Stories for November 2012

Stories for November 2012


Friday, November 30

Alexandria & Mount Vernon Calendar: Nov. 29, 2012

E-mail announcements to Photos and artwork are encouraged. Deadline is Thursday at noon.

Letter: Praise for Cub Pack 1504

I commend Cub Scout Pack 1504 for their compassion and dedication in conducting an annual food drive to serve our neighbors in need. Last year over one ton of food was collected from giving neighbors and given to UCM.

Thursday, November 29

Mount Vernon Boys' Basketball Edges West Potomac

Majors beat Wolverines for first time since 2009.

The Mount Vernon boys' basketball team opened its 2012-13 season with a win over West Potomac.

Mount Vernon Girls’ Basketball Smothers West Po in Opener

Six Majors score in double figures.

The Mount Vernon girls' basketball team won its season opener against West Potomac.

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Dancers To Perform in ‘Billy Elliot,’ ‘Nutcracker’

Dancers from Just Dance Studio in Alexandria will make their dance debut at Kennedy Center and Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore this month.

Opinion: Immigrants and Today’s Faith Response

The presence of increasing numbers of immigrants is a challenge to the Fairfax County faith community commitments. The challenge is to be a faith community with open arms.

Editorial: Learning in a Global Community

Students in Fairfax County speak 160 languages.

This week our ongoing series about immigration in Fairfax County takes a look at county schools, and some of the joys and challenges of having a diverse student body that speaks as many as 160 different languages at home.

Wednesday, November 28

Classified Advertising Nov. 28,2012

Read the latest ads here!

Poem: She Remembers the Splendor

Poem: She Remembers the Splendor

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Signs of the Season

Volunteers gathered at Saint Aidan’s last week awaiting the arrival of Fraser fir trees from North Carolina.

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Backstage at the Ballet

Final dress rehearsals are underway for this weekend’s performances of “The Nutcracker.”

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Kiwanis Holds Annual Holiday Tree Sale

The trucks pulled into the parking lot at the Belle View Shopping center early Saturday morning, Nov. 24, laden with Fraser firs, wreaths and garlands.

Tuesday, November 27

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Building a Savings Stockpile on Shoestring Budget

Money experts say it is possible to save, even on a limited income.

Even though Mary Beth Lanvin is employed full-time with a company that offers generous retirement benefits, she can’t afford to contribute to a 401(k).

Avoiding Holiday Debt

Plan now to prevent post-holiday bills.

Festive store displays mean the holiday shopping season is in full swing.

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Tips for Year-End Charitable Giving

Financial experts offer suggestions for ensuring one’s donations are well spent.

’Tis the season for giving, and that includes donations to charities.

Brief: Helping Animals Find Homes for the Holidays?

Special adoption promotion to help animals find homes.

Brief: The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is offering a free spay or neuter for the first 100 cats, kittens, dogs or puppies adopted from the shelter through Dec. 31.

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We Are the World, at Garfield

Teachers discuss challenges of teaching English as a Second Language.

Garfield Elementary School in Springfield, like all of Fairfax County, has a population that reflects a wide range of backgrounds.

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Marshall High is the Face of Fairfax County

Upwards of 90 countries represented by student population.

The schools that feed into George C. Marshall High School are the academic home to children from all over the world.

Brief: History Conference Focuses on Conflict and Courage

Local historians honored.

Brief: The eighth Annual Fairfax County History Conference was held on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center in the City of Fairfax.

Brief: Community Meetings to Help Search for Superintendent

Brief: On Sept. 22, 2011, Superintendent Jack D. Dale announced his intention to retire from Fairfax County Public Schools effective June 30, 2013.

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Uranium Money Spreads Across Virginia in Radioactive Debate

Upcoming General Assembly session to feature effort to lift ban on uranium mining.

The uranium deposits under the farmlands of Pittsylvania County are miles away from Northern Virginia, but the debate about what happens there is shaping up to be one of the hottest issues of the upcoming General Assembly session.

Friday, November 23

Classified Advertising Nov 21, 2012

Read the lastest ads here!

Wednesday, November 21

Mount Vernon Home Sales: October, 2012

In October 2012, 96 homes sold between $912,440-$86,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales in October, 2012

Tuesday, November 20

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Mount Vernon Girls’ Basketball Has High Expectations

Seniors Loftus, Dunham, Webster to play college ball.

The Mount Vernon girls' basketball team went 25-2 last season, losing twice to eventual state champion Oakton.

Buy Now, Pay Later

Meaning: If I’m terminal, why deprive myself because of cost? If, in fact, I’m only living once – as the old saying goes, and somewhat less of a life than I had anticipated, shouldn’t I, at the very least, “Pull my pants down and slide on the ice,” as prescribed by Dr. Sidney Freedman in an episode of M*A*S*H, way back when?

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board: Nov. 21, 2012

Upcoming events

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Animal Control Saves Owl

For four days, Animal Control Officers received calls and responded to the Richmond Highway intersection near Sacramento Drive to investigate the reports. Finally, on Friday, Nov. 16 officers were able to rescue the owl at around 11 a.m.

Chila Named Nursing Director of the Year

Nancy Chila, RN, BS, has been named Nursing Director of the Year by the Virginia Health Care Association in recognition of her role in facilitating the Mount Vernon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center’s transition from long term care for the chronically ill to an emphasis on post-acute care and rehabilitation.

60th Anniversary

On Nov. 21, 1952, Nouri and Suham Abbou were married and began an adventure that has continued for 60 years.

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51st Annual Mount Vernon Unitarian Church Holiday Shop

Fifty artisans presented their work during the annual Holiday Shop at the Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church on Windmill Lane on Saturday, Nov. 17.

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Losing Wetlands

Lecture explains loss of acres of Dyke Marsh.

Speaking at a Friends of Dyke Marsh quarterly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, Virta, a cultural resources manager, described the authorized uncontrolled dredging and dumping in Dyke Marsh, without regard to the environmental consequences.

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Taste Trumps Nutrition

Film highlights food business gone awry.

The American Association of Universty Women (AAUW) put a spotlight on food during its program at the Heritage Presbyterian Church last Thursday, Nov. 15.

Brief: Body of Missing Man Found

A resident who was out walking around 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 came upon the body of a man lying along a creek bank near the 7700 block of Audubon Meadow Way.

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Opinion: Embracing Our Diversity

If you can ever find the time to attend a federal naturalization ceremony in Fairfax County for new citizens, do it. It reinvigorates one’s patriotism and reminds us all how lucky we are to be Americans.

Opinion: Celebrating Diversity Through Culture

So, when people from different countries, diverse cultures, and dissimilar values migrate to United States, they try to adjust and adapt to the new culture. But the onus should also be on American people to welcome them, to make them comfortable and feel at home. What do we do to create awareness about different cultures? Unfortunately, I have not seen much effort on the part of the government.

Editorial: Diversity Growing

Tune in to our series on immigration.

This week, the Connection kicks off a series about immigration, diversity and the growing population of foreign-born residents in Fairfax County. County reporter Victoria Ross opens with a story that captures vignettes and statistics of the changing population. It is a topic consistent with the original Thanksgiving story. More than 28 percent of Fairfax County's population is foreign born; that's 317,000 residents.

Thursday, November 15

Editorial: Shop Locally, Give Locally

Small business Saturday isn't enough; don't wait until then, and don't stop after that.

An effort to support locally owned businesses has resulted in the recognition of Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year that is Nov. 24. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a day of national zeal for shopping. Presumably the next day shoppers can focus on local shopping.

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New Officers Lead Kiwanis Club

The Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club celebrated the beginning of its 60th year of community service on Oct. 17 with an induction of new officers and board of directors by the Division Lt.-Governor John Crawford.

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Finding Right Gifts Just Around the Corner

Some treasures in Belle View Shopping Center.

Find the perfect gift at local stores in Belle View Shopping Center that offer one-of-a-kind pieces.

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Celebrating Veterans Day

Fort Hunt Elementary School celebrated Veterans Day

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Development Grows Around Huntington Metro Station

Market price apartments in demand.

Insight Property Group will begin construction next month on 240 luxury style apartments that is part of the exploding development near the Huntington Metro Station south of Alexandria.

Letter: Well Done

To those who are unaware, the off-leash dog area (OLDA) at Westgrove Park is now open for business.

Letter: Next Stop: Audits

I support our schools and our teachers but, like many, question whether we should increase school budgets unless we know the school system is squeezing out waste and operating efficiently.

Letter: Appreciates Precinct Officials

Sometimes it’s difficult to realize how good you have it until you see how bad things are for other people.

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Take a Veteran to School Day

World War II veteran Viola R. Rice stood in front of the fifth grade class and spoke about her time in the Navy Waves during WWII.

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Parents: Board Lacks Communication

Storck hosts town hall meeting on educational issues.

At a town hall-style education meeting at Whitman Middle School on Nov. 7, parents and advocates expressed their disappointment with the new online math and social studies textbook program.

Looking for Gift Ideas in Mount Vernon?

The 51st Annual Holiday Shop at the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church will be held this Saturday, Nov. 17

Entertainment Brief: Historic Mount Vernon Sparkles with Holiday Cheer

Join "Mrs. Washington" as she hosts an enchanting evening of candlelight tours, fireside caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies.

Wednesday, November 14

Classified Advertising Nov. 14, 2012

Read the lastest ads here!

Friday, November 9

Column: Weight For It

This reference is not about pounds, per se. It is about the two largest tumors in my lungs, inoperable in that they are located between the two halves which make up the whole lung.

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Long Lines on Election Day ‘Unacceptable’

Bulova calls for bi-partisan group to address the issue, improve election process.

While voter turnout in Fairfax County on Election Day was at an all-time high--80.5 percent of registered voters cast their ballots, compared to 78.7 percent in 2008--some voters faced long lines and endured hours of waiting in the cold to cast their ballots.

Thursday, November 8

Classified Advertising Nov. 7, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

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Waynewood Leads Elementary School Walkers

More than 2,500 homeless residents of Fairfax County will benefit from the money raised by Help the Homeless Walks.

Panel To Discuss Food Quality

American Association of University Women is hosting a program on “Nutrition and Food Quality: on Nov. 15 at the at Heritage Presbyterian Church, 8503 Fort Hunt Road.

Letter: Battling ‘Invasive Thugs’

The Nov. 2 article “Invasive Restrictions” by Michael Pope focused needed attention on the problem of exotic invasive plants overwhelming our parkland. At its October meeting, the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations passed a resolution asking the Fairfax County Park Authority to prohibit vendors from selling exotic invasive plants at local farmers' markets.

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West Potomac to Face Centreville in Football Playoffs

Wolverines lose regular season finale against TC in OT.

The West Potomac football team will travel to face Centreville in the opening round of the playoffs.

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The West Potomac dance team performed to the music of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” during the halftime show during the football game against T.C. Williams on Friday night, Nov. 2.

West Po’s Genuario Qualifies for XC States

West Potomac's Katie Genuario finished 14th at the Northern Region cross country championships on Nov. 2.

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Joining the Long Wait To Vote

Mount Vernon residents line up.

Large numbers of determined voters were willing to stand in long lines and ignore the near freezing temperatures to cast their votes.

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Entertainment Brief: 2012 Holiday Shop – A Mount Vernon Tradition The 51st annual

Holiday Shop — a popular Mount Vernon tradition — will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, near Fort Hunt Rd., and Mason Hill Dr.

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Entertainment Brief: MVCCT Presents ‘Oklahoma!’ at Bryant Alternative School

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre, now in its 32nd season, is presents “Oklahoma!” Nov. 9-18.

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board: Nov. 7, 2012

Upcoming events

Brief: Martin To Receive Potomac Champion Award

Mount Vernon resident Elizabeth Martin will be recognized for her work as a dedicated environmental steward and a champion for litter prevention in her community by the Alice Ferguson Foundation at its 7th Annual Trash Summit.

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A Beacon of Things to Come on Richmond Highway

Mixed-use development may signal a sea change on Richmond Highway.

It’s the highest spot in Fairfax County, and it may also be a fulcrum for Richmond Highway.

Wednesday, November 7

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Locals Join All-Star Line-up at Metro Cooking Show

Area specialty food entrepreneurs among the attractions at the 2012 Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show.

When celebrity chefs and Food Network stars were in Washington last weekend for what has become a Super Bowl for foodies (Giada De Laurentiis, Jacques Pepin, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons and The Chew’s Michael Symon and Carla Hall were just some of the famous faces), some area culinary enthusiasts joined them as well.

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Fairfax Republicans Come Together for Election

What started as a night of hope for the Fairfax County Republican Committee ended on something of a sour note, as Republican presidential, senate and congressional candidates were not able to oust incumbents.

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Area Votes for Obama, Kaine, House Incumbents

President Barack Obama wins second term, Kaine wins Senate seat, Moran, Wolf, Connolly re-elected.

In a bitter and historically expensive battle, President Barack Obama defeated Gov. Mitt Romney, winning a second term Tuesday after grabbing the key swing state of Virginia after midnight. With the addition of the Commonwealth’s 13 electoral votes – as well as those of Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin – Obama sailed over the electoral cliff with the critical 270 electoral votes he needed for victory.

Friday, November 2

Column: Hands of Time

On the one hand, I want to take note every month on the 27th as yet one more notch on my living-with-cancer belt. On the other hand, maybe I don’t need a belt to be notching but rather a life to be living. Perhaps it’s time, nearly 44 months post-diagnosis – at press time, to stop counting backwards and try more living forwards.

Thursday, November 1

West Potomac Boys’, Girls’ XC Advance to Regionals

Halladay, Genuario lead Wolverines with 7th-place finishes.

The West Potomac boys' and girls' cross country teams each finished in the top four at the Patriot District championships.

After the Storm

Thousands of county residents without power as clean-up efforts continue.

Hurricane Sandy battered the region Monday night, Oct. 29, shutting down Fairfax County schools, governments, roads and voting precincts. The mammoth storm made landfall near Atlantic City around 8 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center, with maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per-hour.

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Prime Time Business Expo

PrimeTime Business Expo, hosted by the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 23, filled the Knights of Columbus Hall on Richmond Highway with businesses serving the area.

Marching Majors

The Mount Vernon Marching Majors dazzled spectators and judges at the 18th annual Spotsylvania Invitational Band Competition Oct. 6.

Bank Robbery in the Beacon Hill Area

Police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred Thursday, Oct. 24.

Mount Vernon Military Notes: Oct. 31, 2012

military notes

Letter: Amendment Was Bi-Partisan

I read with interest the opinion of state Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller and state Del. Scott Surovell in last week's Gazette in opposition to the proposed Constitutional Amendment limiting the government's ability to impose eminent domain takings on private property owners and requiring compensation for lost profits and lost access.

Letter: Protect Property Rights

Vote for the constitutional amendment and protect your property rights.

Letter: A Write-in Candidate

I received word earlier today [Monday, Oct. 29] that our filing has been accepted and that any write-in votes cast for our campaign will be counted and reported.

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‘He Comes on Wings of Darkness’

By special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc., New York, Beyond the Page Theatre Company of West Potomac High School will present “Dracula” Nov. 8-10.

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Toast for a Cure

An evening at historic River Farm on Oct. 25 supported Inova Breast Care Institute at the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and the new Patient Tower Campaign.

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Burgundy Farm Fall Fair

Pumpkins painting, barnyard tours, a haunted house, scarecrow stuffing and a moon bounce were just a few of the activities and attractions at the annual Burgundy Farm Fall Fair held Oct. 13 at the school.

Editorial: As Sandy Rolls In, Still Plan to Vote

Variety of choices in political landscape.

Hurricane Sandy means that the week preceding the election will not be what we were expecting. This editorial is being written Sunday night, Oct. 28, as forecasters predict five inches of rain and 65-mile-per-hour winds over the next two days.

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board: Oct. 31, 2012

upcoming events

Brief: Storck To Host Town Hall Meeting

Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District School Board member, invites Mount Vernon District parents, students, and community members to join with Fairfax County Public Schools and community leaders at a Town Hall meeting to discuss current education topics of interest, including school issues and priorities, as well as Mount Vernon District's needs.

Brief: Rotary Club Awarded Grant

The Rotary Club of Alexandria South received a $1,500 grant from Rotary District 7610, which, in addition to assistance from local businesses, funded a project with United Community Ministries.

Brief: Local Man Reported Missing

The Virginia State Police have issued a “Senior Alert” for a Fairfax County resident.

Entertainment Brief: Drumathon To Help Homeless

Join Good Shepherd Housing and the Hollin Hall Senior Center for a Drumathon to help raise funds and awareness for the homeless.

Entertainment Brief: National Men’s Chorus Presents Veterans Day Concert

National Men’s Chorus will begin its 14th season with a concert of music appropriate for Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1301 Collingwood Road in Alexandria.

Invasive Restrictions: Effort to Restrict Sale of Invasive Plants May Wilt in Richmond

Legislative delegation wary of running afoul of the free market.

They’re all over Mount Vernon — English ivy, Bradford pear, porcelainberry, oriental bittersweet and bamboo.