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.
• SPARC, a non-profit that provides day programs for adults with disabilities, on Sept. 1 celebrated the opening of its new administrative office at Church of the Good Shepherd, located at 2351 Hunter Mill Road in the Vienna area.
• The Vienna Town Council on Sept. 13 approved the town’s first-ever “cottage” or “village” housing development. JDA Custom Homes will build six two-unit duplexes on 1.38 acres at 117-121 Courthouse Road, S.W.
• Vienna Town Council members voted 4-3 Sept. 13 not to approve a $1,500 donation to Vienna Presbyterian Church to offset the application cost for a conditional-use permit to operate its hypothermia shelter starting in February 2022.
• Fairfax County supervisors voted 9-1 Sept. 14 to approve a 5-cent tax on disposable plastic bags, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
• The Vienna Board of Zoning Appeals on Sept. 14 unanimously approved a conditional-use permit to allow a nursery-and-kindergarten facility at Vienna Assembly of God Church. The facility will be operated by The Classroom LLC.
• Jai Cole on Sept. 14 succeeded Kirk Kincannon as the new executive director of Fairfax County Park Authority.
• Award-winning journalist and McLean resident Kemal Kurspahic, who kept a Bosian newspaper publishing during wartime and later spent decades editing the Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia, died Sept. 17 at age 74.
• Fairfax County officials on Sept. 18 held the grand opening for Tysons East Fire Station No. 44 (Scotts Run Fire Station), which was designed to be friendly both to the environment and neighbors. The station, which became fully operational Aug. 14, had been planned for a decade.
• Fairfax County supervisors on Oct. 5 unanimously approved a resolution supporting the county Park Authority’s proposal to seek “dark-sky” status for the Observatory Park at Turner Farm in Great Falls.
• The Vienna Town Council voted 6-1 Oct. 11 to spend $101,700 to have Urban Ltd. perform the final engineering design for four more Vienna sidewalk projects that will be financed from the Maud Ferris Robinson Charitable Trust.
• Northern Virginia officials on Oct. 7 dedicated an enhanced section of the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail in Falls Church that separates cyclists from pedestrians.
• Fairfax County Public Schools officials said they had begun the 2021-22 school year with 1,146 fewer students. The school system had 178,595 students as of Sept. 30, down from 179,741 recorded in June when the previous school year ended. The decrease paled by comparison with the 9,700-student loss the school system absorbed in fall 2020, several months after the pandemic began.
• Fairfax County supervisors on Oct. 19 gave the go-ahead for a project-administration agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation to replace a deteriorating single-lane bridge with a two-lane span on Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run.
• Fairfax County police sought a young man who shot a 73-year-old Falls Church resident Nelson Alexander Sr. on Oct. 20 as he was accessing a Wells Fargo bank ATM at 2928 Annandale Road. Alexander died three days later.
• Seeking to prevent a disaster like the Surfside condominiums collapse in June that killed 98 people in Miami Beach, Fla., Fairfax County supervisors on Oct. 26 said they hoped to encourage owners of older high-rise buildings to agree to voluntary inspections to ensure those structures have not been compromised.
• The Fairfax County Park Authority, along with the Board of Supervisors and McLean Youth Soccer Association, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 30 to mark the grand opening of the upgraded Holladay Field in McLean.