With 2021 soon to be in the history books and 2022 arriving soon, the Sun Gazette takes a look back at some of the issues that the paper was covering during the past year, two months at a time.
• Republicans ran the table at the statewide level in the Nov. 2 election, as Glenn Youngkin (R) defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) for the governorship, Winsome Sears (R) beat Hala Ayala (D) for the lieutenant governorship and Jason Miyares (R) ousted two-term Attorney General Mark Herring (D). While local Democratic delegates retained their seats, Republicans wrested back control of the House of Delegates by a slim, two-seat majority.
• NOVA Parks officials held an installation ceremony Nov. 8 for four freshly carved wooden totem poles – representing a king, queen, bride and groom – at the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in the Vienna area.
• Fairfax County supervisors adopted a plan Nov. 9 to reduce sharply by 2030 the amount of trash and recyclables produced each year by the county government and school system. The Zero Waste Plan features 24 priority strategies to eliminate waste before it starts by reducing consumption and systematically reusing products and materials.
• The Board of Supervisors on Nov. 9 approved a plan to provide on- and off-site parking spaces and shuttle service for a McLean commercial/office building while a multi-family residential building is constructed on part of the site’s parking lot. Benchmark Associates LP is building a 90-foot-tall building with 44 residential dwelling units on six levels atop a 3.5-story parking structure.
• BASIS Independent McLean officials announced Nov. 9 that junior Daria Lhommedieu, a member of the Class of 2023, had earned a perfect score on the Advanced Placement (AP) psychology exam – something accomplished by only six of the more than 262,000 students worldwide who took the exam this year.
• Vienna Town Council members approved a resolution Nov. 15 asking the General Assembly next year to alter the town’s election schedule so all Council members’ seats will be up for two-year terms starting in November 2023.
• Fairfax County supervisors voted 9-1 Dec. 7 to approve a new boundary map for the Board of Supervisors and School Board that swapped only seven of the county’s 247 precincts. But the board’s lone Republican, Supervisor Patrick Herrity (R-Springfield), voted against the new map, complaining that five of the changed precincts were in his district.
• The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Dec. 6 not to issue any additional taxicab certificates this year and keep the limit at the current 654. The county’s taxicab fleet has shrunken by more than two-thirds in recent years for a variety of factors, including increased popularity of ride-sharing services, more housing being built near Metro stations and the ongoing pandemic.
• Fairfax County officials said Dec. 14 that they were looking to buy more of electric vehicles for the county’s fleet, increase the number of publicly accessible charging stations at governmental sites and implement fees to recover costs and keep drivers from sticking around too long in those spots.