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Beginning on August 25, Manassas National Battlefield Park will observe the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Second Manassas. For five days, through August 30, events will remember the cost of battle and include the destructive impact on area families and African Americans.

A few highlighted events include:

• Programming on August 27 at Brawner Farm Interpretive center featuring the living history and cannon demonstrations.
• Presentations by National Medal of Honor Museum Chief Historian Dr. Edward Lengel and West Point Curator of Arms and Armor Les Jensen.
• Special exhibit in the Henry House by the former United States Army Chief Curator Lt. Col. David Cole (ret.).
• Concerts by the Fort McHenry Guard Fifes and Drums as well as the 8th Green Machine Regiment Brass Band from George Mason University.

Other highlights include the return of the sword of Colonel Gouverneur Warren to the battlefield for the first time in 160 years. The sword is on loan from West Point Army Museum Collection, United States Military Academy, and is on temporary display in the Henry Hill Visitor Center.

The original wartime home of Lucinda Dogan, restored this past July by the National Park Service, will be open to the public for the first time in over a year on August 27 and 28.

For a complete schedule of events for the anniversary, visit the park website at nps.gov/mana. The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on August 27, and is located at 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, Virginia, 20109.

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Marilyn Karp, a long time activist in the Democratic Party leads residents gathered at the Prince William County Government Center to call for Board of Supervisors Chair At-large Ann Wheeler (D) to resign after she dumped $50,000 of stock in data center firms.

By Tom Coyle
Bristow

It seems clear to us that, as a group, our local elected leaders in Prince William County appear to be struggling to make decisions regarding the long-term strategic use of a scarce resource — our land.

Such land use decisions are critical to ensuring our county will be one that continues to attract new residents and new businesses and retains the current attributes that attracted current residents to move here.

The single issue of large data centers in proximity to residences is a complex one that crosses into hotly debated topics such as taxable revenue, open space and zoning use, and increased pressure to balance green space use and residential growth.

Although the various zoning laws, layover grids, etc., can be confusing and even contradictory, what’s clear is that no one, either elected or County Staff, seems to have heard of Moore’s Law.  And if they have, they have failed to take it into account as it applies to these large buildings now popping up throughout our county, large parts of which are rural or semi-rural.

Moore’s Law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles about every two years. Moore’s Law is an observation and projection of a historical trend. Rather than a law of physics, it is an empirical relationship linked to gains from experience in production.

It is understood the interior of these centers consists mainly of computer servers and racks, which, if we apply Moore’s Law, will shrink in size and thus need less space to operate.  What happens in 10 or 20 years when the requirement for these 500,000 square foot buildings is no more?  What incentive can our county offer a private company to continue to occupy a space that is not needed in order to operate and make a profit?

Why would they wish to occupy a 500,000 sqaure-foot space when, due to said law, they would only need a quarter or less of that space?  Who do the citizens then turn to to raze the building and restore the area to its original nature?

All the extra tax monies from these centers will not make up for the permanent scarring of our county.  Why can’t we analyze best practices from other municipalities around the country and then apply the best of those to use as a framework?

Has any elected official, or county staff, examined the second and third-order effects of approving the construction of these buildings and thus degrading one significant reason citizens move to Pricne William – high quality of life

We implore our county-elected leaders to slow down and demand a thoughtful, factual review of these proposals from staff.  If we don’t have the expertise in-house, then hire a well-respected national company to conduct it.

There is no rush to carefully consider all aspects of this issue, given the lasting impact it will have for years to come.  Perceived short-term gains (more money in our county coffers) we believe defines false economy and reminds us of the family cat being happily distracted by that new shiny object right in front of her to the exclusion of anything else.

We hope the elected leaders in Prince William County will reflect for a moment on why they ran for office in the first place: to help enrich the lives of the citizens they serve by thoughtful and informed decisions affecting all of us for generations to come.

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QTS data center in Manassas [Photo: Google Maps]
Power problems for data centers in Loudoun County will not affect its neighbor, Prince William County.

A recent report in Loudoun Now states Dominion and Loudoun County officials are working to solve an issue that has led to the power transmission problems.

According to Dominion Energy spokesman Aaron Ruby, the problem in Loudoun affects a small portion, Ashburn, hindered by a lack of transmission infrastructure to power new data centers. Loudoun officials say they are concerned that the issue may stall the development of new power-hungry data centers and server farms that power the internet.

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Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair At-large Ann Wheeler. [Photo: Uriah Kiser/Potomac Local News]
Prince William County residents will move to recall the county's top leader during a press conference on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, sources tell Potomac Local News.

The recall press conference for Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair At-large Ann Wheeler will occur at 6:30 p.m. at the McCoart Government Administration Building, at 1 County Complex in Woodbridge, before the start of the Board's 7:30 p.m. meeting.

Wheeler is accused of using her position of power for financial gain when purchasing stocks in tech and data center firms looking to expand in the county. Data centers, or server farms that power the internet, have taken an interest in the county under Wheeler's leadership due to its relaxed policies, lower land cost, and access to fiber lines.

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