Politics/Government

Today’s topic: ‘Affordable Rappahannock’  

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Nov. 20

The issue of whether Rappahannock County needs affordable housing was debated at this week’s when the county’s board of supervisors considered a special-use permit application to build apartments on the former Sperryville Emporium site.
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Planners delay affordable housing permit

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Nov. 20
A People Inc. spokesman describes the community action organization's Sperryville project Wednesday night.

People Inc.’s application to build a 28-unit affordable housing complex at the site of the vacant Sperryville Emporium was tabled until January by the Rappahannock County Planning Commission Wednesday night.
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Affordable apartments at former Emporium site?

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Nov. 13
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County supervisors and planners are heading into the holidays with their plates already full, with decisions about a proposed apartment at the former Sperryville Emporium site, the sheriff’s budget and a proposed new brewery.
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Town council approves White Moose permit extension

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Nov. 13
Manager of the White Moose Inn can continue to live up the block.

The Washington Town Council approved everything on its agenda, including a special-use permit allowing the White Moose Inn’s manager to live off-site, and also passed a resolution to open up nominations to fill former council member Dan Spethmann’s seat.
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Culpeper officer running for sheriff

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Nov. 13
Anthony E. “Andy” Berry

Culpeper police Sgt. Anthony E. “Andy” Berry isn’t waiting until the last minute this time to throw his hat in the ring to become Rappahannock County’s next sheriff as he did in 2011.
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Letter: Why Rappahannock rocks (and rolls)

Election Day is always a long one for poll workers, from 5 in the morning until 9:30 or 10 at night. Our chores were made a little easier at the Sperryville fire hall last week when Margaret Rogers, proprietor of Central Coffee Roasters, arrived with canisters of hot and delicious coffee. Thank you, Maggie!...
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Letter: But who ratified the Constitution?  

I enjoyed your long article of Oct. 30 about the James Madison vs. James Monroe election for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1789. However, the author of the article is in error in twice stating that in Virginia the United States Constitution was ratified in 1788 by the Virginia...
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Letter: Big changes, hardly addressed 

Thank you, Rappahannock News, for recently publishing a letter from John Sullivan, mayor of Washington, defending his town’s status given the dwindling population and ongoing business preferences. I wish he had granted you access for an actual article, as he afforded The Washington Post, one that might have posed serious questions and received honest answers...
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Spethmann resigns council post

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Washington Town Council member Daniel Spethmann resigned this week by letter to Mayor John Sullivan and the rest of the council, a letter in which he said his business has recently required him to spend “more time away than in town.”
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Rappublican county

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Nov. 6
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How Rappahannock County voted in the Nov. 4 election.
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Jed’s Eye View: Six million people 

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Nov. 6

Six million people — Jed Duvall says that's the number of people in the United States that we should be thinking and talking about more often.
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The most important election . . . that no one knows about

The Hebron Lutheran Church, still standing in Madison County, served as the background for one of the most important (and largely forgotten) elections in American history.

Stiles, for the convenience of churchgoers who arrived by horse or carriage, still stand outside the Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison County, which played a part in one of the most important elections in American history.
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Election Day is Tuesday

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Oct. 30
Michael Brown of Washington says his name and address aloud for poll workers Jay Brown and Ellen Mustoe at the Washington fire hall Tuesday morning. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck.

Rappahannock County voters cast ballots next Tuesday (Nov. 4) in three races — for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat, for the Fifth District’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and for the county treasurer’s post. There is also a constitutional amendment referendum.
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Letter: Elect Gillespie, release the Senate’s chokehold

Americans have been battling back from the recession only to see an underwhelming rate of economic recovery. Businesses and workers labor each day to rebuild our nation’s economy; however, little help has come from Washington. This November, I ask you to consider the message Virginians can send to Washington. Virginians are tired of “business...
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Letter: ‘I believe Mr. Nicklin has missed the point’

Publisher Walter Nicklin says, “there’s been a lot of vocal criticism about the governance of the county seat . . .” and “no serious effort to present alternate town council candidates.” I believe that Mr. Nicklin has missed the point entirely regarding the government of the county...
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Letter: Why Sen. Mark Warner is your man

On election day, the voters of Rappahannock should not hesitate in sending Mark Warner back to the United States Senate for a second term, because you don’t fire a guy who is willing to do the heavy lifting. By heavy lifting, I mean a senator who is willing to roll up his sleeves and...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Act local

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Oct. 30

Readers of this column know that I do not often write about political issues. Those same readers would be mistaken, however, if they thought that this results from my lack of conviction or opinion about the political world that buffets our every breath, from the courthouse in Washington, Va., to what passes for a central government...
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Hurt: Private sector jobs are Job No. 1

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Oct. 23
Rep. Robert Hurt (R-5th)

Jobs: That’s the No. 1 issue Republican Rep. Robert Hurt says he is hearing about from constituents across Virginia’s vast North Carolina-to-Northern Virginia 5th District. A Q&A with the congressman who is campaigning for a third term.
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Editorial: That scary time of the year

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Oct. 23
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There’s plenty to worry about these days, but one truly scary discovery went largely under-reported and unremarked-upon — because, as an an abstraction, it doesn’t trigger the primitive fight-or-flight response: This past September was, on average, the hottest September on record for planet Earth.
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Letter: Veterans’ survivors a national obligation

This is an “off-year” election. That doesn’t make it unimportant! Think before you vote. Our state delegate, Michael Webert, is supporting an amendment to our state constitution. The issue will be on the ballot Nov. 4 as a referendum. The question: Shall Section 6-A of Article X (Taxation and Finance) of the Constitution of...
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County revisits, sheriff defends budget

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Oct. 16
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Near the end of last week’s monthly supervisors session, County Administrator John McCarthy had asked Sheriff Connie C. Smith to be present for a follow-up discussion of the sheriff’s office budget after the RSW Regional Jail had been open for three or four months.
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Letter: Pitting neighbors against each other

Mayor John Fox Sullivan’s cackling defense and characterization of folks who dare to speak in opposition to him and the town council reminds me of the sentiments expressed by some local elected officials from a bygone era. In the 1960s, small town mayors and sheriffs across the South railed against the influx of “outsiders” —...
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When a farm turns factory, what’s a town to do?

A Pennsylvania law designed to protect farms from nuisance complaints has also allowed concentrated animal feeding operations — factory farms — to escape local land use controls, writes Tim Rowland.
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Town’s route explained; county chooses bypass

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Though listed as an “informational” item, no one really expected the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors to take any official action on recent challenges to the town of Washington’s right to govern itself. And it didn’t — though it did express doubt that it ever would.
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Pond news is good news

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After a brief discussion of recent challenges to the town’s charter and government the Washington Town Council listened at its monthly meeting Monday night to an update on the Avon Hall pond by RappFLOW founder Beverly Hunter and others who’ve helped with recent efforts to clean it up.
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Editorial: In search of clarity

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Oct. 9
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Early Sunday morning, for many Rappahannock residents, brought the season’s first frost. And with it comes a certain clarity of vision — it’s the perfect time of year to reacquaint yourself with your favorite poems.
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Letter: Just answer the question, please

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Oct. 9

John Fox Sullivan’s rambling and slightly incoherent defense of the need for a town government last week raises more questions than it answers, and uses every old politician’s trick in the book to do it. The language is prickly, but the message is clear: If you question the town plutocracy, you will be mocked and...
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Letter: Life, liberty and (not) the pursuit of fear

I would like to respond to Mr. Klaus’ Sept. 25 letter, and his comments regarding your Sept. 11 interview with House of Representatives candidate Lawrence Gaughan. Rest assured the incumbent has been doing lots of things “for” people — they just aren’t the people who live in the 5th District of Virginia. They are the...
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Letter: Let’s also conserve our bitterness

I would dearly love to read a letter or opinion piece regarding a conservation issue that didn’t start and end with an attempt to get me to hate the person (or, more commonly, corporation) that disagrees with the opinion writer. A case in point is last week’s piece submitted by Robert N. Whitescarver. While...
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News briefs for Oct. 2

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Oct. 2
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The RSW Regional Jail Authority appoints a new superintendent; the planners and BZA approve a family apartment; the town ARB accepts Rare Finds’ and Ray Gooch’s projects; and three rabies cases were reported in Rappahannock last year.
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Editorial: Lessons from up north

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Oct. 2
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Maine and Cape Cod would seem to have very little in common with Rappahannock. But recent policy studies reveal the three distinct geographic areas have similar challenges — namely, youth out-migration and the cost of housing.
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Letter: The town’s so-called ‘governing body’

I attended the Sept. 15 meeting of the Washington Town Council to hear the discussion of the special-use permit requested by Deborah Winsor to have her residence at 199 Main St. run by the same off-site innkeepers as the White Moose Inn. So welcome, White Moose South (technically it’s known as a tourist home), to...
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Letter: Washington: facts vs. friction

There continues to be some controversy over the direction of the town of Washington. RappNet abuzz. Letters to the Rappahannock News. As a resident of the town for nearly 10 years, and having served on the Washington Town Council since 2005 and as mayor since 2010, I would like to offer my perspective as...
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Letter: Time to move on

At first glance, Scotland’s recent referendum on independence may have little in common with the discussion on these pages about Washington’s town charter. But therein lies a cautionary tale. Ultimately, the residents of Scotland voted not to break with what many saw as a too-alien, too-powerful and too-monied Westminster. That said, the vote has...
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Letter: Let’s look for solutions that matter

Of all the problems and opportunities facing Rappahannock County — and I prefer to think positively about opportunities — whether the town of Washington should lose its charter ranks very low. Recent letters to the editor and discussions on other public venues have been acrimonious and not helpful in trying to come together to...
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Letter: Healthy kids or cell towers?

We care about the schoolchildren of Rappahannock. We are not against cell service for the county. We attended the Aug. 12 school board meeting because we have four grandchildren who attend or will attend Rappahannock County High School (RCHS). As noted in that week’s Rappahannock News, we spoke up against allowing a cell tower at...
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Unwise pipeline calls for people power

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline across Virginia is unwise. It endangers national forests and private properties, writes Robert Whitescarver, and illustrates the power of corporations, and the need for reform.
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Letter: Time to say goodbye to the town council

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Sept. 25

“Why does the village of Washington have its own government?” I first heard that question in the 1990s, when an article in the New Yorker magazine about the animosities between the Inn and its neighbors caused quite a stir around Rappahannock. The population of the town then was almost double what it is now....
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Letter: Do me no favors, Mr. Gaughan

Thank you for the interview with Lawrence Gaughan , the Democrat who hopes to replace Rep. Robert Hurt as our (5th district) delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. The part I found most informative and decisive for me was his comment on why he should be selected for...
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Letter: Robert Hurt deserves reelection

I am writing in response to Fred Schaefer’s letter last week regarding the upcoming election. I could not disagree more with his conclusion and I implore my fellow citizens to join me in supporting our member of Congress, Robert Hurt, on Nov. 4. Rep. Hurt has been an effective voice for us in Congress, promoting...
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