manassas journal messenger 10/25/00



February 9, 2001




smoother ride:

OmniRide improves with more driver training


Chris Newman



Photo by David S. Holloway

While waiting at a stoplight in Manassas during his

evening route, Omnibus driver Joseph Go flips through the day’s newspaper.

Go lives in Maryland and says he enjoys the job but he has a six-hour lay

over between his shifts which makes for a long day after he makes his own

commute. Several of the riders commented that Go was the most reliable driver

they have had in months.


MANASSAS – Donna Lauderdale was settling into her afternoon commute on

an OmniRide bus last fall when the driver told passengers the bus was breaking

down and she would have to pull over.

With perturbed Interstate 66 motorists whizzing by the slow bus, the

driver stopped and called in for a replacement, Lauderdale recounted. A

passenger told the driver she needed to be in a higher gear.

“I wonder how that happened,” said the driver, correcting the


It made Lauderdale wonder: Shouldn’t the bus drivers be better trained

than this? Why does it seem that drivers on the Manassas route go through

so fast that by the time they learn how to drive, they’re replaced by another

rookie? [more]


study stalls Virginia budget


Alfred M. Biddlecomb



RICHMOND – Debate over the state budget took an interesting turn Thursday

as lawmakers in the Senate shifted attention from the car tax to a small

paragraph added to the $50 billion spending plan that could delay studies

for the proposed Western Transportation Corridor.

Sen. John H. Chichester, R-Stafford, successfully preserved an item he

added to the Senate’s version of the budget that forbids the state from

spending money on an environmental impact study needed by state officials

to move forward with the bypass which would wind around the Northern Virginia

suburbs through western Stafford, Prince William and Loudoun counties.

Both the Senate and House of Delegates put the finishing touches on their

versions of the state budget Tuesday and will work together to form a unified

spending measure in the coming weeks. [more]


musician makes music, motivates others


Lucy Chumbley



MANASSAS – Stevie “Guitar” Sparks is setting up for the open

mike acoustic night he hosts on Wednesdays at Flannagans Olde Ale House

on Main and Church streets.

He holds up his guitar, which is emblazoned with autographs, and points

to a signature: ‘Willie Nelson ’99.’

“For some people it would be worth thousands of dollars that Willie

Nelson signed my guitar,” he said. “But for me it’s just cool.”

Sparks sits down on a high stool and starts to play. He plays a Hawaiian

love song, then moves on to a passionate piece by Van Morrison and a slow

swing number he wrote himself called “Heart to Heart.”[more]


suffers from improvements


Patrick Wilson



HAYMARKET – Town government leaders and business officials knew the

construction to revamp Washington Street in Haymarket’s downtown would be


But they didn’t know it would be as troublesome as it’s been.

The Haymarket Town Council scheduled a meeting for Monday night with

Virginia Department of Transportation officials to allow business owners

and the public to ask questions about the project.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at what will be the new town hall

facility on Washington Street, across the street from the current Haymarket

Town Hall.

Town officials are also asking a representative from Gull Corp. in Loudoun

County to attend. That company is the VDOT contractor working on the street.

The problem is lack of communication, said Town Councilwoman Pamela

E. Stutz.[more]


struggle with gas prices


Diane Freda



Area school systems are scrambling to find ways to pay for a sharp spike

in heating bills caused by an unusually cold winter and increases in gas


While cold weather appears to have temporarily gone, the effects of

one of the coldest winters since 1996 are still being felt.

Some schools are turning to contingency funds, while others may be digging

into underground oil reserves as an alternative. Prince William County is

faring better than most because it’s gas bills are not the biggest component

of its utilities.

“Fortunately our gas bills are probably less than 10 percent of

our total utility bills,” said Prince William County Director of Plant

Operations Chris Bohne, “so the increases are being absorbed by contingencies

built into our electric bill.” [more]


Swimming preview: NW Regional

should be competitive


as Cardinal District Champions this past Saturday was no easy task for the

Woodbridge girls’ swim team, but repeating as regional champions may be

even more difficult.

Osbourn Park, Osbourn and Stonewall all gave the Vikings a run in the

district meet, and all three are sending swimmers to the region meet in

force. Colonial Forge, who had double-winners in Akemi Parker, Xenavee Pangelinian

and Michelle Collier, should also press the Vikings for first. Patrick Henry

of Roanoke finished behind Woodbridge at regionals last year, but was the

Northwest’s highest finsher (eighth) at the state meet.[more]


Cougars and Tigers advance in tourney

The Rappahannock County girls volleyball team’s season-long futility against

Brentsville continued in its Bull Run District quarterfinal match Thursday


The sixth-ranked Panthers pushed every district opponent to three games

during the regular season except one: the third-ranked Tigers.

And nothing changed in the postseason, as Brentsville rolled to a 15-4,

15-5 win that propels them into the district semifinals Saturday afternoon

at – ironically – Rappahannock County.





Before changing

the face of modern geometry, mathematician Blaise Pascal suggested that,

“The strength of a man’s virtue must not be measured by his efforts,

but by his ordinary life.”

In honor of Black History Month, the Manassas Journal Messenger profiled

four local residents – an author, a judge, a principal and a pastor – whose

ordinary lives are defined by determination, strength and achievement. Each

of these people reach out to society and give back to their community. [more]




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