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Issue 61
Friday, April 16, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

This issue of The Wheeler Report is packed full of great information, so I’ll keep this a bit briefer. There is so much happening throughout the County and it is as welcome as the lovely weather we have been experiencing. 

We are in the midst of spring and our communities are beginning to awaken, not only from a long winter, but an even longer pandemic. While we must still practice social distancing and wearing face coverings, it is important to celebrate as we begin to experience a bit of normalcy. For me, it was going to the opening day of the Prince William County Girls Fast Pitch Softball. It represented so much of what we missed for the last year: sports, family, community, and fun. 

We are also in the midst of our annual County Budget season, which is very different from the spring season but equally important. Both set the stage for how we move forward, representing a renewal of hope for the future, as well as our vision and priorities for this County we love. 

Ultimately, a budget is a reflection of our values. At budget markup this week I will urge those values to include support for our schools, support for our legal system, support for sustainability and support for our human services division. Hopefully, we will end up with a budget that reflects all we need to move forward, in a positive way, together. 

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Vaccination Updates
This week, the FDA and the CDC recommended pausing the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution while they investigate an extremely rare possible side effect. In response, Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Department of Health Vaccine Coordinator, stated Virginia is halting all Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines until that investigation is complete. The Prince William Health District announced it has switched from administering the J&J vaccine to the Pfizer vaccine at the Metz Middle School Clinic this week. Virginia is continuing its vaccine rollout with the other two authorized vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
If You Have Received the J&J Vaccine

The Virginia Department of Health advises people who have received the J&J vaccine to contact their health care provider if they develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, or call 911 if they experience a medical emergency. Additional information can also be found on the CDC webpage.
Expanded Eligibility
On Sunday, April 18, all Virginians age 16 and older, will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine (issue 60). This expansion of eligibility comes as Virginia reaches a new milestone in its vaccination program with approximately half of all adults in the Commonwealth having received at least one dose. The Northam Administration anticipates that all Virginians who want a vaccine will be able to get at least their first dose by the end of May. 

Virginians seeking an opportunity to get vaccinated may have to wait for an appointment, as demand for vaccination is expected to continue to outpace supply in many parts of the Commonwealth. Those who were eligible under Phase 1 who cannot find an appointment should pre-register for a priority appointment at or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA.
Vaccine 101

  • Pre-register for the vaccine online or by calling the COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-877-829-4682 (1-877-VAX-IN-VA). When it is your turn, you will be contacted to make an appointment.

  • Follow the Prince William Health District on Facebook or Twitter for the open appointment and pop-up clinic announcements.

  • You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)

  • Once fully vaccinated, you should still keep taking precautions in public places and must follow Virginia's mitigation current measures (issue 58).
Chair's Calendar
Upcoming - Help Shape PWC's Future
Don't forget to register for Chair Wheeler's Countywide online community engagement session (issue 59) on Wednesday, April 21, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm! The rebranding discussion will be on a variety of topics ranging from the look of the County Seal to how to create economic development opportunities in PWC.
Route 1 Widening Celebrated
Participating in the ribbon-cutting with Chair Wheeler were Woodbridge Supervisor Margaret Franklin, Virginia Delegate Candi Mundon King-2nd District, Virginia Senator Scott Surovell-36th District, and VDOT District Construction Engineer Bill Cuttler.
On Monday, April 12, a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of the project to widen Route 1 between Mary's Way and Annapolis Way in Woodbridge. The project, running parallel to Interstate 95, is in an area that averages 39,000 vehicles a day and improves traffic for Northern Virginia as well as the Metropolitan Washington Region.

The $160-million project includes a 10-foot-wide shared-use path along the southbound lanes, a six-foot-wide sidewalk along the northbound lanes, additional turn lanes at the Occoquan Road intersection, a new bridge over Marumsco Creek, and a new median on Occoquan Road from Route 1 to just south of Horner Road.
"Route 1 is a vital corridor in Prince William County and over $300 million has been invested in widening this roadway in the County over the last 10 years. This project not only improves mobility for our residents and visitors but supports one of the County's seven small area plans, which are strategically directing growth with a focus on transit-oriented land use, economic development and placemaking to mitigate impacts and maximize the benefits of this growth Countywide. This ribbon cutting is the culmination of significant investment of federal, state, regional and local funding, and over 10 years of collaboration between the state and Prince William County."
Ann Wheeler
Prince William Board of County Supervisors
Opening Day Festivities
Saturday, April 6, Chair Wheeler was a special guest at the Opening Day festivities for PWC Girls Fast Pitch Softball at Andrew Leitch Park in Dale City. After missing the opportunity to host the annual event in 2020, they were thrilled to celebrate the first game of the season. Before the first pitch was thrown, there were prizes raffled off, goods from sponsors shared, along with thank-yous extended and honors acknowledged.
Vaccinating the Most Vulnerable
On Monday, April 12, Chair Wheeler attended a vaccination event hosted by Serving Our Neighbors (SON). The mobile clinic administered vaccines to 70 homeless citizens in PWC. SON is supported by Manassas Presbyterian Church, in partnership with PWC Department of Social Services, West End Advocacy Group, and Feeding Friends to assist the homeless community in Manassas.
Planting a Garden
On Tuesday, April 13, Chair Wheeler participated in the County's annual "plant" a pinwheel garden as part of the PWC Department of Social Services Pinwheels for Prevention. The event is held during Child Abuse Prevention Month (issue 60) to recognize the importance of safe, stable, and nurturing environments for all children.
Other recent activities Chair Wheeler participated in include:

Environmental News
Taking Care of the Earth
Thursday, April 22 is Earth Day! It all started on April 22, in 1970 when 20 million Americans - 10% of our population at the time - participated in the first Earth Day. April is also considered Earth Month. Our region has made great progress improving our environment.
This video by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments webpage shares simple ways you can make a difference. You can also learn more at and
Celebrating Earth Day
On Saturday, April 10, Chair Wheeler participated in an Earth Day celebration. The event was jointly sponsored by Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB) and IKEA, who hosted it at their Woodbridge location parking garage. There were games, prizes, activities, and a whole lot of Earth Day fun was shown to this planet we call home.
Visit KPWB's website to learn how you make a difference year-round. You'll find lots of different - and fun - ways to get involved! You can also follow their Facebook page to be sure you stay up to date.
Sustainability Role Model
Speaking of IKEA, did you know it is one of the most active corporations with respect to environmental sustainability (issue 60). In fact, in 2012 IKEA officially plugged-in a solar energy system atop its store in Woodbridge, which at that time, was the largest in Virginia. Its clean energy production is the equivalent of reducing 439 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 86 cars, or powering 55 homes yearly.
Some of the ways IKEA is demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability are:

  • Since September 2015, 100% of the cotton in IKEA products comes from more sustainable sources. It is committed to creating a positive change throughout the entire cotton industry.

  • To ensure that the wool it uses is sourced in a responsible way, IKEA works to secure full traceability in support of positive animal welfare conditions for sheep.

  • IKEA phased out all single-use plastic products from its global home furnishing range in January 2020. It makes plastics from renewable sources like corn, sugar beet, and sugar cane instead of virgin fossil based.

  • IKEA increasingly uses bamboo in its products, which is both renewable and recyclable. Bamboo forests are particularly efficient as the bamboo plant is fast growing. Its strength and good dimensional stability provide possibilities for constructions with thinner elements and boards, resulting in reduced use of material per product that saves natural resources.
BOCS Proclamations
On Tuesday, April 13, Chair Wheeler had the privilege of presenting certificates for several meaningful proclamations made by the BOCS.
Crime Victims' Rights Week
Pictured accepting the proclamation certificate is Victim-Witness Assistance Program Case Manager Gine Ryan.
The week of April 18 was recognized as Crime Victims’ Rights Week with the Board recommitting to ensuring that accessible, appropriate, and trauma-informed services are offered to all victims of crime. Administered by the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Victim-Witness Assistance Program is dedicated to strengthening victims and survivors in the aftermath of a crime, building resilience in communities and victim service providers, and bringing hope and healing to all victims and survivors.
National Volunteer Week
Pictured accepting the proclamation certificate are Virginia Cooperative Extension-Prince William Staff MaryBeth Lerch, Thomas Bolles, Rozlyn Giddens, Angie Carrera, Joanne Bilotta, Paige Thacker, and Master Gardener Volunteers Christina Hastings, Jimmie Jones; Master Financial Education Volunteers Erika Laos, Audrey Spencer-Horsely, and Kayla Dixon, 4-H Youth Development Volunteer.
The week of April 18 was recognized as National Volunteer Week. Done in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William (VCE), the proclamation thanked the volunteers for lending their time, talent, voice, and passion to causes, and urged all citizens in PWC to consider volunteering.

The highly trained and diverse VCE volunteers help PWC staff provide educational programs on nutrition, protecting the environment, parenting, personal finances, and 4-H youth development. In Fiscal Year 2020, 774 VCE volunteers contributed 30,590 hours, saving the County $834,189. Each year, VCE selects 12 volunteers to honor as "Volunteer of the Month" from the local unit. Learn more about the May 2020 through April 2021 honorees here.
Fair Housing Month
Pictured accepting the proclamation certificate are REALTOR Association of Prince William members April Thomas, Susan Swaney, Peggy Burke, William Coppa, David Gillis, Beth Grant, and Stephanie Reynolds.
The month of April was recognized as Fair Housing Month. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968, prohibiting housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, sex, familial status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. As laid out by the U.S. Congress, the BOCS committed to the mission of providing fair and equal housing opportunities to all and recognized that fair housing contributes to the wellbeing community and economy, which are further strengthened by diverse and inclusive communities.
Human Rights and Religious Freedom Day
Pictured accepting the proclamation certificate are Sikh Center of Virginia members Dr. Jatimder Mann, Balwinder Dhilion, Kamaljit Bajwa, Partap Gill, Inderjit Rana, Mehtav Kahlon, and Derinder Singh.
The day of April 18 was proclaimed as the 400th anniversary of the birth of Guru Teg Bahadur, a hero of the Sikh religion, and as Human Rights and Religious Freedom Day. Nearly 30 million Sikhs around the world celebrate Bahadur's birthday. The ninth Guru of the Sikh Religion, he championed religious freedom for all and criticized forced religious conversions. His vocal protests led to his untimely death. Among Sikhs, Bahadur was fondly known as Dharam Di Chador, or Shield of the Religious, for his sacrifice.
BOCS Upcoming Meeting
TuesdayApril 20
Budget Markup at 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options,
visit SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by
5:00 pm on Monday, April 19.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
TuesdayApril 27
7:30 pm - Budget Adoption

For Additional Budget Information
You can find an overview of the County's budget process in Issue 53 and more detailed information on the PWC Budget webpage.
County News
Service Authority Announcement
The PWC Service Authority has selected Mr. Calvin D. Farr, Jr., P.E., as its new General Manager effective May 17. Mr. Farr has 24 years of experience in the utility industry and is currently the Director of the Department of Public Utilities for the City of Richmond, which serves more than 500,000 customers within the City of Richmond and its surrounding counties.
Mr. Farr's career has included implementing capital improvement programs, enhancing operation and maintenance practices, championing asset management programs, and maintaining a strong environmental compliance record. He holds an Executive Masters of Public Management from the University of Maryland, Masters of Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Old Dominion University. Mr. Farr is a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

PWC Service Authority is the largest combined water and wastewater utility in Virginia, serving more than 360,000 customers. It has received numerous awards and is a nationally recognized model for excellence, sustainability, industry best practices, and environmental stewardship.
The County has begun its biennial community survey, which provides reliable and valid data to help guide strategic decisions made by the BOCS. An independent market research firm located in Va. Beach, Issues and Answers Network, Inc., will reach out to 1,600 randomly selected citizens from across the County to participate. Conducted via telephone, the survey will take approximately 15 minutes. Multi-lingual surveyors are available as needed. The survey will run through May 6 and information obtained from the survey will be presented to the BOCS in early September.
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. You can learn about the 2018 findings in the survey presentation made to the BOCS. A very detailed report of the survey is also available.
PWC is the First in Virginia
The Marcus-David Peters Act, signed into law in late 2020, takes a comprehensive approach to ensure Virginia provides a health-focused and trauma-informed response to behavioral health emergencies. The Marcus Alert System, requires localities to establish, by July 1, a voluntary database to provide mental health and emergency contact information for use in 9-1-1 emergency response situations.

PWC is already in compliance thanks to its ongoing use of the Rave 911 Suite and Smart911 Program (issue 42), which allows individuals to provide 9-1-1 call takers and first responders with critical information through a Safety and Vulnerable Needs Profile. PWC is the first jurisdiction to implement the Marcus Alert System, in collaboration with Public Safety, Community Services, alongside law enforcement and community stakeholders. Learn more about Smart911 and how you can sign up.
How You Can Get Involved

PWC Department of Community Services is seeking to establish a Missions Workgroup, as a part of the system implementation, to help it obtain community input and to prioritize the needs of the County's behavioral health crisis system. The Workgroup will facilitate community conversations to identify the critical components and considerations for building our local Marcus Alert behavioral health crisis system. For now, individuals interested in participating can visit the Missions Workgroup application webpage to apply online by April 30. Email questions to
Five local eateries in PWC were featured in the April 2021 issue of Northern Virginia Magazine's Hidden Foodie Gems cover story! Offering a variety of international menus, you will be able to expand your palette while also supporting local businesses.
Aburi Gardens International - African Cuisine
14830 Build America Drive, Woodbridge

Arepas Capitol - Gourmet Venezuelan Cuisine
14091 Noblewood Plaza, Woodbridge

Dolce Amore Sweets - Peruvian Bakery
8641 Sudley Road, Manassas

Eda's Latin Food - Nicaraguan Cuisine
9071 Liberia Avenue, Manassas

Mofongo Steakhouse & Grill - Puerto Rican Cuisine
14035 Nobelwood Plaza, Woodbridge
A Significant Time
Ramadan ( Arabic Ramaḍān) is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the Holy month of fasting. It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. Because the Muslim calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian calendar year, Ramadan begins 10–12 days earlier each year, allowing it to fall in every season throughout a 33-year cycle. This year, Ramadan began on the evening of Monday, April 12 and will end on either Tuesday, May 11, or Wednesday, May 12, depending on the appearance of the new moon.

The annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam ​and it is a period of introspection, heightened worship, and increased charity and generosity. Muslims hold that the scrolls of Abraham, Torah, Psalms, Gospel, and Quran were revealed during Ramadan, For Muslims, God forgives the past sins of those who observe the holy month with fasting, prayer, and faithful intention.
During Ramadan, after the sunset prayer, Muslims gather in their homes or mosques to break their fast with a meal called ifṭār that is often shared with friends and extended family. The ifṭār usually begins with dates, as was the custom of Muhammad, or apricots and water or sweetened milk.
Two mosques providing hot meals to people for Iftar are: 

Islamic tradition states that it was during Ramadan, on the “Night of Power” (Laylat al-Qadr), which is commemorated on one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, God revealed the Qurʾān, Islam’s holy book, to the Prophet Muhammad “as a guidance for the people.” 
Springtime Happenings
Here are a few of the fun things happening in PWC this spring:


Saturday, April 17:

Saturday, April 25:
Primary Election
On Tuesday, June 8, Virginia will have a Democratic primary election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. All Democratic and Republican primary candidates for the House of Delegates representing PWC will also be on the ballot. Details on how to participate in early in-person voting, which starts Friday, April 23, are below. Be sure to bring your acceptable ID.

To learn how to vote in the primary by Mail or Absentee visit the Office of Elections Early Voting site. The last day to register to vote is Monday, May 17.
Who is Running in the Primary
Below are the primary candidates with hyperlinks to their information on Ballotpedia. Incumbents are noted with an (i) after their name.

If you are unsure which House of Representative District you reside in, you can find out using the online tool Who's My Legislator.
Governor - Democratic Primary Candidates

Lt. Governor - Democratic Primary Candidates

Attorney General - Democratic Primary Candidates
House District 2 - Democratic Primary Candidates

House District 31 - Democratic Primary Candidates

House District 50 - Democratic Primary Candidates

House District 51 - Republican Primary Candidate
Where to Vote Early In-Person:

  • Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22191 
  • Prince William Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Ave., Suite 1, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Haymarket Gainesville Community Library, 14870 Lightner Rd., Haymarket, VA 20169 
When You Can Vote Early In-Person:

FRIDAY, April 23
8:30 am to 5:00 pm

8:30 am to 5:00 pm

8:30 am to 5:00 pm

MONDAY, May 31

8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Mr. James L. Hicks, Jr. 65, of Dale City, VA passed away on Thursday, April 8. Born August 9, 1955, in Phenix City, Alabama, he served 33 years in the U. S. Army, as Special bandsmen/Corps Sergeant (manager) in the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and Electronic Shop Manager in the Signal Corps in Korea and Fort Riley Kansas. Mr. Hicks marched with and served as, the President, Music Master, Treasurer, and Instructor of the Potomac Ancient Fife and Drum Corps of Arlington and Vienna Virginia.
He was the owner of D.E.P. Copy and Printing Center in Woodbridge and a charter member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Montclair Business Networking International, an Assistant Governor for Rotary District 7610, President of the Woodbridge Rotary Club, and President of the Dale City Civic Association. Known as “The Voice of Dale City,” he will be fondly remembered for his involvement with the Annual Dale City Civic Independence Day Parade.
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 470,000 residents.