Stories for March 2021

Stories for March 2021


Wednesday, March 31

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Opinion: Commentary: Krizek Endorses Sen. Jennifer McClellan for Governor

Spring has finally sprung, and that means that the 2021 campaign season is now in full swing!

Green Summer

Alexandria delegation works with the governor to legalize marijuana on July 1.

Alexandria is about to become the capital of marijuana in Virginia. The city's legislative delegation is at the center of an effort poised to legalize weed this summer, years ahead of an agreement that was struck behind closed doors at the end of the General Assembly session in February.

Tuesday, March 30

Opinion: Commentary: zMOD Approved at Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

What happened?

Sunday, March 28

Opinion: Column: Time Will Tell

Ordinarily, I'd be writing this column this weekend – after this week's events.

Saturday, March 27

Herrity Explains His ‘No’ Vote on zMOD in Fairfax County

Today (Tuesday, March 23) the Board of Supervisors passed a modification of its Zoning Ordinance (zMOD) by a vote of 7 to 3.

Thursday, March 25

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Donated Football Practice Gear Gets Players Jumping at Hayfield

Parent turns a donation into a lesson on positivity for others.

football equipment

Wednesday, March 24

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Opinion: Commentary: Back on the Ballot!

It’s official — I am running for re-election as your Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly and will be back on the ballot!

Monday, March 22

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Opinion: Commentary: Joyfully Back in School in Mount Vernon

Jon Gates, Principal of Hollin Meadows Elementary, captured the mood of being back in school starting last week in an email to parents:

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The Passing of a Great Man – Colonel Marion “Barney” Barnwell

Colonel Marion “Barney” Barnwell, a longtime resident and community activist in the Mount Vernon District, passed suddenly last week and will be missed by the many people that he connected with and whose lives he touched.

Opinion: Commentary: State Legislature’s Recent Session Was Consequential

My legislation abolishing capital punishment was one of the most daunting and rewarding bills I have ever sponsored.

The 2021 General Assembly session has ended until we reconvene in April to consider any vetoes by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Opinion: Editorial: We Still Need Your Help

We all need community newspapers; community newspapers need your help.

You need local newspapers.

Sunday, March 21

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Fairfax County Supervisors to Vote on zMOD

The record is open for written comments; pressure is on to get it right

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on March 23 at 4:30 p.m. on the new and modernized zoning ordinance (zMOD).

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Murder Victim in Southern Fairfax County Never Identified

Body found in Giles Run creek remains a mystery since 1972 as does the exact location of his burial plot in a Mount Vernon graveyard.

Murder mystery

Saturday, March 20

Opinion: Commentary: Pandemic Shows Workers Need a Voice in Fairfax County

As county employees, we work tirelessly to provide essential services, often behind the scenes, to make sure our county continues to run and families get what they need during this difficult time.

Friday, March 19

Fatal Motorcycle Crash in Mount Vernon

Motorcycle hits bus, bursts into flames.

Motorcycle Crash

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A Few More Efforts Made to Save River Farm

A letter, historic overlay implementation and a 6,000 signature petition are there to keep it the same.

River Farm

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A Lawsuit Challenges TJ Admission Changes

Parents sue to stop TJ’s admission policy changes, alleging anti-Asian race discrimination.

The Fairfax County School Board and Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand face a new lawsuit filed against them last week in United States District Court in Alexandria.

Opinion: Column: A Shot in the Arm

Literally and figuratively.

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County Highlights

Actions and words by Fairfax County leadership and citizens

In our new series,  County Highlights, the Connection spotlights actions and comments by Fairfax County officials, public servants, and local citizens who call the County's 406 square miles home.

Thursday, March 18

Opinion: Editorial: We Still Need Your Help

We all need community newspapers; community newspapers need your help.

A year later, Covid continues to be the most compelling, most local issue that we face.

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Creating Healthy Mother-Daughter Relationships

Local authors and therapists offer thoughts and guidance.

As a middle school student, Sofie Jacobs was at times mocked by other girls for her fastidious study habits and the good grades she received as a result.

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Student’s Art Contains A Global Message, and Wins a Scholarship

Global warming is just one of the many messages expressed in arts competition.

Art Scholarship

Wednesday, March 17

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Opinion: Commentary: One Year Later: Covid and Vaccine Update

It’s been one year since the Commonwealth and the nation locked down with the first restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, and when we learned only that to do everything possible to save lives it was necessary to wear a mask and even better, to stay isolated from each other.

Monday, March 15

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Victory Center in Alexandria Transformed for Vaccines

High-capacity Covid-19 vaccination site to open in Alexandria as the one-year mark in the pandemic passes

A large-scale vaccination center for Northern Virginia is slated to open by the end of March at the long-vacant Victory Center, with the ability to provide upwards of 6,000 doses per day of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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Go Green, Go Native

Mow less, mow high, grow more, choose nature.

The manicured lawn may be an iconic symbol of the American suburbs, but lawns have ecological downsides, and there are alternatives, Tami Sheiffer told members of the Friends of Mason Neck at a March 7 Zoom meeting titled “Mow Less, Grow More.”

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: How Sad

How sad that River Farm could possibly be taken over by developers, without any concern for the impact it would have on our beloved community.

Alexandria Power Plant Redevelopment Includes Bike Improvements

The north end Small Area Plan does not leave bike trail users high and dry.

Bicyclists won’t be left out of the plans when the GenOn Energy plant is redeveloped as a major part of the Old Town North Small Area Plan, originally adopted by the city in 2017.

Sunday, March 14

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Mask Rules on the Mount Vernon Trail

Many wear masks on the trail regardless.

The rules about wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 indicate that if you are outdoors and practicing social distancing, things are relatively safe.

Friday, March 12

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‘Better Than I Deserve’: Roy Gravatte Dies at 84

For most people, the cursory greeting “How are you?” elicits a cursory “Fine, and you?” But for Roy Gravatte, it was a chance to show his gratitude in life with his signature response to anyone who asked: “Better than I deserve.”

Honoring Women on Front Lines of Pandemic

The Fairfax County Commission For Women celebrates Women’s History Month 2021.

Thursday, March 11

Opinion: Column: “Cancerversary”

I realize I'm cancer-centric, especially in these columns, but for some reason that centricity didn't acknowledge my February 27th cancer anniversary.

Opinion: Commentary: What is ‘Fair’?

Equity costs - and paying that price will not be fair, but it will be just.

If Black people had a dollar for every individual, organization, and company that publicly professed a commitment to antiracism and racial equity while holding up progress in the name of “fairness,” we could have closed the racial wealth gap ten times over.

Fairfax County Planning Commission Recommends Denial of Flag Limitations

It's not a done deal.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted 11-0 to recommend denial to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to replace the current zoning ordinance establishing specific regulations for flags and flagpoles in the New and Modernized Zoning Ordinance (zMOD Updates) countywide.

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Opinion: Commentary: Step into Nature for Improved Health

New research into the health benefits of being in nature prompted the Wall Street Journal reporter Betsy Morris to do a story titled, "For Better Health During the Pandemic, Is Two hours Outdoors the New 10,000 Steps?"

Wednesday, March 10

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Starting from a Clean Slate

Compromise on expungement: automatic for some misdemeanors, petition for some felonies.

Marijuana convictions will be automatically expunged under a bill now under consideration by Gov. Ralph Northam, although convictions for crack cocaine will require missing a day of work and probably hiring a lawyer to go to court and seal the record. The legislation is a compromise crafted late in the General Assembly session by House Majority Leader Charniele Herring of Alexandria and state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36), who clashed repeatedly over the last year about how the process should work.

Saturday, March 6

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The Value of Dead Wood

Tree snags are “a gourmet restaurant,” that is, from a bird’s perspective, Larry Cartwright told a group of Northern Virginia Audubon at Home ambassadors on Feb. 20 in a Zoom meeting.

Friday, March 5

Opinion: Column: Back to Abnormal

Well, those last two weeks were kind of fun, (comparatively speaking) to the dozen or so previous weeks.

Thursday, March 4

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Fairfax County Readies for Public Employee Collective Bargaining

Holds collaborative meetings with union reps to write rules

Most Fairfax County public employees who provide vital services in education, safety, healthcare, and sanitation like others in counties, cities, and towns across the Commonwealth, will gain a new right on May 1, 2021.

Wellbeing: A Schedule Can Anchor Your Day

How creating a daily routine can ease anxiety during times of uncertainty

Her days were overwhelmingly stressful.

Opinion: Editorial: Brain Injury Awareness: A Personal Story

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

In 2007, my kids and I were at a fireworks show in Vienna that was so grand we were in awe of each burst.

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Housing Values Increase and This Will Soon Be Felt in Tax Bills

The county juggles the tax rate, but higher tax bills are on the horizon.

Home Assessments Increase

Opinion: Commentary: Budget Passed

Enormous number of measures baked into budget to address critical needs in an unprecedented year

The 2021 session of the Virginia General Assembly came to a close on Monday, March 1st, which really concluded with a long twelve hours on the floor Saturday that included the final passage of the Budget bill, and tax conformity legislation that set a critical $100,000 threshold for PPP expense deductibility for 2020 for all businesses in the Commonwealth.

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Mount Vernon’s River Farm Offer Falls Short of Asking Price

NOVA Parks and partners made an offer but the farm remains on the market.

In an attempt to keep the property open to the public, the NOVA Parks, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, and their partners recently made an offer to buy River Farm in Mount Vernon, but the American Horticultural Society board of directors has voted to decline their offer, looking for their original asking price of $32,900,000 that they say they need to keep the society in operation.