Inside this week’s News (Feb. 4)

Here’s a quick look at this week’s Rappahannock News — at newsstands, mailboxes and inboxes now.
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Whited of Washington, for Congress

At 11:15 a.m. Friday, Joe Whited stopped his car in the median, popped the trunk and pulled out a “Whited for Congress” sign. The 36-year-old Town resident hiked up his pants, navy blue suit jacket open with red tie flying in the wind, and clambered up a 5-foot snow bank to plant his flag — at the first 211 Business exit into Little Washington, less than a mile from his house at the entrance to Harris Hollow.

An hour later, he spoke at the Washington Fire Hall before about 40 local residents dressed in layers: sweaters, scarves, jackets, duck boots, muck boots, riding boots, cowboy boots. Whited, a Republican, announced his intention to run for the Fifth District Congressional seat in the House of Representatives in the Nov. 8 general election. The candidate filing deadline is March 31.

Courtesy Debbie Esola
27-year-old quarterhorse Sydney gave birth to five foles in her life, and was known to her owner, Debbie Esola, as kind and good natured. Sydney drew her last breaths Saturday night (Jan. 23) on a bed of straw fashioned on the mounting snow. Courtesy Debbie Esola

Mercy mission

As the blizzard tapered off around dark in Amissville, just a quarter mile across the Culpeper line, equine dentist Debbie Esola rushed out of the house and into the nearly three feet of snow to check on a disturbance at her three-horse stable. Two of her horses were hollering and trying to climb over the stall doors to get to the third, Sydney, who was laying in a stall on her back, legs drawn to her chest, writhing in insufferable pain.

The 27-year-old quarterhorse crashed at night, the Saturday of the blizzard (Jan. 23). It was obvious to Esola that Sydney had suffered some sort of internal rupture, and that she’d need to be put down to end the elderly horse’s misery and terror. Esola called three or four veterinary practices for help, and found none. Her last call was to Rose Hill Veterinary Practice in Washington. The staff tracked down large animal vet Tom Massie, who wasn’t even on call that evening. Massie braved the snow, which had drifted in some places as high as five feet, to reach Esola’s farm in Amissville, and put the suffering horse to sleep.

RappU: Never stop learning

That’s the message of RappU, which opened registration for courses on Monday (Feb. 1). Spring semester classes begin March 28.

Local experts on a total of 23 topics will lecture and instruct students at 14 locations around the county. Each course includes five classes that are an hour and a half long, convening weekly, ending the last week of April. Enrollment is limited, and early registration is recommended.

District Court: good news and bad news

Amid the DWIs, drug possession and probation violation cases heard week after week in Rappahannock District Court, sometimes there is good news. Last Tuesday (Feb. 2), Sean Andrew Lee Koglin Bowlin, 21, of Stephens City, appeared before Judge Charles B. Foley to report that he had successfully completed his 12-month probation. A year ago, Bowlin had pleaded guilty to underage possession of alcohol. Foley declared Bowlin to be in good standing with Adult Court Services (ACS) and dismissed the charge.

And then began the docket of usual cases.

By Megan S. Smith
John Kiser at last weekend’s Rappahannock Benevolent Fund’s Celebrity Waiters’ Dinner, which raised about $40,000 for the cause. The Benevolent Fund provides short-term emergency funds for needy individuals and families in the county. By Megan S. Smith

Food, frivolity and a fantastic cause

About 150 people attended the Marti Gras-themed Rappahannock Benevolent Fund’s Celebrity Waiters’ Dinner last Saturday night. With checks still coming in, the event raised about $40,000 to help county residents in need.

Film Festival: Big plans for its second act

The success of last year’s first annual Film Festival at Little Washington, a Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC) sponsored event, has made one thing apparent: Rappahannock County and the surrounding areas are full of independent film enthusiasts. So mark your calendar for the 2016 festival to be held April 8-10 at The Theatre at Washington, and look for a detailed events schedule announcement in March.

Unpaved Roadshow: Manuscript art of the Pennsylvania Germans

Between 1720 and 1820, more than 100,000 German-speaking people entered the port of Philadelphia seeking a life free from religious persecution. Most were peasants and small farmers, and they eventually moved from the city to the fertile soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Later generations traveled further south into the Shenandoah Valley through Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.

Although agriculture was their major industry, as their society became more firmly rooted, farmer-craftsmen turned some of their energies to producing and decorating the many articles of daily life, including fraktur — illuminated documents recording family events. The name “fraktur” derives from the angular, fractured appearance of the familiar Gothic typeface used in deeds and official edicts in 16th century Europe.

Letter: Oppose the ‘Airbnd bills’

I ask that you oppose the proposed Limited Residential Lodging Act.

Years ago, in choosing to live on agricultural property bounded by similarly zoned neighboring properties in rural Rappahannock County, my family and I chose the bucolic over the expedient, foregoing the trappings and intrusiveness of commercial activity in favor of simple country living. I submit that having made this choice, we are vested with an expectation of peaceful possession, control and enjoyment of our property, which, because of our pastoral surroundings, is an expectation even greater in degree than one would have in a more urban environment. Effective land use planning protects agricultural and residential uses from the potential impacts of more intrusive, intensive, incompatible neighboring commercial uses.  

Plus: Richard Brady, the Sperryville and Washington column, Events, the Crossword and more.

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