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Manassas First Friday February: It’s the ‘Souper Bowl’

  • Historic Manassas, Inc.
  • Address: 9431 West Street, Manassas, Virginia
  • Phone: 703-361-6599
  • Website:
manassas, souper bowl, festival

Historic Downtown Manassas is putting on the Soup for First Friday February.

On Feb. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., city restaurants are pairing up with downtown merchants to offer a soup for sampling. Five-dollar wristbands allow participants to sample the soups from each location and vote to name a champion of the “Souper Bowl.”

A list of participating merchants for Manassas First Friday is available at

Inspired by the success of the monthly event concept held in other localities, First Friday in Historic Downtown was created by the Historic Manassas, Inc. promotions committee to enhance tourism and entertainment offerings in the City of Manassas. The initial First Friday event was held in February 2014 and has grown and evolved. Some months feature roving musicians and caricature artists, while other months feature sidewalk art or special foods, like this month.

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

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.

Sonic coming to Stafford, on residents’ “retail wish list”

Stafford has no Wegmans grocery store, no Olive Garden restaurant, or many other restaurants and retail options found just north and south of the County.

Studies show more Stafford residents spend their hard-earned dollars at many of their favorite establishments outside the county. Stafford County officials want to change this and asked residents to bring a “retail wish list” with them to a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12 at the Stafford County Government Center. They hope to get a better idea of what residents want in Stafford, and then use that information to convince potential companies to locate in Stafford.

“Stafford can definitely get a piece” said Tim George, of VantagePoint consultants, a Baltimore-based firm hired by Stafford County to help improve the county’s economic development plan. “We seek to answer the question of “who” and “how much” because when you look at the retail and restaurant expenditure numbers, a lot of money is being spend outside the county.”

Longtime retail magnets Central Park in Fredericksburg, and shopping centers like Potomac Mills and Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge continue to grow and attract new business.

But that hasn’t stopped Stafford County residents from wanting more shopping choices. Here are some of the responses we received today via Twitter:

There is good news for Chad Atkins who told us he wanted one thing:

A Sonic will open on off Route 17 in south Stafford at 240 McWhirt Loop next to Lowes home improvement store. The drive-in restaurant chain with two nearby locations in Spotsylvania County is currently in the permitting process but should open by June, the weather permitting, said a Stafford County economic development spokeswoman.

Stafford County does have several things working in its favor, like it’s proximity to the nation’s capital, new E-ZPass Express Lanes on Interstate 95, and a good quality of life for its residents.

“The county shows good household income…and its proximity to Quantico Marine Corps Base is a strength because it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon,” said George.

Many companies keep secret their formulas for how, where, and why they locate their stores. Since there are already Wegmans stores in Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, Stafford may be able to get a “comparable” retailer, he added.

The county’s first Chipotle restaurant opened last month next to a new Verizon Wireless store. Both are two of many new stores officials said have located in the county in recent years.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors in 2010 developed a 10-point economic development plan. This latest effort will serve to update that plan and, depending upon the timing of public hearings and meeting of the county’s Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, could take two to four months to complete.

Will Prince William Chamber’s new button campaign work to build pride, awareness?

i belongIf you’re a member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, they you want to tell the world.

As part of the organization’s continuing effort to rebrand itself as a business-focused, community-minded organization, the chamber adopted a new advertising campaign.

The “I belong” campaign invites chamber members to wear a button with the “I belong” slogan printed on them. The Manassas-based organization also encourages its members to post photos of themselves wearing the badge to Twitter using a #pwchamber hashtag. The chamber will also award prizes twice a month for the most creative posts on Twitter using the #pwchamber tag.

“Show your Chamber pride and gain visibility and recognition from January 1 – May 31, 2015,” stated an email to chamber members. Potomac Local is a member of the chamber, so we got the email, too.

This is an advertising campaign that appears to rely heavily upon social media. Many companies, especially small businesses, tend to go to social media first because of the low barrier to entry cost.

But does it work?

“The jury is largely still out,” said Katherine Carlson, managing director of Pulsar Advertising in Washington, D.C. “Going to social is not only cheaper, but it’s easy, fast.”

Carlson’s firm just won the bid to handle marketing efforts for Virginia Railway Express and has worked with other clients like Amtrak and Virginia Megaprojects’ 495 Express Lanes.

With so many ways to send and receive messages, and so many ways on the web for users to be marketed to, having a consistent message is vital.

“With the proliferation with media and messages available to anyone, branding is more important now than it was before social media,” said Carlson.

If the right audience sees the chamber’s message, recognizes its value and adopts it as its own, the “I belong” campaign could be on its way to success.

“Think of it as a Good Housekeeping seal. It’s just another moniker to say we’re apart of this community in a real way, and we’re not just here to make money off of you,” said Carlson.

The Prince William Chamber formed in 2010 with the merger of the Greater Manassas – Prince William Chamber of Commerce and the Region’s Chamber based in Woodbridge. With the February exit of former CEO Rob Clapper, Debbie Jones was promoted from within to President and CEO.

Chipotle opens to smiles in Stafford

Stafford, chipotle, virginia

Chipotle Mexican Grill opened its doors at Stafford Marketplace on Monday.

It’s the first Chipotle to open in Stafford County, and the opening was celebrated with a line of hungry fans standing outside the door.

In addition to several Chipotle employees, Rep. Robert Wittman (R-Va. 1) attended a ribbon cutting for the business, as did Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Cavalier.

The new restaurant faces Garrisonville Road and is part of a recent addition to Stafford Marketplace. A Verizon Wireless store will soon join Chipotle as its next door neighbor.

Chipotle employees spent the weekend getting ready for the big opening, however, no menu specials or discounts were planned for the event. A new Chipotle restaurant opens every two days, according to the company’s website.

First Chipotle in Stafford Opens Monday

Chipotle, restaurant, virginia

Chipotle opens new restaurant every two days

Employees on Saturday night were putting the finishing touches on Stafford County’s very first Chipotle restaurant.

The popular fast-food restaurant chain that allows customers to walk up to the kitchen and choose what they want in their oversized burritos, bowls, and salads will open its doors at 11 a.m. Monday. Devoted fans of the restaurant chain and Stafford County officials are excited about the grand opening.

The restaurant, like most new Chipotles, is small. Lines of customers can stretch from the order counter to the front door. A lot of customers take their food and go.

“It’s great food, its great tasting, and its food with integrity. It’s food that you can you trust to eat with no antibiotics, it’s organic, and it’s a fresh taste made in here,” said Delmis Carcamo, of Springfield, who is the restaurant’s general manager.

For those new to Chipotle, they have a very limited menu of nearly football-sized burritos filled with rice, beans, chicken or pork or steak. The customers say what vegetables, salsa, and the restaurants coveted guacamole.

Fans can also get those same ingredients put into a “burrito bowl,” a burrito minus the tortilla. It’s the most popular item on the menu, said Carcamo.

It’s $7.21 for a burrito or a bowl with chicken, $7.95 with steak. There’s also a salad for those who don’t like rice.

The new Chipotle is the latest addition to Stafford Marketplace shopping center on Garrisonville Road. The restaurant faces Garrisonville Road, and it’s located next to what will be new Verizon Wireless store.

Chipotle is so popular and sought-after in Stafford that a Facebook page was created by restaurant fans who wanted the chain to open a location in the county.

Today, the restaurant will hold an invitation-only preopening party that will give employees a chance to learn the ropes with customers inside. On Monday, it’ll be business as usual with no grand opening menu special planned.

The restaurant chain is undergoing a massive hiring spree. According to the company’s website, a new Chipotle is opened every two days.

Craddock Joins MTCI Board of Advisors

Management and Training Consultants, Inc. (MTCI) is pleased to announce that Gen. (ret.) Bantz J. (John) Craddock is the newest member of its Board of Advisors. Gen. (ret.) Bantz J. (John) Craddock currently serves as Engility Corporation’s Global Strategic Advisor.

The General’s unparalleled knowledge, marked by decades of service to our country, will benefitMTCI’s Board immensely. His experience serving as a distinguished leader in both the corporate and military arenas particularly offers MTCI insights into strategic revenue growth.

Gen. Craddock previously served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Relations of Engility Corporation, where he led a team focused on developing and maintaining relationships with strategic customers.

Prior to Engility, he served as president of the MPRI division of L-3 Communications Services Group. MPRI was a global provider of private military contractor services, offering a wide range of professional services to both public and private customers. At MPRI, Gen. Craddock led the restructuring/turn- around of the MPRI organization and was a key Leader in the spinoff that created Engility Corporation.

Gen. Craddock served 38 years in the U.S. Army, holding many leadership positions throughout his career. Most recently, he was Commander of the U.S. European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO from 2006 – 2009.

Gen. Craddock received many U.S. military and international awards for distinguished service and is a member of key professional and military associations, including the Association of the United States Army and the Council on Foreign Relations, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council.

He is a graduate from West Virginia University and received a master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Wall Elected Chairman of Flory Center Board

The Flory Small Business Center has elected a new Board Chairman to lead the organization.

The following is a press release from the Flory Center:

Marion M. Wall, owner and CEO of the Potomac Wall Insurance Agency in Quantico, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Flory Small Business Center, Inc. Mr. Wall previously served as Vice Chairman of the Flory Board and was elected Chairman following the death of former Chairman Joe France.

The Flory Center’s President and CEO, Linda Decker remarked, “We are very fortunate to have Marion serve as our Chairman. His strong commitment to the Flory Center over the past 23 years has been invaluable and we look forward to continuing to work collegially to serve existing businesses and “start ups” in the region.

Mr. Wall is a longtime board member of the Sentara Potomac Hospital Board, where his work has been recognized with the Matthew F. McNulty, Jr. Award.   This award, created by the Executive Committee of the Healthcare Council of the National Capital Area, annually honors an outstanding leader who has made significant contributions to the region’s healthcare field.

Currently, Mr. Wall is Chairman of the Potomac Health Foundation, which provides grants to local organizations to better meet the growing healthcare needs of our community.

A former member of the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority, as well as the Prince William County Service Authority, Mr. Wall has deep roots in the regional community.

The Flory Board also elected John Gregory, Founder and CEO of Gregory Construction to the Board of Directors. Mr. Gregory, a lifetime resident of Manassas, currently serves as Vice Chairman of the City of Manassas Economic Development Authority.

He founded Gregory Construction, Inc., a design build firm in Manassas, in 1954 and continues to serve as CEO of the firm. Gregory Construction has played a vital role in shaping the landscape of Manassas, Prince William County, and the surrounding region.

A benefactor of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, the Gregory Family Theater is named in honor of his late wife, Angela and his late son, Scott.

Mrs. Decker noted that “the Flory Board and staff are pleased that John accepted our invitation to join the Board. He brings a wealth of private sector business experience to the position. Our former Chairman, Joe France often commented that John contributed greatly to the sound decision making process in the many organizations in which he served.”

The Flory Small Business Center, Inc. is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to business development, retention, and expansion. The Center’s active Board of Directors is composed of distinguished business people who work and reside throughout the Center’s service area. In addition to Marion Wall and John Gregory, the Center’s Board is composed of Vice Chairman, Pat O’Leary, Esq. of Woodbridge, Secretary, Mayor Frank Jones of Manassas Park, Treasurer, Steve Dawson of Catharpin, Assistant Treasurer Col. Frank Mejia of Woodbridge, and Brian Gordon of Dumfries. Col. Mejia is Chairman of the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Mr. O’Leary, Mr. Dawson, and Mr. Gordon serve on the IDA’s Board of Directors.

Funding for the Flory Small Business Center, Inc. is provided by the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority, Prince William County, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The Center has been a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA) since its inception in 1991.

If you have questions or would like more information on the Center, which is located at 10311 Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas, please call 703-335-2500.




Entrepreneurs Swap Ideas on Success, a Better Prince William

“There’s always something inside of you that keeps pushing you”


A panel of business owners Monday shared insights into the characteristics of what makes a good entrepreneur.

The panel, Entrepreneurs on Leadership, assembled by Leadership Prince William, featured leaders from businesses like manufacturing, auto repair, communications, medicine, and retail.

The majority of those who spoke said they never intended to become a successful business owner. However, they decided it was a goal worth pursuing.

“I didn’t want another business,” said Sarah Pitkin, owner of Pitkin’s Hardware in Dale City.

She bought the store from her father, and she said owning your own business is a mix of trial and error.

“There’s always something inside of you that keeps pushing you to keep moving for and having ideas and seeing what works,” said Pitkin.

Many entrepreneurs search for their niche and some niches may not always be the most popular ideas.

“I listen for things like ‘you shouldn’t do that,’ or I listen for ‘I wouldn’t do that’ when talking to others. That is a trigger point for me to look into something,” said ST Billingsley, owner of Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge.

Teamwork was also a much-discussed topic at Monday’s session.

“Entrepreneurism is taking advantage, taking risk, and saying ‘it’s going to work’ and ‘I can figure it out with other people helping me,’” said Patty Baisden, owner of QMT Wind Chimes.

The discussion later morphed into a conversation about how to better promote Prince William County, its amenities, and the quality business community it has to offer. Many said only negative news is reported about the county and few “good news” stories are told about Prince William.

Mark Shaaber, of SCS Integrated Support Solutions, hosted the event. He chose to retire from his job at the Pentagon in Arlington and live in Prince William County.

“I heard the community options were good and the price of housing was lower. What got me to stay here in prince William County is when I looked at a map of Prince William and saw I can take a ride on a country road, and saw it was a place that had a tree or two left we could be proud of,” he said.

While there were many comparisons between Prince William’s larger neighbors Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

“We’re a really great community, but were not [Fairfax], and that’s OK because we have enough. It’s just a sense that we’re good, and that’s enough,” said Baisden.

The Prince William Association of Realtors building in Woodbridge hosted the event.

The Bone Brings High-Quality Barbecue to Historic Downtown Manassas

Ribbon cutting at The Bone

Ribbon cutting at The Bone

The ribbon was sliced on Monday, November 3rd celebrating one of Historic Downtown Manassas’s newest foodie hot spots, The Bone.

More from a press release about the opening:

The Bone Barbecue opened on July 4th, 2014, at its location, 9420 Battle Street. The restaurant offers high quality barbecue with meats that are smoked in-house, and sauces and sides made from scratch.

The Bone is the second barbecue joint for owners Mike, Chase, and Bobby Hoover. Their first, Bad to the Bone Smokehouse, in Gainesville, Virginia, has received much local acclaim for its barbecue– including a win of a lengthy, bracket-style competition called the “BBQ Brawl,” where they were selected as the winner over 32 other restaurants. The Bone is the fast, casual version of Bad to the Bone, with the same quality cuisine.

Chase Hoover says they “let the meat do the talking,” when it comes to their recipes, by using quality and simplicity in the preparation. Meats are pulled and sliced with little to no sauce. Guests can add flair by choosing one of their five sauces, two of which feature beer from Manassas brewery, Heritage Brewing Company. Local, craft beer is also available for purchase to drink while you dine or to take with you. The interior has an industrial rustic feel featuring many touches put together by the owners themselves. Outdoor seating is also available.

The team at The Bone is pleased to join the Historic Downtown business community stating, “It was a no-brainer for us in terms of a second location.” They were impressed by the development of downtown and “saw a great opportunity to be a part of the growing area.” The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11am-9pm, and on Sundays from 11am- 3pm. More information can be found at

Bella Cafe Opens Earlier, Greets Morning Commuters

Bella Cafe competing with new chain store rival Peet’s Coffee & Tea


Peets Coffee in North Stafford, Virginia.

Peets Coffee in North Stafford, Virginia.

There’s coffee competition in Stafford’s Boswell’s Corner. It’s one of the last places in the world you would think there would be competition between coffee shops.

On the north side of Route 1 is locally-owned coffee shop and eatery Bella Cafe, and regional chain Peet’s Coffee  and Tea are now fighting for their share of customers looking for coffee and breakfast items during their morning commute.

“This little coffee shop came up, over next door to us, and I didn’t think they were going to do anything, but they’ve really taken a chunk [of business] from us,” said Bella Café owner Will Wobbe.

Previously the café was only open for lunch and dinner, but Wobbe was not solely motivated to open for breakfast because of the competition.

“We’re not doing this just because [Peets] opened up next door – that’s just something that happened. I’ve always wanted to open early, but I’ve never really been in the right situation,” Wobbe said.

The new hours for the café are 5:30AM to 10:00PM, which began in the first week of November. For the morning service at the café, Wobbe wanted to stay local, offering coffee from a Virginia company, along with grab-and-go breakfast items, including sandwiches and muffins.

“They can’t be as good as us – our food is really good,” Wobbe said.

With the growing Quantico Corporate Center nearby, this section of Route 1 is quickly developing as a business destination. Bella has an advantage of being on the northbound side of Route 1 — morning commuters on their way to Prince William can more easily stop at Bella because its on the right (northbound) side of the road. For customers stopping at Peets, there is a difficult left turn back onto Route 1 for those heading north.

Bella Café has faced struggles in past years, with the closure of its old location last year, before Wobbe reopened the café across the street from the old site, and this expansion of morning hours could bring further business that were limited with their lunch and dinner hours.

The cafe is popular with musicians and live performers. It is one of few places in Stafford that has live music regularly, is locally owned, and teen friendly.

Bella has seen its fair share of locations, from first being located in Aquia Town Center, to its new place in Boswell’s Corner (Route 1 near Quantico Corporate Center / Prince William – Stafford County line), to its new spot just across the Route 1 from its old one.

“I was getting ready to leave after the situation where they wanted to put a car shop [on the site], and the community really rallied and said, ‘Please don’t go, our kids love Bella, you’ve done so much for the community,’” said Wobbe.

No one from the Peets Coffee location across the street was available for comment for this story.

El Taco Owners Looking to Cash Out

El Taco Mexican Restaurant off of Route 28 in Manassas may soon be under new ownership and management.

The restaurant was listed for sale last week on Craigslist.

The establishment has gained mixed reviews for its food and atmosphere over the years, according to reviews placed on Google.

The property, which has been an El Taco since 1970, is being sold with owner financing for $195,000. This includes all of the fixtures, menu and recipes.

More from the online post announcing it’s sale:

Restaurant for sale with some owner financing, El taco since 1970 is for sale at $195000 business only and is need of new management. The price is for the menu recipe and all fixtures. Rent is $7500 a month with about 2900 sq ft of retail space and about .91 acres of parking. The freestanding building is on busy Centreville Rd.

Stafford Airport Runway Extension Means More Planes

The Stafford Regional Airport wants to extend its runway at an estimated cost of $8 to $12 million.

The project would bring more air traffic to the airport from the north, and opponents worry it would bring more airplane noise to surrounding neighborhoods.

Facilities manager Ed Wallis said that with the growth and use of the airport in its current operations, the extension has already been a part of their master planning process.

“Currently the airport runway traffic pattern is all to the south. A normal airport has traffic on both sides of the runway…there’d be very few aircraft on that side of the runway…we wouldn’t come near the areas [Sterling is] worried about,” Wallis said.

A longer runway would also mean aircraft taking off from the airport could carry more fuel and reach destinations further away, such as the U.S. west coast.

“Right now, on a hot and humid day, one of the largest aircraft that use [the airport] could not take a full load of fuel or a full load of passengers and go to the West Coast, because the runway’s too short. By lengthening the runway, it gives planes the stopping distance they need, should there be an emergency right at takeoff.”

“We are not increasing the capability of the runway, size wise. What we’re doing is increasing the capability of the aircrafts that currently use us, to use the maximum capacity of fuel and passengers,” said Wallis.

Before any work to the runway can begin, an ongoing environmental assessment needs to be completed. Public hearings will be held in spring to discuss the findings in the assessment with the community. 

The project to extend the runway, which could top out at $12 million, would see 90% of funding from the FAA, 8% of the Virginia State Dept of Aviation, and the remaining 2% from the Stafford Regional Airport Authority, said Wallis.

This extension would mirror similar work completed at the Manassas Regional Airport in 2012. An additional 500 feet was added to their runway.

Juan Rivera, the director of the Manassas airport, understood the need for a runway extension to ensure that planes could take on a full load of passengers and fuel, that Wallis cited as a major reason for Stafford’s intended extension.

“It’s been good for [the airport]… We have not had any major issues as far as noise and safety,” Rivera said.

This comparison between the two airports could become important as some individuals are not in support of the potential runway extension. For Cord Sterling, Stafford County Rock Hill District Supervisor, there are safety and financial concerns related to the airport’s plans that need to be addressed.

“You’ve got to look at what they’re planning. They’re not only expanding it – they’re adding that Northern route. The route takes [planes] over Stafford High School and over neighborhoods,” Sterling said.

Sterling also said the plans for the runway extension contradict earlier comments made by the Stafford Airport Authority about safe use in the neighborhoods surrounding the airport.

“The Stafford Airport Authority has come out saying that the things like schools and neighborhoods are not compatible for those flight paths, that it’s a danger to people on the ground. It’s a danger to the quality of life,” said Sterling.

Sterling also pointed to the Airport’s financial dependence on subsidies from the Stafford County budget as further concern for the extension.

“I think they should just continue to operate how they’re operating. What’s the need for the expansion? [The airport hasn’t] been able to show us they can the deliver,” Sterling said, citing County money loaned for a terminal, the removal of an airplane pass and addition of fuel station at the airport.

Wallis insisted that there were no major safety concerns and that the addition of north side air traffic as they have currently planned, will not be a noise issue. Stafford County officials showed the latest plans for the runway expansion at a recent public meeting.

George Mason Green Job Networking Fair

The public, alumni and students are welcome to attend George Mason University’s second annual Green Job Networking Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Nov. 10 in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall on George Mason’s Fairfax campus.

Mason’s Office of Sustainability and University Career Services are teaming up to host major employers including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and environmentally friendly businesses and nonprofits.

Organizers recommend registering, dressing for success and bringing a resume — not only to possibly find a career, but to find a purpose.

“Creating solutions for a more sustainable world and Earth contributes to the greater good and enables our students to make a meaningful difference in the world,” says Margaret Lo, Office of Sustainability director.

Christine Cruzvergara, director of University Career Services in the Division of University Life, says attendees should research green industry trends even before they arrive. “Be prepared with thoughtful questions about how these employers are playing a critical role in their contributions toward conserving energy, developing alternative energy, reducing pollution or recycling,” she says. 

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MOM’s Organic Market, Above Green, Walnut Hill Farm, Traderoots LLC, Fairfax County Farmers’ Markets, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Clean Fairfax and Earth Sangha also will be speaking on panels and answering questions.


Davis Ford Shopping Center Gets a Face Lift

When it opened, Davis Ford Road carried shoppers to the shopping plaza of its namesake.

Today, Davis Ford Road no longer runs past the center. It’s now Prince William Parkway. Now, the center sees its first major renovations since the original construction in 1989.

The old wood cladding façade is being replaced with newer materials to give the plaza a modern look. New canopy lights and signs for the merchants is also part of the renovation.

“Davis Ford Crossing remains the best-located center in the market.” said Susan Bourgeois, director of leasing and brokerage at Rappaport. “The renovations will give the center a fresh, more modern look that will raise the standard of construction in the area.”

The center remains open during the renovation, which is expected to be completed in early 2015. While the center recently lost Dollar General, it was quickly replaced with a new Sleepy’s mattress retailer. An LA Fitness is also now a major tenant at the center, joining Staples, CVS Pharmacy and Petco.

The center sits at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Liberia Avenue in Manassas.

Hometowne Auto Celebrates 1 Year in Business

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia celebrated one year in business with a ribbon cutting event.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia celebrated one year in business with a ribbon cutting event.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire celebrated one year in business.

Hometowne  Auto at 15698 Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge held a ribbon cutting celebration to mark the event. Several members of the community, including business owners, members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and elected officials from Prince William County attended the event.

The independently-owned shop offers free tire repairs for their customers no matter where they bought their tires. Many customers who drive into the shop from Route 1 often take advantage of the offer, as well as other repair and maintenance services offered by Hometowne, said shop owner ST Billingsley.

The shop is open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

hometowne ribbon 3 hometowne ribbon 7 hometowne ribbon 6 hometowne ribbon 5 hometowne ribbon 4


Hampton Inn Stafford/Quantico Conference Center Upgrades Complete

Hampton Inn renovations include new suites, conference space, saltwater pool


The newly renovated Hampton Inn Stafford/Quantico Conference Center hotel is open in North Stafford.

New additions to the hotel allowed for larger suites, a dining hotel area, conference space, and a saltwater pool. Known as the Hampton Stafford / Quantico and Conference Center, the 17-year-old hotel sits in what has become an increasing crowded market of hotels nearby catering to business travelers.

“Over the years, the quality of our hotels has been going up and you have been a leader in Stafford in building a quality product which matters when you live here. There was a time when you couldn’t find a decent hotel in Stafford,” said Stafford County Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde.

Four new hotels have opened along the Route 1 corridor in North Stafford in just the past two years. Milde says hotels last year generated $1.2 million in tax revenue for the county.

The Hampton hotel is valued at $7 million, according to tax records, and is unlike any other in the chain. The 2,600 square foot conference space and meetings rooms inside the hotel will provide much-needed meeting space for the county.

Milde said his county government had few options when it came to meeting outside the county government center to conduct business. He will petition Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello to hold some business meetings at the newly renovated Hampton, he said.

The renovation will also allow hotel owner Dhiren C. Patel to carry the Hampton branding on his hotel for another 17 years. He involved his family in the remodel and put his wife in charge of the overall aesthetics over the interior makeover.

“I want to thank the staff that has been working and kept the lights on during construction over the last 16 months, even during construction we kept our occupancies very high and this allowed us to pay our bills,” said Patel.

The Hampton is located at 2925 Jefferson Davis Highway near the intersection of Garrisonville Road, at the interchange for Interstate 95 in North Stafford. For more information, call 540-657-0999.

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Whitlock Wealth Management Holding Ribbon Cutting

Whitlock wealth managment, financial, lake ridge, tacketts mill

Whitlock Wealth Management celebrating 20 years in business


Whitlock Wealth Management will hold a ribbon cutting for their newly renovated offices in Lake Ridge.

The company is celebrating 20 years in business, and the ribbon cutting event is free to attend.

The celebration will take place Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at their offices 12848 Harbor Drive, Suite 101, in Lake Ridge, near Tacketts Mill shopping center.

For more information visit

New Medical Director Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital's Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center for Stafford Hospital, which offers state-of-the-art treatment practices and protocols to reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal, has appointed Peter VanDerMeid as medical director.

Dr. VanDerMeid will be responsible for reviewing patient care and results, evaluating new clinical products and providing oversight and guidance on policies and procedures. A member of the Healogics™ network, the Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies that help people heal faster and more completely than before.

A Stafford resident, Dr. VanDerMeid most recently served as Medical Director in Somerset, PA at Somerset Hosptial’s Wound Care Center.

Dr. VanDerMeid holds a Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. He then did his family practice residency for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. He has practiced at two family medical care facilities in Virginia and is a Certified Wound Specialist.

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital is located at 14010 Smoketown Rd., Suite 103, Woodbridge, VA 22192. The center offers leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics.

Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.


Christmas Shoppers Expected to Spend More

Average consumer to spend about $800


There will be turkey and shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Potomac Mills mall says they will open their doors at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 27 and will keep them open for 26 hours straight. The upscale retail outlet aims to attract budget-conscious shoppers looking to grab gifts early in the season.

“Those looking to start their holiday shopping early will discover unbeatable deals on Potomac Mills’ name brand merchandise throughout the weekend,” said Sam Hosn, general manager at Potomac Mills. “From designer fashions to the top trending toys and electronics, Potomac Mills has more stores with unmatched savings than anywhere else in the area. Our Black Friday hours will give shoppers the greatest opportunity to find the perfect gifts within budget for everyone on their holiday list.”

The mall has 220 stores as well as restaurants for “guests looking to take a break from bargain hunting,” according to Potomac Mills.

South of Woodbridge in Spotsylvania County, Spotsylvania Towne Center will also open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The mall will remain open the following day, always known as Black Friday, from midnight to 10 p.m.

The shopping center has also become known for its annual Concert in Lights in the outdoor town center portion of the shopping center. Flashing Christmas lights are put to music for live shows several times per night throughout the holiday season, beginning Nov. 8

“This fabulous feast of music and lights takes place in The Village at Towne Centre every evening until Christmas Eve, with shows at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.” said Towne Center spokesman Joe Bell.

Retailers are hoping to pack more shoppers in earlier as there are only four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. The National Retail Federation says the average shopper will spend about $800 this year, up 5% over last year.

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