Stories for December 2012

Stories for December 2012


Friday, December 21

Touching For Sure, But Not Always

Usually, but not always, when I show for my scheduled post-chemotherapy/post-scan appointment with my oncologist, I am physically examined (touching, feeling). Recently, due to some enhanced computer and facility upgrades, I was shown the actual scans, digitized. However, on more than one occasion over the last 18 months or so, after we discussed the results of my most recent CT Scan – and lab work, no physical exam was performed. Apparently, as I later learned, the good results from my scan sort of trumps any need to feel for physical manifestations.

Tease photo

How the Powerless Access Power

Immigrants make significant gains in influencing political system.

On Election Night Nov. 6, Keisy Chavez’s nerves were frayed. The Fairfax single mom had been campaigning hard for Democrats since the official launch of Latinos for Obama last April.


Forty-five months later, I am still dealing with feelings – as in still living, for which I am amazingly fortunate. However, those feelings seem to sometimes have a mind of their own, and accordingly tend to take over and rewire one’s brain (figuratively speaking).

Tease photo

Contractors Call Holidays Ideal Time to Ponder Remodeling Projects

Local contractors say that the holidays offer an opportunity to consider home renovations.

While the holidays can bring glad tidings and cheer, they can also spark an interest in remodeling, say some local contractors.

Thursday, December 20

Tease photo

An Alexandria Homecoming at the 9:30 Club

Two bands with T.C. Williams roots to celebrate the world still spinning this weekend.

Two Alexandria-based bands are joining forces for what's bound to be a feel-good show at the 9:30 Club this weekend. Virginia Coalition, a group of guys that have been making the rounds in rock clubs since their high school days at T.C. Williams and better known to their fans as VACO, are hosting Rock-A-Pocalypse on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Wednesday, December 19

Avoiding Jet Lag

Medical experts offer suggestions for those traveling across multiple time zones during the holidays.

Every December, Linda McDonald travels from her Oak Hill home to Stockton, Calif., to visit her family for Christmas. She tries to head west a few days before the holiday, but often leaves on Christmas Eve, and arrives feeling hazy and sluggish.

Tease photo

Cosmetic Dentistry for Children

Whether it’s to replace a tooth that was lost or broken during a hockey game or to create a Hollywood-smile before taking the stage for a school play, pediatric dentists say an increasing number of children are undergoing cosmetic dental procedures.

Present Needing to be Accounted For

As a stage IV non-small cell lung cancer diagnosee/patient/survivor/anomaly, living long--whether prospering or not, is not the simple and presumptive proposition I had anticipated. No more do I anticipate living the same number of years and in the same relative good health that my parents (both deceased), experienced well into their 80s. Now, my life revolves around my oncologist and the CT Scans and lab work that precede our recurring appointments.

A Life Lesson in Giving Back

An immigrant’s son becomes state delegate and introduces the Virginia DREAM Act.

My father was born in a small town in the Andes mountains region of Venezuela. He was one of 22 brothers and sisters from the same parents. At the age of 19 he came to this country with $280 in his pocket and the dream of a better life. He worked as a bus boy and waiter, learned English, and went to school. He graduated from Northern Virginia Community College when I was 5 years old. He then took one class a semester at George Mason University every year, until he graduated from college one month before I graduated from Robinson High School in Fairfax. As a result of his achieving the American Dream, my father was able to change the lives of my entire family in Latin America.

Pay Now, Bye Later

Contrary to last week’s column, if I do pay for it now (things I can’t afford), then I’ll be so in debt later that I may end up saying “bye” anyway--from the stress of it. And if that were to happen; dying with a smile on my face, so to speak, would I be truly better off now anticipating that later was not going to be my problem? Do I want to be a modern day version of George Raft, the American actor from the 1930s and 40s best known for his portrayals of mobsters, who said about his Hollywood money: “I must have gone through $10 million during my career. Part of the loot went for gambling, part for horses and part for women. The rest I spent foolishly.”

Dance Team Wins at Winterfest

At the Dec. 15 Winterfest Cheer and Dance Competition at CD Hylton High School, the Carl Sandburg Middle School Dance Team, competing in the middle school category, won 1st place trophies in Pom, Lyrical, Captains Dance, and the Solo categories.

Column: Texting And Driving

At 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2011, 18-year-old Kyle Rowley was driving home from his summer job down Route 7 near the Fairfax County line when his car ran out of gas. He pulled his car into the right-hand lane, turned on his flashers and got out to push his car off the road.

Tease photo

Legislators Are Not Gun Shy About Responding to Connecticut Shooting

Should access to guns be limited or expanded?

Last year's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has already prompted a heated debate about gun control in Virginia, where the upcoming session of the General Assembly is likely to feature a number of bills on both sides of the issue.

Tuesday, December 18

Immigrant Experience Guides Success

Delegate Mark L. Keam

Del. Mark Keam (D-35) is the first Korean American and the first Asian-born immigrant to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.

Immigrants Gain Influence in Virginia

Immigrants make significant gains in influencing political system.

On Election Night Nov. 6, Keisy Chavez’s nerves were frayed. The Fairfax single mom had been campaigning hard for Democrats since the official launch of Latinos for Obama last April.

Classified Advertising Dec. 19, 2012

Read the lastest ads here!

Enhanced Security Around Schools

FCPS releases message about Connecticut tragedy.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Superintendent Jack Dale sent an email message to all FCPS families and employees. He said the Fairfax County Police Department will be increasing patrols and visibility this week around all FCPS schools, including elementary schools, in response to Friday's tragedy in Connecticut.

Monday, December 17

Tease photo

Going Casual for a Cause

Nearly 10,000 people and 130-plus organizations participate in Jeans Day 2012 to help end homelessness.

Nearly 10,000 residents representing 130 businesses, Fairfax County agencies, schools and organizations pulled on their favorite jeans Friday, Dec. 14 for the second annual Jeans Day—a powerful community initiative that aims to “Put the ZIP on Homelessness” through building awareness and fundraising.

Tease photo

Understanding Yoga

Local yogis explain popular styles of yoga.

Joanna Mosely says she can’t tell a downward facing dog from a baby cobra. She belts out a perplexed “huh?” when asked if she knew the difference between Ashtanga and Bikram.

Tease photo

Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

Nutritionists say merriment doesn’t have to lead to bulge.

Festive holidays are filled with sweet treats from eggnog and cider to fruitcake and chocolate bonbons.

Tease photo

Keys to Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season

Finding balance can preserve one’s well-being.

Food, festivities and friends are synonymous with the holidays. However, celebrations can take a toll on your health.

Tease photo

Brief: Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Installs New Leadership

Brief: There were multiple transfers of the torch at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Installation Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 6 at NVAR Headquarters in Fairfax

Thursday, December 13

Classified Advertising Dec. 12, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

Editorial: Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

We are a nation of immigrants, to invoke the title of John F. Kennedy’s posthumously published book; undeniably a nation descended from immigrants and a nation greatly augmented by immigration. From this perspective, with the first immigrants motivated by the search for religious freedom, even Christmas is a religious holiday of immigrants.

Herdon Teen's Death May Lead to Legislation Targeting Texting While Driving

Bill targets drivers using handheld device for something other than verbal communication.

Kyle Rowley was on his way home on a Sunday night in 2011 when he ran out of gas near the border between Loudoun County and Fairfax County.

Wednesday, December 12

Tease photo

West Potomac Boys’ Basketball Rallies to Beat TC

Wolverines overcome 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Titans.

The West Potomac boys' basketball team defeated T.C. Williams, 54-51, on Dec. 11.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Athletic Club Awarded

The Mount Vernon Athletic Club was honored at USTA/Virginia Tennis 2012 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Oct. 20 at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

Tease photo

Fairfax County's Holiday Season

A collection of events to fill your days with cheer.

Make every last day of the year a festive one, be warmed by the holiday spirit of the season and spend time with friends and family--Fairfax County has something for everyone to take joy in before the year is up.

Tuesday, December 11

Tease photo

Sikhs Bring Foundation of ‘Service to Others’

Fairfax Station temple active in community outreach.

On a recent Thursday evening, Ajaib Singh, 78, one of the founding members of the Sikh Foundation of Virginia, politely escorts a visitor to the area where one removes shoes and dons a headscarf.

Tease photo

Dynamic and Diverse

New immigrants bring religious diversity to Fairfax County.

At the intersection of Hooes Road and Silverbrook Drive, on the dividing line between Lorton and Fairfax Station, is the largest Hindu structure in three states.

Tease photo

Bienvenido! Huān yíng! Welcome!

Chantilly Bible Church thrives on diversity by providing outreach to immigrants.

Pastor Isaac Huang vividly remembers the day he landed in the United States from Taiwan. It was Jan. 7, 1982, and Huang, 25, was looking forward to studying computer science at Old Dominion University.

Tease photo

Being Muslim in Fairfax County

Immigrants face the challenge of balancing Islamic faith and American culture.

Over the years, Muslims from different countries migrated and settled in the Fairfax County area; however, the children of immigrant parents often struggle the most because they have to balance their Islamic faith along with the influence of American culture.

Friday, December 7

Classified Advertising Dec. 5, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

Thursday, December 6

Mount Vernon Ends Oakton’s 34-Game Winning Streak

Shannon’s 26 points lead Majors to 68-52 victory at Oakton.

The Mount Vernon girls' basketball team is off to a 2-0 start.

Immigration Assistance Organizations

A list of some local non-profit organizations that provide immigration assistance, also provided by Fairfax County at

Editorial: Holiday Revels With a Safety Net

A serious backup, but seriously, make a plan ahead of time.

You know the drill, the five-to-seven or six-to-eight drop-in happy hour, you've been invited to five of them, and you could attend an infinite number of these between now and the second day of 2013. And there are many other varieties of holiday festivities, many involving more than a drink or two. So make a plan.

Tease photo

Use of Food Stamps Skyrocketing in Northern Virginia

Program doubles in Arlington, triples in Fairfax and quadruples in Alexandria.

The use of food stamps is skyrocketing in Northern Virginia, and the spike isn’t just about the recession.

Wednesday, December 5

Letter: Cost of Social Services Programs

To the Editor: The Obama administration actions have been increasing dependency instead of creating jobs, upward mobility and self sufficiency.

Tease photo

Thompson Earns Research Grant

Dr. Robert Thompson, son of Ted and Lynn Thompson, has been awarded a Marsden Fund Fast Start grant totalling $345,000 over three years to continue his work on transformation optics and cloaking.

Tease photo

Working Together on Toy Drive

Occasionally Cake partners with Firefighters and Friends Toy Drive.

When Sabrina Campbell volunteered to help put together a tribute to local police and firefighters, she had no idea the event would lead to a chance meeting with Capt. Willie Bailey, founder of the Firefighters and Friends Holiday Toy Drive.

Tease photo

Day Shifts, Night Shifts On the Road to Success

An Indian immigrant’s story: Making it and giving back.

When the chain pharmacy he worked for opened a drive-through pharmacy, it was the final straw for Amit Shah of Fairfax.

Letter: Tribute To Sengel

To the Editor: I extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to retiring Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengel for his tireless and exemplary service to our community.

Letter: Enforce Current Zoning Regulations

To the Editor: As Michael Lee Pope’s article entitled “Fee Could Make Impact” (Nov. 29, Mount Vernon Gazette) correctly explains, Fairfax County does not ask developers for transportation infrastructure improvements for “by right” projects.

Tease photo

Building a Better Life

An Afghan immigrant’s story: From Soviet war to American Dream.

“Personally, I never think anyone is better than me, and I never think I’m better than anyone,” Bob Zahory of Centreville chuckles as he offers up another pomegranate lemonade.

Tease photo

Living Life in ‘The Dream Land’

Jorge Adeler shares his story of the American Dream coming true.

The American Dream has been shared for generations—some call it an idea; others call it a reality. Many people come leaving behind former lives in search for better ones, not only for themselves but also for their children.

Tease photo

Social Programs Adapt To Fulfill Immigrant Needs

Fellowship House, Interfaith help immigrants on their way to self-sufficiency.

A visitor to Hunter’s Woods Fellowship House in Hunter’s Woods Square in Reston could hear 21 different languages.