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*Volume 3, Issue 25 • Late December, 2008*
20,000 Readers • #1 Newspaper in Front Royal & Warren County!
Judge validates
Parker appointment
Blue Ridge Shadows
33
BANKRUPT
Local news
7
9-11
Strasburg newspaper
may sue Front Royal 25
4
Remembering
Dutch
5
2008 Christmas Parade Striker & son
Special pull-out section
speak out on
prosecutions
Indictments 2-3
17-24
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Page • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Indictments
December, 2008
Willie Lee Cook
On or about September 7, 2008,
in the County of Warren, Willie Lee Cook, 27, of 706 River
Dr., Front Royal, VA 22630, did
unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal, and carry away the goods
and chattels of Jim North, with a
value of $200.00 or more.
In the Circuit Court of Warren County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Grand Jury
charges that:
John Vance Crowe
Ryan Thomas Deiter
On or about October 12, 2008
through October 14, 2008, in the
County of Warren, John Vance
Crowe, Sr., 49, of 809 Remount
Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630, did
unlawfully and feloniously carnally know, without the use of
force, J.R, a child under the age of
fifteen years of age.
COUNT ONE: On or between
July 20,2008 and July 28,2008,
in the County of Warren, Ryan
Thomas Deiter, 23, of 5893 Strasburg Rd., Strasburg, VA 22657,
with the intent to defraud Ramona Bowden, did unlawfully and
feloniously use for the purpose
of obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else valued at
two hundred dollars ($200.00) or
more, a credit card or credit card
number obtained or retained in
violation of §18.2-192 of the Code
of Virginia.
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COUNT TWO: On or between
July 20,2008 and July 28,2008,
in the County of Warren, Ryan
Thomas Deiter did unlawfully
and feloniously take, obtain or
withhold a credit card or credit
card number from the person,
possession, custody, or control
of Ramona Bowden without the
cardholder’s consent, a credit card or credit card number
knowing that it had been taken,
obtained or withheld, without
the cardholder’s consent.
deprive her of her personal liberty.
COUNT TWO: On or about September 11, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Harry Tobias Hamilton,
III, unlawfully and feloniously,
intentionally destroy, deface or
damage the personal property
of K~C Security, the value of or
damage to such property being
$1,000.00 or more.
COUNT THREE: On or about
September 11, 2008, in the County of Warren, Harry Tobias Hamilton, III, the driver of a vehicle
involved in an accident in which
an attended vehicle or other attended property was damaged,
the value of such damage being
$1000.00 or more, did unlawfully
and feloniously fail to immediately stop as close to the scene of
the accident as possible without
obstructing traffic and report his
name, address, driver’s license
number, and vehicle registration
number forthwith to the State
Police or local law enforcement
agency, or to the driver or some
other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of
other damaged property.
COUNT FOUR: On or about September 11, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Harry Tobias Hamilton,
III, did unlawfully assault and
batter, Jamie Lee Pennington.
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Gregory Jerrell Garrett
On or about September 7, 2008,
in the County of Warren, Gregory Jerrell Garrett, 23, of 706 River
Dr., Front Royal, VA 22630, did
unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal, and carry away the goods
and chattels of Jim North, with a
value of $200.00 or more.
Harry Tobias Hamilton, III
COUNT ONE: On or about September 11, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Harry Tobias Hamilton,
III, 36, of 243-14 Reardon Rd.,
Winchester, VA 22601, did unlawfully and feloniously, by force
or intimidation and without legal
justification or excuse, seize, take
or detain the person of Jamie Lee
Pennington, with the intent to
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page Indictments
In the Circuit Court of Warren County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Grand Jury
charges that:
COUNT FIVE: On or about September 11, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Harry Tobias Hamilton,
III, did unlawfully assault, Donna
Hill.
Darren Edward Lawrenson, Jr.
COUNT ONE: On or about
March 31, 2008, in the County
of Warren, Darren Edward Lawrenson, Jr., 23, of 5265 Germain
St., Stephens City, VA 22655, did
unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal, and carry away the goods
and chattels of Philip Knight,
with a value of $200.00 or more.
COUNT TWO: On or about
April 7, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Darren Edward Lawrenson, Jr., did unlawfully and feloniously take, steal, and carry away
the goods and chattels of Noah
Mahoney, with a value of $200.00
or more.
COUNT THREE: On or about
April 23, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Darren Edward Lawrenson, Jr., did unlawfully and feloniously take, steal, and carry away
the goods and chattels of Albert
Funk, with a value of $200.00 or
more.
COUNT FOUR: On or about
June 2, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Darren Edward Lawrenson, Jr., did unlawfully and feloniously take, steal, and carry away
the goods and chattels of Karen
Crum, with a value of $200.00 or
more.
Lisa Marie Mosser
On or about September 20, 2008,
in the County of Warren, Lisa Marie Mosser, 27, of 125 Biggs Dr.,
Apt. 1, Front Royal, VA 22630,
did unlawfully and feloniously,
with the intention of converting
goods or merchandise to her own
use without having paid the full
purchase price thereof, willfully
conceal the goods or merchandise of Martin’s, having previously been convicted of larceny or an
offense deemed as larceny two or
more times.
ruary 5, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Michael Eugene Neff, 26,
of 268 Overlook View Dr., Front
Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully,
feloniously, knowingly and intentionally possess a firearm, after
having previously been convicted
of a felony.
COUNT TWO: On or about
February 5, 2008, in the County
Warren, Michael Eugene Neff did
unlawfully and feloniously take
steal and carry away a firearm belonging to Steven Lockhart.
COUNT THREE: On or about
February 5, 2008, in the County
of Warren, Michael Eugene Neff,
did unlawfully and feloniously
sell or possess with intent to sell
stolen property with an aggregate
value in excess of $200.00 where
he knew or had reason to know
said property was stolen.
Jonathan Ray Newman
Michael Eugene Neff
COUNT ONE: On or about August 20, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Jonathan Ray Newman,
20, of 1502 Scranton Ave., Front
Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully
without consent, climb into or
upon a 1995 Dodge pickup belonging to Hazel Armitage, with
the intent to commit a crime,
malicious mischief, or injury
thereto.
COUNT ONE: On or about Feb-
COUNT TWO: On or about Au-
gust 20, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Jonathan Ray Newman
did unlawfully and feloniously
take{ steal, and carry away the
goods and chattels of Hazel Armitage and Karen Reiner, with a
value of $200.00 or more.
COUNT THREE: On or about
August 20, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Jonathan Ray Newman
did unlawfully without consent,
climb into or upon a 1997 Ford
pickup belonging to Timothy
Gunter, with the intent to commit a crime, malicious mischief,
or injury thereto.
COUNT FOUR: On or about
August 20, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Jonathan Ray Newman
did unlawfully and feloniously
take, steal, and carry away the
goods and chattels of Timothy
Gunter, with a value of $200.00
or more.
COUNT FIVE: On or about August 20, 2008, in the County of
Warren, Jonathan Ray Newman
did unlawfully without consent,
climb into or upon a 2003 Honda
belonging to Colleen Fier, with
the intent to commit a crime,
malicious mischief, or injury
thereto.
COUNT SIX: On or about August
20, 2008, in the County of Warren, Jonathan Ray Newman did
unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal, and carry away the goods
and chattels of Colleen Fier, with
a value of $200.00 or more.
Elizabeth Marie Robertson
On or about July 12, 2008, in the
County of Warren, Elizabeth Marie Robertson, 24, of 135 Pleasant Ridge Rd., Woodstock, VA
22664, did unlawfully and feloniously take, steal, and carry away
U.S. Currency belonging to James
Henry, with a value of $200.00 or
more.
Guy Edward Staats
On or about April 16, 2008, in the
County of Warren, Guy Edward
Staats, 39, of 2432-32 Berryville
Pike, Winchester, VA 22602, did
unlawfully and feloniously take
or obtain a credit card or credit
card number from the control or
possession of another without the
cardholder’s consent, with the intent to use said credit card.
Jovanta Jamal Wright
On or about August 10, 2008
through August 15, 2008, In the
County of Warren, Jovanta Jamal Wright, 22, of 1308 Belmont
Ave., Front Royal, VA 22630, did
unlawfully and feloniously carnally know, without the use of
force, K.C., a child fourteen years
of age.
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Page • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
“You may be asking God why now, why not last year, or ten years from now? Well I gave
it a lot of thought over the last couple of days. I think God had a bridge to build or maybe
some land to clear, and he wanted the best? – “Well he got the best!”
Obituary
Personal remembrances:
Friends say goodbye to the ‘Dutch-man’
Warren
County Report
Readership: 20,000 and growing.
Warren County’s leading newspaper.
122 W 14th Street, Box 20
Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 636-1014
(540) 636-1042 fax
Published in a secret location in the
greater metropolitan area of Limeton.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief:
Daniel P. McDermott
[email protected]
Dutch and Mary with Duane Geitz.
Dutch Zinnecker and “the hat.”
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
Friends and family gathered at
the Huntly home of ‘Dutch’ and
Mary Zinnecker on Dec. 6, to say
an emotional farewell to a friend,
husband, father and grandpa. A
US Marine Honor Guard fired
a 21-gun salute to a brother and
presented the country’s colors to
his wife Mary. A tree was planted
in the front yard as a lasting me-
morial to Dutch’s love of the outdoors; dear friends emotionally
recounted why this loss lay deep
on their souls; and more than a
21-shot toast of Jack Daniels was
raised in memory of Dutch as his
extended family retreated inside
the house Dutch built for his wife
after his “retirement.”
“We were standing by the
trailer and Dutch said, ‘What do
you think honey, want to build a
house?’ – and boy he sure did,”
Loving, local Christian
couple seeks private
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legal expenses. Call
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Mary recalls of her husband’s impulse to upgrade their living situation following their settlement
on the Huntly property.
Anyone who encountered
Dutch out and about was always
buoyed by his response to the
typically polite conversational
query, ‘How you doing, Dutch?
“If I was any better I couldn’t
stand it!” came the reply accompanied by that wide and heartfelt grin that made even old and
cantankerous curmudgeons acknowledge that it is, indeed, good
to be alive.
I remember when Dutch had
his first heart attack a few years
back. I visited him at his room
at Warren Memorial Hospital a
few days after – and typically he
was handling the situation with
good nature, if accompanied by
an acknowledgment of a serious
brush with eternity. I went home
and cried alone that night at the
thought of the loss of someone
whose company I not only enjoyed, but always felt privileged
to be in. Now that sad and lonely
See Dutch, 5
Arnold Karl ‘Dutch’ Zinnecker
Arnold Karl ‘Dutch’ Zinnecker, 72, of Huntly, VA passed away on
Monday, December 1, 2008 at Winchester Medical Center after a
long and happy life.
Born in Germany, Dutch lived most of his life in Virginia. He
proudly served in the United States Marine Corps for six years and
worked as a general superintendent for Gymco and JTE Inc. Dutch
loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter. His hearty laugh and
great smile will always be remembered.
Surviving are his loving wife Mary; his three sons Andrew (&
daughter in law Janice) of Boulder, CO, Karl (& Donna) of Burke,
VA, and Daniel (& Denise) of Fredericksburg, VA; stepchildren Patricia Thomas of Centreville, VA and Michael Miller of Danville,
VA; grandchildren Amber, Josh, Jake, Melanie, Garrett, and Zachery; and dear friends Paul Chang and Duane Gietz. He was preceded in death by his son Paul.
The family held a private celebration to honor a life well lived on
Dec. 6.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions
be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude
Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or log on to www.stjude.org
Arrangements were by Maddox Funeral Home in Front Royal.
Managing Editor and Reporter:
Roger Bianchini
(540) 635-4835
[email protected]
Reporter:
Greg Johnson
Sales Manager:
Leanne Bryant
(540) 305-6347
[email protected]
Billing Coordinator:
Ashley Lotts
[email protected]
Advertising:
(540) 636-1014
www.warrencountyreport.com/adinfo
Contributors:
Paula Conrow, Features Writer
Cassidy Custis, Entertainment Writer
Tony Elar, Cartoonist Extraordinaire
Kevin S. Engle, Humor Columnist
Leslie Fiddler, Writer
Bo Kane, Columnist
Viviane Knight, Health Writer
Ryan Koch, Cartoonist Extraordinaire
Jim Smithlin, Writer
Mary Ellen South, Poet
Timothy R. Thompson, Writer
Matt Swain, Business Writer
Transcriptionist:
Roya Milotte
[email protected]
Circulation:
Leslie Bennett
If you are interested in contributing
articles to our paper, please e-mail:
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Warren County Report is looking for additional advertising sales folks.
Please e-mail:
[email protected]
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page Local news
Please send your news to [email protected]
Town ends Saturday Business
Office hours
The Town of Front Royal Business Office located at 15 North
Royal Avenue will be CLOSED on
Saturdays beginning January 1,
2009. The Office has experienced
extremely slow “traffic” on Saturdays; therefore, justifying the
need for employees to be scheduled to work that day. Customers
may pay utility bills, taxes, etc.:
1) by placing them in the drop
box located near the front door
of the building;
2) by mail at P.O. Box 1560, Front
Royal, Virginia 22630;
3) by phone at (540) 635-7799;
4) by automatic withdraw from
the bank (forms available at the
Business Office and Town website www.frontroyava.com under
Quick Links/Forms);
5) in person at the Business Office Monday – Friday 8:00am
– 5:00pm, excluding holidays.
We accept checks, money
orders and credit/debit cards
(Mastercard,Visa and Discover).
Internet payments should be
available sometime in the new
year.
Town Visitor’s Center switches
to winter hours
The Town of Front Royal-Warren County Visitors Center will
be CLOSED on Tuesdays and
Wednesdays January through
March 2009. We encourage you to
visit the Visitors Center Monday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and
Sunday from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
If you have any questions for the
staff please call (540) 635-5788
or visit the Tourism Website at
www.discoverfrontroyal.com.
The Visitors Center will re-open
seven days a week beginning
April 6, 2009.
R-MA unit achieves highest
rating
Randolph-Macon Academy’s
Air Force Junior Reserve Officer
Training Corps (AFJROTC) Unit
has earned an overall unit assessment score of “Exceeds Standards”—the highest rating attainable—from the United States Air
Force.
The school was notified of the
honor in a letter from Colonel
Richard J. Ragaller, Director of
Air Force JROTC, dated November 20, 2008. The score was
based on an evaluation visit on
November 12, 2008. The evaluation was conducted by US Air
Force Colonel Michael Phillips.
“The superb support and the
excellent facilities you have provided the unit greatly contribute to its success,” Col Ragaller
wrote in a letter addressed to
Upper School Dean Jonathan
Ezell. “The instructors are both
Local gourmet guru Tory Failmezger offers a sample of
a Washington, VA red wine to Warren County residents
John and Gina Sweatt and David and Kym Crump during
a free wine tasting held each weekend at Vino E Formaggio on Main Street in Front Royal. One of the highlights of
this tasting was a Christmas mead. Mead is a wine dating
back thousands of years made from honey, water, yeast
and natural flavorings rather than grapes. It is hard to
find, sweet, smells a bit like hard cider and packs a wallop. Unlike most wines, mead usually has no sulphates
and does not have any of the slight negative effects for
people sensitive to fruit-based drinks. (In other words,
we liked it!) If you stop by, be sure to try the Virginia
Chutney. It is delicious and was recently featured in The
New York Times food section.
extremely talented and dedicated
and create a dynamic and supportive learning environment in
and out of the classroom. Cadets
display exemplary pride and their
extensive participation in numerous community service projects
is very impressive. As a result,
Unit VA-091 is making a positive impact on Randolph-Macon
Academy, and the surrounding
community!”
A letter also went directly to
Lt Col R.G. McManus, the senior aerospace instructor at RMA. In this letter, Col Ragaller
added, “Colonel Michael Phillips,
your Area Administrator, was extremely impressed with your program—from the dedication and
commitment of the instructors,
to the professionalism displayed
by the cadet corps. Your program
defines the term “successful unit”
and establishes the benchmark
for others to follow.”
“This is a great honor,” Maj Gen
Henry M. Hobgood, president of
R-MA, said. “We are very proud
of our aerospace instructors, who
work so hard with our cadets
day in and day out. We are also
thankful for the support the Air
Force JROTC unit gets not only
from our own faculty and staff,
but from the local community as
well.”
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• Needs a place to ride a skateboard?
Dutch, from 4
thought of a cold past night has come to pass.
Why am I, why are we so sad – yet able to mix
laughter with the tears? I don’t think I’d be out of
line to propose that there was a magical quality
about Dutch, as if he had perceived and processed
at some fundamental level those universal truths
that philosophers lose sleep over and that zealots
babble on about without any real understanding.
Yea, I think Dutch “got it.” And getting it, really
getting it, gives those that do an aura that draws
others to them for a brush with “it.” And when they
are gone, they are especially missed – because the
rest of us are left wandering around wondering,
“What the hell was it, and where is it now?” But
really we know; it’s just getting ourselves wrapped
around it the way they do.
Ahh heck, Mary said it better and more concisely. “I hope the special qualities Dutch had will
remain with each of us. All of our lives were better
because we were lucky to have him a part of it.”
The cardiologist who treated Dutch through his
final years was impressed enough with the character of his patient to write Mary this personal
note she elected to share with us. “Despite the
challenges of Lymphoma, congestive heart failure,
and arrhythmias, Dutch demonstrated incredible
courage and toughness through it all. He set an
example that all of us would like to emulate. I feel
privileged to have had the opportunity to see his
strength and participate in his care.”
Prompted to lighten the mood, Dutch’s dear
friend and neighbor Duane Geitz explained “Dutch
humor.”
“The first time I met Dutch I was going hunting
and he asked where I was going. I told him and
he said why are you going all the way over there,
you can come out and hunt on my land. I said really? – Okay. He told me that when I drove up the
driveway, I would see two dog houses, just walk
between them, and follow the fence around the
back of the trailer and down the hill. He said that
was the best place to hunt. Well, I drove up the
drive that cold morning, it was around 5:30 a.m.,
pitch dark. I saw the doghouses and started to
• Likes doing tricks on a BMX
bike?
• Wants to rollerblade on a street
plaza?
Give them a 15,000 square foot
concrete skatepark with bowls,
flow sections, and street features
by making a donation in their
name to the Warren County
Skatepark!
Your gift will be combined with
others to ensure that a safe designated place is available in Warren
County for the skateboarder, bike
rider, or rollerblader in your life.
To make a gift in someone’s
name and have a card sent to the
recipient, contact Susan Musante, Grants and Special Projects
Coordinator, at [email protected]
warrencountyva.net or 540-6364600 x338.
walk towards them. Just then his two dogs came
out of those houses. He forgot to mention that he
had two Rottweilers, one around 140 pounds, the
other 180. The two dogs actually could meet on
their leads right at the point where I was supposed
to walk through. All I could think was that I just
met this man and I would have to shoot one of his
dogs. Of course that didn’t happen, I went a different way. But that was Dutch. When I told him
about it, he just smiled.
“See, you needed to know Dutch to understand
his humor. But that was just one part of him, the
way he worked, the way he played, and the way he
loved was not compromising. He never left a job
undone, when he played, few men could keep up.
And the love he had for his friends and family were
unconditional.”
At the Dec. 6 memorial service at Dutch and
Mary’s home, Geitz recalled a big man with a big
appetite.
“Dutch and I had what others used to call dinner dates – we would take turns cooking. He got a
smoker for a present, so he wanted to try smoking
some spare ribs. Well this was one time it didn’t
really work out … I never saw anything as burnt as
those ribs, Mary told him, don’t worry we can try
and scrape the burnt parts off. Mary and I started
to see what we could do with the ribs, which was
nothing. I felt so bad for Dutch but we couldn’t
help from laughing while looking at this plate of
charcoal.
“When we ate, and if you ask Terry, she thinks
that is all we ever did, because no matter what
time she called out to talk to Dutch, we were eating. Dutch loved his deer meat, he would bite in to
a nice juicy piece of deer tenderloin, and say, ‘Only
the Gods eat better then this.’ Well Dutch, you’re
eating with the Gods now. Were you right? Who’s
the better cook?
“You may be asking God why now, why not last
year, or ten years from now? Well I gave it a lot of
thought over the last couple of days. I think God
had a bridge to build or maybe some land to clear,
and he wanted the best?
“Well he got the best!”
Page • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
In November, Aumente gave a series of lectures on newer media and the Internet for 30 print and broadcast journalists from Iraq during his visit to Beirut, Lebanon … Aumente also was a guest on two one-hour
television programs broadcast throughout Lebanon and via satellite to the region discussing the results of
the U.S. presidential election.
World
Locally ‘retired’ journalist staying busy on the road
Aumente addresses changing media landscape with international journalists
Jerome
Aumente,
Distinguished Professor Emeritus and
Special Counselor to the Dean,
in the Rutgers University School
of Communication, Information
and Library Studies completed
a round of lectures and training
programs in the Fall of 2008 for
journalists in Kosovo; for broadcasters from Saudi Arabia visiting the United States and most
recently for Iraqi journalists at a
training center in Beirut, Lebanon.
In November, Aumente gave a
series of lectures on newer media
and the Internet for 30 print and
broadcast journalists from Iraq
during his visit to Beirut, Lebanon, in a program of the Iraqi
Institute for Strategic Studies.
Aumente also was a guest on two
one-hour television programs
broadcast throughout Lebanon
and via satellite to the region
discussing the results of the U.S.
presidential election. He also met
with Lebanese journalists who
had attended previous programs
under his direction in the United
States sponsored by the U.S. State
Department through Meridian
International Center. In Beirut,
he met with representatives of
American University in Beirut
and the American Embassy to
explore future training initiatives
with Rutgers-SCILS and Meridian International.
In October, he organized media visits in New York City and
Washington, D. C., for television
and radio broadcasters from Saudi Arabia sponsored by the U.S.
State Department through Meridian International. This was the
second round of a program he
conducted in the spring of 2008
with Saudi broadcasters visiting the United States, also sponsored by the State Department
through Meridian International.
Aumente is discussing with the
American Embassy in Riyadh a
possible visit to Saudi Arabia, following up on previous programs
for Saudi journalists. It would be
his second trip to that country to
conduct journalism training and
meet with universities.
In September, Aumente conducted a workshop in economic
reporting in Pristina, Kosovo
for Kosovo Serb journalists, following on his earlier visit in the
Spring where he conducted an
economic reporting workshop
for Kosovo Albanians. Kosovo,
formerly a part of Serbia, has declared its independence and is
becoming a separate republic in
the former Yugoslavia. Both of
these programs were sponsored
by the American Embassy, the
U.S. State Department and the
International Broadcasting Bureau of Voice of America. He has
conducted previous programs
in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia,
Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro in the former Yugoslavia.
Jerome Aumente, 4th from right, meets with a US
delegation to the United Nations in NYC and Saudi
broadcasters
Aumente lives in Bentonville,
Virginia. His most recent book,
“From Ink on Paper to the Internet” won the Society of Professional Journalists national award
for journalism research in the
summer of 2008, presented at the
National Press Club in Washington, DC. He can be reached by
e-mail at: [email protected]
edu
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page Parker validated
So according to the Virginia attorney general, for five days after taking his new oath Tewalt hovered in some sort of electoral netherworld, neither councilman nor mayor.
Court overturns Virginia AG on Parker appointment
Hupp rules mayor did not vacate council seat when early oath taken
Councilman N. Shae Parker
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
Maybe there’s a new sheriff in
town, or perhaps a “sampler of
tobacco” – nah, it’s just that increasingly familiar, first-term
councilman, Che, I mean Shae
Parker.
If Parker seemed a tad lighter in
spirits at the outset of the Dec. 15
Front Royal Town Council meeting it was understandable. Earlier that day, Town Attorney Tom
Robinett received a 26th Judicial
Circuit Court ruling that Parker
is, in fact, a legally seated town
council member.
That decision came in response
to the town’s Dec. 5 suit filed by
Robinett to overturn a formal
opinion by Virginia Attorney
General Robert J. McDonnell received Dec. 3. That opinion, expanded on in a Dec. 11 appendix,
stated in part that the town had
violated state law in appointing
Parker by exceeding a mandated
45-day timeframe to fill municipal
governing body vacancies. Council appointed Parker on Aug. 11,
43 days after the town believed
Eugene Tewalt vacated his council seat to become mayor on July
1, but 48 days after Tewalt took
the mayors’ oath. So, the pivotal
Quiet before the storm - Front Royal Town Attorney
Tom Robinett, left, and Mayor Eugene Tewalt were in
a good mood following court ruling on Shae Parker’s
council seat prior to the start of Dec. 15 meeting.
issue in the case of Parker’s council appointment was when Tewalt
vacated his council seat to become mayor. The Virginia Attorney General said it was the June
25 date Tewalt took the mayor’s
oath.
In overturning the AG opinion
on that crucial point (a decision
predicted by yours truly in numerous smoke-filled, back-room,
secret meetings), Circuit Court
Judge Dennis L. Hupp cited an
1883 Virginia Supreme Court decision that a Dinwiddie County
Sheriff had vacated his office by
not only accepting the second office of “sampler of tobacco,” but
also by “acting under it.”
This contradicted Attorney
General McDonnell, who reasoned that the act of taking the
oath of the new office was the
triggering event that vacated
Tewalt’s previous office, even
though his new office was yet to
be occupied. So according to the
Virginia attorney general, for five
days after taking his new oath
Tewalt hovered in some sort of
electoral netherworld, neither
councilman nor mayor.
In explaining this elusive logic
McDonnell referenced town
codes on terms of office, council’s
six-person makeup, the clerk
of council’s filing of the mayor’s
oath in council’s minutes, and
my favorite – council options in
selecting a new mayor should the
incumbent die (it doesn’t have to
be a sitting councilman). If McDonnell seemed to be floundering for a rationale for his opinion,
perhaps it can be understood. The
specific query on the Front Royal
situation has been described as a
legal case of first impression, or
one that has not previously been
specifically addressed by law.
But the 26th Virginia Judicial
District was having none of it.
“In each of the cases I have read
regarding the present issue, the
office holder has vacated an office by actually assuming an incompatible office. None of the
cases turn on the date the oath of
office was taken,” Hupp wrote on
Dec. 15. In addition to the 1883
Dinwiddie case of Shell v. Cousins, Hupp cited a 1976 case, Bun-
ting v. Willis, with some interesting parallels to the current Front
Royal Town Council case.
In prefacing his decision Hupp
wrote of Bunting v. Willis, “… the
subject office holder, interestingly, took his oath of office on June
25 and took office at the beginning of the term on July 1.” Those
are precisely the dates in question
regarding Tewalt’s move from
councilman to Mayor of Front
Royal.
Then sitting Councilman Tewalt
took the mayor’s oath on June 25
to accommodate his daughter’s
wish that she and Tewalt’s grandson could be present. However,
Tewalt did not assume the office
of mayor until July 1, when James
Eastham’s term expired.
According to the court it is primarily the act of assuming office,
rather than the words of intent
authorizing the new office that
determines both the assumption
and vacating of seat of public office*.
(* Footnote: plus AG McDonnell
addressed his Dec. 11 elaboration
on his 45-day opinion to “The
Honorable Dennis Lee Huff.” Of
course I’m not sure if Judge Dennis L. Hupp noticed that “typo”
or not.)
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Page • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Community
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Chester Gap firemen celebrate the season
Cold night, warm hearts for across county lines fire company
By Timothy R. Thompson
Warren County Report
Chester Gap Volunteer Fire
Company (CGVFC) hosted their
annual community Christmas
dinner on December 13. Along
with the Dinner came the presentation of company awards.
You may be wondering why a fire
company based in Rappahannock
County is being mentioned in
Warren County Report, well it’s
simple really – Chester Gap VFC
not only covers Chester Gap in
Rappahannock County, but also a
large portion of southern Warren
County. Chester Gap covers Point
‘O’ Woods, Lake Front Royal al
the way to Harmony Hollow.
Members of CGVFC greeted
community members in the
Fire Hall for a wonderful dinner. Members and citizens of
the community brought in some
good food, and along with it they
shared their warm hearts. It was
a fine night of old friends togeth-
Tom Eschelman, of “The Auction Gallery at the
Middle of Main” in downtown Front Royal, presents
a $500 donation to Julia Wagner Shelter Director
Jane Johnson as Humane Society of Warren County Board member Malcolm Barr looks on during
Dec. 6 fundraiser. The money, raised by customers
with a match from Eschelman, was made in memory of John “Corey” Snyder, a former employee and
friend.
er meeting new friends sharing
laughs and memories.
After the fantastic dinner and
some great diet desserts (at
least that’s what I told myself )
it was time for the presentation
of the 2008 awards and the officers for 2009. Chief Todd Brown
was awarded Firefighter of the
Year; yours truly was awarded
EMS Provider of the year; Mike
Thompson got the Junior Firefighter and EMS Provider of the
Year; Clint Wines received Company Member Most Supportive;
and Chester Gap Grocery was the
recipient of Community Member
Most Supportive.
In the December company
meeting board members and
line officers were elected. Todd
Brown, Chief, Clint Wines, Assistant Chief, Jeff Crooke, Fire Captain, Evan Jayson, Fire Leiutenant
and yours truly was elected as the
EMS Captain. For the Board of
Directors, well yours truly (I’m
thinking of changing my name)
was elected President, Chris Ubben, Vice President, Treasurer,
Maybelle Gilkey and Secretary,
Denise Thompson.
Congratulations are also in order for two CGVFC members,
Mike Thompson and Brandon
Phillips recently completed their
Pictured from left, Assistant Chief Clint Wines, Chief
Todd Brown, EMS Captain Tim Thompson and Firefighter Mike Thompson.
Firefighter I training at Warren
County Fire and Rescue and are
currently in the Firefighter II
class.
After the awards a special visitor stopped by to check up on a
few of the guests, and I must say
he was very pleased. That visitor
of course was Santa Clause with
goodie bags for the children. I
tried to get a goodie bag but he
could not find my name on his
list – imaging that.
Handshakes, hugs and smiles
were shared as members and
guests left for the evening, all
were able to walk to their car, but
me on the other hand needed a
little assistance (I think I had a reaction to the diet desserts, many
diet desserts).
The members of Chester Gap
Volunteer Fire Company would
like to thank all that attended this
year’s dinner, and wish everyone
a safe and happy holiday season.
I just can’t wait till next year!!!
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Grace the mule exhibits her maternal instincts during a performance, along with Missy the World Record Jumping mule (not pictured), as part of the
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month.
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page The unanimity came none too soon as the mayor, council and town staff came under scathing attacks later
in the meeting largely centered on Robinett’s actions in the [Parker] case. Those attacks … were directed
primarily at Robinett but also included the mayor, town manager and council to varying degrees.
Town under fire
Town under the gun on successful legal appeal
Outside accusations accompany 5-0 vote of support of AG challenge
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
After all the infighting and
backbiting over the legality of
Front Royal Town Attorney Tom
Robinett’s rapid legal response
– 2 days – to Virginia Attorney
General Robert J. McDonnell’s
formal opinion that Councilman
N. Shae Parker had been illegally
seated, the Front Royal Town
Council presented a united front
in support of that filing on Dec.
15.
On that date a motion approving the town attorney’s actions in
filing the Dec. 5 suit challenging
the formal AG opinion and seeking a ruling that Parker was, in
fact, a legally-seated councilman
passed by a 5-0 vote, Parker abstaining. Even attorney-Councilman Tom Sayre, who initially
questioned the legality of Robinett’s move prior to a formal vote
of approval by council, voted with
the majority to approve the town
At left, Town Attorney Tom Robinett, Town Manager Michael Graham and Councilman Shae Parker soak in
Matt Tederick, right,’s opinion on the way town business is conducted (poorly, illegally and belligerently).
Northern Virginia Daily reporter Ben Orcutt, whose name was invoked several times during discussion, is an
interested observer in background at right.
attorney’s actions in filing the suit
after an informal telephone polling of a majority of council.
The unanimity came none too
soon as the mayor, council and
town staff came under scath-
ing attacks later in the meeting
largely centered on Robinett’s actions in the case. Those attacks,
from former Warren County Republican Committee Chairman
and county supervisor Matthew
Tederick and attorney and Board
of Architectural Review member
David Silek, were directed primarily at Robinett but also included the mayor, town manager
and council to varying degrees.
Much of Tederick’s criticism
echoed a Dec. 12 letter to council from Northern Virginia Daily
attorney J. David Griffin. During
his 20 or so minute tirade against
the town government Tederick
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Page 10 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Ironically perhaps, Parker, around whom so much of the controversy voiced on Dec. 15 swirled, opened
the council concerns portion at the outset of the meeting with a holiday poem calling for more cooperation
internally and externally, a reexamination of corridor issues, and more general fairness in the conduct of
town business.
Front Royal
made a point of reading Griffin’s
letter into the public record.
That letter accuses the town of
“willfully” violating Freedom of
Information Act requirements
by allowing Robinett to file the
suit seeking judicial ratification
of Parker’s appointment prior to
a public meeting vote (see related
story). Griffin, like Sayre earlier,
cited two council votes, on Aug.
11 and Nov. 17, declining to seek
judicial appointment of Parker’s
as a safeguard against any legal
challenge or pending AG opin-
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ion. Griffin wrote that council’s
earlier actions created the legal
requirement any change of direction on the matter be re-voted on
by council at an open meeting.
Perhaps ironically, Sayre first
suggested in early August that
council seek judicial ratification
of the coming council appointment to assure its legality. Sayre’s
motion to certify Parker’s Aug. 11
appointment was voted down 4-1
at that meeting. Parker has abstained from all votes concerning
his council seat.
At a Nov. 17 Special Meeting
to discuss an anticipated formal
state attorney general’s opinion
that Parker had been seated illegally, council again declined to
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that occasion Sayre sided with
Vice Mayor Bret Hrbek and Chris
Holloway to form the majority opposing submitting Parker’s
seat to the court for ratification.
While Sayre was initially critical
of Robinett’s filing of the Dec. 5
challenge of the formal AG opinion and its defacto ratification
of Parker’s appointment without
a public vote, as stated above he
sided with the other four members voting on Dec. 15 to approve
the town attorney’s action on the
matter.
During the meeting Robinett
explained that he had polled the
mayor and council – other than
Sayre – by phone prior to filing
the suit asking 26th District Circuit Court Judge Dennis L. Hupp
to overrule the AG opinion that
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Front Royal
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Parker’s appointment violated
state law by exceeding a 45-day
time limit.
When Sayre raised the issue
that Robinett’s call to him about
filing the suit came about 15 minutes after it was filed at the Warren County Circuit Court Clerk’s
Office on Dec. 5, Robinett said he
was already well aware of Sayre’s
opinion because “it was plastered
all over the paper for a couple of
days – that you wanted a special
election.”
That exchange was the first of
three testy ones Robinett had
leading Mayor Tewalt to pull the
town attorney’s reins in somewhat as Robinett responded directly to what appeared to be
personal attacks on his competence, integrity or character. A
second exchange was with Teder-
ick over a code cited in reference
to Griffin’s letter and supposed
FOIA violations. The third was
with NVD reporter Ben Orcutt,
who Robinett cited as the source
of information leading him to
believe time was even more crucial in filing a response to the AG
opinion. Robinett said that information, that Tederick would lead
a move to call a special election
to fill Parker’s seat, was given to
him in a phone call from Orcutt
following the Dec. 3 release of
the formal AG opinion. Robinett
became angered as Orcutt shook
his head in disagreement with
the town attorneys’ appraisal that
FOIA issues with the NVD had
been resolved during his phone
conversation with the paper’s attorney earlier that day.
The Dec. 15 vote to approve
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Robinett’s filing of the suit to
overturn the AG opinion and ratify that Parker was legally seated
came later on the same day Judge
Hupp ruled in the town and
Parker’s favor against the attorney general’s opinion on one crucial point – that Mayor Eugene
Tewalt did not vacate his council
seat on June 25 when he took the
mayor’s oath of office, but rather
on July 1 when he assumed the office of mayor (see related story).
But if a judge was on the town’s
side that day, others were certainly not.
Where to begin?
Following Robinett’s exchange
with Orcutt, Tederick was the
first to address council during the
Public Concerns portion of the
meeting. After a pregnant pause
during which he looked at the
Daily reporter and commented
that he didn’t know where to begin because there were so many
inconsistencies, Tederick fired
his opening salvo.
“Mr. Mayor, I think you’ve lost
control of your staff.”
Tederick said he’d been a supporter of Parker in the general
election and the main issue on
the table in the wake of the AG
opinion was full voting rights for
all council members. Another
portion of the AG opinion is that
appointed members do not fit the
constitutional criteria of “elected
members” and therefore cannot
vote on certain issues including
appropriations over $500, bond
issues, annexation, the disposition of property and issuing of
franchises.
Tederick then suggested council call for a special election in
May so that all members would
have full voting rights.
While lauding council for an
earlier resolution in support of
Town Manager Michael Graham
in the wake of the NVD revelation the town manager had been
rejected for Front Royal Rotary
membership, Tederick bemoaned
the potential connection between
Graham’s background in the private sector and what he called the
town’s propensity for meeting behind closed doors.
“You’re a public body, not a secret body having secret meetings
in secret board rooms.”
Tederick then accused the
town attorney of being a publicity hound – “I think Mr. Robinett
Old pals - Councilman Chris Holloway, left, listens as local attorney David Silek agrees in legal principal with Matt
Tederick’s criticism of town’s legal appeal of state AG
ruling on Councilman Parker’s appointment, among other
things.
likes to go to court. I think he
likes to have his name in the papers …”
Tederick, who has been at recent political odds with both the
town and county governments
over what he sees as an anti-business stance on 522 North Corridor issues, reasoned that stance
and what he called a confrontational attitude with both business
and county government stemmed
“from the advise of the town
manager and town attorney.”
“You should be embarrassed
about the Molly Denton money,” Tederick said of the town’s
decision to throw the matter of
a $40,000, 1992 bequeathment
for swimming lessons for the
community’s children into court.
Earlier that night council had followed Robinett’s suggestion to let
the court decide how to dispose
of the money by a 4-1 vote with
only Sayre dissenting. While the
county believes it is entitled to
the money because it has operated the community pool since
2000, Robinett asserts a threeyear non-use clause in the Den-
ton will mandates the money be
returned to her estate.
Tederick also was critical of
the town’s reluctance to come up
with a solution to what has been
a decade-plus debate with the
county over commercial trash
hauling and tipping fees.
“There are personalities at play
– I think I know some of it …
you seem to be in a death match
with the county; you seem to be
in a death match with Mr. Sayre,”
Tederick said.
Where to end?
Ironically perhaps, Parker,
around whom so much of the
controversy voiced on Dec. 15
swirled, opened the council concerns portion at the outset of the
meeting with a holiday poem calling for more cooperation internally and externally, a reexamination of corridor issues, and more
general fairness in the conduct of
town business.
(See Parker’s holiday wish for the
town elsewhere in this issue.)
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Page 12 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
“I’m a little sick of these judges and prosecutors playing political and theatrical roles solely for the
press. To me they seem to forget where they come from. These days it’s just a job for them that
they perform without feeling or caring.”– JD Striker on recent court experiences
J. D. Striker
Striker granted house arrest on new plea deal
Wife’s trial on related domestic dispute charge set for February
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
On Dec. 8, retired Front Royal
Police Officer James Douglas
“JD” Striker entered into a second plea agreement related to a
July domestic incident. In Warren County Circuit Court Striker
plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of reckless use of a
firearm. Two other misdemeanor
charges of brandishing a firearm
were dropped as part of a plea
agreement stemming from a July
15 domestic incident at Striker’s
home in a rural portion of southern Warren County.
In August Striker appealed a
lower court plea agreement conviction when he was ordered to
serve 30 days in jail as part of
the sentence imposed by Warren
County Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Court Judge Ronald L.
Napier. At the time Striker, a 25year veteran of FRPD who retired
in 2006, said he had no expectations of jail time being imposed as
a result of his misdemeanor plea
since he has no previous criminal
record.
As a result of the new plea
agreement in Warren County
Circuit Court, Striker will serve
one month under house arrest
and pay a $200 fine. Judge Dennis L. Hupp sentenced Striker to
nine months in jail and a $1,000
fine with all but the $200 and
30-day home incarceration suspended. Striker began his home
incarceration on Dec. 15. When
Striker appealed the J&D Court
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conviction due to the stiffer than
anticipated sentence, Special
Prosecutor Glenn R. Williamson pointed out that typically
no sentencing guarantees were
part of plea agreements and that
sentencing comes entirely at the
discretion of the judge (I don’t
know about you, but I’ve always
wondered at a defendant’s motivation to enter into pleas under
those ground rules – “you know,
we can’t promise you anything”
– wink, wink).
Reactions of courthouse observers indicated some surprise
at a mental health evaluation of
Striker ordered by the court on
Dec. 8. Rolled eyes and a hasty
“no comment” retreat met ques-
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tions about whether such an
evaluation was business as usual
under the circumstances of the
case. Hupp will review the mental health evaluation performed
locally at Northwestern Community Services on March 13.
Mental health evaluation or not,
as he began his home incarceration and awaits a felony trial on
a related charge against his wife
brought almost three months after the incident and initial charges
being filed, Striker expressed anger at how he and his family have
been treated. Striker believes he
and his wife are the victims of a
judicial and prosecutorial double
standard applied to this case.
“I’m a little sick of these judges
and prosecutors playing political
and theatrical roles solely for the
press. To me they seem to forget
where they come from. These
days it’s just a job for them that
they perform without feeling or
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 13
While JD Striker refused to comment on the charge against his wife in the wake of the October indictments, questioned a week earlier he expressed suspicion at the prosecutorial motive for any pending charge
against his wife … Cathy Sue Striker’s case is set for jury trial on February 13, at 9 a.m.
caring,” Striker said of his recent
experiences in Warren County
J&D and Circuit Court.
Wife charged
In a surprise development when
the indictments against Striker
were returned by the grand jury
at the circuit court level on Oct.
10, a new charge appeared. That
felony indictment charged Cathy
Sue Striker with attempted malicious wounding of her husband
during the July 15 incident. The
Strikers appeared together in
court with JD Striker’s brother,
Jack, awaiting the October indictments. JD Striker comforted his
wife, who appeared visibly shaken
by the new indictment the family
was anticipating against her. Mrs.
Striker’s tension is understandable. She faces from 12 months
in jail to 10 years in prison on
the felony attempted malicious
wounding charge.
Questioned about the indictment against Cathy Sue Striker being brought nearly three
months after the incident and
initial charges related to it, Special Prosecutor Williamson explained that the evidence about
the incident was presented to a
grand jury for the first time at the
circuit court level. He confirmed
the indictment was not brought
as a result of a complaint by the
alleged victim but pointed out
such a complaint was not necessary for the commonwealth to
bring charges.
The Strikers believe Cathy Sue
Striker’s own statement to sheriff ’s deputies on July 15 is the basis of the charge against her. The
single felony indictment charges
Mrs. Striker with attempting “to
stab, cut or wound one James
Douglas Striker.”
While JD Striker refused to
comment on the charge against
his wife in the wake of the October indictments, questioned a
week earlier he expressed suspicion at the prosecutorial motive
for any pending charge against
his wife.
Cathy Sue Striker’s case is set
for jury trial on February 13 at
9 a.m. Local defense attorney
Michael Greenan is representing Mrs. Striker. Ilona Beatty has
represented JD Striker following
his July 15 arrest.
Background
The July 15 incident at the Striker household has been described
in court and by Striker later as an
Striker son critical of prosecution of parents
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
Contacted on Dec. 17 about his father, James
Douglas “JD” Striker’s assessment of the July 15
domestic incident that led to criminal charges
being filed against both his parents, 29-year-old
Brian Striker expressed disappointment at how
the criminal justice system has reacted beyond the
initial response.
Brian and his fiancée, Mary Brennan, were the
complainants that led to a Warren County Sheriff ’s
Office response to his parents’ home in a remote,
rural section of Warren County. Brennan made the
911 call reporting a gunshot being fired by Brian’s
father, which she and Brian initially believed could
have in their direction.
JD Striker has asserted from the start that he fired
a 25-caliber pistol out of a second story window
simply to get his son’s attention to stop pounding
on a van Brian’s mother, Cathy Sue, had locked
herself in. In a related story in this issue JD Striker
said he believed Brian and his fiancée had exaggerated the situation from the outset. We asked Brian
about that assessment.
“My fiancé and I both agree no one knew exactly
what was going on at the time. I’d heard different
stories. I believed my mom had threatened to kill
herself. But my dad didn’t know that and he didn’t
know why I was beating on the van.
“It may have been scary then,” Brian said of a
gunshot being fired, “but my dad was a policeman
for 25 years, he has that experience. I think if he
wanted to make anything happen then he could
have. And even after it happened – they’re still my
parents – I was over there and even tried to get
[my dad] an attorney at the time.”
JD Striker was arrested at the scene in the late
afternoon of July 15 and charged with multiple
firearms charges.
“I think it was blown way out of proportion. I am
disappointed in the way the commonwealth has
handled it. All families have problems. But right
off the bat it seems like they tried to pin [my father] up to the post rather than help.
“Then when my father appealed the first plea
agreement because I don’t think there was supposed to be any time tied to it – the reaction was
like ‘you’re not going to play by our rules? And
then they bring my mother into it. It seemed a little
vindictive to me,” Brian said.
As reported in a related story, Cathy Sue Striker
is awaiting a Feb. 13 jury trial on a felony count
of attempted malicious wounding of her husband
during the July 15 incident. That charge was not
brought until Oct. 10 term day in Warren County
Circuit Court when the original charges against
her husband were sent to the grand jury following
his appeal of the plea agreement in Warren County
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. JD Striker,
who has no previous criminal record, said he had
no expectation the plea agreement would include
a jail sentence. Domestic Relations Court Judge
Ronald Napier sentenced Striker to serve 30 days
in jail.
“I certainly hope it would be,” Brian said when
asked if his believed the charge against his mother should be dropped. Mrs. Striker faces from 12
months to 10 years in prison on the felony charge
against her.
Special Prosecutor Glenn Williamson, brought
in from Frederick County to prosecute JD Striker
due to Striker’s previous relationship to the local
commonwealth’s attorney’s office as a policeman,
said the charge against Mrs. Striker was not a result
of a complaint of the alleged victim, her husband.
He did say the commonwealth could proceed on
its own evidence without such a complaining witness.
The Strikers believe Cathy Sue Striker’s own
statement to authorities on July 15 is the basis for
the charge against her.
J. D. Striker
evolving domestic situation that
had gone on over some hours
involving Mrs. Striker, JD Striker
and the Striker’s 29-year-old son
Brian. Striker said he fired a .25
caliber pistol out a second-floor
window on the remote, rural
property to get his son’s attention while Brian was pounding
on a van Cathy Sue Striker had
retreated to in an attempt to
distance herself from the family
fray.
Striker has denied pointing the
gun in his son’s direction as Brian
and his girlfriend Mary Brennan originally alleged when the
charges were filed in the heat of
the moment the day of the incident. Striker has observed if he
pointed a gun toward his son, he
would have also been pointing
it in the direction of the van his
wife was in.
The commonwealth proffered
evidence on Dec. 8 that Brian
Striker feared his mother might
harm herself while locked in the
van because she had knives with
her after threatening suicide. JD
Striker said he is unaware of any
threat of suicide by his wife that
day. He also said knives in the
vehicle were kitchen knives his
wife had planned on returning to
her mother that were left behind
from a July 4 visit.
“There is no doubt in my mind
or in my wife’s mind that Brian
and Mary Brennan exaggerated
the whole scenario from the time
Mary made the phone call to the
sheriff ’s office that day,” Striker
says of the predicament he and
his wife now find themselves in
(see related story).
[email protected]
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Page 14 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
‘Tis the season
To advertise, call 540-636-1014 • warrencountyreport.com
Lantern Musings, a holiday tradition of light over darkness
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
Antietam Memorial Illumination. Photo by Keith Snyder
By Leslie Fiddler
Warren County Report
The celebration of the triumph of light over dark is an ancient practice. No wonder the Christian church added Jesus’
birth to this winter solstice tradition. Today the observations are entwined.
Lanterns play a unique role. A visual symbol of the human spirit, they are imbued with whatever meaning their maker
bestows. Some set out paper lanterns on Christmas Eve to illuminate Joseph and Mary’s path. For others the lantern
represents the desire for the birth of Christ’s love in one’s heart. Others view the lantern as a symbol of nature’s simplicity, elegance and abundance. They are certainly a beautiful addition to one’s seasonal decorations.
A paper bag lantern, consisting of a lit candle anchored with one or two inches of sand in small paper bag, is easy to
make. If you want to have more fun, cut out designs in the bag. Tin cans work too. Freeze water in a can and hammer
out designs with a nail and hammer. The ice allows the can to keep its shape but it will melt by the time your pattern is
finished. Add a handle with a piece of wire.
Set out a lantern and join lantern traditions all over the world.
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Donald B. Quarton
(540) 635-1943
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’
‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
Then he sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘ So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’
‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 15
Vice Mayor Bret Hrbek restated his strong belief that individual property rights generally
superceded governmental authority over private property in such cases and that Greenan should be allowed to improve his property as he saw fit.
BAR
Town overturns BAR on Greenan Historic District appeal
Council also moves toward restricting BAR membership to town residents
By Greg Johnson
Warren County Report
The Front Royal Town Council entered into a typically wideranging philosophical discussion
about governmental oversight
versus individual property rights
prior to a vote on Michael V.
Greenan’s appeal of a Board of
Architectural Review decision on
his property at 227 South Royal
Avenue in the town’s Historic
District.
The BAR had cited Greenan
for work done without proper
applications or authorization
being made and denied his after
the fact request the work be allowed. Council heard the appeal
at its previous meeting but by law
could not vote at that time.
Former town planning commissioner Tom Conkey cast the lone
dissenting vote in council’s 5-1
overturning of the BAR decision.
In voicing the majority opinion,
Carson Lauder opined, “I don’t
think the problems are that severe. The house had already been
compromised several times already.” Lauder observed that the
house didn’t have the kind of historical background other buildings that have come before the
BAR recently have had.
“I think the only significant
thing about this house is it’s not
significant,” Lauder concluded.
In filing his appeal Greenan
had referenced the surrounding
neighborhood’s lack of historical character. It includes a commercial strip, closed auto repair
shop, a car dealership and a brick
apartment complex of a distinctly
non-historical character.
At his hearing Greenan said a
defaulted owner had left behind
serious plumbing problems that
had severely damaged the inside
of the house. When he began
those interior repairs he had continued to some exterior renovations as well without the proper
authorization, leading to his predicament with the BAR primarily
over windows.
The house had, had asphalttype siding over German Lap
Siding, which when removed had
revealed extensive damage to the
underlying wooden siding. It was
At left is a house at 227 S. Royal Ave. and adjacent apartments. The Historic “hood” - the house and a portion
of the adjacent apartment complex.
work around this siding and windows that had largely drawn the
BAR’s ire.
“I’m a little torn. I don’t think
we should intrude too much but
I think you should be aware of
codes,” Shae Parker said, observing that Greenan had done work
on other homes in the Historic
District, so should have been
aware of applicable codes. Parker
said he felt “a slap on the wrist”
was in order but that denial of
work improving a deteriorating
building was going too far.
Vice Mayor Bret Hrbek restated
his strong belief that individual
property rights generally superceded governmental authority over private property in such
cases and that Greenan should be
allowed to improve his property
as he saw fit. Hrbek agreed with
Greenan’s point that the applicant’s property was being treated
differently than his neighbor’s
properties because the “historic”
integrity of the neighborhood
had already been compromised.
Conkey said he was not unsympathetic to Greenan’s financial situation with the property.
However, he added that government does had a responsibility to
preserve the greater good of the
community, as well as of preserving individual property rights. He
said the reason the town had the
BAR was to prevent people from
acting arbitrarily to change the
character of properties regarding
zoning codes and particularly in
designated Historic Districts.
Hrbek commented that the discussion was evolving into something outside the range of Greenan’s appeal. However, he added
if that discussion meant council
should eventually enter into a
discussion about “gutting” the
Historic District that he would be
willing to have that discussion at
another time.
BAR changes
Perhaps appropriately timed,
council moved past approval of
Greenan’s appeal into a discussion
of changing town codes on BAR
membership and terms of office.
Councilman Chris Holloway,
who is a local builder, brought
the matter to council. Holloway
suggested amending town codes
to require BAR members to be
town residents. Because the suggested amendment would fall under town Zoning Ordinances the
matter had to be referred to the
town planning commission.
The planning commission returned a unanimous recommendation to deny Holloway’s
amendment. During the planning
commission public hearing BAR
member Joan Harding pointed
out she was one of only two members of the existing 5-person BAR
that would be allowed to stay in
office were the amendment approved. Harding pointed out that
historically (pun intended) the
BAR had a hard time maintaining
full membership due to a lack of
qualified or interested applicants.
She said the BAR was originally a
7-person board but had been reduced to five due to an inability to
maintain a full 7-member board.
She added that during her tenure
the BAR had a hard time maintaining a full 5-person board.
She said that excluding county
residents who owned commercial property or businesses in
town was “ludicrous.” Harding
said approval of the amendment
would make it hard to continue
the BAR’s existence (is there an
emerging pattern here?).
On Dec. 15, council faced that
testimony and the planning commission’s unanimous recommendation of denial of the amendment.
Parker supported Holloway’s
amendment, stating he believed
everyone the town appoints to
any position should be a qualified voter of in the Town of Front
Royal. Holloway concurred.
Hrbek suggested approving a
motion to take the matter to public hearing in order to get more
input from the community.
However, Conkey suggested
following the planning commission recommendation and simply drop the matter to leave the
ordinance as is. As it stands BAR
members must qualify by being
county residents. Conkey pointed
to the issue of availability of qualified applicants raised at the planning commission public hearing.
He said that someone owning
property downtown could be imminently more qualified than a
candidate who qualified simply
by living in town.
“I think more flexibility [in making appointments] is advisable,”
Conkey said. He said to exclude
qualified individuals from the
county, which it was pointed out
the town is part of, from a historically small pool of candidates
on a residency requirement in a
community this size made little
common sense.
Holloway suggested that appointees could be sent to training
courses to increase their knowledge about their appointed field.
However, Town Planning Director Andrew Conlon pointed out
that no such certification classes
in that field existed – “They’re
not even available,” he said.
Classes do exist for planning
commissioners and zoning administrators, he added, but not
on community architectural
standards.
Regardless, the council voted
4-2 to proceed to public hearing
on the amendment to limit BAR
membership to town residents.
Sayre joined Conkey in opposing
the move toward altering existing
codes.
(Roger Bianchini contributed to
this story)
Page 16 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
‘Tis the season
Councilman Parker’s Holiday Poem
With the Holiday Season and New Year almost upon us
Season’s Greetings to all as I climb from under the bus
The corridor agreement needs work
I think we all agree
Let’s just do the right thing
But the water can’t be free
Other tasks are at hand
We must focus and get them done
No more bad stories or reporters
Should ruin the fun
Love thy neighbor as thyself
No more dissention in the ranks
No frog in the chair, tacks or nasty pranks
The stories, which are told
Should be noble and true
Just as those whom they’re about
And the work, which they do
A 2008 departs in just a few short weeks
Let the rubble it’s brought be brushed from the streets
And as 2009 arrives and whatever it brings
Let us “all” jump in and roll up our sleeves
We will hold our heads high as we’ve treated all just and fair
And leave other communities looking on with an envious stare
To advertise call 540-636-1014 • warrencountyreport.com
The LFCC Celtic Club Christmas
Show was held Saturday, Dec. 13
Santa’s little council elf (he got what he wanted for
Christmas).
Now Available at Prospect Hill Cemetery: Monuments, Cremation
Urns, Cremation Niches, In Ground Vases, Bronze Flag Holders and
Monument Cleaning
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All ‘D’series memorial art property of Design Mart. Copyright © 1978-2005 Design Mart. Used with permission. All other rights
reserved. License #L 0010002
Top, the WCHS Chorus (Directed by Jamie Brackett); middle, the Elf (Sam Scott
of Front Royal and LFCC student) and TV3 Weatherman Steven Glazier, who
hosted the show; above, is a table set up at the show by Gourmet Delights of
Front Royal
Warren
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 17
County Report
December 6, 2008
Christmas Parade
Front Royal, Virginia
Page 18 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
3 for 2 Winter Special
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* Good on regular drycleaning items only. Not valid on laundered shirts, specialty items, household items, etc. Restrictions apply.
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If you’d like more information, contact us @
(540) 636-8400 or [email protected]
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 19
Scratch N Sniff Pet Care
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• Pet Sitting
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Cakes, cookies and brownies for all
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Page 20 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
THE APPLE HOUSE
OF LINDEN, VA
SINCE 1963
Get your holiday platter orders in now! Holiday and Christmas items
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 21
Serving Warren & All Surrounding Counties
“Producers of Quality Buildings for 36 years”
• Re-roof & Re-side Existing Structures
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• Commercial Buildings
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Vendors Welcome!
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Hours:
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Saturday - Sunday
Front Royal, VA
Rt. 522 North
540-635-5827
Santa Clause to visit on
Saturday, Dec. 20th — 1-3 p.m.
Thanks to my family, friends,
clients, colleagues and community
for a wonderful year! HAPPY NEW
YEAR to you and yours--thanks
for making Warren County such a
great place to call home! Thanks
also for the community’s support of
the FR/WC Branch of the American
Red Cross! Please check your
mail for our December fund drive
newsletter and make time to be a
regular blood donor in 2009!
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540-671-6145 • [email protected]
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Page 22 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Postal Business Center
122 W. 14th St. • Front Royal, VA
Located next door to
Melting Pot Pizza
Packing • Shipping • Moving boxes •
Mailbox rentals • Notary • FAX • Laminating
• Copies
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540-635-2186 (fax)
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Mountain Mystic
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Offering a wide variety of sterling silver and gemstone jewelry, chimes, rock and mineral specimens, books, cards, journals, relaxing and meditative music, tapestries,
candles, incense, fragrance and essentials oils, stickers, antique jade carvings, and
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Open everyday from 10-6, except Sunday from 12-5 and closed on Wednesdays
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 23
Order your $50
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Deadline: Friday Dec. 26, 2008
Call Leanne Bryant
540-305-6347
[email protected]
Page 24 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
2008 Christmas Parade Winners
NON-BUSINESS CATEGORY WINNERS
State Farm Insurance – 1st Place Award ($300)
Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards
Southern States – 2nd Place Award ($100)
Rivermont Fire Department
BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS
Main Street Daily Grind – 1st Place Award
Warren County Airport/Cass Aviation
Main Street Daily Grind – 2nd Place Award
Greater Atlantic Bank
Parade sponsored by:
Java Media Concepts
First Citizen’s Bank
Order your $50
color ad for the
January Best
of 2008 pull-out
section!
Deadline: Friday Dec. 26, 2008
Call Leanne Bryant
540-305-6347
[email protected]
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 25
A Dec. 12 letter from NVD attorney J. David Griffin threatens such litigation unless certain conditions are
met … With council having approved Town Attorney Tom Robinett’s actions in filing the suit by a 5-0 vote
with Parker abstaining at its Dec. 15 meeting, pistols at dawn would seem a more likely outcome than those
demands being met.
Suing the town?
Will NVD sue town council over Parker seating appeal?
Paper’s attorney demands multi-faceted groveling to avoid litigation
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
“Lay down, now roll over and
beg – that’s a good boy.”
Okay, okay, that wasn’t the concluding paragraph to a Dec. 12
letter from an attorney representing The Northern Virginia Daily
to the Front Royal Town Council
alleging myriad procedural improprieties designed to create a
clandestine shadow government
right here in River City. However,
as this paper, and apparently faltering public watchdog, went to
press it remained unclear whether the NVD will proceed with a
threatened Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Town
of Front Royal concerning a suit
filed seeking a court ruling on
the legality of the appointment of
Shae Parker to the town council
(see related stories).
A Dec. 12 letter from NVD attorney J. David Griffin threatens
such litigation unless certain conditions are met. Those conditions
include a public apology from the
town for violating FOIA laws by
filing suit to reverse a Dec. 3 formal Virginia Attorney General’s
opinion that Parker was seated
in violation of state codes; withdrawal of that Dec. 5 suit; refiling
of the suit per all applicable FOIA
guidelines cited by Griffin in his
letter; and agreement that the
Front Royal mayor and all council members attend FOIA training classes offered by the Virginia
FOIA Council.
With council having approved
Town Attorney Tom Robinett’s
actions in filing the suit by a 5-0
vote with Parker abstaining at its
Dec. 15 meeting, pistols at dawn
would seem a more likely outcome than those demands being
met.
The basis of the NVD challenge
of Robinett and the town’s action in the matter is that the Dec.
5 filing reversed earlier council
votes against a similar court filing. While appealing an AG opinion wasn’t a factor, council twice
earlier rejected motions to seek a
judicial appointment of Parker to
head off any potential legal challenges. Griffin accused the town
of conducting illegal telephonic
meetings, acting “surreptitiously”
and behind “a cloak of secrecy” in
violation of FOIA laws designed
to assure transparency and governmental accountability.
At council’s Dec. 15 meeting,
Robinett asserted that his telephone “poll” of council opinions
prior to filing the suit was not
an illegal or secret “meeting”
as it was termed in Griffin’s letter. Robinett also told council
that a rapidly changing legal
and political landscape justified
his Dec. 5 filing of the suit following the telephone polling of
council opinions on the matter.
That fluid landscape included the
Dec. 3 formal AG opinion Parker
was appointed illegally and that
his seat was therefore vacant, as
well as information provided by
an NVD reporter to the town
attorney that a local grass roots
organization, Save Our Shopping
Centers, headed by former county supervisor and Republican
Committee Chair Matt Tederick
planned to petition the court for
a special election to fill Parker’s
seat.
The NVD reporter’s information on Tederick’s planned move
toward a special election, a move
publicly supported at various
points by Councilman Tom Sayre,
10th District Del. Clay Athey, and
the Virginia AG’s office, was the
primary reason Robinett cited as
justification, per town codes, for
an immediate legal response to
the situation of Parker’s council
seat prior to any formal vote of
approval. Robinett added that he
had asked the court clerk to place
a vote on the filing on the next
regular meeting agenda, Dec. 15,
prior to his filing of the suit. That
move, allowing council to rescind
or approve the suit after the fact,
should satisfy any FOIA requirements under all applicable codes,
Robinett believes.
As Robinett told council he believed the FOIA issues cited in
Griffin’s letter had been cleared
up in his Dec. 15 phone conversation with the NVD attorney,
Orcutt began shaking his head
“no” from a press table, leading
the town attorney to ponder the
legal implications of that signal.
Attempts to contact Griffin for
an update on the paper’s intentions in the matter were unsuccessful at press time.
‘FOIA speaks’
However, Virginia FOIA Council representative Maria Everett
was willing to address general issues related to a potential suit as
described in Griffin’s letter.
One of the basic issues in question appears to be whether Robinett’s “phone poll” constituted “a
secret meeting.” Everett said since
a meeting must be comprised of
at least three members, whether
by phone, online or in person, if
the calls were made individually,
as Robinett says they were, at first
glance it does not appear to qualify as a meeting.
Also at issue, she said, was
whether Robinett’s phone survey
of council opinions constituted a
vote on the matter.
“There are specific prohibitions against voting by e-mail or
phone,” she explained.
Robinett says he was polling
council opinions to ascertain
support for the filing, which he
intended to bring before council on Dec. 15 for a formal vote.
As he explained at the Dec. 15
council meeting, he believed that
evening’s vote to continue with
the suit or rescind it would satisfy
FOIA requirements.
Commenting on the controversy, Sayre rolled up his legal
sleeves and observed, “One can
separately contact other members of a governing body and
ascertain their opinion on an issue under section 2.2-3710 (B).
However, one cannot circumvent
FOIA by polling to get their approval and then taking action on
that polling. The issue is whether
Mr. Robinett needed council’s approval (by polling the members)
to act on the court filing.”
As reported elsewhere in this
issue, Robinett contends the imminent threat reported to him
that an outside group planned
to petition the court for a special
election to fill what the Virginia
Attorney General had just ruled
was a now vacant council seat
allowed him to act without tacit
and upfront council “approval.”
Everett also said that should the
FOIA suit proceed it would be
the individual council members
that would be liable, rather than
the town attorney.
Legal brief
Perhaps the only way to conclude this nefarious “succession
crisis scheme” and determine
whether the party of the first part
did, in fact, violate FOIA laws is
for the party of the second part –
I say the party of the second part
– to sue them over it (with a nod
to Foghorn Leghorn, my favorite
political chicken)
However, with a unanimous
council now behind the filing and
hardly anyone without a specific
agenda in mind seeming to give
two hoots about the legal minutiae of how the move to keep what
the court has ruled is a legally
appointed Mr. Parker on council went down – perhaps as one
astute observer of FOIA law and
the public good opined, “It just
sounds like a big pissing contest
to me.”
[email protected]
About 20,000 people read this paper.
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Page 26 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Business
Matthew Swain is a writer focused on business and opportunity. For story considerations/information, contact [email protected]
Putting it All Together: A New Twist on Takeout
Saving time and money with restaurant quality meals to go
steaks and white lightening chili.
Packages range from 6 to 12 dinners, and vary in serving size.
“The entire process is a lot of
fun [for our customers],” adds Kay.
“A lot of our customers have been
with us from the start.” Gourmet
on the Go opened their doors 2
years ago in Creekside Station,
Winchester. Both ladies immediately recognized a trend in their
customer base from the beginning, serving families with multiple children. Now, their current
customers are both families and
working households looking for
Prep stations are stocked and ready for Gourmet on
the Go Customers
ing on at Gourmet on the Go.
Current events include a December Thai food cooking class and
Salvation Army Cereal Drive.
Gourmet on the Go is located
at Creekside Station in Winchester and may be contacted at
http://gourmetonthegova.com/
Gourmet On The Go owners Kay Schroyer and Lisa
Jakobsen pause for moment inside the customer
prep kitchen
By Matthew Swain
Warren County Report
Restaurant owners beware. A
new meal craze is hitting the
Winchester and Front Royal
areas. Lisa Jakobsen and Kay
Schroyer have reinvented the
home cooked meal by providing gourmet, restaurant quality
meals to households across the
region. The twist? You pick your
meal, package it yourself, and
take it home for a fraction of the
cost of going out to eat or taking a
weekly trip to the grocery store.
“People spend too much time
and money when they go to the
grocery store,” admits Jackobsen,
co-owner along with Kay Schroyer of Gourmet on the Go. “Our
meals save time and money, plus
dinner is ready in 15-20 minutes.
Our customers enjoy the social
experience of putting it together.”
She estimates that customers
prepare well over 100 meals every week in the store.
Lisa and Kay are both Warren
County residents with diverse
backgrounds. Lisa, a self-proclaimed “foodie” has been dabbling the food arena for the past 7
years while Kay, a former IT professional, always wanted to own
her own business and has a deep
passion for marketing and food.
Each month, Gourmet on the
Go releases a new menu based
on popularity of entrees and
seasonal availability. Customers
plan their menu by calling ahead,
ordering online or stopping by
the store for a more hands-on
approach. Once all of the entrees
are selected, customers arrive at
the store when scheduled and assemble the food in a “customer
friendly” prep kitchen, measuring out exact amounts for each
meal. Entrees range from teriyaki
chicken and manicotti to sizzling
Owner Lisa prepares ingredients for the next instore meal session
restaurant quality meals at a fraction of the cost.
Schroyer admits that the current economy has played in a
role in how they do business. “In
November and December, we are
offering free assembly. Just call
ahead and we will package the
meals for you. All you have to do
is pick it up, go home, cook it and
store the rest in the freezer.”
Kay continues to reveal that
marketing and advertising are
key, but sometimes difficult. The
Winchester Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Tuesdays on TV3,
and several other networking
events have proven to be successful. “We also have gift baskets
for real estate agents to give their
new home owners. This way they
don’t have to order pizza or worry
about making a full meal on their
first night in their home.”
There is always something go-
or 540-665-1717.
(Matthew Swain is a writer focused on business and opportunity. For story considerations/
information, contact [email protected]
shentel.net)
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 27
“It takes a lot of $20,000’s to add up to $3 million,” McInnis said in response to this reporter’s question about the [historical tax credit] decision (now I’m not a math genius &
I’m using my fingers – and toes – but I calculate about 150 years worth).
Education
Old WCHS renovation bid process to begin Jan. 4
Citing Handley experience, Russ Potts offers to assist fundraising efforts
Architect’s rendering of a inside of the main entrance to a new Warren County Middle School in the old high school building on Luray
Ave. While the existing outside, columned entrance will remain, it will not be the new school’s main entrance.
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
On Dec. 11 the Front Royal
School Board unanimously voted
to proceed into the bid process
on what is expected to be at least
a $25 million construction and
renovation project on the original Warren County High School.
With the Warren County Board
of Supervisors having approved
bond consultant Davenport &
Company’s initial $23 million
funding proposal through BB&T
Bank, the school board is poised
to send Invitations to Bid out on
Jan. 4. If things proceed as scheduled, bids would be received by
mid February with a construction contract awarded by early
March. Projecting that schedule
into the future, the first of two
new middle schools envisioned
as Phase Two of the school system’s 20-Year Capital Improvement Project would be completed in June 2010, opening for the
following fall semester. In addition to providing state-of-the-art
educational facilities, the project
is designed to accommodate 20
years of population growth in the
community.
At a work session preceding the
regular meeting the school board
and public school administrative
staff heard from architects and
engineers contracted to bring
the project design process to the
point of requesting construction
bids. Preserving the architectural
integrity of the core building of
the original, 68-year-old Warren
County High School has been
a focal point of discussion surrounding acquisition of several
million dollars of Historic Tax
Credits from the state. However
the most eye-catching graphics
presented to the school board
on Dec. 11, were of a new main
entrance on the school’s east side
toward Prospect Hill.
Schools Superintendent Pamela
McInnis explained the board has
decided to take the Historic Tax
Credit route despite concerns
over long-term additional energy
costs. McInnis said that while as
much as $20,000 in additional
annual energy costs could be incurred from design constraints
tied to the Historic Tax Credits,
the potential of $2.5 to $3 million in up front tax credits for
construction became the board’s
preferred path.
“It takes a lot of $20,000’s to add
up to $3 million,” McInnis said in
response to this reporter’s question about the decision (now I’m
not a math genius & I’m using my
fingers – and toes – but I calculate about 150 years worth). The
Page 28 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
“These are tumultuous times … the most tumultuous in our lifetimes … The last thing I
want to do is make any outlandish promises – I may save you $100,000, I may save you $2
million.” – Russ Potts on old WCHS renovation fundraising proposal
Education
additional energy costs would be
a result of maintaining the original window designs in the main
building looming over the intersection of Stonewall and Luray
Avenues.
Agreeing to move forward at
this point allow the school board
to proceed with an application
for a $7.5 million state Literary
Loan to cover the balance of costs
over the initial $23-million bankfinanced loan.
Potts’ proposal
Prior to the vote on proceeding to bid on the project, former
27th District State Senator Russ
Potts presented the board with
a fundraising proposal on the
project. Potts, who did not run
for reelection last year, has been
involved in fundraising activities
with a number of regional school
renovation projects, including
Handley High in Winchester and
Martinsburg High in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Potts told the Warren County
School Board his offer was a no
risk one – no savings, no compensation – and that the amount
of compensation he received
based on savings generated was
entirely negotiable.
“These are tumultuous times …
the most tumultuous in our lifetimes,” Potts told the board of the
current economic climate. “The
last thing I want to do is make
any outlandish promises – I may
save you $100,000, I may save you
$2 million.”
While acknowledging the difficult economic climate Potts
Outside of the new main entrance at school’s east side.
observed that challenging times
present both the need and opportunity for additional creative flexibility in fundraising methods.
“It is tougher in this economic
environment to get cash gifts …
but there are contracting firms
Russ Potts discusses fundraising options in a challenging economic climate at the Dec. 11 Warren
County School Board meeting.
that love this community and
this school.” Potts pointedly recommended including “gifts” or
“works in kind” as part of construction bid proposals to assure
that such offers of materials or
work can be considered against
the selected bid’s costs.
Potts pointed to $2.5 million
raised specifically for improvements to the Handley Bowl athletic complex. The packet he
presented to the board also referenced $6.8 million raised for
the general Handley capital improvement campaign and over
$900,000 raised for improvements to Martinsburg High’s athletic fields.
“Through Senator Potts many
experiences as an athletic administrator at nationally known
programs, directing his sports
promotion company and his
years of dedicated service to the
great State of Virginia, he clearly
understands how to navigate the
dreams of his clients into reality,”
Berkeley County Public Schools
Administrator Manny P. Arvon
wrote in recommendation of
Potts’ service to the Martinsburg
High project.
Later during discussion before
the vote on proceeding into the
bid process the board addressed
its bid process timeframe in relation to Potts’ proposal. County
Attorney Blair Mitchell advised
the board that specific language
on gifts and works in kind could
be added to RFP’s after the Invi-
tations to Bid went out on Jan. 4.
Responding to a question on
the process, McInnis told the
board potential bidders on the
construction contract would be
notified “tomorrow” about the
possibility of the gifts and works
in kind being a part of the final
RFP’s.
The board scheduled a work
session on Potts proposal for Jan.
8, at 1 p.m. at the school administrative office.
About 20,000 people read this paper.
An ad this size costs about 38 bucks..
Is your business benefiting from the area’s best
advertising deal?
Let’s talk about it.
540-636-1014
warrencountyreport.com
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 29
Letters to the Editor are welcome but must include the senders name, address and contact information. Please limit your letter to 750 words and
email: [email protected]
Front Royal Rotary president
apologizes
Editor:
As President of the Rotary Club
of Front Royal, I would like to express my most sincere apology
for the comments I made to the
press regarding this Club’s consideration of a recent proposal of
a prospective new member. According to Rotary Club policy,
all new member proposals are
known only to the proposing
member, the Board of Directors, and any committee charged
with reviewing the proposal. I
breached that policy when I discussed the existence of a proposal, as well as the disposition of
that proposal. I had no intention
of causing any harm or ill-will,
nevertheless, the publicizing of
my comments was clearly unflattering to the reputation of the
proposee. I subsequently extended a personal written apology to
that person directly.
On behalf of the Club, I must
also apologize for the apparent
actions of any other member or
members of this Club who must
necessarily have discussed this
membership proposal outside of
the Club in order for this matter
to have come to public attention
at all. The consequence of these
blunders has been an embarrassment to us all. Our members are
anxious to return to the everyday
task of our real mission.
The Rotary Club of Front Royal
takes pride in its 83 years of dedi-
cation to the Front Royal-Warren
County Community. Our members make every effort under the
motto “Service Above Self,” to
enhance our community by organizing new service projects and
by continuing to support dozens
of existing projects. Our influences are recognized through
Opinion
programs such as those that
benefit our local youth through
scholarships, college loans, ethics workshops, and international
exchange programs, as well as
through our projects to benefit
the local Red Cross, Salvation
Irina’s Boutique
Army, 4-H, and scouting organizations. In the world community, Rotary is the recognized
leader in the eradication of Polio,
in countless humanitarian health,
clean water, education, and disaster relief programs, as well as in
Del. Clifford L. “Clay” Athey, Jr.
18th District House of Delegates
Serving Fauquier, Frederick, and Warren County
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Stacey & I thank you for the opportunity to serve.
If I can be of any help, please contact me at (540) 635-7917,
in Richmond at: (804) 698-1018,
by E-Mail at:[email protected],
or by mail at:
PO Box 406, Room 510
Richmond, VA 23218
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Page 30 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Opinion
Letters to the Editor are welcome but must include the senders name, address and contact information. Please limit your letter to 750 words and
email: [email protected]
Sometimes the truly rewarding
things in life are free.
the general promotion of world
peace and understanding. As
our projects gain further support
from local business and industry leaders and from the general
public, an enormous impact is
realized. The Front Royal-Warren County community is a better place because of the presence
of the Rotary Club and because
of our mission to place service to
our community above our self interests.
In True Sincerity,
Glenn B. Murphy
President
The Rotary Club of Front Royal
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Town Manager thanks supporters
Editor:
I want to take this opportunity
to thank everyone who has voiced
their support of me the last few
days. Your visits and phone calls
have made me understand and
realize why I accepted the job of
Town Manager. Front Royal has
a wonderful Quality of Life and
I will continue to do my best in
providing the Town of Front
Royal customer service, utility
service, low taxes, tourism, recreation, etc. I intend to continue
that focus with the help of Town
Council, Staff and the Citizens
of Front Royal. Hard economic
times are upon us but I believe if
we work together we will make it
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 31
Letters to the Editor are welcome but must include the senders name, address and contact information. Please limit your letter to 750 words and
email: [email protected]
through.
J. Michael Graham
Front Royal Town Manager
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
Obenshain addresses Governor’s budget
Editor:
Gov. Tim Kaine has issued a
revised budget addressing the
serious budget shortfall for the
current biennium. In this period
of economic downturn, the Governor and those of us in the General Assembly face hard choices,
and I commend the governor
for his proposals to reduce expenditures. I remain concerned,
however, that this latest round of
cuts may be insufficient, and I am
disappointed to see that the Governor has reneged on his promise to balance the budget without
raising taxes. Perhaps even more
troubling is the Governor’s reliance on bond issues, “saving”
$350 million this biennium by
passing along even greater debt
to another year and the next gubernatorial administration.
When faced with a revenue
shortfall, increasing the tax burden has a certain allure in its
seeming simplicity. The reality,
however, is that tax hikes penalize economic activity and place
recovery itself in jeopardy, and
funds raised by taking on new
debts are not “savings.” To raise
taxes and go further into debt is
to compound folly; it is an extension of the mistaken policies that
led us to this point.
Make no mistake: through new
bond issues, deferred payment of
principle on existing bonds, and
the shifting of payments to nongeneral fund sources, the Governor seeks to pass the bill on to
another biennium and another
governor rather than doing what
it takes to solve the problem. Accounting tricks and new debt obligations can only deepen the crisis. We need to rein in spending,
not hide it, and a government
concerned about the Commonwealth’s bond rating and invested
in economic recovery cannot afford to engage in a high-dollar
version of balancing the budget
by putting everything on a charge
card.
Declining revenues were inevitable in a recession that knows
no political boundaries, but the
scope of Virginia ’s shortfall is
directly attributable to unrealistically high revenue projections and
a budget that increased spending
in the face of unmistakable signs
of economic decline. Even now,
the Governor’s latest proposal
relies on a presumption of 4%
growth in the upcoming fiscal
year, and his revenue projections
are based upon a constant unemployment rate – even though the
governor’s own budget office expects the rate of unemployment
to climb.
We cannot afford to close the
gap incrementally, going back to
find more savings each time revenues fail to meet projections, nor
can we content ourselves to find
“efficiencies.” The situation we
now face demands a thorough,
top-to-bottom review of the entire budget. We should always
seek to eliminate inefficiencies,
but that is not enough. Any viable, long-term solution requires
an assessment of the Commonwealth’s priorities and a review of
the best, most cost-effective ways
to achieve them – an analysis
based not on existing programs,
but on desired outcomes.
In addition to $167 million in
tax increases and $350 million
in bonded debt, the Governor
seeks permission to tap $490 million from the Commonwealth’s
Rainy Day Fund. We owe it to the
taxpayers of Virginia to ensure
that they need not continue to
pay for a storm of our own making. To the extent that the Governor’s Department of Planning
and Budget has identified hundreds of millions in unnecessary
administrative costs, I applaud
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Page 32 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Letters to the Editor are welcome but must include the senders name, address and contact information. Please limit your letter to 750 words and
email: [email protected]
Opinion
this progress, but am disheartened that wasteful spending was
deemed appropriate, or at least
unimportant, until we faced a fiscal crisis.
The budget proposal released by
the Governor today is a start, but
much work remains to be done.
We cannot rely, as this proposal
does, on unsubstantiated hopes
of better days ahead, nor can we
afford to delay the deepest cuts
until 2010. Such tactics will only
exacerbate the problem and necessitate more drastic cuts in the
future. In times such as these, we
cannot further burden Virginia ’s
taxpayers – and we cannot push
the hardest decisions down the
road.
The time has come to restore
the fiscal integrity of that Commonwealth. The decisions that lie
ahead will require careful discretion, and the decisions we must
make may at times be unpleasant,
but I look forward to working
with both Republicans and Democrats to adopt budget amendments that are both responsible
and taxpayer-friendly.
America will soon owe more
than its citizens are worth
$56.4 Trillion in debts prior to
recent bailouts, market declines
compared to $56.5 Trillion net
worth
Editor:
The sum of America’s debts and
other financial commitments is
about to exceed the collective
net worth of its citizens, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation has
calculated using the latest official
data. Growth in the government’s
unfunded promises for social insurance programs such as Medicare, combined with a drop in
Americans’ net worth due mainly
to lower home equity values, is
causing this unprecedented shift.
The Foundation’s calculations
are based on the new consolidated federal financial statements as
of September 30, 2008 and do not
reflect the additional toll taken
by more recent market declines,
bailout packages, and record
October and November deficits.
The statements show an estimated $56.4 trillion in debts, liabilities, and promises for Medicare
and Social Security versus a total household net worth of $56.5
trillion.“
Given more recent developments, it’s clear that America
now owes more than its citizens
are worth,” said Foundation President and CEO David M. Walker.
“Passing this shocking milestone
highlights the need for Presidentelect Obama and the next Congress not only to turn the economy around and boost consumer
confidence, but to put a process
in place that will lead to tough
choices getting made to strengthen the government’s financial
condition once the economy begins growing again.”
Since its launch in July 2008,
the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
has invested nearly $11 million in
grants to raise awareness of, and
seek solutions to the fiscal challenges posed by the rising costs
of health care and retirement
and near-zero household savings
rate. Among the latest are grants
to Emory University and the Institute of Medicine to examine
health care costs and outcomes;
grants to promote pubic awareness and discussion of growing
obligations for Social Security
and Medicare; and a grant to
fund development of a set of key
outcome-based indicators that
will help the government and the
public assess where we stand and
how we compare to other industrialized nations on a range of
economic and other issues.
About the Peter G. Peterson
Foundation:
Founded by the senior chairman
of The Blackstone Group with a
personal commitment of at least
$1 billion, the Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of
key fiscal challenges threatening
America ‘s future, and to accelerating action on them. To address
these challenges successfully, we
work to bring Americans together to find sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party
lines and ideological divides in
order to achieve real results.
Wolf sends 5th letter since June
to State Department seeking
resolution of issue involving
content of textbooks at Islamic
Saudi academies in Northern
Virginia
The Hon. Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
2201 C St NW Ste 7276
Washington DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice:
I am deeply disappointed that
as your time at the State Department draws to a close you have
failed to take any action regarding
concerns about the content of the
textbooks being used at the Virginia campus of the Islamic Saudi
Academy (ISA). This is my fifth
letter since June to the Department on this particular issue.
You have often spoken with
great eloquence about the importance of combating “ideologies
of hatred.” It is well known that
Saudi Arabia promotes the radical Wahhabi interpretation of Islam within its own borders and
in schools and madrassas around
the world. A 2006 Congressional
Research Service Report had the
following to say about Saudi edu-
cational material: “Some reports
suggest that teachings within
Saudi domestic schools may foster intolerance of other religions
and cultures. A 2002 study by
the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) indicates that ‘some Saudi textbooks
taught Islamic tolerance while
others viciously condemned Jews
and Christians...[and] use rhetoric that was little more than hate
literature.’”
Further, the bipartisan U.S.
Commission on International
Religious Freedom has noted
that “ISA is unlike any conventional private or parochial school
in the United States in that it is
operated by a foreign government and uses that government’s
official texts.” Given widely held
concerns about Saudi education
material, given the school’s direct
affiliation with the Saudi government and given its location just
miles from our nation’s capital,
continued inaction is nothing
short of a moral failure on the
part of the State Department.
I urge you once again, as the
first semester of the 2008 school
year comes to an end, to convene a meeting of relevant State
Department and USCIRF representatives--including the expert
analysts commissioned by USCIRF to translate and interpret
the ISA textbooks as well as any
See Opinion, 33
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Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 33
Perhaps this sobering news about BRS and the state economy will stimulate an immediate attitude adjustment among some municipal players to step up efforts to reach a mutually beneficial
compromise on Route 522 Corridor water bills and PILOT fees – before its too late.
Shadows of gloom
Blue Ridge Shadows files for re-organizational bankruptcy
Are the economic dominoes beginning to topple in Warren County?
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
The corporation that envisioned
a high-end, northside community surrounding a PGA tour
qualified golf course adjacent to
a hotel-conference center/restaurant complex has filed for financial protection under Chapter 11
Bankruptcy.
Blue Ridge Shadows LLC and
its hotel and conference center
arm, both filed for the bankruptcy
court protection on Dec. 1. The
Houlihan’s Restaurant that also
anchors the adjacent Holiday Inn
Express food and beverage and
catering business is not included
in the filing.
The bank holding the note on
the complex, Summit Community Bank, has filed to block BRS
from utilizing cash assets, claiming a debt - $17.5 million - it says
exceeds the current fair market
value of the property (maybe
Summit should chill out and go
get a TARP loan).
All aspects of the BRS operation
are currently planning to remain
open as the company attempts to
deal with its fiscal shortfalls in
what has been termed the worst
national economic crisis since the
Great Depression of 1929. BRS is
seeking court authorization to
guarantee its staff payroll during
the bankruptcy reorganization
process.
Existing and anticipated income from new northside corridor businesses are a huge part
of the economic foundation upon
which much of Warren County’s
existing and planned capital improvements projects are based.
The county faces decades of bond
payments for recent construction
Opinion, from 32
more critical to vehicle owners
motor vehicle serviced, repaired
and operating safely. Now it appears that this situation is going
to become worse. Without the
Right to Repair Act, millions of
motorists may be forced back to
fewer dealers for service, making
convenient and affordable local
auto repair a thing of the past.
In addition, many motorists may
forgo important vehicle repairs
due to the added costs of fuel
and travel time because there is
no dealership in the area.
The Right to Repair Act was introduced in Congress to protect
vehicle owners by making it illegal for manufacturers to withhold safety alerts and repair information from car owners and
their trusted repair shops.
Please visit www.righttorepair.
org to send a letter to each of
analysts commissioned by the
State Department to translate
and interpret the textbooks that
the department has received--to
conclusively determine what is
being taught at the school. As I
noted in my last letter, if ISA is
in the process of adopting new
curricula, as State’s response indicated, then this review would
have the effect of determining
once and for all whether there
is any merit in these persistent
concerns and if so what must be
done about it.
Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress
U.S. car dealership closings in
2009 make Right to Repair Act
Editor:
Reuters reports that the number of U.S. car dealerships closing is expected to increase into
2009, with as many as 3,800 dealerships at risk of closure because
of dwindling sales and tighter
credit, according to a newly released study by Grant Thornton
LLP.
With so many car dealerships
in America projected to close
next year, the need for the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) is even more
critical to car owners than ever
before.
The fact is that there already
aren’t enough dealerships in all
the right places to keep every
projects, including Warren County and Skyline High Schools, and
the Bing Crosby renovations. The
county and school board are also
in the midst of plans to add renovations to old WCHS into the financial mix.
The annual bond payment on
the two high school/Bing project is around $5 million annually
on an $89 million total. The old
WCHS project is forecast to have
an annual payment of around
$1.5 million on an estimated $30
million total. A detailed report
from the governor’s office was expected this week on the impacts
of state budget shortfalls on all
departments, including education, for the remainder of this fiscal year and the 2010 fiscal year.
The news is expected to be sobering.
“Save Our Shopping Centers” organizer Matt Tederick
broached the rumor of other
pending northside business failures at the Dec. 15 Front Royal
Town Council meeting.
Perhaps the sobering news
about BRS and the state economy
will stimulate an immediate attitude adjustment among some
municipal players to step up efforts to reach a mutually beneficial compromise on Route 522
Corridor water bills and PILOT
fees – before its too late.
your congressional representatives, urging them to support the
Right to Repair Act by adding
their names to the growing list
of co-sponsors.
Aaron Lowe
Vice President, Government Affairs
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
7101 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1300
Bethesda, MD 20814-3415
Phone: 301-654-6664
[Letters to the Editor are welcome but must include the senders name, address and contact
information. Please limit your
letter to 750 words and email:
[email protected]
com]
Page 34 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Literature
“The establishment of the totalitarian state in Europe under Hitler and Stalin and its consequences were
defining aspects of the 20th Century. Recent events are likely to have an equally profound effect on our
century. We feel that the significant parallels make it particularly relevant to share our parents’ accounts of
their unique experiences now.” – Sigrid ‘Siggi’ Hepp-Dax
BOOK REVIEW: In Love And War
The Dilemma of an American Girl and a German Diplomat
AUTHORS: FRANCES FULENWIDER HEPP AND ERNST
HEPP (In Their Own Words)
EDITORS: HELEN AND GARY
CHRISTY
Courageous is the word that
comes to mind when reading
this book. This is the story of a
beautiful American model and
a German foreign correspondent who, after meeting at an
informal cocktail party in 1937,
fall in love and marry with the
hopes and dreams of most newlyweds. However, these dreams
became threatened by the advent
of World War II. Ernst Hepp felt
compelled to return to his homeland with visions of enabling a
compromised peace. Ignoring
objections from her parents and
friends, Frances followed shortly
thereafter to support him and to
maintain a family atmosphere as
much as possible. In that lies the
quandary, which brought these
two hopeful young people both
moral and emotional challenges.
They were soon immersed in an
atmosphere filled with atrocities,
fear and unrelenting evil.
A portion of a statement made
by Ted Hepp (their son) truly
summarizes the depth and worth
of this book:
“The establishment of the totalitarian state in Europe under Hitler and Stalin and its consequences were defining aspects of the
20th Century. Recent events are
likely to have an equally profound
effect on our century. We feel that
the significant parallels make it
particularly relevant to share our
parents’ accounts of their unique
experiences now.”
Seventy-one years ago Frances
and Ernst Hepp wondered if they
would ever see peace in this world.
Today, nearing the end of the first
decade of a new century do we
not have the same concern? In
reading this book, you may find
that in some respects we have
not come very far from that period in time. However, the Hepps
believed, as should we, that there
is always hope that someday our
children will not have to ask that
question.
But if collectively we refuse to
learn from the mistakes of the
past and recognize the familiarity
of the justifications cited for those
mistakes, can that hope of a better world for coming generations
ever be realized? This book is one
family’s effort across generations
to help realize that dream of a
better future.
(Sheila Lamonzs, Reviewer. This
book has been donated by Front
Royal Women’s Resource Center and Royal Oak Bookshop to
Samuels Public Library. IN LOVE
AND WAR is available for checkout there or purchase at Royal
Oak Bookstore.)
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Literature
To advertise call 540-636-1014 • warrencountyreport.com
BOOK REVIEW: Swedish Christmas Crafts
Written by Helene S. Lundberg, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2008
I hope that Samuels Library accepted this book as a gift. I shudder to think that library funds
were spent to purchase it. The
book is beautiful, with superb
color illustrations and excellent
pattern pages, but it leaves a great
deal to be desired as a guide to a
Swedish Christmas.
The proposed projects are a
little strange for Christmas. Perhaps the heart is the prevailing
motif for Christmas in Sweden—
Lundberg gives us nine heart
projects out of 35 in the book.
She also gives us a scrapbook
project, which is rather a waste of
paper and space since there are so
many excellent scrapbook books
and magazines available on every
magazine rack and in every craft
store.
She gives a Christmas cracker
paper project twice—the same
project. She also provides two
decorative cone projects, one of
paper, one of fabric, which are
otherwise identical. Use of star
motifs is fairly evenly divided
between the conventional fivepointed star and the Star of David. As a purist, I consider the
Star of David specific to Chanukkah, rather than as an alternative
to the Christmas star.
Unfortunately, the very thing
which I have always associated
with Swedish Christmas celebrations—the St. Lucia crown and
St. Lucia bread-- are completely
ignored. She does show a St.
Lucia bread, but never gives a
recipe! The St. Lucia crown she
shows is an ugly lump of twisted
bread, holding candles. The St.
Lucia crown I know is a wreath
of greenery with candles, to be
worn by a maiden. Yes, I know,
Mom, you need to stand right
there with a fire extinguisher, but
it is a beautiful sight.
There are two other candle
projects. One uses apples for candle-holders, and the other puts
the candles on the tree. I would
ask Chief Mabie to comment on
those, but then again, maybe not.
Some projects are so trivial as
to insult the intelligence. Tying a
piece of fabric over the top of an
empty tin can to use as a container for a hostess gift is, well, tacky,
with or without a heart added to
it. It’s no less tacky if you paint
the can white first. Hanging yardsale adhesive dots on thread for
window decorations is another
– fine for six-year olds, but some-
how unsuitable here.
I am a fairly experienced crafter,
and although the book claims to
be for crafters of every level, she
leaves some serious gaps in her
instructions. She keeps referring
to “a press,” and the only kinds I
know about are for grapes and olives. She also mentions “elephant
wire” at one point. I have wired
clocks, lamps, sewing machines
and tomato cages, but never an
elephant.
When I was younger, my parents had a beautiful straw angel
from Sweden, very plain, and exquisitely simple. I was hoping for
at least one angel in the book, but
my hopes were dashed.
Nonetheless, it is a beautiful
book.
(review by Marilyn Lott)
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Page 36 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Literature
In Love and War is the story of how the marriage between a German journalist and an American fashion
model managed to survive national hatred on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the lessons of the book is
that propaganda works. “If you repeat lies enough,” Siggi observes, “people often believe them.”
Interview with Sigrid Hepp-Dax
One family’s journey from war to a historical memoir of war
By Christine Andreae
Warren County Report
in their parents’ World War II
story that are relevant to today’s
world conflicts. In Love and War
For Sigrid Hepp-Dax – or is the story of how the marriage
“Siggi” as her friends call her between a German journalist and
– publishing her parents’ memoir an American fashion model manwas more than a labor of daugh- aged to survive national hatred
terly love. Although she and her on both sides of the Atlantic. One
brother wanted to preserve fam- of the lessons of the book is that
ily history, at the same time they propaganda works. “If you rerealized that there were lessons peat lies enough,” Siggi observes,
“people often believe them.”
“My father knew that to fight a
war, people need to learn to hate,”
Siggi says. “He wanted to write
about the complexities of war,
to present a more balanced perspective about Roosevelt, about
Hitler, about Pearl Harbor. Ever
since I was a child, people were
urging him to tell his story.” Ernest Hepp began writing in 1975,
three years before his death. He
was an intellectual. His focus
was historical and political and
he chose to write about himself
in the third person, as in: “Hepp
decided to stay in Germany.” In
order to make his account more
immediate the editors substituted
the first person, as in “I decided
to stay in Germany.”
To balance his analytical view
with a more intimate take, Siggi
encouraged her mother Frances
to write her own memoir. “She
was resistant,” Siggi remembers.
“It was a painful process for her.
She got through the war by making sure she was always positive.
A lot of the bad things that happened got shoveled under.” Nonetheless, Frances Hepp obliged her
daughter with a written account.
When Siggi read it, she found it
disappointingly bare bones, but
she did not give up. In conversations over a period of many years,
she managed to excavate from
her mother’s memory the details
of her personal life and to splice
in the details. The editors created
a love story-cum-history lesson
that is narrated in both parents’
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voices.
The next hurdle was finding a
publisher for the book. Though
the story is compelling reading,
commercial publishers rejected
it. “They wanted books about
the Middle East, memoirs written by Muslim women,” Siggi recalls. “Germany and World War
II were not of primary interest
to them.” As it happened, at her
mother’s funeral in Denver, the
minister asked Siggi about her
mother’s manuscript and suggested she contact a local independent small publisher. In 2007,
Prairee Publishing printed 600
copies for family and friends. The
book is available in Front Royal at
Royal Oak Bookshop and on line
at [email protected]
or for checkout at Samuels Public Library. It can also be ordered
at www.inloveandwarbook.com,
where additional information
concerning the story can be
found. Reader response has been very
positive. Siggi comments, “One
of my concerns was that there
is a lot of repetition – first my
father tells what happens, then
my mother talks about the same
events. But people say that it’s
interesting to read two points of
view.” She adds happily, “They say
it reads like an adventure story.”
Siggi’s own life has been an adventure. As a small child, she spent
the war in Germany. When life
under Hitler became intolerable,
her family escaped to Sweden.
After the war, her father returned
to Germany to be cleared of war
crimes, while Siggi, her mother,
and her younger brother Ted returned to America. Three years
later, the family was reunited and
immigrated to Chile. “Fortunately I was good at languages,” Siggi
says with humor. “But I was very
introverted. I had a hard time socially. It would take me two years
to make a friend and then we’d
move!”
Inspired by a book in her father’s
library on handwriting as a tool
for character analysis, she became interested in psychology.
After obtaining a master’s degree
from New School in New York
City, she trained as a school psychologist at Catholic University,
in Washington, D.C. and commuted to Stephens City, Virginia, to work with emotionally or
learning disabled school children
as well as those who were physically handicapped. She married
an economist with the World
Bank and spent three years with
him in India before their marriage dissolved. After India, she
spent sixteen years working with
school children in Brooklyn, New
York. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on forgiveness and received her Ph.D. from Fordham
University. In 1997, she retired
and moved to Warren County
where she divides her time between her church, Self Realization Fellowship, and House of
Hope, a homeless men’s shelter
where she volunteers her skill as
a psychologist.
New Beginnings Community Greetings
“Introducing Your Business to
New Homeowners in our Community”
***
P.O. Box 1025
Front Royal, VA 22630
540 635-8660
Late December, 2008 • Warren County Report • Page 37
Please e-mail brief calendar notices in this format to:
[email protected]
Main Street Melodies
Sat, December 20
3 pm – 7 pm
Enjoy the sounds of DJ Mike at the
Gazebo located in Downtown Front
Royal. For more info: 631-4314 or
[email protected]
Folk Dance Troupe
Every Thursday in December
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Visitor’s Center, Front Royal
All performances are in costume.
Dances are Norwegian, Swedish,
Danish, English, German, Austrian,
Finnish, Icelantic, French, Scotish,
Irish and Early Colonial American.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 20
1:30 pm & 4:30 pm
By Barbara Robinson. Sponsored by
Nicolle’s Jewelry Designs. Five Rings
Very Little Theatre, 620 Virginia Avenue
(636-2787) www.fiveringstheatre.com
presents quality plays performed by
adults for children. All tickets are $5.
Sundae with Santa
Sat, December 20
5 pm – 7 pm
WC Parks & Rec Youth Center
American Legion Community Band
Christmas Concert
Friday, Dec 19, 2008
7:30 pm
Children of all ages can enjoy “Sundae
with Santa” in the RES Youth Center
located on 8th Street. The cost is
$5.00 per child, which includes a
picture. Limit to 50 Children. Please
call the Parks/Recreation office for
more information (540)635-7750.
Boggs Chapel at R-MA, Front Royal,
Va. Free Admission. Love Offering Will
Be Collected for Local Charities.
www.alcband.org
Christmas Concert
at Randolph Macon Academy
December 21
1:30 pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT
Fri, December 19
6 pm – 9 pm
Warren County High School
Luray Avenue
Melton Memorial gymnasium. Free
admission. More info: 800-272-1172
www.rma.edu
Are you ready for a night out or have
some last minute holiday shopping
to do? Drop your kids off at the Old
Warren County High School Gym for a
night of fun, games and crafts. A light
snack will be provided. For ages 5 12years old. Must pre-register at least
a week in advance. Cost: $15.00/child.
Limit of (40) children.
Living Nativity
Sun, December 21
3 pm – 5 pm
Visitors Center
Front Royal
Living Nativity presented by Buckton
Presbyterian Church will be held
at the Gazebo area. Sponsored by
Downtown Front Royal, Inc.
Holiday publication schedule
Warren County Report will publish its next issue Thursday, January 1.
This issue will contain the Top Stories of 2008 pull-out tab.
The deadline for advertising in the January 1 issue
and the special Top Stories of 2008 tab is 5 pm Friday, December 26.
For more information, please contact:
Dan McDermott • 540-636-1014 • [email protected]
If you would like a salesperson to call on you, please contact:
Leanne Bryant • 540-305-6347 • [email protected]
or visit our sales office in the Middle of Main Building on Jackson St.
Hours: Monday - Friday 11am - 1pm or by appointment
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 22: 2:30pm
By Barbara Robinson. Sponsored by
Nicolle’s Jewelry Designs. Five Rings
Very Little Theatre, 620 Virginia Avenue
(636-2787) www.fiveringstheatre.com
presents quality plays performed by
adults for children. All tickets are $5.
Christmas Eve
Wednesday, Dec 24
The Town Business Offices will
be closed today in observance of
Christmas Eve. Refuse & Recyling
pick-up will be Friday, December 26,
2008.Tuesday, December 23.
Basketball Skills Challenge
Sat, January 3, 2009
9 am – 1:20 pm
Warren County High School
Luray Avenue, Front Royal
The Warren County Parks/Recreation
will sponsor the Basketball Skills
Challenge in part with the Jr NBA / Jr
WNBA in the old Warren County High
School Gym. This event is for boys/
girls 7-14 years old as of May 16,
2009. Registration begins at 9:00am
with competition beginning at 9:30am.
More information: (540)635-7750.
Live Nativity Scene
Sun, January 4, 2009
4 pm – 6 pm
Visitors Center in Front Royal
A live nativity scene will be sponsored
by the Knights of Columbus today
at the Gazebo located near the
Visitors Center. Hot chocolate will be
provided.
Bluegrass Party
Fri, January 9, 2009
7 pm – 10 pm
Browntown Community Center
Everyone is invited to Browntown’s
Activities & events
Bluegrass Pickin’ Party held at
Browntown
Community
Center
in Browntown, Virginia. You will
hear gospel and old time music by
acoustic instruments only. All levels of
musicians welcome. Food/Drinks are
available for sale. More Information:
(540)636-3588.
Dinner & Performance
Sat, January 10, 2009
5 pm – 8 pm
Elks Lodge in Front Royal
The Blue Ridge Education Center is
hosting a “Mid-Eastern Dinner and
Dance Performance” with a silent
auction. Tickets are $30.00/adults and
$5.00/children 12 and under.
Town Council Meeting
Mon, January 12, 2009
7 pm – 8 pm
Warren County Government Center
Board of Architectural Review
Tue, January 13, 2009
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Front Royal Town Hall
The meeting is held in the upstairs
Conference Room.
Bluegrass Jam Session
Fri, Jan 16, 2009
Front Royal Vol. Fire and Rescue
The Front Royal Volunteer Fire and
Rescue Department will be presenting
the first of 11 Bluegrass Jam Sessions
at the fire station at 221 North
Commerce Avenue in Front Royal.
These jam sessions will be ACOUSTIC
INSTRUMENTS ONLY and held on the
third Friday of each month from Jan.
to Dec. except May. We encourage
all musicians, regardless of age or
experience to attend. There will be
food and drinks sold separately to help
raise money. There is NO ADMISSION
CHARGE. Donations are greatly
appreciated and will accepted during
these events. All proceeds will benefit
Here is a listing of events for December in the Children’s and Youth Services
Department of Samuels Public Library:
• Saturday, December 20 – 10:00 Books and Barks. Relax and read with the
Books and Barks therapy
dogs. Sign up has begun. 2:00 Christmas Puppet Show. In “Santa’s Workshop,” three little pigs entertain themselves while
their parents are working in Santa’s workshop. This presentation by the Blue
Sky Puppet Theatre will have the whole family laughing and singing along.
• Saturday, December 27 – 2:00 Teen Creative Writing Club. For ages 12 and
up. Sign up has begun.
The Front Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Department to help support the daily
operations. These events will be
held in a non smoking environment,
however, designated places will be
provided for those who wish to smoke.
This event is open to all age groups
and all welcome to attend. For more
information please contact Patrick
Harvey or Phillip Charles at the Front
Royal Fire and Rescue Department at
540-635-2540.
Board of Zoning Appeals
Mon, January 19, 2009
7 pm – 8 pm
Warren County Government Center
Planning Commission Meeting
Wed, January 21, 2009
7 pm – 8 pm
Warren County Government Center
Bridal Showcase
If weddings are a part of your business, then your business needs to be
a part of the 2009 I Do Bridal Showcase. The showcase will be held at
Bowling Green Country Club. Spaces
are available at all levels. Contact
Heather to reserve your space today
at 635-3185 or [email protected]
Notices:
Girl Scout Troop 489 is once
again collecting gently used
coats. Adult and children coats
can be dropped off at Samuels
Public Library or the new Front
Royal Walmart. Coats will be
donated to social services to
be passed out to families in our
community.
Salvation Army: Seeking holiday volunteers for our Christmas effort. We are making a
plea for immediate donations
of cash and nonperishable food
items for the food drive, as well
as volunteers to fill Christmas
stockings and individuals and
groups to man out Christmas
Kettles. Please call our office at
540-635-4042 between 9:30am
and 3:30pm, Mon-Thur.
Page 38 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce
NEW & IMPROVED CHAMBER
SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM UNVEILED
Sponsorship has its privileges! Your
Chamber has unveiled new and
improved sponsorship package designed with our members’ needs in
mind. Sponsorship opportunities
are available for all members, small
to large. Representatives from the
Chamber Board will be contacting
members to discuss these new offerings. If you would like to be one of the
first on the list, contact the Chamber
at 635-3185 or [email protected] Sponsorships are offered
on a first-come, first-serve basis.
BRIDAL SHOWCASE
If weddings are a part of your business, then your business needs to be
a part of the 2009 I Do Bridal Showcase. The showcase will be held
on Sunday, February 8th at Bowling
Green Country Club. Spaces are
available at all levels. Contact the
Chamber to reserve your space today at 635-3185 or [email protected]
REALITY STORE VOLUNTEERS
NEEDED
The Chamber’s Education Committee is coordinating the “Reality Store”
for all sophomores at Warren County
and Skyline High Schools. The Reality Store will take place at Skyline
High School on Wednesday, February 11th and Warren County High
School on Thursday, February 12th
from noon until 2:30 p.m. on both
days. The Reality Store provides
students with a look at life after high
school and helps teach a valuable
lesson on the importance of further
education. Volunteers are needed
for both days. Contact the Chamber
at 635-3185 or [email protected] to volunteer or for more information.
VALLEY SMOKIN BBQ FESTIVAL
The Chamber is pleased to announce that the “Valley Smokin BBQ
Festival” has been sanctioned by
the Kansas City BBQ Society. The
BBQ Festival will be held on October
2 & 3, 2009. This event promises to
bring teams from all over the country
to compete for the title of best BBQ!
If you are interested in serving on the
BBQ Festival committee, competing
in the event, or being a crafter at the
event – contact Pam Riffle at [email protected]
frontroyalchamber.com or 635-3185.
MEMBER NEWS
Adopt a Grandma or Grandpa and
make a difference this holiday season! For only $10 your donation will
give a Grandma or Grandpa a gift
of a hand cream or shaving cream
wrapped beautifully with a holiday hand towel and tag saying “To:
Someone Special From: Someone
who cares”. These are residents of
local nursing homes. Please contact
Diane Pingley, Mary Kay Cosmetics
for your donations at 540-636-2392
or 540-974-5116. Deadline is December 16th.
Shop Downtown Front Royal and visit
with Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus this Saturday, December 20th from 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m. at Jack Evans Chevrolet
& Cadillac, 125 South Royal Avenue,
635-2153. Complementary apple cider and cookies will be served. Bring
your child/children and camera to
capture the moment.
D&B Chocolates has Teacher and
Secret Santa Gifts for $15.00 and
under.
North Warren Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department will have their pancake breakfast Saturday, December
20th from 7-11 AM with SANTA.
Affordable Art- Everything $200 and
Under at the Blue Ridge Arts Council.
Give the gift of original art this holiday
season! Artists Jean Beckman, Terri
Nicholson, Jane Kane, Jackie Catterton, Ann Harrison, Kelly Walker, Kim
Lee, Richard Dimon, Michelle Luttrell, Teresa Henry and Melissa Yoder
Ricks works are in our gallery at 305
East Main Street, Front Royal. Exhibit runs through January 9, 2009.
Here is a listing of events for December in the Children’s and Youth
Services Department of Samuels
Public Library: Saturday, December
20 – 10:00 Books and Barks. Relax
and read with the Books and Barks
therapy dogs. Sign up begins November 8. 2:00 Christmas Puppet
Show. In “Santa’s Workshop,” three
little pigs entertain themselves while
their parents are working in Santa’s
workshop. This presentation by the
Blue Sky Puppet Theatre will have
the whole family laughing and singing along. Saturday, December 27
– 2:00 Teen Creative Writing Club.
For ages 12 and up.
American Legion Community Band
Christmas Concert is scheduled for
Friday, December 19, 2008 at 7:30
pm at Boggs Chapel, Randolph Macon Academy, Front Royal. Admission is free, love offering will be collected for local charities.
Listhus Gallery- Saturday and Sunday December 20 and 21 - Last
minute specials on everything in the
gallery! Look for Christmas ornaments and prints to be 30 to 40% off.
Limited supplies on hand. Come in
for some Christmas cheer and all the
free eye candy you can handle! Hot
apple cider and lefsa will be served.
AAMCO TRANSMISSIONS is offering SPECIAL DISCOUNTS (10%
OFF) to Chamber of Commerce
members for complete care car services until end of this year (Dec. 31,
2008). Just print and show this letter
upon arrival. If you have any questions about all of your car service or
repair needs please feel free to call
and ask for Allyson. Valid only at 190
N. Commerce Ave. Front Royal, VA
22630, 540) 636-4193.
What? Front Royal/Warren County
Relay for Life Kick-Off Party When?
January 10, 2009 6:30PM- 8:00PM
Where? North Warren Fire Hall, 89
Rockland Rd., Front Royal, VA Who?
Team Captains, Team members,
anyone interested in starting a team,
corporate sponsors....everyone is
invited! Why? Get information on
the 2009 Relay for Life event, register your team, learn how to start a
team, get fundraising ideas or learn
how you can be a corporate sponsor!
There will be games and door prizes!
Wear purple and bring a friend! Visit
our new website at www.FRWCRelay.org
The Blue Ridge Educational Center
will hold a Mid Eastern Dinner and
Dance Performance on Saturday,
January 10, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the
Elks Lodge on Guard Hill Road. Purchase your tickets early! Last year’s
show sold out!! RSVP by January
3rd at 631-9503.
The Blue Ridge Hospice announces
the following workshops: Drop-In
Grief Support Group, 3rd Saturday of
each month, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at
Blue Ridge Hospice Residential Center Family Room; January 8th, Safe
Passages Support Series, every
Thursday for 8 weeks, 2 p.m. – 3:30
p.m. 13 West 2nd Street. For more
information or to register call 540536-5210 800-238-5678.
Your local American Red Cross offers
First Aid, CPR and AED training that
is important for your employees and
for emergency preparedness. Our
program meets OSHA guidelines and
can be presented at your location or
at our office. Cost is $50 per person
and includes all materials. Please
contact the Front Royal office at 6352333 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a class.
Ruthie Miller, Agent/Financial Planner
– New York Life Insurance would like
to offer all chamber members along
with their family and friends a FREE
financial review and needs analysis
assistance on how to obtain those
short and long term goals. Maybe
someone wants to go on a vacation, pay for kids college, buy a boat
or plan for retirement. As a financial
planner I will show you how to do this
in times like these and I will show you
how to do this on a taxes free basis.
I am so excited about this and it has
already helped out so many of my
exiting clients. For more information
call 703-402-4806 Cell or 540-6363945.
The Warren Coalition is pleased to
announce the winner of the $1000
Exxon Gas Card Raffle. Mike Moore
got a call from his wife letting him
know the good news. By the time he
arrived at the Coalition office to pick
up his $1000 in Exxon Gas Cards
he was, “pretty jazzed.” Mike is the
Coalition’s UPS man. He stops in every couple of days to drop off a package and check in with us. He started
driving for UPS after graduating from
Warren County High School in 1987.
A lifetime resident of Front Royal, he
knows the importance of the Coalition’s work. “I am shaking, I am so
excited. This is such a good cause, I
am glad I could help you all out.” Mike
lives in Front Royal with his wife and
two children. “We spend about $300
a month on gas. Even with the lower
prices, this is really going to help my
family out this winter.” The Warren
Coalition raised more than $1200 in
the Exxon Gas Card Raffle. In these
tough economic times, we really appreciate every one that showed their
support for our mission by buying or
selling a ticket. As always, we will put
the funds to good use. The funds will
support our Prescription Drug Abuse
Program scheduled for January and
February.
If you would like more information
about the Prescription Drug Program
or any of our programs, contact the
Coalition offices. Congratulations to
Mike Moore!
WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS
Montgomery Engineering Group,
Inc.
Ben C. Montgomery
180-9 Prosperity Drive
Winchester, VA 22602
540-869-0308
(fax) 540-869-0332
[email protected]
www.meginc.biz
Strike First Corporation of America
(Fire & Safety Products)
Randal M Joyner
1330 Progress Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630
540-636-4444
Fax – 540-636-6945
[email protected]
www.strikefirstusa.com
Pam’s European Skin Care
Pam Brown
100 Peyton St.
Front Royal, VA 22630
540-683-1675
[email protected]
UPCOMING EVENTS
December 23: Downtown Business
Council, 8:30 a.m. at the Chamber
December 24: Chamber Closed at
Noon
December 25 & 31: Chamber
Closed
January 1: Chamber Closed
January 7: Small Business Committee, 8:30 a.m. at the Chamber
January 7: Warren County Business
Today on The River 95.3 FM, 12:30
p.m.
January 8: Adult Leadership
January 9: Education Committee, 9
a.m. at the Chamber
www.frontroyalva.com
Place your classified ad in the most widely-read newspaper in
Warren County by calling (540) 636-1014.
HELP WANTED
PETS
FOR SALE
APPLIANCES
FOR SALE
FIREARMS
TRAINING
Part-time / Full-time on
call help. Must have car,
cell phone and GPS. Be
willing to work weekends. Starting pay $15
per hour and up. Great
for retirees. Must be legal U.S. resident. Call
Mon-Fri 8am-4pm. 703895-4233
Puppies for Sale. CHIHUAHUA,
PUGS,
BEAGLES, MINIATURE
SCHNAUZER, MINIATURE PINSCHERS,
MINIATURE POODLES.
Health guarantee, registered,
de-wormed.
CASH. 540-778-3314,
540-631-7652.
NEW GAS OVEN!
GENERAL ELECTRIC.
4 burners. Black and
White. NEVER BEEN
USED. Everything inside still wrapped in
plastic. $200/BO. 540671-1319.
N.R.A.
HANDGUN
COURSES
CONCEALED
CARRY
Need 2 Stylists in a
rental salon. Call now
for position available
in November. Cindy
Vaught 540-974-9950.
No
Brainer
Advertise in
Warren County’s
most popular
paper
540-636-1014
warrencountyreport.com
TOYS, TOYS, TOYS.
Earn free toys. Amy
CONTRACTOR
Yowell, Discovery Toys
YARDS
Educational Consultant.
Large or Small
540-689-0125.
Equipment - Materials www.busybabies.net
RV - Trailer - Boat
WARREN COUNTY
540-974-3537
THIS SPACE
APC STORAGE
**********************************
BEGINNERS
**********************************
Ladies Welcome!!
CLOTHING
www.VirginiaPistol.com
PLUMBING. Repairs
540-636-9476
and services. ReasonPageant Dresses For
able rates. Free estiSale. Call 540-667Promote
your
busimates. Over 30 years
2927.
ness for less money. experience. 540-683SERVICES
Call 540-636-1014. 6103.
AVAILABLE
JOHN’S SMALL
LANDSCAPING
SERVICE
No job too small !
If you can’t do it,
I CAN !
Weed pulling, grass
mowed, flower
planting, veg. garden
planted, etc.
WORK
AT HOME
BOOKS
Weird
Virginia
Royal Oak Bookshop
540-635-7070
207 S. Royal Ave.
HOUSE FOR
RENT
Riverton: 3BR, 2BR,
all appliances/washer/
dryer. Gas Heat. Woodstove in Den. $900/
month & discount on
rent in winter. Security
Deposit. No Pets. 540636-6374
www.royaloakbookshop.com
WOULD COST
your
Promote
your Promote
YOU ABOUT
business to more
8 BUCKS - CALL business to more
people for less
FOR DETAILS! people for less
540-636-1014
money. Call 540- money. Call 540636-1014.
636-1014.
The Christmas Letter
By Kevin S. Engle
Warren County Report
Every year at this time, I write a Christmas letter for friends and family. Yeah, one of those. I just
finished my most recent one.
Greetings All,
540-683-1093
No Brainer
Promote your business to more people
for less money. Call
540-636-1014.
Didn’t finish High School?
You need your GED!
Want to get it FREE?
FREE GED Practice Tests & Classes
Blue Ridge Technical Center & Samuels Library
(540) 667-9744 or (800) 435-5945
www.needmyged.org
Must be 18 or older to participate
Northern Shenandoah Valley Adult Education
Hope you had a good 2008. Ours was fantastic. I only had one employer this year, and “Unemployed” wasn’t it. Can you believe I went an entire 12 months without getting fired? I can’t. It’s
never happened before. More importantly, can I do it again next year? Stay tuned.
The main reason why I didn’t get canned was because I convinced the judge to let me serve my
time on the weekends. I will satisfy my so-called “debt to society” next May and look forward to
getting rid of that annoying ankle bracelet. One good thing about my situation is that I’ve gotten to
make some really good friends, and as soon as they get out, we’re going into business together.
We already have some exciting plans in the works, and if all goes well, I won’t need a job.
Judy and I each got new cars this summer. Thanks to her baby brother, the minister, who taught
her how to hot wire a car, I’m now driving a 1987 Chevrolet Chevette and she’s sporting a 1991
Ford pickup. As soon as I can get my mother-in-law’s stuff out of the garage, including her, we’ll
park them inside.
I tried gardening this year, and I must admit, it’s been both enjoyable and profitable. Besides
the usual tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, something else is growing on its own, although I’m
not exactly sure what it is. People started dropping by, offering me cash for little bags of it. I even
posted a sign by the road, although one customer recommended I not advertise too much. I took
the money and invested in the stock market. My broker said it was a good time to buy. And it would
have been, had the market not tanked a few months later.
We didn’t have many visitors this year. Judy thinks it has something to do with my once a week
showers. Hey, there’s been a water shortage and I’m doing my part to help. And because of high
gas prices, our vacation road trip to Washington D.C. was put on hold until next summer.
Our health has been good except for a few instances of food poisoning. We’re not sure, but think
it was the groundhog stew. Judy was right. We should have stayed with the original recipe which
called for opossum.
Well, that’s it for the big stuff. I won’t bore you with the details about the fire or the rash on my
rear end that won’t go away.
We know that everyone hasn’t been as fortunate as us, nor was your year as great as ours, but
we’d still like to hear from you anyway.
Happy Holidays.
Engle’s Angle
Promote
your
business to more
people for less
money. Call 540636-1014.
SERVICES
AVAILABLE
Classifieds
The author was recently named Warren County Gardener of the Year. If his new business
ventures do as well as his friends say they will, he’s sure to be the next Business Man of the Year.
Page 40 • Warren County Report • Late December, 2008
New Year’s Eve
happens once a year.
Make yours one to remember at the all-new
Union Hall Bar & Grill
Open Sundays at Noon with NFL Sunday Ticket on widescreen TVs!
Beside Victoria’s Restaurant • 231 Chester Street • Front Royal, VA • (540) 636-6811