A Manassas mother is honoring her son’s memory the best way she knows how – through dance.
After 9/11, Colin Wolfe of Manassas decided to trade in ballet to serve our country. But after less than two months in Afghanistan, he was killed by a roadside bomb in 2006.
The City of Manassas Police Department is offering a free Refuse To Be A Victim seminar on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Police Station at 9518 Fairview Ave.
The Refuse To Be A Victim seminar is a National Rifle Association program that promotes awareness and prevention of criminal confrontations. Seminar topics include home, auto, phone, technology, travel and personal security. Seminar participants are presented with a variety of common‑sense crime prevention and personal safety strategies and devices they may integrate into their daily lives.
Refuse To Be A Victim was developed in 1993 in response to requests from women nationwide for crime prevention seminars. In 1997, the program became co‑ed. With hundreds of instructors nationwide, seminars have been presented in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Thousands of men and women have benefited from the program’s life saving message.
RICHMOND — After a contentious legislative session that drew large protests and national ridicule to the state Capitol, Virginians are less supportive of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and less optimistic about the direction of the state, according to a poll by The Washington Post.
The approval rating for McDonnell (R) dropped six points over the past year, from 62 percent to 56 percent. Thirty-five percent disapprove of the job he is doing — a nine-point increase from a year ago.
The governor still has firmly positive ratings at a time of political discord nationwide. But he has lost support among independents and urban women after a 12-month period that closed with a partisan standoff over the state budget and an uproar over a bill requiring women seeking an abortion to first undergo a vaginal ultrasound.
Manassas City Theater in the Round: Epilogue
The election has come and gone, but the theater continues. Those who have lost the most, try not to “wawl and cry” nor “mewl and puke” and instead have chosen to spin with much “pride, pomp , and circumstance,” the post-election eulogy of their effort. Much mirth we draw (not to mention laughter) in watching those who made such a noise for their chosen slate, try to salvage a faux victory from what is in fact a stunning defeat.
In some ways, the silence is deafening so, again, rather than charge into the fray, we have chosen to give our “ thoughts no tongue” for a time, let the dust settle, gather numerous perspectives on the election results, and develop what we believe to be a much clearer picture of what happened, and, what it all means.
Much has been made of the intrigue the past few weeks on the various alliances and coalitions in the city election process. Now that the dust is settling, we would like to salute the hot pink campaign, run by supporters of Sheryl Bass. Actually, Ms. Bass didn’t run. Her friends ran her as a write-in campaign. Sheryl Bass supported the Republican ticket. At last count, Ms. Bass received
1052 997 [Ed. Note: correction given this afternoon] votes and her name didn’t even appear on the ballot! That means that Ms. Bass came in 4th without her running and without her name appearing on the ballot.
Ms. Bass should be proud. She has good friends, the support and respect of her community, and the friends of Ms. Bass did things the right way. Several movers and shakers of this campaign had to resign from their political party to run the campaign. THEY did the right thing. Will they be readmitted? Time will tell. They knew the rules. They followed them. The Sheryl Bass campaign made a fine showing at the polls and everyone showed a lot of class.
Ms. Bass has served her community and will be an invaluable resource for all the elected officials to turn to when they need advice and help. A toast of our finest ale to Lady Bass and her ever- classy campaign.
It seems a lot of what we hear on the Manassas blogs is a lot of bitching about Georgetown South, either implicitely or explicitely. Some City residents have even suggesting bulldozing the place over every time there is an incident over there. Insidenova.com reports the flip side of all that negativity:
MANASSAS, Va. –
Shovels, post hole diggers, rakes, brooms, trash bags, gloves, garbage cans and wheel barrows were the tools for the day on Saturday in Georgetown South.
Volunteers, many from the Manassas Assembly of God, showed up for the inaugural Georgetown South Community Cleanup to help tidy up the townhouse community off Grant Avenue in Manassas.
Pastor Doug Dreesen said the Manassas Assembly of God had “kind of adopted Georgetown South as a neighborhood we want to help.”
Church member Rich Rosene said he came out to help clean up “out of obedience to my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”
This is what we call Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk. Hats off to the Manassas Assembly of God as well as the many other volunteers for Walking the Walk. I bet Cindy was over there somewhere also. Its just so refreshing to see and hear the folks with the solutions. Neighbors got out and met each other and lent each other a hand.
The Conscience of a King, Act IV: The Final Act?
As we enter act IV of our play, a few minor happenings in the wings are worth noting. Please consider these, as we make a few scenery changes behind the curtain, in preparation for act IV.
Late yesterday, we received reports from our ever vigilant roving ‘Howlings reporters. First one in was a report of hot pink flyers being delivered to homes and handed out at spots throughout the city. These flyers encouraged voters to “Write-In Sheryl Bass” on the front, and gave a very detailed listing of her very impressive record of service to the citizens. No attacks on the other candidates. Just a positive plea by the campaign to consider Bass, as they head to the polls. We Howler ladies have to say, the way this campaign has been conducted reflects the grace and poise that Bass herself has exhibited over the years. Classy. Very Classy.
Contrast this with a very nasty piece put out by some anonymous pitchfork bearer (or would that be pitchforker?) that was delivered to other residents of the city. This nasty piece, full of errors and negative-spin, did nothing but attack Mark Wolfe. What we find downright hilarious is the flyer asked voters to pull the lever for Lovejoy, “Carnahan”, Way. (Is this like pull the joystick for the non-existent candidate?)
Last up, a flyer we assume was produced by Doug Brown, because it is being distributed by ABTF and linked to at bvbl, while better written, has its own bit o’ spin: Jerry Carman’s business experience has risen from that of middle management to the “corner office with a view”: He claims Carman “Managed a Fortune 500 Company”. And what company might that be, that he was president or Chief Executive Officer of? But when you are nothing but the “Alleluia Chorus” for the House Aveni, credibility and intellectual honesty are minor considerations.
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”
The Conscience of the King, Act II: The Convention
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes”. MacBeth, Act IV, Scene I
Yesterday, we Howlets set the stage for what may well prove to be the greatest community (political) theater we’ve seen in years. Just to recap:
-Jerry Carman, Independent uber-conservative materializes out of the mist, and begins a shadow campaign.
-Doug Brown launches “A Bridge Too Far” (ABTF) and begins catapulting [Rhetorical and Theatrical license here] everything from “severed heads” to “diseased cattle” over the MGOP castle walls, and engages in verbal sword-play with GOP chairman Steve “By the Books”Thomas.
-Baroness Aveni, inadvertently exposes her husband’s support of the usurper, Jerry Carman. (Out, out damn spot!)
So let us now take you back to the convention held on January 28th, 2012. Before doing so, we need to say that neither of us is a member of either party’s “machinery”. Some of the “in’s and out’s” of convention politics are very difficult to decipher, and it took quite a bit of research to figure out just exactly what happened. That said, we feel pretty confident that our account is fairly accurate. The up side is that, we have the scenarios from so many sources.
The way a convention works is people sign up to be “delegates,” by filling out a form. My dog Stoney used to get one in the mail each year. Often those who want to run for office will get his or her supporters to fill out the convention form so they can go vote for that person. This form is returned by a specific date, and the MGOP checks the applicants to make sure they are eligible to vote in Manassas elections. That’s it. Anyone who is an eligible City of Manassas voter can attend, according to the laws of Virginia. Once all the forms are collected and checked, a list is compiled and given to each campaign.
There’s a city election on Tuesday, May, 1st, and it may well prove to be one of the most interesting city elections any of us can remember. This one might even out-do the ill-fated Steve Chapman challenge to Rep. Harry Parrish, about 7 years ago, as far as high political drama goes.
We here at Moonhowlings have been watching the developing political drama from the audience, rather than leaping into what is proving to be “Theater in the Round”. We did have a guest post, but that was not our observations, but theirs. We chose to observe, gather facts and opinions and wait until we had a clear picture of not only what is playing out on the public stage, but a good understanding of the “backstage dynamics” that are driving this political theater….and theater it is:
Current Mayor Hal Parrish is running unopposed for reelection. All of the excitement in this race was settled at the GOP convention, when Hal held off a challenge for the nomination from Andy Harrover. We like both of these public servants, as it is clear to us that they place the best interests of the entire community as priority, rather than bowing to the pressure of a very vocal few. Neither one of them carry pitchforks or torches.
The real excitement is in the city council race. Much more so than may be apparent to the casual observer…or even to those who consider themselves “informed.” We would like to present a clear picture of what appears to really be going on, and we promise that our dear (and not so dear) readers will not be disappointed. This ”play” has intrigue and double-dealing, willing and unwilling and even unknowing participants. Basically, it’s a ”play” about power and retribution, pure and simple. We here at ‘Howlings will narrate this from stage right (or left, depending on where you sit in the audience). So let’s get to it, shall we?
Guest Post by City Girl
Disclaimer: The content of the guest contribution is the opinion of the guest and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the management of Moonhowlings.com.
MANASSAS CITY ELECTIONS: The circus comes to town
Mark your calenders folks, the City of Manassas is having elections on May 1. The ballot will be crowded because there are a total of 12 names on it plus a space for a write-in candidate. There are seven candidates for School Board plus five for City Council with one write-in candidacy that is growing in strength by the day. First the School Board candidates:
Art Bushnell (incumbent)
Scott Albrecht (incumbent)
Kermit Dance (incumbent)
R.J. “Jack” McGee (incumbent)
Manassas schools have been in decline for the past few years with low test scores and graduation rates. The current Board members could be blamed for this problem, however, the departure of Superintendent Dr. Gail Pope and perhaps some of her senior staff may be what is needed to turn the tide.
City Council Candidates
Ian Lovejoy (R) convention nominee
John Way (R) convention nominee
Mark Wolfe (R) convention nominee
Jerry Carmen (I)
Patricia Richie-Folks (D)
Sheryl Bass (write-in campaign)
A quick bio of the candidates:
City of Manassas Neighborhood Services Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro received an important phone call last week - from the White House. Organizers of the President's Champions of Change program invited her to their weekly panel and networking discussion. Ten Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists from around the U.S., were being recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities. Sogunro thinks the invitation resulted from the city's recent Virginia Municipal League President's Award, the latest of 11 state and national awards the city, its community partners and volunteers have accumulated in the past five years for their neighborhood revitalization projects. She accepted the invitation in typical "Kisha" style - by asking for more. Sogunro asked if she could bring with her the four AmeriCorps VISTA members who are living in Georgetown South and working with residents to revitalize that community. And the White House assistant said yes. "I was extremely appreciative," said Sogunro, took Kimberley Jenkins-Bailey, Mignon Broughton, Kenisha Salvary and Jesus Tlatelpa with her to the White House on Dec. 15. The Manassas group joined up to 75 others in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a four-hour panel, Q & A and networking session. One Champion of Change panelist was Timothy Solano, a child abuse victim who overcame substance abuse, homelessness and incarceration to become an executive board member for Habitat for Humanity International. Solano admitted: "When you're making speeches about cleaning up your neighborhoods, I was the guy you were talking about." Kenisha Salvary, 20, who graduated from Osbourn High School, was moved to tears. "I related to his story of survival and the challenge of single parenting. We need to bring these success stories to GTS where people my age can hear them." Mignon Broughton, who recently published her own story of struggle, Hidden Voices: Revelations of a Young Soul [Godzchild Publications], took heart in Solano's message as well. "Don't let your struggle stop you. Keep your focus. Be confident. Model that for others, and they will learn to meet their goals." Another Champion of Change panel member was Rev. Dr. Judy Talbert, who works closely with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and was recognized for dedicating 36 years to helping at-risk and challenged populations, including the homeless, ex-offenders, members of gangs and persons with HIV-AIDS. "It was encouraging to hear that I don't have to leave my faith at the door when I'm working," said Kimberley Jenkins-Bailey. "What we are doing in GTS matters and is making change. We are planting seeds and watering for the future. My role is to use my time wisely now and do the best I can." "It was an energy boost," said Sogunro, who talked one-on-one with Jonathan Greenblatt, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. "Manassas is on the right track with capacity building and I'm eager to do so much more. We heard story after story of people who turned their lives around and now they're working to make their communities better. We need a strong hand, but also offer that hand to lift people up." On Jan. 16, the City of Manassas, Manassas City Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Manassas will launch a pilot youth transportation project that will connect youth in Georgetown South to the club for after school and early evening tutoring, mentoring, computer lab, athletics and other programming. If successful, the pilot will be expanded to other areas of need throughout the city. Sogunro is also recruiting community partners and volunteers for the Big Day of Serving Manassas on May 5 in the Bristoe Station neighborhood - moving the successful 1 By Youth model to the next area in need of revitalization. "Engaging youth drives change," says Sogunro. "We also have a great untapped influx of veterans returning to our neighborhoods. These vets have the skills and abilities we need to build strong neighborhoods. We need them in CERT-Fire Corps and Neighborhood Watch. We need them on the boards of our community associations." As soon as she returned to her office, Kimberley Jenkins-Bailey taped up her quote of the day. It reads, 'After you go to the White House, life will never be the same.in a good way!'" To sponsor, partner or volunteer with City of Manassas Neighborhood Services in their 2012 initiatives, call 703-257-8240 or e-mail email@example.com. For more information about the Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
Press Release from our in-cindy resource:
City of Manassas Neighborhood Services Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro is at The White House this morning, Dec. 15 at 9:30 a.m., to meet and be a part of a conversation with the President’s weekly Champions of Change program. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.
When a member of The White House staff called Sogunro earlier this week, they did not say she was being recognized, simply that they wanted her there, to be a part of the conversation, based on the work she’s been doing in the City of Manassas in neighborhood revitalization.
Earlier this year, the City of Manassas was awarded the Virginia Municipal League’s President’s Award for the city’s “One Neighborhood at a Time” campaign, which includes Week of Hope, 1 By Youth and Neighborhood Improvement Circles. Sogunro presented a workshop detailing the city’s program at the Neighborhoods USA Conference in Spokane, Washington in 2009.
Sogunro, a former Community Relations Director for AmeriCorp in Provo, Utah, was hired in 2006 to carry out the City of Manassas’ new Neighborhood Services program. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University. She and her husband, Isaac, are residents of Bristow, Va., along with their two sons.
The City and Kisha make our entire community proud! Watch out City, Corey will try to steal her away from you all.
Manassas City, some of your council folk go out of their way to promote the City also. Is there an event that Steve Randolph misses? If there is, I haven’t heard of it. No one makes themselves more available than Andy Harrover, whether its his Friday coffee meet ups or opening up his home to discuss issues in a beer summit. Both of these council-folks go far above and beyond. I hope you City folks realize what gemstones you really have. Its great to see that some public elected officials really do get off their dais and work with those who elected them and even those who didn’t.
From News and Messenger:
A grand jury in Prince William Circuit Court has indicted a Fairfax teen on a murder charge for the November stabbing death of 15-year-old Miguel “Mickey” Hernandez in Manassas.
Boris Alfred Juarez Ascencio, 18, of Blake Lane in Fairfax, is charged with first-degree murder for the Nov. 19 stabbing.
According to court documents, Juarez, who was 17 at the time of the incident, has been certified to stand trial as an adult.
In court documents, witnesses said that Juarez stabbed Hernandez several times as he walked home from school on Bartow Street.
Another teen, 18-year-old Mauricio Martinez of Manassas, has also been charged in Hernandez’s death.
According to testimony at a preliminary hearing, Martinez and Juarez were both members of the criminal street gang of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.
Witnesses said Martinez identified Hernandez as a member of a rival gang and then Juarez stabbed him, according to police and prosecutors.
Police and Hernandez’s family members have said he was not affiliated with a gang.
Manassas Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Wood has resigned and not as a happy man. He has been at his post for 2 years. According to News and Messenger:
However, by his own admission, Wood is resigning a disappointed man. He said the current fire and rescue department gave him a lot of liability and little authority. It’s also a system that he feels makes residents of Manassas less safe than they should be
“[Public safety] is an essential service and an essential service needs a strategic vision, a strategic plan,” Wood said. “Some two years into my appointment, we’ve not been able to develop a strategic plan. There are too many diverse and opposing views on what could be done, should be done and what may need to be done.”
Manassas City established a system that was a six-person public safety committee comprised of volunteer and career staff. Additionally, there was a 5 person appeals committee. City Councilman Andy Harrover helped create this Manassas Fire and Rescue set-up that was organized to prevent problems. Obviously it didn’t. Other officials weighed in on the subject in the N & M:
Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad president Mike Enright was a little more blunt, stating the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company “disrespected” Wood.
“I am surprised he lasted this long,” Enright said.
Manassas Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II said it was tough for all parties involved, including City Council. Set up in January, the system established a six-person public safety committee made up of volunteer and career staffers and a five-person appeals committee made up of Manassasresidents and run by city manager Lawrence Hughes. Councilman Marc T. Aveni chaired the public safety committee.
“I can’t help but think that a great system can come together when people decide they both need and want to work together cooperatively as a team, that is the key,” Parrish said.
Woods departure is seen by many as a real set back to City Fire and Rescue.
Assistant Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Rohs said he could’ve retired a few years ago but chose to stick around to see what Wood could do. Both Rohs and Enright praised Wood for his professionalism, open-door policy and his ability to obtain grants for the betterment of the department.
How do volunteers and paid staff work side by side? It never made sense to me how this works. Obviously someone or several someones didn’t like taking orders from the paid professionals. They probably thought they were volunteers and didn’t have to go by the same rules as those on a pay check. Yet, the volunteers help already stretched municipal budgets and provide a great service to the community. Regardless of what has transpired, Mike Woods seems to have the respect of most city folks.
Prince William County has certainly had its ups and downs with this issue also. Regardless, the next Chief needs to have a great deal more authority over all fire and rescue. The people of Manassas deserve no less. City of Manassas people also need to be willing to dump a few of their tax pennies into the public jar to ensure that they have the most up to date equipment. Word on the street is, they rely a little too much on other jurisdictions to make up their equipment deficiencies. Hopefully, city folks will help fill in the blanks here.
Saturday, December 4 is the 65th annual Manassas Christmas Parade. It begins at 10 am rain or shine, cold, or not so cold. The parade lines up in front of Manassas Shopping Center on Mathis Avenue and heads up Center Street, going towards Grant Avenue.
This is a particularly special parade because of our very own star! Cindy Brookshire will reign as Woman of the Year.
Here is Cindy’s bio published on the Christmas Parade website:
Cindy Brookshire has lived in Manassas 29 years and is an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Old Town Manassas. She worked for the Prince William Journal newspaper, Publishing Partners, Inc., and is currently a contractor producing monthly newsletters for the City of Manassas. She is an active member of the local Chamber of Commerce and proud member of Leadership Prince William, Class of 2010.