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McLean Family Heads to Rose Bowl to Honor Late Daughter

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 19th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Donate Life.

Photo courtesy of Donate Life.

By Michael Balderston

In 2009, Hilary Crawford Bradford, a mother of two and registered nurse, passed away at the age of 36. Her death was a tragedy that rocked her family and community. However, that was not the end of Hilary’s story.

As a registered donor, Hilary was able to donate her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancreas, and helped save five lives. It is this unselfish act that Hilary’s mother, Bettsy Crawford, and family will be honoring when they head to Pasadena for the annual Rose Bowl Parade.

Donate Life, a nationwide organization that promotes the importance of being an organ donor, sponsors a float every year as part of the Rose Bowl Parade. This year the theme of their float is “The Never Ending Story” and features floragraph’s of previous donors. Among them will be one of Hilary. For Bettsy Crawford, it’s an appropriate theme to honor her daughter.

“Not only is it perfect for the fact you can keep passing on something to help someone else so the story of life continues,” says Crawford, “but for the Crawford family, that title was perfect because it was one of [the kids’] favorite movies.”

Becoming a donor was a no brainer for Hilary.

“That was a slam dunk, easy decision,” says Crawford. “I don’t know if it was a big deal, it was just like ‘of course I’ll do that, why wouldn’t I do that.’”

Crawford has her own history as a donor. In 2001 she became a living donor when she donated one of her kidneys. She continues to provide her support by serving on the Washington Regional Transplant Community’s advisory council as a volunteer with her husband, Ray.

“Just trying to do what I can to kind of pay it forward, pay it back,” says Crawford on why she volunteers. “It’s a great cause. There are still too many people that still are not registered organ donors and if I can do anything to help facilitate changing that I feel like that’s a valuable thing I can do.”

There is still a great need for people to register as organ donors. Over 2,000 people in the D.C. area are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant and over 123,000 people all across the U.S.

The Crawford family is excited to head to the Rose Bowl, not only to help spread awareness on the importance of being an organ donor, but to remember Hilary’s spirit.

“She loved life, absolutely loved life,” says Crawford. “Loved being the oldest sibling and kind of acting like a second mom to them. She loved her friends, loved her family, loved nursing … she just enjoyed life.”

The 126th Rose Parade will take place on New Years Day.

‘Do Not Drink’ Order Still in Affect; FCC Rejects ‘Redskins’ Ban

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 19th, 2014

By Michael Balderston

‘Do Not Drink’ order still in affect in Northwest Washington due to petroleum contamination in water.
(WJLA)

FCC shoots down petition to ban radio station from saying “Redskins”
(WJLA)

Fairfax County high school beefs up security after increase in fights and threat over social media
(NBC Washington)

Stephen Colbert ends “The Colbert Report” with star-studded send off
(NBC Washington)

Cyberattacks against government skyrocketing
(CNN)

Obama Lifts Cuban Trade Embargo; Sony Cancels ‘The Interview’ Release

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, December 18th, 2014

By Michael Balderston

Obama lifts trade embargo with Cuba following release of Alan Gross.
(Washington Post)

Arlington’s Artishphere is set to close in June after consistently failing to break even.
(Washington Post)

Sony cancels release of ‘The Interview’ after threats from cyberhackers.
(WJLA)

Fairfax competes against Prince George’s county for new FBI headquarters.
(WJLA)

D.C. Council approves new D.C. United stadium.
(WJLA)

Cuba releases US prisoner Alan Gross; Johns Hopkins mistakenly accepts hundreds of rejected applicants

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

Cuba releases American Alan Gross, who was imprisoned for 5 years 
(WTOP)

Johns Hopkins mistakenly accepts hundreds of rejected applicants
(The Washington Post)

Following threats, theater cancels New York premiere of ‘The Interview’
(WAMU)

Sororities call U-Va. freeze a violation of student rights
(The Washington Post)

Vice President Biden presides over lighting of National Menorah
(WAMU)

Lea Gabrielle

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Former U.S. Navy pilot and officer celebrates one year with FOX News

Lea Gabrielle/FOX News Channel.

Photo courtesy of Lea Gabrielle/FOX News Channel.

Lea Gabrielle has an impressive resume: not only is she a correspondent for FOX News and a former reporter for NBC, but she also served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years as a fighter pilot and an Intelligence Operations Officer. Now celebrating her one-year anniversary with FOX, Gabrielle reflects on her career, her military background and her Northern Virginia roots, where locals may remember her as Lea Gabrielle Potts.

 Lea Gabrielle/FOX News Channel.

Photo courtesy of Lea Gabrielle/FOX News Channel.

What can you say about your first year with FOX News?
It’s given me the opportunity to bring my experience in the military into some of the stories that we’re telling, which is so important. A big part of the reason I left the military to go into journalism is [to] bring the perspective of those who had served [and bring] that perspective to the news.

How are you able to utilize your past experiences as a fighter pilot?
[FOX has] used my expertise when there were aviation stories. For example, there was one where landing gear wouldn’t come down on an aircraft; we were covering it live as the plane had to do a belly-up landing in San Antonio. Of course, the big one lately has been the air strike in Iraq and in Syria, where I can bring in my experience as a former F-18 pilot who has flown that type of mission to assist in helping people better understand why we’re doing what we’re doing and how it works behind the scenes.

How has the industry treated you as a female reporter?
It’s been great. I really don’t see a difference being a female reporter. But when you’ve been in the military, you’ve gone to a naval academy and you’ve served in the military for a long time, it doesn’t really faze you, the differences. Normal society seems actually pretty gentle compared to being a woman in the military.

What was it like being a woman in the military?
I grew a lot from my experience and I feel like I got to do a lot of things that very few women have the opportunity to do, including being a fighter pilot. I deployed with a field team in Afghanistan. I was the only woman who was with them in the location that we were [in]. That was an incredibly unique and special experience; getting to see some of the absolute best that we have in our military at work, conducting their operations and being able to be a part of it and being able to help them was just extremely rewarding.

How has your Northern Virginia upbringing influenced your career path?
I was brought up in a very patriotic family right there in the center of our country’s history. Being 15 miles south of Washington D.C., being close to the Capitol, being close to the Pentagon, I was raised to be paying attention to what was going on in our government and to understand the importance of the different government agencies, but I was also raised around people who are leaders in our country. [I] grew up almost right next door to General Krulak, who was one of the Commandants of the Marine Corps. I went to school with kids whose parents were congressmen and senators and admirals and generals. —Bailey Lucero-Carter

(December 2014)

Taliban storm high school in Pakistan; Metro service restored

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

By Carten Cordell

Taliban storm an elite army high school in Pakistan, at least 126 dead
(The Washington Post)

Metro service restored on Orange, Blue and Silver lines after water main break
(The Washington Post)

SunCoke Energy idles some Va. mining operations
(WTOP)

Virginia Officials Consider Widening I-66 Through Arlington
(WAMU)

FCPS programs are picking up STEAM

Posted by Editorial / Monday, December 15th, 2014

An art scientist and arts center collaborate to put art in STEM programs at four Fairfax schools.

STEAM classes at Fairfax schools

Kamen’s ‘Divining Nature’. Photo courtesy of Angie Seckinger (artwork)

Since the late 20th century, education in the United States has predominantly concentrated on promoting STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. Yet in the process of stressing these hard-logic subjects, creativity and artistry were arguably pushed aside. Now, in the 21st century, research and advocates assert for an amendment of the acronym: in an effort to enhance learning by integrating science and art, schools around the country are making the shift from STEM to STEAM.

STEAM classes at Fairfax schools.

FCPS teachers meet to discuss the new STEAM projects. Photo courtesy of Derryl Harris.

In 2013, STEAM programs took off in approximately 60 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). These programs, while suitable starting points, maintained a scientific core (think robotics and Lego league) and struggled to fully incorporate art as an integral component. That is, until Rebecca Kamen acted on an idea.

A self-proclaimed art scientist, Kamen gained significant recognition of artfully showcasing science through her “Divining Nature: An Elemental Garden” exhibit at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) in 2009. Her 83-piece display depicted the naturally occurring elements of the Periodic Table as ethereal white “flowers” whose petals represented the orbital patterns of their electrons. The garden was arranged in a Fibonacci’s spiral, a shape that is both natural and aesthetic, and included a musical composition by Susan Alexjander derived from the radio waves of atomic nuclei.

The success of “Divining Nature” sparked Kamen’s interest in spreading knowledge of the relationship between art and science. She has recently retired from 35 years of teaching at Northern Virginia Community College in order to travel and promote the message of STEAM.

“What I’m trying to do with this work, this art science work in the schools, is to get the students to expand their realm of knowing and realizing that disciplines don’t have to be siloed,” Kamen says. “If you start seeing science through the eyes of art … it makes for seeing things in new ways.”

For the pilot programs at FCPS, Kamen approached GRACE, an arts center that already works closely with FCPS to promote creative learning. Along with GRACE Art, which is in several elementary schools, and the Emerging Visions show for teens, GRACE now performs as the facilitator and resource for teachers involved in the pilot STEAM programs. These programs operate at Oakton, Falls Church and Langley high schools as well as Cooper Middle School.

Rebecca Kamen, STEAM classes

Rebecca Kamen with one of her sculptures. Photo courtesy of Scott Smallin.

According to John Adams, director of education at GRACE, the new programs at FCPS focus on the four Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. These pilot programs should also teach students how to problem solve in creative ways.

“Our focus is really going to be on how we teach the creative process … but we’re just taking it another step further. We’re trying to give the students some framework for creative thinking,” says Adams.

After an initial lecture from Kamen, the science and art teachers involved with the STEAM initiative will collaborate to create projects for students that demonstrate scientific learning in artistic ways. Adams and others from GRACE will continue to offer assistance throughout the process, which is individualized by school. At the end of the school year, the students’ scientific artwork will be presented as an exhibition in an arts center, thus promoting students to share their knowledge and creativity. —Bailey Lucero-Carter

 

(December 2014)

Harper, Nats agree to new 2-year deal; Friends try to correct record on UVa rape story

Posted by Editorial / Monday, December 15th, 2014

By Carten Cordell

Harper, Nats agree to new 2-year deal, per FOX
(foxsports.com)

95 Express Lanes open in Northern Virginia
(The Washington Post)

Fairfax and Prince George’s counties battle for new FBI site
(The Washington Post)

Friends try to correct record on UVa rape story
(WTOP)

Tenants Rights to get tweaked In Virginia
(WAMU)

 

Congress Passes Spending Bill; Virginia Cheap on Tobacco Prevention

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 12th, 2014

By Michael Balderston

Congress passes $1.1 trillion spending bill just before deadline
(Washington Post)

Judge declines to halt gun give-back in Fredericksburg
(WTOP)

Virginia not spending enough money on tobacco prevention, according to public health organizations
(WJLA)

D.C. residents get revenge on holiday package thief by filling box with dog poop
(WJLA)

Time capsule burried by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams in 1795 discovered in Boston
(CNN.com)

December’s #NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 12th, 2014

#NoVA

Illustration by Libby Burns.

“I’m looking for something mid-century modern rustic.”

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