Living & Shopping In Wonderful Warrenton, VA
m a g a z i n e
In this issueâ&#x20AC;Ś The Galapagos Islands - a local point of view In Motion Sports & Dance â&#x20AC;Śand MORE!
Upperville Colt & Horse Show June 4th - June 10th www.upperville.com
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For general inquiries, advertising, editorial, listings or technical support: E: WarrentonLifestyle@piedmontpress.com Tel: 540.347.4466 â&#x20AC;˘ Fax: 540.347.9335 Editorial & Advertising office: Open 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday 404 Belle Air Lane, Warrenton, VA 20186 The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to all its advertisers and selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustration or photograph is strictly forbidden. ÂŠ2007 Piedmont Press & Graphics Printed in Warrenton, Virginia. USA Cover Photo: Teresa Ramsay Photography Photo taken at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show.
From the publisher…
June - There’s No Time To Cut The Grass
une is my
favorite month of the year as it always comes with an e v e n t- f i l l e d calendar. Outdoor events, vacations and graduations are the main attractions. June offers something for everyone. Twilight Polo begins at Great Meadow June 2nd through September 8th. Pretty women, handsome gents, sumptuous tailgates and the romance of an evening under the stars combine to form a great party! Add the excitement of pounding hooves to make the night’s fun unforgettable. www.greatmeadow.org. The Relay for Life at Fauquier High School begins June 2nd. If you’ve never been to this event, consider attending this year. It is quite a moving experience as volunteers and teams raise money to fight cancer in an outdoor celebration of life. If you want to see courage and bravery first-hand, witness the survivors’ walk. Inspiring! You can sponsor a team or contribute on your own. The Warrenton/Fauquier Jaycees are looking for sponsors for their team. www.acsevents.org/relay/ fauquier/jaycees. Stop by Borders on Saturday, June 2nd to meet Sean Burch, author of Hyperfitness. Sean, who has been hailed as “one of the fittest men on earth” by CNN International, explains what Hyperfitness is all about. It includes setting goals and attaining them, in June 2007
the process discovering that we are stronger and tougher than we know. His Hyperfitness program prepared him for his climb up Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, records in the North Pole Marathon, a run up Mount Kilimanjaro and his recent scaling of 63 previously unclimbed mountain summits in Tibet in just 23 days! I can’t wait to meet Sean. The Upperville Colt & Horse Show, the oldest horse show in America, takes place June 4th through the 10th and features many local horse show competitors as well as those from around the US and abroad. The grounds are spectacular and the weather is usually perfect. Family fun! www.upperville.com. Graduations take place in June and my son, Kevin, is graduating from high school June 16th along with students from our area’s public and private schools. Families will reunite and reflect on the accomplishments of their graduates and offer philosophies for the future in college and beyond. The Bluemont Concert Series begins June 23rd. On warm Saturday summer evenings, families, neighbors and friends gather for world-class jazz, bluegrass, Celtic music, rock, zydeco, folk music and African dance. Many people bring picnics to enjoy before the show. Tickets are sold on Culpeper Street the night of the event. For more information, log onto www.bluemont.org. Father’s Day is June 17th, an obvious favorite of mine being a dad of four terrific children. There’s nothing better than to hang out with my family and visit downtown to see
the Car Show on Main Street followed by some ice cream. Check the Partnership for Warrenton’s website at www.historicwarrenton.org. June 21st is summer solstice and we relish the long daylight forgetting the gray and gloomy days of winter that seem so long ago. This month’s issue is another we’re very proud of. Amy Petty leads with a story on the InMotion Sports & Dance Center, the incomparable Andreas Keller continues his series on credit scores and Jon William Henry, a student from Highland School, weighs in with a story of his school’s trip to the Galapagos with local guide and photographer, Sunny Reynolds. Jennifer Heyns introduces us to Thomas and LouAnn Bruck. The big news is the return of our Best of Warrenton survey. We are proud of our local businesses and delighted that we found a way for the community to honor a large majority of them. Warrenton is chock full of great places, people, services and shops. Pull out the enclosed ballot, fill it out and return it to us or, better yet, go online and complete the ballot through our website at www. warrentonlifestyle.com. We enjoyed meeting so many of you at the Spring Festival this year, one of the finest in several years. The volunteers at the Chamber of Commerce did an exceptional job of running everything smoothly. We appreciate the kind words and suggestions that day. It means a lot to our team who works hard to put out this magazine every month.
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In Motion Sports and Dance Sports, Music and Most Important, Fun by Amy Petty
ituated on Falmouth Street right near the Warrenton Greenway is an unassuming former wire factory. Until recently it sat idle, going unnoticed. Then in February, In Motion Sports and Dance opened the doors to the renovated space bringing a wealth of leagues and lessons to the community. The breadth of their schedule is so extensive that it’s almost easier to say what you can’t do at In Motion Sports and Dance. Currently, there are no fencing or jousting lessons (give them time), nor are there bungee jumping sessions (again, check back in a year, they might have it). When Terry Fitz, owner of the 30,000 sq. foot facility starts listing the offerings for kids and adults, not to mention what is slated for the coming months, it seems they’ve thought of everything.
offered the chance to buy Warrenton’s In Motion Dance Center, she jumped at the opportunity. That led to opening a branch in Culpeper to meet dance class demand in that area. Terry and her husband, David Fitz, started talking about expanding beyond dance. Last year they found the
Years ago before she was a mom to sons Micah and Jonah, Terry Fitz taught theater and literature at Liberty High School. And though she stopped working after Micah’s birth, she never lost her love of theater or dance, which she had been involved with most of her life. So three years ago, when she was
While renovations are still underway, the space is impressive in size and scope. It hosts two dance studios, a personal training/fitness area, two indoor fields, arcade games, indoor batting cages (coming this summer), and music lessons for everything from the recorder to piano to violin. Touring
spot, and the idea for In Motion Sports took off.
the facility, it is hard to comprehend the effort that goes into planning and scheduling this multitude of activities, but Terry greets the enormity of it with enthusiasm and a smile.
Dance In Motion Dance studio may have changed locations, but it is still offering many different dance classes as well as a boutique for dance class gear. Ballet and tap remain popular within the student base; however, hip hop dance class has lots of excitement and buzz. Other classes include Ballroom, Irish, Middle Eastern, Salsa, and more. Pointing out a significant row of trophies, Terry adds that the studio’s dance teams have been very competitive, most recently finishing first in an area competition.
Athletics When is the last time you participated in some old-fashioned, character-building dodgeball? Or have you wanted to get your daughter into lacrosse? In Motion Sports is the
See In Motion page 10 Warrenton Lifestyle
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In Motion continued from page 8 answer. With leagues for lacrosse, volleyball, kickball and dodgeball, they have something for boys and girls, whether they’re in elementary, middle or high school. Because Terry homeschools her sons, she’s sensitive to the needs of those parents. They offer Elementary PE for homeschoolers, and even have a preschool basketball class! In addition, baseball, flag football, gymnastics, martial arts, pilates, softball and yoga are all on the docket for future activities. On the off chance that they don’t have what you’re looking for, their website (www. in-motionsports.com) has a section where classified ads can be posted for people looking for teams or classes. In Motion Sports has also become
asked about the comparison to the movie, Terry says, “It was exactly like the movie. There was even a guy playing in black glasses and a tuxedo. People were here from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. We had lots of spectators, really a fun event. We think they’ll be back next February.”
Music Kindermusik, the popular music classes for families with small children, is also offered at In Motion. Classes are specifically designed for children as young as 18 months and focus on music and movement for children. Private lessons are available for piano, flute, viola, bass, recorder, violin and cello. If you’re a singer rather than a player, maybe you should sign up for their voice lessons (at least go for a couple before you audition for “American Idol.”) Group music classes are also
Arts Classes If you’re looking for another kind of activity, maybe the class on making costumes is for you. This summer will also feature classes on how to crochet and how to knit.
Summer Camps When you’re trying to figure out activities for your children’s summer vacation, in between that trip to the beach and Vacation Bible School, don’t overlook In Motion’s summer camp series. With something to satisfy every interest, camps go for either a half or whole day, and even have the option of before and after camp child care. Sessions are a week long, and vary by activity and age. In addition to the many sports camps, In Motion See In Motion page 12
popular with the adult set. Offering leagues for 18 and over, 30 and over, coed or men’s and women’s teams, there is a fit for everyone. Soccer, volleyball, dodgeball and futsal (similar to soccer, but played with a smaller, denser ball) all have summer leagues in the works. In Motion Sports was even the Virginia stop for the National Dodgeball Tournament back in February. When 10
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In Motion continued from page 10 even has camps based on the popular Disney hits, “High School Musical” and “Hannah Montana”. Terry says that it seems the ‘tween set of kids often get left out, so their camp schedule reflects their extra effort of providing something for all ages. She also points out that, “We’re close to the greenway, so we can give kids a chance to get outside and toss a Frisbee around. They’re not always inside.”
Activities Other available activities include a Teen Dance Night for kids ages 13 – 18 (the third Friday of each month, cost $5) and a Tween Dance Night for ages 8 – 12 (the first Friday of the month, cost $5). These events are from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., and are closely supervised by adults. Terry says that no one leaves the building before
their parents come to pick them up. The center also offers a Skate Night on the second Friday of the month (all ages, $5 per person). Participants must bring their own skates. Birthday parties for kids at the facility have also been gaining popularity.
Staff With all of these activities, there is a strong focus on staff. Says Terry, “We have a very competent full time manager here, as well as top notch instructors. For example, most of my dance instructors have their degree in dance. Also, all of our instructors go through specific instructor training to learn things such as appropriate music to pick, how to conduct a class, and gaining the respect of their students. We’ve worked to develop a family atmosphere here. Parents feel safe with their children being here. No one leaves this door without us knowing.”
The tireless efforts of Terry and her family, in addition to the many instructors also involved at In Motion Sports and Dance, show in the details of the careful planning of this venture. It’s time you or your kids got involved in some of their fun activities. Who knows? If you pick your dodgeball team now, you may be ready for nationals by the time they come back around this winter. To learn more about In Motion Sports and Dance, visit their webpages at www.in-motionsports.com and www. in-motiondance.com or call them at 540/349-2439. They are located at 615 Falmouth Street in Warrenton. Have a suggestion for a future column on Warrenton? Email your ideas to amytpetty@ adelphia.net. Amy Petty has lived in the Warrenton area for the past seven years. She is the Marketing Director for the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.
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or the Brucks of Warrenton, The Positive Place is not about Yoga classes, spiritual celebrations and wake-up seminars, nor is it about the entrepreneurship, capitalism or the ability to work from home. For Thomas and LouAnn Bruck, The Positive Place is a way of touching lives; it’s about teaching and sharing the love and knowledge they have acquired and showing others the joys of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
By Jennifer Heyns the pair truly believes that God is in all things and that everything in the universe is special. They define each individual as having a life purpose that needs to be fulfilled. Only by being true to ourselves, owning our emotions and taking responsibility for our actions and decisions can we achieve the greatness of our own destiny. “So many people think that they are victims,” explained Thomas, “but they can really change their lives by
When I met with the Brucks at their scenic and serene home in Warrenton, I came with certain expectations. As a writer, I’ve conducted numerous interviews but very few have surprised, delighted and enlightened me so much. Upon approaching their house, two men exited the rear carrying a partial kitchen countertop, chatting and laughing. Entering through the kitchen, it was obvious that a transformation was taking place – there were no counters or floors and various appliances and cabinet contents were strewn about, spilling over into other rooms. Yet the owners were quite relaxed, even jubilant. In a situation that would have even the best of us feeling out of sorts, stressed and edgy, this fabulous couple giggle about their “joyous chaos”. It is this light-hearted, calm, peaceful attitude that Thomas and LouAnn want to teach the world. “It is so fun to laugh and so important to let go of the things that bother us,” said LouAnn, who explained what a gift it is for her to be so happy after growing up in a household that was governed by unhappily married parents. Rooted in the Buddhist philosophy June 2007
aware that each individual possesses unique gifts and that only when aware of and focused on perfecting and sharing these gifts can he or she be truly happy and fulfilled. The Positive Place is the name the Brucks have given to their work, and it is shared by LouAnn’s yoga and movement classes as well as by Thomas’ life purpose and honesty workshops, their journaling course, and spirit center. Just spending a morning in the company of this couple can lift your spirits. They approach every facet of life in the most amazingly positive, honest, gracious and grateful way imaginable. It starts with the way that they eat, putting only the most natural nourishment into their bodies like organic foods and whole grains.
Thomas and LouAnn Bruck changing their outlook. ” “We like to shift people’s energy to take away the cynicism and judgment,” continued LouAnn. “It’s fabulous to see it when people sort of wake up and see the truth – it’s very powerful, they are no longer a victim and their self-esteem expands.” While LouAnn focuses on bringing joy and happiness into the lives of others, Thomas feels that it is his life purpose to know “the truth about who I really am and to help others find out the truth of themselves.” He does this through his Life Purpose seminars where he helps people explore their own personal truths including why they are on this planet. He is truly
“We are very environmentally conscious” said LouAnn. “Last year we had an energy audit performed on our house.” They found that several things could be changed in their home to make it more efficient and easier on the environment. Over the past year the couple has added insulation to their attic, installed solar panels, changed their air conditioning unit, chosen more efficient appliances and is ever conscious about turning off water, lights and other fixtures when not in use. Their spiritual health is also of the utmost importance but instead of attending church services, the Brucks have started their own Sunday gatherings, called the Joyful Weekly Celebration Spirit Center. The goal of the spirit center is “creating a See Positive on page 16 15
Positive continued from page 15 community of self actuated people dedicated to making a difference in our local area and around the World.” For Thomas, the journey began at a young age when he decided to become a priest. He attended the National Spiritual Science University in Washington, D.C. and was afforded the opportunity to study all of the religions of the world. “I adopted a Buddhist philosophy” said Thomas. “I learned that everything is one with life.” After graduating from the seminary in 1975, he set out to share his newfound philosophies with anyone who was willing to open his or her mind to these ancient, yet poignant ideas. Thomas soon found a conduit for his passionate endeavor as director of Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. (A.R.E.) in
Phoenix, Arizona. The association was founded by the psychic and medical clairvoyant Edgar Cayce in 1931 and has adopted this as its mission: “Through its many programs, services, publication and membership outreach, the A.R.E. provides individuals from all walks of life, levels of education, and religious backgrounds with tools for personal empowerment and healing at all levels – body, mind, and spirit.” “At the center, we provided simple and basic healings, but it worked,” averred Thomas. “Cayce said that 80 percent of what we eat should be raw foods, people today think it’s a great new idea, but Cayce said it 100 years ago.” While Thomas was exploring his passion and experiencing a positive career, LouAnn was living in Texas working as a pharmacist. “I didn’t have anything against my
Catholic upbringing,” she recalled, “but I started to wonder if there was more to life.” A friend turned her on to the teachings of Edgar Cayce and the more LouAnn learned the more intrigued she became. When she discovered that there was a Cayce’s A.R.E. in Phoenix, she immediately wrote to the center’s director to find if they could use her in the clinic. Thomas wrote back to inform the disappointed LouAnn that no openings were available but he later contacted her to say that the clinic was opening a new pharmacy and could use her help. Within six months, LouAnn relocated to Phoenix and became one of the A.R.E. clinic’s pharmacists and masseuses. Although the two were not a couple at the time, Thomas and LouAnn simultaneously dreamt of purchasing the pharmacy and running it together. With the help of a third partner, they
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did just that and found the venture highly rewarding – on many levels. The two soon found that they had a special bond and that when they worked together they were a positive and powerful force. During a group trip to Disneyland Thomas and LouAnn realized how unique and essential their relationship was to each of them. “I fell in love with him while we were dancing,” remembered LouAnn. The couple became inseparable from that point forward, married in 1982. With so much in common, especially spiritually, Thomas and LouAnn set forth to bring a positive light into as many lives as possible, working together to fulfill their life’s purpose and to help others achieve the same.
ventures trying to reach the broadest number of people possible. In 1988 the Bruck’s opened their own pharmacy in Sedona, Arizona but soon decided to try to reach people on a different level. The Positive Place was born in 1990 when Thomas and LouAnn created their own book and music store focussing on spiritual and holistic material. “The bookstore had mostly self-help and metaphysical books” said Thomas. “We carried books that showed any way of improving your life: mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.” The following year Thomas started his own radio show of the same name. Basically, he said, it was a half-an-hour-onFriday’s slot where he could give publicity to the bookstore. It started out with an interview-the-author format; Thomas See Positive on page 19
With this goal in mind the couple started many new
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would interview a writer of one of the books that could be found in his bookstore on the telephone and the public was encouraged to call in and ask questions. The show was a success and in order to involve the public even more, Thomas relocated the show to a restaurant and aired it with a live audience surrounding him. Although Thomas and LouAnn were reaching people in positive ways and were able to share their views, teachings and experiences with many people, they longed to do it in a more direct way. Over the past decade and a half the Brucks have blossomed their business into many more venues of sharing their message including yoga classes, spirit celebrations, and various seminars and workshops. In what can be a difficult world to live in, yet alone to be married in, the Brucks have managed to remain happily married for a quarter of a century. In fact, at various intervals in our interview, I glanced up from my notes and found them gazing lovingly into each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes. They say that it is simply their lifestyle and beliefs that keep them so excited about their love and their relationship.
group, Healthy Marriage seminars, spiritual coaching for individuals or couples, Wake Up seminars, Life Purpose seminars and The Spirit Center. For more information, contact the Brucks at 540-341-4160 or visit their web site at www.positiveplace.com. Jennifer Heyns is a resident of Delaplane, where she enjoys country life with her husband, two young sons, two dogs and her mother-in-law. She has been published in many local, regional and national publications and is currently working on her first book.
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Not only do they have this energized love for one another, they truly feel the same passion about their beliefs, their message and their enthusiasm to share what they have learned with others. They know that they are truly blessed but they also know that the same level of joy and tranquility is available to everyone on Earth if only they are open to it. After my visit with the Brucks, I exited their home and entered the pouring rain. Upon reaching my vehicle, I was soaking wet yet smiling down to my very core â&#x20AC;&#x201C; being in their company, feeling their positive energy and receiving their unconditional acceptance and praise was a feeling of self-satisfaction that is experienced so seldom in life and yet they have me convinced it can happen on a daily basis anywhere on Earth and possibly beyond. Thomas and LouAnn invite each of you to join them in any or all of their Positive Place activities which include: Energy Meridian yoga classes, Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Companion journaling class, Honesty support group, Metaphysical discussion June 2007
The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine is again sponsoring the Best of Warrenton contest for 2007. The following are a list of the top categories from last year plus a few new ones. There are 78 categories this year; answer as many as you’d like. Voting begins June 1 and ends July 15, 2007. You can return your ballot to us via mail, fax or in person at Piedmont Press and Graphics. You can also submit your entries via our website beginning June 1, 2007 at www.warrentonlifestyle.com
Best… Services in Warrenton
Best… Shopping in Warrenton
Cell Phone Store________________________
Group For Volunteers____________________
Place to Work__________________________
Real Estate Office_______________________
Best… Entertainment and Recreation Annual Event__________________________
Place for a Family Picnic__________________
Place to Have a Reception________________
Place to Watch Sports____________________
Performing Art Venue____________________
Saturday Night Date Spot_________________
We will only accept original ballots. Please do not photocopy or reproduce. Winners will be published in the September issue of The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine. Mail or deliver ballots to: Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine c/o Piedmont Press & Graphics 404 Belle Air Lane Warrenton, VA 20186 Fax to: 540: 347-0917
Best… People in Warrenton Artist/Photographer_____________________
Fast Food Restaurant_____________________
Suggestions for next year’s Best of… ______________________________________________________________________________
You can also enter your ballot online at: www.warrentonlifestyle.com Thank you for your entry!!! June 2007
Why Print? The success of retail websites means printed catalogs can be relegated to the doornail file. Or so says the conventional wisdom. But, recent research indicates otherwise. Online consumers who received a printed catalog from any given retailer were nearly twice as likely to make an online purchase at that retailer’s website. The finding comes from a comScore survey based on responses from online shoppers. The reason for the sales windfall: consumers seek print when they’re ready to buy. That’s a fact supported by a field study by the Direct Marketing Association. Scoring the primary channels for generating orders, the research found that 60% came from printed catalogs, 24% were inspired by retail settings and only 9% arrived via internet.
Because Buyers seek print.
The percent of sales by channel also showed print’s pulling power. Paper catalogs accounted for 42% of sales, retail 20%, websites 26% and other channels 12%. The moral: If you’re not using print, you’re missing out on big numbers. Come to Piedmont Press & Graphics for awardwinning printing. Our press operators average over 20 years of experience which is why we call ourselves “the printing professionals”. We are masters at sustaining ink consistency and coverage while meeting your critical deadlines. Our pressroom features a complete line of offset presses to best suit your printing needs, from one to five colors. Piedmont Press & Graphics received 12 Best of Print Awards in 2006 including 4 First Place Awards.
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540.347.4466 • www.piedmontpress.com 22
404 Belle Air Lane • Warrenton,VA
Good Credit Scores Create Wealth Part Two by Andreas A. Keller
Part One, “Your Credit Score is Your Financial Fingerprint,” appeared in the April 2007 Edition
our credit score has become possibly the most important number in your life. High credit scores help you create wealth. Low credit scores hinder wealth creation, and bad credit scores are outright punishing. Take a look at these differences:
• With a 760 credit score you can borrow a 30 year $300,000 mortgage at 6 percent and pay $1,800 per month. • With a 660 credit score you could pay up to 7 percent for the same mortgage or $2,000 per month depending on the lender and other information on your credit report. • With a 550 credit score you are very likely to pay at least 11 percent or $2,800 per month. So, to pay for the roof over your head, the cost difference between excellent credit and bad credit is $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year! And, of course, the worst-case scenario is that there is always the possibility that a low score can result in a loan denial. The difference does not stop with mortgage payments: • When you rent an apartment, landlords use your credit score to assess the likelihood of defaulting on your rental payments, and your rent application may be denied. • Insurance companies use credit scores as one of the components in pricing decisions. Car insurance quotes for applicants with low credit scores tend to be 20 to 30 percent higher than for those with high credit scores, because lower credit scores project higher risk and more insurance claims. • Utility companies recently have started to use riskbased pricing on credit scores in order to charge June 2007
higher prices. • Employers have begun to use credit scores as part of the qualification process for job applicants. Due to their growing importance, credit scores play a life-defining role for individuals, especially for those who suffer long-term costs as a result of bad credit scores. As credit scores increasingly become a part of our modern life, they need to be attended to the same way we attend to our physical health or our retirement. Credit scores can no longer be ignored. A good credit score rests on two pillars: 1. Reviewing your credit report and scores at least once a year. You should know your credit score the same way you should know your blood type. Most people don’t know either one. If you do not know your credit score, get your credit report now and every year afterwards for a careful review. You can order your credit report from https:// www.annualcreditreport.com. Checking your own credit report does not hurt your score as those inquiries are ignored by the credit scoring formula. Because of wrong data entry, fraud and identity theft, maintaining or improving a credit score starts with an annual check up of one’s credit report. The following facts speak for themselves: • 80 percent of credit reports contain some mistakes. • 50 percent of all credit reports contain wrong personal information, misspellings, or otherwise incorrect information. See Credit on page 24 23
Credit continued from page 23 ESTABLISHED 1981
IMPORTED CAR SERVICE
1. Our business is Import Car Service. 2. One-stop for all import mechanical & body shop repairs. 3. All work approved by you in advance. 4. Locally owned & operated. 5. Service by appointment Emergency when necessary. 6. Same day service on most repairs. 7. Free loaner cars available. 8. Free ride home/to work. 9. 12 months/12,000 mile limited warranty. 10. Comfortable smoke-free waiting room. 11. All technicians are A.S.E. & BOSCH certified. 12. State-of-the-art computerized equipment. 13. Credit cards accepted. 14. Virginia’s first BOSCH Authorized Service Center. 15. Authorized BOSCH warranty. 16. $100,000 parts inventory on hand. 17. 24 hr./7 day a week towing. 18. Night drop off & after hours pickup. 19. We never object to a second opinion. 20. Virginia Safety Inspection Station. 21. Employee honesty commitment. 22. We advise each customer using our 3 step service approach. 23. We never high pressure you, just explain your options. 24. Servicing import cars for over 35 years. 25. New car warranty service approved. 26. Service advisors not paid on commission. 27. Lifetime warranty on many parts. 28. Active in the community we serve. 29. We use O.E.M. replacement parts. 30. THOUSANDS OF SATISFIED CUSTOMERS.
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• 30 percent of credit reports contain outdated or incorrect account information. • 25 percent of credit reports have errors serious enough to result in denial of credit, employment, or insurance. Absolutely clean credit reports are the exception. A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a client’s credit report, which had the enviable credit score of 799/805/819. Despite these high scores, the client was surprised to learn that his name was incorrect on the report; the report also listed a totally different name as an alias for the client, as well as addresses where he never lived. His birth date was wrong, and a credit card was listed that he had never opened. The client recalled that some years ago the credit card company requested verification and authorization on an atypical purchase that he never made. From the looks of it, it appears that an attempted identity theft was prevented by the vigilance of the credit card company. Keep in mind what you need to look for in reviewing your credit report. • You have to check the accuracy of your identifying information. You may find names that may not be yours, false social security numbers, wrong birth dates, and addresses of places where you have never lived. • Scrutinize all your credit accounts and watch out for accounts that may not belong to you. Check each and every entry for its accuracy. Incorrect entries, especially delinquent and unpaid accounts, may indicate an identity theft or could be mistaken entries by the credit bureaus. It is possible to see someone else’s information merged with your credit report especially in a situation where a father and son have the same or very similar names. • Review the inquiries on your credit report. These inquiries tell you who pulled your credit report. When you apply for credit you need to give permission to the lender to gain access to your credit report. You control access to the credit report by either providing Warrenton Lifestyle
or withholding your Social Security Number. Therefore, you should not have any unauthorized credit inquiries. • Check out any negative information on your credit report. If negative information is accurate, it will stay on your report for seven years from the date of last activity. The exceptions are criminal activities, which have no time limit, and bankruptcies, which stay on your report for ten years. Lawsuits, judgments, or paid tax liens older than seven years may still be listed on your credit report. Moreover, paid liens and judgments may continue to show up as unpaid. If you do find any erroneous or incomplete information on your credit report, you should let the credit agencies know immediately. Credit agencies and organizations that provided wrong or inaccurate information are required by law to correct that information on your credit report. Rectification of the errors in your report can lead to an improved credit score, depending on the nature of the error. Credit reports are written for lenders, not for consumers. If you do not understand how to read and interpret your credit report, ask for help. Your trusted mortgage specialist or financial advisor can help, or you can educate yourself by reading, “Your Credit Score,” by Liz Pulliam Weston. 2. Paying your bills on time. The most important characteristic in maintaining and improving one’s credit score is to pay bills on time. Just one late payment can bring down a high credit score by 100 points. What’s worse is that if you are just one payment late on one credit card, the interest rate may jump up to 27 percent or higher and many of the other credit card companies may follow suit, because a late payment generally is interpreted as financial trouble. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score.
Not paying the monthly payment on a credit card See Credit on page 26
Credit continued from page 25 because the statement did not arrive in the mail does not excuse you from paying on time: You are responsible for the timely payment whether or not you get your statement. Utility companies and cell phone companies report late payments immediately. In addition, being late on a mortgage payment by more than 30 days may put you into the category of sub-prime borrowers, and you may be faced with substantially higher interest rates if you try to refinance.
lower your balances compared to your credit limits, the better. Ideally, outstanding credit card debt should never be more than 30 percent of the credit card limit and should certainly not exceed 50 percent of the credit limit. Any amount above that should be aggressively reduced by paying down debt on credit cards that have the lowest credit limit and
Whether you have an excellent credit score or a damaged credit score nothing maintains or improves your score more than paying bills on time. Further improvements can be made by taking the following actions:
Don’t close your paid-off credit card accounts Closing down credit card accounts or requesting a lower credit limit reduces your credit availability and causes your balances to grow larger as a percentage to available credit limits, both of which are likely to hurt your credit score. Based on the way credit scores are calculated, it is best to keep the oldest accounts open and active unless you want to erase your credit history. Use these accounts for regular small purchases and pay off the balances every month. It is important to note that closing an account will not remove it from the credit report, and it may continue to influence your credit score. Avoid opening credit accounts
Paying down debt If reviewing your credit report annually and paying bills on time are the two pillars of sound credit score management, paying down debt is the fastest way to improve a credit score. Focus on paying down credit card debts: The
the highest outstanding balance. This strategy will boost credit scores quickly. After that, your goal should be to pay your balances in full every month.
Opening new credit card accounts, including for the purpose of moving money from high interest accounts to accounts offering zero-interest balance transfers for a limited period, are not helpful to the maintenance of a good See Credit on page 28
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WE COULDN’T BE MORE THRILLED We’re pleased to announce that Edward Jones has been ranked “Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Full Service Brokerage Firms, Two Years in a Row” by J.D. Power and Associates. We’ve always believed that long-term investment strategies, neighborhood offices and meeting face to face made sense for our clients. It’s nice to know they agree. To experience a different kind of customer service, call or visit me today. Edward Jones received the highest numerical score two years in a row among full ser vice brokerage firms in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2006 Full Service Investor Satisfaction StudySM. 2006 study based on 5,064 total responses measuring 20 brokerage firms and measures opinions of investors who used fullservice investment institutions. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed from November 2005 to January 2006. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
Thomas Tucker Financial Advisor Warrenton Village Center 251 W Lee Hgwy, Suite 647 Warrenton VA 20186 (540) 428 2889
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Credit continued from page 26 credit score. After establishing three to four credit cards, you may affect your credit score negatively with each subsequent credit application. Therefore, resist the temptation to open instant credit cards from retail stores in order to take advantage of discounts, because a declining credit score only leads to higher interest rates. When I taught my son how to establish a credit history, he immediately started working on building his profile as a smart consumer. However, I had neglected to mention to him the rule against opening too many credit accounts. Just imagine my shock the day he proudly displayed more than ten
credit cards. When I asked him how he was able to get so many credit cards while he was just a high school student with no income, he told me: “Very simple! These companies gave me a free tee-shirt if I signed up for one of their credit cards. That’s so cool, Dad!” Prescreened or unsolicited credit offers that you receive in the mail show up on your credit report but do not hurt your credit scores. You can elect to opt out of receiving unsolicited credit or insurance offers for five years by registering through www.OptOutPrescreen.com When shopping for a given loan stay within a certain time period Shopping for the best rates on car loans or mortgages does not
hurt your credit score as long as you concentrate your search within a 30-day period. The credit reporting agencies allow shoppers to make good purchase choices by searching for the best offer. Those different inquiries are lumped together into one under a process called “deduplication” provided they are car- or mortgagerelated inquiries and don’t draw out over an extended period with 45days being the maximum tolerance limit. Your credit score is just one factor, albeit a very important one, a lender takes into consideration when reviewing your credit request. Other factors that influence the credit underwriting process are Debt-to-Income ratio, Loan-to-
USEFUL CREDIT RESOURCES
Annual Credit Report Service Equifax Experian TransUnion MyFico.com Identity Theft Protection Your Credit Rights Opting Out of Credit Offers Consumer Credit Credit Smart – Interactive Course
www.annualcreditreport.com 1-877-322-8228 www.equifax.com 1-800-685-1111 www.experian.com 1-866-200-6020 www.transunion.com 1-800-888-4213 www.myFICO.com 1-800-342-6726 http://onguardonline.gov/idtheft.html http://www.ftc.gov/credit/ https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/credit/coninfo.htm http://www.freddiemac.com/creditsmart/
Value ratio, employment history, stability of income, net worth, length of residence, and public record. Because creditors and lenders have different lending policies, attach different importance to the various factors, and may use different interpretations in evaluating your credit score, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best to ask your lender or broker for advice on what steps to take to either improve your credit score or, if necessary, begin to repair your credit score. You can read how to repair your credit score in Part Three of this article, which will appear in the upcoming August 2007 Issue of the Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine.
Andreas A. Keller is a Senior Loan Officer with Warrenton-based MidAtlantic Mortgage Corporation who turns the mortgage process into delightful moments with the help of insightful financial coaching. He can be reached at this cell phone 703-3467262 or his office phone 540-347-9522 and via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Get to know him at his personal website www.MortgageMomentsOnline.com. â&#x20AC;Ż June 2007
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The Galapagos Islands Exotic Animals, Lava Fields and Beauty Like No Other
by Jon William Henry - photos by Sunny Reynolds
eering from my bunk through the salt-encrusted porthole that morning, all I could see was a vast blue ocean, except, on the left hand side, there was white foam hinting a beach. Ever since my school had offered a trip to
the Galapagos Islands to experience exotic animals in close proximity and provide a hands-on biology adventure, I had been determined to have a Darwin-like vacation without being just a lofty tourist. I was delighted when our panga, which I learned
means dingy in Spanish, took us to an old converted whaler from the Titanic era a 16 passenger boat instead of the ostentatious boats that filled the harbor. In just four days, I had seen all the animals that Darwin had and even met a trio of scientists whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d claimed to have discovered a new species of Darwin Finch. I peered again through the porthole to see a giant pinnacle rock, about three hundred feet high, looming into the sky and drawing me to dress faster. With our day packs on our backs, we carefully loaded into the panga, which would take us to a jutting rock to unload. Along the way our guide provided us with a history of Bartholome Island, animals and fauna that we could see, and hiking plans for the morning. We were going to use a man-made trail to hike to the top of a dormant volcano; this trail was going to be different from all the others because it was a raised wooden platform from the landing area to the top. It seemed I had struggled that morning putting on my hiking shoes for no reason and could have worn flip-flops. As we waited for another panga to unload, a flock of penguins zipped seamlessly by our dingy. The water we saw during the panga ride from the boat to the jetty was teeming with life: it was filled with sea lions, stingrays, marine lizards and schools of neon fish. We made an attempt to unload, but a group of sea lions chose to come ashore just at the same time, so we See Galapagos page 34
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Galapagos continued from page 33
Galapagos photos (clockwise from left): Baby Blue Footed Booby; Galapagos Tortoise in the wild; Sea Lion; Blue Heron and our boat; Marine Iquana; View of Pinnacle Rock; Land Iquana.
Harlequin Frog, Costa Rica ÂŠPhoto by Sunny Reynolds
instead watched the sleek sea lions comically flop on the shore. Once the penguins had passed and the sea lions were comfortably basking on the beach, we proceeded to unload. Cameras ready and out, we walked up a beach dune to come in full view of the volcanic cone. Due to the volcanic eruptions about a thousand years ago, the island did not have any substantial vegetation or permanent animal populations. In contrast to the life-sustaining waters, the
Specializing in small group tours to: Lava Field
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landscape before us loomed barren and uninhabitable. It looked like the rust-stained landscape on Mars. The rusty gravel lacked any life and this barren landscape running directly into the life-filled seas reminded me of the science-fiction novels that consumed my childhood. The hike up the cone proved relatively easy and even if it had been hard, the view was an awe-inspiring reward. From the volcanic coneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apex spread forth a panoramic view of Bartholome and the adjacent islands. That afternoon we headed out to the neighboring island, Santiago, to hike on the lava fields. Remembering my earlier See Galapagos page 36
X The Galapagos Islands X Tanzania-ZanzibarSeychelles Islands X Guatemala-Honduras X Costa Rica X Chile-Easter Island X Peru
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Sunny Reynolds, Director 81 Main Street Warrenton, VA 20186 USA 540-349-0040 X 866-BIOTREK firstname.lastname@example.org X www.biotrektours.com 35
BOAT, DINE, STAY AWHILE… PORT KINSALE MARINA & RESORT
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Galapagos continued from page 35 mistake of overdressing, I had chosen to wear flip-flops. I should have known better, though, because our guide Fernando, who normally walked barefooted, was putting on hiking boots at the beach entrance to the lava field. Hiking through the lava field felt like walking through a toaster oven because the lava was radiating heat. The soles of my sandals were actually getting soft and pliable from
Located on the western branch of the Yeocomico River, Marina guest amenities also include a pool and picnic areas. Port Kinsale Marina & Resort provides the beauty and tranquility of a secluded harbor. Only a two hour and fifteen minute drive from Warrenton V.A.
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Pinnacle Rock the heat. Unlike the other islands that were like an Eden, there were no animals anywhere in the lava field; I had stood alongside baby chicks, lain next to seals, and swum with sea turtles but here there was no life but tourists. The experience on the two lava islands was my favorite because of the drastic contrast to all the other islands. They felt like windows into the past, when the Galapagos archipelago rose from the sea to eventually provide a habitat for an animal utopia. While loading back into the panga, a marine lizard staggered from the ocean, reminding me of the gigantic turtle’s colonization of the islands thousands of years ago.
Unique and inviting, perfect places to unwind. Treat yourself or your family to a memorable getaway. Our B&B’s and Cottages have comfy, cozy rooms, boating, fishing and beautiful views of the Yeocomico River.
ADDRESS: 347 Allen Point Ln. Kinsale, Va 22488 NAUTICAL ADDRESS: N 38.01.889 and 076.33.455 W PHONE: 804.472.2044 877.472.2044 FAX: 804.47.22942 www.portkinsale.com
Adult Blue Footed Booby Warrenton Lifestyle
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Jon joined a Highland sponsored trip to the Galapagos along with fellow students and parents. The trip was organized and led by Sunny Reynolds/ Biotrek Adventure Travels, Warrenton, VA. Photos for this article by Sunny Reynolds, www.biotrektours.com
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Established in 1932 as Culpeper Farmers’ Cooperative
JOIN US ON SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2007 FOR AN OPEN HOUSE! • 10% off trees & shrubs! • Fencing demos! • 10% off horse halters & leads!
• 20% off fruit trees & plants! • Outdoor furniture sale! • $2.00 off Co-op Better Blend Wild Bird Seed! 25 lb bag 1471104
Bring this ad to our Warrenton Open House & receive a FREE CFC ball cap with any purchase of $50 or more. Offer valid on June 23, 2007 only, while supplies last.
$2.00 off your choice WITH THIS AD
Miracle Gro LiquaFeed Starter Kit SC004110
Miracle Gro LiquaFeed Refill Kit SC004329
Offer valid June 1 - 30, 2007
very Deli ble! ila Ava
CFC Farm & Home Center 143 Washington Street Warrenton, VA 20186 540-347-7100
29 Business, turn onto Sycamore Street (located directly across from Warrenton Horse Show Grounds), turn right onto Washington Street & make immediate left into CFC parking lot.