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Supervisor Anderson: ‘I think the litter problem has gotten worse’

Prince William County Supervisor Ruth Anderson writes Potomac Local to say the litter is a problem in our region, and that it could lead to homeowners, and business leaders looking to locate elsewhere. 

From Anderson: 

“I think the litter problem has gotten worse. My office Adopted-A-Spot along Devil’s Reach Road through “Keep Prince William Beautiful” to clean up litter in the public right-of-ways. Today was our second time picking up litter…about 5 weeks after our first time. We spend 1.5 hours each time…………..we picked up just as much litter this time as we did last time……….bottles, balloons, cans, fast food bags, grocery bags…….even a “lucky penny” today. (more…)

News
‘Food Lion buggy, sheet metal, lawn mower tires, syringes’ found during Occoquan clean up

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Submitted:

“It was a hot and humid day, but that did not stop volunteers from coming out to join The Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO), Prince William Trails & Streams Coalition and Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District from cleaning up the Occoquan Watershed.

Despite being a rescheduled event, 110 faithful FOTO volunteers combed the shores on foot and by boat to relieve the beautiful Occoquan of unsightly debris. SEV1Tech Company, US Marine Staff Academy, Optimist Club, Ms. Pawlik’s Penn Elementary School Class, Manassas Osborn High School students, Boy Scout Troop 1369 and many families with their children collected 88 trash bags and 33 bags of biodegradables and miscellaneous items, such as tires, wooden flower boxes, a Food Lion buggy, sheet metal, lawn mower tires, syringes, cigarette lighters, Styrofoam pieces, coolers, wooden planks, etc.”

 

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Fare hikes, western maintenance facility funding comes with new PRTC budget

Fare hikes are coming for bus riders in Prince William County.

OmniRide commuters paying with SmarTrip will pay $6.90, up from $6.50, and cash fares are up from $8.75 to $9.20. A single ride on local OmniLink bus would increase to $1.55, up from $1.50. Overall, it’s an average 5% fare increase for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

There will also be service cuts to some routes, removing underused services such as the route between Manassas Junction shopping center and Manassas Mall, and the elimination of a route between Lindendale Road and the Dale City commuter lot on the system’s Navy Yard route.

The eliminations and reroutings are expected to save PRTC $200,000. (more…)

News
‘For the first time, Occoquan Elementary Principal Hamish Brewer was at a loss for words’

Occoquan Elementary School Principal Hamish Brewer, already known for being an outgoing educator who likes to merge fun and learning in the classroomearned national award for outstanding leadership Tuesday.

It was presented to him while we were covering Betsy DeVos’ visit to nearby Ashland Elementary. So, here’s a report from the Prince William County Public Schools Communications Office: 

For the first time, Occoquan Elementary Principal Hamish Brewer was at a loss for words. He was stunned speechless when Jim Baldwin, executive director of the Virginia Association for Elementary School Principals, presented the National Distinguished Principal Award for Virginia to him at a surprise school assembly this morning.

“I’ll accept this for the team,” Brewer said, crediting students, staff, and parents for the school’s tremendous performance since he has been at the helm. Occoquan Elementary has high numbers of low-income families and non-English speaking learners. Earlier this year, the school was named a National Distinguished Title 1 School.

“I love beating the odds every day,” Brewer says. “We have a relentless passion for children, and a relentless passion for excellence.”

Mr. Brewer has formed a magical collaboration and synergy of a village that has taken on the world to show that all children learn, love, and celebrate their educational experiences. He has created a highoctane, highachieving and nurturing educational environment,” said an official with the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, quoting from a letter nominating Brewer for the awardStudents say Principal Brewer is visionary, caring, and relentless and they know that he loves them.

It took clever planning to pull off the surprise assembly this morning, but Occoquan Elementary School Assistant Principal Bill Knight, Associate Superintendent Craig Gfeller, and a handful of others managed to do that. While several staff members kept Principal Brewer in his office chatting, students quietly left their classrooms and assembled in the cafeteria.

“Why are we talking?” Brewer thought to himself. “We’ve got work to do!” Then a call came over the public address system asking him to come to the cafeteria; again, puzzlement: “What is this for?” Brewer thought, “It’s too early for the goodbye celebration….we’ve got SOLs coming up!” Little did he know.



The near-fully restored Brentsville Jail, once home to moonshiners, horse thieves, and murderers will be opened to the public May 13

The project to restore the Brentsville Jail has reached the final stage, with completion expected any day now. It comes just a few short years before the community will celebrate 200 years of history.

From county seat to small rural town, Brentsville has seen a lot of change during that time. The one surviving building that best represents the changing role of this town is the two-story brick building commonly called the Brentsville Jail.

Brentsville served as the Seat of Prince William County from 1822 to 1893 and the Brentsville Jail housed those accused of everything from selling liquor without a license to horse stealing, to murder.

When the County Seat moved to Manassas, the use of the jail changed as well. The Courthouse was sold and converted into a private school for teachers, in-turn the jail was refitted to act as a student dormitory.

Later when the school moved on, the jail-turned-dormitory became a private residence until it was eventually purchased, given to the county to be used as office space. Today the Jail is in the final stages of the stabilization and restoration project that began in 2010, which will see the building used in yet another purpose; a public museum.

The future museum will explore the people whose stories are connected to the building. The main orientation room will not only explore the history of the jail but also tie it to the history of the town of Brentsville and larger story of Prince William County.

The adjacent room will be a historically furnished Jailor’s Office that will examine the lives of the various jailers and their families who at one time lived in the building as caretakers. Across the hall will be another historically furnished room, a criminal cell, in which an inmate was famously assassinated.

The final room downstairs will include STEM-based architectural activities that will highlight the building construction.

The exhibit will continue upstairs featuring a historically furnished debtor’s cell and early 20th dormitory room. An audio room will examine the stories of some of the individuals incarcerated in the jail, such as abolitionists, individuals suffering from mental illness, female criminals, and others.

The final room will explore the African-American experience in both Brentsville and Prince William County through most of the 19th century. Two interactive kiosks will also allow visitors to examine some primary documents that are not normally available to the general public.

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre is hosting a special Jail Grand Opening on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Although the museum exhibits will not be installed by opening day, visitors will be allowed to explore the building and receive special tours. Also, special lectures will be offered throughout the day, covering many exciting topics. At 11 a.m., local historian Arwen Bicknell will talk about her new book: Justice and Vengeance Scandal, Honor and Murder in 1872 Virginia, which highlights a murder that took place in the Brentsville Jail.

At 1 p.m., Dr. Sherri Huerta will explore the African-American history of the building with “’Remanded to Jail’: How Enslaved Persons Experienced Life and Death in the Brentsville Jail.”

Finally, at 3 p.m. local historian Morgan Breeden will talk about his experience living in the jail when it was his family’s private residence.

The dedication begins at 10 a.m. and programs run through 4 p.m.

News
Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers to spruce up the fishing pier

Good morning Prince William – Happy National Volunteer Week! Thanks for all you do- we live in a wonderful community because of you!

· Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers to spruce up the fishing pier by replacing boards and power washing the pier. This pier affords fisherman year round access as well those early birds up to watch the sunrise. Please email Ben at: degrob@hotmail.com to learn more.

· Project Mend a House is registering participants in their Live Well Workshops. The is a free 6 week class to help you with several painful conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, chronic pain and heart disease. The next session begins May 9th at the Woodbridge Senior Center. Please call Jodie at (571) 494-5577 to learn more.

· Friends of the Kennedy Center need volunteers for their JFKC Open House on Saturday May 27th. This event will celebrate what would have been President Kennedy’s 100th Birthday. Please register on their website by May 12th- Kennedy-center.org. Jobs include check-in, artist liaison, information tables and more!

· Saved Hands Foundation needs volunteers to teach life skills to adults in Woodbridge two days a week from 4-5pm. Please email Pamela at:info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more about the great services given to the homeless clients in the community. (more…)


Nominate your mother for the Manassas Park Community Center 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Makeover Contest

How many ways can you tell your mother how much she means to you and pamper her at the same time? It is not as hard as you may think. All you need to do is to enter your mom in the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Mother’s Day Makeover Contest! The winning mother will receive the following gifts and services:
 
•Transportation to participating vendors courtesy of Yellow Cab Company
 
•Expert hair styling by Jaisyn Markley at PR at Partners
 
•Expert makeup by Niki Kalfamanolis at PR at Partners
 
•Manicure and pedicure from Pretty Nails in Manassas Park
 
•A clothing item of her choice from DeeDee of LulaRoe
 
•A balloon sculpture from Nani’s
 
•Flowers by Montejo’s Florist
 
•Digital photos from Carol Fleurette Photography
 
•A catered meal from Heart 2 Heart Catering
 
•Cookies from Bijou’s Sweet Treats
 
•A jewelry item of her choice from Lisa Briones of Paparazzi
 
•A gift basket by Lisa Marie
 
•3 free months of membership toward an annual membership at the Manassas Park Community Center
 
Each of these generous business owners is donating either their time or their products to help the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) staff truly make your mother feel extra special this Mother’s Day!
 
Then on May 13, from 12:30 pm. – 2 p.m., join us for the big reveal and the announcement of the contest winner at the MPCC! There will be fun for everyone and activities for the kids!
 
There will also be a photo booth! For $5 per photo, you can capture a great photo of mom and her family. Then, after you have your photo taken at the photo booth, you can decorate a free picture frame! What a great complement to that photo booth portrait!
 
The kids will love the clowns Safari Bingo and Sweet Pickle the Ballonatic Clown as they make giant bubbles, create balloon figures, and play with puppets! Kids can have their faces painted by Elaine Jenkins of Dabbledy Doo, and can make a free Mother’s Day card at our cardmaking station!
 
Click here to nominate your mother before the April 28 deadline! Then plan to attend all the fun on May 13 from 12:30pm-2:20pm! 

This year, celebrate Mother’s Day at Rangoli Indian Restaurant with the Grand Brunch Buffet

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Mommy, Mummy, Mama, Amma, Aai, Mata, Madre, Eomeoni, Taayi or whatever name you call her with, Mother is the reason we are all here. Celebrate and cherish the lady who cares and loves us the most. It is rightly said, “God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers!”

You may buy her the perfume or the cardigan, but you got to feed the lady who fed you.

Rangoli’s Mother’s Day buffet has been a special tradition for over eleven years. The spread includes an array of salads, fresh cut fruits, and condiments with Assorted Kebabs, the quintessential Butter Chicken, tender Goat Masala, succulent Fish Curry, aromatic Biryani and pilafs, a smorgasbord of vegetable side dishes and fresh bread baked for each table.

The buffet also includes South Indian delicacies like Idly, Vada, Sambar and on-the-spot Dosas. The pick is the favorite Indian street-side-pass-time of eating Pani Puri a.k.a Gol Gappas. Have unlimited pucchkas to your heart’s content.

Sweet endings include all time favorite Gulab Jamun and Kulfi Ice-Cream.

And while you are gorging on the tasty food, treat the lady to a Mimosa or fresh Bloody Mary at only $4 a glass. What’s not to be happy about this?

So, call ‘Rangoli’ now and add your name to the on-call list. The meal is super popular and Rangoli does not treat the advance callers as ‘Reservations.’

Their name is added to the wait list and bumped up when you show up. Large groups are encouraged to call in advance to enable quick seating.

Doors open early Sunday, May 14 at 11:30 a.m. and the Brunch is served through 3 p.m.

Call 703-957-4900 or Email Us!

Rangoli Indian Restaurant
Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Adults: $16.95 Kids: $8.95
10223 Nokesville Road
Manassas, VA 20110
www.rangolirestaurant.com


News
Open House: 9491 McGuinn Lane, Nokesville, VA

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9491 McGuinn Ln, Nokesville, VA 20181

Neighborhood: Nokesville

Listing Price: $510,000

Open House: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1-4pm

New Listing!! Awesome colonial on a VERY PRIVATE 6+ Acre lot, minutes to Route 234. This custom built home is three finished levels with 4 bedrooms, 2 full and one-half bath. Boasting a UNIQUE FIRST FLOOR MASTER SUITE!!

Upper level has 2 guest bedrooms, full bath, and huge playroom w/built in window seats and shelving. Remodeled kitchen w/granite counters, stainless appliances, tile backsplash & ceramic tile floor.

Finished bright and open walk out basement w/rec rm, den/office w/built-in shelving and tons of extra storage space.

The main feature of this property is the private lot!! Surrounded by trees, there are 2 huge decks, fire pit w/BBQ spit, 3 sheds (one w/power, ht & a/c) brick paver walkways, mature shrubs, extensive landscaping, GREAT FOR ENTERTAINING!!

Extra features include recessed lighting, upgraded light fixtures, crown molding, built-ins galore, chair rail, decorative columns, custom drapes and blinds.

Original owners have taken great care of this home, a true 10+. Must see.

Contact C.C. Bartholomew at 703-282-4800 or email cc@ccbartholomew.com


Live Well Festival to feature health and wellness activities, farm to table brunch, and paint class

It’s time for the year’s first outdoor festival in historic Downtown Manassas.

The 11th Annual Live Well Festival, will be held on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Harris Pavilion and along West Street. Health and wellness information, exercise classes, a farm-to-table brunch, paint class and more will be available.

This year, bedrock YOGA will be teaching two free yoga classes at a.m. and 11 a.m. If you’ve never taken yoga and are interested it’s the perfect opportunity for your first class! Novant Health will be bringing out the Mammography Mobile, teaching Hands-Only CPR, and host information from their Wound Care Center, all great options to staying informed on your health. Several artists from the Banner Art Project will be displaying and selling work under the Pavilion, moon bounces will be out for the kids, and at 1 p.m. enjoy a performance by Lou Rosgen, or better known to some as Woodbridge Willie. A new paint class hosted by Emily Thomson of Manassas Olive Oil Company will also add to the entertainment schedule. All supplies will be provided and a gorgeous field of tulips will be your final product. Get your tickets here for the class which will begin at noon.

Another community favorite back this year is the Shred-It Truck. Last year’s new location in the Train Depot Lot was a huge success and it will return there again this year. Attendees planning to use the Shred-It Truck should follow the posted route signs along Prince William Street – cars will be able to turn into the parking lot via West Street and exit via Battle Street to then park in the garage and enjoy the rest of the festival. Bring a small box of papers or fill your trunk with all your old documents ready to be shredded – it’s free!

Back by popular demand, the Live Well Festival will feature a farm-to-table brunch prepared by Chef Will Landay, of C.J. Finz and BadWolf Public House. The 3-course brunch will be set up atop the flat railcar behind the iconic LOVE sign at 10:30 a.m. with the main course featuring roasted chicken with jalapeño cheddar grits. Tickets for the brunch can be purchased here.

For more information on the Live Well Festival along with other events in the City, please go to www.visitmanassas.org


IKEA Woodbridge announces 70 jobs, plans hiring event May 9

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (April 19, 2017) IKEA Woodbridge announces the posting for 70 seasonal/temporary positions for a 120 day assignment, with the possibility to be hired as a permanent co-worker after the 120 day period.

Applicants can apply online at https://seeacareerwithus.com/ and save the date for our Meet and Greet event May 9, 2017 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

ABOUT THE JOB An IKEA co-worker’s main task is to maximize sales and profitability in his/her area of responsibility using knowledge of the IKEA product range, local market conditions and the needs of customers. Together with thousands of colleagues around the world you will help to ensure the continued global success of the IKEA Concept – a concept that serves millions of satisfied customers each day.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT Your tasks will include:

IKEA has multiple positions available: Sales, IKEA Food, Logistics, Customer Relations. These Part Time positions range from 12 to 31 hours per week.

Candidates must be available to work on Saturdays, Sundays, and at least two nights a week.

YOUR PROFILE Your knowledge, skills and experience include:

You are confident about approaching and talking to people in a polite and friendly manner.
You are enthusiastic about working with others in a team.
You have a flexible approach to work and are open to change.
You have an interest in home furnishing and people’s everyday life at home.
You can prioritize and organize your own work to make efficient use of your time.

GROWING TOGETHER IKEA offers an exciting and empowering work environment in a global marketplace. And as the world’s leader at life at home, you have exceptional opportunities to grow and develop together with us.
*No. of Positions: 70

ABOUT IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 392 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 43 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest

News
Sentara temporarily closes ER entrance, offers free valet

From Sentara: 

Effective Tuesday, April 18 at 6 a.m., people who need access to emergency services at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (SNVMC) will have to use the main entrance of the hospital. The existing entrance will be under renovation from April 18 to the end of June. The campus will have signs to help direct patients and visitors to the main entrance. Sentara will offer free valet parking services, 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. This service is intended to give patients ease of mind and to take

The campus will have signs to help direct patients and visitors to the main entrance. Sentara will offer free valet parking services, 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. This service is intended to give patients ease of mind and to take stress out of the process.

As a fully integrated health system, Sentara Healthcare is committed to introducing new services and technology to Northern Virginia. Sentara Healthcare is pleased to further its investment in patient care and optimize the healthcare environment within Prince William County. The ED redesign and renovation project will take place from April 2017 to the end of the year. During the renovation, the Emergency department will remain open and there will be no interruption in services.

 


How hospice social workers enhance end-stage quality of life

“People don’t know how to die in America.” 

That’s a pretty sobering statement, but it’s one Lorraine Krause of Capital Caring can make with confidence, having served more than a decade as a hospice social worker.

Providing quality holistic care in the mid-Atlantic, Capital Caring is among the top ten largest hospices of the 4,300 nationwide. The organization delivers in-home comprehensive care to more than 1,000 patients daily.

Each patient has a team of people customizing their care – including physicians, nurses, dieticians and spiritual advisers. This team of hospice workers helps manage medical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families at the end stages of their lives. In the center of all this, though not always noticeable, stand social workers.

Diverging paths to hospice social work

Linda Malone and Krause are both licensed clinical social workers for Capital Caring. Malone has been a hospice social worker for the past 17 years. Initially introduced to the idea of social work in high school, Malone worked in the mental health arena, library services, and hospital geriatrics before finding her passion in the field of hospice.

Krause’s path to becoming a hospice social worker was strikingly different and occurred later her life. Married for twenty years, she began volunteering at a women’s center in Blacksburg, Va., when she became initially curious about the idea of social work.

(more…)



‘Land Use 101’ workshop offers expert advice for homeowners

  • Prince William Conservation Alliance
  • Address: P.O. Box 6351, 2241F Tackett's Mill Drive, Woodbridge, Virginia 22195
  • Phone: 703-499-4954
  • Website: http://www.pwconserve.org/
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Do you ever wonder about the process by which land is developed?

Are you wondering if a buffer is required along streams? How can we prevent flooding?

What qualifies as open space?

Who approves waivers and why does it matter?

Land use rules are our best tool to create communities that are attractive, safe, and sustainable. And the process affects us all – from our backyard decks to our parks, schools, malls and offices.

You can’t play by the rules if you don’t understand them. How do fields and forests get transformed into subdivisions? Are the trees behind my house really protected? What is progress and what is sprawl?

Join us on Friday, April 28, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Prince William Area Realtors, 4545 Daisy Reid Avenue in Woodbridge, Va. to hear what the experts have to say. Meet people who are working to improve our communities, share stories, and learn how you can help.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Bring your questions and calling cards.

This workshop is free of charge, lunch is provided. It is sponsored by Prince William Conservation Alliance, Prince William Area Realtors, and Atkinson Insurance. RSVP is required to alliance@pwconserve.org, 703-499-4954.

Workshop Sessions and Speakers

Welcome
The Honorable Ruth Anderson, Prince William
Board of County Supervisors, Occoquan District

Planning: The Big Picture
Charlie Grymes, Chair, Prince William
Conservation Alliance

The Role of Elected Officials
The Honorable Marty Nohe, Prince William
Board of County Supervisors, Coles District

The ABCs of Land Use Planning
Rebecca Horner, Planning Director,
Prince William County Planning Office
What Happens to the Trees? Buffers, Landscaping, and Open Space
Julie Flanagan, Arborist, Prince William County Watershed Management

Stormwater: Practical Tips for Homeowners, Developers, and Realtors
Marc Aveni, Branch Chief, Prince William County Environmental Services

Cluster Development
John McBride, Attorney, Odin, Feldman & Pittleman

Conservation Wordbook
Charlie Grymes, Chair, Prince William Conservation Alliance

News
Prince William County to hold a “Conversation with the Chief”

From Prince William County Police:

Board of County Supervisor Ruth Anderson of the Occoquan District and Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Old Bridge Elementary School located at 3051 Old Bridge Rd in Lake Ridge starting at 7:00 p.m.

We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from community members and residents. This is a great opportunity for the community to get to know their police department better.  (more…)

VFW Post 7916 honors Vietnam veterans from the community

Veterans of Foreign War Post 7916 hosted the Vietnam Veteran Recognition Ceremony that honored Veterans who fought in the Vietnam War from the Woodbridge & Occoquan Community.

The honorees are: Marvin Coon, U.S. Army; Major David G. Cotts, U.S. Army; Wayne Dearie, Master Chief Boiler Technician U.S. Navy, Colonel Eugene Detrick, USAF; Harold “Ralph” Holecek, Boiler Technician Second Class U.S. Navy; LTC Mark H. Magnussen, U.S. Army; PFC John C. Prosch, Jr., U.S. Army; Captain Walter Schatz, U.S. Army; Captain Howard J.T. Steers, U.S. Army; Kenneth J. Strafer, U.S. Army and their families for their Vietnam service and sacrifice. (more…)


Activities return to Downtown Manassas in time for spring

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The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market is back for its 26th peak season. Running from April through early November, the market is open on both Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Thursday market will be housed at the Harris Pavilion beginning April 6, while Saturday shoppers can find all their market necessities in a new location in the Prince William Lot across from the new Baldwin Elementary beginning April 8.

Year after year, the market continues to grow with 24 vendors signed up for the Thursday market and just shy of 50 vendors on Saturday. Vendors this year include delicious fruits and vegetables, fresh grass-fed meats, flowers and herbs, pastries and new goods such as almond milk, crepes, nut butter and more.

A complete list of vendors for the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market can be found here.

First Friday street closures are back downtown starting this month. On Friday, April 7, from 6 p.m. – 9 pm., Center Street, Battle Street, and Main Street will be closed. This month’s activity is a Poker Run. Attendees can sign up to participate for $10 at CenterFuse, the new co-working space opening soon, on the corner of Center and Main. (more…)

Children discover themselves at Manassas Park Community Center Summer Camps

When you close your eyes and picture the perfect, idyllic summer day, does that day include the beach? On the other hand, you could be imagining a day at an amusement park or a lake. Is your perfect summer day a day where your only decision is when to reapply the sunscreen?

If you are a working parent with school-age or teenage children, the idea of summer vacation presents some unique challenges. School is out of session which means the kids are home all day. Many children become bored, and parents are looking for ways to keep kids busy and engaged–all while having a fabulous time and making new friends.

The summer camps offered at the Manassas Park Community Center are specially designed to keep your children involved and engaged. Each camp offers a different theme and encourages thinking, sharing, and socializing.

Tony Thomas, Recreation Services Supervisor, says he and his staff have developed the summer camps around a variety of interests.

“If you have a sports lover, we have sports camps. If you have science lovers, we have science camps. If you have art lovers, we have art camps,” says Thomas. “We even have camps for children who imagine their name in neon lights on Broadway.”

Kids, ages 3-5, can participate in weeklong playschool camps where they will learn about bugs, music, and space. They can also learn about the wonders of the ocean and go around the world in five days. Each camp has been designed to help preschoolers learn about their world and to have fun!

Picture this: your school age child’s imagination soars as he or she is transported to Japan sometime in the 1800’s where their emperor needs the campers help to defeat the enemy. The Emperor has put together an army of Samurai soldiers and only has one week to train his loyal farmers. They will need to build their own Samurai armor to protect them against the enemy forces. Campers will use Nerf archery, rubber foam Bo staff, and water artillery to defend the Emperor’s nation in Samurai Warrior’s Camp. (more…)


Where did the Easter Bunny come from? Egg hunts on April 8th, 15th in Prince William

Flowers bloom, trees begin to grow their leaves, and animals wake from their slumber in the spring.

One of the more symbolic celebrations during the beginning of the year is Easter. There are traditions and symbols that are associated with the festive day one may not know about, including a fox, a chicken, and of course, the rabbit.

Where did the Easter Bunny come from? The egg giving hare has been associated with Easter for centuries, with some of the first mentions of this furry animal in 16th-century German writings. The Easter Bunny is believed to have imported to the United States by Pennsylvania Dutch settlers.

Known as the Osterhase, he was not the only animal to bring eggs to children on Easter throughout history. In parts of Germany and Switzerland, children also waited for eggs from the Easter Cuckoo, the Easter Rooster, the Easter Stork, the Easter Fox, and the Easter Chick.

Besides coloring eggs for the celebration, other traditions, such as the egg tree, also found their way to American though the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.

Furthermore, gift giving has become a part of the Spring celebration, with the giving of candy or baskets full of candy. Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, with chocolate Easter Bunnies — solid or hallow — usually as the main attraction.

The confectionary animal wonders began appearing in Easter celebrations the early 20th century due to advances in chocolate molding techniques.

On Saturday, April 8, Ben Lomond Historic Site, along with their friends at the Pat White Center, are hosting its annual Eggstravaganza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Egg Hunts will be at 11:30 am, 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. at the historic site and each hunt will be separated by age groups.

Try your skills at a historic egg roll as well as enjoying fun kid-friendly games and crafts at Pat White Center at Ben Lomond. Guest are encouraged to bring their own basket for egg collecting. Tours of the Civil War Hospital will be available.

Please purchase tickets at Pat White Center at Ben Lomond. Admission is $5 per person, with children 2 and under free. Ben Lomond Historic Site is located at 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., in Manassas. 703-367-7872.

On Saturday, April 15, Rippon Lodge Historic Site host its annual Easter Egg Hunt from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Egg hunts are at 11:30 a.m.., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on the lawn and each hunt will be separated into age groups.

Along with the search for colorful eggs, crafts, lawn games, and tours of the historic house make this a day the whole family may enjoy. Guest are encouraged to bring their own baskets for egg collecting, and a picnic lunch.

House tours will be available on the hour. Admission is $5 per Child, $2 per Adult; and children two and under free. Rippon Lodge Historic Site is located at 15520 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge. 703-499-9812.

Full of delightful activities the whole family may enjoy, don’t miss out on these two popular events. Come and celebrate Easter this spring with Historic Preservation in April!


Leadership, success, ‘failure for winners’ all topics at this year’s Prince William Women’s Leadership Conference

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Women from across Northern Virginia are making plans to attend the Prince William Women’s Leadership Conference: The Art of Being a Successful Woman.

Now in its 6th year, the conference is the culmination of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s annual Women’s Leadership Series. The Art of Being a Successful Woman will be held at the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (2645 College Drive; Woodbridge, VA 22191) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2nd. The conference is sponsored by BION, Inc. Registration for the conference is available online at PWChamber.org along with expanded event details.

Dr. Beth Cabrera, Author & Senior Scholar at the George Mason Center for the Advancement of Well-Being will be the conference Keynote speaking on the premises outlined in her book Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being. As a writer, researcher, and speaker, she helps individuals achieve greater success and well-being. Her leadership development programs focus on strengths, purpose, mindfulness, and workplace well-being. In 2009, she founded Cabrera Insights to help individuals and leaders apply principles of positive psychology for enhanced engagement and performance.

The theme of this year’s conference centers around the pressures women face (both internal and external) in order to be considered a “success.” Breakout session speakers will drive home the idea that success is a work in progress, much like creating a work of art. And like art, success is also subjective. The event website paints a picture of a woman who has it all together and finishes by saying, “Whew! Sounds like a lot of work! It’s time you learned that any great work of art is created in layers: built little by little into something beautifully, interestingly comprised of both intentionality and happy mistakes!”

Breakout sessions include:

–Shaping Your Future, taught by Kathy Strauss, Creative Director at Imagewerks & Lori Muhlstein, CEO at Lorim Resources

–The Art of Being a Visionary Leader, taught by Nicole Chamblin, Chief Visionary at Visions Productivity Solutions

–Sales is Not a 4 Letter Word, taught by Rebecca Vaughan-King, President at Imagine, Inc.

–Empowering Women to Achieve Success, taught by Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, President at SBR Workplace Consultations

–Failure is for Winners: Why Failing Right is the Key to Success, taught by Rebecca Barnes, Founder & Publisher of Prince William Living Magazine

–Savvy Women: Smart Investors Take Charge of Their Financial Future, taught by Emily Dupree, Regional Director of MFS Investment –Management

For the full agenda, visit PWChamber.org. Says past attendee Ramunda Young with Northern Virginia Community College, ““The quality and quantity of dynamic women present offered wonderful opportunities to connect and build relationships.”

Women from all walks of life are invited to join the women of the Prince William Chamber of for a day of powerful presentations and inspirational workshops, at the Prince William Women’s Leadership Conference: The Art of Being a Successful Woman. For more information call 571-765-1876 or email ashort@pwchamber.org.

Sponsors for The Art of Being a Successful Woman are: Novant Health UVA Health System, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, NOVEC, Prince William Living and the Prince William/Gainesville Times.

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