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Pollinator plants to be placed at Dale City rest stop on I-95

Over 8,000 plants to be planted Tuesday, Sept. 29

Why: Pollinator habitat is dwindling, and so are pollinators. We rely heavily on pollinators for our food production in the U.S. and recreating habitat for these animals and insects is a way we can assist in bringing back some of the most threatened, like the Monarch Butterfly.

All of the plants used in this project are native to Virginia and the goal of the site is for it to become naturalized in a few years so that intervention by humans is not necessary. There will also be two small areas near the rest station building planted as education stations, so visitors can learn about the project that VDOT intends to implement statewide.

VDOT, Dominion Virginia Power, Virginia Native Plant Society, Plant NOVA Natives, and others will place pollinator-friendly plants at the I-95 northbound rest area at Dale City (car only) in Northern Virginia on Sept. 29. The site will serve as a “way station,” or refuge, for monarch butterflies and other threatened pollinators by providing nectar and shelter to protect and boost populations.

Dominion is providing a cadre of volunteers; Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, the Virginia Native Plant Society, and the Plant NOVA Natives Campaign are providing additional technical expertise; and VDOT is providing the project management, site preparation, the land, volunteers, and staff to plant the new habitat. 

False: Most high-quality olive oil comes from Italy

Olive oil. We all have a bottle in our pantry. But can you cook with it?

Is first cold press the best olive oil you can get?

I’m Cameron, co-owner of Manassas Olive Oil Company, and I’m going to breakdown some common myths about this kitchen staple.

Myth 1: You can’t cook with olive oil

Status: False

This misconception stems from olive oil smoking or breaking down at low temperatures.
Olive oil only has a low smoke point if it has a high quantity of free fatty acids (FFAs). High levels of FFAs – which have been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes – indicate poor quality or old olive oil.

All the olive oil we carry at Manassas Olive Oil Company has less than 0.2% free fatty acid content – meaning it won’t smoke until at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

As far as withstanding heat – all types of oil break down when heat is applied.

Inexpensive oils – such as canola oil – form toxic byproducts like aldehydes when heated. But when olive oil is heated, it’s some of the antioxidants will break down instead, ‘sacrificing’ themselves and prevent toxic chemicals from being produced by the oil. Look for a high polyphenol (antioxidant) content when purchasing olive oil for high temperature cooking.

Myth 2: First cold press is the best olive oil

Status: Partially True

First, cold pressing is a requirement to produce extra virgin olive oil, but it is somewhat of a misnomer. Cold pressing refers to any olive oil pressed below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and without the addition of chemicals.

As for second press – that has become a thing of the past. Historically, olives were quite literally pressed with huge stones, with the first press extracting the best oil, and subsequent presses extracting lower quality oil.

The olive press has been replaced by a malaxer (horizontal mixer) and centrifuge which pulverize olives, and extract almost all of the oil from them. This method is so efficient, only 5% of oil gets left behind on this ‘first press.”
This leftover oil is must be chemically extracted, and is referred to as “pomace oil.” Pomace oil cannot be sold or labeled as “olive oil’ – nor is it good to consume.

Generally speaking, all commercial olive oil will come from the first press. But be advised – even poor quality olive oil can come from the first cold press.

Myth 3: Most high-quality olive oil comes from Italy

Status: Mostly False

According to a study done by the International Olive Council, Spain produces 40% of the world’s olive oil – or about the same amount as Italy and Greece combined.

So where does the best oil come from? That’s a complicated equation.

Great olive oil is a lot like wine – it depends on the cultivar of olive you’re getting, what kind of conditions it grew in, and how the pressing was handled. Even oils from the same grove will vary year to year.

You should try different varieties of oil. Much like different wine grapes produce different wines, different types of olives will also produce different flavor profiles of oil.

Currently, six different types of extra virgin olive oil are available to taste at Manassas Olive Oil Company.

Have more questions about olive oil, or are interested in learning more? Visit our shop located in downtown Manassas, at 9406 Grant Avenue. We are more than happy to share our knowledge.

News
What’s going on with the new stadium for the Potomac Nationals?

The Potomac Nationals expect to announce the naming rights sponsor of its planned $70 million stadium in Woodbridge by December.

The project is slated to be built across the street from Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center. The stadium’s naming sponsor as been a lynchpin in the entire deal, one that does not require any public monies to build the stadium.

The 6,000-seat facility was scheduled to open this year when the project was announced by the ballclub and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart in 2012. Potomac Nationals Owner Art Silber in January 2014 pushed back the stadium opening date to 2016.

Both Silber and Stewart said there has been a lot of behind-door, ongoing negotiations about which company will purchase the naming rights. Both men say there are some strong prospects but say it would be premature to make any announcement just yet.

“Why would I want to be in one of the worst ballparks when I can be in a palatial environment making five times as much as I’m making now,” quipped Silber.

His team still plays at the 31-year-old Richard G. Pfitzner Stadium at the Prince William County Government Center in Woodbridge. It has been ranked by Minor Leauge Baseball as one of the worst stadiums in the league.

Prince William County officials this year voted to spend $230,000 to expand the stadium’s clubhouse — one of the smallest in the league.

Prince William County owns Pfitzner Stadium, but officials want to see the team boast new digs. For a time, the team threatened to leave Prince William County in search of a new home, where a new stadium could be built. Talk of moving out ended in 2012 when the plan to build a new stadium was announced.

“We’ve got to keep the baseball team in the county,” said Stewart. “It’s important that there be good family-friendly entertainment in the county…people shouldn’t have to leave Prince William County to enjoy themselves.”

Finding a naming rights sponsor for a new stadium for the team, affiliated with the Washington Nationals, has been a slow process. Stewart said it has been difficult selling naming rights for a stadium that doesn’t exist yet.

“We ran into the chicken and egg problem,” said Stewart. “We can’t build a stadium without naming rights, and can’t sell naming rights without a stadium constructed,” added Stewart.

A plan for the Virginia Department of Transportation to fund and build a 2,800-space, $15 million covered parking garage outside the stadium is still in place, Stewart confirmed. The parking lot would be used by commuters during the day and by baseball fans for night and weekend games.

To build a new baseball stadium without taxpayer funding  — complete with skyboxes and a restaurant to be open 365 days a year — is almost unheard of.

“It’s extremely uncommon, it’s very rare, to have no public money involved,” said Norfolk Tides Owner Ken Young.

His team is affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. He said he’s very familiar with what Silber is trying build in Woodbridge.

“There’s no question the [Potomac] Nationals would be very successful in new stadium, and would be leader in the Carolina League because the demographics are are so good in the area,” added Young.

The Tides struck a deal with the City of Norfolk to build the team’s $17 million Harbor Park stadium in 1993. The baseball club guaranteed the city $1 million per year, plus $50,000 every four years in revenue generated by a ticket tax and revenue generated by parking fees.

“As it turned out, the city was more successful than what projections were,” said Young. “It’s been an economic success based on how many people we brought downtown for restaurants and other ancillary revenue.”

The Tides has repaid the city for the cost of constructing the stadium, said Young.

Gar-Field High School receives authorization to offer the IB’s newest program

 Gar-Field High School Receives Authorization to Offer the IB’s Newest Programme

Prince William County Public Schools has received notification from the International Baccalaureate Organization Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, that Gar-Field Senior High School has been fully authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme.

This news comes after a year-long formal authorization process.

Administrative Coordinator of IB at Gar-Field, Brian Bassett, said, “The authorization process is a tough journey. The IBO makes you plan it, build it, then measure it; sends in an inspection team, then makes you go back and successfully address any issues that may exist, then authorizes you. This was the result of several years’ worth of work and professional development by curriculum supervisors in CTE and Specialty Programmes; Principals, both past and current; and teachers.”

Gar-Field Senior High School is the 7th school authorized to offer the IBCP in Virginia, 75th in the United States, and 103rd globally. The IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) began as a pilot program in 2004 and became available in 2012 to all interested IB World Schools offering the Diploma Programme.

“Similar to the IB Diploma Programme, the IBCP is another option for our students in grade 11 and 12,” GF IBCP Coordinator Michelle Schneider explains. “Students must take a rigorous academic schedule that includes Diploma Programme courses and an approved career-related program. These two components are bridged by a set of specially designed IBCP core requirements that include second language development, service learning, an Approaches to Learning course, and a reflective project in their chosen career pathway.”

“The IB Career-Related Programme will help us reach an even broader student population by allowing students with passion in various CTE fields an earlier opportunity to specialize in a particular chosen career field,” says Gar-Field Principal, Dr. Cherif Sadki.

Current career pathways available to Gar-Field students interested in pursuing the IBCP Certification include: Project Lead the Way Pathways, Marine Corps Junior ROTC, Teachers for Tomorrow, and over 10 different career clusters offered through the Virginia Department of Education.

“Receiving our authorization is a shared achievement. The collaboration between core academic subjects and CTE electives is where we need to be in order to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow. I am encouraged with the dialogue and potential for authentic interdisciplinary learning and application. To me, it is one more way an IB education helps break down walls of communication and perception,” says Bassett.

What are the best tools to track legal billing?

  • JTC, Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct. #305, Manassas, Va.
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

As a lawyer, how do you keep track of your services and bill your clients? You could do it the old fashioned way by logging paper records, but with new technology and software programs that will do the tracking for you, why do it any other way?

There are several automated tools out there to track legal billing, but three of the best are Amicus, TimeMatters and Sage Timeslips, according to one of JTC, Inc.’s Solution Architects Chris Dittrich.

All three of the platforms are designed with lawyers specifically in mind, and come with desktop and cloud features, so you can maintain your records in multiple locations for redundancy.

“The biggest thing for them is to track clients and have a record of what they’ve done, and be able to access it and correctly bill for their services,” said Dittrich of JTC, Inc.

It’s essential for lawyers, because it makes it easier to bill in the 10 to 15 minute time increments, and some of the software platforms will even hook up to the phone system to accurately log call times.

Whether it’s for a growing law firm or an already established larger firm, these platforms will provide you with efficiency in billing and save you time.

According to Dittrich, JTC, Inc. can help lawyers and firms with implementing and maintaining the system.

“Say they’re a new law firm getting started, or they are converting to a new software package, JTC, Inc. would help them with the complete installation of that database to run their business,” said Dittrich.

So for those that want a more efficient and accurate way to log time with clients, consider investing in these tools and the services of JTC, Inc. for your firm.

One of areas largest businesses — Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas — looking to expand

A leading provider of senior care in Manassas is looking to hire more CAREGivers.

Home Instead Senior Care will hire 200 new CAREGivers in the coming year. They are looking for people with flexible schedules, those who appreciate paid in-house training, and those who have a caring heart.

Lovejoy

Lovejoy

Home Instead Senior Care consistently ranks as one of the top 10 employers in Manassas.

“Since starting the company, my husband Jack and I have been absolutely astounded by how many seniors there are in the area who need assistance. Being able to provide employment to hundreds of people, all while fulfilling such an important public need is the realization of our lifelong desire to serve our community in a positive way,” said Jacqueline St.Clair, Franchise Owner.

The senior population is set to explode, called the “silver tsunami,” over the next two decades so need for home care services is going only to grow and Home Instead is preparing to lead the way. Home Instead has experienced double-digit growth every year since being founded in 2006.  Their company has outgrown three previous Manassas offices and expanded into its new 8000 square foot office on Godwin Drive two years ago.

Duties of a CAREGiver range from companionship, meal preparations and transportation up to personal care services. Home Instead’s goal is to continue their reputation as the “employer of choice” in non-medical home care.

“The happiest day for me is when a brand new CAREGiver calls me after a shift to say how happy they were with their assignment. Seeing how rewarding the experience is for both our seniors and our CAREGivers never gets old” said Gail Earhart, who started working at Home Instead as a CAREGiver and now serves as our Staffing Manager.

Home Instead recruits openly and hosts an onsite job fair each quarter where potential job seekers can learn about the company, be interviewed and hired in the same day. They will also take part in the Greater Manassas Community Job Fair on Oct. 13, 2015, at Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8712 Plantation Lane in Manassas.

“We are redoubling our efforts to help those in our region who are looking for employment. Helping seniors stay safe and stable in their own homes brings a unique sense of satisfaction that we really want to make job seekers aware of,” said Director of Operations Ian Lovejoy.

Visit Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas online at HomeInstead.com/manassas-va for more information or to apply to be a CAREGiver.

Occoquan District Boy Scouts Need Your Help

Have you ever wanted to get more involved in the community, but we unsure how?

The Occoquan District Boy Scouts – with scouts from Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Dumfries and Montclair – need individuals to serve on committees for the group’s board.

This is a great chance to serve your community, and help out a worthy non-profit organization that mentors our youth.

There are currently vacancies for:

District Vice Chair

Membership Committee – New Unit Coordinator

Finance Committee – Vice-Chair Finance, FOS-Community Coordinator, Popcorn Kernel

Programs – Vice-Chair Programs, Cub Scout Advancement, Boy Scout Advancement, Recognition Dinner Coordinator Co-Chair, Activities Chair, Pinewood Derby Coordinator, Cub Scout Training Chair, Volunteer Coordinator

Marketing CommitteeVice Chair Marketing, District Newsletter Coordinator, Public Relations Coordinator 

If you are interested in working with the Boy Scouts, and would like to take on one of these important positions, please contact Ben Hazekamp at 608-751-9840.

This post is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire.

Traffic
I-95 EZ-Pass reversible lanes changes for Pope visit

Pope Francis’ arrival in Washington this week will prompt changes to the Interstate 95 EZ-Pass Express Lanes. 

Here’s what they told us: 

Pope Francis will be arriving in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22, with a parade taking place on Wednesday, September 23.  Heavy travel is to be expected in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., especially in the I-95 corridor. 

As such, we are adjusting the 95 Express Lanes lane reversal schedule on Wednesday, September 23 and Thursday, September 24, to make it easier for drivers to travel to and from the District.  Please find the updated reversal schedule below:

  • Tuesday, September 22:  No changes to reversal time.  The reversal from northbound (NB) to southbound (SB) will begin around 11 a.m. with the SB lanes open around 1 p.m.  

  • Wednesday, September 23: The reversal from NB to SB will begin around 10 a.m. with the SB lanes open around 12 p.m.

  • Thursday, September 24: The reversal from NB to SB will begin around 10 a.m. with the SB lanes open around 12 p.m.

  • Friday, September 25:  No changes to reversal time.  The reversal from northbound (NB) to southbound (SB) will begin around 11 a.m. with the SB lanes open around 1 p.m.  

During the work week, the reversal from northbound to southbound usually begins around 11 a.m. with the southbound lanes open around 1 p.m.

‘Grapes in the Garden’ raises money to provide music, art, & massage therapies for Mary Washington Hospice patients

Grapes in the Garden

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The annual Mary Washington Hospice “Grapes in the Garden” beer, wine, and food tasting is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.

The event will take place at the Snowden House on the Mary Washington Hospital Campus, from 2 to 5 p.m. The hospice provides compassionate, comprehensive end-of-life care for patients at the hospital. The hospice does this music, art, and massage therapies.

The Grapes in the Garden event helps to fund these continuing therapies.

Tickets for the event are $50 in advance, $60 at the door.

You can purchase tickets and get more information online.

Bristow woman assaulted inside home

A round-up of police reports from Prince William police: 

Strangulation | Domestic Assault & Battery

Debery

Debery

 

On September 5 th at 3:12AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 10000 block of Orland Stone Dr in Bristow (20136) to investigate a domestic assault. The victim, a 39 year old woman of Bristow, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused held the victim down on the bed and began to choke her. The parties eventually separated and police were contacted. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested. Arrested on September 5 th: Kevin James DEBERY, 31 of the 10000 block of Orland Stone Dr in Bristow Charged with strangulation and domestic assault & battery Court Date: Pending | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

Residential Burglary

On September 15th at 6:23PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 15100 block of Colder Ln in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 8:45AM and 2:30PM. The investigation revealed that there were no signs of forced entry into the home. A cell phone, MacBook, and iMac desktop were reported missing.

Residential Burglary

On September 15th at 5:55PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 2100 block of Rutland Ct in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9:00PM on September 13th and 6:00AM on September 14th. The investigation revealed that entry was made into several vehicles belonging to the occupants of the residence. Entry was also made into an attached garage. There were no signs of forced entry into the garage or any of the vehicles. A bicycle was reported missing from the garage. No property was reported missing from any of the vehicles.

Delicious Downtown: Manassas Restaurant Week returns

raw bar, Manassas, virginia

Foodies have a great reason to get excited about fall!

September marks the return of Historic Manassas Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week is a tourism and marketing promotion celebrated throughout the U.S. to help bring in new customers and grow local businesses. Local restaurants feature their cuisine and offer a multi-course tasting experience for a special price.

Historic Manassas Inc. produces this event to showcase the City’s exciting culinary scene and encourage people to visit downtown businesses. Diners can try out places where they haven’t yet dined and regulars can score a great deal at their local favorites. Most Restaurant Week promotions are two courses for $25 or three courses for $35 and the specials run September 20 – 26.

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Insider’s Scoop on Restaurant Week Specials

Carmello’s (9108 Center Street) brings seasonal fine dining and an award-winning wine list to Historic Manassas. Their Restaurant Week dinner for $35 will offer a choice of a chopped house or caesar salad to start; a choice of gnocchi con carne, veal Napolitano, or marinated pork chops for an entrée; and either crème brule or chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert.

C.J. Finz Raw Bar & Grille (9413 West Street) is the City’s surf and turf destination. They have a fantastic deal that starts with your choice of a pint of beer or wine and is followed by a half-dozen shucked oysters or a half-pound of spiced shrimp. Your meal continues with your choice of several sandwiches, including a lobster roll, fried oyster po’boy, tuna tacos, salmon BLT, as well as non-fishy options like rib-eye steak, grilled chicken, or a burger on pretzel roll.

City Square Café (9428 Battle Street), where many enjoy artisan charcuterie and cheese boards, will entice diners with a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $35 during dinner. For $48, you can indulge on a wine pairing with your meal.

El Cactus (9406 Battle Street) offers fresh Tex-Mex favorites. During Restaurant Week, two can dine for $36. Pick one of five different appetizers to share, including the Manassas Soup Bowl-winning chicken tortilla soup. Entrees on special include carne asada, smoking fajitas, mole salmon, shrimp-topped tilapia, honey roasted cilantro chicken, and sweet honey salmon salad. Dessert features churros or the Taste of Manassas-winning tres leches.  

Mackey’s (9412 Main Street), an American pub, is home to bourbon-glazed, “drunken” meats from the grill as well as plenty of “pub grub” favorites. They are offering an appetizer and entrée combo for $25.

Monza (9405 Battle Street) is where you can enjoy live music on the weekends and your favorite team on the big screens. They will be offering a choice of bruschetta, mozzarella sticks, arancini, or fried calamari for an appetizer and a choice of chicken picatta or pan-seared Atlantic salmon for an entrée for $25.

Okra’s (9110 Center Street) brings a taste of New Orleans to Manassas. This Cajun Creole favorite will feature a different dinner special each day of Restaurant Week. Swing by to see what the day’s special entrée will be and enjoy it with the choice of an appetizer and dessert for $35 during dinner. 

Philadelphia Tavern (9413 Main Street) offers authentic Philly fare and boasts hoagie rolls that come straight from Amoroso Bakery. Grab a pal and enjoy two of their famous cheese steaks and two draught beers for $25 during both lunch and dinner.

The Bone (9420 Battle Street) is downtown’s home for smoky barbecue and hand-picked craft beers. Come by for a two-meat combo platter with Banana Puddin’ Pie for dessert and a local craft beer for $25. Choose from pork, brisket, turkey, chicken, or ribs and pair it with two sides and bread.

Note: The full menus at every restaurant will still be available in addition to the Restaurant Week special menu items, deals, and pricing.

News
Pope visit to Washington: Changes coming to your OmniRide commute

The visit of Pope Francis in Washington will mean those who normally take OmniRide buses to Washington will instead be bused to Metro stations.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, operators of OmniRide commuter bus and OmniLink local buses, will enact its Emergency Service Plan on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

The Pope has a full schedule of events planned in Washington. He will begin Wednesday with a meeting with a meeting at the White House with President Obama. Later, a papal parade will travel along 15th Street NW and Constitution Avenue.

The Pope will attend midday prayer at the Cathedral of St Matthew The Apostle on Rhode Island Avenue NW. A mass will be held later in the day at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Pope Francis will later make an appearance at the U.S. Capitol for a joint address to Congress. He’ll finish the day at St. Patrick’s Church. 

All of this means PRTC OmniRide buses will not serve regular stops in Washington. Riders will picked up Wednesday morning at their regular stops and taken to Metro stations. 

Buses serving eastern Prince William County will take passengers to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station on hte Blue line. Buses serving Manassas and Gainesville riders will take passengers to the Tysons Corner Metro station on the Silver line. 

PRTC Metro Direct buses will run on a regular schedule on Wednesday. Here’s more in a press release: 

Because the implementation of the Emergency Service Plan is being announced in advance, fares will be charged for OmniRide service. OmniRide fares to and from the Metro stations will be $3.85 cash or $3.10 with a SmarTrip card, which are the equivalent of Metro Direct fares. OmniRide fares during regular, non-ESP service, are $8.30 cash or $6.20 with a SmarTrip card.

More information about the emergency service plan, and OmniRide schedules is available onlinehttp://www.prtctransit.org/index.html.

News
Prince William fire, police to face off on soccer field for charity

?The Prince William County Fire and Rescue and Police departments are setting up for a little interdepartmental rivalry later this month when they meet to play soccer in the Prince William Cup to raise money for four local charities. [Read more]

How to make sure your legal billing software is up to date

  • JTC Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct #305, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

When you turn on your computer, do you ever see a window, telling you it’s time to update? Every software program requires updates at some point, while new features are added and vulnerabilities in the program are fixed.

And for those that run a legal firm, having software on your side for billing purposes can be a huge help. Programs like Amicus, TimeMatters and Sage Timeslips will allow you to accurately track billing for any meetings, research or calls made to your clients far more efficiently than tracking it with pen and paper or your own spreadsheet.

But even excellent programs like these need maintenance and updates in order to continue functioning properly.

“Just like any other software, they usually have integrated update notifications,” said Chris Dittrich, a solution architect for JTC, Inc.

These updates typically include annual upgrades, patches, bug fixes, and new operating system updates.

While you could handle the updates on your own, if you want to eliminate any potential error that could severely impact your ability to rely on the software, then it’s best to allow an IT company, like JTC, Inc., to handle software upgrades to your legal billing software for you.

“We subscribe to the software. When we’re working with a software platform, we have an email that goes to the engineers that will give us updates and tell us when there’s been a service update,” said Dittrich.

Especially with a full caseload, it makes more sense from a time management perspective.

“If you have a company that’s using the software, it’s advisable for them to put their IT company team on as a contact for the software vendor, so the IT company can adequately assist them in making sure those updates get done,” said JTC, Inc. spokeswoman Kristen Maxey.

Additionally, trusting the updates of your legal billing software with a company like JTC, Inc. will ensure that your system is free from any bugs or viruses.

“We want to eliminate any potential vulnerabilities that there are inside of the software,” said Maxey.

Save yourself time and effort and make sure you’re always billing your clients with up-to-date software by utilizing the services of an IT company like JTC, Inc.

Reduce, reuse, repair: How yard sales can make our community a greener place

When it comes to exploring options to improve our personal impact on the environment the old adage, “Reduce, reuse, recycle” rings as true as when it was first heard in kindergarten.

Looking from the outside, one might not make the connection on how the three R’s apply to yard sales. The R’s are indeed there having an impact even if it is simple or subtle.

The greatest impact one can have when going green is to reduce.  Typically this means that one should avoid purchasing new items or reduce consuming resources like water or electricity.

Another perspective is to reduce clutter within the home. Clearing out unused appliances, for example, means fewer items plugged into power strips slowly using energy.

Even turned off appliances can still be using energy to run background tasks or maintain WiFi connectivity. A half-empty chest freezer, a TV that is never used or a treadmill bought with the best of intentions can all be slowly consuming energy without providing any real benefit.

Reduce their impact by clearing them out!

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Clearing out is just the first step. Now the question becomes what to do with it. Properly disposing of the item is an option.

For example, there are facilities and services that take electronics like computers to break down for their components. Another option is to reuse it! The more items kept out of landfills; the healthier our environment becomes.

Reusing also reduces the pressure to gather new materials and harvest new resources. A great place to see reusing in action is at a yard sale. If somebody is looking for a chest freezer to store their bulk purchased frozen foods then a yard sale vendor selling their underutilized chest freezer is a perfect match!

The vendor makes a little money, the purchaser gets an item they were seeking for a discount and less pressure is applied to the environment.
That’s a win all the way around.

Sometimes an item is in disrepair or functions poorly. The piece overall is still in good shape, but perhaps there’s a tear in the fabric of a chair.

The handier people in our community can reach out and enact the third R – recycle. Suggesting somebody reupholstering a chair is the same as recycling may be a bit of a stretch but all one has to do is look at the myriad of Pinterest projects to see how well reusing and recycling go hand in hand.

Maybe for the purposes of this article the third R should be repair. The underlying fact still remains true: The less pressure that is put on the environment to supply brand new items the greener it will be for future generations.

Come see how you can apply the three R’s at the upcoming yard sale at the Manassas Park Community Center on September 19th from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Will you be a vendor reducing the clutter in your home?

Perhaps you’ll be a shopper looking to reuse, recycle and repair? Whichever role you assume, hopefully from now on you’ll look at yard sales with green tinted lenses.

This promoted post is written by Jason Shriner, at the Manassas Park Community Center.

News
Historic cemetery to be dug up for new Coles fire station

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A historic cemetery will be disinterred to build a new fire station at Independent Hill.

Following a unanimous vote from the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, after a public hearing at the McCoart Building on September 8, the graves will be moved to a different area on the property, in order to make way for the new Coles District Fire Station.

The current Coles fire station, on 13712 Dumfries Road, is now past it’s intended use date, and needed to be replaced, according to Prince William Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee.

The public hearing was originally scheduled for earlier that afternoon, but was pushed to the 7:30 p.m. meeting by Chairman Corey Stewart.

McGee presented four options to the board of supervisors, supporting ‘Option A’ – which would involve moving the graves. The other three options did not require the cemetery to be moved, according to county documents.

Increased response times

According to McGee, moving the cemetery to build the fire station is necessary in order to complete the project on budget – $10.7 million – and to keep response times down.

“When I convened a task force of the Fire and Rescue Association to develop station design guidelines, the key objective of that design guideline project was to identify how we can reduce what is referred to as ‘action time’. That’s the time from dispatch to units moving out of the station…We need every second we can possibly save, in getting our firefighters and EMTs to their apparatus, and then safely on to their response route,” said McGee.

Bill Olson, a member of the Prince William Historical Commission challenged McGee’s statements on increased response time.

“The last six [fire and rescue] buildings built in Prince William County are two-story firehouses. The next planned fire house – Bacon Race fire house – is a two story building,” said Olson.

Following the vote, Olson resigned from his position on the Prince William Historical Commission and the Cemetery Committee.

Residents spoke up at the public hearing

Several residents came to the public hearing to express their thoughts about the county moving forward with moving the cemetery.

“It should not be as a last resort, and the descendants should approve of it…that’s where their family intended them to be buried,” said Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association member Mary Lipsey.

Dennis Van Derlaske, another member of the Prince William Historical Commission, stated it was the county’s duty to protect the cemetery as part of their ownership of the property.

“With any right or privilege, comes responsibility, including the privilege of land ownership. And that responsibility, if you happen to be the owner of a cemetery, is the proper custodianship of that plot of land,” said Van Derlaske.

Nohe to ‘lose sleep’, Candland blames the county

Prior to the unanimous vote to move the cemetery, and adopting ‘Option A’ as the construction plan for the new fire station, several supervisors commented on their feelings about the decision.

“No one wants to move a cemetery…the challenge I’m faced with on this issue is this – as a member of the board of supervisors, there are a lot of responsibilities that we are charged with, and we cannot ignore any of them…from my perspective, my responsibility as supervisor is first and foremost has to be the public safety of the people…I’m going to lose a lot of sleep tonight…knowing the board has been put in the position to have to make this decision…moving the cemetery isn’t something I believe is the ideal thing to do. But I do feel that the most important thing that this board always has to consider is how our decisions affect the safety of the community,” said Supervisor Martin Nohe.

According to Supervisor Peter Candland, the county is at fault for not looking at other options to build the fire station without disturbing the graves.

“I just think we missed out on opportunities to research other options. I think the county dropped the ball…I hate this decision – we are to blame here…and I think this is a sad day with this vote,” said Candland.

Millennials find walkable downtown, new apartments near transit in Manassas

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For the past decade, city planners have been discussing the ways that Boomers and Millennials are going to reshape communities.

These two demographic groups comprise almost half of the U.S. population — the Census Bureau estimates there are 75.4 million Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and 83.1 million Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000).

Despite the age difference between Millennials and Boomers, they share similar preferences regarding where and how they want to live. Walkable neighborhoods with amenities such as coffee shops, restaurants, arts venues and shopping are at the top of the list. The less people need to get into a car to enjoy those amenities, the happier they are. This is why more people are relocating to small cities and towns with defined downtown districts.

The City of Manassas is a perfect example of what people are seeking in a vibrant downtown. Residents in and around the historic district have a short walk to the growing array of downtown restaurants and shops, festivals and events, markets, galleries , and more. In fact, Historic Downtown Manassas has a Walkscore of 85, which is considered “Very Walkable.”

Responding to these lifestyle trends, real estate developers have become increasingly willing to diverge from typical suburban development to smaller and denser urban renewal projects. Conceived during the economic downturn, several new (but different) housing developments in the Downtown Historic District cater to both demographics.

Prescott Court, a 33unit garagestyle townhome development offers homes priced around $300,000 and is still under development. Old Towne Square, a 58unit townhome development featuring two and threebedroom units with Georgianstyle architecture was priced slightly higher. Old Towne Square began construction in 2013 and the last unit was sold in August.

“The neat thing about this community is that it encompasses an entire city block in the heart of the historic district. We were excited about the location because it is walkable to so much in downtown Manassas,” says Candy McCracken of Van Metre. “We worked in partnership with the City to come up with the right product on this site. Everybody is happy with it and homeowners love it.”

Millennials are more transient now than ever before and find apartment living appealing. The City of Manassas offers downtown apartments to meet their needs.

The Courts at Historic Manassas offers 139 luxury rental units priced from $1,400-$2,000 per month. These units are close to all of the amenities that Downtown offers while also being conveniently located to major employers and the VRE.

Renting allows residents to become acclimated to a new area before buying, provides housing without the financial and maintenance burdens of home ownership, and grants flexibility for relocation without worrying about selling a home. Interestingly, the flexibility afforded by apartment living also appeals to Boomers who like to travel extensively.

Highlighting these trends, two more apartment projects in the Historic Downtown are in preliminary development. Messenger Place will replace the vacant News & Messenger Building at 9009 Church Street and will bring 94 apartments to downtown75 two-bedroom units and 19 one-bedroom units. It will be a five-story building that will feature 3,500 square feet of retail on the ground level. Residents will enjoy a 24-7 gym facility, lounge, and office area. Rents will range from $1,500 to $2,000. The developer, Coleman Enterprises LLC, anticipates construction to start before the end of the year and for units to become available in July 2016.

Finally, 105 apartments will be coming to Prince William Street, replacing the ABC Building. Manassas Station will anchor this edge of downtown with a three-story building by Christopher Land LLC. It will offer a combination of one- and two-bedroom units featuring granite countertops, walk-in closets, and balconies. Manassas Station will offer residents a fitness center; a community room with a TV and wet bar; and a “cyber café” for working remotely. Rents are anticipated to be comparable with the other two developments and the project is anticipated to be completed in late 2016.

Come to Williams Ordinary in Dumfries September 12 & 13 for history, artillery demonstations, food, and beer

How many times have hopped off Interstate 95 south and taken Route 1 through Dumfries? 

Have you ever noticed that just after the median splits in two, a large brick building rises on your right – so close to the road it looks like it’s going to jump in front of you? 

That’s the headquarters for Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division – and if you’ve ever wanted to learn more or take a peek inside, stop by on September 12 and 13.

For those two days the Williams Ordinary will reemerge as a busting stop it was in the 18th century. The building has seen a lot of change – built by John Glassford and Company in the mid 1760’s the structure was a popular store through the Revolutionary War.  

George Washington stopped at “the storehouse” in Dumfries to resupply on his way to victory at Yorktown at the end of the war. Just a few years after the war the building would become a Ordinary, or tavern, providing food, drink, and a place to lodge for people passing through area.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 12 and 13 you’ll find William’s Ordinary and the nearby Weems-Botts House a bustle of people that would have passed through here during its early history. 

Infantry, artillery, medical and cooking demonstrations will be on the two sites. At the Ordinary you can stop inside the recreated tavern room and meet George Washington, our Tavern keeper Alexander Henderson, or any number of other characters from our past.  

On Saturday at 1 p.m., Author John R. Mass will be discussing his latest book “The Road to Yorktown.”

Don’t miss the one of a kind event after the sun goes down on September 12; join us at the Ordinary for historic beer, appetizers, and live music for a chance to get a taste of the 18th century. 

Call 703-792-4754 to make your reservations – just $35 per person.

Parking is available at Dumfries Elementary School for both the day and evening events, with shuttle service to Williams Ordinary, located at 17674 Main Street, Dumfries, VA 22026

News
Olive Garden feeds Dale City volunteer firefighters

Volunteer firefighters in Dale City got a free meal on Labor Day.

The Olive Garden restaurant at Potomac Mills mall brought a spread of food to Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Station 13 on Hillendale Drive on Monday. Fire crews munched on lasagna, spaghetti, ziti, salad, and, of course, breadsticks.

The restaurant also made a specially-prepared a gluten-free rotini meal for an officer at the department.
“We heard one of the officers was gluten free after we got back to the restaurant. So we made a special trip back out,” said Tim Whitley, with Olive Garden. “We didn’t want to leave anybody out because we know these guys wouldn’t leave us out.”

Employees from Olive Garden set out the food on a buffet table about 2 p.m. They came back about a half later with the gluten-free meal.

Whitley said he prepared enough food to serve four Dale City Volunteer Fire Department stations. The restaurant selected the volunteer company as part of their annual-Labor Day give back program that has been ongoing for the past seven years.

Olive Garden is located at 14405 Gideon Drive in Woodbridge.

What happens when lawyers update a database without a good backup?

  • JTC Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct #305, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

When a lawyer walks into the courtroom, they need to know that they have all of their information and records they need. In many cases this is sensitive information that can have a big impact on a client’s case. But what if that information were to vanish during a system update?

This is something a law firm really can’t afford, when it comes to building their business, and providing a reputable service that clients can count on. And this is why law firms and lawyers need to have a good backup of all of their records and files available, in case something goes wrong.

“If you don’t have a backup, you’re taking a huge risk of losing data,” said JTC, Inc. spokeswoman Kristen Maxey.

If a lawyer is utilizing legal billing software or an electronic records platform, you’re going to have to update these programs from time to time, as updates and patches are released. And if you don’t utilize the services of an IT company, like JTC, Inc. you may end up accidentally wiping some of these crucial records.

Especially when you’re doing a big update to one of these databases, it’s important to have both a local and off-site backup of your records. That is something that JTC, Inc. can manage.

“You have the potential for corrupting files. Because when you’re updating a database, there are sometimes what’s called ‘schema’ changes, which is changes to the format of the database itself. When you do a large update like that, there’s always a risk or potential for corruption because you’re doing mass changes to the database,” said JTC, Inc. Solution Architect Chris Dittrich.

JTC, Inc. will not only help with installation, but they will manage and alert you about system updates, assist with the updating process, and maintain an off-site copy of the records you need.

As a growing business, don’t risk losing your data. Legal billing software can save you time, and JTC, Inc. can keep your software and databases backed up and secure.

Fall for Manassas! So many great events happening this season

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Children are already back in school and now the sun sets earlier and earlier. Why does summer always go by so quickly?

Don’t lament digging out your coats and putting away your flip flops. With autumn comes plenty of festivals and events to get you in the mood for fall.

First Friday

To kick off September, there is a First Friday on Sept. 4. Enjoy the last of the warm weather by strolling the streets of downtown where you can enjoy live music, shopping, and dining from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Downtown.

Bridal Showcase

Here’s a gift to all the brides-to-be is a one-stop shop for bridal research. Discover what Manassas businesses offer that will make the wedding of your dreams at the Historic Downtown Manassas Bridal Showcase on Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Buy tickets.

Bands, Brews & Barbecue

How does a roasted porter with a vanilla finish or a seasonal ale with layers like a pumpkin pie sound? Sample the best beer that the region has to offer at Bands, Brews & Barbecue on Sept. 12 from noon until 6 p.m. Hourly BBQ pairings are featured in the VIP tent. Manassas Museum Lawn. Buy tickets.

Dog-a-pool-ooza

Cool off the dogs of summer at the Dog-a-pool-ooza at Stonewall Pool. The afternoon of Sept. 13 is the only day pups are allowed in the pool before it closes ($5/dog). Stonewall Park.

Greek Festival 

Interested in a Big, Fat, Greek Weekend? Visit the Annual Greek Festival on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the Taste of Greece and East the following day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opa! Harris Pavilion. Free.

Antique car meet

What’s more American than an apple pie? An antique car show! Come check out 150 four-wheeled beauties at the Annual Edgar Rohr Memorial Antique Car Meet on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s feature car is a 1941 convertible Buick Phaeton and you can watch a team assemble a Model T Ford. There is still time to register to show your car for a small fee. Manassas Museum Lawn. Free.

Rev it up

Enjoy more classic cars as well as food trucks, cold beer, and live classic rock music at Bull Run Rotary’s Rev It Up for Rotary charity event benefitting CASA, Habitat for Humanity, and BARN from 5 to 9 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Free.

Chili cookoff 

Nothing says “fall” more than chili! Don’t miss the annual Chili Cookoff on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Think you have the best batch? It isn’t too late to join. Enter as a professional cook, amateur cook, or nonprofit organization. Sampling starts after 1 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Free.

Latino festival 

Salsa your way to the Annual Latino Festival on Sept. 27 from noon to 5:30 p.m. You will find tons of games for children, tasty foods, piñatas, and live music and dancing all day! Harris Pavilion. Free.

Fall Jubilee 

Pick a perfect pumpkin at the Annual Fall Jubilee. Enjoy the crisp air as you browse cool crafts, play games, and enjoy live music on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Downtown. Free.

Open house 

On Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., swing by the City of Manassas Utilities Open House at 8500 Public Works Drive to enjoy free food, a huge pumpkin patch where you can pick out a free pumpkin, children’s activities, and a chance to check out the cool utility trucks. Free.

Farmers market 

Don’t forget the farmer’s market is still open on Thursdays in the Harris Pavilion and Saturdays in Parking Lot B from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up your favorite fall veggies before grabbing lunch at a nearby spot.

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