Thursday, March 31
“What would you do with $100?” When asked this question at his Belle View Elementary School, 7-year-old Steve Guch of Alexandria said he would “give all of the money to charity." His father was so impressed by his answer that he gave his son $100 and offered to match the donation. Steve decided to give the money to United Community Ministries (UCM) for families and children in need. Dropping off their donations at UCM on March 4 are (from left) Ian Guch with son Steve, and Herb Lea, UCM director of Business Operations.
Thirteen volunteers, including five teenagers, cut English ivy from the large oak trees in McCutcheon Park on March 19.
Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services will honor Alphonso Jackson, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), with its inaugural Public Service Award at the annual Transforming Lives Gala on Saturday, April 9. The award honors public officials for outstanding and impactful public service actions that have furthered the mission of Good Shepherd Housing in combating homelessness and improving the lives of people in need.
The Glean girls on Easter Sunday: Lydia, 12; Elizabeth, (10; Sarah Jane, 7; and Hannah Marie, 4.
Virginia high school seniors from eight schools across the area spent March 16 at Burke & Herbert Bank as part of Bank Day, a statewide effort sponsored by the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) Education Foundation and the Virginia Bankers Association Leadership Division.
In the past two weeks, I reviewed action on my legislation and the state budget. This column covers some of the major bills to pass the state legislature.
Rejoice! The season of Governor’s vetoes are upon us. With the Democrats picking up enough seats to sustain Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes, we are finally able to prevent some poorly-considered legislation from becoming law.
William G. Martines-Palma, 29, of Alexandria died after sustaining what Fairfax County Police said appeared to be a stabbing wound to his leg.
New decision-making training meant to alter how Fairfax County police officers approach use of force
Making decisions can be instinctual, from the gut. It can also be practical and informed, coming to the best judgement considering all variables. For police officers responding to calls where there might be a threat of violence to civilians and or themselves, their decision whether to use force and which type to neutralize the situation quickly must be a hybrid.
Wednesday, March 30
Affordable Care Act could pay for help, better health for 100,000 uninsured people in Virginia with mental illness or addiction issues.
Poor people without health insurance in Virginia are being unnecessarily tortured, in some cases to death, by a General Assembly that refuses to expand Medicaid.
Our nation is in the midst of an exploding opioid epidemic.
Thoughtfulness and deliberation should not be construed as resistance or foot dragging.
A tremendous amount of progress has already taken place to implement many of these recommendations.
Fairfax Connector is proposing service changes for implementation in June 2016.
Federal funds for gang task force expire April 1.
The first article in an occasional series on human sexual trafficking in Northern Virginia.
Tuesday, March 29
Profile: Jean Janssen, force behind area’s Smart Markets.
Food shoppers should take their collective hats off to Jean Janssen. She is the motivating spirit behind the area’s Smart Markets
To the Editor
Last October, the 40 strong Ad Hoc Commission to Review Police Procedures, set up by Chairman Bulova and her Board of Supervisors (BOS), unanimously adopted a large number of recommendations, which they submitted to the BOS.
Friday, March 25
Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Va.
Thursday, March 24
Majors surrender four-run lead, get it right back.
The Mount Vernon baseball team defeated Thomas Jefferson 10-6.
United Community Ministries (UCM) welcomed Girl Scout Cadette Maryclaire O'Brien (above) from Troop 3520 for a recent visit to complete her Girl Scout Silver Award project at the agency’s main Fordson Road location.
The effects of drugs on the adolescent brain and new Fairfax county and public school initiatives for students with mental health and substance abuse issues will be the topics of the 2016 NEXUS forum for families and professionals Thursday, March 31, at the Fairfax Public Schools Virginia Hills Center, 6500 Diana Lane, Alexandria. The afternoon session is from 1-6 p.m. and the evening session is 6–9 p.m. The public is invited.
Wednesday, March 23
Five of 36 grant awardees speak at “Cocktails & Conversation” event.
When Lorton residents Marcy Mager and husband David Lunter’s daughter Michell Merhige was killed in 2009, they wanted to establish a scholarship in her honor but knew handling the financial logistics would be tricky.
Nonpartisan redistricting could support the best interests of the population, not the politicians.
Read the latest ads here!
Thursday, March 17
Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Springfield: Brain Injury Services honors volunteers and community partners
Maya Simbulan of Fairfax is thankful for being normal. The Lake Braddock Secondary School freshman would like to pursue work with computer graphics and plays electric wheelchair soccer.
Winter Storm Jonas, Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse 2.0 — no matter what it’s called, the county-crippling January 2016 blizzard cost Fairfax County Public Schools $7.2 million to pay for employee overtime compensation, additional contractors and equipment rental.
Staying rooted in Mount Vernon.
Marianna Johnnides was raised here in the Mount Vernon area, educated here — from Waynewood Elementary School through West Potomac High School — and for the last seven years, has owned and run Mamma’s Kitchen restaurant here on Fordson Road.
Amina Amisi of Falls Church and Ashley French of Great Falls are second-year nursing students at Northern Virginia Community College, each expecting to graduate with completed Associate’s degrees in May this year.
As Opening Day for baseball approaches, Fort Hunt Little League is preparing to offer an opportunity for young aspiring baseball players with disabilities the chance to participate in America’s pastime.
In February, 2016, 85 homes sold between $1,495,000-$120,000 in the Mount Vernon area.
Mount Vernon Home Sales: February, 2016
To the Editor
Everywhere we turn today, the media is bombarding us with antics of the current presidential campaign.
To the Editor
Fairfax County is a composite of many things that make the quality of life rich for people living here.
Workshops and seminars for seniors and caregivers.
Wednesday, March 16
Mary Helen Graham, 88, of Alexandria, died March 7, 2016 at the Envoy Nursing Facility.
The last week of the 2016 General Assembly session brought a flurry of activity on some of our most difficult bills, along with approval of a state budget. In this column, I will detail highlights in the final budget affecting our area. Next week, I will report on other important budget items. In the near future, I will cover some of the more important legislation that we considered and the fight over the state Supreme Court. I will also let you know about my eight bills the Governor has signed or are awaiting his signature.
The General Assembly has adjourned sine die, from the Latin “without day,” meaning without assigning a next day for this session. However, we will meet again on April 20 for the reconvene session where we will spend a day voting on whether or not to sustain the Governor’s vetoes. We can expect at least 20 vetoes, which is a good thing since some of the bills we passed deserve no less.
United Community Ministries (UCM), in partnership with global research and development organization Battelle, has announced the Battelle-UCM Scholarship program for 2016.
The Alexandria-based George Washington Chapter of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) was recognized as the Best Very Large Chapter in Virginia for 2014-2015 during the 126th Annual Meeting of the Virginia Society, SAR (VASSAR), held in Richmond on Feb. 19-21.
... of the 2016 General Assembly session.
The Virginia General Assembly finished its work for the 2016 legislative session a day early and adjourned a “long” 60-day session where we made progress on many issues but fought bitterly on several others. Because the improving economy has led to increased revenue collections, we were able to invest in critical areas and make a sizable deposit to our Rainy Day Fund without increasing taxes.
Tuesday, March 15
11 teams of middle and high school students compete in school food competition.
Eleven teams of middle and high school students competed in the fourth annual Real Food for Kids' Culinary Challenge on Saturday, March 12 at Robinson Secondary School.
22 students or student groups receive the Student Peace Award, for their efforts to promote peace.
With causes ranging from anti-bullying efforts to human trafficking awareness to interfaith dialogue, students in Fairfax County were recognized for their peacemaking efforts at the 11th Annual Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County on March 13.
Third Annual STEM Symposium draws a crowd at the Nysmith School.
“We need people in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields today, tomorrow and as far as we can envision.”
VDOT’s Transform I-66 Inside the Beltway meeting leaves public waiting for answers.
There were also questions and comments of a financial nature.
Wakefield Forest Elementary School student to compete at Scripps’ National Spelling Bee.
After 11 rounds of competitive play, fourth grade student Eric Kim, from Wakefield Forest Elementary School, was declared the champion for correctly spelling every word thrown at him.
Spring is time to commit to one’s school of choice.
When Ashley and Clark Leonard enrolled their son in a local independent school, they were excited about the prospect of him thriving in a new, smaller academic environment.
Homelessness should be rare, brief and non-recurring; 776 fewer homeless individuals in 2016 than in 2008.
Homelessness is down in Fairfax County in every major category, a fact confirmed on Jan. 28, 2016, the annual Point in Time Count.
Learn what your area legislator did during the Virginia General Assembly.
Fairfax County Public Libraries will hold community forums to see public opinion on what is needed in the community.
Starting conversations about gun safety can help prevent play date tragedies.
Starting the conversation felt awkward. After all, she didn’t want to offend another parent.
Monday, March 14
Campaign designed to end homelessness in Fairfax County.
When speaking with Kathy Albarado, one might not guess that she’d experienced periods of homelessness as an adolescent.
Saturday, March 12
Police seeking help from community members.
Johan de Leede, 83, was shot several times in a home on the 6000 block of River Drive in Lorton, Fairfax County Police said in a release Friday afternoon on March 11. He died after being taken to an area hospital for his injuries.
Friday, March 11
Fifty-six students walked out of the William Cullen Bryant Auditorium on Feb. 17 as high school graduates. Bryant Alternative High School in Alexandria held its winter graduation exercises beginning at 4 p.m. that day.
Thursday, March 10
After a determination from the medical examiner that Falls Church resident Paul Guida, 68, died of natural causes while in the Sheriff’s custody at the Fairfax County Detention Center, Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh concluded there was no evidence of criminality associated with involved law enforcement or staff at the jail.
Jesse L. Matthew, Jr., now 34, will never leave prison. Matthew was already beginning to serve three consecutive life sentences after he entered an Alford Plea for charges of abduction, sexual assault and attempted murder in Fairfax in 2005.
The Big 8: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. These represent the vast majority of all food allergies in the United States.
More than 160 seventh grade students from Walt Whitman Middle School shared presentations in the 13th annual National History Day on Feb. 11 and 12.
On Feb. 14, six students — Ryan Huck, Audrey Wilson, David Williamson, Margarita Aleixo, Thomas Wetzel, and Krista Worthington — from West Potomac High School and Mountain View High School in Stafford County travelled to Richmond for the first annual Puller Institute and met with Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The Puller Institute, named in honor of retired state Sen. Linda “Toddy” Puller, is designed to give students the opportunity to experience state government on a first hand basis, develop interest in public policy and leadership in their community.
The dentists and supporting staff at Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry devoted a day of work on Saturday, Feb. 20 to provide emergency dental services at their office for clients of United Community Ministries (UCM). Services valued at more than $10,000 were donated that day to alleviate the pain of 19 clients suffering with serious dental problems and who lack health insurance. From left are Richard Dobber, UCM Director of Social Services, with Dr. Zeyad Mady who also serves as a UCM board member, Dr. James Geren, Dr. Haley Hausser, and Dr. Jason Marrazzo.
Witnessing the resourcefulness of the “Cuban Spirit.”
Elected American officials have been making news recently on trips to Cuba, with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser leading the way in January and February. And President Barack Obama will gain more attention with his two-day visit, March 21-22.
Letter to the Editor
In the Feb. 25, 2016 Gazette, my letter was published concerning Senator Surovell's opposition to a Senate Bill that if enacted into law would allow all State judges whether active or retired to carry a concealed handgun without requiring them to obtain a permit. In the State Senate, only six senators opposed the Bill.
Letter to the Editor
Gum Springs is poised to receive equipment for an outdoor exercise gym/fitness station, that is welcomed and supported by the community. The eight pieces of equipment were obtained through a grant similar to the grant the National Park Authority obtained for the outdoor exercise gym/fitness station in Anacostia Park.
Letter to the Editor
The newly elected Mount Vernon Supervisor Storck demonstrated at the Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) hearing on March 3 regarding the County Executive’s proposed advertised tax rate of four cents that he is a high tax politician.
Not for Virginia
As recently as this past week (in South Carolina), Hillary Clinton reasserted her belief that taxpayer dollars should not be used to finance college for “Donald Trump’s daughter.”
Letter to the Editor
I am a parent of three children and a resident of the Mount Vernon District. I am writing to applaud Supervisor Dan Storck, along with Supervisors Kathy Smith and John Foust, for voting on March 1 to support a robust community dialogue about school funding.
Letter to the Editor
Trivial though this might seem in comparison to the ugly ongoing slugfest over who will next occupy the White House, I’d like to point out that, a full decade and a half into the 21st century, my wife and I are still living in a cell phone dead zone.
The eighth week of the General Assembly session brought a few vetoes and heated debates as the most contentious bills of the session moved toward final passage.
I had the opportunity to support two bills both in committee and on the floor that will make traveling around Mount Vernon a little safer for bicyclists. Senate Bill 117 imposes a penalty for “dooring” bikers, including creating a cause of action for lawsuits and the ability to file an insurance claim.
Volunteers play key role in Canine Companions for Independence.
For 40 years, the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) has been raising and training service dogs for people with a broad spectrum of disabilities. CCI enlists both volunteers and professionals to raise dogs so that they can improve lives all over America — from wounded veterans to people affected by other physical setbacks, the only exception being blindness. And, when all is said and done, CCI ensures that these prepared, caring dogs go to their new owners at no cost.
The 2016 General Assembly will be wrapping up its work this week, and of the more than 3,200 bills and resolutions that were introduced, over 1,350 pieces of legislation have passed both chambers.
Virginia New American leaders respond to the nomination of Ken Cuccinelli for the State Supreme Court.
From immigration to contraception to climate change denial to LGBT rights, Ken Cuccinelli has built a career on extreme conservative positions that are out of step with Virginia today.
Tuesday, March 8
Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), will offer the 2016 St. Patty’s Day SoberRide program, providing free cab rides to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington-metropolitan area next Thursday, March 17.
In a world: Barbaric.
No doubt Virginia and Texas will be the last two states to continue with the death penalty until, inevitably, evolving standards of decency lead the U.S. Supreme Court to declare that the death penalty is unconstitutional.
High-end live-in quarters attract au pairs and can increase property values.
When Peggy Delinois Hamilton relocated to the Washington, D.C. area and began working full-time after spending eight years as an at-home mother of two children, childcare was one of her top concerns.
Home evolves from center hall colonial to open plan with boldly original finishes.
To satisfy a couple's evolving lifestyle requirements, Sun Design Remodeling dramatically reconfigured the home's first level, introducing a “kitchen-centric” plan that better supports everyday uses and entertainment needs.
A primer for doing either and avoiding pitfalls.
Here we are, once again right on the heels of the spring/summer real estate season when it seems like “For Sale” signs become the most common lawn ornament or condo window decoration.
West Springfield High School and Just Ask Prevention Project will hold an awareness night to address the issue of sex trafficking in the region on Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at West Springfield High School, 6100 Rolling Road, Springfield.
High school and middle school students named to honors choir.
Saturday, March 5
Classic tale traces lives and loves of four sisters during the Civil War.
Aldersgate Church Community Theatre (ACCT) is putting on "Little Women" from March 4-20. Written by Louisa May Alcott, the story traces the lives and loves of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. During the Civil War, their father is away serving in the army, leaving his "little women" in the care of their mother. The family, headed by Marmee, must struggle to make ends meet with the help of their wealthy neighbor, Mr. Lawrence, and his high-spirited grandson, Laurie.
Letter to the Editor
Once more, H. Jay Spiegel [Letter, “Wrong Side of the Issues,” Feb. 25] has made it clear that he doesn’t agree with state Sen. Scott Surovell, notwithstanding the voters of his district repeatedly re-electing him as delegate and electing him as senator.
Letter to the Editor
In 2013, I installed a camera in the osprey nest behind my home and established a web page where those interested in these birds could view their activities.
Letter to the Editor
I thought the letter [“Wrong Side of the Issues,” Feb. 25] from Jay Spiegel criticizing state Sen. Scott Surovell was markedly offbase.
This week, the seventh of this session of the Virginia General Assembly, both the Senate and House of Delegates are considering the state’s two-year budget. After each house passes a budget, a joint conference committee resolves the differences. The Senate budget has good news and bad news.
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of conducting the annual Mount Vernon Town Meeting for the first time.
The 2016 Wolverine Athletic Booster Club/PTSA/Fort Hunt Sportsmen's Valentine’s Dinner Dance Fundraiser attracted 180 West Potomac High School supporters who enjoyed dinner and dancing at the Mt. Vernon Country Club on Feb. 13.
Police credit community involvement.
Community members in Mount Vernon saw something and said something, working with patrol officers and detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department.
West Potomac Academy student receives $2,500.
West Potomac Academy student Jackson Harvey placed second in a national video contest sponsored by the American Bankers Association Foundation.
The 53rd annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition at Woodlawn Plantation began March 2 and runs until March 31.
Mt. Vernon Jazzercise recently raised $500 for Gifts of Hope, an alternative gift-giving program that serves as an intermediary between donors and organizations serving individuals and families in need in the D.C. metro area and internationally.
Friday, March 4
But Trump joins Clinton in taking Virginia
Katie Hugo, daughter of Del. Tim Hugo (R-4?), turned 18 at the beginning of February and insisted she cast her first official vote with dad, who she said is the reason she’s involved and interested in politics.
Thursday, March 3
Edwyna Wingo of the Chantilly area began her career with Fairfax County as a nurse in the Health Department on Sep. 1, 1965 and worked her last full day Oct. 1, 2011.
Operation Save-a-Life offered low-level offenders the chance at recovery treatment rather than jail time.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Fairfax County Police served 20 arrest warrants, all for possession and or distribution of heroin.
Researchers found that moderate weight loss improves health.
Dropping as little as five percent of one’s body weight can lead to significant health improvements, according to a new study published in the Cell Metabolism journal.
“Let’s Talk about RxSM” helps seniors avoid prescription drug mishaps.
It was around 2 a.m. on a frigid winter night when Janet Russell was awakened from her sleep by the sound of woman calling for help.
Reconsideration hours later gives same result; board will consider putting meals tax to referendum in November.
Tuesday morning, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted for a four-cent tax rate increase, advertising a tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value.
Members of Girl Scout Troop 2825 from Belle View Elementary School sell cookies in Old Town Feb. 27 as the organization’s cookie drive gets underway across the nation.
Wednesday, March 2
Read the latest ads here!
Wolverines suffer back-to-back losses at region tournament.
The West Potomac boys' basketball team is the No. 4 seed from the 6A North region.