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Victoria Ross

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Senator Kaine Hosts Interfaith Forum

Senator Tim Kaine spends last day before VP pick showing why Virginia matters.

No one knew it at the time, but Sen. Timothy M. Kaine’s (D-Va.) public appearances moderating roundtables in Northern Virginia last Thursday, July 21 would be his last day of relative political anonymity before being catapulted to political prominence 24 hours later as Hillary Clinton’s pick for her Vice-Presidential running mate.

Sarvis: Warner-Gillespie Debate ‘Disappointing’

Libertarian candidate says chamber’s decision to include only major-party candidates in U.S. Senate debate a “disservice” to voters.

After a full day of campaigning at Fort Belvoir on Friday, Oct. 11, Robert Sarvis talked about his campaign for U.S. Senate, and his disappointment in not being invited to participate in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Debate — a major televised debate hosted by The Fairfax Chamber at Capitol One’s convention center in McLean. “The Fairfax Chamber informed us that it was nothing other than ‘tradition’ to only invite major party candidates,” Sarvis said. “But this was after we formally requested an invitation, noted that over 145,000 Virginians voted for Robert Sarvis for governor in 2013, and sent them a petition signed by over 1,000 Virginians in support of a three-candidate debate.”

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Warner, Gillespie Clash in U.S. Senate Debate

Stark distinctions on same-sex marriage, immigration, abortion and healthcare.

In front of an audience of Northern Virginia business leaders, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Republican challenger Ed Gillespie honed their attacks on each other during a sharp, wide-ranging debate Tuesday evening, Oct. 7.

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Heads Up Football Flourishing in Fairfax County

Program reduces concussion risk by teaching players to take the “head” out of tackling.

It wasn’t that long ago when youth football coaches believed a player’s toughness was measured by his ability to play through the pain. Concussions and other serious injuries were just “part of the game.”

You Can Run, But You Can’t Win?

Fairfax County fires attorney for winning city council seat.

Like many lifelong City of Fairfax residents, Nancy Fry Loftus is proud of her hometown’s character and charm — a Norman Rockwell postcard of small-town life in the heart of an increasingly urban, diverse and bustling region.

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What’s Offensive about Redskins Pride?

Absolutely nothing, if you’re state Sen. Chap Petersen.

A lifelong Redskins fan, Fairfax state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) has had it up to here with all the talk about the need to change the name of his beloved football team. He vented his frustration and indignation on his blog — Ox Road South — but said he was leery of tackling what he deemed the forces of political correctness in the "War Against the Redskins" until June 18, when the Federal Patent Office blocked the team’s Redskins trademarks, declaring that the name was "disparaging" to Native Americans at the time the trademarks were registered — as far back as 1967. That action pushed Petersen off the sidelines to lead an offensive attack.

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Meals Tax: Tasty or Revolting?

Supervisors digest task force’s final report on hot-button issue.

After hours of simmering debate, the Meals Tax Referendum Task Force’s presentation to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Tuesday was a mere amuse-bouche, whetting the appetite of board the for the group’s 170-page multi-course written report.

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Eat. Drink. Pay?

Fairfax County task force debates voters’ appetite for another meals tax referendum.

It has been 22 years since Fairfax County asked voters to approve a tax on restaurant meals, an issue that ignited protests, caused deep divisions among community leaders and threatened to melt down several political careers. The reverberations of that epic failure — what many consider the third rail of county politics — continue to echo in the ears of county politicians.

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Mr. Horejsi Goes to Richmond

In the fight for social justice with patience and persistence.

Every year, dozens of high-priced lobbyists descend on Virginia’s state capitol.

Board Advertises Higher Tax Rate

Rate gives board flexibility, options in determining final budget.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 Tuesday to advertise a higher real estate tax rate that could add about $100 to annual tax bills, which will be on top of the $332 county homeowners will see this year as a result of higher real estate assessments. Setting the advertised tax rate formally begins the two-month public process to adopt the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, and the rate represents the maximum potential tax rate for FY2015.

Preventing Teen Suicides

Recent deaths shine light on FCPS suicide prevention programs.

Every 15 seconds, a teen in the United States tries to commit suicide. Every 90 minutes, one succeeds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011.

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Bulova: ‘This Will Be a Challenging Budget’

Fairfax County average homeowner will see tax bill increase $330 under County Executive’s proposed $7 billion budget.

Fairfax County Executive Edward Long, Jr. unveiled a $7 billion budget proposal Tuesday that reflects his "cautious and deliberative approach to budgeting," a result, Long said, of continuing uncertainty over federal spending and sluggish commercial tax revenues.

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How Red Is the 10th District?

Wolf’s retirement sparks crowded political stage as both parties vie for coveted Congressional seat.

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s announcement in December that he would not seek reelection to an 18th term in Congress came as a surprise to both Republicans and Democrats. Wolf’s retirement notice instantly set off a feeding frenzy among politicians maneuvering to gain the Northern Virginia Congressional seat.

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Into the Budget Fray

Bulova highlights accomplishments, challenges in annual address.

Despite the lingering impact of an anemic economy, and the regional ripple effects of federal sequestration, Fairfax County residents will see some concrete signs of progress this year.

Let Sun Shine on Virginia’s Financial Disclosure Laws

State legislators turn attention to ethics in wake of McDonnell gift scandal.

As members of the Virginia General Assembly convene for the first time since last February, legislators are stampeding to introduce ethics legislation in response to the gift scandal which engulfed then Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). The revelations last spring about numerous undisclosed gifts and purported loans from businessman Jonnie Williams to McDonnell — including a $6,500 Rolex watch engraved to the "71st Governor of Virginia" and $35,000 in gifts and catering for his daughters’ weddings — shined a spotlight on Virginia’s porous financial disclosure laws.

Every Tweet Counts

How Republican Brian Schoeneman earned wrath of his party by making sure every vote counted in county.

On the morning of Nov. 6, the day after the general election, it appeared that Republican Mark Obenshain had eked out a razor-thin victory over Democrat Mark Herring to become Virginia’s next Attorney General. Like most hotly-contested political battles, the close race generated even closer scrutiny.

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Library’s Beta Plan: Dead on Arrival

Supervisors endorse Library Board’s recommendations to increase funding, discard beta plan.

"You can assume that the BETA Plan is dead. I will make that motion tomorrow." In her email to a concerned library patron the night before the Board of Supervisors Nov. 19 meeting, Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-at-large) put to rest speculation that the board would resuscitate the controversial beta plan aimed at streamlining the county’s library system.

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Fairfax County Wants You

County launches "Transportation Dialogues" to get feedback on public’s priorities.

Not since 1987 — when today’s 40-something motorists were newly-minted drivers — has Fairfax County seen any new revenue stream for its traffic-choked roadways or relief for the region’s chronic gridlock.

Stacey Kincaid Elected County’s First Female Sheriff

Kincaid, a Vienna resident, pledges commitment to diversity, department’s employees and community outreach programs.

Democrat Stacey Kincaid, a 26-year-veteran of the sheriff’s department, made local history Tuesday by becoming Fairfax County’s first female sheriff.

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Battleground? Not Exactly

Competitive state races gave voters more choices, but they stick with incumbents over challengers.

Every two years, Virginia holds all of its statewide elections.

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Denim Do-gooders Help Put Zip on Homelessness

Deltek hosts “challenge breakfast” to turn $5 into $25,000.

Casual Friday got a twist on Friday, Oct. 18, as thousands of employees throughout Fairfax County became denim do-gooders by throwing on a pair of jeans to help prevent and end homelessness. Deltek, Inc., the Herndon-based global software and information solutions company, kicked off the third annual Jeans Day in Fairfax County by hosting a fundraising breakfast. The company, founded in 1983 by Don deLaski and his son Kenneth, hosted one of the first Jeans Day events in Fairfax County. “We were excited to see Deltek host this challenge breakfast that welcomed businesses, nonprofits and other community leaders interested in helping to make jeans day a huge success this year,” said Dean Klein, director of Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH). “Even though we continue to have great support from longtime supporters, we also saw so much energy and enthusiasm from new partners.”

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What’s in a Name?

Virginia legislators work with Korean American groups to push for “East Sea” in textbooks.

Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) may be light years apart on most issues, but on one issue they’ve reached a consensus. Last month, they both pledged support to Virginia’s growing population of Korean Americans to use the dual names of “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” to denote the body of water between Korea and Japan in Virginia’s textbooks. Koreans view the “Sea of Japan” designation as a legacy of Japanese colonial rule. Currently, more than 2.5 million Korean-Americans reside in the U.S. and nearly 150,000 of them live in Virginia. “As governor, going forward, I will wholeheartedly support the effort … to have our textbooks and other teaching materials reflect the concurrent names as we pursue education excellence in Virginia,” Cuccinelli wrote in a Sept. 16 letter to the Korean Community of Virginia. “As governor, I will ensure that as new texts are purchased or downloaded, they reflect this important historical truth …,” McAuliffe wrote to the Korean Community of Virginia on Sept. 25. For the past year, state Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37) has been leading Virginia’s legislative efforts to add the “East Sea” in public school textbooks.

Residential Studios Put on Hold

Supervisors establish committee, plan additional public outreach.

At the recommendation of Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-Large) and Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday deferred its Nov. 20 public hearing on a proposed residential studios (RSUs) amendment to conduct additional community outreach.

Now What?

Fairfax County braces for “domino effect” of federal government shutdown.

“We live in a ‘company town’ and the company is the federal government, so most of us have family and friends who are federal employees or contractors impacted by this shutdown,” Long said in a memo emailed to county employees Tuesday. Long said his biggest concern was the “domino effect” the shutdown will have on the local economy, and “the short-term uncertainty that will impact business decisions.”

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Social Justice Matters

SALT forum gives candidates a chance to tell voters where they stand on social justice issues.

But one group also thinks voters should know where candidates stand on social justice issues when they go to the polls Nov. 5. “Our elected officials have a great deal of influence on the common good, so it’s reasonable that we find out where candidates stand on these issues,” said John Horejsi, founder of SALT (Social Action Linking Together), a non-partisan, faith-based advocacy group started in 1983.

Residential Studios Put on Hold

Supervisors establish committee, plan additional public outreach.

At the recommendation of Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-Large) and Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 24 deferred its Nov. 20 public hearing on a proposed residential studios (RSUs) amendment to conduct additional community outreach. The board also established a Planning Commission Residential Studios Committee.

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Wear Jeans to Work, Help End Homelessness

Register now to participate in Jeans Day Fairfax on Oct. 18.

Just by wearing jeans to work, you can actively help nearly 3,000 men, women and children in Fairfax County who face homelessness and hunger every day. On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Friday, Oct. 18 “Jeans Day Fairfax,” the third annual Jeans Day event in Fairfax County.

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Navy Yard Shootings Hit Close to Home

Four Fairfax County victims killed in Washington Navy Yard rampage.

“Marty was a kind and caring man. He had such a sweet spirit and was in every way a man that lived his life to honor Christ.” —Pastor Steve Holley of Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield

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A New Beginning for Fairfax County Public Libraries?

Library trustees vote to discard beta plan in favor of more public outreach sessions.

On Wall Street, a “beta” test refers to assessing the risk, volatility and expected return of a particular portfolio. If Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) officials had a crystal ball to assess the volatility of its planned beta tests this fall, it’s likely they may have steered clear of the project that became a quagmire of epic proportions.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

County suspends discarding of library books.

Just when Sam Clay, Fairfax County’s Public Library director, thought FCPL’s public image couldn’t get any worse, Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) released photos of bins filled to the brim with discarded library books.

Roessler Named County Police Chief

New police chief vows focus on diversity.

Edwin C. Roessler, named Fairfax County's police chief at Tuesday's Board of Supervisor's meeting, promised to launch a Diversity Council in an effort to recruit, promote and respond to Fairfax County's increasingly diverse community.

Fairfax County Animal Shelter Temporarily Suspends Intake of Dogs

Canine influenza suspected culprit after dozen dogs become ill.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter has temporarily suspended its intake of dogs, after one dog died of pneumonia and about a dozen more dogs have exhibited symptoms of an unspecified upper respiratory illness.

Petersen to Governor: Explain, Deny, Return or Resign

Petersen first Virginia legislator to suggest McDonnell resign over alleged wrongdoing in accepting gifts from prominent donor.

The tipping point for state Sen. J. Chap Petersen (D-34) was the $6,500 Rolex watch.

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Housing's Roaring Rebound?

In February, Patricia Stack, a broker with Weichert Realtors, held an open house for a single-family home for sale in Vienna just listed for $739,000. Within three hours, more than 70 people toured the home.

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Housing’s Roaring Rebound?

Pent-up demand creates seller’s market for Northern Virginia real estate.

In February, Patricia Stack, a broker with Weichert Realtors, held an open house for a single-family home for sale in Vienna just listed for $739,000. Within three hours, more than 70 people toured the home. “The home went under contract substantially above list price,” Stack said. “2013 has started with a bang in Northern Virginia real estate. In fact, it appears to be a market more like 2005-2006 than anything we've seen since,” Stack said.

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Housing’s Roaring Rebound?

Pent-up demand creates seller’s market for Northern Virginia real estate.

In February, Patricia Stack, a broker with Weichert Realtors, held an open house for a single-family home for sale in Vienna just listed for $739,000. Within three hours, more than 70 people toured the home.

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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.

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.

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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.

‘We Have Not Forgotten’

Residents rally in Vienna to support stricter gun control measures.

Less than six miles from the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, more than 100 people gathered on the Vienna Town Green Saturday, April 13, to urge Congress to support stricter gun control measures.

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Fairfax County’s Homeless Population Declines 12 Percent

Emphasis on rapid re-housing, prevention keys to success.

Despite economic obstacles and fallout from across-the-board sequester cuts, Fairfax County’s number of homeless individuals declined 12 percent decline in the past year, and 26 percent since 2007.

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Better Training, More Technology

The bipartisan commission released findings, recommendations regarding long lines on Election Day.

"The commission has identified a variety of improvements and efficiencies to ensure access and convenience for voters in future elections.” —Sharon Bulova

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Four Northern Virginia Senators Targeted

Redistricting effort puts Fairfax County seats in the spotlight.

Four Northern Virginia state Senators are targets of a Republican-led effort to draw new districts — Sen. George Barker (D-39), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37), Sen. Toddy Puller (D-36) and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34). Democrats say the redistricting effort is a cynical attempt to take advantage of the absence of Sen. Henry Marsh (D-16), a prominent civil rights veteran, who was in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration on Monday. But state Sen. John Watkins (R-10) of Powhatan defended the effort as a way to create a sixth majority black Senate district in Southside. It passed the Senate on a 20-to-19 vote.

Tweens and Teens Have a Ball

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden host Kids Inaugural Concert to honor military families.

Teens, tweens and their parents danced in the aisles, on their chairs and around the stage at the star-studded, Kids' Inaugural Concert honoring military families on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Washington, D.C.

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Fairfax Families4Kids

Fostering bonds with children.

Nationwide, more than 463,000 children live in foster care. In many states, including Virginia, the number of foster youth has tripled in the last 25 years. As of Sept. 30, 2011, nearly 5,000 youth were in foster care in Virginia, according to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Physical abuse is the most common reason children enter foster, but it’s not the only reason. Often there’s emotional abuse, sexual abuse and the parent or caretaker’s inability to provide a safe environment due to substance abuse.

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A Family Made Whole

After a tragic loss, Reston couple creates a family through adoption.

The Granvilles look like a made-for-TV family. On a bright October afternoon, Chris, a computer engineer, is teasing his teenage son, Kenny, about what kind of pet to adopt, while Tiffany sits on a sofa, cradling Elijah, Kenny’s baby brother, who has just woken up from an afternoon nap. “Fish? No way,” Kenny, 15, says. “They just go ‘round and ‘round in a bowl.” Kenny is lobbying hard for a dog or—at the very least—a guinea pig or hamster.

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How the Powerless Access Power

Immigrants make significant gains in influencing political system.

On Election Night Nov. 6, Keisy Chavez’s nerves were frayed. The Fairfax single mom had been campaigning hard for Democrats since the official launch of Latinos for Obama last April.

Immigrant Experience Guides Success

Delegate Mark L. Keam

Del. Mark Keam (D-35) is the first Korean American and the first Asian-born immigrant to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.

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