How’s this for irony: the newly appointed U.S. government official charged with ensuring that “all Americans have access” to broadband owns a home right here in broadband-challenged Rappahannock County.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai has just chosen Kris Anne Monteith to serve as chief of its Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB), where she has been acting chief.
The WCB, among other tasks, leads the agency’s work on ensuring that all Americans have access to robust, affordable broadband and voice services, as well as helping to ensure access to affordable communications for schools, libraries, health care providers, and rural and low-income consumers.
In addition, the WCB works to close the digital divide by encouraging investment in broadband infrastructure.
Monteith, who owns a home near Sperryville, has held several senior leadership positions within the FCC in her 20 years with the agency. She has served as acting chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, as well as chief of the Enforcement Bureau.
She has been a deputy chief in the Wireline Competition Bureau she now leads, as well as the Media Bureau and the policy division of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Before joining the Commission in 1997, Monteith practiced telecommunications law.
Now let’s hope she joins heads with Rappahannock County Supervisor John Lesinski, who oversees the county’s newly-resurrected broadband committee.
“The FCC and the American people are lucky to have someone as skilled and dedicated as Kris leading this important arm of the agency,” said Pai. “The FCC has a vital role to play in clearing the way for broadband investment across America and in helping spur deployment where it lags behind.
Sow it everywhere
In observance of Hemp History Week, businesses in Sperryville are hosting a hemp history festival on Sunday, June 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at Sperryville’s River District (3 River Lane).
There will be a hemp-related display at Living Sky Foundation, a viewing of the movie Bringing It Home at Wild Roots Apothecary, hemp product samples provided by the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition, and food and drink specials at participating Sperryville establishments.
As organizers point out, the 2014 Farm Bill allows for states with hemp legislation in place (Virginia isn’t one of them) to grow the so-called “new billion-dollar crop” that is found in food and drinks, clothing and accessories, beauty and skin products, and more: “This is one step closer for farmers everywhere. Get involved with the @HempHistoryWeek campaign and @VoteHemp to push for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to allow for commercial production and make the industry viable. We are bringing hemp back to Virginia farm!”
George Washington, the nation’s first president, encouraged farmers to make the most of the “hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” Thomas Jefferson agreed: “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”
Among those scheduled to attend the Sperryville event is Will King, candidate for Virginia House District 18 and a major proponent of bringing hemp farming to Virginia to stimulate the agriculture sector and economy.
Colonel John Bourgeois, the 25th director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, has graciously agreed to conduct an American Festival Concert on Saturday, July 1, at Avon Hall in Washington.
Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan likens the concert to “an old-fashioned family celebration.”
“The public is invited to this free event,” he says. “Bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic lunch. There will be special activities for the children.”
The concert will begin at 5 p.m., although the Avon Hall grounds will open at noon.
“Come early!” the mayor encourages all residents of Rappahannock County.
Grace and ‘Gracie’
The Coming Together Camp Meeting will be held beginning this Sunday, June 4, through the following Sunday at the Flint Hill Carnival Grounds beneath the pavilion.
Rappahannock resident and Pastor David Clanagan of the Love and Faithfulness Church in Front Royal says all evening services will begin at 7 p.m, featuring preachers, singers, baptisms, fellowship and “lots of good food.”
Of all the headliners, we are most intrigued with the events of Saturday, June 10, at 4 p.m.: “We will have Steve Foster and ‘Gracie’ his mule.”
For more information, contact Pastor Clanagan at 540.247.1739. All are welcome.
New ‘Biz’ officers
The Annual Meeting and Quarterly Biz Rapp Networking Social sponsored by Businesses of Rappahannock was a rousing success. Held last Wednesday at Griffin Tavern, the event boasted a record attendance of 70.
Outgoing president Jason Brady introduced the newly elected slate of officers for 2017-18: Theresa Wood, president; Jan Makela, vice president; Berni Olson, secretary; Melissa Schooler, treasurer; and community representatives Tobey Wheelock, Washington; Sheila Whaley, Flint Hill; and Robert Archer, Sperryville. Tobey will also be the lead contact for the county website, www.rappahannock.com.
Jason Brady was recognized for years of service and diligent efforts to revamp and update the county website in cooperation with Rapp Media, Wheelock Webworks, Rappahannock County, and Adam Beroza.
“As always, we were happy to welcome the Hawthorne district Supervisor Chris Parrish,” says Makela. “Many thanks to our enthusiastic hosts, Griffin Tavern (Debbie and Jim Donehey) and Union First Market Bank (Jason Brady) who provided food and beverages for our guests.”
Sponsors for the event were Abracadabra Massage and Wellness (Cara Cutro), Foothills Forum (Sheila Gresinger), Hazel Zinn-Day Appraisals, Realtor Bev Atkins, Lee Brothers Services LLC (Trevor and Tanyon Lee), and RappU (Kathy Grove and Doug Schiffman). The Biz Link Networking Committee is remaining intact with the addition of Sandra Maskas, the director of the Visitor Center.”
The next networking social will be held the third week in August.
Rappahannock County Artisan Trail “Second Saturday” is almost upon us, offering a diverse collection of special events, artist classes, gallery openings, wonderful wines and more. The June 10th events are as follows:
Eastwoods Nursery, Site #55 — 634 Long Mountain Road, Washington, features its Second Spring Open House with an amazing collection of Japanese maples.
River District Potters, Site # 32 — 7 River Lane, Studio 7B Sperryville, features potters Sara Adams, Susan Hornbostel, Doris Jones, and Nancy Nord, who will be working in the studio, answering questions and enjoying visitors all day.
De’Danann Glassworks Stained Glass Studio, Site # 4 — 23 Spyder Mountain, Sperryville, features artist Patricia Brennan and her Fused Earring Workshop, where one can create their own fused glass earrings. 10 a.m. to noon. Fee $30
Glassworks Gallery, Site # 42 — 11774 Lee Hwy, Sperryville. Meet an Artist, where one of the artists will be working in the gallery all day for you to meet! Since 1984, Glassworks Gallery has offered excellent quality handmade art and fine craft.
Rappahannock Cellars, Site # 63 — 14437 Hume Rd, Huntly. Release weekend for the popular Fizzy Rose and 2015 Chardonnay
Greenfield Inn Bed and Breakfast, Site #108 —September Song Lane Washington, where talented artist Beverley Shepherd will be on hand. Her realistic portraits are truly a sight to see. Maybe you have a special pet that you would like to preserve forever in a portrait. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sperryville ARTist Cooperative/Living Sky Foundation, Site # 44 — River Lane, Studio 1A, Sperryville, Still Life Drawing Workshops with Cy Parker.
Warmglass Designs, trail site #109 — Ginger Hill Antiques, 12625 Lee Hwy, Washington, features artist Jennifer Webb and her Glass Mandala Workshop.
Gay Street Gallery, Site #102 — 37 Gay Street, Washington, features an opening reception with the Artists: Painters Ruthie Windsor Mann and Kevin Adams, and the indoor and outdoor sculpture of Jan Kirsch.