Monday, June 30
In May 2014, 138 homes sold between $1,725,000-$109,000 in the Mount Vernon area.
Mount Vernon Real Estate: Top Sales in May 2014
Friday, June 27
Gadson praised for strengthening relationship between Fairfax County and Fort Belvoir.
For his work in strengthening Fort Belvoir’s relationship with Fairfax County and for serving as a community leader, Colonel Gregory D. Gadson was honored with a proclamation from the Board of Supervisors as he departs Fort Belvoir on June 25.
Interactive training helps adults deal with serious issues.
Following several incidents in the community involving youth and suicide, Laura Yager, the director of partnership and resource development for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, said the community has recognized the need for youth suicide prevention.
Public Hearings are July 30 and Sept. 9.
Instead of bringing a brown-bag lunch to work or venturing out for fast food, Fairfax County residents may soon have a different option. On June 17, the Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with a proposal to make changes to food truck regulations. The proposal will allow food trucks to operate at office buildings, construction sites, and commercial and industrial properties. Public hearings on the proposal will be held in front of the Planning Commission on July 30 and Sept. 9 in front of the Board of Supervisors.
Thursday, June 26
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Snapshot: Storm Damage
Parents, staff, and 62 students gathered on Monday, June 9, to celebrate the first induction of the Sandburg Scholar Society at Carl Sandburg Middle School. The Sandburg Scholar Society recognizes students for outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service. The Society is a school organization run without bylaws and governed only by the expectations set forth by its sponsors under the leadership, directives, and pleasure of the school administration.
Mavericks win 12U Fort Hunt Championship, Flying Tigers Win 18U Fort Hunt Title.
In what proved to be a nail-biting 12U Championship game, the Fort Hunt Mavericks defeated the Fort Hunt Thunder in 5-4 victory in girls fast pitch softball on Sunday, June 8. With the stands packed at Walt Whitman Middle School, the battery of Katheryn Sowell and Charlotte Krell led their fellow Mavericks, coached by Ricky Sowell, to victory.
The last two weeks in Richmond have been unusually busy.
First, ethics are back at the forefront. in the wake of the resignation of state Sen. Phil Puckett and change in control of the State Senate, the new state budget was written under one-party control. A $1.6 billion shortfall due to lagging income tax collections forced cuts which I detailed two weeks ago: K-12, higher education, affordable housing, healthcare, and funding for continued planning for improvements on U.S. 1 was removed from the budget.
There’s been some commentary on Fairfax County school budget issues and a total misuse of the term “underfunding.” A recent Washington Post news story included the false claim that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors underfunded the school system. My reaction to this is more than academic — it’s personal. Not only am I a proud K-8 product of FCPS, but I’ve also got a daughter in our school system and a son just a few years behind.
To the Editor: I have monitored the proposal for a meals tax which apparently was initiated by Supervisor Hyland. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) organized a committee chaired by past Chairmen Tom Davis and Kate Hanley to provide the BOS the recommendation as to whether to seek a voter referendum. The committee provided the BOS its report which did not include any recommendation regarding whether to conduct a voter referendum but provided comments intended to guide the BOS in its deliberations.
League flourishes as popularity of sport continues to grow.
For the last 25 years, youth in Fort Hunt have had the opportunity to play competitive lacrosse, and many have gone on to play in college and coach later in life due in large part to their success in Fort Hunt Youth Lacrosse. What used to be a little-known and played sport is expanding and becoming increasingly popular across the U.S. Fort Hunt Youth Lacrosse offers opportunities for girls and boys as young as 5 years old to play.
Alexandria Archaeology Museum to host archaeology camp for teens next month.
Madeline Francis wants to be an archaeologist when she grows up, just like her aunt Whitney.
Wednesday, June 25
Talking and planning are the best safety measures; SoberRide offers a safety net.
Independence Day is a national celebration, and for many, that celebration includes alcohol. The summer overall and July 4 in particular are times of greater risk for drinking and driving.
Absolutely nothing, if you’re state Sen. Chap Petersen.
A lifelong Redskins fan, Fairfax state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) has had it up to here with all the talk about the need to change the name of his beloved football team. He vented his frustration and indignation on his blog — Ox Road South — but said he was leery of tackling what he deemed the forces of political correctness in the "War Against the Redskins" until June 18, when the Federal Patent Office blocked the team’s Redskins trademarks, declaring that the name was "disparaging" to Native Americans at the time the trademarks were registered — as far back as 1967. That action pushed Petersen off the sidelines to lead an offensive attack.
Forrest Gump knew when he voiced over: "Mama got the cancer and died on a Tuesday. I bought her a new hat with little flowers on it. And that’s all I have to say about that." And if you watched the movie as often as I did (it was one of my mother’s favorites), you may also recall "Mama always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on."
The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (Fairfax Chamber) honored Brain Injury Services with the 2014 Nonprofit of the Year award. This category was part of the 2014 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards presented at the Chamber’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon on June 17, 2014.
The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra hosted its annual garden party in Belle Haven at the home and garden of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Holden earlier this month.
The Alexandria Food & Wine Festival returned to Carlyle on Saturday afternoon, June 21.
Monday, June 23
The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish on July 23, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by Wednesday, July 16.
Thursday, June 19
At Rising Hope, two ex-offenders embark on new life journeys.
His first day locked in solitary confinement, David Hudgens, 48, serving two-and-a-half years for four nonviolent felonies, discovered a Bible under his mattress. Confused, raging, he hurled it against the wall. It fell to the floor of the narrow, cramped cell. Three days later, his fury ebbing, with no one to talk to, nothing else to read, he picked it up. Looking back, he recalls his motivation, “I’m going to read this like a John Grisham novel just to pass the time … but God had a whole different purpose.”
In May 2014, 138 homes sold between $1,725,000-$109,000 in the Mount Vernon area.
Mount Vernon Home Sales: May, 2014
Mayor: Torpedo Factory is the number one tourist attraction in Alexandria.
On Thursday, June 12, the Torpedo Factory Art Center officially unveiled "Coloring Outside the Lines," the mural that resident artist Rachel Kerwin has been painting in the waterfront entrance.
Katherine Morrison has been appointed as interim executive director of United Community Ministries effective July 1 to replace Shirley Marshall, who is leaving the agency.
As Space of His Own wraps up its initial year, Ryan Touhill and Walter’s relationship is off to a strong start.
Leon Malik Johnson, 18, of Pembrook Village Drive, was arrested June 12 and charged with involuntary manslaughter following the death of Kevin Johnson.
Dave Tremaine, a former principal at Hayfield Secondary School, died June 16. Tremaine recently retired from his position as principal at Hayfield, where he has worked since 2010.
The Patriot Center was packed on June 17 as the Class of 2014 celebrated their graduation from Robinson Secondary School.
2014 has been a contentious year so far, with “the Virginia Way” looking more like an endangered species every day. On June 11, just before midnight, the Senate Chamber passed a budget and the House of Delegates passed our version minutes later. I am grateful that we have avoided a shut down and our localities and state employees will no longer worry about paying their bills after July 1.
Last week was one of the most frustrating weeks in the General Assembly since my 2009 election.
Letter to the editor
Audubon residents also looking to make changes in the community.
For years, residents living right off of Richmond Highway, including those who live at Audubon Mobile Home Park located next to Costco, faced a lack of safe, quality places for their children to play.
Budget without Medicaid expansion being reviewed by Governor.
day before Virginia legislators reconvened in Richmond and passed a budget without Medicaid expansion, advocates gathered in Lorton to show their support for expanding health care coverage to 400,000 Virginians.
Board Chairman Sharon Bulova looking for compromise.
The decision has already been delayed before, but the future of the Lorton landfill will remain uncertain as the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to defer the decision to July 29.
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce hosts First Responders Benefit Lunch.
Being a first responder is stressful enough, but the first responders who were honored at this year’s Above and Beyond: First Responders Benefit Lunch excel at their jobs and more.
Seven aspiring educators from Fairfax County receive awards.
Aspiring educators from across Fairfax County were honored for their accomplishments and presented with scholarships to help them begin their teaching careers at a luncheon and ceremony held by the Fairfax County Retired Educators on June 12 in Fairfax. Every year, FCRE awards students interested in teaching careers with $2,000 scholarships. This year, the seven students were either graduates or soon-to-be graduates of high schools throughout Fairfax County, including Robinson, Lake Braddock, West Springfield, Marshall, Mclean and James Madison.
“Supporting our Region’s Veterans” report identifies suggestions for improvement.
Although veterans in Northern Virginia are more educated than those nationwide and are less likely to live below the poverty line and be unemployed, a new report has found that individual anecdotes from veterans in the area demonstrate that there are still areas that need improvement.
Jurisdictions use a variety of strategies to prevent homelessness.
Affordable housing means different things to different people at different times. For government officials, it's a phrase that means that a family spends no more than 30 percent of its income on housing costs, including rent or mortgage as well as taxes and utilities
Wednesday, June 18
Supervisors digest task force’s final report on hot-button issue.
After hours of simmering debate, the Meals Tax Referendum Task Force’s presentation to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Tuesday was a mere amuse-bouche, whetting the appetite of board the for the group’s 170-page multi-course written report.
Local tastemakers offer suggestions from the sentimental to the practical.
After the tassels have been turned and the diplomas received, it is usually time for a graduation celebration. Whether you’re shopping for someone who is heading to college or venturing out into the workforce, choosing a present for the graduate in your life can be perplexing, but local tastemakers are here to help, offering suggestions for graduation presents that range from the practical to the sentimental.
Local organizers show how to maximize storage in small spaces.
After graduation comes off-to-college season. Often this means parents making design choices for their children or parents and their soon-to-be-college freshmen searching for supplies that will serve dual purposes, particularly when it comes to storage. For those who find themselves in a dorm room design conundrum, local organizers offer tips and tools for creating stylish yet space-saving designs for new college students.
Anticipated job growth to exacerbate problem.
In Northern Virginia, affordable housing means more than human services or helping those who are less fortunate. It means more than housing the chronically homeless, although that is not optional.
Growing up in the 60s, if you loved sports, as I did/still do, you spent hours listening to games on a transistor radio. There certainly wasn’t “Cable” television back then; heck, there wasn’t even color television, let alone “HD,” “interactive,” or whatever else television technology has evolved into. And of course, there were no “big screen” television sets either. We had a 19" Zenith black and white television and we received three channels: 4, 5 and 7 (in Boston), and as much as sports was/is important in Boston/New England, viewing options, given the limited VHF/UHF band frequencies, meant listening to games on radio – AM radio. Games were regularly televised on weekends, more so if the home team was playing on the road. As the decades have passed, so too have transistor radios, black and white televisions and limited viewing on only three channels. Between “Cable,” computers, and more recently, the introduction of hand-held devices, access to and familiarity with sports has grown exponentially. Add in the explosion of sports-talk radio and the abundance of sports-themed content on television (regardless of whether the games are at home or on the road) and one could be in his “man cave” for hours on end “channeling” his – or her – passion, for any team, in any city, at almost any time.
Friday, June 13
My father died in 1989. At the first wedding I photographed afterwards, my son Steven who was assisting me, nudged me aside during the Father-Daughter dance. He noticed that I was weeping and that I couldn't see to focus because of the tears in my eyes. I still miss my father. My father was a quiet man, a gentle man. I never heard him raise his voice. He worked two full time jobs when I was growing up and I didn't see him very much but somehow he managed to teach me lessons I still haven't forgotten.
Thursday, June 12
Fairfax County considers ending half-day Mondays, at the cost between $4 to $7.6 Million.
Changes could be coming soon to school schedules in Fairfax County, under a new plan announced by Superintendent Karen Garza at a work session on May 28.
“Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail” unveiled at ceremony in Lorton.
On National Trails Day on June 7, the Cross County Trail, which goes through each district in Fairfax County, was renamed to the “Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail” in honor of Rep. Connolly’s work to build the trail.
Despite adding classrooms, need is growing in Fairfax County.
The Fairfax County Office for Children now has a waitlist of over 1,395 children. Of that number, 918 are on the waitlist for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Fairfax County Public Schools, according to a new report presented at a school board work session on May 29.
Over 50 students participated in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fair presented by the Silverbrook Elementary School PTO.
Final recommendation will be presented to School Board in July.
Parents and community members were presented with information regarding later start times in Fairfax County at a public meeting on June 10 at West Springfield High School. Leading the presentation were Danny Lewin and Judith Owens, doctors from the Children’s National Medical Center and experts on sleep medicine.
Fifth annual celebration followed by summer of camping, fun.
For the fifth year in a row, complete with cannons, ships and swords, pirates stormed the beach at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton last weekend.
Board of Supervisors approves Laurel Hill Master Development Plan.
The site of the former Lorton prison will soon get a makeover, complete with townhouses, restaurants, apartments and single-family homes. Inside the renovated cell blocks and guard towers will be housing and businesses on 80 acres in Lorton, home to the D.C. prison that closed in 2001.
Alexandria's fireboat comes home.
Named Relief, Alexandria’s fireboat returned to its berth last week and stands ready for action in service to the Port City. However, its responsibilities are broader than one might expect.
School received most nominations in the region.
The 15th Annual Cappies Awards Gala for high school theater was held Sunday, June 8 at The Kennedy Center.
Audrey Davis has been appointed director of the Alexandria Black History Museum.
As time keeps slipping by, it is with some despair reports of any solution to Alexandria’s triple murders continue to be unavailable, not only to the families of victims but to the general public as well.
To the Editor:
Police officers respond to a shooting to find two victims, ages 14 and 16.
Don Beyer edges out six competitors in crowded filed of candidates.
When asked about animals rights, former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer quotes author Peter Singer. He describes his wife as the "sine qua non" of his life. During his victory speech in the hotly contested Democratic primary to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8), he quoted St. Augustine and Winston Churchill. He reads widely and has five policy proposals for every issue before Congress.
Wednesday, June 11
Your guide to this summer's hottest events in the area.
Your guide to this summer's fun festivals and events.
The 15th Annual Cappies Awards Gala for high school theater was held Sunday, June 8 at The Kennedy Center. Nine Cappies went to West Potomac High School for “Spamalot,” including the coveted Best Musical award. The Best Play award went to Langley High School for “The Children’s Hour.” The Cappies’ show season extended from October 2013 to May 2014, and Cappies shows were attended, on average, by 45 student critics. This year’s event included 58 public and private high schools from Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Montgomery and Prince William counties, the cities of Falls Church, Alexandria and Manassas, and Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by Judy Bowns, Janie Strauss and Ed Monk.
Designers offer suggestions for decorating the perfect bedroom.
While most people crave a good night’s sleep, it remains a dream for many. A bedroom that is both chic and comfortable can help the overworked find that restful slumber.
And therein lies the anxiety. Although, all things considered – and as you regular readers know, I like, maybe even need, to consider all things – the medical assessment of the most recent CT scan of my upper torso and thorax/lungs showed a new object in my left lung, “approximately the size of a silver dollar,” according to my oncologist. What this object is, exactly, cannot be determined at this juncture; technology prevents such clarity, unfortunately. Nevertheless, its appearance and location are possibly cause for concern, possibly not.
Fairfax County task force debates voters’ appetite for another meals tax referendum.
It has been 22 years since Fairfax County asked voters to approve a tax on restaurant meals, an issue that ignited protests, caused deep divisions among community leaders and threatened to melt down several political careers. The reverberations of that epic failure — what many consider the third rail of county politics — continue to echo in the ears of county politicians.
New Peace Garden a beacon of hope for victims.
When members of the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues unveiled a new memorial on May 30, they also illuminated the issue of local human trafficking in Northern Virginia. Elected officials including Supervisor John Foust, Japanese and Korean representatives, and human rights activists gathered to remember the women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery during WWII. Now the memorial stands sunlit on the back lawn of the Fairfax County Government Center, as a reminder for today’s community to take a stand against these crimes against humanity in their own neighborhoods.
More than 100 business leaders attend luncheon.
Approximately 33 percent of Fairfax County Public Schools kindergartners are living in poverty.
The 100,000 Homes Fairfax campaign was presented with a Blue Ribbon Partnership award from the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships (OP3) as part of its "Celebrate Partnerships" awards ceremony held on May 29.
Summer is a time of change — always welcomed by students. The break during the hottest months gives a chance for kids to de-stress and prepare for their next grade on their short path to adulthood. After five summers at FACETS, I’ve had the opportunity to watch many children make this transition. What’s fun for kids though, can be a huge struggle for their parents. Finding appropriate and affordable care, providing enough meals during the day, and incurring the extra costs of entertaining children can be an enormous challenge for families that FACETS serves.
The EPA‘s new proposal to safeguard the air we breathe and contain a primary driver of climate change by reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants is the lynchpin to reducing our carbon footprint. As co-chairs of the House Sustainable Energy and Environmental Coalition, we welcome action on carbon pollution and look forward to working with all stakeholders in a responsible manner to advance a 21st century energy economy for America.
On May 8, 2014, Vibeke Gregers-Hansen, born Anne-Vibeke Kragh Petersen, 1935 in Copenhagen, Denmark, died at her home on Maid Marian Court in Alexandria at the side of her husband for 55 years, Vilhelm.
Monday, June 9
Party insider Ed Gillespie seizes nomination at convention in Roanoke.
When conservative preacher E.W. Jackson took the stage at the Roanoke Civic Center to introduce Tea Party favorite Shak Hill at the Republican convention last weekend, hundreds of conservatives from across Virginia took to their feet. They waved placards.
Thursday, June 5
Pirates’ Day at Pohick Bay Regional Park is June 7.
This Saturday, Pohick Bay Regional Park will look a little bit different as it’s invaded by pirates for the fifth anniversary of Pirates’ Day.
Cheryl McDonald recognized at 2014 Volunteer Fairfax Awards.
Cheryl McDonald, a resident of the Braddock district for 15 years, has been working daily to ensure the Danbury Forest community near Accotink Creek in Springfield is a safe and pleasant place to live. This year, her hard work was recognized on a county-wide level when she was nominated by Supervisor John Cook as the 2014 Volunteer Fairfax Community Champion for the Braddock District.
Lords and Ladies of Fairfax Honored by Board of Supervisors
The 2014 Lords and Ladies of Fairfax were recognized in front of the Board of Supervisors on June 3 and presented with certificates honoring them for their dedication to their communities. This tradition, which began in 1984, comes every year with the Celebrate Fairfax Festival, which takes place this year June 6-8.
Mary Ager and Dayna Cooper receive Citizen Recognition-Lifesaving Award.
Michael and Carol Martinka, residents of South Run Crossing in Springfield, were clearing out their driveway yet again during one of the many snow days in Fairfax County this winter. Michael was clearing the driveway with a snow blower while Carol was at the front porch. All of a sudden, Carol heard the snow blower stop and found her husband lying face down in the snow. Panicked, she screamed for help.
Lee High School hosts annual Community Science Day.
Lee High School students are sharing their love of science with the community every year through their Community Science Day. This year, their May 31 event reached 280 guests, allowing attendees to participate in hands-on science projects and learn about issues such as renewable energy, stem cell research, genetically modified organisms, and other topics affecting the world.
Scholarships presented by the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce.
The Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce has awarded seven students with college scholarships this year. The students were honored for their achievements at River Farm next to the Potomac River on June 3.
The 25th annual West Potomac High School Spring Show opens Thursday, June 5, at 5 p.m. in the Springbrook Auditorium.
Friends at Plymouth Haven Baptist Church pay tribute
Few of us at age 19 are able to forecast very far where we might be in five or 10 years. So it was with Harry Henry Davis, who at age 19 was working as a grocery delivery boy at a local market in Hollin Hall, south of Old Town Alexandria.
West Potomac High School started construction on its long-awaited turf fields on Monday, June 2. When completed in August, the school will have synthetic turf on the stadium field, and on a new practice field with lights. These fields will be used for WPHS athletics as well as permitted by Fairfax County for community use.
Commentary by Scott A. Surovell, State Delegate (D-44)
Commentary by Scott A. Surovell, State Delegate (D-44)
To the Editor: John Glazer’s letter “Bottom Line To Help or Not” in the May 22-28, Mount Vernon Gazette responds to my letter urging thorough consideration of data before expanding Medicaid to avoid problems because of money shortage and not establishing short and long term systems that will help instead of hurt those intended to help.
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Where are the region's highest poverty schools?
When Carla Castro-Claure was approaching the age when she would soon attend Kindergarten, her mother became increasingly concerned about Hybla Valley Elementary School.
Wednesday, June 4
Sophomore scores 3 goals against West Potomac, advancing W-L to region final.
The Washington-Lee boys' soccer team will face T.C. Williams in the 6A North region final on Thursday.
Torpedo Factory Art Center commemorates 40 years.
The doors to the Torpedo Factory Art Center slide open as visitors come in to see artists at work in their studios. Rachel Kerwin is one of those artists. Wearing earbuds and concentrating with each stroke, she paints a mural that she hopes connects the Factory to its visitors and the surrounding community.
Local foodies say cooking with children can establish a lifetime of healthy habits.
From creating dough for freshly baked bread to squeezing lemons for a neighborhood lemonade stand, Michael Roll enjoys spending time in the kitchen with his children transforming ordinary food into nutritious culinary creations, particularly during the summer. He says that when parents cook healthy meals with their children they model behavior that can last a lifetime.
Ceremony in Fairfax recognizes high school seniors who are enlisting in the military.
As high school nears its end for the many seniors of Fairfax, Loudon and Prince William counties, students are faced with countless options of what will be their next step in life.
In anticipation of my next face-to-face appointment with my oncologist, the first in three months (as per usual) and considering a breathing issue I’ve been experiencing the last month or so, my wife, Dina (original Team Lourie member) asked if I wanted my brother, Richard (the other original Team Lourie member), to attend. Not that he wouldn’t attend if asked (he’s local); it’s more that I’m wondering if he really needs to attend, as in whether there will be life-changing, cancer-related decisions where all hands need be on deck. Of course, a week before the appointment I have no legitimate clue – nor have I received any suggestions from my oncologist – that anything of substance/recent changes that have occurred (I have also recently completed my quarterly diagnostic scans and am awaiting those results as well) will be discussed; and that’s the point of this column: how frequently, how/when does the patient/survivor know when team members should be present at these appointments?
Vote this week at your convenience in person absentee, or be sure to vote on Tuesday.
Chances are that if you are a registered voter in the 8th Congressional District, your mailbox has been letting you know that many candidates are running in next week’s Democratic primary.
Lyceum Summer Music Series on tap.
Selections from Bela Bartok, Arthur Benjamin and George Gershwin will highlight the season finale performance of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Sunday, June 8 at T.C. Williams High School.
Former lieutenant governor raises $1.1 million; his competitors combined raise $1.4 million.
Campaign finance documents released in the final days before the June 10 primary show the seven candidates in the primary to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) have raised almost $2.5 million. Former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer leads the pack with $1.1 million, three times as much as his closest competitor. "Don Beyer is clearly the favorite," said Geoff Skelley, analyst with the University of Virginia Center for Politics. "He may not win it with a particularly large plurality, but he's the favorite to win."