Stories for August 2015

Stories for August 2015


Monday, August 31

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Mount Vernon: Helping Celebrate ADA’s Anniversary

Boy Scouts from Troops 601, 1183, and 1519 provided an integrated color guard for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) at the U.S. Department of Education hosted by Secretary Arne Duncan.

Letter: Long Delay Inexcusable

Letter to the Editor

On Aug. 29, 2013, John Geer was shot and killed by Officer Adam D. Torres of the Fairfax County Police Department as he stood unarmed in the doorway of his home in Springfield.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Eagle Project

Troop 1509 Scouts participated in Andres Warren's Eagle project on Saturday, Aug. 22. The project included relocating bike racks and creating a new and expanded bike area at Fort Hunt Elementary School. The Scouts (from left) include: Scott Lucier, Wrigley Smith, Antonio Warren, Noah Ventura, Max Loker, Timothy Florenzo, Matthew Verich, Colin Wong, Mike Auld, Taj Armstrong, and Andres Warren.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Rescued

A Great Blue Heron was rescued by an animal control officer after it was injured in Huntley Meadows Park recently.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: New Signs for Fire Station

Fairfax County Fire Station 9/Mount Vernon gained new signs thanks to Scout Zachary Cooper of Troop 301.

Mount Vernon: Coleman Honored At West Point

Eugene J. Coleman, III, of Alexandria, was named First Captain/Brigade Commander at the U.S. Military Academy on July 30.

Friday, August 28

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Mount Vernon: Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, a Watery Wonderland

Newcomers & Community Guide

Thousands of drivers whiz through a Mount Vernon jewel every day, harried commuters and soccer parents zipping through a national park and a rare, freshwater, tidal, vanishing wetland.

Mount Vernon: Welcome to the Best District in Fairfax County


My name is Gerry Hyland and I have served as the Mount Vernon District supervisor for 28 years. I welcome you to the Mount Vernon District which is the best district in all of Fairfax County because of the wonderful people and the resources we have here.

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Mount Vernon Neighborhood Outlook: Commercial, Residential Projects Reshape Area

“Embark Richmond Highway” to meet Sept. 21.

Baywood Hotels is planning to break ground this fall on a 92-room hotel in the Woodlawn area.

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Fairfax County: Meet the Candidates for County Board

All politics is local, in Fairfax County, too: Who runs for Board of Supervisors in November?

You may be surprised – or dismayed – to learn that the 10 men and women who occupy Fairfax County Board of Supervisors wield enormous power and influence over your everyday lives.

Thursday, August 27

Mount Vernon Jazzercise Supports UCM

Mt. Vernon Jazzercise raised $350 for United Community Ministries (UCM) by issuing a Plank Challenge during all of its classes during the week of June 15.

Mount Vernon Brief: Inova Mount Vernon Commended

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital has been ranked the No. 6 Best Hospital in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report. The 2015 ranking is up from No. 13 in 2014. The hospital also ranked No. 15 in Virginia (up fromNo. 20 in 2014) and earned high performing recognition in Orthopedics again this year.

Mount Vernon Briefs: House Fires

Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Units responded to a house fire Thursday, Aug. 20, at approximately 5:30 a.m., at 5205 Pole Road.

Mount Vernon Brief: Providing Back-to-School Haircuts

Firefighters will sponsor back-to-school children’s haircuts on Wednesday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Gum Springs Community Center, 8100 Fordson Road.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: July, 2015

In July, 2015, 154 homes sold between $1,210,000-$108,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: July, 2015

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Mount Vernon: Picnic with the President

Mount Vernon Neighborhood Friends raising money to upgrade fire suppression.

Lorne Campbell was told the historic property he bought on Robertson Boulevard was once part of an area where George Washington liked to have his pigs graze.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Aug. 28-Sept. 6

Events in Mount Vernon and Alexandria Va. this weekend.

Wednesday, August 26

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Mount Vernon’s Miller Commits to Old Dominion

Jessica Miller is committed to play field hockey at ODU.

Classified Advertising August 26, 2015

Read the lastest ads here!

Column: 'Bulky Boy'

Although this title invokes the nickname of one of my three male cats – Andrew, to be specific – he is in fact not the point of th is column.

Letter: Welcome from Police Chief Ed Roessler

Newcomers Guide

Dear Community Members: The Fairfax County Police Department was established on July 1, 1940 and today we have an authorized strength of 1,372 sworn law enforcement officers who protect and serve the communities of the County. On average, officers respond to over 400,000 calls for service each year.

Thursday, August 20

Classified Advertising August 19, 2015

Read the latest ads here!

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Aug. 21-30

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Va.

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Fairfax County: Policy Changes Recommended on Mental Health and Crisis Intervention

About half of the inmates in the Fairfax County Jail have a mental health illness or substance abuse disorders. The Mental Health and Crisis Intervention Team subcommittee of the Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission included this information from County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid in the introduction to its list of policy change recommendations to the full commission on Aug. 17.

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Fairfax County: Former Police Officer Charged with John Geer Murder

Adam Torres indicted by special grand jury.

Adam Torres has been charged with murdering John Geer. Though Torres shot the unarmed man once in the chest nearly two years ago, the then-Fairfax County Police officer remained on the department’s payroll until being terminated July 31, 2015.

Wednesday, August 19

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Mount Vernon: Nixon Takes Over as West Potomac Volleyball Coach

Wolverines looking for first winning season since 2007.

The West Potomac volleyball program is in search of its first winning season since 2007.

Column: Accommodate or Exacerbate

As a diagnosed-as-“terminal” cancer patient (is that better, Rebecca?), I feel I am due some accommodations. However, when offered or given, I am hesitant to accept (not always, though; I’ll be honest).

Mount Vernon Brief: Suspect Arrested For Homicide

Fairfax County police have arrested 19-year-old Michael Norman Powell of Alexandria and charged him with second-degree murder in the death of Khalid Aboumalik, 42.

Mount Vernon Brief: Neighborhood Resource Fair Returns Sept. 12

From animal control and code compliance to stormwater management and community revitalization, Lee District community members will have a chance to get a variety of county service questions answered — all in one place.

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Mount Vernon: Questions Pursued after Encounter with Police

Iraq war veteran calls Internal Affairs commander’s statements “victim blaming.”

Alex Horton waited patiently for his chance to speak. Meanwhile the Use of Force subcommittee of the Fairfax County ad hoc commission to review police policies and procedures waded through the results of a survey to determine the content and language of policy change recommendations it will eventually bring to the full commission.

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Mount Vernon: Use of Force Subcommittee To Pilot Case Review Process

The Aug. 12 Use of Force subcommittee meeting began with a discussion of the Fairfax County Chief of Police Edwin Roessler’s public release of brief summaries of every officer-involved shooting going back to 2005.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Little Free Library

Mount Vernon-area resident Liz Schroeder erected a “lending library” on the corner of her property, named “Wheat’s Corner” in honor of her late uncle Len Wheat. The Little Free Library is free for anyone to use and includes a sign encouraging users to take or leave books, and write friendly messages in the books they return.

Mount Vernon: Bennett Joins Former Opponent Storck’s Supervisor Campaign

She didn’t beat him and now she’s joining him.

Alexandria/Mount Vernon: Carucci Joins National Breast Center Foundation

Martha Carucci of Alexandria has been named program manager of National Breast Center Foundation.

Letter: Wrong Emphasis

Letter to the Editor

take exception to part of the tone on the article [“Mount Vernon Football Looking for First Win Since 2013,” The Gazette, Aug. 6] about the upcoming season for the Mount Vernon football team.

Letter: Policy Change Warranted

Letter to the Editor

I was disappointed to read the [“Ignoring Will of the People,” The Gazette, July 16] letter regarding Dan Storck’s position on the changes to the non-discrimination policy and the family life (FLE) curriculum regarding gender identity.

Obituary: Frances Dowdle Abbott "Smokie" Lyon

Frances Dowdle Abbott "Smokie" Lyon, 91, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., died on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015.

Tuesday, August 18

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Checking the Back-to-School Healthcare Blocks

Local governments, clinics offer free immunizations for all and physical exams for the uninsured.

As the lazy days of summer wind down, beach trips, lemonade stands and lax bedtimes give way to alarm clocks, textbooks and backpacks. Public health officials say that a back-to-school list should include more than pencils and paper. For many, the first order of business is a well-child physical, a dental exam and required immunizations.

Editorial: Sea Changes in Policing?

Report offers blueprint for transforming aspects of policing, jail and services for people with mental illness.

Yesterday, for the first time in the history of Fairfax County Police Department, a Fairfax County Police officer was charged in a shooting death.

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Mt. Vernon: McCool To Be Inducted in VHSL Hall of Fame

Former Mount Vernon coach led Majors to state championship.

At a well-attended birthday celebration for Don McCool in Fairfax this year, the talk amongst the crowd of family, friends, assistant coaches and former players to McCool was, “Why is Don not in the Hall of Fame?”

Friday, August 14

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Mount Vernon: 2nd Anniversary Sale at Evolution Home

Evolution Home, owned by Susan Driscoll Blount and Lee Blount, is marking its second anniversary with a celebratory sale on Saturday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Vintage, antique, modern and consignment home furnishings are offered at Evolution Home, 6239 Shields Ave., including items from more than 25 dealers.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Aug. 14-23

Events near Alexandria and Mount Vernon Va.

Thursday, August 13

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Alexandria: In Between Patrick and Henry, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Await

Killer ESP stays true to its roots while growing into its own.

Walk down the block on the southern side of King Street, between the “Routes 1” – that is, the block between Patrick and Henry streets – and before long you’ll come upon a sandwich board offering up a plethora of interesting options.

Mount Vernon: ‘If You Believe’

Broadway concert to benefit cancer research.

Move over Julius Erving. There’s another “Dr. J” in town: international recording artist Negleatha Johnson, who hopes to slam dunk a benefit concert Aug. 16 following her sister’s diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer.

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Mount Vernon: Helping Veterans in Business

SFDC hosts business roundtable.

Assisting veterans, women, and minorities in starting, growing, and sustaining a small business was the focus the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation’s (SFDC) 5th Business Roundtable Speaker Series on Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Springhill Suites Hotel on Richmond Highway.

Mount Vernon: Police Identify Homicide Victim

One day after Fairfax County Police reported finding the victim of an apparent homicide in Huntington Park, they identified the dead middle-aged man as Khalid Aboumalik, 42, with no permanent address in Fairfax County.

Wednesday, August 12

Mount Vernon: West Potomac Looking To Improve Under 2nd-Year Coach Ross

Quarterback Ellis, receiver Burch lead Wolverine offense.

West Potomac is hoping familiarity will lead to an increase in victories.

Column: B.D. Versus A.D.

If my experiences as a cancer patient/ “terminal” “diagnosee” are at all typical, then the following generalization might in fact be true: certain situations and/or feelings that were once tolerated before diagnosis are nearly impossible to tolerate after diagnosis: traffic, waiting in lines, rudeness, compromise, sacrifice, delayed/deferred gratification, to list just a few. Life becomes so much more precious, that wasting some of it – or the perception of wasting some of it – on unpleasant, unrewarding, aggravating, stressful, menial tasks, obligations, duties, etc. becomes almost too much to bear; on a consistent basis, anyway.

Mount Vernon: Shop Marks 5th Anniversary

Customer service key for Richard Carroll.

Carol and Richard Lowy, co-owners of the retail gallery, Richard Carroll, are celebrating the fifth anniversary of managing their business at 1600 Belle View Boulevard in the Belle View Shopping Center.

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Mount Vernon: Rights Restored

Secretary of the Commonwealth visits Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Fifteen years ago, a local man made a mistake. He was working in the automotive industry and accepted a gift of socks, ties, suits and gloves. The merchandise turned out to be stolen and valued at over $200, the minimum for a felony charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Tuesday, August 11

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Function Meets Beauty

Wheelchair accessible bathroom doesn’t have to be utilitarian.

After Curtis Brand was diagnosed with amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) and he could no longer climb stairs, he and his wife, Judith, had to make the difficult decision to sell their home in northwest Washington, D.C. They then purchased a two-bedroom, two-bathroom property on the 18th floor of Turnberry Tower in Arlington.

Editorial: 'Our Community Deserves Better'

Strongly worded recommendations for police on transparency and public trust; FCPD has miles to go.

Outrage over the shooting death of John Geer of Springfield on Aug. 29, 2013, by a Fairfax County Police officer led the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to form of the Ad Hoc Police Practice Review Commission, which began meeting in March 2015. The Communications Subcommittee was the first to give recommendations to the full commission, and the report pulled no punches.

Friday, August 7

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Mount Vernon: Homicide Investigation In Huntington Park

Police are investigating an apparent homicide involving a middle-aged man whose body was found in Huntington Park on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Mount Vernon: Park Award Honors Ann Smith

Her donation was given in memory of her late husband, Lt. Colonel Gary F. Smith.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation, a charitable organization which supports the Fairfax County Park Authority, is honoring Ann Smith with a 2015 Eakin Philanthropy Award. In memory of her late husband, Lt. Colonel Gary F. Smith, Ann Smith worked with the Park Authority and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland to identify Grist Mill Soccer Field #5 for renovation into a state-of-the-art synthetic turf soccer field and renamed the field as the Lt. Colonel Gary F. Smith Memorial Field.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Supporting Good Shepherd

The Mansion House Swim Team raised funds for Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services (GSH) during its annual “Piranha-thon.”

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: National Night Out

From left, a Police Explorer, Sheriff’s Office Recruit Kimberly Coleman, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, Reserve Deputy Bettina Lawton and McGruff the Crime Dog attend a National Night Out event at the Gum Springs Community Center on Aug. 4. The Sheriff attended events in both Mount Vernon and Springfield over the course of the night.

Thursday, August 6

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Lorton and Mount Vernon: Bennett Joins Former Opponent Storck’s Supervisor Campaign

She didn’t beat him and now she’s joining him. Nearly two months since Dan Storck won the Democratic primary election for Mount Vernon District supervisor, his campaign announced former opposing candidate Candice Bennett has joined up as the Storck team’s director of communications.

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Fairfax County Seeks Partner to Develop Training Center Property

Deadline for offers on the surplus land is Sept. 1.

Potential buyers have until September to make their offers to purchase the roughly 80 acres of property along Braddock Road where the Northern Virginia Training Center currently sits.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Aug. 7-16

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon this weekend.

Wednesday, August 5

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Mount Vernon Football Looking for First Victory Since 2013

Majors move up to 6A North, Conference 7.

The Mount Vernon football program is looking to bounce back from last year's winless season.

Column: Back on Track

Having reread last week’s column a time or two now, I’ve realized that I neglected to update you regular readers – especially those of you who read my most recent pre- and post-scan columns: “Abyssful” Ignorance and Scant Know For Sure Anymore – on the previous week’s scan results. Once again, I have defied the odds – maybe statistics would be a better word?

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Helping Aging Parents

Event will highlight resources available for long-term care planning.

Antonio M. Taguba says his life changed forever during a family reunion in 2006, starting with an announcement from his mother.

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Teams in Training

Getting in shape while raising money for charity.

Rain poured from a gray March sky. Drenched racers wound their way through Washington, D.C. before spilling across the finish line at R.F.K. Stadium, their running shoes heavy and soaking wet.

Letter: Much To Be Done

Letter to the Editor

I am asking Mr. Morrogh, again: Why has it taken your office 18 months to finally convene a grand jury to look into the John Geer shooting?