Servicing DC, MD & VA

Protecting Your Internet Privacy

March 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on Protecting Your Internet Privacy | Posted in Misc

Protecting Your Internet Privacy
Because you work at a computer every day, your personal information, along with company information, is always at risk. asks that you follow our Internet use policies, including taking the following precautions to protect your computer at work.

Protecting Your Internet Privacy_SPAMAvoiding Phishing Scams

Internet phishing scams use phony email or pop-up messages as bait to hook unsuspecting Internet users—like you—into divulging personal information such as credit card numbers and account passwords to be used for identity theft. A phisher’s phony email can be very persuasive and believable. To avoid getting reeled in by a phishing scam:

  • Be extremely wary of urgent email requests for any personal or financial information (yours or a client’s); if you suspect the message is phony, do not use the links included in the email.
  • Email personal or financial information only if the site is secure (sites that start with https://).
  • Never disable our anti-virus software.

Outsmarting Spyware

Do not download any unauthorized programs or files to your computer. Free MP3 files or other programs often include software (adware) that tracks your Internet activity. While legitimate adware companies disclose the data collected, some adware can also identify your personal information, which can be sold to a third party without your knowledge.

That’s considered spying and can put important company or personal information at risk.

Understanding Cookies

When you visit a Web page, a cookie is placed on your computer as a unique identifier. Cookies allow a Web server to store information on your computer and later retrieve it—like a personalized user ID.

Cookies have many useful capabilities. They allow the customization of website experiences and let e-commerce businesses track visitors, page hits and popular pages. Internet settings can be personalized for higher or lower security levels regarding cookies. We have all company computers defaulted to the appropriate security level, including the cookies function—please leave this setting as is. Contact IT if you have questions.

Use Common Sense

If you ever suspect that an email, website or link is not legitimate, do not click on it! It could have serious consequences if it contains a virus or spyware.

Zika: What You Should Know

March 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on Zika: What You Should Know | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

shutterstock_369962384A relatively new virus is prompting worldwide concern because of how quickly it is spreading across the globe. Also alarming is its connection to microcephaly, a neurological birth disorder. Transmitted by the aggressive Aedes aegypti mosquito, the Zika virus is rare because it can infect the fetuses of pregnant women who have the virus.

Symptoms of Zika are generally mild and include headaches, fever, rash and sometimes conjunctivitis (pink eye). Most people don’t even realize that they have been infected by the virus, which is why it is such a concern for pregnant women.

The Zika virus has spread to more than 20 countries since May of 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning pregnant women against travel to any affected areas. Furthermore, health officials in several of those countries are telling female citizens to avoid becoming pregnant, in some cases, for up to two years. Several states have confirmed the virus in individuals who traveled to areas where the virus is circulating.

Researchers are working to create a Zika vaccine. Until then, the best method of prevention is to avoid travel to areas with active infestations. If you do travel to one of these areas, be sure to wear mosquito repellent and thick clothing that covers as much of your body as possible. Unlike most mosquitos, the type that carries Zika is most active during the daytime hours until dusk, and it also prefers to be indoors. This makes it very important to use screen doors and windows and to stay in air-conditioned hotels when possible.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

2016 Easter Egg Hunts

March 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016 Easter Egg Hunts | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Don’t fret if you didn’t get tickets to the White House this year. Whether it be a festival, farm or egg hunt (we’ve left brunch for you to figure out!) your child will have a blast and maybe even get to experience more than one of these events. Options begin March 12 and run through Easter. Happy hunting!

March 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, April 2, 3–  Ticonderoga Farms – Spring Easter Festival
(26469 Ticonderoga Rd, Chantilly, VA)
Ticonderoga Farm’s Bunny will be joining everyone at the farm. Hopping around and posing for picture opportunities during our weekend hours and playing with our favorite friend ChickadeeTogether hiding eggs for all the children to enjoy finding, especially the golden eggs that provide extra fun prizes for those who find them. Egg hunts will be held at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Cost is $11.95. Giant slides, mazes, animals, face painting and much more will be there!

March 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, April 1, 2, 3– Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard
(22200 Davis Mill Road Germantown MD 20876)
Enjoy a hayride down the Bunny Trail, race the Rubber Duck Derby, hunt for colorful eggs (we provide the basket!), exchange eggs for a goodie basket to take home, visit with the farm’s very own Country Bunny, ride pedal tractors, play in Hayromp and Playground, hop in inflatables, ride the giant slides, see bunnies, lambs and chicks, get your face painted and ride a pony. $9 per child and $7 per adult. Open 9am-4pm.

March 19– Beester Egg Hunt at Busy Bees
(6110 D Arlington Blvd. Falls Church Va 22044)

March 19, 25, 26– 9th Annual Eggstravaganza! at Tudor Place
(1644 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007)
Rolling green lawns, bobbing spring blooms, and the elegant mansion on a hill serve as backdrop for this festive annual attraction. Join the Easter Bunny and children of all ages for an Egg Hunt (starting 10:30 a.m.) and thrilling Egg Roll Contest down the grand South Lawn (10:45 a.m.). Decorate eggs, play games from the past, take photos with the Easter Bunny, and make the 5½-acre gardens your play space for the morning. Please bring:a basket (for Egg Hunt), one long-handled spoon per child (for Egg Roll), and one hard-boiled egg per child (for Egg Roll). Member $7, Non-Member Child: $10, Accompanying Adult: $5.

March 25-27–  The Lee-Fendall House Easter Egg Hunt
(614 Oronoco Street Alexandria, VA)
The museum’s garden will be filled with hundreds of colorful toy-filled Easter eggs! Other activities include games, crafts, refreshments, and photos with the Easter Bunny. All children of elementary school age or younger (children aged 0-12) are eligible to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. Older children and adults are welcome to enjoy the other activities. Tickets are $12 for children aged 0-12, and $5 for all others.

March 25–  Meadowside Nature Center’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt
(5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD)
Children ages 2 through 12 can search for real (hard-boiled) eggs hidden in the meadow, then dye and decorate the eggs they find. There will be other spring-related activities throughout the day, including bunny hat and frog puppet crafts, ‘egg’ games, live animals and a meet-and-greet with Otus the Owl mascot. Register in advance for the 30-minute hunting sessions. Admission: $8 per child.

March 25 & 26–  Bunny Breakfast and Train Ride at B & O Railroad Museum
Join the annual Easter Bunny breakfast buffet in the Roundhouse. Enjoy story time with Choo Choo Blue, the museum’s mascot, take a carousel ride, and have your photo taken with our guest of honor! Then “All Aboard” for an exclusive train ride with the B&O Bunny!  $36 for adults & $28 for children ages 2 and up. To purchase tickets contact Dana Kirn at 410-752-2462 x 221. (No sales after 12pm on March 23)

March 26– Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C. Easter Egg Hunt 
(1001 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004)
There is limited availability in each session, so please book fast! Once a session is full, no more tickets will be available for that time. So, if you are unable to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll, then come along and meet all 44 US Presidents and hunt for goodies along the way! Tons of eggs will be hidden throughout our Presidents Gallery. Once children have collected the empty eggs, they can then trade them in at the end of the hunt for an Easter gift bag full of fun goodies (1 per child). Admission is $25 for adults (13 and older) and free for children (12 and under). Price of admission will include FULL access to Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C., an Easter egg hunt through the Presidents Gallery, 1 gift bag per child, a meet & greet with the Easter Bunny, access to an on site petting zoo, and Easter storytelling and crafts!

March 26– 5th Annual Egg Hunt at Tregaron Conservancy
(3000 block of Klingle Road, NW)
Search along the paths and woodlands for thousands of candy-filled eggs beginning at 10:00am by the Lily Pond near the Klingle entrance.

March 26– Easter Eggstravaganza
(Many locations, see link above)
The Easter Eggstravaganza is one of the most *EGGciting* Easter events in the area, this is a time for kids and families to come out and enjoy a fun-filled FREE event. There will be an Easter bunny, Easter Egg hunt, face painting, balloon animals, concessions, music, a moon bounce, games and much more! Come out and enjoy the festivities with us!

March 27–  Eggstravaganza
(Many locations and times, see link above)
Kids will be visited by the Easter bunny and there will be several Easter egg hunts. National Community invites all families to come together for live music, refreshments and many family friendly activities. Nature Center animal petting, face painting, piñata, games, photo booth, raffle and a mobile art lab will entertain all.  Admission is free and registration for the egg hunts will begin on site at 10:45 am. The Eggstravaganza is co-sponsored by the City of Alexandria.

March 27– Rosedale Conservancy
(35th St NW and Newark Street NW, Cleveland Park)
The Rosedale Conservancy will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter morning. Please bring your little ones armed with baskets. Meet at 8:30am at the Farmhouse, up the steps from the 35th and Newark Street gate.

Source: beltwaybambinos.com

March 2016 Festivals and Events

March 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on March 2016 Festivals and Events | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

shutterstock_369165347Virginia Primary Election Day
March 1, 2016. Voters go to the polls to vote for the Presidential nominee of their choice. Learn about voting in Virginia.

Washington, DC Independent Film Festival
March 4-13, 2016. See the latest feature, short, animation and documentary films by local, national, and international filmmakers.

Francophonie Cultural Festival
Throughout March 2016. Learn about French culture through a variety of concerts, theatrical performances, films, culinary tastings, literary salons, children’s workshops, and more.

Washington DC hosts the largest Francophone festival in the world.

Washington Wizards Basketball
See NBA games live at the Verizon Center or enjoy the national broadcasts throughout the season.

Washington Capitals
The NHL Hockey team plays at the Verizon Center. Find information on tickets, schedules and more.

Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. Washington, DC is the home to the many important sites that are dedicated to preserving and honoring the contributions of women. This month is a great time to visit these museums and historical sites.

Intersections Arts Festival
Through March 6, 2016.

Atlas Performing Arts Center. The arts festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC, features visual art, film screenings, literary readings and dance, musical and dramatic productions by more than 30 artists and cultural institutions.

Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
March 5, 2016. Old Town Alexandria celebrates the Irish holiday with a classic car show, a dog show and a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

Elected officials; the Irish Ambassador; military commanders; and other local celebrities participate along with local scouts, marines and high school bands.

Frederick Restaurant Week
March 6-12, 2016. The 7-day promotion features fixed-price lunch and dinner options in the city of Frederick, Maryland and the surrounding area.

Annapolis Irish Week
March 6-17, 2016. Annapolis celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with ten days of events including a parade, music, an Irish Coffee competition and more.

Rock and Roll Marathon
March 12, 2016, The Marathon is a 26.2 mile, 13.1 mile or 5K race to raise money for charitable organizations.

A Health and Fitness Expo will be held on March 10-11.

Saint Patrick’s Day Parades
Dates vary by location. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a parade in Washington, DC, Alexandria, Virginia or Gaithersburg, Maryland. Enjoy a day of Irish music, dancing and fun. See also Irish Restaurants and Pubs.

National Shamrock Festival
March 12, 2016, 1-9 p.m. RFK Stadium, Washington DC. Enjoy a day of family fun at the largest Saint Patrick’s Day party and street festival in the DC area featuring more than 50 live bands.

DC Environmental Film Festival
March 15-26, 2016.Times and locations vary. See documentary, feature, animated, archival, experimental and children’s films from around the world at a variety of venues around Washington, DC.

Maryland Day Celebration
March 18-20, 2016. Historical and cultural institutions in Annapolis and southern Anne Arundel County open their doors to the public offering special tours, events, and programming for $1.00 or less.

National Cherry Blossom Festival
March 20 – April 17, 2016. See the blossoming of thousands of cherry trees on the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The capital welcomes spring with this annual tradition begun by the gift of 600 trees to the United States from Japan in 1912. Don’t miss the parade, kite festival, concerts, fireworks and cultural events.

Spring Theater in Washington DC
Check out the spring theater scene in Washington DC. With dozens of performances around the capital region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the 2016 season.

CineMatsuri – Japanese Film Festival
2016 Dates to Be Announced. The festival will screen five recent Japanese films, each in a different genre, that showcase the diversity and richness of Japanese film making today.

Marine Corps Marathon Lottery
March 24-30, 2016. The lottery is open to participate in the annual race in October. Don’t miss your chance to sign up.

Easter in Washington, DC
March 27, 2016. See a guide to celebrating the holiday in the nation’s capital including the schedules and suggested venues for Easter brunch, Easter egg hunts, religious services and other special events.

White House Easter Egg Roll
March 28, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Bring the kids to hunt for Easter Eggs and visit with the Easter Bunny on the White House lawn. See also Easter Egg Hunts in Maryland and Virginia.

Easter Egg Hunts
Dates vary. See a schedule of Easter events for children at a variety of venues around the capital region.

African American Family Celebration at the National Zoo
March 28, 2016, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At this year’s multicultural tradition, the Zoo will offer an Easter egg roll/hunt, crafts, live entertainment, a food bazaar, and more family-friendly fun. Talk with Smithsonian scientists, who will share their work with such African animals as the kori bustard, cheetah, gorilla, and gaboon viper.

Annapolis Film Festival
March 31-April 3, 2016. The Annapolis Film Festival will showcase more than 70 African-American and African films with a focus on black storytelling.

Spring Ahead! Daylight Savings!

March 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on Spring Ahead! Daylight Savings! | Posted in Lifestyle
Health Fair Announcement

Spring is on the way, which means that daylight saving time is beginning.

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America and these deaths can be avoided by having carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your house. When purchasing a detector, follow all instructions and take note of when it should be replaced.

Spring Allergies Flaring Up?

March 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on Spring Allergies Flaring Up? | Posted in Lifestyle

It’s only the beginning of March, but spring allergies are already on the rise.

Over at his office at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, Dr. Clifford Bassett said he’s “already seeing a tenfold increase in the volume of phone calls of people complaining of allergies and allergy-like symptoms.”

The reason for all those early calls? This more-or-less comfy, mild winter that many of us have enjoyed so far.

Seasonal allergies develop when the body’s immune system overreacts to something in the environment during a particular time of year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Tree pollen is a usual culprit: What typically starts triggering people in late April or early May — pollen from juniper, cedar, alder, elm and maple, for example — started blowing around as early as mid-February.

“Any season where the late winter weather is warmer than expected, we’re going to see very happy root systems of plants and trees,” Bassett told HuffPost. “Now with the early thawing, we’re starting to see what I will believe is a very vigorous, robust pollen season. Mother Nature is getting into high gear.”

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re feeling hit by allergy-like symptoms, or you know you have a good chance of being susceptible soon, you need to protect yourself, Bassett advises.

The Huffington Post/Getty

Source: huffingtonpost.com