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Victoria Ross

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Senator Kaine Hosts Interfaith Forum

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

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

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Fairfax County: Meet the Candidates for County Board

All politics is local, in Fairfax County, too: Who runs for Board of Supervisors in November?

You may be surprised – or dismayed – to learn that the 10 men and women who occupy Fairfax County Board of Supervisors wield enormous power and influence over your everyday lives.

Make a Call; Save a Life

Petersen’s “Good Samaritan Overdose Protection” law goes into effect July 1.

Accidental overdose deaths are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents among people ages 25 to 64, according to a recently released study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Last year, an estimated 210 heroin overdoses fatalities occurred in Virginia, with the highest number in Fairfax and Prince William counties.

Sarvis: Warner-Gillespie Debate ‘Disappointing’

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

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

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Warner, Gillespie Clash in U.S. Senate Debate

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

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

Foust Bridging Political Divide

Democrats hope Foust’s reputation as a “bridge-builder” connects with voters.

Straightening his tie, John Foust is preparing for yet another “meet-and-greet” event at the Clifton home of Democratic supporters Terry Matlaga and Kevin Bell.

A Plum Good Time!

Democrats gathered to support Dranesville Supervisor John Foust at Del. Ken Plum’s annual Family Picnic.

The powerful thunderstorms that drenched Northern Virginia Saturday night had the good sense to wait until the crowd of similarly powerful forces of nature – aka political VIPs - rallied, stumped and socialized at Del. Ken Plum's (D-36) Annual Summer Picnic and Pre-Election Rally.

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Extreme Politics

Foust, Comstock stake out opposing positions during first debate in hyper-partisan 10th district Congressional race.

Forget first-debate politeness. Republican Barbara Comstock and Democrat John Foust — the candidates vying to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf in Virginia’s 10th Congressional district — sustained the hyper-partisan tenor of their campaigns during a debate-style forum hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in Herndon last week.

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Heads Up Football Flourishing in Fairfax County

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

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

You Can Run, But You Can’t Win?

Fairfax County fires attorney for winning city council seat.

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

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What’s Offensive about Redskins Pride?

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

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

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Meals Tax: Tasty or Revolting?

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

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

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Eat. Drink. Pay?

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

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

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Mr. Horejsi Goes to Richmond

In the fight for social justice with patience and persistence.

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

Board Advertises Higher Tax Rate

Rate gives board flexibility, options in determining final budget.

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

Preventing Teen Suicides

Recent deaths shine light on FCPS suicide prevention programs.

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

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Bulova: ‘This Will Be a Challenging Budget’

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

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

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How Red Is the 10th District?

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

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

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Into the Budget Fray

Bulova highlights accomplishments, challenges in annual address.

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

Let Sun Shine on Virginia’s Financial Disclosure Laws

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

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

Every Tweet Counts

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

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

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Library’s Beta Plan: Dead on Arrival

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

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

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Fairfax County Wants You

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

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

Stacey Kincaid Elected County’s First Female Sheriff

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

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

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Battleground? Not Exactly

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

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

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Sheriff’s Race Heats Up

Kincaid, Wolfe trade barbs over guns, vandalism.

Like many of her neighbors, Vienna resident Jane Li said she didn’t know Fairfax County had a sheriff’s department until a few weeks ago.

Voters to Decide on $250 Million Bond

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Fairfax County voters will be asked to approve a $250 million school bond. If approved, the schools plan to use the money to:

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Making Voters Feel Welcome, No Matter Their Language

County election officials have stepped up outreach efforts and volunteer recruitment efforts.

“I was touched with the Korean community’s efforts to help us translate materials and provide volunteers. … And so we're trying to encourage other pockets. My next target is Vietnamese. We’ve also printed recruitment brochures in Farsi, Arabic, Chinese Korean, French, and Spanish.” — Cameron Quinn, Fairfax County’s chief elections officer

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Denim Do-gooders Help Put Zip on Homelessness

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

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

Residential Studios Put on Hold

Supervisors establish committee, plan additional public outreach.

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

Now What?

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

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

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Social Justice Matters

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

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

Residential Studios Put on Hold

Supervisors establish committee, plan additional public outreach.

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

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Wear Jeans to Work, Help End Homelessness

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

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

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Navy Yard Shootings Hit Close to Home

Four Fairfax County victims killed in Washington Navy Yard rampage.

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

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Local Business Leaders Spotlight Opportunities for UK Companies

Fairfax County EDA organizes Sept. 26 seminar in London.

Fairfax County’s Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) officials announced Tuesday, Sept. 17, that local executives will speak at a London seminar to spotlight opportunities for British companies interested in homeland security business opportunities in the United States.

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A New Beginning for Fairfax County Public Libraries?

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

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

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

County suspends discarding of library books.

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

Saving Jobs in Hard Times

Virginia lawmakers will push work sharing legislation this session.

“Having been through the recession and recent slight increases in Virginia unemployment rates as federal sequestration takes effect, it is important that we give Virginia businesses all the tools we can to help them and their employees get through challenging times. This bill does that.” —State Sen. George Barker (D-39)

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Every Year Is Election Year in Virginia

Northern Virginia has most two-party races on ballot.

While the Virginia governor’s race is the one getting the most attention, both nationally and in the state, Virginia’s House of Delegates race is shaping up to be the most competitive in a decade. According to an official candidate list released last month by the Virginia State Board of Elections, 57 House seats will be contested this November — marking only the second time in the last decade where at least half of the 100 House seats will have more than one name on the ballot.

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What in the World Does a Supervisor Do, and Why Should We Care?

Local Government 101: Where the rubber meets the road.

We see them at just about every community event. They manage a budget larger than the budgets of four states, and rule over a county with a diverse, well-educated population of more than a million people. The 10 members of the Fairfax County Supervisors have an intense, time-consuming, insanely detailed job, one that comes with enormous power and even more responsibilities. They impact our lives in large and small ways, allocating money and resources in ways that can propel our community forward—or cost us our first-rate status in education, livability and culture. Yet most of us, media included, are so focused on politics at the state and national level that we overlook the decision-makers in our own backyard.

Obsessed With Politics? Fairfax County Welcomes You!

What newcomers need to know to be politically-savvy insiders.

Fairfax County may be physically separated from Washington, D.C.—the ground-zero of All Things Political—but residents here are a politically-savvy bunch. We know who Larry Sabato is—a prominent University of Virginia political analyst—and we pay attention to Not Larry Sabato—a Virginia politics blog by Ben Tribbett, a Fairfax County resident and self-described “vicious campaign insultant.” We follow our politicians on Twitter and Facebook.

Supervisors Give Us Their Best “Insider” Tips

Fairfax County has a fantastic park and library system, with tons of activities to enjoy. One of my personal favorites is the Cardboard Boat Regatta at Lake Accotink Park every summer.

Fairfax Republicans Nominate Bryan ‘BA’ Wolfe for Sheriff

Wolfe faces Democratic nominee Stacey Kincaid in Nov. 5 special election.

When retired Fairfax police officer Bryan “BA” Wolfe was selected as the Republican nominee for Fairfax County Sheriff last week, he vowed to “restore the public trust” by making the 500-member department more “accountable and transparent.”

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Preserving History’s Jewels

Fairfax County considers new “resident curator” program to save historic properties.

“A successful resident curator program would allow the county to restore, maintain and protect important historic properties at little or no cost to the public.” —Cindy Walsh, Fairfax County Park Authority’s Resource Management Division director

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Fairfax County Public Libraries: Version 2.0?

Staff, volunteers urge supervisors to reconsider “disastrous” library reorganization plan that cuts staff and services.

In a world where the Internet has replaced newsprint, e-books have supplanted paperbacks and the latest films stream directly to laptops, how do public libraries compete?

Unlocking the Door to Affordable Housing

County considers establishment of residential studio option to assist with housing affordability.

Like most areas that have seen explosive growth in the past 30 years, Fairfax County’s stock of affordable housing has dwindled as it’s grown into one of the nation’s wealthiest counties.

Roessler Named County Police Chief

New police chief vows focus on diversity.

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

Fairfax County Animal Shelter Temporarily Suspends Intake of Dogs

Canine influenza suspected culprit after dozen dogs become ill.

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

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Making Sure Children Don't Go Hungry

Our Daily Bread provides meals for children during summer break.

For most children, summer means the end of homework and tests, and the beginning of cookouts and carefree summer vacations.

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