Stories for April 2013

Stories for April 2013


Friday, April 26

Fredona Gartlan Dies

A life dedicated to helping the needy.

Fredona Manderfield Gartlan, a longtime advocate for those suffering from mental illness, died April 22, 2013 at her home in Mason Neck. She was 85 and had suffered in recent years from Alzheimer’s Disease. The cause of death was an apparent heart attack.

Earth Day with Raptors

Earth Day with Raptors In commemoration of Earth Day, on April 20, at the Belle Haven parking lot area, the Friends of Dyke Marsh and the U.S. National Park Service co-sponsored an information and education session about raptors (birds of prey) that frequent the Mount Vernon parkway region. The live raptors available for up close viewing were a screech owl and a species of falcon. In addition to the live raptor presentations handouts for children and adults were available.

Classified Advertising April 24, 2013

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Thursday, April 25

Aerial Spraying Program Criticized

County targets canker worm moth.

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

Letter: Bigger Issue Than TJ

To the Editor: Regarding TJ, you are barking at the wrong tree. Also, you can't kill the messenger.

Letter: Osprey Nest on Live Video

To the Editor: Several years ago, I installed a wood piling and a platform about 200 feet offshore from my home on Little Hunting Creek. Apparently, my choice of location was attractive because, every year since, an osprey pair has built a nest on the platform and raised at least two chicks.

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Editorial: Connection Guide to Parks Wins ‘Best in Show’

Investigative reporting, in depth coverage, education writing, photography, art, design, sports, garner Virginia Press Association honors.

The Connection Newspapers won dozens of awards from the Virginia Press Association, with winners announced on Saturday, April 20, in Norfolk.

Letter: Prepare for Park Meeting

To the Editor: The Westgrove Park Off-Leash Dog Area (OLDA) has been the subject of numerous articles and letters in the Gazette over the past two years. Last November, the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) agreed to establish the OLDA on an interim basis pending the outcome of the Master Planning process.

Celebrating Opening Day for Fort Hunt Softball

Fort Hunt Softball held its Opening Day Celebration on Sunday, April 14 at the Walt Whitman softball complex. Approximately 600 people including players, family members and volunteers were in attendance to celebrate.

Housing Market: ‘Sell and Buy’

Sustained low interest rates and rising prices have energized the marketplace.

The local real estate market is thriving, with Realtors reporting multiple offers on homes in some areas and dwindling inventory of homes for sale. At least two things are contributing to this change in the market. First, interest rates have been in the basement: Freddie Mac reported a 30-year fixed-rate of 3.57 percent for March this year, as opposed to 3.95 percent in March 2012 and 4.84 percent in 2011 (for reference, March 2005 was 5.93 percent).

Wednesday, April 24

Picking Up 474 Bags of Trash

Friends of Little Hunting Creek help clean up local waterway.

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

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Hollin Meadows Celebrates Earth Day

Girl Scouts held a used book sale and also added the last few boxes of this season’s cookies on the table at the annual Earth Day celebration at Hollin Meadows Math and Science Focus School on Saturday, April 20.

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South County Soccer Club Bonds in Bermuda

While other Elite Clubs National League soccer teams took a well-deserved break, one team went on the trip of a lifetime. FC Virginia U14s traveled to Bermuda over the Easter holiday, having the opportunity to experience island life while also playing against the full Bermuda women’s national team, and a high school team from Florida.

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Trying To Save Part of School

Residents ask school system to save part of building.

The planned renovation of Woodlawn Elementary School has become a topic of discussion between Fairfax County Public Schools staff members and local elected officials. At the heart of the discussion is the school system’s proposed renovations to the school.

Monday, April 22

Good Sheperd

Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services BEL13VE Gala nets more than $218,000 toward mission of reducing homelessness and promoting self sufficiency

Friday, April 19

Classified Advertising April 17, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Mount Vernon Home Sales: March, 2013

In March 2013, 108 homes sold between $1,325,000-$56,820 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: March, 2013

Jensen To Lead Drills at MVAC

Murphy Jensen, 1993 French Open Doubles Tennis Champion, and coach of the WWT Washington Kastles, will be at the Mount Vernon Athletic Club on Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

Local Volunteers on Trail Patrol

National Park Service sponsors Mount Vernon Trail Patrol Volunteer Program to supplement trail safety.

For those thinking of using the Mount Vernon Parkway trails but are concerned of possible security risks or accidents that may, a Trail Patrol volunteer program offers an added sense of security and confidence. Local volunteers supplement the U.S. National Park Service’s park ranger presence by patrolling the area and offering advice, help, and a secure presence throughout the trails of the Mount Vernon parkway.

Thursday, April 18

Opening Day for Alexandria Potomac Little League

Celebrating 10 years, players, coaches and volunteers held opening day ceremonies at Bucknell Elementary School on Saturday morning, April 13. This year’s sponsors include: AES, Beyer Subaru, Blackberry, BSN Sports, Sick’s Sporting Goods, Dick’s Trophies, Don Beyer Volvo, Dutzman Family, First Command Financial Services, Fort Hunt Body & Sol, Giant Foods, Holden & Sons, Hughes Orthodontics, Irish Plumber, Larson Orthodontics, Memory Makers, Mercedes-Benz of Alexandria, Ourisman of Virginia, RAM Technologies and TAS-Corp.

Walking for Cystic Fibrosis

More than 35 students walked on Saturday morning, April 13, at West Potomac High School to raise money and awareness as part of the “Great Strides” fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

‘Young Frankenstein’ To Open April 25

Beyond the Page Theatre Company of West Potomac High School presents “The New Mel Brook’s Musical ‘Young Frankenstein’” at 7 p.m. on April 25.

Poetry MV 4/17/2013

By Asher Ager 5th Grade Hollin Meadows ES Birds, animals, weeds, and all other beings, Spring approaches, though that might not seem now, All the beasts, plants, towers, flowers, and things, Can feel the warmth seeping through cold winter’s gown, Inofficially marking the new spring, The very official holiday will still cling, The answer to global warming is clear, We must step up and take charge of the day, Grab a took may it be shovel; or spade If you want to help this is the way, With any effort changes will be made, One of the enjoyable holidays, Earth Day is fun let it stay as it may.

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Editorial: Value-added Evaluation?

TJ admissions illustrate growing gap between “haves” and “have-nots.”

More than 181,000 students attend Fairfax County Public Schools. So why do the 480 students who were accepted for next year’s freshman class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology seem so important? Fairfax County Public Schools have a single elite magnet school, Thomas Jefferson, and TJ is frequently referred to as the top high school in the country. Dramatic disparity in the makeup of admissions at TJ is an indicator of disparity in early identification of students as gifted and talented, of access to advanced classes and enrichment, and in the basic education that the Fairfax County Public school system offers to all of its students.

New Class, Old Divisions

Demographic data for T.J. class of 2017 show lack of diversity at governor's school.

Even as federal regulators look into a civil-rights complaint about the lack of diversity at Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology, recently released demographics show that the number of black and Latino students is dropping. According to a report released last week by Fairfax County Public Schools, 8 percent of students who apply are Hispanic while only 3 percent of those who are accepted are Hispanic.


My daughter died today. Dear Patsy who was but seventeen, Another piece of my heart broken and dissolved in tears I clasped her precious hand and thought I would not survive this time My babies, Daniel, and too many others . . . Then I felt your hand on my shoulder, A reminder you shared my grief, and I was not alone. Your quiet, wordless strength gave me comfort, And I smiled up at you through my sorrow.


School Notes

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos are welcome. Mount Vernon High School has been awarded a state grant titled the 21st Century Learning Community Grant which will enable the school to begin an after-school program benefiting many students.

Wednesday, April 17

Column: A False Sense of Security

Not that there’s anything wrong with that; in fact, as a four-year, stage IV, non-small-cell lung cancer survivor, it’s amazing to have any security, false or otherwise, whatsoever.

‘We Have Not Forgotten’

Residents rally in Vienna to support stricter gun control measures.

Less than six miles from the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, more than 100 people gathered on the Vienna Town Green Saturday, April 13, to urge Congress to support stricter gun control measures.

Tuesday, April 16

Local Dancers To Perform at Kennedy Center

Emma Feddo, Elena Pipkin and Sydney Webster will perform in the American Ballet Theatre’s production of “Le Corsaire” at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., April 11 - 14. The local girls auditioned with approximately 50 other children and were cast as supernumeraries, or "supers," which are background roles similar to extras on a movie set.

Thousands of Pounds of Trash Removed from Little Hunting Creek

This past weekend, Del. Scott Surovell held his fourth cleanup in the past 12 months of Little Hunting Creek in the Hybla Valley section of Fairfax County. The cleanup, in coordination with Friends of Little Hunting Creek and the 25th Annual Alice Ferguson’s Foundations Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup, was led by Surovell at three different sites: Janna Lee Avenue Bridge, Creekside Village Apartments and Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza behind the Shoppers Food Warehouse and U.S. Post Office.

Fort Hunt Little League Celebrates Opening Day

Fort Hunt Little League officially kicked off its spring 2013 season Saturday, April 6, at Red Stevens Field, behind Carl Sandburg Middle School. Almost 600 Little Leaguers participated in the parade of teams, gathering at home plate to recite the Little League pledges for players, parents and volunteers.

Editorial: Voting Again

Every year is election year in Virginia, and it’s a bit much.

The most hotly contested race for statewide office in Virginia, the Republican contest for lieutenant governor, will be decided at a statewide convention on May 18. That’s about a month from now.

Friday, April 12

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Mount Vernon Real Estate: Top Sales in February 2013

In February 2013, 84 homes sold between $1,300,000-$96,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Real Estate: Top Sales in February 2013

Classified Advertising April 10, 2013

Read the lastest ads here!

Thursday, April 11

Man Shot and Killed by Police on Tuesday

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, police were called to a home in the 6600 block of Thurlton Drive in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County for the report of a possible suicidal subject, according to police. Officers from the Franconia Police District arrived and encountered a 37-year-old man.

Bulletin Board MV

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Saturday/April 13 “Striving for a Healthier Way” Prevention Conference. At Falls Church High School, the conference will feature an Ideas and Resource Fair and promotes alternatives for youth to manage stress and to deter use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Register online at

Mixture of Victories and Disappointments in Legislature


The General Assembly reconvened on Wednesday, April 3, to take up the Governor’s amendments and vetoes. HB 2313, the transportation bill, which caused so much debate during the session, came back with amendments which addressed concerns of constitutionality and reduced some of the burdensome fees that my constituents were displeased with.

Three Years Later: No Police Oversight Board

Beltrante continues to lobby for citizens panel.

Three years after forming the Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, retired D.C. homicide detective Nicholas Beltrante and his organization have not realized their goal of getting the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to establish a citizen police oversight panel. The genesis of Beltrante’s effort was triggered In 2009 when David Masters, a Vietnam veteran, alleged to have stolen flowers from a Route 1 nursery, was shot and killed by Fairfax police after a car chase.

Meet New SFDC Executive Director

Edythe Frankel Kelleher appointed last month.

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

Letter: Letters to the Editor-Who Is Responsible?

To the Editor: Congratulations to Walmart for its decision to put wheel locks on shopping carts, because they are expensive — nearly $100. But attempts to apply external pressure, and especially attempts at legislation to force Walmart to this action, is way out of line.

The Indispensable Library

$40 million facility now taking shape at Mount Vernon Estate; opening set for September.

Drivers zooming along Mount Vernon Memorial Highway are seeing history in the making. There, nestled in the thick woods of George Washington's estate, is a construction zone that will shape how future generations will view a figure historian James Thomas Flexner dubbed "The Indispensable Man."

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Mount Vernon Estate Moves Closer to Opening Indispensable Library

$40 million facility to open in September.

Drivers zooming along Mount Vernon Memorial Highway are seeing history in the making.

Wednesday, April 10

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Majors Struggling Under First-Year Head Coach Garza

Mount Vernon boys’ soccer loses to South Lakes.

The Mount Vernon boys' soccer team is off to a 0-3-1 start.

Friday, April 5

Classified Advertising April 3, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Bulletin Board

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Friday/April 5 Documentary. 7 p.m. at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane. Watch “American Meat.” Free. Refreshments provided. 703-721-0595.

Nelly’s Needlers Carry on Tradition at Woodlawn

Nelly’s Needlers once again opened the tea room at Woodlawn Plantation for lunch during the annual needlework show last month. Hostesses directed visitors to open tables and took orders.

WPHS Art At Target Gallery

The Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery presents an exhibition of work from the 2013 participants of the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Mentorship Program. In the Mentorship Program, a volunteer artist from the Torpedo Factory Artists Association is paired with an art student from West Potomac and T.C. Williams high schools.

Japanese Delegation Visits Health Club

A delegation of 24 fitness industry business leaders from Japan recently visited the Mount Vernon Athletic Club. A cover article in Club Business International magazine on October of 2012 featured Mount Vernon Athletic Club General Manager Aaron Volbrecht who described the leadership and growth that he achieved at the local tennis and fitness club.

SAR Presents Award to Kroesen

The George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) hosted a formal gala event at the Belle Haven Country Club on Jan. 26, 2013, to present the SAR's highest national award for public service to General Frederick J. Kroesen, Jr., U.S. Army (retired). The SAR Gold Good Citizenship Medal is awarded for outstanding and unusual patriotic achievement and service of national importance.

WPHS Students Excel at Regional Science Fair

The following students from West Potomac High school received honors at last month’s Regional Science Fair. Grand Prize Nominees: Madison Daley and Katherine Genuario (also took a first prize in Energy and Transportation); Lindsey Kibben (also took first prize in Physics and Astronomy).


School Notes

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos are welcome.

Wednesday, April 3

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Pitcher Arvo, Centreville Baseball Beat West Potomac

Wolverines’ comeback attempt falls short.

The West Potomac and Centreville baseball teams are 4-2.

Alexandria and Mount Vernon Calendar April 3

Information on entertainment events going on in Alexandria and Mount Vernon

Meeting Set on Westgrove Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority will hold a public comment meeting on Tuesday, April 30, to gather input on the draft Master Plan for Westgrove Park.

MVCCA Reveals 2013 Award Winners

The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens' Associations (MVCCA), announced the recipients of its 2013 Citizen of the Year, Organization of the Year, and Student of the Year awards this week.

MVHS Prepares Annual Mulch Sale

The 2013 Mount Vernon High School Spring Mulch Sale will be held April 20 from 8 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m.

WPHS To Host Memorial Service for Caldwell

A memorial service for Dr. Teressa Caldwell, a teacher, administrator, and mentor who died late last year will be held at West Potomac High School on Wednesday, April 10.

House Fire Causes $60,000 in Damage

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Monday, April 1, at approximately 7:35 p.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single family home is located at 3005 Marl-Pat Drive.

Mount Vernon Unitarians Commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Week

Three free activities next weekend — a tour, a film, and a lecture — sponsored by the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria will commemorate Holocaust remembrance week, April 7 -14.

Monday, April 1

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Fairfax County’s Homeless Population Declines 12 Percent

Emphasis on rapid re-housing, prevention keys to success.

Despite economic obstacles and fallout from across-the-board sequester cuts, Fairfax County’s number of homeless individuals declined 12 percent decline in the past year, and 26 percent since 2007.