485 South Street | Front Royal
Gold Mountain Martial Arts in Front Royal is hosting the 4th Annual Heroes Challenge on Saturday, March 9th at Fitness Evolution at 485 South Street beginning at 12:00 noon. Competitions will be held in the categories of sit ups, chin ups, pylios, bench press and tug of war. Metals will be awarded to first, second and third place winners and a trophy will be awarded to the highest scoring team. A Spirit Award will also be awarded to the team who displays the most spirit. This year, representatives from the Front Royal Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Department, Front Royal Fire Department, Shenandoah Park Service and RSW Regional Jail will battle it out to determine who is the fittest.
The idea behind the competition is to introduce youth to the community’s first responders and to help them see first hand the benefits of physical fitness. Events will also include kids’ activities, including face painting. Vendors are welcome. Following the competition, Gold Mountain will host a dinner for the participants as a way of thanking them for their service to the community. The event is free and open to the public.
A guide to using parental controls
485 South Street | Front Royal
The internet can be a dangerous place for children. Cyberbullying, sexual predators, malware, and phishing are just some threats they can encounter online. Plus, too much screen time can disrupt their sleep cycle and negatively affect their mental and physical health.
Nevertheless, there are many benefits to letting kids use the internet, and parental controls can be installed to ensure their experiences are positive and safe. Here are some ways you can use them to keep your children protected:
• Limit their screen time
• Monitor their devices
• Track their location
• Increase their online safety
• Prevent unauthorized purchases
• Block inappropriate content
Though it’s a good idea to use parental controls, you should also educate your children about online safety and proper net etiquette. Explain the risks of using the internet, and teach them how to identify potential threats. This will allow them to develop a sense of autonomy and provide them with the skills they need to use the internet responsibly.
Remember that parental controls should be used to protect your children, not to invade their privacy. If you’re worried about your kids being bullied or some other issue, talk to them about it. You can also seek advice from a professional counselor or psychologist.
The Cracked Acorn: Bible Truth
485 South Street | Front Royal
“In today’s culture, some people think it is not proper to tell others they are wrong. Many believe all religions are equal and the Bible contains legends as charming as the stories of other great faiths. Children are allowed to believe in all or none of many teachings. Many people believe they can make it to heaven on their own or that all ways lead to God. What is the result of this freedom?” from OPEN WINDOWS-Life Way
The preceding came from a denominational magazine in a local doctor’s office, I thought it noteworthy to quote it:
“Many of the religions are advocating that we all should find a middle ground and come together to bind us all together in one faith and one religious people. This may be a good thought but what does it accomplish in the sight of our God and Savior and the Scriptures.”
My former supervisor loved to tell one of his college experiences. The lecturing professor had been underway for most of the hour, writing formulas on all the blackboards, for some reason my boss said loudly “That is all wrong!” The professor turned and asked, “Who said that?” Bill sheepishly raised his hand and the professor said “You may leave for today and you don’t have to take the next exam.” The professor had been writing mathematical nonsense waiting for someone to stop him.
The religious world is putting us to the test. Lately, we have noticed that if you quote a Scripture to a friend or someone interested in what you believe, the response is “where did you get that?” -well it came from the Word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures, we didn’t make that up!!! or the reply can be “From what version or translation are you using?” There was a time when brethren used only the King James Version, not anymore.
One of the recent obituaries in the metro paper listed the passing of one of the most noted Biblical translators of this age: who had degrees in all the ancient languages that had formed the first written Bible. The last efforts were to clarify the Revised Standard Version for modern mankind. How much clearer can we make God’s Word for everyone out on the street today is either a figurative or literal question? The Church Of Christ has always taken the stance of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent when the Bible is silent.” We have to be alert lest we are speared by the sharp point of our intelligence and let the chance go by to say, “That is wrong.”
Do we live so close to the Lord today, Passing to and fro on life’s busy way, That the world in us can a likeness see To the Man of Calvary?
Can the world see Jesus in me? Can the world see Jesus in you? Does your love to Him ring true, And your life and service, too?
Do we love, with love to His own akin, All His creatures lost in the mire of sin? Will we reach a hand, whatsoever it cost, To reclaim a sinner lost?
As an open book they our lives will read, To our words and acts giving daily heed;
Will they be attracted, or turn away From the Man of Calvary?
(an ancient hymn)
Insulation worker: a great career for the right person
485 South Street | Front Royal
Are you looking for a hands-on job that requires basic math skills and a knack for deciphering drawings? If so, becoming an insulation worker, also known as an insulator, may be right for you.
What do insulators do?
These workers are responsible for installing, removing, and repairing thermal and acoustic insulation on buildings and various types of mechanical equipment such as air handlers, refrigeration systems, and piping equipment. This helps effectively prevent or reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound, and fire.
An insulation worker’s main duties include reading and interpreting engineering drawings, measuring, cutting, applying, and securing insulation material, and installing vapor barriers.
Where do insulators work?
In most cases, insulators work for large companies on commercial, institutional, and industrial construction sites. They may also be self-employed and bid on private contracts.
Insulators most often work seasonally. However, depending on the job, they may be required to work year-round.
What skills do insulators need?
Since they often work with other professionals in the construction field, insulation workers must be able to work as part of a team. They must also be physically fit, meticulous, have excellent dexterity and be comfortable in both tight and high spaces.
Before they can complete a project on a job site, insulators must have the appropriate training and documentation.
If you’re interested in this profession, register for an insulation training course in your area.
Children activities by Samuels Public Library for the month of October
485 South Street | Front Royal
These are the events being presented by the Youth Services Department at Samuels Public Library for the month of October. More information about Samuels Library and the programs and services available can be found at www.samuelslibrary.net or by calling (540) 635-3153.
Wednesday, October 6
- 10:15 Toddler Story Time. Bring your toddler to a potpourri of simple stories, fun songs, and a cute craft! We Love Hiking will be the theme of our stories, songs and finger plays this week. Each child will receive a take-home craft kit. For children up to 3 1/2 years of age.
- 11:00 Preschool Story Time. Come in with your preschooler, aged 3 1/2 to five, for an enjoyable hour filled with amazing tales, exciting sing-alongs, finger plays, and a nifty craft! We Love Hiking will be the theme of our stories, songs and finger plays this week. Each child will receive a take-home craft kit.
Saturday, October 9
- 2:00 Discuss This. Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for those who wish to talk seriously about a variety of topics. For ages 12-18. Registration is required.
Tuesday, October 12
- 4:30 Science Scouts. Come in on Tuesday afternoons for a time to explore the mysteries of the world through science! In this weekly program, we will investigate a different STEM-related topic each week. During this week’s club, we will explore density as we make a spider leg lava lamp. For ages 6-11. Registration required.
Wednesday, October 13
- 10:15 Toddler Story Time. Bring your toddler to a potpourri of simple stories, fun songs, and a cute craft! First Responders will be the theme of our stories, songs, and craft! For children up to 3 1/2 years of age.
- 11:00 Preschool Story Time. Come in with your preschooler, aged 3 1/2 to five, for an enjoyable hour filled with amazing tales, exciting sing-alongs, finger plays, and a nifty craft! First Responders will be the theme of our stories, songs, and craft.
Let’s Celebrate Vultures!
485 South Street | Front Royal
This vulture duo (a Black Vulture and a Turkey Vulture) came to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center as babies after being found and raised by members of the public. Despite all attempts by BRWC staff to make them suitable for the wild, their lack of fear towards people made it unsafe to release them. Vultures are a very important part of our ecosystem, so we decided to make them Ambassadors on our Wildlife Walk. As two healthy, fully-flighted raptors, they need plenty of room to fly and play, so we built them a new (and very large) enclosure!
Join us on October 3rd for this Wildlife Guardian exclusive event, and be the first to see their new home, find out their genders, and learn their names. This event includes an educational program about vultures (and cupcakes)!
Tickets are free but required, as quantities are limited. This event will take place outside. Masks are required.
- When: Sunday, October 3, from 11:30am – 12:30pm
- Where: 106 Island Farm Lane, Boyce, VA 22620
Judge dismisses Meza appointment/’election’ challenge a second time
485 South Street | Front Royal
On Wednesday morning, September 22, counsels for Plaintiff Paul L. Aldrich and Defendants the Town of Front Royal and recently resigned councilman Jacob L. Meza, revisited oral arguments on the defendants’ Demurrer motion to dismiss the plaintiff case as not having the legal standing to proceed.
And the following afternoon Warren County Circuit Court Judge William W. Sharp issued a written ruling, upholding the defense demurrer motion to dismiss for the second time. That despite an earlier Thursday morning request from plaintiff attorney David Downes for an additional week to file supporting arguments on the aspect of immediate or preliminary injunctions for relief sought by the plaintiff, raised the previous day. Downes explained in his written request that he had not anticipated the issue of immediate relief injunctions remaining part of the arguments Wednesday, due to evolving circumstances – most prominently Meza’s resignation, effective immediately at council’s July 26 meeting – and previous rulings on the issue upholding that portion of the defense demurrer motion.
“As I write this, I am aware that Mr. Downes has filed a Motion seeking additional time to brief the de facto officer doctrine, raised by the Court. I see no reason to grant the motion. This appears to be a well-established common law doctrine, and I am confident it applies to this case. Further, the Court had previously raised this doctrine in ruling on the Demurrer to the original Complaint, yet the Plaintiff ignored that part of my opinion in his Amended Complaint,” Judge Sharp noted in denying the plaintiff counsel request for time to submit amended arguments.
Judge Sharpe quoted several past U.S. Supreme Court justices on the advised willingness judges should have to re-examine their own decisions in prefacing his own re-examination of his initial April 7 ruling in favor of the defense demurrer motion to dismiss.
“It is ‘the duty of every judge and every court to examine its own decisions … without fear, and to revise them without reluctance’,” Justice William O. Douglas quoting a judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
“Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late,” Justice Felix Frankfurter.
“I see no reason why I should be consciously wrong today because I was unconsciously wrong yesterday,” Justice Robert H. Jackson.
Of his decision to allow an amended plaintiff complaint to be filed and revisit his original ruling for the defense, Sharp wrote in late April, “Not a small part of my decision to enter the stay order, and give one last chance for oral argument, is my realization that I gave a very poor articulation of my reasons for my original decision, and I do not want to make that mistake again. It is therefore my intention to give a written explanation of my decision, whichever way it goes, in which my words are more carefully expressed.”
But in his continued analysis of arguments on the standing and substance of Plaintiff Aldrich’s filing, made as a town taxpaying citizen potentially impacted financially and otherwise by votes of an illegally appointed council member, Judge Sharp upheld his initial ruling in favor of the defense motion to dismiss. The judge addressed the changed circumstance of Meza’s resignation removing major points of relief sought by the plaintiff. “Gone is any issue of removing an ‘illegally’ installed councilman,” Sharp observed.
Of the plaintiff claim of potential damage from Meza’s appointment, Sharp wrote: “Mr. Aldrich’s second amended complaint establishes that he is a citizen and taxpayer of the Town of Front Royal. The complaint alleges several decisions of the town council in which Mr. Meza participated, resulting in expenditures. However, the complaint does not allege that any of these decisions impacted any of Mr. Aldrich’s rights. Furthermore, the complaint does not allege that Mr. Meza’ s presence on the council had a causal relationship to any of these expenditures. While he participated in the votes, including moving or seconding motions, there is no claim that the actions would not have passed but for Meza’s participation.”
Noting his previous ruling that council actions could not be voided due to Meza’s participation in votes prior to a ruling on the legality of his seating, Judge Sharp made it fairly clear a second request for an amended complaint might be a futile gesture. “As Meza is no longer subject to removal from office and his prior actions are not voidable, I do not see any potential ongoing justiciable controversy, much less impacted right of the petitioner, that would warrant permitting another Amended Complaint,” Sharp concluded.
But has the question of whether the wording of the Town Charter dating to 1937, supports the reappointment by “election” of council members within a year of their leaving office been resolved? The judge dealt with his interpretation of that core question in his written decision:
“While Mr. Aldrich’s lack of standing disposes of the case, even if he had proper standing to challenge the appointment of Mr. Meza to the council, this claim would also fail under the law. The chief phrase of the Town Charter in dispute concerns whether membership on the town council is an ‘office under the jurisdiction of the council.’ There can be no dispute that the members of the council are officers of the town, as provided under §4 of the Charter. The question, rather, is whether such officers are considered to be under the jurisdiction of the council in the context of §47.
Chapter 47 of the Town Charter was the basis of the plaintiff’s challenge of the Meza appointment. It states: “No member of the council of the Town of Front Royal shall be appointed or elected to any office under the jurisdiction of the council while he is a member of the council, or for one year thereafter,” the relevant Section 47 passage reads. However, the court continued to side with defense counsel arguments that other Chapters of the Town Charter applied to council appointments to fill vacancies, specifically 6D and 9.
In her Demurrer filing for dismissal, defense counsel Heather Bardot pointed to Section 6D and related wording on filling council vacancies, such as the one created by Councilman Chris Holloway’s November 2020 election to mayor. “The council may fill any vacancy that occurs within the membership of council for the unexpired term, provided that such vacancy is taken within 45 days of the office becoming vacant,” Section 6D states. No reference to a one-year hiatus per appointments is made here, Bardot noted. Only the court’s authority to make the appointment were council to deadlock and be unable to fill the seat within the prescribed 45 days, is acknowledged.
Meza’s appointment was made January 4, 2021, four days after Holloway relinquished his council seat to become mayor and four days after Meza, who did not run for reelection after a controversial final year in office, vacated his seat. In 2020 Meza appeared to have alienated a portion of his base related to his Valley Health employment during the previous year. Meza did not express support for the “Birth Local” movement seeking to have Valley Health include a Maternity Unit in the new Warren Memorial Hospital. And after recusing himself from previous discussion of the new hospital funding due to his employment, the councilman chose to cast a deciding vote authorizing that EDA funding on the Town side.
In oral arguments on the original complaint, plaintiff counsel Downes suggested that Chapter 47 was intended to include council seats in the one-year prohibition, not only because council members are “under the jurisdiction” of their colleagues, but also to avoid the appearance or fact of partisan political cronyism in town politics. With the four member majority that appointed him by a 4-1 vote coming from the county Republican Committee, of which he is also a member, plaintiff counsel suggested one might at least infer the appearance of political cronyism in returning Meza to office so quickly after a voluntary choice to leave that office.
However, the judge continued to side with the defense stance that the Chapter 47 one-year prohibition applied only to appointed Town staff positions.
“A comparison with the other named offices-especially those clearly under the Council’s jurisdiction-is instructive. The town treasurer, town manager, and town clerk are explicitly appointed by the council as a general rule, rather than as an exception to fill vacancies. The Council is authorized to exercise considerable oversight on them, with the ability to remove them from office and/or reassign their duties to other officers. By contrast, the council may only remove one of its own members in the case of repeated absences and exerts no other comparable oversight on its members. Furthermore, while the Charter provides that only the Council has authority to appoint the treasurer, clerk, and town manager, the Council shares its authority with the Circuit Court to appoint members to the Council when a vacancy arises. The Council can fairly be said to exercise general power over the clerk, treasurer, and town manager, but not over its own membership. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to find that membership in the Council is an office of the sort meant to be governed by §47,” Judge Sharp wrote of his stance on the matter at the heart of the citizen challenge of Meza’s appointment.