The Rapp for Sept. 28

Fourth Estate Friday

Time to brainstorm with Rappahannock News staff — 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 29, at the Country Cafe in Washington. The always lively “story conference” is normally held on the fourth Friday of every month, except on months like now when the calendar gifts us five Fridays.

Please bring with you story ideas, submissions and suggestions for both the newspaper and the website. And yes, we invite your criticism and will address any concerns. We’ve even been known to accept a compliment or two. Tell us what you think, what you like and don’t like about the newspaper, and better yet get to know the faces behind the bylines.

Shot and drill

Want a free flu shot? If you can keep the seasonal bug at bay for a few more weeks, mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 19, 4 to 7 p.m., and proceed to Rappahannock County Elementary School. The free vaccine, courtesy of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District, is offered to those 3 years and older.

Interestingly enough, the three-hour window for the free shots is also serving as a training drill to test Rappahannock County’s capabilities for administering vaccines or medication in an emergency situation.

Commit thyself

The final day to register for Commit to be Fit’s “6 Month Challenge” is this Saturday, Sept. 30.

Wellness Integration Specialist Holly Jenkins and her health conscious Commit to be Fit team will be at Rappahannock County High School’s Fall Festival this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you haven’t registered yet, visit the C2BF booth at the festival to sign up and complete the initial check-in (survey and measurements).

For those who have already completed the initial check-in, please help C2BF spread the word by encouraging family and friends to participate. Everybody in the Rappahannock community (18 years and older) is invited to participate in the free wellness challenge.

Cool calendar

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries “2018 Virginia Wildlife Calendar” is now available for ordering at $12.95 each.

The 2018 Virginia Fish and Game calendar is always an annual favorite. Courtesy image

Do you know which mammal in these parts can reach 400 pounds? Or which duck is most abundant on our ponds? Take a gander at the 2018 calendar for those answers and much more. It’s loaded with information, including Virginia species, best fishing times, and spectacular photos. You don’t want to miss out on this one, according to Fish and Game officials.

For those ordering multiple calendars, consider a case of 25. Buying in bulk saves 50 percent, and shipping is free. To place an order click into or else phone toll-free 888-780-8334.

Call for pics

If you have images of bucolic landscapes, bustling downtowns or local wildlife, now is the time to submit them to the Piedmont Environmental Council’s photo contest.

The Piedmont Environmental Council photo contest deadline is this Saturday. This photo near Ben Venue won first place honors in 2016. Courtesy PEC

Participants can enter up to six images by this Saturday, Sept. 30 to each category — Beautiful Landscapes and Streetscapes, Native Plants and Wildlife and a new option Recreation. There is also a Youth category for photographers 17 years and younger.

Photos must be taken either within Rappahannock, Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison or Orange counties.

PEC judges select finalists in each category, and then Joe Public votes to crown the winners. Finalists receive a free PEC membership and have her/his work featured in upcoming online or print PEC publications. Winners of each category will receive a $75 gift certificate to a restaurant listed in PEC’s “Buy Fresh Buy Local” guide. The youth category winner receives a $75 iTunes gift card.

Finalists will be announced in October. To view last year’s winners and learn more contest details, visit

Pulse of paper

Artist Nancy Brittle’s “Reading the Newspaper at the General Lewis” conjures the spirit of newspaper reading. Courtesy image

The essence of reading the newspaper that artist Nancy Brittle captures in her painting “Reading the Newspaper at the General Lewis” brings the spirit of newspaper reading into the immediate.

The seated woman holding an open paper and expressing a combination of skepticism and belief expresses that quality of certainty about print on paper, the folds in it, the way it sits on a newsstand or arrives in the mail and how picking it up gives instantaneous messages of a collective image. Is it the tangibility of a newspaper, a kinesthetic and aesthetic moment drawing us into reflection and thought that is so absorbing?

Three paintings of individuals reading newspapers are included in Ms. Brittle’s exhibit of genre paintings currently at Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville. Her work gives a context and profound glimpse into the relevancy to sitting and reading the paper and she relates this in an upbeat storytelling manner.

Brittle’s exhibit “Quiet Hours” is on view now through Oct. 22 at Middle Street Gallery, 31 Main Street, Sperryville. Gallery hours: Friday-Sunday 10 to 5. On Oct. 14 Brittle will give an artist talk at 3.

Lands Day

Water quality is the focus of the 24th National Public Lands Day volunteer event this Saturday, Sept. 30, in Shenandoah National Park. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Shenandoah’s event will be held at Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 on Skyline Drive. Start time is 9 a.m. Park entrance fees are waived on this special day, which includes:

Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Event, 9 to 11 a.m. Take part in the EarthEcho World Water Monitoring Challenge, part of an international program that challenges the public to conduct basic water quality testing of local streams. Volunteers meet at the Byrd Visitor Center Auditorium at 9 a.m. for a brief orientation and training. Each will then receive a water quality test kit to conduct surveys on select streams in the park. Volunteers of all ages are welcome but must pre-register. Contact the park.

Freshwater Illustrated Films, 11 a.m., Noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Freshwater Illustrated develops award-winning documentary films about freshwater ecosystems. Films, to be shown in the Byrd Visitor Center Auditorium, will include the Last Dragons, Bringing Back the Brooks, and A Deeper Creek. Each film lasts 10 to 15 minutes.

Wild Side of Shenandoah Ranger Talk, 11:30 a.m. Join a park ranger for a talk about the park’s wildlife and the important role the park plays in protecting their habitat. 20 to 30 minutes.

Interpretative Tables & Children’s Activity Table, Noon to 3 p.m. Learn all about streams, their biodiversity, and how to better protect them.

Tour of Water Treatment Facility, 2 p.m. Join park staff for a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s water treatment facility.

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