Archive: People

Ft. Belvoir Commander to Retire

According to this article in today's Fairfax Extra, the imminent retirement of Col. Brian W. Lauritzen, Fort Belvoir's commander, is leaving some local leaders with concerns about the realignment of 20,000 jobs to the base, a task which Lauritzen has been overseeing and for which he has been praised....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 29, 2008; 11:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Update 5/5: Reckless Driving Charges For Officer in Fatal Crash

Updated 5/5 According to this article from Saturday's Metro section, the officer involved in the crash that killed Ashley McIntosh has been charged with reckless driving. Originally posted 3/26 According to this story from today's Metro section, six weeks after Ashley McIntosh was killed when a Fairfax County police officer responding to a call crashed her cruiser into McIntosh's car, her family is still waiting for the police to tell them the results of the investigation into what happened. Police officials say they are just being thorough want all the details before they share any information. McIntosh's relatives say that need to know what happened to help them in their grieving process. One witness said the cruiser was travelling at a high rate of speed, with its emergency lights on and its siren off at the time of the collision....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 5, 2008; 09:15 AM ET | Email a Comment

Teacher Brings Art To Life For Disabled Students

Check out the cover story from today's Fairfax Extra to see how one Fairfax County school teacher is finding new ways of introducing great art to and fostering creativity within students with limited visual or cognitive abilities....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 17, 2008; 05:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Former Fairfaxian Sets Sites on Music Stardom in L.A.

Singer Taleen Kalbian had already performed for the pope and the president while she was still living in Northern Virginia as a teen. Now 20 and living in Los Angeles, the Oakton High School grad has just inked a business deal that could be the next big step in her shot for stardom. Read about her in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 10, 2008; 02:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

Lake Braddock Boasts Four Alumni at Juilliard

Boasting four of its former students among the 800 currently enrolled at the exclusive Julliard School in New York, Lake Braddock Secondary School's band program is raising eyebrows among some of the conservatory's faculty and student body. Juilliard admits only seven percent of all applicants and to get four at the same time from the same public high school is unusual, if not unprecedented. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 27, 2008; 01:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Government Center Could Be Named For Davis

With U.S. Rep and former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman Tom Davis set to retire at the end of this year, the current board yesterday began discussing the best way to honor Davis for his years of service. Suggestions included naming the county's main building at the Fairfax County Government Center for him. The details are here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 11, 2008; 09:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Memorial Event For Cappies Founder Set For Sunday

The life of Bill Strauss, the man who founded the Cappies high school theater program in Fairfax in 1999, will be celebrated at a memorial event from 3 to 5 p.m. this Sunday at Hayfield Secondary School. Strauss died in December....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 29, 2008; 11:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Langley High Senior's Paralysis Doesn't Stop Him

Today's Fairfax Extra features a cover story that introduces readers to 17-year-old Nick Cafferky, who suffered a spinal injury last summer that left him confined to a wheelchair. Despite his disability Cafferky remains dedicated to the athletic pursuits that were his focus prior to his accident. Read the article to learn how....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 21, 2008; 12:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

McLean Teacher Bridges Gap Between Life Here and in Kenya

This week's Fairfax Extra cover story introduces us to Kenneth O. Okoth, a history teacher at the Potomac School in McLean who, from thousands of miles away, heads a school that serves orphans and impoverished children amid the political chaos and violence consuming his native Kenya. Read more here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 1, 2008; 11:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

Congressman Tom Davis Announces Retirement

The announcement from the 12-term Republican, made today, is in this article....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 30, 2008; 02:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Deployed Virginia Soldiers Send Holiday Greetings

Video holiday greetings from the U.S. Army' s 116th Infantry Brigade, currently serving in Iraq and including soldiers from Fairfax, Reston and Springfield can be seen here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2007; 12:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Centreville, Falls Church Principals Honored

Two Elementary School Principals, Brian Hull of Colin L. Powell Elementary in Centreville and Trudy Taylor of Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Falls Church, are the recipients of Principal of the Year honors from the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards. Find out what these principled principals did to earn their accolades here, in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 15, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Post-Election Analysis

Two stories appeared in the pages of the Washington Post this weekend that offered some context for how things stand politically in Fairfax County following last week's election. First, this article from Saturday's Style section examined what the defeat of State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis means for the political careers of her and her husband, U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, who sources say may not run for reelection. Then, Sunday's Metro section ran this piece on the county Board of Supervisors and what issues await it....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 12, 2007; 09:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Woodson Grad McCandless ("Into the Wild") Recalled

Chris McCandless, a former runner at Woodson High and the subject of the book "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer and a new film of the same name from director Sean Penn, is remembered in today's Varsity Letter column in the Fairfax Extra. McCandless died, likely from starvation, in 1992 after deciding to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pictures of Fairfax History, Clearer Than Ever

This is a photo of The Bowman Store on Centreville Rd. Michael Rierson explains how he was able to date the photo by blowing up and enhancing the image. Once the image was larger and sharper, it was possible to date the automobiles and the Coca-Cola sign hanging over the door. (Tracy A. Woodward) Using the latest in digital enhancement software, historic preservationist Michael Rierson is finding in old photographs a better picture of our history. The Fairfax Extra has the story. A photograph of the Spring House circa 1890-1900, before and after digital enghancement by Michael Rierson. (Photos courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority)...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Horan, Chief Prosecutor for 40 Years, Retires Today

Robert F. Horan, the county's chief prosecutor for 40 years, retires today, but promises to return to try for one more conviction next year. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 21, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Virginia Tech Victim's Family Plans Memorial

The family and friends of Mary Read, who graduated from Annandale High School in 2006 are preparing memorials to the teenager who was killed during the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in the spring. In this article from today's Fairfax Extra, the Reads share their plans and explain how they are coping with their loss....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 01:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hayfield School Principal Honored

From today's Metro section: Bill Oehrlein, principal of Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County, has been named an outstanding principal of the year by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals. Oehrlein, 44, became principal of the combined middle-high school in 2004 after two years as principal of Irving Middle School. The association, which honored Oehrlein in a middle school category, cited him for smoothly leading a sharp reduction in Hayfield's enrollment when a new high school opened in the area. He was also praised for careful attention to improving instruction for struggling students and his support for foreign language courses, including reading the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system in Spanish and German. -- Jay Mathews...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/30: New Nominee Is Chosen for Clerk

Updated 8/30 Fairfax County Democrats nominated McLean real estate agent Dale A. Evans this week to replace David H. Miller as the party's candidate for clerk of the Circuit Court. Miller withdrew from the race in July after court documents showed that he owed more than $38,000 in federal income taxes. Evans, 60, was nominated by acclamation at a brief convention Tuesday at the Fairfax County Government Center. Evans, a native of Flint, Mich., served as chairman of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners before relocating to Virginia in 1990 when his wife accepted a job on the staff of U.S. Sen. Donald W. Riegle (D-Mich.). Evans has been on the boards of the McLean Community Center and the McLean Little League and was chairman of the Dranesville Democratic Committee. The clerk is the chief administrative officer of the Circuit Court, with a staff of about 160 who manage land...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 30, 2007; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Knew of, Treated Cho's Disorder

According to this article from today's front page, educators from Fairfax County Public Schools had recognized and responded to Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho's anxiety disorder while he was a student here, but were forbidden by privacy laws from passing that information on to the University. Only his parent or Cho himself could have let University officials know about his problem....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 27, 2007; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Benefactor Helps GMU Piano Program Hit High Note

Sidney Dewberry, a novice pianist at 79, with a little help from friends in high places, set out to buy 16 Steinway grand pianos for the music students at George Mason University, earning the school an elite designation as an all-Steinway school alongside Juilliard and Yale. Read his story here, in the Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 16, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Battling To Save Bats

Meet Leslie Sturges, the head of Bat World NOVA and a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, who from her home leads a campaign to rescue the orphaned bats of Fairfax County....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 6, 2007; 10:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Military Matters: Peace Through Puppets

Today's Military Matters column reports on Army 1st Sgt. Bruce L. Reges who, with the help of his mother, a former professional puppeteer, is finding an unusual way of communicating with the children he encounters in Iraq where he works with a civil affairs unit....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 2, 2007; 01:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax's Last Commercial Waterman to Retire

Marvin Louis Harley, seemingly the last of the commercial watermen from Fairfax County to derive his livelihood from the waters of the Potomac River, will retire later this summer, writing the last on a page in local history. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 11, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Teen Looking Out For Wounded Soldiers

Ian S. Wilson, 13, of Falls Church, was outraged when reports of substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center emerged earlier this year. Wilson, whose brother Gordon Hamm is serving in Iraq, focused his anger and made a prize-winning documentary film about the subject. Today's Military Matters column tells the tale....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 17, 2007; 02:47 PM ET | Email a Comment

Resident Pushes to Better Supervise Sex Offenders

Diane C. Beatty took the experience of her own childhood sexual abuse and focused her energy on helping police keep convicted sex offenders from committing further offenses. Read all about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 17, 2007; 02:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Virginia Tech Shootings

Profiles of the victims in last week's shootings at Virgnia Tech who called Fairfax County their home are here. Erin Peterson, Mary Read, Reema Samaha, Leslie Sherman, and Maxine Turner....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 24, 2007; 10:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Centreville Woman Helps Mentally Ill Find Housing

Stirred to action by the need for housing for Fairfax County's mentally ill citizens, Realtor Trudy Harsh founded the Brain Foundation and bought a townhouse for four mentally ill men. She's raising money to buy a second house presently. Read about Harsh and her work in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 19, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Ties to Virginia Tech Shootings

With so much attention on Monday's shooting deaths of 33 students and faculty and Virginia Tech, Fairfax County was home to several of the victims and the suspect, whose family lived in Centreville. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Faith Communities in Action will host a community gathering at 7:30 p.m. tonight, April 18 Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, "to assemble, grieve and celebrate the lives of those killed."...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 18, 2007; 10:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Fire and Rescue Chief a Familiar Face

From today's Metro section: Fairfax County yesterday named Ronald L. Mastin, the fire chief of Henrico County, to be the new chief of the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department. Mastin, 53, was with the Fairfax department for 28 years, rising to the rank of deputy chief of operations, before leaving in 2001 to take over in Henrico, just outside Richmond. Mastin succeeds Michael Neuhard, who retired in February to become a deputy county administrator in Stafford County. Mastin's appointment, announced by the Board of Supervisors after a national search, becomes effective June 3. His annual salary will be $160,000, Fairfax officials said. -- Tom Jackman...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 10, 2007; 08:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/16: More on Retiring Prosecutor

Updated 4/16 The race to see who will be elected to replace retiring Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney, Robert F. Horan is already heating up according to this article in Saturday's paper. More on Horan and his 40-year career was in yesterday's Metro section. Updated 4/10 Horan announced his retirement this morning. Originally posted 4/9 Robert F. Horan, a fixture as Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney for 40 years is considering retirement. According to this article from Saturday's Metro section, he will make his decision by next week....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 9, 2007; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/21: Fund to Aid Family After Trailer Home Fire

Updated 3/21 From today's Metro section: Friends of the Peterson family, which was devastated by a March 11 Chantilly trailer home fire, have set up a fund to help survivors rebuild their lives. "They've lost everything. Susan doesn't have even a single article of clothing," said Lindsey Swanson, who helped establish the fund to aid survivor Susan Peterson. Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department officials are still working to identify two people killed in the blaze, but Peterson said her husband, Richard, 60, and her disabled daughter, Sophia, 21, were the victims. Richard had quit work 15 years ago to care for Sophia; he also took care of his wife after she was badly injured in a car accident. Donations may be sent to the Richard & Sophia Peterson Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, Bradlee Financial Center, 3624 King St., Alexandria, Va. 22302. -- Brigid Schulte Originally posted 3/19 Richard and Sophia...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 19, 2007; 10:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Departing Parks Director Looks Back (and Ahead)

Michael A. Kane, who will step down as the Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority next month, took time last week to share with the Fairfax Extra some of his thoughts about the work he accomplished and what lies ahead for the county parks. A Q & A with Kane is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 10:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

Hopeful Wants More Diverse Fairfax County Board

Vellie Dietrich Hall, a native of the Philippines and a Republican candidate for the Mason District Supervisor's seat says she would like to see the faces on the Board of Supervisors reflect more of the diversity of the county. Read about Hall and her campaign in this story from yesterday's front page....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 09:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Female County Detective Subject of Docu-series

June Boyle, The Fairfax County homicide detective best known for her work on the 2002 Washington area sniper shootings will be featured on the pilot episode of a new show about female investigators on the Oxygen cable network. Boyle was chosen because of her work on a three year investigation that led to the arrest of Matthew Harper for the 1995 murder of his sister, Anne, in Burke. The story is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 09:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Public Appearances Rule Connolly's Schedule

This week's Fairfax politics column takes a look at a recent and fairly typical Saturday for Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, a day packed with 12 hours of public appearances....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 12:54 PM ET | Email a Comment

Callahan Set To Retire From Va. House

After 40 years in the General Assembly, Fairfax Republican Vincent F. Callahan Jr. said yesterday, "...it is time to move on." Read the news in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 6, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Soldier's Death Becomes Lesson in Dad's Govt Class

The 2002 death of Army Ranger Matthew Commons in Afghanistan has become an annual teaching opportunity for his father Greg , a government teacher at Annandale High School. Read about how the students are learning about civic duty in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 5, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors' Financial Disclosures Show Differences

As required by law members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors file an annual Statement of Economic Interest. Today's Fairfax Extra reports on what the disclosures reveal....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 1, 2007; 10:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Webb's Name, Face, Becoming Familiar to Nation

Virginia's newly-elected junior Senator has a personality that has been described as combative and standoffish. But since he offered the Democratic response to the President's State of the Union address last month, Jim Webb's has been a popular name in newspapers and an often-seen face on television. What's driving the media's fascination with the Senator? Michael D. Shear looks at the phenomenon today in his Virginia Notebook column....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 8, 2007; 01:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Town Manager Leaves for Staunton

Herndon Town Manager, Stephen F. Owen, has resigned his post effective March 1 to become the city manager of Staunton, Va. Owen, who was thrust into the spotlight when he was charged with implementing the plan to operate the Herndon Official Workers Center, served under three mayors. Saturday's Metro section carried the news....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 5, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

GMU Prof Wins Engineering Prize --$1 Million

Abul Hussam of Centreville has been announced as the 2007 recipient of the Grainer Challenge Prize for Sustainability. The $1 million award, sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering, will go to the George Mason University chemistry professor for devising a simple and inexpensive method of filtering arsenic from well water, aprocess which could help millions of people around the world avoid serious health problems....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 2, 2007; 10:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Davis, Connolly Point Up Shared Positions

Republican Congressman Thomas M. Davis III and the Democratic Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Gerald E. Connolly were stressing the common ground they share politically at a recent meeting of the Mantua Citizens' Association. Find out what's going on with the two long-time political adversaries in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 10:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/25: Kauffman Won't Seek Another Term

Updated 1/25 More on Kauffman and his decision not to run is in today's Fairfax Extra. Originally posted 1/23 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) announced yesterday that he would not seek a fourth four-year term. Kauffman, 50, who also served as Metro board chairman in 2005, cited a mix of reasons for giving up his seat, including family obligations, satisfaction with having met important objectives and disappointment over lack of progress on other issues. Mostly, he said, it was time to leave. "I'd rather leave with folks wondering why I'm going than leave with folks wondering why I'm here," he said. Kauffman said he has no immediate career plans but is interested in remaining in the public sector or working for a nonprofit organization. -- Bill Turque...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 23, 2007; 09:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Photo Exhibit Introduces Kids Seeking Adoptive Families

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story introduces us to some older foster children looking for homes who are the subjects of a new photography exhibit at the county Government Center....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 03:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/3/07: Police Suspend Officer Who Killed Springfield Teen at IHOP

Updated 1/3/07 Alexandria Police announced yesterday that they have suspended officer Carl Stowe and are revising their policies on officers stepping in front of, and shooting at moving vehicles. The news article is here. Update Posted 3/2The police officer's attorney defended his client's actions to reporters yesterday. The Metro section article is here. Update Posted 3/1Two of the teens that were passengers in the Jeep disputed the police account of the shooting when they spoke to reporters yesterday, saying that the officer was not directly in the path of the vehicle when he began firing. Update Posted 2/28:More on this story, including the name of the police officer, is in today's paper. Read "Fatal Shooting In Alexandria Fuels Debate On Police Policy". Originally Posted 2/27:A 18-year-old Northern Virginia Community College student was shot and killed by an off-duty Alexandria police officer after the teenager and a group of friends allegedly...

 

By | January 3, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Homeless Face More Dangers Than Cold

The murder of David Feliz last week is illustrative of one of the dangers homeless people face in addition to the obvious ones that come with their lack of regular shelter. Nationwide, nearly 170 homeless people have been killed in the last six years. Here is the article from this morning's newspaper....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 22, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sully Officers Honored; New Details of Shootout Released

Slain Fairfax County Police officers Michael E. Garbarino and Vicky O. Armel will receive posthumous gold medals of valor from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce as part of the chamber's annual Valor Awards. The announcement was made yesterday even as new details about the May shootout at the Sully police station were released. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 20, 2006; 09:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/21: Major Decisions Face Schools Chief

Updated 12/21 The Fairfax County School Board is expected to extend Jack D. Dale's contract in a vote tonight. The story is here. Originally posted 12/18 According to this article from yesterday's Metro section Fairfax schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale has worked to keep a low-profile despite making notable proactive decisions in managing the region's largest public school system. Parents, educators and public officials say that Dale's most difficult work likely lies ahead....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Legislation to Rename Post Office For Fallen Fairfax Soldiers Passes

From today's Metro section: Legislation to rename a post office in Vienna for two local soldiers killed in Iraq was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate. House Resolution 6102, which would rename the post office at 200 Lawyers Rd. for Army Capt. Christopher Petty, a graduate of James Madison High in Vienna, and Maj. William F. Hecker III, who graduated from McLean High, goes to President Bush for his signature, according to a spokesman for Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). Petty, 33; Hecker, 37; and three other soldiers were killed Jan. 5 when a roadside blast hit their Humvee as they traveled from Baghdad to Najaf to check the progress on rehabilitating schools, the spokesman said in a news release....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 8, 2006; 09:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

McConnell Considers Stepping Down

Elaine N. McConnell (R- Springfield), a fixture of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for 23 years, says in today's Fairfax Politics column that next year may be the year to consider retiring from the board....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 11:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

South County Principal Earns Leadership Award

An article in today's Fairfax Extra introduces readers to Dale Rumberger, principal and of the South County Secondary School and the principle booster of the school's students. For his leadership, Rumberger was recently named one of The Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award winners....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 16, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Nobel Laureate Showed Promise Way Back Then

"I was tickled to death," said retired Fairfax High School science teacher Randy Scott on learning that former student Craig C. Mello had been named a Nobel Prize winner for medicine. Scott's memories of Mello's days as a budding scientist and high school wrestler are reported in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 12, 2006; 12:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

TJ Grad Finishes Double Major at U-Va. in a Year

Fairfax County's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is well-known for its high achieving students, but the school's recently graduated David Banh, 18, of Annandale, takes it to an enitrely new level: Banh has graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in just one year and is headed to graduate school at the Charlottesville university. Read about Banh in this front page story from today's paper....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2006; 10:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

Former County Police Chief Richard King Dies

Here is the obituary from today's paper for the former county police chief and interim county executive who died on Sunday....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2006; 10:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Priest/Advocate for Immigrants Wants Amnesty

Jose E. Hoyas, a popular priest who has led churches in Falls Church and Dale City, is making a name for himself as an advocate for immigrants. Today's Metro section takes a look at Hoyas and his work....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2006; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

S.R. Sidarth on Allen's "Macaca" Remarks

Fairfax native and Jim Webb campaign volunteer said in an interview in this morning's Metro section that what hurt more than "macaca" was being sarcastically welcomed to his own country....

 

By | August 25, 2006; 09:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Battered Fairfax Station Woman Wins Suit Against Former Husband

In an example of legal experts say is becoming a more common occurrence, a Fairfax Station woman has won a $550,000 award against her former husband who served jail time for beating her in their home in 2003. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By | August 18, 2006; 10:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Guitar Wizard Gains Fame on 'Net

Guitarist Matthew Baamonde, 19, of Herndon, is featured in this profile in today's Metro section. Baamonde has two self-produced rock songs in the top 10 of American Idol Underground, an online version of the Fox television talent contest....

 

By | August 2, 2006; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

The Buzz on Fairfax County's Mosquito Expert

Entomologist Jorge Arias of the Fairfax County Health Department makes controlling the tiny bloodsuckers his mission. Read about Arias and his work to keep your backyards free of the bugs here....

 

By | August 2, 2006; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church City Manager McKeever Dies

Daniel E. McKeever, 57, the city manager of Falls Church, died on Tuesday from complications of melanoma. His obituary is here. The city has named assistant city manager and former Scottsville Va., town administrator Wyatt Shields to fill McKeever's position as acting city manager....

 

By | July 27, 2006; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Relief Fund for Flood Victims

Want to help flood victims? Today's Fairfax Extra reports that a relief fund has been established for residents of the Arlington Terrace neighborhood of Alexandria that was hit hard. Make checks payable to United Community Ministries and send to 7511 Fordson Rd., Alexandria, Va. 22036. "Huntington Disaster Relief Fund" should appear on the check's memo line. For information, call 703-817-7771 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov....

 

By | July 6, 2006; 11:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

How Do You Feel about Squirrels? See Extra

Eating shutters, picnic tables, decks, bird seed, tulips and anything else deemed "chewable," frustrated homeowners fight an unending battle against nuisance squirrels. Today's Fairfax Extra chronicles one writer's move from the city to the Del Ray area of Alexandria and her quest to get rid of the pesky critters. What are your thoughts, suggestions?...

 

By | July 6, 2006; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Huntington Area Hit Hard by Flooding

Rising water and raw sewage has damaged more than half the 311 homes in the Huntington area of Fairfax County and will keep residents displaced until repairs can be made. Today's Metro section gives a glimpse of what the past few days have been like for the Grimes family and the uphill climb they face. Rodney Grimes and his family, who lived on Fenwick Drive, spent yesterday morning picking through what remained of their salvageable belongings....

 

By | June 28, 2006; 10:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

Funeral Canceled After Mistaken Identification

The funeral for William M. Heislup of Fairfax, who drowned with his friend John Walker in the Potomoac June 16, was canceled after his family found that the Baltimore medical examiner's office had made a mistake that led to the cremation of Heislup. A story in Saturday's Metro section reports that before Heislup's funeral, his brother and sister went to the funeral home and opened the casket, only to find the body of his friend. Heislup's had been cremated. The funeral was cancelled....

 

By | June 26, 2006; 01:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church's Cpl. Andy D. Anderson Dies in Iraq

Today's Metro section reports that after returning to Iraq from a home leave last month, Army Cpl. Andy D. Anderson was killed. Anderson, assigned to the Army's 46th Engineer Battalion based at Fort Rucker, Ala., was building a baracks when his camp in Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad, was hit by a mortar round. The wake to honor Anderson drew a crowd of 500, who graduated from J.E.B. Stuart High School in 2001....

 

By | June 22, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax's World Champion Swimmer Feels Pressure

For Kate Ziegler of Great Falls, the country's number one freestyle distance swimmer, the stresses of sudden celebrity, finishing high school, selecting a college (GMU) training, traveling and inking an endorsement deal have been taking their toll. Today's Sports section takes a look at Ziegler's reality as she faces the next stage of her swimming career....

 

By | June 5, 2006; 01:02 PM ET | Email a Comment

Second Officer Dies from Shooting Rampage

Updated 5/22 Coverage of Garbarino's funeral is here. From Saturday's Metro section: Gunman's Family Offers Sympathy in 2nd Death As police prepared for the funeral of the second officer killed in a May 8 police station ambush, the family of the 18-year-old gunman, Michael Kennedy, offered condolences. Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino died Wednesday. His funeral is scheduled today at the same church where Detective Vicky O. Armel, who died at the scene, was honored a week earlier. Police have wanted to talk to Kennedy's family since he fired more than 70 rounds in the parking lot of the Sully District station before officers shot and killed him. The family has been in seclusion, releasing only faxed statements through an attorney. Yesterday's release from Richard MacDowell offered sympathy and regret to the Garbarino family on behalf of the Kennedys. "They are devastated that this tragedy has caused yet a...

 

By | May 17, 2006; 09:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Detective Vicky O. Armel Remembered

Updated 5/15 Thousands mourned as Armel was laid to rest over the weekend. Counseling is being offered to county police officers to help them deal with their grief, according to this article. Originally posted 5/10 The slain officer's friends and colleagues shared memories for this story....

 

By | May 10, 2006; 08:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

At Average Age 81, Miles to Go...

Six runners gather each month in Springfield for a lunch meeting to discuss races for which they are diligently training. Their average age is 81. Collectively they bring nearly half a millennium of experience to the footpaths. Read about them here....

 

By | May 8, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Filmmaker Shoots for a Difference

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story introduces us to Falls Church documentary filmmaker David Eckert who has made five movies about local environmental issues in as many years....

 

By | May 4, 2006; 02:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

High Flying Herndon Legend In Fatal Plane Crash

Scott Crossfield, an X-plane pilots from the 1950s and 1060s died Wednesday in a single-engine plane crash in Georgia. A story about the Herndon resident is in today's Metro section....

 

By | April 21, 2006; 10:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Scammed on the Internet? He Investigates.

This story from today's Fairfax Extra introduces readers to Tom Polhemus, who is the go-to guy in Fairfax if you've been scammed on the internet....

 

By | April 20, 2006; 01:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

School Boundaries, A Different Kind of Split

The fight is not always ABOUT school boundaries, as countless blog entries indicate, but is sometimes ACROSS them. Take the case of split siblings, like Eva and Erica Hollenberg, who square off against each other on the soccer field today. Eva and Erica Hollenberg, split with the opening of the new South County Secondary School, which Erica, 15 now attends. Eva, 18 and a senior, stayed at Hayfield Secondary School . The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

 

By | March 27, 2006; 11:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

No Charges in Police Shooting of Fair Lakes Optometrist

Updated 4/17 An article in Saturday's Metro section reports that the FBI has begun a preliminary review of the case. Updated 4/14According to a Metro section article in this morning's paper, Culosi's family is expressing frustration that their request to the FBI to investigate the case has not been acknowledged. Meanwhile they are saying that the police department's five-hour delay in notifying family members of Culosi's death prevented him from receiving last rites. Originally posted 3/24Fairfax County's chief prosecutor has declined to file charges against a police officer who fatally shot a man who was suspected of running an illegal gambling operation, according to this article from this morning's Metro section. His family decried the decision. Salvatore J. Culosi, 37 was killed in January while a police SWAT team was attempting to arrest him outside his Fair Lakes townhouse. Investigators have concluded that the shooting was an accident....

 

By | March 24, 2006; 01:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hanley On Deck To Advise Kaine On Appointments

Update 1:20 p.m.The official notice of Hanley's appointment has been released by the governor's office. It reads:GOVERNOR KAINE APPOINTS SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH~ Former Fairfax Board Chair Hanley to advise on appointments, other matters ~ RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today appointed Katherine K. Hanley, a former Fairfax County board chairman, to serve as Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Secretary advises the Governor in his appointments of over 4,000 individuals to serve on various Virginia boards and commissions, and the Secretary's office processes annual disclosure reports required by lobbyists, applications for restoration of voting rights, and other ministerial functions.            Hanley, 63, served on the Fairfax County School Board from 1984 to 1986, and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors from 1986 to 2004. She also served a combined 14 years on the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates one of...

 

By | March 20, 2006; 10:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax First Reponders Recognized For Valor

Last week marked the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce's annual Valor Awards and 51 fire, police and rescue personnel were awarded for bravery. An article about the awards and a list of recipients is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | March 17, 2006; 12:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Five Fairfax Freshman Legislators Learn The Lawmaking Life

This week's Fairfax Extra cover story offer a glimpse into the lives of the five newly elected members of the Virginia delegation who represent parts of Fairfax County as they adjust to life in Richmond....

 

By | March 17, 2006; 11:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly vs. Devolites Davis in War of Words

The long political rivalry between Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly and state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis erupted in heated statements: Connolly accused Devolites Davis of casting the deciding vote to kill a bill to ban teenagers from using cell phones while driving. Read about the battle here....

 

By | March 13, 2006; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Following Fairfax County's World Champion Swimmer?

Focus on Fairfax has posted previously on Kate Ziegler, the Bishop O'Connell senior who took two gold medals at last year's World Swimming Championships. See another story in Sports in today's Post....

 

By | February 24, 2006; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Please Read: Rules Issued for Commenting on Fairfax Focus Blog

Some readers of this blog have recently raised questions about the role of The Washington Post in policing Fairfax Focus. I have deleted a few blog posts because they did not meet The Post's standards for fairness. For more clarity about how to play by the rules, Jim Brady, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com has posted a message explaining the rules for readers participating in the site's Live Online discussions, discussion forums and for posting comments on the company's blogs. The complete list of rules is here. --Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra Editor...

 

By | February 17, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

A life in Politics: Jack Herrity Remembered

Lisa Rein's Fairfax Politics column in today's paper recalls Jack Herrity's life in, and love for, politics....

 

By | February 9, 2006; 12:41 PM ET | Email a Comment

Vietnamese Mother of Slain U.S. Marine Seeks Residency

Binh Le, a U.S. Marine corporal, a graduate of Edison High School and a Vietnamese citizen, died in 2004 while serving in Iraq. Posthumously, he was awarded U.S. citizenship. His mother, Kim-Hoan Thi Nguyen,  now staying in Springfield with a friend, wants to lay flowers on her son's grave at Arlington National Cemetery each week, but her applications for permanent residency have been denied. Read her story here....

 

By | February 9, 2006; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Deputy Schools Chief Leaving

From today's Metro section: Brad Draeger, deputy superintendent of Fairfax County public schools, has been hired as schools chief for Livingston Public Schools in New Jersey. Draeger, who has been a Fairfax schools employee since 1979, started his career in the District as a music teacher at South Lakes High School. In Fairfax, he has worked as a high school principal, assistant superintendent for human resources and the school system's chief academic officer. He helped implement full-day kindergarten programs and worked to develop a program for young children with autism....

 

By | February 9, 2006; 10:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Faces Behind the Minutemen

Arizona grandmother Carmen Mercer has become known as one of the more public faces of the Minuteman Project which recently has been tracking the activities of day laborers in Herndon. An article about Mercer and her campaign to secure the country's borders is in today's Metro section....

 

By | February 8, 2006; 11:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Jack Herrity Dead at 75

Updated 2/6: Coverage of Herrity's funeral is here. Originally posted 2/1: The influential local politican died this morning of an aortic aneurism, according to his son. The story is here. The county's Office of Public Affairs has released a statement regarding the news....

 

By | February 6, 2006; 11:15 AM ET | Email a Comment

It's a Bus, It's a Room, It's a Mobile Lounge

You know those things you ride in to get from the terminal to your plane at Dulles? Today's Fairfax Extra takes a look at their history and at the people that drive them....

 

By | February 4, 2006; 02:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Karen Rae Resigns

From a news release: Virginia Rail and Public Transportation Agency Director Karen J. Rae today announced that she will resign effective Feb. 22. She has served as the Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation since August 2002....

 

By Steve Fehr | February 3, 2006; 05:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Fairfax Extra- and Blog- Editor Announced

The Post announced that Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra editor, will be heading to a new job as an assistant Virginia editor at The Post's main newsroom in Northwest Washington. Fehr will be replaced by Bob Samsot, currently an assistant city editor. Samsot lives across the street from the Fairfax news bureau in Fairfax City, so he won't have a bad commute. More details about Samsot are below. Fehr will oversee The Post's coverage of local government in Northern Virginia. A start date has not been announced but the change should occur pretty soon....

 

By Steve Fehr | January 24, 2006; 01:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Kauffman Exits As WMATA Chairman

Metro's website has the text of the remarks Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) made as he presided over his final meeting as the chairman of Metro's board of directors....

 

By | January 19, 2006; 03:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

Vienna Army Capt. Laid To Rest At Arlington

Army Capt. Christopher P. Petty, 33, of Vienna, was one of two Virginia soldiers killed in Iraq and laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery, a Metro section article from this morning reports....

 

By | January 18, 2006; 11:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Discovery of 25-Year-Old Error Reveals Family's Home is Illegal

Updated 1/12:The county has approved a variance for the LoGrande home. The details are here. Originally posted 12/22:The LoGrande family home in the Mount Vernon district is the subject of this week's Fairfax Extra cover story. A recent discovery of a 25-year old mistake has revealed that the house is seven inches below what the county requires for a building in the flood plain of the Potomac River and that the house as it stands is an illegal structure....

 

By | January 12, 2006; 03:48 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Names Communications Director

The following press release was released today by the City of Falls Church: City Manager Appoints Communications Director FALLS CHURCH, VA. -  City Manager Dan McKeever has announced the promotion and appointment of Nicole Gobbo as Communications Director for the City of Falls Church. As Communications Director, Gobbo will oversee the City's Office of Communications.  Her responsibilities will include serving as media spokesperson for the City and managing City publications, publicity, and Web content among other outreach initiatives.  Gobbo joined the City in May 2004 as Communications Specialist and served as Acting Director of Communications September through December 2005....

 

By | January 9, 2006; 01:53 PM ET | Email a Comment

Have You Ever Considered Adding Onto Your House?

Meet Reston homeowner Eric Young, who with no previous experience, has begun to build a $150,000 addition to his house. The Post's Home section is covering Young's ongoing progress in a series of semi-regular essays, beginning today....

 

By | January 5, 2006; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Selling Fairfax County in India

An article in this morning's Business section provides an inside look at how the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is trying to sell the county as place for international businesses to locate offices. The article focuses on Prasad Tagat, who is a contractor working for the county in Bangalore, India....

 

By | December 30, 2005; 09:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

"I look like Christmas Regurgitated All Over My Balcony"

Llori Stein of Falls Church revels in her tacky holiday display. Read about it in today's Metro section....

 

By | December 23, 2005; 09:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Meet the New Boys & Girls Club President

Former military lawyer and Fairfax County resident Will A. Gunn is the new president of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington. A profile of Gunn was in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | December 15, 2005; 02:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Church Members Pray For Former Fairfax Man Held Captive In Iraq

About 75 people gathered last night at a worship service for Tom Fox and three other members of Christian Peacemaker  Teams who were kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq on Saturday. The service was held at the Langley Hill Friends Meeting in McLean, where Fox is a longtime member. Today's Metro section has the story....

 

By | December 1, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

World Champion Swimmer From Great Falls Out Of Her Depth In The Limelight

Today's Sports section has a profile of distance swimmer Kate Ziegler, 17, of Great Falls. The story details the shy Ziegler's struggles with her new-found fame since she won two gold medals at the world championships in July and her preparations for the 2008 summer Olympics....

 

By | November 30, 2005; 01:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gobbler Gobbles Gobs of Gobbler

We certainly could have used her help with the leftovers yesterday. Fairfax County's own Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas has done it again, wolfing down more than 4 pounds of turkey in 12 minutes to win another eating contest this week. The Fairfax Extra published a feature story about Thomas and her elastic stomach, Nov. 24. Update 11/29: A health section article published today takes a look at how Thomas and other competitive eaters do what they do. ...

 

By | November 25, 2005; 10:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

West Springfield Singer Wows 'Em In Kandahar

Jenny Boyle and her band have moved from playing local bars to entertaining thousands of U.S. troops deployed overseas. Boyle was featured in a Sunday Metro article....

 

By | November 21, 2005; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Filmmaker Ron Maxwell To Speak At History Conference

Maxwell, who directed "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals," will speak at the first annual Fairfax County History Conference on Saturday at Frying Pan Park in Herndon. Details are in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | November 11, 2005; 03:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Post Honors Two Fairfax School Leaders

McNair Elementary Principal Stephen Hockett and Madeira School headmistress Elisabeth Griffith have been selected to receive the Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award. Read all about these two exceptional educators in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | November 10, 2005; 03:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Army Lt. Col. from Fairfax County Killed in Iraq

Lt. Col. Thomas A. Wren, 44, of Lorton was one of two soldiers from Virginia killed in Iraq last week. Wren, a father of five, died when his Humvee crashed. He is one of the highest ranking Army officers to die in Iraq....

 

By | November 9, 2005; 11:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Marc Fisher on Kate Hanley and Her New Life

Metro opinion columnist wrote about former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Katherine "Kate" Hanley and her decision to move from a home in the Falls Church area to Reston Town Center....

 

By | November 7, 2005; 03:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Meet The New Elections Registrar

Jacquelynne Harris is the county's first nonpartisan elections supervisor. She was profiled in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | November 3, 2005; 11:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Station Soldier Killed In Combat

Dillon M. Jutras, a Pfc. in the  Army, was killed during combat operations in Iraq on Friday. His family spoke about his life in a Metro section article this morning....

 

By | November 1, 2005; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Teen Killed In Crash Remembered By Friends

Friends of Vanessa Pean, the 16-year-old Great Falls girl killed in a single-car crash on Sunday, remembered her optimism in an article in this morning's Metro section....

 

By | November 1, 2005; 10:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Judge Dismissing DWI Cases

An article from this morning's Post reports on Judge Ian M. O'Flaherty, who has made it a policy in his Fairfax courtroom to dismiss drunk driving cases where the defendant's blood alcohol level was found to be .08 or higher on a breath test. O'Flaherty has said that he believes that the Virginia law that applies to these cases is unconstitutional because the law says that such defendants should be presumed guilty. Update 10/28: Fairfax prosecuters have challenged the judge on this issue....

 

By | October 27, 2005; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

DuBois Aide Leaving for Arizona

Supervisor Joan DuBois (R-Dranesville) today announced in a news release that Linda Lammersen will be leaving the supervisor's staff in November and relocating to Arizona....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 7, 2005; 04:55 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fred Morin Dies

Fred C. Morin, chairman emeritus of Fairfax Water, died Saturday, a county spokesman said today. Morin was the county's longest continuously serving appointed or elected official. He served on the board of Fairfax Water from 1961 to 2004. More from a county government news release:...

 

By Steve Fehr | September 26, 2005; 03:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

 

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