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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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School Board Hearing on Budget Poorly Attended

Why didn’t more people testify?

Dr. Ricardy Anderson (Mason District representative) welcomed the six people who testified Tuesday evening, May 14, at the Fairfax County School Board Public Hearing on the budget. The time between the first speaker, Nancy Trainer, starting her testimony, and Arthur Purves, the sixth speaker, ending his testimony was approximately sixteen minutes.

FCPS Students Awarded National Merit Scholarships

FCPS Students Awarded National Merit Scholarships

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‘Addictive Cell Phone Usage’

Fairfax County School Board spurred to action on student cell phone use

Cell phones

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Honoring Fairfax County Retiree Charles Smith

In January of 2024, Charles Smith retired as Watershed Project Implementation Branch Chief. In this role, he led a team responsible for designing, constructing, and monitoring water quality improvement projects.

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Seven Years Later, Still No Herndon Downtown Redevelopment

Comstock’s 2-year construction pause expired on April 30.

On April 24, a town spokesperson told The Connection that Herndon Town Manager Bill Ashton would update the Town Council during its April 30 Work Session on how “the town and Comstock are working together to determine next steps.”

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No Hold Comments by Chairman and Supervisors

Budget, lack of state funding; Animal Protection Police or Animal Control Officers?

Budget

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In Tents Not by Choice, But Lack of Choices

Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Johnson v. Grants Pass. on April 22, 2024 with consequences for people experiencing homelessness.

People experiencing homelessness opt to sleep in areas ‘not designated for human habitation’ because of a lack of affordable housing, especially for those earning below 30 percent of the Area Median Income.

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It’s Going to Cost More To Do More

Public Hearings on the tax rate and sewer rate.

Due to rising service demands and challenges in funding them, Fairfax County faces significant challenges addressing its FY 2025 advertised budget of $3.8 billion

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Valor Awards Honor 230 First Responders

On Thursday, April 11, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce honored first responders at the 46th Annual Fairfax County Valor Awards.

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Many Needs in Schools, County

Testimony will highlight priorities for spending.

On Thursday, April 18, home care workers, public service workers, allies, and community members planned to join airport workers, elected officials, and candidates for Congress for a march and rally at Dulles Airport in support of access to affordable health care and paid sick leave for airport service workers.

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Inova Schar Cancer Institute Reaches 5th Anniversary

Interview with John Deeken, MD, institute president

Inova Schar Institute

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In Tents Not by Choice, But Lack of Choices

Problems with data; police Encounters; shelter and housing.

People experiencing homelessness opt to sleep in areas ‘not designated for human habitation’ because of a lack of affordable housing, especially for those earning below 30 percent of the Area Median Income.

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Newly Released Book Chronicles Fall of Saigon 1975

Local author tells of her Vietnamese family’s escape on the last plane out.

Vietnam book

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County’s Real Estate Tax Rate Advertised at 4 Cent Increase

Fairfax County Supervisors at its March 5 meeting approved advertising a 4-cent FY 2025 real estate tax rate increase for the County Executive's FY 2025 Fairfax County Advertised Budget. The advertised rate is $1.135 per $100 of assessed valuation.

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Tentative Agreement Between ATU Local 689, Transdev

Fairfax County Connector Bus service expected to restart Friday, March 8.

After a daylong negotiation session on Tuesday, March 5, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, representing striking Fairfax County Connector bus drivers and mechanics, reached a tentative agreement with Transdev.

Broken Pipe Part of Larger Project

‘No evidence that the pipe's failure had compromised the water quality of those homes.’

On Tuesday, March 5, John Lisle, vice president of marketing and communications at DC Water, said Fairfax County's Feb. 27 presentation at the Great Falls Community meeting was comparable to DC Water's previous community meetings held the week before.

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Major Sewage Line Fails Near Potomac River in Great Falls

Fairfax tests wells, positive results for coliform and E. coli

The DC Water and Sewer Authority's Potomac Interceptor sewer line at Manhole #31, approximately 400 feet (just more than a football field) from the Potomac River, and varying proximity to 18 private wells in Great Falls, 158 feet to 2,755 feet, failed on or before Feb. 12.

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School Board Approves $3.8 Billion Budget

Mateo Dunne proposal not to increase pay for top division leadership rejected by Board; Supervisors will influence budget.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, the twelve-member Fairfax County School Board approved the Fiscal Year 2025 Advertised Budget 11–0 with one abstention.

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Gun Safety Bills Head to Governor’s Desk

Rally cry in Richmond: ‘Sign the Bills’

Gun Bill

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County Executive Presents FY 2025 Advertised Budget

Tax increase proposed; jobs cut; state underfunds schools; supervisors will make changes.

Budget

House of Delegates Considering SB 280, Medical Aid in Dying

Death with dignity bill passed in Virginia Senate.

Death with Dignity

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DOJ Releases Uvalde Review in mid-January

Where are comments by Fairfax County and Virginia on recommendations?

Review

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Casino Bill SB 675 Carries Over in 13 to 2 Vote

VA Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee ends consideration of a Tysons casino for this session; likely to be back in 2025

Casino bill

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Casino Bill is Dead for 2024

Carried it over until 2025.

Sen. Marsden’s SB 675 Casino Bill Carried Over: Opponents react; Marsden touts benefits.

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FCPS Proposed Six-Year Capital Improvement Plan

Climate change, gerrymandering, and inequitable funding discussed.

Climate change, gerrymandering, and inequitable funding discussed.

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January as Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month

Prevention, detection, badge-to-badge support, and data gathering.

Cancer Month

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Multiple Rotary Clubs Collaborate for Rise Against Hunger

Volunteers and sponsors needed.

Volunteers and sponsors are sought for the Rise Against Hunger Food Packaging event at Aldrin Elementary School, 11375 Center Harbor Road, Reston, VA, Saturday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; set-up at 8:30 a.m.

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Spotlighting the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate

The Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services facility empowers individuals and families.

The Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate in Reston is a vital, active neighborhood hub. Located at 12125 Pinecrest Road, Dogwood Elementary School, a Fairfax County Title 1 grant program school, anchors the community.

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First Snow in a Long Time

First Snow

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Volunteer Fairfax Mobilizes Hundreds for

Weekend of Service 2024 benefits those in need and bolsters volunteerism.

Volunteerism

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Reston Community Center’s Annual MLK Celebration

Rev. William J. Barber II calls on us to recommit to the fight for justice and remember the real King.

MLK Day

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Herndon Festival ‘Permanently Canceled’

Reasons why may differ from what you think.

The award-winning outdoor Herndon Festival, held yearly and produced by the town’s parks and recreation department, supported by volunteers since 1981 (except for one year during COVID) is permanently canceled.

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Looking for Miracles- Public Menorah Lighting

Five oil pots lit commencing the 5th day of Chanukah.

One of the traditions that is widespread among people of faith is celebrating the holidays with light.

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Angels Soar in Great Falls

Wish List Project 2023 benefits Fairfax County foster care, The Women’s Center, Second Story, Herndon ES and Aldrin ES

As part of the Wish List Project in its 23rd year, donors brought hundreds of gift items they purchased to the Perez family home in Great Falls on Saturday, Dec. 9.

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Supervisors Recognize Penny Gross

Thanking outgoing Mason District Supervisor for years of service to Fairfax County.

After serving seven consecutive terms as the Mason District Supervisor and attending more than 700 Board of Supervisors meetings, the Dec. 5, 2023 meeting will forever be etched in the memory of Penny Gross, who currently serves as vice chair. It was her final board meeting with colleagues.

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Cornerstones Opens Food Hub

Other nonprofits can supplement their resources.

A challenge existed for Cornerstones: wasted food, tons of it destroyed in the communities the nonprofit organization served, yet people were going home and going to sleep at night hungry.

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Supervisors Recognize Outgoing Dranesville District Supervisor John W. Foust

Thank you for years of dedication and service to Fairfax County!

At its Dec. 5 meeting, the Fairfax Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution honoring Dranesville District Supervisor John W. Foust for his community service.

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Vouchers Help Erode Barriers to Affordable Housing

One option to open the door to the county’s lowest income residents.

Vouchers

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Supervisors Approve Good Faith Funding for Police & Firefighters

Fiscal Year One Impacts: $33 million for police and $24.7 million for firefighters and paramedics

Funding

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Food Lines Resemble Bread Lines of Great Depression

2,000 people in need show up for help.

“The need was great — at one point, people were lined up around the block waiting to receive canned food, dry goods, fresh produce, and winter clothes.” — Herndon Vice Mayor Clark Hedrick

Supervisors Approve Good Faith Funding for Police & Firefighters

Fiscal Year One Impacts: $33 million for police and $24.7 million for firefighters and paramedics

“Many of the commitments that are in this, that we are expecting the county executive to include in his budget proposal to us, are things likely we would have done anyway.” — Chairman Jeff McKay (D)

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Impact of Fairfax’s High Rental Costs and Low Income

Validity of the point-in-time count

Rents out of control

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Challenges Don’t Take a Holiday

What about those experiencing hunger and homelessness?

Hunger

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Veterans Day 2023

Coming together “to honor generations of women and men who have served and sacrificed.”

In the Town of Herndon, members of the Wayne M. Kidwell American Legion Post 184 members started their day’s observance at dawn.

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Veterans Day 2023

Observance at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial

“The willingness with which young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars are treated and appreciated by their nation,” — Bruce Fein, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Reserves

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Name Change for W. T. Woodson High School

Intentionally uplifting people who were held down.

Woodson name

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Virginia Dems: Blue Wall in Both Houses

One Republican Supervisor-elect, zero Republican-endorsed school board member-elects

Election

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Nov. 7 General Election

What’s happening at polling places on Election Day.

Election Day

County’s Hypothermia Prevention Program Opens Dec. 1

2023 homelessness statistics show 10 percent increase in people experiencing homelessness at the Point in Time count.

Hypothermia

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2023 Walk to End Alzheimer's

Northern Virginia’s Alzheimer's Association provides support, help, research and more.

Northern Virginia’s Alzheimer's Association provides support, help, research and more.

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