Stories for October 2012

Stories for October 2012


Wednesday, October 31

After the Storm

Stay informed by signing up for the county's Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) text/email updates that will provide weather alerts and other critical information.

Allen v. Kaine For Senate 10/31/2012

Voters have stark choice between candidates to replace U.S.

Candidates for U.S. Senate George Allen and his Democratic challenger Timothy M. Kaine have much in common. Both were popular governors of the Commonwealth of Virginia; both have long political resumes; and both men are passionate about the success of their adopted home state. Now locked in a race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, both candidates are fighting to secure the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D), spending a record $55 million-plus on an avalanche of ads to sway swing voters in Northern Virginia and across the state. The message from both candidates is simple: voters have a stark choice. Kaine, 54, has portrayed himself as a bipartisan bridge-builder who supports gender equality and believes that access to higher education and investing in what he calls the “talent economy” are critical to the success of Virginia and the nation.

Bank Robbery in the Beacon Hill Area

Police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred Thursday, Oct. 24. Around 1:30 p.m. a man entered the TD Bank located at 6615 Richmond Highway, implied he had a weapon and demanded money from a teller. The teller complied and the suspect fled. There were no injuries.

Protect Property Rights

To the Editor: On Nov. 6, Virginia voters will be asked to vote on a Virginia constitutional amendment to prevent the government from taking private property through eminent domain and simply transferring it to another person

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.

As Sandy Rolls In, Still Plan to Vote 10/31/2012

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. With some predicting that power could take a week or more to restore, we have to worry about the likely condition of the Eastern seaboard will be on Election Day, Nov. 6. Absentee voting in person had been cancelled for Monday, and most government offices were closed in anticipation of the storm. What will this mean for voter turnout, for access to voting places on Election Day?

Bulletin Board

Tuesdays/Through Nov. 27 Seminars. 12:30–2:30 p.m. Join Fairfax County’s Independent Living Project, a free series of educational seminars for older adults, along with exercise or yoga classes for strength and balance. The program also provides home safety visits for 60+ adults and adults with physical disabilities. Participation in the full project is advised, and space is limited. At 7000 Schoonmaker Court. Register with Jennifer Edge at 703-324-7210, TTY 711 or email Visit

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.

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.

Local Man Reported Missing

The Virginia State Police have issued a “Senior Alert” for a Fairfax County resident. On Wednesday, Oct. 24, around 4:30 p.m., Mohammad Sharif Yazdani was last seen by relatives at his residence in the 3800 block of Havenwood Place. Yazdani may appear to be confused and disoriented and speaks limited English. He frequently walks in the Alexandria area of Richmond Highway

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. The Drumathon will take place at Hollin Hall Senior Center, 1500 Shenandoah Road, at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2.

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. This is the first time the Chorus has performed a full concert in the Mount Vernon area. The program will be conducted by Founder and Artistic Director, Thomas Beveridge, and will feature the renowned pianist, Thomas Pandolfi. The Chorus will perform a selection of American patriotic music, including The Star Spangled Banner, with a rarely heard verse by Oliver Wendell Holmes and a new verse by Jay Kelly Wright; Songs of the American Wars, including Chester, Tenting Tonight, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Ballad of the Green Berets, and A Sentry’s Prayer by Fred Gray, written to honor his son fighting in Afghanistan.

Classified Advertising Oct 31, 2012

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Monday, October 29

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Fairfax County Braces for Sandy’s Arrival

Threat of flooding and high winds prompts officials to close schools, government offices and absentee voting.

As Hurricane Sandy barreled down the East Coast on Sunday, it’s beginning to look like the weather – not politics – will deliver the biggest October surprise this year.

Sunday, October 28

Storm Related Closings

Current list of weather related closings that Connection Newspapers is aware of.

Area Schools Closing in Face of Weather Threat

Threat of flooding, high winds from Hurricane Sandy prompts decision.

Better safe than sorry. Based on that philosophy, Fairfax County Public Schools announced early Sunday afternoon that all FCPS schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday because of the continuing threat of flooding and hurricane-force winds from Hurricane Sandy, a “rare hybrid storm” expected to make landfall on Monday.

Thursday, October 25

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Voice Heard, Commitments on the Way

Hyland discusses strategy for funding field improvements.

“I’ll say this unequivocally,” Hyland said at the meeting with parents, students and VOICE leaders at West Potomac High School on the rainy evening of Oct. 15. “We’re going to find a way to have artificial turf fields at both West Potomac and Mount Vernon. That is going to happen.”

How Bond Money Will Be Spent

The study found that building a levee and a pumping station is the most cost-effective way to reduce flooding in the neighborhood. Bond funds are planned to pay to complete the design and build a 2,865-foot-long levee and pumping station, along with buying any land needed for this purpose.

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What Would $155 Million Bond Package Buy?

New fire stations, library renovations, park improvements and more on Nov. 6 ballot.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Monique Bell of Oakton was helping her 5-year-old daughter McKenzie sort through a dozen Halloween craft books at the Reston Regional Library. The library, one of the busiest branches in Fairfax County, has a collection of more than 215,000 volumes and circulates more than a million books a year.

Poem: Halloween


Police Investigate Armed Robbery

Police are investigating an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven at 2405 Fairhaven Avenue. Three suspects entered the store around 4 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, produced a pistol and demanded money from the clerks.

Mount Vernon Military Notes: Oct. 24, 2012

Military notes

Letter: Stop All Illegal Signs

Your Oct. 15 article "The Message is Not the Median" is welcomed by so many and this is a first great step in stopping sign pollution along our roadways.

Letter: Important Choices

This November's election is one of the most critical in a long, long time because it's a choice between freedom and opportunity or big government, more dependency and loss of freedom.

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Viva la Diva

The 29th Annual Yacht Haven Garden Club Fashion Show, Luncheon & Silent Auction was held on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Fort Belvoir Officers Club.

Cleanup at Little Hunting Creek

Volunteers started work on Friday, Oct. 19 removing shopping carts from Little Hunting Creek off Janna Lee Avenue.

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Fall Rummage and Craft Fair

Tables filled the east parking lot at Mount Vernon High School on Saturday, Oct. 20, for the annual fall rummage sale.

Be Part of the Children's Gazette

Call for student artwork and writing; deadline Dec. 3.

During the last week of each year, The Gazette devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

Eminent Domain Amendment’s Costs

Next month, Virginia voters are being asked to change language in the Virginia constitution that dates to George Mason. Taxpayers should be wary.

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board: Oct. 24, 2012

Upcoming events

Brief: Police Shooting Called Justified

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh has informed Colonel David M. Rohrer, Chief of Police, that in his legal opinion the officer who fired his weapon in a July 8 incident did so justifiably in fact and law.

Brief: Pedestrian Killed on Richmond Highway

Police are investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred around 1:50 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Brief: Wetland Restoration Plan for Park

Fairfax County Park Authority staff members and wetlands design professionals from Wetlands Studies and Solutions, Inc. will present a wetlands restoration plan for Huntley Meadows Park, a 50-plus acre freshwater wetland on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the park Visitor’s Center located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd. in Alexandria.

Brief: Event Spotlights Domestic Violence

In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Women’s Group of Mount Vernon, Inc. is sponsoring a Grand Day celebration on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gum Spring Community Center, 8100 Fordson Road in Alexandria.

Late Fall Classes at Art at the Center

Art at the Center is offering a half-session of several classes beginning next week. Visit for details and to register.

Mount Vernon School Notes: Oct. 24, 2012

School notes

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Voters to Determine Fate of Amendment to Limit Use of Eminent Domain

Measure will allow property owners to seek damages for loss of profits and access.

Nowhere is the debate about eminent domain more intense than the foot of King Street in Alexandria, where city officials threatened to take land owned by the Old Dominion Boat Club using the power of eminent domain for flood mitigation.

Wednesday, October 24

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MVHS Field Hockey Wins 3rd District Title in 4 Years

Majors beat Chantilly in opening round of regionals.

The Mount Vernon field hockey team won its third National District title in the last four years.

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The Passover Amendment: Should Legislators Meet on Religious Holidays?

Former Del. David Englin (D-45) was behind amendment now before voters.

Every year, the Virginia General Assembly convenes several weeks after the session to react to the governor’s vetoes.

Tuesday, October 23

Classified Advertising Oct 24, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

Friday, October 19

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Creating Path to Financial Stability

Advice for developing and strengthening sound money habits.

Money experts say creating sound financial health requires planning and discipline.

“Hey Beez; Beez, It’s Me”

It was my father all right – in a dream. Standing five feet away, approximately, in a well-lit, local convenience store with which I am extremely familiar. This was no case of mistaken identity. Besides, he was wearing those blue, terrycloth shorts of his that my mother always hated. So yes, I called out to him, surprised as I was to see him, locally as it were.

Thursday, October 18

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Targeting Child Sex Trafficking

Local AAUW chapter spotlights global — and local — issue.

“It was in our backyard, who would have thought it could happen here,” said Catherine Krebs, president of the Mount Vernon branch of the AAUW, at a meeting on child sex trafficking at Sherwood Library on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Letter: Advocacy Vs. Facts

The E&R Committee's resolution was also irresponsible, endorsing an extreme restoration proposal without any firm estimate from NPS as to the anticipated cost to taxpayers. People who serve in a civic capacity in our community need to be more careful to refrain from disguising advocacy as facts.

Letter: Cut Expenses Or Raise Taxes?

I recently completed the Fairfax County Transportation Survey by rating perhaps a dozen or more taxing options to “pay for $300 million in Fairfax County transportation needs” — I rated them all as not acceptable.

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Remembering Slaves Of Historic Mount Vernon

Historic Mount Vernon and Black Women United for Action hosted a remembrance ceremony and wreath-laying at the Slave Memorial on the Mount Vernon Estate on Saturday morning, Oct. 13.

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Meeting Details $300 Million Annual Transportation Deficit

Mount Vernon residents asked how to fill gap.

Approximately 25 people learned about an annual $300 million transportation deficit during a briefing session at the Mount Vernon Governmental Center on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Classified Advertising Oct. 17, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

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The Message is not the Median: Fairfax Roadsides Now Free of Political Speech

New law cracks down on political signs in public rights of way; $100 fine for violators.

Here’s a sign of the times for campaign 2012 — the roadsides in Fairfax County are almost completely free of political speech.

Friday, October 12

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Creating a New Point of View

Custom-designed two-level window wall invites indoor/outdoor continuity.

“Homeowners come to us for design ideas that will open up space and invite indoor/outdoor continuum,” he said. “But new Fairfax County’s rules on wind-resistance requirements for large-scale windows are quite technical, and demand thoughtful engineering.”

“Subjectively Speaking”

In my opinion. It’s what I think. It’s what I feel. It’s what I think I feel. It may not be something I know, but it’s certainly something that I hope I know. And if it’s not exactly something that I know, then I hope it’s something I believe.

Thursday, October 11

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Young Designers on the Road

Two West Potomac High students start graphic design business.

When Wake Coulter and Adam Privette walked on the streets last summer, distributing flyers and business cards and telling strangers about their graphic design business, they saw confusion and hesitance on most people’s faces.

Mount Vernon School Notes: Oct. 10, 2012

School notes

Company Named Healthiest Employer 2012

Van Metre Companies, parent company of Mount Vernon Athletic Club, has been awarded Healthiest Employer 2012 by the Washington Business Journal.

Finally, Movement On North Hill?

Housing agency seeks proposals for high-density residential development.

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland said last week that the Fairfax Housing Department is expected shortly to issue a request for proposals from the housing development industry to build high density residences on part of North Hill, the largest area of vacant land along Route 1.

Letter: New Meaning to Trashing Competition

If you disagree with your neighbor's political views, don't express your disagreement by becoming a criminal. Instead, obtain your own signs and display them on your own property.

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St. Luke’s Pumpkin Patch Opens

Fundraiser supports programs, charities.

Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church on Ft. Hunt Road kicked off its fall Pumpkin Patch fundraiser — now in its 8th year — on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board: Oct. 10, 2012

Upcoming events

Brief: Accidental Apartment Fire in Mount Vernon

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to an apartment fire, on Sept. 22, at approximately 10:05 a.m. in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.

Brief: PrimeTime Business Expo on Oct. 23

PrimeTime will be Tuesday, October 23, from at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 8592 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309.

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Calendar: Oct. 10, 2012

Upcoming events and activities

Wednesday, October 10

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MVHS Field Hockey Remains Undefeated in District

Majors edge Stuart with Heller’s stroke goal.

The Mount Vernon field hockey team beat Stuart, 1-0, on Oct. 6 .

Classified Advertising Oct 10, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

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Charities Win at Half Marathon

Ndereba, Johnson win 13.1-mile race.

Dreary skies couldn't dampen the spirits of more than 3,000 runners who took to the streets of Virginia and Maryland Oct. 7 in the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, won by Kenyan Samuel Ndereba in 65 minutes and 15 seconds with American Kellyn Johnson leading the women in 1:13:24.

Editorial: Cancer Awareness

Success with breast cancer awareness should help other cancers.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Anyone connected to media of any variety already knows this. A massive marketing success, we all know that pink shows support for breast cancer prevention, especially in October.

Friday, October 5

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Fairfax Crowd Gives Obama Enthusiastic Welcome

President scores points talking about jobs, women’s rights … and Big Bird.

After a bruising debate with GOP challenger Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama did some boasting Friday, Oct. 5 at a campaign rally at George Mason University.

Column: “Less Fluid, Most Nodules Stable, Minimal Growth.”

Given how I feel now, three-plus years later, and considering the results of this most recent scan, the future may simply be what it is: not now, but later. At least, that’s the way I see it, subjectively speaking. (Now whether “subjectively speaking” is just a euphemism for “unrealistic” is likely a topic for a “future” column.)

Thursday, October 4

Mount Vernon School Notes: Oct. 4, 2012

school notes

Letter: Persistence Pays Off

After three years of hard work, finally, last week, the Westgrove Park off-leash dog area (OLDA) began to take shape.

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Garden Delights

An evening by the river.

The 19th Annual American Horticulture Society Gala was held Saturday, Sept. 22, at River Farm in Alexandria.

Classified Advertising Oct. 3, 2012

Read the lastest ads here!

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San Antonio Mayor Castro Campaigns in Mount Vernon

Democratic National Convention keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castor stopped by the Sacramento Center Organizing for America (OFA) Mount Vernon campaign office to meet with local supporters on Sept. 8.

Route 1 Needs Larger Parcels for Development

SFDC staff examines challenges in the corridor.

The SFDC was formed by Fairfax County in 1982 to revitalize, market, and serve as a liaison for businesses looking to establish a presence along the Richmond Highway corridor from the Capital Beltway in the north to south at Fort Belvoir.

Commentary: Should Virginia Auction Off Its Port?

I am generally leery of selling government assets to foreign investors, but I am still considering this proposal. If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board: Oct. 4, 2012

Upcoming events

Wednesday, October 3

Editorial: Last Week to Register to Vote

To vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 15, 2012. Registered voters should have received a new voter card in the mail by now. You can check your registration status online by visiting the State Board of Elections website at There you can also download a voter registration form and mail or fax it to your elections office address.

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Race Alert

Half Marathon to affect GW Parkway traffic.

The 3rd annual Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon will be running from Mount Vernon Estates to National Harbor on the George Washington Memorial Parkway on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 7.

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County Gets Election Ready

Fairfax County prepares voters for new election measures.

"The good news in Fairfax County is that almost everyone who is eligible is registered to vote," said Cameron Quinn, Fairfax County’s chief election official. "Our problem in Fairfax County is not voter apathy, and it’s not getting people to register. What we don't have is every registered voter registered at their correct address."