Stories for December 2012


Friday, December 21

Touching For Sure, But Not Always

Usually, but not always, when I show for my scheduled post-chemotherapy/post-scan appointment with my oncologist, I am physically examined (touching, feeling). Recently, due to some enhanced computer and facility upgrades, I was shown the actual scans, digitized. However, on more than one occasion over the last 18 months or so, after we discussed the results of my most recent CT Scan – and lab work, no physical exam was performed. Apparently, as I later learned, the good results from my scan sort of trumps any need to feel for physical manifestations.

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How the Powerless Access Power

Immigrants make significant gains in influencing political system.

On Election Night Nov. 6, Keisy Chavez’s nerves were frayed. The Fairfax single mom had been campaigning hard for Democrats since the official launch of Latinos for Obama last April.


Forty-five months later, I am still dealing with feelings – as in still living, for which I am amazingly fortunate. However, those feelings seem to sometimes have a mind of their own, and accordingly tend to take over and rewire one’s brain (figuratively speaking).

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Preparing Home for Holiday Guests

Experts offer checklist for getting a house in tip-top shape.

In addition to shopping, decorating and attending parties, many are making a mad dash to get their homes ready for the holiday visitors.

Wednesday, December 19

Avoiding Jet Lag

Medical experts offer suggestions for those traveling across multiple time zones during the holidays.

Every December, Linda McDonald travels from her Oak Hill home to Stockton, Calif., to visit her family for Christmas. She tries to head west a few days before the holiday, but often leaves on Christmas Eve, and arrives feeling hazy and sluggish.

Quick Relief for Holiday Stress

Simple strategies for bringing down anxiety levels in a hurry.

“Listen to your favorite relaxation music on your iPod as you shop. It can help reduce anxiety in overcrowded shops. Reserve time to relax or meditate at peak times of stress.” — Michelle Walters-Edwards, Marymount University

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Cosmetic Dentistry for Children

Whether it’s to replace a tooth that was lost or broken during a hockey game or to create a Hollywood-smile before taking the stage for a school play, pediatric dentists say an increasing number of children are undergoing cosmetic dental procedures.

Present Needing to be Accounted For

As a stage IV non-small cell lung cancer diagnosee/patient/survivor/anomaly, living long--whether prospering or not, is not the simple and presumptive proposition I had anticipated. No more do I anticipate living the same number of years and in the same relative good health that my parents (both deceased), experienced well into their 80s. Now, my life revolves around my oncologist and the CT Scans and lab work that precede our recurring appointments.

A Life Lesson in Giving Back

An immigrant’s son becomes state delegate and introduces the Virginia DREAM Act.

My father was born in a small town in the Andes mountains region of Venezuela. He was one of 22 brothers and sisters from the same parents. At the age of 19 he came to this country with $280 in his pocket and the dream of a better life. He worked as a bus boy and waiter, learned English, and went to school. He graduated from Northern Virginia Community College when I was 5 years old. He then took one class a semester at George Mason University every year, until he graduated from college one month before I graduated from Robinson High School in Fairfax. As a result of his achieving the American Dream, my father was able to change the lives of my entire family in Latin America.

Letter to the Editor: Make Difference On Gun Control

As our new voice in Congress, Rep.-elect John Delaney is finding his way around the halls of the Capitol and determining what course his Congressional career will take. I hope he will choose as his signature issue to be a leader on gun control.

Letter to the Editor: Move Ahead On Improving Rink

I am writing in regard to the proposed rink that would be located at the Potomac Community Center.

Letter to the Editor: A Center For Everyone

I live just behind the Potomac Community Center tennis courts and have lived here for the past 21 years.

Pay Now, Bye Later

Contrary to last week’s column, if I do pay for it now (things I can’t afford), then I’ll be so in debt later that I may end up saying “bye” anyway--from the stress of it. And if that were to happen; dying with a smile on my face, so to speak, would I be truly better off now anticipating that later was not going to be my problem? Do I want to be a modern day version of George Raft, the American actor from the 1930s and 40s best known for his portrayals of mobsters, who said about his Hollywood money: “I must have gone through $10 million during my career. Part of the loot went for gambling, part for horses and part for women. The rest I spent foolishly.”

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Norwood Raises Money After Hurricane Sandy

Participants raise more than $4,000 to help purchase books, rugs, easels and bookcases.

More than 200 Norwood School students, parents, teachers and staff members walked the grounds of the school’s Potomac campus earlier this month to raise money for schools devastated by Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

Fireworks In February?

Court of Special Appeals rejects county on Brickyard; legality of school board lease to be argued early next year.

Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on Dec. 7, 2012 rejected Montgomery County’s motion that would have allowed moving forward with development of soccer fields on Brickyard Road.

She Leads Model Organization of American States

Holy Child’s Andrea Manchester elected assembly’s president.

Andrea Manchester has extensive experience in diplomatic relations, debating, creating solutions and setting public policy — and she is only a junior in high school. In 7th grade, she took part in the Model United Nations in New York City. She was the first Holy Child freshman involved with the Model Organization of American States — and this December, she was elected to the position of president of MOAS at the Model Assembly held at the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington DC.

‘Brother Bear’

Starting Jan. 3, Imagination Stage brings back its popular show for the very young: Wake Up, Brother Bear! Called “very entertaining for both kids and adults” by Our Kids, this 45-minute show invites children to enter the world of a young brother bear and his sister as they venture through the seasons of the year.

Work Group to Study Bell Times

Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr is establishing a work group to study the issue of school bell times.

Tuesday, December 18

Immigrant Experience Guides Success

Delegate Mark L. Keam

Del. Mark Keam (D-35) is the first Korean American and the first Asian-born immigrant to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.

Immigrants Gain Influence in Virginia

Immigrants make significant gains in influencing political system.

On Election Night Nov. 6, Keisy Chavez’s nerves were frayed. The Fairfax single mom had been campaigning hard for Democrats since the official launch of Latinos for Obama last April.

Norwood School Raises Money for Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Participants raise more than $4,000 to help purchase books, rugs, easels and bookcases.

More than 200 Norwood School students, parents, teachers and staff members walked the grounds of the school’s Potomac campus earlier this month to raise money for schools devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Classified Advertising Dec. 19, 2012

Read the lastest ads here!

Enhanced Security Around Schools

FCPS releases message about Connecticut tragedy.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Superintendent Jack Dale sent an email message to all FCPS families and employees. He said the Fairfax County Police Department will be increasing patrols and visibility this week around all FCPS schools, including elementary schools, in response to Friday's tragedy in Connecticut.

Monday, December 17

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Going Casual for a Cause

Nearly 10,000 people and 130-plus organizations participate in Jeans Day 2012 to help end homelessness.

Nearly 10,000 residents representing 130 businesses, Fairfax County agencies, schools and organizations pulled on their favorite jeans Friday, Dec. 14 for the second annual Jeans Day—a powerful community initiative that aims to “Put the ZIP on Homelessness” through building awareness and fundraising.

Thursday, December 13

Classified Advertising Dec. 12, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

Editorial: Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

We are a nation of immigrants, to invoke the title of John F. Kennedy’s posthumously published book; undeniably a nation descended from immigrants and a nation greatly augmented by immigration. From this perspective, with the first immigrants motivated by the search for religious freedom, even Christmas is a religious holiday of immigrants.

Wednesday, December 12

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Bill Focuses on Dense Breast Tissue

Local doctor advocates for lifesaving legislation.

Norbeck Country Club’s lush greens were pulsing with positive energy for women’s health on Saturday, Dec. 8. Eighty-six women and men gathered for Coffee, Tea & Brem to hear recognized international leader in breast radiology, Dr. Rachel Brem, director of the Breast Imaging and Interventional Center and vice-chair of Radiology at George Washington University Medical Center, speak about technology that is currently available for early detection of breast cancer and what should be available with a particular focus on surveillance for women with dense breast tissue.

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Wounded Warriors Train Service Dogs for Vets

Warrior Canine Connection program also helps trainers.

Before Marine Sgt. Jon Gordon became involved in training service dogs for his fellow wounded warriors, he slept little more than 5 hours a week. He seldom spoke with anyone and rarely left his home except for treatment sessions. He had been kicked out of group therapy sessions time after time, and was unable to participate in his young daughter’s life.

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National Multiple Sclerosis Society Honors Pearlman

National Volunteer Hall of Fame inductee’s dedication praised.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, approximately 400,000 Americans have multiple sclerosis. Every week 200 more people are diagnosed with the disease — more than one person every hour — and there is no known cure.

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Combining Taste and Nutrition

Potomac resident expands “Oat My Goodness.”

Potomac’s Shoreh Vojdani was amazed when her daughter’s friends at George Washington University wanted to purchase her home-made granola.

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MCPAW Named Potomac ‘Charity Of The Year’

Still raising funds for new animal center.

Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being (MCPAW) was selected as the Potomac “Charity of the Year” by the Potomac Chamber of Commerce. The organization was recognized for their dedication to providing needed funds for the new Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center.

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Gold Award Project

Kayla Mason, 17, a member of Girl Scout Troop 3288, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award — the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

Tuesday, December 11

Potomac Entertainment Calendar, Dec. 12, 2012

Email community entertainment events to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos and artwork encouraged.

Brief: Barclay Selected as President of County Board of Education

Christopher S. Barclay was unanimously selected by his colleagues Dec. 11, to serve as president of the Board of Education for the second time. Philip Kauffman was also unanimously selected as vice president. Both officers will serve a one-year term. Barclay replaces Shirley Brandman, who has served as president for the past year.

Brief: School Superintendent Proposes $2.22 Billion Operating Budget

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr released his recommended operating budget for Fiscal Year 2014 this week — proposing a $2.217 billion budget for FY 2014, which is a $48.95 million increase over FY 2013 — about 2.3 percent.

Brief: Firefighters Collecting Toys

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and local fire and rescue departments are again collecting toys for needy families and underprivileged children during the 2012 holiday season.

Potomac School Notes, Dec. 12, 2012

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos are welcome.

Potomac Bulletin Board, Dec. 12, 2012

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon.

Friday, December 7

Classified Advertising Dec. 5, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

Thursday, December 6

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Potomac River Needs Help

Pollutants identified, solutions mandated for Potomac River with ‘barely passing’ grade.

The Potomac Conservancy released its sixth annual State of the Nation’s River on Nov. 15, handing the Potomac River’s health a “D” or “barely passing grade.”

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Churchill’s Own Singer Songwriter

Mackenzie Testa pursues singing and dancing career.

Mackenzie Testa, a Churchill High School sophomore, is gearing up to make it big in the pop music industry.

Potomac Calendar, Dec. 5, 2012

Email community entertainment events to Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos and artwork encouraged.

Potomac Bulletin Board, Dec. 5, 2012

Email announcements to Deadline is Thursday at noon.

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Blast 24 To Salute American Bandstand

A tribute by Churchill’s choral director to an icon.

American Bandstand — the TV show that legitimized rock and roll, turned new artists into household names, and made the iconic Dick Clark famous — will be celebrated this December by Winston Churchill High School’s Blast 24: American Bandstand.

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‘Jolly Fat Man’s Run’ To Benefit Operation Second Chance

Annual fun run/walk returns Dec. 15.

For the past 17 years, Capital Crescent Trail enthusiasts have been shocked to see the “Jolly Fat Man” — and a pack of his followers — racing and walking down the trail.

Youth Promotes Awareness of Rocket Attacks in Israel

Project seeks 12,000 rubber bands.

How much is 12,000? While searching for a bar mitzvah project, Mory Gould of Potomac discovered that more than 12,000 rockets have fallen on Israel since 2001.

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Gala To Support Israeli Montessori Schools

Alef Bet Montessori School merges languages and cultures.

On the evening of Dec. 6, the Alef Bet Montessori School will present “Education – Passport to the World” — a gala which will be held at the Potomac home of Amy and Alan Meltzer.

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Victorian Workshops

The Clara Barton National Historic Site in Glen Echo offered free Victorian holiday greeting card workshops last weekend.

Immigration Assistance Organizations

A list of some local non-profit organizations that provide immigration assistance, also provided by Fairfax County at

Editorial: Holiday Revels With a Safety Net

A serious backup, but seriously, make a plan ahead of time.

You know the drill, the five-to-seven or six-to-eight drop-in happy hour, you've been invited to five of them, and you could attend an infinite number of these between now and the second day of 2013. And there are many other varieties of holiday festivities, many involving more than a drink or two. So make a plan.

Wednesday, December 5

Maryland Youth Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

Maryland Youth Ballet’s professional students and children from the academy are preparing for the 23rd season of The Nutcracker.