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Lifestyle

Quantico Hosting 3rd Summer Concert of 2014 Season

QUANTICO, Va. – The Town of Quantico is proud to announce it will be hosting the third concert of the Cowles Auto 2014 Salute to Our Troops Music Series this weekend on Saturday July 19th from 7PM to 11PM.

The third concert will feature the rock n’ roll sounds of the No Pressure Band.

The Cowles Auto 2014 Salute to Our Troops Music Series consists of six (6) FREE family-friendly outdoor music concerts held at the town’s recently renovated Raftelis Potomac River Park located at 408 River Road Quantico Virginia 22134.

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

Other artists scheduled to perform during the music series include the 2014 Grammy nominated James King Band (August 16th), and returning artists Rose Between Thorns (September 20th) and the School Street Ramblers (October 18th).

This event series is being held in honor of all those who have and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

Humanity is Center Theme of ‘Snowpiercer’

Snowpiercer-Poster“Snowpiercer”

Rated: R

4 1/2 stars out of 5

“Snowpiercer.” Yeah, I didn’t know what it meant either until I saw the movie. Now, I want one.

In the year of our lord, 2014 (hey, that’s now), the world scientists decide to seed the sky with a special chemical to combat global warming. It works so well the entire planet undergoes a deep freeze that kills every living thing… except those who boarded the Snowpiercer.

Built by the visionary Wilford (Ed Harris from “Gravity“), the Snowpiercer is a train with an eternal engine that circles the globe. It’s a self-supporting eco-system and the only thing keeping mankind alive. As long as the engine keeps running, people will live. Well, some people will live, like the people at the front of the train. This “rattling ark” where people give their right arm for their children is not a paradise. The people at the back of the train have suffered for 17 years under the dictatorship of Wilford and the rules imposed by those at the front of the train.

The people at the rear of the train have been planning a revolution. It’s been tried before, but this time they are led by Curtis (Chris Evans from “Captain America“), who will not sit quietly and will not accept his station in life. Under the tutelage of Gilliam (John Hurt from “Only Lovers Left Alive“), Curtis feels destined to make it all the way to the front of the train. Once there, he plans to kill Wilford and take over the engine.

This movie had the claustrophobic feel of “Gravity,” along with the sense that death is just outside a thin steel wall. A world unto itself inside a box in constant motion. There are religious overtones spread between the layers of social commentary, but the theme of the movie seems to be humanity. It begins with the class system, then sacrifice, and the order of civilization where the leader becomes the Lord. In the end, it’s about free will and survival of the species, and for some, how liberty trumps security.

Okay, the movie got to me. I wanted to laugh and point out the logical absurdities, but it got to me. Using this incredible engine for a train is silly, unless you see it as a metaphor for life and time. We are all on this train, and we feel we must keep going to survive. If we get off or do anything different than anyone else we will surely die. We see the operator of the train as a god, or the government, and we blame them for our place in life and feel powerless. The dream that we can destroy our oppressor and right the world is noble and naive at the same time. We are our brother’s keeper, and our brother wants to be free.

If you don’t want to buy into all that, consider it an action movie. Just imagine  Steven Seagal is wreaking havoc to get to the front of the train. I bought the whole thing and it got to me, so I am giving this movie 4 ½ stars out of 5. It’s the best train movie since “Silver Streak.”

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:? bashmovies.wordpress.com

For New Owner, Montclair Family Restaurant a Home of His Own

071414-leoneDUMFRIES, Va. – Since coming to the U.S. more than 15 years ago, owning his own restaurant is something Francesco Leone has dreamed about.

Leone lives in Woodbridge with his wife, a his daughter, 6, and two sons ages 2 and 4, and recently made his dream come true. He purchased the Montclair Family Restaurant on Va. 234 outside Dumfries.

After spending the past 13 years working under this father-in-law at Armetta’s Restaurant on Minnieville Road in Dale City, getting an eatery of his own was the next logical step.

“Little by little, if I put a lot of hard work into this we will continue to be successful,” he said.

Hard work is something Leone is no stranger to. I worked with him, in what seems like another lifetime, at Tony’s Pizza on Va. 234 in 2001 (Armetta’s and Tony’s Pizza are under the same ownership). Leone was often behind the grill, taking orders, and making them in the back of the restaurant helping to ensure the place never ran out of food.

At Montclair, he says he’s thankful to inherit staff that has worked at the diner for years and a customer base of familiar faces that come almost daily.

Leone says the previous owner was hesitant to sell, but he eventually brought Leone in, showed him the books, and then he agreed to sell.

Those who come and sit at one of the 19 tables inside the diner shouldn’t expect too many changes on the menu. Rooted in Greek and American fare, the gyros here are very popular and come loaded with feta cheese and thick shanks of lamb, beef, or chicken. Burgers are popular here, and Leone also takes pride in the rotisserie chicken and the green beans freshly prepared here. Breakfast is also a big hit with regulars.

“When I went into the kitchen for the first time I had to ask the cooks where the microwave was. It was so small and hidden,” said Leone. “We have one,’ they said, ‘but we don’t use it that much.’”

Leone came to live in the U.S. in 1998 and married his wife at a ceremony back in his native Italy a year later. His family has been supportive of him stepping up and running his own business, and he says his children are the light of his life.

“If I can do this job for someone else for so many years, I know I can do it for myself,” he said.

Montclair Family Restaurant is located at 17001 Dumfries Road near Dumfries and is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Reservations, walk-ins, large groups are all welcome and take out is available.

Before he was a news reporter, Uriah Kiser was a restaurant server at several area restaurants. He still values many of the friendships made while working in the restaurant business and still likes to go out to eat.

‘Begin Again’ Slick, Actors Suffer from Lack of Chemistry

Begin-Again-poster“Begin Again”
Rated: R
3 1/2 stars out of 5

“Begin Again” sounded like a good movie, and a pretty good move in general, so I tuned into Writer/Director John Carney’s (”Once”) second feature film.

Dan (Mark Ruffalo from “Now You See Me“) is a once-great A&R guy with no A or R. He has not signed an artist for a decade, so his label threw him out. Dan also left his wife a year ago, so things are really looking down. Every piece of new music he hears sounds old and tired and worthless – a kind of audio metaphor for his life.

He winds up guzzling whisky at an open mic night, and hears Greta (Keira Knightley from “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”) sing her new song. The melody nudges him, and the voice intrigues him while the lyrics seal the deal. The crowd gives her a polite applause, as all they heard was a whiny girl strumming an acoustic guitar. He heard something special, and unique, and above all – he heard potential. Dan could hear the rest of the musicians that should be there to accompany her as he created the arrangement in his head to make the song sing. It’s like the way I re-write a movie in my head as I see it going off-track.

When Dave (Adam Levine from Maroon 5), Greta’s boyfriend of five years, gets signed to a record deal and a tour, he sees less potential in her. They wrote songs together, but when his star takes off she is left holding a pencil and staring at a blank piece of paper.

It’s a very pat premise where opportunity and preparedness meet. With no money for studio time, Dan takes to the streets of New York City and produces an album on the cheap. The plot also parallels Carney’s first movie where a guy and a girl get together to lay down some songs. There is something magic about making music with someone and falling in love with the music, the person and the process. At the end of the day/movie, at least the music will still be there.

I really wanted to love this movie. It does not have the magic of “Once” with the awkward moments between the leads as they fall in love along with the music they create. Despite Carney’s effort to make it seem indie, this movie was much slicker with Ruffalo and Knightley being the darling A-listers they are. You never really connect with them, and they connect over the music but not much else. That might have been the point, or just a lack of chemistry.

This is a good date movie, and the songs are great, and there are some wonderful moments here. I liked this movie, I just did not fall in love with it, and for that reason I must give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. When you hear the music you may sing, but when it moves you, you will dance, and I wanted to dance.

 

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site: bashmovies.wordpress.com

First in String of Super Moons Appears Tonight

Get ready for the Super Moon tonight.

The full moon in tonight’s sky will be 14% bigger and will be brighter than other nights, according to NASA. The moon will appear larger due to the elipitcal path of its orbit, which brings it 50,000 kilometers closer to Earth than usual, NASA states.

There will also be Super Moons on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.

Cow-Clad Guests Get Free Chick-fil-A on Friday

BRISTOW, Va. – Those who see spots on Friday could be wishing they were wearing them.

Customers at Chick-fil-A who come dressed like the fast food company’s signature icon, a dairy cow, will receive a free meal – but you have to be dressed head to tow in cow attire to get the free food. If you wear a white t-shirt with black spots on it, for example, you’ll get a free sandwich. Either way, it’s free food.

While most Chick-fil-A restaurants will participate in the promotion, Chick-fil-A at 9930 Sowder Village Square in Bristow is making it a very special occasion.

“It will be a very MOOOOV-ing Experience with cow moon bounce from  4 to 8 p.m., DJ Dove from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and then our Friday night movie from 8:30 to 10 p.m.,” said Mike Lovitt, restaurant operator.

Those who come for the outdoor movie will see “Despicable Me 2” as well as play children’s games and dance to DJ Dove’s happy tunes.

Locally there are Chick-fil-A locations in Bristow, Woodbridge, Gainesville, Manassas, and North Stafford.

In 2013, more than 900,000 cow-dressed customers stampeded Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide for Cow Appreciation Day. The chain expects to host more than one million cow-clad guests for its 10th annual event, according to a press release.

Leaving Animals in Dangerously Hot Cars Could Lead to Fines, Penalties

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. —  When temperatures outside your car reach 70 degrees the temperature of the air inside your car can quickly rise even higher.

That’s why Stafford County animal control officials are warning pet owners not to leave their animals locked inside their cars without air conditioning as the dog days of summer approach.

“As much as we all like to take our animals with us, we really caution them about taking them out this time of year. It’s really nice when the weather is nice but right now temperatures in a vehicle can climb over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes,” said Capt. Mike Null, with Stafford County Animal Control, a division of the county’s sheriff’s office.

Even with windows cracked, temperatures may not be cool enough for pets to be inside the car without air conditioning turned on. If they get too hot it can lead to heat stroke, brain damage, and death for the animal, he said.

Under Stafford County code, once the outside temperature reaches 70 degrees drivers must air condition their vehicles if they plan to leave a pet locked inside.

Often, 911 callers pick up their cell phones to report animals locked inside hot cars. Deputies sent to the scene will check the outside air temperature, and if it’s 70 degrees or higher the deputies monitor the animal, run the car’s license plate in an effort to find the animal’s owner, or call the establishment near where the car is parked to try to find the driver, said Null.

If that doesn’t work, sheriff’s deputies have special “forced entry” equipment that allow them to enter the car and remove the animal from the car or turn on the car’s air conditioning.

“Officers will pay immediate attention to the animal to see how long it has been in there, and if the animal is showing any kind of stress, are they lethargic,” said Null. “There are many things that we look for.”

In many cases the owners of the animals are found, and deputies most commonly issue misdemeanors to the pet owners which could lead to a $150 fine. If an animal has to be removed from a hot car an owner could face animal cruelty charges which could pack a much stiffer penalty.

Los Toltecos Serving Up New Menu, Authentic Mexican Atmosphere

Lopez

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – A Mexican restaurant in Lake Ridge is under new management and has a new colorful way of welcoming its customers.

Los Toltecos in The Glenn Shopping Center has completely redone its dining room with new light fixtures, tables and chairs, as well as new art – from life-sized giraffes, murals, and oversized masks – all are bright and colorful, authentic items imported here from Mexico.

There’s a real tropical feel here… I literally tried to bring back the feel of the real Mexico,” said general manager Alejandro Lopez.

Since taking over in February, Lopez has made making the Los Toltecos in Lake Ridge a viable, successful restaurant. He drives to Lake Ridge each day from his home in Frederick, Md. to work at the eatery, and he says daily drink specials from 3 to 8 p.m., World Cup games on TV, and a newly revamped menu have brought in customers willing to give the place a second try.

Lopez says turning around the restaurant hasn’t been easy. The corner eatery in 2009 had developed a reputation as a nightclub and was often the scene of late-night parking lot fights, said Lopez.

Since then, a glass partition was erected to separate the non-smoking bar from the restaurant. It keeps out the noise of sports on TVs and loud music from the dining room while allowing bar guests to enjoy a fun atmosphere filled with salsa music.

The restaurant manager says he printed menus and took them to area businesses and schools and asked people to give his restaurant a second try. He said the push has won over a few new fans.

One of the best new dishes on the menu is the Toltecos Parrillada – two pieces of carne asada, chicken, covered in cheese and chorizo sausage, served with rice, beans, and corn or flour tortillas for $15.95. It’s one of over 50 menu options all made with fresh ingredients that cost more but taste better, said Lopez.

While Lopez is from Mexico and returns every few months to see family and brush up on recipes, he comes Northern Virginia from Wisconsin where he says there is fierce competition in the Mexican restaurant business.
“You go to Chicago and Wisconsin and there are Mexican restaurants on every corner,” he said. It’s not like that here in Northern Virginia, he adds.

There are five Los Toltecos locations in Northern Virginia including Lake Ridge, one in Winchester, and one in Maryland. The restaurant hopes to expand into the fine dining market with a new concept called “Senor Tequila’s” and into the fast-food market with their take on something like Chipotle called “Mr. Burritos.”

Los Toltecos in Lake Ridge is located at 4120 Merchant Plaza.

Potomac Local Pets

070714-romeo
Picture 1 of 3

Romeo: This is a smart, lovable Treeing Walker Coonhound mix. He enjoys being outside with his people. He is neutered, housebroken, UTD on vaccines, HW negative and would love to get back to ‘home’ living!

Michele: This lovely, orange and white, Maine Coon mix female is a sweet and mellow little kitty. If you are looking for the perfect companion cat, she is the one. Michele is very friendly and playful. She is UTD on her shots and has been spayed.

FOUND DOG – SPOTSYLVANIA/FREDERICKSBURG – Unneutered male Mastiff mix – Left on the property of the Fredericksburg SPCA in crate. With a prong collar and leash.If you know who this dog belongs to, please email emilymspca@verizon.net or call the Spotsylvania Animal Shelter at 540-507-7459.

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above. 

Loud Noises Can Scare Dogs; Pay Attention to Your Pet on 4th of July

STAFFORD, Va. – With all of the fun to be had on Independence Day, dogs and pets with anxiety often get overlooked.

The sound of exploding fireworks can make some animals nervous, and that may cause some – especially dogs – to run away from home to escape the noise. That’s why stray dogs are a common problem this time of year.

If you know your animal has anxiety issues, you need to prepare for that,” said Capt. Mike Null, with Stafford County Animal Control. “You usually know if they do by gauging how they react to thunderstorms.”

There are ways to make a nervous Fido more comfortable during July 4th fireworks. Pet owners can allow their animals to hide under a bed or someplace in the home where the animal feels safe. Null also says to make sure the animal has plenty of water to help ease the anxiety.

There are also several homeopathic anxiety remedies like calming chews and solutions that are marketed as an all-natural treatment for animal anxiety.

If your dog or animal does run away, the best place to call is the closest animal shelter. In Stafford, the county animal shelter on Eskimo Hill Road is closed on Independence Day but reopens on July 5. There are also instances where neighbors will find stray dogs, take them in an notify animal control, and keep them until animal control finds the owner.

The owners of animals with nametags or those with an implanted microchip are contacted immediately by shelter staff, said Null.

State law mandates municipal shelters must keep dogs that show some sign of having an owner, like a collar around its neck, for at least 11 days before it can be put up for adoption. Null said no dog has been euthanized at the Stafford shelter between January and May 2014.

‘The House,’ Community Colleges, Youth for Tomorrow Awarded Grants from Potomac Health Foundation

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The Potomac Health Foundation announced $2.7 million in funding for area organizations that provide access to better healthcare.

The grants were awarded to 26 organizations in what was dubbed a competitive application process that spanned December 2013 through June of this year.

Here’s more in a press release:

Earlier this year Potomac Health Foundation dedicated its annual large grant program to Mr. Howard L. Greenhouse. Mr. Greenhouse, who is a resident of Woodbridge, was a founding trustee of Potomac Hospital in 1972. He served continuously on the Potomac Hospital Board for more than 25 years, becoming Chairman Emeritus of Potomac Hospital Foundation in 1998. He is a founding and current Board member of Potomac Health Foundation.

The newly announced grants will be distributed to 26 health related programs serving residents of north Stafford, eastern Prince William County and Lorton communities. This year an emphasis was placed on programs designed to prevent illness and chronic disease in the areas [of] oral health, diabetes and obesity, congestive heart failure, and mental health.

Dr. Carol Shapiro, who chairs the Foundation’s volunteer Grants Committee, said “the Board is excited about the originality of the 8 new programs we are funding, and very pleased with quality of the 18 programs we are funding again this year.  Together these health programs will touch thousands of lives.”

Since 2011 Potomac Health Foundation has awarded more than $18 million in grants to 62 different programs to promote access to health care, disease prevention and innovation.

Potomac Health Foundation is an independent, 501 (c)(3) private health foundation, whose mission is to improve the health of the community. It serves the communities of eastern Prince William County, north Stafford and Lorton.

The Potomac Health Foundation was founded shortly before Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge changed its name to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

Here’s a list of the grant winners:

Organization Program Grant Award

1 American Heart Association, CPR Anytime: $50,400.00
2 ASPIRA Association, Inc., Promoting Health and wellness by Empowering Latino Youth and Community: $90,341.50
3 Change in Action, Inc., Behavioral Management for Healthy Relationships: $181,813.00
4 Greater Prince William Community Health Center, Expanding Access to Dental Services in Prince William County: $70,510.00
5 Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation, MCCP Foundation Project Pearly Whites – Lorton: $42,007.00
6 Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation, Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation: $47,158.00
7 Northern Virginia Family Service, Prince William HealthLink: $69,827.00
8 Nueva Vida, Inc., Reducing fragmentation and improving continuity of care across the breast cancer continuum: $91,076.00
9 Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Transportation Voucher Program, to facilitate access to health care needs: $401,701.00
10 Prince William County Dept of Social Services, Case Coordinator for Health and Supporting Services: Access for the most vulnerable homeless adults: $29,990.00
11 Prince William County Public Schools, Coordinated Mental Health Support for At-Risk Youth: $86,236.00
12 Prince William County Public Schools, Human Trafficking Prevention, Identification, and Referral: $78,713.00
13 Prince William County Public Schools,Prince William County School of Practical Nursing: $31,500.00
14 Prince William Health District BEAT Cancer Breast Education, Awareness & Treatment: $60,779.00
15 Prince William Soccer, Inc. The Courage F.U.N. Project: $25,777.00
16 Project Mend-A-House, Inc., Preventing Falls for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: $85,000.00
17 Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging The RAAA, Aquia Garrisonville Heathcare Project: $30,000.00
18 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center CHF, Care Transitions: $125,000.00
19 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Family Health Connection Outreach Worker: $25,367.00
20 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Hispanic Diabetes Outreach Program: $60,646.00
21 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Sentara, Potomac Women’s Health Mammovan: $360,461.00
22 StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries, Permanent Supported Housing & Respite Care for Medically Fragile Homeless Adults: $49,990.00
23 The Arc of Greater Prince William/INSIGHT, Inc., Medical Case Management: $68,000.00
24 The House, Inc. Student Leadership Center The House, Inc.’s EmpowerMEnt Center: $159,000.00
25 Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Potomac Health Foundation Fellows Program: $125,000.00
26 Youth For Tomorrow, YFT Diagnostic and Assessment Center: $213,123.50
Total: $2,659,416.00

Reporter Wins Statewide Press Awards

KJ Mushung, a reporter and copy editor for Potomac Local News, has won nine state press awards for work published in 2013.

The awards were given this year by the Virginia Press Women and the National Federation for Press Women for excellence in communications.

Mushung won first place for articles in science and technology, for online news, for writing for the web, and for website edited or managed by entrant. Mushung won second place in the single photograph category and third place for specialty articles. She was given honorable mention for humorous columns, continuous news coverage, and photography.

Links to some of Mushung’s award-winning work are here:

Ci-Ci’s Selling $1 Drinks to Support Special Olympics Virginia

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Hold the anchovies but don’t hold out on supporting a athlete competing in this year’s Special Olympic Games in Virginia.

Ci-Ci’s Pizza restaurants will offer special paper logos for $1 that will be displayed throughout the restaurant. Those who buy one will get a voucher for a free regular drink with the purchase of an adult pizza buffet redeemable in August.

The fundraiser will kick-off Saturday, June 28 and will continue through July. Many of the participating restaurants will have Special Olympic athletes will be on hand to meet customers.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit Special Olympics Virginia state games. The games were already held this year, from June 6 to 8 in Richmond.

Ci-Ci’s has locations at 13600 Foulger Square in Woodbridge, at 50 Dunn Drive in Stafford, and at 10338 Festival Way in Manassas.

Sentara, MedSynergies Form Altea Health to Manage Practicing Physicians’ Books

041514-sentara-expansion

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- Physicians practicing at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center have formed a new company that will help physicians keep their financial records straight.

Sentara, a non-profit healthcare organization that operates Sentara Northern Virginia Hospital and medical facilities in Lake Ridge and Lorton, has founded a joint venture with Texas-based MedSynergies that will allow doctors to use new financial tools to reach and track their patients.

A Sentara spokeswoman says this move will allow doctors more time to focus on their patients and less time on billing.

Here’s more in a press release:

MedSynergies Inc. and non-profit health system Sentara Healthcare announced today that MedSynergies will deliver physician management and business services as part of the companies’ joint-venture management services organization (MSO), Aleta Health. Through Aleta Health, MedSynergies will help physicians manage their practices so they can focus on delivering quality health care to their patients.

“Physicians today should be able to concentrate on keeping their patients well rather than having to dedicate valuable appointment time to day-to-day business functions,” said Stephen Porter, corporate vice president, Northern Virginia, Sentara Healthcare. “Working with MedSynergies allows us to collaborate with physicians’ practices to expand our collective community health initiatives while delivering on our mission of exceptional patient care.”

Physicians affiliated with Aleta Health will have access to the MedSynergies MSIGHT solutions suite, which optimizes operations and provides meaningful information and analytics to help healthcare providers make more informed decisions. Physicians will use MSIGHT for patient outreach, referral and scheduling, revenue cycle management, human resources, as well as reporting and analytics.

By standardizing many of these functions and using best practices, Aleta Health physicians will improve productivity and efficiency, lower costs and have more time to dedicate to a comprehensive care model for patients. Once the phased implementation is complete, MedSynergies will provide these services to approximately 250 physicians in Northern Virginia.

“This MSO model gives physicians access to a wealth of valuable services while still allowing their practices to remain financially independent,” said James Dye, chief development officer, MedSynergies. “This agreement expands the MedSynergies footprint into Virginia and allows our teams to combine experience with a proven solution to improve practice operations while driving revenue growth.”

As a national leader in developing and operating physician management services organization, MedSynergies processes nearly 12 million patient visits each year and handles more than $1 billion in billing and collections for its 8,000-plus providers nationwide.

Aleta will serve physicians that practice under Sentara’s roof, as well as independent doctors.

Stafford Hospital Recognized for Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery

STAFFORD, Va. – Stafford Hospital has been recognized for their advances in minimally invasive surgery.

Here’s more in a press release:

Stafford Hospital was recently designated as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG).  This means that Stafford Hospital’s GYN Surgery program, under the medical directorship of Dr. Kurian Thott, has demonstrated excellence in minimally invasive GYN surgery.  The COEMIG program ensures that the safest, highest quality of care is delivered to minimally invasive gynecology surgery patients worldwide.  Stafford Hospital is one of only 5 Virginia hospitals that have been designated a COEMIG facility by the AAGL Surgical Review Board.

Dr. Kurian Thott, a local OB/GYN with advanced training and expertise in minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, led Stafford Hospital through the designation process.  COEMIG’s objective requirements and evaluation processes were developed in conjunction with leading minimally invasive GYN surgeons.  A commitment to patient care and success demands that the requirements be comprehensive, research-based and verified through a rigorous site inspection.

“Earning the center of excellence designation signified our ability to consistently deliver the safest, highest quality care to minimally invasive gynecologic surgery patients,” said Cathy Yablonski, Stafford Hospital Administrator.  “With Dr. Thott, Stafford Hospital is performing hundreds of minimally invasive GYN surgeries each year, with outstanding results.  Participation in this designation has further focused our team on exceeding clinical benchmarks and guidelines.”

The COEMIG program recognizes that the integrated efforts and resources of both the surgeon and the hospital are what provide lasting health benefits for patients.  Dr. Thott and Stafford Hospital meet these requirements and are committed to delivering safe, effective, evidence-based care for women requiring minimally invasive GYN surgery.

Potomac Local Pets

062414-starla062414-sampson062414-callista

Starla: A beautiful, brown tabby who is about 6-years-old and a little love bug! When this sweet girl isn’t curled up on your lap, she loves regular play sessions. She adores other laid back cats and we think she’d be a fantastic ‘older sister’ to any young kitty. Starla is spayed, fully vaccinated and FIV/FeLV negative.

Sampson: This amazingly cute, chocolate brindle, Lab mix boy is 3 months old.Sampson is in the process of being leash trained and housebroken plus he is UTD on all his shots. He is playful and loves to cuddle.

Callista: The cutest little momma you ever did see! She is a 4-year-old spayed, Tortie female. She has a very relaxed but playful attitude. Callista is affectionate and loves to be with people.

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above. 

Comedy, Concerts Featured Events as June Comes to Close

Stand up comedy, celebrating the 25th year of a popular state park, and a summer sounds concert are all in your weekend events calendar this last weekend of June.

Comedian Ryan Conner Live at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Friday – Tickets $15 pre sale, $20 at the door

Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA as host and comedian Rahmein Mostafavi presents our headliner Ryan Conner.

Ryan Conner has developed a style of sharp story-telling that is “unique and extremely funny,” according to Punchline Magazine. His stand-up act has earned him a position as a contributing writer for Saturday Night Live and for MTV’s Ridiculousness.

Other TV credits have ranged from being in a pilot for the NFL Network, to doing 2008 post-election commentary for the BBC.

For tickets and information, please visit: http://workhousearts.org/events/performing-arts/cool-cow-comedy-presents-ryan-conner-1

Leeyslvania State Park on Potomac River in Woodbridge Celebrates 25 years, Saturday – Free with park admission

Leesylvania State Park celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a special cake cutting at the Marina at 6 p.m. followed by Anthony James Band and fireworks. If you like to take your canine best friend hiking with you, enjoy a special range led hike at either 11 a.m., 2 p.m. or 5 p.m.

Dogs of all ages and breeds are welcome to go for a walk on the wild side. Leashes no longer than 6 feet in length are required. If your puppy gets nervous around other dogs please tie a yellow ribbon to their leash to let others know your furry friend needs some personal space. Meet at the visitor center.

Rhodes Tavern Troubadours live in concert at Workhouse Arts Center, 7 p.m. Saturday — FREE

oin us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for Mount Vernon Nights presentation of The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours live in concert, June 28th at 7:00 p.m.

The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours are a post-pop and roots spectacular, ready to rock your world and serve up all kinds of ditties from Mark Noone’s Slickee Boys tunes to Jake Flack’s Thousand Dollar Car/Neptunes rockers, with everything in between.
This concert is free, no tickets are necessary.

For more information, please visit workhousearts.org/events/performing-arts/mount-vernon-nights-rhodes-tavern-troubadours-roots

Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory SummerSounds Concert Series, 6:30 p.m. Saturday — FREE

The Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory kick-starts SummerSounds Concerts featuring the Washington Scottish Pipe Band June 28 at the Harris Pavilion.

Bring the family and a picnic and join us for tender to rousing Celtic Classics! The Center for the Arts brings all SummerSounds to you free, rain or shine, and in partnership with the Harris Pavilion, Micron Technology Foundation and the City of Manassas.

Visit www.center-for-the-arts.org/programs/summer-sounds-concerts for more information.

Book Talk – Author Canden Schwantes, 2 p.m. Sunday — FREE

Fiery suffragettes, unconventional first ladies and rebellious socialites – turning up their noses at ladylike behavior, these pioneering women of Washington, D.C., shattered the expectations of a tightly corseted society. Escaped slave turned spy Mary Touvestre risked it all to scuttle Confederate plans to break the Union blockade.

Trading petticoats for trousers to work at the Union hospitals, Dr. Mary E. Walker was both the only female Medal of Honor recipient and the possessor of a police record for impersonating a man. During Prohibition, Firs Lady Florence Harding hosted jazz soirees and served up cocktails in the White House gardens.

Form pioneering photographers and newspaperwomen to enterprising madams and soldiers in disguise, author Canden Schwantes introduces readers to the decidedly daring and wild women of the capital.

Mary Poppins Movies Brings Crowd to Potomac Town Center

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Hundreds of moviegoers sat below the big screen under the stars Sunday night.

They came out to Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge to watch a double feature of “Mary Poppins” and “Savings Mr. Banks.” Both Disney films, the former is a classic tale that depicts a nanny who comes to work for the family of a banker, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. The latter is the story behind the making of the Mary Poppins movie, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

There is a movie shown at Stonebridge each Sunday at 7 p.m. now through Sept. 28, 2014. The movie schedule is posted to Stonebridge’s website.

A portion of Potomac Town Place, the main street at the shopping center, is closed to vehicular traffic when the movies are shown so families can set up lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the film.

Foreigner and Forest Park’s Choir Perform Together at Jiffy Lube Live

[Photo: Forest Park Choir]

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Foreigner had a little help from the Forest Park High School Choir.

The iconic rock band with hits like “waiting for a girl like you,” “cold as ice,” and “juke box hero,” performed at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow on Friday night.

Students from the Forest Park choir were tapped to help sing back-up vocals on the band’s smash hit “I wanna know what love is.”

The choir in May was asked to sing with the band at the June 20 show. The school’s choir program will also receive a $500 grant from the Grammy Foundation.

“The kids are stars in class for me every day, and tonight they got to be rock stars!” said Forest Park High School Choir Director Laura Brittain.

The concert took place one day after school let out for the summer. Forest Park High School is located at 15721 Forest Park Drive, just of Va. 234 near Dumfries.

From Virginia, Foreigner’s summer tour moves on to venues in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The band topped the music charts in the late 1970s and 80s and is touring with Styx, another popular rock band of the same era.

In 2012, students from Colonial Forge High School in Stafford County were invited to sing with Foreigner at a show in Fredericksburg.s

Ryan, Hanks Choose Virginia for ‘Ithaca’ Film

Meg Ryan has chosen Virginia to make a  film that will tell a coming-of-age  story set in World War II.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the film, “Ithaca,” which is based on the 1943 novel “The Human Comedy” that chronicles the challenges of growing up during wartime, will be shot in the state. The film will star Sam Shepard and Ryan’s son, Jack Quaid. Ryan will also direct and play role in the film.

The film will be produced by Tom Hanks. Ryan and Hanks wooed romantic comedy audiences in the 1990s when they shared the screen in “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

“We couldn’t be happier that Meg Ryan has chosen Virginia as the location for her directorial debut,” said Governor McAuliffe in a press release. “Ithaca is a heart-warming story, and we are proud that it will be shot in the Commonwealth.  We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks on this film about an important time in American history.”

The movie will be shot in the Richmond and Petersburg area. Filming will begin next month and should wrap up in August. The production will be eligible for the Virginia Film Credit – the exact amount of the credit depends on how many workers the film brings to the state, as well as services purchased during the production.

The film and television industry in Virginia totaled $328.4 million and provided 3,061 jobs and $50.5 million in tax revenue in 2012, according to McAuliffe.

This is not the first time Hank’s production company, Playtone, has shot a film in Virginia. Much of 2008’s John Adams which was shown on HBO was shot in the state.

The Virginia State Capitol was a location used during filming of 2012’s “Lincoln.”

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