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FairfaxYear in review 2022: March-April

Year in review 2022: March-April

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From the files of the Sun Gazette, we bring you some of the big (or just plain interesting) stories of the year.


•• Fairfax County police arrested 26-year-old Axel Buschmann after he allegedly stabbed to death his 59-year-old father, George Mason University professor Michael Buschmann, at their Vienna-area home on March 2.


•• Fairfax County Park Authority officials in an online March 2 community meeting unveiled revised concept plans for McLean Central Park, featuring a smaller and relocated amphitheater, a tree-saving drop-off area for vehicles, reconfigured and expanded parking, preserved tennis courts (with pickleball options) and other amenities.

•• Citing a projected drop in Fairfax County Public Schools’ student population between now and the school year that ends in June 2027, the McLean Citizens Association on March 5 sent a letter urging the county’s School Board not to spend $37 million in capital funds on a new elementary school in the Dunn Loring area.

•• Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), along with other state and local officials, kicked off the 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (aka 495 NEXT) project March 14 at a groundbreaking ceremony in Tysons. The privately financed $660 million project will add two high-occupancy-toll lanes in each direction on 2.5 miles of the Beltway between the Dulles Toll Road and George Washington Memorial Parkway.

•• Vienna police on March 14 arrested Vienna-area resident Andrew Gordiyenko, 20, in connection with the fatal shooting of Matthew Hayes Chadwick, 21, in June 2021.

•• John “Til” Hazel, a developer who helped transform Northern Virginia into the economic juggernaut it is today, died March 15 at age 91. In addition to his development activities, Hazel also was deeply involved in the affairs of George Mason University and Flint Hill School.

•• The McLean Citizens Association on March 17 honored departing president Robert Jackson for his 16 years of service to MCA, the surrounding community and Fairfax County. Jackson served as MCA president from 2007 to 2012 and from 2020 to 2022 – more than twice as long as any other president in the group’s history.

•• The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on March 22 unanimously agreed to let Fairfax County Television Channel 16 purchase a drone and camera to obtain aerial footage of county parks, buildings, facilities and historic landmarks.

•• Fairfax County General Registrar Scott Konopasek resigned March 25 after less than a year on the job and was succeeded by former election manager Eric Spicer.

•• Vienna officials announced March 31 that they had hired David Levy, a planner from the city of Rockville, to serve as director of the town’s Planning and Zoning Department. Levy, who assumed his new job May 9, succeeded Cindy Petkac.


•• Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on April 1 signed a bill patroned by local Del. Mark Keam (D-Oakton-Vienna) that lets local governments pay initial-issuance-fee costs for specialty license plates displaying the locality’s seal, symbol, emblem or logotype in lieu of getting those prepaid applications. Vienna officials had sought this bill after not being able to reach the previous minimum of 350 pre-paid orders.

•• The Fairfax County Park Authority and Great Falls Grange Foundation signed documents April 4 to permit the foundation to operate and maintain the historic Great Falls Grange.

•• Fairfax County police announced April 11 that they had arrested a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old male youth in connection with the fatal shooting of 73-year-old Nelson Alexander Sr. at an ATM in the Falls Church area in October 2021.

•• The Fairfax County School Board voted 9-3 April 14 to appoint Michelle Reid as Fairfax County Public Schools’ next superintendent. Reid succeeded Scott Brabrand, who had led the school system for five years.

•• The Rotary Club of Vienna on April 20 gave Rotarian M. Jane Seeman “Service Above Self” Awards to Vienna police Pfc. John Sterling, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department member Grayson Garbini, Deputy Town Clerk Shelley Kozlowski and Lily Widman, special-events coordinator for the Vienna Parks and Recreation Department.

•• Vienna homeowners got a bit of financial relief April 25 after the Vienna Town Council voted to cut the town’s real-estate-tax rate by 1.75 cents to 20.5 cents per $100 assessed value.

•• Convoy of Hope, an international relief agency, on April 26 picked up more than 21,000 meals assembled by members of the Potomac School community. The relief agency will distribute the rice-and-bean meals to displaced Ukrainian families throughout border countries.

•• The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 April 27 to overturn the zoning administrator’s ruling that American Legion Post 270 in McLean improperly was operating as a banquet-and-reception hall.

•• Cityline Partners LLC on April 27 received the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s approval to offer various amenities at an interim park until its Scotts Run South development reaches completion. The interim site will be called “The Block at Scotts Run” because it will occupy an entire city block.

•• The Madeira School in McLean broke ground April 28 on a new, state-of-the-art STEAM Academic Center, which officials anticipate will be completed in fall 2023.

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