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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.

3 things to do to get your business recycling plan going: ‘When you don’t recycle – you pay’

China, the biggest buyer of recyclable materials, notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it would be imposing a ban on the import of a broad range of recyclable materials including plastic, waste paper, and textiles from 2018. As the primary exporter of recyclable materials to China, the United States will be hit hardest by the ban.

 “Wishful” and “dirty” recycling reduces the value of the commodity household recycling becomes once it is collected. Many people throw more than they should into their recycling containers because they think “the hauler will sort it at the facility,” and so they don’t feel the need to be extra cautious about how they sort.

When the average person looks at their recycling bins, they don’t see a $117 billion industry or make the connection that the simple act of sorting plastic, cardboard, paper and cans supports over 500,000 jobs in the U.S., which in turn sustains many other local businesses and services that communities rely on.

In a recent report published by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, recycling in the City of Manassas has created 347 jobs and provides an estimated $80 million to our local economy.

The economic impact does not end there. The disposal cost for trash is $60 per ton.

By diverting cardboard, hard plastics and paper from the waste stream, businesses can reduce their waste disposal costs while supporting the local economy. The City of Manassas has public cardboard disposal dumpsters located behind Harris Pavilion, behind Taps and Apps and at Public Works – so you can dispose of your recyclables for free!

If you don’t believe there is a value to recycling, think again. When you don’t recycle – you pay.

Start your business recycling by doing three simple things:

  • Pick one recyclable (cardboard, paper, hard plastic, cans)
  • Set your recycling container in an easy to find location
  • Let your customers and staff know that you recycle

The City of Manassas is working in partnership with our contractors and other regional jurisdictions to develop policies and outreach information that clearly explains recycling requirements and improves public understanding of the economic and environmental consequences of recycling contamination.

Call Monica Boehringer on (703) 257-8256  or send an email to: mboehringer@manassasva.gov for more information and assistance with your business recycling needs.



1 bedroom condo for rent in Occoquan

I have a 1 bedroom condo for rent. $1100 per month. Mention this post on Potomac Local to get all utilities included. It’s located in Occoquan Ridge just outside of Occoquan. Close to VRE, I95 & 123 perfect for a young professional. Absolutely no smoking. It’s on the bottom floor of a 4 level building so it has a separate entrance, a small patio and “yard” that is away from all the others. Please email val6466[at]gmail.com if you’re interested.



That baby born 24 years ago — She’s now working alongside the Sentara doctor who delivered her

  • SNVMC
  • Address: 2300 Opitz Blvd, Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • Phone: 703-523-1000

Dr. Peter Bryce, a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist (OB/GYN) has delivered thousands of babies in his nearly 40-year career.

“I have been delivering about 100 babies a year on average,” he explains.

If you add that up, that’s approximately four thousand bundles of joy delivered in private practice and at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

“I have enjoyed every moment of these short years,” Dr. Bryce says smiling.

His patients have gone on to do numerous things, “Of these many babies, I have in turn, delivered many babies of these babies!” he explains.

Dr. Bryce had a full circle moment of a different sort, when a baby he delivered 24 years ago, introduced herself to him as one of his newest co-workers.

Melissa Batitto, BSN, RN, joined the team in June 2017 as one of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s newest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses. During that time, she had met Dr. Bryce, not knowing their connection.

“I actually met Dr. Bryce during my orientation,” Batitto recalls, “I’ve had plenty of conversations with him. I would see him in the hall or when he was preparing for a C-section.”

Recently, Battito was talking with her mother. While the young nurse knew she was born at the hospital in 1993, that conversation revealed some new details.

“My mom inquired if Dr. Bryce still worked here and then she told me, he delivered me!”

During Battito’s next shift, she shared with a co-worker what she had learned. From there, they decided to seek out Dr. Bryce and disclose the unique connection, “His reaction was priceless! It’s not everyday people get to meet the doctor that delivered them!”

Team members were on hand for the big reveal and couldn’t let the opportunity pass without capturing it digitally.

It’s a moment they won’t soon forget. And for Batitto, it’s a unique way to start her career, “Here I’m hired at the hospital where I was born and the doctor that delivered me happens to still be working here. It was an awesome experience!.”

To learn more about the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and OB/GYN services near you, call 1-800-SENTARA or go to sentara.com.



It’s time for the Souper Bowl!

First Friday is back and it is time for the 4th Annual Souper Bowl!

On Friday, February 2, from 6 to 9p.m., merchants in Historic Downtown Manassas will be hosting restaurants and serving up soup. This year, 18 locations will feature soups, ranging from chili to gumbo and more.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at any participating merchant location and will entitle attendees to unlimited soup samplings. Once you have sampled the wide assortment of soup, you’ll be asked to vote for your favorite to crown the winning restaurant “Souper Bowl Champion”. Last year, the reigning champion, Mariachi’s, took home the crown yet again with their Caldo Tialpeno Soup. Coming in a close second was C.J. Finz’ delicious She Crab soup.

February kicks off the first First Friday of 2018. Souper Bowl is a great kick off for the year and gets the community excited about what is to come for future First Fridays. Street closures for First Friday will begin in April and run through October to allow pedestrian traffic in the streets.

The event is a great way for people to get a little sample of what each restaurant has to offer. A list of participating merchants and restaurants for Souper Bowl can be found at www.visitmanassas.org. This event will be held rain or shine. While on your tasting tour, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a $25 membership with HMI! Memberships entitle cardholders to a discount at your favorite downtown restaurant and shops!

If you are looking for something to do on a First Friday, or any other day of the week, be sure to check out Historic Downtown Manassas – you just may find your new favorite restaurant and shops!

 



Free webinar to help people living with Alzheimer’s identify potential signs, triggers of wandering

Wandering is a significant issue for people living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their loved ones. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, three of five people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of the individuals who wander will suffer serious injury or death.

The Home Instead Senior Care network is extending its support to this important area of Alzheimer’s education through a web service at MissingSeniorNetwork.com that is designated to help family caregivers locate individuals with dementia who become lost. This is an important and potentially lifesaving area of Alzheimer’s support.

Professionals in the aging field are encouraged to help educate families about tapping into resources such as this web service to help ensure their loved ones remain safe.

To get the facts about the risks of wandering and what families need to know, be sure to register for this month’s webinar.

Participants in this webinar will be able to:

Identify some of the potential signs and triggers of wandering
Understand why individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias might wander
Identify ways to prepare the home to prevent wandering
Learn what to do if a person with Alzheimer’s goes missing
February 7, 2018

10:00 AM (PT) / 11:00 AM (MT) / 12:00 PM (CT) / 1:00 PM (ET)

These CEUs are offered in cooperation with the American Society on Aging. For more information and to complete the required pre-registration, go to CaregiverStress.com/ProfessionalEducation

The Home Instead Senior Care Network

More than 65,000 Home Instead CAREGiversSM worldwide are trained to provide services to seniors and their families. These services include support for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and providing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.

‘Hey teens – great volunteer job for Spring Break with I CAN Bike’

Good Morning Prince William – Mark your calendars for Saturday February 10th for our Volunteer Recruitment Fair at Manassas Mall from 11am-2pm. We have over 25 local agencies attending that can inform you of their volunteer opportunities to make the best use of your time, talent and passion. We’ll be at the Macy’s Court so come on by!

· CASA Children’s Intervention Services is looking for volunteer advocates to represent a child suffering from abuse or neglect right here in our community. This is a very special volunteer job! Come to their next volunteer information session on Wednesday February 28th from 6-7pm at the offices of Imagine in Old Town Manassas- 9415 West Street to learn about this job and the extensive training afforded to you. Please call Suzanne at (703) 330-8145 or via email:smitchell@casacis.org to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity is gearing up for their next project in Gainesville at the home of a veteran starting in 2 weeks. This project involves repairs to wall, insulation, plumbing lines and fixtures, floors, trim, windows and doors so this gentleman doesn’t face costly zoning violations. He stood up for and now it’s time for us to help him. Please visit their website to learn more and sign up to volunteer at: habitatpwc.org

· SERVE in Manassas needs Spanish Speakers! To help with client intakes for food assistance. Duties include review and update client files, help families with registration forms for assistance, and other admin duties. Come help at any of the following shifts: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 9-11:30am or 12:30-3:30pm, Wednesdays 9am-12 noon or 4-7pm and Fridays 9-11:30am. Please call Navara at (571) 748-2536 or via email at:ncannon@nvfs.org to learn more

· Hey teens – great volunteer job for Spring Break with I CAN Bike- volunteers 15 years old + are needed to help with their camp March 26-30th at Colgan Senior High School. Duties include providing physical, emotional and motivational support to kids with Autism learning to ride a bike. Please call Jennifer or Yukiko at (571) 989-3618 or via email at: pwcicanbike@gmail.com

· Macy’s Clothing Closet needs your help to organize donated clothing for the residents of both the SERVE Shelter in Manassas and the Hilda Barg Shelter in Woodbridge. It’s a great way for you to give a little piece of mind to shelter residents who arrive with literally the shirt on their back. Call Julie at (571) 748-2674 or visit their website at: nvfs.org to learn more.

· The Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Dale City wants to pack 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on March 10th. Super fun, family friendly event to help those less fortunate. You can choose either morning or afternoon shift. Please visit: www.whatsupwoodbridge.com for the link to register.

· Project Mend-A-House is now registering participants for their Live Well Workshops. This chronic disease self-management program meets at the Manassas Senior Center on Thursday mornings. Please call Martha at (571) 264-8559 to learn more.

· The Young Center is looking for adult volunteers to be child advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children. The next training is March 3rd and 4th to give you all the tools needed for the child’s immigration process and their life in general. Please email: tkitchen@theyoungcenter.org to learn more.

· First Tee of Prince William County promises spring is right around the corner so volunteers are needed to teach kids the fundamentals of a good golf swing. Come join the fun of sharing the game of golf with kids while also sharing dealing with life’s issues. Please call Alan at (703) 792-8064 to learn more.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February and March. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 19 (President’s Day) dinner, March 3rd dinner, March 4th brunch, March 11, 17, 25 and 31 all need dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Prince William County Arts Council promotes all art in the Greater Prince William County Area

The arts are alive in Prince William County! Yes, Prince William County has a rich tradition of promoting the arts. Although there are many options for your time, the culture and tradition of the arts are a sure bet in entertaining and providing many hours of enjoyment for you, your family, and friends.

So where can you find a complete list of art and art-related programs in Prince William County?  If you are like most people, when you have a question like the one posed, you immediately click onto Google or simply ask Siri.

Google “art in Prince William County” and the first entry that comes up is the Prince William Arts Council. What exactly does this council do, and how do they promote art in Prince William County?

Here is the short answer: The Prince William County Arts Council (PWCAC) is a membership organization serving the Greater Prince William Area, including Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. The vision of the Prince William County Arts Council is to be the go-to resource for the local arts.

The Arts Council provides year-round programming in performance and cultural arts, representing both professional and amateur endeavors. The council provides networking, development, and marketing opportunities for members. Membership includes non-profit and for-profit arts organizations, individual artists, civic groups, and businesses that support the arts in Prince William County.

The Prince William County Arts Council is a division of the Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation.  Terraya Lewis is the Arts Recreation Specialist for Parks and Recreation. She acts as the liaison between the advisory group of volunteers and members representing the Arts Council and Parks and Recreation.  

“My role is to support the mission of both entities and to guide the Prince William County Arts Council through the necessary procedures so it can function as a County-funded program.  I am personally not a member; however, I am beyond inspired by the vibrant, lively, blending of music, dance, literature, visual design, and theatre right here in Prince William County,” Lewis explains.

Amelia May, Chair of the PWCAC Board of Directors shares her love of the arts and her expertise with members and fellow board members at the monthly meetings. “This council is just like the arts here in Prince William County: we are both thriving. My fellow board members are volunteers, like me, and we are thrilled to celebrate the arts in our community,” May shares.

In addition, the Prince William County Arts Council also hosts two events every year:

Arts Alive!

The Kathleen K. Seefeldt Awards for Arts Excellence

Every fall, the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts is the setting for the Arts Alive! This annual festival features various art forms from chorale and opera singers, to actors and Poets Laureate, who share their talents, and promote art throughout all areas of the County. There is literally something for everyone.  Best of all, admission is free and includes hands-on art-related activities for kids of all ages!

Established to recognize artists, arts organizations, volunteers, educators, and businesses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park, the Kathleen K. Seefeldt Awards for Arts Excellence provide prestigious recognition on behalf of Seefeldt’s legacy of public service and support for the cultural arts. Community supporters and municipal officials present winners of each category including dance, theater, music, literary, and visual arts organizations.

Check out the PWCAC website at pwcartscouncil.org and see why the Prince William County Arts Council is the resource for the local arts.



Once a Radio City Rockette, no slowing for this soon-to-be 93-year-old 

  • SNVMC
  • Address: 2300 Opitz Blvd, Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • Phone: 703-523-1000

Lenore Beetar isn’t like most 92-year-olds.

Her life has always been about movement, grace and energy, qualities vital to a dancer. For four years, from 1944 to 1948, Beetar was a Radio City Rockette.

But, over the summer, her daughter, Lenore Reeves, noticed her once lively mother was suddenly acting differently.

“I just knew something was wrong because she wasn’t being herself. I kept saying to her, ‘You’re so out of breath. You don’t have any energy. There’s something wrong here.”

That’s when she took her mother to see a doctor, who put her on a heart monitor. The monitor showed Beetar’s heartbeat was dropping, explaining some of her recent symptoms. Beetar was referred to Electrophysiologist, Dr. Aysha Arshad.

Electrophysiology is a subspecialty within cardiology where doctors train in rhythm disorders and how to fix them. Often these disorders are corrected with an implant device, most commonly known as a pacemaker.

“Pacemaker is a device that can help patients with a low heart rate. It can also help in patients with alternating slow and fast heart rates where medicines may be needed, which can aggravate the slow heart rhythm. So, a pacemaker would stabilize a heart rhythm in that circumstance,” explains Dr. Arshad.

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Dr. Arshad explained to the family the benefits of a pacemaker. The workings of the device weren’t foreign to them since a close relative had one, but Reeves’ worried her mother’s memory issues could cause problems with recovery. That’s when they started exploring the Micra Pacemaker, the world’s smallest pacemaker, as an option.

It’s something many of Dr. Arshad’s patients are pursuing.

“It’s a miniaturized device containing revolutionary new technology. It’s delivered directly into the heart and cosmetically appealing since there’s no scar. The device itself is as small as a vitamin pill.”

For Lenore Beetar and her family, the recovery time and limited restrictions were key. Beetar spent one night in the hospital before being released. Her daughter says the results were instantly noticeable.

“She had the energy she hadn’t had in three months, it was unbelievable! It made an immediate difference.”

As for the soon-to-be 93-year-old, she barely knows the device is there. “I feel fine. I don’t even think about it! If you asked me about it, I’d say, ‘Oh, I think I have it,’” she shares chuckling.

Reeves recommends the device to everyone, sharing her mother has had little discomfort. Beetar agrees, “I didn’t feel anything!”

“There was no pain, no tenderness. They went in through the groin, it was a couple of stitches and some light bruising. It was very simple from a patient standpoint,” adds Reeves.

It’s been just three months, but already Beetar is back to her vivacious self. And, on a recent shopping trip, she was able to keep searching for deals, just like the old days.

“The procedure was a no-brainer for us,” says Reeves, “It gave my mom her quality of life back.”

Dr. Arshad reminds women their heart disease and heart attack symptoms may be different than men’s. While men are known to have crushing chest pains, women may have jaw or neck pain. They may be sweaty, or like Beetar, have a difference in exercise capacity.

If you’re experiencing chest pains, seek immediate medical attention. To find an Electrophysiologist or Cardiologist who’s right for you, contact 1-800-SENTARA or find a provider at sentara.com.


History Lecture Series offered again this year at the Old Manassas Courthouse

The Prince William County Historic Preservation is once again offering our Annual History Lecture Series at the Old Manassas Courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue, in Manassas on the 4th Thursday of each month beginning in January through April.  The lectures will be held in the upstairs ballroom at 7:00 p.m. and are free to the public.  Donations will be thankfully accepted.

The first lecture of this season will be on Thursday, January 25th and will use one of Virginias most colorful Civil War heroes John S. Mosby and his command as the topic In 1863, John S. Mosby formed a command of Partisan Rangers with the blessing of Generals R.E. Lee & J.E.B. Stuart.  Author and speaker Eric W. Buckland will lead us as we explore some of these men who attended Virginia Military Institute.  Lt. Col. Buckland has offered to research men of the command who hailed from Prince William County as well.  Copies of Buckland’s book “Mosby’s Keydet Rangers” will be available for purchase.

Because 2018 puts us squarely in the 100th  Anniversary of the World War I, two of the lectures will focus on contributions made at this time. On February 22 the Historic Preservation Division will host Anna E. Keifer for Sowing the Seeds of Victory: The Women’s Land Army of America in Virginia and Washington D.C.

In 1917, the Women’s Land Army of America (WLAA) began recruiting the first of more than 20,000 women who would work the land while America’s farmers were called up to serve in the Great War.  The girls and women of the WLAA, also known as the Farmettes, shocked American society as they were paid equally with male farm laborers, worked eight hour days and wore pants.  Eventually, Farmettes would work on family farms and orchards in 25 states including Virginia.

On March 22nd We will host The United States Marine Corps Historical Company for US Marines in the Great War.  In 1917, US General John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing ordered the US Marine Expeditionary Force and the US Army to serve as one force in France.  The Army and Marines were to look the same and fight together. However the Marines did everything possible to keep their identity by putting USMC buttons on their green army uniforms and using USMC insignia as well.  The US Marines performed above and beyond expectations. They were such a force that the Germans gave them the nickname “Teufelshunde” – Devil Dogs at the Battle of Belleau Woods in June 1918.

The final lecture of the 2018 season will be held on Thursday, April 26th .  Robert Szabo will present The History of Wet Plate Photography.  During the antebellum years and just prior to the American Civil War, a new technology known as collodion photography was coming into use and would forever change the way citizens saw their world.  These photographs printed on metal were extremely detailed and rivals any type of picture of today.  Robert Szabo, a wet plate Collodion Photographer has been working to keep this art alive, will be joining us and presenting on the history of this craft

The inclement weather policy is if Prince William County Public Schools are closed, or school activities are cancelled the lecture will be postponed as well.  Updates will be posted on the Prince William County Historic Preservation Foundation Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pwhistoric).  For additional information about the lectures contact David M. Born, Historic Programs Coordinator at 703-792-5618, or at dborn@pwcgov.org .       

It’s not looking good for Prince William County when it comes to landing Amazon HQ2. But it’s not all bad, either.

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The Young Center is looking for adult volunteers to be child advocates for immigrant children

Good Morning Prince William – Macy’s Clothing Closet needs your help to organize donated clothing for the residents of both the SERVE Shelter in Manassas and the Hilda Barg Shelter in Woodbridge. It’s a great way for you to give a little piece of mind to shelter residents who arrive with literally the shirt on their back. Call Julie at (571) 748-2674 or visit their website at:nvfs.org to learn more.
· The Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Dale City wants to pack 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on March 10th. Super fun, family friendly event to help those less fortunate. You can choose either morning or afternoon shift. Please visit: www.whatsupwoodbridge.com for the link to register.

· K9 Serving Vets is looking for a volunteer photographer at their events. Please email cclark@k9sservingvets.org to learn more.

· Project Mend-A-House is now registering participants for their Live Well Workshops. This chronic disease self-management program meets at the Manassas Senior Center on Thursday mornings. Please call Martha at (571) 264-8559 to learn more.

· Prince William Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta invite you to the celebration of the contributions Africa-Americans make to the arts on Saturday February 3rd, 6-8pm at the Candy Factory in Manassas. Come see the wonderful exhibition of photography, painting and mixed media.

· The Young Center is looking for adult volunteers to be child advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children. The next training is March 3rd to give you all the tools needed for the child’s immigration process and their life in general. Please email: tkitchen@theyoungcenter.org to learn more.

· First Tee of Prince William County promises spring is right around the corner so volunteers are needed to teach kids the fundamentals of a good golf swing. Come join the fun of sharing the game of golf with kids while also sharing dealing with life’s issues. Please call Alan at (703) 792-8064 to learn more.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· Serve Our Willing Warriors will be hosting “A Night in Monte Carlo” February 3, 6:30pm-10:30pm at the Piedmont Club. Volunteers are needed to spread the word about the event, collect auction items, help with sponsorships and assist with various tasks the day of the event. Kimberly at kimberly.gaytan@willingwarriors.org is happy to provide more information on this great fundraiser. The agency also has numerous other volunteer opportunities available. It’s a great way to say Thank You to our veterans for their sacrifices, and also help this wonderful organization spread the word on how they support veterans. Please email volunteer@willingwarriors.org or visit willingwarriors.org for more information.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 11 Dinner and February 19 (President’s Day) Brunch and Dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Prince William Supervisors explore pay raises, equalizing their office budgets

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A ribbon was cut at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center unveiling new rooms, upgrades at its emergency department

WOODBRIDGE — Today, Wednesday, January 17th, 2018, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center officially unveiled a $2.6 million renovation of its Emergency Department.

Surrounded by doctors, nurses, members of the team and representatives from Prince William County’s EMS, hospital President Kathie Johnson helped cut the ribbon and usher in this new generation of emergency care at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. The redesign and renovation of the 21,000-square-foot space features a revamp of patient rooms and storage areas, creating a clean, sleek, inviting space supporting streamlined services and exemplary patient care.

Lobby renovations will expedite the registration and triage process and allow our clinical staff to assess the severity of a patient’s ailments. Inside the Emergency Department doors, the open floor plan allows our nurses, doctors and staff to more easily see, monitor and respond to our patients.  

The renovation and remodel of the Emergency Department not only signals a fresh look, but also the launch and redesign of Emergency Care Services at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center: Focused Care and Acute Care. Focused Care for patients needing minor care with minimal, additional testing. Acute Care for patients requiring more advanced medical attention and diagnostic testing. We have four fully equipped critical care specialty rooms ready to handle the most acute emergencies. Designating the most appropriate care track for our patients, enhances the patient experience and supports patient care.  

In addition to the added value of this redesign inside the Emergency Department, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is proud to offer Emergency Department valet services. This service is designed to meet the needs of our patients and their families at no charge from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.. These services are just one more way we’re working to improve health every day and to become the provider of choice for our Prince William County Community.


‘Acting with an air of arrogance is not the FreshySites way’

“Be Ego Free” – the second part of the FreshySites Ethos.

This mantra flows seamlessly from the first component of our Ethos Serve the Customer.

As we said in our previous post, without the members of our client family, we wouldn’t be here. We always strive to impress upon our clients that they’re our top priority through making customer service and support best practices an integral part of the FS process.

Being ego-free is another way we effectively serve each and every one of our customers.

Whenever we’re collaborating with one another, and with clients, each one of us makes a concerted effort to treat whoever we’re working with the utmost respect and kindness, always making them feel comfortable and valued.

Acting with an air of arrogance is not the FreshySites way.

Everyone on our team, as well as each one of our clients, has something to offer. We value the differences in our team members’ skills and abilities because it makes us stronger as a unit and better able to serve our various clients’ different needs.

We’re confident in our individual team member’s talents and abilities, as well as our team’s collective skills and capabilities.

However, we recognize that we’re not perfect. Though we may be experts in certain fields, there is always more to learn – from each other and from our clients.

Being ego-free is an essential part of that, as well as ensuring the business-to-client relationship is both respected and trusted.

You couldn’t trust us to take your business or organization’s message and effectively communicate it to the public through a beautiful website if you felt like we didn’t listen to your input because we thought ours was better.

At FresySites, you’ll never feel like that. Once you’re a member of the FS client family, you and your input will always be valued first and foremost.

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations, dedicated to serving our clients through being ego-free.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!”

Winter weather delays and closings information for Jan. 17, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Fredericksburg City Public Schools, Spotsylvania County Public Schools, King George County Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, King George County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Fredericksburg City, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 


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

The annual Souper Bowl Bingo event. You’ll want to be there.

Good Morning Prince William – The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is having their Annual Souper Bowl Bingo event on Saturday January 20th from 3-5pm at Alvey Elementary School. Come join all the fun by either purchasing your bingo card for $1 or bring a can of soup, vegetables, beans and the like. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Please email Kim with any questions at: mail@networkforgood.com.

· Northern Virginia Family Services needs An American Sign Language volunteer to help with their Healthy Families program. Please call Navara at (571) 748-2536 to learn more.

· ACTS in Dumfries needs volunteers to help in the main office to answer phones and man the front desk. This is a fun, busy office. Please fill out a volunteer application on their website: actspwc.org

· First Tee of Prince William County promises spring is right around the corner so volunteers are needed to teach kids the fundamentals of a good golf swing. Come join the fun of sharing the game of golf with kids while also sharing dealing with life’s issues. Please call Alan at (703) 792-8064 to learn more.

· Please mark your calendars for Saturday, January 20 when the Annual Joe 15 Blood Drive will be held, 9am to 2pm, at Manassas Church of the Brethren. Not only does this provide life-giving blood for the community, this event also honors the memory of Joseph “Joe” Page, who would have turned 30 this year. Please contact Debbie at debd509@aol.com to schedule an appointment. You can also visit redcrossblood.org/make-donation and enter The Joe 15 Team in the Sponsor Code box.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· The busy team at the SERVE Shelter are looking for volunteers age 18 and up to help with the annual Point in Time Count on January 25, 6:30am-12Noon. This survey provides an annual count of the nation’s unsheltered homeless population, and will focus on Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The survey will be held, rain, snow or shine. Training prior to the survey will be provided. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to get involved with this important project.

· Serve Our Willing Warriors will be hosting “A Night in Monte Carlo” February 3, 6:30pm-10:30pm at the Piedmont Club. Volunteers are needed to spread the word about the event, collect auction items, help with sponsorships and assist with various tasks the day of the event. Kimberly at kimberly.gaytan@willingwarriors.org is happy to provide more information on this great fundraiser. The agency also has numerous other volunteer opportunities available. It’s a great way to say Thank You to our veterans for their sacrifices, and also help this wonderful organization spread the word on how they support veterans. Please email volunteer@willingwarriors.org or visit willingwarriors.org for more information.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 3 Dinner, February 4 Brunch, February 11 Dinner and February 19 (President’s Day) Brunch and Dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Virginia’s governor wants money ‘off the top’ for Metro. But our ‘non-Metro’ jurisdictions like Prince William and Manassas say not so fast.

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