Stories for June 2016

Stories for June 2016


Thursday, June 30

Tease photo

Alexandria and Mount Vernon: Hundreds Pack Airplane Noise Meeting

Flight changes have caused deafening conditions at homes

At a meeting convened for community members to discuss airplane noise complaints, the irony of some struggling to hear over the sound of planes taxiing just outside the packed lounge at Reagan Washington National Airport’s historic Terminal A wasn’t lost on the audience of more than 300.

Mount Vernon Column: New Virginia Laws Go into Effect July 1


Hundreds of new Virginia laws will go into effect on July, 1 that passed during the 2016 legislative session.

Mount Vernon: Advisory Group Shaping Transportation Plan for Route 1

Next meeting set for July 25.

Embark Richmond Highway is a multiyear transportation design effort managed by Fairfax County involving land use and transportation planning, design, and construction activities that will result in a bus rapid transit (BRT) system from Huntington to Fort Belvoir along Richmond Highway.

Tease photo

On the Trail: Earning My Mountain Laurels

Mount Vernon resident hikes part of the Appalachian Trail.

"If we find you collapsed beside the trail, George, we will pray over you."

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Julie Houghton of The Dance Studio Retires After 21 Years

Julie Houghton, the owner and director of The Dance Studio at Hollin Hall on Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria, began to close the doors of her studio on June 18, at the studio’s 21st annual dance recital in preparation for her retirement this coming August.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: Former Police Officer Torres sentenced to 12 months for killing John Geer

Torres released five days following sentencing due to time already served

For the first time in its three-quarters of a century in existence, a Fairfax County Police officer has been convicted and sentenced after an officer-involved shooting death.

Wednesday, June 29

Fairfax County Public Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Program

The Fairfax County Public Library began its Summer Reading Challenge on June 23, with this year’s theme being “Read for the Win.”

Fairfax County: Torres Walks Free

Former police officer released five days after sentencing for killing John Geer

Former Fairfax County Police Officer Adam Torres walked free Wednesday morning, June 29.

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Column: Help Reduce Gun Violence

Commentary– Join effort in Congress.

I was moved and inspired last week by my colleagues — starting with the great civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis — who had the tenacity and creativity to launch a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to demand a vote on solutions to gun violence.

Tease photo

Junction: A Crossroads of New Food and Old Favorites

The new bakery and bistro aims to open shortly after Independence Day.

On the corner of Monroe and Mount Vernon avenues, a landmark building has been given new life.

Tuesday, June 28

Connection Families, Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish on July 27, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by July 17.

Editorial: Getting Home Safely on Independence Day

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

Hope in the Fight Against Drug Dependency

Meeting highlights battles in every neighborhood.

Fairfax County experiences heroin overdoses every day, according to county officials. To help raise awareness, a second county-wide Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Town Hall was held June 14 at Centreville High School.

Monday, June 27

Tease photo

Online Classes Offer Flexible Options for Earning Credentials Outside the Classroom

Interested in learning to landscape your yard using sustainable practices?

Tease photo

Tips for Memorable Family Vacations

As summer gets underway, vacation-bound families are packing their bags and heading out of town. Vacations often fly by — months of planning and anticipating can be over in the blink of an eye. With a little advanced planning and forethought, however, even a quick weekend trip or a visit to relatives can become meaningful and memorable.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: West Potomac High School Holds Commencement June 20

“La decisión están en tus manos,” West Potomac High School graduating senior Alexandra Susano-Jarjuri said, sharing advice her father has given her over the years. “There will be repercussions, you can’t blame others,” she translated.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Bryant Sends Off More than 60 Seniors

More than 60 students walked down the aisle with cap, gown and golden tassel during the June 16 commencement ceremony at Bryant Alternative High School.

Thursday, June 23

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Celebrating Gum Springs Community Day

Gum Springs residents celebrated a day of community events held at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Saturday, June 18.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon High School Holds Commencement Exercises June 17

Though he’s only been with them for three months, new Mount Vernon High School Principal Dr. Anthony Terrell said he quickly came to admire the senior class of 2016.

Wednesday, June 22

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: For Food Bridge Program

Our Daily Bread (ODB) Board of Directors member Catherine Read (second from right) and Programs Director Christina Garris (center) receive a grant check from Walmart market managers (from left) George Joyner, Leigh Belcher and Rodney Morrison at an award ceremony on May 26 at the Walmart Fredericksburg.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: FHYAA Names Scholarship Winners

The winners of the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association’s 2016 Jackson Casey Memorial Scholarships are Jessica Dorn and Henry Chastain.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: New Store, New Design

2nd Avenue Value Stores has opened a new store at 8750 Richmond Highway. The store’s design, a prototype for future 2nd Avenue stores, organizes and segments each department.

Mount Vernon Letter: County’s Gain Would be Others’ Loss

Letter to the Editor

The June 16 edition of the Gazette had two letters related to the Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors proposed action for a "meals tax."

Alexandria Column: Gig Economy Hits Home


You may hear a lot about the “gig economy,” which is a term for the growing number of people who use web-based companies like Uber, Lyft, or AirBnB just to name a few to make extra income.

Tease photo

Supervisors Endorse Police ‘Re-engineering’

Action items approved include use of force and communications recommendations from Ad Hoc commission.

The possibility of body cameras being worn by Fairfax County Police officers and the release of officers’ names involved with critical use of force incidents dominated discussion during two action items in the Board of Supervisors June 21 meeting.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: West Point Graduate

Cadet Eugene James Coleman, III, son of Eugene and Martha Coleman of Alexandria, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on May 21.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Storck Reflects on His First Six Months in Office

...and commitment to constituents.

Daniel Storck was elected Mount Vernon supervisor last November, replacing 28-year veteran Gerald Hyland, who retired rather than run for an 8th term.

Tuesday, June 21

Commentary: Congress Must Act to Stem Gun Violence Epidemic

Last week, America woke to what has become an all-too-common nightmare. A man driven by hate and armed with assault weapons carried out our nation’s worst mass shooting.

Free Independence Day Cab Rides Offered

Preparing to combat that U.S. holiday when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 41 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington Metropolitan area on Independence Day, July 4.

Friday, June 17

Mount Vernon Home Sales: May, 2016

In May, 2016, 149 homes sold between $1,365,000-$105,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: May, 2016

Thursday, June 16

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: One Dead after Shuttle Bus Flips

17 injured in collision on the George Washington Parkway.

One person is dead and 17 are injured after a shuttle bus collided with another vehicle on the George Washington Parkway around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14.

Tease photo

Natasha McKenna’s Mother Files $15 Million Wrongful Death Suit

Woman with mental illness died after being tased while in Sheriff’s custody.

Natasha McKenna’s mother is seeking more than $15 million in a wrongful death and gross negligence suit filed against Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and five deputies.

Tease photo

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Added to Fairfax County Student Handbook

School Board members debate whether students should be held accountable.

Students in Fairfax County Public Schools started the 2015-2016 school year without the words “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” as part of the nondiscrimination guide within their student handbook.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Padres Select West Potomac’s Sara in 12th Round of MLB Draft

Sara facing choice between turning pro, attending William & Mary.

The San Diego Padres selected West Potomac pitcher Jamie Sara in the 12th round of the MLB Draft.

Wednesday, June 15

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Chamber Honors McAllorum

As Life Chamber Member.

Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber honored John McAllorum as a Life Chamber Member at its June 9 breakfast meeting at the Belle Haven Country Club. McAllorum has been a member of the chamber since 1981.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: 24 Graduate from Browne

Browne Academy held its graduation ceremony on Friday, June 10, in the school’s Center for Athletics and Performing Arts.

Mount Vernon Letter: Fairness and Taxes

Letter to the Editor

In the June 2 edition of the Gazette, a letter entitled “Seniors Unfairly Tapped for School Budget” argued that senior citizens in Fairfax County should be given a tax rebate funded by a surtax on school-age families because those seniors “have not had children in the school system for years and years.”

Mount Vernon Column: ‘To Do Nothing Is Also a Policy Choice’


These tragedies occur faster than I can publish columns.

Classified Advertising June 15, 2016

Read the lastest ads here!

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: State Excellence Award for Waynewood

The Waynewood Elementary Staff was presented with the Virginia Board of Education Excellence Award on Thursday, June 9.

Editorial: Support for Police in Reforms

Police commission recommendations come to Board of Supervisors for approval, implementation.

In some ways, the Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, brainchild of Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, was a bit of a miracle.

Tuesday, June 14

Tease photo

Leadership Fairfax Honors 2016 Graduates

The Pavilion at Reston Town Center was a most fitting venue for the graduation ceremony of the 2016 classes of the non-profit Leadership Fairfax Institute (LFI).

Tease photo

Considering Private School?

Small steps this summer can minimize stress of application process.

The school year has just come to an end … which means it’s the ideal time to prepare to apply to leading independent schools.

Tease photo

The Gap Year Trend

The pros and cons of taking a break in academic studies before college.

2016 Lord and Lady Fairfax Honorees Selected

Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. named the 2016 Lords and Ladies Fairfax at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, June 7 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Saturday, June 11

Tease photo

State Tournament Roundup

W-L boys' soccer, Robinson girls', boys' lax among teams competing for titles.

The 6A state championships are being held today at Robinson and Lake Braddock.

Thursday, June 9

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Quander Road School graduates took different paths, reached the same goal

Quander Road School Principal Joe Thompson is actually fond of the iPhone intelligence Siri chirping “re-routing” during route guidance. In his remarks to the 12 graduating seniors at the school for students with mental health and behavioral challenges, Thompson used Siri to congratulate them on reaching their goal.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon, Springfield: McAuliffe Announces Site for New Puller Veterans Care Center

120-bed facility to be built in Fauquier County.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said he’s working on making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in America. Though the Commonwealth, he said, is the first and only one to have “functionally ended veteran homelessness,” it still has one of the lowest ratios of available care centers to number of veterans in the country.

Tease photo

Herndon Police Officers Train with Fairfax Fire & Rescue

Two menacing Dodge Charger sedans come to a stop, a dark silver one in front of the other, all black with gold lettering that reads Herndon Police. Officers from the cruiser get out, and begin barking commands at the driver of the suspicious car in front.

Wednesday, June 8

Tease photo

Octagonal Dream Home on the Market

Home's shape and large windows make it a sun-drenched space.

It was during a trip to California almost 20 years that McLean resident Susan Jordano first laid eyes on her dream home.

Classified Advertising June 8, 2016

Read the latest ads here!

Monday, June 6

Tease photo

Alexandria: Irreverent Update of Anton Chekhov's ‘The Seagull’

Port City Playhouse presents "Stupid F#@*ing Bird."

The Port City Playhouse is presenting "Stupid F#@*ing Bird" by Aaron Posner June 10-25 in Alexandria.

Tease photo

Alexandria Appetite: Port City’s Derecho Storms Back Into Town

Brewery is hosting annual release party on Friday and Saturday.

The origins of one of Port City Brewing’s most popular beers came from a rather unfortunate situation.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: House Fire

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded to the 4300 block of Rock Creek Road for reports of a house fire on Monday, May 30 at 4:16 p.m.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Science That Serves

Christina Devine, West Potomac High School Class of 2010, and a graduate student member of the Virginia Tech Flint Water Study Team that uncovered lead in the tap water of Flint, Mich.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Combatting Islamophobia

Church and mosque partner in mission.

Nearly 100 members of the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (MVUC) and the northern Virginia chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA VA) came together in friendship and cooperation to address the growing issue of Islamophobia in American society at a meeting on Saturday, May 21, at the church, 1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria.

Thursday, June 2

Police Apply Crisis Intervention Training with Distressed Lifeguard

On Memorial Day, Fairfax County Police used Crisis Intervention Training techniques to try communicating with a distressed 20-year-old lifeguard at the Riverside Park Swimming Pool.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: High School Senior Addresses School Board on LGBT Issues

Board conducting community review of Family Life Education curriculum recommendations.

Bennett Shoop remembers first being bullied in second grade. He liked to dress all in black, wear weird shirts, be alternative in his outward expression.

Tease photo

Fairfax County: School Board Adopts $2.7 Billion Budget

FY 2017 budget aims to raise teacher salaries, lower class sizes.

The Fairfax County School Board has made good on Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza’s promise when she introduced a FY 2017 budget for the school system.

Wednesday, June 1

Tease photo

Vienna: Joel’s Story

After foster care experience: Architecting his own path.

Joel was taken into foster care when he was a high school junior, after reporting to a coach what was going on at home. Schools are “mandatory reporters,” and, as such, they are legally compelled to call social services in a case like Joel’s.

Mount Vernon: Keeping Eye on Police Reforms

Beltrante fears for oversight board’s future.

The Police Practices Review Commission’s recommendation to create a Citizens Police Oversight Board may be in trouble, according to Nick Beltrante, executive director of the Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability (CCPA).

Mount Vernon Letter: Support Meals Tax

Letter to the Editor

I have a family of 5, and boy, do we eat! We eat at restaurants in Old Town and restaurants in Arlington. We make special trips to eat in D.C. And every time we do, we help those school districts have all the resources they need to attract the best teachers and provide services and programming all children need in order to be successful later in life.

Mount Vernon Letter: Dead Zone For Innovation

Letter to the Editor

I am writing in response to the article "Fairfax Area Becomes a 'No Drone Zone'" on Thursday Jan. 14.

Classified Advertising June 1 , 2016

Read the latest ads here!

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Addressing Election Issues

Center, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) signs HB1030, sponsored by Del. Mark Sickles (D-43), and HB1223, sponsored by Del. Vivian Watts (D-39), into law on May 24 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Mount Vernon Letter: More Action Needed Against Litter

Letter to the Editor

Thanks to all of the volunteers who participated in this year’s Little Hunting Creek cleanup, and to the workers of Fairfax County's Solid Waste Management Division, who every year promptly pick up and haul away the trash we collect.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon: Dave and Catherine Voorhees Leave MVCCA

Almost a decade of service.

The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations formally thanked the volunteer efforts of two committee chairs, David and Catherine Voorhees, who announced recently that they intend to move to Delaware in June.

Staying Safe This Summer

Tips and precautions for avoiding warm-weather hazards.

The start of summer means pools and backyard grilling. It also means an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

Talk to Your Teens


So much at stake as teens approach graduation and summer.

Tease photo

Meet The Chef: London Curry's Naina Mohammed

Cameron Station restaurant offers regional specialties.

Naina Mohammed stirs a large pot of tomatoes, purple onions, fresh ginger, garlic bits and marsala — 15 different spices: "I use everything."

Tease photo

Alexandria Appetite: Majestic Reopens With New Chef, Menu

After a facelift, the Majestic reopens with executive chef Gaby Hakman at the helm.

Walk past the exterior of the Majestic on King Street and at first glance, it seems nothing much has changed over the past several months.