The Rapp for Feb. 16

Broadband’s elusive ‘magic bullet’

It was an entire decade ago — Nov. 5, 2007 — that the Rappahannock County Broadband Initiative Committee issued its final 11-page report to then-county Administrator John McCarthy, pointing out that while there were a number of broadband providers who marketed their product in Rappahannock “a survey of existing and anticipated technology has brought the . . . committee to the conclusion that no one service or technology provides the ‘magic bullet’ to providing broadband access throughout the county.”

Fast forward to today — or more precisely to 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 7 — when residents of Rappahannock County are encouraged to gather at the Washington Fire Hall for a much-anticipated broadband presentation sponsored by the Rappahannock Broadband Committee.

The committee will be hearing from Sandie Terry, vice president of broadband programs from the Center for Innovative Technology. Terry leads efforts to provide localities with strategic broadband plans identifying local assets, providers, gaps in broadband coverage and provides strategies to address the gaps and improve broadband adoption and utilization.

The broadband committee has had only two meetings since its inception, but Rappahannock County Supervisor John Lesinski told this newspaper “we believe working with the CIT is a critical next step that will launch us towards solutions.”

“This will be an informative, fact-gathering event for the committee and the community and all are welcome,” stressed Lesinski, who represents the Hampton district.

According to the CIT website: “CIT Broadband is the only resource in the Commonwealth that offers a ‘holistic’ supply and demand approach to solving the broadband equation. The current mission of CIT’s Broadband Program is to accelerate the socio-economic growth of Virginia’s rural and underserved areas through the application and use of broadband telecommunications.

“This bold mission statement emphasizes the idea that the true value of broadband telecommunications infrastructure is derived from the applications that traverse its capacity, not the mere existence of the infrastructure.”

Tough sleeping weather

While some of us slept — and others tried to — on Sunday night a howling wind storm that lasted well into Monday morning was blowing through Rappahannock County.

Former NBC “Today Show” meteorologist Bob Ryan has a small weather station on Bessie Bell Mountain that recorded a wind gust of 58 miles per hour. The further east you went the stronger the winds.

Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie Compton said her deputies responded mostly to false alarms set off by the storm. Any wind damage consisted mostly of downed trees on private property. The most widespread power outages took place in nearby Warren County.

A Sunday to remember

What a great way to spend an upcoming Sunday afternoon — a casual concert of classical music guaranteed to please neophytes and aficionados alike.

The Child Care and Learning Center (CCLC) will be recipient of a benefit concert given by the Canadian chamber trio La Cafamore on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. at the Little Washington Theatre.

La Cafamore, which has its roots in Canada (with a few now here in Rappahannock), consists of local violinist Angela Snyder, as well as violist Alexis More and pianist Carolyn Cameron. The program will feature works of Felix Mendelssohn, Joe Hisaishi, and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Snyder is a very accomplished classically-trained violinist, who regularly shares her talents on Sunday mornings at Washington Baptist Church. In addition, she regularly participates in worship services at her home church, St. Peter Catholic Church in Washington.

Canadian born, Snyder lives with her family in Front Royal, where her husband Steve is a professor at Christendom College. She typically goes home to Canada for one month each summer, to join her sister — another member of La Cafamore — on stage.

The idea for this month’s benefit came about after Washington residents Gary and Wendy Aichele brainstormed with Syder, then subsequently approached Nancy Raines, who generously offered the theatre.

“The trio typically plays benefit concerts in Canada, and after some discussion Angela and Nancy agreed that a concert to benefit . . . the CCLC would be very appropriate,” noted Aichele. “With the enthusiastic approval of the CCLC board, and with lots of help and support from its executive director Fred Catlin . . . we’ve agreed all proceeds from the concert will go directly to the scholarship fund at CCLC.

“I very much like the idea, as pairing the concert with such a worthy cause will not only provide funding for deserving kids, but likely increase interest in the concert,” Aichele said.

RappCats fundraiser

We all know that RappCats rescues, cares for, and finds loving, forever homes for stray, abandoned, injured, neglected, abused and feral cats throughout Rappahannock County. Now is your opportunity to show appreciation to the organization for all they do for the county — and the cats.

RappCats is holding a fundraiser at Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill tomorrow evening (Friday, Feb. 17) from 7 to 9 p.m. Everybody is invited.

Music will be performed by Ben Mason, a talented Castleton singer-songwriter who has performed with leading rock and roll bands at world-class venues. John Sullivan, the honorable mayor of Washington, and John McCaslin, editor of the Rappahannock News, will serve as celebrity bartenders.

RappCats is raising the necessary funds to rescue and care for more cats and kittens in Rappahannock, as the need is great. Operating the only Virginia state-licensed shelter in the county, RappCats’ cageless, no-kill shelter is absolutely essential as the Rappahannock County animal shelter is funded to care only for dogs.

Spend Friday with Florence

RAAC’s Friday Movie night continues on March 3 at 8 p.m. at the Little Washington Theatre with the screening of “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Tickets are $6 and as always for the Friday nights popcorn, candy and water will be available for purchase.

Directed by Stephen Frears, the 110-minute PG-13 rated movie (yes, bring the teenagers out for this one) features Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Christian McKay and Nina Arianda.

The movie has garnered rave reviews, including from Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post, who wrote that “Streep steps up to the plate with another cheerfully game performance.” She is credited for providing a warm, generous-hearted portrait of the title character — a wealthy music aficionado who, in real life, became a cult figure in the 1930s and ’40s with her earnest, wildly off-key singing.

Streep, who possesses a lovely singing voice, “does a pitch-perfect imitation of the tone-deaf diva who, in the film’s telling, flourishes in spite of cruel, persnickety critics,” says the review. “Florence Foster Jenkins manages to be tender and surprisingly affecting.”

Children go grocery shopping

Commit to be Fit’s community fitness offerings this past week targeted the health and wellness of Rappahannock students through increased movement in the classrooms, nutrition education, and a healthier cafeteria menu.

Courtesy photo
Rappahannock school children learn about nutritious eating — and grocery shopping.
Courtesy photo

Indeed, the program’s nutritionist Amanda Grove, and wellness integration specialist Jacqui Lowe-Barton have been visiting classrooms to teach the importance of nutrition and physical activity to Rappahannock’s public school students.

After reading and discussing what foods make up a balanced meal by following Uncle Sam’s MyPlate recommendations, students went grocery shopping. The lesson was designed kinesthetically, so students could be active and have fun while learning.

And it’s not just about the students. Commit to Be Fit offers weekly exercise classes and wellness workshops for the entire Rappahannock County community, including:

Monday, Feb. 20: TRX Suspension Training Workshop, 4 p.m. (RCHS Weight Room); Salad in a Jar Workshop- 5 p.m. (RCHS Culinary Room)

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Walking/Running Group, 3:45 p.m. (RCES parking lot); Core De Force, 4 p.m. (RCES AUX Gym Band Room)

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Step Classes, 3:45 p.m and 5:30 p.m. (RCHS)

Thursday, Feb. 23: Walking/Running Group, 3:45 p.m (RCES parking lot): Yoga Class, 4 p.m. (RCES Music Room)

Friday, Feb. 24: Country Heat Class, 3:45 p.m. (RCHS Auditorium)

For more information contact Holly Jenkins, Wellness Integration Specialist, at


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