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‘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


Local businesses learn the ins and outs of eVA and selling to government

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The process of selling goods and services to state and local governments in Virginia is different than selling to private business owners.

There are no early morning networking breakfasts, no after-hour cocktails and few business card-trading sessions with prospective clients.

“Save the paper for those who matter,” said Kimberly Madison, marketing and outreach manager for the Virginia Division of Purchases and Supply for the Department of General Services. “It is a challenge for businesses to come in and switch how they normally do things.”

Madison led a class in Woodbridge on Tuesday, April 4 designed to show local business owners how to

sell to the state. The key to the class is learning about “eVA” — on online procurement tool used by the state for all purchases. Everything from printing supplies to doughnuts is purchased through the system by the state’s 245 government agencies and colleges and can be used by the 770 local governments in the state.

With more than 13,000 users, the eVA system is not only complex; it’s powerful. The system is designed to provide “deep” transparency, to show users what agencies are purchasing products, who’s selling, and for how much they’re selling their services. (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.


F&B Concrete relocates headquarters to the city of Manassas

We are excited to announce that F&B Concrete, LLC has moved its corporate headquarters to the City of Manassas.  Established in 1998 in the City of Manassas Park, F&B Concrete has proven itself to be one of the most professional and specialized commercial concrete construction contractors in the area. 
 
F&B currently works for some of the region’s most well respected General Contractor’s.  Their scope of work includes foundations, slab-on-grade, structural and suspended slabs to private, government and municipal sector customers with contracts ranging from $250,000.00 to $3 million.
 
“I am pleased to welcome the corporate offices of F&B Concrete to the City of Manassas.  Our locality serves as an employment center for the Greater Manassas region and is increasingly becoming the location of choice for employers seeking a community that understands and meets the needs of their business,” said Patrick Small, Economic Development Director for the City of Manassas. 

For additional information, please contact Christine Reynolds at creynolds@fandbconcrete.com


‘Bright Resilient Youth,’ WRAP winners in 395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program

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395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program Awards Funding to the Bright Resilient Youth Committed to Enrichment and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program

Interested organizations are encouraged to apply for next round of grants by March 31

Transurban, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s partner on the 395 Express Lanes project, today announced that the Bright Resilient Youth Committed to Enrichment (BRYCE) and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP)’s SoberRide each received a $5,000 grant this quarter through the 395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program.

The BRYCE project is an enrichment program designed to engage young women in activities that develop their social and emotional skills. The participants learn the values of the community and give back by doing random acts of kindness as individuals and in groups. BRYCE encourages friendship, diversity, and individuality and plants the seed at an early age of the importance of education.

“The BRYCE Project was pleased to receive a grant from the 395 Express Lanes grant program,” said LaVon Curtis, Founder, BRYCE Project. “As an all-volunteer organization, these funds allow us to continue our work in providing community, leadership, and mentoring to young women as they prepare for adulthood. One of our upcoming events supported by this grant is a career event which provides young women the chance to hear real-life lessons from professional women and engage in networking.”

The WRAP is a non-profit focused on using effective education, innovative programs, and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, D.C. metro area. It is best known for its free taxi service, SoberRide, which discourages drunk driving and has provided more than 65,000 free rides to would-be impaired drivers in the Greater Washington Area. The program is credited with keeping the area’s alcohol related traffic deaths lower than the national average. (more…)


Holiday Inn Express North Stafford part of growing ‘select service’ hotel catering to business travelers

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It’s been about a month since the Wingate Inn in North Stafford changed its name to Holiday Inn Express, and there’s already been a noticeable improvement.

The rooms are completely renovated, and the pool went from a chlorine-filled swimming hole to a salt water oasis, and the continental breakfast is now anything but bland.

The changes are part of an $6 million renovation project at the hotel located the heart of North Staford, across from Stafford Marketplace. Changing the brand of the hotel was a significant move to attract and cater to business travelers.

“If we’re going to do a full renovation we’re going to go for a higher brand,” said Amal Lambaraa, Managing Director of Lambaraa Hospitality LLC at the Holiday Inn Express in North Stafford.

The new name not only means fresh linens and a brighter coat of paint. It means a better, healthier complimentary breakfast with low-calorie pancakes, waffles, and grab-and-go healthy options like fruit and gourmet coffee.

“Some days, the breakfast you take away can also be your lunch. You can take your food with you, and that prevents you from needing to run out to a gas station to get food or coffee,” added Lambarra.

There is over $1 billion in new hotel construction happening across Virginia right now. Leading the pack are these types of “select service” hotels. (more…)


Bingo mixed with aerobics keeps seniors active during winter months

The winter months can be a difficult time for seniors.

Cold temperatures and wintry weather conditions can make it difficult to go outside or to take regular shopping trips and excursions.

The Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care Center near Manassas recognizes this can be a problem and works to keep their residents active and engaged on gray winter days.

One of the ways it does so is by gathering residents in a dining area and playing “Arringo,” an activity that mixes aerobics with bingo to engage the mind, body, and soul.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas

We’re looking for a looking for a committed Jesus-follower with strong administrative skills and a servant’s heart

Chapel Springs Church
Missions Department
Administrative Assistant, Full Time

Please Note!: Resumes received without completed application CANNOT be considered. 

A growing church in Northern Virginia is looking for a committed Jesus-follower with strong administrative skills and a servant’s heart to grow with us at our Bristow office. If you are passionate about helping people follow Jesus, keep reading.

You are:
Self-motivated, driven, and on top of things
Strong in the details while also able to understand the “big picture”?
Proficient in Microsoft Office (every bit of it) and possessing strong general computer skills?
Exceptionally organized and resourceful; able to manage multiple projects
Outstanding in interpersonal skills?
A team player
Personable, friendly, and someone who enjoys talking to and interacting with people
A mature follower of Jesus who is able to commit to the core values of Chapel Springs Church
A professional with at least 2 years’ experience as an Administrative Assistant

Does this sound like you? Download an application at chapelsprings.org/ under the tabs about us and employment and submit it with your resume to the email address listed on our website. Please follow all directions on the website carefully so that your application comes to us with complete information.

You may also mail your resume and application to:
Attn: Jobs
Chapel Springs Church
11500 New Life Way
Bristow, VA 20136

Resumes received without completed application CANNOT be considered. No phone calls, please.

We need a detail-oriented person to perform clerical, technical work preparing records

ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT
Looking for a detail-oriented person to perform clerical and technical work involving the preparation and maintenance of financial records. Must have a thorough knowledge of: bookkeeping terminology and methods, standard office procedures and practices, and computer programs. 24 hours per week, T-Th, 8:30 — 5:00.

To apply please send in a completed application. You will find this at chapelsprings.org under the tabs “about us” and “employment.” Please note that resumes received with out a completed application will not be considered. No phone calls please.


3rd Annual Historic Manassas Bridal Show

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The 3rd Annual Historic Manassas Bridal Show is taking place on Sunday, March 12, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory. This free event is proving to be that the third times a charm for this growing event with a wide variety of 30 wedding-related vendors. In years past, the event has been held at two other potential wedding venues in the City – the Harris Pavilion and the Manassas Museum Lawn. This year will be the first indoor show at another great downtown wedding venue – Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory.

This year’s Bridal Show will make the most out of this unique, gorgeous location. The first floor of the Center for the Arts features a gallery ideal for a happy hour before the reception. Hop on the elevator to the third floor featuring the perfect space for a reception. With gorgeous exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, this space is perfect for a reception with around 120 guests.

This year’s show will feature 30 vendors located on both the first and third floors. Local downtown merchants including Amy’s Bridal Boutique, Shining Sol Candle Company, Scatter Seeds, Jirani Coffeehouse, Travel Place, and Okra’s Cajun Creole will be set up along with popular venues such as Morais Vineyards and Airlie. Photographers, bakers, entertainment providers, specialty gift providers and more will be set up as well. A complete listing of all participating vendors can be found here. (more…)


Manassas Park builds community, finds success with youth basketball

Ask any Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation staff member what is the most popular program offered and without hesitation, they will respond, “The youth basketball league.”

The Manassas Park Youth Basketball League (MPYBL) is going into its 20th year, and lots of credit is owed to the community spirit the residents and employees of Manassas Park exude.

“Whenever we come there’s always a sense of family,” writes 2016-2017 MPYBL Coach Steve Gaskins, “There’s something here for everyone. It’s like a second home. The staff is always friendly and knowledgeable, and the building is organized and clean.”

Gaskins is not exaggerating. Generations of families have grown up with Manassas Park Parks and Recreation including children who enrolled in Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) preschool before the current building was built and are now graduating from high school. Children who participated in Extended Care and MP3, afterschool programs for school-age children and teenagers respectively, are now working part time jobs at the Community Center.

Many players return year after year to participate in the league. High school freshman Jonathan Ojo enjoys the basketball league for its great level of competition. (more…)


Manassas City businesses shine, take home top awards

This past Tuesday evening, the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 6th annual business awards dinner at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas to honor the best of the local business community. Awards recognize excellence in business, innovative practices, outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.

The City of Manassas presented its first “Business of the Year Award” to Management and Training Consultants Inc. (MTCI).  For more than 15 years MTCI has specialized in federal and military recruiting, retention and personnel management. MTCI is led by Dalena Kanouse, President and CEO.  Under Dalena’s leadership, MTCI has received a number of national and international certifications.  She is passionate about ensuring the principle upon which MTCI was founded — “maximizing human potential” is at the core of everything they do.  She truly believes the greatest asset of MTCI is the people who carry out the mission.  76 percent of the company’s associates are veterans; of those, 50 percent are retirees and 26 percent are combat veterans.

Additionally, many of the City’s businesses were nominated in the eleven categories of Chamber awards, including local favorite Jirani Coffeehouse for its commitment to enriching the lives of those in our community as well as Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services for providing outstanding professional services in the Greater Manassas region.

Four City businesses received top honors:

  • Tech Company of the Year: Aurora Flight Sciences

Headquartered at the Manassas Regional Airport, Aurora Flight Sciences is a world-wide leader in the research and development of unmanned aircraft systems, robotics and autonomous flight technologies.

  • Emerging Business of the Year: KO Distilling

Craft distillery KO Distilling opened their doors in the City of Manassas on September 12, 2015 with a 12,000 square foot facility featuring a state-of-the-art distilling plant, barrel storage, and tasting room. Co-founded by college classmates and long-time friends Bill Karlson and John O’Mara, KO Distilling is part of the emerging craft spirits industry in Virginia, providing exports as well as tourism revenue.

  • Business Excellence Award (11+ Employees): Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, PC

From their start in 1986, one of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian’s goals was to become a sophisticated law firm providing top-notch work for the community’s legal needs. Over the years, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian has grown to include twelve practice areas and 29 employees who all work in concert to provide every client with the best possible outcome for their legal needs.

  • Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Award, Arts and Education: Center for the Arts

The mission of the Center for the Arts is to enrich the creative community by engaging people of all ages; celebrating diversity, fostering innovation and cultivating collaboration and communication. Where similar organizations may be focused solely on visual arts, or dance, or theatre with programs for either adults or children; the Center for the Arts is proud to offer programs for all ages, in a multitude of mediums.

Additional Nominees from the City of Manassas:

Innovative Practice/Partnership of the Year: Historic Manassas Inc., Novant Health UVA Health System

Community Outreach Award: Jirani Coffeehouse, Mr. Handyman, Apple Federal Credit Union, Transaction Expert

Government Contractor of the Year: MTCI-Management and Training Consultants Inc.

Outstanding Professional Service: Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., Twin Air LLC, Mr. Handyman

Tech Company of the Year: Tracen Technologies Excellence in Small Business: Transaction Expert Business Excellence Award: Hepburn and Sons, Apple Federal Credit Union

Chuck Colgan Visionary Award: Mike Vanderpool

Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Health and Human Service: Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Apple Federal Credit Union


Take these numbers to heart

There are important numbers that can give you an overall picture of your heart health. Keeping track of your numbers provides you with a history of your health and encourages you to continue working toward your goals.

Here are the healthy numbers you should aim for and what they mean:

BMI: Based on height-to-weight ratio, body mass index (BMI) is an overall indicator of healthy weight. BMI does not distinguish between women and men. Your BMI should be between 20 and 24.

Waist circumference: Extra waistline inches can indicate heart disease risk because abdominal fat has a harmful effect on vital organs. People with a normal BMI but a high waist circumference are encouraged to reduce abdominal fat. Women should have a waist circumference of less than 35 inches, and men should have a waist circumference of less than 40 inches.

Waist-to-hip ratio: This ratio is sometimes used instead of waist circumference. To calculate, measure the circumference of your waist at its smallest point and measure the circumference of your hips at their widest point. Divide waist measurement by hip measurement. (Example: waist circumference = 35, hip circumference = 40, 35/40 = .88). Women should have a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.8, and men should have a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.95. (more…)


Check out Mad Mondays in March at Chick-fil-A Bristow

Download the PDF file .

Each Monday in March, there’s something special going on at Chick-fil-A Bristow!

Mad Hatter Monday — Monday, March 3, 2017

Wear your craziest hat and get a FREE chocolate chip cookie!

Luck O’ the Irish Monday — Monday, March 13, 2017

Wear green from head to toe and get a FREE soft drink!

B-Ball Jersey Monday — Monday, March 20, 2017

Wear your favorite team’s B-Ball Jersey and get a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich!

Crazy Bunny Ears Monday — Monday, March 27, 2017

Wear your craziest Bunny Ears and get a FREE IceDream!


Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas

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Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas. This is a high-visibility, attractive leasing opportunity.

The space is situated along heavily trafficked Route 28 and is surrounded by many neighborhood amenities. Space is ideal for a bookstore, tutoring services, laundry mat, pet hospital, food services, or restaurant.

I’m looking to rent this 2,000-square-feet of retail space. Please call Irene at 703-225-9824.


The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice

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1st Sgt. Michael Blake and K-9 partner Luke make a great team. Blake has been with the Prince William Police Department for almost twenty years. Luke is a German shepherd rookie – he will only be two in March. But Blake has already said when it’s time, he wants to retire with Luke.

The Journey and Training Begin

The Prince William County Police Department doesn’t buy dogs like Luke at the local pet store. They bring these intelligent animals from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and parts of Eastern and Western Europe. The male dogs bought from this region are worth the $7,000 price tag because there is less chance of them having inherited conditions like hip dysplasia. Since German Shepherds are active dogs, a condition like hip dysplasia could limit their mobility early in life.

The dogs have an average lifespan of ten to twelve years. This means that K-9 German Shepherds are career dogs because they typically work until they are nine to ten years old unless they get hurt.

Dogs that work in the K-9 unit undergo training to go out “on the job.” Luke completed fourteen weeks of full-time training to graduate to support the patrol officers. Luke continues to attend reinforcement training two days per month.”

Home Life

K-9 officers get to bunk with their handlers. The dogs do best if they are integrated with the family, Blake said, so Luke lives at home with Blake and his family. Blake and Luke bond over playing in the backyard, and tummy rubs. But when it’s time to work, Luke can be at attention and sprint off in a matter of seconds.

“The bond you create with these guys is incredible,” Blake said. “We’re inseparable at home.”

Luke loves to play with his toys. His favorite toy is a “Kong,” a kind of rubber ball. “He’ll do anything and everything for that ball,” said Blake, “but he has to do what I ask him to do first.”

In this way, Luke learns discipline in both work and play.

On the Job Experience

On and off the job, Luke follows verbal commands like “heel.” He also follows hand signals to sit and stay.

But a police K-9 isn’t there to do tricks. Police dogs are trained to sniff out different things. Luke supports the Patrol Unit by sniffing out the human scent to help locate suspects and items a suspect might have touched. And when it comes to apprehending a suspect, dogs like Luke are taught to bite.

Like most police dogs, Luke is trained on a “bite sleeve,” a special padded sleeve that protects an officer’s arm during training. During the interview, Luke demonstrated some of his bite sleeve skills.

Sgt. Heath Oyler volunteered to wear a bite sleeve. Luke first started on a lead when he lunged and bit onto the sleeve. After he was let off the lead, he sprinted towards Oyler, bit the sleeve hard and would not let go. Blake encouraged Luke, saying, “Hold him, buddy!”

Then Oyler let the sleeve slip off while Luke held on to it. When the dogs bite, they bite to hold, not to tear, Blake said.

In another practice drill, a credit card was thrown into the field at the Manassas Western District Station, and Luke ran around the field, sniffing and hunting. When he found the card, he didn’t pick it up in his mouth – he laid down next to it, waiting for Blake.

Even though Luke must stay alert, be prepared and ready to go, Blake said the department is only allowed to use dogs in certain circumstances.

When they do, they must announce to the suspect that they are releasing the dog. They give the warning in English and Spanish. Blake said most suspects are smart enough to stop and put their hands in the air once they know the dog has been released.

A Popular Unit

The K-9 Unit is often coveted by recruits eager to work with the dogs. However, not all on the waiting list will be eligible for the position. First, officers must serve two to three years in the Patrol Unit before applying.

Then, they must pass a specific agility test. Those with tactical experience are preferred. They must also live in the county in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The greater lead time a suspect has to get away, the harder it is for the dogs to find the suspect’s scent or items the suspect has left behind, so K-9 Unit officers must be local.

See more about the Prince William Police Department K-9 unit.

Read about last year’s K-9 graduates.

For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

 



Historic Manassas reveals new logo

historicmanassasnew
Historic Manassas old

Featured photos in slideshow: New logo, old logo

Over the last year, Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) has worked endlessly on their rebranding efforts and are excited to announce the release of their new logo. The new logo features a streetscape of Main Street as well as the welcoming historic water tower. To represent Historic Manassas’ close partnership with the City, their new tag line ‘Historic Heart. Modern Beat.’ was also incorporated into the logo.

Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, worked to create the perfect logo.

“We are humbled to be a part of this rebrand, excited that Manassas is undergoing a wonderful amount of growth and change, while still staying true to its history. We felt it was fitting to create a logo that married a vibrant energy to its beautiful architecture, and we are very proud of the result,” said King.

HMI began their rebranding efforts within the community by creating a survey last spring to determine who the community thought HMI was. The former logo, the downtown train depot, gave many the impression that HMI was just those who ran the train station or a committee involved with the museum and historic preservation within the City. Very few realized the involvement HMI has in the community including the numerous events that take over the streets of downtown each year.

Historic Manassas, Inc. was formed to promote a positive image of Historic Downtown Manassas and to perpetuate its revitalization. HMI feels this new logo helps to push forth its mission statement to engage the community in promotion, preservation, and enhancement of our vibrant Historic Downtown. Those interested in learning more about HMI’s four committees can find information here on their website.

Keep an eye out for the new logo and be sure to check out all of the events coming up in downtown. Next up is First Friday – March Madness on March 3!

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