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Marcolivia Duo to perform with Manassas Symphony

Manassas – (Press Release) Olivia Hajioff and Marc Ramirez, the Marcolivia Duo, join Music Director James Villani as the featured viola and violin soloists for Symphonic Journey, the Manassas Symphony’s season-opening concert at 7:30 pm on October 27, 2018 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. They are playing Max Bruch’s Double Concerto in E minor, Op. 88.

Marcolivia — featured many times on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “Front Row Washington” — is an award-winning violin and violin/viola duo who performs music from all styles and periods from Baroque artists to works by 20th-century composers, including folk music, virtuoso works, and their own arrangements.

The MSO concert program also includes Gioachino Rossini’s famous William Tell Overture, as well as the not often performed, but very beautiful Orchestral Suite No. 1 in D minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. 

Season subscriptions and individual concert tickets are available from the Hylton Center Box Office or by calling 888-945-2468. All children and student tickets (through college) are free.

Founded in 1992, the Manassas Symphony is the winner of the 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance, Community Division and is a Resident Arts Partner of the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The all-volunteer orchestra plays five concerts a year and is involved with many educational and civic events throughout the community. For more information on the Manassas Symphony, visit its website at

Published and aspiring writers invited to Write by the Rails (WbtR) workshop

WbtR Write by the Rails workshop

MANASSAS, Va. – (Press Release)  Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, is pleased to announce a half-day writing workshop to be held Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Trinity Episcopal in Historic Manassas from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The “Back on the Tracks: Fall Writers’ Workshop and Social Campaign Kickoff” will feature a panel on marketing books and writing, along with breakout sessions on writing novels, memoir and poetry. The event will include networking, book sales, a book exchange and live-writing exercises.

The date also marks the live launch of the #WbtR #BackOnTrackNow social media campaign. Attendees will have the chance to write and submit Twitter-friendly lines to be published through social media and in an anthology.

WbtR Workshop Panel and Facilitators

Answering pre-selected questions as well as questions from attendees, the marketing panel will include Rebecca Barnes, Publisher of Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings magazines; Uriah Kiser, Publisher of Potomac Local News; Stacy Shaw, Publisher of Bristow Beat; and King Buari, CEO of Buarich Digital Marketing.

“This year, I am especially excited to have a session on marketing your writing with a panel of experts in the field. I really feel like each person on the panel brings expertise to our attendees. Marketing is one of our most requested topics for the club,” said WbtR president Jan Rayl.

Breakout sessions will be facilitated by novelists P.M. Hernandez and Natalina Reis, memoir writer Nancy Kyme and poet Katherine Gotthardt.

“I am always excited to see my personal writing improve after attending our Write by the Rails Writers’ Workshops,” said Rayl. “I never considered myself a poet. Yet at each workshop I have written a poem. I have had great inspiration in writing poetry from attending Write by the Rails events. I wrote my first poem at a poetry workshop led by Katherine Gotthardt.

“I read Nancy Kyme’s book Memory Lake and loved it. I have toyed with writing a memoir about working at the Boy Scout camp and am looking for inspiration in her session.

“And I have read, We Will Always Have the Closet,” by Natalina Reis while I was in Paris on vacation. It was a great summer romance to read.”

Vice President Katherine Gotthardt said, “I think people will love hearing how Natalina and P.M. Hernandez operate. P.M. Hernandez is one of the most prolific local authors I know. I’m in awe of her.”

Cost for the workshop is $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Published and aspiring writers are welcome to attend. To register, visit the WbtR website’s events page.

Rex Parr says success for Manassas starts with a shared vision and strategic plan

This is Rex Parr’s second run for a seat on the Manassas City Council.

The Democrat placed 5th in a seven-person race for three open seats on the council in 2016. After a two-year break from campaigning, and after his 2015 retirement from leading Manassas-based Didlake, Inc., he’s running again.

Below, find his responses to our Project: Election questionnaire.

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?


  • Education
  • Public Safety
  • Transportation

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?


  • EDUCATION: We need to align the goals and objectives of the School Board and the City Council, extend Pre-K education to every child and continue the great progress on Career and Technical Education (CTE).
  • PUBLIC SAFETY: Our Public Safety professionals do an amazing job of keeping us safe. I want to make sure we take good care of them. We should pay close attention to the basics: up-to-date resources, competitive compensation, recognition of achievements and top-notch leadership.
  • TRANSPORTATION: To be an attractive place to live, work and play the city must offer efficient transportation options. We all know that we need to improve Route 28 North to I66. We should also push hard to add mid-day VRE service in both directions and, we should plan now to extend the VRE Manassas line to Gainesville and Haymarket.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? 

Parr: Serving the greater good.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office? 

Parr: Governance, Management, Strategic Planning and Public Policy.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency? 

Parr: Local government is complex. The average citizen doesn’t have time to keep track of it all. I will advocate for greater transparency and a more robust communications program of organizations that get important things done. In my experience, success starts with a widely shared vision and a strategic plan developed by a broad cross-section of stakeholders.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Parr: It’s time for Manassas to begin shaping its future and I can help.

How Sentara improves the prognosis in cases of Her2+ breast cancer

Pearl Hawver believes in the power of a positive attitude.

She also believes in the strength of preventative care, that’s why every year on her birthday she gives herself the best gift possible by making sure to get a mammogram.

That gift paid off in January 2015, when her routine mammogram discovered a lump in her in her right breast.

“My doctor said, ‘You have breast cancer.’  And I said, ‘Ok, what next?’ She said, ‘I’m waiting for you to react.’ I said, ‘You don’t call a person to tell them their mammogram was okay. So, I figured I had something.”

It’s that same direct, no-nonsense approach Pearl used to face her diagnosis of Her2+ breast cancer. She turned to the team of Dr. Farn Chan and Dr. Masoom Kandahari, Triple-Board Certified Hematology and Oncology Experts.

“The mission of our team is to implement a patient-centered environment where patients are at the core of discussion and decision making,” explains Dr. Kandahari, Medical Staff President at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, who has been treating patient in the Woodbridge area for almost 30 years.

“We often know all the cancer patients and share the responsibility in taking care of them, so patients won’t be with a completely new doctor who is not familiar with their case if one of us is not available. It also provides a unique opportunity for patients to have a second opinion in their care, without literally having to go to a separate location,” adds Dr. Chan, Chairman of the Cancer Committee and breast program leadership member of the hospital.

With Pearl’s diagnosis of HER2+ breast cancer, the doctors were able to consult with one another to determine the best course of action.

“Her2+ breast cancer tends to be more aggressive, associated with higher risk of recurrence and poorer prognosis in the absence of systemic therapy. However, prognosis has improved with the availability of Her2 targeted therapy.”

Pearl’s personalized medical plan included: six months of chemo, a lumpectomy, receiving radiation and then following up with a year of Her2 chemo. Her positive attitude helped lead the way.

“I did really well on chemo,” recalls Pearl, “I’m pretty laid back. I don’t let anything rent space in my head. I give it to God and we go from there. I don’t worry about things, I let the doctors take care of that,” says Pearl.

Pearl says part of the reason things went so well was because of the support she received from her family, especially her younger sister, Phyllis. Phyllis, also a breast cancer survivor, helped Pearl get to her assorted appointments, sat with her through chemo and provided the emotional and moral support she needed.

In the wake of Pearl’s recovery, Phyllis has even helped her channel her sewing talents to help fund breast cancer research.   

“Right now, I’m making pin cushion hats for Relay for Life,” says Pearl, “Last year, I did five tote bags and they went for $100 each!”

The 78-year-old is living her life to the fullest, spending time with her three kids, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, thanks to the team approach of Dr. Chan and Dr. Kandahari.

“Cancer is a journey and they are right there with you,” explains Pearl. “They were on top of everything and they were very good! They were considerate and kind. Plus, Sarah, the clinical nurse manager, was just wonderful during the chemo treatments.”

The multi-disciplinary team approach, in the office and within the Sentara Cancer Network, allowed Pearl to get state-of-the-art care. Sentara Healthcare is the first system in Virginia to be accredited as an Integrated Network Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, meaning connections to a network of doctors, researchers, and groundbreaking clinical expertise. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center was the first in the area to offer Xoft® Radiation Therapy System for patients with early-stage breast cancer. This, coupled with the exemplary patient care of an Oncology Nurse Navigator, who guides patients and their family through the sometimes daunting experience of a cancer diagnosis, is all in an effort to improve health every day.

To schedule an appointment, call 703-523-1560 or visit for more information on women’s health imaging near you.

OmniRide wants to shift its western center from Manassas Mall to downtown

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Prince William gunshot victim expected to survive

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — (Press Release) On October 6 at 1:49 a.m., officers responded to the 8000 block of Portwood Turn in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shooting.

When officers arrived, they located the victim, later identified as a 20-year-old man, suffering from gunshot wounds. Officers provided immediate first aid to the victim before he was transported to an area hospital.

The victim is believed to have sustained non-life threatening injuries and is expected to survive. Several witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the area. Multiple shell casings were located by officers. No suspects have been identified and the motive behind the shooting is unknown.

The investigation continues. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Prince William County Police at 703-792-6500.