Wednesday, December 31
Column: Level Best
If I wanted to rationalize the benefit of delaying my heretofore every-three-week chemotherapy infusion from three weeks to four and now on to five, possibly six – and that’s dependent on improved results from a second/maybe even third retest upcoming (this retest a bit more involved than drawing blood) – I would say it’s only fitting that I should have a break/brake; after all, it is the holiday season when all good things; yada, yada, yada. If only it were that simple.
Wednesday, December 24
Potomac’s Arden Courts Celebrates 20 Years
A facility for memory care.
Arden Courts in Potomac, the first community built by Manor Care dedicated to those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, celebrated its 20th anniversary on Nov. 5. More than 200 healthcare professionals, government officials, resident families and local businesses in the community came out in support.
Column: The New Normal
Loosey goosey, I suppose. As much as one might prefer some predictability in their life (certainly a cancer patient would – I know I would), I may be entering a cycle of permanent unpredictability.
Tuesday, December 23
Letter: Do Fairfax County Police Act with Impunity?
Fifteen months, after the shooting of John Geer, no officer has been identified, no charges have been filed, no grand jury has been convened and no reason has been given to the family or the public.
I would like to begin by saying that I have always and still do support the police as a whole. I appreciate the job that they do and the risks they take on a daily basis in an effort to keep the public safe. The ongoing policy in Fairfax County of police self-investigation, when officers are involved in possible crimes, has to change.
Friday, December 19
Gifts for the Home
Local shop owners offer suggestions to make holiday shopping easier.
While holiday shopping is part of the spirit of the season, for some choosing a present for everyone on their list can be overwhelming. Local small business owners come to the rescue with gift ideas for the home.
Irresistible? How Karen Garza Creates Change in Fairfax County Schools
Karen Garza is a good listener. And once she’s listened, she is, admittedly, not very patient. “If there's a real issue, I don't think it has to be debated for 10 or 15 years,” Garza said in an interview. “Either we're going to do something about it or not.”
FCPS Chief Karen Garza and Her Previous Life in Texas
“When I hired Karen in 2005,” former Superintendent of Houston Independent School District (HISD) Dr. Abelardo Saavedra said, “the position of chief academic officer had been open several months. I went looking for her. I’d never met her but I’d heard about her. There is a big difference between a mid-sized district and a larger one; the dynamics are completely different. I was taking a risk because she came from a mid-sized one of about 40,000 in Corpus Christi, and ours was much bigger. She adjusted very quickly.”
Saving Historic Homes
Residents could live virtually rent-free in exchange for repairing and maintaining homes.
Fairfax County might soon breathe life into historic homes that have fallen into disrepair. If an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors last month becomes law, the county will be one step closer to establishing a resident curator program.
2015 New Year Remodeling Resolutions
Improving long-term living needs and future home value.
After all the holiday festivities have passed and the ball has dropped to ring in the New Year, many homeowners are inspired to tackle resolutions that relate to their living space. 2015 may be the year you want to remodel your home to allow for the changes occurring in your life.
Fairfax County Public Schools Needing Community’s Help
Superintendent Karen Garza begins and ends her Listening Tour meetings with a plea to those in the room — parents, teachers, employees, unions — to help her achieve what needs to be done for their school system. “I am going to need your help,” she says to audiences who voice concerns about class size, resources for special education, and teacher salaries.
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza Bio
Current Position: Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent
Timeline of Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza’s career in education.
1986-1991: Elementary School Teacher, Yoakum, Texas (1,539 students, 38% white and 50% Latino and spends about $8,000 per pupil).
Widening Continues On U.S. Route 1 in Mount Vernon
Douglas White is the “unofficial mayor” of Accotink Village, he said. He was at the South County Center on Dec. 10 to hear project updates from members of the U.S. Route 1 Improvements project team handling the widening of the major roadway.
Thursday, December 18
When Dad (or Mom) Is High School Sports Coach
Local coaches and athletes share their feelings about the relationship between parent/coach and child/athlete.
Wednesday, December 17
Column: A Level That’s Anything But
This is not a home improvement reference, but this is most definitely a do-it-yourself column.
Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2014
In November 2014, 81 homes sold between $1,890,000-$85,000 in the Mount Vernon area.
Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2014
Tuesday, December 16
An Essay To Remember
Local educators offer advice on acing independent school admission essays and interviews.
While many are knee-deep in wrapping paper and eggnog, some students are holed up with computer keyboards and books of quotations. In addition to driving to the mall for holiday shopping, some parents are throwing rapid-fire questions at their children to make sure they are fast on their feet.
Commentary: Helping People without Homes
The weather has turned colder and the holidays are in full swing, which means it’s the time of year when people ask “what can we do for the homeless now that it’s so cold?” Or “how can we help the homeless have a good Christmas?”
Editorial: Holidays Are for Giving
In the scramble to finish Christmas shopping, remember tens of thousands of local children are short of food as well as presents.
The holidays are for giving. Christmas and Hanukkah are about children and family, about sharing, about joy, about being thankful and about faith and appreciation. Here in Northern Virginia, many of us see few signs of families in need as we go about our daily lives and holiday shopping. Our neighborhoods are largely segregated economically; we mostly see the people who are most like ourselves economically.
Thursday, December 11
Mount Vernon: Local Film Maker Shines at International Film Festival
Story focuses on life after high school.
After growing up in Tennessee, and a three-year stay in Greece when he was 14 through 17, Chris Kiros came to Alexandria. He now lives in Belle View with his wife, Christina, and seven-year-old son, Lucas.
Mount Vernon Pulls Out Overtime Win Against Rival West Potomac
Jones’ dunks excite crowd, Banks scores 10 in OT.
Mount Vernon improved to 3-0 with a 72-63 overtime win against West Potomac on Tuesday.
Wednesday, December 10
Citizens Coalition Petitions DOJ, Calls for Investigation of Fairfax County Police.
Nicholas Beltrante is trying to put even more pressure on the Fairfax County Police Department. The Mount Vernon resident and executive director for the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability (CCPA) recently filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division to investigate the FCPD.
Where to shop in Mount Vernon?
Occasionally Cake, 8859 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, Gingerbread man cookies $3, cupcakes $2.75-$3.25, cakes $4.50 per serving plus additional design work, own line extracts and flavorings $12.50-$15. “We’ve reached that age where we have so much stuff, people like to find unique, consumable things they don’t have to dust,” said owner and cake designer Sabrina Campbell. “We’re doing a lot for December birthdays, business celebrations and inter-office giving.”
Mount Vernon Taco Bell wins Mary Thonen Award
When she first heard Taco Bell had won, Yolanda Frye was shocked. “It means a lot to our Taco Bell,” said the regional general manager for the chain.
Editorial: Make a Plan, Talk About It
Here is help in keeping impaired drivers off the roads.
The holiday party season is upon us, and with it an increase in drinking and driving. It’s up to you to make a plan to get home safely.
Column: ‘Quality of Life’
If I’ve heard it once – from my oncologist – I’ve probably heard it a dozen times over the last nearly-six years.
Friday, December 5
Battling Holiday Bulge
Nutritionists offer tips for avoiding weight gain.
With the merriment of the holidays comes food, friends and fun. But from office parties to family dinners, opportunities for overeating and weight gain abound. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that the average American gains an extra pound every year that he never loses. Those pounds add up over a lifetime of holidays, but a few local nutritionists offer the skinny on weight-gain culprits and strategies to keep them at bay.
Wednesday, December 3
George Washington’s Mount Vernon opens Christmas program with camels, chocolate.
They came for the camel. Alberto, Daniela and their daughter Josephine Rendon of Alexandria have yearly passes to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, so, “We come here almost every weekend,” said Alberto. “We love to walk around and see the animals.” On this visit in particular, the animal of note was Aladdin the camel.
Geer Lawyer Expects Hearing Before New Year On Springfield Shooting
Out of 128 requests for the production of documents made by the Geer family lawyer Michael Lieberman, all but two have been denied by Fairfax County.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Signs On for $403 Million Loan
Low-interest federal loan will help finance Phase 2 of Silver Line.
Phase two of the Silver Line construction got a boost towards its 2018 estimated completion date. After nearly a year of discussion, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize a federal loan agreement to the tune of $403 million.
Fairfax County Facing More Budget Strain
County Executive and FCPS Superintendent present adverse forecasts.
Days before the traditional loosening of belts for Thanksgiving, Fairfax County officials discussed the need for tightening theirs.
Letter to the Editor: Two Ideas to Address Rape
To the Editor: As many of us recoil from the recent UVA sexual assault article in Rolling Stone, tremendous accusations are being thrown at the university and others like it across the country. While UVA is not innocent and its infamous privileged “party culture” is partly to blame, there are two clear pieces of the story that no one seems to be addressing.
Column: Since It Ain’t Broken...
Apparently, at least in the near term, we’re (meaning my oncologist) not going to fix it. And by fix it, I am referring to my chemotherapy infusion, which will continue to be every three weeks, as it has been for almost six years; save for a year or so when I was able to take pills at home, and on-site infusions were not necessary.