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Celebrate Black History Month with Prince William County Historic Preservation

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There is a rich legacy of African American history in Prince William County. The Prince William County Historic Preservation Division takes great care in researching and interpreting the stories that speak about African American experiences throughout this region.

The history of Lucasville is one such story about a strong African American community that developed in our area after the Civil War. The strength and determination of this community of about 100 people, is evident with the legacy left by the Lucasville schoolhouse.  Approved in 1883 and built in 1885, construction paid by the Prince William County School Board, costs totaled $267.13.  The school operated from 1886 to 1926, although attendance waivered through the years, a commitment to keeping the school open demonstrated their belief in the value of an education.

During this same time, Frederick Douglass was one of the most prominent African Americans in the county; he too valued the power of education.  Douglass said, during his keynote speech for the opening of the Manassas Industrial School, “To found an educational institution for any people is worthy of note; but to found a school in which to instruct, improve and develop all that is noblest and best in the souls of a deeply wronged and long-neglected people, is especially noteworthy.”

There are many opportunities for visitors to learn and experience something unique during the month of February, from visiting the historic school to the Ben Lomond slave quarters. You can join us as we celebrate African American History Month, February 10 at Lucasville School, where we will share stories about the Lucasville community and celebrate the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial.

The Ebenezer Men’s Choir will kick off the celebration with song and the youth group will follow, reading aloud passages from an 1894 Frederick Douglass speech.  Prince William County Historic Preservation Division will also give away one special editionNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass to each family in attendance with schoolchildren, while supplies last.

Later in the month, you are welcome to join us for an exclusive opportunity to spend the night in an original slave quarter, where historians and interpreters will share stories about the people who lived at Ben Lomond, how they worked to survive and to resist.  

If you would rather not spend the night, you might enjoy a day program, where visitors can explore the historic home and original slave quarter, learning about the enslaved population at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War.

The Slave Quarter at Ben Lomond is one of only three to survive in Prince William County today! Reservations are required as space is limited. For more information on these events, please visit pwcgov.org/history or call 703-367-7872.

First enlisted female Marine dies, had ties to Quantico

From Quantico Marine Corps Base public affairs office: 

Retired Marine Master Sgt. Catherine G. Murray will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Jan. 23, 2018. Murray was recognized on Nov. 30, 1962 as the first enlisted female Marine to retire from active duty after serving honorable for nearly 20 years.

Murray passed away with dignity and peace at her home in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. on Dec. 20, 2017. She is survived by her companion and caregiver of 22 years, Mark Adkins, along with her many dear friends.

Murray enlisted in the Marine Corps reserve in 1943 and was assigned to motor transport duties until 1946 where she drove both sedans and five-ton trucks for the Marine Corps during her service in World War II.

When the armed forces demobilized their ‘Force of Women’ at the end of the war, Murray was retained on active duty with the Marine Corps.  In 1948, she was authorized to integrate into the regular service.

During her enlistment, Murray was stationed overseas in London and Hawaii and even spent some time in Quantico, Va., where she was instrumental in the planning and writing many of the military examinations used by female Marines at the time.

Murray’s decorations included the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (six awards), the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

Official services for Murray will commence at the Arlington National Cemetery administration building on Jan. 23 at 12:30 p.m. Burial service will begin at 1:00 p.m.  Directions to the administration building can be found here: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Visit/Getting-Here/Directions.


IT threats to look out for in 2018

With every new year come new inventions and discoveries, new risks and areas of opportunities. As even the most private and sensitive areas of our business and personal lives become digitized, new cybersecurity and IT threats arise. IT expert Chris Albright of CMIT Solutions of Centreville considers ransomware, IoT hacking, machine learning, and insufficient IT and cybersecurity to be the largest IT threats of 2018.

Ransomware

Globally, ransomware attacks grew by 56 percent in 2017, with the WannaCry attack being the largest of all time. Ransomware includes any kind of cyberattack in which a business or individual is required to pay a monetary fee in order to regain full access of their computer, breached data or Cloud. There is currently no way around regaining access without paying the ransom — and no guarantee that if you pay, the breached data won’t be compromised once paid. Most ransomware attacks are automated, so it is rare that you currently or will ever be able to determine who is behind your data or computer breach. Payments are often a few hundred dollars paid via cryptocurrency which is extremely difficult to track.

IoT Hacking

There are many personal and professional benefits to creating an in-house Internet of Things (IoT). As convenient as your smart devices or custom network may be, each come with unique IT risks. This goes beyond standard mobile devices to IoT hacks for pacemakers, defibrillators, heart monitors, video cameras and any internet-connected electronic device. This also includes the increased risk for hacking into home or office automation features.

Machine Learning

Intelligent chatbots and machine learning algorithms that get smarter with each interaction create a whole new set of IT threats. This includes the in-depth personal and business data gathered by the artificial intelligence (AI) we implement to boost productivity. For example, Amazon Echo, Siri or Google Assistant can now help us complete a long and growing list of virtual tasks. While AI can be used for a variety of legitimate and productive purposes, it can also be used to help hackers learn how to improve their hacking techniques. On the flipside, AI will be simultaneously used to detect bad bots, malicious AI and machine learning.

Insufficient IT and Cybersecurity

Training, education and a proactive IT and cybersecurity plan is the best way to minimize internal and external risk factors. Unfortunately, few families have an IT plan in place, and businesses with an IT security plan often fail to update the plan with the frequency required to remain secure. With the number of bring your own (BYO) devices, shared devices, internet-connected gadgets and IT threats evolving at a rapid place, it is essential that everyone have an IT plan in place. This includes everything from secure hosting, network security, mobile device management, data and Cloud security, in-house IT policies and procedures, and managed IT services.

The threats above are far from the only IT security concerns you should have your eye on but are some of the greatest IT threats of 2018.

CMIT Solutions of Centreville provides a strategic approach to IT consulting that improves the performance of your business technology in the most cost-effective way possible. Assisting businesses across Northern Virginia, CMIT Centreville can help you achieve the fastest return on your technology investment. Call 703-881-7738 today to see how CMIT Centreville can help your business stay in business.

Content provided by All Things Writing, LLC


Children can forge communication skills, writing with Youth Center Stage

Youth Center Stage classes starting Saturday, January 6

Exploring Acting (Ages 5 – 7)

Would you love for your child to improve their cognitive functions, forge communication skills, and enhance confidence? Well, they can, in a safe, fun and excellence-orientated environment with our Exploring Acting class! They’ll sing, dance, and enjoy their way through early development.

Kids Again the Musical

With our Kids Again the Musical class, your child will play fun games, work in harmony with other children, and improve their interpersonal skills. Now, when it comes to the performance, they’ll have superb confidence levels, new-found abilities, and a passion of learning, all of which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their education!

Improv Comedy (Ages 13 and Up)

Improvisation is a wonderful way to build interpersonal skills, express personality and harness some real self-belief. So, why not provide your child with a brilliant opportunity to do just that, with our amazing Improv Comedy class? They’ll play improv games and perform on stage, both of which will make them smile and develop skills!

Young Author’s – Online (Ages 8 and Up)

The art of writing is a fantastic way to improve and showcase creativity, as well as push your child further in their academic studies. With our Young Author’s online class, your child will have a fabulous chance to compose their own book, publish it and then attend the book release. What a great way to develop communication and interpersonal skills, eh?!

How a Facebook post saved Toys for Tots at Quantico

A portion of an email from Quantico Marine Corps Base spokesman Major Andrew Borman: 

My office was contacted by the lead coordinator/program manager for the regional Toys for Tots warehouse serving the National Capital Region, Wilma Vaughn. She was in desperate need for volunteer support due to the warehouse being overloaded with toys which needed to be organized for distribution to the children around the area. Without the required organization, the toys would not be ready to be shipped out in time for Christmas.

In an effort to help, Marine Corps Base Quantico posted a ‘Call to the Community’ and the community answered!

Please see attached image for Facebook Analytics. Our average post on a good day is about 7K with an audience of approximately 70K. This post has exceeded 101K which has resulted in Wilma not being able to keep up with emails of support and she has experienced a flood of volunteer support from the local community.

On Friday, the warehouse at Quantico was filled with 50 volunteers who showed up after reading the Facebook post. That’s about 30 more volunteers than Toys for Tots normally has on hand. 

Fewer toys were donated to the charity this year, so some children, especially girls between the ages of 11 and 14 years old, went without a toy.

A decline in toy donations also meant that children that normally receive two toys from the program only got one this year. Some organizations that distribute toys from Toys for Tots were also left empty-handed.

“People just waited until the last minute to donate toys this year,” Vaughn told Potomac Local. 

Those last-minute donations led to Vaughn and her volunteers being overwhelmed at the last minute. The Toys for Tots donation drive ends Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. 

Vaughn said it was “phenomenal” to see such an outpouring of support from the community at the last minute. 

“The camaraderie between the community and the Marine Corps is what makes this program a success,” she added.


Karen was tired of restructuring family fun around her pain. So she did something about it.

Dr. Daniel Hampton at Sentara OrthoJoint Center® at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center reserves surgery as a last resort for patients with chronic knee pain.

When Karen Cribb, the Patient Advocate at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, became Dr. Hampton’s patient, he told her that eventually, she would need to have knee replacement surgery. After weighing the benefits and risks of surgery, they decided to try alternative therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and injections first to see if they could manage her osteoarthritis, pain, and limited mobility issues without surgery.

Injections of corticosteroids provided temporary relief for Karen. However, when the medication wore off, the pain grew unbearable. They then tried a series of four shots designed to build cushioning around the knee, but that did not prove effective for her either.

“Those treatments work for different people to varying degrees,” said Dr. Hampton. “When it’s time for surgery, your body will tell you.”
Karen grew up playing sports like basketball and softball during a time when there were no professional coaches ensuring the safety of younger athletes. As she got older, her knees began to bother her.

“I truly didn’t pay attention to the pain, until I couldn’t participate in family activities the way I used to,” said Karen.

She finally realized her mobility restrictions as she listened to her husband and daughters plan a big family vacation to New England for her upcoming birthday. Well-intentioned, her husband and daughters repeatedly said, “Mom can’t do that, so we won’t do it.”

Karen acknowledged they were restructuring the fun activities around her pain. During her vacation, she was disappointed when she could not get to the top of a lighthouse in Maine or climb the steps at Bunker Hill in Boston. Karen wanted to be active and pain-free, so she could enjoy time with her family, and she resolved to do something about it.

Karen knew the time had come for surgery when she began to fall and make trips to the emergency room that caused her to miss family activities. The rest of Karen’s body was now compensating for her injured knee, and she eventually threw out her back. Her daughter was getting married soon, and she did not want her knee problems to interfere with the wedding. It was time to consider knee replacement surgery.

“Throwing out my back because of my knee pain was an eye opener,” Karen said. “That was the decision–making moment for me.”
Karen and Dr. Hampton set her surgery date for April.

“There is a very high success rate with knee replacement surgery,” Dr. Hampton said. “About 95 percent of patients do well with replacements.”

Patients who opt for knee replacement have an intense recovery period with several months of extensive physical therapy. “Additionally,” Dr. Hampton said, “there is a six-month check-up and another follow-up appointment at one year with periodic x-rays. Patients are then, typically seen annually.”

Surgery requires a close partnership between the patient, surgeon, and rehabilitation therapists. The patient must be motivated to adhere to the therapy regimen and stay active, even when there are some stiffness and pain. Walking, hiking, swimming, and other low impact exercises are excellent ways to stay active for those recovering from knee replacement surgery, and they carry the added benefit of potential weight loss, which further reduces pressure and strain on the knee.

The surgery itself was not painful for Karen. Her family was incredibly supportive, encouraging her to stay active, helping her recuperate, and driving her to her medical appointments during her recovery. When Karen returned to work, the staff at Sentara was also very supportive.

“This is what we do, for our patients and each other,” said Karen. She and her coworkers even shared a good laugh about her bedazzled cane she used during her recovery. “Go gaudy or go home,” Karen joked.

Karen completed her physical therapy four months after her surgery. Overall, she describes the surgical experience as positive. She’s grateful for her improved quality of life.

“I really appreciate Dr. Hampton and the therapists saying that I can’t hurt the knee, but I will hurt myself if I don’t stay active,” Karen said. “It feels great to feel good.”

To find an orthopedic specialist near you call 1-800-SENTARA or visit: Sentara OrthoJoint Center® at https://www.sentara.com/woodbridge-virginia/medicalservices/services/joint-replacement.aspx.

 


Teaching the DAGPAW: Martial Arts and concepts for Life at Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center offers a variety of martial arts programs for kids of all ages. Master Geoff Mann teaches all of the martial arts classes here at the Community Center. He received his first black belt in 1992 and is a fifth-degree black belt.

Master Geoff has been an instructor at the Community Center for 13 years. That gives him more history at Parks and Recreation than the actual building itself!

Master Geoff explains that the term martial arts initially means “military way of.” The history of martial arts dates back to ancient Greece, Rome, and China. The military of these countries took the fighting and defensive systems of the peasants, adapted, and then incorporated these fighting styles to suit their military needs.

Fast forward to the 1970’s where martial arts legend Bruce Lee became famous for his skills and beliefs that the best fighter is someone who is adapted to any martial arts style while incorporating individual style and not limiting themselves to one practice.

“When I started training in 1985, the MMA club where I was training introduced us to all MMA practices at the time, so we learned a real variety! Now, I teach modern Karate, traditional Tae Kwon Do and I add a little Kempo, Akido, and Jujitsu. My own background and training is inspired by Bruce Lee because we both believe in individual style while emphasizing various martial arts,” he explains.

DAGPAW

Master Geoff tells everyone, students, and parents, that he firmly believes teaching karate and other martial arts is his tool to teach discipline, courtesy, and respect.

“Parents rarely come to me and say they want their kids to defend themselves. Instead, what parents want is for their kids to stay focused and to use their energy learning skills they can use in life. I teach these kids to become better citizens using the concepts of discipline, courtesy, and respect,” he points out.

Master Geoff teaches a theory called, DAGPAW, which stands for discipline, a’s and b’s, goal setting, perseverance, attitude (a good, can-do attitude) and work ethic. To Master Geoff, these are the real benefits of Karate and other martial arts.

“With MMA, the more involved you are, the better off you are. I am also a big believer in having consequences for actions,” he says.

The martial arts uniform is a useful tool to help discipline and focus the children. Mann encourages parents to purchase the uniform to help children achieve their goals. He gives students incentives through the patches on their uniform.

Master Geoff teaches his three to seven-year-old students how to kick properly and gets them to follow those guidelines as closely as possible. He admits there is no one true art form and encourages mixing to adapt to students’ needs and preferences.

“Traditional ways are great, but they might not be practical such as the high jumping kick. This particular kick was originally used to knock people off horses and is not something I use in my classes,” explains Mann.

The MMA classes at the Community Center begins with the Dragon Tots class for students, ages three to four, to learn basic martial arts skills with special emphasis on courtesy, discipline, and respect. This class is on Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 12:55 p.m.

WCRB Mixed Martial Arts are specifically for children, ages six to 13, with or without prior experience, to learn martial arts while emphasizing respect, courtesy, and discipline! This class also combines Master Geoff’s Academic Excellence program to help maximize your child’s learning. The class is on Mondays, from 5 to 5:50 p.m. or 6 to 6:50 p.m.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

Tscherch was a decorated Marine with three deployments to Iraq

Updated Dec. 14, 2017

Tscherch was assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion at Joint Base Myers-Henderson Hall in Arlington. He was working in aviation, Yvonne Carlock, a deputy communications strategy officer at Quantico, tells Potomac Local.

Original post 

QUANTICO — We’ve learned that Lt. Col. Kevin Tscherch was a decorated Marine with three deployments to Iraq.

Tscherch was found dead at Quantico Marine Corps Base early last week after police reported him missing from his Stafford County home.

NCIS is investigating Tscherch’s death and has released few details in the case.

We do know Tscherch was promoted to his rank of Lieutenant Colonel on May 1. He joined the Marine Corps in March 1991.

Tscherch was most recently assigned Headquarters and Service Battalion on base. The battalion, among other things, includes working on suicide prevention efforts, as well as working with Marines who are leaving the corps, awaiting disciplinary action, or hospitalized.

While Tscherch was assigned to this battalion, he worked in aviation.

Tscherch served three tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom from February to September 2003, August 2004 to March 2005, February to August 2006.

He also had these honors:

-National Defense Service Medal (x2)
-Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
-Presidential Unit Citation
-Iraq Campaign Medal (x2)
-Navy Unit Commendation
-Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (x2)
-Humanitarian Service Medal
-Joint Meritorious Unit Award
-Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
-Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (x3)
-Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (x3)
-Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (x3)
-Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (x3)
-Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Tscherch reported missing, found dead on Quantico

QUANTICO — A man who was reported missing over the weekend was found dead at Quantico.

Kevin Tscherch, 48, was found on the Marine Corps Base, according to a Prince William County Police Department spokesman.

Tscherch went missing at noon on Sunday from his home on Savannah Court in Stafford County. It’s unclear what led to his death.

Prince William police say the NCIS is investigating his death.

On Sunday, police said Tscherch might be in the area of Quantico Marine Corps Base. They added he might be in need of assistance, which would qualify him as a missing endangered person.

We’ll update this post with new information once we have it.

November is American Diabetes Management Month

November is American Diabetes Management month and with more than 30 million people living with diabetes in the United States, it’s no wonder. The American Diabetes Association estimates at least seven million of those people, don’t even realize they’re living the disease. Health organizations, and those working within the field, say the disease has reached epidemic portions. It’s something the Sentara Diabetes Management Program team sees every day.

“The numbers are increasing, both type 1 and 2 are on the rise,” says Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Robyn Johanson, “It is a chronic, lifelong illness that really requires the person to learn the skills to self-manage their diabetes. And with that, they need a lot of ongoing support and the necessary tools to do that successfully.” Diabetes can be confusing to understand. When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin.  Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allows you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work.

“Diabetes is a problem with your body using the sugar we need for energy, so someone with type 1 diabetes is unable to get that sugar out of their blood. People with type 2, have a bit more difficulty doing so, because of a hormone called insulin. So type 1 needs to take insulin, because their body doesn’t make any. Whereas type 2 diabetes, they tend to have trouble using that insulin. So clinically, it’s a lifelong management of controlling medicine, physical activity, healthy eating and monitoring blood sugar, as well,” explains Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Abbie Chesterson.

For more than 30 years, the team at the Sentara Diabetes Management Program has been helping patients understand and learn to live with their disease. “Our patients come to us through physician referrals. We are a group of nurses, dietitians and community health workers who follow a standard set of blood sugar targets for AmericanDiabetes Educators,” explains Team Coordinator Genevieve Thompson. (more…)


Spend the holidays in the City of Manassas

During the holidays, the Historic Downtown of the City of Manassas becomes an iconic winter wonderland full of charm and excitement. As visitors wander down Center Street, the buildings are outlined in twinkling lights, shop windows are filled with homemade Gingerbread houses and one can smell the season in the air.

This holiday season; spend some time in Downtown Manassas. December 1 at 5:15 p.m., Santa Lights Manassas. Santa will arrive by VRE train to light the City. There will be hayrides, ice-skating, holiday performances and fun for the whole family.

December 2 brings the 72 nd Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. More than 100 floats, dancers, marching bands and assorted characters will travel along Center Street, heralding in the season.

Visitors are invited to take in the holiday charm with free horse-drawn carriage rides on Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Shopping and dining in the Historic Downtown is sure to bring on the holiday cheer, especially with the new Secret Santa registry available in downtown stores. And, if there’s someone on the list who is hard to buy for, why not get them a ManassasOpoly game.

For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, visit visitmanassas.org. Hope to see you around the City of Manassas.

 

Prince William County leaders proclaim birth of Baha’ullah, founder of Baha’i Faith

WOODBRIDGE — When it came time to approve the consent agenda at last night’s meeting, the Brentsville District Supervisor stopped the show.

“What is this?” asked Jeanine Lawson.

The elected leader questioned a proclamation to praise the founder of Baha’i Faith, Baha’ullah, 200 years ago.

“I had never heard of it,” said Lawson. “I’m not questioning its existence, but I’ve not seen something like this in the past three years during my time on the Board.”

Lawson said she was concerned that the county Board of Supervisors would proclaim one religion, opening up the floodgates for proclamations to other faiths.

“With all due respect Supervisor Lawson, just because we haven’t recognized the Bellu’i Faith since you’ve been on the Board doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start now,” said Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, who brought the proclamation to the Board.

Prince William County Attorney Michelle Robl was asked to weigh in. She said the proclamation was in line with what the Board had supported in the past.

“I don’t think this is putting the board behind a certain religion,” she said.

Lawson threatened to bring forward a resolution to requesting the Board of Supervisors honor Jesus Christ if this Board approved this particular resolution.

It did, with Lawson being the only leader to vote Nay.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fall into the New Classes here at MPCC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, and 29 special events and programs. For more information visit us at ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

Quantico to graduate first female officer to complete Infantry Officer Course

From a press release: 

A female Marine officer made history today at Quantico, Va. by completing the Infantry Officer Course and earning the infantry officer military occupational specialty.

The lieutenant, who asked to keep her identity private, is the first female officer to successfully complete the course since the Marine Corps opened all military occupational specialties to women in April 2016.

“I am proud of this officer and those in her class? who have earned the infantry officer MOS,” said Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.

Infantry Officer Course is the MOS-producing school for Marine Corps infantry officers and the prerequisite course for ground intelligence officers. The grueling 13-week course trains and educates newly selected infantry and ground intelligence officers in leadership, infantry skills, and character required to serve as infantry platoon commanders in the operating forces.

One hundred and thirty-one Marines started the course in July, and 88 graduated today.

“Marines expect and rightfully deserve competent and capable leaders, and these IOC graduates met every training requirement as they prepare for the next challenge of leading infantry Marines; ultimately, in combat,” said Neller.

Her follow-on assignment is to 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Modern Day Marine begins today at Quantico

QUANTICO — Today is the first day of the annual Modern Day Marine expo at Quantico.

The three-day event is expected to draw not only U.S. Marine Corps military and civilian personnel but also members of the other U.S. services, foreign military attaches, and corporate representatives from throughout the U.S. and several other nations.

This is the 37th year for the show, and the 25th consecutive year it has been held at Quantico. 

The show features exhibitors on Lejeune Field, and panels to discuss the future of the warfighting and its impact on the Marine Corps. Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller will be on hand at 10 a.m. Wednesday to introduce the new Navy and Marine Corps operating concept: “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE).

The event will culminate on Thursday with a banquet dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Crystal City.

Quantico drinking water is discolored, but base officials say its safe to drink

Residents who live aboard Quantico Marine Corps Base are reporting a funky discoloration to their water.

For the past three days, Quantico officials say they’ve received multiple phone calls from concerned residents who say the water color is off. That has led to the additional testing of the water on base, and officials tell us they’re looking for the cause of the problem.

Recent tests, however, show the water is safe to drink, they say. The discoloration may become from a higher than normal concentration of manganese in the water, added base officials.

There’s also the fact that, in the past three months, the base switched it source of drinking water — and then switched back again.

From a press release issued today by Quantico officials:

Over the last three months, PWB switched to water from our primary source, Breckenridge Reservoir, to our secondary source at Grey Reservoir, while work was being done on the dam a Breckenridge Reservoir.

This past week construction reached a point where water could be switched back to Breckenridge. However, upon doing so water plant operators noticed high organic material in the water and switched back to Grey until the cause could be determined.

Organic material comes from decayed leaves, tree debris and vegetation. Manganese is a natural mineral commonly found in rocks and soil and thus also found in waterways. The increased levels of manganese in the treated water are believed to be causing the discoloration.

During the treatment process, the MCBQ Water Treatment Plant uses chlorine to disinfect the water and control manganese levels to make the water clear and safe for drinking. These levels are being adjusted to account for the higher concentrations of manganese.

Manganese is not a health hazard and is not regulated by the EPA as a drinking water contaminant. EPA considers manganese a secondary contaminant for aesthetic reasons only. The EPA level for manganese, for aesthetic purposes, is 0.05 mg/l. Current manganese levels tested in housing this morning are around 0.002 mg/l to 0.05 mg/l for Thomason Park and Lyman Park West. Lyman Park East tested at 0.08 mg/l. The higher concentrations in Lyman Park East are above EPA’s aesthetic level, but there is still no health concern. Although the other two housing areas are below EPA’s aesthetic level, these concentrations can still cause discoloration.

The safety of MCBQ’s water supply is our top priority. As part of its regulatory oversight, the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Drinking Water works closely with MCBQ PWB and the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs (NREA) Branch to monitor water production at our water treatment plant. The department’s most recent review of drinking water sampling data shows that the utility is meeting all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and ask for your continued patience as our crews work to resolve the discoloration issue.

For further information or to report water discoloration in base housing areas, call Lincoln Military Housing Maintenance at 1-888-578-4141.

20 years in the making, Arkendale project on track to speed up train service

QUANTICO — Nine miles of new track and improvements to Quantico’s rail station is underway and are hoped to help alleviate some of the congestion on the busy Interstate 95 corridor between Stafford and Washington, D.C.

The Arkendale to Powell’s Creek ‘third track project’ on the Potomac River is a $115 million-dollar investment of federal and state funds to benefit intercity passenger rail service in the I-95 Corridor.

Part of a larger initiative, The Atlantic Gateway, the Arkendale project includes construction of a third track between Richmond and Washington. The third track segment will be used to enhance the performance schedule for intercity passenger service, high-speed passenger rail service, and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter service while preserving freight operations by allowing trains to meet, pass or overtake other trains.

Project improvements also include structures such as under-grade and overhead railroad bridges, railroad crossings and signal systems.

Improvements to Quantico Station include conversion of a side platform to an island platform with a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, enabling all three tracks to serve the passenger station. (more…)

Little League Championship kicks off at Marine Corps museum

Parents and children gathered on Thursday night for a dinner at the National Museum of the Marine Corps to mark the opening of the Virginia Little League Championship. 

The dinner was a ticketed-only event and attracted players and their families from all over the Commonwealth — some as far as eight hours away. 

The tournament will be held this week near the museum at Fuller Heights Park. 

These photos are by Catherine Hanafin: 

 

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