County Board Approves Smoking Ban
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors last week approved a resolution, effective immediately, that bans smoking in most grocery stores, all public buildings and retirement homes, all elevators, health-care facilities, any cultural buildings supported in whole or in part with county money, all school buildings and recreational buildings supported in whole or in part with county money. The vote was unanimous, although Supervisor Joseph Reading said he gave his approval only because of public support.
"Personally, I think the ordinance is unenforceable," he said, "and I don't approve of government interference in private enterprise." None of the board members smokes cigarettes. Although similar nonsmoking ordinances have failed before, it seemed fitting, one member said, that the resolution should pass in the McCoart Building, the new county complex named after Supervisor James McCoart who died of lung cancer last spring.
A student team from the Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas won its first round last month on the television quiz show "It's Academic" on WRC-TV. The show will be aired at 9 a.m. Sunday, according to school spokeswoman, Kristy Larson. The team competed against Eastern High School in Washington, and Suitland High School in Maryland. Sophomore Will Kendrick, team captain; junior Darryl Taylor and sophomore Tom Warnack will compete again April 15 against two Maryland high schools, Holton Arms and Wheaton. The students won $200, which will go toward the National Honor Society scholarship fund.
In addition, several Prince William County school publications recently received awards at the Virginia High School League's 16th annual publication workshop. The Gar-Field High School news magazine, the hyphen, received the highest award given. The Osbourn Park High School news magazine Yellow Jacket received second place. In the magazine division, Brentsville High School's Reflections, Gar-Field's Shaman and Woodbridge's Eddas, all won the first place honors. Osbourn Park High School's In Prince won second place, Larson said.
All county high school students who buy their lunch and who wear green on March 17 will be given their choice of free St. Patrick's Day cake or a piece of fresh fruit. In addition, a special Easter menu will be served March 26. Easter is March 30.
Concerts by the Prince William Symphony Orchestra will be held at two county high schools this weekend: 8 p.m. Saturday at Potomac High School and 3 p.m. Sunday at Osbourn Park. For information call 361-4614. Manassas Sets Uniform License Fees
As of last week all Manassas car and truck owners must pay a uniform license fee of $15, according to City Clerk Ralph Moore. Until now residents who owned vehicles over 4,000 pounds paid $20 and owners of vehicles over 6,500 pounds paid $22. All car owners paid $15. The City Council made the change, Moore said, because the town has so few vehicles within the heavier weight range that the necessary paperwork "wasn't worth the bother." Moore said the city hopes to make up the lost revenue because Manassas is growing and more licenses will be sold. Bill's Failure Pleases Manassas Park
Manassas Park officials expressed relief last week when the General Assembly failed to pass a resolution that would have put a moratorium on all annexation proceedings for 2 1/2 years while lawmakers study the current law. Manassas Park officials have been attempting to annex 674 acres the city owns in Prince William County to clear the way for residential development the city says it needs to fill its schools. Annexation negotiations with the county broke down last year and legislation that would have allowed officials to take the matter to court did not make it out of committee.
In another attempt to achieve its goal the city council has requested the Commission of Local Governments in Richmond to act as a mediator with the county to resolve the issue. According to City Manager Jerry Davis, one of the functions of the state commission is to help solve annexation disputes. Manassas Park owned the land in question before it became a city nearly 11 years ago and before the state code was amended to prohibit further annexation proceedings between jurisdictions. Before the code was changed, a jurisdiction could take its dispute to court. Now it must negotiate for the land it wants. Dale City Crematorium Plan Hearing Set
The State Air Pollution Control Board last week told Neabsco Supervisor John Jenkins that it will hold a public hearing on a plan to construct Prince William County's first crematorium adjacent to the Forestdale community in Dale City. Jenkins requested the hearing after residents called in with concerns about potential air pollution problems from the crematorium, he said.
A spokesman for the Air Pollution Control Board said the hearing probably will be in March or April. Jenkins said the community opposes plans by the Cunningham-Mountcastle Funeral Home Inc. to operate a crematorium as part of the funeral home, which is located on three acres on Dale Boulevard. Jenkins said Dale Boulevard is already so heavily traveled -- about 45,000 vehicles daily -- that another community concern is increased traffic.
Two months ago the board amended the zoning ordinance to allow crematoriums to operate as part of funeral homes but Jenkins opposed the move. The county planning department told air pollution control officials this month that there is no official objection to the crematorium as long as county and state regulations are followed. The county comprehensive plan permits the funeral home on Dale Boulevard and no rezoning or special use permit would be necessary for the crematorium, planners said. Davis Enters Dumfries Mayoral Race
Dumfries Vice Mayor Marjorie Davis, who has served on the Town Council "since the early '70s," registered last week to enter the mayoral race after Mayor Olney Brawner said he wouldn't seek the post in the May 6 election.
"Butch Brawner has done a tremendous job; I wouldn't have run against him," Davis said. "We'd like to see him stay but he deserves a rest." Brawner is serving his third term. Also in the race are Councilman Clyde Washington and former councilman Robert Brookover. Marine Wrestling Trials Set at Quantico
Nearly 75 Marines from around the globe will participate today in the annual wrestling trials at Quantico Marine Base. The Marines have attended the trial camp at Quantico since Jan. 13 preparing for the event, according to Team Coach Sgt. Art Williams. Only 20 Marines will make the team, although, he said, "all participants benefit." The tournament is "a stepping stone toward the Interservice Wrestling Championships slated at Quantico for March 23 to 28, he said. Haymarket Approves Cable Ordinance
Haymarket's Town Council last week approved a cable television ordinance. According to Mayor Gertrude Bean, the town, which will be served by the Manassas-based cable company Telesat, will be hooked up for viewing within 45 days. Bean is looking forward to it. "I want to see the sport shows," she said.
Bean said she is undecided about running for the office she won through appointment by the council when Mayor Hugh Orndoff died in 1984, but will enter the May 6 race if she feels she is needed. "If certain people decide to run, I'll run too," she said.
Bill Green was elected chairman of the planning commission last week replacing Dennis Wrye. Wrye will remain on the commission.