Hylton Center presents “Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond”

Famed fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are joined by their children to present an afternoon of Celtic music and dance in “Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 4 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance in the Hylton Center’s Buchanan Partners Art Gallery. Novant Health is the 2014-2015 Hylton Presents Season Sponsor.

This Celtic family celebration will include world-class fiddling, spectacular step dancing and family fun! Together on stage, native Nova Scotian MacMaster’s Cape Breton style fuses with Leahy’s Irish-Scottish roots and Lakefield, Ontario upbringing, and their children represent the next generation of Celtic music. Married in 2002, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are raising a family of six to do what they do best: fiddle and step dance. Natalie MacMaster started fiddling as a 9-year-old, and Donnell Leahy, a fiddler of the sibling octet Leahy, began fiddling competitively as a 4-year-old. Their careers have been filled with awards and acclaim, and the Canadian couple continue to perform, tour and co-host the annual Leahy Music Camp in the summer.

“Cape Breton Girl” Natalie MacMaster released her debut album, “Four on the Floor” at the age of 16. With 11 albums to her name, MacMaster’s accolades include multiple gold albums, Grammy nominations (and a Grammy win for her collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma), Juno Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards and several honorary degrees, as well as the Arts & Letters Award from the Canadian Association of New York and the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor. Family man and bandleader Donnell Leahy released his family’s debut album in 1996. Leahy’s fanbase grew when the band toured with Shania Twain as the opening act of her World Tour and two television specials. With three Juno Awards, a Socan award and an Oscar Award-winning documentary, Leahy’s four albums represent a blend of musical styles.

With two separate successful careers, both MacMaster and Leahy have noted that they find fulfillment in performing and touring together. For more information on Natalie MacMaster, please visit For more information on Donnell Leahy, please visit

Tickets for NATALIE MACMASTER AND DONNELL LEAHY’S “VISIONS FROM CAPE BRETON AND BEYOND” are $48, $41 and $29. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit 

Popular ‘Attack the Fat Challenge’ starts Monday at Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas


Do you know about the Attack the Fat Challenge? It’s one of the most popular, effective, and fun weight-loss programs at the Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center
It’s open to anyone, at any fitness level.
Robin Frey is a fitness program coordinator, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and the director of Freedom Attack the Fat Challenge at Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center in Manassas. We spoke with her to get the 


What is the Attack The Fat Challenge?

“It’s more of a full spectrum weight loss program and it runs for eight weeks…it’s based on focusing on weight loss but the overall effort that we do is that we want to promote and create lifestyle changes, not just during the eight weeks. For most people it’s just the starting point. A lot of people do it repeatedly because it works for them…and depending on the amount of weight they wish to lose, it may not happen in eight weeks.”   
What do participants do while in Attack The Fat Challenge? 
“Well actually the whole concept is they do train…and it’s based on percentage of weight loss…we make it a challenge so that it has some competitive edge to it but the overall focus is just to create a balance of accountability…to continue with fitness efforts for health, not necessarily for fitness. In other words, this is based on health and wellness, getting people appropriate nutrition and just trying to create a consistent effort with lifestyle change, it’s long term.”
 How much does the program cost?
“It [the program] breaks down to 20 dollars a session and the total cost is $480 but you’re getting 24 sessions, 24 full one-hour sessions…then in addition to that they get the support through nutrition tips and guidance…and body composition testing as well.” Frey also mentioned that there is an additional cost to non-members of the Freedom Center. 
 Attack-the-Fat-2015-flyer-791x1024How long does the challenge last? 
“Participants train three days a week with a trainer so it’s three one-hour sessions so they’re basically getting 24 training sessions as a group within that eight weeks, three times a week. In addition to that support that we offer is through our smart lab for evidence based testing for body composition or those types of things and also we do weekly weigh-ins”.
Is the Attack The Fat Challenge a seasonal program? 
“It’s twice a year, typically we do it  in February, March and then again in September.”
Is it too late to sign up? 
“The Attack The Fat Challenge  starts on Monday, Feb. 2. Registration does require you to be registered prior to the program but we work with people as well.”
Why did Frey get involved with the Attack The Fat Challenge?
“Well I started it, actually it’s been six years running now. I just felt that there was a need here at the Freedom Center to create programming in small groups that could be something that could bring more of an effort of accountability to each other, that tends to help. People can do training all the time but when they have other people depending on them to be part of their team, their group, it’s very successful. The success rate is much higher as far as them making the sessions, having to be responsible for that weekly weigh-in and then they bond and create groups that continue to train after that. We just didn’t have anything happening here in that capacity in programming.”
How does the Attack The Fat Challenge stand apart from similar programs?
“We were probably the original in this area. I know other facilities have programs similar to what we do, it’s a basic concept of accountability, through training, weigh-ins, and nutrition information…it’s just been very, very successful for us here. This our sixth year I believe, might even be longer. It tends to work. We provide a variety of workouts through different types of training. We may have them in the pool, TRX suspension training, circuit training, functional core…in other words we do a little bit of everything that we offer here…within those 24 sessions they’re getting a very large variety of different modalities of training.”
Why do people sign up?
Participants will] form groups and become friends and bond in that respect and want to continue to do it again, that kind of thing….plus we’ve had people that have lost over 100 pounds…it’s been very effective overall.” 

Keep Reading…

Come see the Capitol Steps at Hylton Arts Center & help Cecily replace the asbestos-laden siding on her home

When Cecily was in her 20’s she immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua.

capitol stepsTaking a job at Home Depot in Springfield, Cecily met her future husband, Eddy, who had emigrated from Palau. Cecily and Eddy married in 2008 and now share their Woodbridge home with their two children, Cecily’s mother, and grandmother.

A tight-knit family, everyone pitches in to help. Cecily operates a daycare from her home while also attending school at Northern Virginia Community College.

Cecily’s mom is a certified nursing assistant with a job in Washington, D.C. Eddy continues to work at Home Depot and he and Cecily’s mom and grandmother all help care for the children, too.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is looking forward to giving this hard working family a hand up with much-needed critical home repairs that will make their home safer, more comfortable and affordable.

Habitat for Humanity will replace the boiler that is original to the home, replace asbestos siding from three sides of the exterior and replace non-functional windows throughout the home. The deck must be rebuilt for safety. And the home will be weatherized for energy efficiency.

Habitat for Humanity thanks you for your support of the Capitol Steps event and welcomes you to join them on their work sites as a volunteer!

To learn more, visit Habitat for Humanity’s website at

Mark your calendars for Laughs & Love benefit February 21 at 7 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Not only are we having the hilarious Capitol Steps come to the beautiful Hylton Center, but our Rotary Club has proudly partnered with Casa, Habitat for Humanity, Rainbow Center Therapeutic Riding, Calling All Souls and Transitional Housing Barn as the beneficiaries this year.

The goal?

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors. These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place we can be proud of.

They cannot do it alone!

To order tickets go to or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Steve Chapman, by Feb 10.

The preceding post was sponsored by Rotary Club of Bull Run.

At 50, woman tells story of abuse, rape to help connect with mentally ill in Prince William

Cynthia Dudley is turning 50 years old.

She made a video in recognition of her milestone birthday that she posted on YouTube. It isn’t your typical birthday video.

Through flash cards, Dudley tells a story of being abused by her mother when she was a child, being raped, and being robbed a gunpoint. This series of events led to several suicide attempts.

Seven years ago, Dudley’s life changed when she and two other women founded the Trillium Drop-In Center in Woodbridge. With thoughts of suicide behind her, now her focus is to help others who may be going through similar trials.

We interviewed Dudley about why she shared such a personal story on the web.


Where did you get the idea for the video?


I had the idea for the video literally when my friend asked what I wanted for my birthday, and I decided I wanted to make it about Trillium because I don’t personally want for anything, and I am committed to Trillium and the work we do there 200%. A video seemed like the perfect idea to support my goal of 50 people donating $50 for my 50th.

I am a speaker about mental illness and sharing personal details about my own experiences with it is what I’ve been doing for years, in order to help people who are going through similar issues. Also, talking about mental illness helps break stigma surrounding it, which is another of my professional goals.


What was the reaction from your friends / co-workers when they saw the video?


My staff, Board, members, colleagues, and friends are in complete support of the video. Many have known most of my story for years. People are touched by the intensity of the video and are inspired to support our goal in any way they are able.


How many people does the center help each year?


Trillium helps 35-40 people six days a week, we average one new person a day, over 600 a year, and over 3,000 since we opened 7+ years ago. I was one of three women who started Trillium in 2007 and have been the Director the entire time.


After people watch the video, what do you hope the takeaway message is?


After watching the video I hope people will donate what they can, if they are so led. My goal is $50 from 50 people for my 50th, which is in two weeks. If people are not led to donate, I’d really appreciate them sharing the video to friends, colleagues, associations, etc. in order to spread the word and help people with serious mental illness in Prince William County. One in four live with serious mental illness. It’s important to talk about it. And give people hope that it can be managed effectively and even overcome in some circumstances.

We’re all Scottish this weekend at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Whiskey, haggis, crafts and children’s games will all be on center stage this weekend at Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.

The arts center will hold its “Hylton in the Highlands: A Festival of Scotland” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.

From dancing, bagpipes to tea, the festival is billed as offering something for everyone who loves all things Scottish.

“We are so excited to bring out our second edition of ‘Hylton in the Highlands: A Festival of Scotland,’” stated Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Center in a press release. “There’s something about the people and traditions of Scotland that makes them fun and accessible for everyone – whether it’s their music, food, ingenuity, bravery, arts and crafts or just general good spirits. Come one, come all.”

Here’s a listing of the day’s events:


  • Alan Reid and Rob van Sante, of Battlefield Band, perform a lively concert of modern and traditional Scottish folk music, original compositions and Battlefield Band favorites.
  • The dynamic trio of Elke Baker, Ken Kolodner and Brad Kolodner explore the evolving traditions of Celtic music and its influence on the old-time music of Appalachia

Interactive experiences:

  • Children’s Passport to Scotland featuring Highland games and crafts, in cooperation with Mid-Atlantic Scots 4 Tots
  • Scottish country dancing demonstrations and open social dancing, presented by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
  • A fiddle workshop with U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Elke Baker
  • A “bring-your-own-fiddle” jam session with Elke Baker, Ken Kolodner and Brad Kolodner

Scottish history and culture presentations:

  • Lectures on Scotland’s “National Dish,” haggis, and on American naval hero and native Scotsman John Paul Jones
  • Bagpipe demonstrations with master piper and teacher Paula Glendinning

Exhibits highlighting authentic crafts and goods for sale:

  • Jewelry, pottery, traditional apparel and much more, with exhibits by R.E. Piland Goldsmiths, Sheep’s Clothing, Sonny Fletcher Pottery.

A Taste of Scotland (additional fees apply):

  • A Scotch whisky master class with native Scot and internationally renowned whisky connoisseur Dougie Wylie, “The Scotch Whisky Man,” with Scotch whisky provided by one of Scotland’s oldest family-owned and operated distilleries, William Grant and Sons

  • A full afternoon tea with homemade scones, clotted cream and jam, tea sandwiches, custom blended teas, sweets and more, presented by The Things I Love of Old Town Manassas

  • The Burns Night Supper, a celebration of Scotland’s national bard, poet and lyricist Robert Burns, featuring Scottish music, poetry reading, a Scotch whisky tasting and the ceremonial presentation of Scotland’s “National Dish,” haggis

Tickets for the festival are $20 each for adults and $5 for children. Families may purchase four tickets for $40, good for admission for two adults and two children.

Dumfries veterans’ resource fair begins 10 a.m. Saturday

The Rural Health Initiative team from McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond brought their Mobile Vet Center program to Stafford. (Mary Davidson/

A veterans’ resource fair will be held Saturday in Dumfries.

The fair will allow veterans the chance to learn more about healthcare options, education opportunities, as well as preventing homelessness.

Here’s more in a press release:

The fair will provide a number of veteran-related services in a one-stop setting. Onsite will be Department of Veterans Affairs’ representatives from the Center for Minority Veterans, the Veterans Health and Benefits Administrations, and the National Cemetery Administration. Other invited organizations will provide information related to GI Bill education assistance, finding jobs, completing wills, preventing homelessness, and how to participate in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

Participants include the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Dumfries Police Department, ALBAN CAT, Virginia State Police Recruiter, Integrity Applications, Prince William County Police, Strategy and Management Services Inc, BAI, Inc. Vesper Wave Solutions, LLC, Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Stratford University and so many more.

The 2015 Veterans Resource and Job Fair is a joint effort of Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood, Delegate Micheal Futrell, and Women’s Veterans Interactive.

The fair will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and will run through 2 p.m. It will take place at 3800 Graham Park Road in Dumfries, at  Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad.

ANU students take MLK Day, register to vote in Prince William County

Vote, MLK day, election

In recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday and a day of service, Medical Assistant students from the Northern Virginia Campus of American National University collectively registered to vote in Prince William County. 

Their inspiration came not only from Dr. Martin Luther King, but also from the ANU Mission Statement, which states, “Graduates of American National University should understand and practice their responsibilities to their families, their fellow men and their communities by becoming effective and contributing citizens.”

Led by their instructor, MJ Williams of the Roanoke Campus, the students committed to volunteering in the community and becoming informed voters.

Region to readying to welcome 12,000 athletes for Fairfax World Police & Fire Games


Prince William County is getting in on the action during the Fairfax 2015 World Police and Fire Games.

Dubbed the Olympics of public safety personnel, the games will take place June 26 to July 5. More than 12,000 firefighters and police officers currently serving or retired, from all over the globe, are expected to descend apron the area. They’re expected to bring with them some 30,000 spectators, according to Fairfax 2015.

Of the 53 venues where the games will take place, to include baseball, basketball, cycling, clay shooting, motor cross racing, tennis, and karate just to name a few nine will be held on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University.

In Prince William, here’s a list of competitions being held in the county:

  • Prince William Forest Park – Cycling time trials
  • Prince William Ice Center in Dale City – Ice hockey 35+
  • Quantico – Rifle range bore

Other venues are scatted throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Participants will register for the competition and will gather during the competition week at an athletes village in Reston.

Unlike Olympic athletes who have travel expenses paid for, athletes in these games must pay the cost of their own travel. At an information meeting for the games earlier this month, organizers asked area businesses to offer discounted items and special offers for athletes to entice more to come.

Country Inns and Suites off Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge will serve as the official transportation hub for athletes who stay in the county. Eight buses will take athletes to competition areas each morning and return them at night

Fairfax 2015 officials said they expected 55,000 hotel nights to be booked at area hotels. The Country Inn in Woodbridge is offering a special room rate for athletes, but no rooms have been booked yet.

“We haven’t seen a whole lot picking up yet, but it’s still a little early,” said Rebecca Anderson, who handles group sales for the hotel.

These latest games will take place following the most recent World Police and Fire Games that were held in Belfast, Ireland, and drew 7,000 athletes to the games.

For this year’s games, volunteers will also be needed to assist the athletes and spectators. “We need volunteers for parking, helping familes, we need ambassadors of Fairfax County and this whole region,” said Kim Palmese, director of workforce for Fairfax 2015.

Potomac Local Pets



A playful and affectionate, 2-year-old DSH tuxedo male who loves to curl up in your lap. This amazing, sweet and gentle male kitty is UTD on all his shot and neutered. Kingston gets along wonderfully with other cats, dogs and kids of all ages!


She’s is an energetic and playful, 1-year-old beagle pup with a tan & white coat. She is very social and loves to be around kids. Mocha is leash trained, crate trained, spayed and up-to-date on all her shots. Wouldn’t she make a great addition to your family in the New Year?

Found Cat, Brooke area, Stafford

Long -haired, calico found in my subdivision—sweet, talkative, no micro-chip. Please contact the Stafford SPCA if you have any information.

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

Cyber academy gives wounded warriors hope, careers

Student Christopher Robinson, director Jim Wiggins, and student Miroslav Kazimir all work together at the Wounded Warrior Cyber Academy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. [Potomac Local]

Military patients work in groups over 18 months learning IT skills  

He watched the World Trade Center towers fall when he was 22 years old from his home country of Slovakia.

Miroslav Kazimir then vowed he would move to the U.S. and join the military in response to the terror attack.

“I was home watching TV when this happened, and a lot of my buddies were firefighters, too, and I felt a lot of anger and pain when this happened, so that’s why I wanted to join.

Kazimir, now 36, waited six years before he could obtain a green card to come to the U.S. Afterward, he joined the Marines, became a machine gunner, and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was the latter tour in 2011 where he lost both his legs.

“We just ran over the IED. I never saw it, and we got blown up,” he said.

He was ejected from the turret attached to the vehicle he and his fellow Marines were riding. Two Marines in his unit died.

Kazimir was missing tibia bones, suffered shattered leg bones, and had bruising of the brain.

He’s called Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland home for the past four years undergoing more than 60 surgeries to repair his wounds. He now walks on prosthetic legs, and he and his wife are the proud parents of a 15-month-old baby.

Kazimir misses shooting machine guns and his life in the Corps. But life for him is different now, and as he transitions from Marine to civilian, new opportunities are opening for him in the IT field.

He and about 25 others attend the Wounded Warrior Cyber Academy at Walter Reed. Here, patients on the mend learn new, marketable computer skills like networking and internet security.

Students attend classes taught at the medical center during the evening hours. Other wounded warriors in places like Alaska and Montana attend academy classes virtually through the web conferencing program called Adobe Connect.

The classes work to build morale and give purpose to many wounded warriors taking their next steps in life.

Marine Christopher Robinson, of Greenville, Alabama, has learned the ins of outs of computers and is working to become an internet security expert. He was stationed in Japan before coming to Walter Reed where doctors were able to regulate his leukemia.

“I started by helping friends fix their computers, and just being able to have the insight to do that is great,” said Robinson. “The security aspect of it, though, the more I learn, the more I cringe. You don’t realize what information you leave out there for anyone to get.”

The academy works in what they call “cyber teams.” Two groups of about 10 to 12 people who are working and learning together for 18 months.

All students in the program receive a certificate. Those who complete the entire 18 months of training get several certificates, and many are employed with large firms like Booze Allen Hamilton.

Raytheon in Stafford County took interest in the program this week and donated $7,500 to the Wounded Warrior Cyber Combat Academy. At a cost of $10,000 per student, the funding is vital to the program’s success.

“Finding the candidates is not the issue. The issue is finding the resources,” said cyber academy director Jim Wiggins.

As the need for more IT security grows greater, officials at Raytheon said this is a program they are proud to support. Many officials in the company’s regional headquarters in Rosslyn are now keeping a close watch on the program, and are interested in the talent it produces for future job openings.

Kazimir is employable now and is about to complete the program. Robinson will be ready for employment by summer, said Wiggins.

Both men say they’ll be ready to leave the hospital for a new start in a career they love. 

Work stalls on new Fuddruckers in Woodbridge


Fuddruckers will occupy old Cheeseburger in Paradise

The “world’s greatest hamburgers” will once again be served in Woodbridge – eventually.

Fuddruckers, a restaurant chain known for their burgers – some made of one pound of beef – still has plans to open a new location inside Foulger Square in Woodbridge. It’ll be located at the old Cheeseburger in Paradise, which has sat dark and dormant for more than a year.

The exterior walls of the restaurant have been painted red, and signs hung are hung in the parking lot with the Fuddruckers logo on them. Inside, some signature décor hangs on the wall including a marquee that states “100% fresh.” Blueprints for the restaurant were seen sitting on a table.

But it’s clear work on this new restaurant has halted. And, there’s no indication from Fuddruckers as to when the first hamburger will be served here.

“Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t have any projected opening dates, nor any projections as yet as to when construction will begin,” said restaurant spokeswoman Toni Neice.

Fuddruckers, or Fudds as its known, has served Woodbridge residents before, in an old restaurant nearby on Prince William Parkway next to Chuck-E-Cheese. When it closed, it was later demolished, and a McDonalds was built in its place.

Fudds is now under different ownership than the original company that owned that location. The hamburger joint falls under the same corporate ownership as Cheeseburger in Paradise.

In addition to Woodbridge, the Fuddruckers used to have locations in multiple towns in Virginia including Fredericksburg. Today, Fudds locations at Regan National Airport, Dulles Airport, in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and one in Newport News are all that remain in Virginia.

After McDonalds robbery, young mom shown path to a degree

degree, credit, mcdonalds

Amercian National University (ANU) student Jazmin Lopez works toward her medical associates degree.

ANU provides young mother flexibility, path to medical assisting degree     

Jazmin Lopez, 20, of Manassas, knew that she needed to make a change in her life, and ANU offered her an opportunity to work toward her degree in a growing field.
Her neighbor was the first to recommend American National University, which has a campus in Manassas located on Liberia Avenue.

“They were promoting the school [at Gold’s Gym], when [my neighbor] met a recruiter from ANU,” Lopez said, continuing, “She was giving me information, but I wasn’t so sure about going to school.”

Lopez had made an appointment to meet with the recruiters on the campus, but still wasn’t sold about pursuing her degree.

Then, one night while working at a McDonalds, she was robbed.

“I wasn’t  speaking at the moment,” Lopez said of the experience, which traumatized her. “I thought it was time to change, and turn my life around,” Lopez said, prompting her motivation to get out of the fast food industry and earn her degree.

A few days after the incident, Lopez did meet with an ANU ad visor about the school’s opportunities for her. The robbery proved to be a turning point in her life that made her want to seek new opportunity and a higher education.

“The recruiter asked me why it took me so long to finally decide to go back to school. And I enrolled that same day…I thought it was really a great idea, because it’s only five minutes away from my house. And it caught my eye because they have really small classes, which means more attention for us as students,” said Lopez.

For her, the flexibility of the classes and assistance that the school has provided her, have allowed her to continue her education as a working young mother.

While still working at McDonalds, Lopez is currently obtaining her Medical Assistant degree, as a member of the class of 2016.

credit, mcdonalds, degree

This Manassas woman was robbed while working at a McDonalds. It was then she decided she need to change her life. She went to ANU in Manassas for a better opportunity.

Used tires are mysterious. New Cooper Starfire Tires cost about the same


Cooper Starfire Tires offer superior life and performance for just a few dollars more than the cost of a used tire

Instead of buying a used tire that you might have to replace sooner than later, consider a new Cooper Starfire Tire.

It’s a great option for someone looking for an inexpensive tire that will help keep their vehicle on the road longer and their occupants of the car safe.

Cooper Starfire Tires are available for multiple makes and models of vehicles. They’re manufactured in Asia and designed in the U.S. to compete with premium brands without the higher price tag of comparable tires.

The tire offers high-performance ability, improved grip and road handling, with an improved overall tire life.

Cooper Starfire Tires are great for drivers who may have purchased a vehicle that is more costly to maintain than first thought, but are still looking for a quality tire that delivers great handling and a quiet performance on the road. With the Starfire option available, drivers should think before purchasing a used tire.

Typically, drivers have no idea what type of life the used tire had before they obtain it. Used tires could be six to eight years old, perhaps older, and have spent the majority of their life as a used tire strapped to a vehicle. While used tires may look good, the rubber can be worn down or degraded after years of sitting idle. Some used tires may also be missing tread and show signs of wear.

Purchasing a Starfire Tire costs about $30 more than what a used tire might cost, but a new tire, on average, will provide three times the life of a single used tire. The price of a Starfire Tire is up to 30% less than other newer tires.  There are many Starfire Tires produced for SUVs, trucks, and the popular Honda Civic and Toyota Camry models.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia is now an authorized Cooper Tire dealer and offers a full line of Starfire Tires.

Potomac Local Pets



Buster is a 3 year old, orange, DSH male who likes to play a lot and gets along very well with the other cats. He is at a good age to introduce to dogs as well. Buster has been neutered and has received all vaccines.


Emma is a beautiful, all black Retriever/ poodle mix. She is a gentle, playful and friendly,10 month old puppy who would be a wonderful addition to any family. She is  has been spayed and is UTD on shots.

Rory is still missing

On Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 my dog sitter lost my 6-year-old, 16-18lb, female salt and pepper colored miniature schnauzer, Rory, from  Woodland Road in Fredericksburg. Regrettably, she was wearing a harness that did not have an identification tag. Rory is extremely sweet, friendly and playful! She was being treated for a skin rash at the time she was lost. Please contact me anytime of day if you have any information on Rory at cdparker19@yahoo.

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

Teen wins NYC trip with “Say I Won’t” video with Manassas City Police Department

#SayIWont, manassas city police department

Captain Trey Lawler and Chief Doug Keen stand behind Mark Johnson.

In December, City of Manassas resident Mark Johnson had an idea for the #SayIWont video contest put on by Grammy Award winner Lecrae Moore and Reach Records. The video contest asked participants to make a 15 second video showing how “you’re not scared to be different.” Mark’s video featured members of the Manassas City Police Department.

Mark Johnson had the idea, in light of current happenings in other areas of the country, to show a positive relationship between the Manassas City Police Department and a City resident. His video shows him coming into MCPD Roll Call and encouraging the officers about to go out in the field.

Mark went to Osbourn High School in the City of Manassas. After a rocky start, including being expelled from school, Mark went back to Osbourn to finish high school with an advanced diploma. When asked why he chose the Manassas City Police Department to feature in his video, Mark said he remembered the great conversations he had in high school with Officer Cahill and he used that contact to make the video happen. 

On Dec. 12, while attending the Manassas City Police Department holiday luncheon, Mark received a phone call from Reach Records saying he had won the national video contest and had won a trip to New York City to accompany Lecrae Moore to a Brooklyn Nets game.

“We are honored that Mark chose the MCPD to feature in his video,” said Chief Doug Keen from the Manassas City Police Department. “Mark Johnson’s video sheds a positive light on relationships with police officers and those relationships are something we want to promote in the City of Manassas. We congratulate Mark on his award winning video.”

Johnson traveled to New York City in December.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Picture your art here to win

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.54.19 AM

Winning artwork to be featured on light poles in Manassas

Have you seen the banners that hang on the light poles in the Historic Downtown area of the City of Manassas and in other cities? If you are an artist or aspiring to be one, the art you create could be hanging on one of those light poles.

Historic Manassas, Inc. and the City of Manassas have launched an art contest to fill the banners in Historic Downtown with original pieces of art. The contest will be juried so that one artist will be awarded a grand prize of $1,000 and there will also be “people’s choice award” of $500. The contest deadline has been extended to Feb. 1, 2015.

This contest is part of an effort to promote art and tourism in the City of Manassas. The winning 50 pieces will be featured on the light pole banners and in a walking tour brochure that includes information on the piece and the artist. Information about the contest can be found at

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Resolutioners get off to a good start with 5K run at Freedom Center

Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, run, 5k


Freedom Center awards resolution runners

Over 200 area residents came out to start their new year off right, running in The Resolution Run 5K at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center in Manassas on New Year’s Day. The race, which kicked off at 11a.m. was hosted by Fun Run Racing and was their third running event thus far.

“It’s the first of the year. Most people’s resolution is ‘In 2015, I’m going to exercise more,’ so it’s a good way to start,” said Ian Connor, a race organizer.

“What’s interesting that most our [runners] were not signing up, because they didn’t know what their plans were going to be in the evening [before]. So it’s been an interesting race to put on, in trying to plan,” said Connor, of the planning process for the 5K.

Fun Run Racing has partnered with the Freedom Center for race events in the past, and has had a good experience with their facilities.

“[The Freedom Center] has been fantastic to work with. They promote health and wellness, so it’s a good synergistic approach to that – and letting us have access to the Freedom Center has been great,” said Connor.

The runners excelled on the flat course. For female overall, first place was Jean Kleitz with 19:46. For men’s overall, first place was Ryan Laemel, coming in at 15:24. 

Fun Run Racing has been able to raise $12,400 in their events for local charities and non profits, including their charity partner, the Manassas Bull Run Rotary Club, according to their website.

The company plans to host their next race this year on the 4th of July. So far they have held two other successful runs – the Freedom Firecracker 5K on the 4th of July in 2014 and the Prince William Turkey Trot in 2014 – all of which were hosted at the Freedom Center.

Winners, broken down by age category:

Female 1-10yrs: Nili Schreibman – 25:08
Male 1-10yrs: Camden Yentz – 22:42

Female 11-14yrs: Lindsay Yentz – 23:37
Male 11-14yrs: Jamey Bocompani – 21:41

Female 15-19yrs: Lynne Bai – 24:56
Male 15-19yrs: Ian Dickson – 20:17

Female 20-24yrs: Olivia Black – 29:59

Female 25-29yrs: Candace Robbins – 25:58
Male 25-29yrs: Michael Kleitz – 27:02

Female 30-34yrs: Kayla Robison – 23:44
Male 30-34yrs: Jonathan Ellis – 19:50

Female 35-39yrs: Tamara West – 26:11
Male 35-39yrs: Uriah Orland – 18:30

Female 40-44yrs: Tracy Phelps – 25:26
Male 40-44yrs: Eric Davison – 21:49

Female 45-49yrs: Shannon Andes – 26:43
Male 45-49yrs: Edward Scollon – 19:14

Female 50-54yrs: Maureen Miller – 24:28
Male 50-54yrs: Craig Greene – 18:58

Female 55-59yrs: Bonita Coats – 31:32
Male 55-59yrs: Steve Moyer – 21:02

Female 60-64yrs: Judy Wine – 33:31
Male 60-64yrs: Steven Bartlett – 25:51

Female 65-69yrs: Laurel Clement – 26:55
Male 65-69yrs: Bill Washington – 38:38


City of Manassas Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 2.22.00 PM


Manassas ranks above average in 8 Citizen Satisfaction categories surveyed

In a survey conducted by one of the nation’s leading community-based market research firms, results showed that citizen satisfaction in the City of Manassas is significantly above national and regional benchmarks in a number of service areas. Overall, three categories stood out: the overall quality of citizen services provided; the overall quality of water and sewer utilities; and the effectiveness of communication with the public.

Categories where the City of Manassas scored significantly higher than the national and regional benchmarks include:

  • Maintenance of streets
  • Sidewalks and infrastructure
  • How safe residents feel in their neighborhood at night, in commercial/business areas of the City and in City parks
  • Maintenance of neighborhood streets
  • Cleanliness of City streets
  • Access to information about City services
  • Opportunities to participate in local government 
  • Satisfaction with residential garbage collection and residential curbside recycling

The percentage of residents satisfied with customer service is 15 percent higher than the national average. Survey participants responded more than 20 percent above the national average when asked how satisfied they were with customer service in regards to response time and customer service experience.

“Having worked with City staff for the last year, I know how our dedicated staff goes above and beyond to provide services to the community,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “I am extremely proud that resident opinions show that City of Manassas staff are significantly above the nation in customer service.”

City Council and staff are pleased with the results, not only because they highlight what the City is doing right, but because the survey shows what priorities the community has in coming years. Major services that were recommended as top priorities for investment over the next few years include: overall flow of traffic and ease of getting around; overall quality of public education; and overall quality of economic development.

ETC Institute used a random sample of households within the City of Manassas for this survey. They had a goal of 400 completed surveys being returned to provide this data and received 405 surveys from all areas of the City of Manassas. To read the survey results presented by ETC Institute, visit

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

‘The Interview’ will be shown in Manassas

The controversial comedy “The Interview” will be shown at Manassas 4 Cinemas  on Mathis Avenue. The theater posted a sign outside their window telling customers “we got it” and they will show the movie for five showings Christmas Day.


The two characters in the film played by Seth Rogen and James Franko play celebrity TV hosts who land in interview with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un. In the film, the CIA recruits both to assassinate the dictator.

Hackers broke into a database at movie studio Sony Pictures which produced the film and later threatened violence if the movie was released. The studio canceled plans for a Christmas Day release of the movie but will now allow the movie to be seen in limited release.

President Barack Obama lauded the decision to show the film.

The president criticized Sony for their original earlier decision to not show the movie as planned.

Seinfeld fans celebrate Festivus today


Today is Festivus, a made-up holiday popularized by the iconic 90’s hit comedy show Seinfeld.

For the show’s faithful fans, the celebration is anything but made up. 

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, known for his stance on bucking the status quo in Washington, posted to Twitter today about Festivus.



The holiday is celebrated by fans each Dec. 23, just two days before Christmas. In the show, Seinfeld character Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) tires of the commercialization of Christmas and comes up with his own holiday. It involves gathering family members around the dinner table, saying what you don’t like about them, and then challenging at least one of them to a wrestling match.

Here, take a look:

The episode originally aired Dec. 18, 1997. In addition to detailing everything we needed to know about Festivus, it also revealed why show character Kramer never had a job. It also enlightened us with the notion of “two face,” someone who looks good or bad depending on how light hits their face.


Today, the Twittersphere is lighting up with references to Festivus.



There’s even an instruction list detailing how to celebrate Festivus for newcomers posted to Facebook: 



So, as long as Seinfeld lives in reruns, the miracle that is Festivus will live on in fans’ hearts.

Happy Festivus, everybody!

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