> Database > 50 results for Fairfax

Americans scramble to file taxes in time

ABC 7 WJLA National News - Kris Van Cleave - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:18:06 EST

(WJLA) - Was it the drenching rain or a flood of technology? Either way, by mid-afternoon on April 15, the tax day traffic tie-up felt more like a trickle at the Merrifield Post Office.

For Nina Brown, there was no waiting at the drive-thru mailbox:

&ldquo:I was surprised, usually in the past they've had long lines out of the parking lot,": she says.

About 35 million Americans wait until the final days to file their taxes, but fewer than ever are actually heading to the post office. The IRS expects 85-percent of tax returns to be e-filed this year.

Still, John Bumpus did his the old-fashioned way:

":I've tried to e-file in the past and I've had problems...with all the hackings going on I thought it was best not to e-file this year.":

And while Bumpus was in and out in about five minutes, the same can&rsquo:t be said for those calling the IRS for help &ndash: with estimated hold times ranging from 30 to 60 minutes, it can be frustrating.

The Government Accountability office says the average wait time last year was 15.5 minutes &ndash: nearly half of all calls took longer than the IRS&rsquo: own goals for response time, and four in 10 never actually reached an agent.

The IRS blames this on :budgets and staffing cuts, but National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson isn't having any of it:

":I'm outraged...I feel that taxpayers have a right to quality service.":

Alex and Hanna Rojas didn&rsquo:t spend time calling the IRS, in part because they didn&rsquo:t have time to waste: hours before the deadline, they&rsquo:re at Liberty Tax Fairfax.

":I usually get it done ahead of time, [but] :this year we just got caught up with so many things,": says Alex.

And office general manager Juan Carlos Fierro knows it will be busy right up to the midnight deadline.

":We have an appointment at 10 p.m. tonight,": he tells us.



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United Way Donates $339,000 to Area Service Groups

Falls Church News-Press Online - - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:05:58 +0000

United Way of the National Capital Area announced last week that it is awarding 21 grants totaling $338,662 to member organizations serving the Fairfax and Falls Church areas. The funds came through designations to the Fairfax/Falls Church Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA’:s annual workplace giving campaign. Each of […:]

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Marshall High principal named tops in Fairfax for 2014

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:29:00 -0400

Wandering the hallways, popping into classrooms and getting to know students and faculty members personally have paid big dividends for George C. Marshall High School principal Jay Pearson.

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Police investigate standoff in Tysons Corner

Fox 5 WTTG News - - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:18:00 EDT

Fairfax County Police are investigating a standoff in Tysons Corner with a man they say threatened officers. Authorities are on the scene at an apartment building near Greensboro Drive and International Drive.

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Tysons Corner man barricaded inside apartment, threatening to shoot police

ABC 7 WJLA News - The Associated Press - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:49:13 EST

TYSONS CORNER, Va. (WJLA) - Fairfax County Police are dealing with a man who has barricaded himself inside an apartment building unit, threatening to shoot officers if they enter.

The man is barricaded in an apartment building off of International Drive in Tysons Corner. Police said that the Fairfax County SWAT team is en route to the building.

Police have also evacuated multiple floors of the building for a fire hazard. They did not say if that fire hazard was related to the man barricaded inside one of the apartment units.



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The World's Greatest Sports Coupes - Petersen Auto Museum

You Car Press - You Car Press - 2014-04-14T09:19:00.000Z

The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501 charity. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California 90036. Admission prices are $15 for general admission adults, $10 for seniors, $10 for students with ID, $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Museum members, active military with ID and children under three are admitted free. Vault tours are available for an additional $25, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes and $2.00 each additional 30 minutes. One hour validation with purchase of $10 or more in the Museum Store or Johnny Rockets located in the museum lobby.  Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Visit the Museum's Web site at: www.petersen.org The selected sports coupes and their celebrity curators are:   - 1948 Jaguar Custom "Black Pearl" chosen by Metallica's James Hetfield - 1954 Plymouth Explorer Concept chosen by film director and producer, Francis Ford Coppola - 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing chosen by world renowned car collector, Bruce Meyer - 1961 Aston Martin DB4 Zagato chosen by Jaguar's Director of Design, Ian Callum - 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO chosen by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason - 1963 Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso chosen by comedian and TV host, Adam Carolla - 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray chosen by Top Gear USA hosts: Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara and Rutledge Wood - 1964 Porsche 356SC chosen by actor and race car driver, Patrick Dempsey - 1967 Jaguar E-Type chosen by American racer and team owner, Bobby Rahal - 1968 Ford GT40 Mark III chosen by Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Disney, John Lasseter - 1974 Iso Grifo chosen by AC/DC's Brian Johnson - 1991 Acura NSX chosen by Motor Trend Magazine's Angus MacKenzie ► SUBSCRIBE NOW: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=youcarpress ► FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/youcarpress ► TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/youcartv ► GOOGLE+: http://plus.google.com/+YouCarPress

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Richardson, Dean endorse former Lt. Gov. Beyer for Rep. Moran's seat

Virginia WJLA - The Associated Press - Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:50:00 EST

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia lieutenant governor Don Beyer is picking up support from prominent national Democrats as he seeks a House seat in northern Virginia.

Beyer's campaign announced today that he's been endorsed by former U.S. Energy secretary and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

Beyer has also been endorsed by former presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Beyer is one of 11 Democrats seeking the seat being vacated by the retiring Jim Moran. The district includes Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County and is heavily Democratic.

Beyer's last run for office was a failed bid for governor in 1997. He served as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein from 2009 through last year.



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Fairfax officials extend length of school year to accommodate wintry weather

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Sun, 13 Apr 2014 08:04:00 -0400

Having failed to convince the Virginia Board of Education to grant a waiver, Fairfax County Public Schools has added a day to the end of the year to make up for the winter’s inclement conditions.

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Absentee voting underway for Vienna town elections

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Sun, 13 Apr 2014 08:07:00 -0400

In-person absentee voting in the May 6 Town of Vienna general election runs through May 3 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

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1st-quarter home sales softer in Fairfax than year before

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:29:00 -0400

Average prices edged up ever so slightly, but total home sales and market volume declined during the first quarter of 2014 from a year before in Fairfax County.

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Air marshal chief admits buying guns

WDBJ 7 National News - - Sat, 12 Apr 2014 05:55:48 GMT

The outgoing director of the Federal Air Marshal Service told CNN that he bought several guns from an employee under investigation over concerns he may have used his position to get free and discounted firearms.

But Robert Bray denied that he did anything wrong or that the probe is behind his decision to retire from the aviation security agency.

Bray said in a telephone interview that he bought four Sig Sauer handguns over a four- or five-year period through the air marshal service employee, a decision he now regrets because it has placed him under a cloud of suspicion.

"I've been in law enforcement for 39 years, 39 years. I've never had one allegation of misconduct," Bray said.

He listed the purchases and said he believed he paid full price.

"I have nothing to hide. I'm not trying to hide anything," Bray said.

A Transportation Security Administration source told CNN that an employee is under investigation for allegedly buying weapons at a discount and selling them to other employees.

TSA said the employee, Daniel Poulos, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Bray, who previously served with the Secret Service on presidential protection details, said he bought the guns from Poulos.

The air marshal service, which places armed, undercover agents on commercial flights, is part of the TSA. Both are under the Homeland Security Department.

Allegations that Bray and other top air marshal service officials inappropriately purchased handguns through the agency's point of contact with Sig Sauer have circulated in an anonymous email in recent months.

FoxNews.com, citing law enforcement and congressional sources, said Bray's recently announced retirement, effective in June, is directly related to the investigation. It said Bray's house was raided in December in connection with the ongoing probe.

But Bray and TSA spokesman David Castelveter told CNN that Bray's house was not raided.

Bray said Fairfax County, Virginia, police came to his house following a December burglary during which his TSA-issued gun was stolen. People may have confused that police investigation with a raid, he said.

"I reported that to the Fairfax County Police Department. It was my service weapon. It was in my briefcase. It was locked. It was in a secure (place)," he said.

Castelveter said the TSA is aware of allegations that Bray improperly purchased handguns "and we're looking into it."

The matter is being investigated by the TSA's Office of Inspections, he said.

"None of it has any basis in fact. It's not true and it's very disturbing to me," he said of suggestions he may have done something wrong.

Bray said he purchased four guns from SIG Sauer through Poulos, who was then a FAMS supervisory agent in the training division.

"I did buy guns from Dan Poulos. I bought four guns. I believe I paid full market value for them. I wish I had not have done that, but that's the process," he said.

"Unfortunately that was standard procedure for a lot of law enforcement. He had the guns and I bought them from him," he said.

"Do I wish I had never met the guy? Absolutely," Bray said, asking and answering his own question.

Bray said that in April 2009 he purchased a SIG Sauer 220 ACP for $589.01: In September 2010, he purchased two SIG Sauer P250 ACPs for $428 and in October 2012, he purchased a SIG Sauer P220 ACP for $901.95. Bray said he has provided documentation to TSA investigators.

Asked if he paid full price, Bray answered "I believe I did."

The cost of guns varies largely by model and accessories, so it was not immediately possible to determine the market value of the weapons.

Bray said he chose to buy the guns through Poulos because of the convenience.

Bray said he gave one gun to his son, traded one weapon that was not working properly for another weapon, and still has the remaining two guns.

On Thursday, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security asked the TSA for more details.

Rep. Richard Hudson, a North Carolina Republican, said he was concerned "the director's recently announced retirement may be directly related to an investigation into these activities and that this information was withheld from the Committee on Homeland Security."

"I am extremely concerned about recent allegations of unethical behavior involving firearms within the Federal Air Marshal Service, dating as far back as 2010," Hudson said in a statement to CNN.

Bray said his retirement was timed so that he could spend the summer at his vacation home, and not because of the TSA investigation.

A federal air marshal supervisory agent, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there is a widespread belief that Bray is retiring because of the probe despite his protests to the contrary.

"He definitely is. That's my opinion. There's no way to prove it," the agent said.

Bray got a vote of confidence from Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents rank-and-file air marshals.

"I respect him. We don't always agree, but I respect him," Adler said.

Adler said Bray discussed his desire to retire last year.

"It wasn't a well-kept secret," Adler said, adding that the timing was unfortunate.

"Bob's not going to bow to pressure."



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CustomInk opens Fairfax headquarters

Richmond Times Dispatch Business - - Fri, 11 Apr 2014 22:00:00 -0400

CustomInk, a custom T-shirt company, has opening a 72,000-square-foot headquarters in the Mosaic community, a mixed-use urban retail project, in Fairfax.

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Bonsai Show Coming Up at Garden Center

Centre View News - - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:39:38 -0400

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Bonsai Show Comuing Up at Garden Center

Burke Connection News - - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:39:38 -0400

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Fairfax County Schools extend year by another day due to snow days

ABC 7 WJLA News - Jennifer van der Kleut - Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:36:25 EST

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) - The Fairfax County Public Schools district announced Friday it will add yet another day onto the end of the school yearas a result of excessive snow days.

Wednesday, June 25 will now be the last day of the school year for all schools in Fairfax County. Originally, the last day of school was scheduled to be Friday, June 20.

Officials said June 25 will be an early-dismissal day for students.

FCPS had built three inclement weather days into the calendar for the year - but March 17 marked the 11th day of school missed so far this year.

“This has been a unique and challenging year due to snowstorms both early and late in the season,” said FCPS Superintendent Karen K. Garza. “We explored the option of counting instructional hours instead of days; however, our elementary schools would have fallen far short due to our current model of early release Mondays."

"We considered converting those early release Mondays into full days, but that would have eliminated critical planning time for elementary teachers, which was a real concern for us," Garza added.

FCPS officials said Friday that they contacted the Virginia Department of Education to discuss the possibility of a waiver for the three days of June 23 to 25.

Officials said Friday that, since the district had already gone through the trouble of getting the board of education to approve the extra days of June 23 and 24, that a waiver would not be granted.

They also said a waiver would not be granted for June 25 because "state law requires school divisions to certify that all reasonable efforts for making up lost teaching days or teaching hours were exhausted before requesting a waiver." As other Virginia jurisdictions have added time to the instructional day, eliminated early release days, or added full days to comply with the 180-day or 990-hour instructional requirement, it appeared there were efforts that could still be made.

"We understand that adding another day to the end of the school year is not ideal. But we have consulted with our teachers groups and principal associations, and have strong consensus that adding June 25 as a makeup day is our best option," Garza said.

In answer to some parent complaints that extra school days at the end of the year are a "waste" because all lessons are finished, and classes essentially just plan fun time or parties, Garza assured parents that would not be the case in Fairfax.

"We will work with our schools to plan meaningful learning experiences for these June makeup days," she said.

As for the future, Garza promised, "We are also exploring modifications to the 2014-15 calendar to ensure that we are not in this situation again.”

 

 



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TJ admission rate for incoming freshman class is 17%

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:09:00 -0400

Fairfax County Public Schools has offered admission to 487 students for the Class of 2018 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science &:amp: Technology.

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Fairfax students tapped as National Achievement Scholarship winners

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:12:00 -0400

Seventeen Fairfax County Public Schools students are among more than 800 students nationwide who have won Achievement Scholarships from the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship program.

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Fairfax educators honored by journalism association

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:10:00 -0400

The Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers recently honored Lindsay Benedict, news magazine and broadcast adviser at McLean High School, and Dan Reinish, newspaper and yearbook advis

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Letters to the Editor: City Should Explore School Merger with Fairfax Co.

Falls Church News-Press Online - - Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:48:47 +0000

Letters to the Editor: April 10 –: 16, 2014  City Should Explore School Merger with Fairfax Co. Editor, A major issue facing the City is the challenge of increasing the income at a pace to meet the increasing costs of the school system, due to increasing student enrollment. One option […:]

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Teen girl arrested for setting three cars on fire in Reston

ABC 7 WJLA News - - Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:48:08 EST

RESTON, Va. (WJLA) - Fairfax County police have arrested a 17-year-old female for setting fire to three cars in Reston Thursday.

Fire investigators charged the girl after she reportedly started three vehicle fires in the 11600 block of North Shore Drive.

She has been charged with setting a fire capable of spreading, and intentionally burning personal property with a value greater than $200.

Damage caused by the three fires is estimated at around $30,000.



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Economic Outlook Summit Hosted in Southeast Fairfax

Burke Connection News - - Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:13:00 -0400

At this year’s Economic Outlook Summit, hosted by the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, experts on the local economy and housing discussed the economic forecast for the Route One area and beyond.

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Debate continues over possible cuts to Loudoun Co. public schools

ABC 7 WJLA Education - Tom Roussey - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:40:09 EST

ASHBURN, Va. (WJLA) - Parents, teachers, and students came out to a school board meeting in Ashburn on Wednesday night. They are concerned about potential cuts to Loudoun County Public Schools.

":We cannot afford to lose a paper clip, much more a staff member,": said Sugarland Elementary School math resource teacher Patricia Caldwell-Wilson.

Caldwell-Wilson -- along with every other certified teacher in Loudoun County -- was sent a notice Wednesday that their jobs could potentially be eliminated.

":Between attrition and growth, we're not anticipating the loss of a lot of jobs, but legally we have to let people know that's a possibility,": said Loudoun schools spokesperson Wayde Byard.

Last week, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 5-3 to pass a budget that increased the school system's local funding by $47 million, bringing it to just under $601 million, an increase of 8.5%.

School officials say that although that may seem like a large amount, they don't believe it's enough. They say the reason is that the county is growing faster than any other in Virginia, and during the recession, their budget didn't keep up with the growth.

":We have to catch up,": Byard said. ":After several years of decline, we're trying to make up ground.":

The school system had asked for about $38 million more than the county board voted to give it, and now wants to use some of that money for raises to help it catch up with what school employees in other places like Fairfax County are making.

On Wednesday night, the school board discussed potential things that may be cut out of the budget for next school year. They include:

-eliminating the elementary school foreign language immersion program -closing 4 small schools (Aldie Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, Hillsboro Elementary, Lincoln Elementary) -eliminating summer school -eliminating bus service to Thomas Jefferson High School -eliminating after school activity buses -eliminating freshman sports -eliminating the Spanish in the Middle Schools program and the Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools program -eliminating assistant athletic director positions -reducing English Language Learners teacher assistants -eliminating family life teachers -eliminating dean positions at middle schools

":Thomas Jefferson High School has provided me with many opportunities that I would have not had,": said Abhishek Mogili, a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High who came out to speak against a possible cut of bus service for Loudoun students to the Fairfax County magnet school.

":I know my parents work full-time, so they would not be able to drive me every morning.":

Others came to ask the school board not to close the four rural elementary schools on the chopping block.

":We all have such a great sense of community,": said Kathleen Hannon, who has a daughter at Hamilton Elementary School. ":You can walk down any street and wave and know that person. And to break that up is sad.":

Final decisions on what will get funded and what won't are likely to be made by early May.

The main reason a majority of the all-Republican county board of supervisors did not give the school system the full amount it wanted had to do with taxes. In a county that is growing more expensive to live in, most supervisors did not want to raise taxes on the average homeowner.



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Fairfax County deep into annual budget battle

ABC 7 WJLA News - Jeff Goldberg - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:05:16 EST

(wJLA) - Hearings concerning the Fairfax County Public Schools Fiscal Year 2015 budget continued in the board of supervisors' chambers on Wednesday.

School division teachers, county residents and employees looked on as the board and staff worked out the details of the new budget. : Right now there's a $40 million difference between what the county is proposing for the schools and the : $2.5 billion proposed budget passed by the Fairfax County school board.

The school board's budget calls for $41 million in teacher raises-something that would be welcomed news for many of the county's educators.

":Right now, teachers are having a lot of diffficulty surviving and living in Fairfax County, said Barrett Kashden, a McLean High School teacher who was present at Wednesday's board hearings.

That same budget calls for 96 million in cuts including 731 school staff positions.

The county board of supervisors also has to consider the funding needs of other groups, such as : Fairfax County's firefighters.

Without minimal raises for firefighters and paramedics, many fear the good talent will leave the county and find employment elsewhere.

":Trying to recruit and retain our paramedics is extremely difficult right now. It's a very competitive market,": Fairfax County Fire Capt. Ron Kuley said.

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Bonsai Show at Garden Center

Fairfax Connection News - - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:07:10 -0400

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bonsai experts will give demonstrations, and attendees may vote on the trees they believe should then compete at the Potomac Bonsai Association show at the National Arboretum.

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Colvin Run Mill Goes Back to 1810

Great Falls Connection - - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:46:44 -0400

Last year Colvin Run Mill in Great Falls entered a contest to win grant money through the Fairfax County Park Foundation. The result was a fourth-place finish among 24 historic sites in the contest and a $75,000 grant for Colvin Run Mill, the largest grant in the site’s history. This money is now being used to fund restoration of the mill. Fairfax County spent about $1 million restoring the mill between 1968 and 1972, but stopped before finishing when funds ran out.

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Fairfax Arts Programs Receive Federal Grants

Great Falls Connection - - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:58:48 -0400

Seven local organizations involved in the arts and literature are receiving a total of $230,000 in federal grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) said.

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Metrorail Workshop Held at McNair

Herndon Connection Oak Hill/Herndon News - - Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:56:00 -0400

About a dozen bikers and walkers from the Hunter Mill district helped to pinpoint possible trails that will become a yellow brick road for locals hoping to visit D.C. or head to Dulles Airport.Concern for pedestrian and cyclist accessibility to the Silver Line Metrorail stations coming to Herndon fueled a public workshop at McNair Elementary on April 7.Herndon residents living in the Dranesville district previously met at Herndon Middle School on March 26.“We need to make some investments in the bicycle and pedestrian areas right now,” said Kris Morley-Nikfar, Fairfax County Department of Transportation planner and Herndon Metrorail Station Access Management Study project manager.The proposal maps presented ways for cyclists to access the Herndon Metro Station or the Innovation Center Metro Station within three miles and pedestrians access within one mile. However, Fairfax County wants to improve the trails via upgraded crosswalks, improved and extended trails and road diets.“We’re building them for people dressed in business clothes or dressed in casual clothes,” said team lead David Whyte.

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Property tax hike possible in Fairfax County

Fox 5 WTTG News - - Tue, 8 Apr 2014 18:24:00 EDT

There is a distinct possibility that the property tax rate in Fairfax County could soon be going up. But before that happens, the Board of Supervisors will hear from taxpayers and stakeholders.

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Democratic congressional candidate, Foust, lands in Loudoun

Loudon Times News - -

A Fairfax County supervisor, Foust has hit the trail with force in early 2014 in hopes of establishing name-recognition in a district that hasn't voted in a Democrat since 1978.

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Editor’s Notebook: Civic groups getting irked about tax rates

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:24:00 -0400

It was interesting that, within a day of one another, both the McLean Citizens Association and Arlington County Civic Federation weighed in on tax rates in Fairfax and Arlington counties, respectively

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Fairfax police put focus on preventing animal cruelty

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:13:00 -0400

A sweet-natured, but malnourished 6-month-old boxer puppy with mange and a severely infected paw was neglected by owners. A dog named Diesel, tethered to a car in the rain, was left unable to lie down

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DAYBREAK DAILY: Va. House again flexes muscle against Medicaid expansion

ABC 7 WJLA National News - Skip Wood - Tue, 08 Apr 2014 05:34:27 EST

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the mid 60s. http://wj.la/72e8x6  :

&lsquo:GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON&rsquo:: Among the reports &ndash: Maryland wraps up its General Assembly session: U.Conn. beats Kentucky 60-54 to win NCAA basketball title: much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

MEDICAID EXPANSION: Different approach, same result, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, &ldquo:State lawmakers traveled two paths on Monday toward expanded health coverage for uninsured Virginians, but both have the same obstacle &mdash: the House of Delegates. The Senate Finance Committee, as expected, revived its plan for a private insurance marketplace in its version of the two-year state budget that the House adamantly opposes.

":Hours later, Gov. Terry McAuliffe&rsquo:s administration testified that it has met the requirements of a budget agreement last year to reform Virginia&rsquo:s Medicaid program before expanding it &mdash: a contention that House members of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission quickly rejected. . . The five-hour commission meeting produced no consensus or even a vote on whether Virginia has made sufficient progress on reforms of its Medicaid program to allow expansion of coverage to as many as 400,000 uninsured Virginians.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1qfHY8Y

MEANWHILE: Of yet another approach, per the Washington Post, &ldquo:A prominent hospital association has picked former governor Robert F. McDonnell&rsquo:s hard-charging transportation secretary to lead the organization as it continues to push House Republicans to expand Medicaid. The selection of Sean Connaughton as the next president of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association surprised and upset some people on both sides of the Medicaid debate.

&ldquo:Connaughton helped McDonnell (R) muscle through several highly controversial transportation projects, including a $1.4 billion highway planned for southeastern Virginia that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) recently suspended. He has no professional background in health care. His selection suggests that the VHHA is preparing for a bare-knuckle fight with Republicans over whether to expand Medicaid under the federal health-care law known as Obamacare. Connaughton would bring to the battle his GOP credentials as well as a reputation as a brawler.&rdquo: http://wapo.st/1hnDlIH

MARYLAND CALLS IT A DAY: Rather, a session, per the Baltimore Sun, &ldquo:By the time confetti fell in Annapolis on Monday night, state lawmakers had loosened marijuana laws, made Maryland the second state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and whittled their way through more than 2,600 bills considered during the 434th legislative session.

&ldquo:The two major votes on marijuana decriminalization and increasing the minimum wage closed out the annual 90-day frenzy of lawmaking. Measures to create stricter penalties for drivers who cause fatal accidents while texting and to revamp Maryland's stalled medical marijuana program also received final passage.&rdquo: http://bsun.md/1qfDmQi

UKRAINE: Of Russian loyalists, per the New York Times, &ldquo:Under the attentive eye of Russian state television, several hundred pro-Russian demonstrators in the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, declared on Monday that they were forming an independent republic and urged President Vladimir V. Putin to send troops to the region as a peacekeeping force, even though there was no imminent threat to peace.

&ldquo:The actions in Donetsk and two other main cities in eastern Ukraine, which included demands for a referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia, seemed an effort by the activists to mimic some of the events that preceded Russia&rsquo:s invasion and annexation of Crimea. However, there were no immediate indications that the Kremlin was receptive to the pleas.&rdquo: http://nyti.ms/1mUDrd0

MISSING JET: The latest, per the Associated Press, &ldquo:Did the missing Malaysian jet plunge into the ocean at a steep angle, leaving virtually no debris on the surface? Did it come in flat, clip a wave and cartwheel into pieces? Or did it break up in midair, sending chunks tumbling down over a wide swath of water?

&ldquo:Exactly how the plane hit the water makes a big difference to the teams undertaking the painstaking search for the wreckage. Investigators have frustratingly little hard data to work out how Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 came down in the Indian Ocean on March 8 with 239 people on board.&rdquo: http://apne.ws/1g0D0tv

BRIDGEGATE: Did someone sing?, per the Newark Star-Ledger, &ldquo:David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official at the center of the George Washington Bridge lane-closings scandal, spent several days meeting with federal prosecutors in Newark last week, according to a report posted online by a Washington-based publication that says it covers &ldquo:insider news&rdquo: about the U.S. Department of Justice.

&ldquo:The publication, called &ldquo:Main Justice,&rdquo: is also reporting that Charlie McKenna, former chief legal counsel to Gov. Chris Christie, met secretly in mid-January with investigators in the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1hmBB2A

L.A. SHOOTOUT: Just the facts, per the Los Angeles Times, &ldquo:Daphne Brogdon, a member of the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council, was at the group's monthly meeting at the Los Angeles Police Department's West Bureau community room on Monday night when the gunfire broke out. ":I heard shots,": she said in an interview. ":They were unmistakable.":

&ldquo:The gunfire broke out about 8:30 p.m. after a gunman walked into the Mid-City building and opened fire. An officer was shot at seven and times and was wounded, police said. The wounded officer, along with another officer, returned fire and struck the gunman. He was in critical condition late Monday.&rdquo: http://lat.ms/1hb9PoJ

POLITICO PLAY: &ldquo:Republicans say the Democrats&rsquo: &ldquo:war on women&rdquo: line is fake. But their fear of it is real. More than a dozen female Republican lawmakers gathered last week with GOP operatives to hold a broad discussion on conservative ideas to empower female voters.

&ldquo:The party launched a program earlier this year to place more women in Republican campaigns. And the three big national party committees have teamed up to respond to Democratic attacks. They even showcased women who work for the party at the top of their latest talking points.&rdquo: http://politi.co/1g0NZTT

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: Extended, per The Hill, &ldquo:The Senate approved a five-month extension of federal unemployment benefits on Monday in a 59-38 vote that saw six Republicans break ranks and vote in favor of the legislation. The bill now goes to the House, where Senior House Republicans have felt little pressure to act on jobless benefits. Although they won&rsquo:t say so directly, they are likely to ignore the Senate bill.

&ldquo:Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has suggested the retroactive plan would be difficult to implement, and he said its lack of job-creation measures means it has fallen short of the requirements he set in December for considering an extension of long-term unemployment insurance. Senate Democrats are hoping their passage of the bill will raise the pressure on Boehner.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1sveSok

D.C. COZINESS: A bit too cozy?, per City Paper, &ldquo:In other towns, connections to city hall movers and shakers might speak to good citizenship. The District isn't that kind of place. Attorneys for frequent District political donor and Chinatown restaurateur Tony Cheng and his son, who have been charged with bribery, want to find out whether knowledge of an acquaintance between their clients and local politicians would prejudice potential jurors.

&ldquo:In documents filed in court last month, Cheng's son's lawyer proposes asking members of the jury if knowing that Cheng is ":acquainted": with Mayor Vince Gray and councilmembers would affect their verdict. Cheng's lawyers want to ask jurors whether media coverage of previous District corruption investigations has affected how they would judge Cheng.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1qfEpzT

TUSSLE: In Annapolis, per Gazette.Net, &ldquo:Two men were arrested by Maryland Capitol Police Monday evening following an altercation on the fourth floor of the House of Delegates Office Building in Annapolis. No elected officials were involved, according to a written statement by Chief Michael Wilson after he emerged from House Speaker Michael E. Busch&rsquo:s legislative office.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1hbbFpx

YOU&rsquo:RE IN: Again, per the Frederick News-Post, &ldquo:Three Middletown commissioners &mdash: Larry Bussard, Jennifer Falcinelli and Richard Dietrick &mdash: were re-elected Monday in an uncontested race. Only 103 ballots were cast from Middletown&rsquo:s pool of 3,100 registered voters. Bussard received 72 votes: Dietrick got 58, and Falcinelli led with 74.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1irXsBW

METRO DEATH: Of odd circumstances, per ARLnow, &ldquo:A man was struck and killed by a Metro train between the Arlington Cemetery and Pentagon stations Monday night. The incident happened just past 8. According to Metro, the man was &ldquo:apparently trespassing&rdquo: on the tracks when he was struck by an inbound train approaching Arlington Cemetery.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1hyUNnT

DISTRICT WEED: Taking it to the next level, per DCist, &ldquo:Although Mayor Vince Gray recently signed a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, D.C.'s medical marijuana laws are still too restrictive, many advocates think.

&ldquo:But that could change. . . Councilmembers Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and David Grosso (I-At Large)&mdash:along with co-introducers Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), David Catania (I-At Large), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Anita Bonds (D-At Large), and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8)&mdash:will introduce an amendment to D.C.'s medical marijuana law that would scrub the list of qualifying conditions to receive a medical marijuana prescription and instead leave it in the hands of a patient's physician.&rdquo: http://bit.ly/1hbdvGN

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: &ldquo:Public hearings on the Fairfax County school budget begin today. They&rsquo:re expected to bring at least two days worth of impassioned testimony over teacher pay, class size, layoffs and much more. http://wj.la/1qf24jS

NEWSTALK: Among today&rsquo:s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- A recap of this year&rsquo:s Maryland General Assembly session. Joining us will be Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery), Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George&rsquo:s) and Sen. David Brinkley (R-Frederick).

--Skip Wood



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Fairfax teachers and parents speak out about budget concerns

ABC 7 WJLA Education - Jeff Goldberg - Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:12:36 EST

FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - Parents in Fairfax County often view the schools with great pride. But these days that pride is mixed with uneasiness.

Jennifer Cherry's family moved to the region from Connecticut and chose Fairfax because of the schools, where she has four children enrolled. But Cherry worries cuts will damage their future.

":I wonder if the younger grades are going to be performing as well as the older ones currently are,": questioned Cherry.

The county's current school funding proposal comes in at up to $40 million less than the budget backed by the school board and new Superintendent Karen Garza.

":I think it's not, at this point, what the needs are of the children but what they are willing to give up money-wise for the school system,": said Steven Greenburg, Fairfax Co. Fed. of Teachers President. ":Which is two different things.":

Garza and the board are pushing for a $2.5 billion budget, including $41 million in teacher raises. The budget also calls for $96 million in cuts, including cutting 731 school staff positions.

One idea being floated to help fill the gap is a property tax hike - a $50 or $100 increase per average homeowner.

Sharon Bulova is head of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, and says both sides have to give even more.

":We're looking for the savings on the county side of the budget,": said Bulova. ":We also ask for the school board to look for savings on their side as well.":

Only after the public hearings will the board finalize and pass the county budget. But there's another potential problem, and it's in Richmond. If leaders at the Capitol continue their stalemate and do not pass a state budget, Fairfax County schools could be out of up to $30 million.



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Fairfax school system lauded for excellence in music education

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:52:00 -0400

Fairfax County Public Schools has been recognized as one of 376 school districts nationwide as a 2014 “Best Community for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.

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Fairfax Symphony stretches creative muscles to enlarge audience

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:45:00 -0400

Classical music is a wondrous blend of art, mathematics and sound, but it’s not just for older rich people in formal wear.

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Fairfax educator honored for work helping immigrant students

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:05:00 -0400

Robin Hamby of the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Family and School Partnerships program has been honored with the 2014 “Allies in Prevention” award from Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virgin

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Fairfax sees competition, garners low interest rate on sale of sewer bonds

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:03:00 -0400

The Fairfax County government obtained a low bid of 2.459 percent in the sale of just under $62 million in sewer revenue bonds during a competitive sale that took place April 1.

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Fairfax officials say they are meeting targets to help homeless

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:02:00 -0400

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness reached its first-year goal under the “100,000 Homes Fairfax Campaign,” county officials said on March 31.

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Fairfax animal shelter to put focus on rabbits, bunnies throughout month

Leesburg Today Online - - Fri, 04 Apr 2014 11:45:00 -0400

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is holding a “Chocolate Bunny Adoption Event” on Saturdays, April 5, 12 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to prospective adopters of rabbits about the animals, and provi

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McLean Citizens Association seeks better upkeep for county sidewalks, trails

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Fri, 04 Apr 2014 06:03:00 -0400

Fairfax County may be setting aside some of its newly authorized transportation revenues to build new sidewalks and trails, but McLean Citizens Association (MCA) members say the county must not forget

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Colonial Heights brothers save elderly man from burning home

NBC12 News Richmond - - Fri, 4 Apr 2014 00:30:00 EDT

Two Colonial Heights men are being called heroes. A father and his two sons jumped into action when their elderly neighbor's Fairfax Avenue home caught fire.

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George Mason's Harry Potter-inspired quidditch team growing in popularity

ABC 7 WJLA News - Tommy McFly - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 15:42:56 EST

FAIRFAX, VA. (WJLA) - Chris Pavlovich says people are always giving him funny looks when they see him running around with brooms between their legs.

To him, it's a regular occurrence - because he's a member of the George Mason University quidditch team.

"People are always asking me, 'hey, can you fly?' and I'm like, 'we're working on it!'" he told ABC7.

Quidditch is the magic-based, previously nonexistent sport made famous in the Harry Potter novels. Fans of the book series decided to make their own real-world version of the game, and its popularity has been soaring ever since.

All wizard and spell jokes aside, though, quidditch players are nothing to laugh at, Pavlovich says - you need an incredible amount of strength and stamina to play.

"I broke my hand last semester being tackled," Pavlovich said.

It also takes a lot of mental strength, he added, which he thinks is drawing a lot more people in to the sport.

"People who normally wouldn't play sports are playing," he said.

It also takes a lot of teamwork, said player Arielle Flax.

"You have to work together with all the positions - it's not like five guys shooting a basketball," she explained.

Inevitably, though, there are more traditional athletes that don't understand the game.

"It looks like a lot of organized chaos to me," said Ryan Bradshaw, GMU's assistant director of club sports. "But, it's really brought in a kind of new dynamic of students that we previously haven't seen in our programs in the past. A lot of Harry Potter fans."

Any Harry Potter fan can tell you, though, quidditch is a fairly complex game.

The basic idea of quidditch is to get the "quaffle" through the rings before the "bludgers" hit you.

"Quidditch is a coed, full-contact, magical sport," Flax says with a smile.

And new team member Milan Calloway says, it's one the audience seems to be fascinated by.

"People are, like, cheering you on and wanting you to do good," Calloway said.

Team captain Pavlovich said, they invite interested students to come to a practice and check it out.

"If you come to one practice, I guarantee you'll be at another," he said.

GMU's quidditch team is currently recruiting, fundraising and training for next year's quidditch world cup - and yes, that's a real thing.

"There are teams from Canada, some European teams, France, Australia." Pavlovich said. "It's all over."



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Opinion: Maintaining a Viable, Diverse Community in Fairfax County

Herndon Connection Oak Hill/Herndon News - - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:22:39 -0400

The following open letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors concerns housing and human services budget recommendations from the Alexandria Budget Advocacy Coalition for Housing and Human Services.

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McLean Citizens Association wants no increase to Fairfax tax rate

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:45:00 -0400

The McLean Citizens Association’s (MCA) board of directors on April 2 approved a budget resolution asking the Board of Supervisors to hold Fairfax County’s real estate tax rate steady, examine school

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3 dogs from Fairfax to search for mudslide victims

Fox 5 WTTG Virginia News - - Thu, 3 Apr 2014 11:19:00 EDT

Three rescue dogs from Fairfax County's elite Search and Rescue team have departed to Washington state to help find victims from the March 22 mudslide in the town of Oso.

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Housing Expo Provides Insight on Finding a Home

Fairfax Connection News - - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:00:05 -0400

Am I qualified to buy a home? What does my credit score need to be? Where is affordable housing located in Fairfax County? Those were just a few of the many questions that Gail Lee of the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development answered at the 2014 NOVA Housing Expo at Lee High School on March 27.

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Area Robotics Teams Compete at Patriot Center

Herndon Connection Education - - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:42:54 -0400

Over 50 teams, including several from Fairfax County, spent the weekend at the two-day FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional, using their engineering and science skills to compete for a spot in the world championship.

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Budget Dialogue Continues in Braddock District

Burke Connection News - - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:28:11 -0400

Fairfax County needs to be looking at the long-term picture in terms of the budget, Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock District) said at a town hall meeting on April 1.

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Special Education Graduates Could be Impacted by Possible Budget Cuts

Fairfax Connection News - - Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:13:25 -0400

Lynn Ruiz’s daughter Lydia, who has Down syndrome, will be graduating from Fairfax County Public Schools this June. Ruiz, a Springfield resident, had originally planned for her daughter to participate in an employment program that helps students with special needs transition into adulthood.

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Police officer's son arrested for impersonating cop, unauthorized use of police cruiser

Fox 5 WTTG News - - Wed, 2 Apr 2014 07:23:00 EDT

The son of a Fairfax County Police officer has a lot of explaining to do. He's accused of taking his dad's police cruiser on a joyride. James Berling is charged with impersonating a cop and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

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