Issue 34
Friday, October 2, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Have you ever heard people talk about how, like a pendulum, things seem to swing from one extreme to the opposite extreme? Well I certainly think it has felt like that this year.

Just six months ago our collective consciousness was hyper focused on one singular thing - COVID-19. It dominated everything. Now it seems as if there are a million different important items competing for our attention. At the same time, we can't forget we are still in a pandemic and must remain vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread.

Interestingly, both extremes can have the same impact. Information overload, whether it be on one topic or dozens, can lead to distraction, things falling through the cracks, analysis paralysis, decreased productivity, moodiness, insomnia, fatigue - well you get the idea.

Bottom-line, it has been that kind of year. Fortunately, this issue has quite a few positive articles which I hope you find to be a little uplifting. One last thought, as we try to navigate these ever increasingly unique waters, try to be kind to yourself and extend the same kindness to others.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Time Is Running Out
Help us get the word out that the Census has been extended to Monday, October 5. Put it on your social media and tell it to everyone you talk to (think check-out clerks and restaurant servers). More people responding means more funding for schools, emergency services, health care, roads, and more!
Get Your PWC Sample Ballot
PWC has four sample ballots, and the one you will be given depends on where you reside. Three are based on your Congressional District for the House of Representatives. The fourth is specific to the Town of Dumfries. Below are links to the different sample ballots:
Don't know which Congressional District you live in?
Use the link below! Submit your name, date of birth, and last 4 of your SSN. Then scroll down on the results screen to find your district.
PWC Early In Person Voting
Now Through Saturday, October 17
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library, 14870 Lightner Road
  • Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1
  • DMV Woodbridge, 2731 Caton Hill Road 
  • Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:30 to noon
Monday, October 19 Through Saturday, October 31
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library, 14870 Lightner Road
  • Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1
  • DMV Woodbridge, 2731 Caton Hill Road 
  • McCoart Administration Building, 1 County Complex
  • Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Dr. 
  • Piney Branch Elementary School, 8301 Linton Hall Road
  • Colgan High School, 13833 Dumfries Road
  • Dumfries Town Hall, 101 S. Main Street
  • Monday through Thursday 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
  • Friday and Saturday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Absentee Ballots: All early in person voting locations have a secure drop-off box available during their voting hours to deposit your absentee ballot.
Capturing Information
The Virginia Open Data Portal, launched in 2014 by Governor Terry McAuliffe, provides state agency data to residents, empowering them to transform it into actionable intelligence. Within the portal, users can view stories and dashboards, create visualizations, and filter data. Datasets, grouped by topic, range from Opioid Response to Environment & Natural Resources. Now the portal has a COVID-19 section (overview page) with 16 different, topic specific, datasets to explore.  
Upcoming Meeting
The BOCS will meet 
TuesdayOctober 6 at 2:00 pm
The 7:30 pm meeting has been cancelled

For Public Comment Time options visit 
SpeakUp! Prince William.
Advance sign-up is required by
5:00 pm on Monday, October 5.
State News
Wind Energy
The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded Virginia a $775,000 grant to support the siting of wind energy projects across the Commonwealth. The grant will fund work by Old Dominion University to develop a statewide mapping tool for military, industry, and community stakeholders to determine where renewable energy projects are viable and identify potential impacts on military missions, training, and operations early in the planning process.
“Military training and developing alternative energy sources are both critical to Virginia’s economy. This grant will support the development of a web-based model to avoid mission conflicts and facilitate continued collaboration between developers, communities, and the military as technology and energy requirements evolve." 
Carlos Hopkins
Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs
School Kudos
Six PWC students are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. Additionally, six former PWC students who now attend the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology qualified. Each semifinalist represents less than 1% of high school seniors in the U.S. Finalists, who will be announced in February, compete for approximately 7,600 scholarships.
PWC Schools received a Department of Defense Education Activity Military Support Grant. The grant supports the social-emotional well-being of students, as well as an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through the funding and support permitted by this grant, military-connected students were able to participate in several STEM opportunities.
Hometown Heroes
Making An Impact
The Pi Lambda Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity represents greater PWC and is one of 750 chapters. Very active in a wide range of educational and humanitarian activities, they have recently been named Top Chapter Fundraiser by St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. The chapter is part of the Third District, which represents DC and Virginia. Out of 12 Districts, it was named Top Fundraising District.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college, was establised on November 17, 1911 at Howard University in DC. The name Omega Psi Phi was derived from the initials of a Greek phrase meaning, “friendship is essential to the soul“ which became its motto. Its Cardinal Principles are Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift.
St Jude Children's Research Hospital's mission is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. No child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay. A research hospital, St Jude freely shares its discoveries. Treatments invented there are credited with helping push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80%.
A Milestone Achievement
PWC has three new Eagle Scouts! After years of dedication, Ean Helmlinger, Aidan Marc Charles Kahl, and Zachary J. Malich were awarded the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Since its inception in 1911, only about 4% of Scouts have earned this rank after a lengthy review process.
Making A Difference
  • Ean Helmlinger's innovative project collected swim equipment to support a new program for children with Down Syndrome. He plans to pursue Mechanical Engineering and Patent Law as well as compete on a college swim team.
  • Aidan Marc Charles Kahl's project involved leading a group of 39 other scouts in planning, designing, and coordinating the construction of benches in Colgan High School athletic practice fields.
  • Zachary J. Malic's community project ranged from replacing and painting walls, parking lot safety poles, and cloth donation bin to adding a non-slip surface to a handicapped accessibility ramp and coordinating property cleanup and trash removal tasks.
The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 and the first Eagle Scout badge was awarded two years later in 1912. The application process is extremely rigorous and recognized as a milestone accomplishment. Famous Eagle Scouts include Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Movie Producer Steven Spielberg, and President Gerald Ford. An Eagle Scout always IS an Eagle Scout—never was.
Leadership Prince William (LPW) 2020 class has officially graduated! An independent non-profit organization, LPW founding partners included Prince William Chamber of Commerce, George Mason University, and Micron Technology. Now in its 11th year, they operate a Signature Program for adults, continuing education and networking for alumni, youth mentoring, and a Youth Leadership Prince William summer camp. Serving greater PWC, LPW's mission is to engage and inspire individuals, organizations and alumni to enrich the community through collaborative leadership. Class of 2020, best wishes on the next step in your journey.
Speaking of LPW, class of 2018 graduate and friend of The Wheeler Report Aaron Tolson, was awarded their Kathy Ellington Alumni Leadership Award for using vision, leadership, skills and talents to accomplish something notable that positively impacted greater PWC. Aaron's development of the Prince William Food Rescue (Issue 26 & Issue 8) program provides a unique way to fight hunger and food waste. It has helped feed residents affected by COVID-19, connect more residents to volunteerism, and raised awareness about food waste and insecurity.
Great Opportunity
Attention High Schoolers
In Issue 25 we featured PWC's Human Rights Student Leadership Council (HRSLC) and their Best Achievement Award by the Virginia Association of Counties. HRSLC is accepting applications now through October 30 for the 2020-2021 school year. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in public, private and homeschool programs are eligible. 
National Crime Prevention Month
In 1984, the National Crime Prevention Council designated October as Crime Prevention Month. Every year since then, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships during this special month.
Happy 40th Birthday!
Back in 1980, a dog in a rumpled trench coat said, “You don’t know me yet. But you will.” Since then, he has taught millions that everyone can help “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.” He soon became known as McGruff the Crime Dog® and has become the beloved 'spokesdog' of the crime prevention movement. Over the years McGruff’s messages have changed. In the beginning, he focused on personal and home safety. Today the messages address broader crime prevention concerns – from bullying to anti-counterfeiting.
An Opportunity To Learn
PWC Police Department is offering a free virtual Personal Safety Awareness training on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 pm. The session will last for one hour and topics will include information on personal safety awareness, safety for joggers, automobile safety, home intruders, robbery and more.
How To Participate
To join online:
  • Go to the Personal Safety Awareness webex page (click hyperlink)
  • Enter your name and email address
  • Enter the session password: Safety
  • Click “Join Now”
To join by phone:
  • Call 1-415-655-0001
  • If prompted, enter access code 172 168 9129 
Don't Forget
Coinciding with Crime Prevention Month, National Night Out this year starts at 5:00 pm on Tuesday October 6. Coordinated by the Crime Prevention Unit of the Police Department in partnership with the Prince William Crime Prevention Council, it strives to create healthy neighborhoods. You can read more about NNO and its origins in Issue 22.
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.