Posts Tagged ‘Fairfax’

Beltway’s outer loop will be paved within the week; Congress may delay Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Jae O’Connor

Last weekend’s nor’easter delayed pavement on I-495’s outer loop, but VDOT hopes to have it paved within the week.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which promotes trade between the Americas, Asia and Australia, has been approved by Obama but may face scrutiny in Congress.
[The New York Times]

A Fairfax woman was allegedly involved in three fraud schemes, including the embezzlement of $653,000 from Virginia Sen. Richard Saslaw.
[Fairfax County Times]

D.C. has a new 16-week leave plan for anyone with a new child, suffering from severe illness or helping a sick family member.
[The Washington Post]

Whitehall Farms: Agritourism in Fairfax County

Photo courtesy of Whitehall Farms

Photo courtesy of Whitehall Farms

By Micaela Williamson

For decades, Nadine Vazquez’s family had a herd of Angus breeding stock on their Clifton farm, but when her elderly mother passed away four years ago, the family needed to monetize the property in order to keep it.

“It’s the classic land rich and cash poor scenario that so many people who end up with family farms experience. But it’s our home, and we didn’t want to sell to a developer,” says Jeff Waters, Vazquez’s husband and Whitehall Farms’ business owner.

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Rainstorm knocks out power; VDOT worker struck by vehicle on I-395

By Jae O’Connor

Last night’s rainstorm leaves thousands without power in Fairfax and Frederick counties.

A VDOT worker was hit by a car Tuesday night on I-395 and is in critical condition.

The Central Place construction project has become a public art project: A 10-foot, 1,300-pound crescent moon hangs from the work crane.

Federal budget plans are likely to go into a continuing resolution again this year.
[The Washington Post]

Children become global citizens in interactive art class

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 24th, 2015

Photo courtesy Rawpixel/

Photo courtesy Rawpixel/

By Raquel DeSouza

For some children, the coming weekend marks the last days of sweet summer break. For parents, it means running out of fun activities for the family and not having much alone time. The Learning Gallery has an event that meets the needs of both parties. For two hours, children grades k-5 can be entertained and educated in the interactive lesson called “Experiencing India.”

The Learning Gallery follows the curriculum of local school districts in Northern Virginia and Maryland to find ways to supplement the material through the arts. Last month was the first class highlighting a country’s culture. It focused on Cameroon, and one of the country’s presidential candidates, Kah Walla, instructed the class, according to co-owner Sheila Walla.

“We are global citizens, so part of our mission [is] to spread that global awareness,” Sheila Walla says. “That’s why we have this line of classes …One of the other things that we try to achieve with these classes, though, is for parents to be able to take some time off for themselves.”

They chose India for the next class because the instructor and program’s business administrator, Payal Chawda, is from Gujarat, a state in western India.She was trained in classical Indian dance for eight years, so she will teach some classical and Bollywood moves and compare these two styles to American dances.

Along with learning about the country’s history, languages and religions, children will also draw native Indian fauna and flora and get a taste of traditional foods. There will be familiar bites like fried pastries called samosas, chicken tikka and a fried dough snack called chaat. But Chawda says she also wanted to introduce flavors and ingredients that are not found in American cuisine, such as the vegetable bitter gourd.

“Food changes so much. It’s such a huge part of our culture, so even from state to state and region to region, it’s completely different,” she says. “It’ll be interesting to have young students taste that because it’s an acquired taste.”

Chawda’s goal with her class is to show the children a different side of the large and diverse country she comes from.

“When they watch the media or their parents tell them about a certain country, they’ll have a certain idea of what it is, and I would like them to see a completely different view of it,” Chawda says. “Not just the poverty and not just whatever it is that they know—I would like them to see some culture, religion, experience the food, things that they ordinarily wouldn’t experience, even in a metropolitan [area] like D.C.

$50 per child; discounts for siblings
Aug. 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Sherwood Community Center
3740 Old Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030

Catch the next indie classic at these 5 Northern Virginia movie theaters

Posted by Editorial / Friday, August 21st, 2015


Photo courtesy of bhathaway/

By Robyn Smith

It’s easy to find the blockbusters. We just can’t avoid them, and frankly couldn’t we all do without the seventh movie in a franchise? Nowadays, independent films are all the rage. No longer an acquired taste for film buffs and reviewers, everyone loves a good “Amélie” or “(500) Days of Summer.” You could watch them online, but Zooey Deschanel’s eyes deserve to be seen on the big screen. Alas, the problem with the indies: They don’t have the budget for a nationwide release, so the fans have to scramble or even occasionally trek out to see them. Well, trek no further. At these five local movie theaters, you can watch all the latest underground hits. You’re welcome.

Rave Cinemas Fairfax Corner 14 + Xtreme
Fairfax Corner South: 11900 Palace Way, Fairfax
Perfect for: Foreign films. This movie house has the most out of any on this list.

Cinema Arts Theatre
Fair City Mall: 9650 Main St., Fairfax
Perfect for: Indie buffs. It’s most likely to play something that no other theater in the area is.

AMC Loews Shirlington 7
The Village at Shirlington: 2772 S. Randolph St., Arlington
Perfect for: Crowd pleasers. It plays all the indies you keep seeing commercials for.

AMC Tysons Corner 16
7850 Tysons Corner Center, McLean
Perfect for: When the family is divided on what movie to see. While it’s known for its mainstream flicks, the theater also plays a few limited release films as well.

Angelika Film Center & Cafe at Mosaic
2911 District Ave., Fairfax
Perfect for: Those who like to snack on fancy pastries while watching documentaries or foreign films—this theater also sells treats.

Hungry for Linkage: New food truck zones start in Rosslyn today

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 17th, 2015

Courtesy of Rosslyn BID

Rosslyn’s Mobile Vending Zones / Courtesy of Rosslyn BID

By Emily Cook & Stefanie Gans

Metropolitan Washington’s 18th Summer Restaurant Week begins today, with three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus from more than 200 restaurants. [info]

Also starting today: Chuy’s 27th annual Green Chile Festival through Sept. 6 at its Springfield and Fairfax locations. [FB]

New York Times’ travel column “36 Hours” premieres tonight as a Travel Channel show with chef Kristen Kish. [Boston]

Will Artley, formerly of Pizzeria Orso, is now at Reston‘s Neyla. [Eater]

New mobile vending zones start today in Rosslyn. [WCP] [Take the survey]

Fairfax author Kimberly Dalferes releases second book

Kimberly "Kimba" Dalferes

Kimberly “Kimba” Dalferes. Photo courtesy of Kimba Dalferes

By Robyn Smith

On Aug. 5, many Northern Virginians celebrated National Underwear Day by wearing panties, boxers or briefs. One Fairfax author published her second book.

“I celebrated by doing quite a few interviews, by wearing underwear and by releasing my book,” Kimberly “Kimba” Dalferes, author of “Magic Fishing Panties: More Tales from a Crazy Southern Irish Gal,” says.

Upon hearing the news, Dalferes’ fans sent her over a hundred memes to celebrate the holiday, including one of the famous boy-wizard Harry Potter in his underwear.

But why underwear? It’s not necessarily an unusual topic for a comedic 50-something writer to approach, but her book’s name is dedicated to the unmentionables.

“There’s a story in the book called ‘Magic Fishing Panties’ that sort of encapsulates the overall theme of the book because it talks about women and fishing and gal pals, but it also talks about my family,” Dalferes says. “The title of my book comes from something that my stepmother said and did on a fishing boat in Alaska.”

While Dalferes wants to leave the fishing story unspoiled for her readers, she shares the scenario of one of the other stories teased on the back cover: How would you react to being in public during an earthquake? Oh, and you’re naked.

“My best friend Danielle, who is in several stories of the book, [and I] had both been given gift certificates to the Mandarin Oriental, a very chic, expensive hotel in downtown,” Dalferes says of her activities on the day of the earthquake in 2011. “So we go to get our massages and all of a sudden the room started to rock. [I grew up in] Florida, so I’ve never been in an earthquake in my entire life.”

Dalferes goes on to explain how she and Dani were forced to evacuate the building without getting dressed or even gathering their belongings.

“I have no clothes on. I’m naked and getting a massage, and [the manager’s] like, ‘Put your robe on and get out,’” Dalferes says. “So Dani and I put on our robes, we go outside, and we’re in the middle of downtown D.C. with nothing … Everybody’s coming out of the government buildings and carrying their briefcases and their papers, and we’re literally standing outside in a robe and nothing else in the middle of D.C.”

That’s just one of the several funny anecdotes in the 212-page book, which has already been dubbed a “beach or bathroom” read, according to Dalferes.

Dalferes’ first humorous story collection, “I Was In Love with a Short Man Once,”was originally published in 2011 and republished this past June. She has also kept a blog, The Middle-Aged Cheap Seats, for the past three-and-a-half years, as well as writing for local magazines.

One of Dalferes’ favorite parts of humor writing? The folks who sent her Harry Potter clad in just his skivvies.

“I have really loyal readers,” she says. “They’re really supportive and fun. When you write humor, you meet the best people.”

Dalferes loves to interact with fans by sitting in on local book club meetings.

“All they have to do is give me a glass of wine, and I’m there,” she jokes. “I really like the personal connections with folks. The Northern Virginia area is very well-educated, and they spend a lot of time reading. So there’s a plethora of book clubs in the local area. There’s a lot of opportunity there. But it’s also just fun.”

One of the best experiences Dalferes had with a local book club was based on a theme. Whoever hosted the meeting made food and a playlist following a certain theme based on whatever book the members read. When they reached out to her and asked for some lyrical suggestions, she was inspired to include a playlist in her second book.

Some of the songs featured in the “Magic Fishing Panties”playlist are “Tattoo” by Hunter Hayes, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper and Florida State University’s fight song, since Dalferes is an alumna.

She also includes discussion questions for book clubs.

“Magic Fishing Panties” is available online at, and at these local retailers.

Under new ownership, Dolce Vita focuses on local produce and adds seasonal cocktail program

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Dolce Vita under new ownership

(from left) Cyrus Coleman and Nathan Heath / Photo Courtesy of Nathan Heath

By Emily Cook

“It’s going to take time to move toward the full-fledged concept we have in our mind for Dolce Vita,” says owner Cyrus Coleman, who took over the nearly two-decades-old establishment in May. The plan is to increase focus on local produce and introduce a craft cocktail program all while keeping longtime guests happy. “It’s really tough when you’re buying an existing restaurant with existing clientele, so any changes that we made are very subtle,” Coleman says. “We’re not doing overall sweeping concept changes. It’s going to be minor stuff as we go and build up more of a loyalty with the guest base that’s there now and build a new guest base.”

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NFL quarterback sidelined after sucker punch; VA student learning scores increase

By Grace Ann Brew

NFL quarterback sidelined after locker room fight.

Lowe’s delivery driver in Danville discriminated against because of race.
(Washington Post)

Fairfax man dies three days after Ironman triathlon.  

Virginia student learning scores increase, but achievement gaps still exist.

Audiences take over live storytelling with Better Said Than Done

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The Auld Shebeen

Photo courtesy of Jason Hornick.

By Rachel Sandler

In the vein of “The Moth Radio Hour,” Northern Virginia-based storytelling troupe Better Said Than Done has been hosting monthly storytelling shows since 2011. While storytelling shows are nothing new (The Moth, for example, was founded in 1997), Better Said Than Done is creating an entirely new live storytelling format: choose your own adventure.

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