Stories for May 2015

Stories for May 2015


Thursday, May 28

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Fairfax County Police and Fire Join for New Training

Generally, if 2nd Lt. Karen Maslona was handling a live crime scene, a “warm zone” with a potentially active shooter, medical personnel wouldn’t be allowed in the area until the situation is completely neutralized.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: May 29-31

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon this weekend.

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Mount Vernon Market Opens for the Season

The Mount Vernon farmer's market is open on Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.

Looking Out for Senior Citizens in Mount Vernon

Barbara Sullivan leads organization that helps residents age in place.

Founded in 2007, Mount Vernon at Home now has almost 200 dues-paying members.

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Fairfax County School Board Passes $2.6 Billion Budget for 2016

Employees receive step pay increase but lose portion of planned market scale adjustment.

$7.6 million: That’s how much Fairfax County Public Schools said the School Board needed to cut to meet the goals set out in its Fiscal Year 2016 Advertised Budget.

Addo Approaches Year as Inova Mount Vernon CEO

Improving patient experience, acute care among top priorities.

Washington, D.C. native Deborah Addo took the reins of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in June 2014. In November, just a few months into her tenure, the new Mark and Brenda Moore Patient Tower was opened.

Mount Vernon: Dougherty Connects Chamber with Community

Focusing on small business and economic development.

Prior to becoming the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce executive director, Dougherty worked for U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Later, she served in several senior positions during the Reagan Administration. This included assignments at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Energy.

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Mount Vernon: Goats Enlisted in War against Invasive Plants

The Hollin Meadows Swim and Tennis Club welcomed 60 goats to its property to graze on invasive plants and vegetation on May 11.

Wednesday, May 27

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Mount Vernon: Annual Gala Supports MVAH

On the banks of the Potomac River just off the Mount Vernon Parkway, the Mount Vernon at Home non-profit senior citizen service organization once again celebrated its annual gala fundraiser at the American Horticulture Society's site, River Farm on May 20.

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Mount Vernon: West Potomac Girls’ Lacrosse Earns Rare Home Regional Game

Wolverines end season with 18-10 loss to McLean.

The West Potomac girls' lacrosse team lost to McLean 18-10 on Tuesday.

Column: Mad Man

Really, Matthew Weiner; on the penultimate episode of “Mad Men,” Betty Draper/Francis had to be diagnosed with lung cancer with her life expectancy said to be “nine months,” with nothing more than “palliative care” available?

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Local and Regional Lord and Lady Fairfax Crowned

Lardner and Tillett honored in Mount Vernon district.

Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. announced the 2015 Lords and Ladies Fairfax at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 12 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

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Rules on Noise Set To Change

Board of Supervisors scheduled to resume discussion and vote on proposed Noise Ordinance on June 23.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust asked to defer a proposal to adopt a new chapter of the county’s noise ordinance to September so the board could have more time to weigh testimony of more than 30 speakers at the public hearing, May 12.

Editorial: Voting, June 9

No, not for Hillary or Jeb or Carly. Locally, June 9, 2015 is an Election Day that counts.

To listen to the national news, one would think that the next Presidential election is in November. But no. That’s November 2016.

Friday, May 22

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Weekend Fun in Fairfax County - May 22-24, 2015

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend.

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

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Ride of the Patriots Rolls Back Through Fairfax

For the 17th year, the Fairfax Harley Owners Group and Patriot Harley-Davidson are sponsoring a Memorial Day weekend group motorcycle ride to honor service men and women, veterans, prisoners of war and those missing in action from all wars.

Thursday, May 21

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McAuliffe Signs Bill to Get Food Trucks Rolling in Virginia

Food trucks, those compact mobile restaurants that have become wildly popular on the streets of Washington, D.C., are getting closer to expanding their tread-print in Virginia.

Letter: Take a Moment to Remember Fallen Troops

Letter to the Editor

I hope that Americans will take a moment from whatever they are doing this Memorial Day to remember our fallen troops.

Column: Up and Down and All Around


No. That’s not my stomach talking.

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Fairfax County: Police Commission Holds Public Forum

Deborah Moronese of Vienna said a disagreement with her son over his use of Wi-Fi in their home prompted him to call Fairfax County Police.

Wednesday, May 20

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Mount Vernon: Packing Food for Others

Public school students receiving free or reduced meals may face food insecurity challenges on the weekend as well.

Mount Vernon: New Wegmans Dedicated on Armed Forces Day

Members of the Hayfield Secondary School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps not only faced the pressure of raising the flag for the first time at the soon to be open Alexandria Wegmans. They also had to figure out the pole’s hidden crank mechanism located behind a locked door.

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Mount Vernon: Group Welcomes People 'As They Are'

Church fellowship group caters to people with mental health conditions

Pam McLaughlin of Mount Vernon displays a white paper mask she’s painted with a blend of various shades of blues and purples. Dark lines streak from the sides of the nose out to the ears like whiskers.

Mount Vernon: Suspects Charged for Murder

Detectives charged Gregory Brown, 23, of Washington D.C., and Niziah Williams, of Clinton, Md. with the murder of Santos Zelaya that took place March 26.

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Pantherlon 5K Set for June 6

This year the Carl Sandburg Middle School Pancake Pantherlon 5K run will partner with the Carl Sandburg Health Fair to provide a family friendly morning of “good for you” fun.

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History Lesson: Spring Bank During the Civil War

In the pedestrian area next to Richmond Highway between the Pizza Hut restaurant and the Kings Crossing Shopping Center is a Virginia Historical marker for the Union army defensive forts once in this area of Mount Vernon. All are gone except for Fort Willard, a Fairfax County park in the Belle Haven community. The largest was Fort Lyon located where the Huntington Metro Station is today.

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Mount Vernon High School Turns 75

The Michael M. Skinner Field House at Mount Vernon High School was transformed into a ballroom on Saturday evening, May 16, for the school’s 75th anniversary dinner and gala.

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Mount Vernon: Candidates Seek Primary Victory

At forums, four candidates seek to differentiate themselves.

Mount Vernon residents have not experienced such intense political competition to choose a Democratic nominee for an elected local office in a generation.

Column: In Contrast


Even though my previous CT Scan “looked good,” nonetheless I am already, two months out, thinking about my next scan, scheduled for July 15. I am not nervous or anxious about it yet. But I am something.

Tuesday, May 19

Parents’ Role in Educating about Alcohol and Drugs

Suggestions for talking to teens about staying safe.

Graduation, prom and the summer before heading off to college are some of the highlights of a teen’s high school experience. While the season brings landmark events, it can be marred by the consequences of engaging in harmful activities.

Editorial: Remembering on Memorial Day 2015

On Memorial Day, take at least one minute to reflect on those who have died.

On Memorial Day, we remember all of those who have died in military service, more than 400,000 in World War II, more than 30,000 in Korea, more than 50,000 in Vietnam. As many as 620,000 soldiers died in the line of duty in the Civil War, stunningly about 2 percent of the population at that time. To compare, while more than 2.5 million soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, that number is still less than one percent of the U.S. population.

The Fight for the 45th

Democratic primary candidates vying to replace Delegate Krupicka lay out campaign priorities.

As with most candidates in a primary, the Democrats campaigning to replace Robert Krupicka as delegate for Virginia’s 45th District which includes parts of Alexandria, Arlington and Mount Vernon, don’t vary greatly in their positions on political issues. Where these candidates do vary is their experience and priorities.

Monday, May 18

Editorial: Public Comment at Police Commission

Come out to testify before the commission on Monday, May 18.

John Geer was shot dead by Fairfax County Police Officer Adam Torres on Aug. 29, 2013, and the outrage over the quality and timing of the release of information about the shooting led to the formation of the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, which will hold a public forum next Monday, May 18.

Editorial: Call for Father’s Day Photos

This week and next, we print Mother’s Day photos, and we call for photos for Father’s Day. Father's Day is Sunday, June 21, 2015 and once again the Connection will publish a gallery of Father's Day photos.

Friday, May 15

Mount Vernon Home Sales: April, 2015

In April, 2015, 125 homes sold between $1,261,700-$115,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: April, 2015

Wednesday, May 13

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun May 15-17

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon for the weekend of May 15-17

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Transportation Forum Discusses Options and Obstacles

High Level forum discusses regional transit options and obstacles.

Local, state and federal elected and appointed officials, business leaders, researchers and directors and staff from transportation and economic development agencies gathered on Friday morning, May 8, at the Greensboro Conference Center in he heart of Tysons.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Kingstowne Center for Active Adults in Alexandria needs an instructor to teach a class in Mosaic Art or Jewelry Making. For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit click on Volunteer Solutions.

Healthcare Events

Fairfax County is offering a free six-week Chronic Disease Self-Management Program workshop Series. Learn and share positive strategies to better manage overall health, increase self-confidence and improve the skills you need to take control of your health and happiness! Tuesday, June 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m. First Baptist Church, 450 Orchard Street, NW. Vienna. For more information, call 703-324-5489, TTY 711, or email

Treating All Students and Staff with Dignity and Respect

“The decision by the School Board to add “gender identity” to our nondiscrimination policy is to provide an environment which promotes equality where every student and employee is treated with dignity and respect. This tells our students and staff that school and the FCPS workplace are places where they can be safe from harassment and discrimination."

Column: Why Fi?


“That’s the dream; to have Wi-Fi in the car.” So says one of the focus group participants (“real people, not actors”) in a recent television commercial from Chevrolet. The answer is to a question asked of five adults to identify which car brand: Mercedes, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, or Toyota, includes “Built-in Wi-Fi” in their product line.

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West Potomac Team to Compete at World Competition

A West Potomac High School Odyssey of the Mind team has once again earned a spot to compete at the World Competition on May 20 - 23 at Michigan State University.

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Video Released of 2009 Officer-Involved Shooting

Dashboard camera recorded audio, not video of the shots fired.

Barrie Masters’ son David died Nov. 13, 2009. A Fairfax County Police officer shot and killed him while he sat, unarmed, and behind the wheel of his car. Last week, more than five years later, Fairfax County Police released the dashboard video from the cruiser of the officer who shot David Masters.

Crash on Richmond Highway Kills Pedestrian

Fifty-eight-year-old Sonia Granados was attempting to cross Route 1 just before Anderson Lane when she was struck in the roadway by a 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse heading southbound. The incident occurred around 9 p.m. Monday, May 11.

Letter: Protect Parkway

Letter to the Editor

The City of Alexandria is about to choose their preferred alternative for a new Metro stop.

Letter: A Call For Justice

Letter to the Editor

I am Barrie Masters, a retired Army Colonel and father of David Alan Masters who was killed by a Fairfax County police officer on a rainy afternoon, Nov. 13, 2009, while sitting in his Chevrolet Blazer stopped at a traffic light on Route 1 and Fort Hunt Road in Fairfax County.

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Alexandria: T.C. Williams, West Potomac Enter Postseason with Confidence

Titans, Wolverines end regular season with 1-1 draw.

The T.C. Williams and West Potomac boys' soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw Tuesday.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Stamping Out Hunger

The 23rd annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive took place throughout the community on Saturday, May 9, to stock local food pantries for the summer months.

Monday, May 11

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Victory Day Fly-in

Disappointed visitors searched the sky at Dulles on Saturday, May 9, hoping for a break in the weather.

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Fairfax County School Board Adds "Gender Identity" to Nondiscrimination Policy

Discrimination is bad, and everyone should have a safe environment in which to learn. These sentiments were common to the Fairfax County School Board members and the hundreds of parents who packed the auditorium and front lobby of Luther Jackson Middle School for the board’s May 7 meeting.

Thursday, May 7

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

The Mount Vernon boys’ soccer team lost to undefeated Washington-Lee 6-1 on May 4.

Column: Why I Am Running for the 36th District Senate Seat


We need a senator in Richmond who will work with both parties to solve problems.

Column: Help #saveFCPS

Superintendent says FCPS faces deficit of more than $100 million; FCPS excellence at risk.

Statement from Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen K. Garza following the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passage of the Fairfax County Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget:

Column: Rebuttal on School Funding


On April 28 the Board of Supervisors adopted the FY2016 Budget. Our board approved a total transfer to the schools of $2.01 billion, an increase of $66.7 million (an increase of 3.43 percent) over FY2015 and nearly two-thirds of all new revenue associated with increased property values. The total School Budget, which is comprised of the county transfer, plus state and some federal funding, totals $2.6 billion.

Letter: Leaders’ Accountability

Letter to the Editor

In the past few days, we have seen some movement on the John Geer case.

Letter: ‘Best and Brightest’

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I read the article on Thomas Jefferson High School [“Best and Brightest,” The Gazette, April 23].

Mount Vernon: JROTC Cadets Honored

Three JROTC cadets were honored by the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution during a ceremony held April 30 at Mount Vernon High School.

Letter: Higher Pay, More Taxes

Letter to the Editor

Well my prediction about higher county taxes has happened, unfortunately.

Letter: Estate’s Effect On Traffic

Letter to the Editor

How can George Washington be a better neighbor? Over the last few years, the number of attractions and the number of visitors to Mount Vernon Estate has really increased.

Letter: Morrogh Must Be Held Accountable

Letter to the Editor

The Commonwealth Attorney of Fairfax County, Raymond F. Morrogh, has lately adopted the role of schoolyard bully who disguises his insecurities by picking on those he perceives as weak.

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Republican Jane Gandee Enters Mount Vernon Supervisor Race

Focuses on ensuring pro-business climate.

A hundred supporters were on hand April 23 as Mason Neck resident Jane Gandee announced her campaign to replace Gerry Hyland (D) as Mount Vernon representative to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The event took place at the Mount Vernon Government Center.

Capital Murder Added To Matthew Charges

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford announced Tuesday, May 5, that Jesse Matthew will face a capital murder charge in addition to abduction and first degree murder charges for the 2014 death of West Potomac alumna Hannah Graham.

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Embrace the Past: Hundreds of Mount Vernon Grads Set to Return for 75th Anniversary

Montebello resident Mike Skinner was a history teacher, basketball coach and sub school principal at Mount Vernon High School between 1955 and 1983. His name now adorns the school’s Michael M. Skinner Field House.

Wednesday, May 6

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Fairfax County Hosting the 2015 World Police & Fire Games

A huge event on a scale Fairfax County has never before seen — that’s the 2015 World Police & Fire Games. It’ll run June 26-July 5 and promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for area residents. “We expect over 12,000 first responders from more than 70 countries,” said county police Maj. Rich Perez, who’s heading up security. “There’ll be 61 sporting events spanning 10 days, and with more athletes than the summer Olympic Games.”

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Healthy Relationships for Life

Researchers say meaningful friendships help preserve health.

Bill and Betty Kenealy, of Springfield, make it a point to socialize regularly with their long-time friends, many of whom are other couples they met through work and through the activities of their five children. They’ve watched their children become adults, worked, retired and even survived cancer. Now they’re living together in a retirement community in Springfield. Bill is 85 and Betty is 81.

Column: “CT Looked Good”


Cryptic? Hardly. Words I can live with the for the next three months until my next CT Scan? Absolutely.

Tuesday, May 5

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Dr. Seuss-themed 23rd Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards

Wesley Pan of Great Falls-based Boy Scouts of America Troop 55 was humble about receiving the Youth Volunteer Group award. “We’re just happy to help the community and make a difference,” he said.

Commentary: Law Enforcement, the Mentally Ill and the Pursuit of Justice

Across the nation, people are having serious discussions about how to alter the dynamic that too often exists between some law enforcement officers and individuals. Out of each case, we learn something that will help us go forward. So, as justice pursues its course in Fairfax County with regard to the tragic death of Natasha McKenna, let’s not lose sight of the real underlying problem: the systemic mishandling of mentally ill patients who have few or no resources, and law enforcement’s struggle to deal with untreated or undertreated individuals.

Letter: Garza Calls Community to Help #saveFCPS

Superintendent says FCPS faces deficit of more than $100 million; FCPS excellence at risk.

Statement from Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen K. Garza following the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passage of the Fairfax County Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget:

Editorial: Hunger Is Widespread

Saturday, May 9, is the postal carriers food drive; put a sturdy bag with food donation next to your mailbox that morning.

There are families dealing with hunger in every county in the United States, including here in Northern Virginia.

Monday, May 4

Letter: Citizen Group Reacts to Ad Hoc Commission

Letter to the Editor

In response to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ announcement of an ad hoc commission to review police department practices and policies, the citizens group Justice for John Geer released the following statement: Fairfax County needs a permanent, effective civilian oversight board that is independent of police influence, trusted by the public, supported by the board, and tasked with a broad review over all practices and policies relating to law enforcement activity.

Friday, May 1

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Farmers Markets 2015

Buy fresh fruits and veggies from local vendors this summer.

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