Archive for March, 2009

Bluebell Festival in Nokesville!

March 31st, 2009 9 comments

Hey everyone, if you really want to enjoy Mother Nature’s splendor, don’t miss this opportunity at Merrimac Farm! See the info below from the Prince William Conservation Alliance:

Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area
15014 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville, Virginia

Saturday, April 11, 009 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Free of charge, no reservation required.

More information: 703-499-4954,,

Bring your family and friends to Merrimac Farm on Saturday, April 11, to welcome spring and view the spectacular display of Virginia Bluebells that carpet the floodplain along Cedar Run for nearly a mile.

Event includes a nature art show and naturalist-led tours to Cedar Run, where everyone can learn more about the birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife at Merrimac Farm.

Read more…

Categories: General, Nature Tags:

News & Messenger Cartoon Discussion

March 31st, 2009 41 comments

Don’t even know where to start with this cartoon…

Categories: General Tags:

Beware of the Conficker Worm 4/1/09

March 30th, 2009 9 comments

This is no joke.

According to David McAvoy at, there are some things you can do to protect your computer from this nasty intruder.

• Update anti-virus software
• Accept Windows security updates
• Don’t download screen savers
• Don’t download games

Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

New Dog Park Opens in Gainesville

March 30th, 2009 64 comments

Residents of Prince William County have been clamoring for a dog park for years. Finally one has arrived, thanks to Merrifield Garden Center. The park, the first of its kind, has been open for about 6 weeks. Merrifield has had a presence in the county for about a year and a half. However, up until recently, they only had a satellite shop. The new center which looks like a huge sports arena from Wellington Road is not completely finished but open to the public. If it is anything like the parent company in Fairfax, it will be a wonderful garden experience. According the Manassas News and Messenger:

And it’s something Merrifield president and co-owner Bob Warhurst said he’s wanted to create for a long time.

Merrifield has had a presence in Prince William for about a year and a half, but its present facility has been open only since mid-November.

The chain’s other two locations, in Fairfax County, don’t have enough room for a doggie den. But when Warhurst realized he could transform an overflow parking area, he went for it.
He said he felt sorry for canines who rarely got a chance to run around.

“I’ve had several people come here since we’ve had this dog park and say, ‘Oh my goodness, this is the first time I’ve had my dog off-leash for two years,’” Warhurst said.

The setup was fairly simple: The Merrifield folks put down a couple inches of mulch and fenced off two areas.

“We have one that’s 40-by-40 for little dogs, and we have one that’s 50-by-80 for larger dogs,” Warhurst said. “I think the real winner here is the dog.”

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Categories: Nature Tags:

A New National Conservative Blog Rears Its Head

March 30th, 2009 40 comments

Today a new blog was born:
I just checked out Fox Nation. I almost had the proverbial ‘BIG ONE’ of Sanford and Son fame. Here is their stated purpose:

Our Purpose

The FOX Nation Statement of Purpose

The Fox Nation was created for people who believe in the United States of America and its ideals, as expressed in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
It is a community that believes in the American Dream: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One that believes being an American is an honor, as well as a great responsibility—and a wonderful adventure.

This is a place for people who believe we live in a great country, a welcoming refuge for legal immigrants who want to contribute their talent and abilities to make our way of life even greater. We believe we should enjoy the company and support of each other, delighting in the creativity, ingenuity, and work ethic of one and all, while observing the basic rules of civility and mutual respect and, most importantly, strengthening our diverse society by striving for unity.

The Fox Nation is for those committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse–and fair and balanced coverage of the news. It is for those opposed to intolerance, excessive government control of our lives, and attempts to monopolize opinion or suppress freedom of thought, expression, and worship.

We invite all Americans who share these values to join us here at Fox Nation.

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Categories: General Tags:

Weekend Discussion

March 27th, 2009 75 comments

Let’s take another break from structure. What do you, the readers and contributors, want to discuss? How about March Madness? The weather? The cherry blossoms/parade? Court-ordered psychological exams? Gardening? Spring Break plans? A new recipe? Reporting in from Committee of 100 or the health care symposium?

Have a go at it. Inquring minds want to know.

Categories: General Tags:

Health Care Forum at GMU-PW on April 3

March 26th, 2009 27 comments

March 23, 2009
Coping with the Cost of Health Care

George Mason University Prince William Campus Convenes National Issues Forum on April 3

MANASSAS, VA–George Mason University is convening a National Issues Forum on health care policy called “Coping with the Cost of Health Care,” on Friday April 3 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Room 130 of Bull Run Hall at the University’s Prince William Campus.

The public is invited to participate in the dialogue, which will break out into small moderated groups of 12 or less to consider each of three approaches on how Americans should pay for the health care we need: 1) reduce the threat of financial ruin, 2) restrain out-of-control costs and 3) provide coverage as a right. Participants will each receive a National Issues Forum guide.

“A National Issues Forum is more than just talk,” explains Charvis Campbell, Assistant Dean of University Life at the Prince William Campus of George Mason. “This is a face-to-face dialogue to hash out the trade-offs among the various approaches, and take a first step towards finding common ground. George Mason is pleased to be part of the process.”

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Categories: General Tags:

Maryland is for Crabs– But Maybe Not This Year

March 25th, 2009 36 comments

Crab season begins April 1. However, the crab processing plants in Dorchester County, Maryland might not be opening, thus contributing even more to the recession. There simply are not enough workers to staff the crab plants. Chesapeake Bay area watermen are pleading with Congressman Frank Kratovil to do something about the situation.

For the past 10 years or so, the workers have come from Mexico and Central America on special visa for seasonal work. Now government red tape is causing so much of a delay that the entire industry might be affected.

So why don’t local folks take these jobs? Kids are working elsewhere. Crab processing is dangerous work and it used to be generational work. Kids would go with parents and other family members and learn to process crab. Nowadays, you have to be at least 16 years old with parent permission to even go in the plants. Most of the American crab pickers are now senior citizens.

At first, there were enough temporary worker visas — not just for crab picking, but for landscaping, construction and other seasonal businesses. But as Americans became concerned about immigrants taking residents’ jobs, Congress began limiting the number of H2B visas and creating other obstacles for businesses that depend on temporary workers.

This year, the H2B program was limited at 66,000 temporary visas. None of those went to the people who had been working in Dorchester County’s crab processing plants.

According to, a Baltimore TV station, the crab industry out of the Bay is on the verge of collapse while Maryland congresspersons scramble to save the day.

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Categories: Economy/Money/Stock Market Tags:

ERICKSON COLUMN: The myth of special treatment for illegals

March 25th, 2009 36 comments

Mr. Howler is famous for bellowing at me from another room. Today he hollered out from the kitchen, “Moon, do you know Jerry Erickson?” I said yes. Then I couldn’t remember where I knew him from. Then the normal spousal questions fired back and forth…who is he…I can’t remember…..why do you want to know…those kinds of things.


Finally, he told me why he asked.  There was a column in the paper by Jerry Erickson, who  is a Woodbridge attorney. We used him many years ago when our daughter was in a serious automobile accident. What I did NOT know is that he has a column in the News and Messenger and that he now specializes in immigration law.

Mr. Howler and I do not see eye to eye on the immimgration issue. However, he did call my attention to this opinion piece by Mr. Erickson. He puts forth some interesting facts that often are not discussed. I am posting it in its entirety. There is no way to consolidate and summarize.

Jerry Erickson
Published: March 25, 2009

In order to have a meaningful debate on the topic of comprehensive immigration reform, it’s important to discuss the issues using understood terms and definitions. First, we need to have a common understanding of the term at the center of the immigration debate, “illegal alien”. Ironically, this term, which is thrown about by nearly everyone involved in the immigration debate, is not used in immigration regulations or formally defined by the federal government. For debate purposes, an illegal alien can be considered a person who is in the U.S. without any legal paperwork or immigration status. This would include an individual who enters the U.S. without proper documentation or permission as well as an individual who enters with proper documentation or permission but does not abide by the terms of his or her stay in the U.S. Of the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., it’s estimated that almost half entered the U.S. on a visa that allowed them to visit the U.S.  temporarily, but then stayed beyond the time permitted in their visa.

MYTH: Illegal aliens shouldn’t receive special treatment for being here illegally.

FACT: For the vast majority of illegal aliens, there is no legal way under the current immigration law to obtain legal status while in the United States.

  Read more…

Categories: Immigration Tags:

Ring Ring…..”Hello”….”Hi Elena, its Corey, lets talk Land Use”

March 25th, 2009 48 comments

So that was how my weekend began on Friday, a surprise phone call from Corey Stewart. Corey pitched an idea to me about creating a new citizen land use committee to help formulate a better land use chapter for the county. Although initially I was excited, upon some deeper introspection, I realized, the very idea of another land use committee was actually a poor idea. Calling Corey back the next day, I shared my trepidation and ultimate decision not to participate on such a committee. You see, Corey shared his frustration with the land use process not having enough citizen input. I agreed, wholeheartedly, with his analysis.  But, forming a new citizen committee,  beyond the scope of the formal public process, in my opinion,  could be interpreted as another, behind the scenes, ” business as usual”,  closed government strategy. 

The real underlying problem is that our process in this county is broken. The Land Use Advisory Committee (LUAC) had members who had CLEAR, actually BLINDING, conflicts of interest. In fact, one of the glaring issues with Robert Duecaster, beyond his immigration rhetoric, was the very fact that he had NO Human Services experience. Who are the people that are appointed to these committees? Should there be a level of knowledge on the specific subject in order to participate? 

Apparently Wally Covington reached out to Katherine Gotthardt(click here to read more) to be on a land use committee also. Is it the same land use committee as Corey? I don’t know? But the reality is that the public process is well on its way, and has been for two years. The Planning Commission, having two plans to choose from as Charlie Grymes so eloquently points out in his commentary, will make their decision on April 15th.

Land use decisions effect each and every one of us, and the “business as usual” paradigm in Prince William County must be resolved. If it is not, if we continue down this same path, we can only expect to see our taxes increase, our infrastructure become even more burdened, and ultimately, our quality of life diminished irreparably. 

Categories: General Tags: