet dog or cat for yourself or the family? If so, then consider the dog and cat rescue organizations in the area who offer for adoption a multitude of healthy animals of different breeds, types, ages, and sizes.

Political Jockeying in Mount Vernon

With Puller’s retirement, the race is on.

Soon after state Sen. Toddy Puller’s retirement announcement, candidates for the vacated seat are already emerging.

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Colleagues Praise Mount Vernon's Puller

State senator to retire at end of current session.

Calling State Senator Linda T. “Toddy” Puller’s announcement to retire “bittersweet,” Del. Mark Sickles explained that it is “bitter because her absence will leave a gaping void here in Richmond; sweet because nobody has done more in one life to deserve less hectic years at home with friends and family.”

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Business: Cedar Knoll Inn To Reopen in Mount Vernon

Renovations will need to meet zoning restraints.

The Cedar Knoll Inn restaurant, located on the banks of the Potomac river, and a few minutes drive on the Mount Vernon Parkway from George Washington’s estate, closed this past November.

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Mount Vernon, Alexandria Communities Mourns Death of Herb Harris

Former member of Congress, district supervisor.

Former Mount Vernon Supervisor and U.S. Rep. Herbert Harris died at his home in Mount Vernon on Dec. 24, 2014. He was 88 years old.

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Alternatives to Institutional Care Needed for Seniors

Forum highlights long term care issues.

A community forum, hosted by Mount Vernon At Home and the Association of Retired Persons, focused on the challenge of a fast-growing aging population of 55 and over

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Speaking Out for Taxpayers

At 90, Frank Medico cherishes role as watchdog.

Longtime Mount Vernon community leader and former state Del.Frank Medico is recovering from a fall that caused multiple fractures to his back, collarbone and sternum.

Her Harp Provides Musical Therapy

Debbie Doyle eases stress at Mount Vernon Hospital.

Deborah Mary Doyle has been playing the harp for patients and staff of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital for the past three years.

Affordable Housing for Low and Moderate Income Reisdents

Fairfax County Public Information Officer. Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA). Patterson stated that her agency does not have studies available that analyze the market for affordable independent rental housing for seniors in the Mount Vernon area.

Much To Be Done

Perspectives from those working on community’s front lines.

In this second in the series the leaders of private organizations also ranked transportation improvements, expansion of health care services, and funding the needs of public school programs at or near the top of their lists.

Priorities for ‘14

Elected officials cite accomplishments and challenges.

This is the first in a three-part series on the accomplishments of 2013 and the priorities for 2014 for Mount Vernon by local and state elected officials. Community leaders will share their observations in subsequent parts.

Police Shoot Homeless Man

Incident is under investigation.

James Bryant, 28, of no fixed address was shot and killed by Fairfax County Police during a fight at the Lorton Homeless Shelter on Oct. 30.

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Creating ‘Vibrant Streets’

SFDC hosts Route 1 development forum.

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, a non-profit corporation financed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, jump-started its fall season by inviting a panel of three business leaders who conducted what amounted to a workshop on how to turn underutilized commercial and mixed use property in the Richmond Highway corridor into viable self-sustaining community and government supported projects.

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Something To Bark About

Park Authority approves Master Plan for Westgrove Park.

The Park Authority approved the Master Plan for Westgrove Park on a permanent basis Sept. 25, ending several years of community debate between environmental advocates who wanted Westgrove Park to remain as a natural resources Park, and dog owners who wanted an Off Leash Dog Park (OLDA) added to the Park.

Beltrante Still Pursuing Justice

Former police detective seeks police oversight board.

D. C. residents and three U.S. Presidents have placed their trust and safety in the hands of Nicholas “Nick” Beltrante for many years before he retired from the D.C. Metro Police in 1963. Now, at 86, the twice-retired Metro D.C. police homicide/robbery detective and private investigator continues to work toward safeguarding the rights of others by proposing to the Board of Supervisors the creation of a Police Citizens Oversight Board which would be charged with investigating citizen complaints, promoting police accountability, and serving as an independent voice for citizens.

Genuario Elected President of Home Builders Association

Second generation home builder to lead state-wide association

Louis Genuario, Jr., a native of Mount Vernon and second generation home builder and developer, has been elected by his peers in the home building industry to lead the 3,237-member Home Builders Association of Virginia. His election comes at a critical juncture in the history of the association because of economic, regulatory, and political issues.

Encouraging Volunteering by Example

Queenie Cox, a native of Gum Springs, has served for many years — and continues to serve — as an advocate on behalf of the Gum Springs community and for the betterment of the entire Mount Vernon area in a leadership role on various committees of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations.

Dueling Farmers Market Surveys

Latest survey reveals widespread support for a farmers market at Belle View Shopping Center.

The future of the scope, character, number of markets and location of the Mount Vernon Farmers Market continues to be an intensely debated local issue.

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Preparing for ‘Silver Tsunami’

Community forums seek ideas for updating county‘s Older Adults Action Plan.

The 50+ Action Plan Community Forum held in the South County government center on June 19 was one of numerous forums to be held county-wide over the next several months as part of an effort to update an Older Adults Action Plan initially adopted by the county in 2007.

Safe to Eat Potomac Offerings?

States advise which to avoid, which to limit, due to PCBs and methyl mercury.

Recreational and subsistence fishermen who catch fish on the Potomac River and its tributaries beware: Resident largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, yellow perch, eel, and migratory striped bass (rockfish) and white perch, and other fish contain unhealthy levels of PCBs, methyl mercury, and pesticides.

Bryant Fulfills Its Alternative Role

Graduation on Tuesday evening, June 13, was attended by parents and friends of the graduates, teachers and administrators. However, it was also attended by state and local government officials, business representatives, former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Domenech, and the new Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza.

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Authority Renames Park’s Visitors Center for Hoffman

In recogniton of Norma Hoffman’s commitment to environmental protection.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has decided to name the Huntley Meadows Park Visitor’s Center after Norma Hoffman fro her long-time commitment to the park.

Cox Narrows Digital Divide

New program offers low cost internet service to disadvantaged families.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by about 100 people on Monday, June 3, at the Murraygate Village Community Center located near the Hybla Valley Shopping Center off of Richmond Highway, Cox Cable executives from Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, and their national offices, announced the launch of Connect2Compete Virginia, a national non-profit program to provide broadband internet access in their homes to families with children (K-12) who participate in the national free school lunch program by offering discounted high speed internet service.

Roads and Veterans

Puller reviews her legislative priorities.

Reflecting back on the past General Assembly session, state Sen. Linda “Toddy” Puller (D-36) said over the Memorial Day weekend that the “passage of transportation legislation was the most important funding bill in 27 years; not since former Gov. Gerald Baliles’ transportation legislation was enacted has there been a transportation bill more important. … We very much needed an infusion of cash for both maintenance and new construction and this legislative package will provide it.”

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Working To Help Ex-Offenders

Local probation office reintegrates ex-offenders into community.

As a longstanding observer of criminal behavior trends Lisa Stapleton, a 21-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections and, since 2007, chief of Probation and Parole of Alexandria, said, “80 percent of our adult offenders on probation have committed crimes because they have at one time or another been involved in substance abuse violations … and I would also say that we are much more aware that the source of problems for many offenders entering into criminal behavior are untreated or unresolved mental health issues.

Bridging Students’ Digital Divide

WPHS hosts community outreach event.

This past Monday evening, May 19, Fairfax County Public Schools conducted the first of 10 community outreach sessions countywide intended to engage interested parents, community leaders and others in helping the school system to develop a vision and plan for the future of digital learning in the Fairfax county public school system.

Aerial Spraying Program Criticized

County targets canker worm moth.

Despite concerns voiced by residents and the Audubon Society, Fairfax County conducted aerial and ground spraying on Monday, April 22, using the pesticide Bacillus thuringienisis (Bt) to kill the canker worm moth in six areas of the Mount Vernon Magisterial District, including the Hollin Hall and Paul Spring Parkway area in the Fort Hunt neighborhood.

Picking Up 474 Bags of Trash

Friends of Little Hunting Creek help clean up local waterway.

For the 11th year, Friends of Little Hunting Creek, led by its president Betsy Martin, and a group of 191 volunteers, picked up 474 bags of trash and recyclables, 43 tires, 19 shopping carts and other items such as sofas, traffic cones, air conditioner, bed springs, bike, kitchen sink, and more.

Meet New SFDC Executive Director

Edythe Frankel Kelleher appointed last month.

Edythe Frankel Kelleher, recently appointed executive director of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, may be the first true “homegrown” executive director in a long line of staff director’s appointed in the past several years by the SFDC. Previous executive directors lived outside of Fairfax County.

Local Author Writes First Novel

Stephen D. Hayes, a Belle Haven resident since 1976, has written a fictionalized story that combines his love of sailing with his wartime experiences gained while serving for two years in the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam war.

The Forces That Shape Mount Vernon

Transit study to relieve Route 1 corridor traffic gridlock; boundary studies to relieve overcrowded schools.

The decision several years ago by the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to massively expand the Fort Belvoir military base on Route 1 near Woodlawn Plantation will continue to be felt by the Mount Vernon community in many ways and for years to come.

Community Leaders Outline High Priority Local Issues

Community leaders and elected officials detail the issues they see as important in the Mount Vernon area.

Retiring Manager Honored

The Ivy Hill Cemetery Historical Preservation Society honored Ivy Hill General Manager Tom Bowling on June 6 for 50 years of service to the cemetery.

Planning Delays Vote on Dog Park

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted May 31 to defer a final vote on the proposed Interim Off Leash Dog Park (OLDA) for Westgrove Park until July 19.

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Good Weather for a Car Wash

Boy Scout Troop #1509 held a car wash fundraiser at St. Luke’s Church on Saturday, May 26 to benefit the Scout troop and contribute funds for a summer Maine adventure trip. Adult leaders are, left in uniform, John Dacey and, far right not in uniform, Sylvain Richard.

Police Shoot Resident Brandishing Knife

Fairfax County Police shot a 61-year-old man who confronted them with a knife during the process of attempting to serve him with an arrest warrant for destruction of property. The wounded subject was “noncompliant,” according to the information provided by the police department. The shooting occurred at an apartment in the 5700 block of Old Mill Court on Monday, May 28. Four officers were involved in the incident.

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Need for Police Oversight Continues

Coalition reaffirms effort to establish Police Citizens Oversight Board.

Nicholas Beltrante’s effort to gain the support of the Board of Supervisors to create a Police Citizen Oversight Board would be, if his proposal is accepted, similar to the ones formed in other cities and counties in the U.S.