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    Fact Checking the Manassas City Council Forum: A negative turn for the City Council race

    citycouncilchambers

    Recently, Historic Manassas, Inc. hosted a City Council Forum.  A lot was said and a lot of ideas were raised.  The conversation was on point and civil– until the closing remarks. 

    City Council candidate Rex Parr chose to use his closing statement to go decidedly negative, making inaccurate claims that in some cases play to our fears rather than hopes.  When such false claims are made, it tarnishes our city’s reputation and the hard work done by our city staff and employees.

    There’s so much negativity in the politics at our state and federal levels, I’d hoped the local race would set an example of how elections should be.  Unfortunately, that hope has been seriously diminished.

    Mr. Parr may be new to running for office, but he’s mastered being a politician.

    Since these false claims are in the public domain now, I think it’s important they be examined, vetted and corrected.

    I’ve chosen the top offenders to showcase below.

    Rex Parr False Statement 1:
    “[the council experiences] stalemate, tie votes, no action on vital issues before the council that effect our kids, our communities and future economic development”

    The truth:
    The council has a diverse range of positions, indicative of the diverse range of thoughts held by our city residents.  There are, on occasion, tie votes, as there are on any elected body, but none have stopped critical actions from being take that impact our kids/schools/communities or economic development as Rex has claimed.  At most, the wide range of views has triggered compromise, which is far too lacking in most political bodies.

    Rex Parr False Statement 2:
    “[since the great recession] efforts to restore spending have been consistently blocked”

    The truth:
    The city budget is now above pre-recession levels. Funding has been restored.  Also, showing prudence and fiscal restraint has earned our city a AAA bond rating, which will save our citizens millions in borrowing costs in the future.

    Rex Parr False Statement 3:
    “our public services have been starved […] their missions have been jeopardized”

    The truth:
    Our public services are award winning and rank among the best in the nation.  From a police department in the top 1%, to an award winning utility department.  Our public services also received stellar reviews by you, the citizens, in the recent citizen satisfaction survey, beating state and national averages.

    Rex Parr False Statement 4:

    “[because of city council austerity] the reputation of our schools [has been] tarnished”

    Fact:
    The schools are managed by an independently elected School Board who has made it VERY clear that they are in charge of the schools. The city council has met its funding obligations to the schools, and the system currently spends 10%-15% more per pupil than our surrounding localities.  Let me say it again: the city council meets its funding obligations.  If our school’s reputation is “tarnished” as Mr. Parr states, it is less likely to do with city council austerity, and more likely due to the drop in test scores and achievement we’ve suffered– which would be the responsibility of the School Board.  He’s directing his ire at the wrong elected body.

    I consider Rex to be a good guy, and hope he’ll pull back from this unfortunate course and run the rest of this race in a positive, accurate way.

    This post is paid for by Manassas Councilman Ian Lovejoy.
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    News
    Stafford got 7 inches of rain over the past 2 days

    From the National Weather Service:

    ...STAFFORD COUNTY...
       1 W RAMOTH            7.00   700 AM  9/29  TRAINED SPOTTER         
       8 ESE FREDERICKSBURG  5.03   700 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       2 E ROSEVILLE         3.63   759 AM  9/29  CWOP                    
       2 E HOLLY CORNER      3.50  1117 AM  9/29  PUBLIC                  
       2 NW FALMOUTH         3.11   746 AM  9/29  CWOP                    
       1 WSW SEALSTON        2.70   500 PM  9/28  COCORAHS                
       1 ESE BROOKE          2.04   916 AM  9/28  TRAINED SPOTTER        
    
    
    ...PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY...
       QUANTICO MARINE CORP  4.34   756 AM  9/29  AWOS                    
       2 W DUMFRIES          3.33   712 AM  9/29  RAWS                    
       2 SW DALE CITY        3.15   500 PM  9/29  TRAINED SPOTTER         
       1 N NOKESVILLE        2.76   752 AM  9/29  CWOP                    
       3 N INDEPENDENT HILL  2.75   751 AM  9/29  CWOP                    
       6 NW WOODBRIDGE       2.66   700 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       5 SE MANASSAS         2.64   600 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       6 SE MANASSAS         2.59   530 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       1 SE GREENWICH        2.26   751 AM  9/29  CWOP                    
       4 S NOKESVILLE        2.25   700 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       1 WSW WOOLSEY         2.18   800 AM  9/29  CWOP                    
       6 N HAYMARKET         2.03   700 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       2 SE GAINESVILLE      2.00   700 AM  9/29  COCORAHS                
       2 W INDEPENDENT HILL  1.07   756 AM  9/29  CWOP     
    
    
    ...CITY OF MANASSAS...
       MANASSAS              1.65   705 AM  9/29  CO-OP OBSERVER          
       MANASSAS COOP         1.65   703 AM  9/29  UCOOP                   
    
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    Enter the pumpkin pie eating contest and beer and wine garden at the 34th Annual Manassas Fall Jubilee

    Fall-Jubilee

    It’s that time of the year again! The 34th Annual Fall Jubilee will be held October 1 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    This highly recognized craft and artisan festival brings out nearly 30,000 people to visit Historic Downtown Manassas each year. Streets become lined with booths featuring unique crafters, non-profits, local community booths, and numerous downtown merchants. There is fun to be had for everyone at the Fall Jubilee!

    This year brings back exciting contests introduced last year to the Fall Jubilee. Fall is the season of pumpkin pie and the pie contests are back again! Enter your homemade pumpkin pie into the baking contest or sign up for our pumpkin pie eating contest.

    The pumpkin pie eating contest will be broken up into two age groups for children and adults – and there’s a catch, no hands allowed! The Main Stage on Prince William Street will feature music from DarcyDawn & Company and Kitty and the Fat Cats. Underneath the Harris Pavilion attendees can find the community stage featuring local dance troops and musical acts.

    This year’s Beer and Wine Garden can be found on the Manassas Museum lawn from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sample beers from Manassas’s own BadWolf Brewing Co. and Heritage Brewing Co and get your wine fix from the new tasting room in downtown Manassas, Aroma.

    There will also be loads of fun for the kids including, rides, games, and the Southern States Pumpkin Patch full of pumpkins waiting to be decorated. At noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m, there will be a DareDevil Dog Show on the museum lawn! Stop by to see tricks and a chance to meet the rebellious pups.

    Parking for the Manassas Fall Jubilee can be found in the free, downtown multi-level parking garage on Main Street and Prince William Street. For more information about Historic Manassas, Inc., the Manassas Fall Jubilee, and other great Manassas events, go to visitmanassas.org.

    This promoted post sponsored by Historic Manassas Inc. 
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    News
    Active Prince William Bikes and Beers social and bike ride in Lake Ridge on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016

    Waters End Brewery in Lake Ridge is hosting the Bikes and Beers Social.

    Submitted: 

    Come hang out, have a beer flight, and chat about bikes and biking in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park. This social event organized by Active Prince William  will be at the recently opened Waters End Brewery in Lake Ridge, the first brewery in the area that you can safely bike and walk to. The event is FREE! PLUS: FREE Door Prize Raffles FREE Bike Valet Parking PRE-EVENT RIDE WITH POTOMAC PEDALERS 11:00 AM 12.5 miles The route will be only mildly hilly, following mostly quiet streets through Lake Ridge and Woodbridge. Meet in Waters End Brewery parking lot (in Dillingham Square).

    For more info visit: potomacpedalers.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=866756

     

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    News
    California woman meets man in D.C., is robbed in Woodbridge

    police-suv

    From Prince William police: 

    Armed Robbery – On September 28 at 10:15PM, officers responded to the 14300 block of Crossing Pl in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a robbery. The victim, a 19-year-old woman of California, reported to police that she met an unknown man in Washington, D.C., then traveled back to the above area with him. During the encounter, the suspect brandished a handgun and demanded the victim’s property. The suspect took the victim’s cell phones, money, and purse then fled in a black vehicle. No injuries were reported. The investigation continues.

    Suspect Description:

    Black male, between 20 & 25 years of age, 5’06”, 150lbs with black hair and brown eyes

    No clothing description is available at this time

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    News
    Jose Veliz, a mechanic from Triangle, wins $150,000

    jveliz

    From the Virginia Lottery: 

    Jose Veliz was sitting at home with some friends and scratching a Virginia Lottery ticket when he saw something on the ticket he’d never seen before. Suspecting it was a big winner, the Triangle man put the ticket aside.

    His Casino Thrills ticket had won the top prize of $150,000.

    Mr. Veliz, who works as a mechanic, bought the ticket at the 7-Eleven at 13304 Occoquan Road in Woodbridge.

    He’s the third and final player to claim the top prize in Casino Thrills (game #1623), which means the game is closed. It is the Virginia Lottery’s policy to close games once the last top prize is claimed.

    The odds of winning the top prize in Casino Thrills were 1 in 1,060,800. The odds of winning any prize were 1 in 4.28.

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    News
    More on why Stafford County Public Schools closed today

    We emailed Stafford County Public Schools spokeswoman Sherrie Johnson some questions this morning asking her about the decision to close schools today. 

    Here’s our Q and A: 

    PL: Can you tell us why schools were closed today? Flooding at school sites? Traffic? 

    Johnson: High Water, impassable roads, and roads closed. 

    Route 1 was closed at the Potomac Fire Station and was not expected to open until after rush hour. Other secondary roads were closed by downed trees.

    PL: Were any students able to safely make it to class today? If so, any idea of how many?

    Johnson: No 

    PL: Were school buses stuck on area roadways? If so, how many? 

    Johnson: No

    PL: How does the school division weigh the safety of its students / employees sitting in traffic on flooded roads? How was this weighted into today’s decision to close? 

    Johnson: The safety of our students and staff is our top priority for Stafford County Public Schools. 

    Johnson also included this situation report in her email to us: 

     

    Stafford County Emergency Management: 2016-09-29 Severe Weather (Rain) Situation Report:

    • Weather

    o   Rain accumulations:

    • South County: approx. 3-6”
    • North County: approx. 3-6”
      up to 2-4” more rain is expected from now until Friday AM, 30 September

      Detailed Forecast

    • Today, 29 September – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 73. East wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible. Tonight Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm, then showers after 2am. Low around 66. East wind 10 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
    • Friday, 30 September – Showers. High near 72. Northeast wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Friday Night Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. Northeast wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
    • Saturday, 1 October – A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Saturday Night A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
    • Sunday, 2 October – Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Sunday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 61.
    • Roads

    o   Road conditions:

    • Interstate: Clear with some water pockets – Traffic is moving VERY SLOW!
    • Primaries: Moderate
    • Secondaries: Severe (Limited)

    o   Traffic lights out at 610 and Rte 1 (0740 SSO Traffic Units enroute)

    o   Rte 1, all lanes, near Potomac Hills closed at 0501 for 3 hrs due to flooding (Stafford Alert)

    o   Rte 1, 1 lane open at 0810 , near Potomac Hills (EM)

    o   River Road closed (SSO FB)

    o   Harrell Road Closed (SSO FB)

    • Power Outages (0900)

    o   Dominion- 683 customers are out of power (down from a high of 4885) (Aquia Harbour Area is majority. Widewater Beach is also affected) Dominion Crews are on site in Aquia

    o   REC-0

    o   Novec-0

    o   Northern Neck – 0

    • Ops Update:

    o   SSO:

    • Traffic Units out in force
    • Deployed at 0200

     

    o   Schools:

    • Stafford County Schools closed , Employees Code II, Liberal Leave in effect

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    News
    Tacketts Mill opens Prince William County Walk of Fame

    princewilliamwalkoffame2

    From Tacketts Mill: 

    The Prince William County Walk of Fame is an installation of granite plaques each representing an individual who is ‘locally famous’ for his or her extraordinary contribution to the quality of life in Prince William County.  This three year project envisions 35-40 plaques permanently mounted on the grounds of Tackett’s Mill in Lake Ridge, where a paved path encircles the manicured lake behind the Fellowship House. 
     
    Eight installments are currently in place.  A central directory for the installments is located outside Safeway at the Tackett’s Mill Shopping Center. 
     
    The Selection Committee invites you to attend the SerenAid 2016 banquet on October 20th, 5:30pm at the Old Hickory Club House to award the current Nominees. 
     
    The Nominees for 2016 are Senator Charles J. Colgan, David Brickley, John Jenkins, Trevor Blake, and Dr. Richard G. Tami.  The banquet is a fundraiser for the Walk of Fame and its community partners: The Clearbrook Foundation a 5019(c)(3) corporation, Tackett’s Mill Foundation, New Dominion Choraliers, and the Woodbridge Rotary Club.  
     
    For more information email “pwcwalkoffame@gmail.com”.  You can also download the attendance form directly by visiting tackettsmill.com.  Click on the ‘Explore’ tab to find the Walk of Fame.
     princewilliamwalkoffame
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    News
    Tippy Wiley Matteson missing from her home near Manassas

    From Prince William police: 

    *MISSING ENDANGERED ADULT: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing, endangered adult, Tippy Wiley MATTESON.  Family members reported to police that Ms. Matteson was last heard from [Wednesdsay, Sept. 28, 2016] around 1:00PM. It is believed that Ms. MATTESON voluntarily left her residence located in the 10500 block of Crooked Branch Ct in Manassas (20112) and may be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered. Ms. Matteson may be driving a 2016 grey Nissan Versa with Virginia license plates: VRG-5766 and may be in the area of ManassasCity.  Anyone with information on Ms. Matteson’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 703-792-6500.

    Tippy Wiley MATTESON is described as a white female, 47 years of age, 5’07”, 140lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. It is unknown what clothing Ms. Matteson may be wearing.

     

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