Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

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Attack the Fat: Working as a team to change each others lives

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
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“Attack the Fat” is all about working together, mixing it up, and challenging yourself 

Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center is at it again with their wildly successful Attack the Fat Challenge.  This popular eight-week long program makes weight loss achievable and fun. 

Over 900 participants have seen over 8,000 pounds lost in the course of the program.

Attack the Fat Director Robin Frey says that the reason the program is so successful is that it relies on accountability and competition.

 “We just had our weigh-ins and participants are going to look at one another’s numbers and that creates a competitive spirit,” Frey said.

There are currently nine teams participating in the challenge with four to six people on each team.   The different teams are meant to foster an environment where everyone works hard to motivate one another to succeed. 

A groups’ success as a whole relies on each members’ individual success, so when a member loses weight or reaches a goal it’s not just for themselves but their entire team.

“It creates that environment of allowing them to understand that they can help each other,” Frey said.  Participants in the program also seem to enjoy this aspect of it, taking full advantage of the competitive nature and team building benefits.

Frey says the program also utilizes various fitness activities.  Sometimes, she says, they will use things such as a Dynamax ball body weight.  At other times, they do things such as burpees which require no equipment.  Each week the workout changes.

“We’re creating a need for adaption constantly because we’re changing it as we go,” said Frey. 

Although the program does use weigh-ins as a tool for measuring progress, it’s not the only way they track it.  Frey says that the program isn’t so much about the number but about creating a real change when it comes to lifestyle choices.

The Attack the Fat challenge is happening now.  

The preceding post was written by Potomac Local as part of a promoted content agreement with Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center.

News
Winter storm watch goes into effect Monday night, 5 inches of snow possible

We could see our first bout of significant winter weather starting Monday night.

A winter storm watch goes into effect Monday night and lasts until Tuesday morning for the region.

Here’s more from the National Weather Service Washington / Baltimore forecast office:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY
EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS…POTENTIAL FOR 5 OR MORE INCHES.

* TIMING…SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP MONDAY EVENING AND CONTINUE
THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED MONDAY NIGHT
AND EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.

* WIND CHILL…5 TO 10 BELOW ZERO TONIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING.

* TEMPERATURES…SINGLE DIGITS TONIGHT. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 20S
MONDAY. TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY
MORNING.

* WINDS…NORTHWEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH THIS
EVENING…DIMINISHING TO 10 TO 15 MPH OVERNIGHT. WINDS BECOMING
SOUTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH MONDAY NIGHT.

* IMPACTS…THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND COLD TEMPERATURES
WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS THAT CAN QUICKLY
CAUSE HYPOTHERMIA AND FROST BITE THROUGH MONDAY MORNING.
BEGINNING MONDAY EVENING…ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND
SLIPPERY WITH VISIBILITIES BEING REDUCED TO ONE HALF MILE OR
LESS AT TIMES. THE COMBINATION OF SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LOW
VISIBILITY WILL MAKE TRAVELLING DANGEROUS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN
FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS…MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND
GLOVES.

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW…SLEET…OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

News
High winds bring power outages: The latest numbers

High winds across the region tonight brought power outages to thousands.

Here’s a look at the numbers as they stood at 10 a.m. Sun., Feb. 15.

Here’s the latest  outage numbers from Dominion Virginia Power:

Arlington 17
Fairfax 3,790
Fairfax City 14
Fauquier 1,332
Fredericksburg 0
King George 554
Loudoun 204
Prince William 196
Spotsylvania 5
Stafford 554

Report an outage to Dominion

Here are the numbers from NOVEC

Fauquier 0
Fairfax 5
Prince William 147
Stafford  29

Report an outage to NOVEC

News
Prince William Flag flies half-staff until Tuesday

Retired Prince William County Deputy Finance Director Bill Hoffman passed away at his home in Catlett on Thursday.
Hoffman spent 33 years serving the residents of Prince William County.

The county’s flag that bears the Prince William County seal flew at half-staff outside the county’s McCoart Government Center on Prince William Parkway on Friday. It will remain at half-staff until Hoffman’s funeral service until Tuesday night.

Here’s more information contained in an email from county spokesman Jason Grant:

The County Executive has ordered that the County Flag be placed at half-staff until conclusion of the Tuesday, graveside service for Mr. Hoffman.

Since the flag has already been placed at half-staff in memory of John Henry, instead of being raised at the conclusion of his memorial service at the end of the day on Saturday, it will now remain until Tuesday evening, February 17, 2015.

John Henry also served county residents as the director of finance for the jail. 

John Henry, former Director of Finances of the Prince William County/Manassas Adult Detention Center, passed away on Feb. 9.  Bill Hoffman, former Assistant Finance Director, passed away on Feb. 12. Both men retired after many years of service to the county.

It is rare to fly the county flag at half-staff by itself. Usually, a U.S. President or Virginia’s Governor orders the U.S. Flag or Virginia Flag, respectively, to be lowered, and the county flag is lowered alongside it.

The county’s flag is usually lowered when a member of the county’s public safety service dies in the line of duty, or when a long-serving public servant or official passes away, as is what happened in this case, said Grant.

Historic Downtown Manassas has 14 new shops, eateries, and new apartments on the way

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More new shops, restaurants opening in Historic Downtown Manassas

The City of Manassas and its downtown development partner, Historic Manassas Inc., have been gradually moving away from referring to Old Town in favor of the moniker Historic Downtown Manassas. This helps to avoid being confused with that other “Old Town” in Northern Virginia.

But in this case, the title seems to resonate because the City is welcoming a host of new businesses to its historic district.

Over the past 12 months more than 16 new businesses have opened or announced their intent to relocate into the Virginia Main Street Community. As 2014 drew to a close, the City had already welcomed new retail outlet Records and Rarities; professional office users Caitlan Jordan, Attorney at Law, and SCS Integrated Support Services; personal services provider the Man Cave; and restaurants the Bone and Zandra’s.

In January a regional favorite, Malone’s, expanded to offer consumers a more casual dining and bar area on the second floor to complement the fine dining experience locals and visitors have grown to love.

Beginning late last year, a series of announced closures by long-time business owners in the Historic Downtown Manassas left development officials scrambling to identify new business prospects. They need not have worried as the City proved both its resiliency and attractiveness to entrepreneurs who are rushing in to fill the spaces being vacated. 

“What really happened was a generational opportunity for a new wave of small business owners to realize their dreams of opening or relocating their businesses in our Downtown. In many instances these spaces are some of the most attractive and high profile storefronts available,” City Manager Pat Pate told the Old Town Business Association.

A number of business owners obviously agree. Historic Downtown Manassas has recently announced that new business openings are pending by retail operators Scatter Seeds, a purveyor Fair Trade goods and local artisan products, Amy’s Bridal (formerly of Woodbridge), Manassas Olive Oil and Totally Vintage Design (formerly of Haymarket); raw bar and restaurant CJ Finz and ice cream parlor Jitterbug will join the crowd as will CutRate Barbershop and the NEW School.

In addition, and proving that Manassas is becoming a living destination of choice in addition to a retail and dining mecca, two new urban style apartment projects have been approved which will bring almost 200 new studio, one and two-bedroom luxury units into the Historic Downtown.

Economic Development Director Patrick Small and Historic Manassas Inc. Executive Director Debbie Haight say there are still a few opportunities left for new businesses that may have missed the initial rush to open. One of these, the site of the former Opera House Gourmet, is possibly the most desirable retail location in the City.

Located diagonally across Center Street from Harris Pavilion, it is the most prominent and highly visible storefront as people enter Downtown. Small and Haight say this and the few remaining retail spaces still on the market won’t be vacant long. In fact, several confidential business announcements are pending.

The preceding post was written by the City of Manassas under a marketing agreement with Potomac Local.

Bull Run Rotary Day is Feb. 21 at the Capitol Steps Concert for charity

Rotary Day is typically a fun, informal event to introduce the community to Rotary and their local beneficiaries.

Rotary Day is not just for a club or district. There are National Rotary Days in many countries and even an International Rotary Day at the United Nations. The Rotary Day events convey the Rotary’s relevance and highlight the good work and involvement.

The theme for Rotary International, this year is “Light Up Rotary” so there is increased effort this year to illuminate the great things that Rotarians facilitate. This year is also the 25th Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Manassas Bull Run, so there is extra pride in this year’s Bull Run Rotary Day.

This year’s Bull Run Rotary Day will be on Feb. 21 at the elegant Hylton Performing Arts Center and is called “Love and Laughs.” It is on the eve of Rotary International’s 110th Anniversary and just a week after Valentine’s Day for those couples that couldn’t make a date night. The evening entertainment will feature DC’s Capitol Steps.

Purchase your tickets online.

They couldn’t solve the graphics problem in house, so JTC used their expansive network to find a solution

  • JTC, Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Court, Suite 305, Manassas, Va. 20110
  • Phone: 703-794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

An architectural firm relies on graphics. When they can’t access them, that can be a problem. 

Alexis Peck is the Vice President of Design at Peck Peck & Associates, an architectural firm located in Woodbridge, Virginia that has been in business for 42 years.

Peck also heads the marketing and IT department and is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Peck Peck and Associates needed Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. (JTC, Inc.) to assist them with the recovery of data, lost from corrupted hard drives.

Peck explained in detail the entire process.

“We had a couple of backup hard drives for some graphics of ours from archive projects and one day when we tried to access the backups, all of the actual hard drives had been corrupted,” said Alexis Peck. “I’ll note that it was not equipment that we bought through JTC, it was something we bought years and years before they came on board and so we contacted them to see if they could help us recover the data….”

JTC, Inc. was unable to solve the problem in-house and reached out to another company for extra assistance.

“…Through JTC we worked with another company and sent the hard drive out and they were able to recover some of it (not all)…” said Peck. “It wasn’t any client information or anything like that, it wasn’t anything critical to our operations, it was just something we wanted to keep for nostalgic reasons.”

Though the other company was located out of state, Peck said overall experience was very easy.

“We did everything through JTC so they came, picked up the hard drives from us. We paid everything through them, they took care of everything.”

Peck also noted that without JTC, Inc.’s network, they would not have known what company to contact. 

Peck Peck and Associates have worked with JTC, Inc. for over four years and originally chose JTC, Inc. for two reasons:

1. JTC, Inc. had been recommended by the previous company Peck Peck and Associates employed for their IT services

2. JTC, Inc. offered the best agreement to their firm

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Authorized Partner and utilizes Microsoft and Dell technology.

The preceding post was written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Jewell Technical Consulting.

Traffic
Public hearings set for proposed VRE fare increase

Virginia’s only commuter railroad says it needs to raise fares by 4% to pay for increased operations costs. Virginia Railway Express is giving its customers a chance to weigh in on the proposed increase at a series of upcoming meetings.

The transit agency says riders can find more about the fare increase on its website.

Here’s a list of upcoming meeting dates, times, and locations:

Date  Location  Time
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Stafford County Government Center Board Chambers, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 Holiday Inn [L’Enfant], Congressional 1, 550 C. Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20024 Noon
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Burke Centre Conservancy, “The Commons” Community Center, 9837 Burke Pond Lane, Burke, VA 22015 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 Crystal City Marriott, Lincoln Room, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202 Noon
Thursday, February 26, 2015 Manassas City Hall, City Council Chamber Room, 9027 Center Street, Manassas, VA 22110 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 P.R.T.C. Board Room, 2nd Floor, 14700 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 5, 2015  Fredericksburg City Hall,715 Princess Anne Street,Fredericksburg, VA 22401
7 p.m.

Capitol Steps show proceeds to benefit ‘Calling All Souls’

capitol steps, hylton, rotary

The Capitol Step will perform at the Hylton Performing Arts Center thanks to Bull Run Rotary.

The Capitol Steps are coming to the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and proceeds from the show will go to help Calling All Souls, a group that provides a helping hand in our community. 

Anyone living knows that life is not easy. It becomes harder when we lose our jobs, have to escape an abusive situation, and have to take care of a loved one. The mission of Calling All Souls (CAS) is to provide relief and restoration for families and individuals who are in the midst of life’s overwhelming situations.

They do this by providing goods and services donated by our community and delivered by our volunteers. These acts-of-love are anchored in the messages of Jesus Christ and by bringing both, we want to bring Hope where there may be none. And also show those whom we support that by Faith and with Love we can all overcome adversity. Our vision is driven by God’s word and founded in the verse “Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.” – Hebrews 13:16”.

The goal

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton Center, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors.

These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place to be proud of. They cannot do it alone!

Order tickets online from the Hylton Performing Arts Center or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Steve Chapman, steve@washmydeck.com by February 10.

New shops, homes, high citizen satisfaction rates: The state of Manassas is Great

business, development, location

Manassas Mayor Parrish highlights the City’s many successes in 2014

Recently, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II delivered the State of the City of Manassas address.  The address was delivered in a video message to city residents. In his address, Mayor Parrish welcomed new businesses to the city, like El Cactus, Don Lencho, The Bone, Fire House Subs, Zandras and the Olde Town Man Cave. He also spoke about expanding businesses including Heritage Brewing, Bad Wolf Brewing, Fauquier Bank and a few others. 

Mayor Parrish spoke about the many family friendly events held in the city, Manassas City Public Schools and the summer camps held by the Fire and Rescue and Police Departments for Osbourn High School Students. He talked about the citizens group who asked that City Hall be named in honor of Mayor Marvin Gillum and how their civic involvement and community spirit led not only to raise funds for the signs, but funds for the upkeep of those signs as well. 

Mayor Parrish talked about the City of Manassas’ first Citizen Satisfaction Survey held in 2014. The survey set a baseline for future surveys and will help determine priorities in coming years. This survey is available at www.manassascity.org/css. One of the findings of the survey was that city staff ranks 20 percentage points higher than the national benchmark in customer service.

Mayor Parrish also spoke about economic development for the City of Manassas including the hiring of a new Economic Development Director and a greater focus on business attraction, retention and expansion. In closing, Mayor Parrish said, “For those who appreciate independence and access, the historic City of Manassas enjoys a strategic location in Northern Virginia where Old Town charm combines with a new city spirit so you experience a sense of place, a sense of community and a sense of opportunity.  To watch the State of the City in its entirety, visit www.manassascity.org.

The preceding post was written by the City of Manassas. 

News
Mike May kicks off run for Prince William Commonwealth Attorney

Mike May officially kicked off his run for the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

May, an attorney at Albo & Oblon, L.L.P. and currently Prince William’s Occoquan District Supervisor, looks to unseat the long-serving Paul Ebert, who’s been in office since the late 1960s.

May gave an exclusive interview with Potomac Local late last year on his intentions to become the county’s top prosecutor.

Greeted by friends and supporters on Saturday, May outlined his vision for the office.

“It’s time to modernize the office, and I look forward to laying out our vision for improving accountability, oversight and transparency,” May stated in a press release. “We will face many challenges in this effort, but with the community’s support I know that we can make a positive difference for our citizens.”

A lifelong Northern Virginian, May grew up in Springfield, Virginia and has resided in Lake Ridge since 2001.  He lives with his wife Amelia, and their three children, Leo, Natalia and Marina. 

May has been an attorney at Albo & Oblon, LLP for the past nine years.

News
Lawson Supervisors’ office stays put at Innovation Park @ Prince William

Jeanine Lawson ordered her new business cards that she’ll hand to constituents showing that she is the Brentsville District Supervisor.

The printed office address on those cards is Innovation Park @ Prince William – the development that has become to embody Prince William County’s economic expansion efforts. It’s home to biotech firms, and George Mason University’s Prince William Campus, and now to Lawson and her staff.

After winning a Special Election in December, Lawson was moved into offices inside “Innovation” park. It’s space that’s leased by the county and has been used by its public works division.

Lawson could have left the office space but ultimately decided to stay put. Her decision will save taxpayers an estimated $200,000 or more – money that would have been spent on a new office space for the Supervisor.

“I just didn’t the expense was justified,” explained Lawson. “This is property the county is already leasing.”

The Supervisor has requested some minor improvements to her office space, to include a new kitchenette. The work has yet to be completed, and county officials told Potomac Local they don’t yet have cost estimates for the work.

Keeping the office at “Innovation” will allow more of the constituents who visit with Lawson and her staff to see the development, she added.

Former Brentsville District Supervisor Wally Covington had his office located at the old Prince William Courthouse, next to the current courthouse. The office, now occupied by staffers at the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, sits in the doughnut-shaped circle of property belonging to Prince William County, carved out of Manassas City.

Lawson is finishing the term of former Supervisor Wally Covington, who is now a judge in the Prince William County Courthouse. She will hold the office until November when she’ll seek reelection to a full term.

Hilarious, heartfelt: ‘Laughs and Love’ — A night you will remember!

capitol steps, hylton, rotary

The Capitol Step will perform at the Hylton Performing Arts Center thanks to Bull Run Rotary.

Updated 

On Saturday, May 23, don’t miss Bull Run Rotary’s Laughs and Love benefit, at the beautiful Hylton Center featuring the Capitol Steps.

Why laughs and love? Here’s the love:

One of the greatest benefits of business ownership is being able to be part of give back to our community. Those who have faced hardship are struggling and in need.

Washmydeck.com is a seasonal business. We have a small fleet of vehicles that get lots of use eight months of the year. This leaves four months that where we can use our vehicles to help families in need have reliable transportation in order to help them work and get on their feet. We just look at it as doing a small part, with the resources we have.

Bull Run Rotary is doing it BIG by celebrating five hero organizations whose hard work day in and day out enriches the lives of those around us.

On one night, we set an ambitious goal to raise $50,000 to help abused children find security, battered women feel safe, families who have had hardship achieve the American dream of home ownership, and help feed our neighbors who live in tents in the woods.

Please help Bull Run Rotary in supporting CASA, Calling All Souls, Habitat for Humanity of Prince William County, Transitional Housing BARN, and Therapeutic Riding Rainbow Center, it promises to be a night to remember.

Oh yeah, there will be laughs!

Have you seen the hilarious Capitol Steps? They put the MOCK in Democracy with their song parody of political current events. The night will also have some surprise big VIPs. Regardless of your political leanings this is sure to be a night you will be talking about for some time.

Purchase tickets online at the Hylton Performing Arts Center box office.

See you there,

Steve Chapman, Founder, and President Washmydeck.com

News
Top ranked Stonewall girls loss won’t hinder teams’ vision

Stonewall Jackson High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team’s most recent and first loss of the season to the Battlefield Bobcats was unexpected, to say the least.  

The Cardinal District team is ranked number one in the Washington Post’s “All Mets” section of high school sports and a team who boasted a 20-0 record prior to the game that took place on Tuesday. The loss briefly demonstrated a flaw in the Lady Raiders’ fortress.

“We came out each quarter fast and then slowed,” states Head Coach Diana Martinez.  “Our kids played hard and fought to get back into that game, but, unfortunately, the ball went the other way.”

Any team with a 20-game win record can’t stay down for long.  

“We are family,” said senior and guard, Rachel Burns.  “They [the team] are like my sisters.”  

And with that simple, yet powerful statement, the Raiders march on — their final destination, an opportunity to play and win the Virginia State Championship.

The Lady Raiders have an arsenal of coaching weapons at their ready.  Coach Martinez is a former Woodbridge Senior High School player.  Graduating in 2003, she went on to play Division II basketball at St. Andrew’s University (formerly, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College) located in Laurinburg, N.C.  

Upon her graduation, she coached for a year at her Alma Mater, later moving back to Prince WIlliam County and becoming an assistant coach at Woodbridge Senior High School.  

An open opportunity and the urging of friends landed her at Stonewall High School coaching the girl’s basketball program. (more…)

News
Prince William School Board ire follows lower revenue projections, possible full-day kindergarten cuts

Some members of the Prince William School Board don’t want to see cuts in full-day kindergarten. This year’s budget picture, however, could make those cuts a reality.

The Board last night gave Prince William Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Walts some direction on how to best go about finding needed cuts in the division’s 2016 budget.  This decision met resistance from board members who said that they would not approve of cutting full day kindergarten.

They want more funding for increased salaries for employees and a decrease in class sizes. Prince William has some of the largest classroom sizes in the Washington area.

School Board Chairman Milton C. Johns clarified that the cuts were not something they wanted but a situation they had been forced into when a promised 4% increase on county property tax bills was dropped to an anticipated 1.3% growth rate.  This translates into an $11 million cut for Prince William schools, which does not account for increased costs related to the growth of the county’s school system.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors sets the tax rate, and will ultimately decide how much the average property tax bill will increase next year by late this spring.

Johns also addressed constituents’ claims that money used to build $10 million dollar swimming pool at the county’s soon-to-open high school on Hoadly Road would be better served elsewhere. He said no checks have been issued regarding to the pool.

“We have underpaid teachers and overcrowded classrooms whether we build the pool or not,” Milton said.

In regards to cutting full day kindergarten, Milton said, “No one has been more committed to full day kindergarten than I have been, but at the same time we are in a very bad situation and there are only so many places in our budget where we can get millions of dollars at a time.  We’re at the point where we can’t continue to offer the same school system if we continue to not stick with 5 year plans for more than one year.”

After Neabsco District Board member Lisa Bell suggested the new proposal, Potomac District Board member Betty Covington spoke out against cutting full day kindergarten.

“I will not, under any circumstances, cut full day kindergarten,” Covington said.  “Having been an elementary school principal, I know how important it is to get these youngsters into full day school as soon as possible.  Today’s kindergarten is what first grade used to be.”

Occoquan District representative Lillie Jessie agreed.

“I can not believe there is no outrage about cutting full day kindergarten,” said Jessie, who broke down what the tax increases would be for each household.

Under the 1.3% property tax increase, yearly costs would be $49 in comparison to a $149 increase under the 4% growth, she said.

“I don’t play politics with kids,” Jessie said.  “I think you go back to the Board of Supervisors and tell them to keep their word.”

Woodbridge District Board member Loree Williams called for her constituents to voice their concerns, both to the board members and to the Board of Supervisors.

“We have to work together, it’s the only way to solve this problem,” said Williams.

On Feb. 23, there will be a schools budget meeting open to the public.

*This story has been corrected.

News
Flags ordered at half-staff in Haymarket to honor resident killed in Libya

Flags in the Town of Haymarket should fly at half-staff starting tomorrow.

Mayor David Leake issued an order that all flags in the town should be lowered in honor of the late Dave Berry, a security contractor who lived with his wife and children in the small town, who was killed Jan. 27 in Libya. The retired Marine Staff Sergeant was working in the country as a security contractor.

He leaves behind a wife and four children ages 2 to 13.

Haymarket Mayor David Leak brought up Berry’s death during a meeting of the Town Council.

“Since he lived in our town we felt moved to bring this to the attention of the council members,” said Leake.

Haymarket Councilman Chris Morris visited with Berry’s widow during a ride-along with a town police officer, said Leake. Morris then told Leake about Berry’s death.

This marks the first time that Leake has ordered flags to flown at half-staff in the town.

News
Prince William Eco Park to include solar plant, adding to landfill energy production

eco park 2Wednesday, Prince William County held its first two meetings for stakeholders to discuss the transformation of the county’s landfill into a community resource.

The Eco Park will consist of an interpretive science-technology-engineering-math (STEM) education center that will give the students the chance to get hands-on experience working with environment conservation and other related topics.  The center will also support a research center for  use by colleges and universities, visitor programs that include tours, and a variety of other resources that allow the community to interact with the environment.  Plans to explore additional energy and recovery technologies are also part of the plan for the Eco Park.

The park will co-exist with the landfill, which will continue to be used as a gas energy plant which already generates 6.7 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 5,000 homes, according to officials.

The landfill has been a gas well since the late 1990s and has provided cost-free energy for surrounding structures such as the school bus garage and animal shelter.

“The lights in this building are probably being powered by the landfill,” said Tom Smith, Solid Waste Division Chief for the Department of Public Works.  “And it doesn’t even smell,” he added.

In addition to the education center, there are plans to add six or seven gas wells, expected to last an additional 30 years at the least.

Some stakeholders present at the meeting were in full support, but some expressed concern over how the project would be funded.  Smith said it is expected to cost $3 to $5 million.

“We are looking for partners to make this building a reality.” Smith said.

“If someone’s willing to give us a lot of money, we’ll name the building after them” he quipped.

Smith said one of the challenges of building the center was to do all of it without increasing any fees.  He spoke passionately about his vision for the Eco Park.  

“We’re trying to take a landfill, something that is usually negative, and turn it into a positive,” he said.

One stakeholder asked if the vision would continue if Smith retired.  Jokingly, Smith assured him that he would die before retiring from the project.

A trail with education stations is expected to be started this summer, in addition to completing negotiations for a 5 megawatt solar energy project project to be built, which would power all the buildings on site.  Depending on grants and private partnerships, finalization of the Eco Park building plan should begin in 2016.   

The ground on which the landfill sits is large and will also include 383 acres of forested land that acts as a buffer zone surrounding the entire land, a compost facility, the solar panels from the solar energy project.

News
Truck seized in Haymarket drug bust for sale

The Town of Haymarket has listed a 2003 Chevy pickup for sale, with a minimum bid of $500.

The truck has a 4.31 engine and 136,000 miles. The advertisement for the sale of the vehicle states that it is in good condition, but will need repairs for a safety inspection.

The vehicle came into the town’s possession as part of a seizure of property in a marijuana distribution arrest on Washington Street in June 2013, according to Town Manager Brian Henshaw.

The criminal case for the former owner and arrestee concluded after a guilty plea was given in November 2013. After the case, a court order permitted forfeiture of the vehicle to the town in January 2014, said Henshaw.

Interested parties need to contact the Haymarket Police Department and speak with Donna Knupp to set up an appointment and place a bid on the vehicle.

All bids will be viewed on February 6 at Town Hall, and the winning bid will be announced. Bidders have been encouraged by the town to attend the bid opening.

6 tips for good health from Mary Washington Healthcare

Dr. Vranian’s Quick Tips for Good Health

1. Minimize meat consumption

2. Avoid “white” foods — Foods that have had the shell of the grain removed

3. Eat plenty of colored vegetables

4. Stay away from saturated fats, like heavy dressings and sweets

5. Exercise 30 minutes/day at least 3 – 5 days per week

6. Find some thing or somebody to love

– by Dr. Robert Vranian, Cardiologist, Mary Washington Healthcare

News
Candland wants new meeting on Haymarket power line

The potential construction of a 230kBV transmission power line and substation in Haymarket has caused controversy and concern for Prince William County residents.

The project, overseen by Dominion Power, will help generate enough power for an incoming data center, although County officials would not confirm if Amazon would operate the data center.

According Dominion Power, this infrastructure project is a necessity for the area’s ongoing growth.

“This new transmission infrastructure will address forecasted increases in energy demand that exceed the capabilities of our current distribution system beginning in 2017,” said Dominion Power on their website.

Depending on the route ultimately approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), the project would add around 6 miles of power lines.

Several routes have been proposed, with most of the community’s concern stemming from potential routes that cut through private property in the Haymarket area.

Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland sent out a letter about his concerns with the routes being proposed by Dominion Power.

“…the Commission is required to determine that the line is needed and that the corridor or route the line is to follow will reasonably minimize adverse impacts on the scenic assets, historic districts and environment of the area concerned. Dominion Power has publicly proposed a number of route options that fail to take those considerations into effect, and there is only one routing plan that reasonably factors in those requirements that we believe the Commission should consider. We endorse the “Hybrid Route” that partially buries the power lines along I-66,” Candland stated in his letter. 

Candland also called for another public hearing in a larger venue where more residents could express their concerns, referencing an earlier meeting at Battlefield High School, hosted by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) and Senator Richard Black (R-Leesburg). 

The meeting was held at the beginning of January, and around 1,000 residents came to speak about the project.

A community group was formed, named the “Coalition to Protect Prince William County”, that has been actively working to stop the project, erecting signs speaking about the project on major roadways.

Dominion Power plans to speak to the public about their thoughts for the best route, and then submit their application for the project to the SCC after the first quarter of 2015, according to their website.

 

 

KO Distilleries opening in the City of Manassas

KO Distilleries

On Jan. 29, KO Distilleries, a new business in the City of Manassas, opened their doors for a “keel laying.” This is a nautical term for the start of a ship’s construction and is appropriate for this business as both owners are graduates of the Merchant Marine Academy.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II as well as other City Council members, business owners and residents were onsite to welcome this new industry to the City of Manassas. KO Distilleries, located at 10381 Central Park Drive, will manufacture, store and sell distilled spirits, including bourbon, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, gin, vodka and rum. The distillery will have a visitors center for tours, tastings, merchandise sales and special events.

Owners Bill Karlson and John O’Mara will open their doors in the spring of 2015. This is only the 19th distillery in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is on the forefront of an emerging industry trend. Historic Manassas, Inc. helped the City and KO Distilleries with the event and many members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new owners as members of the Chamber.

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The preceding post was written by the City of Manassas. 

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