Stories for April 2016

Stories for April 2016


Thursday, April 28

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Projects Reshaping the Area

Include commercial, residential and historic.

The Huntington Club Condominium Association is reviewing developer bids for a new mixed-use project that would include 1,200 to 1,800 housing units, 600,000 to 1 million square-feet of office space and 127,000 square-feet of retail space.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Burgundy School Celebrates 70th Anniversary on Earth Day

Sickles and Burgundy alum Krizek read proclamation.

Clumps of students, from kindergarteners to eighth-graders, gradually emerged from the woods to fill up a scenic outdoor amphitheater that serves as the Burgundy Farm Country Day School’s assembly hall. They gathered on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day and the school’s 70th anniversary.

Mount Vernon: Woman Charged with Murder

Fairfax County Police have charged Jessica R. Deneal-Whalen, 27, of Alexandria with second-degree murder of 51-year-old Raymond A. White, of no fixed address.

Tease photo

Fairfax Station: Fourth annual Fragile X walk raises $55,000 for molecular bank for research

Jimi Grande of Fairfax Station may never get to teach his ten-year-old son Jimmo to throw a baseball. Jimmo was born with effects from an inherited genetic mutation called Fragile X that can cause moderate to severe mental impairment and learning disabilities, and is linked to autism spectrum disorder.

Wednesday, April 27

Tease photo

State of the County Presented Over Breakfast

Leadership Fairfax hosts 25th Annual Board of Supervisors State of the County Breakfast and presents Hanley Award to Bill Bouie for Public Service.

With the number and types of commitments made on their daily schedules, it takes a special occasion to gather the entire roster of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in one place at one time outside the walls of their meeting chambers.

Preparing for Summer Camp Away

Many emotions arise when a child leaves for camp.

A child’s first residential summer camp experience can be fraught with emotions that run the gamut from excitement to terror.

Tease photo

Academic Camps Combine Education and Fun

Local camps help students maintain school skills in a relaxed environment.

One summer Ana Lado created a summer camp activity for students at her neighborhood pool. The Marymount professor set up a picnic area, and included activities and books. Her plan was to engage the students and give them the opportunity to read and build reading skills while still enjoying fun activities traditionally associated with summer.

Tease photo

From Colonial History to Future Entrepreneurs

Campers can explore diverse interests in specialty summer camps.

This summer dozens of elementary school-aged children will travel back in time to the Colonial Era where, among other things, they’ll learn to spin cotton into cloth for garments.

Editorial: More Voters Might Not Mean Much More Voting

Governor’s action brings Virginia in line with 39 other states.

Last week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) restored the voting and civil rights of more than 200,000 Virginians who were convicted of felonies, served their time and completed any supervised release, parole or probation requirements.

Mount Vernon Letter: Farewell To Mia

Letter to the Editor

This week, I want to take a step back from discussions of civic issues to remember my dog Mia who passed away on April 18, 2016. Mia graced the front page of the July 23, 2015 Pet Gazette, perhaps given that honor because she was the oldest dog whose photo was submitted.

Mount Vernon Letter: A Necessary Inconvenience

Letter to the Editor

As another resident of Stratford Landing who is being temporarily inconvenienced by the current repaving operation, I wish to enter my approval for the operation.

Mount Vernon Letter: Morrogh Must Explain

Letter to the Editor

On Aug. 29, 2013, then Fairfax County police officer Adam D. Torres, without justification or provocation, shot and killed unarmed John B. Geer.

Mount Vernon Letter: Repave Before Severe Damage

Letter to the Editor

In the April 21 Gazette, Mr. Spiegel asserted his position being unconvinced that the repaving of his street was essential.

Tease photo

Alexandria Column: Supporting Verizon Strikers


Sunday, May 1 is May Day, where we recognize the accomplishments of organized labor. On this day the precursor to the AFL-CIO proclaimed, “Eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.”

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: West Potomac Bats Come Alive in Win Over Woodson

Wolverines pound nine extra-base hits against Cavaliers.

The West Potomac baseball team defeated Woodson 7-2 on Tuesday.

Tease photo

3 Alexandria Farmer’s Market Finds for Spring

Alexandria has plethora of market options throughout the year.

The dawn of spring brings lots of vendors back to Alexandria’s farmer’s markets. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, the short-but-sweet ramp season — it’s always a feast for the senses this time of year. Here are three area vendors to pay particular attention to.

Tease photo

Responding to Teen Sex Trafficking

Comprehensive approach seeks to educate teens.

In 2012 Fairfax County Detective William Woolf discovered a 16-year-old girl being prostituted by the M-16 gang. At the time there was little recognition that the problem existed locally. The girl was recovered and since then Woolf has interviewed 300 recovered victims, some as young as 12-years old. After the initial shock, Northern Virginia businesses, faith communities and educational groups sought to understand the extent of the problem.

Monday, April 25

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Chief Investigating Cyberbullying of Dead Female Firefighter

Search for Nicole Mittendorff called off after police “preliminarily identify” female remains, find suicide note found in her abandoned vehicle.

The search for Nicole Mittendorff, a paramedic-firefighter based at Fire Station 32 in Fairfax Station, has been suspended, a release from Virginia State Police said on Thursday, April 21.

Friday, April 22

Mount Vernon: Embark Richmond Highway Community Meeting Set for May 9

“Embark Richmond Highway” is the long-term project for expanding and diversifying transportation and development along the Richmond Highway Corridor. It resulted from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) study of Route 1 transportation needs, the recommendations from which Fairfax County Board of Supervisors endorsed 11 months ago.

Tease photo

Clifton and Fairfax Station: Garden Club Member Receives Award of Honor

At a recent award ceremony at George Washington’s River Farm in Alexandria, Dominion Valley Garden Club member Millicent “Millie” Rever of Fairfax Station received the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Award of Honor.

Thursday, April 21

Removing a Barrier to Pomp and Circumstance

Gowns for Grads program at George Mason provides regalia for needy graduates.

When Muntaha Choudhary walks across the stage during George Mason University’s graduation ceremony this May she will celebrate not only her bachelor’s degree, which has been eight years in the making, but also the fact that she is the first person in her family to graduate from college.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Supervisors Approve 4-Cent Tax Rate Increase

The gap between the Fairfax County School Board and total county budgets is a formality away from being the smallest since before Jan. 7 when FCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza announced she wouldn’t be making any additional cuts in her $2.67 billion Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Marking Placement of Final Beam

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital CEO Deborah Addo joined other guests, donors, hospital employees and community members April 19 to sign the final steel beam going into the new Veatch Family Emergency Department.

Mount Vernon Letter: Unconvinced On Re-paving

Letter to the Editor

In the April 7 Gazette, my letter was published in which I disagreed with the re-paving of the streets in my neighborhood, stating that it did not appear to be essential at this time and that the money could be better spent on other transportation infrastructure.

Mount Vernon Column: Celebrating Earth Day


This Friday, April 22, is Earth Day. It is a day to inspire and motivate ourselves to action to do our part to protect the environment. It is a time to provide an act of service to the planet. It is a day to celebrate nature.

Tease photo

Cappies Review: ‘Solid, Time-Tested Piece of Theatre’

Two gamblers, a night club performer with a perpetual cold, and a Christian mission leader longing for the perfect love walk into a … no this isn't the setup for a bad joke. While the plot of Frank Loesser's “Guys and Dolls” may seem a little bizarre at first, the show has remained a treasure of the American theatre since it first opened in 1950. Mount Vernon High School sought to remind us all why this show is so loved, and they were quite successful.

Wednesday, April 20

Letter: Selfishness, Not Altruism, Behind Tax Increases

To the Editor

The Board of Supervisors and School Board should give the approximately 12,000 classroom teachers salary increases, but give no raises to other school and county employees.

Tease photo

Alexandria: TC Boys’ Lax Comes Back to Beat Mount Vernon

Titans outscore Majors 4-0 during final 5:29.

The T.C. Williams boys' lacrosse team defeated Mount Vernon 8-5 on Tuesday.

Editorial: On the Guilty Plea of Adam Torres

Geer’s death exposed “obfuscation … and a lack of public accountability.”

Adam Torres, charged with murder in the death of Springfield resident John Geer, was the first Fairfax County Police officer in the history of the department to be charged in such a death.

Tuesday, April 19

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Torres Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter of John Geer

Former Police officer faced murder charges for 2013 shooting

It was over before it began. Neither prosecution nor defense gave opening statements in former Fairfax County Police Officer Adam Torres’ trial for the August 2013 murder of Springfield resident John Geer. Instead on Monday, April 18, Torres pleaded guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter for the August 2013 incident.

Monday, April 18

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Opening Day Ceremony

Fort Hunt Little League President Barry Meuse welcomed everyone to the Opening Day Ceremony. The Carl Sandburg gymnasium was filled with 630 players and their families, ready to begin the new season.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: ‘Dance Around the World’

Fort Hunt Elementary School's annual "Dance Around the World" offered a chance to celebrate and learn about the 65 nations represented by the school’s students. Principal Thomas Fitzpatrick, led the Parade of Nations through the gymnasium and school hall.

Friday, April 15

Tease photo

Historic Garden Week in Virginia

Elegant homes and gardens in Old Town, Arlington and Falls Church will be open to the public.

Some of the most spectacular gardens will be in bloom and on display during the 83rd annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

Tease photo

Modular Homes Come of Age

What's behind the growing popularity of modular homes? Recent research shows that a house comprised of architecturally-specific, pre-constructed modules can be assembled on a homeowner’s lot for 10-15 percent less than of the cost of a comparably-sized “stick-built” house.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: March, 2016

In March, 2016, 123 homes sold between $1,800,000-$96,600 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: March, 2016

Mount Vernon Gala: Neighborhood Gala To Benefit Hollin Meadows STEM

With the sizeable rift between the Fairfax County Public Schools adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2017 and the advertised transfer from the Board of Supervisors still looming, parents and community supporters of Hollin Meadows Elementary hope to protect their school’s highly valued STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and outdoor garden programs.

Mount Vernon Letter: Vital Upkeep

Letter to the Editor

I disagree with Mr. Spiegel's expressed concerns [Letter, “Decision on Re-Paving,” April 7] about road resurfacing in the Ft. Hunt area. There's no need to "speculate" about how the decision was made — Scott Surovell outlined the reasons why this resurfacing is long overdue in his comments in May 2015 which was widely distributed throughout the district.

Mount Vernon Column: Beware of Scams


Recently, I attended a presentation at the Hollin Hall Senior Center by our Fairfax County Police on the growing threat of scams targeting seniors, sponsored by Mount Vernon at Home.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Neighborhood Gala To Benefit Hollin Meadows STEM

With the sizeable rift between the Fairfax County Public Schools adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2017 and the advertised transfer from the Board of Supervisors still looming, parents and community supporters of Hollin Meadows Elementary hope to protect their school’s highly valued STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and outdoor garden programs.

Investigation Continuing in Fatal Springfield Pedestrian Crash

In an April 8 release, Fairfax County Police said two-year veteran officer Salino was the driver involved with the April 2 collision that killed Jeffrey Ponce Aguilar, 26, of Alexandria. Police declined to release Salino’s first name or age.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Grad, Mclean Resident Opens Tropical Fruit Smoothie Café in Dunn Loring

McLean resident Trung Tang has worked in food service since starting as a busboy for East Wind in Alexandria at age 14. The 1996 Mount Vernon High School graduate made a career out of serving in and managing restaurants.

Fairfax County Police Hold Assessment Public Hearing

As part of an on-site assessment by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., Fairfax County Police held a public forum on April 11 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: 24th annual Service Awards recognizes community champions, hundreds of volunteers

Kathy Hertz, a longtime volunteer in Clifton, spent more than a week in Lesvos, Greece just after Christmas with her cousin. The two of them volunteered in and around a refugee camp for individuals being funnelled to Athens and hopefully back to Germany or other European havens.

Wednesday, April 13

Tease photo

Becoming Aware of Child Sex Trafficking

The problem extends throughout northern Virginia.

She stands on the sidewalk outside the mall with her backpack full of 7th grade science and math books. An older man pulls up and she gets in the backseat of his car.

Classified Advertising April 13, 2016

Read the latest ads here!

Tuesday, April 12

Inaugural Living Well Summit Piques Interest of County Seniors

Summit helps county residents improve with age.

Local residents can learn how to age gracefully Saturday, April 16, at the Living Well, Aging Well Summit in the Fairfax County Government Center.

Help Wanted: Mature Workforce at Employment Expo in Tysons

Older adults in search of work can discuss job opportunities with various industry representatives Monday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the “50+ Employment Expo” in the Sheraton Tysons Hotel.

Tease photo

Progress Made, Challenges Remain on Ending Homelessness

HomeAid NoVA hosts ‘Keep the Homeless Housed’ Forum.

In 2008, Fairfax County partnered with the City of Falls Church to adopt an ambitious strategic plan to address the issue of homelessness in the region.

Tease photo

Finding Fun in Science

Area youth turn out for Project BEST Science and Technology Fun.

What could possibly have lured some 100 and more middle school youngsters back to a school building on a Saturday, especially if that school isn’t theirs and they had to get up extra early just to get there?

Editorial: Award-Winning Connection Newspapers

Still striving to be the Connection to your community.

Connection Newspapers won dozens of awards from the Virginia Press Association for work done in 2015.

Monday, April 11

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Las Vegas-themed Friends of UCM Spring Gala raises $185,000.

The sparkling red sequins and crown of spindly feathers moved gracefully with the long-limbed Vegas showgirl around supporters of the Mount Vernon area social services organization United Community Ministries as they play-gambled and silently bid on auction items at the casino-themed Friends of UCM 2016 Spring Gala.

Friday, April 8

Tease photo

Alexandria Appetite: 3 Spots to Dine Al Fresco This Spring

With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to grab a menu and eat outside.

Despite Mother Nature’s detour over the weekend, signs of spring are popping up everywhere. Cherry blossoms and Easter bunnies are sure signals of renewal, but when it comes to eating out, there’s only one way to tell spring is here: The patio furniture is dusted off, set out, and poised to welcome diners once more. Here are three restaurants that are ready to greet the season.

Speaker Series

Senior Services of Alexandria will present Aging Well, Working Together for a Livable Community for all Ages, next in a speaker series, on Wednesday, April 13, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria.

Luxury Condos are a Growth Market for Seniors

Active retirees seek options for independent living, including condos in Alexandria, Arlington, Tysons, Reston, McLean, Bethesda and Chevy Chase, among others.

When Joyce and Don Lipman decided to move out of their Potomac, Md. home, they opted for a high-end townhouse instead of a retirement community.

Tease photo

Taking the Long View

Budgeted, incremental improvements are the key to effective planning, aging in place.

When they decided not to move-on after retirement, seniors Mike and Sandy Nusbaum slowly began enlarging their long-term residence with several goals in mind.

Golden Notes

Living well at any age.

Tease photo

‘Shark Tank’ for Seniors

High school students design and present tech products to improve lives of older adults.

Chantilly High School freshman Aru Rajpurohit remembers seeing her great-grandfather struggle to drink his morning tea and other beverages, his hands shaking from Parkinson’s disease.

Thursday, April 7

Tease photo

Letter: Help Prevent Child Abuse

If you see a blue pinwheel dotting the landscape in April, we hope you will pause and think about what it represents--National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Letter: Limiting Health Care Choices

To the Editor

Recently it was announced that Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna are planning to merge, which would severely limit the choices residents of the Commonwealth have when picking their healthcare provider.

Sanderson Honored for 25 Years of Civic Service in the Arts

Douglas J. Sanderson, a principal in the law firm of McCandlish & Lillard, P.C., was honored at the 2016 Fairfax County Federation of Citizens' annual awards banquet with a Citation of Merit recognizing his 25 years of “pro-bono legal service

Mount Vernon Brief: Community Champion Named

Storck honors Fitzsimmons of Alice’s Kids.

District Supervisor Dan Storck (D-Mount Vernon) named Alice’s Kids Executive Director and founder Ron Fitzsimmons his 2016 Community Champion, an honor typically bestowed at the Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards. Fitzsimmons couldn’t attend this year’s awards so Storck recognized him in a ceremony at the Mount Vernon District Government Center on April 4.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Military Appreciation Night

YN2 Raymond Attaway (center) directs the Silent Drill Team of the U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard, while Hayfield varsity lacrosse players look on, at last year’s Military Appreciation Night.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Letter: Decision on Re-paving

Letter to the Editor

As members of the community well know and as their daily commutes to and from work remind them, one of the most pressing needs in Northern Virginia is enhancement of transportation infrastructure.

Mount Vernon Column: IDs for All


In August of 2014, I organized a Hispanic Town Hall Meeting in Hybla Valley. I spent the first hour going over issues with constituents.

Mount Vernon Column: Celebrating Donor Awareness Day


This upcoming Monday is Donor Awareness Day, created by the Virginia State Legislature in 1997 to celebrate the contributions of organ and tissue donors.

Wednesday, April 6

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: West Potomac Earns First Win Over TC Since 2009

Somuah’s two goals lead Wolverines past Titans.

The West Potomac boys' soccer team defeated T.C. Williams 3-1 on Monday.

Send in Mother's Day Photos to the Connection

Mother’s Day is May 8 this year and as usual every year at this time, this newspaper calls for submissions to our Mother’s Day photo gallery.

Editorial: Move Forward with Independent Oversight

While FCPD has embraced many critical changes, supervisors need to move forward with oversight.

Last week, the Fairfax County Police Department posted a list and progress report of 202 recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, each currently labeled as one of: implemented, in progress or under review.

Tease photo

First Responders Honored at 38th Annual Valor Awards

‘Ready for All Emergencies’

Technician Ryland Chapman and Lieutenant Lawrence Mullin with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department were preparing to return home from a deployment with Virginia Task Force 1 to earthquake-rocked Kathmandu, Nepal when another quake sent them back out for duty.

Tease photo

Alexandria Appetite: From Sauces to Spices, She Peppers Packs a Punch

Two-woman team of pepper purveyors is expanding its farmer’s market reach — and gaining shelf space in stores.

Many of Alexandria’s gardeners are just beginning to put their spring vegetables in the ground, last-minute frost be darned. But for Stephanie Freeman and Vickie Lucas, the business of peppers is a year-round affair. Instead of waiting until April to till the soil, they’ve been awaiting the beginning of farmer’s market season — and the expansion of their sauce-and-spice business, She Peppers.

Tease photo

Lawmakers Wrap-up Richmond Legislative Session

Unspent TANF grant money, prisoner rights among social issues discussed.

On average, low income families in Virginia who are eligible and sign up for funds from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant receive $269 monthly and are cut off after five years. But lawmakers say there’s a lot more unexpended money available in the federal grant that, if it remains unused, could one day be taken back.

Friday, April 1

Tease photo

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: April 1-10


Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon.