Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Whether you're a business owner holding an event or just someone with something to say, here's how to share it with everyone in town.
No, as far as I've heard, there are no zombies at Walmart or anywhere else in town. But that, of course, doesn't mean you have nothing to tell your neighbors. And if you do, I'm here to help. Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Jessie Biele, and I'm your Community Engagement Editor. What do I do? I help you reach your neighbors, right here on Patch. And why do I do that? Because Patch doesn't just talk to you; Patch gets neighbors talking to each other, too. So, if you're a business owner with an event to announce, a school teacher who wants to highlight student achievement, a gardener who wants to share tips to get the whole city blooming or a photographer who wants to share some great pix, I'm here to help. Posting announcements, …
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Rated R for language, violence, nudity.
Director Danny Boyle, fresh off being dubbed a national hero for his triumph directing the Olympic ceremonies in London, took another big directorial risk with his new release Trance. It's a frenetic, haunting genre-bender that grabs hold of and keeps your attention from its first moments to its last with such force you'll feel like you're falling through Alice's rabbit hole after being hurled into it by two burly six-foot bunnies in kilts. This cinematic journey is one filled with confusion, illusions, violence and moral ambiguities, and not a head trip everyone will be willing to surrender to or appreciate. Much like the somewhat similarly convoluted Inception, it is a love it or hate it kind of flick. Whether it will be enjoyable for …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Virginia Sen. Chap Petersen speaks out against police power in bill headed to governor's desk.
Thursday, February 21
One of the biggest public safety concerns over the past few years has been “texting while driving.” There have been countless accidents, including fatal ones, caused by foolish people who send texts while operating a moving motor vehicle. It’s hard to think of a more dangerous activity. As with all public safety problems, the General Assembly of Virginia has the answer. Or at least an answer. In 2010, we outlawed “driving while texting” and made it a civil infraction. As noted before in this column, that was a mistake. By establishing a lesser penalty for “DWT,” we essentially removed that activity from the list of “reckless”driving offenses. So drivers who caused a fatal accident while texting were guilty — of a civil penalty not …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
R-rated film released Friday in movie theaters nationwide.
Sometimes a movie is just...bad. We can all watch it and see what they had in mind, how the pitch went, how the director and producers signed on, and talked some pretty big stars into taking part. And we can see the whole thing derail through to post production, delayed release, and as we watch the finished product with an ever-dwindling vestige of hope. Such is the case for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Why Cinema Siren is reviewing this movie at all is a fair question. I go on record as saying there is always a chance a good movie will find its way to the multiplex in January. Not the ones that were in limited released in LA and New York in December to qualify for the Oscars….Those are the movies everyone is busying themselves …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Parent writes Vienna kids should be able to stay in Vienna and still receive Advanced Academic Placement Center services.
Wednesday, January 23
To the Editor: Upon graduating from Louise Archer, sixth graders are split into several different middle schools, to reconvene back to two High Schools: Madison and Marshall (or three if you count TJ) . Kids on the Eastern side of town tend to go to Kilmer Middle School, either for base or Advanced Academic Program Center (AAP) classes. Kids on the Western/Southern side of town have Thoreau as their base middle school, but those in the AAP program are sent out of Vienna into Falls Church (Merrifield) to Luther Jackson Middle School. Since Luther Jackson opened as an AAP center for Louise Archer, more than half of the students have "opted out" of AAP at Luther Jackson and remained at Thoreau, taking an all honors curriculum. The kids who …
Vienna parent wants area residents to support Del. Barbara Comstock bill that would change how Fairfax County calculates class size average.
Wednesday, January 23
To the editor: Our world-class schools are the number one reason businesses and families come to Fairfax County. But people will not move here once they see many of our overcrowded classes. We now have the distinction of having among the largest class sizes in the area and Virginia state law does almost nothing to protect our children. Current student to teacher ratios are calculated at the county level and afford administrators way too much leverage where they can place as many kids as they want in a classroom, just as long as divisionwide, they do not exceed the state ratios. Given that Virginia already has the highest caps in the country, we are headed down a very slippery slope. How are children expected to learn and teachers to …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
A McLean resident sounds off on Virginia students being accepted into Virginia colleges and universities.
Wednesday, January 9
Dear Editor, It’s January and with January brings the most common concern of high school seniors, that’s college acceptance! Are you in? Are you out? Where are you going? How will we pay? This is all high school seniors are thinking about right now, as I was right there with them last year applying to Virginia colleges. With many of my high school classmates having their eyes set on William & Mary as their first choice, I did a little research and found out how fortunate I was to have gotten into William & Mary. William & Mary provides 32 percent of our college spots to out of state students. That makes it very difficult for many of our best and brightest Virginia students, including my classmates, to get in. That is why I was pleased to…
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
This holiday season, my spectacular rack is getting a lot of attention.
This time of year is rife with “to-dos”: attend events, visit family members, entertain, buy and ship presents and try not to ruin (again) the magic for every child within earshot. It feels like we are all hurtling toward the holidays at warp speed – and some of us are doing so in ridiculous vehicles. You see, even though I’ve always been adamantly anti anything on my car, I find myself driving around this holiday season in a car adorned with soft-sculpture antlers and a giant red nose, thanks to a promise I made to my child last year and deluding myself into thinking it would never actually become a reality. So now as my daughter marks down the days until the big event, I, too, am eagerly counting down the days until Christmas, albeit for…
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Cinema Siren's top picks for 2012.
Last year I offered my top 10 Christmas cartoons for the first time. As an animation art gallery owner of 25 years, and an animation historian, I have been studying and enjoying them a long time. What an uproar I caused! I got a veritable avalanche of emails about the cartoons I "couldn't possibly overlook." While I stand by all last year's excellent offerings, I do have some amendments this year. Here is the list with some considered additions and subtractions. The cartoons listed below are all classics and are wonderful opportunities for holiday viewing with friends and family. You can enjoy them while chomping down highly caloric peppermint bark, or swilling down highly spiked eggnog! #10. Arthur Christmas - 2011 Such a new movie…
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Fairfax County nonprofit will discuss issues with teen violence, drinking and substance abuse.
Today we get to welcome another new blogger to the Vienna Patch family: The Unified Prevention Coalition. UPC is a nonprofit comprised of more than 50 community partners in Fairfax County, whose goal is "to prevent violence, alcohol, and other drug use by youth and young adults in Virginia’s most populous county. Our hallmark is a commitment to community collaboration—more than 50 community organizations partner with us as health advocates in a shared vision of making our community a better place." It's behind several countywide campaigns each year, including "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most," "Perils of College Drinking Culture," Parents Reaching Out To Educate Communities Together (P.R.O.T.E.C.T.), "Saturday Night in the Suburbs" and a …