Stories for October 2020

Stories for October 2020


Saturday, October 31

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Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber Restaurant of the Week: Skrimp Shack

The Skrimp Shack Mount Vernon celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Friday, Oct. 23, with Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk.

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Baseball Bats and Ash Trees Face an Uncertain Fate

Don’t plant ash trees; plant native trees instead.

Baseball bats don’t top the U.S. Senate’s agenda these days, as legislators grapple with a U.S. Supreme Court nomination, the covid-19 pandemic and the Nov. 3 election.

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: River Farm

As a member of the American Horticultural Society and a volunteer at River Farm, I need to express my concern over the recent actions of the board.

Friday, October 30

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More Gather to Save Mount Vernon’s River Farm

Board of Supervisors offers unanimous support

The American Horticultural Society’s intent to sell historic River Farm is still sending shock waves through those who believed the property and house were preserved forever.

Thursday, October 29

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Local Filmmaker Uses a Pie Recipe to Highlight Family Change

The family and sweet potato pie is one of many highlights in the upcoming Alexandria Film Festival.

Local Filmmaker

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Opinion: Commentary: October: Save a Pedestrian Month

Reaching for zero pedestrian deaths

Saving pedestrian lives is each of our responsibility and takes each of our efforts, whether a vehicle driver, passenger or just walking.

Opinion: Commentary: Election Day Is the Day You Vote!

The Nov. 3 election ends in less than one week.

Wednesday, October 28

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Preventing Falls

Physical exercise and home safety reduce risk

One of the leading causes of fatal injuries in older adults is falling.

Vienna, Herndon Mayors, Delegate Watts Honored

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized three local honorees.

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Pressure Mounts on Return to School in Fairfax County

School Board members face sensitive voting items.

The week of Oct. 19 held important information for Fairfax County Public Schools families.

A Good Place for Affordable Housing in Fairfax County?

Proposal could be a step toward 5,000 unit goal.

Braddock Supervisor James Walkinshaw located prime real estate to create 200-250 family units of affordable housing: two parking lots of the Fairfax Government Center.

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Don’t Waste Your Vote

Maybe Joe Biden was not your preferred Democratic candidate and you would rather have supported Warren, Klobuchar, Sanders or Buttigieg.

Tuesday, October 27

Opinion: Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by Ballot Language in Virginia

Vote NO on the Gerrymandering Amendment

The ballot language in Amendment 1 is confusing.

Saturday, October 24

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Noisy in Mount Vernon; More Noise Coming?

If you spent anytime out on the patio in Mount Vernon this summer, I'm sure you've heard the loud, obnoxious cars and motorcycles with modified exhaust systems and screaming, roaring engines that pierce the serenity of our peaceful neighborhoods, ("Mount Vernon Serenity Cut Short By Noisy Tailpipes," Mount Vernon Gazette, 10/8/2020).

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Restaurant of the Week: Cedar Knoll Restaurant

Cedar Knoll Restaurant features sweeping views of the Potomac River, acclaimed American – French cuisine and a fun atmosphere.

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Kaleidoscope – Another Type of Halloween Candy

As a toddler, Anila Angjeli was given a small device that displayed endless mesmerizing symmetric geometries when seen through light.

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: American Horticultural Society Update: Proceeds From Sale of River Farm Will Be Used to Create Endowment

In September, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) announced plans to sell River Farm, which has been our headquarters since 1973.

To Preserve Options to Save River Farm

Joint Board Matter with Supervisor Dan Storck and Chairman Jeff McKay - Request for Analysis of River Farm Historic Overlay District

River Farm, located on 27.57 acres at 7931 East Boulevard Drive in Mount Vernon, VA, is considered a local institution in the Mount Vernon District that is full of history, heritage, and natural beauty.

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Will River Farm Be Sold?

Supervisor Dan Storck and Jeff McKay hope to preserve the property

Supervisors Dan Storck and Jeff McKay hope to save River Farm through historic designation, while the American Horticultural Society continues plans to sell one of America’s most famous houses, seeking a premium price.

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Project Community Connect Supports Those Struggling to Afford Basic Needs

The impact of COVID-19 has deepened the economic hardship for residents in the DMV area.

Friday, October 23

Opinion: Commentary: Special Session: Budget Plus Robust Health, Public Safety, and Equity Reforms

After two months of hard work by legislators and our staff, the historic 2020 Special General Assembly Session has recessed until we finalize the budget after the November election.

Thursday, October 22

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Mount Vernon Trail Study Identifies Hot Spots

Mount Vernon Trail study

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Friends Group Performs Bike Trail Repairs on Mount Vernon Bike Trail

Gunk Removal and Plank Replacement is the Work of Volunteers

Mount Vernon Bike Trail work

Opinion: Commentary: Marathon is Over – Virginia Special Session Gavels Out

The 2020 General Assembly Special Session, which first convened on Aug. 18, recessed at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 16.

Opinion: Commentary: Make a Plan and Vote 2020

Voting is a fundamental American right and the basis of our democracy.

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: We Are Not Better Off Now

Regarding this 2020 election… never mind that President Trump took children away from their parents at our southern border.

Opinion: Commentary: Project Community Connect Supports Those Struggling to Afford Basic Needs

The impact of COVID-19 has deepened the economic hardship for residents in the DMV area.

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Voters: Heroes of the Day

I am just short of 88 years of age and have voted in sixteen elections for president.

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National Book Month

Month-long celebration focuses on engaging families in reading, writing and literature

It’s a line from the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, that is at the heart of the literary philosophy of Anne Briggs, web services and communications librarian at Montgomery College Library.

Wednesday, October 21

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U.S. Park Police Charged in Killing of McLean Resident

Family has waited for justice since November 2017 when Bijan Ghaisar was shot.

Latest: Police Officers Turn Themselves In

Opinion: Column: “I’ll Think About That Tomorrow”

What I'm thinking about – and being thankful for, today, is the disappearance of all the side effects I've been experiencing during the last four weeks or so since I began my pill regimen for my papillary thyroid cancer treatment.

Tuesday, October 20

Opinion: Commentary: Special Session Summary #1: Criminal Justice Reform Delivered

First of three parts.

Saturday, October 17

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Locals Revisit the Civil War at Fort Willard

By 1865, Fort Willard was southernmost of 68 forts and 93 batteries armed with over 800 cannons protecting Washington.

In 1862 and 1863, at the apex of today’s Belle Haven community, Union soldiers at Fort Willard were on the lookout for enemies coming up the Potomac River or approaching along Accotink Turnpike.

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More Ways to Vote in Fairfax County

Fairfax County opened thirteen new early voting locations, giving voters more opportunities to cast their early votes ahead.

Thursday, October 15

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Lorton Landfill Mountain Could Become ‘Fairfax Peak’

Officials delay decision on possible indoor ski slope, looking for more public comments before moving forward.

Indoor Ski Slope

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Fort Hunt Community Part of “Be the Good Project”

Family’s effort with food contributions turns into a whole lot more.

Be the Good Project

Opinion: Column: “And Awaaay We Go!”

As Jackie Gleason would say as he segued from his monologue into the sketch comedy that followed on his Saturday night entertainment hour on CBS.

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Hiding at the Top of the Ticket

Race for Senate features two-term incumbent versus first-time candidate.

When Mark Warner ran for governor in 2001, opponents knocked him for wanting to be governor without having ever run for office before.

Wednesday, October 14

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Home Library Design

Designers offer ideas for spaces with style and comfort.

Once thought of as space for academics to smoke cigars and sip whiskey, the era of covid-19 has transformed home libraries into now cozy places of refuge.

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Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Through Changes in TJ Admissions

Newest proposed merit lottery admissions policy fuels concern.

Top-level discussions concerning proposals by Fairfax County Public Schools leaders and School Board members to increase the population of underrepresented students of color at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) have flown fast and furious the last four weeks.

Sunday, October 11

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Residents Protest Fairfax County Gun Ban

Open carry hike held in wake of new gun ordinance

A group of Fairfax County residents gathered Sept. 19 at the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve for what was billed as an open carry hike along the Mount Vernon Trail in protest of the recent Board of Supervisors vote to ban guns on public property.

Opinion: Commentary: Congressional Action Is Urgently Needed

For local businesses to successfully navigate pandemic downturn, they need more and specific support.

The Covid-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented new strains on our local businesses as they try to keep their doors open and serve the community.

Saturday, October 10

Fatal Crash Involving a Moped in Lincolnia

Detectives from the Fairfax County Police Crash Reconstruction Unit are investigating a fatal crash that occurred on Oct. 5 at 2:20 am.

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Tour de Mount Vernon Honors Dave Evans

On Saturday, Oct. 3, approximately 230 riders joined Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck for the 5th Annual Tour de Mount Vernon.

Opinion: Column: An Update About Some Down Time

Not that I want to give you a blow-by-blow concerning my treatment switch over to thyroid cancer from lung cancer, but the last two columns were written four weeks ago in the same week in expectation of a weekend away, so these observations will be new-ish in that they will be hot off the press, so to speak.

Friday, October 9

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Creating a Spooky and Safe Halloween in the Age of COVID-19

Ideas for frightful revelry abound even amid coronavirus concerns.

Cartoon character Marshall from Paw Patrol will be searching for chocolate while a tiny pop star tracks down toys as Arlington mother and teacher Becky Beach and her family celebrate the spookiest day of the year.

Free Meals to All Children 18 and Under in Fairfax County

FCPS has distributed more than 3.1 million grab and go meals since schools closed in March.

Behavioral Health Teams to Join Police on Mental Health Calls in Virginia

Marcus alert bill passes House and Senate, moves to Northam’s desk

Marcus alert bill passes House and Senate, moves to Northam’s desk

Opinion: Commentary: We Need a Better Redistricting Amendment

Along with eliminating the Electoral College and reversing corporate contributions green-lighted by the Citizens United case, I consider the drawing of elected officials’ district lines to be one of the most significant, fundamental problems in American Democracy today.

Thursday, October 8

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Fairfax County Public Schools Staff Uncomfortable With In-Person School Plan

Fairfax County Federation of Teachers releases survey results.

Staff at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are overwhelmingly uncomfortable with returning for in-person instruction, given the incomplete information about the implementation that has been currently shared, according to a report released by the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT) on Oct. 6 during a press conference.

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Life Hangs in the Box Checked in Fairfax County

HR for County Schools tells staff to make a decision.

Tia Williams is an instructional assistant with diabetes and severe asthma at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

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Gathering Hundreds of Ideas for Police Reform in Fairfax County

Public input session part of effort to create more transparency in public safety.

In retirement, Randy Sayles, former Marine, former Denver police detective, former DEA special agent undercover in the U.S., Pakistan and Brazil, won a lifetime achievement award from Fairfax County for his efforts to make this county’s police force and policies more equitable for all residents.

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Deer Hunting in Fairfax County Controls Herd Populations

Bow hunting program nets hundreds of deer each year.

Deer hunting

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Mount Vernon Serenity Cut Short By Noisy Tailpipes

Modified mufflers put out sounds that carry through quiet neighborhoods.

Noisy tailpipes

Opinion: Commentary: Domestic Violence Awareness Month in a Pandemic

It is less than a month before a Presidential election which looks to have historical turnout and only three more months left in this awful year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Limiting Neck Restraints

Lawmakers negotiate behind closed doors on how to curb police use of chokeholds.

When lawmakers began their special session on criminal justice reform in August, hopes were high that the General Assembly would send the governor a bill that banned police from using chokeholds. But now that the protesters have gone home and the lawmakers have moved behind closed doors to negotiate in a secret closed-door conference committee, advocates for criminal-justice reform are worried about what will emerge in the conference report that will be presented to the House and Senate.

Wednesday, October 7

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Opinion: Commentary: Lee District Welcomes You

On behalf of Fairfax County, and especially Lee District, I welcome you to our community.

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Opinion: Commentary: Changes Underway in Lorton

Welcome to the Mount Vernon District!

Tuesday, October 6

Viewpoints: What Do You Like Best About Living in Mount Vernon?

Viewpoints: What Do You Like Best About Living in Mount Vernon?

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New and Improved Is the Outlook for Parts of Mount Vernon

Everything from new apartments to the Embark Richmond Highway and Bus Rapid Transit are planned.

Things are moving along in Mount Vernon, despite the setbacks everyone has experienced in 2020 from the coronavirus and the economic crisis that persists.

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Mount Vernon Lee Chamber Restaurant of the Week: Roy Rogers Restaurants

Burgers, fried chicken, and roast beef are all available at Roy Rogers Restaurants where real food with the best ingredients is served in a comfortable, enjoyable setting.

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Opinion: Commentary: Welcome to the Mount Vernon District

Keep in touch with TEAM MVD (Mount Vernon District) to be in the know.

Welcome to the Mount Vernon District!

Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce Builds Community

Welcome to your new home in this community.

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Mount Vernon Farmers Market Vendors Become Familiar ‘Locals’

They get up before dawn every Wednesday from May to December and load up tables, tents and boxes, crates and coolers filled with meats, baked goods, fruits, vegetables, plants and other wares.

Sunday, October 4

Opinion: Commentary: Collective Bargaining Means a Seat at the Table so Fairfax County Employees Can Improve Services, Jobs

The pandemic is showing just how much we depend on each other -- no matter who we are, where we’re from or the color of our skin.

Opinion: Commentary: Reform at America’s #1 High School Is Good for All, Including Asian Americans

As part of the proposed 2020 budget for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Northam charged all academic year governor’s schools to set diversity goals and develop a plan to meet them.

Friday, October 2

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Opinion: Commentary: Welcome, We’re Lucky to Call Fairfax County Home

Welcome to Fairfax County.

Fairfax County Covid Cases

As of Saturday, Sept. 26, the Virginia Department of Health and Fairfax County Department of Health reported that 20,687 Fairfax County residents have tested positive for Covid-19 and more than 586 have died.

Thursday, October 1

Where to Give Locally To Help with Pandemic Hunger and Beyond

Any quest to talk about the issues in Northern Virginia right now seems to lead to talk about the pandemic, and the economic crisis that follows in its wake.

Fairfax County Public Schools Offers Free Meals to All Children 18 and Under

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Office of Food and Nutrition Services is offering healthy meals at locations throughout Fairfax County this school year under the USDA Summer Food Service Program and the At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Newcomers & Community Guide 2020

About the Connection in 2020

Opinion: Commentary: Working to Save River Farm

As you may have heard around the community, and in this newspaper last week, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) has announced that it is putting its headquarters, historic River Farm, the 27-acre property which represents the northernmost of George Washington’s five farms, up for sale on the open real estate market.

Opinion: Column: And So It Continues

Two-plus weeks into my thyroid cancer treatment, all is as I anticipated.