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Authors Adriana and George Sifakis Partner with Kris Gulden, Criminal Justice Teacher at T.C. Williams High School

S.W.A.K. is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and The Old Town farmer’s market. Courtesy photo.
S.W.A.K. is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and The Old Town farmer’s market. Courtesy photo.
Adriana & George Sifakis, authors of S.W.A.K., a novel of ultimate betrayal, are thrilled to be working with the T.C. Williams High School Criminal Justice Program to promote literacy and resiliency.

S.W.A.K., the story of one girl’s journey through a dysfunctional family and her triumph over an incomprehensible situation is considered a parallel story to Glass Castle, which Criminal Justice students have read during previous semesters.

Bishop Ireton High School Senior James W. Beane Named Finalist

School News--Bishop Ireton Senior BeaneMr. Stephen Crooker, Director of Instruction at Bishop Ireton High School, announced today that senior James W. Beane has been named a Finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Wendell is one of approximately 1,200 Black American high school seniors nationwide to achieve this honor.

Hammond Musicians Participate in Junior Honors Orchestra

School News--HammondOrchestraCongratulations to Francis C. Hammond Middle School students Kendrick Garciathe, Sophia Cavanaugh and Brendan Doney (pictured, left to right) who participated in the District 10 Junior Honors Orchestra at Falls Church High School. These students rehearsed and performed under a guest conductor with 90 other orchestra students from Fairfax County, Arlington County and other surrounding schools in this regional event. Hammond Orchestra Director Veronica Jackson says they represented Hammond very well.

Publisher’s Notes February 2015

The other day I had a quick eye-awakening moment when I realized my age. At CVS, I noticed a sale on Diet Coke (four 12 packs/$10.00) and for me, a self-confessed “Diet Coke-aholic” who averages 7 12-packs a week, this was lottery-like, but as I turned the corner to the beverage aisle, it was clear other addicts had cleaned them out before I arrived. I went to the counter and asked for a rain check. “What’s a rain check?” said the bright-eyed teenager donning her crisp CVS red apron. Needless to say, older and wiser management eyes looked in upon my plight and off I went with my slip of paper. Three weeks later, I was back in CVS for a prescription when I remembered the rain check. Now the beverage aisle was stacked with boxes of my precious Diet Coke at a mere $6.98 per 12-pack. Scooping up four and tossing them into my little CVS cart, I arrived at the front counter to another bright-eyed young person who quickly rang through my charges. Fishing into my key case, I pulled out the crumpled rain check and presented it to again, surprise. After all, it’s a hand-written piece of paper, there is no bar code…what is a young person to do these days when there is nothing to beep? The saga ends well of course, with my Diet Coke purchased, two young people learning a bit of old fashioned commerce, and me, well aware I still like the days of old.
Well, in the case of Zebra, I hope you won’t ask for a rain check but will instead look inside and enter our annual Oscars contest, and enjoy the other features and news snippets from our community and schools.

Mary Wadland

[Publisher’s Note: For those who are curious, the term “rain check” comes from baseball, where in the 1880s it became the practice to offer paying spectators a rain check entitling them to future admission for a game that was postponed or ended early owing to bad weather. By the early 1900s the term was transferred to tickets for other kinds of entertainment, and later to a coupon entitling a customer to buy, at a later date and at the same price, a sale item temporarily out of stock.]

Living Legends of Alexandria 2015 Announced

Now in its eighth year, Living Legends of Alexandria is an ongoing, not-for-profit photo-documentary project to identify, honor and chronicle Alexandria’s recent history makers. The criteria this year was the creation of something tangible that improves the quality of life in Alexandria that would not likely have existed without this person’s vision and determination to make it happen.

In the Dirt: Grow It…Eat It

by Ray Greenstreet

In the Dirt Photo 2Know your food. Locally grown. Locally sourced. Those catch phrases are everywhere –on our Facebook news feed, on magazine covers, on television and radio talk shows. Best-selling books on the topic have made authors household names, like Michael Pollen and Barbara Kingsolver. And across the country, restaurants are building their menus around these “locally sourced” and “organic” ingredients.

The Covert Affair: Courtroom Fun but No Games

Wit and Wisdom from Old Notes, Paper Scraps

By Harry M. Covert

Alexandria’s Chief General District Court Judge Becky J. Moore.
Alexandria’s Chief General District Court Judge Becky J. Moore.
When the weather gets bad it’s a good thing to find an old box full of scribbles on napkins, paper scraps and old note pads.
Recent days have proved invaluable. Some interesting stuff fell out. Over time a lot of notes have been taken in courthouses, jails, political meetings and other venues where intellect sometimes is off the bubble.

Cat in a Box February 2015

Cat in a Box February 2015Attached is a photo for consideration for your “Cat in a Box” feature. In this case you get a “twofer” as our dog Guinness was also enjoying watching our cat Cannoli check out the empty box. Cannoli is a 5 year old very friendly “tuxedo” colored cat who enjoys all things interesting, especially the dog. Guinness is a black lab mix who essentially adopted Cannoli from the day we got her as a 2 month old kitten. The two have been together ever since and frequently play and nap together, a very close pair. Submitted by Brian Marquis of Alexandria.


by Michael Hadeed

Ask the Attorney Overtime February 2015As if a business owner does not have enough to be concerned with, like making payroll, maintaining a stable work force, and turning a profit, the U. S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has stepped up its business audit activity. The audit is to enter and inspect your business, payroll and employee records, to interview your employees, and investigate conditions and practices to determine if your business has violated wage and hour laws. The audit may be initiated by a complaint received from an employee or other person, or may be random by local labor department investigators.

The Arts: Mark on Mark

By Robert F. Murray, The von Brahler Ltd.

Artist Mark Coffey
Artist Mark Coffey

Mark Coffey is fairly new artist to town. He and his wife moved from Pennsylvania and found a home in Old Town, one that has a wonderfully bright rooftop studio. I got acquainted professionally with Mark and his paintings a couple of years ago and convinced him to have an open studio show in his home last year that was a fine success, His home is a perfect venue for his landscape paintings, and his mainly acrylic works are the recognizable and colorfully comfortable style many choose for their homes and offices.