Sperryville column for Jan. 20

The personal touch

For 25 years from her home, Cathryn Wayland addressed our bills from the Rappahannock County Water and Sewer Authority in her immaculate handwriting. From the mid-1980s, until her recent retirement, Cathryn provided unfailing service to the community. Somehow, it was never quite as hard to receive a bill with that personal touch. Thanks to Cathryn for all the years of service and please know that it will never be quite the same when that computer-generated bill arrives.

Regional cooperation

The Rapidan-Rappahannock Regional Commission’s tourism committee had a national ad in the March 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine and put out a regional tourism brochure in April that was well-received. A total of 15,000 copies were printed. To date, requests for information have come in from more than 2,000 prospective visitors, from addresses both near and far. The Culpeper Chamber of Commerce provided a toll-free number (888-49PDMNT) for these requests, from which it is able to respond with a wealth of detailed information about points of interest across the entire region.

In addition, committee chair Beth Burns has worked with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to increase the visibility of the Virginia Piedmont on the state tourism Web site with the development of a Piedmont feature page.

Plans for 2011 include a second printing of the Virginia Piedmont brochure, more ads in publications such as Virginia Living and Recreation News, and supporting and promoting the upcoming Shenandoah National Park 75th anniversary commemorations. The towns and counties across Planning District 9 have made these successes possible through their collaborative planning and financial support.

SMG ‘Best in the South’

The Los Angeles Times, CBS News and Newsweek have all recognized the honor bestowed on Shenandoah Mountain Guides in the January 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine, which named the Frederick, Md.-based adventure tour company “Best in the South.” Congratulations to company founder Andy Nichols and guide Chad Heddleston, both Rappahannock County natives, for their exceptional program. Southern Living specifically noted SMG’s “cascading” program, which combines hiking and swimming in secluded waterfalls. Call Shenandoah Mountain Guides at 866-455-8672 or visit teamlinkinc.com for more information.

Rocknoceros guitar player Williebob enjoys his celebrity with young fans at the RappKids concert Saturday at the Link, attended by more than 200 children and playful adults. Photo by E. Raymond Boc.

Kids dancing everywhere

Hats off to the RappKids organizers for bringing a wholesome family event to Sperryville, where the Link last Saturday afternoon was the perfect setting for a large room full of children dancing to the music of Rocknoceros. Those too little to dance were in the arms of their bouncing-to-the-beat parents, and joyful expressions filled the room. We look forward to future events. Contact the Sperryville nonprofit group at Rappkids9@gmail.com.

Your voice is needed

Rappahannock County Public Schools has a Special Education Advisory Committee that meets several times throughout the school year. This committee is established in compliance with state and federal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The purpose of this group is to advise and assist the school division in evaluating programs and opportunities for our special needs students. If you’d like to be a part of this team, contact Carol Johnson at 540-987-8773. The next meeting is 3:45 p.m. today (Jan. 20) at the high school library.

Cell towers

The debate about cell phone poles is one well worth having. There are few who disagree with the necessity for cell poles for economic and safety benefits for our county. The primary area of discussion is whether one 199-foot pole or multiple shorter poles would better serve the county. Bring your thoughts to this debate, but let’s not lose out on the opportunity to achieve the goal of cell service for Sperryville.

James Russell

Thanks to Jim Gannon for expressing in last week’s paper so eloquently what so many of us knew and loved about James Russell. Indeed, part of the story of this man is that so many of us have personal stories about the master storyteller. He will be sorely missed by all.

See “The Rapp” column for the latest information about Mr. Russell’s funeral Saturday in Sperryville.

Your donation will help defray the cost of his funeral. Please come and join in. I am certain that Mr. Russell, who never missed a party, will be with us.

1 Comment

  1. It would be very useful, and, I believe, provide for a lot more clarity of the issues that we need to actually deal with, if we can avoid looking at the AT&T proposal and application in Rappahannock County as something that involves “winning” or “Loosing”; as when Ms. Adolfi says; “…let’s not lose out on the opportunity to achieve the goal of cell service for Sperryville.”

    There is every reason to believe that despite trying to make this seem like a “one time shot” at getting this, it isn’t.

    The use of the technology has increased considerably since Sprint installed the “first edition” in our relative neighborhood. Sprint worked with us to protect and to cooperate with what we are; and how we look; and to maintain what is a major reason why people come here in the first place.

    Demand for continuous service on especially popular roadways has increased dramatically and all of the carriers know this.

    AT&T is not going to cover all of us, nor is the likelihood that other carriers will either; but some, if not AT&T, then others, will work with us, not over us.

    All things considered, rushing to get something that serves AT&T to its maximum level of desire without serving all of us means that what we are, and what we all hold joint title to, has to be sacrificed. The proposal by AT&T doesn’t serve us all equally; and to date, they have yet to clearly show us the data that would substantiate that even a significant number of us, albeit less than a majority, will benefit.

    I do not believe that this is an issue which can be properly treated as, nor should be treated as, an “us” against “them” situation. This is particularly so where we are pitting some of us against others in the Community as a whole. And it is even more so when the entire County, not just Sperryville or some other localized place is impacted. What we are, as well as why people come here is at stake.

    The ten year hiatus (delay in continued expansion of cell service) since Sprint first came to Rappahannock County has been pointed to as proof that we had better grab whatever comes along or be left out forever. This is more than just foolish. The demand has increased exponentially in those ten years and the Carriers know it.

    The demand is not something that is generated here in the County in significant numbers.

    It is the demand generated by those who come through here to share in the splendor and magnificence which we have here. That “scenic” asset is what , up until now, we have managed to protect and sequester for the most part. We don’t need to throw it away!

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