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Fire department: Stay off the ice

aquia habour, virginia, staffordf

Frozen ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams should not be used for outdoor ice recreation because of the risk factor to ourselves as well as rescuers. 

The safest place for ice recreation are pavillons, skating rinks, and other places designed for ice recreation, says the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue. 

Here is more in a press release:  (more…)

Find people you know, trust who have your success in mind

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Building a Business is a Team Effort — With a Little Help From Our Friends

My first lesson in the value of mentors came early – and hard. On July 3rd, 1985, I was enduring the first grueling week (called “Ground Week”) of the U.S. Army Airborne School. My Student ID – printed boldly across my helmet – was 141 (yes, 30 years later I remember my Student Number).

No matter the reason, I was a “NO GO” and did not qualify to advance to the second week (Tower Week) of training. The choice was mine – give up or repeat Ground Week.

Ugh! I wanted to quit, to give up, go back home and drink some beer with my friends and work so I could actually afford my next year of college expenses. Worse yet, if I decided to repeat Ground Week my Student ID label on my helmet would become 141”G” and everyone would know that I was “recycled.”

One of my Airborne Drill Instructors (we called them “Black Hats” ( I’ll leave you to guess why) came over and said to me) “Cadet, I know you are thinking about quitting. Heck I would be thinking it too if I were you.”  (more…)

Stay on the path to a New Year, New You at Manassas Park Community Center

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center Marketing Manager Jason Shriner. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

With the New Year, now is a great time to think about the year ahead. When I was younger, New Year’s Day didn’t really mean much more than partying, but now it’s a favorite time of mine where I like to set goals for myself. I especially like resolutions that involve learning something new or that result in a tangible finished product.

Over the past few years my resolutions have included listening to more podcasts and TEDtalks, learning to sew (this includes sewing a costume from scratch), creating my own board game, and learning sign language, photography and how to indoor rock climb. When you’re a kid, school can really make learning feel like a chore, but after I graduated college, I realized how much I missed learning new things and challenging myself. You don’t realize how easy it is to stand in one place until you look back on the year and realize it!

Make a promise to yourself this upcoming new year; find the new you! Here are some tips and strategies on choosing resolutions and seeing them through.

1. Be true to yourself and set resolutions you’ll enjoy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that if something feels like a chore, then I will find every excuse in the world not to do it. Motivation is an incredibly powerful thing, but it doesn’t come externally. Even when somebody else is encouraging you, you must ultimately want to do it for yourself in order to see your goals through. If you are an extrovert and you have fitness goals, participate in fitness classes! There is nothing more isolating than wearing headphones and working out – totally toxic to an extrovert’s success. Remember to set yourself up for success when choosing your resolutions!

One of my favorite fitness classes at the Manassas Park Community Center is bootcamp. In this high intensity class, the instructor challenges my classmates and me to perform a variety of strength training and cardiovascular exercises, all while maintaining an elevated heart rate. As a self-identifying geek, I never knew I was capable of doing some of the exercises until I participated. It’s not all excruciating work! I feel like we laugh constantly in the class as we awkwardly try new exercises and tease the instructor. Other popular fitness classes at the community center include Zumba, Aqua Zumba, and yoga.

2. Create a plan

Aside from fitness and learning something new, financial responsibility is another popular resolution. Whatever your resolution is, make sure you actually plan out how you’re going to achieve it. Ask yourself these questions to start. Is it fitness related – Where do I want to work out? Should I hire a personal trainer? If it’s learning something new – What time can I dedicate? What expenses are involved? If it’s fiscal What is a budget I can manage? Do I have monthly expenses that I can do without?

One method that helped me save money was to track my spending on a spreadsheet. True, this is a chore (although I do love a good spreadsheet), but knowing that I would eventually have to input a purchase into a spreadsheet where it will be staring back at me – possibly judging me – has been enough to deter me from certain purchases. Plus it’s pretty rewarding to see a year’s worth of spending slowly declining throughout the year! Another tip that I use to talk myself out of a purchase is equating how much an item costs to how much I make hourly. Is this new gadget really worth 2, 4, or 8 hours of my time at work? Cash and especially credit cards can be intangible concepts, but your sweat is pretty real!

Consider incorporating a class into your plan like the programs at the Manassas Park Community Center. INOVA will be teaching a free class called “Eating Better on a Budget” on January 5 or come check out People, Inc.’s free “Credit and Budgeting Workshop on January 20. Talking with professionals and researching ideas online, including articles, videos, and podcasts, are great ways to get fresh ideas to incorporate into your plan.

Belly dancing: Learning new dances, like belly dance, is a great new year’s resolution!
Try group exercise classes or working out with a friend if your routine gets stale
The Manassas Park Community Center recently built a second fitness room featuring all new exercise equipment – come try them out!
The personal trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center love finding new ways to shake up your workout – like boxing!
You can get 2 30-minutes personal training session as part of your membership to the Manassas Park Community Center
Try something you’ve always wanted to, like scrapbooking, by taking a class at the Manassas Park Community Center
Taking classes, like sign language, gives you a chance to meet people who share your interests and can help practice your new skills
Zumba is one of our most popular classes at the Manassas Park Community Center

3. Set realistic and measurable goals

Businesses are successful because employees have somebody holding them accountable. Excellent managers use plans with defined goals to set expectations that both the employee and the manager can agree upon. Similarly, anytime you sign a contract, you’re actually setting a level of expectations. These are expectations you are expected to perform as well as what you expect the other party to perform. Plans, goals, expectations, and accountability all result in getting things done. So why not do the same for your resolution?

I don’t expect you to draw up a contract between you and yourself for your new year’s resolution, but you should at least create an event in your phone’s calendar eight weeks from now that says, “Lose this many pounds,” “Save this much money,” or “Be able to ask for help in the grocery store in a foreign language.” When you have a goal, you have a real expectation with a real deadline for yourself to work towards as opposed to some nebulous concept of “lose weight,” “save money,” or “learn Spanish.” Don’t just set one goal either – set milestones leading up to your final goal so you have a timeline to reinforce your plan.

When setting fitness goals be sure to consult a professional so that you are setting safe and healthy goals. Your Primary Care Physician and the Personal Trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center are two good resources, and a fitness assessment is included free of charge with every membership at the community center.

4. Celebrate accomplishments and be flexible

Willpower is a limited resource. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can only deprive yourself of ice cream for so long. Torturing yourself like this is a surefire way to turn your resolution into a chore. If you reach a fitness milestone, treat yourself! Be flexible and don’t punish yourself for accommodating unexpected events. If your car gets a flat, replacing a tire isn’t a hindrance to your financial goal – emergencies are a reason you wanted to save money in the first place!

5. Don’t stop, won’t stop

It’s going to take persistence and practice to reach your final goal, so don’t give up! It’s said it can take an average of 66 days to form a habit – although this number can vary vastly depending on the habit. [1] If you find your motivation waning, try to focus on the end goal or try to find ways to make the project fun again. Getting a friend involved, changing locations, or switching up your routine can help keep your resolution enjoyable.

Finally, don’t stop once you’ve achieved your resolution. Keep working out, keep saving money, keep practicing that language, but also set a new resolution for yourself! Yes, even in the middle of July! Have you reached your target weight? Why not try hiking or indoor rock climbing? Keep learning and keep moving forward so that next December 31st you can look back and reward yourself for all the resolutions you’ve accomplished – and look forward to all the resolutions you want to try.

How Home Instead finds great people to care for their clients

Editors note: This paid promotional post was written by Potomac Local in collaboration with Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas, serving Prince William and Fauquier counites.

Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas is always looking for candidates searching for rewarding career.

Candice Johnson is the Regional CAREGiver Recruiter at Home Instead Senior Care. Home Instead Senior Care selects and places experienced CAREGivers to homes with seniors, from those who need just a little help and companionship to seniors who need around the clock, twenty-four hour care.

As a Regional CAREGiver Recruiter, Johnson does a lot of work and running around town to attract the best talent that the community has to offer.

“The recruiting process is a lot of repeating my same actions. So I do a lot of “flyering”, I advertise in papers and online, I participate in job fairs and speaking engagements at colleges, CNA schools, LPN schools. I’m really just getting the position out there,” said Johnson The most important part to Johnson’s role is that people know that Home Instead Senior Care is hiring and that many of the positions are flexible and can fit comfortably into anyone’s hectic schedule.

“So if they’re working full time or going to school full time, this is a job that will allow you to still keep your daily responsibilities but bring in some supplemental income on the side,” said Johnson.

Who is the ideal candidate that Home Instead looks for and hires? (more…)

How knowing ‘Why’ led website developer WIX to $1 billion

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Five, four, three, two, one… Happy New Year! Well, almost! The New Year is a great time to evaluate our business goals and make sure we know the answer to the question, “Why do we do what we do?”

Here is a great example: Avi, a business associate I met in 1999, said to me at the time, “Rod, I want to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

In 1999 that was easier said than done. But Avi and a few of his associates started a company that set out to do just that. While his company attracted millions in venture funding, they never gained a critical mass and eventually sold to a competitor.

Flash forward several years later to a phone call I received from Avi who proudly claimed, “Rod, I have finally found a way to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

Now, those who know me know that I am a bit of a tech snob. I remember looking at the phone thinking, “WOW, that is a big claim to make!”

Sure enough, Avi’s tenacity paid off. Today his company, WIX, trades on NASDAQ and has a value of just under $1 billion – that’s right – just under $1 billion.

One Degree Capital is a customer of WIX.com, and we love it.

Across three businesses and over 16 years, Avi always knew his “Why” and stuck to it. As quoted from the company’s website, Wix’s vision is “We make it easy for everyone to create a beautiful, professional web presence.”

A common thread that runs through most successful companies is that they know their WHY – the main reason they do what they do. They know and stay committed to their “Why.”

So here is a question for you: As a business owner do you know your “Why?” If you need some help, ask yourself the following questions:

— Why? Why does your business exist? Are you passionate about this?

— Who? Do you enjoy working with your target audience?

— How? Do you serve your customers in a unique and valuable way?

If you are interested in learning more about how to build your “why” here are several great resources:

Simon Sinek, internationally acclaimed author of “Start with Why,” has a powerful TED Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE that is sure to inspire you to action.

Jeff Parks, a Prince William County-based seasoned consultant and a Coast Guard veteran, says “Live your passion, give your gift.” www.performancebreakthroughs.com. Jeff has helped over 200 organizations define their purpose and build “High-Performance Organizations.”

Margie Warrell wrote this incredible article “Know Your Why – 4 Questions to Tap the Power of Purpose.” Also, she has written three books on Leadership, Life, Courage and Purpose.

Sharon Dilling, owner of Fairfax-based Ability Potentials helps people identify their unique skills, energies, and passions. It works! I took Sharon’s assessment test years ago, and it said I should be the general manager of a commercial finance company. She was right!

As the owner of One Degree Capital for the past six years, I can tell you that I LOVE working with my third hero: The American Small Business Owner. Sharon’s test was so helpful that I have paid for a number of people to take it.

The people who are open and willing to explore the suggested career paths have told me they later that they have truly found their “life’s work.”

What is your “Why?” If you know of any locally owned businesses that have a strong “Why” please share them in the comments section – I would love to learn more about the amazing business owners in our local area.

News
Shootout, tornado, and brew pubs; Potomac Local’s top stories of 2015

Another year has gone by, and Potomac Local continues to bring you important late-breaking news in your community.

We started 2015 off with heavy snows that left drivers stranded on the roads. As the weather improved, we saw more breweries pop up in shopping centers as local governments changed the rules that once prevented them from locating there.

New restaurants cropped up, and old ones plan to return.

It was also a busy year for the police and fire crews who work to keep us all safe.

Here is a collection of Potomac Local’s most viewed stories of 2015, ranked by number of clicks from you:

1. Shootout at Wings to Go kills 1, injures 2

wings to goA quiet Sunday afternoon in North Stafford was rocked on February 15 when three men inside two cars exchanged gunfire. 

One man who got out of his car was killed, and two others were wounded.

2. Woodbridge Army Reservist attacked in Norfolk

Colvin

Colvin

Potomac Local broke the story of London Colvin, an Army Reservist and graduate of Woodbridge Senior High School who was viciously attacked by police dogs after leaving a party in Norfolk.

The incident sparked an investigation at the Norfolk Police Department that ended with four city police officers losing their jobs.

Colvin was a student at Norfolk State University at the of the attack and required 43 stitches to close her wounds.

3. Woodbridge hookah bar brawl

11866258_889345217781579_8338679539284698514_nPotomac Local readers were following the story of 23-year-old Tiffany Conley who police said stabbed another woman outside a hookah bar.

Police said Conley and the 25-year-old victim got into a fight in August at a hookah bar on Golansky Boulevard in Woodbridge. The fight escalated and the victim was stabbed multiple times with a box cutter. 

The victim was taken to a local hospital and suffered injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.  

4. Manassas Council melts for Krispy Kreme 

Krispy KremeThe Manassas City Council in December approved a rezoning at the Davis Ford Shopping Center that cleared the way for the fast food favorite to be built between an Exxon gas station and an Arby’s Restaurant.

Our story lit up social media and readers shared their excitement about what will be the only Krispy Kreme Doughnuts location in the Greater Manassas area.

5. Witness describes mother’s last moments

erica sherwood

Prince William County’s first murder of 2015 came just minutes after midnight New Years Day. That’s when police said John Sherwood came to a house on Concord Drive in Dale City and killed his wife and mother of his child Erica Renee Sherwood (pictured on left).

Sherwood’s friend Sharae Harris took the witness stand in April to describe the horror that unfolded inside her home in the early morning hours of January 1. She said John Sherwood accused his wife of cheating, and that he cornered her in a bathroom and slit her throat.

John Sherwood’s case is set for trial in a Prince William County Courtroom on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

6. Marston goes missing 

martsonJames “Daniel” Marston went missing in late January, prompting Stafford County authorities to seek the public’s help in finding him.

The missing endangered teen left his home on Belle Plains Road near Fredericksburg on January 29. The next day, the Stafford sheriff’s office reported they had exhausted their search for the boy and that it was possible the teen left the area.

Marston was later found in the Richmond area. 

7. Tornado hits Bristow, Manassas

manassas-tornado-3A tornado that started in Bristow ripped through Manassas in June.

A wind gust as high as 61 mph was recorded during the summer storm, and it was enough to topple scoreboards and cause damage at baseball fields in Manassas.

No one was injured in the tornado.

The same storm also brought heavy rains and flooding to eastern Prince William County.

8. Stafford couple dies in murder-suicide

 

080911 Sheriff new carPotomac Local readers followed the tragic story of a murder-suicide in Stafford.

Authoriteis were called to the 300 block of Garrison Woods Drive in North Stafford on May 15 where the bodies of a man and woman were found.

The victims, a boyfriend and girlfriend, suffered fatal gunshot wounds, according to Stafford authorities.

The bodies were sent a medical examiner in Richmond.

9. Lewd animal acts land man in jail

amleyIn March, police said they found a man who used the internet to chat with a woman who agreed to perform sexual acts with his lab mix dog. The two agreed to meet, and while there the woman would perform the acts in front of a video camera that would record the encounter, police said. 

This wasn’t the first time the man had recorded sex acts with animals, police said. Investigators found other videos featuring animals on his computer at his home near Manassas, and the videos were distributed on the web, police said.

The suspect was charged, and the animals were seized by police and were put into the care of a veterinarian. 

10. Prince William’s first brewpub opens 

orneryfrontPrince William County changed its policy in late 2014 that banned breweries from opening in shopping centers. The change cleared the way for several breweries to open or expand.

Randy Barnette remade his Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge into Ornery Beer Company and Public House — Prince William County’s very first brewpub specializing in brews made in-house coupled with chef-inspired cuisine.

Our story was enough to get people talking about the demise of Hard Times, onces a bustling neighborhood bar, and to get them excited about the changes at the new place – including a new rule that a banned smoking inside the establishment.

More:

Top stories of 2014

Top stories of 2013

Top stories of 2012

Top stories of 2011

Top stories of 2010

 

News
Old Carolina Road bridge in Haymarket ready for drivers

A new bridge on Old Carolina Road in Haymarket is set to open, and that means Old Carolina Road will reopen, too. 

More in a Virginia Department of Transportation press release: 

The Virginia Department of Transportation will reopen the Old Carolina Road/South Jefferson Street bridge over I-66 Wednesday, December 23, nearly five months earlier than scheduled. The bridge has been closed since September 2014.

The bridge’s new shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists remains under construction and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

The bridge replacement is part of the$64.5 million project to widen I-66 from four to eight lanes between Route 15 in Haymarket and Route 29 in Gainesville. The project is scheduled for overall completion in the summer of 2016.

Also in Haymarket, there is ongoing work to improve the interchange at I-66 and Route 15.

Read-a-Thon of Aldo Leopold’s ‘A Sand County Almanac’ in Haymarket, Jan. 10

A read-a-thon to celebrate the 129th birthday of legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold will be held on Sunday, January 10, at 2:30 p.m., at the Villages of Piedmont at Leopold’s Preserve in Haymarket.

Hear public figures, students, local conservationists, and community members read excerpts from “A Sand County Almanac,” one of Leopold’s best known books.

The event is free to attend, and light refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.

The read-a-thon is at the community clubhouse, located at 6770 Pinchot Lane, Haymarket. This new development includes seven miles of trails and 380 acres of permanent conservation land, and is named for Aldo Leopold.

 

The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust is a nonprofit land trust that helps communities and individuals protect natural and working lands, waters, and special places across the region. The Trust has conserved nearly 6,500 acres. 

BBC, WaWa, ’90-Day Fiancé’ are just some of the big names filming in Manassas

The tent was set up and light was barely coming over the horizon when the crew from Twin Productions began filming two commercials for Wawa, the food and gas chain of Pennsylvania.

“Manassas was like a perfect Hollywood back lot,” said Sasha Levinson, director for the Wawa commercials. “So many areas to create stories in, Manassas was an ideal place for our story to come to life.”

“Manassas was the perfect combination of beautiful locations and a cooperative and helpful infrastructure that made shooting our Wawa commercial a wonderful experience,” commented Angela Edwards, Producer for Twin Productions.

This is not the first film crew to choose Manassas in the last several months. Six other production companies have filmed in the City in just a short period of time. The City of Manassas’ new brand touts the City as having an historic heart and a modern beat. These film crews are a perfect example of the new brand.

Filming the City’s Modern Beat was Sharpe Entertainment as they used Stonewall Park to film an episode of “90-Day Fiancé.” Ideology Productions shot a commercial for American Public University also in Stonewall Park.

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Illustrating the City’s Historic Heart was Flight 33 Productions who worked at Liberia Plantation to film an episode of “Codes and Conspiracies” for the American Heroes Channel. Also along the Historic Heart theme was Boundless Productions from the BBC filming a segment of “Great American Railroad Journeys” outside the City’s Train Depot.

As a more “Modern Beat” type of filming, Fox 5 selected the City of Manassas for one of its summer Zip Trips. City staff worked with Fox 5 producers to showcase the City and all it has to offer, ranging from restaurants, to shops to the wonderful community.

A grad student filming his thesis project in the City incorporated both the Historic Heart and the Modern Beat of the City of Manassas. He used a portion of Main Street to shoot a retro movie with 1950’s subject matter.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation website cites a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Public policy which found that more than 8,000 people in Virginia are involved in this industry, which brought more than $500 million in economic impact to Virginia in 2004.

While that data is a bit old, it gives a general perspective on the importance of the film industry to the Commonwealth and, by extension, localities. Film crews spend money with local businesses – shops, restaurants and small businesses all benefit. The crew that filmed for WaWa had more than 60 people on location throughout the day. So not only does all of the filming in Manassas contribute to extending the City’s brand, it really has a positive economic impact as well. Look for the

The City will continue its efforts to work with this important industry in the future.

This post is written by the City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city in a paid content partnership with Potomac Local.

Announcing the new 55+ Active Adult Membership at the Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center is very excited to announce our new Active Adult membership.

This membership is exclusively designed for individuals 55-64 years old and is only $15/month with 6 and 12 month options. The membership includes access to the gymnasium, pool, and wellness centers as well as all land and water group exercise classes, one fitness orientation, one fitness assessment, and two 30 minute personal training sessions.

This exciting new membership was created based on member feedback and proven demand over the last couple years. Until now our only Active Adult membership option was our Senior Passport membership which is only $30/year. However, this membership is only available for individuals 65 years and older.

As the senior programming became increasingly popular requests to expand our membership offerings also grew. The result was the creation of the new Active Adult membership.

Trying to stay fit? The Active Adult membership includes a number of wellness based classes!

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Senior Strength and Stretch offers a challenging workout that is low impact, but still meets your fitness needs.

Mixed gentle yoga focuses on your core and improves balance with easy-going, gentle yoga poses.

Aquasize is a water based exercise class that offers muscle toning in a low impact environment.

One of our most popular programs is Pickleball which is described as a combination of tennis and badminton.

Looking to learn something new or meet new people? Going Global is an opportunity to experience the diversity within our communities where you can learn about a variety of cultures through photos, stories, and food.

Piano/keyboard lessons offer a chance to explore your musical side whether you’re a beginner or a novice.

If you’re crafty, Social Knitting and Crafting for a Cause are two programs where you can learn to knit or crochet while creating projects for yourself or others to donate. The monthly senior potluck allows you to reconnect with friends in a casual environment.

Easy Gourmet is a hands-on cooking class where you learn to make quick and easy fourfive ingredient recipes.

Road Trip 66 State-to-State is a program where you can experience the diversity of our own country – think of it as a domestic Going Global! All of these programs and more are included in the new Active Adult membership!

Come meet our Senior Recreation Specialist, Bethiah Shuemaker, who has been at the forefront of creating all new senior programs for spring!

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

News
2 public hearings scheduled in Haymarket for overhead power line

The Virginia State Corporation Commission will hold a public hearing in Haymarket to solicit public comments about a new overhead transmission line to be built. 

The 5-mile, 230 kilovolt line will run from Prince William Parkway west on Interstate 66. It will pass by several homes in Haymarket, and property owners fear the unsightly power line will degrade property values.

The new line will connect to a new power substation to be build outside Haymarket, and will ultimately serve a new data center owned by Amazon.

Here’s more in a press release:

According to the company, the proposed electric facilities are necessary to provide service requested by a retail electric service customer for a new data center campus in Prince William County and to maintain reliable electric service to all customers in the area.

The local public hearings will be held at the Battlefield High School auditorium on February 24 and March 14, 2016. The high school is located at 15000 Graduation Drive in Haymarket. There are two hearing start times each day. The first is at 4:30 p.m. The second is at 7:00 p.m.

Any person wishing to comment at these hearings should arrive early and sign in with the SCC bailiff. A public witness only needs to testify once as all comments are made part of the case record.

The hearing will continue in Richmond on May 10, 2016 at 10 a.m. in the Commission’s second floor courtroom location in the Tyler Building at 1300 East Main Street in downtown Richmond.

Written comments on the proposal must be submitted by May 3, 2016. All correspondence should be sent to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118, and refer to case number PUE-2015-00107.

Persons desiring to submit comments electronically may do so at the SCC’s website: www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Click on the PUBLIC COMMENTS/NOTICES link and then the SUBMIT COMMENTS button for case number PUE-2015-00107.

Protesters over the summer gathered at Battlefield High School outside Haymarket at a series of informational meetings held by Dominion. It was there they banded with elected officials who all urged Dominion to choose a hybrid design that would have meant constructing a portion of the transmission line overhead and the portion near homes underground. 

Dominion on November 6 announced it had chose the overhead power line option.

 

Traffic
Buses in jeopardy: Prince William faced with ‘transit death spiral’

The future looks bleak for transit bus service in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

The Potoamc and Rappahannock Transportation Commission which operates OmniRide commuter buses and OmniLink local buses faces a $9 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2017. That number grows to about $12 million in FY 2018 and continues in the following years.

Prince William County officials are wrangling with how to pay for the bus service that in recent years had seen a decline in ridership. The question: Should officials reduce bus service forcing more people to drive, carpool, or take Virginia Railway Express to work in Washington? Or should they raise taxes to fund the shortfall?

“You’re in what’s called a transit death spiral,” explained PRTC Interim Executive Director Eric Marx.

With ridership on the decline by 3.6% over last year, cutting services would only increase that number as more and more would flee the bus service for other options or drive themselves to work, he explained.

What’s driving the decrease in ridership? Lower fuel prices, a fluctuating federal government employee transit subsidy that has seesawed between $240 and $130 per month, and recent fare increases, added Marx.

What’s driving the budget shortfall? PRTC operates on funds from the region’s 2.1% motor fuels tax collected at the gas pump when drivers fill up. Lower gas prices, more efficient cars, and less funding from federal and state sources leave PRTC in a lurch.

Prince William County Budget Office chief Michelle Casciato told the Board of Supervisors the county could use its “30% transportation funding” from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission — tax monies given to the locality as part of former Gov. Robert McDonnnel’s transportation reform package passed while he was still in office — to fill the gap.

The county could also impose a new tax on industry and use that money to fund new transportation improvements, as that is what the Board is permitted by law to do with new industrial tax monies, added Casciato.

That’s what they could do. But Casciato told the Board she doesn’t recommend any of those measures.

PRTC and Virginia Railway Express are expected to send their 2017 budgets to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to review by mid-January. The Board must approve a new budget by the end of April.

VRE has also asked for a 5% increase in funding from the counties its serves. As it stands, Prince William County pays the highest jurisdictional amount of funding to VRE because the county generates the majority of riders on the commuter rail system.

Traffic
I-66 detour expected at Haymarket next week

Work on rebuilding the interchange at Interstate 66 and Route 15 in Haymarket continues with some planned lane closures on I-66. 

Here’s what you need to know from the Virginia Department of Transportation: 

Weather permitting, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close lanes and detour I-66 traffic in the vicinity of Route 15 in Haymarket during overnight hours next week. These closures are needed for crews to place beams for the Route 15 overpass as part of the I-66 and Route 15 Interchange Reconstruction Project.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights (12/15 and 12/16), lane closures are scheduled to begin on I-66 East near the Route 15 Interchange at 8 p.m., with all lanes closed and traffic detoured onto the Route 15 exit/entrance ramps (Exit 40) by 11 p.m. All lanes will reopen by 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

On Thursday and Friday nights (12/17 and 12/18), lane closures will begin at approximately 9 p.m., with all westbound traffic detoured onto the Route 15 exit/entrance ramps (at Exit 40) beginning at approximately 11 p.m. All lanes will reopen by by 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday mornings.

Police will be present to direct traffic. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes, or should expect delays and allow extra travel time if driving in this area.

The future of retail in the City of Manassas: Why some stores are perfect, and some aren’t

retail shopping in Manassas

The City of Manassas recently completed a retail study using H. Blount Hunter Retail & Real Estate Research Co. The study was designed to examine the market and trade area from the perspective of a retailer. This economic analysis is intended to assist in recruiting retail businesses to Manassas and guide future planning and development efforts.

The City analyzed several existing and potential retail trade areas where shoppers can find a mix of chain and independent businesses. These areas are primarily located on transportation corridors and include Sudley Road, Mathis Avenue, Liberia Avenue, and Route 28/Nokesville Road.  

The analysis also included Historic Downtown which is both on a transportation corridor and is a destination center. Hunter identified several sites within these areas that are well-positioned to capitalize on emerging consumer trends and market factors. 

Route 28

For example, residential development has been successfully sustaining retailers along Route 28. It is a high-visibility area that is well traveled, which are benefits that are attractive to retailers. And, in the next few years, Manassas Gateway between Godwin Drive and the Prince William Parkway will begin developing with an exciting mix of housing, office space, entertainment businesses, and retail space. New residents, office workers plus visitors to the planned hotel, Heritage Brewing and other planned attractions will generate the critical foot traffic that new retailers want.

Mathis Avenue and Centreville Road

Another area for retail development is along Mathis Avenue and Centreville Road. This major commuter route is lined with businesses that generally offer “convenience goods.” 

There is incredible potential for refreshing the look of the existing shopping centers with façade improvements and enhancing parking lots with landscaping to completely change their appearance. Aesthetic improvements can go a long way in helping to fill vacancies as well as to attract high-quality tenants. Also, the large parking lots offer plenty of room for developing pad sites along Mathis Avenue, which means more commercial buildings can be built within them to create space for new businesses.

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Downtown

In Downtown Manassas the unique historic district is set apart from other commercial areas in the region because it is filled with independent restaurants and retailers that can’t be enjoyed anywhere else. It offers an attractive sense of place, a storied history, a year-long calendar of events, and experience-driven visits from local residents as well as people who come from miles away.  

Hunter points out that unlike other shopping areas in the D.C. Metro region, shoppers will travel greater distances to the downtown for the “powerful combination of community events, dining, and specialty shopping in a walking environment that has niche appeal.” 

New development opportunities may present themselves along areas that are underutilized – such as the commuter parking lots surrounding the Manassas Museum — and can accommodate new, mixed-use construction. Future development can likely attract even more boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, especially since most chain businesses require bigger spaces than what is available there.

Chain businesses have very specific requirements

Retail development is a complex process. Residents of a community frequently ask that a specific retailer be recruited to the City; however, retailers, especially large chain businesses, have very specific requirements that they look for when choosing a new location. These include a minimum building size, access to highways, and certain customer demographics – typically income levels. 

Since the City can’t grow in size, the retail that Manassas can recruit has to fit within the existing buildings or on the vacant land that is available. Each retailer’s preference for where they want to open a location is different, too. Some want to be near their competition and others want to be near other stores that appeal to similar customers. 

All chains avoid opening new locations in close proximity to their existing locations because they don’t want a new store to steal sales away from an existing one. This is why your favorite store in a nearby town might not open another location in the City. 

For example specialty retailers currently located in Fair Lakes, Potomac Mills, and the growing commercial corridors in Gainesville to the west may not be able to locate in Manassas. Consumers travel greater distances to take advantage of these mall environments and consequently the retailers will space their locations much further apart.

Why a cashier asks for your zip code

Many people don’t realize what a complex science retailers practice when siting new stores. In addition to analyzing complementary and competitor businesses, they use demographic information, drive times and zip code data which they get from your credit card company whether you shop in a physical store or online and when you otherwise provide it. Have you ever wondered why a cashier asks for your zip code when checking out with your purchase?

Choosing poorly is the worst decision a retailer can make. In addition to the capital cost of opening a new store, companies lock into lengthy leases. Plus, closing a store can tarnish a company’s image in the eyes of the consumer who wonders why the business failed and may attribute it to other peoples use and perception of the product.

For a City of approximately 40,000 people, Manassas has more opportunities for retail development than experts typically anticipate for communities of that size. This is because there is a customer base of about 150,000 people within a five mile radius, which builds the potential for retail recruitment.  

Future development opportunities and destination commercial districts means there is a lot in store for retailing in Manassas.

This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

News
Stone Haven dead: Developer withdraws plans for 718-acre neighborhood, school site

Stone Haven will withdraw its rezoning request to develop 719 acres of land in western Prince William County.

The contentious development would have brought 1,006 new homes to the property in Bristow, located bordered by Linton Hall, Wellington, and Devlin roads. It also would have brought a mixed-use center with retail, commercial development.

The land would have been rezoned from agricultural to planned mixed residential, and planned mixed business.

Stone Haven developers also included an 85-acre site to construct a much-needed 13th high school in western Prince William County to open in 2020. Now the school division or county government must look to obtain a site for a new school, and that could come at the expense of taxpayers.

“Somehow, some way, the School Board and county are going to have to find a school site. The problem is not going to go away on its own. We’ve got a growing population, and we to do it quickly,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart.

Stewart said the county could consider purchasing land at the Stone Haven site for a new high school. Developers of Stone Haven needed to make a decision on whether or not to build as they are responsible for the upkeep of the land and continue to pay taxes on the property, added Stewart.

Stone Haven developers proffered a total of $74 million to the county to include the school site, as well as improvements to area roads and had agreed to build a 2-lane extension of University Boulevard to serve residents of the community.

The Board of Supervisors deferred a final vote on Stone Haven one year ago. It was scheduled to take a vote to approve the development at Tuesday night’s meeting. Stewart said he was confident there were not enough votes on the Board for Stone Haven to win approval.

Late last month, Stone Haven developers on their Facebook page urged residents to contact the Board of Supervisors in support of the project.

We appreciate your continued engagement and support for Stone Haven which proposes to deliver:

• A well-planned community with an appropriate mix of uses
• Employment opportunities on land with Wellington Road frontage
• Reduced vehicle trips compared to the current County planning designation
• Construction of 3 + miles of new roads (2 lanes)
– Rollins Ford Road from Linton Hall to Wellington Road and
– University Boulevard from Devlin Road to Progress Court
• Active Recreation (54 acres dedicated to County for fields)
• Passive Recreation (125 acres with natural trails created as a public park)
• Attractive landscaping and wooded buffers
• The 13th High School site to maintain the 2020 opening date and provide relief for overcrowded western end high schools

A public hearing on the project was held in October 2014, and a final vote by the Board of Supervisors in December 2014 was deferred until Tuesday night. Stone Haven developers following last year’s Board action reduced the total land to be developed from 864 to 717 and reduced the number of homes to be built from 1,650 to 1,006.

A new high school is needed to alleviate crowding and Patriot and Stonewall Jackson high schools. Traditionally, new school sites are proffered by developers in future neighborhoods approved by the Board of Supervisors, not the School Board.

If a new high school were to open inside the Stone Haven development, School Board estimates show it would open at near or full capacity.

“It is a generous proffer package [by Stone Haven], the problem is you’re using the existing proffer system to address the existing crowding problems, and that is only going to create more overcrowding problems,” said Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, who campaigned against Stone Haven, issued this statement about the the project:

“For too long we’ve relied upon approval of thousands of homes in order to secure school sites. This has led to schools opening at or above capacity and leaving no room for responsible future growth. Our next high school in western [Prince William County] will be at or above capacity without students coming from new development. I fully understand that most families of existing neighborhoods prefer their children attend a Linton Hall area high school. However, adding a housing development of this size will simply make this more difficult because the new school will fill so quickly due to Battlefield and Patriot being extremely overcrowded by 2020. New developments competing twith existing communities adds to the difficulty of new boundaries with no guarantees of who goes where at this time.

Chapel Springs produces unique Christmas CD, offers free concert in Stafford

Christmas music is so popular that many radio stations start playing holiday tunes before Thanksgiving. So giving away free CDs of Christmas music is a perfect way to invite people to celebrate Christmas at Chapel Springs Church, which has campuses in Bristow and Stafford.

Matchless King is the title of the newly-released CD written and produced by Chapel Springs Worship Pastor Josh Wesley and several key members of the church’s worship team. The CD takes a different approach from most Christmas CDs, though, because it tells the story not just of Jesus Christ’s birth, but God’s plan to redeem mankind through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Matchless King features five songs including several that were written specifically for this project, and new arrangements of other classic Christmas songs.

“We wanted to think outside the box” in designing tools to invite the community to worship at Chapel Springs, said Bristow resident and Chapel Springs worship leader Aaron West, who has been a member of the worship team for about 15 years. Pastor Josh suggested creating a Christmas CD, and as the team worked through the details it realized that a CD would be a great invitational tool and would be ideal as the focus for the church’s Christmas celebration this year, West said.

“The idea was to deliver the gospel through the CD, and give the narrative from creation to the death of Christ, which is unusual for a Christmas CD,” said West, who has some experience in music production, but earned his first producing credit on this project.

The CD will be distributed throughout the community for free, and also can be downloaded for free at chapelsprings.org

Music from the recording will be featured at several upcoming Chapel Springs Christmas concerts. The first concert will take place Sunday, December 13 at 6 p.m. at Chapel Spring’s Stafford campus, which meets at Shirley Heim Middle School, 320 Telegraph Road in Stafford, VA 22554.

Kaleb Weaver and Michaelah Faith, who lead worship every Sunday at Chapel Springs-Stafford, also played a vital role on the project – helping to write and arrange songs. Faith, Weaver and Wesley also are featured as soloists on the CD.

“Matchless King is about taking the church outside the four walls. We have a lot of gifted and talented people in the church, but if we contain that talent within the building, we’re not fulfilling what God wants us to do with what he has given us,” Weaver said.

 

This post is written by Chapel Springs Church as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and Chapel Springs Church.

Six area shopping centers giving away $500 to $1,000 this holiday season

Six Prince William County shopping centers are giving you the chance to win big this holiday season.

Bristow Center, Davis Ford Crossing, Dillingham Square and Smoketown Plaza are taking part in their annual Holiday Shopping Spree, a promotion that has one lucky winner at each center walking away with $500 worth of gift certificates to the specific center and a $1,000 donation to their favorite local school.

At Bull Run Plaza, the winner receives $1,000 worth of gift certificates to spend at the center, as well as a $1,000 donation to the winner’s favorite local school.

At Dominion Valley Market Square, five winners will each receive $100 worth of gift certificates to center.

Entry forms are available in the shopping centers’ stores and online.

 

DillinghamSquareDonatesToAntietam Elementary
To enter the Bristow
Center’s Holiday Shopping Spree, click here: http://bit.ly/BristowCenterHoliday2015. Bristow is located at the intersection of Nokesville and Linton Hall roads, features Harris Teeter and CVS/pharmacy.

Enter Bull Run Plaza’s Holiday Shopping Spree here: http://bit.ly/BullRunPlazaHoliday2015. Bull Run is located at the intersection of Route 234 and Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas, and includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Office Depot and Chili’s.

Click here to enter Davis Ford Crossing’s Holiday Shopping Spree: http://bit.ly/DavisFordCrossingHoliday2015. Davis Ford Crossing is at the intersection of Liberia Road and Prince William Parkway in Manassas. The center features L.A. Fitness, Petco and Staples.

Enter Dillingham Square’s Holiday Shopping Spree here: http://bit.ly/DillinghamSquareHoliday2015. Dillingham Square is at the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge. The center includes Food Lion, Gold’s Gym and Brittany’s.

Enter the Dominion Valley Market Square’s Holiday Shopping Spree here: http://bit.ly/DominionValleyHoliday2015. Anchored by Giant Food, Dominion Valley Market Square is located at the intersection of James Madison Highway (Route 15) and Dominion Valley Drive in Haymarket. 

To enter Smoketown Plaza’s Holiday Shopping Spree, click here: http://bit.ly/SmoketownHoliday2015. Smoketown Plaza is at the intersection of Smoketown Road and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge. The center includes Lowe’s Home Center, Glory Days Grill and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dillingham Square and Smoketown entry forms are due no later than 10 a.m. on December 9. All Bristow, Bull Run Plaza and Davis Ford Crossing entry forms are due by 10 a.m. on December 10. Dominion Valley entry forms are due no later than 10 a.m. on December 11.

News
70th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade welcomes Ed Asner as the Grand Marshal

 

So many holiday events this weekend: 

The Christmas season gets underway this weekend on our area with the following events: 

Manassas Christmas Tree Lighting — Friday 5:30 p.m. 

The Christmas Tree in Downtown Manassas will be illuminated at 6:30 p.m. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. when Santa Claus arrives at the Manassas Train Depot. There will be holiday music at 6 p.m. 

Attendees can take free hayrides around Downtown, and skate at Harris Pavilion.

70th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade — Saturday 10 a.m. 

The Greater Manassas Christmas Parade is honored to announce our 2015 Grand Marshal, Ed Asner! Mr. Asner comes to us with a prolific resume and may be best known for his role as Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and later on a spin off titled Lou Grant.

The younger generation might best recognize him as the voice of the older man in the 2009 Pixar film Up or as Santa Claus in the 2003 movie Elf. Mr. Asner is known to be a versatile, committed, eloquent and talented actor and has received seven Emmy Awards – the most any man has ever received.

The Greater Manassas Christmas Parade has been a hallmark event for 70 years providing entertainment for families and friends in the Greater Manassas community and beyond! It sets the mood for the holiday season!

The parade features over 100 marching units, numerous floats, high-flying balloons, several dancing groups-in all totaling over 2,000 participants each year! Come watch this year’s theme ‘Lights…Camera…Christmas!’ For more information, visit gmchristmasparade.org.

41st Annual Dumfries Christmas Parade — Saturday noon 

Join residents from Dumfries and eastern Prince William County for the 41st Annual Dumfries Christmas Parade at noon on Saturday. The parade route takes marchers and floats down Main Street (Route 1) past Town Hall. The Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Deparment, Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad, as well as several churches and businesses participate in the parade each year.

A tree lighting will follow the parade at 5 p.m. at Town Hall.

Lunch with Santa — Saturday 12:30 p.m. 

Come have lunch with the man in the big red suit at 12:30 p.m. in the Old Manassas Courthouse.

Monza / Carmellos collects gently used coats for gift cards

Monza of Historic Manassas will be collecting gently used coats to donate to SERVE in exchange for a $10 Monza or Carmello’s gift card and free hot chocolate and coffee on Sat., Dec. 5 during the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. Coat donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Monza at 9405 Battle Street in Downtown Manassas, Va., as well as throughout December to support SERVE of Manassas, Va.

They’ll also be accepting new toys for children of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Manassas, Va.) in exchange for a $10 Monza/Carmello’s gift card during December. For more information, go to eatmonza.com. One gift card will be given per coat and/or per new toy.

“We all feel the drop in temperature, and for those in need, sometimes one warm coat is hard to come by which is why we wanted to help collect as many coats as possible for the our local SERVE program,” said Alice Pires, owner of Monza and Carmello’s in Historic Manassas, Va. “We’re excited to collect toys for the kids of CASA, let’s try to make sure no one is forgotten this holiday,” said Pires.

Traffic
Ahead for bus riders: OmniRide Delays Thursday, schedule changes Monday

If you’re riding OmniRide tomorrow, get ready for some delays due to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. 

This is the official word sent out to bus riders from the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission: 

This is a reminder that the National Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, December 3, on the Ellipse near the White House. In anticipation of the extreme traffic congestion, PRTC will activate the Emergency Service Plan for the AFTERNOON/EVENING commute on December 3.

Beginning at 2 p.m., OmniRide buses will only pick up from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station for eastern Prince Willi am County passengers and Tysons Corner Metro Station for Manassas, Gainesville and Linton Hall passengers. Midday trips meeting at the Pentagon at 12:34 p.m. will operate at the normal times along the regular routes. All other afternoon/evening trips will depart from the Metro stations. All regular drop-off stops will be served. Services from the Metro stations will continue until 7:30 p.m. except for Prince William and Manassas Metro Direct buses, which will continue operating until their last published departure time.

Bus fares will be $3.85 cash or $3.10 on your SmarTrip card.

It’s also time for PRTC’s Fall Service Change. The commuter bus operator says to expect changes to some schedules: 

Timetable changes will be made to the following schedules. Routes not listed below will not change.

OmniRide:

-Dale City – Pentagon/Crystal City – Timetable changes.

-Dale City – Navy Yard – Timetable changes.

-Lake Ridge – Pentagon/Crystal City – Timetable changes.

Montclair – Timetable changes.

-Manassas — The route 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.

OmniLink:

Woodbridge/Lake Ridge – Timepoint changes from Prince William & Hoffman to Prince William & Hillendale; timetable changes.

-Dale City – The first three weekday inbound trips will begin at Dale Blvd. & Orangewood instead of the Chinn Center. Alternate service from Chinn Center is available on Woodbridge A OmniLink. Timepoints change from Mapledale Plaza to Dale & Orangewood/Dale &Trident.

-Dumfries – First three AM weekday trips and first AM Saturday trip will begin at the Lofts instead of the 7-11 on Fuller Heights Road.

Route 1 OmniLink – Timepoint changes from Dumfries Shopping Center to Fraley & Williamstown.

-Manassas – Timetable changes.

Manassas Park – Timetable changes.

Metro Direct:

-Manassas Metro Direct – Timetable changes.

-Linton Hall Me tro Direct – Timetable changes.

Cross County Connector – Timetable changes.

OmniRide commuter buses provide transit services for those traveling from Prince William County and Manassas to points in Northern Virginia and Washington. OmniLink local buses provide transit services for those traveling inside Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

Aurora Flight Sciences launches world’s first 3D-printed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

A 3D printed drone

Ten years ago it might have been hard for many people to imagine being able to send a digital file to a printer and producing a three-dimensional object. However, this advanced technology is becoming more widely used in many different industries and is inspiring innovations like 3D-printed cars that can drive and medical devices that can save lives.

Today, Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences is taking this technology one step further. The company unveiled the world’s largest and fastest 3D-printed, unmanned aircraft at the Dubai Airshow in November. This high-speed, jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flies faster than 150 miles per hour.

Aurora partnered with Stratasys Ltd., a 3D printing and additive manufacturing company, to design and produce an aircraft using 3D-printed, lightweight plastics and metal. This UAV was developed in half the time it typically takes using traditional manufacturing methods.

By using 3D printers, Aurora’s aerospace engineers can build customized products quicker and produce them more cost effectively, which creates new opportunities for the company. For example, the U.S. Air Force recently announced an initiative called “Affordable, Attritable Aircraft” to significantly reduce aircraft procurement costs. The development of lower-cost, 3D-printed UAVs will make it more “affordable” for the military to lose a drone in combat situations.

“Part of the Air Force’s challenge is to separate manufacturing costs from production rate and quantity,” says Dan Campbell, Aerospace Research Engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences. “3D printing is a major enabler of meeting their needs.”

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, uses a “materials printer” to produce a three-dimensional object from a computer model. The printer builds the object by placing layers of a material on top of each other. Aurora and Stratasys mostly used a strong thermoplastic that is resistant to heat and chemicals to build their UAV. The materials that they chose significantly reduce the aircraft’s weight but still meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirements for flame, smoke, and toxicity. The UAV has a 9-foot wingspan and only weighs 33 pounds.

“Whether by air, water, or on land, lightweight vehicles use less fuel. This enables companies to lower operational costs as well as to reduce environmental impact,” says Scott Sevcik, Aerospace & Defense Senior Business Manager for Stratasys. “Using only the exact material needed for production is expected to reduce acquisition cost by eliminating waste and reducing scrap and recycling costs.”

Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys began working together through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory program. For four years, the two companies have been collaborating on developing novel materials and design methods for manufacturing small aircraft using 3D printing.

Having already achieved similar success with unmanned aircraft developed under Department of Defense-funded programs, the Aurora and Stratasys team is excited to publicly demonstrate their achievements. The internally funded UAV showcased at the Dubai Airshow was developed specifically to demonstrate their technology and show the world what can be done with 3D printing and aerospace engineering.

Aurora Flight Sciences, which was founded in 1989, has its headquarters in the City of Manassas and is a long-standing member of the business community. This leading developer and manufacturer of UAVs and aerospace vehicles has won industry recognition and awards for its cutting-edge technology.

Aurora is one of the top ten employers in the City with 188 staff members who are active volunteers with civic organizations and STEM education programs. Since 2003, Aurora has been giving back to the community by supporting the Team America Rocketry Challenge, a national student rocket design contest, through sponsorship and mentoring of local middle and high school teams.

The company has grown considerably over the years and has expanded several times to include production plants in West Virginia and Mississippi; a research and development center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and a new office in California’s Silicon Valley at Mountain View.

This post is written by the City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city in a paid content partnership with Potomac Local.

Parades, pancakes, ornaments, & Santa pet photos: Don’t miss holiday fun at the Manassas Park Community Center

 

‘Tis the Season at the Manassas Park Community Center!

There’s just something about the holiday season that makes it one of my favorite times of the year. Maybe it’s because this is the season for spreading happiness, togetherness, and well-wishes to everybody you meet. To help you get into the spirit of the season the Manassas Park Community Center has lots of special events lined up!

The festivities kick off on Thursday, December 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. where you and your family can decorate dough ornaments for only $3 a person. You can literally create a lifelong memory to include on your Christmas tree or to keep at your desk all year round.

As a baking enthusiast, nothing brings me more holiday cheer than gingerbread houses! You and your family can decorate your own gingerbread houses Thursday, December 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for just $5 per participant. We’ll supply everything but feel free to bring your own special candy to make your houses extra unique.

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Our popular 10th Annual Light Parade is on Saturday, December 12 starting at 5:45 p.m. There’s a new route this year! It will start at the General’s Ridge Golf Course and follow Manassas Drive to the Manassas Park Community Center. There’s still time to have your vehicle be a part of the parade. Contact Tony Thomas at t.thomas@manassasparkva.gov for more details.

Santa will be visiting the Manassas Park Community Center for a pancake breakfast on Saturday, December 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. It’s only $5 per person for Breakfast with Santa and kids 2 years old and under can join us for free. Make sure to bring your wishlist!

Your pups can meet Santa on December 19 as well! From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. bring your dogs to take pictures with Santa during our Santa Paws special event! It’s only $5 per dog and you’ll get a high quality digital photo to keep for years to come.

In addition to all of our special events, our monthly promotion gets in on the holiday action! Get 12% off an annual Basic or All-Access membership or 12% off any rental you book during the month of December! For more details on memberships and rentals you can visit our website at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call the front desk at 703-335-8872.

We hope to see you soon here at the Manassas Park Community Center!

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