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A day and night of football in America: Exactly what we needed

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I know that Football may be controversial. It is violent, potentially injurious and often played at less than perfect weather times. How could the coming Super Bowl be better than the Championship games played less than 2 weeks ago.

Yet, on football Championship Sunday – 2 weeks ago – from 3PM until almost 10PM (EST), America was transformed from our divided Nation where blame is rampant and people may be suffering into a huge collection of football fans and even non-football people who had to watch TV because someone significant in their lives was glued to the NFL-AFL Championship round.

And were we ever treated to a spectacular display of talent of players and coaches on the football field. There probably never has been in sports history such a day as yesterday. We, who love the sport, were treated to professional football games that will go down in sports history.

So, for close to 7 hours of play and many hours of hype before and after the games, we had to set aside our politics and painful political choices. Instead, so many Americans and people across the world, watched or listened to men and women talking about football – Not the Shutdown, Not who was right or wrong, Not impeachment, Not the Probe, Not the Russians, Not the Leaks, Not the Chinese, Not even the future of this wonderful country.

For this escape from what we are thinking about, and talking about, from wondering what political parties are going to do next, from our concerns about hurting people, from what happens next – to being thankful for the brilliant performances on the two fields of play and for the coaching and TV or radio coverage of two of the best Championship football games ever!

Thank you Los Angeles Rams. Thank you New Orleans Saints. Thank you New England Patriots. Thank you Kansas City Chiefs.

Now, back to the reality of what happens next.

BUT WAIT, we still have the Super Bowl coming this weekend.


Charles P. Lickson
Front Royal, Virginia

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Opinion

Deep Global Warming Facts

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A recent letter in the Royal Examiner laments that some folks don’t care for facts much these days and especially disagrees with those who hold their views without resorting to facts. He particularly calls out the “global warming band-wagoneers”, that according to his logic, disregard the teachings of Geology 101.

Geology has much to teach us. One of the hardest concepts to grasp is the concept of deep time; visualizing the age of the earth is not an easy lift. Billions of years of solar energy bathing our planet generated extensive life in the form of plants and animals. It is difficult to imagine the billions of years of converting that solar energy through photosynthesis, and the billions of years of the remains of that process being incorporated into the earth. The use of fossil fuels means the release of solar energy gathered from an almost unimaginable past. Fossil fuel energy consists of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.

A previous article claimed that since ice sheets once covered New York, then the climate is always changing and since the climate is always changing, there is no urgency to address climate change. The author is content to acknowledge the scientific evidence proving that the climate varies while ignoring the scientific observations regarding the unprecedented pace of change that corresponds with the beginning of Industrial Revolution. A cursory search, for instance to the NASA site, reveals that global temperatures are increasing at an unnatural pace. We can measure the inexorable increase of CO2 and global temperatures, and we are living with the effects on rainfall, drought and increasingly intense storms.

The indiscriminate release of carbon into the atmosphere serves to trap the heat radiating and reflecting from the earth, upsetting the delicate stasis developed over millennia. In the oceans, some is reabsorbed, but not all, turning the oceans acidic, and creating problems for life in the seas. It remains to be seen what this uptick will do to plankton, a large source of oxygen production.
This rapid rise is tracked by examining rocks and ice deposited in the past. An overwhelming majority of scientists throughout the world agree about this. They also document the feedback loops caused by these changes. Sea and land ice are diminished, and ice that once reflected sunlight and heat now is gone. The oceans absorb more heat and sea levels rise, threatening major population centers. Thawing permafrost in northern areas releases greenhouse gases. The changes compound and intensify the effects.

The arrogance of a dwindling political party that professes to know best because their gut feeling tells them they are right, is blocking American leadership on this problem. They imagine that climate scientists warning against climate change form an international conspiracy. They take counsel from a handful of scientists denying human impacts whose research is supported by fossil fuel companies and claim they own the purest of intentions. The global risk is too great to have faith in magical thinking.

Steve Foreman

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To Doug Stanley and Members of the Board of Supervisors

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I am writing to you all for requests of information.

1. Doug Stanley, the citizens of Warren County deserve total honesty and transparency. I am requesting a list of all real estate holdings, LLC partnerships, and/or other business holdings you are a member of. If you truly only have a house and a lot located in High Knob, wonderful, however if you are a silent partner in any land holdings such as 707 Properties LLC, Heptad, etc. This disclosure needs to made sooner than later.

2. Doug Stanley, the request is made for you to disclose any personal or familial connections you have with Cherry Bekaert LLP and/or any of its’ past or present employees/owners/investors/board members or family members of any of these people, etc. The April 1, 2019 EDA press release states you and Greg Drescher chose Cherry Bekaert LLP as the auditor.

3. Board of Supervisors, leaving out Tony Carter as he has been the liaison to the EDA and is eyeball deep in this mess. I ask that you put the brakes on the EDA Civil Litigation and the ever-mounting legal fees of Sands Anderson Law Group. This civil suit was hastily filed and full of errors, errors that were guided by the $600,00 Cherry Bekaert LLP “Investigation”. As we have found out from the working papers, Cherry Bekaert was given a very limited scope of investigation and only certain paperwork that pointed to targeted individuals. Right now, we are throwing good money after bad. Please call the FBI, Virginia State Police, Justice Department and let them take over the entire investigation. As it appears right now, the EDA Civil Suit is a sham being funded by the taxpayers to protect the big dogs, which is not in the best interest of the citizenry.

4. Dan Lenz, the department head of Parks and Rec needs to be investigated immediately as he was aware for over a year of the sexual misconduct occurring at the Front Royal Golf Club. A female inmate claiming rape cannot be ignored. THIS IS A FELONY and no one will look into it WHY? I insist you act and prosecute! Women Matter and the way it looks Warren County has a double standard in regards to gender on many levels and instances.

5. Lastly and this is a big one, Board of Supervisors, I ask that you request your colleague, Tony Carter to step down from his position of Supervisor for the Happy Creek District, as he is committing non arm’s length transactions by holding all Warren County Insurance Policies.

I also request you, the BOS to place Stanley, Whitten, and Drescher on administrative leave until you can do an internal investigation as to the depth of the involvement these individuals have in the EDA Scandal. Bob Childress will do a fine job leading the county while these men are being investigated. He is very capable and honest. He will not play Stanley Clause with hard-earned taxpayer money.

Supervisors, you have the power to do this and it is the right thing to do. Mr. Murray you ask us to pray or take a moment of silence at the start of each meeting, I am asking you and your colleagues to do the same thing. Lead us down the right path and stop the evil that is at work in our community.

Kristie Sours Atwood
One Mad Mother

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Norma Jean Shaw departs the Royal Examiner team

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Norma Jean Shaw in her element, during Royal Examiner video interview with Deputy Warren County Treasurer and Treasurer candidate Jamie Spiker.

We at Royal Examiner regret the departure of Editor Norma Jean Shaw. Shaw was a valued member of the Royal Examiner editorial and news department from the online newspaper’s inception in early October 2016.

Her presence on the news staff was valued to the extent that accommodations were made to allow her to continue in her editor’s role following, first a minor relocation out of the community to her husband’s residence in Stephens City; and then a further move several months ago when she followed him to his new job in far southwest Virginia.

We wish Shaw and her family the best of luck in the next phase of her and their personal and professional lives.

Mike McCool – Publisher
Roger Bianchini – Managing Editor
Malcolm Barr – feature writer
Kim Riley – staff reporter
Bruce Beavers – advertising
Amanda Callihan – graphics & webmaster
Mark Williams – video, tech support

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On Global Warming & Facts

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On global warming

Some of us don’t seem to care much about facts these days. Especially abhorrent are facts which disagree with pronouncements made by activists who would prefer for us to believe their views without regard to facts. Or at least without regard to certain facts.

Case in point. Global warming and “ocean temperatures spike” (Star, January 19, 2016). Now I would not presume to argue against global warming. Nor would I consider myself sufficiently erudite to dispute the notion that global warming might result in ocean warming. But I do wish that “scientists” who publish their findings in journals would exhibit a wider range of their academic credentials. I mean, didn’t Geology 101 precede a post-graduate scholarly study in the journal Nature Climate Change?

Global warming band-wagoneers from one end of this planet to the other seem to have slept through the first chapter of Geology 101. That’s the chapter explaining that our planet has experienced at least five major and several minor periods of “ice ages.” Now here’s a fact these “scientists” seem to have ignored. Each of those “ice ages” was followed by global warming. How do we know this? Well, for starters, the ice melted.

Of greatest interest to us – the modern day descendants of homo east-coastus-Americus – is the most recent of these many ice ages. You see, that “ice age” of the late Pleistocene epoch is the one whose glaciers, according to New York Nature.net “literally created Long Island, and carved out the landscape we know today as the New York City region. Moraines, lakes and ponds, kettle holes, peat bogs, melt water streams and valleys – all are relics of glacial topography.”

So it seems some scientists use “ice age” information one way, some another. If your business is constructing One World Trade Center, you most assuredly want to know the difference between bedrock and a glacial moraine. But many “scientists” whose favorite topic is global warming seem eager to ignore the lessons of ice ages.

It takes little more than an introduction to Logic 101 for most of us to recognize that for every ice age there has followed a period of global warming. (Please check a geological time scale.) Moreover, climate change is influenced – and has been so for eons – by many factors. Solar energy output varies; both the sun and our planet earth are constantly in motion. Everything out there where “the heavens declare the glory of God” is moving. Earth spins (rotates) and races around its orbital path. And so does the Sun whose orbit takes it on a journey through our galaxy. Small wonder, then, that a wobble here and a solar eruption there might result in a pile of ice once and clouds of steam the next time.

So, please. Let us recognize that when we are faced with political posturing and perambulation, we are better off to rely upon facts – even the inconvenient ones – than to beguile ourselves with half-baked writings of “scientists” who slept through Geology 101.

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On Erasing History: Painting over a San Francisco mural of George Washington due to liberal sensitivities

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Boston Common George Washington monument at Massachusetts USA

What is the best way to be certain we will repeat the errors of the past?  Before we attempt to answer this, let’s visit a coach and two books.

The best of football coaches – be they NFL or collegiate – are those who remember and teach the team’s history.  From the days of flickering black-and-white 16mm and 35mm motion picture cameras, right up today’s HD videos, football coaches have used game videos.

An idle study?  A pleasant pastime?  Not at all.  Our football coaches require their teams to review videos of past games.  Our own team.  Opponents.  Identify errors.  Notice weaknesses.  Learn from errors.  Improve performance.  Prepare for the next game!

If you want to see a stark-raving mad coach, try telling him you just accidentally erased all video of last week’s game!  A seething outburst of anger may be the least of your worries.

Now let’s consider two books.  One portrays the 1789 French Revolution.  This was just a few years following the end of our own American Revolutionary War: freedom and independence won from Britain, remember?  This book –

– reveals aristocrat tyranny as a cause of war and revolutionary excess, a result of war.  Charles Dickens presents us with visions of revolutionary excess with gruesome scenes of bloody guillotines.

If you fail to see what Dickens’ novel and our football coach have in common, let’s take a look at a second book.  This book features a wicked queen.  She destroys righteous men who oppose her, even priests and prophets. Another character in this book is an evil idol-god who demands sacrifice of children.  He uses fire to destroy children.  The queen?  Jezebel.  The idol-god?  Molech.  The book?  The Bible!

So, yes, even the Bible depicts flawed human behavior.  Such examples serve to illustrate errors.  Now return to the football coach.  His team studies errors along with “best plays.”  This is also why we read A Tale of Two Cities and, for that matter, the Bible.  The idea is to improve the present by studying the past.

In America it has taken us well over 200 years to correct some of our worst errors.  Why would we want to erase artifacts of our history?  Should we remember our past and correct errors, or forget and repeat our worst behaviors?

I argue in favor of remembering.  Historic art – like San Francisco’s George Washington mural, now set for destruction, is such an example.  Statues, bridges, buildings, highways, schools – everywhere we see proposals to destroy.  Books – yes, also the Bible – monuments, and art offer us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and correct our behavior.

We should not hide our history.  We should use our history.  In all of its forms and genres, our history is the “how-to” book for self-improvement!

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Remarks presented to WC School Board

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July 3, 2019

Ms. Chairwoman and School Board Members:

I appreciate the opportunity to address my fellow citizens who make up our School Board in Warren County. In the next few minutes I’ll relay my concerns and things I’d like to see implemented in our school system. I know being on the school board is not about all the money you receive but the desire to make our schools the best in Virginia and I thank you.

First, Mr. Drescher I’m sure you are very talented however I do not understand how you had time to be on the EDA Board with two failing schools. This is your first time as a superintendent and I would have thought maybe your time should be spent helping the failing schools reach a standard of excellence. Did anyone of the school board members say anything to your desire to be on the EDA?

Next is a question for Ms. Bower and the board… Mr. Drescher was under contract from July 1, 2015 thru June 30, 2019 at a salary of $154,000. Why give him a new contract at a higher salary $165,837 when he was already under contract ? I’ve been in sales for many years and been under contract, if I had gone into my superiors and said how about a raise during the middle of my contract I would have been laughed out of the building.

Did Mr. Drescher really deserve a raise because our schools went from two failing schools to one? You have teachers leaving the county because they do not make enough and Mr. Drescher gets almost a 12K raise. This is not a wealthy county yet you are spending money like a wealthy county. His total compensation seems to be close to 180K, where does this rank compared to our neighboring counties?

I understand that someone authorized a new roof for Ressie Jeffries and gave the contractor a million-dollar bonus to do the work at night and this does not count the actual cost of the roof. Please tell me my information is wrong. If this is correct why couldn’t you wait a couple months until school was out and saved a million dollars. I’ve read your goals and maybe someone needs to review the Master Plan for maintenance.

I was not a good student and I wasted my mother’s money going to college. College is great for some but I would have been better off going into the military to grow up. When I read your mission statement and goals it seems to me that you are focused on higher education. My guess is that’s fine for 50% of your students but others maybe needed a different type of education. I’d really like to see a new larger expanded technical school in Warren County teaching young people to be electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs etc. I recently read in the newspaper about Lord Fairfax having a simulator for heavy equipment… it be nice to have one in our technical school? If I remember correctly they start out at $45K. That’s great for an 18 or 19 year old.

I’d also like to see an Ethics class being mandatory to graduate. Growing up I don’t remember my parents cussing and I try not to ever use those words as I believe there are better adjectives. I’m not saying I never say one but it’s very rare. An Ethics class can cover many things like being a better classmate, to being honorable in business and finding better adjectives.

In closing, in your Long Range Plan Review Committee maybe it’s time to replace Jennifer McDonald. Thank you for listening and I hope that you spend the counties money wisely like it is coming out of your own wallet.

James Harper
Front Royal, VA

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