Monday notes

Firefighters on ice

Firefighters train at the Belle Haven Marina on Friday.

Firefighters train for ice rescues

With record-low temperatures leaving everything from the Potomac River to small ponds frozen, people have taken to walking and playing on frozen surfaces around the area — much to the chagrin of local fire departments. The Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department is among those imploring people to stay off of frozen surfaces, and to underscore the point they pictures of fireman from the Penn Daw station training for ice rescues at the Belle Haven Marina on Friday.

“While we remain hopeful that no residents will tempt fate and attempt to walk or skate on thin ice, we need to ensure we are ready to respond,” the fire department said.

See more pics on the Fairfax Fire and Rescue website

Wagner misses Olympics

Ashley Wagner, a 2009 graduate of West Potomac High School, fell just short of making next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Wagner, 26, finished fourth overall at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday. That placement didn’t necessarily mean that Wagner, who helped lead the U.S. team to a bronze medal in the 2014 Olympics, would not be picked for the national team. But, in a somewhat unexpected move according USA Today figure columnist Christine Brennan, the committee responsible for picking the U.S. women’s team left Wagner off the roster. 

Read Brennan’s full analysis here.

General Assembly preview

With the Virginia General Assembly set to convene on Wednesday, Richmond Highway-area state legislators will focus on issues ranging from coal ash cleanup to marijuana decriminalization. The session will also be the first for Del. Kathy Tran, the first Asian-American woman legislator in the state’s history. Tran’s district includes part of the Mount Vernon area.

Michael Lee Pope goes over the major changes in the assembly’s makeup following November’s election, and breaks down the priorities of local pols over at

Krizek targets Jim Crow-era laws

Del. Paul Krizek, whose 44th district covers the majority of the Richmond Highway area, wants to pass legislation that would close loopholes in Virginia’s minimum wage laws. One of those loopholes includes exceptions that allow many workers in service jobs — including domestic help, farm laborers, shoeshine boys, golf course caddies and concession workers — to be paid less.

Krizek says the language of those laws were written in the past to unfairly target African American workers, and wants them — as well as other exceptions to the minimum wage — to be eliminated. Read more about Krizek’s proposals on

Richmond Highway transportation history

Local blogger Jay Roberts has begun a multi-part series chronically the history of southeast Fairfax County’s roads. He started this weekend with an introduction to the series and a look at the earliest roads in this area.

Read more on Jaybird’s Jottings.