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Posted on | February 14, 2016 | No Comments

Pinewood Derby—Miniature Racers with a Million Fans

By Kris Gilbertson

Cub Scout Pack 135 at the Del Ray Methodist Church rally around the racers. Cover photo by Harry Merritt.

Cub Scout Pack 135 at the Del Ray Methodist
Church rally around the racers. Cover photo by Harry Merritt.

January 30 was a crisp and sunny Saturday, barely a week after the two-foot snowstorm that brought the Metro area to its knees. At the Del Ray Methodist Church in Alexandria, the Cub Scouts of Pack 135, with their family and friends, surged into Lunceford Hall, the church’s big, open facility for community events. But on that day, 80 Cub Scouts, ages 7 to 10, seemed to fill the space with energy alone—enough to light up half the city, if needed. And all in anticipation of the Pinewood Derby.

The Pinewood Derby is a stock car race, but the cars are 7 inches long, weigh 5 ounces, and are powered by gravity. They’ve been handmade by millions of Cub Scouts since the first Pinewood Derby was held in Manhattan Beach, California, in 1953.

What began as one Cubmaster’s way to encourage father-son bonding grew into a highlight of the scouting year for packs nationwide. That includes most or all of the nearly 20 Cub Scout Packs in Alexandria and close-in Arlington. Read more

The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Offers Free College Financial Aid Assistance

Posted on | February 14, 2016 | No Comments

scholarship fund33% of T.C. Williams seniors have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Have you?

If you would like help applying for financial aid to pay for college, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria invites you to a FAFSA Completion Workshop at T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St., Alexandria, on Tuesday, February 23rd. Drop by any time between 5 and 8pm for a free pizza dinner and confidential assistance from financial aid professionals. Free interpretation will be provided with registration ( Read more

DASHing Through the Blizzard of 2016

Posted on | February 14, 2016 | No Comments

By Sandy Modell and Allyson Teevan

DASH Bus SnowMother Nature’s Blizzard of 2016 delivered a record-breaking snow storm to our area that shut down the City of Alexandria, and the entire region.  As a result, Alexandria’s DASH bus system suspended service for three days.  Suspending service is not a decision that Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) makes lightly. In the last 32 years of DASH operation, we can count on one hand the number of times the system had to actually shut down completely.  People rely on public transit, especially in inclement weather.  However, safety is DASH’s number one priority.  If road and weather conditions impact the safety of our riders and our employees, closing down the entire system until the roads are passable is certainly an option. Read more

Training Time: Indoor Fun and Games for People and Dogs

Posted on | February 14, 2016 | No Comments

By Sandy Modell

Training Time--inside articleSpring may be around the corner but it is not here yet.  Rain, snow, sleet, or hail are good reasons to stay inside.  Although you may be able to sit around the shanty and relax, read a good book, or watch TV, your dog may find these activities kind of boring.  When boredom sets in, dogs may turn to behaviors to get our attention or because they just want some action, such as demand barking or stealing items of value to you because they smells like you or smell like food, or just have the right chewy texture.  They’re not being “bad” dogs, just going a little stir crazy and looking for something fun to do.  To prevent unwanted behaviors, preempt them by doing some fun indoor activities and training that can work their mind, provide needed mental stimulation that can actually tire them out so the two of you can just chill on those chilly cold and rain or snowy days. Read more

On Watch

Posted on | February 14, 2016 | No Comments

It’s Presidents’ Day for a Good Reason

by Marcus J Fisk

On Watch February 2016 - CopyWashington (the original George “W”) was the first President to have ‘saved the country’ and ‘preserved the union.’  According to historians, his presidency served as a precedent for others: Jackson (preserved the union), Lincoln (Ditto/Civil War), FDR (the Great Depression & WWII), Kennedy (nuclear annihilation), and Ford (healing after Watergate) to name a few. Back in 1800 the country celebrated ‘Washington’s Birthday’ on February 22nd as a day of national remembrance.  And for good reason.  Read more

My Old Alexandria: The Delray Girl Who Ran Faster than a Rooster

Posted on | February 14, 2016 | No Comments

by John C. Schoeni

My Old Alexandria February 2016Kathi Prisaznick, who lived across the street from our house on East Nelson Avenue, was my best friend, playmate and neighbor in our early childhood in Alexandria. Thanks to Facebook we became friends again after 57 years. And we took up where we left off as if it were yesterday. Back in the late 1950s when I was 11 years old, the Prisaznicks, to me, were a wonderful family and great neighbors. Johnny Prisaznick who worked at the Fruit Growers’ Express at Potomac Yards was the patriarch of the family. He drove the black Studebaker always parked in front of the house. It had the trademark frame in the middle of the windshield and the frog-like back. In those days you could always see Johnny and most of the other neighbors using a manual lawn mower on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. The grass cutting was hectic during the first spring cutting or after a rain. And it wasn’t easy on a dry lawn either. The matriarch of the family, the lovely Edna Prisaznick, was a homemaker and our Avon representative. Read more

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