Politics/Government

School board OKs talks with tower company

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Aug. 14
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On the eve of a new school year, the Rappahannock County School Board agreed to enter into negotiations with Community Wireless Structures (CWS), which has offered to place on school property a cell phone tower it would lease to carriers.
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Spectra suspends pipeline

Flickr user rickz (www.flickr.com/photos/rickz/); licensed via Creative Commons

Spectra Energy says it has suspended work on the proposed natural gas pipeline that would run through Rappahannock County.
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Permit postponed, transparency defended

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Aug. 14
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After postponing a public hearing on a special-use permit for the third time in as many months at its regular meeting Monday night (Aug. 11), the Washington Town Council found itself hosting an unscheduled public hearing on a related subject.
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Editorial: Eerie parallels

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Aug. 14
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Exactly 100 years ago this summer commenced World War One, now universally acknowledged as a totally unnecessary catastrophe. It didn’t have to happen — eerily analogous to the climate change situation Rappahannock County finds itself in now.
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EMS study gets go-ahead

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Aug. 7
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The possibility of paid emergency medical services in Rappahannock County inched closer to probability Monday afternoon (Aug. 4), as the board of supervisors awarded the contract for an in-depth study of the county’s current volunteer-based EMS program.
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Zoning board OKs setback requests

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July 31
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Two setback variance requests were approved by the Rappahannock County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) as part of a 13-minute meeting Wednesday night (July 23).
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Put out by bridge out?

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July 31
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A two-lane bridge scheduled for replacement by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) starting next week will likely cause some school bus route complications.
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Editorial: Shaping the future

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July 31
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While ever-growing tourism dollars are welcome, they may not provide the painless panacea that many of our leaders seem to be counting upon. For in becoming simply a “tourist destination,” will we be selling our soul? And what’s the alternative?
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Letter: Rappahannock resolution

Recently, your board of supervisors resolved, in essence, that the villain Spectra was persona non grata in Rappahannock County. Spectra is a huge pipeline-building company with a preliminary proposal on the table to run a natural-gas pipeline through Rappahannock, not for the benefit of this county, but to sell fracked gas to Duke Energy...
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Spectra vs. Rappahannock County

Spectra, a $6 billion company proposes to force a pipeline through Rappahannock County, which would carry natural gas from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to Duke Energy in North Carolina. Say no!
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The unburied treasurer’s office

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July 24
Treasurer Debbie Knick, right, poses with her chief deputy Lisa Dodson, center, and part-timer Karen Bear. (Missing that day was deputy treasurer Deanna Wayland).

It’s only two months into Debbie Knick’s tenure as the treasurer of Rappahannock County, but the treasurer’s office has undergone dramatic changes — in physical appearance, technology and other areas.
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Chafuen wins Walter Judd Freedom Award

On Monday (July 14), Dr. Alejandro Chafuen, a resident of Rappahannock County since 1991, was awarded the Walter Judd Freedom Award for his leadership in founding and nurturing think tanks around the world.
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Letter: The real riches of Rappahannock

I came to Rappahannock County 45 years ago as a weekender for the same reason most people do: It’s beautiful, but also easy, quiet living and just far enough away from D.C. People are friendly, I don’t need to lock my car, local folks don’t honk their horns, parking is not an issue and there...
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Town seeks slower pace

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July 17
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At a spirited and unusually well-attended Washington Town Council meeting Monday night (July 14), a dozen residents, neighbors and business owners offered up eyewitness testimony of speeders along Main Street and elsewhere in town.
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County opposes pipeline

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July 10
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The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors became one of the first local governing bodies in the Northern Piedmont region Monday to say “no” to a natural-gas transmission line proposed by Spectra Energy.
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Supervisors restrict, approve Narmada events center

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July 10
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The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors gave its blessing to Narmada Winery’s proposal to build a 2,800-square-foot weddings-and-events center Monday night (July 7), but not without significant pre-nuptial agreements.
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Letter: Say no to wireless companies

AT&T/Community Wireless/other proxies have again entered the picture and are approaching private landowners about erecting cell phone towers on their properties. Disregarding the 24/7 propaganda on the airwaves; the rigged, unconstitutional laws forbidding people to oppose these towers on health grounds (they know it is dangerous to people’s health and don’t want the liability); the...
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Deeper fractures

Are we cracked in the head? The proliferation of natural gas exports–and the wake of increased U.S. fracking–expose deep fault lines in the land, U.S. communities and plain old logic. Liza Field suggests a look beneath those fissures for deeper solutions.
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After safety debate, BZA permits B&B

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July 3
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Building permits and bed and breakfast safety were the primary concerns last Wednesday night (June 25), as the Rappahannock County Board of Zoning Appeals considered — and ultimately approved — a request to operate a B&B in Amissville.
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Editorial: Town, to be or not to be

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July 3
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Besides an occasion for celebrating our Declaration of Independence from Britain over two centuries ago, July Fourth presents an especially appropriate time to examine and/or re-examine the way that We the People currently govern ourselves.
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McAuliffe announces 25 new jobs in Charlottesville

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today in the City of Charlottesville that Relay Foods will expand its corporate headquarters and Charlottesville fulfillment center.
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Letter: You could’ve lived in town. But you don’t.

There has been so much talk lately about how the people of the town of Little Washington are dictating to the county residents what should happen in the county seat that I feel I need to point something out. You have always had the opportunity to be residents of the town — to raise...
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Pulse taken

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June 26
Packed house: Panelists and public talked for more than two hours at the Theatre Thursday.

The “Rapp Live” forum hosted June 19 by the Rappahannock News filled the 218-seat Theatre at Washington with folks wanting to be informed rather than entertained — though what brought them there has had the town and county buzzing.
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Public speakers

Packed house: Panelists and public talked for more than two hours at the Theatre Thursday.

A selection of the comments from the June 19 "Rapp Live" public forum, with an emphasis on those of the audience members rather than panelists’.
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Crime is down; jail is closed; budget unchanged

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As of today, Rappahannock’s 181-year-old local jail, one of the oldest still operating in Virginia, is expected to be empty. As of July 1, the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office will likely be just four officers shy of its current staff.
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Planners OK Narmada expansion

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June 26
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The Rappahannock County Planning Commission recommended approval of both plans before it last Wednesday (June 18) — including a 2,800-square-foot conference and wedding center at Narmada Winery.
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Editorial: In the role of ombudsman . . .

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June 26
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If success in the newspaper business is measured by the quantity of readers and the quality of their engagement, then the last couple of weeks can be numbered among the most successful in the history of the Rappahannock News.
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Letter: Let’s use our connections to do good

Abdo, Sullivan, O’Connell: I swear! All this small-town conspiracy talk spoiled all the fun at every party this spring. But now it is summer, and hopefully we can move on to more pressing, urgent matters like Spectra Energy’s pipeline path, and a very real and evil conspiracy by big-energy and paid-off politicians to cross...
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Letter: Clearing the air

Last month you published a front-page report on an interstate natural gas pipeline project that is being considered through Rappahannock County. Since then a number of landowners have been asked to consent to surveys of their property (and I know, because I’m one). Some misleading rumors have been circulating, too, and I’d like to...
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Letter: ‘An apology is due Ben Jones’

An apology is due Ben Jones for having been denied the opportunity to be heard at Thursday’s (June 19) community forum, an opportunity accorded all the others who took the mic to speak for some two and a half hours. Common courtesy and civility does not end just because one disagrees with — or...
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Letter: Astounding beauty vs. toxic ugliness

I was somewhere between here and the West Coast when I read the thread on Facebook’s Rappnet group about Jim Abdo’s properties in Little Washington. I made one comment and then stepped out of the fray because the tone and language being used appeared to be a repeat of how many residents here respond...
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Letter: Keeping our long-term interests in mind

What an uproar has erupted as a result of the recent newspaper article in The Washington Post, and subsequent opinion pieces both in that paper and the Rappahannock News! I hope people have had the chance to take a deep breath and truly think about the news about recent property purchases and discussions on plans either in the...
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Washington column for June 26

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June 26
Former Rappahannock News editor (and jack-of-all-trades) Sarah Latham (right) and her daughter Sally Haynes stopped in last Friday to share their fond memories of the Linotype machine.

The town of Washington is abuzz with news of Washington, D.C. developer Jim Abdo's long-term plans for the town, while a former Rapp News editor gets reacquainted with the Linotype machine she helped run in this week's Washington column.
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Residents react to Abdo plans at council meeting

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Unsurprisingly, what dominated public comment at the Washington Town Council’s monthly meeting Monday (June 16) was the controversy over a recent Washington Post profile of Jim Abdo, a developer known best for his neighborhood-rehab work in Washington, D.C.
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Sperryville sewer rates to rise July 1

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June 19
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After two hours of presentations and heartfelt public comments, the Rappahannock County Water & Sewer Authority voted to raise wastewater treatment rates for its 200-plus customers in the village of Sperryville by 18-percent, effective July 1.
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Community forum tonight: development in Washington

Little Washington from above by Laurie Smith and Mark Reinhardt

Do you have something to say, or ask, about development in the town of Washington? Be at the Theatre at Washington at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 19, for a "Rapp Live" community forum with all the current players.
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Editorial: Landowners, beware!

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June 19
The proposed pipeline.

“Just a good old country lawyer” is out and about in Rappahannock County, knocking on residents’ doors, clutching some innocuous-sounding legal documents he’s graciously soliciting for signatures. Don’t sign! Or, at the very least, please don’t sign in haste.
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Letter: Nothing (new) to see here

The recent stories of Mr. Jim Abdo and his real estate investments have resulted in good discussions for the Town of Washington and the county, though this is not the first time someone has come into the county with a splash and grand plans. Actually, these people are good for the county. They come...
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Letter: Mr. Jones does not speak for the locals

Dear Ben Jones, I am responding to your recent editorial in The Washington Post opinion section. I wish to address what I believe are your flawed arguments and rather objectionable commentary regarding D.C. real estate developer Jim Abdo’s recent real estate purchases in the town of Little Washington, in Rappahannock County. In particular, I’d like...
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Letter: Give the man a chance

Please give Jim Abdo a chance to share his “side” of the story. He’s a resident/homeowner/taxpayer in the county, too. Earl JohnsonSperryville
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