Stories for May 2013

Stories for May 2013


Thursday, May 30

Letter to the Editor: Fight for Healthy Air

Every day, residents of our region are subjected to air quality that has received an F rating from the American Lung Association. As the representative of approximately 63,000 people in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax, I am concerned about the impact of poor quality air on you and your family's health and longevity.

Letter to the Editor: Best Use Of Police?

Mayor Euille, Chief Cook, City Council Members, the wonderfully warm and sunny Memorial Day weekend is over. It is time to answer a few questions. How many officers were committed to “traffic enforcement” at the intersection of King and Union Streets on each of the holiday weekend days?

Letter to the Editor: Tale of Two Controversies

Recent angst about doubling Norfolk-Southern Railroad’s ethanol storage tanks and building a gigantic Jefferson-Houston School suggests folks’ textbook understanding of civics doesn’t jibe with how our city government really functions.

Letter to the Editor: Thank Those in Military Service

For some, Memorial Day meant a weekend of shopping, catching sales, BBQ cookouts and gatherings of families, friends and neighbors.

Editorial: Don’t Be Among the Missing

Last time Virginia elected a governor, 1.7 million voters failed to vote after voting the previous year.

In 2008, 74.5 percent of Virginia’s registered voters turned out to vote in the presidential election. In 2009, the last time Virginians elected a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and members of the House of Delegates, just 40.4 percent of registered voters came out to vote.

Wednesday, May 29

Classified Advertising May 29, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

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Summer Fun in Fairfax

The Herndon Festival, Relay for Life and Springfield Days/Party in the Park are only a few of the events taking place in the summer of 2013.

Former Principal Accused of Molesting Boy

State Police arrest Thom Clement.

During Thom Clement’s three decades in education, there was never a hint of impropriety. When he retired from Fairfax County Public Schools in July 2006, he was a well-liked and well-respected principal and former teacher.

Column: Airing on the Side of Caution

I don’t think I’m asking too much. I’m not asking for a pony or long life; just a typical life. Unfortunately “typical” might be more statistical than realistic – at least for someone with an incurable disease, which was how my oncologist originally described my lung cancer diagnosis.

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Etiquette Expert Addresses Inmates

Fannie L. Allen, an expert on social and workplace etiquette and director of the Allen Etiquette Institute, gave inmates at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center a special presentation on the importance of good manners and courteous communications during an hour-long program on Thursday, May 23.

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John Jacob Krafft

Born in New York on Oct. 18, 1916, John Jacob Krafft moved with his family to the city of Alexandria at the age of 5. He was one of seven children of Jacob Martin and Augusta (Hiertrierter) Krafft. He grew up in Alexandria on the west corner of Cedar and King Streets across from the Masonic Temple. One of his favorite childhood memories was climbing on the scaffolding as the Temple was being constructed. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Alexandria and for high school he graduated from McKinley Technical School in Washington, D.C. In order to get to school, he walked to the streetcar in Old Town that took him to the bus in D.C. After graduating from high school in 1934, he attended George Washington University and studied mechanical engineering.

Fun Ways To Keep Learning in Summer

As summer vacation begins in a few weeks, some parents are scrambling for activities to fill the days for their children. Often that means summer vacations and trips to the pool or the park. Education experts say even in the midst of summer fun, it is important to ensure that children don’t lose the skills they’ve learned during the academic year. However, they say relaxing and having fun are equally important, and suggest a myriad of stealthy tricks that parents can employ for laid-back learning all summer long.

Failing To Help J-H Students

To the Editor: West Old Town Citizens Association members were honored to have District A School Board members Bill Campbell, Karen Graf and Stephanie Kapsis attend a special meeting earlier this month to discuss Jefferson-Houston School’s academic dilemma. They were joined by Justin Keating, the District B Board member who serves as the School Board’s liaison to our PK-8 school. We appreciate their shared commitment of time.

Board Attitude Found Rude

To the Editor: On May 15, Amy Smith, a resident of the Nethergate community, located at the intersection of Bashford and Abingdon Roads, attended a meeting of the Board of Architecture Review (BAR) in order to petition the Board for a Certificate of Appropriateness, allowing her to retain the new windows she had installed which in part were made of vinyl. I attended this meeting and was stunned by the rudeness of this board.

Parking Needs To Be Addressed

To the Editor: I would like to point out with the new Jefferson-Houston School project how horrible parking is in the city. At the groundbreaking ceremony there were many city and school officials there and some residents plus others. The school parking lot currently has 124 parking spaces. There was not enough parking space for those who attended the affair. People were actually parking on top of the basketball court. They were also parking in the streets where residents normally park, but because of this event residents could not park near their homes. This is just one more event that the city holds that does not accommodate people using and needing parking for.

Support Police Youth Camp

To the Editor: For over 60 years, the officers of the Alexandria Police Department have worked tirelessly to reach the children in the city by creating and maintaining the Alexandria Police Youth Camp (APYC). The APYC is a non-profit organization consisting of Alexandria Police Officers, who are committed to making sure that each child has an opportunity to build character, learn team work, and develop self-confidence.

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Summer Fun in Alexandria

Summertime and the livin' is easy in Alexandria, where the calendar from Memorial Day to Labor Day is filled with holidays and events that celebrate our city and culture — both American and for the traditions of some of the many ethnic communities that make up the colorful and diverse fabric of the city.

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Memorial Day Preparation at Alexandria National Cemetery


Navy Commander Joe Cubba presented VFW Commander Bob Jones with a new flag to fly over the Alexandria National Cemetery on Saturday morning,

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'Fair Winds and Following Seas'

Old Dominion Boat Club holds 133rd flag raising.

Dreary skies and weekend rains cleared as members, dignitaries and guests of the Old Dominion Boat Club gathered at the foot of King Street May 19 for the 133rd annual flag raising ceremony. “These flags symbolize the unity between the city, the state, the United States and the Old Dominion Boat Club,” said Mayor Bill Euille prior to the yearly tradition of hoisting new flags to kick off the official start of a safe boating season. “This ceremony is a tradition that has been passed down for 133 years to the young people of our community.”

Unconventional Camp Ideas

Suggestions for parents still searching for summer activities

Lauralie Kennedy has been knee-deep in frantic online searches. School ends next month and the Alexandria mother has yet to enroll her 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter in summer camp. “I just haven’t put together a plan yet,” she said. “I have a spread sheet with all of the things I’d like for them to do, but I haven’t done anything with it. I am hoping that there will be slots open somewhere.”

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Working To Help Ex-Offenders

Local probation office reintegrates ex-offenders into community.

As a longstanding observer of criminal behavior trends Lisa Stapleton, a 21-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections and, since 2007, chief of Probation and Parole of Alexandria, said, “80 percent of our adult offenders on probation have committed crimes because they have at one time or another been involved in substance abuse violations … and I would also say that we are much more aware that the source of problems for many offenders entering into criminal behavior are untreated or unresolved mental health issues.

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100 New Citizens Sworn In

Congressman Connolly, Chairman Bulova, Delegate Keam participate in naturalization ceremony in Fairfax.

The new citizens, accompanied by many family members, filled the Government Center's auditorium for the naturalization ceremony held by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Congressman Connolly, Chairman Bulova and Delegate Keam addressed the group, each describing in their words what it meant to be an American.

Don’t Be Among the Missing

Last time Virginia elected a governor, 1.7 million voters failed to vote after voting the previous year

In 2008, 74.5 percent of Virginia’s registered voters turned out to vote in the presidential election. In 2009, the last time Virginians elected a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and members of the House of Delegates, just 40.4 percent of registered voters came out to vote. That is to say that 1.7 million voters went missing in the Commonwealth.

Brief: Amazon Web Services to Expand in Fairfax County

Company will add 500 IT-focused jobs.

Governor Bob McDonnell announced last week that Amazon Web Services, Inc., (AWS), an Amazon.com company, will expand in Fairfax County and add 500 new jobs to the county economy.

Brief:Amazon Web Services to Expand in Fairfax County

Company will add 500 IT-focused jobs.

Governor Bob McDonnell announced last week that Amazon Web Services, Inc., (AWS), an Amazon.com company, will expand in Fairfax County and add 500 new jobs to the county economy.

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Eagle Scout Prepares Emergency Preparedness Kits

The process of becoming an Eagle Scout is one that requires much work, dedication, and passion for the organization. Each person planning to become an Eagle Scout must complete an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, in which they plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. These projects require multiple steps of approval including their scoutmaster, a troop committee, and the district itself.

‘How Did That Happen?’

Tale of two funds

This is a story about two funds that have made a significant difference in Alexandria for a decade and how they are possibly threatened. The public is understandably concerned about the future of dedicated funding for the long-established Affordable Housing Fund and Open Space Fund. I certainly share their concern, and I hope this letter will help clarify what the two funds are, their impact, and why we need to reinstate the dedicated funds for these set asides. Otherwise, Alexandria will have two funds without a predictable, consistent base of support and will be up and down like the wind.

School Notes

The following students enrolled at Virginia Tech were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2012 semester: Madalena R. McNeil is a junior majoring in international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Owen T. Nugent is a sophomore majoring in general engineering in the College of Engineering. Kelley M. O'Leary is a senior majoring in interior design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Catherine B. Royka is a sophomore majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Laina N. Schneider is a junior majoring in crop and soil environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Kelly E. Wood is a senior majoring in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Christopher A. Caldwell is a senior majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering. Hilmi D. Entabi is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. Adam D. Frank is a senior majoring in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Travis E. Frank is a senior majoring in landscape architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Sonia Garakyaraghi is a freshman majoring in university studies. Alan A. Gomez is a senior majoring in computer engineering in the College of Engineering. Juan G. Montolin is a senior majoring in geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment.


The Alexandria City Council reappointed Gwendolyn Day-Fuller and Kathleen Schloeder to the Alexandria Library Board. Day-Fuller serves as the board’s secretary and Schloeder as its chair. The Alexandria Library Board also welcomed two new members this year, the City of Alexandria’s Vice Mayor, Allison Silberberg, and City Council appointee, Helen Desfosses. Silberberg, whose civic efforts promote social justice, has been an Alexandria resident since 1989, and was elected to City Council in November 2012.

Military Notes

Marine Corps Pvt. Mau E. Knight, brother of Darius J. Faison of Gainesville, Fla. and nephew of Marine Corps Sgt. Michael T. Knight of Alexandria, earned the title of United States Marine after graduating from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S. C. Knight is a 2009 graduate of Pine Ridge High School of Deltona, Fla.

Bulletin Board

Absentee Voting Opens On Tuesday June 11, there will be a Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Absentee voting for the primary began Friday, April 26. Many Alexandria voters are eligible to vote absentee, but relatively few take advantage of this option. Qualifying circumstances: commute and work for 11 of the 13 hours the polls are open; caregiver for a confined family member; unable to go to the polls in person on Election Day because of an illness or disability; or will be absent from Alexandria on Election Day because of personal business, work, school, or vacation. To learn more about these, and other circumstances in which absentee voting is an appropriate option, visit alexandriava.gov/Elections and click on “Absentee Voting,” or call 703-746-4050.

Thursday, May 23

Editorial: Remembering on Memorial Day

The sacrifices of those who died in war.

1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, of the Kings Park West neighborhood of Fairfax, was killed by enemy fire on April 23, 2013 in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan. Hess was known as “RJ” and graduated from Robinson Secondary School in 2005, where he played football, lacrosse and was the captain of the swim team. He was a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot who deployed to Afghanistan on April 11, 2013. His family remembers his sense of humor and his natural leadership ability.

Letter to the Editor: Help Keep The Lights On

I thought you would be interested in an update about the ongoing saga of the Christmas tree lights on King Street. They were all turned off April 15 and the short-run effort to keep them on through this spring did not work.

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Tea Party Ticket

Republican convention selects conservative slate of candidates for November.

Perhaps the biggest sign that the Tea Party has taken control of the Republican Party of Virginia was the yellow Gadsden flag emblem that appeared on placards distributed by supporters of Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, who was one of seven candidates vying to be the nominee for lieutenant governor last weekend at a raucous convention in Richmond. Davis, who represented Fairfax County for a decade in the General Assembly, has a reputation as being a moderate.

Wednesday, May 22

Column: Commission Praises Foundation

The Ronald M. Bradley Foundation recently received an “Excellence in Aging Award for an Organization” for its commitment to the City of Alexandria’s holiday Meals-on-Wheels program.

Alexandria Bulletin Board

Information on events going on in Arlington.

Column: Observing Memorial Day

Public invited to May 27 ceremony at Alexandria National Cemetery.

Memorial Day is about remembering those who died for our values to make our way of American life possible. This honoring of the memories of the fallen and the values for which they died is not limited to one day.

Military Notes

Information on Alexandria natives in the military.

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Ongoing Summer Classes. Art at the Center, 2804 Sherwood Hall Lane. Children ages 6-10 can participate. Register at www.artatthecenter.org or 703-201-1250. Art Exhibit. Through Sunday, May 26, Thursday, Friday and Sunday noon-4 p.m.; Saturday 1-4 p.m. at The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St. See works by Mary Margaret Pipkin. Free. Visit www.mmpipkin.com.

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Half Marathon To Support Families

Fundraiser includes 1K fun run.

Several thousand runners and spectators will gather for the fourth annual Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon and 5K this weekend.

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Chantilly’s Next Stop: The Kennedy Center

Funny, heartwarming play receives 11 Cappie nominations.

Chantilly High’s Cappies play was called, “You Can’t Take It with You.” But if all goes well for the school at next month’s Cappies ceremony, Chantilly could take home some trophies for its side-splitting play. It received 11 nominations, and all the high-school theater winners will be unveiled, June 9, during the 14th annual Cappies Gala at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

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A New Jefferson-Houston

The ground has been broken on the new site for the Jefferson-Houston Elementary School. The event featured a visit from the Washington National’s Running President Thomas Jefferson.

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Centreville, Westfield Garner Cappies Nods

‘Cabaret’ and ‘Flowers for Algernon’ are honored.

When the winners are announced during the 14th annual Cappies Gala, June 9, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., students from Centreville and Westfield high schools will be there, eager for the results. That’s because both schools were nominated for awards for their Cappies shows. Centreville received nominations for its high-spirited musical, “Cabaret,” and Westfield was recognized for its touching play, “Flowers for Algernon.”

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2013 Athletes of the Year

Britt McHenry to keynote Sportsman’s Club dinner May 29.

Washington sportscaster Britt McHenry will be on hand as 26 of the city’s best high school athletes are honored for their academic and athletic excellence at the 57th annual Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Awards dinner May 29 at the Westin Carlyle Hotel. A sports reporter for ABC7/WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8, McHenry is also the host of News Channel 8's High School Sports Final. Her keynote address will be the first given by a female in the history of the Sportsman’s Club.

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Remembering a Promise To Remember

Alexandria war memorial is decaying.

The monument in front of Alexandria's railroad station is a pledge that residents who die in wartime service never will be forgotten. How, then, could the monument itself be so forgotten? On Monday, Nov. 11, 1940, a crowd of 3,000 gathered for the dedication. Speakers, whose words were not recorded, undoubtedly said the sacrifices of the dead would be remembered forever. But time has affected the stones representing those promises. Decay has set in. Joints are opening. Mortar and caulking have fallen aside, preparing the way for further damage. Those who participated in the long-ago ceremonies would be taken aback at what is visible today.

Volunteers To Place 5,000 Flags

On Saturday May 25, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 609, American Legion Post 1775 along with other veterans and volunteers will place more than 5,000 American flags at the graves at Alexandria National Cemetery, 1450 Wilkes St., Alexandria. It is the oldest veterans cemetery in the U.S., established in 1862.

A Joyous Occasion

To the Editor: Artists, their families and friends, and members of the community who attended the opening reception of “Art Uniting People” at the Lee Center not only got to see some powerful, moving, sad, jarring and funny works of art including photography, paintings, sketches and sculpture, they also got a chance to learn what it takes to be happy with Liberian-born storyteller Vera Oye' Yaa-Anna who told her tale of the king of the historic city of Timbuktu who was always unhappy no matter what his loyal subjects and servants tried to do. With the help of dancers Diane Freeman and Thomas Lee and drummers Yerone Sanders and Joseph Ngwa, the audience was soon clapping, dancing in their seats, down the aisles and on stage and chanting “I am Happy.” A few tried drumming including an intrigued four-year-old.

‘Lights Out’ District?

To the Editor: Keeping the streetlights on in Alexandria starts with city hall’s new Call-Click-Connect system, where like Dorothy going to Oz, you click three times and land in a place that asks you to “call the power company.” The city stays out of the loop and in the happy zone. You’re on your own road to discovery, dude. Arriving to the Historic District by Metro, you may begin your journey to the water by traversing the western end of King Street’s “lights out” district, where night-shuttered businesses and few restaurants create a picture of gothic gloom. It is here, like Pepper and Martin, whose shop is fronted by an unlit streetlamp, you might feel the need to squint.

Help Keep The Lights On

To the Editor: I thought you would be interested in an update about the ongoing saga of the Christmas tree lights on King Street. They were all turned off April 15 and the short-run effort to keep them on through this spring did not work. Now The trees have been trimmed on King Street. It was a long overdue procedure to maintain the tree canopy over the city. As far as we know now the budget has been created and the lights will not be on again until Thanksgiving this year.

Educational Crisis

To the Editor: Reporter Michael Lee Pope’s two articles, “Historic Tax Hikes” and “Uncertainty Haunts Groundbreaking,” are inextricably linked. In the former Mr. Pope writes: “One of the leading drivers of the need for capital spending is the public school system.” In the latter he states: “when the new $45 million Jefferson-Houston School facility opens its doors, it may not be under the control of city leaders.” Jefferson-Houston School, my family’s failing neighborhood school, becomes the responsibility of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2014.

Bookstores Abound

To the Editor: I would like to comment on two recent items in the Gazette Packet: a letter in the May 9 issue ("A City's Priorities" from Carl A. Posey), and the item in the May 16 "Business Matters" column headlined "Books Without Bookstores." I agree strongly with Mr. Posey's point that Alexandria's library system needs to receive high priority in Alexandria's budgets, but I take issue with his statement that "Alexandria is a community where no bookseller can survive." The "Books Without Bookstores" item stated that Alexandria is "bereft of a place to buy books." I disagree.

Friday, May 17

Classified Advertising May 22, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Alexandria Home Sales: April, 2013

In April 2013, 207 Alexandria homes sold between $4,656,000-$107,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: April, 2013

Thursday, May 16

Ireton Softball Beats SSSA in State Quarterfinals

Cardinals pitcher Rhodes earns victory against Saints.

The Bishop Ireton softball team will face Bishop O'Connell in the state semifinals.

Editorial: Vote in Spite of Election Fatigue

Primary voting, absentee voting, Republican convention.

Absentee voting, including “in-person” absentee voting, is already underway for the June 11 primary, a statewide Democratic party primary for lieutenant governor and attorney general, plus one delegate race in Northern Virginia. Voters in the Democratic primary will choose between Ralph S. Northam and Aneesh Chopra for lieutenant governor; and between Mark R. Herring and Justin E. Fairfax for attorney general.

TC Baseball Secures First Regional Berth Since 2009

Titans beat Lee in Patriot District tournament quarterfinals

The T.C. Williams baseball team will travel to face top-seed Lake Braddock in the Patriot District semifinals on Friday.

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Celebrating ‘Everyday’ Heroes

Molina Healthcare honors local residents for making a difference in the community.

In the 1980s, Vienna resident John Horejsi and a “ragtag” group of social justice pioneers learned that Virginia was charging sales tax on food stamps. They discovered the sales tax boosted the state’s coffers by $9.5 million every year, money that they believed belonged to poor families for food or other necessary items.

Classified Advertising May 15, 2013

Read the lastest ads here!

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Miracles Continue in Mattie's Memory

A day of fun in honor of a brave boy raises money to help families battling cancer.

When Vicki Sardi-Brown sees a butterfly, she knows her son is near. Mattie, her 7-year-old son with husband Peter Brown, bravely faced an uphill battle with multifocal osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive type of bone cancer, for 14 months, much of that time spent at Georgetown University Hospital.

Council Notebook

It's official. The Alexandria City Council is against expanding operations at a hazardous materials facility on the West End of the city near the Van Dorn Metro station and just a few hundred feet from Tucker Elementary School.

Business Matters

Former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley is looking for a new gig. Ever since United Bankshares announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire all the outstanding stock of Virginia Bancorp back in January, the writing has been on the wall.

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Office Vacancy Hits Historic High in Alexandria

City officials blame Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

The crush of rush hour traffic at Mark Center is not the only headache caused by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

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Uncertainty Haunts Jefferson-Houston Groundbreaking

Questions linger as officials prepare ceremonial shovels.

City leaders and school officials are about to break out the ceremonial shovels and turn the earth at Jefferson-Houston School, the long-troubled facility near the King Street Metro station.

Wednesday, May 15

Schools?School Notes

Francis C. Hammond 1 Middle School Principal Benjamin G. Costa announced his resignation to pursue other career goals. Former Alexandria City School Board Member and ACPS Principal Blanche Maness will become the acting principal at Hammond 1, effective immediately.

People Notes

Steve Strobridge, deputy director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America was named one of the 100 most influential people in U.S. Defense in Defense News and Military Times’ inaugural list of influential players from the worlds of politics, the military, business, government and academia. Strobridge, of Alexandria, was cited for his work in helping to shape legislation affecting issues of importance for military personnel and their families. Christine M. Candio, RN, FACHE, CEO, Inova Alexandria Hospital, and senior vice president, Inova Health System, has been nominated as the 2013–2014 Chairwoman-Elect of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), an international professional society of more than 40,000 healthcare executives.



FRIENDS OF FORT WARD Friends of Fort Ward will hold its annual meeting May 18 at the museum at 5:30 p.m. Following the meeting there will be a reception and a concert by the Federal City Brass Band, playing music appropriate to the period and wearing their splendid uniforms which are also of the period.

More Density Means Higher Taxes

To the Editor: I am not surprised by our City Council decision to increase taxes. Given a choice to spend or not to spend, they revert to form. After all, each and every one is a good Democrat, which means their natural inclination is to spend and tax. Their varying reasons for taking ever more money from the public is also genuine.

Supportive Commissioners

To the Editor: The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center (NVJDC) is a 70-bed secure juvenile detention facility located in Alexandria serving Alexandria, Falls Church and Arlington. The Sheltercare Program is a 14-bed, juvenile residential program which is also under oversight of the commission. As executive director since 2002, I would like to particularly acknowledge Dorathea Peters and Lillian Brooks, the two members appointed by Alexandria, to the Juvenile Detention Commission for Northern Virginia (JDCNV). They are volunteers receiving no stipend for their time on the five-member commission.

Preferential Treatment?

To the Editor: As reported in the Alexandria Gazette Packet ( May 9) Mayor Euille and city officials expressed major concerns about Norfolk Southern's proposed plan to increase their ethanol transloading and had not been notified about this proposed plan, our local elected officials quickly decided to vote on an resolution opposing Norfolk Southern's plan. Is this resolution really that important and necessary? There is no question from most Alexandria residents that Norfolk Southern's proposed plan to double their ethanol transloading might impact the environment for those residents who live nearby at Cameron Station and other residential properties. However, Norfolk Southern has been at this location for more then 20-plus years long before Cameron Station and other condos/schools were built in that neighborhood. Further, the Surface Transportation Act supercedes local law movement by rail and the city of Alexandria lost its lawsuit against Norfolk Southern about six years over the same issue.

A Vital Part of the Rich History of Alexandria

After living in the Boston area for many years, I returned to Alexandria about six years ago. Having an opportunity to witness the tremendous growth of the city has been a phenomenal experience. I have walked down streets I frequented, as a child of color, with a sense of nostalgia that is sometimes overwhelming. I can still hear some of the old voices of my youth speaking as I pass homes that are so familiar and yet so foreign. I still remember some of the catchy rhymes my father said and sang as we walked on the Hill to visit relatives and friends. I can still feel my hand in my mother’s hand as we walked along enjoying the sights of the route chosen for the evening. We so often walked from North Alfred or North Fayette to “ The South side.”

Kindness On Bike Trail

To the Editor: In this fast-paced world it is easy to become cynical and concerned with what has been dubbed as the “me” generation. However, this notion was dispelled one early morning, when a buddy and I went on a 25-mile bike ride on the W&OD, Custis and Mount Vernon Bike Trail. It was surprising how many young and older riders use the trail, many commuting to work.

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Making Learning Fun

The students chattered and compared paint colors as they strolled along the path at the Winkler Preserve on Friday, May 10, to launch hand-crafted model sail boats and play the cigar box guitars they had made over the past semester in their class through a joint effort by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation and Alexandria City Public Schools.

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Rebuilding Together Day

Volunteers rebuild homes for those in need.

More than 700 local volunteers took part in National Rebuilding Together Day April 27 to provide critical repairs and upgrades for low-income homeowners in Alexandria.

Opposition Heats Up over City's Plans for Founders Park

Council to be asked to amend current restrictions on special events.

The proposed amendment to allow special events in Founders Park took center stage at the May 10 annual meeting of the Founders Park Community Association. “I can't believe the city is proposing this,” said one attendee who asked to remain anonymous. “There should be more respect for Ellen Pickering, Chuck Hamel and Patricia Golubin for saving this land. The park would not exist at all if it weren't for their efforts back in the '70s.”

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Some Like It Haute

Old Town Theater hosts Boutique District Spring Style event

The Old Town Boutique District held a Spring Style party April 29 at the Old Town Theater to introduce media representatives from throughout the region to the retail offerings available in the historic district of Alexandria.

Vote in Spite of Election Fatigue

Primary voting, absentee voting, Republican convention

Absentee voting, including “in-person” absentee voting, is already underway for the June 11 primary, a statewide Democratic party primary for lieutenant governor and attorney general, plus one delegate race in Northern Virginia. Voters in the Democratic primary will choose between Ralph S. Northam and Aneesh Chopra for lieutenant governor; and between Mark R. Herring and Justin E. Fairfax for attorney general.

It’s All About Knowing the Options for Long-Term Care

While it may be something we don’t want to think about, we will probably be faced with making long-term care decisions. What happens if I get sick, and I can’t remain in my home? How can I stay in my home, and receive care? How will I pay for all of this? Knowing what the options are, how to make preparations, and putting things into place in advance can help. Last Thursday, Senior Services of Alexandria’s Speaker Series focused on this important topic. Panelists at the SSA event covered a wide range of long-term care services and support available here in Alexandria, as well as state-wide resources. David DeBiasi, AARP’s associate state director, framed the issue and spoke about the cost of care in Virginia. The audience heard from local service provider Adult Companion Care about in-home support, and also learned about the various options available for assisted living, continuing care and nursing home facilities. Kathy McNulty from Capital Care of Alexandria talked about when palliative or hospice care may be the right choice.

Forum To Address Mental Health Issues for Youth - Details

Mental Health Forum on Children and Youth Saturday, May 18

Forum To Address Mental Health Issues for Youth

We read about the tragic results of untreated mental illness everyday. The mass shootings at Newtown, Tucson, Aurora and Virginia Tech were all perpetuated by students or young people with reported mental health issues. The effects of mental illness are not always so high profile — most people with mental illness are non-violent — but for the 1 in 17 Americans living with a serious mental illness the consequences are significant. Our youth are particularly hard hit. Mental illness frequently strikes when people are young with 50 percent the cases of mental illness starting by the time an individual is 14 and three quarters by the age of 24. The consequences can be devastating. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people ages 10-24. More than 90 percent of those who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder.

Bulletin Board

Absentee Voting Opens On Tuesday June 11, there will be a Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Absentee voting for the primary began Friday, April 26. Many Alexandria voters are eligible to vote absentee, but relatively few take advantage of this option. Qualifying circumstances: commute and work for 11 of the 13 hours the polls are open; caregiver for a confined family member; unable to go to the polls in person on Election Day because of an illness or disability; or will be absent from Alexandria on Election Day because of personal business, work, school, or vacation. To learn more about these, and other circumstances in which absentee voting is an appropriate option, visit alexandriava.gov/Elections and click on “Absentee Voting,” or call 703-746-4050.

Old Town Farmers’ Market Welcomes SNAP/EBT Beneficiaries

The City of Alexandria’s Old Town Farmers’ Market is participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. As a result, SNAP customers will be able to use their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and other eligible food products at the market.

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Embracing Breast Cancer Awareness

Brem Foundation addresses key issues for women.

In celebration of Mother’s Day, and to raise awareness about breast health in the global community, an international cadre of 60 women, in addition to members of Brem Foundation to Defeat Breast Cancer, gathered at the Alexandria home of Shaista Mahmood on Wednesday, May 8 for “Coffee & Conversation with Dr. Rachel Brem.”

Celebrating Stravinsky’s Legacy with ASO

Classical composer Pierre Boulez anointed Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1913) as the genuine “birth certificate” of modernism. Many scholars have commented on Stravinsky’s uncanny ability to embody the new sound of his century — and of the modern era.

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Giving Where They Live

Associates of the Old Town Alexandria Keller Williams Realty participated in the fifth annual RED Day on Thursday, May 9. RED Day (Renew, Energize and Donate) was created to unite Keller Williams Realty offices and associates in an international day of service.

Alexandria and Mount Vernon Calendar May 15

Information on entertainment events going on in Alexandria and Mount Vernon.

Run for a Reason

Family Fun Day and 5K returns Sunday.

Join Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille for the 2nd Annual Family Fun Day and 5K on Sunday, May 19. Events include a timed 5K race with age group awards, a 1-mile kids’ course, a Tot Trot for those under 5 (100 yards), and a 5K walk. Cash prizes for top three male/female ($100, $75, $50) 5K finishers will be awarded.

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Joe Guiffre: Retired But Still Connected

Responsibility means taking active role in the community.

For more than six decades Joe Guiffre has been involved in the business, civic and religious life of his community. That’s why he is a 2013 Living Legend of Alexandria.

Monday, May 13

Entertainment Calendar of Events In Alexandria

Del Ray Artisans Fundraiser, Old Dominion Boat Club fundraiser gala, and other listed events

Announcements: School Notes

Email announcements to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos are welcome.

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Laurel Hill Golf Club To Host National Tournament

U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship coming to Lorton.

Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton will host a national golf tournament this summer — the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. The U.S. Golf Association will stage the tournament July 15–20. More than 3,000 players will attempt to qualify for the championship at 71 different locations throughout the country in June.

Letter: Westgrove Park and River Towers

Westgrove Park Off Leash Dog Area (OLDA) proves its worth.

Letters to the Editor: Park Entrance

Fido’s joyous romp in West Grove Park’s new unleashed dog area might easily become a tragic auto accident. [“Barking Up The Right Tree,” May 2.] A crucial stipulation of a Fairfax County police officer’s park traffic hearing testimony could prevent that, however: Because Fort Hunt Road’s immediate north and southbound approaches to the park are the center section of a blind S curve, the officer stipulated only entry and exit right turns be permitted. No left turns into or out of the park should be allowed.

Preparing for 7th Annual Runway Ready

Students in the West Potomac Academy fashion design program are busy this week making final decisions and preparations for the upcoming Runway Ready “Concept to Catwalk” fashion show on Friday, May 10.

Hyland: Let People Vote on Meals Tax

Troubled by the Board of Supervisors’ recent decision to increase the property tax rate and its over-reliance on that source to make up for shortfalls in the county’s growing financial needs, Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland once again urged his board colleagues to support placing on the fall election ballot a referendum to approve a meals tax, which he calls more fair than the real estate tax.

Bulletin Board

Email announcements to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Thursday at noon.

Ryan Bingham

Ryan Bingham brings his rock/country/Americana sounds to the Birchmere Friday night.

Obituary: John W. Merck

John W. Merck died on March 9, 2013, at age 87. Friends are invited to funeral services at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, in the Memorial Chapel, Ft. Myer, Arlington, followed by military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Faces Full of Fun

The green at T.C. Williams High School was full of fun and games, music and books as the annual Titan Expo got underway on Sunday afternoon, May 5. All proceeds from the annual fair support the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.

Friday, May 10

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Alexandria & Mount Vernon Real Estate: Top Sales in March 2013

In March 2013, 189 Alexandria homes sold between $3,200,000-$111,000 and 108 homes sold between $1,325,000-$56,820 in the Mount Vernon area.

Alexandria & Mount Vernon Top Sales in March 2013

Thursday, May 9

Editorial: Some Limits, More Disclosure

Virginia does not benefit from elected officials being awash in cash donations and gifts.

Virginia got a failing grade for vulnerability to corruption. Corruption in the commonwealth is probably not any more rampant than voter fraud, as we said last year. But in terms of practices that could undermine trust, Virginia has vast room for improvement.

Obituary: David Edward Jacobs, Jr.

David Edward Jacobs, Jr. of Boca Raton, Fla., formerly of Alexandria, died Feb. 10, 2013 surrounded by his loving wife and family members.

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Emergent Art for Mom

Suggesting gifts for Mother’s Day.

Emergent art can make a cherished gift for mom this Mother’s Day, yet finding the right tone or subject can be difficult. According to a trio of emergent Alexandria artists, landscape paintings make for thoughtful gifts as they bring to mind powerful connections to previous experiences.

Letter to the Editor: Unintended Consequences

There is an old adage that says that you should never enact a law you don’t intend to enforce. Well that’s exactly what our august council has done with their approval of a pilot program disallowing all left hand turns at the Union and King street intersection.

Letter to the Editor: Unnecessary Legal Expense

Hooray for whistleblowers at City Hall! They point out how our taxpayer money can be protected/used more effectively.

Letter to the Editor: Home-Grown Candidates

I would like to make all Alexandrians aware of two dedicated, home-grown candidates running for constitutional offices in Alexandria — Dana Lawhorne for Sheriff and Bryan Porter for Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Letter to the Editor: A City’s Priorities

A front-page story in a recent Gazette Packet recalled that T.C. Williams High School, the multi-million-dollar citadel of learning on upper King Street, has been described as a “persistently lower achieving school.”

Another Vision for Landmark Mall

Public listens to latest revitalization effort.

The old adage, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," was on public display Wednesday night, May 1, at Landmark Mall when the latest iteration of a proposed revitalization was submitted to public scrutiny and comment. Even the public comments, written and spoken, echoed past sentiments.

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School Board to Reconsider Middle School Reorganization

Members ask superintendent to evaluate four years of middle school data.

When students arrived at Hammond Middle School for the first day of classes in the fall of 2009, they were stepping into three different schools: Hammond 1, Hammond 2 and Hammond 3.

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Alexandria City Council Approves Historic Tax Increase

After ousting two Republicans, all Democratic council hikes tax rate four cents.

Members of the Alexandria City Council unanimously supported a historic four-cent hike in the tax rate this week, raising the average residential property tax bill $314 to $4,888.

Business Matters

A quiet stretch of Eisenhower Avenue is about to get a new lease on life — nightlife, to be exact.

Wednesday, May 8

Classified Advertising May 8, 2013

Read the lastest ads here!

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Spring for Alexandria 2013

Serving the community.

For three days, thousands of Alexandrians came together for the 6th Annual Spring for Alexandria, a citywide weekend of events that focuses on giving and service throughout the community. Co-sponsored by ACT for Alexandria, Volunteer Alexandria, the Alexandria Jaycees and the City of Alexandria, the series of events kicked off May 2 with the ACT Generations of Giving Gala at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.

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Sengel Honored

SAR presents Law Enforcement award.

The George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution awarded the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal to Commonwealth's Attorney S. Randolph Sengel for his distinguished career enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Sengel was presented the award April 27 in a ceremony at Belle Haven Country Club. He has served as a prosecutor in Alexandria since 1979 and was first elected Commonwealth's Attorney in 1997.

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Honoring Those Who Serve

Ceremony pays tribute to fallen officers.

Dozens of active duty and retired law enforcement personnel joined Chief of Police Earl Cook and Sheriff Dana Lawhorne as they placed a wreath at the Police Memorial in Waterfront Park May 6 to pay tribute to Alexandria police officers and sheriff's deputies who have died in the line of duty. Cook read each of the 16 names inscribed on the memorial, dating back to Constable Elijah Chenault, who was the first reported officer killed in the city in 1823, and ending with Corporal Charles W. Hill, who was slain in March of 1988.

Changes Under Foot

Old Town Masterpieces closing after 35 years.

They grew up together in Iran, and in 1971, Ahmed Loghmanian and Hossien Garakyaraghi made the move to America to study at George Washington University. But it wasn't long before the pull of the family business back home beckoned them to open Old Town Masterpieces, a landmark Oriental rug store closing its doors after 35 years in business. “I think he met George Washington,” Loghmanian said in jest to Garakyaraghi, his lifelong friend and brother-in-law. “That's how long we've been here.”

Raising Healthy Children with Healthy Minds

Back in 2011 President Obama announced the creation of a National Prevention Strategy, a comprehensive country-wide plan to increase the number of Americans who are healthy, both mentally and physically at every step of their lives. In the wake of Newtown, a new discussion erupted over mental health and the need to improve services. That was wonderful news to advocates, families and those with mental illnesses themselves. But it soon became obvious that in many circles what political leaders were talking about was not more and better services that would guarantee good mental health for everyone, but putting people away without due process, in other words a return to those past practices that destroyed people’s minds and lives as well as their families.

Sophomore Transfer Obregon Adjusts to Help Ireton Girls’ Lax

Cardinals advance to WCAC semifinals.

The Bishop Ireton girls' lacrosse team entered the WCAC tournament as the No. 2 seed.

The Astonishing Motor 8

In less than two weeks, May 20 to be exact, the final segment in the brutal and senseless shooting of an Alexandria police officer gets under way in the city’s Franklin P. Backus Courthouse. Officer Peter Laboy was shot in the head on routine daytime duty, suffering a catastrophic brain injury, on Feb. 27. This story has resonated around the Commonwealth and throughout the nation and generated thousands of prayers on his behalf.

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Esten Concert Raises $22,000

A night of songs, jokes and nostalgia in Old Town benefits T.C. Williams grads.

The Durant Arts Center multipurpose room rarely gets as glamorous as it did on Friday night, May 3, when The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria ushered Charles “Chip” Esten onto its brightly lit stage. The “Nashville” star, who plays Deacon Claybourne on the hit series, informed the audience of Alexandrians that though he would be whoever they wanted him to be that night at autograph time — Deacon, Charles or Chip — he was the boy they knew. “It’s Chip not Charles. It’s Puskar,” said the star as he walked on.

Absentee Voting Starts Now for Democratic Primaries

Primaries held for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

The State Board of Elections reported Monday, May 6, that absentee voting began for the June 11, 2013 primary and all localities met the required 45-day deadline for mailing absentee ballots to voters.

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Helping Those Who ‘Can’t Catch a Break’

Community support for Northern Virginia Family Services grows during tough economic times.

“Most of us here lead privileged lives. You can and should make a difference in Northern Virginia.” —Earle Williams

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Women Mean Business

In the two months since the much-hyped and dreaded sequester took effect, the daily economic forecast has been almost as painful as the slow grinding of bureaucratic wheels. But here’s some good economic news, especially for aspiring female entrepreneurs: the numbers are in your favor.

Alexandria Bulletin Board May 8

Information on events taking place in Alexandria.

Tuesday, May 7

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Governor McDonnell Endorses Springfield Site for FBI Headquarters

In letter to FBI director, McDonnell says Fairfax County site will advance “national security mission.”

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has publicly endorsed the Springfield warehouse site for the new FBI building headquarters. In an April 30 letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller and Dan Tangherlini, the acting administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, McDonnell said the federally owned warehouse is the best choice for a number of reasons.

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Great Falls Resident to Paddle the Potomac

Aryan Golzar will go on 400-mile journey to raise money for scholarship.

Growing up in Great Falls, Aryan Golzar always loved the Potomac River. The same 400-mile-long-plus waterway that led to settlements from the Chesapeake Bay to West Virginia drove his imagination during his formative years, and now it’s become something even more.

Friday, May 3

Classified Advertising May 1, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Thursday, May 2

Thomas M. Hughes Dies

Avid outdoorsman, devoted family man.

Tom Hughes wasn't going to let cancer rob him of his sense of humor.

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Obituary: Clydine M. Bridgeman

Clydine M. Bridgeman, 83, formerly of Alexandria, died of cancer on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at the Villas at Gulf Breeze, an assisted living facility in suburban Pensacola, Fla.

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Federal Officials Audit T.C. Williams to Follow $6 Million in Federal Funds

Three-year program dubbed school 'persistently lowest achieving.'

For two days this week, a team of federal officials from the U.S. Department of Education were in Alexandria to follow the money.

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Horse Trading at City Hall as Council Members Approach Budget Deadline

Warwick Pool to remain open for the short term; holiday lights to stay dim during the summer.

The Warwick Pool is likely to stay open for another year, although what happens beyond that is a mystery. But the holiday lights along King Street will likely go dark during the summer months, despite one councilwoman's longtime quest to persuade her colleagues otherwise.

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A Firehouse Mystery: Who Vandalized Two Antique Dalmatian Statues?

Two separate statues damaged on opposite sides of Old Town in late-night crime.

Ever since they were donated to the two Old Town fire stations a few weeks ago, the antique Dalmatian statues have stood as silent witnesses to the life of Alexandria's firefighters.

Wednesday, May 1

SSSA Pitcher Sargent Reaches 1,000 Career Strikeouts

Saints hurler reaches milestone in fourth varsity season.

St. Stephen's & St. Agnes pitcher Alexis Sargent reached 1,000 career strikeouts during a no-hit performance against Holy Child on April 18.

33 Variations’

The genius of Beethoven at LTA

Was it genius or obsession? From the pen of Moises Kaufman, author of “The Laramie Project” and “Gross Indecency; The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde,” The Little Theatre of Alexandria debuts “33 Variations,” where eminent musicologist Katherine is determined to discover the reason Beethoven spent so much time writing a series of variations on a second-rate waltz he once described as “a cobbler’s patch.”


Witty wordplay at MetroStage.

Novelist Franklin Woolsey is a stickler for punctuation. He insists that the hyphen in “gentleman-farmer” suggests a dual nature, thus revealing the subtle meaning behind the hyphenated title of Michael Hollinger’s “Ghost-Writer,” a brilliant, witty production making its Washington-area debut at MetroStage. Not to be confused with the Roman Polanski film of the same name — without the hyphen — Hollinger’s tale is set in 1919 in Woolsey's one-room office in New York City. Much to the chagrin of his wife, Woolsey (Paul Morella) has hired Myra Babbage (Susan Lynskey) to type his novels as he dictates them.

Charles Esten: From Alexandria to 'Nashville'

May 3 show at the Durant Arts Center features Esten's new, original songs, benefits The Alexandria Scholarship Fund.

Charles "Chip" Esten, an Alexandria boy from age 8 who plays Deacon Claybourne on the ABC hit show "Nashville," likes to think of songwriting like it's farming. "I love the farming as much as I love the crops, I love doing it as much as what you get out of it," said Esten, speaking of his love for the writing process as much as the record deals and shows that it can yield. The 47-year-old actor, comedian and singer-songwriter credits Alexandria, in part, for helping him fall in love with the city of Nashville, because of its "Virginia qualities." Charles "Chip" Esten, an Alexandria boy from age 8 who plays Deacon Claybourne on the ABC hit show "Nashville," likes to think of songwriting like it's farming. "I love the farming as much as I love the crops, I love doing it as much as what you get out of it," said Esten, speaking of his love for the writing process as much as the record deals and shows that it can yield. The 47-year-old actor, comedian and singer-songwriter credits Alexandria, in part, for helping him fall in love with the city of Nashville, because of its "Virginia qualities."

Barking Up The Right Tree

Community supports dogs’ continued use of Westgrove Park.

Approximately 100 citizens attended the Park Authority’s public hearing Tuesday night, April 30, to discuss the proposed master plan for the Westgrove Park, off of Fort Hunt Road and adjacent to Belle View Elementary School. Although some residents and organizations expressed reservations and concerns, the majority of attendees and speakers supported the creation of the off leash dog area at Westgrove Park. Opposition was minor, with the bulk of the criticism aimed at fine tuning the proposal. The next step for the Park Authority staff is to review the residents’ comments and modify their proposal before submitting to the Park Authority Board for its review and final vote.

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Cook Off Benefits Carpenter’s Shelter

More than 600 people crossed the threshold of the Birchmere to attend the 11th annual Carpenter’s Shelter Cook-Off fundraiser on Sunday afternoon, April 28.

Letters to the Editor

Still No Citizen Oversight

To the Editor: Fairfax County is one of the largest jurisdictions in our country without an independent Citizen Complaint Review Board (CCRB) to investigate citizen allegations of police abuse, misconduct, negligence and civil rights violations. With the county’s more than one million residents and 1,360 sworn police officers, Fairfax County stands alone when compared to other similar jurisdictions regarding CCRBs.

Letters to the Editor

6,750 Bags Of Thanks

To the Editor: The following open letter is addressed to the Mount Vernon High School Community. The 2013 Combined Parent Council (CPC), many parents, Mount Vernon High School faculty members, and MVHS student volunteers sold over 6,750 bags of mulch on Saturday April 20, raising over $15,000 towards the 2013 MVHS All Night Graduation Party

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New Beginning at Cemetery

New Beginning at Cemetery

Anywhere else in the city, it would appear out-of-place in size and design. But being the lodge — or gatehouse, as many say — at the entrance to Alexandria National Cemetery, the building is a perfect fit. Montgomery C. Meigs, Quartermaster General of the Army, is remembered for ordering that Federal troops be buried all over the plantation estate of Robert E. Lee. Today, that place is Arlington National Cemetery.

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board May 1

Information on events taking place in Mount Vernon.

Alexandria and Mount Vernon Calendar May 1

Entertainment events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon.

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Girl Scouts Enjoy Aquatic-Themed Party

Girl Scouts from the Pride of the Potomac Service Unit had a shell of a good time at the Under the Sea Girl Scout Birthday dance, March 16 at Charles Houston Recreation Center in Alexandria.

New Beginning at Cemetery

Lodge to be resurrected.

Anywhere else in the city, it would appear out-of-place in size and design. But being the lodge — or gatehouse, as many say — at the entrance to Alexandria National Cemetery, the building is a perfect fit.

Letter to the Editor: Closed Door Meeting

Just received an e-mail flyer promoting the next “What’s Next Alexandria” community dialogue on April 30 at the First Baptist Church Activity Center on King Street.

Letter to the Editor: Fiscal Voice Wanted

Re: "Loaded With Debt" Alex. Gazette Packet, April 25, 2013. I hope that all those who voted the Republicans off the City Council are satisfied — actually I hope they are scared for our city — we all should be.

Letter to the Editor: Steer Away From Option B

Soon the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station environmental impact statement (EIS) will be issued in draft form.

Letter to the Editor: Need Places To Swim

I would like to second last week’s letter "Losing Pools" written by Bill Rivers. It is an unfortunate situation and even worse than he stated.

Letter to the Editor: Let Learning Live

Did you know: * Alexandria’s currently has around 146,000 residents, 30 percent of whom speak a language other than English at home.

Letter to the Editor: Support Titan Expo

Twenty-six years ago, the T.C. Williams’ Student Council Association (SCA) and the school’s Parent/Teacher Association (PTSA) came up with the idea of combining a school spirit carnival and white elephant sale to raise money for scholarships for T.C. Williams students.

Letter to the Editor: Anti-Consumer ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills

“Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic, and mendacious.” And that’s just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state’s “ag-gag” bill now awaiting governor’s signature.

Letter to the Editor: Successful Spring2ACTion

When was the last time when you invested in someone’s dream? Perhaps you are one of the 5,872 donors who contributed to Spring2ACTion, Alexandria’s Giving Day, on April 17.

Letter to the Editor: Recommending Some Cuts

Regarding the article in this week’s Alexandria Gazette, “Loaded With Debt” (April 25, 2013) this will be City Manager Young’s first budget since he became Alexandria city manager in 2012.

Letter to the Editor: Democratic Role of Libraries

I am writing to express my deep concern at the City Council’s plan to cut funding for our local libraries in order to fund a Bikeshare program.

Letter to the Editor: Inept Regulation

Ellen Latane Tabb’s letter [“Focus on Needs, Not Wants,” April 25] criticizes city hall for subsidizing BikeShare, a private membership bicycle rental company.

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Letter to the Editor: Youthful Trumpeter

Saturday, April 27, was a sunny day for many musicians playing along the dock of Old Town Alexandria waterfront, but this day was a little different.

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Charlie Named 2013 Tavern Dog

Charlie, a rescued dog and an American foxhound, took top honors at the annual Gadsby’s Tavern Dog competition Saturday afternoon, April 27, in Market Square.

Got Food?

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive set for May 11

The nation's largest single-day food drive will take place on Saturday, May 11, when postal workers in Alexandria will join others across the country in the 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Column: About Long-Term Care

What everyone needs to know.

Long-term care is a hot topic for Baby Boomers and others who are caring for elderly parents or loved ones or thinking about their future and the possibility of needing long-term care.

Local Couple Writes ‘Love at First Flight’

Book captures their lives, from a pilot’s stories to courtship.

Three years after beginning the writing process, Alexandria residents Bud and Fran Orr saw the official release of their book “Love at First Flight” in bookstores and online book offerings. A true story surrounding their courtship and marriage during the Vietnam War, “Love at First Flight” hit Amazon.com and the shelves of Barnes and Noble in January.