Columns & Blogs

We won’t take their lives or their stories for granted

Opinion 

I went home Wednesday night and finished working on the fence in our backyard.

We installed a new gate to a side yard. Our two goats will enjoy this new large space, and I’ll enjoy the fact that they will eat all the unwanted foliage there.

It was simply just another evening at home I shared with my wife and our pets after another long day at work.

These evenings are ones we may sometimes take for granted.

That morning journalists Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed on live TV while interviewing a local chamber of commerce president, who was also shot and survived. The story they were covering was not one of violent crime, or digging up secrets of a mob boss, or to uncover political wrongdoing.

A celebration was underway for a dam built 60 years ago that created Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake. Parker and Ward went to learn about all of the fun events and activities planned for the anniversary, and went to bring home that community news story to their audience.

It’s a story that us reporters, and a service that we as readers may take for granted.

We journalists cover our communities with pride every day. Our business, the way we do our jobs, and the rules of traditional news writing as we knew them 20 years ago have all changed. They will continue to change as new digital storytelling tools emerge and, most importantly, readers continue to shift how they get their news and how much news content they demand.

As journalists, we are involved in this community in ways many people are not, or simply can’t be due to work and family commitments. We are here during the day reporting on our community while the majority of our readers leave the area for work in Washington, D.C.

We are the ones that are asked why police were “on my street last night.” or “what’s going on in my child’s school,” or “what am I really getting in exchange for the taxes I’m paying?”

In turn, we are privileged to go out and and bring home the answers to these and other questions. We get to explain to our readers what’s going on in their communities and why it matters to them.

Anymore, there are few others in our community that do what we do. But we’re glad there’s still a handful of us. Every community needs more reporters.

If our readers didn’t have to work and had more free time, maybe they would go out and do what we do. 

The job is not easy. It’s time-consuming. It’s not cheap. It doesn’t require the highest degree awarded by the most prestigious journalism school in the nation.

It does require dedication, commitment, and a true understanding of the community that we serve. It is work that should not be taken for granted.

It’s taken me a few days to write these words, and to try to wrap my head around the tragic events of this week. I tried to let my emotions subside and time pass before I took to my bully pulpit.

Newspapers, local news websites, and local TV stations are not the sole source for community information any longer. Social media is now an indispensable method of spreading news and photos, and for telling stories.

Not a day goes by that we, the reporters, don’t look to social media to find out what conversations are being had in the communities we cover. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find a TV news show that isn’t showing an image of a Facebook page or Twitter comment to help tell the story.

Not all information posted to social media is accurate. We saw that Wednesday when incorrect reports surfaced of Virginia State Police pursuing Parker and Ward’s killer on Interstate 64 near Charlottesville.

As long as we’re around — as long as our readers find value in our reporting and local businesses and organizations find value in marketing to our readers — we’ll do our best to report the news timely fairly, accurately, and with a focus on how it impacts our community.

It’s the same thing Parker, and Ward would be doing today had they not been gunned down.

Ahead, the debate over how to best help those with mental illness, and what to do about the increasing number of high-profile shootings will rage on. After Virginia Tech, the state is no stranger to these conversations.

For now let’s remember two young, much-loved journalists who had their whole lives ahead of them. Whom, for a brief time, were given the honor and privilege of covering their hometowns — the same privilege that I have been given.

And let us take nothing for granted.

-Uriah Kiser is the founder and publisher of PotomacLocal.com.

Call to Action: Volunteers needed for Public Lands Day at Leesylvania State Park

Good morning Prince William – Volunteers are needed for Public Lands Day at Leesylvania State Park on Saturday September 26th – 9:30am-1pm.  Tasks include collecting native tree seeds that will go to local nurseries that grow trees for reforesting efforts across the region.  You need close-toed shoes and sharp eyes but they will provide all tools, water, supplies and lunch.  You don’t want to miss this great event.  You can sign up at: Potomac.org or call (703) 583-6904 for more info.

Historic Manassas, Inc. has an urgent need for volunteers at the Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12thfor the afternoon, 2-6pm shift!  This is a super fun community event in Old Town Manassas.  You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking, children’s games and of course set-up or take down. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.  

It’s almost fall – Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for the Manassas walk on October 17th. Walkers and volunteers needed for this fun event so please visit:www.alzheimersassociationnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer.   To learn more.

Literacy Volunteers of America is gearing up for their next tutor training on September 19th and October 3rd.  No experience needed just come and share your time to greatly improve the life of another.  Please visit their website at: lvapw.org to learn more.

SERVE in Manassas needs volunteer’s weekdays and Saturday mornings at their food pantry.  Tasks include processing families, stocking shelves, accepting food donations and preparing food packages.  Volunteers must be 16+ yrs. old.  They would love Spanish speakers but mostly just you!  Please email Jan to learn more at: jhawkins@nvfs.org

The ARC cordially invites you to their Respite for the Soul event for any caregiver to a person with disabilities on Saturday September 26th at the McCoart Government Building.  It’s just $10 and includes a box lunch.  Please email: jrussell@arcgpw.org for more info.

Project Mend A House has two super activities this fall for you.  First of all gather your friends and families to build a Popsicle House.  Its super fun to use your creativity to build the house.  You can enter the contest purchase the supplies for just $25.  You need to submit your house by October 14thand it will be judged by the fans at the Taste of the Town fundraiser on October 28th.  You don’t want to miss either of these two events.  Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more.

House of Mercy is hosting their 2015 Campaign to End Hunger on Saturday October 17th.  Volunteers are needed to work a 2 hour shift and contribute $20.  This fee covers the cost of the food ingredients for 150,000 meals.  Please call (703) 659-1636 or via email at: help@houseofmercyva.org to learn more

Prince William Bar Association for sponsoring the Wills for Veterans program. The Bar Association is looking for vets needing Wills, Power of Attorneys and Medical Directives to come to their information sessions to receive this free service.  The first session is September 19th, the second session is October 3rd and then you’ll receive your docs on October 24th.  Please call Barbara at (703) 792-7175 to register and receive all the specifics of this super project sponsored by the Bar Association.

And speaking of vets please mark your calendars to attend the Freedom Museum’s 1940’s HangerDance on Saturday October 10th at the Manassas Airport. They will have music, dinner, dancing, and fabulous raffle items all to support this wonderful museum.  Please visit their website to learn more and buy your tickets at: freedommuseum.org

Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to teach basic email and web searching skills to a woman in Fairfax City.  You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. They also could use help in the office which is very flexible as well.  Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

The 2015 American Heart Association Walk is November 7th in DC.  Volunteers are needed as course marshals, set-up, and other assistance. Volunteers must be 16yrs old or be accompanied by an adult.  Please visit their website to sign –up at: greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William.  Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like.  Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3.  Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org.  Thanks so much for all you do in our community. 

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Call to Action: Volunteer to ‘End Hunger’

Good morning  – Historic Manassas, Inc. is gearing up for two of their signature events. Volunteers are needed for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th and the Fall Jubilee on October 3rd.

These are both super fun community events in Old Town Manassas. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking, children’s games and of course set-up or take down. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District needs volunteers for their Farm Field Days on Wednesday October 21st and Thursday October 22nd. This super fun day brings area children to the Fairgrounds to teach core concepts of farming, animals, conservation, water quality and other environmental topics. Please check out their website at: pwswcd.org or call Alysha at (571) 379-7514 to learn more.

· It’s almost fall – Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for the Manassas walk on October 17th. Walkers and volunteers needed for this fun event so please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer. To learn more.

· Project Mend A House has two super activities this fall for you. First of all gather your friends and families to build a Popsicle House. Its super fun to use your creativity to build the house. You can enter the contest purchase the supplies for just $25. You need to submit your house by October 14th and it will be judged by the fans at the Taste of the Town fundraiser on October 28th. You don’t want to miss either of these two events. Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more.

· House of Mercy is hosting their 2015 Campaign to End Hunger on Saturday October 17th. Volunteers are needed to work a 2 hour shift and contribute $20. This fee covers the cost of the food ingredients for 150,000 meals. Please call (703) 659-1636 or via email at: help@houseofmercyva.org to learn more

· Prince William Bar Association for sponsoring the Wills for Veterans program. The Bar Association is looking for vets needing Wills, Power of Attorneys and Medical Directives to come to their information sessions to receive this free service. The first session is September 19th, the second session is October 3rd and then you’ll receive your docs on October 24th. Please call Barbara at (703) 792-7175 to register and receive all the specifics of this super project sponsored by the Bar Association.

· And speaking of vets please mark your calendars to attend the Freedom Museum’s 1940’s Hanger Dance on Saturday October 10th at the Manassas Airport. They will have music, dinner, dancing, and fabulous raffle items all to support this wonderful museum. Please visit their website to learn more and buy your tickets at: freedommuseum.org

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to teach basic email and web searching skills to a woman in Fairfax City. You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. They also could use help in the office which is very flexible as well. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· The 2015 American Heart Association Walk is November 7th in Washington, D.C. Volunteers are needed as course marshals, set-up, and other assistance. Volunteers must be 16 years old or be accompanied by an adult. Please visit their website to sign –up at: greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Call to Action: Volunteers needed for Bands, Brews & BBQ in Manassas

Good morning  – here’s a huge CHEERS to the Prince William Bar Association for sponsoring the Wills for Veterans program. The Bar Association is looking for vets needing Wills, Power of Attorneys and Medical Directives to come to their information sessions to receive this free service. The first session is September 19th, the second session is October 3rd and then you’ll receive your docs on October 24th. Please call Barbara at (703) 792-7175 to register and receive all the specifics of this super project sponsored by the Bar Association.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. is gearing up for two of their signature events. Volunteers are needed for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th and the Fall Jubilee on October 3rd. These are both super fun community events in Old Town Manassas. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking, children’s games and of course set-up or take down. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter on route 1 in north Woodbridge is in dire need of new bed pillows. As you are out shopping this week please pick up a couple and drop them by the shelter at: 14945 Jeff Davis Hwy., Woodbridge. 

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to teach basic email and web searching skills to a woman in Fairfax City. You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. They also could use help in the office which is very flexible as well. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· It’s almost fall – Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. Walkers and volunteers needed for this fun event so please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer. To learn more.

· BEACON Literacy needs volunteer tutors to work with their adult learners from around the world. Prior experience is not needed as they will train you and all classes are taught only in English. The next volunteer training is Saturday August 22nd. Come be part of this lovely team of volunteers. Please visit their website at: beaconliteracy.org to learn more or give Jen a call at (703) 368-7491

· The General Heiser Boys and Girls Club in Dumfries is looking for a STEM coordinator for their new Pepco STEM Club. This exciting program will ignite the intellect and imagination of children so they can prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. Volunteers must be 21 yrs. old to coordinate the activities twice a week during the school year. Please call Adrian at (703) 441-0611 ext. 17 to learn more.

· Youth for Tomorrow in Bristow is looking for volunteers to help with weekend field trips for the kids visiting all the wonderful museums and historical sites. They also are looking for volunteer mentors as well. Both of these program offer the kids practical experience, build their confidence and support as they go through life’s challenges. Both activities offer you training. Please call Jenna at (703) 659-9886 to learn more.

· Manassas Senior Center needs volunteers front the front desk as receptionists – Mondays 9am to 1pm; Thursdays 9am to 2pm, and Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 4:30pm. Must have strong customer service skill in person and on the phone! For details contact: Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· The Prince William Area on Aging is updating their Communications, Referral and Information Services guide and needs volunteers this summer to make calls and emails to verify information. Must be able to work independently and be familiar with Portable Document Format (PDF). If this sounds like fun, please call Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

How Tire Speed Ratings Affect the Safety of Your Car

This is where you find the speed rating on the tire.

This is where you find the speed rating on the tire.

 

When it comes to tires and the safety of those inside the vehicle, there’s a lot riding on the letters of the alphabet.

All tires have a speed rating, and those ratings determine how fast the vehicle can safely travel on those tires, from about 75 mph to 186 mph.

An “H” rated tire, originally known as a high performance tire, will allow a car to go up to 130 mph.

A customer recently came into our shop and told us his Nissan was pulling to the right when driven. A perfect candidate for an alignment, we pulled the tires from the car and noticed two different tires on the front and two matching tires on the rear. The right front tire, a T-rated tire capable of traveling up to 118 mph, and an S-rated tire that can go up to 112 mph.

The matching rear tires installed by the factory were faster, H-rated tires.

It was clear that the tires were causing the alignment issue, but we also know having three different speed rated tires on the same vehicle is an issue that impact the car’s overall ability to run safely. The higher “H” speed-rated tires originally installed on the rear of the car were the right tires for the vehicle.

So, how did the car come to have tires with three separate safety ratings? The customer told us a local shop that deals in used tires put them on the car. Afterward, the customer called the tire shop and was told “tire ratings don’t matter.”

We couldn’t disagree more.

Michelin tire with a Y speed rating

Michelin tire with a Y speed rating

“As professionals, we are counted on to provide expert opinions and advice based on facts and supported by experience,” said Rich Campbell, manager of Hometowne Auto Repair & Tire.

“The customer’s safety and security was compromised by a shop that first installed the incorrect tires with different speed ratings,” said Campbell.

Cooper tire with a V speed rating

Cooper tire with a V speed rating

Hometowne put on new tires to match the speed ratings of the rear tires, and that not only fixed the alignment problem, it allowed our customer to drive away with four evenly matched speed rated tires making for a safer drive on the road.

So the next time you’re due for new tires, or you’d like to make a tire upgrade, make sure you talk with our technicians about the speed rating of your current tires, and how a higher speed rating could improve your vehicle’s performance.

The Price and Value of Oil Change Service at Steve’s

Oil change service varies from location to location, and so do the prices depending on the area. No matter where you go, you want to ensure that your car is in good hands. So, what makes  Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire the right place to go for your next oil change? Let’s talk about it.

We do so much more than just change your oil.  We offer many different packages to accommodate your personal needs.

Our basic Bronze service starts out at $39.95, and covers up to 5 quarts of motor oil and your filter.

One perk to note when you choose us for an oil change, is that we will do a tire rotation for no charge. Our competitors charge an additional $20 for this service. Why pay more, when you can entrust your car to us, and get it as an added bonus?

The next step up is our Silver service for $59.99, which includes up to 5 quarts of motor oil, a filter and our BG MOA engine oil supplement.

Checking brakes, tires and suspension component during an oil change.

Checking brakes, tires and suspension component during an oil change.

Our premium service, which is called the Gold service – for $79.99 –  includes up to 5 quarts of motor oil, a filter BG MOA engine oil supplement and BG CF5 Fuel supplement.

Looking for additions to your oil change service that improve the quality and stability of your vehicle? At Steve’s we offer full synthetic oil, for an additional fee, that makes a big difference in the performance of your vehicle.

During the service, our technicians check all of your vehicle’s vital fluid levels and test their condition. If you’re low, we will top them off for you.  This includes the following fluids:

Checking the brake fluid for moisture content, to much moisture can cause brake pedal fade.

Checking the brake fluid for moisture content, to much moisture can cause brake pedal fade.

– Washer fluid up to 1 gallon
– Power steering fluid
– Transmission fluid (dipstick type only)
– Radiator engine coolant
– Brake fluid

In addition to the fluids we top off, we also inspect the following during our service:

Battery terminal corrosion found during and oil change, this can cause shorter battery life and a no start problem.

Battery terminal corrosion found during and oil change, this can cause shorter battery life and a no start problem.

– Visual inspection of brake pad and rotor condition
– Battery corrosion
– Battery life
– Belts for cracking and wear
– Radiator hoses to make sure they are not worn
– Fluid leaks
– Tire pressure
– Lights to make sure the bulbs are all working
– Maintenance reminder light
– Exhaust
– Windshield wipers to make sure they are not torn
– Inspection sticker to make sure you are not expired or about to expire

Our goal is make sure your vehicle is maintained properly to help you avoid major costly repairs, so if we see something that may potentially develop into something bigger, we will alert you in plenty of time for you to address the problem before it becomes a major mechanical breakdown.

Checking wiper blades and brake lights during an oil change.

Checking wiper blades and brake lights during an oil change.

So when it’s time for that routine oil change, don’t just go to any shop. Go to a shop that cares, and goes the extra mile to inspect and take care of your car, and stop by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire for your next oil change.

*Prices subject to change. Prices reflect service on August of 2015

Call to Action: Fall events Manassas Bands, Brews & BBQ, Walk to End Alzheimers coming up

Good morning Prince William – You can tell fall is right around the corner as Historic Manassas, Inc. is gearing up for two of their signature events. Volunteers are needed for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th and the Fall Jubilee on October 3rd. These are both super fun community events in Old Town Manassas. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking, children’s games and of course set-up or take down. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· The Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter on route 1 in north Woodbridge is in dire need of new bed pillows. As you are out shopping this week please pick up a couple and drop them by the shelter at: 14945 Jeff Davis Hwy., Woodbridge. 

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to teach basic email and web searching skills to a woman in Fairfax City. You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· It’s almost fall – Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. Walkers and volunteers needed for this fun event so please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer. To learn more.
· BEACON Literacy needs volunteer tutors to work with their adult learners from around the world. Prior experience is not needed as they will train you and all classes are taught only in English. The next volunteer training is Saturday August 22nd. Come be part of this lovely team of volunteers. Please visit their website at: beaconliteracy.org to learn more or give Jen a call at (703) 368-7491

· The General Heiser Boys and Girls Club in Dumfries is looking for a STEM coordinator for their new Pepco STEM Club. This exciting program will ignite the intellect and imagination of children so they can prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. Volunteers must be 21 yrs. old to coordinate the activities twice a week during the school year. Please call Adrian at (703) 441-0611 ext. 17 to learn more.

· Youth for Tomorrow in Bristow is looking for volunteers to help with weekend field trips for the kids visiting all the wonderful museums and historical sites. They also are looking for volunteer mentors as well. Both of these program offer the kids practical experience, build their confidence and support as they go through life’s challenges. Both activities offer you training. Please call Jenna at (703) 659-9886 to learn more.

· Please don’t forget to pick up a few extra things for families in need as both the SERVE Pantry and the Salvation Army Pantry have an urgent need for basics including canned beans, canned vegetables, canned meat, cereals, pasta and other dry goods. In Manassas please drop off food donations to the SERVE Pantry at 10056 Dean Drive or in Woodbridge at the Salvation Army Pantry at 1483 Old Bridge Road, Suite 102. Please help these wonderful organizations continue to support families in need.

· Manassas Senior Center needs volunteers front the front desk as receptionists – Mondays 9am to 1pm; Thursdays 9am to 2pm, and Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 4:30pm. Must have strong customer service skill in person and on the phone! For details contact: Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· The Prince William Area on Aging is updating their Communications, Referral and Information Services guide and needs volunteers this summer to make calls and emails to verify information. Must be able to work independently and be familiar with Portable Document Format (PDF). If this sounds like fun, please call Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for volunteers for Farm Field Days in October. If you enjoy children and the great outdoors, you will love this opportunity. They also are looking to expand participation in the Adopt-A-Stream program. Visit www.pwswcd.org for details!

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Why we note political parties of local candidates

Some candidates rise and fall with their party affiliation. For others, it simply doesn’t matter.

For example, take candidates running for school board in Virginia. A provision in the state code mandates all candidates for school board run without the affiliation of a political party and seek offices as independent.

In the 2015 race for Prince William County School Board Chairman, candidate Ryan Sawyers is endorsed by the Prince William Democratic Committee and Tim Singstock won an endorsement by the Prince William County Republican Committee. Tracy Conroy is running as an independent.

When voters go to the polls, they won’t see a letter on the ballot denoting any party affiliation.

“Parties can endorse anyone they want to, but party endorsement is different from party declaration on a ballot,” said Diana Dutton, with the Prince William County Office of Elections.

State law requires ballots only show political affiliation for offices such as Governor, Lt. Governer, Attorney General, House of Delegates, Virginia Senate, and congressional offices.

Also on the list of no required political affiliation — candidates for boards of supervisors, and those seeking office on a town or city council with a charter that doesn’t require naming political affiliation.

At Potomac Local, we do note party affiliation for candidates even if Virginia law states candidates don’t have to.
We work hard to cover local elections in Prince William and Stafford counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. It is our job to tell our readers that parties endorse candidates.

After all, a political party that lends its endorsement to a candidate must believe that person is the best person who would best represent that party’s views while serving in office. These candidates are also more likely to receive donations from like-minded voters of these respective parties.
You can get a full list of candidates — and information about their affiliation or endorsements — at projectelection.com.

How tire quality and tread depth can impact your safety on the road

Worn out tire edge dry rot, at tread bar indicators, string plug in tire.

Worn out tire edge dry rot, at tread bar indicators, string plug in tire. Time for a NEW one!

Have you noticed that your tires are low? Are you having difficulty gripping the road in your vehicle in the rain? Then it may be time to get your tires assessed. If your tires do need to be replaced, there are some things that you need to think about when you are selecting new tires.

Many people think that tires aren’t something that needs to be invested in, just because they wear out, and the urge is to slap on the cheapest set of tires a shop can offer. But there are safety considerations that you need to take into account before you opt for those cheaper tires.

worn out tire edge wear

worn out tire edge wear

All tires start out with a tread that measure between 8/32ths and 10/32ths, depending on the tire. As you drive on the road, the tire starts to wear, due to resistance and the weight of the car as you drive. This is completely natural, and happens to all tires over time. On all of your tires there are grooves and siping, that aid in stopping your vehicle safely – especially in bad weather. When you’re dealing with a cheaper, entry level tire – as you drive on the tires, and the grooves wear down – you’re dealing with a tire that is not as good at stopping you safely.

This is different from higher quality tire that tire manufacturers understand that this happens, and incorporate this into their design – like the Michelin Premier.

Michelin Premier tire safe when new model

Michelin Premire tire safe when new model

Michelin Premire tire safe when worn model

Michelin Premier tire safe when worn model

“As that tread starts to drop, as you put miles on it, it starts to lose its ability to maintain traction like when it was new. Whereas the new Michelin Premier is designed to be safe when new, safe when worn. So when it starts to wear down, you can see some of the emerging grooves, and those grooves start to open up as the tires wear down. And some less expensive tires don’t have that,” said Rich Campbell, manager for HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire.

Once your tires hit 5/32ths and 4/32th, that’s when you will start to get recommendations from our technicians about replacing your tires.

“Once you start to reach 5 and 4/32ths, the tire isn’t going to be helping you very much in the rain. And you’ll start to feel that in your performance, and you’ll feel it kind of hydroplane a little bit. That’s because your tires are having difficulty gripping the road,” said Campbell.

More expensive tires also tend to have a higher speed rating, which also improves your safety when driving. The higher a tire’s speed rating, the softer the rubber. And soft rubber in high end tires is much better at gripping the road, than a stiffer and cheaper tire.

new tire deep tread and sips

new tire deep tread and sips

“The higher the speed rating, the better the grip, the better it stops,” said Campbell.

When something as minor as 1/32ths of a tire’s tread can make a huge difference in stopping time, grip and safety, you need to take replacing your tires regularly seriously. By investing in more expensive tires, you’re actually prolonging the life of your car and the tires, as they will wear down more evenly and provide less risk as they wear down because of the added safety features.

Keep yourself and your family safe, and make sure that you are purchasing high quality tires for your vehicle. Our technicians at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire will be able to explain all of the high quality tires that we offer, and help you to choose the best ones for your vehicle.

Why do repair shops not want to use my own auto parts?

Brake pads and rotors from Car Quest are to original equipment specifications

Brake pads and rotors from Car Quest are to original equipment specifications

Keeping your car well maintained is important. And for some people, letting a technician isn’t enough – they want to take the extra step and order their own parts and really be a part of the process. And while that effort is appreciated, there are several reasons why many auto repair shops will not install parts that you bring to them when you’re getting your vehicle serviced.

The easiest way to explain why is to give you some example scenarios.

Alternator and Air Filter from a quality aftermarket parts supplier

Alternator and Air Filter from a quality aftermarket parts supplier

Let’s say you order your water pump and timing belt off of the internet or purchase them at a

local parts supply house.  When you bring in your parts, you are feeling all happy because you feel like you just saved yourself some money. In this scenario, let’s pretend we agree to install your parts.

One of our technicians gets your car into the bay, and sets it up on the lift. We go to install your part – but oh, wait –the water pump does not fit. Then you’re in a position where we’ve begun labor, and now you’re stuck with a part that doesn’t fit, waiting for days or weeks until you can get the appropriate part from an internet parts retailer or taking time to run back and forth to the parts store to complete the job, all the while the car is stuck in the repair shops bay.

Genuine GM parts from the dealer

Genuine GM parts from the dealer

Or say, maybe we installed that part, and six months down the road, you return to our shop and say the water pump and timing belt we installed are making noise and are not working properly. If we had installed your parts – and not our own – then you aren’t covered with the 2 year, 24,000 mile warranty that we offer our customers with our parts. And while yes we do need to sell auto parts in order to keep our shop open, another important reason why we do that is so we can offer the great warranty on the parts.

In this scenario, you would now be paying our shop two times for the same job to be performed, and overall you haven’t saved any money.

Now let’s look at another scenario so you can better understand the hazard of using your own parts, instead of an auto repair shop’s parts.

Radiator for a Nissan from an aftermarket parts supplier

Radiator for a Nissan from an aftermarket parts supplier

Say you call the shop to get a price on replacing an oxygen sensor.  You say you have been to a local auto parts house and have the code and they say it’s your oxygen sensor. You are asking us to put in the part that you have, and go off of another person’s word that this will fix your problem with the check engine light.

Then comes in the fact that as an auto repair shop, we absorb the liability when you walk out the door with your car keys in hand. If you were to have someone install a customer supplied part and it’s wrong, it could cost cause further car problems, an accident, or even put your safety at risk.

Radiator cap from an overseas parts supplier

Radiator cap from an overseas parts supplier

When you allow Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire to diagnose and replace the parts that we purchase we are guaranteeing your money is well spent.  If the part fails, you will not be paying labor again, nor will you be paying for the part. We as a company have to absorb the expense when a part fails within its warranty time and that is why we use quality parts from our trusted parts suppliers.

Call to Action: Youth for Tomorrow seeks volunteers for weekend field trips

Good morning  – The General Heiser Boys and Girls Club in Dumfries is looking for a STEM coordinator for their new Pepco STEM Club. This exciting program will ignite the intellect and imagination of children so they can prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. Volunteers must be 21 yrs. old to coordinate the activities twice a week during the school year. Please call Adrian at (703) 441-0611 ext. 17 to learn more.

· Youth for Tomorrow in Bristow is looking for volunteers to help with weekend field trips for the kids visiting all the wonderful museums and historical sites. They also are looking for volunteer mentors as well. Both of these program offer the kids practical experience, build their confidence and support as they go through life’s challenges. Both activities offer you training. Please call Jenna at (703) 659-9886 to learn more.

· Please don’t forget to pick up a few extra things for families in need as both the SERVE Pantry and the Salvation Army Pantry have an urgent need for basics including canned beans, canned vegetables, canned meat, cereals, pasta and other dry goods. In Manassas please drop off food donations to the SERVE Pantry at 10056 Dean Drive or in Woodbridge at the Salvation Army Pantry at 1483 Old Bridge Road, Suite 102. Please help these wonderful organizations continue to support families in need.

· SERVE is gearing up for the 2015-2016 school year! Volunteers are needed for the Backpack program on August 13- 14, at Manassas Adventist Prep School. This is a great opportunity for volunteers 16 and older but volunteers 12-15 years of age can participate with a parent. Contact Navara for details on this fun project: ncannon@nvfs.org.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to teach basic email and web searching skills to a woman in Fairfax City. You can make a world of difference for just a couple of visits a month to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· Manassas Senior Center needs volunteers front the front desk as receptionists – Mondays 9am to 1pm; Thursdays 9am to 2pm, and Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 4:30pm. Must have strong customer service skill in person and on the phone! For details contact: Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Saved Hands Foundation and the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center are partnering on a back to school give-a-way set for August 29th. Volunteers are needed to help serve clients and the first planning meeting is July 20th at the Chinn Recreation Center, 13065 Chinn Park Drive Community room from 7pm to 8pm. Donations of cash and school supplies are needed as well! They also have on-going volunteer needs for teachers, grant writer and marketing director. All these opportunities give great experience with your special skill set. Please contact Pam at savedhandsinc.2008@yahoo.com if you can help with this worthwhile cause.

· The Prince William Area on Aging is updating their Communications, Referral and Information Services guide and needs volunteers this summer to make calls and emails to verify information. Must be able to work independently and be familiar with Portable Document Format (PDF). If this sounds like fun, please call Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. is looking for two energetic and friendly volunteers to greet visitors and citizens at the Manassas Visitor Center and provide information about events, the area, and local attractions. Contact Erin at erin@historicmanassasinc.or or via phone: 701-361-5699.

· Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. If you want to help this year please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer.

· Community Health Worker Volunteers are needed by the Virginia Department of Health. If you are looking to gain some valuable experience and get useful training, you can sign up to assist patients with medical forms and help navigate them to community resources. The clinics will be held at the Manassas Park Community Center. Please contact Valda at 703-792-6755 or Valda.wisdombrown@vdh.virginia.gov for details.

· Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for volunteers for Farm Field Days in October. If you enjoy children and the great outdoors, you will love this opportunity. They also are looking to expand participation in the Adopt-A-Stream program. Visit www.pwswcd.org for details!

· Historic Manassas, Inc. will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

How to fix crowding? Start with middle school

Tim Singstock

Opinion 

Almost every elected official and candidate on the ballot this November will acknowledge crowding as a significant issue in Prince William County Schools.

While the School Board and Board of County Supervisors have made limited headway on this issue in recent years, it seems we continue to work around the edges of this problem. Until we have a plan with budget implications, we cannot have an open and honest debate about class size reduction.

As a Certified Project Management Professional and former Army officer, I have learned that problems of this magnitude need to be divided into smaller problems and solved incrementally. My proposal starts with middle school and will be phased in over time.

According to the Washington Area Boards of Education, middle school is where the problem is most acute. Average class sizes in Prince William County middle schools are 31.5. Reducing middle school class sizes will reduce high school dropout rates, raise academic performance and improve teacher morale.

Furthermore, middle school students are experiencing some of the most challenging transitional years of their lives. We need to keep these students engaged in the classroom if they are to be successful in high school and beyond. Reducing middle school class sizes has the added benefit of aiding today’s elementary schools kids when they enter middle school.

While creative solutions such as dual enrollment with Northern Virginia Community College and Virginia Virtual High school exist to alleviate crowding in high schools, similar solutions do not exist for middle school students. I have to be honest – we simply need to build more classrooms and hire more teachers. This will be expensive, but knowing the numbers is half the battle.

The cost to reduce class sizes in a single grade level across all Prince William County schools by one child per class is $1.4 million a year. The cost to reduce all middle school class sizes by one child is $4.2 million a year. The cost to reduce average middle school class sizes five children per class is $21 million per year.

I propose implementing this program over a five year period. With a billion dollar operating budget, $21 million may not seem like much, but finding these funds will require a transparent and honest dialogue within the community about our priorities. This is democracy in action.

As a community we will have to make difficult decisions to reduce class sizes for our middle school students. Only when leaders step forward with clearly articulated plans can we move towards real solutions. Here is my plan Prince William County. Let’s start the dialogue:

This submitted post is written by Tim Singstock, a candidate for Chairman of the Prince William County School Board.

Call to Action: Summer brings increased need for food, supply donations

Good morning – Summer vacation tends to tax our area food pantries so as you shop for your groceries this week please pick up a few extra things for families in need as both the SERVE Pantry and the Salvation Army Pantry have an urgent need for basics including canned beans, canned vegetables, canned meat, cereals, pasta and other dry goods. In Manassas please drop off food donations to the SERVE Pantry at 10056 Dean Drive or in Woodbridge at the Salvation Army Pantry at 1483 Old Bridge Road, Suite 102. Please help these wonderful organizations continue to support families in need.

· The SPARK Education Foundation is collecting school supplies for needy kids at the Kelly Leadership Center at 14715 Bristow Road during the week from 8am-4pm. Items needed include backpacks, 3-ring binders, dividers, folders with pockets, spiral notebooks, loose leaf paper, colored pencils, ink pens, No 2 pencils, crayons, highlighters, glue sticks, index paper and other similar items appropriate for little people.

· SERVE is gearing up for the 2015-2016 school year! Volunteers are needed for the Backpack program on August 13- 14, at Manassas Adventist Prep School. This is a great opportunity for volunteers 16 and older but volunteers 12-15 years of age can participate with a parent. Contact Navara for details on this fun project: ncannon@nvfs.org.
· Brain Injury Services is interested in a volunteer to focus on their volunteer program. All efforts contribute to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· Manassas Senior Center needs volunteers front the front desk as receptionists – Mondays 9am to 1pm; Thursdays 9am to 2pm, and Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 4:30pm. Must have strong customer service skill in person and on the phone! For details contact: Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Saved Hands Foundation and the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center are partnering on a back to school give-a-way set for August 29th. Volunteers are needed to help serve clients and the first planning meeting is July 20th at the Chinn Recreation Center, 13065 Chinn Park Drive Community room from 7pm to 8pm. Donations of cash and school supplies are needed as well! Please contact Pam at savedhandsinc.2008@yahoo.com if you can help with this worthwhile cause.

· The Prince William Area on Aging is updating their Communications, Referral and Information Services guide and needs volunteers this summer to make calls and emails to verify information. Must be able to work independently and be familiar with Portable Document Format (PDF). If this sounds like fun, please call Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. is looking for two energetic and friendly volunteers to greet visitors and citizens at the Manassas Visitor Center and provide information about events, the area, and local attractions. Contact Erin at erin@historicmanassasinc.or or via phone: 701-361-5699.

· Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. If you want to help this year please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer.

· Community Health Worker Volunteers are needed by the Virginia Department of Health. If you are looking to gain some valuable experience and get useful training, you can sign up to assist patients with medical forms and help navigate them to community resources. The clinics will be held at the Manassas Park Community Center. Please contact Valda at 703-792-6755 or Valda.wisdombrown@vdh.virginia.gov for details.

· Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for volunteers for Farm Field Days in October. If you enjoy children and the great outdoors, you will love this opportunity. They also are looking to expand participation in the Adopt-A-Stream program. Visit www.pwswcd.org for details!

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. zero, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Why did the repair facility advise me to replace my shocks and struts? I only have “X” amount of miles on my car!

Mercedes wheel bent from hitting a pothole also effects the shocks and struts.

Mercedes wheel bent from hitting a pothole also effects the shocks and struts.

Shocks and struts are not something most people think about wearing out, like they do with tires. They’re not as visible for drivers, and they don’t wear out as fast, or need frequent maintenance, like oil changes.

Shocks and struts are important because they stabilize your vehicle and keep your car from bouncing when you drive over rough road. Think about how many bumps and potholes there are in the road. Think about the rough pavement and rocks that you drive over every single time you get into your car to go somewhere. This is what wears out your shocks and struts, and this is why when a car professional recommends replacing them, you should take them seriously.

To understand the seriousness of replacing shocks and struts, it’s important to understand what can happen if you’re driving around with a set that are worn out.

The job of your shocks and struts is not to keep the car up as most people conceive, it’s to minimize bouncing – which can really damage your car’s tires and suspension. And if your shocks and struts are worn out, and lead to an impaired suspension system in your car – this can have a serious consequence. Bad suspension can also wreak havoc on your brake system. It can lengthen your stopping distance because the car is lunging forward with the weight of the vehicle putting more pressure on your brakes, causing them to wear out faster. And this could also lead you to get into an accident because of impaired handling and brake time.

Can you visibly see worn shocks and struts? Well…sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. And for many drivers , it can be a challenge to determine when it’s time to commit to replacing your shocks and struts.

Most manufacturers recommend replacement every 50,000 miles. Consider manufacturer’s recommendations, because after 50,000 miles they have definitely carried a lot of weight, gone quite a distance and are no longer performing as that should be, but a technician will be able to tell you for sure.

Looking for an easy way to determine if your shocks and struts are wearing out? The best way to tell if they are not performing the way they should is to do the bounce test. Push down on the trunk of the car and the front of the car and see how quickly it bounces back. If it’s bouncy, the shocks are wearing out, if it returns slowly, they are most likely fine.

It should just bounce about 1 and ½ times and that should be it. If you are getting more than than that, the suspension is failing. Mileage – including the 50,000 mile recommendation – doesn’t always mean that you have to replace them. I’ve seen certain vehicles that are notorious for needing them replaced as early as 40,000 miles! I know that may not be what you want to hear, especially since it means it will cost you money, but it’s necessary to keep your car running safely on the road.

The first thing a auto technician would do is inspect the condition of the suspension. If they can see the fluid seeping out of the shocks, then they are weak because the fluid is coming out and it’s definitely time to consider replacement.

Even though they may not be leaking, it still may be time to replace them. A technician at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire can tell by looking at a few different things, and they will be able to guide you on what to do to get your vehicle working safely.

Why you should choose HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire for your oil changes

Getting your vehicle’s oil changed is a regular part of good maintenance, and there are many quick service locations and auto shops that offer oil changes. So why make the decision to go to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire for your oil change? There are many reasons.

When you come to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire versus a quick service location, you’re going to get a much more comprehensive oil change and service.

“We inspect the car top to bottom. We look at the recommendations for each car, recommended by the manufacturer for that mileage,” said Jason Dean, one of our Master Technicians.

During an oil change we offer a full inspection of the car including brakes, suspension, tires, lights, wiper blades, window glass and leaks. Essentially we offer a mini state inspection, with a check sheet of important things to look for to keep your car operating smoothly and safely.

We also offer a great value. Our standard oil changes cost $39, but we go the extra mile for our customers, offering a tire rotation with the oil change as part of your service – which is a $20 to $30 value alone. This is much different than what you’ll get at a quick service location.

Part of the reason we offer this tire rotation service, is so that our certified technicians can see your brakes clearly, to look for signs of wear or damage. This can end up saving you hundreds or being in an accident, by finding problems early and preventing them.

In addition to our standard oil change service, we offer premium packages for $59 and $79 that can include installing an engine oil supplement, fluid analysis, fuel supplements and new filters, all with that same superior level of service.

One thing that is important to us at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is listening to our customers. We want to know all of your concerns about the car before your oil change, so that during our inspection we can look for those issues.

“We look at the car to address, first and foremost, the customer’s concerns. That’s the first thing that we look at – if they have a concern such as noise, or anything that the car’s doing, and then we go from there,” Dean said.

So if you want a technician to put time and care into your car during an oil change, then we’re the right shop for you.

“You’re going to get an honest evaluation of the car, we honestly care about what we do, we care about the customer and you’ll get a fair price,” Dean said.

Disabilities Act anniversary celebration planned in Manassas

Good morning  – July 26, 1990 brought us the Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly referred to as the ADA. Please join the Independence Empowerment Center and a host of partners on Saturday, July 26 for the 25th anniversary celebration!

There will be a silent action, games for the children, and visits with service dogs. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and greet our hard-working advocacy groups and learn how to support them in their continuing efforts to help people with disabilities, of all ages remain independent in their own communities.

· Brain Injury Services is interested in a volunteer to focus on their volunteer program. All efforts contribute to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· Manassas Senior Center needs volunteers front the front desk as receptionists – Mondays 9am to 1pm; Thursdays 9am to 2pm, and Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 4:30pm. Must have strong customer service skill in person and on the phone! For details contact: Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Saved Hands Foundation and the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center are partnering on a back to school give-a-way set for August 29th. Volunteers are needed to help serve clients and the first planning meeting is July 20th at the Chinn Recreation Center, 13065 Chinn Park Drive Community room from 7pm to 8pm. Donations of cash and school supplies are needed as well! Please contact Pam at savedhandsinc.2008@yahoo.com if you can help with this worthwhile cause.

· The Prince William Area on Aging is updating their Communications, Referral and Information Services guide and needs volunteers this summer to make calls and emails to verify information. Must be able to work independently and be familiar with Portable Document Format (PDF). If this sounds like fun, please call Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. is looking for two energetic and friendly volunteers to greet visitors and citizens at the Manassas Visitor Center and provide information about events, the area, and local attractions. Contact Erin at erin@historicmanassasinc.or or via phone: 701-361-5699.

· Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. If you want to help this year please visit: alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer.

· Community Health Worker Volunteers are needed by the Virginia Department of Health. If you are looking to gain some valuable experience and get useful training, you can sign up to assist patients with medical forms and help navigate them to community resources. The clinics will be held at the Manassas Park Community Center. Please contact Valda at 703-792-6755 or Valda.wisdombrown@vdh.virginia.gov for details.

· SERVE is gearing up for the 2015-2016 school year! Volunteers are needed to be Backpack Runners on August 14, 9am to 3pm, at Manassas Seventh Day Adventist Church. This is a great opportunity for volunteers 16 and older but volunteers 12-15 years of age can participate with a parent. Contact Jan for details on this fun project: jhawkins@nvfs.org.

· Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for volunteers for Farm Field Days in October. If you enjoy children and the great outdoors, you will love this opportunity. They also are looking to expand participation in the Adopt-A-Stream program. Visit pwswcd.org for details!

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down.

· The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market will once again be participating in the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the 2015 season. INOVA Health Systems is matching dollar for dollar up to $10. To receive your SNAP tokens, visit the HMI booth at the market: Thursdays, 7:30am to 1:00pm at Harris Pavilion, Saturdays, Lot B next to the train depot from 7:30am to 1:00pm, and Tuesday nights from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. For details call Erin at 703-361-6599 or email: erin@historicmanassasinc.org.

· Hey teens age 12-18 yrs. old! The Tiger Woods Foundation is hosting the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club July 27th-August 2nd. They need lots of teen volunteers throughout the week for their Standard Bearer Committee. This super fun job entails walking with a group of golfers as they play 18 holes of golf and hold up their score sign. You’ll be right in the middle of the action all day! You must commit to work any 3 days during the tournament in in exchange you will receive the uniform page for free- this volunteer package includes official Nike shirt and hat, 1 volunteer badge for the week and a weekly guest pass, parking pass and complimentary food and beverages on the days you work. This is a super volunteer job and resume builder. Sign up at: qlnational.com or you can call Katie at (301) 365-6946 or email her at: qlntournament@tigerwoodsfoundation.org. Hey mom and Dad there are also volunteer positions for you too. They need marshals at individual holes, helping at admissions or the hospitality tents. But you need to purchase your volunteer uniform package for $75- it’s still a fabulous deal. And lastly, all volunteers receive training and orientation.

· The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation is looking for concession volunteers to work The Tiger Woods Foundation/Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament to raise funds for their organization. Go to: www.SweetJulieGraceFoundation.com for more information.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action: Julia Grace Foundation seeks volunteers for Tiger Woods Foundation/Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament

Come to C.J. Finz Raw Bar and Grill on Saturday, July 18 and bring an unwrapped toy to support the Un-Trim-a-Tree holiday gift program which is administered by Volunteer Prince William! Help us get a jump start on the program this year; a portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to the Un-Trim-a-Tree program. Have fun and do good – does it get any better?

· Historic Manassas, Inc. will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down. They also need volunteers to help at the Manassas Visitor’s Center. This is a wonderful place to work with lots of neat visitors from around the world stopping by to get info on all our history and historical sites. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. is also looking for two energetic and friendly volunteers to greet visitors and citizens at the Manassas Visitor Center and provide information about events, the area, and local attractions. Contact Erin at erin@historicmanassasinc.or or via phone: 701-361-5699.

· Brain Injury Services is interested in a volunteer to focus on their volunteer program. All efforts contribute to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· Habitat for Humanity is looking for someone to prepare or donate lunch for volunteers working on a construction project scheduled for July 17. You can sign-up on line at: www.habitatpwc.org register and go to the Volunteer Calendar.

· Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center needs your help! Donations of the following items can be dropped off at 14945 Jefferson Davis Highway, Woodbridge, VA 22191: paper products (plates, bowls, cups, napkins), plastic utensils (forks and spoons), plastic wrap, aluminum foil, lunch size paper bags, Ziploc bags (all sizes), trash bags (all sizes), NEW bed pillows. For information call Pam at 571-748-2537.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers of America is also looking for volunteer tutors. No prior experience needed as their next volunteer training begins July 11th with a follow-up on July 25th. Please register today to make a significant impact for an adult learner. Visit: www.lvapw.org for more info.

· The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market will once again be participating in the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the 2015 season. INOVA Health Systems is matching dollar for dollar up to $10. To receive your SNAP tokens, visit the HMI booth at the market: Thursdays, 7:30am to 1:00pm at Harris Pavilion, Saturdays, Lot B next to the train depot from 7:30am to 1:00pm, and Tuesday nights from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. For details call Erin at 703-361-6599 or email: erin@historicmanassasinc.org.

· Prince William Citizens Stream Monitoring needs volunteers interested in water monitoring and gaining more knowledge on water quality issues. The training courses will give you lots of new skills and eventually your DEQ certification. Please visit their website for all kinds of good stuff at: pwswcd.org or email them at: waterquality@pwswcd.org to register for the trainings.

· Hey teens age 12-18 yrs. old! The Tiger Woods Foundation is hosting the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club July 27th-August 2nd. They need lots of teen volunteers throughout the week for their Standard Bearer Committee. This super fun job entails walking with a group of golfers as they play 18 holes of golf and hold up their score sign. You’ll be right in the middle of the action all day! You must commit to work any 3 days during the tournament in in exchange you will receive the uniform page for free- this volunteer package includes official Nike shirt and hat, 1 volunteer badge for the week and a weekly guest pass, parking pass and complimentary food and beverages on the days you work. This is a super volunteer job and resume builder. Sign up at: qlnational.com or you can call Katie at (301) 365-6946 or email her at: qlntournament@tigerwoodsfoundation.org.

Hey mom and Dad there are also volunteer positions for you too. They need marshals at individual holes, helping at admissions or the hospitality tents. But you need to purchase your volunteer uniform package for $75- it’s still a fabulous deal. And lastly, all volunteers receive training and orientation.

· The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation is looking for concession volunteers to work The Tiger Woods Foundation/Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament to raise funds for their organization. Go to: www.SweetJulieGraceFoundation.com for more information.

· Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. If you want to help this year please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer.

· SERVE has an immediate need for adult volunteers at several fun-paced positions during traditional business hours. Admin and shelter tasks include answering phones and assist walk-in clients and donors. Food intake screeners will help food assistance clients, update database records, schedule appointments and do follow-up calls. All positions require complete background checks and any Spanish speaking skills would be most appreciated. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for more info.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action: Moms and dads may volunteer at Tiger Woods Quicken Loans National

Good morning Prince William – Transitional Housing Barn needs volunteers at their next Yard sale on Saturday July 11th from 8am-12 noon. This super fun and easy to give them a hand. Please call Tammy at (703) 369-1325 to register.

· Prince William Citizens Stream Monitoring needs volunteers interested in water monitoring and gaining more knowledge on water quality issues. The training courses will give you lots of new skills and eventually your DEQ certification. Please visit their website for all kinds of good stuff at: pwswcd.org or email them at: waterquality@pwswcd.org to register for the trainings.

· Hey teens age 12-18 yrs. old! The Tiger Woods Foundation is hosting the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club July 27th-August 2nd. They need lots of teen volunteers throughout the week for their Standard Bearer Committee. This super fun job entails walking with a group of golfers as they play 18 holes of golf and hold up their score sign. You’ll be right in the middle of the action all day! You must commit to work any 3 days during the tournament in in exchange you will receive the uniform page for free- this volunteer package includes official Nike shirt and hat, 1 volunteer badge for the week and a weekly guest pass, parking pass and complimentary food and beverages on the days you work. This is a super volunteer job and resume builder. Sign up at: qlnational.com or you can call Katie at (301) 365-6946 or email her at: qlntournament@tigerwoodsfoundation.org. Hey mom and Dad there are also volunteer positions for you too. They need marshals at individual holes, helping at admissions or the hospitality tents. But you need to purchase your volunteer uniform package for $75- it’s still a fabulous deal. And lastly, all volunteers receive training and orientation.

· Historic Manassas will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down. They also need volunteers to help at the Manassas Visitor’s Center. This is a wonderful place to work with lots of neat visitors from around the world stopping by to get info on all our history and historical sites. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· No Kid Hungry and OAFF need volunteers age 16+ for their annual Woodbridge Food Truck Festival on Saturday July 11th and PW Fairgrounds. There are lots of ways to help in ticketing, security, parking and customer information desk. Shifts are 7am-noon for set-up, early shift is 11:30-4:30 or late shift of 4-9pm. Please check out their website to register: wftfest.com

· SERVE has an immediate need for adult volunteers at several fun-paced positions during traditional business hours. Admin and shelter tasks include answering phones and assist walk-in clients and donors. Food intake screeners will help food assistance clients, update database records, schedule appointments and do follow-up calls. All positions require complete background checks and any Spanish speaking skills would be most appreciated. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for more info.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings . Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers of America is also looking for volunteer tutors. No prior experience needed as their next volunteer training begins July 11th with a follow-up on July 25th. Please register today to make a significant impact for an adult learner. Visit: www.lvapw.org for more info.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire, Caarmo to offer car diagnostic device

There’s new technology out there that will help you understand what’s going on with your car.

The technology, created by Caarmo, is a diagnostic device that will let drivers know if there is something wrong with their vehicle. It also sends the diagnostic information to a certified auto technician.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has partnered with Caarmo to become one of the first 18 auto repair shops to offer the device to their customers.

“We know how important it is to keep our customers informed and on the road. By offering Caarmo devices to our customers, we hope to ensure that their vehicles are getting the best care possible,” said Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire owner ST Billingsley.

Caarmo CEO Vinay Raman, said that the device – which is smaller than a pack of cards –is simply plugged in to the diagnostic port found in every car, and immediately begins to collect information on the vehicle.

“One of the biggest expenses that people have is their vehicles. And that can be for businesses or consumers. They spend a lot of money, and a lot of time on them – but they don’t know what’s happening. So we’ve created sort of a really sophisticated ‘Fitbit’ for a car,” said Raman.

For $80 a year, customers with the device will be able to see their car’s information, service reminders and GPS tracking. The auto technicians at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire will also be able to see the car’s diagnostic information for a mechanic’s portal. So if a customer’s car is having an issue, a technician will be able to call right away – either to provide reassurance or to schedule maintenance.

“[We put] these devices in the vehicles to let them know, ‘Hey your car is operating just fine’ or if a check engine lights comes on – some people kind of freak out when they see that – we can take a look at that and say, ‘Based on the make and model of your vehicle, let me give you a sense of what’s actually happening.’ It gives you more of a sense of what’s going on than just a light on your dashboard – you have an expert on the phone,” said Raman.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is looking to begin providing the Caarmo devices to customers in the coming months.

*This promoted post was sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire receives Boy Scouts award

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire and other area businesses were given an award for their involvement and continued support of the Boy Scouts.

The award was part of the Boy Scout’s 2015 Community Friends for Scouting campaign, which raises money for Boy Scout programs throughout the year.

During the ceremony, HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire was recognized for their continued involvement and for their silver sponsorship.

“At HomeTowne we’re proud that we can support local organizations like the Boy Scouts that help children and the community we live and work in,” said ST Billingsley, owner of HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire.

Among the silver sponsors for the program were the Management and Training Consultants, Inc. and the Rotary Club of Lake Ridge, Virginia.

*This promoted post was sponsored by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire.

Call to Action: Teens needed for Tiger Woods Quicken Loans National

· Good morning Prince William –Hey teens age 12-18 yrs. old! The Tiger Woods Foundation is hosting the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club July 27th-August 2nd. They need lots of teen volunteers throughout the week for their Standard Bearer Committee.

This super fun job entails walking with a group of golfers as they play 18 holes of golf and hold up their score sign. You’ll be right in the middle of the action all day! You must commit to work any three days during the tournament in in exchange you will receive the uniform page for free- this volunteer package includes official Nike shirt and hat, 1 volunteer badge for the week and a weekly guest pass, parking pass and complimentary food and beverages on the days you work.

This is a super volunteer job and resume builder. Sign up at: qlnational.com or you can call Katie at (301) 365-6946 or email her at: qlntournament@tigerwoodsfoundation.org.

Hey mom and Dad there are also volunteer positions for you too. They need marshals at individual holes, helping at admissions or the hospitality tents. But you need to purchase your volunteer uniform package for $75- it’s still a fabulous deal. And lastly, all volunteers receive training and orientation.

· SERVE is looking for a volunteer group to prepare and serve meals to the families in their Family Care Shelter over the July 3 thru 5 holiday weekend. Look up your famous potato salad recipe and all the other fun things your family enjoys over the holiday weekend and share it with the families in the 92 bed shelter. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for more info. Your Independence Day Holiday will be very special this year.

· No Kid Hungry and OAFF need volunteers age 16+ for their annual Woodbridge Food Truck Festival on Saturday July 11th and PW Fairgrounds. There are lots of ways to help in ticketing, security, parking and customer information desk. Shifts are 7am-noon for set-up, early shift is 11:30-4:30 or late shift of 4-9pm. Please check out their website to register: wftfest.com

· SERVE has an immediate need for adult volunteers at several fun-paced positions during traditional business hours. Admin and shelter tasks include answering phones and assist walk-in clients and donors. Food intake screeners will help food assistance clients, update database records, schedule appointments and do follow-up calls. All positions require complete background checks and any Spanish speaking skills would be most appreciated. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for more info.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings . Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more. 

· Literacy Volunteers of America is also looking for volunteer tutors. No prior experience needed as their next volunteer training begins July 11th with a follow-up on July 25th. Please register today to make a significant impact for an adult learner. Visit: www.lvapw.org for more info.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to help with programming efforts with the volunteer programs. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3.

Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

 

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

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