Stories for February 2013

Stories for February 2013


Thursday, February 28

Mount Vernon School Notes Jan. 28

School notes for Mount Vernon natives.

Saving Buddy

He first appeared on our patio several years ago, a large gray and white cat, bedraggled and hungry, sitting on a chair, waiting for a handout.

Letter to the Editor: Civil Rights Complaints Filed against Police

Recently the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc. (CCPA) sought to determine if the Alexandria City, Arlington and Fairfax County police departments were the subject of citizens claiming their civil rights had been violated.

Column: U.S. 1 Funding Secured and Transportation Deal

This week, the General Assembly ended with a budget and two major policy changes — a historic transportation bill and a Medicaid expansion process that I will discuss next week.

Column: Transportation Agreement and Medicaid Expansion

The Virginia State Senate passed a transportation plan after Gov. Robert McDonnell agreed to sign off on a Medicaid expansion conference committee to come up “with a concept to ensure that significant reforms are attained prior to any potential expansion of Medicaid.”

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board Feb. 27

Bulletin board for the Mount Vernon area.

Alexandria Entertainment Calendar Feb. 27

Entertainment calendar for the Alexandria and Mount Vernon areas.

Column: A Tough Transportation Vote

The 46-day legislative session drew to a close on Saturday, Feb. 23. As you know, transportation dominated the debate this session.

Classified Advertising Feb. 27, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Wednesday, February 27

50th Annual Needlework Exhibition

The 50th annual Needlework Exhibition will be open to the public starting Friday, March 1 at the Woodlawn Plantation.

Kiwanis Conducts Service Leadership Programs Night

The Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club hosted a Service Leadership Programs Night at the Mount Vernon Country Club on Feb 20, which featured presentations from young men, women and students involved in community service and leadership activities at schools in the area. Attending the event were local school administrators, educators, principals, and advisors such as Deborah Tyler, Fairfax Country Public Schools Cluster IV assistant superintendent; Principal Nardos King, Mount Vernon High School; Principal Cliff Hardison, West Potomac High School; Principal Maura Caulfield, Stratford Landing Elementary School; Assistant Principal Kaaren Lowder, South County High School; and Kim Taylor-Wilson, acting coordinator of Student Services at Northern Virginia Community College. Students in attendance were youth leaders in their Kiwanis family of clubs including Circle K International, Key Clubs, Builders Club, and K-Kids.

Laurel Grove School

Laurel Grove School

Saturday, February 23

Classified Advertising Feb. 20, 2013

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Friday, February 22

Column: Definition of “Slippery Slope”

Figuratively speaking, of course. That definition being: a late stage cancer patient/survivor previously characterized as “terminal” awaiting the results of their most recent diagnostic scan. A scan that will indicate whether the tumors have grown, moved or God forbid, appeared somewhere new. If your life hung in the balance before the scan, waiting for results of this however-many-months-interval-scan will most assuredly loosen your figurative grip on your equilibrium and your most literal grip on your sanity. This is a domain, unlike the one referred to in one of the more infamous Seinfeld episodes, that one cannot master. To invoke and slightly rework Dan Patrick’s “catch” phrase: You can’t stop it, you can only hope to contain it.

Thursday, February 21

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 59 homes sold between $1,150,000-$98,500 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2013

New Approach to Helping Chronic Homeless

County joins "100,000 Homes" effort as chronic homelessness on rise.

The number of chronically homeless individuals in Fairfax County is on the rise. Currently, nearly 300 individuals are considered chronically homeless, many living in cars or sleeping in tents. In an effort to find permanent homes for these individuals, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness is joining the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronically homeless throughout the nation.

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‘Two Symphonies and a Dance’ for Area Music Lovers

Virginia Chamber Orchestra to present early Mozart and Mendelssohn works.

There has always been the debate about the role of nature and nurture in a child’s development. This is especially true in child prodigies. Mozart and Mendelssohn were from musical homes and received encouragement in musical studies. Although Gluck sang in his church choir, his interest in music was surely of his own making as he was expected to work in his family’s forestry business.

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Alexandria Police Shield Information on Officer-Involved Shooting

Law-enforcement officials use exemption to withhold incident report.

Why did Alexandria police officers kill Taft Sellars?

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Neighbors Press Hybla Valley Walmart to Install Wheel Locks on Shopping Carts

Cleanup crews say carts clog Little Hunting Creek.

Betty Scutt pushes her shopping cart through a ragged parking lot of the Walmart on Richmond Highway in Hybla Valley.

Wednesday, February 20

Seahawks End Majors' Season with Buzzer-Beater

Mount Vernon girls' basketball loses in regional quarterfinals.

South Lakes advances to face Oakton in the Northern Region semifinals.

Letter to the Editor: Litter Poisons Environment

Michael Pope’s recent article [“Carts Clog Creek,” Feb. 14] brings needed attention to the problem of the shopping carts that end up in Little Hunting Creek.

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Hearing the Cry of the Poor

“Provide!” prays Sarah Heckman.

One of these chilly mornings you might spot her cycling furiously on the George Washington bike path, flying along like a comet. If you wave, she’ll dazzle you with a smile and wave back.

Column: Legislature Enters Final Week

Working for and with my constituents in Richmond is always exciting, and this year is no different. As we enter the final week of the session, conference committees are meeting to iron out the differences in House and Senate versions of several key bills.

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MetroStage Garners 7 Helen Hayes Nominations.

Griffin named a “Helen’s Star.”

Theatre Washington has announced the nominations for the 2013 Helen Hayes Awards with Alexandria’s MetroStage Theater among the 25 theatre companies nominated in 26 categories.

Entertainment Calendar Wednesday, Feb. 20

Entertainment calendar for the Alexandria and Mount Vernon area.

Column: Lots of Moving Parts Remain

Thanks to all of you who attended one of the town meetings in Mount Vernon or Old Town on Saturday. It’s always good to hear what’s on your mind, and your input helps me represent you better.

Thursday, February 14

Classified Advertising Feb. 13, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Wednesday, February 13

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West Potomac’s Rupp Captures 220-Pound Regional Title

Senior remains undefeated.

Rupp improved to 42-0 during his senior season.

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Mount Vernon Wrestling Places Third at Regionals

Freshman Adusei wins 126-pound title.

Mount Vernon had three grapplers reach the finals.

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A Positive Reflection

Joan Brady gives foster children needed exposure.

On Monday, Sept. 10, 2001, Joan Brady of Great Falls had just started a three-month sabbatical from her job with an Internet company. Newly-married, Brady, who was 36 years old at the time, was exhausted from 80-hour work weeks in a rigid corporate environment. She wanted time that fall to contemplate what to do next with her life. The next day provided answers and a sense of urgency. It was Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorist attacks, and the moving stories of heroism and tragedy on 9/11, indelibly left their mark. Brady, like many Americans, was inspired to do something new, to take more chances, to change direction.

Editorial: On Transportation

Compromise, in the works, should include indexing the gas tax to inflation.

Virginia needs more options, not fewer, in developing revenue to pay for roads and transportation. Compromise on a plan to increase transportation revenue should not include making Virginia the only state in the nation without a gas tax. The current, ridiculously low gas tax should be indexed to inflation. The last thing the commonwealth needs is to do away with an existing, major source of money for roads.

Friday, February 8

Classified Advertising Feb. 6, 2013

Read the latest ad here!

Thursday, February 7

Week in Alexandria

Two properties at the heart of Alexandria’s controversial waterfront plan went on the market this week, opening a new chapter in the ongoing saga about redevelopment in Old Town.

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Expanding the First Aid Battlefield Toward Mental Health

Legislators to consider $2 million for Mental Health First Aid.

The idea of first aid dates back to Order of St. John, a medieval society of knights that offered training in how to treat common battlefield injuries.

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Huntington Residents Remain Unprotected in the Face of Flooding

$30 million floodwall is at least two years away.

Fairfax County voters may have approved a $30 million floodwall for Huntington, but neighbors in this working-class neighborhood don’t seem particularly satisfied.

Wednesday, February 6

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Public Information Comes at a Price in Arlington

Billing system includes $30 charge for six-line summary of secret investigation.

Want a booking photo in a high profile case? Prepare to pay $24.

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February Is Heart Month

Diet and fitness experts offer suggestions for maintaining a healthy heart.

When Mary Elizabeth O’Conner enters a supermarket, she is careful stay within the outer perimeters of the store. “Most grocery stores are designed so that the healthiest and non-processed food, like fresh vegetables and meat are kept on the outer edges,” she said. She looks for heart-healthy foods like whole grains and fresh fruit.

Column: A Complicated Answer

And a further explanation and corollary to last week’s column: “A Simple Question,” which attempted to sort through my reactions to being asked an extremely innocent, appropriate, well-intended and always appreciated courtesy: “How are you?” and the problem that it sometimes causes me. That problem being: a question which had it not been asked would then not require an answer. An answer that I’ll always give, but not before I’ve given it some thought, which if I hadn’t thought about, wouldn’t have bothered me in the least

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Making the Difference Between Struggle and Success

Carmen Jordan of Reston has been a mentor for Fairfax Families4 Kids for six years. She is considered one of the most experienced mentors in the program. In addition to working full-time as a marquee account manager at Deltek in Herndon, Jordan makes herself available to “trouble-shoot” for the children and families she mentors. In the following column, she details her experiences with the program, and at-risk foster youth.

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'Stuff the Bus’ Campaign Helps Feed the Hungry

Donations continue to increase as campaign enters third year.

Local grocery stores were packed this weekend with shoppers stocking up on Super Bowl snacks for the annual football fan party. At the Wal-Mart in Fairfax, shoppers were greeted with colorful displays of chips, dips and other party favorites. They were also greeted by volunteers from Our Daily Bread (ODB), who were handing out flyers and encouraging shoppers to donate gift cards or specific items to restock ODB’s pantry shelves. A Fairfax nonprofit for nearly 30 years, ODB provides food and other critical services to the working poor, the elderly and the disabled. More than half of ODB’s clients are local children.

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A Gift of Dictionaries

Colonial Republican Women donates to Hybla Valley Elementary School.

A delegation from Colonial Republican Women presented Hybla Valley Elementary School staff with a donation of 100 dictionaries on Dec. 20.

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Preparing for ‘Reach the Beach’

The West Potomac Dance Team and students from the recent dance team workshop performed at half-time at last Friday’s basketball game.

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Multicultural Fair

Hollin Meadows Elementary School will hold its annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre, now in its 32nd season, will present “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” directed by John Waldron and performed by a cast of 18 local actors ages 12-18.

Alexandria Entertainment Calendar

Entertainment Calendar for February.

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For Those Who Serve

World's largest USO facility opens at Fort Belvoir.

Less than two years ago, it was just an overgrown lot in the shadows of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. But on Feb. 5, the world's largest USO facility welcomed the community with a grand opening celebration of the new USO Warrior and Family Center.

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Helping Nation’s Heroes

Inside the new USO Warrior and Family Center.

Growing up in Richmond, Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston never imagined what awaited him when two improvised explosive devices detonated next to his vehicle in Mosul, Iraq in 2006. The Cornell University computer science graduate was severely injured, his spine nearly severed and his face badly scarred as part of his mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Letter to the Editor: Take Politics Out of Redistricting

Let's face it — Virginia's Delegate and Senatorial district maps are a gerrymandered disgrace.

Letters to the Editor: Update on ‘Antenna Wars’

The Jan. 17 article "Antenna Wars" and a Jan. 24 Letter to the Editor both help residents of Mount Vernon District understand past work of the Mount Vernon Council's Telecommunication Service Committee. The committee was formed in response to a request by Supervisor Hyland.

Letter to the Editor: Justice Prevails

The fatal shooting death of unarmed Sunday School teacher Patricia Cook of Culpepper by Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright of the Culpepper Police Department on Feb. 9, 2012 has ended with the officer being charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and unlawful shooting into an occupied vehicle.

February Bulletin Board

The Mount Vernon Bulletin Board for the month of February.

Column: Five Bills Poised to Pass; Two Amendments Adopted

The Virginia legislature is now approaching “crossover” — the day that each body must complete work on its own bills and begin work on bills from the other body.

Richmond Report: On Medicaid, Road Funds and Uranium

This week’s General Assembly session included “Crossover” on Tuesday — after which the House and Senate may only work on bills approved by the other body.

CSMS Science Olympiad Team Triumphs

The Carl Sandburg Middle School Science Olympiad Team has been notified that they have qualified for the Virginia State Science Olympiad Tournament to be held April 27 on the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg. The team competed at the Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament in Charlottesville, on Saturday, Feb. 16. Overall results placed Carl Sandburg Middle School as the 4th ranked school at the Science Olympiad competition that weekend.