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Friday, October 31, 2014

For some religious kids, Halloween is the birthday of the devil

While many local kids are celebrating Halloween with costumes, pumpkins, and candy, some children were spotted marching along Backlick Road in Annandale on Oct. 31 with protest signs opposing the holiday.

They are Sunday school students at the Instituto Biblico Gamaliel, which is operated by a Latino Pentecostal church at 500l Backlick Road.

Police targeting drunk drivers on Halloween

A display at the Spirit of Halloween store in Seven Corners.

Watch out for trick or treaters tonight and be extra careful if you’re heading out to a Halloween party. Seven police agencies from Northern Virginia are teaming up in a collaborative effort to conduct saturation patrols detecting and arresting drunk drivers tonight.

Seven Corners Working Group on Sears site to start with clean slate

The Special Working Group on Area C at its first meting in the library at Bailey's Lower Elementary School.

The first meeting of the newly formed Special Working Group to consider Opportunity Area C in Seven Corners (the Sears site) Oct. 29 was mostly taken up with procedural and operational issues plus a briefing on “urban planning 101” by county staff.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chuy's: Tex-Mex with a quirky twist at Springfield Town Center

The Elvis and Priscilla Presley booths. [Photos by Mark Heckathorn]
By Mark Heckathorn

Chuy’s, the quirky Tex-Mex restaurant from Austin opened at the new Springfield Town Center Oct. 28, joining Maggiano’s Little Italy on the mall’s restaurant row facing Loisdale Road.

It’s the 59th Chuy’s since the first one opened in August in 1982 and it’s the second Chuy’s  in the D.C. area; another one opened last month in Fairfax. Co-founders Mike Young and John Zapp plan to open additional restaurants in Sterling and Gainesville (and maybe Arlington) in 2015.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Arrest made in Culmore murder

Fairfax County Police have made an arrest in the homicide of Filaberto Filipe Paz Ramirez, whose body was found in the Culmore area Sept. 1.

Police arrested Jose Antonio Gavidia, 24, Oct. 8 and charged him with murder, according to an Oct. 29 announcement from the Mason Police District. He is in police custody in the Adult Detention Center.

Residents object to proposed funeral chapel on Braddock Road

A rendering of the proposed funeral chapel.
Residents of Hillbrook-Tall Oaks and nearby Annandale neighborhoods urged the Mason District Land Use Committee Oct. 28 to oppose plans for a funeral chapel on Braddock Road near the Backlick Road intersection.

Their concerns primarily have to do with traffic on Braddock Road, spillover parking on neighborhood streets, pedestrian safety, and issues around the size of the proposed building and how it would be used.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lost cat in Annandale

The cat pictured here has disappeared from her home near Brenda Lane and Justine Drive in the Columbia Pines/Broyhill Crest area in Annandale.

Her caretaker is offering a reward. If you see this cat, call 703-658-9650.

Volunteers form friends group for Long Branch Stream Valley

Volunteers collect trash along the Long Branch trail Oct. 18. [LBSV photos]
Volunteers from several Annandale and Fairfax neighborhoods created a new group, the Friends of Long Branch Stream Valley, to maintain the trail and address erosion, water quality management, invasive species removal, and related environmental issues.

Board of Supervisors to vote on Bicycle Master Plan

A bicyclist on Columbia Pike in Annandale.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold the final hearing Oct. 28 on the county’s first-ever Bicycle Master Plan. The Planning Commission approved the plan Oct. 15.

The master plan, developed by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation with input from an advisory committee, stakeholders, and the public, is aimed at meeting the safety, access, and mobility needs of bicyclists today, while tripling the number of bicyclists by 2020.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blanket drive assists Syrian refugees in Turkey

Blankets collected in 2013.
Local governments and other organizations in Northern Virginia are again sponsoring a blanket drive to assist Syrian refugees seeking shelter in Turkey.

More than a million Syrians have fled to Turkey to escape civil war and attacks by ISIS. The first blanket drive was held last year after several local government leaders visited refugee camps in Turkey.