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Used tires are mysterious. New Cooper Starfire Tires cost about the same


Cooper Starfire Tires offer superior life and performance for just a few dollars more than the cost of a used tire

Instead of buying a used tire that you might have to replace sooner than later, consider a new Cooper Starfire Tire.

It’s a great option for someone looking for an inexpensive tire that will help keep their vehicle on the road longer and their occupants of the car safe.

Cooper Starfire Tires are available for multiple makes and models of vehicles. They’re manufactured in Asia and designed in the U.S. to compete with premium brands without the higher price tag of comparable tires.

The tire offers high-performance ability, improved grip and road handling, with an improved overall tire life.

Cooper Starfire Tires are great for drivers who may have purchased a vehicle that is more costly to maintain than first thought, but are still looking for a quality tire that delivers great handling and a quiet performance on the road. With the Starfire option available, drivers should think before purchasing a used tire.

Typically, drivers have no idea what type of life the used tire had before they obtain it. Used tires could be six to eight years old, perhaps older, and have spent the majority of their life as a used tire strapped to a vehicle. While used tires may look good, the rubber can be worn down or degraded after years of sitting idle. Some used tires may also be missing tread and show signs of wear.

Purchasing a Starfire Tire costs about $30 more than what a used tire might cost, but a new tire, on average, will provide three times the life of a single used tire. The price of a Starfire Tire is up to 30% less than other newer tires.  There are many Starfire Tires produced for SUVs, trucks, and the popular Honda Civic and Toyota Camry models.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia is now an authorized Cooper Tire dealer and offers a full line of Starfire Tires.

Teen wins NYC trip with “Say I Won’t” video with Manassas City Police Department

#SayIWont, manassas city police department

Captain Trey Lawler and Chief Doug Keen stand behind Mark Johnson.

In December, City of Manassas resident Mark Johnson had an idea for the #SayIWont video contest put on by Grammy Award winner Lecrae Moore and Reach Records. The video contest asked participants to make a 15 second video showing how “you’re not scared to be different.” Mark’s video featured members of the Manassas City Police Department.

Mark Johnson had the idea, in light of current happenings in other areas of the country, to show a positive relationship between the Manassas City Police Department and a City resident. His video shows him coming into MCPD Roll Call and encouraging the officers about to go out in the field.

Mark went to Osbourn High School in the City of Manassas. After a rocky start, including being expelled from school, Mark went back to Osbourn to finish high school with an advanced diploma. When asked why he chose the Manassas City Police Department to feature in his video, Mark said he remembered the great conversations he had in high school with Officer Cahill and he used that contact to make the video happen. 

On Dec. 12, while attending the Manassas City Police Department holiday luncheon, Mark received a phone call from Reach Records saying he had won the national video contest and had won a trip to New York City to accompany Lecrae Moore to a Brooklyn Nets game.

“We are honored that Mark chose the MCPD to feature in his video,” said Chief Doug Keen from the Manassas City Police Department. “Mark Johnson’s video sheds a positive light on relationships with police officers and those relationships are something we want to promote in the City of Manassas. We congratulate Mark on his award winning video.”

Johnson traveled to New York City in December.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Picture your art here to win

Winning artwork to be featured on light poles in Manassas

Have you seen the banners that hang on the light poles in the Historic Downtown area of the City of Manassas and in other cities? If you are an artist or aspiring to be one, the art you create could be hanging on one of those light poles.

Historic Manassas, Inc. and the City of Manassas have launched an art contest to fill the banners in Historic Downtown with original pieces of art. The contest will be juried so that one artist will be awarded a grand prize of $1,000 and there will also be “people’s choice award” of $500. The contest deadline has been extended to Feb. 1, 2015.

This contest is part of an effort to promote art and tourism in the City of Manassas. The winning 50 pieces will be featured on the light pole banners and in a walking tour brochure that includes information on the piece and the artist. Information about the contest can be found at visitmanassas.org/banner-art-project.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Resolutioners get off to a good start with 5K run at Freedom Center

Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, run, 5k


Freedom Center awards resolution runners

Over 200 area residents came out to start their new year off right, running in The Resolution Run 5K at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center in Manassas on New Year’s Day. The race, which kicked off at 11a.m. was hosted by Fun Run Racing and was their third running event thus far.

“It’s the first of the year. Most people’s resolution is ‘In 2015, I’m going to exercise more,’ so it’s a good way to start,” said Ian Connor, a race organizer.

“What’s interesting that most our [runners] were not signing up, because they didn’t know what their plans were going to be in the evening [before]. So it’s been an interesting race to put on, in trying to plan,” said Connor, of the planning process for the 5K.

Fun Run Racing has partnered with the Freedom Center for race events in the past, and has had a good experience with their facilities.

“[The Freedom Center] has been fantastic to work with. They promote health and wellness, so it’s a good synergistic approach to that – and letting us have access to the Freedom Center has been great,” said Connor.

The runners excelled on the flat course. For female overall, first place was Jean Kleitz with 19:46. For men’s overall, first place was Ryan Laemel, coming in at 15:24. 

Fun Run Racing has been able to raise $12,400 in their events for local charities and non profits, including their charity partner, the Manassas Bull Run Rotary Club, according to their website.

The company plans to host their next race this year on the 4th of July. So far they have held two other successful runs – the Freedom Firecracker 5K on the 4th of July in 2014 and the Prince William Turkey Trot in 2014 – all of which were hosted at the Freedom Center.

Winners, broken down by age category:

Female 1-10yrs: Nili Schreibman – 25:08
Male 1-10yrs: Camden Yentz – 22:42

Female 11-14yrs: Lindsay Yentz – 23:37
Male 11-14yrs: Jamey Bocompani – 21:41

Female 15-19yrs: Lynne Bai – 24:56
Male 15-19yrs: Ian Dickson – 20:17

Female 20-24yrs: Olivia Black – 29:59

Female 25-29yrs: Candace Robbins – 25:58
Male 25-29yrs: Michael Kleitz – 27:02

Female 30-34yrs: Kayla Robison – 23:44
Male 30-34yrs: Jonathan Ellis – 19:50

Female 35-39yrs: Tamara West – 26:11
Male 35-39yrs: Uriah Orland – 18:30

Female 40-44yrs: Tracy Phelps – 25:26
Male 40-44yrs: Eric Davison – 21:49

Female 45-49yrs: Shannon Andes – 26:43
Male 45-49yrs: Edward Scollon – 19:14

Female 50-54yrs: Maureen Miller – 24:28
Male 50-54yrs: Craig Greene – 18:58

Female 55-59yrs: Bonita Coats – 31:32
Male 55-59yrs: Steve Moyer – 21:02

Female 60-64yrs: Judy Wine – 33:31
Male 60-64yrs: Steven Bartlett – 25:51

Female 65-69yrs: Laurel Clement – 26:55
Male 65-69yrs: Bill Washington – 38:38


JTC brings internet to 100-year-old office building

technology solutions networking enterprise

Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc012214-lot-1. and Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) have worked together for three, successful years. HMI Director Debbie Haight her organization and JTC, Inc. have faced several challenges working inside HMI’s offices inside the Manassas train station building that is over a century old. 

“They’re upfront…they address the issue and they address it quickly and they explain what it is that’s going on,” said Haight. I’ve found with them is that it’s never an assumption on their part, that they know what’s best for your company, they work with you to find out what’s best….”

Rather than pushing a boxed solution, JTC, Inc. talks with their client and creates a plan for that company that best fits their unique needs and capabilities.

“So it always is a very working relationship and it’s not just a…’you need to do what we do because we say we’re the best…or we say we talk computers and you don’t so just do it,” said Haight. “And they’re always quick to answer any issues that we have and we have a few because we’re in an older building and a lot of the stuff has been around a long time and there’s been several different hands on it several different times.”

Three years ago when HMI first signed on with JTC, HMI transitioned seamlessly and painlessly out of a prior internet service provider contract with JTC’s assistance.

The switch gave HMI enhanced capabilities, including faster internet, which in the past was a struggle for the company to receive.

“One of the things that we did not have in this area…is Comcast. We go to the location, we weren’t in the spot to get Comcast because we’re up on the train tracks…Comcast can be completely like 50 yards away from us but we couldn’t get it. So John [Owner of JTC, Inc.] was able to work with them and pull together another organization that’s just around the corner from us so with both of us going on this then we were able to pull it. That kind of always benefits our organization because it is much faster.”

Historic Manassas, Inc. is a non-profit organization focused on enriching the local Manassas community and serving as an informational center for tourism.

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

City of Manassas Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in

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Manassas ranks above average in 8 Citizen Satisfaction categories surveyed

In a survey conducted by one of the nation’s leading community-based market research firms, results showed that citizen satisfaction in the City of Manassas is significantly above national and regional benchmarks in a number of service areas. Overall, three categories stood out: the overall quality of citizen services provided; the overall quality of water and sewer utilities; and the effectiveness of communication with the public.

Categories where the City of Manassas scored significantly higher than the national and regional benchmarks include:

  • Maintenance of streets
  • Sidewalks and infrastructure
  • How safe residents feel in their neighborhood at night, in commercial/business areas of the City and in City parks
  • Maintenance of neighborhood streets
  • Cleanliness of City streets
  • Access to information about City services
  • Opportunities to participate in local government 
  • Satisfaction with residential garbage collection and residential curbside recycling

The percentage of residents satisfied with customer service is 15 percent higher than the national average. Survey participants responded more than 20 percent above the national average when asked how satisfied they were with customer service in regards to response time and customer service experience.

“Having worked with City staff for the last year, I know how our dedicated staff goes above and beyond to provide services to the community,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “I am extremely proud that resident opinions show that City of Manassas staff are significantly above the nation in customer service.”

City Council and staff are pleased with the results, not only because they highlight what the City is doing right, but because the survey shows what priorities the community has in coming years. Major services that were recommended as top priorities for investment over the next few years include: overall flow of traffic and ease of getting around; overall quality of public education; and overall quality of economic development.

ETC Institute used a random sample of households within the City of Manassas for this survey. They had a goal of 400 completed surveys being returned to provide this data and received 405 surveys from all areas of the City of Manassas. To read the survey results presented by ETC Institute, visit manassascity.org/CSS.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Kick-start your New Year with Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center’s Resolution Run 5K

  • Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center
  • Address: 9100 Freedom Center Boulevard Manassas, Virginia 20110
  • Phone: 703-993-8444
  • Website: http://www.freedom-center.com/

res run

Resolution Run 5K full of prizes, suprizes, fun

Are you ready to run off those extra holiday pounds?

Runners will their chance at Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center’s Resolution Run 5K on New Year’s Day.

The inaugural 5K run will be held at the Prince William Campus of George Mason University. A 5K run will start at 10 a.m. and a 1-mile fun run and walk will begin at 11 a.m.

The course will take runners from the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center to the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and then to University Boulevard where they’ll turn around and head back to the finish line at the fitness center.

Fitting with New Years tradition, all of the race bibs will come pre-printed with “I resolve to” on them. Runners will then write in their resolution, and prizes will be given out for the most creative resolutions.

“It’s time to break old habits and start new ones,” said Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center General Manager Don Jones.

The Resolution Run is the latest in a series of competition races held at the fitness center on the George Mason campus. A “turkey trot” run held at Freedom on Thanksgiving Day attracted 1,200 runners and raised $15,000 for the Bull Run Rotary charities.

res run course


In July, Freedom held its annual Freedom Firecracker Run 5K run and also raised money for local charities.

The Resolution Run 5K is expected to attract 300 runners to the course. A weather forecast that includes partly sunny skies and a very slight chance of rain will, hopefully, attract even more runners, said Jones.

The run is being orchestrated by Fun Run Racing, a company that facilitates various runs around the area. The cost to participate in the Resolution Run is $40 per runner for the 5K and $12.50 for the 1 mile run and walk. The top men and women in the run will win Running Store gift cards between $25 and $100. Random runners will receive “golden ticket” awards to encourage continued to participation in the event.

All 5K runners will get a long-sleeve race t-shirt and commemorative race bib. Those who do the 1-mile course will also receive a race t-shirt and will be able to keep their race bib.

‘Anderson’s North Pole’ offers free light show

christmas, lights, show

A Christmas light show that has become a tradition in Woodbridge is still open to view.

For the past two decades, the Anderson family has seen more than 4,700 vehicles travel through their homemade light show, “The Anderson’s North Pole.”

Work on the five-acre light show begins in late October, as family members begin to string lights on the five acres of property they call home. The show is free, and the Andersons put on the display each year “solely to see all of the smiles that it brings to others’ faces.”

Children that come through the light display receive candy canes. On some nights, Santa and some of his helpers are there to waive at passersby.

Theresa Anderson works at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge as a service writer. Owner ST Billingsley appreciates the Anderson family’s willingness to give to the community at the holidays.

“Theresa started working with us almost a year ago, so we’ve got access to all of the in and outs of what’s going on with their five-acre holiday lights extravaganza,” said Billingsley.

The Anderson’s North Pole is located at 15615 Bushey Drive, just off Cardinal Drive in Woodbridge. The light show will is open night nightly until Dec. 23. The show is closed on Christmas Eve so the Andersons can enjoy Christmas with their family.

This post is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge.

JTC helps company clear big hurdle in transition to cloud

technology solutions networking enterprise

Michael Lynn is the co-owner and president of Soils and Environmental Services, Inc. (SES) located in Manassas.

The company supplies its clients with environmental management services, including soil interpretations, storm drains and wastewater system management. SES has been working with Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. for nearly nine years.

JTC, Inc. helped move the company to the cloud.  

“Well, the problems we had before was keeping our data and our programs housed in-house. It was going to mean a costly equipment upgrade to be able to keep doing what we were doing and had the ability to expand.

Lynn said a move to the cloud became very attractive once he learned he wouldn’t be faced with costly equipment upgrades.

“So it [the Cloud] helped in two ways; one is it kept us from coming up with large amounts of cash for a capital expenditure and it let us budget our monthly expenses so that we’d know what our exposure would be every month, so that was the financial advantage,” said Lynn.

The cloud was let his employees be more productive wherever they are using smartphones and tablet computers.

“We have technicians that are on the road and we have people that live in some remote locations where teleworking one day a week or two days a work week saves us commuting time and makes them more productive,” said Lyons.

Problems with the SES’s internet service provider made the migration process difficult.

“[The internet service provider was] telling us that we had a certain level of service and the cloud wasn’t performing correctly and so we kind of got caught in a catch-22 for two or three months where JTC was saying ‘everything on our end is good’ and the internet service people were saying ‘everything on our end is good’ so we said that’s great but nothing’s working,” said Lynn.

Despite initial problems, JTC, Inc. rose to meet the challenges head on. “

We finally did narrow it down that it was the internet service provider and not JTC but JTC certainly stepped up and they were there at a moment’s call…,” Lynn explained, “I’ve also told John [the owner of JTC] that the only place I get better service than JTC is at Chick-fil-A…their customer response and customer service is one thing but customer care is another thing and they care.,” said Lynn.

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

Memories captured in 3D laser crystals make great gifts

Jerome's Laser CrystalsJermome's Laser CrystalsJermome's Laser Crystals

A daughter now has the image of her late father encapsulated in 3D crystal forever

Jerome Meadows captures memories in crystals using a laser engraving machine. When he met a young woman who wanted an image of her late father restored, and then laser etched into a 3D crystal, all of the training paid off.

“It was a young lady who came to me and told me that she had a niece that had lost her father at an early age. The lady said she found a picture in a photo album in her attic of the niece with her father, together. This lady wanted to surprise her niece, who is now an adult, with this image of her and her father engraved in crystal.

I took the photograph and restored it into a 3D format and engraved it into a three-dimensional cube. The lady came to pick up the crystal with her niece, and when the niece saw the crystal of her and her father she was amazed! The expression on her face was priceless! I will never forget how happy and emotional she was,” said Meadows.

The laser engraver came across the business of laser crystals by accident, after he missed a flight in his former job as a flight attendant.

“When I began with this business, I was a flight attendant with World Airways, Inc…we did military charters. I was on my way to Kuwait and I missed my flight out of Dulles Airport, and they put me on the next available flight that went through Dubai.

And when I got there, I was just killing time before my flight to Kuwait was called, and then I ran into the Duty-Free shop. That’s when I saw the laser crystal display. When I saw the laser crystals, and realized that now, people can have their image engraved and be immortalized in crystal, that’s when I was hooked,” said Meadows.

After doing extensive research, Meadows purchased a 3D laser engraving machine and spent over a month in China where he trained to use the machine.

“The crystal sits on a light base that has these tiny LED colored lights that shine through the crystal, and it spins around. At night, it’s really pretty,” he said.

Facial portraits are among the most popular pieces, along with images of famous celebrities, Prices range from $65 to $95.

Meadows sells this detailed crystal pieces on his website jeromeslasercrystals.com

The laser-engraved crystal keepsakes make great gifts for loved ones.

5 Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe on the Road

Winter has arrived early this season across the U.S.

Here’s what you can do now to prepare yourself and your vehicle for harsh winter driving.

1. Get enough rest?

It’s important when you’re driving in hot or cold weather that you get enough sleep the night before. It’s estimated that 100,000 crashes each year are attributed to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving also results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in damage each year. Unlike a breathalyzer test that could detect the presence of alcohol on someone’s breath, no test exists to determine someones alertness on the road.

2. To warm up, open your garage door

We all like a nice warm car to climb into on those cold winter mornings, but make sure you open the garage door before starting up the car. The carbon monoxide emitted by your vehicle’s tailpipe is odorless, tasteless, and has no color.

Dubbed a “silent killer” the gas can build up inside your garage when the car is running. If exposed to large amounts, it can lead to brain damage or death. Last month, a Connecticut couple was found dead inside a parking garage “most likely…by carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Pump up those tires

Properly inflated tires not only improve your gas milage that can also mean you car will have proper breaking distances and wear more evenly. In wintertime, cold temperatures make the air in your tires contract and your tires to lose air pressure.

With properly inflated tires, you’re tires are less likely to overheat and have a blowout on the road. You’ll also enjoy better control of your vehicle and improved braking distance.

4. Keep off cruise control

Insnow or on wet pavement, there’s always the possibility of spinouts or losing control of the car. The only way to regain control of the vehicle is to reduce the amount of power being output by the engine.

If you’re using cruise control and your car runs over a wet or icy patch of road, and you hydroplane or spin out, the cruise control setting will continue to apply the same amount of power to the car to maintain speed. That’s exactly what you don’t want.

5. Look and steer where you want to go

It might sound simple, but look and steer the car where you want it go. This comes in handy in the event you get caught in a slide.

If you get caught in one, release your brakes (they don’t work well on ice or snow, anyway) and then turn you steering wheel in the direction of the way the car is sliding. Then, keep looking in the direction you want to go and turn the wheel that way. If you turn too far you’ve “overcorrected” and that could cause the car to slide in the other direction.

The post is brought to you by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire of Woodbridge.




Remote Backups Help JTC Inc. Keep Country Club Happy

technology solutions networking enterprise

Paul Flood is the General Manager at Westwood Country Club located in Vienna.

Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. has provided their IT services to Westwood Country Club for about 10 years. Since JTC, Inc. replaced the older servers at the country club earlier this year, the country club has continued to enjoy great uptime, further allowing it to have more capabilities and ultimately provide better service to its clients.  

“Back in like February or March of this year…we certainly didn’t have any significant issues and I don’t know that we really had any issues that lasted longer than an hour or so. We [had] a pretty smooth, seamless transition from an old server to a much more modern, updated server…” said Flood.

Top-notch service with budget in mind

The Westwood Country Club are now in a better position than ever to serve their clients, much of it thanks to their strong and steady uptime that has so far been able to fit the country club’s busy schedule.

“We’re a country club, and one thing country clubs like to stress…[is] service and if our computers are down…certainly we can’t provide top-notch service and that situation did not arise,” said Flood. “We were able to deliver top-notch service on a regular basis and plus…the budget was right on target, there were no surprises at the end for additional charges or upgrades or change orders, it went very smoothly from that part.”

Country club employees trying new iPads

Due to the large lack of downtime at Westwood, both JTC, Inc. and Westwood are exploring new and innovative ways to operate the country club, for example some Westwood employees are now able to use iPads with thier clients.

Previously, Westwood suffered from miscommunication and lagging updates when some of the employees would receive an update and others wouldn’t. Thanks to JTC, Inc., that has all changed and Flood called that “significant.”

“Everybody gets the upgrade at the same time”

“If there’s an upgrade, everybody gets the upgrade at the same time, it’s not like in three or four years half the staff is using different versions of different software, we’re all in the same boat so to speak,” said Flood. “Because it was just six to eight months ago I don’t think there’s been any changes since but certainly if there is a change down the road…we’re all going to change at the same time so we’re all be able to communicate and better, as a result.”

Flood also enjoys the feeling of security he has with JTC’s ability to back up his IT properties remotely.

“We’re comfortable that if there is a problem, we got a backup, we got redundancy, we got offsite backup redundancy and that’s something that we didn’t have previously and that wasn’t even brought up to us previously. I get it, the IT industry changes…at a pretty rapid pace and maybe 15 years ago our vendors really didn’t have access to it but certainly JTC does and they’re happy to share new information they have with their clients.”

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

JTC: ‘They’re Not Just Looking to Build a Bunch of Tech Hours’

technology solutions networking enterprise

Editor’s Note: “Making Tech Work for You” is a promoted post that is sponsored by JTC Inc. and written in partnership with Potomac Local.

Mark Carroll has been a Managing Partner at Capital Group Benefits since 2013, after working for more than twenty years in employee benefits.

Capital Group Benefits started out as a brokerage firm, specializing in providing employee benefits packages to employers, employees and individuals. Carroll has worked with Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. for eight years and he described their successful long-term relationship.

“I met JTC…eight years ago… I was referred to them by a company called McLean Insurance,” said Carroll,”…and the resource for a company I was at called Small Business Insurance Solutions, a brokerage firm, for employee benefits…[and] JTC just worked with us there to get some network stability, hardware, and the like and then basically was our backbone support for running our network for a number of years.” 

When Carroll decided to transition to Capital Group Benefits, he not only brought his clients, he also brought JTC, Inc. due to the past positive experiences he has had with them.

“I brought my clients here after being at the other place for 15 years, and then we needed some support here…so they did an online assessment of hardware, delved a little bit in some of our software applications and now we’re even looking to move forward with the phone system with them,” said Carroll. JTC, Inc. is the sole IT provider at CGB and it is helping the company reach new heights. 

As far as improving their technology, JTC works alongside the company and within their limits to provide the best service possible rather than trying to sell to their client the newest computer program.

“JTC can assess your scope and some proprietary software we do or don’t run…as far as network stability and promoting the computer system being an effective tool for the workplace, they keep that in mind as opposed to just a recommendation of what’s the latest, greatest and I like that,” said Carrol. 

Among other things, Carroll admired JTC, Inc. for how they engage with their clients, as well as their knowledge base.

“I like them because they seem to be astute enough to work with…on a hardware budget,” Caroll praised,” And they give you the sense that they’re not just looking to build a bunch of tech hours and they’re aware of the different types of software you’re running and if there’s an issue between them or not. I just really like their forward-thinking approach and using our resources as a client wisely.” 

Like many business partners, Carroll has worked with other IT companies previously and gave some reasons as to why he believes JTC, Inc. is different from the pack.

“JTC brings truth to computing.  Computing is all about reality.  The hardware doesn’t last long, the software and network set up are as expensive as the hardware.  Having professional guidance from a JTC is essential to have a computing environment that is stable and dependable.  The staff are always courteous, the advice, always sage.”

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

Holiday Heavy Lifting: Follow These Special Tips to Avoid Injury

lifting, advantage physical therapy,

The team at Advantage Physical Therapy wishes you a very happy holday season.

The heavy lifting that comes with Thanksgiving cooking, Black Friday Shopping and decking the halls can put a real strain on your body. Lifting heavy items such as a turkey, a new flat screen TV and box full of holiday decorations with the wrong mechanics can cause strain and injury to the neck, shoulders and lower back.  

The estimated direct costs associated with chronic lower back pain each year are a staggering $96 million.   Furthermore, 8 out of 10 individuals will experience some sort of back pain during their life.  

With the average size of the American Thanksgiving turkey dressed & in a pan weighing in at 30 pounds and the hot ticket Black Friday flat screen TV that you’re shopping for around 45 pounds, we are more and more susceptible to suffering a back strain while partaking in holiday preparations and festivities.

And if you celebrate the holidays with a live evergreen tree, you can expect to haul around about 70 pounds of pine on your posterior.

And if you celebrate the holidays with a live evergreen tree, you can expect to haul around about 70 pounds of pine on your posterior.

Being laid out with a back injury during the holidays is no fun.  Utilizing proper lifting techniques and body mechanics can prevent lifting injuries that might otherwise come from something as simple as lifting a turkey out of the oven, loading the latest flat screen into your trunk, or hauling frosty the snowman onto your rooftop.

To keep your holidays merry and prevent lifting injuries, follow these tips from the American Physical Therapy Association:

  • Plan ahead before lifting heavy objects. Make sure you have a clear path. This will help you avoid any awkward or sudden movements that can strain your muscles.

  • Test an object’s weight before lifting by pushing it with your foot. If it seems too heavy, ask for help.

  • Lift with your legs, not with your back. Don’t lean over an object to lift it. Face the object you intend to lift and avoid twisting. Instead, stand close to the object, bend your legs and keep your back straight, then lift.

  • Keep feet shoulder-width apart and maintain your balance by distributing the object’s weight equally on both sides of your body.

  • If you count yourself among those who like to marathon shop on Black Friday (or any day for that matter) wear comfortable shoes, preferably walking shoes.    Wearing shoes that provide the proper heel and ankle support will prevent foot & back pain while walking on the hard surfaces found at many shopping malls

  • If a back injury does occur, seek help from a physical therapist. What starts as a minor back injury can progress to a chronic condition without early intervention.   Seek a physical therapists care within 14 days of experiencing lower back pain for the best outcome.

We can instruct on proper lifting techniques and provide a treatment plan to assist with pain.  We will work to make you feel better and keep you happy during the holidays.   

This post was written by Advantage Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, LLC. Their team works with individuals to restore & improve movement of the body to achieve long term quality of life.   

JTC, Inc. Cloud Saves AireServe Cost of New PCs

technology solutions networking enterprise

Editor’s Note: “Making Tech Work for You” is a promoted post that is sponsored by JTC Inc. and written in partnership with Potomac Local.

Joe DeVito is the president and owner of AireServ of Northern Virginia and Refrigeration Systems. Both companies offer heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services to the community.

Recently JTC, Inc. installed a new RDP server at AireServ of Northern Virginia that moved all of their data into the cloud and off of the company’s local computers. So far, the solution has eradicated the problems of the past and has greatly added to the capabilities of AireServ of Northern Virginia.

“We’ve only had it for a week, and it’s fantastic,” said DeVito. “Before the RDP server, the employees at AireServ were unable to work remotely and relied heavily on the local office computers.  Now everybody is working out of the cloud” said DeVito.

The addition of the new server also means the company’s local computers will not have to back up as they are now all connected directly to the cloud. DeVito says this will save him money in the long run because he won’t have to consistently buy new computers, which he says became “quite costly and a hassle.”

JTC, Inc. also addressed AireServ’s email problems by hosting the company’s email and thus making it more reliable.

“Before, we hosted our own emails service out of Microsoft Exchange and now they [JTC] hosts it so now we don’t have to worry about our emails going down because of something [happening] to our server,” said Devito. 

Additionally, JTC, Inc. was able to identify and create a solution to AireServ’s unreliable internet and connectivity issues. The issues were so serious that AireServ employees could not access tickets when the internet was unavailable and, therefore, could not reach customers.

“That was our problem…when [the] internet would go down, everything shut down, our phones…emails…our web-based programs, gone. We one day went seven days without our phones…”, said DeVito.

The cloud that JTC, Inc. installed made Internet and data much more accessible to AireServ employees who can now access it across multiple devices, including iPads, telephones, and smart phones and they use cell service if the internet suddenly goes down.

DeVito has been in business for 26 years and has experienced his share of IT companies both as a consumer and customer. Other than its IT service, JTC, Inc. has a great reputation for its customer service and its team of people, AireServ is no exception. “…They’re the best,” said DeVito, “…when I connected with JTC, I’ve never changed, never looked back.”

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

JTC Greatly Enhanced NCC’s Business During Joint Partnership

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Editor’s Note: “Making Tech Work for You” is a promoted post that is sponsored by JTC Inc. and written in partnership with Potomac Local.

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, NCC is a large and respected collection agency that serves the government, healthcare providers, utilities companies and credit unions across the U.S.

Deborah Feldman is the IT Director at NCC and for a couple of years, her IT team has partnered with Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. This beneficial partnership has shown that JTC, Inc. can both be a primary IT provider and work alongside a company’s existing IT team. 

Feldman explained how the joint partnership with NCC and JTC, Inc. works.

“We [NCC] work hand in hand with [JTC]. We work very closely with them on a daily basis…we handle the desktop support, we handle stuff that we can handle internally and JTC takes care of any network issues or changes that need to happen.”

Though NCC’s IT team has only worked with JTC, Inc. for a period of two years, it has been clear that JTC, Inc. has stood out from all the rest. JTC, Inc. possesses a “much larger knowledge base” and their customer service and responsiveness to client issues have always been praised, NCC is no exception.

“We’ve dealt with other groups in the past,” said Feldman, “…[and] some of the other groups we’ve worked with we would be stuck in a lurch because the one who knew how to do what we needed done was off-site…[which] didn’t work out very well.” So far, collaborating with JTC, Inc. has greatly enhanced NCC’s business.”

Recently, JTC, Inc. assisted NCC with virtualizing their servers, which among other things, has helped to reduce NCC’s footprint and boost the company’s security. Feldman said that “NCC had ten individual servers…and we have virtualized 80% of our servers…which has greatly cut down on the footprint and greatly cut down on the physical maintenance because we don’t have those physical boxes anymore.” 

In regards to the company’s footprint, Feldman said “…because of the virtualization, we’re not jumping around anymore, everything is centralized into these two virtual machines…rather than ten different machines on your network…”

Lastly, Feldman recognized JTC, Inc.’s great customer service.

“They’re very responsive. If we have an issue they’ll usually get it fixed same day,” said Feldman, “They have the knowledge base there and the people there and the ability to say ‘ok, you need this done today, we’re [going to] get it done for you today'”. 

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


JTC Installs Server: ‘I Feel More Confident Now’

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In 1988, Branscome Paving Company was created by Julius Branscome, he is both the owner of Branscome Incorporated and an area contractor working in Northern Virginia since 1962.

To the present day, Branscome Paving Company functions as a family-owned, local business that provides asphalt paving, stone, and milling services to the area. Kathy Bowman is the Office Manager of Branscome Paving Company, and the business has worked with Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. for the past few years. When Branscome Paving employed JTC, Inc.’s services, the company did not have a server, which was a problem for the company’s accounting department.

“We were pretty vulnerable before [the server] because there was not an on-going backup system,” said Bowman, “We had a breach…several years ago…and because one computer crashed it took all the data for all of our programs and we lost everything…we had to virtually start over from scratch.”

When JTC, Inc. deployed the server and put all of Branscome Paving’s data into one central location, it served to prevent a similar problem.

JTC, Inc. was especially crucial to Branscome Paving’s accounting department because all of the business’ payroll data was stored there and at risk. Plus, Bowman said that “In the past we had a particular accounting program and we weren’t able to utilize it because we had not been set up with that supplier, and JTC managed to facilitate all that for us and get our updates on our accounting packages with no problem.”

In effect, JTC. Inc. has given Branscome Paving the security it needed and the freedom from pesky and time consuming updates.

Ultimately, JTC, Inc. has made it easier and more secure for Branscome Paving and its clients.

“We feel like we’re more protected from viruses and computers crashing,” said Bowman, “I feel a lot more confident now.”

Bowman described the experience setting up the new server as “seamless” and as Branscome Paving’s primary IT provider, JTC oversees the server and regularly checks it for any suspected breaches and issues.

One of the most important reasons why Branscome Paving chose JTC, Inc. is that unlike other similar businesses, JTC, Inc. was able to meet Branscome Paving’s specific needs. Bowman said that “the key part” Branscome Paving needed was the ability to keep the capabilities of their own accounting package and link it to JTC, Inc.’s IT services. “Other IT providers had not provided us with that service, that was key for us,” said Bowman.

Editor’s Note: “Making Tech Work for You” is a promoted post that is sponsored by JTC Inc. and written in partnership with Potomac Local.

Pitkins Dale City Hardware Planning Ladies Night


Ladies night event offers tips, food and drink


Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City will hold a Ladies Night on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at their store in Dale City.

The special event will feature power tool and paint demonstrations, car repair tips from Steve’s Auto Repair, jewelry from Quinn’s Jewelers, drinks and hors d’ouevres. The Sentara Mammovan will also make an early appearance at the Dale City store from 2 to 6 p.m. The van provides a hotel-like setting, complete with dressing rooms, were patients can come and have mammograms performed.

There will also be demonstrations of paint, as well as a class on how to repair a broken toilet.

This is a natural place for women because they make a lot of the paint, design, and décor decisions for the home,” said hardware store owner Sarah Pitkin.

The ladies night event will build on Pitkins effort to support women in during October. The staff has worn pink t-shirts to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Pitkin says her store offers great customer service, and many customers can find what they need and be in and out of the store in 10 minutes. This helps her compete with larger chain stores, said Pitkin.

Pitkin and her sister, Amy Monroe, have operated the family business for the past eight years following her father’s retirement. Her father and uncle founded the business.

Pitkins Home Center / Dale City Hardware is located at 4340 Dale Boulevard in Dale City. For more information about the ladies night event, call 703-670-2139.

This post is sponsored by Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire of Woodbridge

*This post originally listed the incorrect date for this event. 

5 Tips to Remain Injury Free While Raking Leaves

The time of year is upon us where the leaves start changing to beautiful shades of orange, red, yellow, etc…, which of course is followed by their inevitable fall to the ground.

like-us-facebook-Transparent-300x143For many of us, this annual occurrence adds an item to our Fall “to do” list. Some, with a tree or two in their yard, may find this task quite simple. However, others may feel like they live in a forest by the time the piles of leaves have been raked, bagged and dragged to the curb. Keep the following in mind when you head out to clean up the yard this fall.

Pace Yourself – The good news is that raking your yard can be a good form of exercise. However, if you’re not accustomed to regular exercise, it is important not to overdo it. Inflexible muscles & overuse of those muscles may have you laid out rather than upright this fall. Complete one quadrant of your yard at a time, make it an activity you can do with your children or partner with a neighbor to get both yards done.

Posture is Important – Do not hunch over while you rake – this will put unneeded stress on your low back. Stand up straight and use small strokes. Furthermore, use your legs when you need to turn from side to side to avoid repeated twisting at the waist. Finally, try switching from side to side as you rake – this may feel a bit awkward at first – but chances are your body will thank you as this will help balance the muscles your body is using while you work.

Have the Right Tools – Use a rake that is the proper height for your size. This will help avoid unnecessary reaching and twisting. Wear gloves to avoid blisters. Dress in layers so you can adjust to the temperature. Remember the exercise part of raking leaves? You may work up a sweat. Finally, make sure your shoes have some tread & can grip the ground. Leaves can be slippery – especially wet ones.

Lift with Your Legs – This is good advice any time of year when lifting – of course it is one we often forget – so it bears repeating. Don’t overfill your bags – especially if they are wet. If it’s an option try not to rake after a rainy day. When moving those bags to the curb, lift by bending your knees, avoid bending at your back. Hold the bag close to your body and turn/twist by moving your feet – not your waist.

Cheat – Why not hire the industrious neighborhood boy or girl that wants to make a few bucks to rake your leaves? Maybe invest in a leaf blower – just be sure to be neighborly and not blow all your leaves into the next yard. We would hate to add “black eye” to the list of leaf removing injuries.

Hopefully, these tips and reminders will help you avoid becoming one of the 38,000 people who suffered an injury in 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This should leave you free to enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Kabobs, Pumpkin Spice Creole, Pumpkin Spice Gumbo, Deep Fried Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Spice Soup, Pumpkin Spice Stew, Pumpkin Spice Salad, Pumpkin Spice and Potatoes, Pumpkin Spice Burger, Pumpkin Spice Sandwich, Pumpkin Spice Shrimp….I think that’s about it.

Have a wonderful fall everyone.

Editor’s note: This post was provided by Advantage Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, LLC, with clinics located in Manassas and Gainesville, working with those who desire to restore and improve motion and achieve a long-term quality of life.

JTC Inc. Restores Important Data on Crashed Hard Drive

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Editor’s Note: “Making Tech Work for You” is a promoted post that is sponsored by JTC Inc. and written in partnership with Potomac Local.

At HiTech Title Solutions, Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. recently assisted with a data recovery project.Whem

HiTech is a small company and works with land records, real estate titles, and more to help serve the needs of residential and commercial real estate. Since 2007, JTC has been assisting HiTech with both server and computer maintenance, as well as plenty of other routine duties.

With the data recovery project, Megan LaRoche at HiTech, explained that her husband initially had an external drive, which had been used for his business, RSL, Inc., that had suddenly crashed.

LaRoche and her husband both work in the same industry. When her husband decided to go paperless to better meet his business needs, all critical information over more than ten years was stored, and then she was unable to retrieve the data on that drive. LaRoche explained that she had spent roughly ten hours trying to retrieve the lost information but to no avail.  

The decision to bring the drive into the capable hands of JTC, Inc. was influenced by HiTech’s previous good experiences with the company. When JTC, Inc. received the drive, it was apparent that it had been “wiped” and corrupted and seemingly beyond repair. JTC, Inc. collaborated with another company to save LaRoche’s husband’s business because the files stored on that drive included vital title reports and other related work that was crucially important.

Beside the implications of LaRoche’s husband losing large amounts of information and data, it would have undermined “the elemental liability” of his business, she said

If the specific report cannot be located, it would have been a “huge problem for him [Megan’s husband] and his business.” LaRoche said that it was about a month-long but easy process for her and her husband but going to JTC, Inc. was the “natural choice” for her, her husband, and his business, RSL, Inc., she said.

JTC is always open to talk to you about your IT questions. Why not start now and post your question below for our resident expert JTC’s Mike Walker to review.

You can also email them. Mike will take your questions and provide answers each week.

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