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A member of the Felmley family has been involved with the hospital from before it was even built — that’s more than 45 years of service!

When Martha Felmley was invited to an introductory meeting for the Potomac Hospital Auxiliary in the early 70’s, she had no idea it would ignite a passion that would consume nearly half of her life and be passed down through the generations.

“We had fundraisers to make money and went door to door to collect money. In the beginning, it was all about money to build the hospital” remembers the soon-to-be 90-year-old, smiling.

For Martha Felmley, that commitment grew as the hospital did. Over the years, in addition to volunteering, she served on the Hospital Board of Trustees and worked in community relations, her family always by her side. That’s why it’s no surprise the hospital became a family affair, with Felmley’s daughter and granddaughter both eventually working here!

For Felmley’s daughter, Martha Moore, the connections to the hospital started before she could drive. “I used to babysit Howard Greenhouse’s children!” she remembers, laughing.

Moore, now a Cardiac Systems Coordinator for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, started out babysitting the head of the hospital board’s children. It was about that same time she was a candy striper at the hospital, and from there, she was a weekend cashier in the gift shop. (more…)



‘…concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress’

On Friday, November 3, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee will host renowned economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Stephen S. Fuller Institute and members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for a discussion on regional trends and the economics of growing the commercial tax base in Prince William County.

Earlier this year, Prince William County approved their FY17-20 Strategic Plan which contains long-term goals for the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on topics ranging from economic development to public safety and education. Of particular interest to the business community is the economic development goal focused on increasing the ratio of commercial property tax to 35% of all collected revenues. Since the plan’s approval, the Chamber has hosted multiple meetings on this issue, hearing from County staff as well as industry leaders. 

View a September Opinion piece by the Chamber that explains more about the issue.

While growing business in the County is an important goal, and one which the Chamber supports, concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress. The Chamber has invited the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to attend the presentation to hear from Dr. Fuller in hopes that the targeted discussion will provide the necessary economic framework to inform future policy decisions regarding the expansion of the commercial tax base. (more…)



‘At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!’

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Men and women, of all ages, races, and sizes gathered together to remember what used to be.

It was all part of the bariatric team’s annual, “A Gala, Celebrating You.” For the sixth year in a row, people came together for a Weight Loss Surgery Patient Reunion at the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

More than 40 former patients and their loved ones came out to remember their weight loss journey and celebrate how far they’ve come.

It was a reunion for many, with patients coming up to one another and asking tentatively, “Do you remember me?” Plenty of hugs, laughs, and smiles were exchanged.

At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done- outside of marrying my husband!” chuckled Reva Gravelle.

Gravelle was just one member of a patient panel who spoke with the group and answered questions. She was 62 years old when she decided to move forward and get the surgery. Eight years later, she hasn’t looked back and says she feels healthier than ever! “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” she says smiling.

Just like Gravelle, everybody had their own story, but there was a common thread everyone could relate to. Patients shared varied firsts: having a lap for a grandchild to sit on, being able to get up by themselves when falling, flying without having to buy an extra seat or getting a seatbelt extender, different shopping options for clothing and being able to fit in a roller coaster seat.

Many patients credit their surgeon, Dr. Denis Halmi with helping them make the change, something he seemed little uncomfortable with, “I try to explain, it wasn’t me, because you are the one making the changes, because of what you are doing, it’s making the change. I’m here to help you, here to support you, but you’re the one who does it.”

While patients were in varied stages of their weight loss journey- some, having had their surgery years ago, while others had their surgery just months earlier, all know that this is a lifetime commitment. To that end, even the event’s food reflected their new lifestyle and featured healthy choices such as diced fruits and vegetables, shrimp, turkey meatballs and blended-to-order fruit smoothies.

This was also an uplifting event for those patients who may have gotten off track. Instead of beating up on themselves for diet missteps, patient speakers and health professional reminded everyone, while it’s nice to move numbers on the scale; this voyage is about more than that. It’s about getting healthy. Organizers reminded patients this event isn’t the only support available. The program hosts both weekly and monthly support groups for current and former patients. And, if those groups are too far for some to travel, the bariatric program has recently added a new virtual support group for the last Thursday of the month. It’s all in an effort to make sure people have the assistance they need to meet their health goals. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, call 1-800-SENTARA.

Photos: Dr. Halmi in the center, surrounded by patients who enjoyed a great time, and Dr. Halmi speaking to the group, sharing words of encouragement.



SNVMC President Kathie Johnson on how Potomac Hospital, now Sentara, is ‘45 years new’

 

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Sentara Susan Bahorich sat down for an interview with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center President Kathie Johnson.

Not only did Kathie celebrate her one year anniversary this summer, but Sentara is also preparing for our 45th hospital anniversary this fall, and she spoke frankly on several different topics and is very engaging and informative.

SB: You’ve been at the helm just over a year now. How has your first year gone?

KJ: It’s been absolutely wonderful. Very exciting- there are terrific people here to help with things and we’ve achieved a lot in one very short year.

SB: You’ve accomplished a lot in one year. What’s next?

KJ: Our vision is to be the healthcare provider of choice in our market, which is Northern Virginia. And what we’ve done is work with our community to identify services they would like us to bring to the community. Our goal is that people should not have to travel for healthcare, they should be able to get what they need right here. And, that’s actually what our #MySentara is all about – this is our hospital, we own it, we love it, we want it to be the best that it is and it’s also our community’s hospital, so we want to be here for the community and whatever they need.  

SB: What does that look like for the hospital and patients?

KJ: We have renovation projects going everywhere to support our ability to deliver the best and highest quality care to our patients. We’re also recruiting new providers to this market and bringing in new programs, so it’s very exciting. We’ve done a whole lot in a pretty short time.

SB: This year we’re celebrating our 45th Anniversary- not only remembering our past but looking to the future.

KJ: When you look to the future what we’re going to see is more services more acute services more preventative services, more outreach to our community. Our mission is to improve healthcare every day so we’re not just here when people get ill, we’re here to keep people well and work with our community to do that. We have a lot of partners in the community to help us there and that’s just a lot of strength that we can build on to be successful.

SB: Already there are a lot of people who have shared their love of Potomac, but there’s a lot of strength in Sentara and what we’ve been able to build and craft here.

KJ: Certainly, there are a lot of people who love Potomac. There are a lot of people who remember Potomac and when it started and have been here for many years and have dedicated a lot of services and a lot of heart and a lot of commitment to the hospital and to our patients, but the future is coming. Healthcare is changing. It’s growing, there are new therapies, there are new ways to stay healthy, there are new cures and we want to be at the forefront of bringing all of that to our community.

SB: As a not for profit hospital, what does that mean for our patients?

KJ: By not for profit, it means that any money that we receive, that doesn’t go for expenses, is invested back into the hospital so that we can continue providing services to our patients. We provide a lot of care that we do not receive payment for which is part of our mission is to reach out and do that for the community. We are very proud that we are able to do that and support other not for profit partners in the community in providing that care. So, not for profit means there are no shareholders or anything like that. It means that any money that we are able to keep, after all of our expenses, were able to give back to our patients and community.

SB: And, that means that no patient is ever turned away. 

(more…)



Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center: The Beginning

As we prepare to celebrate our 45th Birthday, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is taking a look back at the history which shaped the facility into what it is today.

While it’s hard to imagine now, at one point the hospital campus was comprised of open fields. And, before 1972, if residents had a medical emergency they had to travel either to Fredericksburg or Alexandria for care; for many, Manassas wasn’t even an option! That’s where the idea was born for a hospital on the eastern end of the county.

In 1965, the Woodbridge Jaycees hired professional consultants to study the feasibility of such a plan. Architects were hired and at least five sites were surveyed to determine the hospital’s location.

In June 1968, community leaders joined together to form the Potomac Hospital Corporation, and elected John Johnson, then head of Virginia Power, president.

Howard Greenhouse, who would later go onto to become the first chairman of the Potomac Hospital Board of Trustees, was a businessman at the time. But, he soon found himself involved in the project.

“It was a struggle to start,” Greenhouse remembers.

In 1969, the first hospital membership drive began, and soon there were 3,300 members ready and willing to support the hospital’s fundraising efforts. At one point, volunteers like Greenhouse were going door to door asking for donations.

“I can tell you that was not my most enjoyable time spent because I hate when people ask me for money, and I don’t want to go ask someone else,” Greenhouse chuckles, ”But, where else was there?”

The community answered the call. When it was all said and done, more than two million dollars was raised. A 77-acre building site was purchased for $258,070.70 from Mrs. Anna Greisch. Mrs. Johanna Opitz, a longtime area landowner, then dedicated the right of way to the property which is now Opitz Boulevard. It was from there, Potomac Hospital was born.

Langston “Rich” Richardson became the hospital’s first administrator.

“There was never a doubt in my mind it would succeed,” says the now 89-year-old Richardson, thinking back. “Everybody was interested (in the success) because we were building something from scratch and they had put their soul and heart into it. And, that’s what made Potomac Hospital what it is.”

In 2009, Potomac Hospital joined one of the largest health systems in Virginia, Sentara Healthcare. The name has changed to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, but the mission to provide quality patient care remains the same. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is a hospital built for the community, by the community.

Annual Boo Ball to support the Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift

· Good Morning Prince William – Come join our Annual Boo Ball to support the Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids. This super fun event is Saturday, October 28th at 7 pm at the Manassas Moose Lodge. Tickets are just $35 and include dinner, specialty drink, cash bar and Livin’ the Dream live band. Grab a costume and your friends for a fun time and for a great cause. Tickets can be bought online at: volunteerprincewilliam.org.

· ACTS in Dumfries is having their 7th Annual IWALK event on Saturday, October 7th at Stonebridge at Potomac Town center. Registration begins at 8 am with the 5K walk/run at 9 am. Registration is just $20/individual, $15/team, or $50/family. Proceeds benefit all the good things ACTS does for the community. The free Fall Festival is 10am-2pm following the run. They’ll have food vendors, performances, kid’s activities, carnival games and much more. Please register at: iwalkforacts.com.

· Saved Hands Foundation is having their next volunteer orientation on Saturday, October 7th from 10-2pm at Chinn Park Library. Come find out about all the neat ways you can help another. Please call (571) 572-9013 to learn more.
· Brain Injury Services is looking for a friendly visitor volunteer to visit their client who lives in Aldie and loves watching sports, walking or working out. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881, ext. 232 to learn more.

· ACTS is also looking for administrative volunteers during traditional business hours. Please email Tamika at: tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn more.

· Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is still looking for volunteer presenters age 55+ to teach 4th-grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at 571-292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· Historic Manassas is looking for volunteers to help at the Fall Jubilee event on Saturday October 7th. Duties include beer pourer, stage performer check-in, directional assistants, and much more. Shifts are for a couple of hours throughout the day. You don’t want to miss this super fun event. Please call Melissa at (703) 361-6599 for all the specifics. (more…)


Fall into the New Classes here at MPCC

  • Manassas Park Community Center
  • Address: 99 Adams Street Manassas Park, Va.
  • Phone: 703-335-8872

The fall season conjures scenarios of bountiful baskets of freshly picked apples, pumpkins, and enchanting autumn foliage! It also brings a whole batch of new classes here at the Manassas Park Community Center, including the Road to Wellness, Focused Awareness Meditation, Bollywood and Classical Indian Dance, and Outdoor Yoga! Also, there are several music classes for the music lovers too!

These new classes focus on all types of music, dance, and whole-body wellness. One thing we all have in common as residents of Northern Virginia is that we are all under a lot of stress. Regardless of the reasons for that stress, we all need to find something to help us reduce it.

Several new classes here at the Community Center to help you better handle your stress include Focused Awareness Meditation and the Road to Wellness. Taught by Karen David of Live Life Well, LLC, and using her years of experience as a registered nurse, she uses her medical experience to help people change their lives! She says that when you believe in you, you will have the ability to not only believe in something but to reach optimal wellness through daily personal wellness habits.

“I base my classes on my own journey, and when I was spread super thin, my own health suffered,” Karen shared, “I defined my own values of relationships, defined my boundaries, and my values.” Those became the foundation for her Road to Wellness class.
“I ask my students and my clients to evaluate the boundaries they are forming. I help them to realize we have gone from looking and observing to just reacting, and I can help them to honestly answer questions about why they made their plan the way they did,” Karen added.

She further pointed out that it is great to take care of others, but not to forget to take care of yourself too. ‘Take care of others, but do not forget to ask what I have done for me,’ has become her mantra!

Appreciating music is another way to relieve stress. Called the “great soother,” music can help you process your emotions. Sometimes just turning up that radio, and screaming the words to your favorite song is just the thing to help you get past a bad day as you trudge home after a long day of work.

The new Music Appreciation, Music Theory, Jazz Appreciation, Music Ensemble classes here at the Community Center are all taught by a professional musician who uses his own experiences as the foundation to help others to love music the way he does.
Most music lovers have their own ideas and reasons for liking particular types of music, but his classes help students focus on the history of the particular genres of music while highlighting major composers of the day. Relax and enjoy the conversations, learn new techniques, and maybe even become more proficient on a musical instrument you have always wanted to learn to play!

Consider trying a new and different type of dance class also offered this fall at the Community Center this fall. Options include Bollywood and Classical Indian Dance, Hand Dancing, and Line Dancing with Scotty Inman. Come alone or with a partner to learn the basics of each dance: each with its own elegant style, charm, and fun dance styles.

As residents of Northern Virginia, we can all agree that the stress we encounter daily is something we cannot ignore. However, by trying one of the new fall classes offered at the Manassas Park Community Center, we could focus elsewhere, learn something new, and have lots of fun too!

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 is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, and 29 special events and programs. For more information visit us at ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.


Governor McAuliffe names 3 Manassas companies to participate in Virginia Economic Gardening Pilot Program

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced 12 Virginia companies were selected to participate in the Virginia Economic Gardening Pilot Program (VEGPP). The VEGPP, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), targets second-stage companies. These businesses are growth-oriented and have moved beyond the startup phase by demonstrating a notable increase in revenue or employment. By addressing strategic growth issues, such as identifying new markets and industry trends, refining business models, raising online visibility, and offering access to competitive intelligence, the VEGPP enables high-growth companies to achieve the next level of success.

“Second stage companies are a key driver of local job creation and revenue generation.  I am pleased three companies from Manassas were chosen to participate, the most of any locality across the Commonwealth and the only ones in Northern VA.  I believe this underscores the tremendous talent base we have here in the City,” said Mayor Hal Parrish.  Economic Development staff worked very closely with VEGPP to identify companies meeting the eligibility requirements for the Pilot and are poised to provide a continuing stream of qualified Manassas businesses should the program continue.

Hepburn and Sons LLC specializes in providing maritime engineering consulting to the Department of Defense and industry in technology transition initiatives and technical advisory services. With a focus on topics in electrical engineering, material science, cybersecurity, and Navy Fleet requirements, they are committed to providing their customers with technical competence and strong character with a proven track record.

 

 

R&K Cyber Solutions LLC (R&K) is a leading and award winning provider of Computer Network Defense (CND) Services, Enterprise Information Technology (IT) Management, and Application Development. They provide Intrusion Detection, Incident Response, Malware Reverse Engineering, and Information Assurance (IA) services, as well as Certified Security processes to the U.S. Federal Government (Civilian, Department of Defense (DoD), and Intelligence Community (IC)) and to customers in selected commercial markets. 

 

Risk and Strategic Management, Corp. (RSM) is a full service risk and business continuity consulting, management services, training and capacity building organization. They bring together their knowledge, skills, products and global reach to create integrated solutions that are sustainable over the long term.  Their world-class team supports organizations at home and abroad, creating the resilience necessary to survive and thrive in a dynamic world.

To view the Governor’s Press Release in full, please click here.  

 

Chick-fil-A Bristow Charity Golf Tournament will benefit Christ In Action, whose volunteers are in Texas helping Hurricane Harvey victims

The First Annual Chick-fil-A Bristow Charity Golf Tournament at Broad Run Golf Course & Practice Facility to benefit Christ In Action will take place on September 30, 2017.

Currently deployed to southeast Texas to assist Hurricane Harvey victims, Christ In Action is a nonprofit disaster relief, 100 percent volunteer organization, whose mission statement is “Bringing Hope to America’s Families” whose communities have been devastated by tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods.

Volunteers, donations, and through their selfless commitment help to provide services to these communities at no cost by deploying their fleet of trucks to provide food, water, showers, and supplies.

However, to do this, it takes support from the community, and that is why we will be hosting the First Annual Charity Golf Tournament on September 30, 2017, to help raise money for this amazing organization.

You too can participate in the excitement of this event by supporting Christ In Action! There will be a variety of ways that you can participate and to lend your support.

Your kind donation or sponsorship will bring us closer to our fundraising goals for 2017. We encourage our communities to sign up and register to play in the tournament and get involved and help us generate the enthusiasm to participate in this upcoming golf event for this great cause!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for supporting Christ In Action and their efforts to provide disaster relief to families in need. It is with the support of the community, donations, sponsorships, Chick-fil-A Bristow and Broad Run Golf & Practice Facility that will make this First Annual Chick-fil-A Bristow Charity Golf Tournament a success.



‘The Forgotten War’ exhibit will show how WWI changed Prince William, culture

Few events in American history hold are remembered more than wars fought by its countrymen and women.

While Americans have fought in numerous engagements in the country’s 241 years, three stand out.

The American Revolutionary War created our country, the Civil War saved it, and World War II saved democracy for the world.

Unfortunately, most Americans have forgotten one of the most influential two years in American history — World War I. While the U.S. was officially at war in 1917, most of America’s participation in the fighting took place final months of the War, and although over 100,000 Americans died, it paled in comparison to the millions of Europeans who died.

Since American service members were back in Europe fighting against Germany within a generation, perhaps it is not surprising that our country has forgotten about the First World War. This historical amnesia obscures the fact that the U.S. that is familiar to all modern people, a first rate world power, was the direct consequence of our participation in World War I.

With the centennial of America’s active participation in the War, this fall the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division is collaborating with the Manassas Museum and will produce an exhibit on the local impact the War had. The World War, unsurprisingly, had a worldwide influence. Instead of focusing on the military campaigns fought thousands of miles away in Europe, “The Forgotten War” will instead explore the impact the war had closer to home.

The first major military engagement since the American Civil War, the American Army in World War I numbered in the millions. One way so many served was through the draft. While many Prince William County residents volunteered for service, every adult male in the county had to register for the draft.

Out of the many that served, twenty-six local “doughboys” gave the ultimate sacrifice during the War. The wartime years also witnessed an immense change in our communities with new military bases springing up, many of which are still around today. The war also witnessed the introduction of official propaganda into American popular culture.

While it would be the first time American service members would see combat in Europe, it would not be the last. Visitors to this exhibit will leave with a better appreciation of this forgotten war.

This post is brought to you by the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division.

Tourism revenue reached $68 million in the City of Manassas in 2016

Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.

Tourism revenue for the City of Manassas reached $68,000,000. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 580 while local tourism-related taxes were $1,800,000, a 3.5% increase. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from US Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

“The City of Manassas prides itself on being visitor friendly,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate.  “According to the 2016 Citizen Satisfaction Survey completed by ETC Institute, the City of Manassas scored more than 20 percent above the national average in customer service.”

According to the US Travel Association, tourism in Virginia generated $24 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 230,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism development all around the state, including: new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals and events, music venues, wedding venues, meeting and convention venues, attractions and so much more. Virginia’s changing tourism product makes the Commonwealth a destination for authentic travel experiences and thriving communities.

“As the one of Virginia’s largest private sector industries, tourism represents $24 billion in economic impact and contributes $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, injecting critical dollars into our communities statewide,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The tourism industry supports local businesses, services, and infrastructure, and is an important contributor to job creation. Communities all across Virginia continue to develop new tourism product, making the Commonwealth one of the most exciting and compelling destinations in the world.”

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country. Virginia is for Lovers stands for love, pure and simple, and promotes the state as the ideal destination for loved ones to completely connect on a great vacation. Virginia is for Lovers was named one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009.  To plan your next vacation in Virginia, visit www.virginia.org and discover why Virginia is for Lovers.

BerkleyNet finds the secret to attracting and keeping talent — make them feel valued

Editors note: This sponsored post is the first in a monthly series written by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Potomac Local.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — An insurance company headquartered in Prince William County encourages young professionals to write on the walls.

This is not your typical coverage provider.

Started in a warehouse in Manassas in 2006, tech firm BerkleyNet is a leader in forward-thinking business growth in Prince William County. BerkleyNet is a member company of W. R. Berkley Corporation, a Fortune 500 company.

Headquartered in Innovation Technology Park in Prince William County, their business is entirely online, a unique concept for a firm that provides workers compensation insurance.

In just 11 years they have grown from six to over 200 employees. The majority are headquartered in Prince William County, with satellite offices in places like Minneapolis, Nashville, Tenn. and Las Vegas.

John Goldwater, BerkleyNet’s former President, and CEO, has gone on to become an Executive Vice President of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Five founding employees remain on BerkleyNet’s senior leadership team.

The most unique aspect of their business growth? They hire curious problem-solvers, encourage ownership and invest in their employees. (more…)



Governor McAuliffe breaks ground on I-395 Express Lanes extension

Reliable and faster travel choices coming on I-395 Corridor 

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today joined the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and its private partner and operator of the I-95 Express Lanes, Transurban, to break ground on the start of construction of an eight-mile extension of the I-395 Express Lanes from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road in Alexandria to the Washington, D.C. border. The project provides more options for faster and more reliable travel in one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the country and expands the region’s network of express lanes. The project includes a long-term investment in transit for the corridor, through a yearly payment of $15 million (to be escalated annually) that will be paid by Transurban to the Commonwealth. This annual transit payment will support transit and multimodal initiatives benefitting the corridor.

“Anyone who travels on I-395 and I-95 today can attest that this is one of the most congested corridors in the country,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Today’s groundbreaking is the first project of the Commonwealth’s larger Atlantic Gateway Initiative which aims to unlock the I-95 Corridor. The Atlantic Gateway Initiative and the I-395 project demonstrate how we can work with our public and private partners to improve the quality of life for Virginians and our visitors – and keep our new Virginia economy growing.”

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne added, “Under Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, today’s milestone is one more step toward expanding the express lanes network in Northern Virginia, and providing travelers with much-needed travel choices to reach their destinations faster. The key benefit continues to be options, and we are ready to focus on delivering this new choice on 395.”

The I-395 Express Lanes project provides specific benefits for the thousands of commuters who work at or near the Pentagon, as well as the many carpoolers or commuter bus users transferring at the Pentagon to continue to their destination. By reconstructing the Pentagon’s South Parking area and adding new bus lanes and HOV commuter and “slug” lanes to improve traffic flow and safety for buses and carpools, the project’s benefits extend well beyond the express lanes.

Other key project features include adding a fourth regular lane on I-395 South between the Duke Street and Edsall Road Interchanges, to help relieve the congestion which occurs when I-395 shrinks from four to three lanes in this area. Additionally, the project includes rehabilitating several I-395 bridges, and building new sound walls to protect neighboring communities.

The project is anticipated to cost approximately $500 million, with a combination of private and public funds. The project is one element of the Commonwealth’s Atlantic Gateway Program, a series of major improvements to the I-95/I-395 corridor.

“We are pleased to partner with Virginia to deliver a critical missing link that will connect Express Lanes customers to new destinations along I-395 and Washington D.C.,” said Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager, North America, Transurban. “Crews will begin work right away on improvements that are going to help drivers on I-395 get home faster, while also generating funds to support new transit options. As construction begins, we encourage all travelers to stay alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and keep an eye out for workers on the road.”

Plans to extend the Express Lanes began in November 2015 with a Framework Agreement under the 95 Express Lanes Comprehensive Agreement between VDOT and Transurban. In February 2017, after meeting specific project-delivery and financial criteria, the Commonwealth approved Transurban’s proposal to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the 395 Express Lanes extension.

AECOM Engineering Company and Lane Construction are under contract to Transurban to design and build the extended 395 Express Lanes. The express lanes are scheduled to open in fall 2019 and the other elements of the project are expected to be completed by summer 2020.

Construction of the expanded express lanes will occur largely within VDOT’s right-of-way; however, some work such as sound wall construction may require crews to access right-of-way and areas adjacent to the project corridor. Preliminary work such as geotechnical investigations and surveying began last March.

More information about the project is available at: 395expresslanes.com and virginiadot.org/395express

 

Local lender expands free Q&A series for business owners

Local business capital advisor and direct lender One Degree Capital is expanding their successful series “Capital Over Coffee.” These informal forums are hosted at local coffee shops throughout the DC Metro area providing local business owners an opportunity to ask questions about finding and securing business loans in an informal setting without the hassle and formality of going through a loan application process just to get feedback from a lender.

“Our first Capital Over Coffee event in Falls Church, Virginia, sold out quickly,” explains Rod Loges, co-founder, and president of One Degree Capital. “As word spread we had several other business owners asking when we would be hosting an event near them. It just seemed logical to expand into other areas in the DC Metro area.”

“There is a clear need for this type of forum in our area,” says Jenn Mathis, co-founder and vice president of One Degree Capital. “Business owners don’t need yet another loan option thrown at them. What they need is help objectively evaluating the dozens of options that exist today to determine what is best for their particular business situation right now.” (more…)

First phase of Sentara Northern Virginia Emergency Department renovation is complete

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is expanding upon its commitment to serve the community by redesigning and renovating its Emergency Department. Starting Friday evening, August 4, 2017, at seven o’clock, the main emergency department lobby reopened. 

The hospital is redesigning the Emergency Department in its efforts to meet the needs of the community by offering a state of the art space that caters to the patient experience and patient care work flows. 

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center announced in April it would accept emergency patients through the hospital’s main entrance to expedite the check-in process while the ED lobby was under renovation.  (more…)

Time is running out for summer reading, but it’s not too late

Time is running out, but it’s not too late!

Explore Summer Reading 2017

With school just around the corner, it is time to dust off those thinking caps and get ready to learn. But don’t do it alone, stop by your closest Prince William Public Library branch and score some fun prizes while getting back in the groove.

In less than six visits (YES, six visits), you will have the opportunity to win some amazing food coupons, free books and be entered to win a brand-new flip laptop (for kids) or a Beats Pill by Dre® (for young adults).  Either visit pwcgov.org/summerreading or head on over to any Prince William Public Library branch to sign up. Once you have your passport (for kids) or punch card (for young adults), just tell us what you’re reading each time you visit the library and watch the stamps and punches roll in.

Don’t worry, adults, because you can participate in Explore Summer Reading, too! You don’t even have to register. Whenever you come into the library, fill out an entry form with the name of a book you’ve read. We will hold a drawing for a Target gift card at each of our eleven branches each week for all nine weeks of summer reading. (more…)



New Listing: 8510 General Way

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New listing!! 8510 General Way, Manassas Park, Va. 20111. Move-in ready three-level townhouse in excellent commuter location! Large eat-in kitchen with convenient pantry. Open and bright living room & dining room combination with sliding glass doors leading to oversized deck. Master suite with full bath and double closets. Full finished walk-out basement with den, laundry, full bath & family room overlooking brick paver patio, fenced backyard, backing to common area and playground. New roof, carpet & recent HVAC & H2O heater. Minutes to VRE,

Large eat-in kitchen with convenient pantry. Open and bright living room & dining room combination with sliding glass doors leading to oversized deck. Master suite with full bath and double closets. Full finished walk-out basement with den, laundry, full bath & family room overlooking brick paver patio, fenced backyard, backing to common area and playground. New roof, carpet & recent HVAC & H2O heater. Minutes to VRE, shopping, and restaurants.

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



Bat Houses: Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever thought about installing a bat house? 

Bats are vital to our environment. People who install bat houses help sustain local bat populations.

They benefit bats, you, your family, local gardeners, farmers and the ecosystem. Bat populations have decreased significantly, and bat houses provide a secure habitat for bats to live.

Rest assured, it’s safe and helpful to have bats in your backyard.

Bats play an important role in keeping populations of night-flying insects in check. One bat alone can catch hundreds of insects in an hour. Bats also control species of moths and beetles that cost American farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually.

The best place to install a bat house is high up and oriented south/southeast. Make sure the bat house is a minimum of 10 to 12 feet high. Placing it even higher up, up to 20 feet, will increase chances of attracting more bats.

Ideally, the bats will receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day. Bats prefer a location that gets early sunlight and continues to get direct sunlight throughout the day.

Water should be within a quarter of a mile of the bat house. Viable water sources include, but are not limited to, creeks, small ponds, home garden ponds and possible even pools. Bat houses located near a large water source tend to be more successful.

Avoid placing the bat house on trees, as they attract predators and their foliage may block sunlight. Tree branches should be at least 20 to 25 feet away, as they are potential perches for aerial predators. A pole in the right location is a great place to put a bat house. However, do check to be sure the pole is NOT an active service pole.

Beware of attaching a bat house to your home – consider the excrement that bat colonies generate. Avoid placing bat houses above doors or windows because of this reason. Wood, brick or stone buildings work best.

Written by Beejal Ved, of the Prince William Conservation Alliance

Photo: Ann Froschauer/USFWS

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