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2010 End of the Year Tax Tips that can save you big money in the 2011 tax season.

  • Homeowners can make their January mortgage payment in December giving them one more month of interest to deduct.

 

  • Donations made to qualified charities before year’s end can result in some serious tax savings. Be sure to use a credit card because if you write a check it may not clear until next year and then you would have to wait until next year to take the deduction.

 

  • Holiday business gift deductions: If you have sent out holiday cards, business pens, calendars or other gift items to clients or potential clients. You can deduct those expenses up to $25.00 as long as the items are for a business purpose.

 

  • Contribute to a college savings plan. Save for your kids and save on your taxes. You can contribute up to $13,000 in 2010.

 

I-95 RAMP TO FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY OPENS WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29

On Wednesday, Dec. 29, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will open Fairfax County Parkway Exit 166B from I-95 south to Fairfax County Parkway north, making it easier and faster for motorists heading to the Fort Belvoir North Area and other destinations in Fairfax County.

At 9 a.m. Dec, 29, crews will close the right lane on I-95 between the Springfield-Franconia Parkway (Route 7900) and the Fairfax County Parkway (Route 7100) overpass. At noon, crews will begin removing traffic control devices, and by 1:30 p.m., the exit ramp will be open to traffic.

The ramp will offer motorists two options: Fairfax County Parkway on the left, or the newly opened Heller Road on the right, which goes into the Fort Belvoir North Area. This is where the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) is located. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the NGA will begin admitting new employees.

Holidays 2010 – ‘Tis the Season to Grow

Holidays 2010 – ‘Tis the Season to Grow

Year-end holiday stress on top of double-digit unemployment and an economy that threatens to relapse into recession has left many Americans feeling utterly helpless and hopeless.  This makes winter 2010 a perfect season for personal growth. 

We all experience key moments in both our personal and professional lives.  I define a ‘key moment’ as a triggering event or situation which presents a challenge and elicits (or demands) a response.  The important thing is not so much the moment itself, but how we respond to it.  

Because when a key moment occurs, we make an important choice to make.  Consciously or unconsciously, we will choose how we will respond.  In large measure, the quality of our lives, our happiness, and our personal effectiveness are determined by that response and how we handle the challenge of a key moment.  

Wiki Leaks and Whistleblowers: Why Private Information Goes Public

Ask an average person to name a whistleblower and they’re likely to think of ‘private citizens’ like Erin Brokovich, Karen Silkwood, and Jeffrey Wigand or journalists like Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward.  These red, white and blue American whistleblowers have been portrayed in Academy Award-winning movies as admirable people who had the courage to reveal wrongdoing in workplaces and government agencies in a spirit of justice.  

But are there other motivations that drive people to release sensitive documents and information that bring down companies and governments?  I believe the answer is yes.  Fame is certainly a motivator...and so is vengeance.  Employers in the private and public sectors that stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the link between employee engagement and corporate security are likely to find themselves the victims of leaks. 

High School Students Celebrate Global Entrepreneur Week

The following was sent to us by Laura Newman:

Washington, DC – Nov. 19, 2010 – As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, 50 of Washington D.C.’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders will volunteer their time in Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) classes at local public schools to share their personal stories of how they started their own businesses, challenges they met along the way and the importance of entrepreneurship in our society. Founded in 1987 by a South Bronx high school teacher, NFTE (www.nfte.com) helps young people from low-income communities build skills and unlock their entrepreneurial creativity.

Briar Patch Donates Rooms for Veteran's Day

Reprinted with permission from Ashburn Patch -- Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn in scenic Middleburg plans to offer free rooms to veterans as part of a nationwide promotion this week to honor those who have served our country.

B&Bs and inns across the country are providing free rooms on Wednesday, Nov. 10, in observance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11 to honor servicemen and women now serving or who have previously served time with one of the country's military forces.

Two B&B owners started the program in 2009. Both were members of the West Virginia B&B Association and this year the veteran program has expanded to include 49 states, 8 international locations and more than 850 Inns.

Three Leesburg Restaurants Featured in Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010

 

From the Town of Leesburg – In the November 2010 issue of Northern Virginia Magazine, three Leesburg restaurants are featured in the magazine’s annual list of the area’s 50 Best Restaurants.  All three restaurants—Lightfoot Restaurant, Tuscarora Mill, and The Wine Kitchen—are also recognized as “Destination Restaurants” by Visit Loudoun (www.visitloudoun.org).  

“Northern Virginia Magazine’s recognition of these remarkable Leesburg restaurants accurately showcases the growing culinary arts culture in Leesburg,” commented Ara Bagdasarian, chair of Leesburg’s Economic Development Commission.