You’ve seen these popular felt trees in stores – learn how to make your own and personalize your home décor this holiday season!
No craft or sewing experience needed.
All supplies will provided in class for you to make TWO of these pretty trees. (If you don’t finish in class you will need a hot glue gun or white glue at home).
- Preregistration required
- Class limit 5 students
- Great class for children 12 and older
Ayala, Guzmán champion equality, representation in lieutenant governor bid
Hala Ayala and Elizabeth Guzmán were among the first Latina representatives elected to the state legislature during the wave of Democratic victories in 2017. Ayala and Guzmán ran for office to provide diversity in state government that more accurately represents the population in Prince William County where a quarter of residents are Latino; almost 25% are Black and nearly 10% are Asian, according to the U.S. Census.
Ayala was born in Alexandria to a Salvadorian father and Irish-Lebanese mother. Before becoming a state delegate, she volunteered for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and founded the Prince William Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She also was vice president of the organization at the state level. Ayala defeated eight-year incumbent Republican Rich Anderson to represent District 51 in Virginia’s House of Delegates.
Ayala said she first considered running for lieutenant governor in 2019 to be a bridge-builder. She said she has seen the societal divide in America grow this year because of COVID-19 and knew she could do more. Before becoming involved in politics, Ayala worked in national security, where she said settling disagreements and being a bridge builder is part of the job.
A self-described politician and activist, Ayala said she has always championed equality.
“My work with Prince William NOW was about bringing people together, which I’ve always tried to do,” Ayala said. “You may not like what I say, but at least you know you are seen, you are heard and you are welcomed.”
Ayala is also an advocate for improving Medicaid, which she credits with saving her son, who has autism.
“We need a healthcare system that is inclusive of our economy and works for every family, especially now, as Virginia deals with the pandemic,” she said.
In the upcoming General Assembly session, Ayala said she plans to introduce legislation providing hazard pay for essential workers, defining broadband as critical infrastructure, and improving schools.
‘A matter of representation’
Guzmán immigrated to the United States from Peru and settled in Northern Virginia. She worked three jobs to afford a one-bedroom apartment before earning a master’s degree in public administration and social work and becoming a social worker.
Guzmán defeated eight-term Republican incumbent Del. Scott Lingamfelter in 2017 for the 31st District seat. She ran on a platform of improving public education, raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid.
Guzmán said her decision to run for the state legislature was a matter of representation, and that Lingamfelter was not a good representation of the diverse constituents in Eastern Prince William.
Guzman said that because of her background she was able to champion historic legislation this year.
“It was because of the communities that I represent,” Guzmán said. “It was about the struggles that I had as a first-generation immigrant.”
Guzmán was tapped to co-chair Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in Virginia with fellow Prince William Del. Lee Carter.
Guzmán said she’s passionate about investing more into the state’s public education, including more counselors in schools and more resources for special education and remote learning. Guzmán said she was surprised to discover education issues and legislation that would improve “quality of life” were seen as partisan in the chamber.
“It didn’t matter how well I could make my case or how prepared I would be with data and facts, it was all about the party,” Guzmán said. “My intention was to serve all Virginians, not only those who voted for me.”
As a member of the Prince William-Manassas Regional Jail Board, Guzmán had a hand in getting Prince William County to end its agreement to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to pursue and detain immigrants who entered the country without legal permission. Guzmán said that Prince William was no safer statistically than nearby localities without the program, and ICE made the county’s immigrant community feel less safe and more hesitant to report a crime they were the victim of, such as a robbery or domestic violence for fear of being deported.
“The vision for Virginia should be a place where diversity is embraced and not disrespected,” Guzmán said. “It should be a place where people feel safe, and feeling safe means that you should be comfortable calling the police when there is a crime regardless of your immigration status.”
Guzmán said she has heard from constituents that health care and access to higher education are important issues.
“Your credit score or your eligibility for a loan should not define whether you should go to college,” Guzmán said. “If you have good grades, if you’re a good citizen, you should have the opportunity to go to college, and college affordability is definitely what young voters want.”
Other Democrats running for lieutenant governor include Paul Goldman, former chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia; Sean Perryman, president of Fairfax County NAACP; Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul and Xavier Warren, a sports agent. Across the aisle are businessmen Puneet Ahluwalia and Lance Allen, Virginia Beach Del. Glenn Davis, who will make his second run for the seat, and former Fairfax Del. Tim Hugo.
By Will Gonzalez
Capital News Service
Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.
A brief purchasing guide for the eco-conscious parent
If you want to give your baby the best while upholding your commitment to protecting the environment, there are a number of purchasing decisions you can make that will allow you to do so. Here’s what to buy.
For the crib, changing table, rocking chair, and dresser opt for locally made pieces. Alternatively, look for furniture made of recycled or sustainable materials.
Paint and decor
Diapers and wipes
Stock up on washable diapers and reusable washcloths. For your baby’s delicate skin, purchase a mild soap sold in bulk at a zero-waste store in your area.
Nursing pads and bottles
Use washable nursing pads made of cloth and high-quality bottles made of recycled plastic, glass, or stainless steel that can be reused by your second child or donated to another family.
Bedding and clothes
Look for curtains, blankets, and other linens made of recycled or sustainable materials such as hemp. Dress your baby in locally made clothing or cute thrift shop finds.
To ensure you have everything you need before your baby arrives, visit the shops in your area or join an online group for parents looking to buy, sell and trade second-hand items.
12 reasons to buy local during the holidays
1. To protect the environment
Goods that are grown or produced nearby generate less pollution than merchandise that needs to be transported over a long distance. These products also tend to have less packaging. Plus, you don’t have to travel far to visit local shops, which further reduces your carbon footprint.
2. To find one-of-a-kind gifts
If you really want to surprise a loved one on Christmas morning, check out the shops in your area. Small business owners work hard to offer their customers unique products that set them apart from major retailers. Alternatively, you can select handcrafted pieces made by local artisans.
3. To enjoy delicious food
Local farmers and producers provide fresh ingredients that can help you create your holiday meal. Whether you want to serve ready-made dishes or cook everything from scratch, you can count on the bakeries, butcher shops, and gourmet grocers in your region to have a variety of options to offer.
4. To boost the local economy
When you buy from local businesses, you help stimulate the region’s economy and create more jobs for the people in your area. And since a thriving market is sure to attract other companies, the result is a dynamic and prosperous community.
5. To support a vibrant community
Plenty of local groups and establishments organize activities throughout the year, with many holiday-themed events hosted in December. Whether you attend a story hour with your kids or karaoke night with your friends, your support ensures these organizations can continue to make your community a fun place to live.
6. To enjoy top-quality service
Customer satisfaction is a priority for small business owners. You can count on the knowledgeable staff at local specialty shops to offer great suggestions and answer all of your questions. Plus, exchanges and returns are easier since you can take care of them in person.
7. To discover hidden gems
Take time to explore the various shops, restaurants, venues, and attractions in your region. Even if you’ve lived there for years, you’ll likely be surprised by what you find. Discover a new craft beer, a temporary outdoor exhibition, or a charming coffee shop. Your town has more to offer than you think.
8. To alleviate holiday stress
There’s no need to venture into crowded shopping malls when everything you need to buy for a merry holiday season is available right around the corner. What’s more, if you purchase all of your gifts from local boutiques, you won’t have to worry about whether they’ll arrive in time for Christmas.
9. To demonstrate solidarity
The COVID-19 pandemic took a major toll on the economy, and small businesses need your patronage now more than ever. Shopping locally is a simple way to support hard-working members of your community through this difficult time. And since you receive high-quality goods and services in return, it’s a win-win situation.
10. To save yourself time and money
The holiday season should be about spending time with friends and family, not fighting traffic or navigating winter driving conditions. When you stick to shops, restaurants, and venues in the area, you avoid a lot of hassle and save plenty of money on gas.
11. To enjoy high-quality goods
Locally made products might be more expensive than mass-produced items, but they tend to be made better and more durable. This means you’ll spend less in the long run. What’s more, when you opt for goods made in your region, you can be confident that the employees worked inhumane conditions for a fair wage.
12. To strengthen your sense of community
If you’re a regular at your local shops and restaurants, you’ll be able to routinely chat with the owners, employees, and other customers you meet. This connection can foster a sense of belonging in your community. Plus, it’s nice to see familiar faces during the holidays.
3 ways to enjoy a winter getaway
If you have a few days off this winter, be sure to make the most of it. Whether you prefer to vacation alone or with your spouse, family or friends, you can have a wonderful time without going far. Here are some suggestions for a memorable holiday close to home.
There are a number of ways to recharge your batteries while you’re on vacation. Many winter resorts offer amenities such as hot springs, massages, steam rooms, hot tubs and day spas. When you aren’t being doted on by attentive staff, you can lounge in your ultra-comfortable room and enjoy your view of the local landscape.
• Snow tubing
• Ice canyoning
• Nordic walking
With so many fun options, you won’t have time to get bored. To try it all, rent a cottage that’s close to the action.
Do you want to venture into the wilderness to see trees, meadows, and mountains blanketed in snow? You can discover the charms of a winter landscape by navigating backcountry trails on a snowmobile or ATV. If you’d rather burn some calories while exploring, you can head out on cross-country skis, snowshoes, or a fat bike. See if there are rental outfits in your area that can set you up with the equipment and instructions you need.
No matter how you plan to spend your winter vacation, make sure to schedule your getaway ahead of time. The best winter resorts, hotels, and cottages tend to get booked weeks in advance.
EDA announces pending sale of Baugh Drive warehouse to medical marijuana distributor
The EDA Board of Directors met in a Special Board meeting this morning. With a unanimous vote, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the Chair and Secretary to sign a Letter Of Intent (LOI) to sell the former Atlantic Skyline Building at 426 Baugh Drive for the full asking price of $5,750,000 to Parallel Virginia, LLC, a pharmaceutical processor of medical cannabis. The sale is contingent upon the conditional approval of the company’s application for a pharmaceutical processor permit in Health Service Area 1 by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy – a decision expected in March 2021. As authorized by law, the Virginia Board of Pharmacy may award conditional approval for only one pharmaceutical processor application in this health service area.
The Commonwealth of Virginia passed legislation approving the production and use of medical cannabis oil in 2018. The legislation established five Health Service Areas with one pharmaceutical processor per area. The Board of Pharmacy has already awarded permits in Areas 2-5. The Area 1 permit reopened for applicants in the fall of 2020.
Parallel Virginia, LLC, if awarded conditional approval, will begin establishing its manufacturing presence in the spring of 2021. This experienced, multi-state operator is already successfully operating in four states – Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Florida. In addition, the company is currently developing a recently awarded research-focused operation in Pennsylvania in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh.
Parallel has a strong research and development component in every operation and has already signed letters of intent for strategic research and workforce partnerships with several public and private Virginia institutions of higher education.
The company’s industry-leading experience and multi-state success will greatly benefit the Warren County and Front Royal area. In the first five years of operation, they project a capital investment of tens of millions of dollars and the creation of hundreds of jobs.
Virginia law requires doctors who want to write prescriptions for medical cannabis to register with the Board of Pharmacy. Patients prescribed medical cannabis are required to pay an annual fee in addition to the cost of the prescription. The law also limits the number of dispensing facilities within the Health Service Area to five. The company, if selected, will establish its pharmaceutical processor operation at this facility, and has future plans to identify separate, stand-alone dispensing facilities within other localities in HSA 1.
Finally, selling the building will save Warren County taxpayers approximately $25,000 per month, or $300,000 a year, in loan payments, utilities, and insurance costs. It was a priority of the Board to get this building back into the hands of the private sector and back online creating jobs and adding to the economic engine of our community. This prospect will create jobs, generate tax revenue, and develop licensed medicine for patients in need. Doug Parsons, EDA Executive Director noted, “We believe this company is a good fit for our community. They have been thorough, transparent, and accommodating in thinking through their potential presence in Virginia. We appreciate their interest in our community and their commitment to making a lasting, positive impact in our region.”
Rotary Club of Front Royal providing free Doc Smith food boxes and Coats for Kids
The Rotary Club of Front Royal is partnering with the Department of Social Services to provide free Doc Smith food boxes and Coats for Kids. The Doc Smith Food Basket program has existed in Warren County/Front Royal since 1916. The Rotary Club of Front Royal has sponsored the food box program since 2003.
The deadline for applications is Monday, November 30. Applications can be dropped off at the following places:
- Department of Social Services – 465 W 15th St (they have a drop box for contactless delivery)
- Warren County Community Center – 538 Villa Ave – Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21
- Drop box at First Baptist Church -14 W 1st Street (in doors facing 1st Avenue)
- Call or email First Baptist Church – 540-635-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Food boxes and coats can be picked up on Saturday, December 19, from 10:00am – Noon, at First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Delivery is also available.