Archive for: February 2nd, 2018

Local News
SVMF receives statewide recognition as arts inspiration
February 2, 2018
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Gov. Ralph Northam and SVMF Director Dennis Lynch

WOODSTOCK  — Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, a nonprofit concert presenter based in Woodstock and Orkney Springs, was one of 50 arts organizations honored by Virginia Commission for the Arts during its 50th Anniversary Program in Richmond on Thursday.

SVMF Executive Director Dennis Lynch and SVMF Chairwoman Leigh Devier attended the program at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to accept a 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award. The awards were given to organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts in Virginia. Award recipients fell into five categories. SVMF was one of eight recipients chosen for the category of Exemplary Program and Pinnacle Events. Winners in this category have programs and events from the past 50 years that have demonstrated artistic excellence, celebrated diversity, offered outreach to underserved populations, engaged community partners and developed a visionary or innovative approach to their program or event, according to the VCA. Other award categories include Bedrock Institutions; Emerging Artists and Organizations; Arts Leaders and Supporters; and Outstanding Artists.

A panel comprised of former VCA commissioners and arts leaders chose the 50 award recipients from among 350 nominations. In addition to the anniversary program on Thursday, the award recipients were also honored at a reception hosted by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe at the Executive Mansion in October.

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival was founded 55 years ago as a presenter of symphonic music. Since then, it has diversified its concert offerings to include performances by nationally and regionally recognized artists from a variety of genres, including rock, country, folk, Americana and bluegrass.

Legislative Update
Goodlatte Announces Sixth District Service Academy Nominations
February 2, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced his nomination of several individuals from the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia to our nation’s service academies as members of the graduating Class of 2022. A nomination must be received from either a Member of Congress or the Vice President in order to compete for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or U.S. Naval Academy.

Congressman Goodlatte released the following statement:

“America’s military has produced some of our country’s most distinguished leaders. These young men and women have expressed an interest in following in their footsteps, and I applaud them for their willingness to protect and defend the United States. At our nation’s service academies, students have the opportunity to receive a quality educational experience and training to become the next generation of leaders. It is my honor to nominate these individuals to compete for an appointment to a service academy. I am confident that those selected for an appointment will serve the United States with distinction. Folks in the Sixth District can be proud of these nominees. I wish them the best and thank them again for being willing to serve their country.”

Sixth District Nominations for the Class of 2022

 U.S. Air Force Academy

Ashton Ashley, son of Jeanette and Kenneth Ashley, is a senior at William Byrd High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Qu’Daja Manns, daughter of Mary French, is a senior at William Fleming High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Nathan Marraccini, son of Christine and Joe Marraccini, is a senior at E.C. Glass High School and a resident of Lynchburg.

Leah Pultz, daughter of Monica Rutledge and Darren Pultz, is a senior at Buffalo Gap High School and a resident of Swoope.

Shennan Waldron, daughter of Raymond and Wynne Waldron, is a graduate of Central High School and a resident of Fort Valley.

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Rennie Bowersox, son of Rennie and Tina Bowersox, is a senior at Wilson Memorial High School and a resident of Staunton.

Brendan Murray, son of Mike and Nina Murray, is a senior at Jefferson Forest High School and a resident of Forest.

Calvin Robb, son of Kendra and Jeff Robb, is a senior at Spotswood High School and a resident of Rockingham.

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Austin Askew, son of Alan and Amy Askew, is a senior at Liberty Christian Academy and a resident of Forest.

Andrew Caywood, son of Rich and Amy Caywood, is a senior at Faith Christian School and a resident of Roanoke.

Lillian Hereford, daughter of William and Alison Hereford, is a senior at Stuart Hall and a resident of Staunton.

Mary Miller, daughter of Betty Reese and Jeff Miller, is a senior at Turner Ashby High School and a resident of Dayton.

Calvin Robb, son of Kendra and Jeff Robb, is a senior at Spotswood High School and a resident of Rockingham.

Zachary Wright, son of Cindy and Tim Wright, is a senior at Broadway High School and a resident of Linville.

U.S. Naval Academy

Rennie Bowersox, son of Rennie and Tina Bowersox, is a senior at Wilson Memorial High School and a resident of Staunton.

Jack Buchanan, son of Harry and Kristie Buchanan, is a senior at Lord Botetourt High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Charles Cathcart, son of Charlie and Cheryl Cathcart, is a senior at Rockbridge County High School and a resident of Lexington.

Annisten Elliott, daughter of Robert and Debora Elliot, is a senior at E.C. Glass High School and is a resident of Lynchburg.

Clayton Fortney, son of Clay and Mary Fortney, is a senior at Skyline High School and a resident of Front Royal.

Tanner Gage, son of Matthew and Michel Gage, is a senior at Jefferson Forest High School and a resident of Forest.

Ava Harding, daughter of Jane and John Harding, is a senior at Hidden Valley High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Ethan Hogan, son of Amy and Tom Hogan, is a senior at Lord Botetourt High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Luke Martin, son of Susan and Timothy Martin, is a senior at James River High School and a resident of Buchanan.

William Miller, son of William and Kristen Miller, is a student at Virginia Military Institute and a resident of Buchanan.

Brendan Murray, son of Mike and Nina Murray, is a senior at Jefferson Forest High School and a resident of Forest.

Vivian Neal, daughter of Diane and Marcus Neal, is a senior at Harrisonburg High School and a resident of Harrisonburg.

Jack Sherman, son of Christine and Andrew Sherman, is a senior at Patrick Henry High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Christian Strom, son of Chris and Deborah Strom, is a senior at Cave Spring High School and a resident of Roanoke.

William Sweet, son of Jon and Mary-Beth Sweet, is a senior at Hidden Valley High School and a resident of Roanoke.

Casey Welch, son of Barry and Allison Welch, is a senior at Roanoke Catholic School and a resident of Roanoke.

Legislative Update
Warner Urges President Trump to Invest in Alzheimer’s Research
February 2, 2018
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, joined Co-Chair Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and a bipartisan group of colleagues in a letter to President Trump requesting an increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research in his fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request.

“Alzheimer’s is one of our nation’s leading causes of death and it is the only one of our nation’s deadliest diseases without an effective means of prevention, treatment, or cure,” the senators wrote.  “If nothing is done to change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s, the number of Americans afflicted with the disease is expected to more than triple by 2050.”

In addition to Sens. Warner and Collins, the letter was also signed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Hoeven (R-ND), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), and Bob Casey (D-PA).

“Federal funding for Alzheimer’s research is a wise investment,” the senators continued.  “We urge you to support efforts to meet the research investment objective set forth in the National Plan by boosting the current investment in Alzheimer’s research in the fiscal year 2019 budget request.”

Sen. Warner has been a longstanding advocate in Congress for improving access and quality of medical care for some of our country’s most vulnerable patients. Last year, he introduced bipartisan legislation designed to give people with advanced illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease, new tools to plan for their care and empower them to have those choices honored.

Legislative Update
Goodlatte, McCaul, Labrador, McSally Release Video on Securing America’s Future Act
February 2, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security  Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), and House Homeland Security Committee  Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) released a video on the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760). This bill closes many gaping loopholes in our existing immigration enforcement laws, makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, secures the border, and provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Jenspiration
Freedom Unmasked – Keep Pushing Through (episode 2)
February 2, 2018
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Meet a few more of the members of Freedom individually in this episode.  Learn about a little conflict two teammates had to push through and grow from.  At the end of this episode be sure to see the athletes practice a stunt that leaves a few red marks!  Not only does Freedom push through conflict, they keep working through miscalculated throws that might hurt a little, but they keep smiling!

Background:

We have a cheer gym here in Front Royal that is doing some amazing things.  Each week Jenspiration goes out to film the cheer squad, Freedom, in action during practice.  The videos are authentic and show real situations the team experience. They do not always agree but work together to resolve disagreements.   The athletes know, working “together” they can accomplish anything!  Divided they are limited….

All Star Legacy Front Royal is a positive program for our children to experience tumbling and cheer at all ages and levels.  Watch the real stories of Freedom Unmasked on the Royal Examiner!

“FREEDOM” isn’t FREE, it’s paid for by many. – a reminder from Coach Rogers

#positiveathletes

Created by Jenspiration, LLC

Seasonal
The sleepy groundhog stretches
February 2, 2018
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For hundreds of years, on February 2, people have wondered if the groundhog would awake to see his shadow.

The day probably started with the feast of Candlemas, which celebrates the Biblical story of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. On February 2, exactly 40 days after Christmas, people hoped for the end of the dark days of winter but perhaps were loathe to be too confident. The saying was, “If Candlemas be fair and clear, there will be two winters in the year.”

So, curiously that saying morphed into a groundhog or badger or some other creature who, when awakened on February 2, sees his shadow, and thus predict six more weeks of winter. Or doesn’t see it. Thus we start spring.

The date of February 2 is also thought to correspond to hibernation patterns. German farmers thought that if a badger emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow there would be six more weeks of winter. By 1841, German farmers in Pennsylvania were again marking the day, this time with a groundhog’s shadow.

As it turns out, both the groundhog and the badger have not been very good weather predictors. According to the National Climatic Data Center, groundhog predictions have been correct 39 percent of the time since 1887.

Business
The Advantages Of Hiring A Multigenerational Workforce
February 2, 2018
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When many people think of diversity in the workplace, what often comes to mind first is hiring employees of different race, gender, and ethnicity. You can also achieve a richly diverse workforce by hiring employees from various age groups. Multigenerational hiring enriches the work environment, providing a wider range of knowledge, skills, creativity, perspectives, and work styles. When you have a broad range of ages represented in your workforce, you get years of experience and maturity along with youthful enthusiasm.

What Beneficial Traits Do The Various Generations Offer?

While generalizations don’t hold true for all individuals, some common strengths within each of the categories include:

  • Traditionalists (Born before 1946) – These employees hold respect for authority and have a desire to preserve traditions and follow rules. They value teamwork and are task-oriented.
  • Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964) – These individuals are often resourceful and disciplined. They typically exhibit a strong work ethic and drive to achieve goals.
  • Generation Xers (Born 1965 – 1976) – These self-sufficient workers are usually versatile and receptive to learning new skills. They accept change and have a generally good grasp on using technology.
  • Millennials (Born 1977 – 1995) – Employees in this age group are known for bringing a collaborative attitude and strong technology skills to the table. They tend to value openness of communication and candor. Most have a keen interest in advancing in their careers.
  • Gen Edgers (Born after 1995) – Also known as Generation Z, these individuals have strong self-reliance instincts. As early adopters, they aren’t afraid of trying new approaches for fear of failure. They are adept at using technology and tend to be well-connected and influential socially.

What Can Your Small Business Gain From Hiring Inter-Generationally?

The diversity in abilities and attitudes among employees of different age groups can create a more dynamic atmosphere within your business environment. With a healthy mix of traditional approaches and innovative thinking, you can strike a successful balance without becoming too stuck in your ways or too far out of the box. From your sales and customer service efforts to your product/services development and operational processes, having diversity can help you better recognize deficiencies and make improvements to your business by tapping the unique ideas and frames of reference within your team.

A Reminder

Remember that in all your hiring efforts, you need to follow all the applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination and other labor laws. To understand the requirements, consider talking with a human resources consultant and/or an attorney. A mentor at your local SCORE chapter can assist you in locating trusted resources in your area and provide you with additional guidance and insight about starting and running your small business.

Since 1964, SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 11,000 volunteer business mentors in over 320 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at www.score.org.

Local News
Christendom College promises change in wake of sexual assault allegations
February 2, 2018
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The main entrance to Christendom College near Front Royal, Virginia – Photo/Roger Bianchini

WARREN COUNTY – Christendom College has responded with a promise of change, after initially sending mixed messages in reaction to a Catholic blogger’s post citing a campus environment of sexual segregation leading to off-campus sexual encounters that sometimes evolve into sexual assaults and rape of female dating partners by male students.

In Simcha Fisher’s blog titled “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s bubble? Part 1” the private, Catholic college teaching a strict conservative brand of the faith was initially cited by two former female students for, first creating an unrealistically sterile atmosphere of sexual segregation, then failing due diligence in investigating reports of the occasionally dire consequences of that atmosphere. The women, one named and one unnamed, said their allegations of sexual violence by student boyfriends off campus were essentially swept under the rug by the college administration with minimal consequences for the alleged male perpetrators; and little in the way of support for them as victims of sexual violence.

According to blog author Simcha Fisher and her husband Damien, an initial response from Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell alleged “misleading information and serious inaccuracies” in their story, but then went on to apologize to past victims of such incidents within the Christendom student body. The Fishers stand by their posts and told Royal Examiner on January 29, “Any accusation of inaccuracy has yet to be detailed to us by anyone at the school, though we still await their call … We have still yet to hear from the college despite numerous honest attempts to speak to them, and any statements otherwise from the school are simply untrue.”

‘We will do better’

Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell – Photo/Christendom website

About a week after the initial response from the college president, in a January 24 post on the school’s website under the all-caps headline “WE WILL DO BETTER,” CHRISTENDOM COLLEGE EXTENDS SUPPORT TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT,” Christendom Executive Vice-President Kenneth Ferguson expanded on O’Donnell’s initial apology, offering to meet with student victims, past and present, and thanking the Fishers for shedding light on the problem. O’Donnell even added to the apology portion of his initial response – “We have failed some of our students,” he stated.

College Vice-President Ferguson then suggested a path forward, saying, “We invite these victims to come forward and be heard. We value their insight on concrete ways we can make this campus as safe as possible for women. And we ask, if possible, for their forgiveness. I want to extend my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Fisher for giving these women a platform to share their voices with us.” In the post under the “News” category on the school’s website, Ferguson also offered that meetings with victims include a  “certified trauma counselor” and any “support personnel” those victims wished to have accompany them.

“I am grateful to each woman who has come forward with her story,” Christendom President O’Donnell continued, “We need to hear you and your experience. Disclosing abuse and its aftermath is painful and difficult, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage. To those students who have been harmed, I am deeply sorry. We will do better.”

Contacted January 30 about follow-up questions regarding the Fisher report, the administrative reaction and any potential policy review in the wake of the sexual assault issue surfacing, Christendom Director of Public Relations Zachary Smith said the school administration had no additional comment at this time, but would expand on its response in the future.

A past culture of silence …
For some the administrative apologies come late, particularly from school President O’Donnell. Simcha Fisher reports that some alumni, though no numbers are offered, have called for O’Donnell’s resignation as college president in the wake of the attention garnered by her two blog posts on Christendom’s past failures to appropriately deal with sexual violence by and against members of the student body. Adele Chapline Smith, Christendom College Class of 2012, was the identified victim of an alleged October 2009 rape by a fellow Christendom student that raised the specter “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s bubble?” Smith is one of those voices seeking positive movement forward, though she believes that movement cannot occur under O’Donnell’s stewardship of the school.

“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank Christendom College and Mr. Ken Ferguson for an excellent first step in repairing the damage done to the women of Christendom and their families under the O’Donnell administration …I am disheartened that this was not their initial response, but I am open to further dialogue with the college and am eager to hear how the administration plans to implement these changes,” Smith stated in Fisher’s second blog on the matter. “I forgive Dr. Timothy O’Donnell for 25 years of negligence toward those women in the Christendom community who suffered sexual assaults … It is my firm belief that Dr. O’Donnell should step down from his position as President of the college, and that Christendom College should implement Title IX regulations to ensure a safe and transparent environment for all current and prospective students.”

As a private school not receiving federal funds, Christendom College is not subject to Title IX regulations. According to its official website, Title IX is a federal civil rights law dating to 1972 that prohibits sexual discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal money. While most famous for improving campus athletic opportunities for women, there are 10 areas addressed by the law, the other nine are: “Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing and Technology.” Due to Title IX, schools receiving federal funding must legally respond to and record reports of “a hostile educational environment based on sexual designation” the website states.

… absent Title IX
In Simcha Fisher’s “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s bubble? Part 1” blog post, Adele Smith traces the history of her experience with the Christendom College administration in the wake of what she described as an off-campus rape that scarred her emotionally, spiritually and academically.

Only over a year-and-a-half later in 2011 did she begin to turn a corner in the realization of the full extent of her situation. She traced that turning point to her and her brother staying on after attending a party hosted by a Theology teacher identified as Eric Jenislawski following a debate society meeting. Talking about her troubles at school she confided in the teacher about what had happened to her.

“I’m so sorry you were raped,” she reported Jenislawski telling her. Fisher then writes of Smith’s reaction, “At first she didn’t want to allow that word, and grew defensive, blaming herself for the assault … But Jenislawski was the first one who made her feel like the rape wasn’t her fault. He encouraged her to get counseling and to tell the school administration what had happened.”

Soon after, Smith reported the rape, as well as some subsequent physical and psychological harassment by her ex-boyfriend on campus. She was promised the school would conduct a “complete and careful investigation.”

Some time later, based on her report of the alleged rape and her ex’s ongoing harassment on campus, the college acted on her allegations – but it wasn’t the action she and her family had hoped for. The school explained that her former boyfriend would be charged with harassing Smith “after a prior incident.” That prior incident is not specified as an alleged rape.

Harassment …
Fisher’s blog quotes the report to the alleged perpetrator: “We have reports that indicate that you have violated the Code of Student Conduct by harassing another student and causing emotional harm. The reports indicate that Adele Smith indicated, after a prior incident with you, that she no longer wanted a relationship with you. Then on November 24, 2009, you sat next to her on a bench and made unwanted contact with her by placing your hand on her knee. Furthermore, it is alleged that you continued to harass her by trying to provoke her to slap you, hit you or kiss you … Therefore, you are being charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct”.

Following a July 2011 disciplinary conference that violation was deemed “Harassment”. The perpetrator’s punishment was cited as not living on campus for a semester and refraining from further contact with Adele Smith. Fisher reports that barred from living on campus, Smith’s accused rapist “was taken under the wing of one of (the school’s) founders and professors, William Marshner,” whose house he lived in that semester.

… and ‘teaching tool’
Smith told Fisher that during her senior year she was alerted that Marshner was talking about her situation regarding the alleged date rape in his moral theology class, “using thinly veiled language.” Simcha Fisher wrote of Marshner’s use of Smith’s situation as a “teaching tool”: “The teacher gave the class a hypothetical example of a young man and woman who were dating and decided to go off campus to Skyline Drive. In the example, they decide to fornicate, but then the young woman regrets her choice, and decides to claim the young man attacked her.

“In what world is this okay?” Smith asks. “It was my story. Everyone knew.” Smith complained to the school, and she says they gave Marshner “a slap on the wrist.”

Dating in the Christendom ‘bubble’
Smith cited a culture of “strict segregation of males and females” on the Christendom campus and a ban on any open displays of affection, including holding hands. Life in this socio-religious environment denying ANY expression of adolescent or post-adolescent emotional connection of a potentially sexual nature – the Christendom “bubble” referenced in the blog’s title – inevitably leads couples who have formed emotional bonds to go off campus, Smith said.

“It’s just a natural human need to connect with someone you’re in a relationship with. Just to hold hands, they’d go off campus for a date; and by ‘off campus,’ it could in be in the woods, or in a field down the road. There are not a lot of options if you don’t have a car,” Smith told Fisher.

“So you end up having couples potentially isolate themselves. They should be able to express themselves romantically in a public setting, which is a safer setting to learn how to navigate as a couple. Instead, you’re put into remote, isolated areas where things can get out of hand.”

And that is precisely what Adele Smith says happened to her, and apparently an unknown number of female Christendom College students over the years. Smith pinpoints what she describes as rape at the hands of her then boyfriend and fellow Christendom student to Friday, October 2, 2009, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, about thirty minutes away from the college campus.

Fisher’s report on Smith’s experience points to a written exchange between her father Scott Smith and Christendom President O’Donnell after the investigation was concluded. O’Donnell appears to justify the “harassment” finding based on the fact the alleged rape took place off campus.

“The alleged assault of Adele did not take place on campus. Rather, the incident apparently occurred in a national park several miles away from Christendom’s campus,” Fisher quotes from O’Donnell’s letter to Scott Smith. “Moreover, both Adele and Mr. [redacted] are adults — meaning that Christendom faculty and staff have inherently limited options for enforcing standards of appropriate (or even prudent) conduct, especially when students leave the confines of campus.”

Adele Smith also believes the fact that there was no stated prohibition against rape in the student handbook at the time was a factor (a reference was added in 2013). She noted that students are punished if they are found on campus intoxicated, even if their drinking took place off campus.
“We care if you drink off campus, but not if you rape off campus,” Smith said of her perception of the administrative attitude she encountered in 2011.

Exclusion from the ‘bubble’
In Part 2 of her blog report, Simcha Fisher cited the denial of Adele Smith from membership on Christendom College’s official alumni page on Facebook, observing that Smith’s former campus boyfriend and alleged rapist is, however, a member. While some alumni had been added to the group during the timeframe Smith was denied membership, Simcha Fisher reported that, “Several alumni say they have been removed from the group without explanation after they shared Smith’s story.”

Simcha Fisher then traced several posts on the alumni site illustrating an agenda of presenting the allowed membership’s alma mater in the best possible light, under the ongoing stewardship of current college officials. Assistant Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Vince Christe is cited as moderator of the alumni Facebook page.

In her second post on the issue, Simcha Fisher shared a post on the alumni site from a female member citing “the recent controversy that has broken out regarding campus policies and procedures regarding sexual assault.” The woman then suggested a counter-initiative:
“It is my belief, and has been my experience, that the culture of Christendom College promotes the dignity, inherent worth, freedom, and safety of all women on campus, in the community, and the world at large. This page is for the collecting the personal testimonies of female alumni and students who know first hand the ways in which Christendom culture, faculty, staff, and community members do this.”

Simcha Fisher reported that the subsequent “positive testimonies” titled “A Letter about Christendom College Culture” were e-mailed to her, citing the school as a “pocket of fresh air offering an oasis away from the sewage of the culture at large.”

Some female alumni and their supporters might counter that some of that cultural “sewage” has leaked onto campus. – And if so, perhaps it flowed a shorter distance than the secular world at large. Court filings in a civil suit surrounding the case of then Human Life International President Father Thomas Euteneuer indicate the “rock star” of the “pro-life” movement began sexually-abusive exorcisms on a woman he had installed as his secretary on the Shenandoah Shores Road HLI campus in 2008, culminating with Euteneuer’s removal from HLI’s own institutional “bubble” in 2011 and return to his home diocese in Florida by his bishop; and an apology for “lapses in judgment” issued by the priest.

The civil suit was filed by Euteneuer’s victim in 2012, the year Adele Smith graduated from Christendom College.

A chapel and statue near the south entrance to the Shenandoah Shores Road school – Photo/Roger Bianchini

 

 

 

Local News
Faith-based Trump support missing as the chill winds of 2018 arrive
February 2, 2018
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Above, on Dec. 20, only two faith-based pro-Trump demonstrators were present; below, on Jan. 31 the Wallers are visited by Vigil for Democracy organizer Len Sherp. Photos/Roger Bianchini

 

FRONT ROYAL – Stopping by to photograph and stay in contact with both sides of the dueling pro and anti-Trump demonstrations across Chester Street in Historic Downtown Front Royal over the first weeks of 2018, we witnessed an unexpected development. – That was that the faith-based pro-Trump Catholics who had joined original pro-Trump demonstrators Michael and Ralph Waller in front of their East Main Street pawn shop in late May 2017 had vanished.

According to both sides of the street, as of January 31 it had been three weeks since a representative of the pro-Trump Catholic contingent of about eight to 15 adults had been seen. Well, it was cold through much of January – too cold apparently for even flat-Trump, the life-size cardboard cutout of the president who became a regular along with some of his new Front Royal pals.

Bob Hill crosses the political divide to offer Sherp some back up. 

But in the mid-to-late January absence of the faith-based Trump supporters, the more playful interaction between the two opposing sides of the political street re-emerged. As Royal Examiner has reported in past coverage of these dueling political camps, the emergence of a faith-based group of Trump supporters had diminished the positive dialogue that had begun between Vigil for Democracy participants and the Wallers between March and early May 2017 (The trend of a faith-based unwillingness to seek common ground for political dialogue will be explored in depth in a coming Royal Examiner feature story).

But back to the final three Wednesdays of January 2018 – as illustrated in some of the accompanying photographs, a more playful crossing of political lines was evident as Vigil for Democracy organizer Len Sherp and Bob Hill crossed Chester Street to re-engage the Wallers in dialogue and some pointed, aggressive, yet humorous political banter.

Before the reinforcement arrived on Jan. 31, Sherp found himself in a friendly tug of war with the Wallers.

 

As Sherp and Hill returned to the Vigil for Democracy side of the street, this reporter remained on the pro-Trump side to discuss the previous evening’s State of the “Uniom” (how early tickets were distributed by the White House, spelling error included) speech, as well as evolving situations surrounding the Trump presidency. A major sticking point was the special prosecutor’s investigation of any possible Trump campaign ties to Russian efforts to assist them in the election, as well as what some perceive as an escalating partisan panic from Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill as that investigation closes in on the Trump inner circle.

My parting shot was to note the supposedly compromised law enforcement officials around that investigation are virtually all Republicans by Party preference and/or appointment, including Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the ultimate target, Special Prosecutor and life-long Republican and George W. Bush appointee to head the FBI, Robert Mueller.

As our decades-old opposing perspectives were re-engaged, Ralph offered that your humble reporter was “sick in the head” to distrust the veracity of the president, or to trust existing or former leadership of the FBI to engage in a fair investigation of Trump and his team.

“And tell them over there they are sick in the head too,” Ralph offered as I began to cross the street to photograph the loyal opposition.

But you know what? – Those assessments were offered with a smile, a laugh and no indication we could not re-engage our discussion of varying perspectives the following week.

As for those varying perspectives expressed on January 31, 2018 …

Not an uncrossable political divide, but perhaps just a difference in priorities – and perspectives …

 

PIX-Russian spy, Wallers, Not Above the Law, DACA group long&short (6)