Stories for December 2013

Stories for December 2013


Tuesday, December 31

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Top Mount Vernon Sports Moments of 2013

Here is a look at the top Mount Vernon sports moments of 2013.

Saturday, December 28

Oakton Survives Host Mount Vernon in Holiday Tournament Semifinal

Potential Cougar blowout turns into a narrow barnburner as Majors’ comeback bid falls short

The Oakton boys' basketball team beat Mount Vernon.

Friday, December 27

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Spiritual Wellness in the New Year

What is it and how does one achieve it?

As we begin a new year, many are focused on their spiritual health and well-being. In fact, the National Wellness Institute names spiritual wellness as one of the seven dimensions of overall wellness. It’s essential in life, say experts.

Cures for Cabin Fever

Creative ideas for housebound parents and children.

Winter brings frigid temperatures, icy roads, snow and often school closures. While sledding and building snowmen are fun, hazardous weather conditions mean much of the time is spent indoors, and soon the novelty of time off can become cabin fever. Local child education experts offer activity suggestions for filling those long winter days. Susan Friedman, executive editor for digital content at the National Association for the Education of Young Children and a Bethesda resident, suggests parents encourage a child’s natural curiosity. "In the same way that school classrooms have activity centers, parents can create boxes that focus on different activities like playing dress up with clothes, hats and neckties," she said. "You can create a box with art supplies and a box with games or puzzles."

In Defense of My Own Mechanism

So much of what I feel as a cancer survivor comes from the feedback I receive from others. Positive, complimentary, flattering characterizations are crucial to my optimistic outlook. Negative descriptions, reactions, etc., are not. Not to discount honesty, but the emotional divide on which a cancer patient’s self-assessment/attitude teeters is delicate indeed and honesty is sometimes (I said "sometimes") not the best policy. If I’m in the right mood, negativity can be deflected, absorbed even; not a problem. If I’m in the wrong mood, however, the negative can push me into a black hole of emotional despair. Regardless of whether the comment/observation is well-intended, accurate or even prudent under the circumstances, its effect can be deeply felt. Getting back to normal is not impossible and mostly within my control, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not have to claw my way out.

Editorial: Looking to Hear from Readers in New Year

As local, weekly newspapers, the Connection’s mission is to deliver news readers need close to home, to help readers enjoy great local places and events, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives. To succeed at any of that, we need your help.

Thursday, December 26

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2013

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2013

Classified Advertising December 25, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Thursday, December 19

Backwards Thinking

Considering that I’ve been cancer-centric now for nearly five years, one would have thought I might have learned and totally embraced an alternative concept: forward living – and less thinking about past causes and their possible current effects. Certainly cancer causes physical manifestations and symptoms that are diagnosable and indicative of trouble. But it’s the unseen effects that in some cases cause as many difficulties. What I am referring to is the mental and emotional toll a terminal diagnosis and short term prognosis can have on the patient’s perspective on life and living, and what’s presumptively thought to be left of it.

Preserve 3-2-1 for Housing

Housing for all income levels near transit supports vibrant communities and job growth, reduces traffic.

In the latest edition of The Herrity Report, Springfield Supervisor Pat Herrity proposed "redirecting developers’ $3 per square foot contribution for buying rent-controlled housing units into a trust fund to pay for public school renovation and construction."

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Home for the Holidays: Surviving a Long Trip

Keeping children entertained on lengthy airplane rides.

Liz Henry is nervous about her upcoming flight to San Francisco. It’s not TSA regulations or long lines that are causing her anxiety, however. It is traveling alone with her three children — all of whom are under the age of 6.

Teaching Children To Be Charitable

Experts say modeling, nurturing are keys to raising generous children.

Elena Santiviago walked her 6-year-old son down the aisle of a grocery store near her Arlington home. They picked up five boxes of toothpaste and two bottles of mouthwash, several bars of soap and a few sticks of deodorant. The shopping trip was part of a school project in which students fill holiday stockings with personal hygiene items for the homeless.

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Art Educator Releases Two Books

Stories offer children and parents innovative ways to explore art.

Elizabeth Augenblick Smith, 10, spent a recent Saturday afternoon gluing strips of brightly hued tissue paper to create a collage. There were no rules or guides to follow.

Classified Advertising December 18, 2013

Read the lastest ads here!

Wednesday, December 18

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Cartoon: This is the ACTUAL Congress

This is the ACTUAL Congress

Thursday, December 12

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Spreading Holiday Cheer

Wine shops from around the region give their suggestions for bottles to bring to holiday parties.

Holiday season means parties, hostess gifts, office Secret Santas and other occasions where many people bring a bottle of some spirit or other to spread good tidings. So what to pick up? What's right? What kind of wine goes with what kind of food? And where to go for some good advice?

Classified Advertising December 11, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

New Approach to Mental Health

Reforms in wake of tragedy involving state senator's son.

Advocates for mental health services have been calling for improved services and increased funding for years, although the issue has been pushed aside year after year.

Wednesday, December 11

Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life

Local gourmets share their favorite products for the food lovers on your list.

Whether you’re shopping for a seasoned cook or a budding culinary enthusiast, buying presents for a foodie can be a daunting task. What’s the best pan? The coolest gadget? The latest trend in desserts? Local gourmets come to the rescue with culinary goodies to entice even the most discerning of food aficionados.

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Opening Up

Open floorplan plus cathedral ceiling equals Mclean ranch stylishly re-invented.

Assess a circa-1952 ranch on a shady street in McLean with an eye towards maximizing value. Among the shortcomings: rooms that are too small and dark; a kitchen that hasn't been remodeled in 25 years. A tiny breakfast room. A rear grade too steep for an addition. A front elevation with no visible front door.

Holiday Décor: Make It Sparkle

Local designers offer suggestions for home decorating.

’Tis the season for decking the halls. Whether your style is traditional and colorful, muted and demure or metallic and glittery, three local designers offer distinct holiday decorating ideas to spark your creativity.

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Come Home to a Luxury Bedroom

Local designers unveil inviting spaces that are perfect for dreaming of sugarplums.

Bedrooms are no longer just for sleeping, at least according to some local designers. They’re for relaxing and watching television, but they’re also for reading and for eating a lazy weekend breakfast. In fact, some modern bedrooms are probably larger than their owners’ first apartments. Three local tastemakers unveil master bedrooms that are so opulent and amenity-filled that it’s surprising their owners ever want to leave.

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A New Luxury Kitchen for the Holidays

Designers describe the perfect spaces for baking, cooking and entertaining.

With the holiday season in full swing, many people are finding themselves spending more time in the kitchen. Whether you hate to cook or love it, it can be more enjoyable when done in the kitchen of your dreams, complete with state-of-the-art appliances and custom-made marble topped islands.

A "Scancer" Update

Since you asked, or rather indulged me the past few weeks by wading through my two "Scanticipation" columns anticipating a result, I am happy to finally share that result with you: "Stable and better." These are the exact words e-mailed to me by my oncologist in response to my post-Thanksgiving inquiry about my CT Scan completed on the 27th.

Editorial: Happy Holidays, Safely

SoberRide safety net, 1-800-200-TAXI.

Holiday party season is well under way, along with winter weather advisories. It’s up to individuals to make good decisions about celebrations that involve alcohol and how to handle transportation.

Thursday, December 5

Mount Vernon Girls’ Basketball Stumbles in Season Opener

Majors lose to strong Centreville team, 60-32.

The Mount Vernon girls' basketball team is off to a 0-1 start.

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Centreville Girls’ Basketball Thumps Mount Vernon in Opener

Wildcats prove to their coach they have the desire to win.

The Centreville girls' basketball team beat Mount Vernon, 60-32.

Classified Advertising December 3, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Democrats Shut Out of Power in Senate

Even if Democrats win in two special elections, control over committees is unlikely.

Don't expect Democrats to take control over state Senate committees anytime soon, even if the party manages to hold both of the seats where special elections are now underway.

Tuesday, December 3

The Holiday Blues: Cope and Prevent

Mental health experts say being realistic and seeking support can help you avoid holiday stress and depression.

While the holiday season is filled with parties, shopping, decorating and other festive activities, mental health experts say it often brings unwelcome guests as well: stress and depression. While they can be difficult to manage when one is in the midst of a bout, with a few strategies one may be able to prevent both before they ruin the holiday season.

Staying Fit During the Holidays

Staving off extra pounds during the season of sweets.

Patty McAndrews works out with a trainer twice a week at of TRUE Health and Wholeness in Arlington. She found that restarting her fitness regimen about two months ago has strengthened her abdominal muscles and toned her body.

Holiday Recipe Makeovers

Strategies for keeping traditional treats healthy

When Alice Jenkins saw her doctor two months ago, he diagnosed her with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and suggested she change her diet and lose about 30 pounds. Lawson, 45, started a diet program and has lost nine and a half pounds, but now that she’s in the midst of the holiday season, she’s concerned about losing the strides that she’s made with her dietary changes. "I have a large family and we get together a lot during the holidays," said Lawson, who lives in Alexandria. "There is always sweet potato pie, macaroni and cheese, and deep fried turkey."

"Scanticipation" Not So Much

As much as last week’s column, "Scanticipation" was about my looking forward – in a non-foreboding way, to my scheduled CT Scan on the 27th and the presumptive positive (not negative) results, having to write a column for this week before having received those results makes this writing effort particularly challenging.

Every Tweet Counts

How Republican Brian Schoeneman earned wrath of his party by making sure every vote counted in county.

On the morning of Nov. 6, the day after the general election, it appeared that Republican Mark Obenshain had eked out a razor-thin victory over Democrat Mark Herring to become Virginia’s next Attorney General. Like most hotly-contested political battles, the close race generated even closer scrutiny.

Editorial: Who Will Be Hurt?

Innovations, changes and cuts designed to help the budget should be subject to analysis of how they will affect those on the short end of the economic and digital divide.

As Fairfax County faces a tight budget year and Fairfax County Public Schools consider significant cuts, clearly some changes are going to affect services on the ground. As various proposals emerge, there should be some specific analysis of how changes, innovations and cuts would affect the poorest one-third or so of the county’s residents specifically.