Stories for May 2014

Stories for May 2014


Friday, May 30

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Cartoon: Texting While Driving Signs

Texting While Driving Signs

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Summer 2014 at Wolf Trap

As America's National Park for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap plays a valuable leadership role in both the local and national performing arts communities. A typical season at Wolf Trap includes theatre, and musical performances ranging from country to pop to orchestra. Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road in Vienna, is accessible from the Metro and parking is free. Visit for more.

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Farmers Markets 2014

Buy fresh fruits and veggies from local vendors this summer.

Your guide to all the farmers markets in the Northern Virginia area.

Thursday, May 29

Once Cramped, Outdated; Now Modern, Efficient

When the Fairfax County Animal Shelter was built in the early 1970s, it was intended to be a dog pound to handle stray and homeless dogs. Renovated in the mid-1980s, it increased the number of kennels from 48 to 72 to better care for dogs in isolation and quarantine.

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Enjoy the Summer at Huntley Meadows

Park offers more than 1,500 acres of wildlife and beauty.

ith the construction of the wetland restoration project complete and a variety of family activities, fun and learning are givens at Huntley Meadows this summer.

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100 New Citizens Welcomed in Fairfax County

New citizens welcomed at Naturalization Ceremony of the Fairfax County Asian American History Project.

New American citizens started off their Memorial Day Weekend in a very patriotic way: celebrating their newfound American Citizenship through a naturalization ceremony.

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Sharing A Passion for STEM

Summer Keating of Fairfax Station starts STEMaze group.

Summer Keating is only in sixth grade at Silverbrook Elementary School, but the 11-year-old Fairfax Station resident is already sharing her passion for science and math with the community. “We don't do enough hands-on science, there is too much work for SOLs,” Summer said. “When we do science, it’s not as creative as I would like.”

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Countdown to World Police and Fire Games Begins

The event will bring 12,000 athletes from 70 countries to region in Summer 2015

Even though the opening ceremony is still a little over a year away, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined officials from Fairfax County last week to announce the countdown to the 2015 World Police and Fire Games.

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JROTC Honored

JROTC Honored

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Governor Launches Outdoor Fitness Challenge at Mason Neck

Mason Neck receives $55,000 grant, is named one of “America’s Favorite Parks.”

Located just miles from busy Interstate 95, Mason Neck State Park is a gem in the area for those looking for some outdoor recreation and an escape from the stress of Northern Virginia. The park’s allure was recognized last week as it received a $50,000 grant from Coca-Cola for being named one of America’s Favorite Parks through the “America is Your Park” campaign.

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Residents Learn the Ins and Outs of Fairfax County

Supervisor Cook’s Neighborhood College Program helps citizens navigate County.

Braddock District residents came to Supervisor John Cook’s Neighborhood College Program for a variety of reasons, from wanting to be better leaders of their civic associations to looking to refresh their knowledge of local government, but all will be better informed and more able to navigate Fairfax County after graduating from the class.

Crime Report: Mount Vernon

The Mount Vernon District Police Station reported the following incidents.

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A Hero's Welcome

Quadruple amputee defies the odds.

In the weeks leading up to the 2014 GI Film Festival, the buzz was all about actor and veterans advocate Gary Sinise appearing at the May 23 Salute to Hollywood Patriots night at the Old Town Theatre. But by the end of the evening, it was Army Staff Sergeant and quadruple amputee Travis Mills that left everyone starstruck.

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McAuliffe Vetoes Bipartisan Ethics Bill

After Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bipartisan ethics bill last week, the bill’s co-sponsors, Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) Del. David Ramadan (R-87) and Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67), joined other lawmakers throughout the state in expressing their disapproval of the decision. Surovell and LeMunyon’s bill, House Bill 1212, also had a Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 650, which was vetoed by the Governor.

Obituary: John Theodore Geary

Captain John Theodore Geary, USN (Ret.) died at his home on May 17, 2014 at the age of 89. John, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., was born on Jan. 17, 1925 and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1947.

Classified Advertising May 28, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Seven in the Eighth: Epic Democratic Primary Heads Toward Final Days

Hotly contested race to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8)

Ten names will be on the ballot June 10, although only seven candidates are still in the Democratic primary to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8).

Wednesday, May 28

Some Good News and a Lot of Uncertainty

Realtors discuss the mortgage market at finance summit.

The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) hosted Finance Summit 2014 at their Fairfax Headquarters on Wednesday, May 21. The event brought together a panel of speakers with an impressive collection of credentials and expertise. Moderator Ken Harney’s “Nation’s Housing” column is nationally syndicated. Harney is also a member of the Federal Reserve Board Consumer Advisory Council, an author and commentator on real estate and mortgage issues, and the host of CNBC’s “Real Estate Magazine” weekly television program.

Column: Team Up

Just as “everyone knows Geico can save you 15 percent in 15 minutes,” that is, if you watch television, listen to radio, access the Internet or even sit on the beach at Ocean City and watch the single-engine planes flying by pulling banners; so too do people know that when your primary care physician tells you that you need to meet with an oncologist to discuss your recent medical results, you should bring along family, friends, advocates, doctors, lawyers, etc. (your presumptive “team”), because, well, you know why: your life may depend on it.

Editorial: New Measure - More Living in Poverty

Inside the Beltway, that is Alexandria, Arlington and parts of Fairfax, 32 percent of children are living in poverty or near poverty. In Fairfax County, 26 percent of children live in or near poverty. This is according to the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

Saturday, May 24

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West Springfield Baseball Beats West Potomac in Conference 7 Championship Game

Spartans capture first conference/district title since 2009.

The West Springfield baseball team defeated West Potomac 8-5 on Friday night.

Friday, May 23

Classified Advertising May 21, 2014

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Thursday, May 22

Mount Vernon Awards Teacher Fellowships to Outstanding Educators

George Washington’s Mount Vernon has selected four educators to participate in a residential fellowship program at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

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Over $45,000 Raised for Fragile X

Second Annual Fragile X Walk hopes to raise $50,000.

Families and friends of those with Fragile X gathered at Burke Lake Park last week to participate in the second annual Fragile X walk.

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Group Assembly Proposal Could Limit Home Gatherings

Residents voice opposition to proposal at public meetings.

After a heated public meeting on a proposed change to the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance, which would limit gatherings of more than 49 people to three times in a 40--day period in a residential dwelling, Leslie Johnson, the zoning administrator for Fairfax County, told residents she doubts the proposal will go any further, based on the feedback that has been received.

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Distracted Driving Rising in Fairfax County, Interstate 95

Drivers are encouraged to avoid their phones

Although April was designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the issue continues to affect drivers in and around Fairfax County throughout the year. According to the Fairfax County Police Department, distracted driving resulted in 1,175 crashes in 2013. In the Lee district, Franconia Road and South Van Dorn Street was a top location for crashes involving distracted drivers.

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Honored for Enthusiasm and Dedication

West Springfield Senior Natalia Rivero Nogales recognized by Hispanic Leadership Alliance.

When Natalia Rivero Nogales graduates in a month from West Springfield High School, she plans on majoring in psychology so she can become a counselor and help people, something that she says is her goal in life.

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Bringing Hope and Health to Lorton

Hope and Health Festival provides health information and screenings for area residents.

In the south county area, many residents have trouble receiving health care, says Linda Patterson, executive director of the Lorton Community Action Center. It was this struggle to access care that was behind the motivation for the Hope and Health Festival, a collaborative effort between the Lorton Community Action Center, South County Church, and the Lorton Library.

Wednesday, May 21

2014 Athletes of the Year

GMU's Hewitt to keynote Sportsman's Club awards dinner May 29.

George Mason Men's Basketball head coach Paul Hewitt will be on hand as 27 of the city's best high school athletes are honored for their academic and athletic excellence at the 58th annual Alexandria Sportsman's Club Awards dinner May 29 at the Westin Carlyle Hotel.

Too Patient a Patient

Since I’m in the honesty business (as you regular readers know; and based on many of the e-mails I receive, commended on being so), if I were to admit anything concerning my behavior during these last five-plus years as a lung cancer survivor, it would have to be my continual tendency to minimize new symptoms, and in turn, not contact my oncologist (which from the very beginning is the exact opposite of what we are told to do). Stupid, stubborn, scared, naive, in denial; you pick.

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You’re Never Too Young for Poetry

Local educators say exposing children and even babies to rhyme and rhythm can help develop reading and language skills.

Though Keith Ward's son is still a baby, the young child is already being exposed to exposed to not just silly stories, but poetry, and a variety of poetic forms at that.

Editorial: Remembering on Memorial Day

Fewer deaths as military operations wind down, but 22 veterans a day die of suicide.

In Arlington over the coming Memorial Day weekend, the organization TAPS, or Tragedy Assistance for Survivors, will hold its 20th annual Military Survivor seminar and Good Grief camp for young survivors, children of all ages. TAPS offers support to anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died in the military, whether from combat, suicide, terrorism, homicide, negligence, accidents or illness.

Monday, May 19

Volunteers Mosey Up for Hoedown

Scores honored for good deeds at Rising Hope.

Home on the range, it was a time for tall boots, cowboy hats and “no discouraging words” at the Rising Hope Hoedown which feted the church’s scores of volunteers from the Mount Vernon community and surrounding churches, Friday, May 2, at the South County Building. In fact, the words were most encouraging.

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Cycling on National Bike Day

Students and teachers bike to school.

Walt Whitman Middle School was one of more than 30 Fairfax County public schools participating in National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 7. National Bike Day is part of the national program Safe Routes to School.

Friday, May 16

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Back from Atlanta with More Than 25 Awards

At 6 a.m., the morning of April 24, more than 120 students, 19 chaperones, three teachers, and one administrator, arrived at Walt Whitman Middle School to take three buses and head to Atlanta to participate in the 2014 Music Showcase Festival.

Letter: More Study, Less Emotion

To the Editor: John S. Glaser’s letter “Benefits of Medicaid Expansion” in the May 1-7 Mount Vernon Gazette responding to my letter is typical of those who blindly push for something using whatever emotional data that suits their purpose and usually ignoring facts. For example, he uses data from a study report, as I said in my earlier letter, that contains caveats and cautionary language to decision makers to take into account before making any decision about expanding Medicaid. The study most often quoted states on page one “The uncertainties increase after 2019 and that period was not part of the scope of the study.” Under the Executive Summary it states “Given the overarching policy issues with PPAC, the reader should weigh the assumptions and caveats closely with conclusions and findings.” The Virginia Senate Finance Committee also has caveats.

Letter: New Stream Of Revenue

To the Editor: On two visits to Norway we found the meal tax for food served in a restaurant to be 25 percent or more. I can tell you that Norwegians still eat. And so did we.

Letter: Bipartisan Voice

To the Editor: I believe there is always a way to reach common ground with people I don't immediately see eye to eye with. But like many people, I have grown frustrated with politicians who are more interested in partisan talking points and political image than in compromise. Finding common ground in my everyday life is important to me and those around me — and it should be to elected officials as well.

Cappies Review

Mount Vernon Players presented a fascinating production of “Aida” School Edition on April 25. With simple but timely sets and an enthusiastic ensemble the Mount Vernon players created a memorable play. The cast’s energy in numbers and their exuberant facial expressions shine through to create a vivid story and make the musical come alive through the singing, the dancing and the acting.

Marshall to Leave UCM

United Community Ministries Executive Director Shirley Marshall has resigned, according to its board of directors. She will continue to lead and advise the agency for a time to facilitate a smooth transition.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: April, 2014

In April 2014, 105 homes sold between $1,516,000-$81,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: April, 2014

Thursday, May 15

Classified Advertising May 14, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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CERT Helps Citizens Prepare for Emergency Situations

Training provides hands-on disaster response skills.

Steve Willey, a member of Virginia Task Force One and lead instructor of Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), acknowledges that the police and fire department are dependable in the community after a major disaster. But, it’s important to be prepared, since police and fire and rescue are sent first to major incidents, making it important for community members to take control of their own safety. That’s where CERT comes in.

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Major Changes Coming to Interstate 95

All 95 Express Lane users will need an E-ZPass in 2015.

When the 95 Express Lanes open in 2015, all drivers, whether they are driving alone, in a carpool, a slug, or in a vehicle with a clean fuel plate, will be required to purchase an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex to use these lanes.

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Keeping Youth Happy and Healthy

NEXUS Conference discusses best strategies.

According to the Fairfax County 2012-2013 Youth Survey, youth with fewer assets were more likely to be depressed. These assets include high integrity, extra-curricular activities, help from parents, and more. This topic, along with ways to promote positive health for children and youth, was discussed at this year’s NEXUS conference at the Virginia Hills Center on May 9. The conference centered on ways to keep youth mentally and physical happy and healthy.

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Landfill Decision Deferred to June 17

If approved by Board of Supervisors, Lorton landfill will operate until 2034.

Before a public hearing on May 13 in which over 99 people signed up before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors regarding an application to extend the life of the Lorton landfill until 2034, Frank McDermott, an attorney representing EnviroSolutions, said he had never experienced such nastiness and misrepresentation in a land use case. The EnviroSolutions application to extend operation of their construction landfill until 2034 has led to controversy in the Lorton community and beyond. Despite months of debate, the decision was deferred by the Board of Supervisors to June 17.

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Raising Awareness, Funds for Fragile X

Second Annual Fragile X Walk is May 17 at Burke Lake Park.

Throughout the United States, over 1,000,000 individuals are at risk of developing or already have a Fragile X disorder. Despite the numbers, many people still remain uneducated about Fragile X. The Fragile X Families of Northern Virginia are working to raise awareness and money for research and education on this syndrome with their second annual Fragile X walk, coming this Saturday, May 17 to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Strong Community

Supervisor Cook honors Little Run Citizen’s Association.

With a strong neighborhood watch program, a 4th of July parade, and a hayride, the Little Run Citizen’s Association has had a productive 50 years.

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‘Disguised Learning’ with Bricks 4 Kidz

Lorton residents use Legos to reinforce education, fun.

It’s no secret that kids love building with Legos. But the fun can also be educational, as Lorton residents Jenny and Paul Ahn have recently discovered. The Ahns have been integrating the fun of Legos with educational concepts since starting a Bricks 4 Kidz franchise in the area in March.

Wednesday, May 14

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West Potomac Sophomore Sara Experiencing Power Surge

Sara hits 3 home runs against South County on May 9.

The West Potomac baseball team sits in second place in Conference 7.

Alexandria to Host GI Film Festival

Sinise, Arquette set to honor troops.

Gary Sinise, David Arquette and Adam Driver are just three of the celebrities who will be in attendance as the GI Film Festival heads to Alexandria May 19-25.

Commentary: Yellow Line Petition, Hybrid Tax Refunds and I-495 Changes

Last week, I wrote about the status of some transportation projects in our community. Here are a few more important things.

Tuesday, May 13

Editorial: Virginia Proves Elections Matter

Health and economic issues are entwined.

Some people continue to assert, either with their words or by simply abstaining, that voting just doesn’t matter. Here in Virginia, nearly every day we prove that is incorrect. All of Virginia’s elected representatives who are elected by the entire state are of the same political party. They are all Democrats: Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring and Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

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Riding for the Fallen

More than 100 officers cycle through Virginia, for cause.

Police officers from all over the country vowed to "ride for those who died" this week. Police Unity Tour Chapter IV - also known as the Virginia chapter - challenged officers on a three day bicycle tour from Richmond to D.C. in memory for fallen officers. Before the last stop at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, the group of 122 officers and loved ones of fallen police stopped for lunch at McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center Monday in Fairfax as a tribute to the county most the officers served.

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Northern Virginia Family Service Holds 16th Annual Gala

Local donors and supporters recognized at event.

The evening of Friday May 9 at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, the nonprofit Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) held their 16th Annual Road to Independence Gala. The festive event gave community and business leaders an opportunity to celebrate the impact of NVFS on families and children in need. It also recognized donors and supporters dedicated to giving back to the community in which they live making NVFS services possible.

Seventeen of Fantastic 50 Companies in Virginia Hail from Fairfax County

Seventeen Fairfax County companies are part of the 2014 Virginia Chamber of Commerce Fantastic 50 rankings of the 50 fastest-growing businesses in Virginia. Chantilly-based First Line Technology, which sells products to first responders and the military, received a Virginia Vanguard Award for having the highest growth rate among companies in the manufacturing category.

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County Hosts Nearly 100 Outdoor Festivals

With a population of more than one million residents, it has long been known that Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in the National Capital Region. However, what may surprise both residents and visitors is that the County is also home to nearly 100 annual outdoor festivals, most of which have very strong arts and cultural components.

Communities to Discuss School Start Times

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will hold eight community meetings—one per cluster—in May and June to gather feedback from students, parents, employees, and community members on proposed adjustments to school start times. Participants are welcome to attend the meeting that is most convenient for them.

Still Curious, But Maybe Not Dying

Although one never knows, especially if that one is living in "cancerville." And by "cancerville" I mean, euphemistically speaking, anywhere where one of us diagnosed with cancer is living. Living being the operative word. Still, as my column from a few weeks ago entitled, "Dying With Curiosity" discussed, cancer patients are often besieged by their subconscious, changing fact into fiction and manipulating feelings into inevitabilities. If only there was a switch to turn off the mind games that don’t exactly mind their "man-ners" or "women-ers" for that fact, I’d flick it in a second. Cancer creates physical problems – as we all know, but I have to tell you, it’s the mental problems that can be just as deadly.

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Outdoor Entertaining

Local style gurus offer tips for alfresco soirees.

The mild temperatures that usher in late spring and early summer beckon many outdoors for alfresco parties. Whether held on a patio, deck or veranda, the necessary logistics for coordinating even a simple gathering can be daunting.

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Empty-Nesters Spread Their Wings

A Springfield couple creates a personalized interior custom-suited to support everyday pleasures, using the existing footprint.

A sunny space; an uplifting view; a generous footprint that includes a sizeable breakfast zone, a food preparation island and easy access to a large back deck.

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C-Section Boom in Northern Virginia

Region has some of the highest rates of cesarean-section deliveries for low-risk pregnancies.

Behind the closed doors at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church and the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, a quiet change has been taking shape over the last few decades.

Friday, May 9

Classified Advertising May 7, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Me & My Mom 2014 — Mother’s Day Photo Gallery and My Mother: an Appreciation

"A tribute to my mother, Lorena W. Mayhew, a superb seamstress..."

Shirley M. Bailey, 84, of Burke submitted this poem “as a tribute to my mother, Lorena W. Mayhew, a superb seamstress, who kept her four children well dressed during the Depression and even later with her superb skills as a seamstress.

Thursday, May 8

Help Control Invasive Plants

At a May 16 free workshop, the U.S. National Park Service will train volunteers in how to control invasive plants and protect the George Washington Memorial Parkway’s landscapes, biodiversity, native plants and local property values.

Sisters Open Tutoring Service

Above Grade Level of Northern Virginia recently opened its doors; a business born from two Northern Virginia sisters, Elizabeth Colon and Christa Huntley of Alexandria. Both new moms of infant daughters, they joined their passions for education and children.

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Learning about Nature for Community Stewardship Day

TC students took part in various Earth Week activities throughout the area.

Approximately 370 students from the new International Academy at T.C. Williams High School took part in Earth Week on Friday, April 25. International Academy students broke into groups across the area to participate in Earth Week activities along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Easing Overcrowded Roadway

A key section of Route 1 is finally getting some relief. Chronic congestion, compounded by the 2005 BRAC decision which brought an influx of nearly 13,000 new military and civilian personnel, plus a brand new hospital that can receive many more new visitors, has made commuting in this part of Fairfax County more difficult.

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Bringing Spring Cheer to UCM Families

Girl Scout Troop 1838, based in the Belle View Elementary School area, spent part of their school spring break on a service project to prepare festive Easter Baskets for families in UCM’s Transitional Housing program.

Storck Sets Office Hours

Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District School Board member for Fairfax County Public Schools, will host Community Office Hours at the Lorton Library in the Conference Room on Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to noon, and at the Sherwood Regional Library, Conference Room 3, on Saturday, May 10, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Fairfax County School Board Addressing Budget Shortfalls

Budget shortfall is $17 million.

The Fairfax County School Board is considering options to close a $17 million shortfall in their 2015 budget. Superintendent Karen Garza presented the board with possible adjustments at a work session on April 28. The school board is set to adopt their final budget on May 22. On April 29, the Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2015 budget, including a school transfer of three percent, short of Garza’s requested 5.7 percent increase.

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Enjoy a Classic Clifton Experience

17th Annual Clifton Caboose Twilight Run is May 17.

Gary Anderson, chairman of the Clifton Caboose Twilight Run, isn’t entirely sure why the run was originally chosen to take place at twilight. It was already a twilight run when he became chairman in 2005, and he liked it that way. “It’s a classic Clifton experience and is sure to be a great time,” Anderson said. The 17th Annual Clifton Caboose Twilight Run is May 17 at 6 p.m., and features a 5K and a one-mile fun run.

South County Senior Awarded Scholarship

Christian Canales will be first in his family to attend college.

For his work as a leader in the Hispanic community, South County High School senior Christian Canales has been awarded a $1,000 from the Fairfax County Hispanic Leadership Alliance. Canales will be attending James Madison University in the fall where he will study education, and plans to be a high school teacher. “I want to help others and be a teacher, and help guide kids in the right direction. I just want to do the same for others that my teacher did for me. A lot of families don’t put education first, but I believe if you’re not educated, you won’t have a successful life,” Canales said. Canales will be the first in his family to attend college, which he says is a huge deal for him. “It’s not a weight on my shoulder, but I have to set the example,” Canales said. “I think me going to school and trying to show my cousins and other family that you need to go to school. I’m like a role model to them. I want them to go by my example and continue their education.”

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Nurse Honored with Life Saving Award

All county nurses celebrated during Nurses Week, May 6-12.

In late February, Daryl Vasquez, a nurse with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board’s Community Readiness and Support Program in Springfield and a Burke resident, noticed that a CSB client having lunch was choking and could not breathe. “She managed to get her arms around him and perform the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging the obstruction and most likely saving this man’s life,” Gary Ambrose, a CSB board member, told the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on April 29.

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Balloon Test Shows Height of Proposed Landfill Application

Landfill public hearing is on May 13.

If the EnviroSolutions application to extend the life of the landfill in Lorton is approved by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on May 13, just how tall will the debris look to those from the ground? Just how tall is 395 feet, anyway? The proposed height was demonstrated to anyone within the general Lorton area on Friday, May 2, who could catch a glimpse of the landfill off of Interstate 95 and Furnace Road when a balloon test was conducted.

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Meals Tax Possible for Fairfax County

Tax could generate $88 million in revenue.

At a public hearing on the 2015 budget, Fairfax County resident Kimberly Adams joined numerous other individuals who urged the Board of Supervisors to consider a meals tax. “To have the quality of life that we’ve come to depend on in Fairfax County, we must move the needle closer to the regional average when it comes to taxes. We must not be afraid to look for new streams of revenue, such as a meals tax for instance,” Adams told the Board of Supervisors at the budget hearings. “Never have I actually thought, well, there’s a meals tax in Alexandria, so I’ll drive 10 more minutes into Fairfax and order my pizza. I go to the place that’s convenient and where I want to eat.”

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Enjoy a Magical Time with ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’

Area residents shine in Northern Virginia Players spring production

Members of Northern Virginia Players are sharing their enthusiasm and love for song and dance while also raising money for an 11-year-old with a brain disorder through their spring production of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Last weekend’s shows brought fun and cheer to packed audiences, with standing ovations every show, and the good times continue May 9 and 10 at Burke Community Church.

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Animals for Adoption In Fairfax Station

Organization rescues animals from high-kill shelters.

For Rebecca Goodhart, the most challenging part of being deputy director of Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Fairfax Station is that the need to help animals never goes away. “We do what we can for those we can help, but the need is always there,” Goodhart said. Until people recognize the importance of spaying and neutering, pet overpopulation will continue and animals will unfortunately be needlessly euthanized, she said.

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Despite Advances, Many Virginians Remain Uninsured

Affordable Care Act expands coverage, but more than 800,000 still have no health insurance.

What is the state of the uninsured in Virginia?

Wednesday, May 7

Mount Vernon Coach Garza Not Pleased with 'Lazy' Majors

Defending state champions lose to undefeated W-L.

The Mount Vernon boys' soccer team dropped to 2-4-4.

Editorial: Yes to the Meals Tax Referendum

Voters could decide on the tax in November.

Economic diversification is worthy goal. All of your eggs shouldn’t be in one basket. All of your revenue shouldn’t come from one source. In Fairfax County, adding a meals tax at the same level as Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and the City of Fairfax, 4 percent, could generate $88 million a year. The county estimates that 25-30 percent of the meals taxes collected would be paid by non-county residents. The inability to implement alternative revenue sources will mean continued dependence on one basket. The combined increase in the real estate property tax rate and home values means that most homeowners will be paying hundreds of dollars more in property taxes regardless of their ability to pay.

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Airbag Thefts on the Rise in Fairfax

Doesn’t take long to steal.

This year, Fairfax County has become one of the biggest suppliers of stolen airbags for Virginia’s auto parts black market. Since January, more than 50 airbags have been stolen in Fairfax County alone, and, in April, Arlington reported that a dozen airbags had been stolen.

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Feeling Repercussions of Winter

Schedule adjustments for Northern Virginia public school students.

This winter, thousands of area students were given more days off than expected. Day after day, parents, students and faculty received notice that school had yet again been cancelled due to the heavy snow and cold weather, which forced students and faculty to watch one of the coldest and heaviest winters since the 2010 Snowmagedden from home.

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Hearing Loss Doesn’t Have to be Life-changing

“What?” May is Better Hearing and Speech Month.

On any given workday, you might find Arlington resident Erin Weiner sitting in a family-friendly restaurant causally coloring or playing games with a young child. At first glance, she might be mistaken for any young mother entertaining her offspring while they wait for a meal. In actuality, Weiner, who is a speech-language pathologist, is employing what she describes as an innovative approach to therapy that involves working with a child in his or her natural environment.

A Tale of Two Seasons

It is not the best of times, nor is it the worst of times; it is, simply put: the time between the end of winter and the beginning of summer. It is the season known as spring, but more to the point of this column, it is the time when, if the weather cooperates/accommodates, I won’t need to turn the heat or the air conditioning on in my house. I will instead be able to ride the wave, so to speak, and not incur any post-winter/pre-summer utility bills. Possibly, I might even be able to pay off my oil-heating budget bill balance for the 2013/2014 season – before the 2014/2015 budget cycle begins, and hopefully not have to cool down the house at the same time – due to an early summer – so that on the day my oil-heating bill is due, it won’t be competing for cash with my upstart electric/air conditioning bill for money not well spent and for money hardly in abundance.

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Supervisors Pass County Budget

Three supervisors vote against the $3.7 billion budget.

Educators are not happy that the school district will receive $64 million less than they asked for next year. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed the county’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which includes a 3 percent increase in the School Fund Transfer, at the April 29 meeting.

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Animal Instinct: Democrats in Hotly Contested Primary Divided on Speciesism

Will Jim Moran's successor share his enthusiasm for animal rights?

Candidates in the Democratic primary for Congress have a wide range of views on animal rights, an issue that has become one of the defining legacies of retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8).

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Going into Business with Mom

Mother-daughter Realtor teams say working together can work.

Allison Goodhart has a vivid childhood memory: pulling a wagon filled with pumpkins and her younger sister around her family’s Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, helping to promote her parents’ real estate business. Today Allison Goodhart works alongside her mother as part of Old Town Alexandria-based Goodhart Group of McEnearney Associates Inc., Realtors.

George Washington’s Library Selects New Class of Fellows

The new Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon has selected 18 established and emerging scholars to serve as its newest class of fellows.

Spring Update on Transportation Improvements

Spring has arrived which means a beginning to the construction season. Here’s an update regarding transportation improvements in our area.

Protecting the Potomac

ASF program teaches community stewardship.

More than 300 students from T.C. Williams International Academy and Minnie Howard STEM Academy spent the morning of April 25 at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation participating in a hands-on program to celebrate community stewardship.

Help Control Invasive Plants

At a May 16 free workshop, the U.S. National Park Service will train volunteers in how to control invasive plants.

Tuesday, May 6

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Washington-Lee Boys’ Soccer Wraps Up National District Title

Generals remain undefeated with 2-0 win against Mount Vernon.

The Washington-Lee boys' soccer team improved to 10-0-2 with a win over Mount Vernon.

Thursday, May 1

Classified Advertising April 30, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Magic of Mothers Host Math Mania

Students ages 6-12 compete, share love of math.

Students from elementary and middle schools in Fairfax Station and Lorton practiced their math skills and experienced the excitement of competition by participating in the Magic of Mothers Math Mania competition on April 26.

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Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber Celebrates 60 Years

Chamber reflects on history and looks forward to future area revitalization

Of all that was discussed at the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce’s 60th anniversary celebration, Michael Gailliot’s announcement that the planned Wegman’s at the corner of Beulah and Telegraph Roads at the Hilltop Village received their building permit on April 24 was among the most exciting for those in attendance.

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Local Farm Provides Fresh Food for Underserved Populations

Arcadia hosts mobile market and camp for children.

For many, spring symbolizes fresh flowers, new beginnings and baseball, but for those who work at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, located on the grounds of the Woodlawn Estate in Mount Vernon, spring means another season of working to ensure that all members of the community have access to fresh, healthy food.

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Choosing a Summer Camp

Camp experts offer advice on selecting a camp, but now is the time to register.

Many families with school age children will plan to have their children spend some of the much-anticipated summer season in camp. If you haven’t yet selected camps for your children, now is the time.

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Many Ideas for Summer Activities

Avoid those dreaded words: ‘I’m bored.’

Molly McAlister enjoys the freedom of summer, but there are three words she dreads hearing: “Mom, I’m bored.” Creating activities to keep her three children busy during the summer is a task she enjoys, but it isn’t always easy.