The Rapp for Jan. 10

Apologies

Many subscribers received their papers late last week. We apologize for the delay.

Our printer, Print Innovators in Fredericksburg, incorrectly inkjetted the addresses on some papers, leaving off key information (like parts of the mailing address). They did not discover the error and delivered the papers to the U.S. Post Office in Culpeper which, of course, could not deliver them. Papers were reprinted and addressed correctly, but the incident resulted in delayed delivery.

We’ve told the printer that this and a similar incident in November are unacceptable. As a newspaper, we are dedicated to fulfilling our obligation to you, our readers, for timely delivery.

‘Share the road’

Amissville-based RappTrails Coalition didn’t win approval of the first phase of its proposed bike path connecting Sperryville and Washington, but that doesn’t mean the group is disbanding.

“It’s hard to believe it has been two months since the fateful meeting where three Supervisors voted to deny the VDOT TAP grant and ended all hope for the Schools Connector Trail. That was a real disappointment for RappTrails and all of the people who supported the Trail,” the group’s organizers now write to supporters, saying “it is time to look ahead at new projects.”

Suggestions voiced at a RappTrails Board of Directors meeting in mid-December, where “we developed a plan for moving forward,” included “creating a walking/biking map, paying for ‘share the road’ signage, providing for bridges over streams and other improvements for current popular walking trails, and facilitating the creation of trails on private land that would be open to the public.”

Melting winters

After an unusually frosty autumn in Rappahannock County, much of December through the first third of January was a dud when it comes to Old Man Winter. A recent flyover of Virginia and West Virginia revealed barren mountains, save the man-made snow at local ski resorts like Massanutten.

Courtesy photo
Massanutten Ski Resort, with Shenandoah National Park in the background, hopes winter arrives soon.

Which begs the question: is climate change melting mid-Atlantic skiing?

If you like to ski, advises the Partnership for Responsible Growth, get out there and enjoy it while you can because warmer weather is shortening the ski seasons: “Within the next 20 years, the number of days at or below freezing in some of the most popular ski towns in the United States will decline by weeks or even a month.”

Powder Magazine agrees: “Climate change will scrape weeks off both sides of the season at ski resorts from California to Maine.”

At the current rate of global warming, it is predicted that by 2040 numerous ski resorts up and down the east coast will go out of business.

Here at home, where it’s finally gotten colder this late week and measurable snow is in the forecast, ski areas are rushing to fine-tune their snowmaking skills and capacity, but scant white stuff can be produced with fewer windows of extended freezing temperatures.

Library opening

The Rappahannock Board of Supervisors is soliciting applicants to fill a volunteer position on the Rappahannock County Library Board of Trustees. The position became vacant on Jan. 1, 2019. The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall functioning of the Rappahannock County Library and its programs.

Applicants must be citizens of Rappahannock County and be interested in the services provided by the Library. Typically, meetings of the Library Board of Trustees take place monthly and are held at the Library.

If you are interested in appointment, please contact your representative on the Board of Supervisors or Garrey W. Curry, Jr., County Administrator, (540) 675-5330 or complete and submit to the County Administrator an “Appointment to Board Application,” which can be found on the County’s website on the “Notices and Documents” page.

Want to farm?

Interested in becoming a farmer but find yourself lacking land or experience? The Fauquier Education Farm is recruiting up to three candidates this late winter to run their own small-scale farm plots.

The education farm’s incubator program is in its second year, and executive director Jim Hankins calls it “a chance to get your feet wet in farming without the expense and risk of leasing a large plot of land.”

Giving new farmers an opportunity “to have a real-world proving ground, to prove their concept, is important,” Hankins explains. “There’s a tremendous amount of work that has to be done to become a successful farmer.”

The education farm is part of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher program. Participants pay a small annual fee to lease a quarter-acre of land and are provided with trays of some of the vegetable plants already being raised on the farm. Irrigation, deer fencing and access to farm equipment like a tractor and mower are part of the deal.

Budding farmers meet with Hankins for agricultural and marketing advice every other week and are expected to complete a beginning farmer education program their first year. Applications accepted through March 1. Contact Hankins at 540-336-4338.

Woods and wildlife

Owners of woodlands large and small can learn how to maximize their property’s potential at this winter’s Woods and Wildlife Conference, set for Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Germanna Community College’s Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.

Collaborators from public, private and industrial entities plan the conference. Specific topics include forest health, pollinators, forest products, creating and maintaining various habitats, timber sale and harvest considerations, human-wildlife conflicts and more.

“This conference addresses the latest issues and trends in forest and wildlife management,” said event founder Adam Downing of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Cost of the conference is $45 per person or $80 per couple, which includes lunch and materials. Registration and program details are found at http://forestupdate.frec.vt.edu/. Deadline to register is Feb. 12. Contact Jennifer Gagnon at 540.231.6391 or jgagnon@vt.edu.

Go back in time

In recognition of the 400th anniversary of the first meeting of elected members of the House Burgesses in Jamestown — the first and oldest continuously elected English-speaking lawmaking body in the Western Hemisphere — the Virginia House Clerk’s Office has unveiled an unprecedented database offering biographical and legislative service information of every House member since the first Burgesses convened in July 1619.

The public, historians, descendants, researchers and students of all ages can find easily in one convenient place and on one website — history.house.virginia.gov — the treasure-trove of data chronicling the 9,700-plus men and women who have served as Burgesses or Delegates elected to the Virginia General Assembly over the past four centuries through 2019.

“Virginia has long been recognized as the birthplace of America,” says House Speaker Kirk Cox. “Leaders of our Commonwealth were the founders of the United States’ ongoing experiment in representative self-government, a topic I relished sharing with my students for 30 years as a high school civics education teacher.”

Second Saturday

Experience crisp clear sparkling days and starry sparkling nights on the Rappahannock County Artisan Trail in January. Find and enjoy the special sparkle of Second Saturday this weekend.

Amissville

Magnolia Vineyards & Winery: Acoustic Soul, the guitar and vocal duo of Steven Shaffer and Bruce Turner, returns to play a variety of classic rock and rhythm and blues. Patty Sevre, local master glass engraving artist, will be in the tasting room all weekend. Local favorite Maddi Mae performs Sunday from 2-5 p.m.

Flint Hill

Griffin Tavern: Show up for a fun night of dancing to classic rock favorites performed by the Five by Five Band.

Sperryville

Sperryville ARTists Cooperative: Create traditional and online portfolios. Workshop will review finished work, present it either chronologically, by medium or subject; create digital files; show how to upload files electronically or create an effective online portfolio; and recommend online sites where to publish work. Cost covers digitizing and saving files on a storage device to build on. 1-4 p.m. $15. Reservations required: 571-213-2749 and artiststudio@livingsky.org.

Washington

Hazel River Arts and Antiques: Jennifer Webb, of Warm Glass Designs, will be teaching a fused glass class at Hazel River Arts & Antiques. Make your own suncatcher. All materials and instruction provided. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $25 fee. Reserve at 540-987-8440.

Gay Street Gallery: Kevin Adams’ Virginia landscapes are featured in a new exhibition opening Jan. 12 at Gay Street Gallery. Reception with food and beverages 4-7 p.m. Also featured are Virginia artists Giselle Gautreau, Warren Frederick and Catherine White.

Middle Street Gallery: Check out a sparkling exhibition of landscapes by Kathleen Willingham and abstracts by Phyllis Magrab. The exhibition also includes other Middle Street Gallery members. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit www. middlestreetgallery.org.

Staff/Contributed
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The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to editor@rappnews.com or call us at 540-675-3338.

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