The Rapp for Feb. 22

Fourth Estate Friday

Time again to brainstorm with Rappahannock News staff — 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 23, at the Country Cafe in Washington. We call the gathering Fourth (Estate) Friday — a “story conference” held on the fourth Friday of every month.

Please bring with you story ideas, submissions and suggestions for both the newspaper and the website. Better yet get to know the faces behind the bylines.

Darn bills

Don’t look now, but starting next week electric bill rates will be increasing in Rappahannock County.

A request by Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) to “modify” — in this instance increase — rates for electricity use billed on or after March 1 has been approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Starting next month, the typical resident using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month will pay an average of $3 more per month. Put another way, the REC sees bills increasing by $6 per month during the warmer months (through the start of October) and $1.25 more per month in the non-summer months.

Parenting kudos

“One Little Song Can Change The World,” the new album released by Rappahannock County-based Kid Pan Alley, has been named a National Parenting Product Award winner. The NAPPA is one of the longest running and most respected awards programs for children’s products in the country.

Courtesy photo

“There is something truly inspiring about the new Kid Pan Alley CD,” NAPPA said. “In fact, the album is inspiring in two ways. Kids will be inspired by the album’s ten songs, which hold uplifting, positive messages about the virtues of friendship, diversity, and having a dream, as well as not being mean or a bully. The CD also inspires young listeners to express their creativity because the songs are all co-written by elementary or middle school students.”

Paul Reisler, founder of Kid Pan Alley, explains in the liner notes that “Kid Pan Alley began in 1999 with the accidental discovery that kids make the greatest co-writers.”

Second novel

Sperryville resident Stewart Willis has published his second novel, “Deadly Highway.”

The novel describes the interactions of ambitious and competitive workers at a northern Virginia tech firm and their wives as they prepare a proposal for a major contract that will ensure the success of the company and its leaders for years to come.

The book is available at Rare Finds Gifts and Antiques in Washington and at Martin Woodard’s art gallery in Sperryville. It is available in eBook and other formats from Amazon, Google Books and Kobo.


Stephanie Mastri rehearses a role in the Good Doctor at the RAAC Community Theatre. With her are Andy Paltt, left, and Gary Grossman. Courtesy photo

Three RAAC Community Theatre actors are featured in the premier edition of BOOM, a new magazine published by Piedmont Media (The Fauquier Times) in Warrenton, targeted to the Baby Boom generation.

The story, written by RAAC Theatre artistic director Patty Hardee, highlights the ways some boomers turn to creative activities to balance and enhance their work lives.

Veteran actor/director Stephanie said she has always been enthralled with theatre and finds that many of the principles of acting also apply to her work as a speech pathologist in the Fauquier County public schools. Warrenton dermatologist Larry Finkel, who appeared the RAAC productions of “The Old Couple” and “Arcadia,” said he finds that the requirement to be in “in the moment” on stage also extends to his listening skills with patients. And RAAC newcomer Peggy Emmling, retired from the Foreign Service, said she turned to acting to relieve the monotony of her work overseas.

BOOM, a free quarterly publication, can be found at popular spots around Fauquier County.

RappCats rock

The RappCats rockin’ benefit bash is returning to Griffin Tavern Friday evening. The RappCats’ fundraiser will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., as Griffin Tavern and Ben Mason team up with RappCats to raise money for Rappahannock County’s homeless, sick and injured cats.

A Rappahannock resident, Ben has just released his 4th CD “Flesh and Bones” and is donating his unique, alternative rock sound to help the cats.

Besides Ben’s music, RappCats will have surprise guest bartenders. All tips at the bar and 10 percent of dinner sales during the bash will help RappCats, which operates the only state-approved cat shelter in the county.

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