WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia

50°

Menu

Columns & Blogs

History comes to life for upcoming Manassas Civil War Weekend

 

Manassas Civil War Weekend is August 21-23

There was much more to the Civil War than bloody battles, endless strategizing, and the stands of famous generals.

This year, in addition to featuring portrayals of well-known generals and studies of tactics, the fourth annual Manassas Civil War Weekend will also bring to life the experiences of women on both the home front and in the conflict.

The weekend’s free events, from August 21-23, promises to engage visitors of all ages and interests with the sights, sounds and scents of Civil War-era Manassas. Speakers and performers will reveal many stories about the stark reality of war.

The weekend begins with a keynote address by well-known Civil War re-enactor Al Stone, who has been portraying General Robert E. Lee for more than 20 years to nationwide audiences. Stone will portray Lee in his reflective post-war years, when he became president of what was then called Washington College in Lexington, Va., later renamed Washington & Lee University. His address begins on Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. on the Manassas Museum lawn.

Many speakers throughout the weekend will focus on the war’s military experience. Richard Killblane, the United States Army Transportation Historian and author of the war history, The Filthy Thirteen, will talk about the logistics of the war. Re-enactors will portray General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Philip T. Sheridan, General Jubal Early, General John B. Gordan, Major Jed Hotchkiss, and General Samuel Cooper. Earl McElfresh, author of Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War and cartographer and historian for the McElfresh Map Co., will speak about maps during the Civil War.

To lend a different perspective on the war experience, living historians will also portray Clara Barton, the famous Civil War nurse; Dorothea Dix, an American activist who created the first American mental asylums; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante; the wives of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Isaac Trimble; and Barbara Smith and Hendrina Appelt, who will talk about the role of women in the war.

Tracey McIntire and Dr. Audrey Scanlan-Teller will speak about the experiences of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They will speak not only about individual soldiers, but about gender roles and military culture during the era.

Visit www.manassasmuseum.org for the weekend’s latest schedule.

News
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

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.

News
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.

New skate park coming to Manassas

On Sunday, July 19, Vice Mayor Jon Way and Councilmembers Mark Wolfe and Sheryl Bass joined skater Oscar Medrano, a rising senior from Osbourn High School and others to break ground on a new skate park at Jennie Dean Park.  

This park will replace the Old Town Skate Park that had to be torn down to make room for the new Baldwin Elementary and Intermediate School.

This new park will feature a concrete surface, a huge upgrade from the asphalt surface from the previous skate park. It will also include several new features such as grind boxes, and new rail and bank ramps. In an effort to be earth conscious, the previous ramps will be refurbished and located within the new skate park.

Community Development Director Liz Via-Gossman credited skate boarders Oscar Medrano and Diego Patrick for coming forward when the new school was first being discussed to press City officials to provide a place for skateboarding. 

“The kids, most of them city residents from our schools, spoke at public hearings and hosted city officials at a skate competition to show us how important their skate park was to them,” said Via-Gossman.

The skateboarders formed a committee to work with City staff on the improved design within an acceptable budget.  The new skate park replaces two under-utilized basketball courts that will be replaced elsewhere in the park when Jennie Dean Park undergoes an updated master plan effort later in the year.

A grand opening is planned for Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.  The park was designed by American Ramp Company from Joplin, MO and the new features are being constructed at their plant in Missouri.  The concrete work is being completed by Toro Concrete, Inc.  

News
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.

Why Manassas Regional Airport code is HEF and other fun facts

Manassas, airport, fuel, planes, fly

In May, press was buzzing about the World War II fighter bombers that were based at the Manassas Regional Airport for the Victory Capitol Flyover for the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. While special events like the flyover, airshows, and the Manassas Runway 10k/5k race help put the airport on people’s radars, many may not know what happens every day at Virginia’s busiest General Aviation airport.

The first order of business is: why is “HEF” Manassas Regional Airport’s identifier code? Richard Allabaugh, who works in airport operations, asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the same question, but didn’t get a definitive answer.

The FAA uses a computer program to suggest allowable codes from which the airport owner can choose. Codes that are too similar to other airports within 200 nautical miles aren’t allowed. The airport was dedicated as Harry P. Davis Field in honor of Mayor Harry P. Davis, the City’s longest serving Mayor. As a result, “HPD” or “HDF” would seem like the best fit for an airport identifier.

However, Allabaugh wagers an educated guess that those identifiers were probably too close to existing codes and “HEF” was the closest to the airport’s original requested identifiers. 

It’s important to note that Manassas is a General Aviation (GA) airport, not a commercial service airport like Dulles. The main difference is that GA airports do not have commercial airline service, which requires certification by the FAA. However, Manassas Regional voluntarily holds itself to the certification’s standards.

You’ll find many GA airports near major commercial airports because they help relieve air traffic congestion. Manassas Regional Airport was designated by the FAA to be the official reliever airport for Dulles and National airports. When comparing nearby airports, HEF has benefits that its competitors can’t touch.

Pilots arriving at Manassas don’t have to wait behind commercial airliners; aircraft aren’t charged landing fees, and to top it off, fuel is typically cheaper. In comparing today’s retail prices with those at Dulles, jet fuel is $2 cheaper per gallon, and low lead fuel is $3.50 cheaper. Lastly, unlike some GA airports, Manassas Regional offers U.S. Customs services. When considering that HEF and Dulles are both 30 miles away from downtown D.C., a popular destination for airport guests, Manassas is an attractive option.

More than 420 aircraft are based at HEF in hangars that are leased by individuals, private jet owners, and corporations. Last year, there were a total of 82,130 take-offs and landings, but so much more goes on here. For example, there are four flight schools where people can work toward earning their private pilot’s license.

Allabaugh says the airport has more than 25 business tenants. “Some businesses have offices on site because they prefer to be close to their hangars,” he says. “While others, like Aurora Flight Services, locate here so they have the facilities to test their equipment.”

These include companies that specialize in some kind of aeronautical component like aircraft management, charter companies, aircraft sales, and fixed-based operators (FBO). FBOs offer aircraft servicing and accommodations to transient pilots and their passengers. 

The combined flight and business activity is important to the City of Manassas. According to the Virginia Airport System Economic Impact Study of 2011, Manassas Regional Airport contributed more than $234 million and 1,056 jobs to the local economy.

When pressed for interesting stories or celebrity sightings, Allabaugh’s lips are sealed. “There’s nothing I can tell you,” he says. “People choose us because we are discrete.”

Learn more about the airport online and be sure to check out the History tab to find out the cool story behind how it acquired its air traffic control tower.

News
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.

News
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.

News
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.

Celebrate America in style in Manassas July 4

Fireworks show, watermelon, and pie contests planned 

On Saturday, July 4, 2015, Celebrate America with the City of Manassas from 3 to 10 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas.

The celebration begins with the Bicycle Decorating contest. At 5 p.m. visitors are invited to take part in a Watermelon-eating contest.

Next, Judges from around the City will lend their culinary expertise to judge the Apple and Peach Pie Baking Contest. This is Americana at its best. To sign up for these contests, visit visitmanassas.org.

Visitors can bring a blanket or a lawn chair to lay claim to a spot for viewing the best fireworks in Virginia. Beginning at 3 p.m., there will be children’s rides, food vendors, and other vendors. The celebration centers around the Harris Pavilion, the Manassas Museum and the Train Depot.

The City of Manassas loves pets, but pets do not love loud noises. Their ears are more sensitive and the City asks that pets be left at home in the air conditioning. This time of year, streets and sidewalks are hot enough to burn puppy paws.

Manassas awarded for Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration

The City of Manassas, along with Prince William County, were the recipients of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission’s Leadership Award for the area’s efforts in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War during the past seven years.

The City of Manassas partnered with Prince William County, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and many area museums, parks, and historic sites to coordinate dozens of local events that brought history to life for thousands of residents and visitors from across the country. The Prince William County/Manassas Committee began meeting in 2007, and helped plan and promote the signature 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration at multiple sites across the city and county.

The local committee also fostered a strong partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. The Manassas Museum hosted both the Commission’s traveling exhibit, An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia, and the Legacy Project, an effort to scan and archive the Civil War-era documents of local residents. The city also twice hosted another of the Commission’s traveling exhibits, the award-winning Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.

On average, more than 11,000 visitors a day attended events in the city during the four-day July 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration despite an average heat index of 103 to 105 degrees. The city saw a 14% increase in meals taxes and a 55% increase in sales taxes during the month of the event, and garnered significant national media attention for its expansive free programs.

The annual Manassas Civil War Weekend, scheduled for August 21-23 this year, was created as a result of the popularity of the 2011 and 2012 Sesquicentennial commemorations held throughout the City of Manassas. The Weekend’s program tells the story not just of Civil War battles, but of the War’s impact on civilians and African-Americans.

The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was created by the General Assembly to plan and commemorate Civil War events in the Commonwealth. The Commission officially ended its work this year with a Memorial Day award ceremony and concert on the Capitol steps in Richmond. Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell served as Chairman, and State Senator Charles J. Colgan, Sr., served as Vice-Chairman of the Commission.

News
Call to Action: Agency on Aging seeks Ombudsman

Good morning  – Our older Americans need advocates.  The Prince William Agency on Aging is looking for volunteers who are empathetic, diplomatic and assertive;  to volunteer as an Ombudsman.  As an Ombudsman you will be assigned to visit a local nursing home or assisted living, 4 hrs/week, to ensure that the residents rights are being protected.  Call Daphne Van Tiem at 703-792-7662 to volunteer for this wonderful program.  This is truly an unmet need in our community!  The Agency is also looking for summer volunteers to work on updating their Resources guide – might be a great job for the college student thinking about a future internship program.  Call Melodee at 703-792-4583

SERVE has an urgent need for volunteers for two special events. First is their annual inventory of the food pantry on Thursday June 25th – you can pick either the morning shift of 9am-1pm or the afternoon shift 1-4pm. Volunteers must be at least 16yrs old. The second event is inventory at the Save N Serve Thrift Store on Friday June 26th from 8am-12 noon. Volunteers age 16+ are very welcome!! Please email Jan at jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more and sign up for these two important activities at SERVE. They also have an urgent need for new bed pillows – drop off M-F, 9-5, at the Administration Bldg. at the main campus, 10056 Dean Drive, Manassas.

BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes. 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 evening starting June 22nd and ending July 30th. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

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.

Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preservein Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers in their ReStore in Manassas. This is a super fun place full of donors and customers. It’s a great place to volunteer for either a morning or afternoon shift. Please visit: habitatpwc.org to sign up and view their volunteer calendar.
The 150th Anniversary of the Juneteenth Celebration is Saturday June 20th from 11am-4pm. Volunteers are needed for helping with games for the kids, set-up, greeters and other fun jobs. Please call Katie at (703) 792-4620 to learn more this event.

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 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.

You’ll be surprised at the local artifacts featured in the ‘Hometown Tourist’ exhibit in Manassas

Manassas Museum ‘Hometown Tourist” exhibit coming to Bull Run Regional Library 

Trade your suitcase for some walking shoes and be a Manassas hometown tourist this summer. If walking shoes aren’t an option, take a virtual tour.

The new Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour lets you click on a map to find in-depth information about the city’s eight historic properties. The tour includes photographs, little-known stories about people and places associated with the site, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and information about visiting in person. Visit manassasmuseum.org/tour to access the tour.

The Manassas Museum is taking to the road for a new summer travelling exhibit, Hometown Tourist, at the Bull Run Regional Library. The exhibit features artifacts, old post cards, and archaeology from nine area historic sites: The Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, the Stone House, the Manassas City Cemetery, the Manassas Museum (built on land where Eastern College once stood), the Manassas Industrial School, the former Grace United Methodist Church (now Bull Run Unitarian), and the Albert Speiden House.

Most of the City’s nationally significant historic sites are open free every day and offer interpretive signage that tells their story. Take along the mobile version of the Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour as you visit the Manassas Museum, the Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, Mayfield and Cannon Branch Earthwork Forts, and the Manassas Industrial School/Jennie Dean Memorial to enhance your experience.

If you would like to learn even more about the sites, guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Manassas are offered every Thursday and Friday at Noon, and Liberia House tours are offered Sundays at Noon through the summer. Meet at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, for the Downtown tours, and at Liberia, 8601 Portner Avenue, for the Sunday tours.

Call 703-268-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org for more information.

News
Call to Action: Police Walkathon, BARN yard sale needs volunteers

Good morning – Put your walking shoes on to support the Manassas Police Association at their Annual Walkathon on Saturday June 13th.  This fun event is sponsored by the BAPS Charities and begins with a kick-off at 8am and the walk at 9am.  Please visit their website to register for this fun event at: bapscharities.org/walk2015manassas.  This promises to be great fun and for a great cause.

Transitional Housing BARN needs volunteers for their next Yard Sale on Saturday June 13th.  8am-12noon. This event is always fun.  Great activity for all.  Please call Tammy at (703) 369-1325 for more info

SERVE has an urgent need for volunteers for two special events.  First is their annual inventory of the food pantry on Thursday June 25th – you can pick either the morning shift of 9am-1pm or the afternoon shift 1-4pm.  Volunteers must be at least 16yrs old.  The second event is inventory at the Save N Serve Thrift Store on Friday June 26th from 8am-12 noon.  Volunteers age 16+ are very welcome!!  Please email Jan at jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more and sign up for these two important activities at SERVE.

BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes.  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 evening starting June 22nd and ending July 30th. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

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.

Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall.  Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers in their ReStore in Manassas.  This is a super fun place full of donors and customers.  It’s a great place to volunteer for either a morning or afternoon shift.  Please visit: habitatpwc.org to sign up and view their volunteer calendar.

The 150th Anniversary of the Juneteenth Celebration is Saturday June 20th from 11am-4pm.  Volunteers are needed for helping with games for the kids, set-up, greeters and other fun jobs.  Please call Katie at (703) 792-4620 to learn more this event.

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.

History thundering toward Manassas Railway Festival

 

Norfolk Southern is bringing Steam Engine 611 to the City of Manassas during the 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival on Saturday, June 6. The “611” belongs to the Virginia Museum of Transportation, but Norfolk Southern will have it out for 11 round-trip single day excursions beginning with the Railway Festival on Saturday.

Along with excursion rides on 611, there will be VRE rides for the younger set. Also featured at the Railway Festival are model trains, train memorabilia, live entertainment and great food. This is an event not to be missed!

So, what does it take to “Fire Up 611?” Other than 10,000 hours of volunteer labor, it takes about 25,000 gallons of water for each trip of about 100 miles. This Steam Engine rolled off the line on May 29, 1950 and traveled nearly three million miles before its retirement in 1957 when diesel became the more price-conscious option. 611 was in such great condition, she was selected to pull the company’s “farewell to steam” excursions in October 1959.

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”421″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

In 1981, Norfolk Southern president Robert Claytor sent 611 to the Norris Steam Shop in Birmingham, Alabama. The 611 became the star of the Norfolk Southern steam program pulling excursions throughout the eastern U.S.

While previously limited to the N&W’s system, 611 was able to travel as far south as Florida, as far north as New York, and as far west as Chicago. For 22 years she traversed the mainlines recreating the golden age of American railroading and inspiring a new generation of steam fans. Norfolk Southern decided to end the program in 1994. The 611 returned to her hometown of Roanoke, Va. to once again serve as a static display.

If you prefer not to take a ride, 611 will be available for picture opportunities at the 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival at about 1 p.m. For more information on 611, visit fireup611.org.

On Friday, June 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. come to First Friday in Historic Downtown. The June First Friday features corn hole playing and corn hole tournaments throughout downtown, plus, great food and wonderful shops.

On Sunday, June 7, get ready for the Taste of Historic Manassas from noon to 4:30 p.m. This annual event transforms Historic Downtown Manassas into a lively festival with local entertainment and lots of great food.

For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, visit visitmanassas.org.

News
Are teachers leaving Prince William for better workloads, salaries?

NewsChat

Jim Livingston is the president of the Prince William Education Association. There has been much talk in Prince William County in recent years about overcrowded classrooms and teacher pay. We wanted to find out exactly how teacher pay in Prince William affects the educators and children in the classroom, so we asked Livingston who has served in his current role for three years.

PL: What is the average teacher salary in Prince William County? How does it compare to salaries in neighboring counties like Fairfax and Loudoun?

JL: According to the Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE) Report, the FY 15 average teacher salary in Prince William County was $61,525. The average in Fairfax was $66,782 and in Loudoun it was $63,013.  

Prince William County has the lowest average teacher salary in the Northern Virginia region with the exception of Manassas Park.  It is also important to note that the beginning teacher salary is next to the lowest according to the report.  This data is collected from each school division on an annual basis and reported in November of each year.

 

PL: When was the last time teachers received a full cost of living raise (COLA)?

JL: The last time employees in Prince William County received a full Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) was in FY 2009.  Employees received a Step Increase in FY 2013.

In all other years since 2009 employees received a Pay Plan Adjustment except for FY 2011 in which employees received no salary increase.  Pay Plan Adjustments are a percentage increase across all pay grades and have been no more than 2% except in FY 2010.  

 

Also on NewsChat

 

PL:  What’s the difference between a COLA and a step increase, and which is more preferable, and why ?

JL: Employees usually prefer a Step Increase as progression on the Salary Schedule is measured in “steps.” The higher the employee on the schedule, or the higher the “step,” the higher the salary and the more positive the impact on retirement benefits.  Retirement within the Virginia Retirement System is based on the average of the 36 consecutive months of highest compensation. 

 

PL: If good pay attracts competent employees, are local leaders taking the issue of teacher pay seriously? Why or why not?

JL: Prince William County has managed to provide some enhancements to salaries. While some improvements were made during “The Great Recession” those improvements came at a cost primarily in a loss or reduction in employee benefits and larger workloads. 

Officials tend to brag on the number of applicants for new teaching positions each year and although the number of applications is high what they don’t talk about is that most of those applicants are also applying to surrounding school divisions.  This raises the question, “How many talented applicants are lost to surrounding school divisions because they provide better salaries with smaller workloads?”

 

PL: The large number of students per teacher continues to be an issue in Prince William County. How does this issue correlate with the issue of teacher pay?

JL: Teacher pay is in direct competition with a growing student population. Student enrollment growth in Prince William County has outpaced surrounding school divisions for some time. 

It has also outpaced revenues from both the county and the commonwealth.   The need to hire additional staff and provide space and support for those staff and students puts direct pressure on the ability to enhance compensation. 

All employees feel the impact of student growth in increased workloads.  Employees cannot be expected to wait until growth rates slow in order to see improved compensation. 

PL: Finally, will our public schools improve if teachers are simply paid more? Why or why not?

JL: Many factors contribute to school improvement.  Schools improve when teachers and students have the resources they need that foster success.  Schools improve when there are collaborative family-school-community partnerships.  Schools improve when teachers/employees are well trained, well supported and well compensated.

News
Call to Action: Volunteers needed 150th Juneteenth Celebration

Good morning Prince William – SERVE has an urgent need for volunteers to help screen clients for food assistance on weekdays. Duties include client intake using the database, verify documentation, register clients for special seasonal programs and answer questions about other services. Come be part of their super team by helping with important services provided to families. You must be at least 18yrs old and complete a background check. Bilingual Spanish speakers are most helpful but not required. Please email Jan at jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes. 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 evening starting June 22nd and ending July 30th. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Celebrate National Trails Day and Clean the Bay Day on Saturday June 6th at Leesylvania State Park from 10am-5pm. The morning activity includes removing trash from the streams. Be sure to wear bug spray, sunscreen and closed toed shoes that you don’t mind getting a little muddy. The afternoon activity includes clearing of trails. This is the ultimate see your hard work’s accomplishment. Please call the park at (703) 583-6904 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.

· Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers to help with the 21st Annual Railway Festival on Saturday June 6th in Old Town Manassas. Duties include line control, directional, helping with games and activities. This is a super fun event. Please email Erin at: erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers in their ReStore in Manassas. This is a super fun place full of donors and customers. It’s a great place to volunteer for either a morning or afternoon shift. Please visit: habitatpwc.org to sign up and view their volunteer calendar.

· The 150th Anniversary of the Juneteenth Celebration is Saturday June 20th from 11am-4pm. Volunteers are needed for helping with games for the kids, set-up, greeters and other fun jobs. Please call Katie at (703) 792-4620 to learn more this event.

· 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.

News
My day with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”418″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

Our regional editor Stephanie Tipple spent the day with Sgt. Chris Truslow of the Stafford sheriff’s office to learn more about the work law enforcement does each day.

Roll call

My day with members of the Stafford sheriff’s office began bright and early, at their 5:30 a.m. roll call meeting.

I was greeted by a room full of officers and deputies, who watched me shuffle into the room with my bulletproof vest.

During roll call, the officers watched footage of an incident where force was used, and had a serious discussion about the most appropriate and respectful ways to handle the situation.

Ride along

After roll call, I got into Truslow’s patrol car, and we began to patrol his area. During that time, I got to speak with him about his job and his life.

“My main job is to monitor what’s going on – to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, to see what calls are going on and monitoring the calls to make sure they’re doing their jobs…I do a little bit of everything,” said Truslow.

Truslow has been in law enforcement for 10 years – 5 of which have been in Stafford. He lives in Spotsylvania with his wife and two children.

Our first stop of the day

When going through a residential 25 mph zone, we had our first stop of the day. A man, on the way to his first day of a new job, was going 40 mph in the 25 mph zone.

Truslow stated that he always tries to consider the residents during stops, and if he can give them a lesser fine, or offer advice, he does so.

The flat tire incident

Our first call of the day was for a disabled vehicle on Inez Way, near the intersection of Andrew Chapel Drive. The driver’s rear tire had loose lugnuts and couldn’t move down the two-lane road.

Truslow was able to redirect traffic, so drivers could safely surpass the blocked lane.

The driver of the vehicle immediately got to work, as his wife handed him what appeared to be professional car tools, and he had his tire fixed in less than three minutes. It reminded us of a NASCAR pit station.

After this incident, Truslow and I got back on the road, and I continued to talk with him about why he wanted to work in law enforcement.

“I just always wanted to be a cop, since I was four or five years old. My dad was a special deputy [as a volunteer]…so since I was a little kid, he’s been [involved]. I always wanted to do it, always had an interest in it and I went to college and got a criminal justice degree. I interned my last semester with Christiansburg Police,” Truslow said.

Truslow recalled stories over his years with the Stafford sheriff’s office, and spoke about how difficult it is to use force against an individual.

“It’s very difficult, because you know you need to quell the situation, but you also know that the backlash that’s going to come from [using force],” said Truslow.

He specifically recalled a situation where a man was being uncooperative, after being caught shoplifting.

“He starts screaming that I’m using excessive force, and I’m not even touching him. So I can’t get him under control – so I’ve got this guy in handcuffs, and I don’t know if he has a weapon on him, and I don’t know if his friend’s going to come in and assault me. There’s a whole lot going on – I’m by myself…so [using force] is a very difficult situation,” said Truslow.

Truslow went on to talk about how being in law enforcement and using force in situations has been made more difficult by unrealistic depictions of shootings in entertainment.

“There’s a decent amount of people that think that we should be like the police in the movies – that we should be shot at first, before we shoot back. That even a guy with a gun pointed at us isn’t enough for us to shoot somebody…when you watch a movie and somebody get’s shot, there’s always this dramatic falling over and people are flying through glass…and it’s just not like that at all. It’s not every day that you see a real person get shot, but people watch movies where people get shot all the time, so that becomes the reality for people,” Truslow said.

Accidents and moped chases

Toward the end of my time with Sgt. Truslow, we were on the scene of a car accident on Garrisonville Road and Onville Road, where K-9 and traffic officers were also on the scene. A person had run a red light and struck another car, which then hit an electrical box. 

One of the most exhilarating moments was when we rushed to the scene of a moped theft which was done by a teenager. We were able to call a “code one” and put the lights on in the vehicle to quickly arrive. I bruised my knee in the process, but the excitement was well worth it.

On our way back to the station, Truslow and I talked some more about national events with the police in recent months – like Ferguson and the Baltimore riots.

Truslow stated that he feels that residents in the community appreciate the work that the officers and deputies do now more than ever, and it put a positive spin on a negative situation.

My takeaways

Prior to this experience, I had never had close interaction with law enforcement. It really opened my eyes to see the work that they do isn’t glamorous, and they have tough decisions they have to make at a moment’s notice – including life or death situations. The care that I saw exhibited by Truslow was one I didn’t expect, but I am happy to know that individuals like him are helping to protect our community.

Manassas City businesses rise and shine at appreciation breakfast

Close to 100 people gathered at the Center for the Arts for the inaugural Manassas Business Appreciation Breakfast where they celebrated the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and thriving business community. The City of Manassas and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to recognize local businesses.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II thanked the audience for choosing Manassas and “for all that you bring to the community.” Beyond creating jobs and boosting the local economy, he acknowledged the many business leaders who serve on boards and commissions and participate in the robust calendar of events.

See photos from the event

Those in the room took a moment to welcome the newcomers to downtown, which include Amy’s Bridal, Totally Vintage Designs, and Scatter Seeds as well as the soon-to-open Cut Rate Barbershop and Jitterbug ice cream shop. H Mart and Firehouse Subs, which recently opened on Liberia Avenue, were recognized as well. Dalena Kanouse, the CEO of MTCI Management and Training Consultants, Inc., and incoming chair of the Prince William Chamber, pointed out that her well-established company was once a newcomer to the City of Manassas. She told the tight-knit business community that MTCI moved from Dumfries to take advantage of the opportunities in Manassas and are happy to be here.

Existing businesses in the City are flourishing, too. Fauquier Bank relocated within the City to accommodate its anticipated expansion. Malone’s opened a second floor to accommodate their growing business. Another expansion in the City is Aurora Flight Science who are sub-leasing the airport’s FlightWorks hanger and envision creating 50 new jobs over the next several years. B. Hayes Framme, advisor for infrastructure and development for the Commonwealth of Virginia, acknowledged that most businesses have “Chief ‘Everything’ Officers.” He also identified high-growth opportunities in Virginia like cyber security and biotechnology and discussed incentives and policies that support job creation.

The City strives to create a business-friendly environment and is always interested in speaking to prospective business owners who wish to join this supportive community. For more information, call the economic development department at 703-257-8881.

News
What can I do with PotomacLocal.com?

Great features – many FREE – on PotomacLocal.com

 

Just like your favorite app, your trusted community news website should be useful.

After nearly five years on the job, we’d like to think we’ve built PotomacLocal.com to be a daily, useful tool in our readers’ lives.

In addition to seeing news about what’s happening in your neighborhood, here are some other great features on PotomacLocal.com:

 

What to do this weekend?

FB-Photo-for-Pub

Believe it or not there are great things happening all around us. Our readers frequently check our local events calendar for fun things to do in our region.

It’s also FREE to post events to our local events calendar.

 

See / post help wanted ads

high school mechanic female student

There are lots of folks looking for jobs. And there are a lot of people who need help.

Job seekers may browse help wanted ads.

Employers may post help wanted ads for $10 each. Yep, just $10 each .They include a company logo, and they’re never deleted from our site.

We’re sure that’s not something you’ll find at those “other” jobs websites.

 

See obituaries

052311 Clouds 2

Our readers tell us all the time they miss having a daily newspaper that featured the day’s obituaries. PotomacLocal.com not only has a paid obituary section, but we also provide valuable information for those who need to post an obituary on our site or in regional print publications.

Encourage your local funeral home to post their obituaries on PotomacLocal.com.

 

$12 business directory 

Old Town Manassas (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Our Business Directory includes YouTube videos, photo slideshows, and links to your business website. It costs $12 per year to be included. Yes, $12 per year. It’s a great way to be seen by our readers and on web search. Contact us if you want to get in.

 

Headlines emailed daily

email

Did you know we send out a daily email that features the day’s headlines? Did you know it’s FREE?

It’s a great way to catch up with the day’s local news  All you have to do is sign up and we’ll email to you each morning.

Nope, we don’t sell the list to anyone else, and those who sign up for our daily headline email will get only that – headlines, nothing else.

 

Send us a news tip

Dial-Tone-Rotary-Phone

We’re a news website, but that doesn’t mean we automatically know everything that’s going on around here. We rely on you, our readers, to drop us a line and tell us about what your business or organization is doing.

You can also post press releases and photos directly to our website for FREE. It’s a great way to get out the word about your next great event.

Got other ideas of some great features we could add to PotomacLocal.com? Leave us a comment below!

Page 10 of 28« First...89101112...20...Last »