Day: May 2, 2020

Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

Five Ways to Help Protect Your Family from Fraud

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce Five Ways to Help Protect Your Family from Fraud From listening to music to ordering groceries, almost all aspects of our daily lives are connected to the Internet in some way. Nearly a third of Americans say they’re “almost constantly” online, with 81% using the Internet at least once a day.¹ But our always-connected nature can come with risks: The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center² averages more than 900 complaints a day; the center recorded $2.71 billion in victim losses in 2019.³  Here are some ways you can help protect your family online. 1. Learn to spot imposter scams. Have you ever received a call, text, or email purporting to be from your credit card provider regarding suspicious activity detected on your account? It could be a scammer trying to convince you to share sensitive information that would enable them to access your accounts. Increasingly, these criminals may be able to spoof caller ID or an email address so it appears they are legitimate. When in doubt, do not respond. Instead, alert your provider about the suspicious communication. Learn more about how to spot common scams at 2. Manage and monitor your credit. If your data has been compromised through a security breach, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit file with the three major credit bureaus. Visit for more information on identity theft prevention tips and resources you can share with your family. Make a habit of reviewing credit reports for you and your child at least once a year. Look for unauthorized accounts that may have been opened in your names. More than 1 million children were victims of identity fraud in 2017, according to one study from banking industry research firm Javelin Strategy & Research.⁴ 3. Limit what…

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Entrepreneurism Encouraged

By Doug Fabbioli Entrepreneurism Encouraged Clearly our springtime work on the farm has been a bit disrupted by the current circumstances of the pandemic and how our lifestyles have changed. Our vibrant rural economy, focused on hospitality and tourism, has been dropped on its head. The business owners, managers, association heads and politicians have been talking, adjusting and creating new ways to do business. We know that our guests will be allowed to return, but making it through to that point is critical for the continuation of the industry. One of the big changes that the state government did for us was to lighten up a bit on the delivery options for our products. Local spirits can now be shipped, wine can be delivered to your door by the winery and mixed drinks can be purchased to go from your local pub. It was important that the state recognized how important the local “adult beverage” industry is to its citizens and keeping them functioning as best they can through these times. The ability for producers to get their products to the customers in a save and cost effective way, allows the cash to continue to flow so we can keep farming. There was already Grub Hub and Uber Eats in the community before, but now we are seeing the local farmers getting together with the wineries and creating unique packages of products that can be delivered to your door. If you can’t come to visit Lucketts, we can deliver a taste of Lucketts to you. Fresh meats, produce, eggs and wine along with a recipe or two that will make your home stay a little less ordinary. Sunset Hills Vineyard is putting together a date night kit with wine, foods local chocolates and playing cards, delivered by DiVine Wine Tours,…

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Go Fish, Pets, Places, & Things

From Go Fish to Don’t Fish – This Virus Bites!

By Steve Chaconas Round the clock news coverage, toilet paper hoarding, just about every business closed, March came in like prespawn and went out with social distancing. Worse than muddy spring waters, Coronavirus put a halt to tournament fishing across the country. At a time when anglers should have been taking fish photos, the CDC presented a bleak picture. With no vaccine to treat the virus, they suggested avoiding exposure as it was spread person to person within 6 feet. Unfortunately even social distancing didn’t put any distance between the US and Coronavirus. A few days after introducing social distancing and group limits, the next shoe dropped. Early in March, the Northern Virginia Regional Parks closed their facilities, including the Potomac Pohick boat ramp. Not a good explanation as they operate well with limited manpower. Within a few days, the tournament picture appeared cloudy. MD wasn’t rescinding any tournament permits, however, the primary MD Potomac boat ramp, Smallwood, was clamping down on groups. Leeslyvania was more abrupt, cancelling all park permits, including tournaments. That left small privately owned ramps. In Maryland, it was Marshall Hall. In Virginia, Hope Springs fielded an event.  Local fisheries departments were closing, however still sold fishing licenses on line. Public restrooms were closed and replaced with porta pottys or nothing at all. Calls to area guides turned into cancellations as events bringing tourists were being shut down. While guide services easily comply with the group of ten restriction, clients didn’t want to risk exposure via the lack of social distancing. Fishing offered a distraction from grocery shelves depleted of milk, bread, eggs and toilet paper. Businesses closed and people hunkered down during some super early spring weather. Employees, either working from home or laid off, looked at this as an opportunity to do yard work, spring cleaning…

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Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

Give ‘Em A Break!

By F. Lennox Campello Give ‘Em A Break! According to the 2019 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Alexandria is the second friendliest city in America – immediately following Savannah, Georgia and just above Boulder, Colorado. Yay! And as I’ve noted many times before, the Torpedo Factory is the anchor to Alexandria’s “scene”, not only as its main attraction, but also as the crown jewel to the DMV’s art tapestry, and easily one of the key visual art places in the entire nation. Yay! And amidst the many personal disturbances, social shock, and financial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Alexandria is (as we used to say in the Navy) trying to “screw the pooch” by being remarkably thick when adjusting their stance as the rather “new” landlord of the Factory. Booo! Here’s the issue: The Torpedo Factory, just like every other art space, art museum, art gallery and anything where people go to gather and view and buy art, has closed as ordered by Virginia’s governor. And yet, the City, which is the landlord to the many artists who rent studio space from the building, has NOT waived rent charges while the building is closed and not available to the artists! Let me clarify… as an artist from the Factory tells me: “The city said they would waive rent for now but we’d have to pay it back, and they will work with us on a payment plan.” It sounds to me like the city will eventually want artists to pay back the rent accrued while the building was closed. In fact, as much as artists and galleries and museums are struggling right now, what the City of Alexandria needs to do right now, is to do whatever it takes to ensure that when the Torpedo…

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