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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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Ten-Year-Old Advocates for Sidewalks Along Georgetown Pike

Creates and releases an online community petition

Ponteha Aryavand, 10, of Great Falls introduced an online community petition in mid-April for a continuous yet undetermined length of sidewalk along Georgetown Pike in Great Falls.

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‘Long May It Turn’ in Great Falls

Colvin Run Mill reopens with a new flume and waterwheel debut.

Colvin Run Mill opened in a grand celebration for its first grind of the season on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

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Fairfax County Police Chief Begins Job with Trust Deficit

Faith leaders question 'flawed' selection process and Supervisors' values during prayer vigil.

Approximately thirty interfaith leaders from across Fairfax County gathered in the "First Amendment" area outside the Fairfax County Government Center at noon, Tuesday, May 4.

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Davis Promises ‘Blue Waters Ahead’ for Fairfax County Police

Advocate ACLU People Power Fairfax joins the Fairfax County NAACP and others calling for new search

County To Hold “Community Meeting with Chief” Thursday, May 6.

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Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Hosts Spring Tea

New scholarship established in Holly Ann Kuga’s memory

The Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Scholarship Fund held its Spring Tea 2021 fundraiser on Sunday, April 25.

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Kevin Davis Appointed Fairfax County Chief of Police

Supervisors respond to a new era of policing.

Coming out of a closed-door session on Friday, April 23, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prepared, as Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason) said, “to select one of the most important hires it undertakes.”

Fairfax County Supervisors Validate Hire of New Police Chief

Aware of concerns, comments provided

Media reports concerning former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, appointed last week as the new Fairfax County Chief of Police, raise concerns about his employment history, including allegations of excessive force and violations of civil rights in 1993 and 1999.

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Fairfax County Board to Review Colvin Run’s Concrete Channelization

Recommends proposed county, state, and federal process changes

Part 2 of a series. Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill District) presented a Joint Board Matter with Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville District) on Tuesday, April 13.

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Community Helps Hoof Beloved Great Falls Horse’s Medical Bills

Delfina back home, but support needed for the long recovery

On April 8, a beloved 18-year-old Norwegian Fjord named Delfinia at the Lift Me Up equestrian center in Great Falls suffered a severe case of colic, abdominal pain.

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Bluebells and Bald Eagle Nestlings Take Center Stage at Riverbend Park

Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Philanthropy Group holds the tour.

Tucked away in a remote setting of the floodplains along the Potomac River, Virginia bluebells made their ephemeral appearance just in time for the Bluebells & Bald Eagle Tour organized by Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Philanthropy Group.

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Results of Arlington and Montgomery County Collaboration on Airplane Noise

Contractor proposes randomizing approaching flight path to share the noise of disturbing DCA flight tracks; testing underway

Local officials in Arlington and Montgomery counties continue their collaborative efforts following upticks in their communities' airplane noise complaints as aircraft approach and depart Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, DCA, located in Arlington County.

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Fairfax County Public Schools to Offer Four Days a Week In-school

Phased plan to start April 20 for most vulnerable students

Some students in the Fairfax County Public Schools system could be poised to clean off the family dining room table by April 20.

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Two Lawsuits Threaten Virginia Public Schools

Appellants ask courts to halt implementation of Student Transgender Policies; local FCPS Pride reacts

The outcome of two lawsuits filed in Circuit Courts the last week in March threatens the treatment of transgender students in all Virginia school divisions, including Fairfax County Public Schools.

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Residents Mourn ‘The Death of Colvin Run’

Great Falls and Vienna residents argue that ‘George Washington would not recognize his stream of 1799.’

Colvin Run in Vienna died this spring.

Public Input Sought on Fairfax County Police Chief Selection

Increased expectations of public involvement and transparency drive forum

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is seeking public involvement as its nationwide search for the next Fairfax County Police Chief gets underway.

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Express Services Open at Fairfax County Libraries

Patrons back to browsing the stacks

The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) reopened for interior Express services Monday, March 22.

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Possible Tower of Trouble Ahead for Wireless Developer in Vienna-Great Falls Area

Sides clash over Rt. 7 proposed telecommunications facility

How best for everyone concerned to correct cellular coverage holes in the Vienna-Great Falls Route 7 area is one issue.

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A Lawsuit Challenges TJ Admission Changes

Parents sue to stop TJ’s admission policy changes, alleging anti-Asian race discrimination.

The Fairfax County School Board and Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand face a new lawsuit filed against them last week in United States District Court in Alexandria.

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County Highlights

Actions and words by Fairfax County leadership and citizens

In our new series,  County Highlights, the Connection spotlights actions and comments by Fairfax County officials, public servants, and local citizens who call the County's 406 square miles home.

Fairfax County Planning Commission Recommends Denial of Flag Limitations

It's not a done deal.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted 11-0 to recommend denial to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to replace the current zoning ordinance establishing specific regulations for flags and flagpoles in the New and Modernized Zoning Ordinance (zMOD Updates) countywide.

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Fairfax County Supervisors Foust and Alcorn on Years 1 and 2: COVID-19

Changing the pandemic's course through the lens of an equitable recovery

Year 1: Covid-19 comes to a close on March 10, 2021.

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Drive-in-person Special Election Held in Great Falls

Citizens Association members endorse two special questions.

Members of the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA), voting in the special drive-in-person election of the Executive Board and Officers held March 6, 2021, unanimously re-elected eight candidates and one new candidate.

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Open in the Winter in Great Falls

Shoppers make Great Falls Community Farmers Market a weekly event

Even though winter continues in the area, the Great Falls Community Farmers Market drew customers to its location at 778 Walker Road, Great Falls, on March 6.

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Fairfax County Readies for Public Employee Collective Bargaining

Holds collaborative meetings with union reps to write rules

Most Fairfax County public employees who provide vital services in education, safety, healthcare, and sanitation like others in counties, cities, and towns across the Commonwealth, will gain a new right on May 1, 2021.

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Breathing Life into a Community of Faith in Great Falls

A Prayer Cross welcomes all.

Leaders at Great Falls United Methodist Church invite parishioners and visitors now through Easter Sunday, April 4, to share in their Community Lenten Prayer Cross at 10100 Georgetown Pike.

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Fairfax County’s FY 2022 Budget Plan

Focuses resources in targeted areas

“What a difference a year makes” said Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill.

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Nothing But the Best for Family: Pets of Great Falls

For us lucky ones, pets are part of our lives.

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Great Falls Citizens Association Opposes Flag Restrictions

Long-time Great Falls resident and Great Falls Citizens Association Board member Ruth Carver says she finds it "highly offensive" that Fairfax County advertisement of the Zoning Ordinance Modernization (zMOD) program is equating the American flag to a commercial banner.

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Controversial Solutions at Play for Springvale Road Bridge in Great Falls

Great Falls Citizens Association invites VDOT to Feb. 25 Town Hall.

Policies passed down to state levels encouraging single-lane deteriorating bridges to be replaced with two-lane bridges because of purported safety concerns are once again at the forefront for discussion between the Great Falls Citizens Association, community members, Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville District), and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Meet Langley High’s Teacher of the Year

Recipient learns Publishers Clearing House-style

Langley High School announced its Teacher of the Year 20-21 during a virtual staff meeting.

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School Board Approves McLean High Boundary Adjustment

Monitoring continues as population explodes in Tysons

The Fairfax County School Board heard the final words on the McLean/Langley High School Boundary Study during a hybrid regular meeting of the Board held on Feb. 4, 2021.

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The Impact of zMOD

Discussing the Zoning Ordinance Modernization: How to protect the character of Great Falls?

Testimony by 46 County citizens about the Zoning Ordinance Modernization (zMOD) project, started in 2017 and nearing the end of its process, elicited more than five hours of testimony at the Fairfax County Planning Commission Meeting held Jan. 28.

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Fairfax County Severs Cooperation with ICE

Board adopts Trust Policy barring voluntarily sharing residents' immigrant status

Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors approved in a vote of 9-to1, the Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy (Trust Policy) introduced as a Board Matter on Jan. 26 by Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay and co-sponsored by Supervisors Dalia A. Palchik (D-Providence) and John W. Foust (D-Dranesville).

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Fairfax County School Board Votes for In-Person Learning

Students who opt-in would be due back by March 16.

Fairfax County Public School students, whose parents or guardians opt for in-person learning for their children, are headed back to the classroom at least two days a week by March 16.

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McLean High Boundary Change Down to the Wire

After the last public hearing, the School Board votes on Feb. 4.

The McLean/Langley High School Boundary Study is at the end of its multi-year process for the School Board to take action by vote and provide capacity relief, or not.

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Great Falls, McLean, Vienna Help Fight Hunger

Stuff the Bus rolls into action.

The Wheels on the Bus is a classic children's song that tells the story of a little bus going "All 'round the town."

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Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Supports Artemis House

Donation of $5,500 to help victims of domestic and sexual violence

Members of Great Falls Friends and Neighbors (GFFN) Philanthropy Committee presented a donation check for $5,500 on Jan. 26 to Joe Meyer, Executive Director & CEO of Shelter House, and Nurjan Ahmedova, Director of Development, to support the organization's 24-hour emergency shelter, Artemis House for domestic and sexual violence victims, stalking, and human trafficking.

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Tightening Criteria for Entering into Gang Database

Gang Task Force use of DataWalk under scrutiny

On Oct. 2, 2018, Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force selected DataWalk as their analytical platform to support its fight against gangs according to a headline on BUSINESS WIRE.

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Questioning Racially-Biased Gang Database

Activists: Residents can be entered into GangNet merely for living in neighborhoods where gang activity takes place.

With no recourse for review, a nebulous definition of gang membership led an activist, an immigration advocate, and a Virginia legislator to fight for change.

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Celebrating the Passion of Music Making in Great Falls

Virtuoso pianist, sought-after worldwide, finds a home at Great Falls United Methodist Church.

There were particular moments in Thomas Pandolfi's earliest days of his existence, he said, when hearing music, particularly piano music, whether it was part of an orchestra, choral music, or opera, set him on a course of "tremendous work."

McLean, Langley High Boundaries to Change

Next public hearing on Jan. 28, School Board vote on Feb. 4

The Fairfax County School Board held a hybrid regular meeting on Jan. 21.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Headaches in Fairfax County

IT and supply problems worry residents.

“I want to assure you that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be,” said Jeffrey McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

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Great Falls Citizens Voice Environmental Concerns

GFCA submits documents to County's Environmental Quality Advisory Council 2021

Members of Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) believe development pressure and environmental concerns are no longer balanced, shifting away from recognizing the importance of environmental protection.

Fairfax County Residents List Assembly Expectations

County General Assembly Delegation holds pre-2021 Session Public Hearing

The Fairfax County General Assembly Delegation held a Pre-2021 Session Public Hearing on Saturday, Jan. 9.

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Ponchos of Sunshine to 'Frequent Flier' Hospital Children

Cape Ivy aims to provide warmth, comfort and support to children who have chronic or critical illnesses.

In honor of her son, Gavin Grey Smith of Great Falls, who lost his 12-year battle to a rare form of CVID (Common Variable Immune Deficiency), his mother, Meg Elliot Smith, threw herself into providing fleece poncho capes to ''frequent flier'' children in hospitals.

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Vivid Chill Opens in Great Falls

Shopping handcrafted, ethically produced, nontoxic products

It all started with the local artisan's handbags, the love of little boutique shops that featured brands with morals and values, and telling her mom that more than anything else, she wanted to open a store in the Great Falls Village Centre with a showroom for those bags and other ethically and sustainably produced items.

McLean, Langley High Communities Weigh in on Boundary Adjustment

Capacity relief sought with eyes on Langley High School

Fairfax County Public Schools presented three possible options and a no change option for capacity relief at McLean High School during a virtual community meeting held Mon., Dec. 7.

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A Look Inside the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Meeting Dec. 1, 2020

Highlights of discussion and actions that impact all who live, work and play in the diverse county

Dec. 1 marked the final Fairfax County Full Board of Supervisors Meeting with Public Comment of 2020.

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Great Falls’ 30th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Santa's visit sparks the spirit of the season.

No way could Santa disappoint the children in Great Falls and miss the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting held this year on the Great Falls Village Centre Field on Sunday, Dec. 6.

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Looking Desperately for Holiday Santa Stars

Bob Nelson provides support to military families this COVID-19 holiday season.

For over ten years, long-time Great Falls resident and businessman Bob Nelson hosted his Military Appreciation Monday dinners at the Old Brogue, raising funds to support various United States military organizations at the twice-monthly events.

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