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Issue 82
Friday, September 10, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Earlier today, I participated in the September 11 Remembrance Service at the Prince William County Liberty Memorial to pay homage to our loved ones, friends, and neighbors who made the ultimate sacrifice 20 years ago. We remembered and honored the people we lost, the families and friends they left behind, and the brave fire and rescue members who risked and sacrificed their lives to save others.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since that tragic day when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am. Minutes later the second plane crashed into the South Tower at 9:03 am. The third plane struck the Pentagon at 9:37 am. Then at 10:03 am, the fourth hijacked plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania as the passengers – heroes – on that plane overpowered the hijackers to avoid any more loss of life.

Of the 2,977 victims who perished that day, 246 people were on the four planes, 2,606 were in the World Trade Center area including 343 firefighters, and 125 were at the Pentagon. It is important that we take time to reflect and never forget how the events 20 years ago forever changed our country, our community, and our lives.

Before I close, I know this Wheeler Report has a great deal of information in it and many of you are very busy. However, I believe the information shared is important and hope you can take the time to read it fully.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
September 11 Remembrance Service
The PWC September 11 Remembrance Service was held on Friday, September 10, at the Liberty Memorial. Dedicated in 2006, the memorial was designed to honor those lost on September 11. Learn more below.
The shape of the reflecting pool and walkway recall those lost at the Pentagon.

The single stone to the left of that plaque is an original limestone block from the collapsed portion of the Pentagon.

The two columns of water represent the thousands lost at the World Trade Center in New York City.

The stone that encircles the fountain is Pennsylvania flagstone, a tribute to the lives lost in Pennsylvania.

The flag pole was the one that James T. Lynch, Jr., who was killed during the attack on the Pentagon, erected at his home in Prince William County.

Across the street is a sculpture made of steel beams from the World Trade Center

Etched into the sides of the reflecting pool are the names of the 22 residents from Prince William County, more than any other county in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, who lost their lives in the attacks.
Yesterday, September 9, President Biden announced comprehensive new, strategies to combat the pandemic, which included the following.

  • The "Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week."

  • He will "sign an executive order that will now require all executive branch federal employees to be vaccinated — all. And I’ve signed another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same."

  • He is expanding his use of federal authority requiring vaccinations "to cover those who work in hospitals, home healthcare facilities, or other medical facilities –- a total of 17 million healthcare workers."

  • One of the obstacles to get vaccinated will be removed because the "Department of Labor will require employers with 100 or more workers to give those workers paid time off to get vaccinated. No one should lose pay in order to get vaccinated or take a loved one to get vaccinated."

  • He will require that "all of nearly 300,000 educators in the federal paid program, Head Start program, must be vaccinated."

  • He called "on all governors to require vaccination for all teachers and staff. Some already have done so, but we need more to step up." NOTE: Currently, per the Virginia Department of Education, "the state does not require COVID-19 vaccines for students or staff; but local divisions may choose to require the vaccine of school staff as a matter of employment." Currently, per Prince William County Schools vaccination is "an employee’s choice, there is no requirement for vaccination."

  • He is taking steps "to make testing more available, more affordable, and more convenient. I’ll use the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid tests, including those that you can use at home" ..and... "expand free testing at 10,000 pharmacies around the country."

  • The "Transportation Safety Administration — the TSA — will double the fines on travelers that refuse to mask." NOTE: Per a September 9 statement from the Department of Homeland Security, "the new range of penalties, which take effect Friday, September 10, 2021, will be $500-$1000 for first offenders and $1000-$3000 for second offenders."

  • Will be "expanding COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs. That’s a program that’s going to allow small businesses to borrow up to $2 million from the current $500,000 to keep going if COVID-19 impacts on their sales."  

  • The "Defense Department will double the number of military health teams that they’ll deploy to help their fellow Americans in hospitals around the country." 

  • He "will increase the average pace of shipment across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent."
Booster Shots:
  • Are administered when an initial sufficient immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned (decreased) over time.
  • Are NOT currently recommended, however, the CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization are reviewing data on booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Third Dose (issue 79):
  • Is administered when certain people with weakened immune systems do not have a strong enough immune response to the initial 2-dose mRNA vaccine series.
  • A third dose of mRNA vaccines, Moderna or Pfizer, is now recommended at least 28 days after the second dose for people with weakened immune systems.

Visit Prince William Health District to learn more.
Get the Shot
  • Visit PWHD's websiteFacebook page, or Twitter account for mobile clinic locations, dates, and times.
  • Visit to find COVID-19 vaccination by location.
  • Make a vaccine appointment by calling Virginia’s Call Center at 877-829-4682 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • Visit to schedule your vaccination appointment with the Prince William Health District.
  • Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX).
If You Need to Be Tested
If you think you may have COVID-19, ways you can be tested include:

The Uninsured and Underinsured can receive free testing at
Work Session
Tuesday, September 14, at 2:00 pm

The Work Session agenda consists of an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding update and Quarterly Project Report – Fiscal Year 2021, Fourth Quarter from Facilities and Fleet Management, Public Works, and the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism departments.
BOCS Proclamations and Commendations
September 15 through October 15 is proclaimed as Hispanic Heritage Month (see article below) and residents are encouraged to join in the County’s celebrations. Hispanics account for 25% of PWC’s population and enrich it with their contributions as communities of faith, strong family values, hard work, and patriotism.
September 5 through September 11 is proclaimed as Suicide Prevention Week 9 (see article below). This affirms the BOCS's commitment to connecting community members with mental health resources, raising awareness of signs that somebody may be suicidal, and lessening the stigma around depression, and suicidal thoughts.
The Virginia Stars 12U Softball Team is commended for its impressive season ending with a 32-8-1 record that led to a national championship (issue 76). The team is led by head coach, Jessica Cassedy, a PWC native who led Stonewall Jackson High School to a Virginia State Championship in 2004. See the championship team roster here.
County News
Survey Results are In
The PWC 2021 Community Survey results (issue 61) are in and 56% of responders were very satisfied with both the overall quality of life in the county and the quality of services provided, which is consistent with 2018. Nearly half were very satisfied that PWC’s services and facilities were a fair value for the tax dollars, also consistent with 2018. Courtesy and helpfulness of county employees saw a significant increase since 2018, with 75% very satisfied. You can read the full report here.
PWC government has sought out input from the community since 1993. Conducted annually until 2012, when the County moved to every other year. The last survey was conducted in 2018. The County did not do a survey in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Some Additional Results

Fire and Rescue Medical Services were the highest rated in the survey with: 
  • 93% were very satisfied with the professionalism of Fire and Emergency Medical Services responders
  • 90% were satisfied with the high quality of service

Police also had favorable ratings, including: 
  • 80% were very satisfied with feeling safe in their neighborhoods
  • 80% were satisfied that police display positive attitudes and behaviors toward residents, an increase of 13% since 2018.

In other areas:
  • 84% were very satisfied with the voting experience.
  • 74% were very satisfied with library services, including online services, meeting their needs.
  • 61% were very satisfied with the quality of recreation opportunities.

When asked what would make PWC a better place to live, 9% responded improving roads and transportation, 8% responded stop development, and 7% responded nothing, as they are satisfied.
Group Makes a Stop in PWC
On Monday, September 4, 40 cyclists and 20 volunteers participating in the Brotherhood Ride passed through PWC. The team’s 22 day ride started in Naples, FL on August 21 and concludes in New York City. It is dedicated to Florida’s Fallen Heroes who died in the line of duty in 2020, the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, and the first responders who have died from 9/11 related illnesses. While here, they were supported by the Prince William Professional Firefighters, the Prince William County Police Association.
Chair Wheeler's office provided the Brotherhood Riders with special bike themed treats from Salsa Sweets, which specializes in personalized and custom-designed, hand-artisan sugar cookies.
New Program Starting
Starting October 1, PWC will have the following new curbside yard waste collection program requirements.

Yard waste:
  • Will be collected separately from trash and recycling
  • Must be placed in biodegradable paper bags or containers labeled “Yard Waste.” Labels are available at the PWC Landfill and Balls Ford Road Compost Facility. Self-made labels are also acceptable
  • Is not to be placed plastic bags for yard waste collection.

Yard waste collection runs from March through December. You can learn additional details here. In addition to yard waste services, Christmas trees will be collected curbside during the first two weeks of January.
There is Still Time to Participate
Help shape the future of transportation by completing the TransAction's online survey (issue 79) by September 19 on things like how you travel, what transportation issues are important to you, and what would improve your travel experience.  TransAction, overseen by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, is Northern Virginia’s long-range multimodal transportation plan,
County Happenings
Fall Concert Series
Hylton on the Hill outdoor concert series kicks off its Fall season on Saturday, September 18 at 4:00 pm with the U.S. Army Band Downrange. Their continuously up-to-date repertoire includes rock, pop, country, R&B, and inspirational signature patriotic arrangements. George Mason University’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative is a sponsoring the free one-hour performance.
The Rest of the Fall Season

Tickets for the above three shows are $25.00 for adults and $12.50 for youth through Grade 12.
Tank Farm Open House Event
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, PWC's Tank Farm is holding an Open House and hosting the Americans in Wartime Experience. Located at 13906 Aden Road in Bristow, the Tank Farm will have 50 vehicles on display, an additional dozen that will be demonstrated, and over a hundred living historians who will bring the event to life. The event will also include K9 demonstrations, children’s activities, food vendors, flame thrower demonstrations, and more. You can get a taste of the Americans in Wartime Experience in the video below and register for the event here.
PWC Arts Council's Art's Alive! 2021 (issue 80) is Sunday, September 12, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and there is something for every age! You can view and download the jammed-packed event schedule here.
2021 General Election News
Early in-person voting in PWC for the November 2 General Election opens Saturday, September 17. While PWC's Office of Elections and Virginia's Department of Elections websites are your best source of comprehensive voter information, below you'll find some key information and hyperlinks to ensure you are set up for a successful voting experience.
Voting 101

The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 12.

You can enter your name, date of birth, last 4 of your SSN and locality in the Virginia Department of Elections' Citizen Portal to:
  • Check your registration status.
  • Update your address.
  • Apply to vote absentee by mail (deadline is Friday, October 22).
  • Identify your polling location.
  • Learn your districts.
  • Check your voting history.

Find your sample ballot (use the Citizen Portal above if you are unsure of your district)

Days and times:
  • September 17 – October 30, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday October 9 and 16, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 23 and 30, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 24, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

  • The Prince William County Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1 in Manassas
  • The Haymarket Gainesville Community Library, 14870 Lightner Road in Haymarket
  • Department of Motor Vehicle Woodbridge Customer Service Center, Elections Office, 2731 Caton Hill Road in Woodbridge

Additional days, times, and locations starting October 18:
  • October 18 – October 30, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday October 23 and 30, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • The Brentsville Courthouse Historic District, 12229 Bristow Road in Bristow
  • The Dumfries Community Center, 17755 Main Street in Dumfries
Be Prepared
September is National Preparedness Month and the 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” The U. S. Government site Ready is a one-stop resource for building your preparedness kit of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Ready's downloadable checklist will help you assemble your basic kit. You will also want to consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors. Scroll down the Ready Build a Kit site for information on additional items to consider, along with maintaining and storing you kit.
Important Acknowledgements
National Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15 to October 15 each year and recognizes the contributions and influences of Hispanics to the history, culture and achievements of the United States. The push to recognize the contributions of the Latinx community gained momentum throughout the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at its peak. It began as a commemorative week in June of 1968. It was two decades later when, on September 14, 1989, President George H.W. Bush declared the 31-day period from September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Why it's September 15 to October 15

The timing of Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American nations. Mexico declared its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810, followed by Chile on September 18, the same year. Then in 1821, on September 15, the five nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua declared their independence from Spain. Belize declared its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981.
National Suicide Prevention Week is September 5-11 and this year’s theme is “Creating Hope Through Action.” According to the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide (AFPS), it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the 2nd leading cause among people 10-34 years old. More than 47,000 Americans lost their lives to it in 2019 and per the Virginia Department of Health, 1,045 of those were Virginians.
Where to Get Help

Organizations such as the Prevention Coalition of Greater Prince William, AFSP and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offer support and resources for all people affected by suicide. This includes those who are contemplating or have attempted suicide, anyone worried about a loved one, and anyone who has lost somebody to suicide. Locally, ACTS offers a confidential listening and crisis intervention Helpline, 703-368-4141, 24 hours a day. Residents can also contact the Department of Community Services at 703-792-7800 to connect to county and community resources.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents.