Stories for January 2016

Stories for January 2016


Friday, January 29

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Jan. 29-Feb. 7


Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Va.

Mount Vernon: Several Projects Taking Shape in 2016

Including commercial, residential, hospital and U.S. Army.

The former Penn Daw Plaza shopping center was rezoned as part of a 2012 Comprehensive Plan amendment for the Penn Daw area and is set to be replaced by a mixed-use development. The development, now named “South Alex,” will feature 400 apartments, 41 townhomes and 44,000 square-feet of ground-level retail space. The project team is hoping to break ground by the second quarter of 2016.

Thursday, January 28

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Snowstorm Q&A: West Potomac’s Lisenby Got into Snowball Fights

Snowstorm Q&A with West Potomac junior Brandan Lisenby.

Snowstorm Q&A: Mount Vernon's Ray Spent Quality Time with Family

Snowstorm Q&A with Mount Vernon guard Chanise Ray.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Discussing Renovations

The Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club dined at the newly renovated Cedar Knolls restaurant on the George Washington Parkway on Jan. 6. The new managing partner and chef, Andrew Holden, spoke to the club about the process of organizing the renovations of a historical restaurant, and his plans for future expansion of dining arrangements and then getting into lunch service. After his presentation, Club President Joanne Malkin, on right, and president-elect Vivien Peterson, on left, presented Holden with a club baseball cap as a token of appreciation.

Mount Vernon Letter: Doomed Proposal

Letter to the Editor

In last week's Gazette, newly elected state Sen. Scott Surovell discussed a portion of his 2016 legislative agenda.

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Mount Vernon Letter: Kudos on Snow Removal

Letter to the Editor

For the first time in the 18 years I have lived on Duke Drive, the VDOT snow plow came down my side of the street after I sought constituent services from our new state delegate, Paul Krizek.

Mount Vernon Letter: An Invitation

Letter to the Editor

I have a suggestion for Mr. Medico (Letter: “Efforts Still Infringe on Rights”) and Mr. Spiegel (Letter: “Gun Laws not Being Enforced”). Rather than trading barbs, claims and counter claims, how about all of us go out to dinner, talk and see if there is any common ground.

Mount Vernon Column: Reining in Predatory Towing


Aside from the snowstorm of the century, this week brought the start of consideration of legislation and initial work on our state budget.

Mount Vernon Column: Time To Raise Minimum Wage


Many readers know that I work for a nonprofit headquartered on Richmond Highway, in the heart of Mount Vernon. Small nonprofits like mine face many of the same troubles as small businesses: money is always hard to come by and we must operate within very small margins. Indeed, we rely on the generosity of the public for our support. Many of the people we serve are barely making it; they work long hours and struggle to get by. Helping people is what we do but wouldn’t it be better if they could do more to help themselves? The best way to make that happen is to raise the minimum wage.

Mount Vernon Brief: McNaughton Renovation to Start

Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled at noon on Saturday, Jan. 30, for the Fairfax County Park Authority’s renovation of the baseball fields at McNaughton Park, 5320 Pole Road, in Alexandria. The public is invited to these brief ceremonies featuring local officials, members of the Park Authority Board and the athletic community.

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Mount Vernon: Missing Cat

Summer Breeze got lost Jan. 21 behind the Hybla Valley Veterinary Hospital in Alexandria. She is an indoor cat and very skittish. If seen, call Christy at 703-209-0306 or 703-360-0758 or Raychel at 571-235-5467.

Mount Vernon: Fort Hunt’s Care and Share Meals hand-delivered before Jonas

Every weekend, Fort Hunt Elementary School’s Care and Share program typically provides three ready-made meals for each day away from school to more than 30 children in the school’s community.

FCPS Award Nominations Sought

The nomination deadline is Feb. 3.

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Snow Place Like Home in Burke, Fairfax Station, Mount Vernon and Springfield

Residents, volunteers come together to dig out after Jonas drops over 20 inches.

Compared to Wednesday night’s sneak-attack dusting that caught Virginia Department of Transportation crews unprepared and commuters stuck in hours of slick rush hour gridlock, Fairfax County Supervisors think the full force of Winter Storm Jonas was weathered about as well as possible.

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Appetite: 3 Tables to Reserve for Alexandria Restaurant Week

Do Alexandria’s many restaurant deals have you stymied? Here are three menus to consider.

As Alexandrians dig themselves out from their recent string of snow days, Restaurant Week arrives at the perfect time to provide a respite from the shoveling. Here are three eateries worthy of saving a spot for in the coming week.

Wednesday, January 27

Editorial: ‘Disappointing, Not Surprising’

Bills to rein in predatory lending die in Senate committee.

Have you ever paid 36 percent interest on a loan or credit card?

Positive 2015 Real Estate Market Spurs Upbeat Outlook for New Year

Experts predict continuing positive trend.

The final figures are in, and it looks like the 2015 local housing market was a modest winner.

Building for the Future

School Board approves five-year $777 million Capital Improvement Plan.

While the rest of Fairfax County hunkered down in preparation for Winter Storm Jonas’ Friday arrival, members of the School Board held their business meeting as scheduled on Jan. 21 and approved a five-year Capital Improvement Plan requiring $777 million.

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McAuliffe Visits Fairfax County Post-Blizzard

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) visited the Fairfax County Emergency Operations Center on Sunday, Jan. 24, following the worst of Winter Storm Jonas to be updated on the state of the county in the blizzard’s wake.

Fairfax County Suspends Trash Collection for Blizzard Week

Fairfax County announced on its Emergency Information website Saturday night, Jan. 23, during Winter Storm Jonas that trash and recycling collection services would be suspended for the week of Jan. 25-30.

Classified Advertising January 27, 2016

Read the latest ads here!

Friday, January 22

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Fairfax County Braces for Epic Winter Storm Jonas

Chairman Bulova says VDOT was unprepared for Wednesday night, encourages residents to stay off roads during storm.

With Winter Storm Jonas looming and expected to begin Friday afternoon, a much milder dusting of snow the previous Wednesday night caught commuters and transportation workers off-guard. Treacherous, slick roads resulted in numerous accidents and forcing drivers into gridlock around Fairfax County.

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Lorton Brewer’s Wife Dies from Cancer

One week after a special ale was brewed to support her medical and other related costs, Kerri Rose of Alexandria died from cancer.

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Brain Injury Services in Springfield gets survivors back into the community

In one moment, Kim Daily’s life changed forever. It was September 2011 and the Centreville resident was in a car accident where she hit her head. Afterwards she experienced some numbness and pain in her neck.

Thursday, January 21

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Jan. 22-31


Events in Mount Vernon and Alexandria, Va.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2015

In December, 2015, 121 homes sold between $1,815,000-$100,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2015

Wednesday, January 20

Mount Vernon Obituary: Memorial Service for Mary Jane Tucker

Mary Jane Tucker of Alexandria died with her family by her side on Saturday, May 23, 2015. She was 81 years old.

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Mount Vernon: Advocate Against Opioid Abuse Attends State of the Union

Don Flattery’s son suffered an OxyContin addiction, died at 26 from an overdose.

Kevin Flattery had everything before him. A 2010 graduate of the University of Virginia, he had moved to Los Angeles after college and was starting a career in the film industry. “He was doing everything he wanted,” said Kevin’s father Don Flattery.

Mount Vernon: Remembering Edward Yellman

Edward K. Yellman, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army and father of five, died at his home in Alexandria on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

Column: Surovell’s 2016 Legislative Agenda, Part II


The Rules Committee assigned me to three committees.

Mount Vernon Column: Seeking ‘Solar Co-ops’ for Residents


One of the areas of my legislation this year includes continuing state Sen. Scott Surovell’s efforts to enact solar net metering policies in the Commonwealth. Currently there are several problems with solar panel construction in residential areas, which affect much of the heavily-wooded Mount Vernon community.

Mount Vernon Letter: Gun Laws Not Being Enforced

Letter to the Editor

John K. Bergen [“Let’s Agree on Common Sense,” The Gazette, Jan. 14] is an ineffective advocate for the gun control organization he represents.

Mount Vernon Letter: Efforts Still Infringe on Rights

Letter to the Editor

John Bergen’s response [“Let’s Agree on Common Sense,” The Gazette, Jan. 14] to my letter to the Mount Vernon Gazette about protecting the Second Amendment U.S Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners is typical of liberals who use whatever means, supportable or not, to support their positions.

Tuesday, January 19

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Victor Not Victim

Leading by example.

A tall, striking figure in red, Nyrisha Beckman stands in front of a room of recent Fairfax County high school graduates; not as a cautionary tale, but rather a true inspiration.

Commentary: Transportation Improvements Will Bolster Economy

Northern Virginia Business Transportation Coalition 2016 policy statement.

We, the undersigned Northern Virginia organizations representing the vast majority of businesses and employees of Northern Virginia’s private sector and nonprofit workforce, believe that a strong, efficient regional transportation network is essential to our region’s future economic competitiveness, security, and quality of life. W

Editorial: Pay Attention

General Assembly action matters more in Virginia.

The Virginia General Assembly began its 60-day 2016 session on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

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Calls to Widen American Legion Bridge

Each weekday, nearly 300,000 vehicles cross the American Legion Bridge, and each day traffic backs up into McLean, Great Falls and beyond.

Monday, January 18

Swords, Sorcery and Laughs

Port City Playhouse presents “Medieval Story Land.”

Red Knight Productions and the Port City Playhouse in Alexandria are presenting "Medieval Story Land" now through Jan. 30.

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Meet the Chef: Virtue Feed & Grain

Energy, camaraderie, chaos personify Duncan’s kitchen.

"Corner," Corporate Executive Chef Graham Duncan calls as he heads down the stairs and makes the sharp turn to the kitchen at Virtue Feed & Grain on Union Street. It is a bustling Friday lunchtime, and he squeezes by the line cook grilling Virtue and lamb burgers.

Thursday, January 14

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Coyotes on the Rise in Fairfax County

Police advise precautions

Over the last several months, Fairfax County Police said wildlife officials have received an increasing number of calls about the presence of coyotes in the area.

Wednesday, January 13

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Mount Vernon Brief: Police Investigating ATM Fraud

Fairfax County Police believe a man used a counterfeit ATM card to withdraw cash from a SunTrust Bank machine around 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2015. The machine is located at 5922 Richmond Highway.

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Burke, Fairfax Station, Springfield and Mount Vernon: Suds That Save

20 local breweries craft a beer to support one of their own.

Lawrence “Lance” Rose was born in September 2015, two months premature, to parents Matt and Kerri Rose of Alexandria. Just one month before, Kerri had been diagnosed with stage-four adenocarcinoma: stomach cancer.

Mount Vernon Obituary: Kenneth Earl Blunt

Long-time Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce member and owner of Travelers Motel, 5916 Richmond Highway, peacefully passed on Jan. 2, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He was a successful business man, Navy veteran, and member of many organizations including, 32 Degree Freemason, Kiwanis Club International, and Belle Haven Country Club.

Mount Vernon Letter: Board’s Lack of Transparency

Letter to the Editor

This week, the newly elected Fairfax County Board of Supervisors held its first meeting.

Mount Vernon Letter: Let’s Agree On Common Sense

Letter to the Editor

Here are a few things which might help Frank Medico [Letter, “Infringing on Second Amendment,” The Gazette, Jan. 7] understand the current debate.

Mount Vernon Column: Surovell’s 2016 Legislative Agenda: Part I


On Jan. 13, I take my oath of office as your state senator. I am planning on introducing approximately forty bills and about a dozen budget amendments in our 60-day session.

Mount Vernon Column: Krizek Announces 2016 Legislative Agenda


The 2016 legislative session is underway and it’s already a whirlwind. Endless meetings — and meetings about meetings — I’ve hardly had a chance to find my office.

Classified Advertising January 13, 2016

Read the latest ads here!

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West Potomac Dominates Mount Vernon in Second Half

Wolverines get physical, earn third straight conference win.

The West Potomac boys' basketball team beat Mount Vernon 68-48 on Tuesday.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: ‘Into the Woods, Jr.’

Aldersgate Community Theater will present "Into the Woods, Jr.," a family-friendly musical in Wesley Hall of Aldersgate United Methodist Church at 1301 Collingwood Road. Shows are Jan. 15-18 and Jan. 22-24. See Above, Jack (Grant Hamilton) sings with the Townspeople, after the magic beanstalk appears.

Tuesday, January 12

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Alexandria: LTA Stages Docu-Drama, ‘Grey Gardens’

Story of Jackie Kennedy's relatives and the American Dream gone wrong.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA) is staging "Grey Gardens" from Jan. 16 to Feb. 6, 2016. Based on a true story and the 1975 cult documentary, it is an exploration of the American Dream gone wrong and what it means to become a social pariah.

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Alexandria Appetite: 3 Healthy Eats to Start the Year Off Right

Trying to balance a new year’s resolution with reality?

It’s a new year, and your willpower to maintain your fitness goal is still going strong. With one eye on the scale and the other on your social calendar, it can be tough to find a middle ground. Here are three restaurants that make keeping your resolution a little easier.

Pet Photos for the Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish on Feb. 24, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by Feb. 17.

Editorial: Budget Season Trainwreck?

County looks at “lines of business,” schools call for full funding.

Karen Garza didn’t move to Fairfax County from Texas to preside over the decline of Fairfax County Public Schools.

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Design Trends for 2016

Local style gurus predict the elements that will be popular this year.

The start of the year offers an opportunity to ring in new trends, particularly when it comes to a home’s interior.

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Color of the Year

Pantone honor bestowed on two colors for 2016

Two colors, Serenity (light blue) and Rose Quartz (pale pink), were recently named the Pantone Color of the Year selection for 2016.

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Above a Cut

FCPS Superintendent Garza calls for no additional cuts in $2.67 billion FY 2017 budget

For Fiscal Year 2015, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza oversaw $96.5 million in cuts made from the school system’s annual operating budget. For FY 2016, it was $55.4 million, she said.

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Residents List Priorities for General Assembly

Residents tell legislators of priorities ahead of the 60-day session of the General Assembly.

Barbara Quesada, parent of a Franklin Sherman Elementary School student, reminded the General Assembly delegation from Fairfax that Nova Firearms opened its new store right next to the McLean elementary school.

Monday, January 11

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Jan. 15-24


Events in Alexandria City and Mount Vernon, Va.

Friday, January 8

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2015

In November, 2015, 84 homes sold between $1,625,000-$119,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2015

Thursday, January 7

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Remodeled Home Tour Set for Jan. 9, 2016

After multiple attempts, cramped split-level grows to generously-sized neoclassical design.

A circa 1960s split-level enhanced by a 300-square-foot addition, a reconfigured main level floor plan and a seamlessly remade front elevation will be featured in a “Remodeled Home Tour” sponsored by Sun Design Remodeling on Saturday, Jan. 9.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Jan. 8-17


Events in Alexandria City and Mount Vernon, Va.

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Mount Vernon: Gearing Up for 2016 Challenges

Looking at the year ahead.

With winter vacation, unseasonably warm weather and 2015 in their rearview mirrors, community leaders and elected officials from the Fairfax County School Board, Board of Supervisors, General Assembly turn their attention to some of the most significant issues, developments or decisions in 2016:

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Teen Heads to National Competition

Jackson J. Harvey, a student at West Potomac Academy in Alexandria will advance to the American Bankers Association (ABA) national competition, Lights, Camera, Save!

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Book Donations

Waynewood's Junior Girl Scout Troop 6931 delivered on Dec. 16 more than 400 new and gently-used books to United Community Ministries (UCM) of Alexandria as a result of their fall book drive. The majority of the contributions came from the Waynewood Elementary School teachers and students. The books will be provided to children of clients to bring home and encourage the love of reading.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Baking Pies To Donate

Boy Scouts from Troop 888, sponsored by Heritage Presbyterian Church, stand with some of the more than 50 fresh apple pies that Scouts of the Troop prepared and baked on Dec. 12 in the kitchen of Plymouth Haven Baptist Church. The pies were donated to local organizations including Rising Hope Mission Church and the Elks Lodge soup kitchen.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Grand Champions

At the Dec. 12 Winterfest Dance Invitational hosted by Hylton High School, the Carl Sandburg Middle School Dance Team, won first place trophies in the Pom, Jazz and Hip Hop categories against five other middle school dance teams.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Scholarship Award

Mount Vernon High School senior Rosemary Morataya received a silver award from The Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Student Leader

Martha Gallagher, West Potomac Class of 2017, has been appointed to the Fairfax County School Board's Student Leadership Development Program. At the Dec. 10 orientation meeting, she is with School Board Member (Mount Vernon) Karen Corbett Sanders and School Board Member (At-Large) Ryan McElveen.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Folk Dancers

Alexandria residents Lillie and KD Soriano, as part of Hulala, performed Filipino folk dances for the Christmas celebration at the Mrs. Philippines Home for Senior Citizens in Oxon Hill, Md.

Mount Vernon Letter: Political Correctness

Letter to the Editor

Political correctness run amok has begun to seep into the precincts of Fairfax County.

Mount Vernon Letter: Infringing on Second Amendment

Letter to the Editor

Liberal gun control advocates, particularly politicians, repeat the same talking points whenever there is a shooting by terrorists or other criminal types.

Mount Vernon Letter: Inova–Don’t Forget People

Letter to the Editor

After Inova threatened to close Mount Vernon Hospital a decade ago — some say to enhance their leverage with local elected officials — much praise is now being lavished on this health care leviathan.

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Mount Vernon: Serving the Blind Gives Vision to the Seeing

Removing 67 cataracts in a week.

Kieran Grogan’s three-week trip to Tarapoto, Peru not only changed his career path; it also revolutionized his view on life.

Column: What's Ahead in the State Legislature


The 2016, 60-day session of the Virginia General Assembly gavels in on Jan. 13.

Column: Ready To Serve Mount Vernon


The New Year is ringing in many changes to our community including the passing of the baton of local government leadership from my friend and mentor, Gerry Hyland, to me.

Mount Vernon Brief: Victim Shot during Robbery

An employee was robbed and injured at the Computer and Cellular store, at 2790 Beacon Hill Road in the Alexandria-area of Fairfax County, on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Tuesday, January 5

Commentary: A Workable Solution for I-66

There was a great deal of concern about “$17 tolls” inside the beltway on I-66 during the recent election. I shared those concerns as I did not want to set a precedent of tolling a road that we were not adding infrastructure to.

Editorial: New Year’s Goals

A few wishes for the Virginia General Assembly, more coming ...

Issues and elections in 2016.

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Mason, Inova to Collaborate on Personalized Medicine Research

Partnership expected to develop treatments, grow economy.

Researchers and doctors from George Mason University and Inova Health System will collaborate on a series of personalized medicine research projects under a new partnership between the two institutions.

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School Board Sued over Nondiscrimination Policy Changes

Liberty Counsel challenges board’s authority to add sexual orientation and gender identity.

When the members of the Fairfax County School Board added sexual orientation and gender identity to the school system’s nondiscrimination policy in November 2014 and May 2015, did they have the authority?