Politics/Government

Wednesday’s night developments

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April 16

Washington's town council approves an Inn-related property adjustment that will bring a new gallery to town, and Cooter's in the Country withdraws its permit application for outdoor music in Sperryville.
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What’s recyclable in Rappahannock?

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April 16
Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

A wrap-up of what you can now recycle at Rappahannock County recycling centers at Amissville and Flatwood.
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Lawsuit is ‘homophobe’ vendetta, Inn attorney says

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April 9
innClip-9

Inn at Little Washington's attorney characterizes lawsuit initiator Konick as a "homophobe with a vendetta" against O'Connell; meanwhile Konick files another suit, specifically alleging conflict-of-interest violations by O'Connell.
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Fire-rescue changes needed to keep volunteer system viable

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April 9

Rappahannock County’s supervisors were told by the consultants who assessed the county’s fire and rescue needs that the county faces a lengthy list of potentially difficult decisions to keep the all-volunteer system viable — as well as all-volunteer.
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Letter: Beautification, development and conversation

Rappahannock is a beautiful and unique, special place. Letter-writer Stanley Reynolds reminds us to get involved, and to work together to keep it that way.
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Letter: Community — a precious commodity

I live on South Poes Road, a winding, seemingly undistinguished, quiet, two-lane thoroughfare at the east end of the county. “National Geographic” isn’t going to show up anytime soon to train their cameras on our exotica, nor is Vanity Fair going to chase us down to document our chic, trendy lifestyle. On the surface,...
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Letter: Hydrant vs. parking lot

Regarding William Metcalf’s letter March 26 pointing out the repeated failure of the town of Washington to respond to the safety needs of the Piedmont Street residents of Washington, it is indeed curious that the town council could afford to spend $20,000 for parking lot beautification, yet finding $5,000 to repair a fire hydrant...
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Governor criticized for allowing more surveillance

Courtesy of VCU CNS

A Democratic senator, a prominent Republican and civil libertarians are blasting Gov. Terry McAuliffe for amending a bill that would protect Virginia citizens from high-tech government surveillance.
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Gov. McAuliffe signs 733 bills, vetoes 17 

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With two days left to act on legislation passed by this year’s General Assembly, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday that he has signed 733 bills, vetoed 17 and amended 50 others, including tightening ethics reforms.
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Retirement rumors premature, McCarthy says

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April 2
Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy says he's not retiring — yet.

John McCarthy, Rappahannock County’s chief executive for the last 30 years, said this week that rumors of his impending retirement are premature.
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Herring told mental health, drugs top police concerns

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April 2
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks with the region’s law enforcement officers Monday in Front Royal.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring heard from law enforcement officials in the region Monday in Front Royal that one of their biggest worries — in addition to drugs — is in dealing effectively with prisoners who require mental-health evaluations and treatment.
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Council meets to hire counsel

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April 2

The Washington Town Council has scheduled a special meeting, ostensibly to hire a lawyer to defend the town in a lawsuit alleging the town broke laws for its 2013 town-square beautification project.
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Letter: The fool, the jester and the scold  

Every little town in the world has its fool, its jester and its village scold — and Washington, Va., is no exception. Over the past three years our quiet, lovely town has been plagued with a barrage of nasty, hateful attacks on our mayor, our business owners and our town government. You can’t pick...
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Capital briefs

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Governor vetoes redistricting bills Gov. Terry McAuliffe last week vetoed six redistricting bills, saying they would weaken citizens’ trust in government. Speaking on 1140AM WRVA, McAuliffe questioned the constitutionality of the bills, which sought to adjust the lines for about 20 legislative districts in seven counties. The six vetoed bills are: SB 1237, affecting...
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Letter: Focused on the positive side

Nancy and I got our Red Oak Mountain land 33 years ago. Last year Nancy took over the theater in town. (I told her she was crazy, but do you think she listened?). Does this make us “locals?” Probably not. Does it mean that we love this county and admire the people here? Definitely....
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Town beautification gets uglier

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March 26
A photo in the Dec. 13, 1962 Rappahannock News touted the “facelift” being given to the corner of Main and Middle streets, after Trinity Episcopal Church (far left) had purchased the lot and was tearing down several buildings to build a parking lot.

Efforts made two years ago to beautify the “town square” of Washington have landed the town, and its chief tourist attraction, in court. A lawsuit filed Friday also alleges that Inn at Little Washington owner and town council member Patrick O'Connell violated conflict-of-interest laws.
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Planners OK Castleton’s year-round events

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March 26

The Rappahannock County Planning Commission recommended approval last Wednesday night of two event-related permits for the Castleton Festival.
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Stickers, no. Assessors, yes.

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March 26
supervisorsSticker-5

Two quick reminders from your county government: You don't need a vehicle sticker any more, and assessors will be visiting your property soon.
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Governor orders training for ABC agents

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Wednesday meant to improve the law enforcement arm of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
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Letter: What are the town’s priorities? 

The hydrant, since painted black.

When will common sense prevail? I am writing this letter because I am simply out of options and tired of the Town of Washington’s inability to make respectable, rational decisions. Several years ago, I returned home on Piedmont Avenue to discover a garbage bag on a fire hydrant located in front of our home....
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Help for septic system maintenance

For assistance with the maintenance, repair or replacement of septic systems, Virginia and the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District offer a grant-based cost-share program for significant portions of Rappahannock, Culpeper and Madison counties. Homeowners in the eligible watershed areas of the upper Hazel River watershed are eligible for the assistance, which includes reimbursement...
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$12.56 school budget sent to supervisors

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March 19

The Rappahannock County School Board adopted a $12.56 million 2015-2016 budget Monday night that would increase the county’s share of school-division expenses by about $94,000 — or just over 1 percent.
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On Common Ground: Tempests in Paradise

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March 19
Photo by Tom Woolman

Whether your family has been here for generations or just arrived, we all have a sense of being connected to this place. Let's stop defining what is and is not "authentic" Rappahannock, and welcome the diversity that helps define us.
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More early election notes

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March 19
Amy Hitt

One of three candidates for the Hampton district seat on the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors has changed her mind this week, and another school board member announced her intention to seek reelection Nov. 3. Alma Viator of Harris Hollow, in a email this week, said “. . . to do the supervisor’s job...
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Town complies with FOIA request

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March 19

The lawyer and self-described watchdog who’s been pursuing a Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) request from the town of Washington said this week the town has complied, or is in the process of complying, with all his requests.
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Letter: A pay raise for school board members?

They say public service can be a thankless job. Well, the burden should be a bit lighter for members of our Rappahannock County School Board if their proposed 2015-2016 budget is adopted. Buried in the 38-page “Working Document” unveiled Tuesday evening are increased pay and new benefits that amount to a 700-percent pay raise...
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Newly approved powdered alcohol banned in Virginia

FB Virginia State Capitol Richmond FB

The federal government this week approved a powder that can turn a glass of water into an alcoholic drink, but it’s unlikely that Virginians will be enjoying instant margaritas anytime soon.
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Town will take ‘second look’ at its beautification-project actions

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March 12

Washington Mayor John Sullivan says that the town council will take a second look at the measures it adopted in 2013's town-center beautification partnership with Trinity Church and the Inn. Meanwhile lawyer David Konick is filing a petition in circuit court to force the town to release related emails.
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Letter: Paradise or purgatory?

Rappahannock — with its mountain vistas and magnificent sunsets — appears to be paradise. Unfortunately, some are trying to make it purgatory for others.
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Lee won’t seek Hampton supervisor seat

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March 5
Hampton supervisor Bryant Lee, right, and school board chair John Lesinski, Lee’s choice his successor, shake hands at the courthouse last Friday.

Longtime Hampton district representative Bryant Lee says he will not be seeking a fifth term on Rappahannock County’s board of supervisors come November, and endorses one of the three candidates who say they're running for the post.
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Supervisors simplify motor vehicle tax  

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March 5

At a relatively brief end-of-winter, pre-budget-season meeting, the supervisors agreed to the county administrator’s request that the new motor vehicle tax be applied consistently to all types of vehicles.
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Governor praises budget’s passage

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Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is praising the Republican-controlled General Assembly for passing state budget amendments that will increase funding for education and provide pay raises for teachers, state troopers and other government employees.
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Transparency, legality of town ‘beautification’ questioned

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Feb. 26
An artist's rendering of what the new Trinity Church parking lot will look like when refinished.

Several critics of the town of Washington say the town’s council broke at least one state law in the summer of 2013 when it voted to contribute $20,000 to a effort by the Inn at Little Washington to improve the Trinity Episcopal Church parking lot.
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Editorial: Hoping for a spring thaw

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Feb. 26

A critical look at the Rappahannock News' coverage (or lack thereof) of the so-called "Inn crowd conspiracy," and a possible step toward a spring thaw.
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Up in the Hollow: ‘They Destroyed Paradise, Put Up a Parking Lot’

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Feb. 26

Let's review: The Inn got a free street and a nicer parking lot for the church, a lot the Inn uses. The church asked for and got $20,000 from the town for their parking lot, and the town apparently broke the law in the process.
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Almost all-in-one

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1
Feb. 26
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

Letter: Let’s decide

The article “Virginia still deciding if women are equal” lands at the very least on the last page of the Feb 19 issue of the Rappahannock News. But it sure caught my eye. I hope it stirs more than some thought in our citizens as it has definitely stirred my heart. I hope it...
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Marijuana extracts OK’d for epilepsy treatment

By O'Dea via Wikimedia Commons

Two types of medical marijuana extracts would be legal to possess and recommend for epilepsy treatment in Virginia under legislation passed by the state Senate on Wednesday and sent to the governor for his signature.
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Virginia bans powdered alcohol

FB Virginia State Capitol Richmond FB

Cocaine isn’t the only white powder on drug authorities’ radar these days. They’re also targeting Palcohol — powdered alcohol that can turn a glass of water into a mojito. The General Assembly this week gave final approval to legislation that would outlaw the possession, sale, purchase or use of powdered or crystalline alcohol in...
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Assembly blocks out-of-state access to handgun permits

FB Virginia State Capitol Richmond FB

It is now up to Gov. Terry McAuliffe whether to sign into law legislation that would prohibit certain out-of-state police agencies from accessing information regarding concealed weapon permits issued by the commonwealth of Virginia.
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