Have your children finish those Christmas wish lists because Santa Claus is coming to town.
Santa Claus will be making his holiday arrival at the Southern States Cooperative in Manassas on Saturday, December 12th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m to visit with children, and pets.
Children and pets—that aren’t on Santa’s naughty list—will be able to share their Christmas wish lists with Santa and have their picture taken with him for free.
“We are decked out for the holidays and look forward to sharing the holiday spirit with folks in the community,” said Anne Clingenpeel, vice president of retail operations.
The store is located at 9751 Center Street. For more information, call (703) 368-2165 or visit southernstates.com/manassas.
Southern States Cooperative is a Richmond, Va.-based farm supply retailer and service cooperative. As one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives, it provides a wide range of farm inputs, including fertilizer, seed, livestock feed, pet food, animal health supplies, and petroleum products, as well as other items for the farm and home.
Founded in 1923, the cooperative is owned by more than 200,000 farmer-members, and serves its members and non-member customers through 1,200 retail outlets in 23 states. For more information, visit www.southernstates.com
Manassas police are lauding the efforts of one of their own.
More in a press release:
Manassas City Police is proud to announce that Crime Analyst Terri Hines was awarded the highly esteemed Certified Law Enforcement Analyst (CLEA) designation through the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) last month.
In order to qualify for the certification, Hines first had to meet extensive eligibility requirements pertaining to credentials, which she met with her formal education and coursework, four years of work experience with MCPD, continuing professional education, and contributions to the field.
Following major preparation, Hines then passed the IACA exam, which is designed to test demonstrable knowledge in 20 specific areas such as demographics, criminal behavior, descriptive statistics, geographic profiling, charting, intelligence, and research.
In order to pass the IACA exam, candidates must meet a passing grade of at least 70% in each of its 20 individual skill sets. Hines joins seven other professional Law Enforcement Analysts currently certified in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is one of only 48 certified worldwide through IACA.
A crane toppled on its side Tuesday morning in Manassas.
The crane was in use at a construction site of the new Baldwin Elementary and Baldwin Intermediate school, next to Osbourn High School in Downtown.
No one was hurt when the crane fell over.
“The arm of the crane did damage two walls, and the trusses it was lifting. There was no damage to the steel structure,” said Al Radford, Manassas schools spokeswoman.
Work on the 3-story school began in March. The new school is slated to open in January 2017.
The school will house 1,100 students — 700 elementary school students kindergarten through fourth grade, and 400 intermediate school students in grades five and six. The school will replace the existing Baldwin Elementary School at 9705 Main Street, and will alleviate crowding at nearby Mayfield Intermediate School, said Radford.
Come for the Manassas Christmas parade, stay for lunch and learn why historic Santa wears red, white, and blue
On Saturday, December 5, Manassas will host its annual Christmas Parade in Downtown.
Why not make a day of it and come have lunch with Santa Claus at the Old Manassas Courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas, at the corner of Lee and Grant avenues. He’ll be once again dusting off that old patriotic suit of red, white, and blue for his visit.
The suit, which resembles our nation’s flag was created by famed German Born cartoonist Thomas Nast and first appeared in Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1863 and was used as a recruiting piece for the northern war effort during the Civil War.
Santa was illustrated giving Christmas gifts to soldiers outside Fredericksburg, and was meant to soften the blow suffered by the Federal Army under General Ambrose Burnside earlier in December of 1862.
The menu will consist of oven roasted turkey, honey baked ham, home-style mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, freshly cut bacon herbed green beans, fresh cranberry sauce, giant cookies, and freshly baked pumpkin pie.
Beverages will include spiced apple cider, freshly brewed coffee, and hot chocolate. After lunch, bring your camera for a picture with Santa and an opportunity to discuss your Christmas list with him.
Then make an authentic 19th Century Christmas decoration to take home. Participants are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
The cost is $20 per person ages 11 and up, and $10 for children 10 and younger. Lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Ball Room.
Elevator access is available to those who need it. For more information or to make a reservation please contact the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division at (703) 792-4754.
How a VRE extension to Haymarket and Gainesville could bring the closure of a popular Manassas line station
The Broad Run Station is the first stop on the Manassas commuter rail line on weekday mornings and the last each weekday afternoon.
And it could become a thing of the past.
Virginia Railway Express is conducting a study of a proposed 11-mile extension of the system’s Manassas line to Gainesville and Haymarket called the GHX. If service is expanded, trains will travel along what’s known as Norfolk-Southern’s “B line” from Haymarket to Gainesville, to Innovation Park at George Mason University Science and Technology Campus, and then travel the main line through Manassas onto Washington D.C.’s Union Station.
The 2-year GHX study will indicate how much it would cost to expand the state’s only commuter railroad, and identify any impacts to the environment that could be caused by an expansion. Up to two additional tracks could be needed to accommodate the extra passenger trains — up to two an hour during peak periods – as well as the existing freight traffic that currently uses the line.
Extra trains would mean VRE needs more placed to store them. An existing storage yard at the Broad Run / Manassas Airport station in an obvious choice. That yard would need to be expanded, leaving little room left for the rail station.
“We’re up against the airport on one side, and a flood plain on another,” said VRE CEO Doug Allen. The two-lane street Piper Lane leading to the station is often flooded out after rains when Broad Run spills its banks.
The study will examine whether or not to move the station further east along the line, to somewhere near the Prince William Chamber of Commerce building on Capital Court, or further west of the airport. The study could also suggest closing the station altogether, and that would mean those who use the station today would need to drive about three miles north to a new station that would be built at Innovation Park.
The Broad Run station is popular with not only Prince William County and Manassas residents but also those who drive in from neighboring Fauquier County and points west to access the VRE system. VRE would need to negotiate land deals for the three new stations. The commuter railroad would most likely need to buy land in which to build the stations.
Allen said a spur off of the B line into Innovation Park would be necessary to make the station more convenient for riders to access. That would allow riders to walk to nearby destinations like the University, Freedom Aquatics and Fitness, and Hylton Performing Arts centers, as well as the many life sciences labs and offices popping up in the area.
If reverse commuting service from Washington on the Manassas and Fredericksburg lines is implemented, trains could bring students and employees to Innovation Park, increasing the need for walkability.
VRE on November 16 opened up it’s first new station since the original commuter rail system opened in 1992, in Spotsylvania County. It sits on 22 acres of land — most of which is used for riders who park their cars during the day and catch the train to work.
“It’s big,” said Allen, of the Spotsylvania property.
The Gainesville-Haymarket study will determine how much land would be required for the three new proposed stations on the B line. Those stations could be the same land footprint as the Spotsylvania station.
Here’s the latest crime incident report from Manassas City police.
On Nov. 16, 2015, Manassas City Police responded to the 9500 block of Nittany Dr in reference to a burglary. The reporting party told officers that sometime between 9:20 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. while he was asleep in another room, someone entered his unlocked residence and stole a wallet containing identification cards, bank cards, and an undisclosed amount of cash from the front entryway.
On Nov. 12, 2015, Manassas City Police was notified by Prince William County Police that a vehicle that had been reported stolen on Oct. 14, 2015 was located at the Harris Teeter Bristow, Va. When officers informed the owner of the vehicle, the owner said that vehicle had in fact not been stolen, but borrowed by a family member.
Previously Released: Stolen Auto [Oct. 19, 2015]
On Oct. 14, 2015, Manassas City Police met with a resident for a report of a stolen vehicle. The reporting party told officers that when the vehicle she was driving on Oct. 13 got a flat tire, she left it overnight in the Harris Teeter parking lot (10060 Market Cir). When she returned to retrieve the vehicle on Oct. 14, the 2003 Hyundai Elantra, valued at $3000, was missing.
On Nov. 5, 2015, Manassas City Police responded to Olympus Imported Auto Parts (9020 Euclid Ave) for a report of a fraud. The reporting party told officers that a male subject had entered the store in Oct. and ordered auto parts valued at over $2,000.00 using the business account belonging to another local automotive store. The suspect returned on Nov. 5 to pick up the parts, but when the bill was sent to the account holder, the victim store denied having placed the order.
On Nov. 13, 2015, Manassas City Police met with a resident on the 9000 block of Sandalwood Dr for a report of a burglary. The reporting party told officers that sometime between 12 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. on Nov. 13, someone entered his unlocked residence and stole a gaming console and games valued together at $650.
Larcenies from Auto
On Nov. 13 and 14, 2015, Manassas City Police met with residents at the following three locations for separate reports of larcenies from vehicles. All vehicles were left unlocked in front of the victims’ residences at the times of the thefts.
- 9700 block of Bragg Ln between 9 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Stolen: Wallet containing multiples identification and medical cards
- 10200 block of Cleary St at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Nov. 13
Stolen: Cell phone case, bank cards, identification cards, and keys
- 9000 block of Park Ave between 6 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 14
Stolen: Digital camera and camera bag valued at over $1,300
Vandalism to Auto
On Nov. 14, 2015, Manassas City Police met with a resident on the 9200 block of Niki Pl for a report of a vandalism. The reporting party told officers that between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. the same morning all four tires on his vehicle were punctured while it was parked in front of his residence. Damage to the tires exceeded $500.
Arbor Terrace is no longer the Sudley Manor House. It’s now called Arbor Terrace Sudely Manor.
The assisted living home underwent a makeover in the past month, and counselors invited family and friends of the residents, as well as member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce inside the see the new digs.
Counselors were dressed in 1920’s attire, from flapper dresses to fedoras, and the theme of the party was “all jazzed up.” A ribbon cutting was held in front of the building to signify the changes.
Guests were treated to valet parking when they arrived, and then a wide spread of food and drink inside the 3-story building. Live music was featured on all floors of the building, such as guitar on the first floor and live piano on the third.
The Arbor Company purchased Sudley Manor House in July 2014. New programs like “dining with dignity” were added — a culinary program that serves residents no longer able to eat with knives and forks food appetizer style. A transition program was also added for residents who don’t need many of the additional services required by those with Alzheimer’s but needed to move into an assisted living home, said Senior Care Counselor Rebecca Moore.
Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor has about 70 residents and 72 rooms. All three floors were completely remodeled in the past month.
European Wax Center opened in June at Bull Run Plaza in Manassas.
Ron Whidby, the franchise owner of the location, said European Wax Center in Manassas offers its guests a unique experience that stands out from the competition, and they strive to make guests look and feel beautiful.
“We provide an upbeat, friendly atmosphere. Our guests enjoy a personalized experience from the time they enter our doors. Our guest service coordinators greet you as soon as you arrive. We offer a private room with your licensed professional, whom we call Wax Specialists or Skin Care Specialists,” said Whidby.
European Wax Center in Manassas uses its own exclusive wax, called Comfort Wax that is shipped from Paris. The wax is applied at a lukewarm temperature, and there are no strips needed to remove the wax because it is a hard wax, meaning the wax hardens and is removed without strips, quickly and effortlessly. It’s ideal for sensitive skin and is unlike the traditional soft wax, which can cause irritations to the skin. Other places may use a hard wax like European Wax Center, but Whidby says that it’s not the same.
“A lot of the Wax Specialists can’t believe how well our wax works compared to other hard waxes they’ve used in the past,” said Whidby. The high-quality of the wax and materials used at European Wax Center is enough for guests to make return visits. Men and women, from a variety of ages, often visit the center.
“For women, the number one service is the bikini wax,” Whidby said. “Men typically get a back or shoulder wax.”
Unlike other spas, European Wax Center in Manassas only provides waxing services. “Our Wax Specialists focus on waxing all day long so they master the techniques needed to complete a service effectively and efficiently. We are the experts in waxing, because that is all that we do. Most services are scheduled for 15 minutes, which allows many guests to come in for their waxing on a lunch break. They are in and out before their breaks are over,” said Whidby.
What else keeps guests coming back? It’s the luxury feel and setting of European Wax Center.
“When they walk past the glass door and into their wax suite, it’s a setting unlike anything else,” said Whidby. Guests are greeted by their Wax Specialist who will guide them back to their wax suite. Along the way guests see beautiful brick archways as soon as they enter the hallway.
“It’s eye-catching and that’s when we get that ‘wow,'” said Whidby.
All of the Wax Specialists who work with European Wax Center in Manassas are state licensed and have graduated from esthetic or cosmetology schools. They are also required to complete an in-house training that ensures each Wax Specialist is providing the same level of excellent service to guests.
“We do more than just wax or remove unwanted hair; we reveal the natural, beautiful skin that remains. We educate our guests on proper skin care before and after their waxing,” said Whidby.
The Wax Specialists educate guests about how to hydrate their skin to prevent drying, and which products from European Wax Center’s exclusive product line they can able use so they can have better results as they continue to wax.
As part of the overall service, Wax Specialists educate guests on their exclusive four-step process, which prepares the skin before and after service, to make the waxing experience as comfortable as possible.
European Wax Center believes in the services provided, that a free service is offered to all new guests. “As long as you are a Virginia resident, we give a complimentary wax to first-time guests of European Wax Center,” said Whidby.
“We want our guests to try the products and services we have to offer. Women can get a complimentary eyebrow, underarm, or bikini line wax, or can upgrade to a Brazilian bikini wax for half-off the regular price. Men can get a free eyebrow, ear, or nose wax for their first visit.”
Packages are also offered to discount the price of services.
“For some services we have our unlimited wax pass where you can come in as often as you’d like for one year for that service,” said Whidby. These passes are only available for the eyebrow, underarm, and bikini waxes.
The pre-paid wax pass allows guests to buy nine of the same service, and get three free where guests can save up to twenty-five percent off of their services. These passes are available for all of the services offered and the visits never expire, so guests have the flexibility to use their visits according to their own schedule.
“So for our regular guests that know they’re coming frequently, there are ways for them to save instead of paying full price every time,” said Whidby.
- City of Manassas
- Phone: 703-257-8200
- Website: http://www.manassascity.org/
Shop for olive oil, home décor, fashion, pottery, fair trade goods, jewelry, books, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, quilting supplies, and spiritual items
When it comes to holiday shopping, you can choose between two completely different experiences next week.
On Black Friday, you can rise before the sun and get ready to fight frenzied crowds. You can endure long lines as you frantically attempt to snag limited-time, mega deals on big-ticket items.
Or, on Small Business Saturday, you can instead enjoy a leisurely day browsing independently owned businesses, discovering unique gifts and specialty items, enjoying attentive customer service, and sitting down for a relaxing meal with friends and family.
There are many independently owned shops across the City of Manassas where fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts are waiting for you on Saturday, November. 28.
In Historic Downtown Manassas, retailers will open early at 9 a.m. to welcome shoppers through their doors. You can park once and stroll for hours while finding something for everyone. To get an idea of the wide range of retailers in the downtown, take a look at VisitManassas.org’s merchant directory.
Explore specialty boutiques that offer premium food from wine to olive oil, home décor, fashion, pottery, fair trade goods, jewelry, books, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, quilting supplies, and spiritual items. Leave the stress of the season behind! In between your purchases, pick up a warm beverage, take a spin around the ice-skating rink at the Harris Pavilion, and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the independently owned restaurants.
If you have history buffs on your list, there is no better place to visit than Echoes, the Manassas Museum shop. It features a wide array of merchandise that celebrates local history and culture. From children’s toys to Civil War collectibles to souvenirs – you will find many distinctive presents here that are not available elsewhere.
For shoppers pressed for time, a drive along Liberia Avenue to The Shops at Signal Hill, the Fairview Shopping Center, and the Davis Ford Crossing Shopping Center will offer you the convenience of running errands, buying groceries, and shopping “small.”
Discoveries here will delight the people on your list who hard to shop for. You can find gifts for antique seekers, archers, coin and military memorabilia collectors, art enthusiasts, cyclists, foodies, and cigar connoisseurs. And, you can save time by not cooking and stopping into one of the ethnic eateries or your other local favorites here.
If you are cruising down Centreville Road, don’t miss stopping into one of the antique shops that could very well have that rare piece you have been looking for. There are also several niche boutiques that can satisfy very specific wish lists – like bowling supplies, dancewear, signature pieces of jewelry, and vinyl records.
The desire to “buy local” has been growing in popularity over the years. American Express, the force behind Small Business Saturday, estimates that shoppers spent a total of $14.3 billion at independent businesses in 2014. This spending significantly impacts a community. Studies have shown that for every $100 that is spent at an independently owned business, approximately $45 is re-spent in the local community. This is often because those business owners live locally and recirculate their earnings back into their hometowns, conduct business with other local establishments, make charitable donations, and put local employees on their payrolls.
On the flip side, for every $100 spent at a national chain business, only approximately $14 goes back to the local community.
For shoppers who love spending time at independent businesses, shifting a portion of their holiday dollars will make a difference in supporting their community and their favorite merchants. Show your love for your favorite shops and choose Small Business Saturday next week!
A new 7-story tower is going up at Manassas Park City Center.
The new mixed-use development will contain a mix of apartments and commercial real estate. The tower will be located behind the City Center complex at Manassas Drive and Market Street, across from City Hall. This is the newest development in City Center since the original mixed-use retail and residential project opened in the mid-2000s.
“We love the idea, and my partners were asking two questions. One of them is ‘do we want to develop this in Manassas Park,’ and the answer is yes we do. The second one was ‘do we want to put [seven] stories in Manassas Park? It’s a high risk, according to all of the real estate agents we spoke with, and the answer is still yes we do,” said project developer Talal “TJ” Hassan, Jr.
The building will include 202 apartments, 14,000 square feet of retail space at the street level, and 6,000 square feet of office or retail space at the top floor. Apartments are expected to rent for between $1,400 and $1,500 per month and include one bedroom and two bedroom floor plans, and a floor plan that includes two bedrooms and a den.
The $15 million project is expected to take 18 months to construct.
The building represents a changing landscape in Manassas Park, which is widely known as a residential hamlet since its formation in 1975 nestled between Manassas City, and Centreville in Fairfax County. The addition of a Virginia Railway Express station and the Manassas Park Community Center in more recent years has helped to elevate the city’s profile.
“When we moved here in 1988, and from the railroad track onto the east, was a dirt road leading to an old farm that used to be there,” said Mayor Frank Jones. “The city has seen a lot of growth and a lot of changes, and there’s a lot more change that needs to occur to put the city in the kind of condition I want to see it in for the long term.”
This is the second large-scale project for Hassan in the Greater Manassas area. His firm constructed and manages what he’s dubbed the “Prince William Chamber of Commerce” Building on Capital Court in neighboring Manassas. That 4-storey building houses several large firms in addition to the Chamber to include JTC, Inc. and MTCI.
Manassas Park officials said the residential portion of the existing City Center building is 95% occupied with residents. The street-level retail portion has historically remained empty. A WashingtonFirst Bank branch is the only commercial tenant in the complex.
Hassan does not own the existing City Center development.
- Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas
- Address: 9817 Godwin Dr, Manassas, VA 20110
- Phone: (703) 530-1360
- Website: http://www.HomeInstead.com/manassas-va
It can take weeks for someone to get used to being cared for inside of their home.
The needs of seniors can change from week to week, or instantly. Marcus Evans, a Care Giver at Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas, makes it his job to know his client’s needs and to make them feel right at home. A typical day for Evans consists of starting the day early and meeting with clients, many of whom he considers his friends.
“I grow very attached to people when I take care of them,” said Evans, “and it’s something that’s personal for me.”
Knowing the needs of the client
Evans reviews his schedule for that particular day so that he knows what client he is meeting what time he needs to be there. Evans arrives at the house often earlier than he is scheduled so that he can provide extra help.
“I think it’s a relief for them when I arrive,” said Evans, “because they’re just so used to not having helped or anyone around the house.” Evans introduces himself and evaluates the client’s Plan of Care, a guide that tells Evans what he needs to do for that client including small projects.
“It can be anything. Sometimes it’d be something as simple as putting in a light bulb that they couldn’t reach, or sometimes it might be helping them take a shower,” said Evans.
Each individual Plan of Care that Evans evaluates for his clients may differ. He works with some clients in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings.
“For my clients, sometimes they’ll need help with getting dressed in the morning, making sure they’re brushing their teeth, hair is washed and everything like that,” said Evans. “Getting out of bed. Sometimes they may need a change if they are incontinent. They may need breakfast made. The house to be tidied up and things like that.”
Clients also have to feel welcomed and comforted.
“Now if it’s an afternoon client, I might need to come in, and I’ll make lunch and help them run errands or something like that,” said Evans. An evening patient they’ll need probably dinner and they’ll need me to tuck them in… make sure the house is straight… make sure their bed is nicely and neatly done and things like that.”
Properly dispensing medication also falls under Evans’ duties. Meeting client needs Patience is “crucial” in the field of caregiving.
“If you’re not patient, people are going to sense it,” said Evans, “They’re going to be very closed off, and they’re not going to be inviting and warm.”
Willingness to adapt
As clients’ needs changes over time, Care Giver s must adapt. Changes can happen in a matter of hours, daily, weekly or monthly. “You have to hang in there. You have to be willing to adapt and accept change,” said Evans.
“That’s why I think that a lot of people aren’t comfortable with this field because they’re not used to adapting on the fly as they would with a normal job where you just go in, and you clock in and you do the same thing every day.”
Evans says that it may take up to a few days, a few weeks, or even a month before a client is completely comfortable with someone taking care of them inside of their home. In most cases, Evans’ clients have never needed extra help or someone taking care of their every need.
“Sometimes they’ll verbalize in it. Sometimes it’s as simple as a look where it’s just like they’re smiling and I can tell at that moment they’re really happy with this. They’re really happy to have this help,” said Evans.
A rewarding career
Evans is Care Giver of the Year at Home Instead Senior Care located in Manassas, providing care for three years. He chose to work at Home Instead after working multiple types of jobs, but none seemed to be the perfect fit. It was while Evans was at a trade school that he was introduced to the field of medical assisting.
“The first class I took I was drawn to it immediately and I was like ‘I want to do this from now on,'” Evans said.
He achieved a certification in medical assisting and began searching for jobs in his field. However, Evans wanted a more personal type of relationship with patients that he felt he couldn’t get working at a doctor’s office. It was Evans’ mother that recommended him to Home Instead.
“I felt good. I felt like I’m really doing something that’s important for this guy because there was no one else with him and I was the only one there,” said Evans, about working with his first client. “…I felt like I was representing something good in his life that could be of service and help to him.”
Evans was named Care Giver of the Year at Home Instead and described the honor as both “overwhelming” and “unexpected”. Home Instead contacted Evans’ former clients and their families who gave glowing recommendations about Evans’ service and then interviewed Evans for the honor.
“To hear that I’m being esteemed in this way it blows me away…it was unbelievable to think that me just doing what I like doing people are going to recognize me in this way just for doing my job really,” said Evans.
Home Instead Senior Care provides in-home care to seniors in Prince William, Fairfax, and Fauquier counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.
Interested in hosting international high school students? Want to share a piece of American culture with your student and learn from your student’s culture?
Since 1951, Youth for Understanding (YFU) has been hosting students in the U.S. and sending students abroad for cross cultural exchange. YFU hosts thousands of international students from around 70 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia every year.
Christina Cox is a local elementary school teacher in Northern Virginia and spoke about her and her family’s experiences hosting international students and why you should too.
1. What made you decide to begin hosting international students?
I was approached at work by a co-worker that said her son’s high school was looking for volunteers to host. My sister was [an] exchange student with AFS and attended the University of Neufchatel in Switzerland, and in the past, my family had hosted a girl from Dijon, France, and another boy from the south of France.
Also, throughout my growing years, we often had visitors from Ecuador and Colombia. It was common for friends and relatives to send their kids to us for the summer to practice their English and learn more about American culture. Those experiences, combined with our own experiences of living in Canada, Eastern Europe, and Germany, gave us a pretty good idea of what to expect.
2. What year did you decide to open up your house?
We hosted our first exchange student, a young girl from France, in the summer of 2007. Our son, Alexander, was in middle school and our daughter, Mercedes, was entering high school. While she was a very sweet and easy-going guest, she wrote on her application that she spoke an intermediate level of English.
In fact, she spoke nearly no English. I had to interpret for her so she could communicate with the rest of the family. Once, when we were out to lunch, she and Mercedes had shared some tacos. When I asked if she wanted another one, she said, “sure, sure.” When I brought three more to the table, she scoffed and said, “no, no, no,” holding her stomach and indicating she was full and couldn’t eat anymore. We continue to laugh about that to this day.
3. Favorite memories, moments?
The following year, we took a break from hosting, but the next year we were again approached by Terra Lingua [a different program], the exchange company, and asked to please consider taking a boy from Spain. He was Alexander’s age, was arriving in just over a week, and still had no host family. We accepted him, and that was the beginning of a long and lovely friendship between two boys and their families.
Inigo came to us from Bilboa, Spain. While he did speak a fair amount of English, he improved immensely through continued study in Spain as well as on his return visits to the U.S. Most recently, he stayed with us for his fourth time. He and his parents still communicate with us via Skype every few months. We keep up with each family’s happenings, as well as discuss what’s happening with each country’s politics, economy, and social issues. It makes for a candid and insightful exchange.
Alexander has also visited with Inigo’s family in Spain, even joining them on the family holiday to the Canary Islands. Some of our favorite memories were taking him camping for his very first time ever and introducing him to Dance Dance Revolution games.
Another funny memory is that we always thought we ate more than the Spanish family and that he was probably shocked. As it turns out, he now says he eats just as much and was always hungry, but didn’t want to be rude.
4. Why other families should consider becoming host families.
Other families should consider hosting a foreign exchange student because it allows you to share the best of American culture and the local area. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., this is simply a beautiful place, where people are kind, generous, and genuinely interested in creating positive relationships with people of other cultures. We have much to be proud of and much to share.
5. How rewarding is it to be able to host a student?
We loved being a host family. We know that there does not always exist an automatic chemistry between host and guests, but when there is such chemistry, it becomes an extension of your family. These are friendships that you can maintain for a lifetime.
6. How rewarding was it for your students? What do you think they gained?
I believe my children gained a great friend and extended family in Spain. I believe our guest gained an extended family here in the US and a much better understanding of the American way of life and culture. He can now speak from first hand experience about American culture and hospitality.
If you’re interested and want to learn more about being a host family with Youth for Understanding, please contact local Host Family Recruiter volunteer Amber Champ at email@example.com and/or visit www.yfuusa.org for more information.
- City of Manassas
- Phone: 703-257-8200
- Website: http://www.manassascity.org/
A wave of business owners under the age of 35 has been bringing both new energy and great new destinations to the City of Manasass.
This activity comes at a time when the rate of entrepreneurship among young Americans has been falling across the U.S. While the Kauffman Foundation recorded the lowest rate of entrepreneurship in 17 years among people between the ages of 20 to 34, the City has been attracting this demographic.
Some of the forces driving this trend include a local culture of support for independent businesses, a collaborative business environment, and a strong sense of community.
There is no greater encouragement for an entrepreneur than the vote of confidence that support from the community can bring. Sean Arroyo, the CEO and co-founder of Heritage Brewing Company, used Kickstarter to see if locals would get behind his brewery concept.
Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform through which business owners can make sales pitches to raise money for their ideas. He met his goal and raised more than $20,000 from 166 backers three years ago. Support for Heritage continues to grow. A planned expansion will make it the second largest brewery in the state.
“It was funded mostly by people in and around Manassas and Northern Virginia,” said Arroyo. “It signaled to us that people want us here.”
Strong local support makes locating in Manassas an obvious choice for other business owners, too. Chase Hoover, co-owner of The Bone barbecue restaurant, says his family has been involved with businesses in Manassas for generations. Opening The Bone in the City was a “no-brainer” for him because he likes being in a community with so many independently owned businesses and strong support for buying local.
“The hospitality industry in Downtown Manassas is made up of many young entrepreneurs, which gives the city an energetic, unique flair you can’t find anywhere else,” said Hoover. “We love working with the other [local] restaurant owners to put on special events such as the weekly live music and numerous festivals throughout the year. It is truly a small town where everyone works together toward the common goal of bringing great food and a great experience to visitors and locals alike.”
Miguel Pires, the owner of Zandra’s Taqueria, also cites the spirit of the community as a factor for opening his business in the City. He says he was raised in his family’s restaurants – Carmello’s and Monza – and worked as a general manager for both establishments for 10 years. When the time had come to open Zandra’s, Pires chose Manassas because he “wanted to continue to expand downtown’s culinary experience.”
Chris Sellers, the owner of CJ Finz, credits the small-scale buildings in the historic downtown for giving restaurants a more intimate feel and an opportunity to focus on customer service.
“The restaurants here aren’t commercialized,” he said. “We get to build a connection to the community through each table that we serve.”
Business owners who are active with community organizations and civic groups strengthen that connection to the City even more. “People like me, Miguel, and others are excited about being the next leaders of the downtown,” said Sellers.
Entrepreneurs of any age can take advantage of area support services to get their business idea off the ground and join this community. The City’s Economic Development Department’s staff members are available to discuss the local economy, business ideas, great sites for locating new establishments, incentives, and the steps in starting a business.
The Virginia Railway Express has grown since its inception in the early 1990s.
Today it carries more than 18,000 passenger trips. Trains on the system’s Fredericksburg and Manassas lines are packed with commuters each weekday, headed from the Virginia exurbs to employment centers in Alexandria, and in Washington, D.C.
A new Spotsylvania station opens on the Fredericksburg line today. It’s the first expansion of the system since VRE opened in 1992.
And a study is underway that will tell VRE how much it will cost, and what will be the impacts to the environment and surrounding area if its Manassas line is extended to Gainesville and Haymarket.
The extension is part of VRE’s 2040 System Plan — a blueprint for how Virginia’s only commuter railroad will grow over the next 25 years. It includes plans, in the near term, to extend the length of trains to accommodate more riders and expand parking at stations.
Between 2021 and 2040, VRE wants to add reverse service to growing employment centers like Quantico, Fort Belvoir, and near Manassas at Innovation Park at the George Mason University Technolgy Campus. Up two two trains per hour would leave Washington and travel to Virginia, according to the plan.
Reverse VRE service is something for which riders have long asked. Residents and officials continue to cry for a Metro rail extension to Woodbridge that would provide more frequent rail service to and from Washington.
Today, when morning VRE trains reach their final stop in Washington, locomotives and cars are parked until needed again for afternoon service.
Reverse VRE service would have positive effects for businesses in the region as they would now have the ability to draw from a workforce that would commute from Washington and Maryland. Reverse service could also be a good thing for tourism.
“When you think about the 4th of July here in Manassas, we’ve got 70,000 people in town, and the option for them to take a train would save them the trouble of parking and navigating closed streets, and it could make more people inclined to come and visit,” said Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small.
Tourists in Washington could also hop a train to the Civil War history capital, visit the city museum, and then stroll downtown shops and restaurants, he added.
VRE is a tool in an overall package Small uses when trying to talk CEOs into locating or relocating their businesses to the city. Manassas has two VRE stations, and they can be conveniently used by executives who need to get to Arlington or Washington for a morning meeting and back again.
If a VRE station is going to be built at Innovation Park — one of three potential stations on an extension of the Manassas line to Haymarket and Gainesville — the trains are going have to come closer to the campus and businesses there.
The extension would operate on Norfolk-Southern’s B-line, used today by freight trains. The B line spurs off the Norfolk-Southern main line at Wellington Road in Manassas and heads west.
The B line runs near Innovation Park, but the tracks are located outside what is considered by transit planning professionals and a comfortable walking distance for riders leaving the train station to their final destinations in the office, the classroom, or the gym.
“We’ve asked VRE to considering creating a loop where the train tracks would run into Innovation Park to allow for easier pedestrian access, if a station is built. The track is too far north of where you would ideally would like it to be if a station were to be built there today, and that becomes a deterrent for people,” said Rick Canizales, with the Prince William County Transportation Office.
If you drew a concentric circle around a new VRE station, people would be willing to walk about a half a mile distance away from the station. Not much further.
The frequency of the reverse train service also matters.
“If the reverse commute happens, it’s going to take a while to build,” added Canizales. “Public transit service is built on accessibility, frequency, and reliability. It’s that’s not there immediately, it’s going to take a while to build it up.”
Manassas will also begin development of its Gateway project — a mixed use center to include office, retail, a hotel, and homes near Innovation Park. Shuttle services could be started to get visitors or employees to and from an Innovation Station, or an existing VRE end-line station at Broad Run, at the Manassas Regional Airport.
Part of the Haymarket – Gainesville extension study will examine what to do with the Broad Run station. If the Manassas line is extended more train storage will be needed in the area, and the Broad Run station could be relocated or closed, forcing riders to use a new station at Innovation Park.
The Manassas Regional Airport is one of three major employment hubs in Manassas, to include Novant Prince William Hospital, Micron, and the BAE complex on Wellington Road.
“It would be a shame of workers couldn’t use a reverse train to get to the airport,” said Small.
A store clerk who tried to prevent minors from stealing alcohol was struck in the face outside the market.
Here’s more in a police press release:
Assault & Battery
At approximately 1:40 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2015, Manassas City Police responded to H Mart (8819 Centreville Rd) for a report of an assault and battery. The reporting employee told officers that he observed two juvenile males attempted to shoplift $45 worth of alcohol from the store and tried to intervene. The employee followed the suspects into the parking lot after they exited the store, where he was struck in the face by one of the suspects and sustained minor injuries.
Officers were able to identify the two suspects as two 17-year-old males of Manassas and conducted search warrant at 8804 Antonia Ave where they located the stolen items. The suspects were released into the custody of their parents after being shortly detained. Charges are pending.
Coming to a commuter lot near you this winter (if it snows): A jet-powered snow melter.
The Virginia Department of Transportation gave us an annual look at how they plan to do battle with Old Man Winter this year. It’s the agency’s job to keep more than 17,000 lane miles in Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties clear of snow and ice. About half of those roads are major highways and heavily-traveled arterials while the other half is neighborhood streets.
VDOT last year spent $128.5 million on snow removal in Northern Virginia — more than double the $50.5 million budget. This year, VDOT has $70.7 million to spend on snow removal. A series of winter weather outlooks published this week, including one on Capital Weather Gang, indicate at least one major winter storm for our region this season.
The state has an online website that tracks what streets have been plowed after it snows. It’s a popular feature that VDOT continues to urge residents to use.
“Each year, we strive to improve our winter operations both on the road and behind the scenes,” said Branco Vlacich, VDOT’s maintenance engineer for northern Virginia in a statement. “We continue to encourage residents to use the website for real-time information on their neighborhoods during snow storms. Over two years, we’ve seen hits to the site increase while customer calls decrease, as residents check road conditions, locations of our trucks and the progress of our crews.”
Residents in Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun may go to the site, enter their address, and see whether or not plowing in their neighborhood has begun or has been completed. They can also track the locations of snow plows.
The agency also listed some tools in the snow removal fight to be used this year:
A jet-powered snow melter for park-n-ride lots where snow piles can block spaces.
Seven high-pressure flush trucks clear snow and ice around the bollards separating the I-495 Express Lanes and regular lanes.
Two front loaders with 20-foot blades plow interstates during severe storms.
Speed-activated anti-icing equipment puts the right amount of material on the road.
VDOT will also continue to pre-treat 850 miles of highway before the first snowflake falls.
350 lane miles on interstates—including bridges and ramps prone to freezing such as the Springfield interchange and Capital Beltway at Route 1—with liquid magnesium chloride.
500 lane miles on major roads, such as Fairfax County Parkway, routes 1, 7, 28, 29, and 50, are pre-treated with salt brine. Brine (77 percent water, 23 percent salt) prevents ice from bonding to the road surface, reduces the need for salt to melt ice, is kinder to the environment and can lower snow removal time and costs.
The agency will also deploy more employees to monitor snow plowing operations, and will continue a 2-year test a brine mixture that is used to pre-treat roads. Using brine to treat roads has been successful in western U.S. states and it could reduce the need for salt use here in Virginia, according to a VDOT statement.
Police were called to Coverstone outside Manassas early Wednesday where they found a man lying in the street suffering gunshot wounds.
Here’s the latest in a press release
Armed Robbery | Malicious Wounding | Shooting Investigation – On November 11th at 1:10AM, officers responded to the 10900 block of Coverstone Dr in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shooting. Officers arrived and located the victim, a 27 year old man of Manassas Park, lying in the road suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen. The investigation revealed that the victim made arrangements for a narcotics transaction with multiple known acquaintances.
During the encounter, the accused, identified as Christopher Justin HAMILTON and Robert Ishmael NAVE JR, both brandished a firearm and shot at the victim striking him several times. The accused then fled the area on foot. A police K-9 and helicopter from Fairfax County Police were used to aide in the search for the accused. The police K-9 located the accused in a nearby drainage culvert and detained them without incident.
The victim was flown to an area hospital with serious, life threatening injuries. HAMILTON was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. No other injuries were reported. This was not a random incident. The investigation continues.
Arrested on November 11TH:
Christopher Justin HAMILTON, 25, of 215 Washington St in Locust Grove, VA
Charged with malicious wounding
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond
Robert Ishmael NAVE JR., 25, of 409 Yorktown Blvd in Locust Grove, VA
Charged with malicious wounding
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond
Anyone with information regarding the incidents listed in this report is asked to call Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700 or 1-866-411-TIPS. You don’t have to give your name, just the information. You could earn up to a $1,000 cash reward.
- Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas
- Address: 9817 Godwin Dr, Manassas, VA 20110
- Phone: (703) 530-1360
- Website: http://www.HomeInstead.com/manassas-va
Matching the right CAREGiver to the right client is a very serious and rewarding job.
Gail Earhart is the Relationships Manager for Home Instead Senior Care located in Manassas, which provides local CAREgivers to seniors in Prince William, Fairfax, and Fauquier counties.
“On a daily basis a lot of what I do is in the staffing department because we have clients on any given day…or up to any given week we could have up to 60 to 70 shifts to fill,” said Earhart.
However, filling the slots with CAREGivers isn’t the easiest task to complete. One of the biggest challenges Earhart and the staffing team faces when filling shifts is that each client has different needs, and each CAREGiver has a different preference.
“So you might have a client who has a dog or a cat and then you have a CAREGiver, who won’t go to somebody who has a dog or a cat,” said Earhart. “Or you have a client who has Alzheimer’s so we have to ensure that we have a CAREGiver, who’s seasoned working with somebody who has Alzheimer’s.”
Finding out the preferences and needs for both client and CAREGiver are important steps in delivering quality care. It starts at the beginning by consulting with new clients by Client Care Coordinators.
“Our Client Care Coordinators go out, and when they’re doing a consultation they find all this information out,” said Earhart. The Client Care Coordinators then return and tell staffing what exactly their client needs and the appropriate type of CAREgiver for their client.
Home Instead has 200 CAREGivers, which seems like a daunting task when matching the right CAREGiver to the right client. However, members of staffing know the CAREGivers so well they make it their job to know who is the right fit for their client.
Recently, Earhart completed a consultation of a client who was described by his daughter as “narrow minded” and “stubborn.”
In this case, the family requested a CAREGiver who was assertive and not someone young who the client can potentially take advantage of. So Home Instead matched the correct CAREGiver to the client who would make sure the client did what might seem the most basic of things, eat regular meals and shower on a regular basis.
Filling specific needs
Sometimes, clients can be very particular about finding the right CAREGiver. And that’s OK. Many times families prefer non-smokers in the home or simply a companion for their loved one.
“Sometimes they say ‘I want a really talkative CAREGiver. Somebody’s who’s going to sit with my mom for three hours and just talk about life’ and we have that and that’s part of our service,” said Earhart.
Much of a CAREGiver’s role is “filling that gap” when a family member needs to go out when they can’t be with their loved one. Which is why it’s so important for a perfect match to exist between client and CAREGiver.
“The last thing I want to do is send somebody in there who’s a very quiet CAREGiver. We have those too so we want to make that perfect match,” said Earhart,” …but we tell every client if we don’t send the correct CAREGiver, if there isn’t a match, it doesn’t feel like a good fit, call us because we can send you somebody else.”
Successfully matching clients and CAREGivers can sometimes be an “ongoing process,” but when that perfect match happens and the client or client’s family sends positive feedback there’s no better feeling.
A care consultation can take up to an hour and a half .
“The first probably 45 minutes is just talking to the family, getting to know the family, finding out what their needs are. We have a complete form [and] we’re taking notes the entire time,” said Earhart.
It’s within these first 45 minutes do Client Care Coordinators know whether or not the client will be signed up. The last 30 minutes is dedicated to paperwork but discussion still happens between the family and client and Client Care Coordinator.
The best and most common questions families ask Client Care Coordinators include:
What type of CAREGiver will be sent to me?
Are they certified, bonded, or insured?
Do CAREGivers do drug testing?
Will the CAREGiver be permanent or temporary?
“Obviously our goal is to have permanency so if somebody is scheduled Monday, Wednesday, Friday they want the same person,” said Earhart.
However, it’s not a guarantee that clients will always have the same CAREGiver. It may take between two to three weeks to find the best two CAREGivers for clients in case one CAREGiver needs to call out in the future.
Some clients need around the clock care and see up to three CAREGivers each day.
“When we have a 24/7 client, we work on having 24/7 teams. We’ve had a client now for almost two years that has the same eight CAREGivers on that team” said Earhart. “They just rotate through the week and then the weekend.”
If its not working
It can be hard for families to initiate the conversation that a CAREGiver isn’t working out.
“We do get those phone calls and it might be ‘my dad’s just not hitting it off with this CAREGiver’,” said Earhart, “or maybe it’s something that the client unfortunately just doesn’t like about the CAREGiver and that’s okay too because not everybody makes a connection, not everybody makes a hit.”
To find out why a match isn’t successful, Earhart normally gets to the center of the problem. For example, if a family complains that the CAREGiver is on the phone too much steps will be taken to correct that and no further action needs to be taken. Or the family loves the CAREGiver but the CAREGiver can’t cook or complete a certain skill that properly fulfills the client’s needs.
“Jeannie Carroll is our CAREGiver Retention Coordinator and she has the best job here I think at Home Instead because she works directly with the CAREGivers,” said Earhart.
Jeannie spends 30 days with the CAREGivers, accompanies them on their first shift, and supervises them for 30 days to monitor their progress.
Making it a success
What helps to make success more likely for both client and CAREGiver is that initial intake and assessment that has all of the client’s needs and preferences. When a CAREGiver is first assigned to a client, they must read everything about that client and if a CAREGiver’s preferences don’t match with the client’s, another CAREGiver can be assigned before one is sent to the client.
Journals are provided to the family and client to take note of the daily care received and if something raises questions, Home Instead can be contacted. Phone numbers are not exchanged between client or the client’s family and CAREGiver so that everything goes through Home Instead’s office.
“No client is ever left without somebody, so whatever it takes we’re going to be there,” said Earhart.
- Manassas Park Community Center
- Address: 99 Adams St, Manassas Park, VA 20111
- Phone: (703) 335-8872
- Website: http://www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com/
Don’t be alarmed, but in case you hadn’t heard summer is over and the Thanksgiving season is here.
Now is the season where people make a special effort to recount all the things they are thankful for in their lives. For many, it has become a tradition to share this list at the dinner table on Thanksgiving before eating.
Being mindful of your gratitude helps make you a happier person and, as happiness is contagious, it will make others around you happier as well. While it’s a wonderful and fun tradition to practice during Thanksgiving, the benefits of gratefulness can be enjoyed year round.
However, being grateful and focusing on what you are grateful for isn’t enough.
It’s easy to neglect to use the phrase, “thank you,” but those two simple words carry so much meaning. Thank you can reinforce and strengthen bonds we share with others.
When you say thank you to the person who makes your lunch in the morning, to your child who finishes their chores, or to your favorite cashier ringing up your purchase you express that you value that individual. Regardless of how monotonous, simple, or mandatory the task is, it should always be acknowledged and appreciated verbally.
Remember, gratefulness spreads happiness, but how can you express gratitude if you never say “thank you?”
Why do people neglect to say thank you? There are probably a myriad of reasons beyond my scope of knowledge and it’s easy to compile a list of cynical reasons – but let’s not create an anti-grateful list during the season of gratitude.
Instead let’s challenge each other to say a sincere and genuine thank you every day. Say it 10 times. Say it 100 times. Thank you is a rare phrase that has meaning no matter how frequently it is repeated.
Once you start saying thank you to others you’ll instantly notice others will start saying thank you to you. If happiness is contagious, and gratitude creates happiness, then it shouldn’t be surprising gratitude is contagious as well.
I’d like to start this gratitude pandemic. From me and on behalf of the entire City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, we’d like to thank you for all that you do. Even if we haven’t met yet, thank you. If we have met, thank you. Thank you for visiting our parks and our community center and giving value to the work that we do here. You are our community and we are here to work together to build our community up together.
To add further meaning behind our gratitude and to help spread our gratitude we are offering two specials this month. On Thursdays (through November 19) you can donate 10 non-perishable food items in order to receive 10% off a Basic or All-Access membership at the Manassas Park Community Center.
From November 27 through December 4, we will be launching our ‘Friends and Family’ promotion where we share our employee discount with all of you. During that week only, you can get a Basic membership for 25% off.
For more details please contact us at 703-335-8872.
New commuter bus service from Woodbridge to the Mark Center in Alexandria is delayed.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission on Monday said plans for new buses between Dale City and Lake Ridge to the Mark Center would start in mid-January, about a month later than originally planned. A new ramp from Interstate 395 to Seminary Road was supposed to have been constructed by this fall, but work continues the ramp, according to PRTC.
The new commuter service will begin as soon as the ramp opens.
The Dale City bus will serve a commuter lot at Gemini Way, and stops along Dale Boulevard before proceeding to I-95. The Lake Ridge bus will serve commuter lots at Tacketts Mill, Minnieville and Old Bridge roads, and the Old Bridge & Route 123 commuter lot before heading north on I-95.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will pick up the cost of the new bus service as a means of mitigating congestion on I-395.
The transit service faces a $9 million shortfall that could hamper existing service by 2017. So far, local officials aren’t talking about it.
PRTC on Monday also announced small changes in service as part of its annual fall service change:
Manassas OmniRide buses will no longer serve Williamson Boulevard. Additionally, three more AM Manassas OmniRide trips will become express trips, originating at the Portsmouth Commuter Lot. This is in addition to the three express trips on the current AM schedule.
There will be minor map and timetable changes to some other routes.
Update Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Repairs to a culvert on Ashton Avenue are complete. The road reopened to traffic this afternoon, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Ashton Avenue near Manassas will stay closed for about week longer than planned.
Crews are working to repair a culvert near the intersection of Ashton Avenue and Sudley Manor Drive.
Here’s more in a press release:
Ashton Avenue will remain closed to through traffic between Crestwood Drive and Lomond Drive through about Nov. 18 as crews finish replacing a damaged culvert, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The road was originally scheduled to re-open after two weeks with work continuing under daily lane closures. Extending the closure for a little more than a week will allow remaining work to be completed faster and more safely. The road has been closed to through traffic since Oct. 26.
Drivers are asked to continue to avoid the area, take alternate routes to minimize impacts or use the posted detour:
Traffic on Ashton Avenue is detoured via Lomond Drive, Route 234 Business onto Crestwood Drive (see map). Detour signs are in place to guide motorists. Drivers still have access to local residences and businesses.
VDOT signal engineers are monitoring traffic and adjusting signal timing as needed.