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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: He Speaks To Us Still November 21, 2013
John Larson, D-CT
"James Reston wrote:"
Recognizing Recipients Of The 2013 Arts Council Of Fairfax County Arts Awards November 15, 2013
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"The Arts Achievement Award is presented to Ms. Kathryn Fredgren in recognition of 32 years of vision and leadership in bringing the highest quality dance performances of classical ballet, contemporary and modern dance, jazz, and tap dance to thousands of children and adults in Northern Virginia. Together with her husband Ken, Ms. Fredgren founded The Center Dance Company in 1981. Re-named BalletNova Center for Dance in 2009, the organization continues to be one of the most widely respected dance training centers in Northern Virginia. Upon her retirement as artistic director of BalletNova, Ms. Fredgren brought her love of children and innovative teaching to her position as dance artist-in-residence at Hunter Woods Elementary School in Reston from 2005 to 2011. She currently serves on BalletNova’s board of directors."
Recognizing The 50Th Anniversary Of Prs, Inc. October 8, 2013
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate PRS, Inc. on its 50th anniversary and to recognize PRS for assisting thousands of individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders achieve personal wellness and play productive roles in the community. PRS provides critical services to people living with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, major depression, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, or pervasive developmental disorders. Through innovative service delivery and programs, PRS can quickly assess the needs of an individual and implement services such as counseling, interpersonal skills training, vocational assistance, substance abuse services, and community housing. Thanks to the support offered by PRS, clients can and do increase their independence and self-sufficiency, allowing them to take critical steps toward leading strong and fulfilling lives. Originally known as The Social Center, this institution began in 1963 in the basement of a church as a social program to assist recently discharged patients from Western State Hospital in Staunton, VA. Formally incorporated in 1970, by 1974 the Social Center had grown to serve more than 300 individuals at three locations with a staff of 18. By 1989, the agency was providing a range of rehabilitative skill training and support services including vocational, educational, case management, recreational and other services. In 1992, PRS opened the Reston-Faraday Clubhouse and between 1994 and 2002, opened five residential facilities for clients who need full-time, intensive support. PRS Community Support Services helps people develop skills necessary to remain in their homes and out of the psychiatric hospital. In FY2013, 100% of the clients in that program maintained their homes and avoided eviction. The PRS Recovery Academy provides a curriculum-based day program that helps clients in the early stages of recovery master the essential skills of daily living and begin working toward their recovery and community integration goals. Over the years, PRS Employment Services has grown from serving just over 200 clients in 2000 to 502 in 2013, 89% of whom retained employment for 12 months or longer. In 2011, PRS expanded the populations served to include persons with emotional and/or behavioral disorders irrespective of a diagnosis of mental illness. Thus, PRS began providing services to individuals with mild intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders and pervasive developmental disorders, including autism. All told, PRS served 920 individuals in FY2013 and 98% of them stayed out of the hospital. PRS reached some other very significant milestones in 2013 by earning an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Management, by being named one of the 50 Best Nonprofits to Work For in the United States by The NonProfit Times for a third year in a row, and by opening its doors for the first time in the District of Columbia with the DC Recovery Academy. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing PRS for 50 years of service and for its commitment to ensuring that every person has the right to live in dignity."
Recognizing The 75Th Anniversary Of The Fairfax County Planning Commission October 8, 2013
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fairfax County Planning Commission. The mission of the Fairfax County Planning Commission is to advise the Board of Supervisors on all matters related to the orderly growth and development of Fairfax County. This includes stewarding of the comprehensive plan for the physical development of the County, amending zoning and subdivision ordinances, and reviewing specific project proposals. The Planning Commission also provides citizens with an opportunity to provide input and contribute to matters involving development in and around their communities. When the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to establish a Planning Commission in July 1938, the County had a population of about 40,000 people. The original five members were appointed based on the land-use interest they would represent, such as farmers, townspeople, commercial, and industrial interests. Commissioners met in closed sessions and did not record minutes until 1941. Today, Fairfax County has a population of approximately 1.1 million and the Planning Commission consists of twelve volunteer members—one for each of the nine supervisory districts and three who serve the County at large. They meet weekly in public sessions that can be viewed online anywhere in the world. Additionally, commissioners form subcommittees as needed to focus on specific topics such as parks, transportation, housing, and the environment. For much of its first 75 years, the Planning Commission shepherded the County’s transformation from a predominantly rural area to one dominated by sprawling suburbs and job centers. The transportation patterns were indicative of this; people travelled into Washington, D.C., for their jobs and back home to Fairfax County. This landscape began changing as more and more corporations, especially technology companies, relocated their corporate headquarters or opened large offices in Fairfax County, primarily in the Dulles Corridor and Tysons areas. The expansion of professional opportunities continued to fuel the population growth of the County, irrevocably changing commuting patterns and posing new challenges and opportunities. In this century, as the County continues to redefine itself, emphasis has been placed on smart-growth, multi-use development easily accessible to public transit. Through the natural cycle of growth and redevelopment, new activity centers have been established throughout the County in communities like Reston, Laurel Hill, Springfield, and the Mosaic District in Merrifield. In May 2010, the Planning Commission presented the most ambitious redevelopment plan in the County’s history to Board of Supervisors—The Tysons Plan. The Tysons Plan was a culmination of years of planning and analysis, much of which I had the honor of working on while serving as the Providence District Supervisor and then as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Under the Tysons Plan the area known as the “downtown of Fairfax County” will be transformed from a district filled with a patchwork of unconnected development and businesses into a vibrant, walkable, sustainable, transit-oriented mixed-use community. When completed, Tysons will be an urban center where people live, work, and play, and it will be home to up to 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs. This plan received the American Planning Association’s 2011 Daniel Burnham Award, which recognizes one urban plan in the nation each year, for advancing the science and art of planning. Looking forward, the Planning Commission and staff will continue to seek a balance between this phenomenal growth and the need to maintain open space, manage traffic, and provide affordable housing. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Fairfax County Planning Commission on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary and in thanking the volunteer Commissioners and the staff of the Fairfax County Planning Commission for their efforts, expertise, and dedication toward making Fairfax County one of the best places in the country to live, work and raise a family."
Recognizing The Greater Reston Arts Center On The Occasion Of Its 40Th Anniversary September 12, 2013
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) on the occasion of its 40th anniversary and to recognize the contributions this local institution has made to the cultural life of throughout Northern Virginia. Founded in 1974 by artists and friends of the arts as a source of cultural enrichment for what was then the “new town” of Reston, GRACE has enriched community life by promoting involvement and excellence in contemporary visual arts. GRACE initially operated out of the landmark Heron House on Lake Anne and offered classes in sculpture, painting, and weaving for children and adults. In 1976, GRACE began training volunteer “docents” to lead interactive discussions of art history in elementary schools. This signature program now reaches more than 20,000 students in 42 schools across the region. From its current location in Reston Town Center, GRACE provides a year-round program of contemporary visual art exhibitions, education programs for all ages, and special events. In recent years, GRACE has introduced new traditions such as the seasonal “Focus” exhibition series, and has engaged the community with events such as free gallery receptions, holiday wine tastings, and string quartet performances. The annual Northern Virginia Arts Festival, operated by GRACE, is widely recognized as a signature event that features more than 200 juried, national artists and draws tens of thousands of attendees/buyers annually. Such activities greatly enhance both the cultural life and local economy of Reston and Fairfax County. Looking forward, GRACE intends to fill the need for a more dynamic artistic and cultural presence brought about by Reston Town Center’s emergence as an international business destination and regional attraction. Under the leadership of Executive Director Damian Sinclair, GRACE recently announced its “40 Forward” campaign to develop a more robust Fine Arts Festival, enhance its gallery exhibitions, extend its education program online, and partner with other institutions to promote a stronger commitment to public and performance art. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating GRACE on its 40th anniversary and thanking its staff, volunteers, and supporters for their ongoing contributions to the quality of life in Northern Virginia."

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