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Why do repair shops not want to use my own auto parts?

Brake pads and rotors from Car Quest are to original equipment specifications

Brake pads and rotors from Car Quest are to original equipment specifications

Keeping your car well maintained is important. And for some people, letting a technician isn’t enough – they want to take the extra step and order their own parts and really be a part of the process. And while that effort is appreciated, there are several reasons why many auto repair shops will not install parts that you bring to them when you’re getting your vehicle serviced.

The easiest way to explain why is to give you some example scenarios.

Alternator and Air Filter from a quality aftermarket parts supplier

Alternator and Air Filter from a quality aftermarket parts supplier

Let’s say you order your water pump and timing belt off of the internet or purchase them at a

local parts supply house.  When you bring in your parts, you are feeling all happy because you feel like you just saved yourself some money. In this scenario, let’s pretend we agree to install your parts.

One of our technicians gets your car into the bay, and sets it up on the lift. We go to install your part – but oh, wait –the water pump does not fit. Then you’re in a position where we’ve begun labor, and now you’re stuck with a part that doesn’t fit, waiting for days or weeks until you can get the appropriate part from an internet parts retailer or taking time to run back and forth to the parts store to complete the job, all the while the car is stuck in the repair shops bay.

Genuine GM parts from the dealer

Genuine GM parts from the dealer

Or say, maybe we installed that part, and six months down the road, you return to our shop and say the water pump and timing belt we installed are making noise and are not working properly. If we had installed your parts – and not our own – then you aren’t covered with the 2 year, 24,000 mile warranty that we offer our customers with our parts. And while yes we do need to sell auto parts in order to keep our shop open, another important reason why we do that is so we can offer the great warranty on the parts.

In this scenario, you would now be paying our shop two times for the same job to be performed, and overall you haven’t saved any money.

Now let’s look at another scenario so you can better understand the hazard of using your own parts, instead of an auto repair shop’s parts.

Radiator for a Nissan from an aftermarket parts supplier

Radiator for a Nissan from an aftermarket parts supplier

Say you call the shop to get a price on replacing an oxygen sensor.  You say you have been to a local auto parts house and have the code and they say it’s your oxygen sensor. You are asking us to put in the part that you have, and go off of another person’s word that this will fix your problem with the check engine light.

Then comes in the fact that as an auto repair shop, we absorb the liability when you walk out the door with your car keys in hand. If you were to have someone install a customer supplied part and it’s wrong, it could cost cause further car problems, an accident, or even put your safety at risk.

Radiator cap from an overseas parts supplier

Radiator cap from an overseas parts supplier

When you allow Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire to diagnose and replace the parts that we purchase we are guaranteeing your money is well spent.  If the part fails, you will not be paying labor again, nor will you be paying for the part. We as a company have to absorb the expense when a part fails within its warranty time and that is why we use quality parts from our trusted parts suppliers.

Why should your email be HIPAA compliant?

  • Jewell Technical Consulting
  • Address: 9720 Capital Court, Suite 305, Manassas, VA
  • Phone: 703-794-1225
  • Website:

If you’re a healthcare service provider, you know how important that it is to protect your patient’s information under HIPAA requirements. But in a digital world, where a lot of records and forms of communication are moving online, it can be a challenge to ensure that same level of protection.

All of a patients’ public health information is legally protected, and this doesn’t end at the front door of your facility. This legally extends to any correspondence written about a patient, to a patient, or their medical history and records.

Because so many healthcare facilities have switched over to electronic systems for patient records and scheduling, it makes sense to utilize technology and email information for a patient – whether it’s to another doctor or nurse at the facility – or maybe you’re referring them to a specialist.

In order to ensure that your patients’ information is safe, and that you are legally protected under HIPAA regulations, it is important for your facility to secure your email system. Training employees on the appropriate ways to handle private information and transmitting it electronically is part of this, but the other part is making sure that your email is secured.

Hackers are coming up with new ways to invade online systems every day, and this means that you need to be utilizing professional tools and a technology solutions provider like JTC, Inc. to help maintain your email system so that it’s HIPAA compliant.

One of the biggest ways that a hacker or virus can infiltrate an email system and compromise patient data is with spam mail. You unknowingly click the link and before you know it, the entire network at your facility has been breached.

While most email systems offer a simple spam filter, in a lot of cases that’s not enough.

“They may have a spam filter that doesn’t provide that for them,” said Kristen Maxey, a spokeswoman for JTC, Inc.

All of JTC’s clients that need this sort of protection use a program called EdgeWave, which is certified as HIPAA compliant, according to Maxey. JTC, Inc. has been working as a partner with EdgeWave for 7 years.

Along with EdgeWave’s advanced spam filter, which will be able to keep hackers and viruses out, there are other benefits to using their system to keep your medical data secure. They offer around the clock network monitoring, web threat detection and cloud-based messaging.

So don’t put your business – and your patients’ information – out there. Make sure that your email is HIPAA compliant and be prepared.

History comes to life for upcoming Manassas Civil War Weekend


Manassas Civil War Weekend is August 21-23

There was much more to the Civil War than bloody battles, endless strategizing, and the stands of famous generals.

This year, in addition to featuring portrayals of well-known generals and studies of tactics, the fourth annual Manassas Civil War Weekend will also bring to life the experiences of women on both the home front and in the conflict.

The weekend’s free events, from August 21-23, promises to engage visitors of all ages and interests with the sights, sounds and scents of Civil War-era Manassas. Speakers and performers will reveal many stories about the stark reality of war.

The weekend begins with a keynote address by well-known Civil War re-enactor Al Stone, who has been portraying General Robert E. Lee for more than 20 years to nationwide audiences. Stone will portray Lee in his reflective post-war years, when he became president of what was then called Washington College in Lexington, Va., later renamed Washington & Lee University. His address begins on Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. on the Manassas Museum lawn.

Many speakers throughout the weekend will focus on the war’s military experience. Richard Killblane, the United States Army Transportation Historian and author of the war history, The Filthy Thirteen, will talk about the logistics of the war. Re-enactors will portray General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Philip T. Sheridan, General Jubal Early, General John B. Gordan, Major Jed Hotchkiss, and General Samuel Cooper. Earl McElfresh, author of Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War and cartographer and historian for the McElfresh Map Co., will speak about maps during the Civil War.

To lend a different perspective on the war experience, living historians will also portray Clara Barton, the famous Civil War nurse; Dorothea Dix, an American activist who created the first American mental asylums; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante; the wives of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Isaac Trimble; and Barbara Smith and Hendrina Appelt, who will talk about the role of women in the war.

Tracey McIntire and Dr. Audrey Scanlan-Teller will speak about the experiences of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They will speak not only about individual soldiers, but about gender roles and military culture during the era.

Visit for the weekend’s latest schedule.

Everything You Need to Know about Quicken Loans National

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website:

As you get ready to head over to the Quicken Loans National golf tournament this week, there are some things you need to know in order to maximize your fun and enjoyment – and minimize stress.

Here are the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the PGA TOUR’s Quicken Loans National.


DO park at Jiffy Lube Live at 7800 Cellar Door Drive in Bristow

-DON’T miss the shuttle to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club

-DON’T forget that parking lots open at 7 a.m.

-DO have $15 to purchase parking at the gate, or $10 to purchase it in advance online

-DON’T try to walk in to the entrance at RTJ, you need to take a shuttle to the course

Tee time

-DO make sure you check the schedule of events on the Quicken Loans National website


-DO make sure you get a complimentary ticket for any children 12 and under

DO head to the Ticket Office at the main entrance to get your tickets for the tournament

Cell phones

DO bring your cell phone with you

-DON’T make phone calls outside of the designated ‘cell phone zones’

-DON’T record any videos

-DON’T take photos and videos during competition rounds of the tournament

-DO know that violations may result in staff taking your phone, deleting the photographs, or being removed from the tournament

 Having fun

DO take in all of the live musical talent at the Summer Music Stage in the afternoons

-DON’T forget to enjoy steak sandwiches from Ruth’s Chris Steak House and cocktails from the Grey Goose Lounge near the 18th fairway

-DO stop at the many kiosks for food and beverages along the course

-DO make sure you have fun! (more…)

Ten Excuses to Give Your Boss While Playing Hooky at the Quicken Loans National

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website:

With excitement mounting at the Quicken Loans National PGA TOUR this week in Prince William County, here at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, you’re probably itching to get out there on the course!

Especially with international golfing celebrities, fun giveaways, and beautiful summer weather, it’s time to find a reason to get out of your office and on your way to the tournament.

We’re here to help, by giving you some ideas on excuses to give your boss while you’re at the Quicken Loans National golf tournament.

“Won’t be in today! I’ll be on that refresher ‘course’ you suggested.”

“A little ‘birdie’ told me that I have jury duty today.”

“I’m feeling a little ‘green’ and need to see a “PRO.”

“My ‘Vardon Grip’ returned and I need to see an expert about it.  No more keyboard work for a few days.”

“Boss, I need the day off, my old buddies ‘Gilligan’ and ‘Mulligan’ are in town, and I would really like to see the action.

“My car got into a ‘Grand Slam’ on the way to work, and I need to see a mechanic.”

“I misplaced my ‘Niblick’, and need to find it quickly.”

“My TV went ‘lights-out’ and I’m stuck at home waiting for the cable guy.”

“Boss, my ‘yips’ returned and I need to see an expert about it.”

“I made a ‘bogey’ on my taxes, and now I’m being audited by the IRS.”

Some of these excuses may work better than others, but do what you can to slip away from the office and head out to one of the biggest golf tournaments Prince William County has ever seen!

Quicken Loans National – Golf and much, much more!

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website:

The Quicken Loans National golf tournament has officially begun – eyes from all over the world are on Prince William County, Virginia.  And while this major event at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club is the venue for internationally known golfers to compete – it’s so much, much more!

According to tournament director Mike Antolini, since the tournament began in 2007, there has been a focus on charitable and military support.

“Charity is at the heart of the PGA TOUR.  So, all net proceeds from the Quicken Loans National goes back into the community, to benefit charities like the Tiger Woods Foundation.  Since the tournament’s inception in 2007, we’re very proud of the fact that we’ve raised around $22 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation, and other local charities,” said Antolini.

Providing education funding to students

This focus on giving back to the community has led to the Tiger Woods Foundation building three learning centers – most recently in Prince William County (Marine Corps Base Quantico)– as well as the Earl Woods Scholarship Program.  The scholarship program provides $5,000 a year to each recipient, for use on educational expenses.  Twenty-five area students are currently enrolled in the program.

One of these recipients is 20-year old George Mason University junior, James Green.

“I was in high school, in my senior year, and I didn’t have complete funding to go to college.  So I was either going to community college classes, or I was going to enlist in the Marine Corps…[My principal] called me, and told me there was an opportunity with the Tiger Woods Foundation, and they offered me a scholarship,” said Green.

Green’s father is a retiring Marine, based out of Marine Corps Base Quantico.  Green plans to follow in his father’s footsteps, and would like to attend Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps.

According to Green, the generosity of the Tiger Woods Foundation has been life changing.

“It’s changed my life, because I’m able to pursue my dream.  Nobody else has been an officer in the military in my family, and there’s a long line of military members in my family. Financially, it’s great to go to school and be able to study and focus on my schoolwork, rather than other students that have to focus on ‘am I going to be able to pay for this semester’ and balance that with their schoolwork,” said Green.

Honoring men and women who served

In addition to the charitable giving that has been at the heart of the Quicken Loans National, the Tiger Woods Foundation also made the men and women in the Armed Forces, and veterans, an important part of the tournament.

“When the Quicken Loans Nation began in 2007, honoring the brave men and women of our Armed Forces was a main focal point, and that has not changed,” said Antolini.

Several military members will be attending the event free of charge, and discounted tickets are available for veterans, said Antolini.

One of the tournament’s sponsors – Lockheed Martin – has sponsored a pavilion on the 15th green, where military families can view the tournament comfortably.

“More than 30,000 complimentary tickets were given to local men and women of the military…so when they come on site, they can have a place to congregate and to enjoy the tournament in a relaxed, climate controlled setting,” said Antolini.

On site at the tournament, two highlights are the ‘Shot for Heroes’ 19th hole, and the ‘We Salute Our Heroes’ tribute wall.

The tribute wall will be located behind the first tee. Anyone that attends the tournament can write a note of appreciation to the military on the wall – which will later be framed and sent to the various military branches.

The 19th hole for heroes combines fun and fundraising for our troops.

“This year, at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club…there’s an actual 19th hole…it has the Quicken Loans ‘Shot for Heroes’.   All week, fans are going to be able to take an actual shot from 100 yards, on to an actual green, and with each attempt…money is raised for the Warrior Support Foundation,” said Antolini.

Potomac Local will continue to provide coverage on the ongoing Quicken Loans National Tournament, so be sure to check back with us.

4 bed, 3.5 bath home for sale – minutes away from parks, Old Hickory Golf Club

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”473″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

If you’re looking for a new home, consider this property on Tomlinson Drive, off Davis Ford Road in Woodbridge.

This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home, located on a 2 acre lot, offers a fully finished, walkout basement that leads to a delightful stone patio. From the main level kitchen breakfast room, step out onto a lovely deck with a sweeping view of the rear yard and grounds.

“The house is immaculate condition because the owners have maintained the property with pride and great attention to detail. The home features two story ceilings in the family room area which provides a great open feeling that is aesthetically very pleasing. And the kitchen is also very open and spacious with a granite topped cooking area, and stainless appliances,” said Jane Applegate, the listing agent for the house with Long & Foster Realtors.

According to Applegate, the neighborhood is the perfect location for a family to call home. “It’s an excellent neighborhood for a family. With all of the bedrooms and the finished basement, it would be a great home for a growing family, and homes in the neighborhood aren’t packed on top of each other…there’s plenty of room,” said Applegate.

The home, which is listed at $699,900, is near several recreational and shopping amenities including Davis Ford Park, Pfitzner Stadium and The Shop at County Center. For those that love a good round of golf, there is the nearby Old Hickory Golf Club.

To set up a time to view the property, call Jane at 703-850-4700.

TelNet installs 32,800 feet of cable for Manassas students

  • TelNet of Virginia, Inc.
  • Address: 7655 Coppermine Drive, Manassas, VA 20109
  • Phone: 703-257-1991
  • Website:

Students in Manassas schools are about to go digital.

Manassas City Public Schools and TelNet of Virginia, Inc., have partnered together to implement the infrastructure that will assist with the Digital Learning Program— where all students will have access to a tablet device and wifi access at school.

There are more than 7,000 students in the eight Manassas City schools that will be able to complete assignments electronically under the new program.

TelNet, a local technology solutions company, won a bid to install the cabling and wifi hardware to the schools.

According to TelNet Owner Michael Howard, the project included installing and testing 32,800 feet of ethernet cable and installing 410 wireless access points at the eight schools.

“Over the past few months, TelNet has played an integral role in installing cabling and wireless access points throughout all MCPS schools. Their professionalism and dedication to our wireless project helped to ensure that it was successful. The team at TelNet is always a pleasure to work with and their craftsmanship has been outstanding,” said Manassas City Public Schools Director of Technology Bobby Barrett.

Before TelNet’s work, students did not have access to wifi while on school grounds.

Howard has two children of his own currently in the Manassas City school system.

“The schools are now providing tablets to the students during the school year, and that’s how they do their schoolwork. One of my children was in the freshman class at OHS who were the beta testers for this program., She said she loved it because she could write her papers on this tablet, and do her research through the Internet. This just makes homework much easier, especially for children who do not have Internet access or a computer at home,” said Howard.

For Howard, he enjoyed being able to use his company’s services to help the community and sees how it will provide children with the necessary skills for the modern workforce.

“As a business person this is beneficial to our future workforce. These children are learning skills that are really vital for them to do any job in the future. It was nice to be a part of the community and be able to support the schools as well. That’s one of the things I was really excited about – helping them implement technology that helps the kids further their education. That is something I can truly get behind,” said Howard.

Marriage isn’t a give-and-take. It’s a give-and-give.

Marriage should be serious fun.

That’s the premise behind a series of classes called ‘Married People,’ hosted by Chapel Springs Church in Bristow.

The classes are hosted on Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m., and are open to all married couples.

Pastor Josh and Leah Wesley both work in the ministry at Chapel Springs, and recently hosted one of the ‘Married People’ classes.

The Wesleys have been married for 15 years, after meeting through a mutual friend in ministry.

“We really became best friends and got to the point where, ‘I just don’t want to live life without you. I don’t want to experience anything about life without you by my side’ and that was it,” said Leah Wesley.

According to Pastor Josh Wesley, the classes are for all married couples who want to make their marriage better.

“We’re trying to help people – not just from the slant of ‘come fix your broken marriage’ – but also we’re being proactive in helping people continue to nurture healthy marriages. Marriage gets a lot of flack for being the ‘ball and chain.’ We really believe that marriage opens and unlocks a lot of opportunities…we’re helping people develop their relationships,” said Pastor Josh Wesley.

Here’s some advice from the Wesleys about marriage.

1. Stop comparing your marriage to other people’s marriages. The way that you have fun and enjoy your lives together is unique.

2. Develop the ability to give.

“Marriage is not a give-and-take. It’s a give-and-give. And when we both are giving equally, everybody’s being blessed,” said Pastor Josh Wesley.

3. Make the decision to put your spouse first every day, and value them.

4. Developing your imagination and creativity, and explore new ways to have fun.

“In marriage we kind of tend to get very hum drum. We tend to do the same thing over and over again. We go to work – we have responsibilities. And we forget to be creative and to spark that love and enjoyment with one another,” said Leah Wesley.

5. Know that marriage requires a lot of hard work.

6. Your marriage needs to be above all relationships, including the relationship with your children and parents.

Chapel Springs Church, with locations in Bristow and Stafford, is committed to offering marriage enrichment opportunities and helping people heal fractured marriages. Next Wednesday, July 29, concludes the “Married People” series with a session at 7:30 pm in the Bristow auditorium. All married couples are welcome to attend.

Free marriage resources.


New skate park coming to Manassas

On Sunday, July 19, Vice Mayor Jon Way and Councilmembers Mark Wolfe and Sheryl Bass joined skater Oscar Medrano, a rising senior from Osbourn High School and others to break ground on a new skate park at Jennie Dean Park.  

This park will replace the Old Town Skate Park that had to be torn down to make room for the new Baldwin Elementary and Intermediate School.

This new park will feature a concrete surface, a huge upgrade from the asphalt surface from the previous skate park. It will also include several new features such as grind boxes, and new rail and bank ramps. In an effort to be earth conscious, the previous ramps will be refurbished and located within the new skate park.

Community Development Director Liz Via-Gossman credited skate boarders Oscar Medrano and Diego Patrick for coming forward when the new school was first being discussed to press City officials to provide a place for skateboarding. 

“The kids, most of them city residents from our schools, spoke at public hearings and hosted city officials at a skate competition to show us how important their skate park was to them,” said Via-Gossman.

The skateboarders formed a committee to work with City staff on the improved design within an acceptable budget.  The new skate park replaces two under-utilized basketball courts that will be replaced elsewhere in the park when Jennie Dean Park undergoes an updated master plan effort later in the year.

A grand opening is planned for Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.  The park was designed by American Ramp Company from Joplin, MO and the new features are being constructed at their plant in Missouri.  The concrete work is being completed by Toro Concrete, Inc.  

Why did the repair facility advise me to replace my shocks and struts? I only have “X” amount of miles on my car!

Mercedes wheel bent from hitting a pothole also effects the shocks and struts.

Mercedes wheel bent from hitting a pothole also effects the shocks and struts.

Shocks and struts are not something most people think about wearing out, like they do with tires. They’re not as visible for drivers, and they don’t wear out as fast, or need frequent maintenance, like oil changes.

Shocks and struts are important because they stabilize your vehicle and keep your car from bouncing when you drive over rough road. Think about how many bumps and potholes there are in the road. Think about the rough pavement and rocks that you drive over every single time you get into your car to go somewhere. This is what wears out your shocks and struts, and this is why when a car professional recommends replacing them, you should take them seriously.

To understand the seriousness of replacing shocks and struts, it’s important to understand what can happen if you’re driving around with a set that are worn out.

The job of your shocks and struts is not to keep the car up as most people conceive, it’s to minimize bouncing – which can really damage your car’s tires and suspension. And if your shocks and struts are worn out, and lead to an impaired suspension system in your car – this can have a serious consequence. Bad suspension can also wreak havoc on your brake system. It can lengthen your stopping distance because the car is lunging forward with the weight of the vehicle putting more pressure on your brakes, causing them to wear out faster. And this could also lead you to get into an accident because of impaired handling and brake time.

Can you visibly see worn shocks and struts? Well…sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. And for many drivers , it can be a challenge to determine when it’s time to commit to replacing your shocks and struts.

Most manufacturers recommend replacement every 50,000 miles. Consider manufacturer’s recommendations, because after 50,000 miles they have definitely carried a lot of weight, gone quite a distance and are no longer performing as that should be, but a technician will be able to tell you for sure.

Looking for an easy way to determine if your shocks and struts are wearing out? The best way to tell if they are not performing the way they should is to do the bounce test. Push down on the trunk of the car and the front of the car and see how quickly it bounces back. If it’s bouncy, the shocks are wearing out, if it returns slowly, they are most likely fine.

It should just bounce about 1 and ½ times and that should be it. If you are getting more than than that, the suspension is failing. Mileage – including the 50,000 mile recommendation – doesn’t always mean that you have to replace them. I’ve seen certain vehicles that are notorious for needing them replaced as early as 40,000 miles! I know that may not be what you want to hear, especially since it means it will cost you money, but it’s necessary to keep your car running safely on the road.

The first thing a auto technician would do is inspect the condition of the suspension. If they can see the fluid seeping out of the shocks, then they are weak because the fluid is coming out and it’s definitely time to consider replacement.

Even though they may not be leaking, it still may be time to replace them. A technician at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire can tell by looking at a few different things, and they will be able to guide you on what to do to get your vehicle working safely.

Why you should choose HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire for your oil changes

Getting your vehicle’s oil changed is a regular part of good maintenance, and there are many quick service locations and auto shops that offer oil changes. So why make the decision to go to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire for your oil change? There are many reasons.

When you come to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire versus a quick service location, you’re going to get a much more comprehensive oil change and service.

“We inspect the car top to bottom. We look at the recommendations for each car, recommended by the manufacturer for that mileage,” said Jason Dean, one of our Master Technicians.

During an oil change we offer a full inspection of the car including brakes, suspension, tires, lights, wiper blades, window glass and leaks. Essentially we offer a mini state inspection, with a check sheet of important things to look for to keep your car operating smoothly and safely.

We also offer a great value. Our standard oil changes cost $39, but we go the extra mile for our customers, offering a tire rotation with the oil change as part of your service – which is a $20 to $30 value alone. This is much different than what you’ll get at a quick service location.

Part of the reason we offer this tire rotation service, is so that our certified technicians can see your brakes clearly, to look for signs of wear or damage. This can end up saving you hundreds or being in an accident, by finding problems early and preventing them.

In addition to our standard oil change service, we offer premium packages for $59 and $79 that can include installing an engine oil supplement, fluid analysis, fuel supplements and new filters, all with that same superior level of service.

One thing that is important to us at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is listening to our customers. We want to know all of your concerns about the car before your oil change, so that during our inspection we can look for those issues.

“We look at the car to address, first and foremost, the customer’s concerns. That’s the first thing that we look at – if they have a concern such as noise, or anything that the car’s doing, and then we go from there,” Dean said.

So if you want a technician to put time and care into your car during an oil change, then we’re the right shop for you.

“You’re going to get an honest evaluation of the car, we honestly care about what we do, we care about the customer and you’ll get a fair price,” Dean said.

Prince William County: Destination Golf!

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website:

While Prince William County is a birthplace to many, it’s a little known fact that it is the birthplace to one of the biggest tournaments in the golfing world – The President’s Cup!

Since the inaugural event in 1994, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club (“RTJ”) in Prince William County, Virginia has been one of only three US venues for the President’s Cup, to date.   Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., RTJ is his self-proclaimed “masterpiece”, a par-72, 7,425 yard course that hosted the Presidents’ Cup four times – 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2005.

Today a new chapter in RTJ’s storied history will begin, as it is the premier golf destination for the 2015 Quicken Loans National.    In less than ten days, some of the best golfers in the world will descend on RTJ in Prince William County to compete for the Quicken Loans National $6.7 million purse.

And while the Quicken Loans National PGA TOUR will welcome 120 top golfers, including Tiger Woods and Justin Rose, highlighting each golf player’s play by play, we decided to highlight Prince William County’s own play book on golf.   Here’s what we found out:

Prince William County boasts 21 different golf courses county-wide.  It is also home to some of the finest golf courses in the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area, according to the Washington Business Journal Book of Lists.  Six of Prince William County’s prime golf courses were rated in the Top 25, which include Old Hickory Golf Club (#5), Robert Trent Jones Golf Club (#6), Stonewall Golf Club (#8), Bristow Manor Golf Club (# 11), Dominion Valley Country Club, (#15) and Piedmont Club (#20). 

The first publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area opened in Dumfries, Virginia at the new Potomac Shores Golf Club.  Newly opened, the Potomac Shores quickly ranked in Golf Digest’s Top 10 best new golf courses in the country.

Throughout the County, these professionally designed courses are set within some of the most desirable gated communities in the region.  Residents’ also enjoy a host of surrounding amenities – walking trails, fitness centers, tennis courts, pools, all nestled among some of Virginia’s finest natural landscapes.

In both the eastern and western end of the County, there are Prince William County operated courses, public daily-fee courses and private club courses. 

No matter which one of the golf courses you visit in the County, you’re sure to experience beautiful lush courses and amenities that are hard to find elsewhere.

County-operated courses:

Forest Greens Golf Club

General’s Ridge Golf Course

Lake Ridge Park Golf Course

Locust Shade Park Driving Range & Mini-Golf

Prince William Golf Course

Public daily-fee courses:

Bristow Manor Golf Club

Broad Run Golf & Practice Facility

Bull Run Golf Club

Potomac Shores Golf Club

Medal of Honor Golf Course

Old Hickory Golf Club

The Osprey’s Golf Club at Belmont Bay

Stonewall Golf Club at Lake Manassas

Virginia Oaks Golf Club

Private courses:

Dominion Valley Country Club

Evergreen Country Club

Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club

Montclair Country Club

Piedmont Club

Regency at Dominion Valley Golf Course

Robert Trent Jones Golf Club at Lake Manassas

Dumfries Sunday summer concert will have Reggae vibe

Free concert series continues in Dumfries 

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Cool off this Sunday at Dumfries 3rd Annual Music Concert Series.

“GP Vibe Band” and “I and I Riddim” will perform in Garrison Park behind Town Hall from 3 to 6 p.m.

I and I Riddim Reggae band have made an impression on D.C. area music since they first formed in 2011, winning DC’s best reggae band three years in a row. Manager of the band and former member, Toni Marie says no band has as much fun performing as I and I Riddim does.

“This has been the best group I’ve ever worked with, the most fun job I’ve ever had,” she says. The band members come from all over the world and have each performed in various different countries. Lead vocalist Nickoli Andrews was born in Jamaica, where he first discovered his love of music.

“The lead vocal is just full of energy,” Toni says. “He’s real animated, real active on stage and he just kinda draws people in. He brings out the energy in everybody.”

She adds that everyone in the group brings something great to the band. “Everyone is so talented, when they get together they just love playing together and it shows on the stage.”

Toni says that one of their best moments performing has been when Junior Marvin, former guitarist for Bob Marley, showed up at one of their concerts.

“To have someone like him being that interested in what we do, that was one of the high points in what we’ve done,” Toni said. “He came up and did a few songs. It’s nice when the legends come and are interested in what you do.”
The event is kid-friendly, with special activities for children. Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers.

This is the second to last concert in the Dumfries Music Concert Series this summer, so don’t miss your chance to see a great show.

“You can’t go away from one of their performances feeling angry or sad or upset you always go away feeling really good,” Toni says.

You can get your free tickets by emailing Visit the town website or their Facebook page for more information or to check out upcoming events.

Why Manassas Regional Airport code is HEF and other fun facts

Manassas, airport, fuel, planes, fly

In May, press was buzzing about the World War II fighter bombers that were based at the Manassas Regional Airport for the Victory Capitol Flyover for the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. While special events like the flyover, airshows, and the Manassas Runway 10k/5k race help put the airport on people’s radars, many may not know what happens every day at Virginia’s busiest General Aviation airport.

The first order of business is: why is “HEF” Manassas Regional Airport’s identifier code? Richard Allabaugh, who works in airport operations, asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the same question, but didn’t get a definitive answer.

The FAA uses a computer program to suggest allowable codes from which the airport owner can choose. Codes that are too similar to other airports within 200 nautical miles aren’t allowed. The airport was dedicated as Harry P. Davis Field in honor of Mayor Harry P. Davis, the City’s longest serving Mayor. As a result, “HPD” or “HDF” would seem like the best fit for an airport identifier.

However, Allabaugh wagers an educated guess that those identifiers were probably too close to existing codes and “HEF” was the closest to the airport’s original requested identifiers. 

It’s important to note that Manassas is a General Aviation (GA) airport, not a commercial service airport like Dulles. The main difference is that GA airports do not have commercial airline service, which requires certification by the FAA. However, Manassas Regional voluntarily holds itself to the certification’s standards.

You’ll find many GA airports near major commercial airports because they help relieve air traffic congestion. Manassas Regional Airport was designated by the FAA to be the official reliever airport for Dulles and National airports. When comparing nearby airports, HEF has benefits that its competitors can’t touch.

Pilots arriving at Manassas don’t have to wait behind commercial airliners; aircraft aren’t charged landing fees, and to top it off, fuel is typically cheaper. In comparing today’s retail prices with those at Dulles, jet fuel is $2 cheaper per gallon, and low lead fuel is $3.50 cheaper. Lastly, unlike some GA airports, Manassas Regional offers U.S. Customs services. When considering that HEF and Dulles are both 30 miles away from downtown D.C., a popular destination for airport guests, Manassas is an attractive option.

More than 420 aircraft are based at HEF in hangars that are leased by individuals, private jet owners, and corporations. Last year, there were a total of 82,130 take-offs and landings, but so much more goes on here. For example, there are four flight schools where people can work toward earning their private pilot’s license.

Allabaugh says the airport has more than 25 business tenants. “Some businesses have offices on site because they prefer to be close to their hangars,” he says. “While others, like Aurora Flight Services, locate here so they have the facilities to test their equipment.”

These include companies that specialize in some kind of aeronautical component like aircraft management, charter companies, aircraft sales, and fixed-based operators (FBO). FBOs offer aircraft servicing and accommodations to transient pilots and their passengers. 

The combined flight and business activity is important to the City of Manassas. According to the Virginia Airport System Economic Impact Study of 2011, Manassas Regional Airport contributed more than $234 million and 1,056 jobs to the local economy.

When pressed for interesting stories or celebrity sightings, Allabaugh’s lips are sealed. “There’s nothing I can tell you,” he says. “People choose us because we are discrete.”

Learn more about the airport online and be sure to check out the History tab to find out the cool story behind how it acquired its air traffic control tower.

Prince William County welcomes the world to the 2015 Quicken Loans National PGA Tour

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website:
Quicken Loans National PGA Tour , Prince William County

The countdown is on to when the global spotlight will be on Prince William County!

Beginning July 27 and running through to August 2, 2015, the Quicken Loans National PGA Tour will be held at the Robert Trent Jones (RTJ) Golf Club in Prince William County, Virginia. 

The golf tournament, in its ninth year, promises to be a history-making event as some 100,000 spectators attend and an estimated 1 billion households tune in to see 120 PGA TOUR players vie for the $6.7 million purse.  Nestled along the banks of picturesque Lake Manassas, RTJ is a prestigious venue providing world-class amenities and breathtaking scenery. 

The golf course itself is no stranger to professional golf as the birthplace of the Presidents Cup tournament in 1994 and having hosted the tournament three times subsequently in 1996, 2000 and 2005.

The event is a welcomed opportunity to showcase the entire community, not only to visiting patrons, but to the rest of the world.  Spectators, clients and families alike will discover that Prince William County’s abundant economic opportunities are as diverse as the top-flight recreational and cultural amenities, which makes it a unique place to Live. Work. Play and Stay!

Billed as this summer’s largest outdoor party in Prince William County, the tournament promises to provide the ultimate fan experience with upgraded concessions, lawn games, a putting experience for spectators and even private cabanas. 

This year, the tournament will introduce the Quicken Loans National summer concert stage outside of the main entrance gate from Thursday to Saturday, which will feature local bands during tournament week; and the Quicken Loans Hole-in-One House will return for its second year, which will be situated between the 18th green and the clubhouse and will feature live tournament streaming and more.

Beyond the course, Prince William County is also well known for several national outdoor recreation retail destinations – Golfsmith, Gander Mountain, REI and, coming soon – Cabela’s.  The County is home to 21 golf courses including a publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at the Potomac Shores Golf Club.  It is estimated that the local golf industry generates some $36 million in sales annually and employs over 700 people. 

So the stage is set and the countdown is on.  Come and be part of history being made while basking in the warmth, hospitality and charm of Prince William County.  We look forward to welcoming you to what will undoubtedly be an experience to remember, after which, you will know why we proudly call Prince William County home.

How Mary Washington makes the birth of your child peaceful, inviting for your family

The birth of your child will be one of your most memorable days.
The Women’s and Children’s Center at Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals is here to make it so.
“Our goal is that experience so that you’ll feel like you’re the only patient here,” said Ann Weed, labor and delivery nurse manager at Mary Washington Hospital.
Your room is newly designed to be hotel like, inviting, and peaceful with plenty of space for your family to stay for the duration and this visit.
With pampering from our carrying, highly experienced physicians, nurses, and support staff.
“It helps to have somebody that’s been through it before as a care provider, that can lead and guide you through it
and help you and support you in the way that you need to be supported,” said Weed. 
“We’re there to make this the best possible experience for you and your family,” added Weed.
Mary Washington Healthcare —  here for you

MyLink Summer Bus Pass gets you around town

It’s not too late to get the best bargain of the summer! Teens who buy a MyLink summer bus pass not only get unlimited local bus rides until early September, they also get discounts at select area attractions!

With a MyLink teen summer bus pass, teens ages 13-19 can travel safely around town this summer without having to ask mom and dad for a ride – or for the car keys and gas money. It’s perfect for summer jobs, meeting friends and visiting the park or library!

The pass costs $30 and is accepted through September 5, 2015 on PRTC’s local OmniLink buses offering routes in Dale City, Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Manassas, Manassas Park, Quantico and Woodbridge. The pass also is accepted on PRTC’s Cross County Connector bus, which links eastern Prince William County and the Manassas area.

As of July 6, the cost of a one-way local bus ride is $1.40, so a teen who takes at least 11 round-trip bus rides before early September will save money by using a MyLink pass.

As an added bonus, teens who show their MyLink pass also get instant discounts from these MyLink business partners:

— Potomac Nationals, Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge –$1 off general admission at home games;

— Prince William Ice Center, 5180 Dale Boulevard, Woodbridge –$2 off public skate entry;

— Bowl America, 13409 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge and 9000 Mathis Avenue, Manassas – five free games per day; and Stonewall Pool, 8531 Stonewall Road, Manassas – $1 off admission.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, PRTC, provides transportation services in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. OmniLink local buses serve routes in Manassas and Manassas Park on Mondays through Fridays and serve routes in Dale City, Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Quantico, the Route 1 Corridor and Woodbridge on Mondays through Saturdays. The Cross County Connector operates Mondays through Fridays and connects eastern Prince William County with the Manassas area.

Visit for more information, or call PRTC’s friendly Customer Service Agents at 703-730-6664.


Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores a culinary destination

  • Tidewater Grill
  • Phone: 571-383-3050
Matthew Blazey is executive chef The Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores
The Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores
Che Crabcake Sandwich at The Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores
Pork Belly Bites at The Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores
Watermelon Salad at The Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores
Shrimp Tacos at The Tidewater Grill at Potomac Shores
This paid promoted post and accompanying video was written and produced by Potomac Local.

Between the Potomac River and the 18th hole of the Potomac Shores Golf Club, the Tidewater Grill sits like an oasis in the quiet of nature, cut off from the bustling city not too far beyond its walls.

In the kitchen, Executive Chef Matthew Blazey is cooking up something delicious.

“These are our pork belly bites,” Chef Blazey says, motioning towards one dish. “We braze pork belly in a bunch of seasonings, a little bit of vinegar, apple cider vinegar and some apple juice. We cool it down, cut it into cubes and then we fry it really quickly so it’s nice and crispy. Then we top it with jalapeños, scallions, and fresh cilantro.”

When asked about the kind of person that eats this dish, Chef Blazey laughs. “Everyone loves this dish,” he says.

The enthusiastic chef says that the Tidewater Grill has fun with its food.

“It is a golf club, so you have to have those staples like a burger, a hot dog, wings. We have those, but with our own twist. For instance, our hot dog isn’t your typical hot dog. It’s got bacon jam; caramelized onion and yellow mustard. We like to cook food that not only we like to eat, but people like to eat.”

Matt has been the Executive Chef for Tidewater Grill since before it opened last year. His passion for being in the kitchen began when he dropped out of the university where he had been studying business.

“I hated it,” Chef Matt said. “It wasn’t my kind of learning. I’m a very visual and hands on person. You can tell me how to do something until I’m blue in the face, but I’m not going to fully get it until I actually do it.”

He picked up a job at a golf course in Mason, Ohio instead. “I started working in the kitchen and I fell in love with it,” he said.

Years later, it’s clear the chef still feels strongly connected to the work that he’s involved in and passionate about being in the kitchen.

“That’s where everyone wants to be. It’s exciting, it’s dynamic. There’s always something to do. You know, we’re back there sweating bullets all day, behind a grill in this fast paced environment.”

He also has experience working in a variety of different environments, from hotels in busy city areas to the expansive wildlife of Virginia.

“If I want to take a break from the hotel, going outside there’s taxi cabs flying past me, there’s potholes, and people honking their horns,” Chef Matt said.

Things are different at the Tidewater Grill.

“Here, if I want to go outside, I go out on the back patio and there’s a bald eagles nest adjacent to our clubhouse. The Potomac River is a stones throw away and we’re looking out over the beautiful 18thhole.”

The atmosphere even inspires Chef Matt in the dishes that he makes and the ingredients he decides to use. “We’ve got crab all over the place in our menu: crab cake, crab mac n’ cheese, crab corn chowder.” He adds that the Tidewater Grill features meat and produce from local farms.

“You’re not only supporting local businesses and the local community, it shows the people dining in your establishment what they can also get and what their neighbors are producing,” he said.

Now that he’s Executive Chef, Matt spends a little less time in the kitchen. “My line cooks are probably faster than me now. They can probably run circles around me, so I rely heavily on them in that aspect.”

The chef also enjoys checking on tables and making connections with guests. He says it isn’t just compliments about the food that he’s pleased to hear.

“I like to hear them talk about how much they not only love the food, but just love coming here in general. Because of the atmosphere, you know the service that our staff gives, the conversationsthey have with guests, that whole interaction”

But of course, food is his main priority.

“Here, we have the luxury of making food that we believe in and changing it constantly,” Chef Mattsays.

“If we throw something against the wall and it sticks, awesome. If we throw something against the wall and it doesn’t, then we move on to the next.”

Chef Matt claims there’s nothing like the Tidewater Grill in this area. “I want to make it a destination,” he said.

It seems for Chef Matt at least, it already is one.

“We’re open 7 days a week,” he says. “Come on down.”

Potomac Local advertiser spotlight for July 2015 welcomes several new and returning advertisers in July.

We’ll take a moment and recognize each of the new businesses and organizations that support this local news organization, and ensure you get local news about news and events where you live.


The Applegate Team

With over 100 years of combined real estate service, The Applegate Team is a virtual encyclopedia of information about homes in the Northern Virginia area. The Applegate Team can help you if you are buying or selling. You contact them today.



An informational open house will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 in the cafeteria of Battlefield High School, where residents may learn more about a 230 kilovolt transmission line the electric company proposes to build in the area to serve existing customers and support new business growth., More information about the upcoming session is online.


JTC, Inc.

Helping deliver big business solutions for the small business budget, JTC, Inc. will showcase a series of informative promoted posts on The posts will educate Potomac Local readers on how JTC, Inc. delivers quality customer service to their clients, and how they can help your business grow.


Prince William County Public Library System

The Prince William County Library’s Summer Reading Program is underway between now and August 22. Titled “Read to the Rythm,” this year’s program allows your child to complete activities and earn points, the chance to enter to win a Kindle Fire HD6, and to attend free performances and programs, and check out books, DVDs, CDs, popular magazines and more.


MyLink Summer Pass

Those ages 13-19 get unlimited rides this summer on all OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses for a one-time cost of $30. Passes are valid for rides on Monday, June 1 through Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Check out the Places of Interest page to see some popular destinations on the local bus routes on


Scott Surovell Democrat for Virginia Senate

Longtime Virginia Delegate Scott Surovell is running for Virginia Senate in the 36th District, an area that encompasses Mount Vernon, Woodbridge, Dumfries, Quantico, and portions of North Stafford. You can learn more about Surovell’s campaign by visiting his website.


TelNet of Virginia

There are few things more important to a business than it’s phone system, and ensuring your business phone system works flawlessly is what TelNet of Virginia does every day. Based in Manassas, the company was recently awarded a contract to serve four Dale City Volunteer Fire Department stations.

Thank you to these businesses, and all of our advertisers, who support bringing you local news in Virginia’s Potomac Communities.

JTC, Inc. named Prince William Chamber ‘Behind the Scenes Business of the Year’

JTC, Inc., business, IT, chamber of commerce, managed services, cloud

John Jewell and the team at JTC, Inc. have been the Chamber’s IT services provider since 2009.

Each month, for the last six years, they have provided a number of in-kind service hours to keep the Chamber staff’s office technology up and running, including regular back-ups. Anyone who has been to a meeting in the Chamber offices has also benefited from JTC’s provision of free WiFi access.

Following the merger they worked to provide the staff, working in three different locations, with access to one server system in a matter of days.

Then when it was time to move into the new headquarters, they coordinated the moving of all of the Chamber’s computers and servers into the new office just before the Christmas holiday in December 2010.

In addition to all of this, they’ve proven to be excellent neighbors. Their office is located just one floor above our Chamber’s home at Capital Court.

Please join us in congratulating John Jewell and the team at JTC, Inc. on being named the “Behind the Scenes Business of the Year!”

JTC, Inc. is located in Manassas. The firm specializes in providing big business technical solutions on a small business budget.

This post was written by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce