Stories for March 2012

Stories for March 2012


Thursday, March 29

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Harry ‘Bud’ Hart Recommends: ‘Be Other-Centered’

“If you’ve got a gift, spread it around.”

“Mr. Bud’s coming! Mr. Bud’s coming! Mr. Bud’s coming to read to us!” For more than 20 years, that has been the chant of children at ALIVE! who, literally, hang on every word that Harry “Bud” Hart reads to them.

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Youth Showcase Theatrical Talents

Last weekend parents and patrons were treated to a showcase of rising talent on stage at the Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Toast to Fashion Benefits Campagna

Fundraiser sparkles with fashion, food and fun.

With glittering displays of spring fashion trends and accessories, the ballroom of the Belle Haven Country Club was transformed into a fashion-lover’s dream during the Campagna Center’s 13th annual Toast to Fashion on Thursday, March 22.

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'The Rock Stars Of Alexandria'

Salute to Women Awards 2012.

The Alexandria Commission for Women held its 32nd annual Salute to Women Awards March 26 in a ceremony that honored 14 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community.

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Spring Fever! in Alexandria

Record-breaking temperatures made it feel like Spring long before it became official March 21. And just as the blossoms all over town are breaking out of their winter hibernation, so are activities that make Alexandria come alive. From festivals to fairs, Little League games, theater classes and garden tours, Alexandria offers something for every form of Spring Fever.

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‘Land of Eternal Spring’ Blesses Volunteers

International charity workers visit Aldersgate.

“The Land of Eternal Spring” is what Guatemalans call their country, and Aldersgate United Methodists doing mission work there return home to the States feeling renewed and blessed.

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Stratford Landing Raises More Than $24,000

Families from the Stratford Landing Elementary community enjoyed an evening of fun while raising more than $24,000 at the school’s annual Spring Fling/Silent Auction and Ice Cream Social Friday night, March 23.

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Walt Whitman Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Walt Whitman Middle School opened in 1961, the school facility has moved three times and is now located near the intersection of Parkers Lane and Sherwood Hall Lane in Mount Vernon.

Status Quo Of Gridlock

In the March 22, 2012 article entitled “Hyland Calls For Meal Tax,” the supervisor correctly notes that money is needed for schools and roads. Fairfax County cannot continue to rely only upon the real-estate tax for revenue. The Mount Vernon Visioning Task Force, Transportation Committee, recommended that Fairfax County adopt and impose the transportation impact fee that the Virginia Assembly authorized in 1989.

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Mother Nature Is Local Resident

Some in the Mount Vernon area think Mother Nature moved away, perhaps to the shore or the mountains. Not true. She still lives in the neighborhood and likes folks to visit. Two locations stand out.

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Adelia H. Baldwin Dies

Adelia H. Baldwin, 81, long-time resident of Stratford Landing and Stratford Woman’s Club member, died on March 21, 2012 in Annapolis, Md. Delia was born on May 27, 1930 to Leonard E. and Mattalee Hoefgen in San Antonio, Texas. She attended Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va. and received a bachelor of arts in elementary education from The University of Texas at Austin. On Feb. 14, 1950, Delia met her husband-to-be, Jess Baldwin, on a blind date, and they married two years later on June 9, 1952. A consummate military wife, Delia packed, moved, and resettled her family in 18 locations, which included a tour in Nuremberg, Germany, during Jess’ 29-year U.S. Army career.

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Cynthia Nan Hull Dies

Cynthia Nan Hull, executive director of United Community Ministries in Alexandria, died March 16, 2012 from complications of non-smoker's lung cancer at Mount Desert Island Hospital, Bar Harbor, Maine.

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Letter to Editor: Appreciate Support

Earlier this month, we traveled to Orlando, Fla. to compete in the National Dance Alliance (NDA) National Championship. Being invited to this competition was a tremendous honor and an incredible experience that we will always remember. We were one of only three teams (out of 88) who were there for the first time.

Letter: Status Quo of Gridlock

In the March 22, 2012 article entitled “Hyland Calls For Meal Tax,” the supervisor correctly notes that money is needed for schools and roads.

Letter: Fails To Address Voter ID Issue

In my letter of March 15, I noted Queenie Cox's playing of the race card in her previous letter in response to my opposition to Virginia House of Delegates bill no. HB16.

Letter: Re-examine Budget

Supervisor Hyland's call to add a 4 percent tax to restaurant meals is a bad idea. Restaurateurs have been badly hurt by the three-year recession and they need a period of recovery.

Letter: Live Within One’s Means

As a resident of the Mount Vernon community for 36 years, I enjoy the Gazette every week.

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Letter: Appreciate Support

The West Potomac Dance Team would like to thank the local community (including the Gazette), our sponsors*, the West Potomac Office of Student Activities and administration, and our families for supporting our “Road to Nationals.” We couldn’t have done it without all of you. The West Potomac Dance Team would like to thank the local community (including the Gazette), our sponsors*, the West Potomac Office of Student Activities and administration, and our families for supporting our “Road to Nationals.” We couldn’t have done it without all of you.

Voter Registration At Gum Springs

The Fairfax County Women in the NAACP (WIN) voter registration drives will be held Thursday, March 29, 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, March 31, 2-4 p.m. at the Gum Springs Community Center, 8100 Fordson Road.

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Sabatier Named FCPS Teacher of Year

Charles Sabatier, a physics teacher at Mount Vernon High School, has been named the Fairfax County Public Schools 2012 Teacher of the Year. Sabatier will represent FCPS in Virginia’s Teacher of the Year competition; the winner will be announced in the fall.

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West Potomac Softball Produces Torrid Offensive Start

Wolverines hit seven home runs in first four games.

Danielle McHugh started West Potomac’s weekend long-ball party with a leadoff home run against West Springfield.

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West Potomac Seniors Underwood, McHugh to Compete in College Athletics

West Potomac seniors Sarah Jane Underwood and Danielle McHugh signed National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. Underwood, a standout cross country and track athlete, will run for Penn State University and McHugh will play softball at Tennessee Tech.

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Fairfax Board of Supervisors Considers Raising Stormwater Management Fee

One-penny hike on property tax could raise $35 million for projects throughout the county.

When it rains, it pours. That’s why Fairfax County taxpayers may have to fork over more money this year for stormwater management.

Wednesday, March 28

17 New Artists join Torpedo Factory Through Annual Jury Process

The Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association welcomes seventeen new artists through the annual jury held March 19-23 at the art center. An outside panel of art experts made the selection from among 84 artists who applied during this year’s annual jury process.

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Midori and Friends Visit T.C. Williams

It was the chance of a lifetime for members of the T.C. Williams High School youth orchestra as world-renown Midori spent March 27 coaching aspiring musicians as part the legendary violinist's week-long Orchestra Residencies Program.

Fine Arts for March 28

March 23 to May 6 "In Medusa's Company." Ceramic artist Judith Kornett's works at the Schlesinger Center Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Opening Reception Saturday, March 31, from 3 – 5 p.m. with Artist’s Talk at 4 p.m.

Calendar for March 28

E-mail announcements to the Gazette, Photos and artwork are encouraged. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week's paper. Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with questions.

Classified Advertising

See the latest Employment, Home and Garden, and classifieds!

Column: Peculiar Presence

In the last few months, out of the blue, I have received electronic correspondence from each of my three oldest childhood friends (none of whom have remained adulthood friends, though all three remain of interest to me) commenting on my cancer diagnosis; each having stumbled across one of my cancer columns online, presumably after initiating a Google-type search for yours truly.

Tuesday, March 27

NOVA Women Capture State Basketball Crown

Vienna’s Carlie Zirkle earns MVP honors.

The Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) women’s basketball team won the 2012 Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Championship by defeating Southside Virginia Community College, 48-26. The tournament was held March 2-4 in Chesapeake. Former Marshall High standout Carlie Zirkle (Vienna) received the most valuable player honor and was named to the All-Tournament team, along with Halley Cummins (Vienna) and Yvette Gilliam (Woodbridge).

Editorial: Interrupting Harassment and Bullying

Empowering bystanders to intervene, students to set boundaries.

With a controversial and much discussed new movie, "Bully," coming out this week, local school districts continue to wrestle with the issue of bullying in the schools.

Thursday, March 22

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Centreville Author Publishes Lessons From Counterinsurgencies

Lessons from historic counter insurgencies come to light in “Isolating the Guerilla,” a new book by Centreville resident Lieutenant Colonel Michael Trevett, chief of Aerial Sensors Branch with the Intelligence and Security Command at Ft. Belvoir.

Letter: Community Disconnect?

The silly season is upon us, the time of year in which the Mount Vernon Council (MVCCA) passes budget resolutions in which it urges the Board of Supervisors to raise every conceivable tax so that sufficient funding is available for the progressive spending the MVCCA supports. This year is no different.

Letter: Falling from Middle Class to Poverty

While the economy shows signs of improving, many in our area are still facing hardships and struggling to make ends meet.

Letter: Problem with Assuming

Can you tell a person's race merely by the color of their skin? Apparently, H. Jay Spiegel can.

Letter: Government Intrusion

In my previous letter, in response to H. Jay Spiegel’s commentary on Del. Scott Surovell’s voting record during this year’s legislative session, I asked how Mr. Spiegel could “suggest that any of Del. Surovell’s positions rise to anywhere near the level of ‘government intrusion in our lives’ represented by the infamous ‘personhood’ and ‘trans-vaginal ultrasound’ bills.”

Letter: Changes Ensure Ballot Integrity

Ensuring the integrity of the ballot box is just as important as ensuring that everyone has access to the voting booth. And while hardly the strictest in the nation, Virginia’s new voter ID law allows for other forms of ID to be used if a driver’s license is not available on Election Day. Furthermore, a voter without a photo ID can still vote using a provisional ballot — and such ballots are available at every polling station.

Aldersgate Methodists Confront a Mountain

Cinderblock after cinderblock, hefting trowel after trowel of mortar, mission trip after mission trip, Aldersgate United Methodists are intent on transforming an impoverished Guatemala community perched 12,500 feet up on San Antonio Mountain.

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At Engineering Fair

Megan McKinney, a junior at Mount Vernon High School, stands next to her finished project board in the Robinson Secondary School field house just before the start of the 57th Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair on March 16.

Column: Breast Cancer Charities - Knowledge is Power

Recent controversial decisions made by the Susan G. Komen organization have thrust the ethics of breast cancer fundraising into the national spotlight. While Komen's choice of fund allocations threatened their status as a non-partisan entity, the practices of breast cancer charities as a whole are being closely examined.

Teen Arrested After Pursuit

An Alexandria teenager faces numerous charges after leading Virginia State Police in a pursuit through Prince William County Monday, March 12. The 17-year-old male is being charged with reckless driving, driving on a revoked license, possession of a stolen vehicle and one felony count of eluding police.

Margaret Brennan Danaher

Margaret Brennan Danaher, born Nov. 12, 1917, died on March 10, 2012, in Coronado, Calif., after a short illness. Margaret was born and raised in Covington, Ky.

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Learning To Clean Teeth

Alaris Bentley, 9, played the role of dentist and leaned the dentist’s chair back to examine Dr. Angela Austin’s teeth at Alexandria Children’s Dentistry.

Taylor Run

Successful Blind Date

Krista Kendlmyer, born and raised in New Jersey, went to Texas to visit her brother in 1979; there she went on a blind date with Karl Kendall, a petroleum engineer working for an oil company down there.

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Space-Struck Resident

Wernher von Braun —centennial of his birth is March 23 — came to rest locally.

For his entire life, Wernher von Braun looked up and wished to be one with the stars. In the end, he became one with the earth, and that earthly plot is in Alexandria.

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Fitzgerald’s Warehouse

The city of Alexandria enjoys a rich and colorful history, one that began in colonial times and has encompassed periods of industrial concentration, wartime pressures and residential booms.

Letter: Appropriate Action Taken

I am surprised by the continuing debate about the school system's CIP budgeting deficiencies. The superintendent's review of vendor complaints uncovered these actions. The superintendent promptly brought the facts to the School Board. The School Board promptly authorized an independent inquiry.

Letter: City Needs To Explain Budget

Although City Council reportedly instructed the city manager to submit a budget that does not raise taxes (it is an election year), he submitted a budget that does take more money from us.

Letter: Violating Scenic Easements

Last Month, I appeared before the City Council to venerate the George Washington Memorial Parkway. So you can imagine my disappointment about the following proposal, apparently being pushed by the City and according to National Park Services, quite forcefully.

Letter: Bolster Sense Of Community

Is Alexandria’s sense of community being undermined by city budget cuts? I don’t know the answer to this, but it’s a question worthy of debate.

Letter: Appointed School Board Needed

Regarding the recent news of the report/study done by the accounting firm of Robinson,Farmer, Cox Association for ACPS, isn't it amazing how Superintendent Sherman completely attempts to divert attention from his responsibility as superintendent of Alexandria Public Schools and points the finger of blame on upper management employees who have either resigned or been terminated.

Letter: Think Things Through

Councilwoman Hughes is and was correct in her "fiscal budgetary" no vote on opening a continuing education facility at Landmark Mall.

Letter: No Need For Cars?

Michael Lee Pope’s “Parking the Guests”, although a mere news brief, puts in sharp relief the lies developers and their city hall allies peddle to the public under the “transit-oriented development” fad du jour.

Letter: City’s Students Deserve Better

The people of Alexandria would be wise to recall the headlines of 2004 when ACPS Superintendent Rebecca Perry was arrested for driving while intoxicated as she left a school board meeting; that is, as she left work.

Keepers of the Flame

SSA gala to honor family service legacies.

Pearl S. Buck once said that the test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members. For Senior Services of Alexandria Executive Director Janet Barnett, the mission to help Alexandria care for some of the city's most vulnerable citizens is vital and will take center stage as the annual Generation to Generation Gala honors three families for their legacy of service.

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Learning Behind Bars

Inmate appreciates jail high school program.

Terrance Kerney had to come east to earn his high school education. Of course, his original intent wasn’t to come from Los Angeles to Alexandria to go to class.

Lockwood Celebrates 40 Years with Coldwell Banker

Anne Lockwood, sales associate at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Alexandria/Old Town Office, recently celebrated her 40th year with Coldwell Banker.

Firefighters Extinguish Fire in Basement

The Alexandria Fire Department, with the assistance of Arlington and Fairfax County Fire Departments, responded to a report of smoke filling a home in the 1200 block of Janneys Lane on March 9 at 8:21 a.m. Firefighters arrived within 4 minutes of being dispatched and found smoke on the first floor and basement of a single family home.

Classified Advertising

The Latest Employment, Home and Garden, and Classified Ads!

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Susan Makara Named 2012 Friends of the Torpedo Factory Artist of the Year

The Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center named Susan Makara, TFAA artist, as the 2012 Artist of the Year on Feb. 9. Laurie Fields was named runner-up.

Mount Vernon School Notes March 21

Send announcements to the Mount Vernon Gazette, by e-mail to Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos are encouraged. Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with questions.

Bulletin Board March 21

To have a notice listed, e-mail Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with questions.

Military Notes March 21

Air Force Airman Nicholas J. Cahill graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Jill Timberlake of Franconia Road, Alexandria. The airman is a 2009 graduate of Thomas Edison High School, Alexandria.

Fine Arts for March 21 to 28

March 23 to May 6 "In Medusa's Company." Ceramic artist Judith Kornett's works at the Schlesinger Center Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Opening Reception Saturday, March 31, from 3 – 5 p.m. with Artist’s Talk at 4 p.m.

Calendar for March 21

E-mail announcements to the Gazette, Photos and artwork are encouraged. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week's paper. Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with questions.

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Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland Calls for Meals Tax in Fairfax County

Adding 4 percent to restaurant meals could raise $80 million for roads and schools.

Supervisor Gerry Hyland has his eye on that burrito.

Wednesday, March 21

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Mount Vernon Boys’ Lax Wins District Opener

Mount Vernon senior Shoshone Smith totaled eight goals in the Majors’ first two games.

Six different Majors scored a goal as Mount Vernon jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 6-3 win against Yorktown on March 16 at MVHS.

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Does Music Make Children Smarter?

During Music In Our Schools Month, musicians raise awareness of impact of music education on lives of students.

Can playing the piano strengthen a child’s reading and math skills? Can joining a school band be a catalyst for building self-confidence? Does one develop strong analytical abilities by taking violin lessons? Some music experts say yes.

MV Goalkeeper Belanger Leaves Team

Mount Vernon junior goalkeeper Lucas Belanger, an all-state performer, has left the boys’ soccer team, head coach Robert Garza said Monday, March 19.

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'Brother Russia' Comes to Life at Signature Theater

Born in a remote Siberian village, he was raised impoverished and uneducated yet became powerful enough to infiltrate a Russian dynasty. Such was the journey of Grigori Rasputin, whose story is brought to life in the world premier musical of “Brother Russia,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

Exciting All-Star Afternoon

Concorde/Patriot All-Stars beat the Liberty/National team 109-108 in overtime.

West Potomac's Bryant Fultz threw down a fourth-quarter alley-oop dunk from fellow Wolverine Randall Brobbey, scored a team-high 15 points and earned game MVP honors as the Concorde/Patriot All-Stars defeated the Liberty/National team 109-108 in overtime at Wakefield High School.

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Risky Behavior by the Numbers

Youth Survey highlights risks, assets for students.

Periodically, Fairfax County conducts a youth survey which polls thousands of students to get a glimpse into issues of substance abuse, antisocial behaviors as well as factors such as mental health and civic engagements.

Tuesday, March 20

Editorial: ‘Practices That Undermine Trust’

Virginia gets a failing grade on ethics rules.

The State Integrity Investigation is "designed to expose practices that undermine trust in state capitols — and spotlight the states that are doing things right."

Column: “Here, There And Everywhere”

The Beatles sang it on their “Revolver” album back in the mid 60s. My wife and I danced to it in the late 70s when we selected it as “first song as husband and wife” – in 1978. And recently we felt it, three years after my stage IV lung cancer diagnosis, as our reaction/assessment to the many similarly diagnosed individuals who’ve shared their lung cancer stories with us. Who knew?

Thursday, March 15

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Mount Vernon Captain Oakley Returns from Broken Leg

Majors enter season with state tournament aspirations.

Amardo Oakley served as motivation in spirit to the Mount Vernon boys’ soccer team during its 2011 season opener. One year later, a healthy Oakley is back to motivate his teammates in the flesh.

Calendar for March 15-21

E-mail announcements to the Gazette, Photos and artwork are encouraged. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week's paper. Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with questions.

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'Hairspray' Leads LTA to 17 WATCH Awards

The Little Theatre of Alexandria was the big winner at this year's Washington Area Community Theatre Honors Awards (WATCH), taking home 17 trophies at the March 11 ceremony at The Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria.

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Jazzercise Instructor Marks 25 Years

Twenty-five years ago, Whitney Houston’s song, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" was in the Top Ten List. That was also the same year that Mindy LaBruno, certified personal trainer, started her career as Jazzercise instructor.

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Heritage Presbyterian Church Celebrates 50 Years

For 50 years, Heritage Presbyterian Church has been an active place of worship in the Waynewood neighborhood of Alexandria. Honoring the past and looking toward the future, the congregation and friends of the church will celebrate this anniversary at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, with a special worship service and luncheon. The Rev. William Teng and Rev. Holly Davis, Heritage’s current pastors, will be joined in the pulpit this day by Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Larry Glassco, who was pastor of Heritage from 1975 to 1990.

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A Mission of Mercy Helps Hundreds

More than 800 residents receive free dental services during two-day event.

The triage center at Saturday’s Mission of Mercy Dental health clinic resembled a modern-day MASH unit.

The March for Art

Target Gallery partners with March of Dimes for outreach and support.

March Art Reach is in full swing at the Target Gallery, and Friday, March 16 offers an opportunity to purchase panel works by local artists at steep discounts.

Lt. Col. Wayne A. Babb (ret)

Lt. Col. Wayne A. Babb, USMC (ret), died recently at his home in Alexandria after a courageous fight with terminal illnesses.

Taylor Run

Joy filled the air as the students of St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes brought to life "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Seminary Valley

If it’s spring … the Austrian Exchange Program must be getting underway at T.C. Williams!

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Deputy Retires from U.S. Army Reserve

William L. Morgan served for 31 years.

Alexandria Sheriff's Deputy William L. Morgan retired from the U.S. Army Reserve earlier this month following a 31-year career.

Betty M. Miller

Betty M. Miller, of Haymarket, Va., formerly of Alexandria, died on March 1, 2012.

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Fairfax Honors Del Ray Resident

Willie Bailey recognized for 1,000 volunteer hours.

It was supposed to be a one-time event, a toy drive to help 50 struggling families in the Gum Springs community along the Route 1 corridor. But that was 15 years ago. Today, Capt. Willie Bailey's Firefighters and Friends annual toy drive serves more than 4,000 children in need throughout Northern Virginia.

Dorothy Moore Jones

Dorothy Moore Jones of Alexandria died on March 10, 2012.

Emily Marie (Anderson) Davis

Mrs. Emily Marie (Anderson) Davis, 69, beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend died on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at Alexandria Hospital from complications of lung cancer.

Letter: Elections for Family And Community

We need effective, sustainable solutions. When more than 100 million Americans are living in poverty, struggling to keep their homes, when millions of Americans are unemployed and others have given up, we need jobs.

Column: Session Ends with Last Minute State Pension Deal

Although we still did not pass a budget, the last week of session was an eventful week.

Firefighters Extinguish Fire in Basement of Home

At 8:21 am the Alexandria Fire Department, with the assistance of Arlington and Fairfax County Fire Departments, responded to a report of smoke filling a home in the 1200 block of Janneys Lane.

Volunteer For Cleanup Day

The Fairfax County Park Authority is looking for volunteers to wade into creeks and streams to remove litter and other debris on Watershed Clean-Up Day, Saturday, March 17. From 9 to 11:30 a.m. teams will descend into stream valleys near six parks to remove detritus deposited by litterbugs, floodwaters, and illegal dumping.

Celebrating Piano Restoration

In celebration of the restoration of its grand piano, Mount Vernon Unitarian Church will host a festive music and dance concert at 6 pm Sunday , March 18 at its chapel, 1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, just off Fort Hunt Rd.

Letter: A Tribute

To the Editor: I have had the honor of being involved in recreational basketball in the Mount Vernon area for more than a decade.

Business Networking

Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring St. Paddy’s Day Business Networking on Thursday, March 15, 5:30 to 7 p.m., hosted by ServiceMaster of Alexandria, 7551 Fordson Road, Alexandria.

Letter: From Taxation To Voter ID

To the Editor: In the March 1 Mount Vernon Gazette, Frank Medico, Jay McConville and I had our letters to the editor published discussing the legislative agenda of Del. Scott Surovell.

Church Hosts Book Sale

Mount Vernon Unitarian Church will hold its annual Used Book and Art Sale Thursday, March 22 though Saturday March 24. The books and art fill the Chapel and Hollin Hall.

Letter: Tracking Connolly’s Votes

To the Editor: After reading the self proclaimed fiscal moderate Congressman Gerald E. Connolly’s commentary published in the March 8-14 Mount Vernon Gazette about selected votes regarding the unemployed, seniors and federal employees costs,

Letter: Planners vs. Searchers

The critical knowledge that defines a place like Old Town is so special that it cannot be found anywhere but in the minds and hearts of those who live there. Searching out diverse, non-city appointed, residents to be a part of the startup design team that imagines the first design framework is crucial to producing a viable and unique expression of place.

Letter: Housing in Beauregard

To the Editor: Good planning is one of the main themes of my campaign for city council, and one of the most important things a city council member can influence.

Letter: Restoring Trust In School System

Public education funding in Alexandria has long been understood sacrosanct. As a result, when ACPS has sought funding increases from City Council, we’ve acquiesced.

Letter: Density Dominoes

To the Editor: What I’ve learned from the Waterfront contretemps is our elected and appointed city officials are playing a game of density dominoes.

Letter: Maintain Vigilance

Jack Lichtenstein [Letter, “Matter of Humanity”] takes to task my critique of Del. David Englin’s use of “baby” to describe a fetus. He hopes that “no amount of social engineering by big government and its enthusiasts will cause us … to check our humanity at the door.”

Letter: Spring Cleaning In Alexandria

Spring begins on March 20 and many in Alexandria will find themselves in the yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom, a traditional act that helps to keep everyone accountable.

Letter: Transportation Commission’s Role?

Unfortunately, the March 7 monthly meeting of the obscure Alexandria Transportation Commission wasn’t covered by cable TV as is done for sessions of the City Council — but perhaps it should have been.

Letter: City’s Vision Is Practical

Mr. Robert Pringle [Letter, “Vision-based Planning”] recently responded to my March 7 letter. His comments show a very different view than mine. Addressing his concerns is appropriate.

Wednesday, March 14

Classified Advertising

Read the lastest Classified and Employment ads!

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Virginia Officials Deliberately Moving Slowly on Health Care Exchange

If Supreme Court upholds health-care reform, governor would have to call special session.

Virginia has eight months to create a certification plan for how it plans to create a health-care exchange, a legal requirement of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Business Matters

How far did the empire of Orange Julius reach? What’s the capital of Banana Republic? Is Aeropostale aerodynamic?

Column: “Early Results Show Stable Disease”

There’s five words e-mailed from my oncologist that I can live with (Duh!). Certainly better than the previous nine words e-mailed eight weeks ago regarding my then current CT Scan: “Scan results show progression. We’ll talk more on Friday.”

Tuesday, March 13

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Local Designers Selected to Make Over D.C. Design House

Annual event raises money for Children's National Medical Center.

Some of the Washington area's top interior designers are unleashing their creative talent all in the name of charity. Organizers of the 2012 Washington, D.C. Design House announced the designers who will make over the 2012 D.C. Design Home.

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The Chateau in Oak Hollow

One of just four properties in Fairfax County listed at for sale for more than $10 million, this home sits on five acres in Clifton, and is for sale for $12.5 million. The other three properties are in McLean.

Editorial: So Hard to Imagine?

Poor families face challenges that officials and many of the rest of us have trouble envisioning.

The Commonwealth of Virginia and even Northern Virginia includes many poor families and individuals. But officials seem to have trouble wrapping their brains around some of the difficulties this can cause.

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Stakes Are High in Virginia Budget Standoff

Lawmakers flee Capitol, where partisan gridlock reigns.

The budget standoff in Richmond could have drastic consequences in Northern Virginia, where every service from education to transportation is on the line.

Monday, March 12

Calendar for March 8

E-mail announcements to the Gazette, Photos and artwork are encouraged. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week's paper. Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with questions.

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Fairfax Supervisors to Consider Even More Cuts to Library System

In the last four years, more than $5 million has been slashed from the library budget.

Walk into the Centreville Library and one is confronted with an institution in crisis.

Letter: Fiscally Prudent?

I am concerned by efforts to portray cuts to the state's safety net by the legislature as fiscally prudent while not harming Virginians with low incomes.

Letter: Serving Constituents

I find it fascinating that Mr. H. Jay Spiegel appears to have just discovered that Del. Scott Surovell votes (gasp!) left-of-center in the House. Even more entertaining is the implication that, after winning the election with almost 60 percent of the vote, he pulled a Romney-like switcheroo on our “somewhat moderate politically” district.

Letter: Standing Up For What’s Right

The bills that didn't pass listed by H. Jay Spiegel ("Truly Representative?" March 1-7, 2012) made me proud to have a delegate who is brave enough to depart from the "mainstream" in Richmond.

Letter: MVHS Crew Tag Day a Success

The Mount Vernon High School Crew Team would like to thank the local community for their continued support to our athletic program

Letter: Legislation Does Hurt the Poor

In last week’s Gazette, Jay McConville objects that the front page story, "New Laws Attack Poor" (Feb. 16-22, 2012) is filled with the assertion that "legislation promoting good financial stewardship … is an attack on the poor."

Letter: Reasonable, Not Radical

In the March 1 edition of the Mount Vernon Gazette, Jay Speigel criticized Del. Scott Surovell's support for a Republican Delegate's legislation to automatically restore the voting rights of nonviolent ex-felons.

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Warming Up For Festival Concert

The “Mirage” Advanced Women’s Chorus at Mount Vernon High School was in rehearsal on Tuesday, March 6, for this Thursday night’s “I Hear A Voice” Festival Concert in the Mount Vernon High School Little Theatre.

Column: Two Surovell Bills Become Law; State Budget Stalls

Governor McDonnell signed two of my bills into law on Feb. 29. One clarifies that when a person files an action for child custody, child support or spousal support, any powers of attorney between the parties would automatically terminate.

Column: Budget Stand Is About People

Democrats in Virginia’s State Senate voted down the Republican budget last week. Although this move is being used to label Democrats as obstructionists, the real story is much more complex. Senate Democrats are fighting to save important quality of life issues for the people of Virginia, not for political gain!

Night of the Ballyshaner’s Grand Marshal’s Ball

The Grand Marshal’s Ball is the annual Alexandria kick-off to the Irish-American Month.

Column: Protecting Residents in Tax, Road Debates

Congress finally has acted to ensure payroll tax relief for 170 million individuals and families through the rest of 2012. This additional tax relief is critical for maintaining the momentum of the economic recovery, and Northern Virginians will realize an average savings of $2,000 per household.

Project Enlightenment Visits Old Town

Students from McLean High School in the Historical Reenactment Society, Project Enlightenment performed before audiences at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop in Alexandria last month.

Thursday, March 8

Column: Look What She Saw—Sort Of

Well there’s five seconds that fellow super-market-shopper won’t have back anytime soon. The question, the curiosity is: will she have nightmares and/or live to regret staring at me so intently that I think I may have seen the whites of her eyes – and it wasn’t even remotely dark?

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Local Governments Enjoy Record Spending

Bucking national trend, local governments here expand while others are contracting.

As local governments across America are laying off firefighters and teachers, governments in Northern Virginia are experiencing record levels of spending and an all-time-high number of employees.

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Not-So-Super Tuesday

Turnout for Virginia's presidential preference primary was lowest in recent memory.

With two of the major candidates in the Republican presidential contest failing to qualify for the ballot in Virginia, Super Tuesday was anything but super.

Wednesday, March 7

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Wolverines Not Assuming They’re Patriot District’s Best

Talented West Potomac softball team in search of first district title since 2006.

The West Potomac softball team entered the 2011 season loaded with talent and, as far as the Wolverines were concerned, possessed a clear path to the Patriot District championship. It didn’t take long for perennial power South County to issue West Potomac an early-season wake-up call.

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West Potomac Rifle Team Members Receive All-Metro Honors

This year’s West Potomac rifle team members DJ Whetzel, Lindsay Paul and Russell Bradley each received All-Metro Honorable Mention recognition for the 2011-2012 rifle season. All-Metro recognition is determined by average league match score during the season. This is the highest number of All-Metro League Awards received by the team in a season.

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Saxon Football Players Make Collegiate Commitments

Harvey, Clemete set to take their game to the next level; underclass lineman Jack Howerton earns All-State recognition.

Two Langley High football players – defensive standout Marcus Harvey and two-way lineman Dylan Clemente - recently made commitments to play the sport at the collegiate level.

Indoor Track Season Wraps Up at State Meet

Local Northern Region athletes compete in Hampton.

A number of local athletes put together strong showings at last weekend’s Virginia State AAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, held Friday and Saturday (Feb. 24-25) at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. On the boys’ side, Westfield High finished third overall and was the top finisher from out of the Northern Region. The Bulldogs finished with 27 team points. The team champion was Western Branch (48) of Chesapeake, a member of the Eastern Region. Finishing second was Grassfield (34 points) of Chesapeake.

Tuesday, March 6

Classified Advertising

See the lastest Employment, Home and Garden and classified ads!

Cleaning Up One’s Plate

Local nutrition experts encourage healthy eating during National Nutrition Month and always.

When it comes to healthy eating, Alexandria wellness educator Cheryl Mirabella encourages her clients to load up during meals, but she offers a caveat.

Health Services Coalition Receives $10,000 Grant

Funding will help provide specialty health care to low income residents.

Northern Virginia Health Services Coalition's (NOVAHSC) Specialty Access program received a $10,000 grant to help provide low-income, uninsured patients with access to specialty medical care through a regional network of providers.

Editorial: Reenacting a Dark History?

Turning back the clock in Richmond.

Who could have anticipated that our elected officials would take African-American History month and Women's History month so seriously that they would literally try to turn back the clock?

Saturday, March 3

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Larry Schuster Sr., Sharon Bulova’s Father, Dies

Lawrence “Larry” K. Schuster Sr. was born in Baltimore on May 24, 1922. During World War II he served as a Marine Corps Tech Sgt. in the Pacific Theatre, where he fought on Okinawa, Saipan and Iwo Jima. In 1946 he married Mary Suzanne “Sue” Knox.

Friday, March 2

Column: Protecting Residents in Tax, Road Debates

Congress finally has acted to ensure payroll tax relief for 170 million individuals and families through the rest of 2012. This additional tax relief is critical for maintaining the momentum of the economic recovery, and Northern Virginians will realize an average savings of $2,000 per household.

Column: A Raw Deal for Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is getting a raw deal from Governor McDonnell. While we need transportation investment to support this economic engine of the state, at least $1.5 billion in transportation funds are being diverted to wasteful and unnecessary projects in rural areas. Meanwhile, the state refuses to adequately fund Dulles Rail, leaving Northern Virginia taxpayers and toll payers to foot the lion's share of the bill.

Thursday, March 1

Nominees for 2012 Helen Hayes Awards

MetroStage, Signature, Synetic among nominees.

Nominees for the 2012 Helen Hayes Awards were announced Feb. 27 with Signature Theatre, Synetic Theatre and MetroStage among the 25 theatre companies nominated in 26 categories.

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'Heaven Can Wait' at LTA

Joe Pendleton is in for the fight of his life — literally. A professional boxer and pilot, his soul is mistakenly “collected” from his body some 60 years too soon after a plane flight gone awry in the comedy “Heaven Can Wait,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Life's a Beach at 'Dixie Swim Club"

Port City shines with new production.

They met long before the phrase “BFF” was part of the American lexicon, but for five college teammates, the comfort and frustrations of “best friends forever” are rays of sunshine in the Port City Playhouse production of “The Dixie Swim Club,” now playing at Alexandria's Lab Studio Theatre at Convergence.

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State Senate Committee Kills Effort to Overturn King's Dominion Law

School boards were encouraged by support from governor, but couldn't win over Senate committee.

The Senate Committee on Education and Health voted today to kill an effort overturning the King's Dominion Law, which mandates that school divisions across Virginia begin classes after Labor Day.

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Column: Black History Is American History

Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center celebrated along with other neighborhood centers, our collective American story with the annual "Black History is American History" program

Column: Keeping Focused on Economic Issues

As Black History Month comes to a close, I believe that we need to reflect on where we are as a Commonwealth and a nation. I am proud to share a slice of black history as the first African

Column: Inova Leverages Information Technology

Quick — can you name all the medications you’ve taken in the last six months? How many times a day did you take each medication? How many milligrams was each dose?

Free Tax Help for Qualifying Residents

The City of Alexandria is offering free tax preparation assistance to qualifying residents.

Playground Winners Announced

The Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network, Alexandria/Arlington Smart Beginnings, and ACTion Alexandria teamed up to launch the Project Play Spruce Up Grants Competition to help residents improve local playgrounds and ensure that every child in Alexandria has a quality place to play.

Guilty Plea to Defrauding School

Terence Wilson, 35, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty on Feb. 23 to stealing more than $250,000 from an Alexandria-based nursing school.

Police Investigate Assault

Alexandria Police are investigating a burglary and assault that occurred in the 1100 block of Archer Court.

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Outgoing County Executive Tony Griffin Presents Final Budget Proposal

$6.7 billion proposal is a 6.1 percent budget increase.

Appearing before members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for the last time, outgoing county executive Anthony Griffin had the luxury of taking the long view.

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Governments Across Virginia Hope to Kill Local Aid to the State Program

Jurisdictions hope to kill funding scheme created at height of recession.

In the darkest days of the global financial crisis, leaders in Richmond were willing to do almost anything to balance the budget.