Politics/Government

Editorial: Where the wild things are

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Sept. 11
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It’s hard to believe, but once upon a time not so long ago the federal government wasn’t dysfunctional and the Congress actually passed meaningful legislation. Fifty years ago last week, for example, the Wilderness Act was signed into law.
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Governor endorses Dominion pipeline

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

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe this week endorsed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, an up to $5 billion, 550-mile proposal to build a natural gas pipeline through West Virginia to North Carolina.
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Welch apt. gets final zoning nod

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Sept. 4
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The Rappahannock County Board of Zoning Appeals approved the lone request before it Wednesday night (Aug. 27) — a family apartment request from Castleton resident Bryant Welch.
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Letter: The question of Washington, Va.

In March of 2005, the Town of Washington’s comprehensive plan update listed, in its vision of the town in 25 years, a population that had either stabilized or slightly increased. In 2000, the town’s population was 183 people, which further decreased to 135 in 2010. The declining population during that decade has not yet stabilized...
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Letter: When towns do and don’t grow in population

When towns grow, particularly through an increase in population density, they can — and quite rightfully should — seek to expand. However, before an expansion is warranted, a town needs an increase in residential population above and beyond what warrants the creation of a town in the first place. Without an adequate number of...
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Old business, new business in town

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Aug. 28
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More changes are afoot in the town of Washington, as the town council now promises that a thrice-delayed public hearing will definitely happen at its Sept. 15 session and Eve and Stew Willis’ Rare Finds plans a return to Main Street.
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Comp plan revision postponed for deputy’s arrival

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Aug. 28
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At the request of County/Zoning Administrator John McCarthy, the Rappahannock County Planning Commission agreed to halt its routine five-year revision of the county comprehensive plan until 2015, when the county expects to have a deputy administrator.
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Letter: Pipeline has a positive side

Our son is a geophysicist, and after working in the oil services industry in Houston for 20 years (10 of which were for a Norwegian company), he was able to find employment in western Pennsylvania and move back with his family to work for a natural gas distribution company (not Duke Energy) that had...
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Letter: A cell tower on school property: ‘appalling’

The Aug. 14 school board story on “opening discussions” with cell companies to erect yet another needed tower in the county and its placement location should be a real concern to the people of our great county. The high school as one of the named possible locations is appalling. How could the officials of our county allow...
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ARB likes Mt. Prospect redo, Kramer Building signage

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Aug. 21
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Though it issued none of its coveted certificates of appropriateness Tuesday night (Aug. 19), Washington’s Architectural Review Board (ARB) liked most everything brought before it at its latest monthly meeting at town hall.
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Miller plans to fill Schoolhouse with antiques

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Aug. 21
The (new) view from outside the Sperryville Schoolhouse complex. Photo by Don Audette

Cliff Miller IV, owner of the Sperryville Schoolhouse, has notified three retail tenants in the complex’s main building that starting early next month he will be taking over the entire building, primarily for what he says is expansion of his burgeoning antiques business.
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Letter: Democracy in action, Rapp style

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Aug. 21

Last week’s Rappahannock News article raised more questions than it answered. Here is what we were told: The Washington Town Council scheduled a public hearing on a special-use permit in June which was postponed until July, at which point it was postponed until August, at which time it was postponed until September. The reasons given...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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