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Issue 86
Friday, October 8, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

This issue is full of so many good things happening in Prince William County. As always, the goal is to organize the information so you can focus on what is of most importance or interest to you.

That said, I would like to encourage all of you to read through one section. On Tuesday, the Board passed a variety of important proclamations, some of which are likely very familiar to you, making it tempting to skip over them. However, I believe you will find details in these articles that are new or provide a broader perspective. You will also see how many of these connect to articles in other sections of this issue.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Chair's Calendar
Saturday, October 3, Chair Wheeler participated the Equality Prince William Pride Celebration event in Manassas. The inaugural event was kicked-off by a rainbow ribbon-cutting. Equality Prince William is a non-partisan organization formed to address equal rights issues for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals from a local Greater Prince William County perspective. 
Wednesday, October 6, Chair Wheeler participated in the Prince William County Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association memorial, tribute service, and candlelight vigil for fallen law enforcement officers (issue 84). An annual event, it honored the lives and service of the 18 men and women who lived, or served, in Greater PWC and died in the line of duty since 1922.
Thursday, October 7, Chair Wheeler participated in a ribbon-cutting at the new Potomac Shores Middle School. The school's vision is to be a student-centered community that values positive relationships, transparency, kindness, respect, and to celebrate all cultures and promote equity for all. Its mission is to provided a student-centered education focused on collaboration, taking risks, empowering students to take ownership of their learning that is inclusive of the diverse needs of every child.
Virginia’s Community Vaccination Clinic (issue 85) is now open for Pfizer booster shots Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm at the former Gander Mountain store, 14011 Worth Avenue in Woodbridge, Those eligible can make an appointment for a free booster at or by calling 877-829-4682. Walk-ins are welcome.
Individuals who need to receive their first or second dose, and those who are immunosuppressed and need a third dose, may receive them at no cost at the Prince William Health District CVC site there.
Prince William Health District has a new COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments webpage which provides a consolidated list of the dates, locations, and brand of vaccine(s) offered. It also provides details on if the clinic is a walk-up or a reservation link.
Get the Shot
If You Need to be Tested for COVID-19
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, October 12, at 2:00 pm

For Public Comment Time options,
visit SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by
5:00 pm on Monday, October 11.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
October 5 BOCS Proclamations
(left) Deborah Abbott, Executive Director LVAPW, (2nd from left) Barbara Ball, Treasurer LVAPW, (4th from left) George Kerr Secretary LVAPW, (5th from left) Ernestine Jenkins, Board Member LVAPW
Proclaimed 2021 as the Year of Literacy and urged all residents to celebrate this 30th Anniversary of Literacy Volunteers of America – Prince William (LVAPW) and the legacy of its founder, Librarian Dona Swanson.(see Hometown Hero section below). Founded in June of 1991, LVAPW has provided basic literacy in English, GED assistance, basic computer literacy, and U. S. Citizenship training to thousands of PWC residents. Additionally, it has benefited tens of thousands of their family members through increased earning power, general education, and job security. 
In 2001, the national organization of Literacy Volunteers of America merged with other adult literacy efforts to become Pro-Literacy America, a part of Pro-Literacy Worldwide. The chapters retained their local identity while being affiliates of Pro-Literacy America.
Dr. Carol Shapiro, Plastic Surgeon Sentara Wound Healing Center
Proclaimed October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to increase awareness of the disease and drive action to build on the significant advances in treatment. Currently, there are more than 3,800,000 women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the U. S. It is estimated that 44,130 deaths (43,600 women and 530 men) from breast cancer will occur this year. On this 36th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the BOCS extended its deepest respect to the family members of those who have lost loved ones to breast cancer, survivors of breast cancer diagnosis, and those who advocate for prevention and a cure.
  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the U. S. after lung cancer.
  • The average five year survival rate for women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 90%.
  • The average ten year survival rate for women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 84%.
  • Women of color are often diagnosed at later stages when treatments are limited or costly, and the prognosis is poor, which contributes to survival rates 9% to 10% lower in Black women compared to White (not Hispanic or Latina) women.
  • Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than men, yet men are generally diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage than women, due in part to a lack of awareness, which affects eventual prognosis and treatment.

Fortunately, the number of women who have died of breast cancer has decreased by 41% from 1989 to 2018 thanks to early detection and treatment improvements. 
(right) The Hon. Amy Ashworth, PWC Commonwealth Attorney
Proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, recognizing and standing in solidarity with the victims of domestic violence. All residents are urged to take advantage of the efforts and activities of the many departments and organizations in PWC (see text box below) dedicated to combatting instances of domestic violence. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of age, race, gender, or position in the family. While the majority of intimate-partner violence victims are women, men are also victims. Children who are exposed to intimate partner violence as witnesses have resulting trauma that can translate to behavioral and medical problems that can affect them for the rest of their lives.
  • Over one-third of homicides occurring in Virginia are related to domestic violence.
  • The PWC Police Department receives over 7,000 crisis calls from families involved with domestic violence per year.
  • The PWC Police Department has received over 5,000 calls to date this year.

Agencies, like the Office Of Criminal Justice Services and the
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, have specialized programs and personnel to help the community handle instances of domestic volence in the greater Prince William area.

Organizations in the community, like community partner, ACTS Domestic Violence Services (Turning Point), continue to be at the forefront of community healing from domestic violence
(right) Rachel Payne, Ph.D., Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy Didlake
Proclaimed October Disability Employment Awareness Month and called upon employers, schools, and other community organizations in the county to observe it with appropriate programs and activities. On this 76th anniversary, its important message must continue to be advanced. PWC is committed to ensuring compliance with the Federal Disabilities Act and all disability rights laws that enable the rights and freedom for disabled individuals to work and earn a living. Employers’ benefit from a diverse workforce including the hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities and they play an essential role in PWC's continued economic success.
The unemployment rate for working-age persons with disabilities is currently twice as high as it is for persons without disabilities.

This year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion," reflects the importance of ensuring that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
(left to right) Cynthia Moses-Nedd, Vice-Chair PWC Planning Commission, Parag Agrawal AICP, Director PWC Planning Office, Yolanda Green. Vice-Chair PWC Historical Commission. and Paul F. Chamberlin, Chair PWC Board of Zoning Appeals
Proclaimed October as National Community Planning month (see Open House article in County News section below) to publicly recognize the participation and dedication of the members of the Planning Commission and other citizen planners who have contributed their time and expertise to the improvement of PWC. Community planning provides an opportunity for all residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine the future of their community. The Commission and community stakeholders are in the forefront of encouraging smart growth principles of mixing land uses, creating multiple housing options, encouraging economic development, fostering a strong sense of place, and preservation of open space.
(left) Paige Thacker Unit Coordinator Extension Agent Virginia Cooperative Extension, (standing starting from 3rd left of Chair Wheeler) Samatha Seagle, Virginia 4H Shooting Education Ambassador, Samantha Whysong, PWC 4-H Association Youth President, and Tom Harrigan, PWC 4-H Association Adult Secretary
Proclaimed the week of October 3 through the 9 as National 4-H Week and urged the community to join in celebrating and recognizing the unique partnership between our County, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and our State University System. The nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H (issue 77) programs empower nearly 6,000,000 young people across the U. S. It is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and Department of Agriculture. The positive environment provided by 4-H mentors prepare participants to step up to the challenges of a complex and rapidly changing world by pledging their “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health” to “Make the Best Better.” 
The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are:
  • Four times more likely to contribute to their communities.
  • Two times more likely to make healthier choices.
  • Two times more likely to be civically active.
  • Two times more likely to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.

PWC 4-H remained strong through the COVID-19
pandemic with over 200 enrolled members in clubs and camping programs and almost 7,000 members in 4-H special interest programs. Hundreds of volunteers during a pandemic have given more than 11,000 hours of their time, endless talents, energies, and resources to the youth of the community.
(left to right) Alice Mergler, Poet Laureate Circle Coordinator PWC Arts Council, and Kim B. Miller, 2022 PWC Poet Laureate
Proclaimed October 9 and 10 to be “In the Company of Laureates" (see County Happenings article below), to highlight poetry, encourage community participation, and honor our local writers who bring us creative verse. Poetry as an art form through story-telling and song, predates the written word and today spans a vast portfolio of genres which encompass, chronicle, and challenge our human story throughout the ages. In poetry, the rhythm, imagery, symbolism, and resonance of words speak to the universality of culture and embody the heart and soul of community.
County News
The PWC Electoral Board has announced Eric Olsen as the new Director of Elections (General Registrar), starting on November 8, 2021. Mr. Olsen has spent more than a decade working in elections for large jurisdictions in Virginia (Arlington County), Maryland (Montgomery County), and the District of Columbia. He has extensive experience in election administration, operations, best practices, and is currently serving as the Deputy Director for the Arlington County Office of Voter Registration and Elections.
In 2015, Mr. Olsen received a national grant from the Knight Foundation for his work using data modeling to reduce lines on Election Day. Not only did DC reduce lines by more than 40% from 2012 to 2016, but he worked with jurisdictions across the country to help them improve in this area. Mr. Olsen also previously served as co-chair of the Elections Committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Mr. Olsen graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with his B.A. in Political Science and Sociology and completed his Juris Doctorate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a licensed attorney and a resident of PWC.
Phil Campbell, who stepped out of retirement earlier this year to serve as the Acting Director of Elections, will remain in that position through the current election.
The PWC's national recognized (issue 75) Department of Information Technology has announced additional investments in its Technology Inclusion Initiative (TII) program. The multi-year program seeks to deliver affordable, universal broadband access County-wide, and to expand technology literacy among County residents and businesses.
Launched in the last half of 2020, this year the TII program is investing in the following three initiatives to further enhance the County’s ability to secure grants and other special funding that may become available:
  • Technology Literacy growth through a series of free education courses for County residents and businesses beginning in November.
  • County-wide Broadband Survey to identify all of the locations in PWC unserved, or underserved for broadband by November 30.
  • Broadband Partnerships to deliver broadband services to areas unserved and to help enhance areas that are underserved.

More information on the TII program and these initiatives is available in a newly released whitepaper, Technology Inclusion in Prince William County.
“Prince William County is moving forward with a sense of urgency to address broadband access, affordability and technology literacy issues that are critical to the prosperity and well-being of our residents and businesses. The investments we’re making today in our Technology Inclusion Initiative will enable the County to fully deliver on the promise of universal broadband as funding becomes available.”
Rob Mancini
CIO for Prince William County
Director of the Department of Information Technology
in acknowledgement of National Community Planning Month, the PWC Planning Office is hosting an Open House on Wednesday, October 13, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The event is open to the public and provides an opportunity for staff from the Planning Office, the Department of Parks, Recreation, & Tourism, and the Department of Economic Development to discuss their work and how the public can stay involved. The open house will be held at the Development Services Building, at 5 County Complex Court in Woodbridge, in Conference Rooms 202A/B,
The Planning Office is responsible for the review of development applications including rezonings, special use permits, comprehensive plan amendments, agricultural and forestal districts, zoning appeals and variances, and public facility reviews. The office acts as support staff to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Historical Commission, Agricultural & Forestal Districts Advisory Committee, Architectural Review Board, and Trails & Blueways Council.
PWC has recently completed a 1.3-mile section of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. The new section connects the Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge to Veteran’s Memorial Park, one of the County’s busiest parks. When completed, the heritage trail will run 710 miles along the Potomac River, its wetlands, and environs, through Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
“The heritage trail goes from Pittsburgh to the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. It is one of the major trails in the United States. Every section that we can get completed in Prince William will add to the user experience of our neighbor's next door or hikers and cyclists from around the world.”
David Brickley
Chairman of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail’s Committee of the Prince William Trails and Blueways Council
Saturday, October 16, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the Prince William County Community Foundation is hosting a Health and Wellness Expo at the Hylton Boys & Girls Club, at 5070 Dale Blvd in Dale City. The event, which is free and open to the public, will have health screenings, dental checks, financial wellness and tips, blood pressure screenings, COVID-19 vaccinations, free giveaways, and much more!
The PWC Community Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to helping to improve the quality of life and providing sensible solutions. With a variety of initiatives focused on the social, environmental, and economic health, it endeavors to be at the forefront of improving the quality of life in the community and championing solutions that advance the common good. Its services includes initiatives in the areas of healthcare, education, well­being, and food insecurity.
The ACTS Hunger Prevention Center is holding its annual Operation Give Thanks from October 18 through November 19 to ensure every family it serves has a meal to share on this special holiday. It relies heavily upon donations to make it happen and in 2020 community donations provided the fixings for close to 1000 families to prepare Thanksgiving meals!
The ACTS Hunger Prevention Center provides gift cards to purchase turkeys, but needs donations to provide the following fixings:
  • Gravy (canned, or dry packet)
  • Pie Crust Mix
  • Cornbread or Biscuit Mix
  • Canned Vegetables, 15oz
  • Broth (canned 15oz)
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Can or jar of gravy, or gravy mix packet
  • Stuffing Mix
  • Cranberry Sauce (canned)
  • Yams or Sweet Potatoes (canned)
  • Pumpkin or Fruit Pie Filling
  • Evaporated milk

Donations may be dropped off Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm and Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Hunger Prevention Center, located at 17958 Dr. David Cline Lane in Dumfries.
County Happenings
Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10, the PWC Arts Council (issue 80) is hosting In The Company of Laureates at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge campus. The free, two-day event will have upwards of 30 poets from the U. S. and around the world. The poets will be on hand to provide round table workshops and discussions. Some will have visual art and books on display and for sale. Hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday. No pre-registration is required and refreshments will be served.
Saturday, October 9, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Manassas Latino Festival, will be held at the Harris Pavilion located at 9201 Center Street in old town Manassas. the event is a celebration of the cultural heritage and contributions of the LatinAmerican community. The annual event, held during National Hispanic Heritage Month (issue 82), will have live music, dance performances, diverse foods and other fun activities for the entire family. The event is free to the public. 
On Saturday, October, 16 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center is hosting PetOberfest. All are welcome to attend and enjoy free family and pet friendly activities which will include a pet parade, costume contest, a lure course, an agility course, pet-friendly exhibitors, children’s entertainment, store discounts, prizes, and much more. Pet photo booth donations will benefit the Prince William SPCA. All pets in attendance must be leashed. Visit here for event and exhibitor information.
Just in Time for Halloween
The PWC Department of Park, Recreation, & Tourism is offering three Special Effects Makeup classes. Learn from theatrical and effects local makeup artists exactly how cuts, bruises, scars and all sorts of special effects are done for movies and TV. Open to ages from 8 to 99, the two-hour Saturday class is $65 and includes purchase of personal makeup kits. Register here.
Class Dates and Times:

Hometown Hero
A Legacy of Literacy and More
In the spring of 1991, a PWC parent approached Librarian Dona Swanson at a library children’s event and asked for help so he could learn to read. This inspired Dona to search for information on adult literacy where she discovered that County Adult Education was not equipped to teach basic literacy. She approached the Literacy Volunteers of America to start a local affiliate organization. In June of 1991, with her own money and on her own time, Dona founded Literacy Volunteers of America – Prince William LVAPW, to teach adults to read, write, and speak English.
Numerous county residents came forward to seek help and Dona recruited friends and colleagues to serve as tutors and officers of the organization. For the first five years, Dona ran LVAPW from her home after work and on weekends until the demands became so great, she passed the leadership on to others. In the next five years of its existence, LVAPW moved into an office and hired an Executive Director.
Dona was also an extremely active member of the Nokesville, VA community, earning the distinguished honor of "Citizen of the Year" in 2012. Additionally, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Nokesville Business Association and extremely active in "Friends Uniting Nokesville." Dona passed away in January 2021, but lives on in the countless memories of the lives she touched.
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.