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There are some changes to OmniRide’s Snow Emergency Plan

From OmniRide: 

PRTC’s new Emergency Service Plan brochure is available on buses and online. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the plan as we enter the winter weather season.

This year’s changes to the plan include:

  • In the morning, OmniRide routes will only operate between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., with buses departing every 20 minutes.

  • Dale City – Washington/Pentagon/ Rosslyn/ Ballston/ Navy Yard. All AM buses start at the Lindendale Commuter Lot. Bus stops along Minnieville and Caton Hill ARE NOT SERVED. However, if PRTC runs regular service in the AM, and the ESP is implemented for PM service, passengers who need to travel to bus stops on Minnieville and Caton Hill roads should remain on the bus past the Lindendale Commuter Lot.

  • Gainesville – Washington/ Pentagon. All AM buses start at the Limestone Commuter Lot before serving the Cushing Road Commuter Lot. In the AM and PM, buses will follow Linton Hall Metro Direct routing.

  • South Route 1. AM passengers should board a shuttle bus at any PRTC bus stop along Route 1 between Fox Lair and Wayside Drive, and then transfer to a waiting Montclair OmniRide bus at the Route 234 Commuter Lot. In the PM, riders will share a bus with Montclair OmniRide passengers and transfer to a shuttle at the Route 234 Commuter Lot.

News
Bullet holes in home, shell casings found in Haymarket area

From police: 

Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling – On January 1 at 8:53AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 4500 block of Dodds Mill Dr in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a destruction of property. The homeowner reported to police that two bullet holes were discovered near the front porch area of the residence. A bullet fragment was also located on the floor inside the home. The homeowner believed the incident took place sometime after midnight when a noise was heard outside. Police were not contacted at that time. Multiple shell casings were found in the roadway near the homeowner’s residence. During the investigation, officers learned of a large party that occurred at a neighboring home the night prior. Upon contact at that residence, officers further discovered a round was fired in the home during the gathering. No injuries were reported and no suspect was identified.

And, in Dale City: 

Reckless Handling of a Firearm – On December 31 at 11:39PM, officers responded to the Sheetz located at 4021 Prince William Pkwy in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a shots fired call. The caller reported to police that an unknown man fired several rounds in the parking lot. Upon arrival, officers located multiple shell casings. The suspect was last seen leaving the area in a white or light-color sedan. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Suspect Description:

Black male, unknown age, 5’7”, 160lbs with a thin build, medium complexion, black hair and mustache

Last seen wearing a San Francisco 49rs hat, a green jacket with an orange liner, dark pants and black gloves

News
Serve Our Willing Warriors Executive Director steps down

Serve Our Willing Warriors Executive Director Jeffery Sapp announced today he will step down by the end of the year. 

Sapp has served in the executive director role for one year. He told Potomac Local today his departure was a mutual decision between him and the charity’s board of directors. 

Sapp sent this email detailing his resignation on Wednesday morning: 

Having helped Serve Our Willing Warriors navigate challenges inherent to organization change. Having been part of aligning us for doing even better at supporting Wounded, Ill, or Injured Warriors and their families and caregivers. And having fulfilled the terms of my contract, I am stepping aside as Executive Director effective December 31, 2017.

To promote continuity, Board Member Mark Shaaber has agreed to serve as Interim Executive Director.

We’ve had an amazing year. It’s been an honor and a pleasure working with and learning from the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, staff, Volunteers, supporters, and others. Their–your–individual and collective spirit, generosity, and commitment to raising the bar of excellence and increasing mission success are the bedrock of our accomplishments.

Sapp said he achieved his major goal of breaking ground this month on the construction of three new homes to house wounded warriors at the charity’s Haymarket-area campus.

The charity’s board of directors followed Sapp’s email with this: 

On behalf of the Board of Directors of SOWW,  I would like to thank you for your contributions to SOWW.  Duly noted is the incredible work you displayed with the recent Groundbreaking Ceremony of our new home with PenFed Credit Union and PenFed Foundation.  The success of this effort along with many others reflect great credits upon you and the passion you have for our warriors and their families.  

Sapp said he plans to remain living in the area following his departure from the charity and work as a consultant and work on his motivational speaking business. 

Sentara in step with the community, creates foot and ankle program

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is pleased to introduce the Foot & Ankle Program at Sentara.  

The Program partners highly skilled physicians with state-of-the-art procedures, so patients will have a pathway to receive the right care for their foot and ankle health concerns, all while staying close to home for treatment.

The physicians which support the Foot & Ankle Program at Sentara perform a multitude of procedures, from ankle replacements and pediatric flat foot reconstructions to trailblazing minimally-invasive Subchondroplasty® Procedures which use stem cells and a liquid bone material to fill internal fractures and lesions. These high-tech procedures allow a shorter recovery which means less pain, fewer follow up appointments and less time away from work, ensuring patients can get back to their lives sooner.

“We’re really excited and honored to be working with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center to provide this level of care to patients,” says Dr. Vincent Bonini, Doctor of Podiatry Medicine, F.A.C.F.A.S.

Dr. Bonini is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He and his team have been based in Prince William County for the last 25 years. While the group treats traditional aliments, the field of podiatry has grown.

“We’ve become a very specific subset of orthopedics, at this point. Our roots are in the bunions and hammer toes, but with the advent of newer technology, we’ve really branched out to all phases of orthopedics as it relates to foot and ankle,” explains Dr. Bonini.

Pain or injury in your foot or ankle can keep you from activities you enjoy. It may even be keeping you from simply walking. With 26 bones in each foot and 7 bones in each ankle, it can often be complicated to determine what is actually creating the pain. When conservative measures such as rest, anti-inflammatories or physical therapy are not offering relief, it’s probably time to see a specialist.

Whether it’s pain due to a chronic condition such as diabetes or arthritis, a congenital deformity, an overuse fracture, or an accidental/work related injury, our team will be able to connect you to the care you need, with both outpatient and inpatient services.

Dr. Bonini says foot and ankle discomfort and injuries shouldn’t keep you from activities you enjoy, “Don’t live with the pain, we can help right away.”

To be connected to the Foot & Ankle Program at Sentara or to find a podiatrist, call 1-800-SENTARA or search ‘Find a Provider’ at Sentara.com.


From chronic pain to gain: ‘Becky has already lost 92 pounds and dropped more than three sizes’

Becky Turner- before pic
becky turner - after pic
Rezvani, Masoud

Prince William County resident Becky Turner had been living in pain for years.

“I had been to surgeons all over the area trying to get some relief. It was to the point where I had to use a wheelchair a lot of the time. At the very least, I had to use a walker,” explains the 62-year-old.

As her crippling back pain increased, so did her weight.

“Everyone said, there was nothing they could do for me,” she remembers.

Until her primary care physician suggested gastric bypass surgery, sharing how another patient received relief after undergoing the procedure. From there, an idea was born.

“I thought about it for a while and I thought, let’s see what’s involved,” says Turner.

That’s when she met Dr. Masoud Rezvani and the team at the Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center, a designated Accredited Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP.) Her insurance said it would pay for the procedure, but Turner would have to undergo testing and complete a six-month dietary weight loss class.

After the class was completed, the insurance company gave the okay. Because Becky was a diabetic with an insulin pump, the decision was made to perform a Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch, also known as BPD-DS, using minimally invasive robotic surgery. Dr. Rezvani is one of the only gastric bypass surgeons in Northern Virginia, who performs this complicated procedure.  

“It’s very important to have the right procedure for the right patient,” explains Dr. Rezvani, “Every individual is a different package. Based on the patients’ age, gender, body mass index, past medical history, past surgical history and goal of the operation is going to determine what works best.”

In a BDP-DS operation, doctors reroute the intestines, which cuts back on how many calories a patient can absorb. As a result, patients feel less hungry, lose most of their excess weight within one year and keep the weight off, all while having significant health improvements.

“This surgery isn’t for everyone,” Dr. Rezvani says, “It requires a lot of maintenance. Not only is there a weight loss effect, there’s a metabolic effect which helps patients with conditions such as severe diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure.”

For Becky, who was having issues managing her diabetes, it was a good fit. Her main concern going into her September surgery wasn’t the procedure, but the pain that could accompany it. It was something doctors worked with her to manage. “I never had the first bit of pain,” she says, “I don’t know if I’m the exception to the rule, but it was a good experience for me all the way around. Everyone was wonderful to me. All the nurses just went out of their way to be nice. I just adore Dr. Rezvani.”

In just three months since her surgery, Becky has already lost 92 pounds and dropped more than three sizes. “I’m shocked it’s coming off as quickly as it has,” and her back which had been in constant pain is already feeling better, “Though it’s not 100% yet, it’s about 70%. I can go and do stuff again. I can help with yard work,” she says smiling.

Becky is off her insulin pump and now taking insulin shots just twice a day. Her hope is, when she loses a little more weight, her diabetes will go into remission. She’s also is looking forward to becoming more active with her rescue pups, “Penny” and “Peanut.”

“Before my back really started hurting, I used to walk 5 miles each day. And I felt great. So, it has been about 6 or 7 years since I felt this good. I’m looking forward to getting back out there,” says Turner.

As she prepares to lace up her tennis shoes for those walks, she says she would recommend this procedure to anyone looking to change their life, “I would tell them to go for it, especially if you’re in pain. What do you have to lose? I was at a point where I was in so much pain, I was so unhappy, I didn’t have a life. And I thought –I’ve got to give this a try.”

Surgery isn’t for everyone. To learn if you qualify, head over to sentaranova.com, where you can watch our informational videos to discover if weight loss surgery is right for you. Or you can call 1-800-SENTARA to learn more.

Pictured: Becky before, Becky after, Dr. Dr. Rezvani

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OmniRide aims to rebrand, improve image

 

Commuter bus agency to drop PRTC moniker

There’s OmniRide. That’s the commuter bus service that each weekday takes people from Prince William County and Manassas to Arlington and Washington, D.C. and then back again.

Then there’s OmniLink. Those are the local buses that serve stops within Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

OmniMatch is a commuter ride-finding service.

And, it all falls under the umbrella of one of the longest agency names in the region: The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission commonly referred to as PRTC.

Confused?

Prince William County’s transportation agency, PRTC, recognizes it has an identity crisis. And it’s doing something about it.

The agency is undergoing what Executive Director Robert “Bob” Schneider called a “brand renewal strategy.” The commuter bus service plans to ditch “PRTC” and instead be known simply as “OmniRide,” putting it in line with other area transportation agencies with one-name monikers like Fredericksburg’s “Fred,” Alexandria’s “DASH,” and Metro.

“We want to take a look at how to do we make ourselves more approachable and accessible to the community,” said Schneider.

It’s part of an overall effort to make the transit agency more of a commuter bus company, but more of a transit leader for the region, which could pave the way for its involvement in the future of ridesharing, or slugging, and a long-proposed Potomac River commuter ferry in Woodbridge.

The overall image of OmniRide would, hopefully, be one where the public no longer sees the agency as a drain on public resources but a partner in economic growth for the region.

Long known for its teal buses, new OmniRide buses could become a shade of green and blue. Its logo is expected to be modified, and it’s website updated.

As part of the rebranding, OmniRide wants to be known for:

  • Taking cars off Interstates 95 and 66
  • Being problem solvers
  • The people who get people to work and home faster
  • Providers of high-quality customer service

And since most products and services must have a tagline, OmniRide’s is “Get There Smarter.” That’s a change from the current slogan “The Ride That’s Right For You.” 

Schneider, who is relatively new to the transit agency, say’s he’d like to turn his 45-foot long commuter buses into billboards using a new color scheme to promote his agencies services.

The grey bus stop signs the dot roads in the county would also be updated. 

“Go and look at any of our bus stop signs and what do they say? ‘Bus stop.’ That’s it. There’s an opportunity to use those signs to brand us better,” said Schneider. 

Not everyone on the PRTC Board of Commissioners is excited.

“Do you think we should serve chocolate chip cookies, too?” quipped Jeanine Lawson, who sits on the Commission and also serves as the Prince William County Brenstville District Supervisor.

As OmniRide looks to transform its image, it also looks to consolidate its dispatch operations, and fix what it calls inefficiencies and redundancies by eliminating 12 jobs from the PRTC payroll and instead contract those positions to the company already contracted to drive OmniRide buses, First Transit, Inc.

In the midst of all of this, however, a letter obtained by the PRTC Board of Commissioners but not released claiming workplace discrimination has slowed the transformation process. This month, Commissioners said it could be February before an investigation into those claims is complete.

News
’28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Program & Youth Oratorical Contest on Monday, January 15′

From a press release: 

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host its 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Program & Youth Oratorical Contest on Monday, January 15 at 11 a.m. at the Hylton Memorial Chapel, 14640 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge. Middle school and high school students from throughout the Prince William area will display their amazing oratorical skills and children of all ages will sing songs of celebration in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir.

This free event is one of the oldest and largest celebrations of Dr. King’s legacy in the Washington metro area. The Prince William Alumnae Chapter (PWCAC) has held a King Day recognition program for 33 years.  The program continues to grow and 2,000 people are expected to attend and witness the inspiring performances of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park students.

In addition to listening to some amazing speeches and cheering on this year’s contestants and community choir, attendees can participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service by donating non-perishable food items, new/slightly used coats hats and gloves for distribution to Prince William area community service organizations.

Sheila Bryant and Sandra Mitchell lead this program for the sorority. Generally, Mitchell provides theme ideas. “This year’s theme, “In His Own Words: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” is sure to inspire contestants to provide performances that engage and amaze the audience, said Mitchell. The great oratorical legacy of Dr. King inspires the world, Prince William area students will “bring the house down” with their words, and oratorical skills beamed Bryant.

Lorraine Jackson, PWCAC President, noted the importance partnerships play in making this program successful.  “We definitely appreciate the financial assistance, in-kind donations and volunteer support we receive from various entities in the community.”  The support we receive has been instrumental in the growth of this program,” she added.

The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation, SunTrust Bank, the Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park school districts and education foundations, local churches and private donors all generously support this event.

For more information, visit www.pwcacdst.org.

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State officials to review need for new Haymarket power line in February

A date has been set in Richmond for a new State Corporation Commission hearing to determine if a new 10-mile, 234,000 kv powerline is needed in Haymarket.

From an email: 

“The State Corporation Commission has scheduled a public evidentiary hearing in Richmond at 10 a.m. on February 8, 2018 on the Haymarket Transmission Line Project.  An SCC Hearing Examiner will receive the testimony of public witnesses and evidence from Dominion Energy, the Commission staff and the parties in the case.  I have attached [PDF] the SCC ruling for your information.”

The new hearing is prompted by new evidence uncovered by the SCC after Dominion requested, and failed to get, cooperation with Prince William County to build the power line along the Carver Road alternative as opposed to the overhead route along Interstate 66.

“I find the SCC’s recent decision to re-open the case and include new testimony as to the questionable need a significant step forward in protecting the communities of western [Prince William County],” Jeanine Lawson told Potomac Local via email.

New evidence is expected to be entered into the record during the hearing by the applicant that wishes to build the new line, Dominion Energy. Some of that new evidence is changes to the proposed routes laid out by Dominion. 

Prince William County officials. the Somerset Crossing Home Owners Association, and Coalition to Protect Prince William have long opposed the proposed power line. The new line would run from the intersection of Prince William Parkway (Route 223 Business) to a new Amazon-owned data center outside Haymarket.

News
Thieves hit a string of cars outside Haymarket golf club

Virginia State Police are calling for the public’s help for information on a crime that occurred just after Thanksgiving: 

From a press release: 

The Prince William County Police and Virginia State Police are seeking the public’s help with identifying the individuals in the attached surveillance photo. The two individuals are being sought in connection with a series of vehicle break-ins that occurred in a neighborhood in Haymarket during the early morning hours of Nov. 25, 2017.

On that morning, numerous reports were filed of vehicles parked on the street and in driveways in the Piedmont Golf Community having been broken into and various items missing. Among the vehicles broken into was an unmarked Virginia State Police car. A Department-issued firearm was taken from inside the locked vehicle.

Anyone with information about these individuals and/or the vehicle break-ins is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or #77 on a cell phone or sent by email to questions@vsp.virginia.gov. Tips can also be submitted to Prince William County Police Department at 703-792-5123 or by email at policedept@pwcgov.org.

News
Cookies and Creme to host ribbon cutting at new Haymarket location

From a press release: 

Cookies & Cream, locally owned by Robyn & Pete Candland, will host a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening party to celebrate the opening of their 2nd location on Saturday, December 16 from 6-8pm. There will be games, giveaways, special treats, and pictures with Santa.

With their homemade cookies and award-winning ice-cream, Cookies & Cream has become a favorite dessert spot for families all over Northern Virginia. According to Robyn, “We are so excited to open up an additional location and grow the Cookies & Cream family.

We love being part of the community and appreciate all the support we’ve received.” Voted the #1 Ice Cream in Haymarket, Cookies & Cream will look to carry-on the tradition of bringing a local, hometown atmosphere to the new shop.

The location will feature both indoor and outdoor seating and is conveniently located near the intersection of Linton Hall Rd. and Devlin Road (behind Walgreens). Ice Cream flavors include Fly Fishing Fudge, Butter Pecan, Campfire S’mores and for a limited time seasonal flavors such as Apple Pie, Peppermint, Egg Nog, and Pumpkin. Homemade cookies include, lemon, chocolate chip, original sugar cookie, and more. Cookies & Cream’s signature item is the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich that combines the best of both worlds.

Robyn continued, “We are committed that hometown values will stay at core of every location, and it’s our hope that Cookies and Cream will be a gathering place for everyone in the community.”


The expectations were high when FreshySites was tasked to build a website for a company rooted deep in Virginia’s rich winemaking history

At FreshySites, we’re dedicated to taking our clients’ online presence to the next level through the creation of beautiful, clean and user-friendly websites. This mission extends to clients both national and local.

Earlier this year, we were asked to create a website for the local landmark business Morais Vineyards and Winery.

Wanting a more accessible, modern site that would better represent their gorgeous vineyard and winery, as well as the delicious wines they produce, this historic business came to the right place – right down the street from their wine tasting room in Manassas – for such an undertaking.

Though the expectations were high in our being tasked to build a website for a business that’s been an integral part of Virginia’s rich winemaking history for decades, we knew exactly how to revamp the Morais Vineyards & Winery website.

After months of steady planning and collaboration, mockups created and revision rounds went through, we transformed their previous website – marked by improper spacing, lackluster design, and ordinary functionality – into a simple and elegant site filled with features and pages unique to such a gorgeous place in our region.

Discover more about Morais Vineyards & Winery on their charming and aesthetically pleasing website representative of a venue perfect for lavish weddings and events.

Their blog is a perfect assortment of ideas, information, and advice for any bride in need of help or inspiration. And, their image gallery says more than our endorsement ever could!

Explore the various wedding packages offered, beautiful locations on the grounds to get married, the history of the Morais family, photos from past weddings held there and so much more.

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. 

Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. 

FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!

New shoulder replacement procedure gives the gift of movement

Ernie Krapfl is avid table tennis player. But, the 74-year-old’s game was nearly derailed by a severe shoulder injury.

“I had been losing a lot of sleep because of the pain. I had a separation and a torn rotator cuff,” he explains.

Krapfl had been living with the injury since his college days and kept putting off getting surgery because of the fear of a lengthy recovery.

But his primary care physician shared with him the many advances which had taken place over the last several decades and advised him to visit a specialist. That’s when Krapfl met board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon Cyrus Press, MD.

“The majority of my patients are baby boomers. They’re active and they want to remain active. They’re looking for solutions to their problems that extend beyond pain relief,” explains Dr. Press.

Dr. Press, a specialist at the Sentara OrthoJoint Center®, was the first surgeon in Northern Virginia to utilize stemless shoulder replacement surgery. Dr. Press thought Ernie Krapfl could be a good candidate for the state of the art procedure.

During a shoulder replacement, the ball and socket of the shoulder are removed. The ball is replaced with metal and the socket is replaced with plastic.

“The newer technology, which this patient received, is a stemless shoulder replacement. This minimizes the amount of entry we have to go into the bone in order to put this metal ball on,” explains Dr. Press.

That means less pain for stemless shoulder replacement patients.

And, for Ernie Krapfl, that means he’s been able to return to the game his loves,” I’m now ready to challenge Dr. Press to a match!” he says laughing.


Dulles Glass & Mirror, Inc., celebrates growth with Governor Terry McAuliffe at ribbon cutting ceremony

Dulles Glass and Mirror, Inc., celebrated the opening of its new facility at a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe as the special guest, as well as Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on December 5, 2017, at Dulles Glass’s new headquarters at 7610 Doane Drive, Manassas, Prince William County, VA 20109. The new, 84,000 square foot facility will house expanded glass manufacturing operations to solidify the company’s position as the premier nationwide online glass seller and streamline the production process for the company’s line of premium glass shower door enclosures.

“Our move into Prince William County is a great example of a productive partnership between a government and a local business.Our government is delivering on the promise of creating a job-friendly environment where businesses can grow and expand. We’re proof of successful partnership,” said Dr. Bahram Nasehi, CEO of Dulles Glass.

“I am pleased to celebrate the expansion of Dulles Glass and Mirror, a company that has thrived in Virginia for 45 years,” said Governor McAuliffe speaking at the grand opening ceremony. “When a Virginia-headquartered manufacturing company chooses to expand their facility, it is a testament to the Commonwealth’s strong economy and talented workforce. The manufacturing industry continues to gain momentum across Virginia, with more than 240,000 employed in the sector, and small businesses, like Dulles Glass and Mirror, are contributing to that energy and the new Virginia economy.”

The management team at Dulles Glass enjoyed taking Governor McAuliffe and other officials for a tour of the manufacturing facilities. Attendees of the event included officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Prince William County Department of Economic Development, and the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority and many others.

Dulles Glass & Mirror announced earlier this year that they are bringing $7.5 million in capital investment and 136 jobs to Prince William County. With the expansion of the headquarters, research and development, manufacturing, and warehouse operations, Dulles Glass & Mirror will bring 40 net new jobs with an average wage of $51,092, over a five-year period.

###

About Dulles Glass and Mirror, Inc.

Founded in 1972, Dulles Glass and Mirror, Inc. is a privately held company that manufactures glass, mirror and shower doors for residential and commercial uses. The company delivers its products nationally and offers premium frameless glass shower door and other glass installation services in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The company also offers a large variety of glass and mirror products that are customizable through its online store. To learn more visit: https://www.dullesglassandmirror.com



Historic Downtown Manassas Holiday Gift Guide

Are you looking for unique gifts this holiday season but not interested in the hustle and bustle found at the major retailers?

Why not shop small in the City of Manassas. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list at one of the charming shops in Historic Downtown.

All lit up for the holidays, Historic Downtown Manassas is a hidden gem with independently-owned boutiques featuring jewelry, homeware, clothing, original art, candles, and much more. Take a look at these gift suggestions to get a glimpse of what Manassas shopping has to offer. Check out VisitManassas.org for a full list of stores and activities. Better yet, bring the family and enjoy a day of shopping, an amazing meal and perhaps a little hot chocolate and ice skating.  

Fun & Tasty Stocking Stuffers

Bacon treats? Lip gloss? Fidget Spinners? Yup. You can get all three, and even Havana Banana flavored soda at Popcorn Monkey. If they have an oversized stocking, you could also put a tin of delicious popcorn in there…it would not disappoint. Prices on stocking stuffers starting at $3.99.

Popcorn Monkey

For the Person Who Has Everything

There’s at least one person on everyone’s list that you agonize over every year. A great way to approach a gift for the person who has everything is to pick delicious perishable items. Manassas Olive Oil Company will allow you to customize a gift basket with things like artisan olive oils, balsamic vinegar, and pour spouts, and a dipping dish. The friendly staff will even package it up with a pretty holiday bow.

Manassas Olive Oil

For the Kids (No batteries or assembly required)

Give your child the opportunity to discover their music talent by teaching their fingers something useful (other than how to use a Nintendo controller). Prince William String Academy offers music lessons in piano, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Four half-hour lessons with a professional musician, only $140. 

For the Person Who Embraces the Holiday Spirit 

These one-of-a-kind earrings from McCall Studio Gallery (a division of DMVISUAL) will ensure that the person donning these beauties will be sparkling brighter than the tree. Pick up some holiday spirit with these snowman or Christmas tree crystal earrings. A pair starts at $30.99.      

McCall Design

For the Person Who’s Ready to Get Fit in 2018 

Center Street Studio is the perfect place to start or continue your fitness journey. The easiest way to get started is with the Wellness Package for New Students for only $199. The package includes the “Intro to the Pilates Reformer” (three private Pilates apparatus lessons), a three-class yoga pass, two thirty-minute health-coaching consultations.* Give the gift of transformation- a more confident and healthy you in the new year. 

*For new students to Center Street Studios only. One package per person.

For the Hostess with the Mostess 

For the person who loves to host, give them a beautiful serving platter that can suit any occasion, season or holiday. Introducing the Nora Fleming platter- with interchangeable “minis,” you can transform one platter into the ultimate platter for every possible celebration. Platters and minis are available at Love, Charley (along with lots of other charming shabby chic homewares). Prices vary depending on the size of the dish.  

For the Craft Beer Aficionado 

For the lover of craft beer, or the person looking to expand their palate, pick-up a limited or barrel-aged release, available only at the Heritage Brewing taproom. Toast to friendship with the gift that will be the perfect addition to any holiday dinner table. Six packs start at $11.99. 



Working out and keeping fit during the holidays and beyond

During the holidays well, okay most of the time, it sure feels like we are living our lives in the fast lane! Everything all the time, one of the lines from the song by the Eagles, sums up the frantic and often frenetic activities occurring during the holidays. If you are like many people, the time you spend in the gym may suffer because you simply do not have the time or the energy to work out as you would like.

Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) fitness instructor Kathleen Joubert suggests that you work out with a friend. “Find someone with similar fitness and workout goals to your own, and plan to meet at the gym,” advises Joubert, “Discuss the classes you wish to attend, and plan to be there.

She points out that you are not as likely to miss classes if you know you have someone waiting for you. If you are working out alone, you may find any excuse not to go to the gym, but if you know your friend is there, waiting, and will be annoyed that you did not show up, you are more apt to go.

“I always tell people that is exactly how it began with me,” Joubert explains,When I was trying to get into a workout routine I had a great friend and workout partner who I did not want to disappoint so I went to the gym–even if I really didn’t want tobecause I didn’t want to let my workout partner down.

Joubert adds in order to keep motivated, stick to the classes and work out programs that you and your workout partner both like. It can turn into a competition, but if it gets you to the gym, then you both win!

Another helpful tip is not to stop at home before you go to the gym. Joubert always changes into her gym clothes before leaving work, and drives directly to the gym. “It is harder in the winter because it gets dark so early, but we all know that if you stop at home, you will find your way to the warm, comfy couch, and you will not make it to the gym as you initially planned,” Joubert adds.

If you prefer to work out alone, Joubert cautions not to do something she sees every day, “I always cringe when I see people lifting more weight than they should. Her experience and training reinforce her philosophy that it is more important to use less weight and do more repetitions.

“I am that instructor who will go right over to people and correct them immediately. I do not wish to embarrass anyone, but I know the correct form and if you are trying to lift weights that are too heavy, your form will be less than perfect, and that is how injuries happen,” Joubert explains.

“In my classes, I help people shape muscle, not build muscle,” Joubert clarifies, “If you are in my body sculpting class, and you are having a difficult time finishing the set, you are probably lifting too much weight.Most people are surprised when she tells them that men should only be lifting between 10-20 pounds, and women should probably lift no more than 16 pounds, which is only 8 pounds on each side. “Using lighter weights and increasing the repetition to three sets of twelve is a good way to maximize your workout without inviting injury,” she said.

Joubert likes to talk about diets with her students and stresses the importance of keeping portions small. “A great diet tip I always share is to keep your calorie intake in moderation by eating only a spoonful of whatever you wish to eat! If you are at a buffet, eat everything—but only one spoonful of everything,” she laughs.

Another tip Joubert recommends is to give yourself realistic goals. If your goal is to just get to the gym regularly, once you meet that goal, then give yourself another goal that you can meet such as attending

2 to 3 classes a week. She warns doing too much too quickly can lead to injury. She would rather see you building up to a goal rather than wearing yourself out from doing too much too fast.

“We really are our own worst critics,” Joubert added emphasizing she has heard every excuse for not going to the gym including people who say they are too fat, too old, or too embarrassed. She assures you that once you begin your workout routine, and start meeting your attainable goals, you will want to go to the gym!

Are you motivated to take one of the classes taught by Kathleen Joubert at the Community Center? She teaches Kickboxing on Tuesdays from 7:30 pm-8:20 pm, Body Sculpting on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-6:50 pm, and Boot Camp class on Saturdays from 8:30 am-9:20 am.

See you in class!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility offers group exercise classes, basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, and recreational programs.

For more information, visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

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