Robinson football wins “Battle of Burke” - Invasive lanternfly seen in Annandale - What’s in the school bond?

County seeks input on new names for Lee Highway and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway - Lake Braddock’s founding principal passes at 93

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Robinson football wins “Battle of Burke:” The undefeated Robinson Secondary School football team mounted a thrilling comeback Friday against its Burke rival, Lake Braddock Secondary School. The game came down to the final seconds, as WUSA9 reports:

Robinson scored in the fourth quarter with 42 seconds left in the game to win 35 - 31 over its rival. It was an impressive win for Robinson, [which] came back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to win. … Both teams are likely to make the playoffs come the end of the season, so who knows, they may match up again in 2021.

Woodson routed on Homecoming: Meanwhile, Woodson High School was routed 50-0 by Fairfax High School on Woodson’s Homecoming night, according to the game recap from MaxPreps. Nevertheless, Woodson students and alumni enjoyed the homecoming festivities, including a parade that snaked through nearby neighborhoods. 

Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw posted a video on Twitter of him and Braddock District School Board Member Megan McLaughlin walking the parade route:


What’s in the school bond? When Fairfax County voters head to the polls Nov. 2, one item on the ballot will be a $360 million school bond referendum. School bonds are intended to spread the cost of school construction and renovations over the years the facilities will be used–essentially a tax on the future county residents who will benefit from upgraded schools.

This year’s bond, if approved, would fund projects at two schools in the Braddock District:

  • Bonnie Brae Elementary would get $38 million for a 13,000-square-foot expansion and to add “modern amenities.”

  • Wakefield Forest Elementary would get $30 million to add 35,000 square feet, boost the school’s capacity from 560 students to 800, and improve traffic flow during pickups and dropoffs. You can read more about the WFES renovation here.

The bond would fund a number of other projects across Fairfax County, as you can see in this map, courtesy of FCPS:

Lake Braddock’s founding principal passes at 93: John Alwood, the founding principal of Lake Braddock Secondary School, passed Sept. 18 in Oakton. Services will be held Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. at McLean Presbyterian Church on Balls Hill Road in McLean. All are welcome to attend, and memorial donations may be made to Capital Caring Health Philanthropy.

Alwood’s obituary, which you can read in full here, recounts his extraordinary leadership when he and nine other people were taken hostage at Lake Braddock in 1982: 

Maybe most poignant was the way his Christian faith sustained him in what became a national hostage crisis story in 1982 at Lake Braddock. Reason and compassion are what he used when an 18-year-old, rejected by his girlfriend, took 10 people hostage in the school with a deer-hunting rifle and held them all night. The boy threatened to turn the violence on himself, John says. “I told him he'd made a bad mistake, but he could overcome it and make a life for himself.” John was the last hostage to leave, “and instead of being worried about himself or those waiting for him, he was worried about the boy,” recalls his wife Betsy. The boy threw out the rifle and came out alive.

You can read Education Week’s 1982 coverage of the hostage crisis here.

And you can read The Washington Post’s 2018 interview with the perpetrator, James Quentin Stevens, here. Based on the interview, Stevens appears to have lived up to Alwood’s admonition that he could still overcome his mistake and make a life for himself.


Invasive lanternfly seen in Annandale: A spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that can wreak havoc on home and commercial gardens, was found recently in a food shipment at a grocery store in Annandale, reports the Annandale Blog. The species, originally from Southeast Asia, is a threat to Virginia’s peach, apple, grape, and wine industries. If you see a spotted lanternfly, the county advises you to kill it immediately. 

Here are photos of the spotted lanternfly at different stages of life, courtesy of Pennsylvania State University:

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Jessica Morris named VP of Friends of Lake Accotink Park: Real estate agent Jessica Morris has been named vice president of Friends of Lake Accotink Park. A FLAP email describes Morris as a “longtime Lake Accotink visitor and caretaker,” adding: “As a park and nature lover, when the opportunity to assist in preserving a local park, Lake Accotink, arose she was thrilled for the opportunity.”


Canterbury Woods to host beer tasting: The Canterbury Woods pool is offering the chance to “kick off your Halloween Saturday with an afternoon of beer tasting with your friends and neighbors.” The event is Oct. 30 at 4:30 p.m. at the Canterbury Woods Swim Club Pavillion. A flight of five four-ounce tastings is $10. Register here.

News in Brief

  • Stefan Bieret, 41, of Burke, was arrested last week and charged with 10 felonies related to the posession of child pornography. Per the Fairfax County Police Department blog, the investigation began when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was notified of a potentially illicit image being uploaded to a Dropbox account.

  • The county is seeking public input on new names for Lee Highway (Route 29) and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway (Route 50), which are set to be changed because of their connection to Confederate generals.

  • The Fairfax County Office of Elections is mailing sample ballots to each of the county’s 727,000 registered voters ahead of the Nov. 2 election. The mailings will list each voter’s assigned polling location, along with other information.

  • The vast majority of Fairfax County employees have complied with the mandate to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing, reports FFX Now. As of last week, 12,799 employees were fully vaccinated, 295 were partially vaccinated, and 492 had applied for religious or medical exemptions.

  • The George Mason Regional Library will hold a 10-day book sale starting Oct. 22, the Annandale Blog reports. Books, CDs, and DVDs will be available.

  • Fairfax City and George Mason University have agreed to move the Mason Enterprise Center, a business incubator offering office space and other services to startups, from Old Town Fairfax to a bigger space in the Northfax District, reports Washington Business Journal.

Real Estate

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Jennifer Mack column: The September slowdown

For the last several columns, I’ve discussed changes in the market. Now that September statistics are out, it’s abundantly clear the shift I’ve detected was not an exaggeration: We’re continuing to move away from the extreme seller’s market that has characterized much of the past year.

Let's take a look at the most recent stats from Bright MLS, the multiple listing service that our area uses.

Month-over-month: In Fairfax County, September sales were down 11% from August. Inventory is holding constant, with 1,986 new listings in September. This is what’s causing the slowing market conditions–less buyer demand with a constant flow of listings.

Changes from spring: Back in May, the average sale price in Fairfax County was $732,000. In September, it was $695,000. This is evidence of the slowdown in buyer demand since spring. In March, April, and May, the median days on market was only five, meaning most homes were selling essentially right away. Last month, the median was 10 days on market, with an average of 18.

Year-over-year: For Fairfax County, the sold dollar volume was almost unchanged from a year ago. The average sale price was up by 2.5% year-over-year. The average days on market was almost the same, 18 versus 19 days a year ago. 

I predict that we will see these numbers remain constant until we start getting close to the holidays and/or start having severe weather, which will cause more of a slowdown. Spring could come early though, and I recommend that sellers looking to get top dollar target a March list date.

Jennifer Mack Properties is hosting a free online seller seminar on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. Register here:

Jennifer Mack has more than 16 years of experience in the real estate industry, with her team servicing Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Contact her at or by calling 703-672-0038.

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