The Rapp for March 2

County still downloading

We know, we know. Every since the advent of personal computers residents of Rappahannock County have been anxious for a broadband fix. There was hope when the county formed its first broadband committee — public meetings were held, industry speakers and wireless experts appeared, solutions were debated and discussed, and then — nada.

No coverage, no signal, no reception — no whatever is in the air that surrounding counties enjoy and we don’t.

So today, as in the past, county residents without internet access are camped inside — and outside — wi-fi enabled coffee shops and other businesses answering their emails, sending off worksheets, buying the latest bestseller, and checking the score of the previous night’s ball game.

But never say never. Be there or be square.

The recently resurrected Rappahannock Broadband Committee is encouraging residents whose work schedules permit to appear at the Washington Fire Hall at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 7, for a much-anticipated broadband presentation. 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 strategies to address and improve broadband adoption and utilization.

“This will be an informative, fact-gathering event for the committee and the community and all are welcome,” said Rappahannock County Supervisor John Lesinski, adding “we believe working with the CIT is a critical next step that will launch us towards solutions.”

A meeting agenda provided this week by Rappahannock County Administrator Debbie Keyser sets aside limited time after the presentation for committee and public comment.

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.”

Living ‘the good life’

The stars continue to shine down on Patrick O’Connell. And for that matter everything Rappahannock County offers his new and repeat visitors.

“The surrounding area provides opportunities for hiking, fly-fishing, hot air ballooning, antiquing and wine tasting,” states the Forbes Travel Guide, while announcing this week that O’Connell’s Inn at Little Washington has once again won five-stars’ ratings for both its restaurant and hotel — remaining Virginia’s only establishment to do so, and for the 27th consecutive year.

Indeed, as the appreciative O’Connell notes on his Facebook site: “The Inn continues to be the longest tenured 5-star restaurant in the world.”

Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the inn offers visitors a taste of the good life,” Forbes writes of the Inn and county. We have details of the Inn’s latest recognitions in today’s Washington column penned each week by Jan Clatterbuck.

Home in one

Do you like to golf? Or enjoy watching golfers on a spring day? Are you interested in contributing your time, talent and other resources to a local nonprofit dedicated to redefining aging in the rural community we call home?

Then you’ll want to know about Rapp at Home’s first annual Home in One golf tournament scheduled for Friday, April 21, at the Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course in Sperryville.

“This event is a fundraiser for Rapp at Home,” says Heidi Lesinski, Rapp at Home board member and organizer of the golf tournament. “All proceeds from the tournament will go to the organization to support its programs and services.”

Rapp at Home offers transportation to medical appointments, grocery and prescription deliveries, subsidized memberships for low income residents, computer technical support provided by Rappahannock County High School students, respite care, home safety assessments and repairs, and other activities.

“Another area that we feel is important is social engagement and connection to community,” says board chair Sharon Pierce. “Rappahannock is aging and, because we are a rural community, some people are socially isolated due to illness, disability or lack of transportation. We provide opportunities for people to get together and we are working with other organizations to address the wider transportation issue.”

Lesinski and her committee have begun lining up financial and volunteer support for the event. “There are many opportunities for businesses and individuals to sponsor aspects of the event or underwrite the tournament itself,” says Lesinski. “Union Bank has already signed on as an underwriter.”

“We also need volunteers to help before, during, and after the tournament,” she says. “This is an opportunity both to have fun and help our community.”

Home in One Golf Tournament, Friday, April 21, rain or shine. Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course in Sperryville. Registration for golfers at 1:00 pm, tee-off at 2:00 pm. For more information about participating, sponsoring and volunteering, please contact Lindsay Sonnett at or the Rapp at Home office: 540-937-HOME (4663).

Spare a pint?

Time to roll up your sleeves.

The Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad is hosting a bloodmobile — and open house — this Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 12 Main Street in Sperryville. Rappahannock residents are encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood by going to and entering the zip code 22740. The remainder of the steps are as easy as giving blood.

At the same time, visit the station and meet our community emergency volunteers who are on 24 hour standby to serve us in time of need.

“Consider volunteering your time as a running member or support person in this great organization,” urges the rescue squad, pointing out “our staff is aging and we need people of all ages to fill positions as they move on.”

Professional training is available for emergency medical technicians, which can lead to careers in the medical field. Emergency vehicle drivers are also needed.

What’s cookin’, kids?

Rappahannock County Elementary School students sharpen their culinary skills in a kitchen classroom setting. The instruction ranges from reading recipes and chopping veggies to baking and later cleaning the pots and pans. Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Rappahannock County Elementary School students sharpened their culinary skills as they learned about recipe reading and how to chop, measure, mix and cook ingredients.

Mandi Grove and Jacqui Lowe-Barton hosted Commit to be Fit’s (C2BF) first kids’ cooking class. Students worked together to make apple crisp and personalized omelets with freshly chopped vegetables. Afterwards, the kid chefs enjoyed their delicious creations and even served extra apple crisp to their parents.

The importance of kitchen safety was demonstrated and practiced throughout the class, along with a team effort of cleaning up. Meanwhile, next door, parents and C2BF members joined wellness integration specialist Holly Jenkins for an energizing circuit workout class. Commit to be Fit says it looks forward to hosting future family events to encourage healthy living in the Rappahannock community.


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