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May 2012 Edition

Featured Dining: Food For Thought. Contractors Advice On Kitchen Renovations. A sneak peak at the latest trends in summer wear.

Does your child’s teacher make the grade? Protecting your nest egg. The benefits of a short sale. Travel Destinations: Napa Valley - more than wine. WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

| MAY 2012


The best high end & luxury pre-owned cars like BMW, Lotus, Bentley, Ferrari, Mercedes, Maserati, Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover and Cadillac are still sold at Luxury Cars of Willamsburg high line showroom. Let us put you behind the wheel of your dream car today. Looking for a specific year, make or model? Let our team find it for you!

Call us at 866-245-8272 1234 Highway 57, Willamsburg

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ISSUE Health & Wellness..................... 4

May 2012

volume 1 - issue Editor in Chief Hugo Lindgren

Event Calendar............ 8

Design Director Arem Duplessis

Director of Photography Kathy Ryan

Sudoku...................... 14

Music & state of well being.

Deputy Editors Lauren Kern, Joel Lovell

Fine Dining............................... 10

Managing Editor John Haskins

Our food critic reviews the fine cusine at Food For Thought.

Home & Garden...................... 14 Kitchen renovations.

Story Editors Sheila Glaser, Jonathan Kelly, Dean Robinson, Ilena Silverman, Adam Sternbergh, Vera Titunik, Greg Veis

Art Director Denise Samouilidis Deputy Art Director Caleb Bennett

Fashion..................................... 20 A sneak peak at the latest trends in summer wear.

Designers Sara Cwynar, Hilary Greenbaum Design Assistant A.E. Velez Deputy Photo Editor Joanna Milter

Featured Business..................24 A quick look Inside Busch Amusement parks.

Photo Editors Stacey Baker, Clinton Cargill, Amy Kellner, Luise Stauss Photo Assistant Gabrielle Plucknette

Kids and Family.......................36 Does your child’s teacher make the grade?

Financial Guide....................... 46 Protecting your nest egg.

Real Estate............................... 48 The benefits of a short sale.

Travel Destinations.................58 Napa Valley - more than wine.

Community Events................32 Discover what’s going on in and around Willamsburg.. WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

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:: HEALTH & WELLNESS | featured section Personal Fitness Programs Nutritional Programs Tailored To You Group Classes Included With Membership

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| MAY 2012


:: HEALTH & WELLNESS | featured section

Training With Music Has A Positive Biological Impact On The Aging Process

Aging-related hearing loss is not set in stone, study finds


ge-related delays in neural timing are not inevitable and can be avoided or offset with musical training, according to a new study from Northwestern University. The study is the first to provide biological evidence that lifelong musical experience has an impact on the aging process. Measuring the automatic brain responses of younger and older musicians and non-musicians to speech sounds, researchers in the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory discovered that older musicians had a distinct neural timing advantage. “The older musicians not only outperformed their older non-musician counterparts, they encoded the sound stimuli as quickly and accurately as the younger non-musicians,” said Northwestern neuroscientist Nina Kraus. “This reinforces the idea that how we actively experience sound over the course of our lives has a profound effect on how our nervous system functions.” Kraus, professor of communication sciences in the School of Communication and professor of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is co-author of “Musical experience offsets age-related delays in neural timing” published online in the journal “Neurobiology of Aging.” “These are very interesting and important findings,” said Don Caspary, a nationally known researcher on age-related hearing loss at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. “They support the idea that the brain can be trained to overcome, in part, some agerelated hearing loss.”

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“The new Northwestern data, with recent animal data from Michael Merzenich and his colleagues at University of California, San Francisco, strongly suggest that intensive training even late in life could improve speech processing in older adults and, as a result, improve their ability to communicate in complex, noisy acoustic environments,” Caspary added.


Previous studies from Kraus’ Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory suggest that musical training also offset losses in memory and difficulties hearing speech in noise -- two common complaints of older adults. The lab has been extensively studying the effects of musical experience on brain plasticity across the life span in normal and clinical populations, and in educational settings. However, Kraus warns that the current study’s findings were not pervasive and do not demonstrate that musician’s have a neural timing advantage in every neural response to sound. “Instead, this study showed that musical experience selectively affected the timing of sound elements that are important in distinguishing one consonant from another.” The automatic neural responses to speech sounds delivered to 87 normal-hearing, native English-speaking adults were measured as they watched a captioned video. “Musician” participants began musical training before age 9 and engaged consistently in musical activities through their lives, while “non-musicians” had three years or less of musical training.

Personal training and group classes help strengthen, tone and energize health club members of all ages. Whether your looking to build mucle, get fit of slim down, local health clubs offer a variety of options for optimal results.


| MAY 2012


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Get that feeling back with calculated meal plans and training to help you reach your goals. Call now for 2 complimentary training sessions to not only improve performance but enhance daily living as well.

Ball doesn’t drive as staight as it used to? Feel winded after playing a few rounds? Core strength and stamina are critical to not only performance by daily living as well. Added weight around your waist line can effect your performance on the course and just isn’t the best that you can be. Remember how you used to feel? Remember how 18 or 36 holes didn’t matter and were consistant every hole? Get that feeling back with calculated meal plans and training to help you reach your goals. Call and get your 2 free sessions. It’s time to get back to the way you were and are meant to be.

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:: FINE DINING | featured section

Authentic European Dining Experience

Call: 804.771.5505 2204 Falken Ave. Williamsburg, VA


| MAY 2012


:: FINE DINING | featured section

Award Winning Black Angus Filet Tops Our List Of Favorites!

Featuring steaks to ultimate vegitarian


ood For Thought’s menu is as diverse as the great thinkers themselves. Our diner’s choices vary from classic American dishes such a Fork Tender Pot Roast, Grandma’s Meatloaf, and Fall Off the Bone Ribs, to more ethnic favorites like our Pad Thai, Shrimp and Grits, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, and even to healthier vegetarian specialties like our Ultimate Vegetarian, Portabella Stack, and Baked Eggplant Parmesan. Nightly, we run seafood specials like Hickory Salmon or Blackened Tuna in addition to our much ballyhooed Light and Heavy Crab Cakes. Our house steak is a Black Angus Filet entrée called “It’s Twins”; which can be topped with our Merlot Butter or homemade Roasted Garlic Mushroom Sauce. We also provide a gluten-free menu, a kid’s menu with healthy options, and our “Magic 55” senior’s menu to serve the retirement community of Williamsburg locals. We were proudly the first non-smoking restaurant in Williamsburg and have a wonderful bar area serving draft microbrews from Williamsburg Alewerks and Dogfishhead; along with other seasonal drafts. We offer a diverse selection of red and white wines that you do not find on a lot of menus. If more than one type of beer or wine stand out to you, feel free to try one of our beer or wine flights to get a sampling of our selections.

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MAY 2012 |

Food For Thought Restaurant is located at 1647 Richmond Road about two miles west of Colonial Williamsburg and conveniently on the way to The Prime Outlets. Though Food for Thought sits amid a sea of chain restaurants, the quality and freshness of the food and the caring service of our staff differentiates us from the everyday norm. We have a lunch menu that is served daily from 11:30 am until 4 pm; dinner begins at 4 o’clock each day. You can call 757-645-4665 for Priority Seating arrangements. We also have a room that can accommodate up to forty-five guests for private events such as reheasal dinners, business meetings, or private parties. We were awarded the “Best New Restaurant in Williamsburg in 2006” by the Virginia Gazette and “The Best Restaurant in Wiliamsburg, 2009” by the Daily Press. We have been recommened in National Geographic’s 10 Best Places for Families and receive great reviews on ,, and You will find the owner/operator, Howard Hopkins, regularly supervising the quality of the food and interacting with the guests to insure that our wonderful staff is keeping up with your needs. If you have any questions, would like to report a bad experience, or compliment a member of the staff for outstanding service, you can contact Mr. Hopkins at or call his cell phone directly at 757-561-6382.


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| MAY 2012


It’s not about your back it’s about your HEALTH!

New Day Chiropractic Center

Welcome to New Day Chiropractic Center!

Our purpose is to educate and serve congregations, businesses, their leaders and families so they can reach their God-given health potential through Chiropractic wellness or Maximized living. We have been blessed to help Deborah Fallen as well as athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR and PGA. We have worked with Olympic and internationally acclaimed athletes like Samir Smithly who is the top trainer not only in Virginia but ranked #1 nationally by Bally’s and Men’s Health Journal. Until he became our patient, he suffered for nearly a decade with severe migraines and allergies and was treated by doctors around the world. Now he is pain free.

Dr. Kress Tilliams is the founder and director of the clinic and opened his first Chiropractic center in 1981. It was focused on pain relief until his twin boys were diagnosed with ADD severe asthma. His biggest test turned into his biggest testimony when he saw corrective chiropractic wellness care change their lives. The practice is includes pain relief but is focused on promoting longevity. As a patient said who no longer needs her cane, “I am 83 but I feel 38.”

We have a word for our approach and it is P.E.A.C.E. or Posture, Exercise, Attitude, Consumption and Elimination. This total wellness approach is unique to the area and is why we are so passionate about what we do. Dr. Fred Tilliams has 30 years of experience and post graduate training in the unique brain balancing adjustments, low level laser, percussor as well as detoxification foot baths. This explains why patients are responding so well in the “miracle” videos. We have people not using their canes, avoiding back surgery and beating conditions they have had for decades with this approach. ULCA medical school research has shown that poor posture is as detrimental as smoking for 40 years and can double you chance of a heart attack. 90% of the population will have high blood pressure and the medical school at the University of Chicago showed that chiropractic care can reduce high blood pressure by an average of 17 points. We have seen as much as a 50 point improvement. Everyone needs to have their spine checked and corrected for the best posture not just to have a better life but it can actually save your life. Regular corrective chiropractic care has been shown to reduce medication and surgery by nearly 50%. It has been said that if we spent half the energy on taking care of our spine as we do of our teeth, half the hospitals would be empty. That is why we offer 3 visits for new patients for just $40 to see how we can help you unleash your innate healing power today.

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:: HOME & GARDEN | featured section

Kitchen Renovation Experts Uncover Cost Saving Tips

From granite to stainless, see what our experts recommend


ithout a doubt the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in any house, in many ways it can be considered the heart of the home and as such, creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere can spark the magic that fuels years of great meals and memorable times. If your kitchen is due for an update there are certain factors that beg immediate attention whether your plans include a complete overhaul or just a face lift and some basic improvements. In this article we will go through the short list of priority tasks that should be on the very first page of your planning notebook!

furnishings and accessories. Do not leave anything off the list, try to include even the smallest items such as paint and brushes. When everything is priced, add 20% to the cost for the job because you never know when things might go wrong and throwing you well off your original budget estimate.

Basic Planning. It’s a good idea to begin your planning right in the existing kitchen. Walk through taking notes about things you like and dislike. Consider aspects like size and shape as well as general layout. Are there any walls that could potentially be removed? Remember too, the cabinets are the easiest elements to move or Starting Point: Set a Budget. You will want to consider the price of each item you replace since they don’t have piping or wire outlets hope to include in your new kitchen : new appliances, tying them to one place. The sink, dishwasher and

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stove (particularly if gas powered) may take more thoughtful consideration. Functionality Since the main requirement of a kitchen is utilitarian it goes without saying that our first priority should be ensuring that we create an efficient workspace. The easiest way to run a quick assessment of how well your kitchen is laid out prior to redesigning things is to look for the classic kitchen triangle. Basically the classic kitchen triangle is formed by the sink, stove/oven and refrigerator each assuming a point in an invisible triangle. The kitchen operator should be able to move unimpeded between them all and the distance between each point should be similar and not more than a couple of steps. That should cover the initial stages of the though process of assembling some kitchen renovation ideas. In the next article we will discuss several different layouts that have proven themselves over time. Kitchen renovation is a broad term! To some people it might mean a very rudimentary facelift, maybe a new appliance or two and a coat of fresh paint or it could be as dramatic as a complete tear-out and replace job. With that in mind we’ll take a look at some layout options, if these details don’t apply to your current situation they’ll at least put some ideas in your head for future projects.

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Single-wall layout. This layout is usually done in small spaces in which all the appliances and cabinetry are placed against a wall. Full height units like a refrigerator must be placed at one end while a cook-top should be placed near the sink and not the end of the run. Otherwise it will create an uncomfortable working environment, while adding unnecessary steps to the cooking process. Always bare in mind the rule of thumb that the refrigerator, sink and stove must always be within easy reach of each other and you won’t go far wrong. Corridor Layout. A hall or galley layout is made of two opposing counters that should be at least 42 “apart. This is also a good design layout for small spaces, but has a few advantages over the single wall run considering that work-triangle principle can be applied here.


L-shaped layout. This layout is usually more desirable for a kitchen with WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

| MAY 2012


:: HOME & GARDEN | featured section

Kitchen Renovation Experts Uncover Cost Saving Tips

Continued from page 15 limited space compared to both the straight run and the corridor layout. The work triangle can be designed in such a way that there will be fewer steps to prepare food which makes the cooking experience less demanding. It’s also far less susceptible to traffic snarls. U-Shaped Layout. The U-shaped layout is the most versatile and efficient kitchen layout. If your space and budget can handle this design then go for it. This shape makes the most of the working triangle principle. All appliances, storage and work areas can meet each other and focus on one central point – the kitchen operator. Whichever layout you decide on always consider the comfort of the cook. There should be a minimum distance between repetitive chores to save the cook from fatigue and foster the joy to the whole cooking

experience. Lots of pantry storage and pull out drawers for everyday dishes would be an indispensable part of the kitchen cabinetry. For boxes, the use of full extension drawer slides gives easy access to items stored towards the back of the cabinet. The countertop contributes a lot to the look and overall

Whichever layout you decide on always consider the comfort of the cook.

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atmosphere of the kitchen, especially if your kitchen design includes a large uninterrupted counter space. You can choose from a variety of materials like Laminate, Solid surface material which is sold under the name of Corian, Surrell, Gibraltar, etc.., Ceramic tiles, granite and marble, stainless steel, soapstone, Lava Stone and butcher’s block counter. If there’s room to include a seating area in your design it can provide a comfortable area for guests to sit out of the way for conversations while the cook is working. Adding an island is also great where possible! It not only creates a good focal point but it also provides an extra counter space, a good place for a quick meal or just a place where kids can hang out while mom prepares their favorite meal. The key to a successful kitchen design is a complete understanding of the real needs of the user. So get out your measuring tape and get to work, you’re bound to come up with plenty of your own kitchen renovation ideas.

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:: FASHION | featured section

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:: Fashion | featured section

Fashion Alert 2012 Our Top 5 Picks For Summer

What’s hot - What’s trending - What’s not


ith new year’s resolutions in tow, models need to make sure one of their resolutions involves revamping their wardrobe. As long as aspiring models stay current with the trends, auditions and castings should be successful. If not, at least you will be with the times!

4) Bell bottoms Skinny jeans, skinny pants, been there, done that. Both are far too commonplace to make a fashion statement. Thankfully, designers always have bell bottoms and our hippie ancestors to revert back too. Be on the look out for embelishments, contrast stitching, faded and distressed denims.

1) Plunging neckline It’s not the most ideal winter trend, but the plunging neckline has become incredibly popular for designers in 5) Wide leg pants 2012. Food for thought: if Gucci’s working with it, you Women’s wide leg pants are poised for a comeback in should probably consider working it into your wardrobe. 2012. A welcome change for those sick of skin tight styles. Another example of designers steering clear 2) Fur clothing of the slim cut, experts foresee wide legs dominating Without a doubt the most runways in 2012 so be ready! controversial fabric and while we don’t suggest parading around PETA headquarters wearing mink, fur is playing a large role in collections from many of the world’s most prominent fashion houses. We’re mostly dealing with faux fur, however, if genuine fur is your thing, that’s making a comeback as well. 3) Women’s tuxedo The women’s tux is cool again, so yes, 70’s fashion is back. Just be cautious before you sport your sleek tuxedo on the streets…this style was also trendy in 2008 and might not carry as much weight this time around. Just make sure you have a black tie event to support top modeling planned in the near future. 20

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:: SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESSES | featured section Personal & Business Accounting Financial Guidance Profit & Loss Statements Tax Preperation

Call: 804.212.9961 5104 N. Main Street Williamsburg, VA


| MAY 2012


:: Business | featured section

An Inside Look At Busch Entertainment

Williamsburg’s tie-in to the amusement park king


usch Entertainment Corporation is the entertainment subsidiary of Anheuser Busch Companies, Inc., operating nine theme parks in the United States and maintaining an equity position in an amusement facility located overseas. Busch Entertainment ranks as the third largest theme park operator in the United States. The company owns Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, an African-theme park, and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, which replicates 17th-century European villages. The company owns SeaWorld parks in San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida; and San Antonio, Texas. Other properties include water park attractions in Tampa, Williamsburg, and Langhorne, Pennsylvania, where Adventure Island, Water Country USA, and Sesame Place are located, respectively. Busch Entertainment also operates Discovery Cove, a reservations-only attraction in Orlando that offers guests the opportunity to interact with marine animals. Through a Spanish affiliate, Busch Entertainment owns 13.3 percent of Port Aventura, S.A., which operates a theme park near Barcelona, Spain.

The infamous air coaster at Busch Amusement in Willamsburg VA is a favorite amongst thrill seekers.

Origins When Eberhard Anheuser, with the help of his son-inlaw, Adolphus Busch, began brewing beer in 1852, the sole focus of the company was beer. A century later, after holding sway as the “King of Beers” for decades, the company could entertain other business interests. Busch Entertainment became one of those extracurricular interests, a subsidiary devoted to managing the brewer’s diversification into the amusement park business. The move into what became the entertainment facet of Anheuser Busch Companies, Inc. was made by August “Gussie” Busch, Jr., and from the start one of the primary objectives of running an amusement park was to use it to promote the brewer’s brands of beer.

leader of the nation’s largest brewing concern. Adolphus Busch III was next in line, guiding the company until shortly after the end of World War II, when August A. Busch’s son, August A. “Gussie” Busch, Jr., was named president, inheriting a company renowned for its aggressive and effective advertising. August Busch, Jr., embraced the legacy handed to him and threw himself into promoting the company’s brands, restoring the preeminence of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., as it was then known, after the company briefly relinquished its lead in the industry following World War II. One of the ways August Busch, Jr., sought to promote the company’s beer labels was by opening an entertainment park. In 1959, 20 years before Busch Entertainment was formed, August Busch, Jr., opened a complex in Tampa named Busch Gardens. It was “Gussie Busch’s idea of combining a bird garden and beer garden,” August Busch, Jr.’s great-granddaughter said in an April 25, 1994 interview with Amusement Business.

Eberhard Anheuser passed day-to-day control of the company to Adolphus Busch in the 1870s, marking the start of a Busch family dynasty that continued into the 21st century. Adolphus Busch died in 1913, leading to the appointment of his son, August A. Busch, as the

The original vision of August Busch, Jr.’s entertainment attraction changed markedly over the years. The themepark arm of Anheuser Busch would be neither a bird garden nor a beer garden, but the tie-in of operating amusement parks with the promotion of the company’s


MAY 2012 |


beer brands did exist from 1959 forward. The Tampa Busch Gardens was expanded in 1962, one year before the company broke ground on a second Busch Gardens in Los Angeles. More pertinent to Busch Entertainment’s future was the opening of a Busch Gardens in Williamsburg in 1975. The Los Angeles Busch Gardens did not last, but it was historically significant because it reflected the company’s commitment to developing further its theme-park branch. The Williamsburg Busch Gardens, as the concept of the company’s theme-park business evolved, offered a different attraction than the Tampa Busch Gardens. In Tampa, guests were treated to an African-themed park that contained one of the largest collections of wildlife under private ownership. Williamsburg offered an interpretation of 17th-century Europe, featuring representations of village-life in Germany, France, England, and Scotland. As Anheuser Busch’s theme-park business matured, it grew through internal development and through external means, blossoming into a chain of facilities that were either established by the company or acquired from other operators. Before further development of the theme-park business continued, the existing assets were organized into a distinct entity. In 1979, 20 years after “Gussie” Busch opened Anheuser Busch’s first park, Busch Entertainment Corporation was formed as a subsidiary, giving the former division the corporate structure to accommodate its growth. Expansion resumed the following year, adding considerably to the managerial duties of the new subsidiary. In 1980, the same year Italy was added to the roster of

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:: Business | featured section

An Inside Look At Busch Entertainment

Continued from page 25 company created by four graduates of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). During the early 1960s, the group of graduates discussed building an underwater restaurant, an idea that was not technically feasible, but one that led to the founding of Mission Bay Research Foundation in 1963 and the development of a concept capable of becoming a reality. Backed by an initial investment of $1.5 million, the UCLA graduates built a marine zoological park on 22 acres along the shore of San Diego’s Mission Bay. In 1964, the park, staffed with 45 employees and featuring a Japanese village, a Lagoon Stadium, and a number of dolphins, SeaWorld Acquisition: 1989 Busch Entertainment entered the 1980s organized as seal lions, and two seawater aquariums, opened to the a distinct entity under the Anheuser Busch corporate public, marking the debut of SeaWorld. umbrella. The company had four parks under its control when the decade began, a total that would SeaWorld was a success from the start. During its more than double by the end of the 1980s when first year, the park, operating as a private partnership, Busch Entertainment’s management set its sights on a drew more than 400,000 visitors. In 1965, the first cultures on display in Williamsburg, two new parks were added to Anheuser Busch’s entertainment subsidiary, both developed by the company. In June, Adventure Island Water Park was opened, a 36-acre attraction featuring water-play areas that was situated next to the 335-acre Tampa Busch Gardens. The following month, the company unveiled Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a family-oriented park jointly developed with The Children’s Television Workshop, the creator of the seminal television show Sesame Street.


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killer whale was brought before audiences, the first of numerous attractions added to the popular marine zoological park. In 1968, SeaWorld offered its stock to the public in a bid to raise capital for expansion, leading to the establishment of the second SeaWorld in Aurora, Ohio, in 1970. A third SeaWorld, located in Orlando, Florida, followed, debuting in 1973. SeaWorld proved to be a replicable concept, capable of thriving in markets as dissimilar as San Diego and suburban Cleveland. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., a publishing and insurance firm, seized the opportunity to acquire SeaWorld in 1976. Under Harcourt Brace’s ownership, SeaWorld in 1988 opened the world’s largest marine theme park, a SeaWorld located in San Antonio. The 250-acre, $170 million park took three years to plan and build, and it would be the last SeaWorld project overseen by Harcourt Brace. Saddled with debt, the company was forced to sell its four SeaWorld parks and another park, Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida. A bidding war for Harcourt Brace’s park assets began in 1989. Among the interested suitors were MCA, Inc. and Walt Disney Co., but Busch Entertainment came away with the prize, paying $1.1 billion for the four SeaWorld parks, Cypress Gardens, and Orlando-based Boardwalk and Baseball, a combined amusement park and baseball stadium that later was closed. The acquisition added more than $500 million in revenue to Busch Entertainment’s annual total and gave the company a powerful new vehicle to promote its other parks and its parent company’s beer. A little more than a year after the acquisition was completed, the company announced plans to invest tens of millions of dollars in a new master plan for the San Diego SeaWorld that included horse stables for Anheuser Busch’s iconic Clydesdale horses and a new Anheuser Busch Hospitality Center, complete with a beer garden and an exhibit area about the history of Anheuser Busch, patterned after similar centers in the company’s other parks. Busch Entertainment entered the 1990s facing increased competition from its rivals. Six Flags, Inc., Universal Parks & Resorts, and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, the largest players in the industry, represented formidable foes, forcing Busch Entertainment to expand and to consistently revamp its attractions, shows, and rides. The company also faced competition from family entertainment centers and Las Vegas attractions, among others. “The industry is changing,” a Busch

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Entertainment executive observed in an April 25, 1994 interview with Amusement Business. “There are more smaller entities in the picture.” The company kept pace by continuing to expand, acquiring Water Country USA, its 10th park, in 1992. A 450-acre complex located near the Williamsburg Busch Gardens, Water Country USA featured more than 30 water attractions. The addition of Water Country USA and record attendance at the Tampa Busch Gardens enabled the company to draw more than 19 million people to all its parks in 1993, an all-time high. Busch Entertainment in the 2000s Busch Entertainment was able to register record growth during the recessive early 1990s, but when the next economic downturn loomed the company did not rest on its laurels. The beginning of the 21st century brought economic conditions that did not encourage leisure travel, prompting Busch Entertainment to implement marketing strategies to promote visits to its parks. The company began its new marketing program in 2000 with the introduction of Florida Fun Cards as a way to boost its rolls of season pass holders. Florida residents, who constituted the bulk of the company’s season pass WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

| MAY 2012


:: Business | featured section

An Inside Look At Busch Entertainment

Continued from page 27 and beverages. The next year they’ll work their way up and pitch Platinum.”

holders, were offered the opportunity to obtain a sevenmonth pass for the price of a single admission. The promotion proved to be highly successful, flooding the parks in Florida with visitors and leading the company to introduce a marketing program for all its parks. Busch Entertainment began issuing Passport cards in 2001, a program with Bronze, Silver, Gold, and, in some areas, Platinum tiers that offered an ascending level of rewards, such as early entry or line-jumping privileges. The company’s tiered loyalty program dramatically increased the number of season pass holders and gave the company a vast database of names, addresses, and telephone numbers to aid in its marketing efforts. “That Passport card gets in people’s pockets and some will come back and some won’t,” the editor of a trade publication explained in a September 2, 2002 interview with Amusement Business. “Busch looks to see who uses it and hits them up next year by saying for $20 more you can get free parking and discounts on food 28

MAY 2012 |

The introduction of Busch Entertainment’s tiered loyalty program and its success occurred at a welcomed time. The influence of the economic downturn was exacerbated by reverberations from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which dealt another debilitating blow to amusement park owners because of anxieties about flying. By relying on Passport to boost season pass rolls and by targeting marketing in areas within a 500- to 600-mile radius from its parks, Busch Entertainment prospered during difficult times. Aside from adopting a new, more focused marketing stance, the company also made several other important moves during the first years of the decade. The Aurora SeaWorld was sold to Six Flags in early 2001, replaced by another property, Discovery Cove. Located in Orlando, Discovery Cove was unique in that it was a reservations-only park. Situated adjacent to the Orlando SeaWorld, the park offered its guests the opportunity to interact with marine life, featuring swims with dolphins, explorations of an aviary, and snorkeling along a coral reef.


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| MAY 2012


:: Business | featured section

Incentives Encourage Growth In The Art District

New Business In Newport


wo new businesses are on their way to Williamsburg’s arts district, a designated area in the city, between Lafayette Street and Richmond Road, where artists and creative businesses are eligible for tax breaks.


Megan Florakis, proprietor of “The Elephant’s Tale”, and antique and consignment store, explains the benefits of the arts district’s tax incentives being the final push for her to open up her unique antique and consignment shop. “It kind of sealed the deal.”

Extraordinary Cupcakes held its grand opening on Jan. 25, and there was a standing-room-only crowd at the bakery on 1220 Richmond Road. Owners Adam and Dyana Steely had planned to start a cupcake business for a couple of years, and seized the moment once arts district incentives were available. 30

MAY 2012 |



“It was the financial incentives, but also the organizational incentives,” said Adam Steely of the major draw for them. “It made the permit process easy and clear, and that can be a little intimidating when you first open a business.” Steely is also a partner at Blue Talon Bistro in Williamsburg. His wife Dyana is a science teacher with a knack for baking. “She’s been a passionate home baker for years, and is fascinated by the science that happens in baking,” Steely said. While cupcake shops have experienced a rise in popularity over recent years, Steely said he and his wife were able to fill a niche market that was still in demand in their area. “The locals are responding to the fact there aren’t many options for baked foods in the area,” he said. As for a cupcakery?


“There’s nothing else in Williamsburg, though there is from Richmond down to Norfolk,” Steely said. So far, the couple has been impressed with their spot in the arts district, where theirs is the fifth “creative business” to open. “It is busy, and what’s great is the traffic that exists downtown,” he said. “You’ve got the college on the one hand and the historic area on the other – so there’s a constant flow of people. And they aren’t just going about their routine, they are engaged in the community.” The Elephant’s Tale, an antique and consignment store, plans to open in the Williamsburg arts district by midFebruary. Owner Megan Florakis, who has already leased the space at 901 Richmond Road, shared what inspired her to open the business. When Florakis and her husband Demetrios bought an old fraternity house from the College of William and Mary in the early 2000s, her love for antique items developed.“That’s what got us on the antique kick,” she said. “We started looking at antique items and were amazed by the craftsmanship – and that it was so much cheaper than modern items.” Florakis is preparing to run ads and take in consignments for the shop, which will sell antiques and home décor pieces and do high-end and antique consignments. When she heard about the arts district’s tax incentives, it was the final push for her to open The Elephant’s Tale. “It kind of sealed the deal,” she said. WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

| MAY 2012


Williamsburg Calendar Of Events ay at Histo Jamestown D at 09:00 AM May 12, 2012


wn Settlemen

e & Jamesto ric Jamestown

1607 versary of the the 405th anni ay, May 12, with k ar m ill w t rd en tu estown Settlem ttlement on Sa nal music, towne and Jam s first permanent English se ns, and traditio Historic tio ra st on a’ Historic James m ic er de m e A m es iti ur of at ar ia fe m in ” d founding in Virg urs and activities, military an y and fun, “Jamestown Day e of Jamestown er to on A day of discov ies of the 1607 fort and red family-friendly jointly sponso entertainment. er is d ov ” an sc ay g di D lin n al el w ic yt to og es nal stor ol io ae am at “J ch N . ar e er th g iv ongoin inistered by the James R m in ad ng tly d ili in Jamestowne’s an sa jo ), t s tion Virginia 07 settlemen -created ship Settlement’s re towne, site of the original 16 dation (on behalf of Preserva red by the state’s un es iste by Historic Jam the Colonial Williamsburg Fo 17th-century Virginia admin of d m an e eu ic us rv m y Se or rk st Pa hi ement, a livingJamestown Settl wn Foundation. to rk Jamestown-Yo

un Run 8K and Kids F , on h at ar M f ream Hal 08:00 AM Run for the D ay 20, 2012 at Kappa Hall M to 12 20 , gin at Phi Beta be ) 19 May 19 ay M y urda wind through

illiam & Mary, 20) and 8K (Sat n (Sunday May e campus of The College of W perfect finish at William & ho at ar m lf ha e e cture Both th picturesqu d end with a pi Colonial Parkway toward th n Road) on the istoric Area, an ic s H id en (600 Jamestow s K sc ou e e m th Th fa n. s es g’ ho ud incl msbur Marat 0 Colonial Willia ium. The half marathon also y, race director of the Boston 40 t, rin eter sp Stad lengths: 100 m e McGillivra Mary’s Zable director is Dav e Stadium and includes three Masters 8 km ce SA ra U e 12 Th . 20 er e iv th James R en named place at Zabl be s s ke ha ta 8K ay rd am tu re Fun Run on Sa Run for the D a mile run. The d Field (USATF). meter dash and an k ac s by USA Tr Championship

eekend emorial Day W event. M rg u sb am li a multi-day day is is h T Festival Wil 12 20 musical to May 27, te a fun-filled May 25, 2012 Festival to crea ado of

irginia Arts r, to the brav ered with the V ds, to the majesty of Mahle eekend of stellar rtn pa s ha g ur Ban msb aw Colonial Willia e swinging sounds of the Big day’s performers. Join us for lem Renaissance to th Har weekend. From experience some of the best of using Big Band sounds of and ro ll ay 26 at William y Broadway, you’ e festival kicks off with the sburg Lodge. On Saturday, M on ph ym ubbed “S m Th m. at the Willia ith Mahler’s 8th Symphony. D led entertainment. p. y 8 on 25 ph m ay M Sy , iday ew the Virginia d, ire eat Orchestra on Fr a once in a lifetime experienc qu gr re s of ce nd y ical resour f a weeke nally, finish of Mary Hall, enjo cause of the enormous mus Fi . ce an m or rf pe be of a thousand” will inspire with an uplifting kowski. tta Kra by JoAnn Falle packed performance by Jane ar music with a st


MAY 2012 |


Civil War Weekend at Yorktown Battlefield

May 26, 2012 to May 27,

2012 at 09:00 AM

, encampments and a Tactical demonstrations al interpret the role Confederate field hospit . the Peninsula Campaign Yorktown played during orial ceremonies will On Sunday special Mem n National Cemetery take place at the Yorktow y. Colonial National and Confederate Cemeter Historical Park,

Virginia Civil War HistoryMobile @ Yorktown Battlefiled May 26, 2012 to May 27, 2012 at 09:00 AM

Yorktown Memorial Day Celebration May 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile is an interactive “museum on wheels” housed in a 53’ expandable tractor-trailer. The HistoryMobile draws together stories from all over Virginia and uses state-of-the-art technology and immersive exhibit spaces to present individual stories of the Civil War from the perspectives of those who experienced it—young and old, enslaved and free, soldiers and civilians.

Includes the posting of colors, historical re-enactors, a guest speaker, the placing of flowers, and the presentation of awards to student winners of the “York County Remembers” Poster Essay Contest. Hosted by the York County Historical Committee. York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown, VA

Civil War Balloon Observation Exhibit May 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM Kevin Knapp, retired Army Officer, professional balloon pilot, and Civil War Balloon Corps enthusiast will share separate presentations on how balloons were used for observation and surveillance by both the North and the South. His presentations, occurring on the hour, will include the complete history of balloon operations from their first appearance 1861 to the end of the Balloon Corps in 1863 and will place special emphasis on balloon operations during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862.


| MAY 2012


Golf Cart Sales & Rentals

Golf Cart Store • Golf Cart Sales • Golf Cart Rentals • Golf Cart Parts Golf Cart Sales and Rentals offers the sale or rental of golf carts and turf vehicles in a wide array of makes and models. We are an authorized E-Z-GO® ST™ dealer. Manufactured warranties are available on all new carts. In addition to new carts, we sell used carts as well. Visit our golf cart store in Williamsburg, Virginia for golf cart sales and rental.

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MAY 2012 |


:: KIDS & FAMILY | featured section Day Care After Care Infant Care

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| MAY 2012


:: Kid’s & Family | featured section

Does Your Child’s Teacher Make The Grade?

Getting the most out of your child’s education Does your child have a good teacher? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Most parents don’t see or talk to their child’s teacher every day. An initial introduction is usually made in the fall, followed by periodic parent-teacher conferences throughout the year. You may catch a glimpse of your child’s teacher in action if you volunteer to help with school parties or special events. Other than these brief encounters, how do you know that your child’s teacher—the person entrusted with your precious offspring seven hours a day, five days a week—is doing the best job possible? Play Detective You can’t come to school and hover over the teacher’s shoulder each day, but you can do a little detective work to determine if your child is getting a quality classroom experience. To find out if your child’s teacher “makes the grade”, keep your eyes and ears open for the following five signs. Sign # 1: The Teacher Keeps You Informed A good teacher keeps parents informed about classroom activities, events, and goals. Expect your child’s teacher to communicate these things to you via e-mail, a weekly newsletter, or a classroom website. If your child is struggling, academically or socially, expect a personal phone call, hand-written note, or e-mail about the situation. A conscientious teacher will find time to share your child’s accomplishments and positive behaviors with you, too.

Mrs. Robby, a preschool elementary school teacher in Musberg explains the fundementals of early learning.

Sign # 2: The Teacher is Academically Thorough

Sign # 3: The Teacher Is Organized

A good teacher cares about her subject matter, and is passionate about conveying information and ideas to your child. Look for detailed assignments and well-planned projects that mix curriculum with creativity. Good teachers don’t just lecture and test; they encourage kids to explore, discuss, move around, and get their hands dirty. Expect the curriculum to be presented in a variety of different ways, so that all types of learners may be drawn into the educational process.

A good teacher has a year-long plan for her students. She can tell you exactly what she will be teaching throughout the school year, and what she hopes your child will gain from each lesson. Her classroom is organized in such a way that materials are accessible and easy to find. Her daily schedule is consistent and predictable. When children step into her classroom, they take comfort in the fact that they know exactly what to expect.


MAY 2012 |


Sign # 4: The Teacher Knows Your Child Does your son participate in athletics? Does your daughter love to write? A good teacher knows some personal details about your child. Furthermore, she takes the time to discover how your child learns best. Perhaps your son gains a lot from hands-on experiences, or your daughter needs visual aids to help her absorb a lecture. By taking time to know her students personally, a good teacher helps all individuals find success. Sign # 5: The Teacher Goes the Extra Mile A good teacher does not coast through her job. She comes early, stays late, personalizes assignments, and tailors lesson plans. She speaks with her students every day and does her best to make each one feel safe, important, and loved. She may attend extra-curricular sporting events, musical performances, PTO meetings, or other outside activities that are important to her students. Although many teachers have children themselves, a good teacher finds a way to balance her home life with the needs of 20-500 other young people. Make an appointment with the teacher and talk to her about your concerns. Teachers are human beings with struggles and weakness, just like everybody else.

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R E T I R E M E N T. ..................

It used to be that planning for retirement required little more than Social Security and a company pension. Today, Social Security benefits are insignificant for most, and savings among Americans is at an all-time low. While retirement may require more planning these days, I can help. Together, We’ll create a plan focused on your goals.

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MAY 2012 |


:: FINANCIAL GUIDE | featured section

401Ks Tax Shelters Retirement Plans High Yield Investments Call: 804.766.4001 987 21st Street Williamsburg, VA


| MAY 2012


:: FINANCIAL GUIDE | featured section

Sound Financial Investments For The New Economy

Protecting your assets while building a solid retirement fund


he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) receives many questions about investment advisers— what they are and how to go about choosing one. This document answers some of the typical questions we receive from investors about investment advisers. This Q&A is for the benefit of investors. You should not rely on it to determine if you need to register as an investment adviser. Q: What is an investment adviser? A: An investment adviser is an individual or a firm that is in the business of giving advice about securities to clients. For instance, individuals or firms that receive compensation for giving advice on investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or exchange traded funds are investment advisers. Some investment advisers manage portfolios of securities. Q: What is the difference between an investment adviser and a financial planner? A: Most financial planners are investment advisers, but not all investment advisers are financial planners. Some financial planners assess every aspect of your financial life—including saving, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning—and help you develop a detailed strategy or financial plan for meeting all your financial goals. 40

MAY 2012 |

Others call themselves financial planners, but they may only be able to recommend that you invest in a narrow range of products, and sometimes products that aren’t securities. Before you hire any financial professional, you should know exactly what services you need, what services the professional can deliver, any limitations on what they can recommend, what services you’re paying for, how much those services cost, and how the adviser or planner gets paid. Q: What questions should I ask when choosing an investment adviser or financial planner? A: Here are some of the questions you should always ask when hiring any financial professional: What experience do you have, especially with people in my circumstances? Where did you go to school? What is your recent employment history? What licenses do you hold? Are you registered with the SEC, a state, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)? What products and services do you offer? Can you only recommend a limited number of products or services to me? If so, why? How are you paid for your services? What is your usual hourly rate, flat fee, or commission? Have you ever been disciplined by any government regulator for unethical or improper conduct or been sued by a client who was not happy with the work you did? For registered investment advisers, will you send me a copy of both parts of your Form ADV? Be sure to meet potential advisers “face to face” to


Is on board with the crazy idea that nest eggs, like children, shouldn’t be left with strangers. Is it radical to neglect that your life savings get personal attention? Hardly. That’s why we’re built to have one financial strive in each of our 10,000 offices. Experts who’ll focus on you and your nest egg. Join the family of nearly 7 million investors who know each time and we’ll take time to make a difference in your earnings. WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

| MAY 2012


:: FINANCIAL GUIDE | featured section

Sound Financial Investments For The New Economy

Continued from page 40 make sure you get along. And remember: there are many types of individuals who can help you develop a personal financial plan and manage your hard–earned money. The most important thing is that you know your financial goals, have a plan in place, and check out the professional you chose with your securities regulator. Q: How do investment advisers get paid? A: Before you hire any financial professional—whether it’s a stockbroker, a financial planner, or an investment adviser—you should always find out and make sure you understand how that person gets paid. Investment advisers generally are paid in any of the following ways: A percentage of the value of the assets they manage for you; An hourly fee for the time they spend working for you; A fixed fee; A commission on the securities they sell (if the adviser is also a broker-dealer); or Some combination of the above. Each compensation method has potential benefits and possible drawbacks, depending on your individual

needs. Ask the investment advisers you interview to explain the differences to you before you do business with them, and get several opinions before making your decision. Also ask if the fee is negotiable. Q: Do investment advisers have to register with the SEC? A: Depending on their size, investment advisers have to register with either the SEC or the state securities agency where they have their principal place of business. For the most part, investment advisers who manage $100 million or more in client assets must register with the SEC. If they manage less than $100 million, they must register with the state securities agency in the state where they have their principal place of business. Q: How do I find out whether an investment adviser ever had problems with a government regulator or has a disciplinary history? A: Most investment advisers must fill out a form called “Form ADV.” They must file their Form ADVs with either the SEC or the state securities agency in the state where they have their principal place of business, depending on the amount of assets they manage. Form ADV consists of two parts. Part 1 contains information about the adviser’s business and whether they’ve had problems with regulators or clients. Part 2 outlines the adviser’s services, fees, and strategies. Before you hire someone to be your investment adviser, always ask for, and carefully read, both parts of Form ADV. You can get copies of Form ADV from the investment adviser, your state securities regulator or the SEC, depending on the size of the adviser. You can find out how to get in touch with your state securities regulator through the North American Securities


MAY 2012 |






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Administrators Association, Inc.’s (NASAA) website or by calling (202) 737-0900. Ask your state securities regulator whether they’ve had any complaints about the adviser, and ask them to check the CRD (Central Registration Depository).

Q: Are investment advisers required to have credentials?

A: While some investment advisers and financial planners have credentials -- such as CFP® certification or CFA (chartered financial analyst) -- no state or If the SEC registers the investment adviser, you can federal law requires these credentials. Many states get a copy of the Form ADV by accessing How to require advisers to pass a proficiency exam or meet Request Public Documents. In addition, at the SEC’s other requirements. headquarters, you can visit our Public Reference Room from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to obtain copies of SEC Investment advisers and financial planners records and documents. may come from many different educational and professional backgrounds. Before you hire a Q: What should I do if the financial professional financial professional, be sure to ask about their claims that he or she is “certified”? background. If they have a credential, ask them what it means and what they had to do to earn it. Also, A: If the professional you’re considering claims to be a find out what organization issued the credential, CFP® certificant, you should also visit the website of and then contact the organization to verify whether the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. the professional you’re considering did, in fact, (CFB Board) to see if the professional is, in fact, certified earn the credential and whether the professional as a CFP® professional and whether the professional’s remains in good standing with the organization. certification has been suspended or revoked by the CFP For information on various financial professional Board. You can also call the CFP Board at (888) 237- credentials and the entities that issue them, please 6275 to obtain other disciplinary information about the visit FINRA’s website and read Understanding professional. Financial Professional Designations. WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA EDITION

| MAY 2012


As one of Ameriprise Financial’s most experienced advisors, I know that everyone’s financial picture is different, and that priorities change depending on their time horizon, how they accumulated their wealth, and their longand short-term goals. So I help each of my clients develop a strategy tailored to their unique needs and goals.

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Our mission is to deliver financial solutions through a tailored approach and a genuine interest in our clients’ evolving needs. We help our clients achieve confidence.

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Fifth Third Mortgages When you are looking to buy a home, you want to look for the best option to suit your financial situation. Consider Fifth Third Bank your mortgage resource. We have a wide selection of options for financing; so chances are, you’re sure to find the type of mortgage that suits you perfectly. For more information about any of our loans or to learn about which loan may be right for you, please contact a Fifth Third Mortgage Loan Specialist. Call toll free at 1-866-3515353, visit a Fifth Third Banking Center near you, or fill out our secure online mortgage prequalification form.

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Angelic Treasures flowers Angelic Treasures Florist has been serving the Houston and surrounding areas for over 25 years in the heart of the Willamsburg Area. We strive to carry on our reputation of creating custom designs that is all that matters when you are sending a floral message from the heart. Our designers are well educated and have several years of floral experience. We create arrangements that are award winning and show the distinct elegance our customers expect. Our mission at Angelic Treasures is to offer a high quality product and high quality customer service that shows our one-of-a-kind style. We make a commitment to all of our customers to provide superior service and a distinct gift through flowers that will express the feelings in your heart.

804-837-4443 • 866-282-4445 333 Lilly Drive | Williamsburg VA


MAY 2012 |


:: REAL ESTATE | featured section

Relocation Specdialists Resales New Construction Condos & Townhomes

Call Rita Max 804-909-0000 920 Colonia Drive Williamsburg, VA


| MAY 2012


:: REAL ESTATE | featured section

Drowning In Debt. The Reality Of Today’s Housing Market.

Homeowners seek help with underwater peroperties


s I look across the horizon and take in the many different homes listed on the market, the view becomes hazy with disappointed home owners. So many home owners are discovering the unfortunate information that lands them in a sticky situation, their homes have lost so much value that they end up needing to sell them for less then they owe on their loans. Depending on your personal circumstance you have a few options and hopefully you can choose from several of them and not be restricted to only one or two of them due to other unfortunate economic downfalls, such as a job loss. If you are holding strong in our current economy and can still make your payments on time then the process will be extremely less damaging to your credit score. After undergoing a short sale you can

expect to purchase a home with another Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac insured loan with in a few years. A foreclosure can take up to ten years. There are so many different scenarios that can lead a homeowner toward a short sale. You may be involved with a job transfer and need to move, or you may have discovered that your arm loan just raised your mortgage payment and you decide you can’t afford the payments any longer. This situation is disturbing due to the fact that in the beginning of your home purchase when you chose to finance with an arm loan you were told that you would be able to refinance into a fixed loan at some point in time. The only consequence you for saw was a possible higher interest rate. You never suspected that the value would cause the issue. Then there is a

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The Colonial Club Sotheby’s International Realty | +1.804.514.6948 | 103 Colonial Club Drive | Williamsburg, VA ©MMX Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. A Roglogy Company. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opprotunity. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit offerings of other real estate brokers. We are happy to work with them and cooperate frully. Each office is Independently Owned and Operated.


| MAY 2012


:: REAL ESTATE | featured section

Drowning In Debt. The Reality Of Today’s Housing Market.

Continued from page 48

The process of a short sale is extremely stressing and emotionally overtaking. whole string of tight money possibilities caused from job loss, cost of living, credit card debt, illness, etc. There is some good news. The mortgage crisis has effected many homeowners throughout the United States. With the tax law ending in 2012, more homeowners are persuing the option of short selling their You will survive through forebearance homes to avoid IRS tax liens and other consiquences. the short sale. If you have managed to keep up your payments you are only looking It is best for the homeowner to contact them by phone. at a credit drop of about 50 points. If you were behind It is emotionally stressing to discuss, for the first time, on payments it will be a bit more, but in comparison your delicate situation and explain your unfortunate with a foreclosure you are going to be much better off. dilemma. Take deep breath and remember there are so many others out there going through the same thing at The process of a short sale is extremely stressing and that very moment. You are not alone. Once you have emotionally overtaking. Before attempting this road that first talk aside, you will need to fill out the forms you need to discuss your particular situation with an from the bank that you will receive that describe your short sale/foreclosure attorney and it is advisable to debt to income ratio proving that you can not make your speak with a tax attorney. They can discuss the stages of payments any longer. They will ask you to try and bring the short sale and which will be more beneficial to you; your payments up to date and tell you that it is in your a short sale or foreclosure. Unfortunately, the process best interest to figure out how to keep your payments differs extremely between banks. Some are easier to current. Again, discuss all of your personal situation work with and some are horribly difficult. Most short with your attorney and have them guide you in the right sales begin with a few late payments. To involve the direction. Because it may be in your best interest not bank in the process the home owner will need to write a to continue those payments, and in other cases it may letter to the bank explaining the situation and describing be better to keep up your payments. Once you have why the bank should work with the homeowner to sell discussed these options with your attorney and decide for less then the loan. Once the bank receives the letter your correct path to take, your home will be scheduled they will contact the homeowner. Most banks will for an appraisal. An appraiser will give you a value and contact the homeowner, but in some cases they take their you will be able to list your home on the market. You time and try to contact you in other ways like the mail. will be able to choose your own Realtor and soon after 50

MAY 2012 |



| MAY 2012


:: REAL ESTATE | featured section

Drowning In Debt. The Reality Of Today’s Housing Market.

Continued from page 50 you will be given a foreclosure date at least 120 days out from the date you received the notice. Get your home on the market as soon as you can. If you waste time you are losing possible buyers and then you may find that you have run out of time and foreclosure will sneak up on you. Once you are on the market, listing your home is just the same as any other. You should follow the same rules. Leave the home so the potential buyer feels more relaxed viewing the home, stage the home to give the potential buyer the feeling that it may be theirs someday, and do everything you can to make sure the depression of it being a short sale doesn’t visually make the potential buyer feel uncomfortable. When a buyer feels that depression they are more likely to simply not want to be involved. You need to hide that feeling as much as you can to attract the most potential buyers. It will be hard, but worth it. When you receive an offer your Realtor will help explain the strength of the offer. If it is weak you may choose to counter offer. It is your’s and your Realtor’s responsibility to weed out the offers that you know your bank will reject. You do not want to accept a bad offer that you know the bank will turn down, go off the market only to waste two or three months waiting for the bank to decline the offer and then you end up having to go back on the market. A good offer would be something close to your listed price. If the bid is too low you may end up wasting your time by accepting it. Having a good Realtor will come in handy during this time.

have spoken with your attorneys about your rights. If your second mortgage is with another bank, different from your first mortgage, they may try to come after their money. It seems like a silly question to answer, but why would they do this after the sale is closed? Because, they want their money. Read everything! Don’t sign anything without your attorney. Many times they may want you to sign a note to convert your secured loan into and unsecured loan which is a loan that will carry on after the house is sold and gone. You don’t want that. Credit cards are a form of unsecured debt. Make sure you receive a paid off notice from the bank. If you don’t; request one. Have your attorney demand one for you. Don’t let the short sale end without having a signed off, paid notice in your hands and hold on to it. Make sure you have discussed the possible tax fees involved with a short sale. If the home is not your primary residence you may find you will owe taxes on the portion the bank released you from. Speak with a tax attorney. If you are in a situation where you can not afford your monthly payment or other bills, make sure you and the bank agree who will be paying the utilities at closing. Don’t leave this open ended. Someone will end up having to pay them and you don’t want to be left with unpaid bills after closing, such as, electricity, gas, water, sewage.

If you have moved due to a Once you have an accepted offer from the bank you job transfer or any other will spend most of your final days signing papers and completing the sale. The rest of the sale will feel much like an average home sale. In fact, even at the closing table you may not notice anything about the short sale, only that the sale price is a lot less than your loan amount. Some things to look out for: If you have a second mortgage beware. Make sure you 52

MAY 2012 |


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either contact you to let you know you have sent it to the incorrect department or they will forward it on to the correct department. Either way you have proved that you’ve sent it. Another good thing to record documents you have sent is to send your Realtor a copy of everything for your short sale file. Then your Realtor can send a duplicate fax or email to the contact person If you have good contact with your bank and know the in the mitigation department also. It can’t hurt. Your correct connections for questions and sending in offers, Realtor needs to be someone you can trust. This process your short sale will be less stressful. Do your research is a very sensitive and personal circumstance, so having and learn your bank. The more people in the mitigation a Realtor you feel confident in is something you need. department that you know the better. If you keep in touch and become a recognized name in that department All of those going through a short sale right now, hang you will find they move faster for you. Make sure you in there, you will make it. For all of those about to go hold a good name with them. You don’t want to be through a short sale, learn as much as you can before you do. Take the time, even though you may not have annoying, just thorough. much, to research the best way to go about it. Please Keep all of your documents and keep track of all your make sure you speak with a professional. conversations. If you contact the bank, have a paper handy and write down what you discussed. The more Disclosure: In no way is a Realtor qualified to give legal information you have the more they will want to follow advice or act as an attorney. The above information is the rules and complete the short sale. If you send a only to be thought of as personal thoughts and/or opinion fax or an email send another fax or email to another and not fact. Please seek the guidance of an attorney person in that department and ask to verify they have for legal questions or advice pertaining to your personal received it. If it gets sent to the wrong person they will situation to determine the best path for you. reason, make sure you have someone near the home to keep it up. If you have the home vacant during the winter season do not turn off the electricity or gas. You will need to keep the home in good condition to be able to sell it in a short sale. The bank will be less likely to work with you if you have let the home go to ruin.


| MAY 2012


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MAY 2012 |


:: TRAVEL GUIDE | featured section


| MAY 2012


:: TRAVEL DESTINATIONS | featured section

Napa Valley A Delightful Combination Of Art & Wine

A trip to wine country might just be what the doctor ordered


ine Country’s other treasured vintage takes center stage when Napa Valley Arts in April returns to spotlight the 20th and 21st century art residing in wineries throughout the region. Winemakers put their heads together with curators to stage interactive art programs, curator-led tours and special exhibitions for a wine crawl that moves week by week through the valley. Events, many of them free, take place in wineries that serve as repositories for works by contemporary artists such as Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet, George Rickey and Richard Serra. Vitals: Next Sunday-April 8, Calistoga; April 9-15, St. Helena/Rutherford; April 16-22, Oakville/Yountville; April 23-30, Napa, Carneros and American Canyon. See website for participating wineries. (707) 226-5813. -- Paso Robles back to its roots: Lest we forget that wine is only one facet of Paso Robles agriculture, the 56

MAY 2012 |

Cattlemen’s Western Art Show returns for the 22nd year with works from 60 artists. New this year is Pedro Ramos, an internationally recognized sculptor known for his dynamic American Indian figures. A Cattlemen’s barbecue and a no-host bar is offered both days. Friday-next Sunday. Free admission (barbecue $10, wine and hors d’oeuvres reception $20). www. (805) 801-3791. -- Easter break at the Boardwalk: Fans of classic roller coasters, dark rides and arcade games will be glad to know the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk moves to a daily schedule for two weeks before and after Easter, including the park’s first-ever Battle of the Bands. Fans of hometown rocker James Durbin, who released his first album in November after acquitting himself admirably on “American Idol,” will give a free concert May 19 to kick off the Boardwalk’s summer season. Saturday-April 15; Battle of the Bands April 5. (831) 423-5590.




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| MAY 2012


:: TRAVEL DESTINATIONS | featured section

Snowshoe West Virginia Year ‘Round Fun For All Ages

Summer months offer golf, festivals and family activies.


lthough Snowshoe’s winter season frequently lasts over 130 days, the fun doesn’t end when the snow melts. Snowshoe offers some of the best mountain biking on the east coast, with 100 miles of maintained trails winding through the resort’s 10,000 acres. Trails range in difficulty; some trails follow scenic backcountry roads and old rail trails, while others are hair-raising, advanced singletrack. Races such as the popular 24 Hours of Snowshoe (covered by DCSki in 2002 and 2003) have been held at Snowshoe in the past.

scorching summer heat found in Williamsburg. Not far from Snowshoe, you’ll find other attractions such as the Cass Scenic Railroad and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

The Raven Golf Club (formerly known as Hawthorne Valley Golf Course) is an 18 hole, par 72 Gary Player Two mountain biking centers offer trail maps, bike signature course set into the mountainside. Golf rentals, clothing and equipment sales, and bike tours. Magazine has declared the course as one of the “top ten When you’re done biking, you can give your bike a new courses you can play in the U.S.” wash with supplied hoses. Snowshoe added new activities several summers ago, If mountain biking isn’t your sport, Snowshoe also including a skate park, a climbing wall, fly fishing, and offers golf, tennis, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, more. Snowshoe also began offering scenic rides on the fishing, canoeing, or sightseeing. Snowshoe’s high Western Express chairlift during weekends. Snowshoe elevation (nearly 5,000 feet) helps it escape from the is a bustling resort year-round. 58

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| MAY 2012


:: TRAVEL DESTINATIONS | featured section

San Francisco From Fisherman’s Wharf To Alcatraz

A abundance of history, dining and entertainment.


here’s something for everyone at Fisherman’s Wharf: food, views, history, family fun and more. A food lover’s haven, Fisherman’s Wharf boasts some of the best dining in the world. Salivate over fresh Dungeness crab served steaming hote at outdoor stands or in a variety of gourmet recipes at the Wharf’s many seafood restaurants. Smell the fresh sourdough bread baking. Savor some locally made chocolate. The Wharf’s eclectic mix of international cuisine is sure to make a hit with your taste buds. We guarantee it. Bon appetite! More Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurants, Crab Stands, Cafes and Casual Dining Information During the day, street performers are here to tirelessly entertain you: magicians, mimes, musicians, jugglers, clowns and fire-eaters take pride in their efforts to make you feel welcome at Fisherman’s Wharf. At night the wharf offers live music, theater, dancing, comedy clubs and much more. More Wharf Nightlife Information Over the course of its history Alcatraz – known as The Rock – has been a Civil War fortress, infamous federal prison, bird sanctuary, the first lighthouse on the West Coast, and the birthplace of the Native American Red Power movement. Today, more than a million people 60

MAY 2012 |

come to Alcatraz each year to learn about the island’s human history and to see its birds, tide pools and gardens. You can see easily see The Rock from anywhere along the Wharf’s shoreline. Numerous cruises take you around and to the island. More Alcatraz and Bay Cruise Information San Francisco is one of few places in the world where people can ride on a national historic landmark. Refurbished and equipped with new tracks, cables, turntables and cable propulsion machinery, San Francisco’s famed cable cards operate much as they did on August 2, 1873 when Andrew S. Hallidie guided the first car down the Clay Street grade. Two of the three cable car lines stop in Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch the Powell-Mason line at Taylor St. and Bay St., or the Powell-Hyde line at Hyde St. and Beach St.


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| MAY 2012


:: TRAVEL DESTINATIONS | featured section

Pittsburgh Has Something For Everyone A Total Resurgence Of An Industrial Town

A driveable vacation to please the entire family.


t is no wonder that people often fondly call Pittsburgh “Kidsburgh.” No matter where you go, you’ll get the sense that city is deeply dedicated to nurturing and engaging the younger generation. It’s loaded with great vacation ideas that’ll keep the kids (and adults) happy.

the spraying jets of water. In the winter, the PPG Plaza becomes a public skating rink. Video game-addicted kids and adolescents may like CyberConXion, a video gaming center (with large screens) on Murray Ave in the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill.

In February head to the Kidapalooza family festival and if you’ll be in southwestern Pennsylvania in May, make sure to attend the outstanding International Children’s Festival. Children will enjoy riding up and down the Monongahela and Duquesne Inclines which link downtown Pittsburgh to Mount Washington, and the Ducky Tours of Pittsburgh with their “amphibious” buses that become boats will certainly delight people of all ages.

In Pittsburgh, museums and science centers excite even the most learning-phobic kids. On Forbes Avenue don’t miss the Carnegie Museum’s outstanding dinosaur exhibit. The Carnegie Science Center on Allegheny Avenue features over 250 child-appropriate exhibits related to science and technology. The adjacent UPMC Sports Works center helps children experience the physics behind the sports they love. The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum near Allegheny Square has climbing three-dimensional mazes, human-powered elevators, silk screening activities, and countless other hands-on exhibits.

A great idea for a slippery summer sensation is to head out to the PPG Plaza, between Third and Fourth Avenues in downtown Pittsburgh for an afternoon at an interactive fountain with water jets that shoot (in random patterns) up to 15 feet high. Children are invited (and expected) to soak themselves by running in and around


MAY 2012 |

If you are traveling with children who love animals and the natural world, another good vacation idea would be to head to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, which features over 4,000 animals in their natural environment, or the Living Treasures Animal Park petting zoo in Donegal, PA. If you think zoos are for the birds, then check out the National Aviary, with well over 100 species of colorful and bizarre feathered friends. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has a special Discovery Garden where children are actually encouraged to get their green thumbs dirty.


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Leisure Lifestyle of Williamsburg  

Leisure Lifestyle, magazine that caters to a country club lifestyle.

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