The Rapp for July 26

It’s Fourth (Estate) Friday

We do get out occasionally – even regularly – and this Friday (July 27) at 9 a.m. is our regular monthly “Fourth (Estate) Friday” public ideas-and-discussion forum. It’s in a new place this time: the Rappahannock Office, Ken Thompson’s office-away-from-the-office facility on the second floor of the Kramer Building on Gay Street in Washington. There will be coffee, and the usual predictably unpredictable topics, story suggestions, ideas and feedback on the stories we cover in the paper and online at RappNews.com. See you at 9 a.m. Friday at 311 Gay St. in Washington.

A drop in traffic

Several Sperryville business folks we’ve talked to lately say they’ve noticed a drop in traffic this summer – undoubtedly due to both the missing U.S. 522 bridge over the Thornton, and the noise and dust that replacing the 83-year-old steel span has necessarily brought to the village.

Meanwhile, the most recent drop involved VDOT’s contractors carefully dropping the wider, stronger replacement structure into place on its expanded concrete abutments. In these photos taken last Thursday (July 19) by Don Audette, the bridge was an easy lift for the crane capable of 225-ton loads. Decking and a roadbed still need to be applied to the bridge – and VDOT authorities this week asked local businesses if it would be all right if they worked over the next two weekends to help them finish by their Aug. 27 deadline.

Speaking of villages . . .

Cathie Shiff’s Amissville column returns, at last, to the Rappahannock News this week – it’s here, as is Jan Clatterbuck’s Washington column. Also this week, Robane Beroza visits, in the Sperryville column, a recent film shoot at the Wootens’ Cardinal Springs farm in F.T. Valley (photos below). In his Adventures in Caregiving column, Larry Stillwell illustrates how a caregiving village ought to work – and did, following the end-of-June windstorm.

Elsewhere in this week’s paper, there are stories on RLEP’s recent workshop and Avon Hall property tour for those who want to know what they can do about invasive plant species, a Kid Pan Alley songwriting session at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute that was inspired by humans’ relationships with entirely other species, and Pam Owen’s Wild Ideas column, in which she explains how to be pretty sure that you saw what you saw here in the wilds of Rappahannock County – in her case, a bobcat.

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