Stories for June 2015

Stories for June 2015


Tuesday, June 30

Tease photo

July 4th Safety

From swimming to fireworks, safety precautions for a festive Independence Day.

It was a near accident at camp last summer that sparked action by one parent. Elementary school-aged campers splashed in the pool. Everyone was having fun. Then tragedy almost struck.

Fairfax County: Deferring to Noise

New standards will wait until after the November election.

The Board of Supervisors wants to spend more time with noise. Last Tuesday, June 23, the Board deferred action on the proposed changes to the county’s noise ordinance until Nov. 17, 2015.

Editorial: Open Letter to Elected Officials and Candidates

Spend some of your campaign dollars in newspapers.

Here at the Connection, our email boxes are filling up with messages from people running for office. It’s not surprising, since in November, virtually every state and local office in the commonwealth is on the ballot.

Monday, June 29

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: "DAR Awards"

Fort Hunt Elementary School students Yasmine Bolden, left, and Katrina Kulinski were honored June 17 by the Kate Waller Barrett chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: "Thanking the Police"

During the Gum Springs Community Day Celebration on Saturday, June 20, the Gum Springs community paid special tribute to the Mount Vernon District Police force.

Tease photo

Bidding Farewell to Mount Vernon High School

The year has not been without its challenges, but so many wonderful things happened for us this year, too, as we celebrated 75 years of excellence.

Friday, June 26

Tease photo

Health Curriculum To More Closely Align with State

School Board approves recommendations from advisers, with amendments.

Though it was the second packed house in as many months, it may be early yet to call crowded Fairfax County School Board meetings a trend.

Thursday, June 25

Tease photo

Mt. Vernon: 500 West Potomac Seniors Graduate

Graduations have always made Margret Lingenfelter sad. “It really resonates with me and holds a weird place in my heart,” the West Potomac High School class of 2015 president said during her graduation remarks to fellow wolverines.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Police Release Use of Force Review

Review explained at latest Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission meeting.

Nearly a year ago, Fairfax County sought an outside opinion on its police department’s use of force. That July 2014 assignment went to the Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: End of School at Fort Hunt

Fort Hunt Elementary School students wave to Fort Hunt staff and faculty as they leave school on the last day before summer vacation.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: MVCCT Names 2015 Scholarship Winner

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre (MVCCT) named Andrew Schurr as its 2015 scholarship recipient.

Tease photo

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: June 26-28

Events in the Alexandria/Mount Vernon areas this weekend.

Wednesday, June 24

Column: Gone But Always Remembered

As Father’s Day approaches, (written Thursday, June 18th) I am reminded of one of my father’s standard lines which characterize his positive attitude on life, for which I am eternally grateful – because I inherited it.

Letter: Irony of Park Petition

Letter to the Editor

Unfortunately some who volunteer to serve in the civic arena do so mainly to pursue their own personal agenda and impose it on the community at large.

Tease photo

Mt. Vernon: Amphitheater Renamed for Retired Lee District RECenter Manager

Leon Plenty was general manager of the Lee District RECenter from 1982 until his retirement in December, 2014. At a ceremony on June 17, Plenty was recognized for his work with the renaming of Lee District’s amphitheater in his honor.

Mt. Vernon: Red-Hot Brownies Fight Fire

Fire station praises troop’s teamwork.

Preparing to conclude their first camping trip on Solomon’s Island, third graders Anna Foote and Logan Jackson of Brownie Troop 1157 decided to check the campground to see if they had left any items behind. What they found instead were crimson embers and budding flames in an unattended fire pit at the evacuated neighboring campsite.

Tuesday, June 23

Call for Pet Connection Photos

The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish on July 22, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by July 15. Our favorite pictures include both pets and humans. We welcome short stories about how you got your pet, a noteworthy talent or anecdote about your pet, tales of the bonds between your family and your pet, plus drawings, paintings or other artwork of your pet by children or adults Please tell us a little bit about your creature, identify everyone in the photo, give a brief description what is happening in the photo, and include address and phone number (we will not publish your address or phone number, just your town name).

Editorial: Safe Planning for Independence

Talking and planning about celebrating July 4, and throughout the summer months.

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.

Tease photo

Alexandria Appetite: Good Restaurants Make Good Neighbors

Once bereft of eateries, Carlyle community now boasts embarrassment of riches.

For years, the Carlyle community has been more than a nine-to-five business district. While condos and apartments have been full for more than half a decade, the restaurant population has been slow to catch up. In a neighborhood that was once dominated primarily by sandwich shops and other lunchtime eateries, some more substantial dining spots have emerged, and they’re certainly worth a visit.

Thursday, June 18

Mount Vernon Home Sales: May, 2015

In May, 2015, 148 homes sold between $1,800,000-$130,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: May, 2015

Tease photo

2015 Father's Day Galleries

Links to all galleries for Father's Day

Mount Vernon: Wegmans' 'Fill the Bus' June 21-July 4

From Sunday, June 21 through Saturday, July 4, Wegmans Food Market stores will hold a two-week “Fill the Bus” food drive to support local food banks’ increased summer needs.

Mount Vernon: UCM Receives $50,000 Gift

Jarrell S. Mitchell, Col. USAF (Ret), donated $50,000 to United Community Ministries (UCM) to establish The Patricia R. Mitchell Children’s Enrichment Opportunities (CEO) Initiative, as a tribute to his late wife Patricia R. Mitchell.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Sharing about Alzheimer’s

Author discusses caregiving.

At the Aldersgate United Methodist Church, author Meryl Comer discussed her book, "Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's," a personal memoir, recounting her last 20 years as a caregiver, first for her husband and now for her mother, both with Alzheimer's disease. Following her June 9 presentation, she conducted a Town Hall-type meeting, answering questions and discussing issues and problems she encountered.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Scholarships for Local Student Musicians

West Potomac Choir Boosters awarded an Ernest Johnson Choral Musician Scholarship to Jessica Niles for $1,000 and a Choral Citizen Scholarship Award to Bernard Kluskens, for $500.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: "On Duty"

Lt. j.g. Nicole Gailliot, from Mount Vernon, stands watch as officer of the deck on the bridge of USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) on June 2. Jason Dunham, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Questioning Family Life Curriculum

The Fairfax County School Board’s May 7 meeting drew a passionate and boisterous crowd that filled the Luther Jackson Middle School auditorium and spilled out into the main lobby. That night the board voted in favor of adding “gender identity” to its nondiscrimination policy for students, employees and applicants for employment.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon and Lorton: New Gunston Hall Roof Completed

Approaching Gunston Hall in Mason Neck, the 18th-century plantation home of George Mason, its roof appears to gleam golden in the sunlight.

Ideas for Summer Learning

Experts offer suggestions for avoiding summer brain drain.

While summer is opportunity for fun, it can also be a breeding ground for stagnation.

Tease photo

YouthQuest Runs ThinkLink

Experts say 3D printing can open a world of imagination and critical thinking.

Adonis Gonzales had always wanted to become a master electrician, but when he was asked to leave high school at 16 because of a poor attendance record, his prospects looked bleak.

Tease photo

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Fun: June 19-21

Events in Alexandria for Father's Day weekend, June 19-21

Wednesday, June 17

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: New Wegmans Opens in Alexandria

Nearly 2,000 in line for June 14 opening morning.

At any other Wegmans grocery store in Virginia, Woodbridge resident Braden Cheney’s job wouldn’t exist. A 2000 graduate of W.T. Woodson High School, Cheney is manager of The Pub, a full-service restaurant and bar operating within the store.

Tease photo

O’Meara Awarded Communications Scholarship

West Potomac High School senior, Margaret O’Meara, received The Steve and Renie Guback Scholarship of $5,000, which is awarded annually to a student focusing on a major or minor in communications including, but not limited to, the fields of journalism, broadcasting, and public relations.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: ‘Not Too Far From Here’ Fund Aids Local People in Need

Church helps individuals and families with sudden medical and housing costs.

In 2014, the Not Too Far From Here (NTFFH) Fund provided about $92,000 to help 135 local people with emergencies or issues that fall between the cracks of larger agencies.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: New Gunston Hall Roof Completed

The heavy slate tiles that previously topped the building where Mason may well have drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights were recently replaced — not by gold, but Alaskan Red Cedar.

Column: No Joke, But Funny Nonetheless

Not that I ever want to use my having cancer as an excuse, but you have to admit, it’s a doozy. And it’s probably the best thing about the diagnosis/prognosis. However, it’s not as if there are a number of other advantages to the disease.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Moving on ‘Move Over’

Police crack down, educate about law protecting emergency roadside vehicles and drivers.

Police are trying to educate the public about the "Move Over" law, which is geared at protecting emergency roadside vehicles and drivers.

Mount Vernon: Crime Report for the Week of June 10

The following incidents were reported by the Mount Vernon District Police Station.

Tease photo

Letter: Who Could Resist?

Letter to the Editor

The big day had finally arrived. My two boys were about to experience their first day owning a small business, the Bearce Brothers Lemonade Stand.

Letter: Where Is Ray Morrogh?

Letter to the Editor

Natasha McKenna, a 37-year-old African-American mother of a young daughter, while a prisoner in the Fairfax County jail, was shot at least four times with taser stun guns by sheriff’s deputies. She rapidly lost consciousness and five days later died. At the time of the incident, it was reported she was shackled with a hood covering her head. The 5 foot 130-pound woman’s death raises questions. How much fight could have been in her to resist six sheriff’s deputies assigned to an elite squad specializing in dealing with a woman diagnosed with mental illness? Was it necessary use of force? Was there no other tactical option available?

Thursday, June 11

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: At the Game

Tiger Cubs from Pack 1503 celebrate with the Mount Vernon High School Varsity soccer team.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Victors Emerge from Democratic Primary

Krizek for 44th District, Levine for 45th, Dan Storck for supervisor. jump

After polls closed at 7 p.m. and results from precincts started to trickle in over cell phone

Mount Vernon: Party To Mark Park’s 40 Years

The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park organization is hosting a party to celebrate the park turning 40, as well as the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Friends organization and 25th anniversary of the Friends of Historic Huntley organization.

Mount Vernon: Whitman Teacher Honored

Eugenio Fischer Sanchez, who teaches Spanish at Whitman Middle School, is one of two teachers honored with the 2015 Victoria D. de Sanchez Northern Virginia Hispanic Teacher of the Year Award.

Mount Vernon: Crime Report

The following incidents were reported by the Mount Vernon District Police Station.

ROBBERY, 8600 block of Village Square, June 8, 2:38 p.m. A pizza delivery driver was making a delivery and was approached by two men.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Announcement: Whitney, Hutchens Engaged

Dr. and Mrs. Dwight Whitney of Warrenton, Va., are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Callie Marie Whitney, to Samuel Christopher Hutchens of Boone, N.C.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: ‘Spandex in the Narthex’ Raises $30,000

Aldersgate event support Micheli family.

Spandex in the Narthex, a fundraising event held May 31, gave church and community members a way to show their support for Aldersgate Church's associate pastor Jason Micheli as he faces a rare blood cancer.

Tease photo

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: June 12-14

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon for the weekend of June 12-14

Tease photo

Supervising Public Safety

First meeting since 2011 includes packed agenda, full house.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee, chaired by Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon), met on Tuesday, June 9 for the first time since June 2011. Since then, there have been six officer-involved shootings in Fairfax County, including the August 2013 shooting death of John Geer. Police handling of the communications and investigation of that shooting led to the formation in March 2015 of the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission.

Wednesday, June 10

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: FCPS Women in Sports Awards

Each year, Fairfax County Public Schools honors female athletes and coaches of female sports. Each FCPS high school submits nominations and the winners were announced at the awards ceremony on May 31 at Oakton High School.

Column: Philosophically Speaking

Recently I attended a “Celebration of Life” event, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, created to bring attention to, and educate the public on, cancer. As a long-time cancer survivor, nearly six and a half years now – and one treated by doctors at Kaiser, I was asked, along with a cervical cancer survivor, to sit on a “survivor panel”; to share our cancer experiences, and offer, along with two oncologists and a pulmonologist, our respective insights as “treater” and “treatee.”

Mount Vernon: Wegmans' New Store Opens June 14

By the time Store Manager Mike Dempsey opens Wegmans’ newest 126,000 sq. ft. supermarket in Hilltop Village Center (corner of Telegraph and Beulah)

Tease photo

Weekend Fun in Fairfax County - June 12-14, 2015

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend.

A roundup of fun things to do this weekend in Fairfax county.

Tuesday, June 9

Tease photo

Trending in the Garden

Local landscape architects offer suggestions for updating.

As summer gets underway, so does time spent outside. The American Society of Landscape Architects recently released the results of its 2015 Residential Landscape Architecture Survey, a list of trends in outdoor design that yields a bounty of backyard design ideas. From adding a pond to planting a garden, local landscape gurus explain how these trends can be used to transform an outdoor space into a favorite escape.

Friday, June 5

Snapshot: Under the Rainbow

Mount Vernon High School varsity softball team warms up on the field after a game delay was called due to rain on May 28.

Thursday, June 4

Four Seek Democratic Nod for Mount Vernon Supervisor: Dan Storck

Budgets are statements of principles. I firmly believe that education is the cornerstone for continuing to move our communities forward.

Face-Off in 44th District Delegate Primary: Paul Krizek

I worked on the Hill for many years and participated in numerous bipartisan efforts to draft and pass legislation. Also, as a Housing Commissioner I was able to work with all of the Commissioners to work beyond partisanship on matters beneficial to the County.

Four Seek Democratic Nod for Mount Vernon Supervisor: Jack Dobbyn

It is easy to say that FCPS and/or the county must cut trim operating size, or learn to operate with less. Like most individuals around Fairfax County and in the Mt. Vernon District, I recognize that FCPS and the county both have needs, and that we need revenue diversification to ensure our high quality of life is maintained.

Four Seek Democratic Nod for Mount Vernon Supervisor: Tim Sargeant

As the next Mt. Vernon supervisor, I will establish a satellite office in the Mt. Vernon District Supervisor’s office for our next School Board member, so that we can work collaboratively to address the needs of all Mt. Vernon School children.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Peter Williams Memorial Scholarship Awarded

Old Town Alexandria Connections presented its inaugural Peter Williams Memorial Scholarship to local high school graduate, Amy Holm, on April 22 at the Belle Haven Country Club.

Face-Off in 44th District Delegate Primary: Justin Brown

I’ve spent my career advocating for and working with a wide variety of individuals with different perspectives and objectives.

Four Seek Democratic Nod for Mount Vernon Supervisor: Candice Bennett

As a product of public schools and the daughter of educators, I understand and appreciate the importance of maintaining FCPS’ excellent reputation.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Good Shepherd Church Turns 50

Bishop Paul S. Loverde visited Good Shepherd Catholic Church to take part in a Jubilee Mass in celebration of its 50th anniversary on May 30.

Tease photo

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: June 5-7

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon for the weekend of June 4-6.

Fairfax County: Primary Voting

While November’s elections are still months away, voters have the opportunity to select Democratic representatives for several races in the party’s primary on June 9.

Fairfax County: Recognizing Enlisted High School Seniors

Our Community Salutes of Northern Virginia holds its fifth Annual Enlistee Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, June 11, at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Moving on ‘Move Over’

Police crackdown, educate about law protecting emergency roadside vehicles and drivers.

Fairfax County Master Police Officer Joe Moore’s front and rear-mounted radar machines whistle and beep with varying frequency as cars barrel past on Interstate 66 around the Fairfax County Parkway.

Mount Vernon: Primary Voting Information

While November’s elections are still months away, voters have the opportunity to select Democratic representatives for several races in the party’s primary on June 9.

Letter: Impressed By Candidate

As someone who has lived in the Mount Vernon area all of my life, I came home from UVA this summer with a keen interest in Scott Surovell’s State Senate campaign.

Letter: Listen to Proposal's Neighbors

Last Thursday, I attended a meeting where developer CHPPENN I, LLC presented preliminary proposals for providing affordable housing dwellings on North Hill on Richmond Highway, numbering over 400 including apartments and townhouses. Under the current Zoning and Comprehensive Plan, 67 dwellings may be constructed by right.

Tease photo

Fairfax: Northern Virginia Training Center Property Put on Market

Facility for people with disabilities scheduled for March 2016 closure.

According to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, 63 residents still live and receive treatment at the Northern Virginia Training Center, located in Fairfax alongside Braddock Road.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: SFDC Hosts Retail Summit

What can work along Route 1?

Three experts in retail development made presentations at the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation’s retail summit at the Hampton Inn & Suites on Tuesday, June 2. They offered case study examples of the evolution of thinking in planning, designing, and implementing retail developments which have applicability for the Route 1 corridor.

Tease photo

Primed for Primary

Democratic supervisor candidates make their cases at Gum Springs forum.

The four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Mount Vernon District supervisor expressed their commitment and passion before approximately 60 attendees on Monday night’s forum at the Gum Springs Community Center. Primary election day is June 9.

Mount Vernon: Encouraging a Dialogue about Alzheimer’s

Author to speak at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on June 9.

Meryl Comer will be giving a presentation and signing her book, “Slow Dancing with a Stranger,” her memoir recounting her last 20 years as a caregiver, first for her husband and now also for her mother, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Wednesday, June 3

Obituary: Lt. Col. USAF (Ret) Hynson H. Marvel, Jr.

On May 8, 2015, Hynson H. Marvel, Jr. died at home with his wife Yvonne by his side. The couple had celebrated 42 years of marriage this past April. Born March 13, 1944, in Avondale, Pa., Hyns was the son of the late Hynson and Marguerite Marvel and the brother of Julianne Deturk.

Editorial: Overdose Deaths Are Preventable

New “safe reporting” law encourages people to seek help in time.

The death rate due to heroin overdose more than doubled between 2010 through 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), with an average increase of 37 percent per year in the United States.

MV Softball Ends Season in Regional Tournament

Freshman pitcher Anderson key piece of Majors’ future.

Stormy Zyzyk’s senior season of sacrifice came to a close on May 28, ending a high school career that included being selected first-team all-district/conference four times, and receiving first-team all-state honors as a junior.

Tease photo

Alexandria: Hadeed Marks 60 Years

Alexandria-based company founded in Del Ray.

For Joe Hadeed, it’s the only job he has ever known.

Tease photo

Alexandria: Wood To Run for City Council

Republican cites need for new ideas.

Alexandria native and retired Lt. Gen. John R. (Bob) Wood, filed paperwork June 3 to officially declare his candidacy for a seat on City Council.

Column: Weight For It; Wait

Given some post-chemotherapy eating challenges I’ve experienced during the past few months, and the subsequent weight loss which has occurred, my oncologist has prescribed Dronabinol, common brand name: Marinol.

Letter: Stamp Out High-Crime Pockets

Letter to the Editor

Mount Vernon is home to 127,000 residents spread across two police districts. The Mount Vernon police district is the second-smallest in Fairfax County, at just 26 square miles, yet has the most calls for service in the County.

Mount Vernon Crime Report for the Week of May 13

Crime Report for the Week of May 13

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Sports Briefs for the Week of May 6, 2015

Sports Briefs for the Week of May 6, 2015

Mount Vernon Crime Report for the Week of May 27

Mount Vernon Crime Report for the Week of May 27

Monday, June 1

Tease photo

Summer Fun, Summer Safety

Tips for averting summer danger.

It’s a familiar call. The sun beams down from mid-summer sky. Temperatures rise above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but safety conditions start to plummet.