Worst fear of any parent of a teenager: losing a child to violence.
Opening up records of “unattended deaths” to families.
Virginia has missed out on $10 billion, 30,000 jobs and care for 400,000 citizens.
New auditor and panel will make an excellent police force better, more transparent and accountable.
In February, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors followed through in establishing two forms of independent oversight of law enforcement for the first time in county history.
Results of the 2017 session of the General Assembly.
GOOD THINGS Progress in funding mental health and addressing the opioid epidemic on multiple levels were among the successes of the 2017 General Assembly session.
Attend a town hall meeting and express your priorities.
Alexandria and Arlington each have a meals tax, both enacted without a referendum because as urban forms of government in Virginia, their local elected bodies were authorized to enact the tax legislatively.
Efforts appear dead for this session, but elections later this year provide new opportunities.
While three bills that could have reined in the runaway gerrymandering in Virginia made it through the Virginia Senate to crossover, they died on Tuesday morning in a House subcommittee, despite some vocal Republican support.
The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish the last week of February, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by Feb. 15.
Demonstrations at Dulles in reaction to travel ban; fast moving General Assembly lacks transparency; other key issues.
As this date approaches, the General Assembly has a serious transparency issue, as it continues to kill most proposed legislation with unrecorded voice votes in subcommittee, with no accountability or record of how members voted.
Sound the call to action; resist changes that are against the values and beliefs of most Virginia voters.
While most voters in the United States did not vote for Donald Trump for president, it was all the more so here in Northern Virginia.
Personal involvement of Culosi, Beltrante key to success of police commission.
The call for reform and transparency in Fairfax County Police began long before the shooting death of John Geer in August 2013.
Civilian Review Panel — and they said it couldn’t be done ….
Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to establish a Civilian Review Panel, part of a two-pronged concept of independent oversight of law enforcement recommended unanimously by the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission.
There is a joy to participating in community traditions and celebrations during the holidays, from walking along a sidewalk with the streets decked out for the holidays, to shopping in local stores, to being greeted by someone likely to be the owner of the store, to finding gifts that are not mass-produced.
Kudos to Board of Supervisors for unanimous approval of independent police auditor; now on to the Civilian Review Panel.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to create the position and office of independent police auditor on Tuesday, Sept. 20, creating the first civilian, independent oversight of law enforcement in Fairfax County. The unanimous vote demonstrated the board’s commitment to the ongoing process that began early in 2015 when Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova established the 32-member Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission.
Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 5-13, #MindsMatter
As school begins, we are accustomed to safety warnings. Slow down driving, watch for students along the roads, near schools and perhaps behaving unpredictably near intersections. Buckle seat belts. Wear bicycle helmets. Avoid distracted driving.
Possible record turnout should motivate more early voting.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, and in some ways that seems like it can’t possibly come soon enough.
While Metro lapses can’t be excused, it’s much safer than driving; maintenance-related safety issues also plague area bridges and roads.
Intense scrutiny on the safety and maintenance record of the Washington region’s Metro system is resulting in continuing revelation of lapses, and ongoing inconvenience with repair schedules shutting down entire lines and the end of late night service.
Buy an ad in our annual Newcomers and Community Guide, please.
Has your organization been featured in the Connection Newspapers, or the Alexandria Gazette Packet or the Mount Vernon Gazette or the Centre View or the Potomac Almanac?
In a Democracy, we’re best served by more voter participation.
Today, the Virginia Supreme Court will hear an expedited challenge to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) restoration of the voting and civil rights of more than 200,000 Virginians who were convicted of felonies, served their time and completed any supervised release, parole or probation requirements. The restoration of voting rights moves Virginia into the mainstream.
Share tips in upcoming Newcomers and Community Guides.
The Connection’s annual Newcomers and Community Guides will publish Aug. 24 with a deadline of Aug. 17.
There are hungry children in Northern Virginia, more so in summertime.
Summer for most children in Northern Virginia is a time of fun and activities, camp and vacation, trips to the pool and possibly to the library.
The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish on July 27, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by July 17.
Independence Day is a national celebration, and for many, that celebration includes alcohol. The summer overall and July 4 in particular are times of greater risk for drinking and driving.
Police commission recommendations come to Board of Supervisors for approval, implementation.
In some ways, the Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, brainchild of Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, was a bit of a miracle.
So much at stake as teens approach graduation and summer.
Observe a moment of silence.
On Memorial Day, we remember all of those who have died in military service, more than 400,000 in World War II, more than 30,000 in Korea, more than 50,000 in Vietnam.
Fairfax County residents can expect to see meals tax question on November ballots.
The Meals Tax may be on Virginia ballots this November.
Governor’s action brings Virginia in line with 39 other states.
Last week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) restored the voting and civil rights of more than 200,000 Virginians who were convicted of felonies, served their time and completed any supervised release, parole or probation requirements.
Geer’s death exposed “obfuscation … and a lack of public accountability.”
Adam Torres, charged with murder in the death of Springfield resident John Geer, was the first Fairfax County Police officer in the history of the department to be charged in such a death.
Still striving to be the Connection to your community.
Connection Newspapers won dozens of awards from the Virginia Press Association for work done in 2015.
While FCPD has embraced many critical changes, supervisors need to move forward with oversight.
Last week, the Fairfax County Police Department posted a list and progress report of 202 recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, each currently labeled as one of: implemented, in progress or under review.
Affordable Care Act could pay for help, better health for 100,000 uninsured people in Virginia with mental illness or addiction issues.
Poor people without health insurance in Virginia are being unnecessarily tortured, in some cases to death, by a General Assembly that refuses to expand Medicaid.
Homelessness should be rare, brief and non-recurring; 776 fewer homeless individuals in 2016 than in 2008.
Homelessness is down in Fairfax County in every major category, a fact confirmed on Jan. 28, 2016, the annual Point in Time Count.
Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), will offer the 2016 St. Patty’s Day SoberRide program, providing free cab rides to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington-metropolitan area next Thursday, March 17.
In a world: Barbaric.
No doubt Virginia and Texas will be the last two states to continue with the death penalty until, inevitably, evolving standards of decency lead the U.S. Supreme Court to declare that the death penalty is unconstitutional.
General Assembly has potential to do lots of damage in a short period.
From pressing for use of a barbaric form of execution, the electric chair, to codifying discrimination, to stripping localities of the major tool for ensuring infrastructure is in place for new development, to hiding more and more critical public information from the public, the Virginia General Assembly is poised to do harm to the Commonwealth.
Last week, the Assembly passed SB 202, which undid a major push eight years ago to ensure that all of our public spending was ‘online’ and searchable by ordinary citizens. This, of course, meant disclosing the salaries of public employees over a certain income level.
When police encounter someone in mental health crisis, they can transport them to Merrifield Crisis Response Center instead of jail.
Natasha McKenna died a little more than a year ago on Feb. 7, 2015.
Assembly rushes bill limiting proffers without addressing who will pay for infrastructure.
In Virginia, a Dillon Rule state, local governments have only the powers explicitly granted by the General Assembly. And what the assembly gives, the assembly can take away.
Super Bowl Sunday is Sunday, Feb. 7, and often more about the parties than the game.
The General Assembly prides itself in providing a pro-business climate, but refuses infusion of more than $3 billion annually.
Hundreds of bills before this year’s General Assembly session focus on “business climate,” providing incentives for businesses to locate and expand here, extending tax exemptions and tax credits, encouraging international trade, reducing regulation and many other approaches perceived as pro-business.
Bills to rein in predatory lending die in Senate committee.
Have you ever paid 36 percent interest on a loan or credit card?
General Assembly action matters more in Virginia.
The Virginia General Assembly began its 60-day 2016 session on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
County looks at “lines of business,” schools call for full funding.
Karen Garza didn’t move to Fairfax County from Texas to preside over the decline of Fairfax County Public Schools.
A few wishes for the Virginia General Assembly, more coming ...
Issues and elections in 2016.
The pages of the Connection have been full of holiday spirit for more than a month. Menorah lightings, group and individual efforts to help the needy, stories of giving, secular celebrations, religious celebrations.
It’s an opportunity to talk about responsibility, alcohol and planning ahead.
The holiday party season is here, and we will almost all be celebrating in some way. Some ways will involve celebrations that include alcohol.
Every day can be “small business day.”
There is a joy to participating in community traditions and celebrations during the holidays, from walking along a sidewalk with the streets decked out for the holidays, to shopping in local stores, to being greeted by someone likely to be the owner of the store, to finding gifts that are not mass-produced