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Victoria Ross | Stories

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Victoria Ross

Stories by Victoria

Immigrants Gain Influence in Virginia

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.

Enhanced Security Around Schools

FCPS releases message about Connecticut tragedy.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Superintendent Jack Dale sent an email message to all FCPS families and employees. He said the Fairfax County Police Department will be increasing patrols and visibility this week around all FCPS schools, including elementary schools, in response to Friday's tragedy in Connecticut.

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Going Casual for a Cause

Nearly 10,000 people and 130-plus organizations participate in Jeans Day 2012 to help end homelessness.

Nearly 10,000 residents representing 130 businesses, Fairfax County agencies, schools and organizations pulled on their favorite jeans Friday, Dec. 14 for the second annual Jeans Day—a powerful community initiative that aims to “Put the ZIP on Homelessness” through building awareness and fundraising.

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Area Votes for Obama, Kaine, House Incumbents

President Barack Obama wins second term, Kaine wins Senate seat, Moran, Wolf, Connolly re-elected.

In a bitter and historically expensive battle, President Barack Obama defeated Gov. Mitt Romney, winning a second term Tuesday after grabbing the key swing state of Virginia after midnight. With the addition of the Commonwealth’s 13 electoral votes – as well as those of Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin – Obama sailed over the electoral cliff with the critical 270 electoral votes he needed for victory.

Area Schools Closing in Face of Weather Threat

Threat of flooding, high winds from Hurricane Sandy prompts decision.

Better safe than sorry. Based on that philosophy, Fairfax County Public Schools announced early Sunday afternoon that all FCPS schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday because of the continuing threat of flooding and hurricane-force winds from Hurricane Sandy, a “rare hybrid storm” expected to make landfall on Monday.

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Fairfax County, VDOT File Suit Against EPA

New EPA rules will impact homeowners, developers and could cost taxpayers nearly $500 million.

Fairfax County and the state of Virginia filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, July 12, challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new storm water regulations for the Accotink watershed, claiming the agency’s requirements are costly, onerous and vastly exceed its legal authority.

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First County Shelter Becoming ‘Residences at Mondloch’

Mondloch House undergoes renovation, will include 20 affordable housing units.

Fairfax County’s focus on ending homelessness took a step forward this month when the county began renovating its first ever homeless shelter - Mondloch House - to increase housing opportunities for single adults.

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The Father Factor

Fairfax County’s "Fathers In Touch" program teaches men how to be fathers.

Calvin Robertson slams his fist down on the table and barks instructions to the 11 fathers seated around the table at the South Gate Community Center in Reston.

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Community Services Budget Under Scrutiny

$8 Million budget hole threatens programs, public review underway.

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, which provides social services to thousands of the county’s most vulnerable residents and has come under fire for an $8 million budget shortfall, was given a temporary reprieve by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

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Greeting New ‘Fellow Americans’

Fairfax County hosts fourth annual naturalization ceremony.

"My fellow Americans," U.S. Rep Gerry Connolly (D-11) said with gravitas, pausing to let the meaning sink in. And when it did, 75 immigrants - from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan - who had just raised their right hand and taken the Oath of Allegiance to become American citizens, erupted with applause and tears, waving American flags and hugging family members. They were gathered at the Fairfax County Government Center Friday, May 25, for the county’s fourth annual naturalization ceremony.

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Governor Signs Voter ID Bills

McDonnell directs state to send every voter a new voter card before Election Day.

Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) signed watered-down versions of Virginia’s Republican-backed voter identification bills on Friday, adding the Commonwealth to the growing list of states adopting stricter voting standards.

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Housing Discrimination Alert

Officials step up education, outreach efforts to reach immigrant communities about "fair housing" rights.

Housing discrimination cases have been on the rise in Fairfax County in the past few years. And the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs (OHREP), the agency that enforces fair housing laws in the county, is shining a spotlight on the problem through seminars for housing providers, realtors, community groups and other interested parties. "Sadly, housing discrimination is alive and well and we’ve seen an uptick in complaints during the past six years," said Kenneth Saunders, executive director of OHREP.

Alarm Over Fire Code at Shelters

Fairfax County officials respond to concerns about fire code violations at local shelters.

Spring fever hit the region early this year. Last week’s record-high temperatures had residents flocking outdoors to play, bike, jog and picnic.

Pleading for Restoring Funding for Human Services

Residents, agencies testify to need for community services.

After three years of deep budget cuts and declining revenue, Fairfax County is showing signs of fiscal equilibrium as property values and revenues begin a slow uphill climb.

Addressing ‘College Drinking Culture’

The Perils of the College Drinking Culture" forums continue through May.

It’s college decision time for Fairfax County seniors, and college-bound students and their parents are encouraged to attend an upcoming program that deals with binge drinking on college campuses. "The Perils of the College Drinking Culture" will be presented by the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County, in collaboration with the Fairfax County Police Department, in April and May at locations across the county.

Interest in Budget Slows as Economy Picks Up

Employee compensation, human service funding compete for attention.

Rising property values, a relatively low unemployment rate, and the lack of hot-button issues — such as full-day kindergarten — have reduced public involvement in Fairfax County’s proposed $6.7 billion budget compared to recent years, according to county leaders.

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A Mission of Mercy Helps Hundreds

More than 800 residents receive free dental services during two-day event.

The triage center at Saturday’s Mission of Mercy Dental health clinic resembled a modern-day MASH unit.

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Sense and a Sense of Civility

Cotillion teaches etiquette and social savvy to children and teens.

Ankles demurely crossed, the 5th and 6th grade girls sit posture-perfect in their colorful party dresses, white-gloved hands resting in their laps as they await an offer to dance.

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Scandal Highlights Child Sex Abuse

Fairfax County police say reports, concerns rose in wake of scandal.

The fallout from the Penn State child sex abuse scandal — arrests, firings and the disgrace of a sports icon — has also promoted a heightened awareness of child sexual abuse.

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United We Serve

Volunteer Fairfax mobilizes more than 1,100 residents to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

Sitting together at large round tables, children and their parents cut out pink and red paper hearts, pasting them on cards for nursing home patients, or stuffed socks and blankets into kits for the homeless.

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Therapeutic Riding Program Acquires Permanent Home

Equine therapy nonprofit purchases Little Full Cry Farm in Clifton.

The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program (NVTRP) recently announced the purchase of Little Full Cry Farm, a 17-acre property located in Clifton.

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Viewpoints: Volunteering on MLK Day

Residents of Fairfax County share their thoughts about MLK Day.

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Task Force Presents ‘Common Sense’ Proposals

Allowing schools to open before Labor Day part of task force recommendations.

Repeal of the "Kings Dominion law," which requires Fairfax County schools to obtain a state waiver to open schools before Labor Day, is high on the list of legislative priorities announced Monday, Jan. 16, by Governor Robert McDonnell.

$2.4 Billion School Budget Proposed

Budget includes new positions, salary increases to address growing student population.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Jack D. Dale presented a $2.4 billion budget proposal to the school board on Jan. 12, reflecting a nine percent – or $202.3 million increase - in next year’s operating budget.

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