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Photos by Louise Krafft/The Gazette

Erin Eyler leads the students in the rising up of the Horse Dance.

Learning the Horse and Corn Dances

S econd grade students performed two Na- tive American dances for the first graders at Hybla Valley Elementary School on Lockheed Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon. The second graders had been part of an internship program of the West Potomac Academy Dance Course. Six students: Ingrid Amaya, Erin Eyler, Mandi Whetzel, Katie McCarn, Nina Suggs and Brittany Hall have been working with the sec- ond graders preparing them for the Native Ameri- can program.

The second graders performed and chanted the rituals of the Horse and Corn dances to their un- derclassmen in the gym.

“Footprints: a sacred one, over it the blades float in the wind, through it the blades push upward, through it the blades radiate, over it the ears lean toward one another, over it I pluck the ears, over it I bend the stalk to pluck the ears, over it the blossoms lie gra , smoke arises from my house, there is cheer in my house, I live in the light of day …” — the song of the Corn Dance.

The dance instructors, students of West Potomac Academy: Ingrid Amaya, Erin Eyler, Mandi Whetzel, Katie McCarn, Nina Suggs and Brittany Hall are laden with gifts from the Hybla Valley second grad- ers at the end of Tuesday’s recital.

Britney Hall is followed by her students in the dance sequence of being home and “the smoke rises from my house,” in the corn dance. Corn was a food staple for Native Americans.


The State No One Wants To Be In

Residents feels at odds with Richmond legislature.

By Julia O’Donoghue The Gazette

W ith more than a note of serious- ness in his voice, Greg Schuckman brought up the idea of a Northern Virginia secession from the rest of the commonwealth.

“Richmond is always talking about Washington overextending its reach in matters like health care. But it is Richmond that over- extends all the time,” said Schuckman, a Lorton resident who is on the board of Northern Vir- ginia Community College. He floated the idea during a town hall with state Sen. Toddy Puller (D- 36) and Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) Jan. 23.

Photo by Julia O’Donoghue/The Gazette

State Sen. Toddy Puller (D- 38) met with constituents in Mount Vernon Jan. 23.

Those attending seemed gener- ally pleased with Surovell and Puller’s efforts in the Virginia Gen- eral Assembly. Like Schuckman, they used “Richmond” as a euphe- mism for powerful rural state leg- islators, primarily conservative Republicans, whose agenda is of- ten at odds with that of Northern Virginians.

sentatives, who rely on Northern Virginia for tax revenue.

“The People’s Republic of North- ern Virginia,” joked Surovell.

“I am sort of serious about this.

  • Fairfax County is already larger

than some Schuckman.



Schuckman said Surovell, Puller and other local legislators should seriously consider submitting a bill that would promote Northern Vir- ginia breaking away and forming its own state. If anything, the proposition would at least get the attention of the down state repre-

MOST OF the approximately two dozen people attending the town hall doubted that Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) or the Virginia General Assembly would keep the interests of Northern Virginia in

See Listening, Page 7

County Settles Lawsuit Over McIntosh’s Death

D uring the Board of Super visors’ meeting Tuesda , Jan. 26, the board agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a civil suit filed by parents of slain Fairfax county teacher’s aide Ashley McIntosh against former police officer Amanda Perry.

Ashley McIntosh was killed on a rainy night at the corner of Route 1 and Boswell Avenue on Feb. 12, 2008 in a crash with Perry who ran a red light while on an emergency call.

The county’s agreement to settle the civil suit rather than go to trial on Feb. 8 brings an end this case.

County attorneys, who defended the former police officer — the officer was discharged after it was discovered that while on restricted administrative duty she was sub- mitting false time and attendance reports — recommended, and the board agreed, to settle the suit filed by McIntosh’s parents rather than go through a jury trial.

Perry was ruled grossly negli- gent and denied sovereign immu- nity in a bench trial on Aug. 12, 2009, in response to a suit filed by the parents and family of McIn- tosh.

  • Gerald A. Fill

Mount Vernon Gazette January 28 - February 3, 2010 3

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