Politics/Government

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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June 26
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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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June 19
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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

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June 19
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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Letter: So many axes, so little action

Editor’s Note: Many dozens of posts on the subject of Jim Abdo’s plans for Washington were made over the past couple of weeks to Rappnet, the local email list-serv. This one, in slightly edited form, was re-sent to us as a letter. I am a resident of Little Washington, one of the few here...
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Letter: A mayor’s perspective

Much has been written about Little Washington this past week and I understand the concerns and the passion because all of us who live here care deeply about the special nature of our county seat. I want to offer my perspective — some history and some facts, and most of all emphasize there is...
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Letter: Transparency is a two-way street

I attended the public hearing for the Rappahannock Water and Sewer Authority’s proposed rate increases last week. No matter what opinion anyone may have of the rate increases and whether or not they should have gone forward, you could not deny that the board members had done a lot of work thinking through the...
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Letter: A dime novel for our times

Picture this: You and your lifelong friends are swapping stories and playing checkers at the town watering hole. A gunslinger (who also happens to be town sheriff, name of Sullivan) walks in with his guns a-blazing and hollers: “Listen up here folks. This here ’stablishment is under new management.” The locals stop everything and...
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Little Washington is big news in Big Washington

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June 18
Abdo's White Moose Inn.

The phrase "Washington correspondent" seems to be taking on new meaning in the nation's capital.
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Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan

The Town of Washington's Comprehensive Plan, revised by the Town Council in 2012.
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Stonyman’s suit dismissed, future unclear

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June 12
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A lawsuit filed by Alan and Susan James seeking a temporary injunction against the sale of their Gay Street property was dismissed — at least temporarily — Monday morning (June 9) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court.
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Big news?

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June 12
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A profile in The Washington Post’s Business section last weekend of well-known D.C. developer and longtime Rappahannock County weekender Jim Abdo caused a bit of a stir this week.
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Group addresses foster care deficiencies

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June 12
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There’s a foster care crisis — or at least a very big problem — in Rappahannock County, in the estimation of some public officials and others who are concerned enough to want to do something about it.
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Editorial: Comment on the comments

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June 12
Little Washington from above by Laurie Smith and Mark Reinhardt

If something happens in Rappahannock County and it’s not reported in Big Washington media, does it really happen? Apparently not, based on the ruckus stirred up by the front-page story in Sunday’s business section of The Washington Post.
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Photo: Nomination party

Photo by Gwen Bates

Letter: Bringing ‘balance’ to Little Washington

I’ve been here since before The Inn opened and watched it expand over the years, and I find Mr. Jim Abdo’s recent characterization of our county seat insensitive and horribly inaccurate — particularly when he, with a couple of decades coming and going here, has apparently failed...
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Up in the Hollow: The ‘in’ ate Little Washington

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June 12
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The misguided, feverish energies of “high-powered” Washington, D.C. real estate developer Jim Abdo to “rebrand” our county seat is a remarkable example of how not to make friends and influence people.
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