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We need a freelance community reporter

We’re seeking a freelance reporter who has a passion for community and who isn’t afraid to pick up the phone, use email, or dig on the web to get details.

Our ideal writer will be familiar with the Prince William County, Virginia region to include the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

They will be able to write about local government, schools, business, events and features.

Much if not all of the writing can be completed while working from home.

Experience gained while writing for a community news publication is preferred but not required.

Interested?

Send your resume, links to three of your best articles, and contact info to Uriah Kiser.

 

Potomac Local Parent of the Month: Carrie

Potomac Local Parents is a monthly column that looks at life through the eyes of real parents. This month, we interview Carrie.

What time you do wake up?

5:45am

What are your children’s names and ages?

Four boys: Quentin 14, Christian 13, Xavier 10 and Brandon 7.

What’s the most difficult part about your morning routine?

Getting the kids out the door for school! It’s hardest to get the kids up in the morning (multiple attempts), share the bathroom (they lock their brothers out) and get them to bus stops on time. They have three separate bus stop times. Our mornings are chaos!

What is your morning beauty or grooming routine?

Shower. Luckily, I work from home.

Are you a coffee or tea person?

Coffee. If I’m lucky I can make a cup of coffee before I start work.  

What do you do once the kids are in school?

I have run a small daycare for the last sixteen years. I watch four kids, all two and three-year-olds.I have my first dropoff for childcare right after my oldest two leave. By the time my third and fourth go to school, I have all my daycare kids here.

What is the biggest challenge of trying to get work done – any work – with your schedule and responsibilities?

Lots! Juggling projects and activities for all the children. Having a 12-hour workday. All four of my sons play travel sports, too.

What do you wear during the work week?

Scrubs

What’s the craziest thing that happened to you so far this week?

I had a much needed, impromptu day off on Monday. I didn’t take off, but I had two kids on vacation for spring break, and the other two called out. It’s very rare! I went to the gym with my oldest two sons and took them out to lunch for some quality time.

Do you have pets?

Yes – two dogs, two cats and a rabbit, all rescues.

How do you get through the hard times?

Staying busy, organizing and lots of caffeine!

What’s your favorite color?

Lavender

What kind of car do you drive?

Mom minivan – Town and Country, and I love it!

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Lion, because he’s king of the jungle.   

 



Sentara Heart & Vascular Center introduces new minimally invasive technique for atrial fibrillation

WOODBRIDGE — On Monday, April 2, 2018, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center ushered in a new level of care with the introduction of left-sided pulmonary vein ablation. The Sentara Heart & Vascular Team, led by Dr. Aysha Arshad, Medical Director of Electrophysiology, performed the first of its kind procedure for the hospital.

“This is wonderful for our community,” says Dr. Arshad. “This means the beginning of more complex procedures in the Electrophysiology Lab here at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, which opens up these vital services to members of our community. They won’t have to travel long distances for care because our highly experienced staff and physicians are the same that are working in all the top hospital centers in the area.”

Left-side pulmonary vein ablation or pulmonary vein isolation is used to treat Atrial Fibrillation, also known as AFib. AFib is a type of heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat that an estimated seven million Americans live with every day.

In atrial fibrillation, disorganized electrical signals originate in the heart’s upper chambers, or atria, causing the rhythm to be irregular. Because the contractions are not coordinated as in a normal heartbeat, the heart does not pump blood effectively to the rest of the body causing patients to experience a racing or quivering heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath and often feel tired.

People with AFib have a five times greater risk for stroke. 

After living with the condition for three-years, Woodbridge resident Claudia Warszawski, was looking for relief.

“I’m a very active 67-year-old. I walk three days a week at the mall and I just couldn’t keep up my pace. I’d have to stop and it was irritating,” said Warszawski.

After consulting with the grandmother of five and reviewing her history, Dr. Arshad shared she was a perfect candidate for the procedure. 

As the Electrophysiology program at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center has grown, so have the services. Left-sided ablation is the latest advancement of the program. In ablation, areas of tissue in the heart that cause arrhythmias are destroyed. 

“In left-sided procedures, where AFib comes from, it involves tackling circuits on the left side of the heart. There’s no natural passage to the left side of the heart, so we enter through a vein in the leg and travel to the chest where we make a tiny puncture in the interatrial septum with a small needle and pass a catheter through that tiny hole to the left side of the heart. From there we create a 3D map of the heart and get to the circuits that cause AFib,” explains Dr. Arshad.

After the procedure is completed and the catheter removed, the tiny hole heals on its own over the next four weeks. A chip, implanted in the chest at the time of the procedure, allows real-time monitoring of the patient.

“It’s the whole advent of real-time telemedicine,” explains Dr. Arshad, “The device will track her rhythm all day and at night transcribe it into a report, which will be emailed to me that evening. The device downloads all that data so I’ll know how she’s going to do long-term.”

As for Warszawski, days after her procedure she’s already feeling better, “This gives me a new lease to live the life I want before I was tired and always had heart palpitations and flutters. Now, I can’t even feel my heart beating, and that’s a good thing!”

If you’re experiencing a racing, fluttering, pounding or irregular heartbeat, don’t ignore those symptoms, find a healthcare provider at 1-800-SENTARA or Sentara.com to schedule your exam.   

Last call for entries ‘Help a Horse’ Day

From a press release: 

The Prince William County Animal Shelter’s annual “Help a Horse” Day is Sunday, April 29. To help observe this important day, the Animal Shelter is sponsoring an art contest for middle school students who live in Prince William County. This is the last call for entries!

The theme is “Horse Feathers,” and all artwork must include an equine animal and be the original work of the exhibitor. Computer-generated artwork is not accepted.

Entries are limited to 2- or 3-dimensional artwork. Colored pencil, ink, and crayon are the suggested materials. The minimum size of the artwork is 5”x7” – and it can be no larger than 11”x14”. Artwork must be framed and ready to hang. Each piece must have the exhibitor’s name, address and phone number secured on the back.

Please bring submissions with completed registration forms to the Prince William County Animal Shelter during normal operating hours. The Shelter’s address is 14807 Bristow Road, Manassas (20112). Entries will be accepted April 17-22. The artwork will be on display at the Shelter from Tuesday, April 24, through Sunday, April 29, and will be judged prior to the event, which starts at noon.

Ribbons will be presented for “champion” and “popular vote,” as well as first place through sixth place. Winning artwork will be displayed at the McCoart County Government Building from May 25, 2018, until June 1, 2018.

Contestants may pick up their artwork on April 29, between 4 and 5 p.m. All artwork, other than the winning entries, MUST be picked up by 5 p.m. Winning entries may be picked up from the Animal Shelter after June 6, 2018.

To see the 2018 contest guidelines, including the registration form, please visit the Animal Shelter website at www.pwcgov.org/animalshelter.

Local tourism has a new cadence: Steins, Vines, and Moonshine

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Somebody ‘smack yo mamma’ because we’re on the hunt for the area’s best burger

We’re on a quest to find the best burger in the Potomac Local coverage area, which includes Prince William and Stafford counties, as well as the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Tell us your favorite burger joint in the comments and I’ll check it out.

To get started on this journey, my wife Jocelyn and I met our friends Rod and Jenn from One Degree Capital at Mason Dixon Cafe in Stafford on a Thursday afternoon. Mason Dixon is one of my favorites because it’s a diner in the heart of Stafford County that doesn’t have a diner feel.

The colors on the wall are a bright cheery orange. The lunch counter and full bar are always packed every time I come in there. Luckily, on this visit (Rod and Jenn’s first at Mason Dixon) we didn’t have to wait for a table.

When it comes to drinks, the beer list is extensive. Jocelyn and I drank blonde ales from 6 Bears and a Goat Brewery in Stafford, while Rod ordered a beer that looked and tasted like a caramel macchiato.

Then it came time for business: Burger time.

The “smack yo momma burger”

Jocelyn ordered what has to be my favorite-named burger on Mason-Dixon’s menu — the “smack yo mamma burger” topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo, and, wait for it, grilled macaroni and cheese.

It’s got enough mac to smack you momma, I guess.

Jocelyn, who is a big fan of mac and cheese loved it.

I ordered the blackened blue burger with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and bleu cheese dressing. Each savory bite of the burger melted in my mouth. And the barbecue chips on the side went nicely with the burger.

Jenn ordered a less adventurous sandwich — a plain cheeseburger with no toppings. Her favorite part of the meal was the side dish: the sweet potato tots.

Those sweet potato tots

Rod, the most adventurous of all, told our server to have the chef surprise him with the best burger on the menu. Out came the farmhouse burger topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and one egg sunny side up.

While he wasn’t a fan of the egg (he removed it to a small place and used his lettuce to cover it up as if it was never there) he did enjoy scarfing down the rest of the sandwich.

Mason-Dixon took a chance when it decided to expand from its first location on Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg and open a second in Stafford, and so far it seems the move has paid off.

Bleu cheese heaven

The restaurant has quickly become a gathering place for good food and good friends and has lived up to its motto: Where the locals really eat.

Mason-Dixon Stafford is located at 11 Hope Road just off Route 1, across from the courthouse. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

They’re open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In 1993 all I wanted was a Macintosh. It helped me build skills for the work I do today.

I want to thank Experimac Manassas for sponsoring this series of posts and allowing a guy to reflect on using his first Macintosh computer as a child, and to write about using my new-to-me Mac, my first in more than 20 years. See them for all your Mac, iPhone and computer needs.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I slowly walked down the stairs and saw the glow of Christmas lights on the large box in the corner.

When I saw the Apple logo, I knew this would be the Christmas present I had hoped for.

Some boys my age wanted BB guns and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles playlets. But in 1993 all I wanted was a home computer. And it had to be a Macintosh.

And that year, I was blessed to receive one.

My parents decided that the Kiser’s were going to join the information age. And because they didn’t work at jobs that required heavy computer use, their 11-year-old son was going to take them there and show them how to use a home computer.

I asked for a Mac because Apple products were all I knew. I remember when they used a cart to roll in the first Apple computer to my elementary school classroom, an Apple IIe. I played Number Munchers, and later Oregon Trail on an Apple IIgs machine. These were Apple Computers, not Macs.

I remember the IIe had a five-inch floppy disk drive, and so did the IIgs, but it also had a desktop screen and a mouse, something its Macintosh cousins made famous.

When I got to Beville Middle School in Dale City, my favorite classrooms were computer labs each stocked with Macintosh computers.

There I learned how to use word processing programs — I didn’t know at the time I’d be using those programs every day for the rest of my life for work — and drawing programs.

In the days before the broad adoption of the internet, I learned about modems and how to use them to dial up and talk to the school’s weather station. That was infinitely cooler than turning on the TV and waiting for the weather report.

I would tell my parents about how much I was learning about using these machines, and I would try to convince them how a Macintosh and all of the fun CD-ROMs with encyclopedias and other educational tools that came with the device would help me with my school work.

In those days, Apple made the computer for education, and I got one. I was thrilled.

I tore into the box to find a brand new Macintosh Performa 550. It was a white shiny new with a Sony Trinitron screen was beautiful to look at even when it wasn’t turned on.

It’s distinctive Apple mouse and keyboard plugged right in and were easy to use. They were just like the ones at school.

I took the machine and placed it on the desk in my room, where it would sit through my high school years.

It came with a book of CD-ROMs, and when I placed each disc into the pop-out tray, a video encyclopedia would pop up. I learned about animals and watched and listened to videos President Kennedy’s speeches. The video quality was grainy, but hey, it was cool.

It was also the first time I used CDs. Later, I saved up my allowance and bought music CDs and the Mac was my first stereo.

I spent hours creating drawings on ClarisWorks, and writing journal entries. I made a list of all of my friends’ phone numbers and called it PAL — the personal address list.

The computer had Mario Teaches Typing, as well as a game called Spectre where you drove a tank in virtual reality world in a game of capture the flag and shoot-em-up battle.

I never used this Mac to go online on a service like America Online or Prodigy. It was the days before the web browser, but it did everything I needed it to do and more.

Considering what computers cost back then my parents probably paid a fortune for the thing. Heck, new Macs are expensive today. 

But for a child like me who was — and still is — a bit of a nerd, it was the best Christmas present I ever received.

Until I got my Apple ink-jet printer, which changed everything again.

Uriah Kiser is the founder and publisher of Potomac Local.



Eggs are not just for Easter

  • Dizzy Pig Barbecue Company
  • Address: 11301 Braden Drive Manassas, Va. 20109
  • Phone: (703) 273-3580
  • Website: https://dizzypigbbq.com/

Dizzy Pig classes draw aspiring master grillers who love their Eggs

There are a few things you need to grill salmon properly.

1. Make sure your fish is fresh and sourced from someone who knows a thing or two about great seafood. Dizzy Pig founder Chris Capell gets his from the hills of southwest Virginia. More on that in a bit.

2. Make sure you use the right kind of charcoal on the grill — wood briquettes work nicely to get the temperature up to the needed 500 degrees.

3. As for the grill, well for that, you’ll need a cooker shaped like an egg.

And those cookers, called “Big Green Eggs,” are what keep people coming back to Dizzy Pig in Prince William County to learn from the master grill chef.

Grilling for 20 years now, award-winning competitive chef and Dizzy Pig founder Chris Capell fired up his Big Green Egg for more than 25 people on a cold and gray Saturday morning in March. They were there for an expert seafood cooking class.

And while not ideal barbeque weather, Capell’s students enthusiastically encircled him on an outdoor patio as he smoked choice cuts of salmon.

Capell keeps the fish to one side of the grate, so as not to burn it, allowing for even heat distribution throughout the grill. The grate is positioned as high as possible, keeping the fish far from the flames.


He applies a butter-maple glaze to the fish and cooks each piece for about ten to twelve minutes on each side until it becomes a dark, rich color worthy of its namesake.

Once finished, Capell pulls the fish from the grill and places perfect portions into trays. He passes them around, so everyone gets a taste.

The smoky flavor gives the fish a more meaty feel, while the glaze adds an unexpected savory undertone. There is nothing fishy about this meat, and the crowd can’t get enough, as many return for seconds.

Preparing the fish


Capell bought his first Big Green Egg in 1998, four years before founding Dizzy Pig. And he’s been sourcing his fish from the hills of southwestern Virginia for many years.

“I had to drive down to Blacksburg this week to get this,” Capell told his class.

This fresh catch is not from any mountain lake, but rather the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Capell knows a couple that lives in Blacksburg. They travel to the shore each week to bring back seafood to sell to Blacksburg locals.

“They really know what they’re looking for when it comes to quality, and I’ve relied on them for years,” he said.

He takes his time to prepare the fish, using a six-inch blade to carefully slice away the skin. Afterward, he goes back and removes any leftover membranes.

“Some people like to cook the fish with the skin on, but it tastes very fishy,” Capell explained.

“There’s also a bloodline that runs underneath the skin. That’s fishy too,” he said, while making precision cuts with the blade.

Building a fanbase

This seafood cooking class is one of many Capell holds at his Dizzy Pig Headquarters near Innovation Park. With its large open space, high ceilings and a video monitor that gives the attendees a birds-eye view of Capell preparing his meat, the classroom serves as an ideal meeting space.

Down the hall is the grill shop, where visitors find shelves full of Dizzy Pig seasonings developed by Capell and his team. The new “Raging River” blend is meant to be used on pork, chicken, and salmon. The truth is it tastes great on everything.

The room is also stocked with an array of The Big Green Egg ceramic kamado-style cookers. Capell swears by them, and, even with prices ranging from $800 to $2,500 a cooker, so do his fans who’ve purchased from him.

“We’ve bought two Eggs, and we cook everything on them, especially in the winter months,” said Jill Caballero of Amissville, Va.

A year-round griller, she uses her Egg three to four times a week to make everything from meats to cake. Yes, cake, the kind you would eat on your birthday.

“It’s really good,” she said.

Many in the class own a Big Green Egg or are contemplating a purchase. These classes serve as how-tos for the Egg faithful.

John and Nelle Krobath of Haymarket purchased their Egg at Dizzy Fest, an annual event Capell holds to showcase great competition cooking on Big Green Eggs.

“We got ours already assembled and broken in,” said John Krobath.

The class was a mixture of singles and couples all looking for a shared cooking experience, and looking to share with each other tips and tricks they’ve learned along the road to master grilling.

Dizzy Pig charges $95 per person or $180 a couple for the four-hour class packed with camaraderie and instruction. It’s part seeing, part cooking and part eating.

Capell is open to questions from the class throughout the experience. Attendees also get a 5 percent discount in the grill store and are served refreshments.

Attendees may register online for an April 21, 2018, pork barbeque class. The class is held from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at Dizzy Pig Headquarters, located at 11301 Braden Drive.



Façade and landscape improvement grants attract new businesses, encourage expansion

The City of Manassas strategically uses local incentives to attract new businesses and encourage expansion of existing ones. 

Two of these incentives focus specifically on enhancing the aesthetics of highly visible properties within the City’s gateway corridors.  The Façade and Landscape Improvement Grant programs were launched in 2016 to encourage local businesses owners to reinvest in their properties. 

Since that time the programs have been highly successful, resulting in private investment in real property that otherwise may not have occurred. 

The City has funded 13 projects totaling $108,549; leveraging $1.4million in private investment. 

Awarded projects include:

  • Landscape improvements along the berm on Wellington Road between Dumfries and Hampton
  • New paint on the exterior of the building, trim and window replacement and repair of broken sidewalks at Sinistral in Historic Downtown
  • New paint and replacement of rotting cornice of Okra’s and Zandra’s in Historic Downtown   
  • Major renovations (including paint and awnings) as well as significant landscape improvements to Wellington Station

The Façade and Landscape Improvement Grants provide incentives in the form of matching grants to (1) encourage the improvement of landscapes along major thoroughfares and at gateway entrances to the City of Manassas and (2) visually enhance the streetscape and increase interest in the designated area. The initiative also serves as a tool in supporting and retaining small businesses.

For additional information on these and other Manassas incentives, please visit choosemanassas.org.

The children’s team at Sentara treats premature babies 24/7, keeping families close to home

Just as the weather breaks and it begins to grow warmer, the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s team of doctors, nurses and staff are trading in their scrubs for tennis shoes.

It’s for the annual March of Dimes March for Babies walk.

It’s such a great way for all of us to celebrate, honor, and remember our babies with others who care so much about mother/baby health issues,” explains Florence Pullo, Interim Director for the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, “Sentara actively participates in this campaign to emphasize how important we believe the health of mom and babies is and to unite the community in building a brighter future for all of us!”

It’s that dedication to teamwork and commitment to the smallest members of our community which is the cornerstone of everything that happens in the Women’s Health Center and is the foundation for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s partnership with Children’s National Health System.

Children’s National is ranked number one for newborn intensive care in the U.S. News & World Report 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospital Survey.

“This partnership is a good thing for families and the community,” says Dr. Ashraf Afifi, MD, MPH. “The team from Children’s National offers their skills in both the full-term nursery and the intensive care nursey.”

Children’s National’s Neonatologist Dr. Afifi is the Medical Director of Neonatology at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. He was named a “top doc” in the recent “Best Of” edition of Northern Virginia Magazine. Since 2014, he has led the team, which staffs the special care nursery, a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), providing expert care for the sick newborns of Woodbridge and the surrounding region.

“Sentara was looking for the skills and expertise of Children’s National on the ground. Right now, we keep the kids who are in need of neonatal intensive services in Sentara. However, if infants need extra help and support, we’ll stabilize them and a transport team flies or ambulances them to Children’s,” explains Dr. Afifi.

The Children’s team at Sentara consists of full-time, board-certified neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners for around the clock care.

“We are here 24/7. Not all specialty nurseries have this level of care around the clock. We do,” explains Children’s National NICU Nurse Practitioner, Rosemary O’Neill.

The 14-bed unit typically consists of six intensive care and eight step-down beds. As a Level II NICU, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is licensed to treat babies between 32 to 44 weeks of gestation and at least 1,500 grams or 3.3 pounds.

This partnership allows families to stay close to home as they deal with a premature baby.

“For our part, we want you to stay in the community, we have everything here. You don’t have to go elsewhere. We want to be full service for you. We’re trying to get the word out and inform more families because they’re not aware of those things,” explains O’Neill.

Last year there were 260 admissions to the intensive care nursery, which is reflective of how this collaborative approach has been effective and was needed by the community. Just over 15% of those babies were transferred to Children’s National for a higher level of care.

“This collaboration give families and caregivers more advanced technologies, more advanced diagnosis, more advanced devices,” says O’Neill. “Not only do we have access to Children’s National in D.C., but we also have access to all of Sentara’s resources to our south.”

Dr. Afifi agrees, citing the advancements in research and telemedicine.

“Super pediatric subspecialties, which are few and far between, we can now reach them by telemedicine. We can reach them from the comfort of the practitioner here at Sentara. For example, the peds pathology, endocrinology, cardiology –who will give the information and have the best advice.”

In the end, the partnership is a win for both the hospital and the community it serves.

“At the end of the day, you have a family caring for their child, they have their worries and anxieties for their child, will that child make it or not, how’s that child going to be, what will this child look like down the road in a year or two, having been born at 600 or 700 grams, all of this. Our team practicing here will definitely give them assurances and we can share all the numbers and statistics with them,” explains Dr. Afifi speaking to the team’s level of expertise.

It’s this commitment to the babies they serve and the families they get to know personally every day that motivates the team to participate in the March of Dimes walk. This year is no different as they’ll be part of the Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s March for Babies team on Sunday, April 29 at the Loy E. Harris Pavilion in Manassas.

Join the Sentara team and register for this family and dog-friendly event.

Deadline to apply for One Degree Capital scholarship approaches

The John Mathis Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, named after the father of One Degree Capital co-founder Jenn Mathis, is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 academic year scholarship award.

Established in 2016, the scholarship award seeks to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of youths. The inaugural scholarship award went to then-high school senior Destini Sapp, owner of two-year old custom craft business Crafted by Des.

Jenn and her business partner, Rod Loges, routinely seek ways to give back to communities including donating goods, services and time as well as mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages.

“When Rod and I discussed starting a scholarship,” Jenn explains, “we knew we wanted to create something that encouraged today’s entrepreneurial youth. Small business owners employ over half the nation’s workforce. Here at One Degree Capital we do everything we can to encourage growth in this critical segment of our society.”

“We named the scholarship after my dad, John Mathis,” continues Jenn. “Daddy continues to be an enormous inspiration to my growth as a business owner. He constantly inspires, encourages and mentors me on business ownership and leadership. I would not be where I am today without him.”

The application process is now open and continues through March 31. Semi-finalists are notified in April with final selection made on May 15. The scholarship award is open to high school seniors who either work for a small business owner or who currently own their own small business. For more details, visit www.onedegreecapital.com/scholarship.

About The John Mathis Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

High school seniors who are either employed by a small business or who own their own small business are eligible to apply. The non-renewable $2,000 scholarship award can be applied toward tuition and fees of a postsecondary school. For full details and to apply for the scholarship award, visit www.onedegreecapital.com/scholarship.

About One Degree Capital

Headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, One Degree Capital is a privately funded direct lender dedicated to helping business owners get the right capital at the right time for their unique business needs. Established in 2010, One Degree has helped over 5,000 business owners secure millions in capital through dozens of different financing vehicles including term loans, receivables financing, purchase order financing, SBA loans, real estate loans, asset based loans, lines of credit and unsecured working capital loans. For more information or to speak with a Business Capital Advisor, contact One Degree Capital at 1.703.579.6868.

‘Who we are as a company can be traced back to our Ethos’

Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve examined in depth how every facet of the FreshySites Ethos can be traced back to our commitment to serving the customer.
 
Through being ego free and asking for more from ourselves, as well as our clients, our team proves its readiness to consistently treat our clients like the top priority they are, with us always going the extra mile if need be. This has both internal and external effects on our company.
 
While pushing FS forward, these foundational elements of our daily processes simultaneously allow our individual team members to grow from within as they push themselves in their abilities and expand their responsibilities/roles within the business.
 
Because who we are as a company can be traced back to our Ethos, which in turn, comes back to our best-in-industry customer service and support, it only makes sense that this is the core of how we market ourselves externally.
 
Using our service as marketing is how we showcase our internal processes in our external outreach efforts. We always want to be known for our willingness to do whatever we can for our clients, in a timely and professional manner, especially delivering answers to their questions – consequently ‘Being Solution Centric.’
 
This sixth part of the FS Ethos is all about focusing on the solution to a situation, rather than dwelling on the problem. Acting defeated and accepting that something is broken, with no solution, is not the mindset with which we train our team.
 
Whether through additional research, team collaboration or an innovative combination of the two, we firmly believe any problem we encounter can be resolved in an efficient and effective way to better serve our clients and our company.
 
Being solutions centric is about being both positive and innovative in our thinking. It requires our being ahead of the curve, which is why our team is constantly educate themselves and researching new tools, approaches, etc. to broaden our individual and collective knowledge of this industry – whether it be WordPress, SEO, Google applications or anything else we utilize daily.
 
A key part of our purpose as a company is a commitment to being there for our clients and delivering solutions to their problems – you can always count on us for that.
 
FreshySites – a regionally focused, solution-centric company with national reach and operations.
 
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! ?”

Ah, ’tis a joy to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day locally

If you’re looking for the luck o’ the Irish, there’s no better place than local. Music, food, entertainment and of course, festive libations, abound in our area. Check out the fun and make some plans. (Potomac Local reminds everyone to please drink responsibly).

3/14 Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 8th Anniversary Gala and After Party (Manassas)

Enjoy a reception, dinner and silent art auction. Black tie optional; open to ages 21 and over. The Gala supports the Hylton Center’s many artistic performances, arts education programs and outreach initiatives, as well as the Hylton Center’s Endowment. 

3/16  St. Patrick’s Wine Dinner at Rangoli (Manassas)

Enjoy a four-course dinner with unlimited paired wines and a specially chosen chef’s menu.

3/16 – Wearing of the Green Celebration at Potomac Point Winery (Stafford)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style this year with Potomac Point Winery. Wear your most festive green attire to come wine and dine Friday, March 16th. A special Irish bistro menu will be served and the wine will be flowing.  Partake in the annual Leprechaun Toss or sit back and enjoy Friday night music. Wine discounts available. 

3/17 – 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Company’s St. Patrick’s Day Bash & Beer Release (Stafford)

They’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the best way they know how….with craft beer, music and food. Join the party for the release of their Irish Red, as well as live music from Marc Allred and Karen Jonas. Enjoy corned beef sandwiches in addition to the usual bbq menu. All ages welcome, must be 21 to drink. 

3/17 –  Adventure Brewing Company’s St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (Fredericksburg)

The 16th Annual Jeff Fitzpatrick St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts off at noon and includes fire trucks, classic cars, high school marching band, community organizations, Irish dancers, horses, military equipment and local pageant winners. The parade ends at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, where Adventure Brewing will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Festival including local vendors, live music and entertainment, family-friendly activities, food from local food trucks, and of course, plenty of beer. The brewery will be collecting food for the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.

3/17 – History of Cooking: St. Patrick’s Day at Ben Lomond Historic Site (Manassas)

For St. Patrick’s Day, join the PWC Historic Preservation team at Ben Lomond Historic Site and the Pat White Center at Ben Lomond as they make traditional Irish cuisine as it would have been made in the days before electricity and pasteurization.

3/17 – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Sinistral Brewing Company (Manassas)

St. Patrick’s Day at Sinistral Brewing Company means good beer, good music & good times. There will be sing-alongs. There will be bagpipes. There will be Irish dancers, and yes, there will be lots of green.

3/17 – St.Paddy’s Day Party & Steal the Glass at Ornery Beer Co. (Woodbridge)

The Party’s at Ornery Beer Company for St. Patrick’s Day!! Tapping their newest IRISH STOUT at 12pm Noon and visitors can Steal the Glass: First 300 guests keep their special St. Paddy’s Day Pint Glass!!

3/17  St. Patrick’s Day Party at BadWolf Brewing Co. (Manassas – Kao Circle)

Specialty Cask, Irish Dancers, Phat Yummies Food Truck: Phat Yummies Quesadilla Cantina On Wheels & Kilt Contest at 8:30pm – come dressed in your best outfit!!

3/17 Shamrock & Shenanigans at Brew Republic Beirwerks (Woodbridge)

Join the Brew Republic team on Saturday, March 17th, starting at 9am for kegs and eggs in the tap room! They will be serving Irish breakfast (eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, etc.) and we’ll also be serving non-breakfast Irish fair throughout the day.

3/17  St. Paddy’s Day Celebration at Tim’s Rivershore (Dumfries)

Spend the day on the Potomac River enjoying live music, drinks & food specials to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style at Tim’s Rivershore.

3/17  Bar Louie’s Annual St. Pat’s Day Bash (Multiple)

Grab your crew and Unleash Your Leprechaun at Bar Louie this St. Patrick’s Day! Get “Lucked Up” at the best party outside of Ireland with drink specials and live entertainment!  Check out your local Bar Louie for details. Locations:

  • Bar Louie Manassas: 9501 Liberia Ave, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Bar Louie Gainesville: 14081 Promenade Commons St, Gainesville, VA 20155
  • Bar Louie Stonebridge: 15001 Potomac Town Pl Suite 100, Woodbridge, VA 22191

3/17 and 3/18  Prince William Humane Society’s St. Pittie’s Day O’Dopt-a-thon (Dumfries)

Come adopt a loving pet looking for a forever home! Pit mix adoptions will be half price at the Adopt Shop (17983 Dumfries Shopping Plaza, Dumfries, VA) and the Prince William County Animal Shelter. This event is sponsored by the Prince William Humane Society.

Two suspects, two hotels, two robberies equal arrests

From the Prince William police press release:

Armed Robberies *ARRESTS – On March 5, detectives from the Robbery Unit identified two suspects involved in two separate robberies that occurred at the Rimpal Inn and Suites located on Old Centreville Rd on December 5, 2017, and the Holiday Inn located on Balls Ford Rd on December 7, 2017. Following the investigation, detectives obtained multiple arrest warrants of both suspects, identified as Brendon M. PAINE and Robert Jamal JACKSON. On March 8, PAINE was arrested without incident following the execution of a search warrant at his residence in Fairfax. Further investigation determined that the firearm used in the robberies was recovered when JACKSON was arrested on December 13 following a traffic stop for a traffic violation. JACKSON remains incarcerated at the Adult Detention Center and was served with the additional charges.

Arrested on March 8:

    Brendon M. PAINE, 19, of 6515 Terry Dr in Springfield

    Charged with 2 count of robbery and 2 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony

       Robert Jamal JACKSON, 24, of 8529 Piney Point Ct in Manassas

    Charged with 2 count of robbery, 2 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and 2 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

    Court Date: April 10, 2018 | Bond: Both were held WITHOUT bond

    Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 7 at 12:22AM, officers responded to the Holiday Inn located at 10424 Balls Ford Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man entered the business and approached the front desk. During the encounter, the suspect brandished a handgun and then demanded money. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area on foot. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

    Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 5 at 11:44PM, officers responded to the Rimpal Inn located at 7399 Old Centreville Rd in Manassas (20111) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown male wearing a mask jumped over the front counter and brandishing a handgun at the employee. During the encounter, the suspect forced the employee to open the register to obtain money. The suspect then fled the business on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 responded to search for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

Make local travel easier for the senior in your life

We know what it’s like to live in this area. Between the busyness of everyday living, the demands continuously made of us and the traffic, it’s enough to try the sanity of even the most level-headed among us. So imagine what it’s like for the senior in your life who has to travel locally with you. Not only can they feel your stress, they have their own issues to manage.

We’ve worked with families enough to know that no one wants tempers to flare or plans to be disrupted, especially over something that could have been avoided by implementing some simple strategies. Because we understand how easy it is to get derailed by even the little things, we’ve put together these tips and reminders to help make traveling locally with your senior as smooth and painless as possible. Let’s get started.

One week or more before the trip – Yes, prep starts this early. It begins by being judicious about setting appointments or scheduling errands. Based on the needs of the senior in your care, book appointments and activities in segments that are reasonable. Don’t try to cram multiple appointments in on the same day if you don’t have to. And avoid running from one side of town to another if you can group your errands geographically. If you don’t plan this part wisely, the whole local travel experience can quickly become a tiresome exercise in frustration that rarely ends well.

48 to 12 hours before the trip – This is probably going to be mostly a period of observation. Pay attention to how the senior in your care is feeling emotionally and physically. If they have been having specific challenges close to the scheduled local travel, you’ll want to judge whether or not the plans you’ve made still make sense. Address any issues as soon as possible. Even if all is well, during this period you’ll want to remind your senior about the plans you’ve made together. It’s good to jog the memory as often as needed, and doing so can give the senior in your care something to look forward to.

Four to three hours before the trip – Depending on the needs of the senior in your care, you will need to allow plenty of time for getting ready. Choosing clothing, then bathing, dressing, eating, and discussing plans again, can be time consuming. Decrease stress by allowing enough time to get everything done at a comfortable pace.

Two hours before the trip – This is a good time for the senior in your care to relax a little while you do things like ready yourself and gather necessary items for the excursion. Veteran caregivers keep a physical or mental list of must-have items for the drive. These can include medical equipment, medication, snacks, books, checkbooks, credit cards, phones, extra clothing and sanitary items. Make sure you have enough of everything. You don’t want to run out of necessities like oxygen or blood sugar testing strips before you return home.

One hour before the trip – Remind the senior in your care that you are getting ready to leave. Take care of any last minute toileting or hygiene. Don’t expect to be able to rush out the door and jump into the car. Give yourself plenty of time to address any mobility issues. This is also a good time to reassess your senior’s mood. Some seniors become anxious as it gets closer to leaving the home where they know they have everything they need. Remind them you’ve planned and packed, and review with them what you have on hand. If your senior reminds you of something you’ve overlooked, be grateful they told you before you walked out the door!

In the car – Help the senior in your care into the vehicle. Make them comfortable and assist with the seatbelt, double checking to ensure it is fastened correctly. Play soothing music or enjoy a light conversation. Drive safely. And don’t be surprised if you need to stop prior to reaching your destination. If you’ve planned ahead, you know this is a possibility, and you’ll have plenty of time to take care of those emergency bathroom breaks.

Upon arrival – Arrange everything so that when you help the senior in your care out of the vehicle, you don’t have to leave them standing unassisted while you rush around and gather the items you’ve packed. If this means they have to sit in the car for a few moments while you prepare, that’s fine. Better to have everything organized so you’ll have free hands to help out your fellow traveler.

When you look at this list, you might say, wow. That’s an awful lot of preparation just to run a few errands or make it to an appointment. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re right. Traveling with seniors requires more work and strategy than many younger people are accustomed to. The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more enjoyable your time spent together becomes. It’s these little local adventures that can mean a lot to the senior in your life. And that makes the effort well worth it.  

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Police searching for Woodbridge man accused of human, sex trafficking

From the Prince William police press release:

Human Trafficking – In October of 2017, officers began to investigate reports of sex trafficking at the Quality Inn located at 1109 Horner Rd in Woodbridge (22191).  The investigation revealed that the accused arranged for a prostitute, a 19-year-old woman, to meet with two males at the above location. Following the investigation, officers obtained multiple arrests warrant for the accused, identified as Maurice Lamont COTTON. Attempts to locate the accused have been unsuccessful. The investigation continues.

Wanted: 

Maurice Lamont COTTON, 36, of the 12800 block of Island House Lp in Woodbridge

Described as a black male, 6’02”, 210lbs, with brown eyes and black hair

Wanted for human trafficking, commercial sex trafficking, and receiving money for procuring a person

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