Archive for: December 6th, 2017

Local News
Eastham Park now bears sign memorializing the late Jim Eastham
December 6, 2017

Is there any room for more well wishes on that sign? Courtesy Photo/WC

A banner displayed at the funeral of former Front Royal mayor and EDA board member James Eastham and signed by mourners is now on display at the county park bearing the Eastham family name.  That park on land donated by the Eastham family is at the end of Luray Avenue along the bank of the Shenandoah River; and contains the county dog parks, river-walk, playground and soccer practice fields.

County Administrator Doug Stanley noted that Eastham, who passed recently after a battle with pancreatic cancer, provided input on the park’s design and was active in fundraising activities for the dog park and playground.

At the family’s request the County will keep the banner up in memory of one of this community’s great advocates.

Local News
EDA: Community on a roll; several projects completed, more underway
December 6, 2017

Bridge work is nearing completion at two locations – over the South Fork of the Shenandoah on Front Royal’s northside (pictured here heading south) and at Morgan’s Ford. Royal Examiner File Photo/Roger Bianchini

Motorists found an unexpectedly easy drive into and out of Front Royal Monday, December 4, but the worst may be yet to come – also perhaps, the best.

As equipment lined up beneath the South Fork bridge December 6 to complete, after missing the project deadline, the paving of the $72.2 million span, Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley was optimistic that the area’s second bridge project at Morgan’s Ford (announced cost about $10 million) would be completed ahead of the targeted May 18, 2018, completion date (perhaps by year’s end?).

In the current issue of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) News, Stanley reported: “Work is … progressing ahead of schedule on the long-awaited Morgan Ford Bridge replacement … that will provide a safe crossing and connection between the Rockland and Howellsville area of the county.”  It will also provide an alternative (to Route 340/522) drive into the town for residents of the Fairground Road/Rockland area and more direct access for some area emergency services vehicles.

Pier construction is finished as appear to be bridge beams, preparatory to “pouring the (bridge) deck.  We hold out hope that they can stay ahead of schedule and complete the project earlier,” Stanley said.

As always in the construction industry, the weather – current forecast is a change for the worse – will be a large contributing factor.

Things have progressed mightily at Morgan’s Ford since this photo was taken during high water that slowed things up in the spring. Courtesy Photo/Ty Edwards

The EDA report also listed almost a dozen town and county projects completed or underway as the year 2017 draws to a close.  Among them, Leach Run Parkway, a four-lane divided road that provides direct access to the new Warren County Middle School, described as “the prettiest (roadway) in the community.”

Also, several Main Street renovations are noted, as well as forward movement on the Avtex site by ITFederal; and the new police department headquarters on Kendrick Lane.

In the county site preparation is underway north of Crooked Run Shopping Center for Royal Farms, a mixed use commercial center including a gas station, convenience store and restaurant.  Hotel construction is well underway across the highway.

“Our community is on a roll … 2017 projects online and more underway,” the EDA publication says.

Local News
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center names new executive director
December 6, 2017


The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center (BRWC) in Clarke County continues to move forward in its new million dollar hospital and rehabilitation center and recently added to its board of directors and named a new executive director.

BRWC president Lisa Goshen and her search team didn’t have to look beyond their midst to settle on Hillary Russell Davidson of Warrenton to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Chris Scott.  Davidson served as secretary at the center for the past three years and as a volunteer working with wildlife for seven years.

Four new members were also appointed recently to an expanded board of directors, which is comprised of residents across the region. The four are Susan Galbraith and Judy Landes from Frederick County; Russell McKelway, Clarke County; and Timothy Bates, Loudoun County. Other board members in addition to Goshen are: Beatrice von Gontard, Warren County; Mike Morency, Tricia Booker, and Patricia Robinson.

Davidson heads up a team comprising Dr. Jennifer Riley, DVM, director of wildlife services; Heather Sparks, rescue and rehabilitation manager; Jennifer Burghoffer, education manager; and Jessica Anderson, rescue and rehabilitation associate.

The new executive, Davidson, has a MBA degree from William & Mary and a Master of Computer Science from Colorado State. She is a Virginia Master Naturalist with a passion for wildlife and habitat conservation. She also has a working knowledge of raptors and other birds. She and her husband, John, have two grown children, and share their home with a number of dogs, horses and cats. Davidson also is a “permitted” caregiver of a great horned owl named Wisdom.

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization established to provide quality rehabilitative care to native injured and orphaned wildlife. It is one of only two wildlife hospitals in the Commonwealth. It receives no funding from federal, state or local governments, depending entirely on private donations. Interns, mainly college students, work at the hospital during the busy months of spring, summer and fall.

Veterinarian Riley in the past year performed 100 surgeries while the center provided shelter for more than 1,000 injured animals, 25% of them turtles. Riley has been employed at BRWC for about two years. Among the permanent residents at the center, a bald eagle named Jefferson, with an injured wing holds a majestic place, along with a favorite (de-scented) skunk and an Arctic fox. A viewing area for visitors is under construction.

The center, at 106 Island Farm Lane, Boyce (off Rte 50), may be reached by calling (540) 837-9000.

Other two new board appointees, above Russell McKeleway of Clarke Co., and Tim Bates of Loudoun Co.

Faces of Our Valley
WATCH: Faces of Our Valley – Selah Theatre Project, Glory Bea!
December 6, 2017

Selah Theatre Project presents GLORY BEA!-A SHENANDOAH CHRISTMAS, written by Rich Follett and Larry Dahlke. Directed by Rich Follett.

WHEN: Fridays: December 8th and December 15th at 7PM
Saturdays: December 9th and December 16th at 7 PM
Sundays: December 10th and December 17th at 3 PM

TICKETS: General Admission: $12 online/$15 at the door
Students/Seniors: $8 online/$10 at the door

WHERE: 30 East 8th Street, Front Royal, VA 22630

MORE INFO: Phone: 540-686-5185

See additional story.

What Matters Warren
Main Street Window Report 12.06.2017
December 6, 2017

Be sure to check out the Christmas parade from December 2 on the Royal Examiner.  Coming up on Thursday night at the Blue Ridge Arts Council, we have mixologists in action creating artistic cocktails and pairing food with beautiful art all around.  This weekend we have all you can eat pancakes with Santa, a bazaar and so much more. Check out the links and this video to learn more!

Thank you Tammy Ruggiero for being our guest this week.  Great job. 🙂

Christmas Bazaar, December 9, 2017, 8AM-3PM at the Front Royal Moose Lodge. Benefits the Front Royal Women of the Moose. Open to the public.
Learn more:

Blue Ridge Arts Council has challenged local amateur and professional mixologists to each select a holiday inspiration and create an artistic cocktail and food pairing in celebration of the happiest season of all! Attendees will sample 5 different pairings while enjoying beautiful art, lively conversation, and entertainment, all while raising funds for the programs of Blue Ridge Arts Council.
Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 5:30pm to 7:30pm  | $35 per person
Tickets can be purchased online at
or by calling 540.635.9909.
Very limited number of tickets available at the door. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend.

Pancakes with Santa at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Department
December 9 | 7am – 11am | 221 N Commerce Ave, Front Royal VA
Pictures with Santa too!

Expansion Grand Opening Party | Hosted by Brooklyn’s Marketplace
Saturday, Dec 9 at 10 AM – 8 PM | Brooklyns Marketplace  | 206 E Main St, Front Royal, Virginia 22630
Learn more:

2nd Annual Gingerbread House Contest | Public · Hosted by InfoTech Cell Phone & Computer Repair
Voting has begun.  Stop by and view the contestants in the window display and vote for your favorite.  Great prizes for the winners and a fun way to enjoy some holiday fun! The winner will be announced on December 16th.
Learn more:

Diaper Drive for YoungLives until December 18th YoungLives Warren County
Evening of December 18th will be a Donuts & Diapers event at Martin’s from 6-8pm to give out the diapers to the moms. Drop-off locations are:
Apple Valley Dental, Blue Ridge Hospice (all locations), Body Renew (all locations), Country Treasures, Daily Grind, Exit Premier Realty, Fitness Evolution, Grace Place, Happy Creek Coffee, Jack Evans Chevrolet, Marlow Motor Company, Marlow Heights Baptist Church, Northwestern Community Services, Performance Sport & Spine, Samuels Public Library, Shear Elegance Pet Boutique, Spelunkers, Sweet Frog, Tres’ Bella Day Spa and Boutique, Valley Health Rehab, Verizon Authorized Retailer – Cellular Sales, Virginia Hills Church & What Matters W2
Learn more: or visit

Glory Bea – Selah Theatre ProJect in December Selah Theatre ProJect

Letter to Santa – Be sure to fill out your letter for Santa through the Rotary this year.

Doll House Raffle for the Warren County Humane Society. Buy your ticket today. Drawing is on December 15th. Humane Society of Warren County

Brought to you by Jen Avery and Tammy Ruggiero (Beth Waller is out of town this week)
A What Matters Initiative

Local Government
WATCH: Town Council Work Session – December 4th
December 6, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017 @ 7:00pm Town Hall Council Chambers

1. Presentation from People Inc. on New Market Tax Credit – Continued Discussion of Fixed Term Financing Option for new PD
2. FRLP Proffer Revision Request (R1-A) – Director of Planning/Zoning
3. Agreement between the Town and County for collection and remittance of fees paid online through EnerGov software. – Director of Planning/Zoning
4. Continued Discussion of IT Federal/Royal Phoenix/W. Main Street Extension – Director of P & Z
5. Criser Road Bridge Update – Town Manager

6. Audit/Finance Committee Terms expire 12/31/17
7. Joint Tourism Advisory Committee Recommendations
8. Council Discussion/Goals (time permitting)

Download agenda here:Worksession12042017


Tips for preventing pipes from freezing; thawing frozen pipes
December 6, 2017

Frozen pipes not only mean the inconvenient lack of water, they also can burst, causing an expensive repair problem.

Homeowners are often understandably frantic to get water pipes running again. But thawing the pipes improperly can lead to more problems.

Never use a device with a flame to thaw out pipes.
A little heat on the right pipe could get that water flowing. But a flame on the pipe is a very bad idea.
According to fire experts, flames under the house, even when directed at pipes, are a common cause of fire.

The open flame from a heater, especially a propane salamander, can instantly ignite insulation or flooring materials under a house.

Worse, pipes can heat up dramatically from flaming devices, with heat traveling along the piping systems inside walls. This heat can ignite wall materials, which can smolder for hours before being discovered, or bursting into flame. Alternatively, excessive heat on metal piping can cause water to boil, causing the pipe to burst, according to the Red Cross.
If you know where the pipes are frozen, first open the faucets and then apply heat with a hair dryer or electric heating pad.

Prepare ahead of very cold temperatures.
If you know your pipes are prone to freezing, take some simple steps ahead of cold weather.

First, give yourself a supply of water. Partially fill a bathtub with water when very cold temperatures are predicted. This can provide water for pets, cleaning, or bathing. It will also give you some breathing room so you can take your time unfreezing pipes.

Next, keep the faucets open to a drip. This will help prevent pipes from freezing. Although this can put a strain on water pump systems, it is usually better than broken pipe disasters.
Close garage doors, especially if there are pipes along the garage walls.

Open your cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom to allow warm room air to circulate.

Don’t turn down the house temperature during very cold nights.

Never set the thermostat to less than 55 degrees when the weather will be below zero.

Long-term prevention for frozen pipes
One of the best ways to prevent frozen pipes is with heat tape or heat cable. These low-heat products usually can be plugged in at the beginning of the season and left until Spring. This is especially good for pipes that are run along the outside of walls.

Be sure to unhook outdoor hoses and close valves supplying outdoor faucets.

If the problem with frozen pipes is persistent every winter season, consider moving exposed piping. Although this is a major project, it should prevent future problems.
Insulation in attics, basements and crawl spaces will help prevent frozen pipes, too.