For the 12th consecutive year, The River 95.3/WZRV will be hosting ‘Camping for Hunger,’ from Monday, November 16th through Saturday, November 21st to raise food, monetary donations and awareness of hunger in the northern Shenandoah Valley.
2019 donation totals again exceeded the previous years’, with over twelve tons of food donated and nearly $8000 in cash donations. However, with the need ever-increasing and increased employment issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal for 2020 is to top that. The total amount of food collected provides approximately six months’ worth of food for C-CAP’s pantry program.
On-Air personalities Lonnie Hill, Randy Woodward, and Alyssa McBeth along with station owner Andrew Shearer and other staff members won’t be sleeping on the bus this year, but instead will be hosting a virtual radio-thon and collecting your donations daily in the parking lot of the WZRV/WFTR Studios at 1106 Elm Street, Front Royal. During the week-long campout event, The River 95.3 will broadcast live asking for community support and donations for Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP’s food pantry. In-person collections will take place Camping week between 9 am and 4 pm. An on-line donation link direct to C-CAP, a 501-c(3) non-profit, will also be provided.
Royal Broadcasting President, Andrew Shearer commented, “We are able to garner support from community groups and area businesses in order to make this happen – but it‘s the individual donations that make this such a success. Our neighbors are very generous.”
Past supporters have included the Front Royal Police, Warren County Fire & Rescue, Royal Plaza Shopping Center, CenturyLink, and C-CAP. Numerous local companies have already started in-house food drives to help grow the totals and all donations stay in our local community.
The River 95.3 is committed to continuing to serve the community through direct-involvement events and activities. For more information, contact the station: 540-635-4121; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit theriver953.com.
Public debate over council directions precedes move toward McKay Springs parcel sale
Mayor Chris Holloway was absent from the January 25 Front Royal Town Council meeting, due to illness according to Vice-Mayor Lori Athey Cockrell, who chaired the Monday evening meeting in his place. So, Holloway was not present to hear first Public Concerns speaker Paul Gabbert’s scathing appraisal of media and social media reports of the content of former Council Clerk Jennifer Berry’s federal wrongful and retaliatory termination lawsuit filed under Chapter VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as it applies to gender discrimination, against the Town.
As reported by Royal Examiner and others, then Councilman Holloway is cited in the litigation as a primary council player in trying to get Berry to withdraw her complaint against former Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock’s alleged sexually harassing and demeaning behavior.
Had he been present, part of what Mayor Holloway would have heard Gabbert describe of the allegations of sexual harassment and an attempted cover up of complaints about them was, “This is a truly sickening ordeal. Anyone who would allegedly commit these acts, or anyone who allegedly would cover up these acts, are sick criminals.” (the filing of the lawsuit is covered elsewhere on the Royal Examiner Front Page and Local News sections).
But on to lighter things – well, not really – as a second speaker, Karen Patten, and third, Sean O’Reilly, addressed council priorities and street name-changing initiatives from varying perspectives. First, Patten followed Gabbert to the podium of the Warren County Government Center Meeting Room largely devoid of spectators due to Phase 3 COVID-19 pandemic surge guidelines instituted at the state level. Referencing Councilman Scott Lloyd’s January 19 work session initiative to re-name a town street after the former president, Donald Trump, and the January 22 press release quoting the mayor on the topic, Patten wondered at the newly elected council’ and mayor’s priorities.
“While I’m mourning the loss of more kids in our community, I see a press released from the town council about a road name, not about the deadly drugs floating about in our town, but over a road name,” Patten began, adding of the opioid drug crisis, “I find it disgusting to know what our priorities are. While you are worried over a road name and throwing each other under a bus, people are burying their kids.”
Patten continued to make an analogy between the local and national political scenes, telling council and the absent mayor they were reflecting the worst tendencies of the past year as to ignoring the very people they are elected to represent – likely a reference to the 400,000-plus dead now attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic nationally in one year as the Executive Branch of the federal government downplayed the Coronavirus danger, refusing to institute national emergency measures.
Patten’s, as well as Gabbert’s earlier comments on Berry’s civil rights violation suit against the Town among other criticisms, brought responses from a number of council members. Longer-term members, including Gary Gillespie, denied that the Berry sexual harassment complaint wasn’t taken seriously by council. And both new and older members assured the public they take the opioid crisis seriously.
Letasha Thompson took the opportunity to suggest council move toward imposition of PILOT fees (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) on tax-exempt non-profit regional medical provider Valley Health’s new hospital in town to help fund proactive drug prevention institutions in town. Valley Health employee and re-appointed Councilman Meza voting/not voting on Valley Health matters was another of Gabbert’s targets during his remarks.
But prior to those rebuttals of public criticism, a third member of the public desiring to address council during the Public Concerns portion of the meeting, approached council some 15 minutes after that agenda item was closed following Patten’s remarks.
Vice-Mayor Cockrell acknowledged that citizen’s desire to speak, pointing out council had moved past that agenda portion of the meeting and asked for the town attorney and council’s guidance. Councilman Meza said he observed the citizen’s arrival and asked council to concur to letting him speak. His colleagues agreed and Sean O’Reilly approached the podium.
‘Trump Ave.’ part of a greater ‘truth’
“What I want to say is something very simple … When I first heard that you guys were thinking about naming a street here after Donald Trump, I was delighted,” O’Reilly began. “And the reason is pretty simple – there are people here who are talking about drug problems, issues of basic morality and crime and everything else. And I think it’s really important to see that all these things are connected. There’s no such thing as truth that’s not all part of one piece … I think the issue about naming a street after Donald Trump is important for a very simple reason.
“It doesn’t matter what you think about Donald Trump. It doesn’t matter whether he was a b*stard; whether he was a good guy, it doesn’t matter – He was not treated well by the press; he was not treated well by a large number of Americans,” O’Reilly opined, continuing, “I think it’s extremely unfair and it’s also very dangerous for the rest of us – Extremely dangerous if this kind of behavior continues.
“So, I think all I’m going to say is that I think the idea of naming a street after Donald Trump is like a counterweight to some of this stuff. – That’s it,” he concluded, again thanking council for being allowed to address them later in the meeting.
Consent Agenda includes financial legal expenses
Council unanimously approved a five-item Consent Agenda, including an FY-21 budget transfer into the Street Contingency Fund; and a budget amendment for an insurance reimbursement; also altering stipends for some appointed town committees; authorization to sell “excess property” through a private sale; and awarding a contract not to exceed $31,000 to the legal firm of Estes Law and Consulting PLLC to cover completed service as bond counsel for the I&I Abatement bond issue estimated at $10.5 million ($12,500 cost); $13,500 for the Redundant Water Line bond of $11.3 million ($13,500); and “a potential bond validation” ($5,000).
Move towards McKay Springs parcel sale
And as noted above, Council’s lone meeting action item other than the above Consent Agenda, was authorization to advertise for Public Hearing “Approval of a Letter of Intent” and “Approval of the Sales Process” for a 1.42-acre parcel of the jointly owned McKay Springs property in partnership with the County and EDA.
Total sales price would be $475,000, with the Town getting $124,402.50 (29.19%) and the County $350,598.50 (73.18%) minus any sales fees. The purchaser is Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Inc. It was noted in the agenda packet that a supermajority, five-member vote of the six-person council, to authorize the sale.
Council unanimously approved moving toward the public hearing to enable the sale. Prior to the vote, Councilman Meza commented that it was “a great example” of the Town and County working together for a common good. Maybe positive movement here is an indicator council may be poised to reconsider its legally dubious ownership claims blocking the EDA’s sale of the Afton Inn for another common good. Tick, tick … – Time will tell as the EDA Board of Directors and would-be purchaser and redeveloper 2 East Main LLC recently re-extended the deadline on achieving the sales contract into mid-February.
February is footwear month for Froggy’s Closet
February is footwear month for Froggy’s Closet, a nonprofit dedicated to helping foster children, children in need and at risk.
The third annual fundraiser started when a foster child who appreciated all the items received but took the shoes out of the bag, said “Why are the bottom of my shoes always dirty?”
A new pair of shoes can be a feeling of love, pride, and acceptance, like a new beginning. Froggy’s wants all children to have that feeling. This fundraiser helps collect enough new shoes to fill all requests for one full year.
All types of shoes and sizes are accepted with an ongoing need for sneakers and tennis shoes.
Froggy’s Closet has partnered with several business in the community for drop-off locations, including the following:
- Berryville Grille | 9 E Main St. Berryville, VA
- Escutcheon Brewery | 142 W Commercial St.
- Kimberly’s | 135 N Braddock St.
- Scarpa Alta | 28 W Piccadilly St.
- Winchester Country Club | 1300 Senseny Rd.
- Winchester Moose Lodge | 215 E. Cork St.
- Wilkins Shoe Center | 7 S Loudoun Street Mall
In addition, shoe donations are accepted at Froggy’s Closet, 32 E. Piccadilly St., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monetary donations are accepted by cash, check, or online at frog-kids.org.
Founded in 2009, Families Reaching Out Group (FROG), a Winchester, Virginia based nonprofit is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or are at risk. Children and families in Winchester, and Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, and Warren counties are served.
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of January 29th
Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! We are continuing to practice “6 Foot Social Distancing” with 30% capacity reserved seating in all auditoriums.
Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Friday, January 29:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $9
- Child (under 12): $6
- Military: $7
- Student (college): $7
- Senior: $7
- Matinees, All Seating: $6
- “Tom and Jerry”
- “Raya and the Last Dragon”
- “Chaos Walking”
Popcorn ceilings: how to patch, paint and remove them
A popcorn ceiling, also known as a stipple, stucco, or acoustic ceiling, is a type of textured ceiling that has a noise-dampening effect. It was a common feature in houses 50 years ago, and many homes still have them. Here’s what you should know about renovating them.
If your popcorn ceiling is stained or cracked, you can patch it. There are special products designed for this purpose that can be purchased in either an aerosol can or a container. These products are easy to spray or paint on.
Removing a popcorn ceiling can be messy, dangerous, and time-consuming, but it isn’t difficult. If it’s painted, you’ll need to apply a specialized stripping product. It should be rolled or brushed on and given time to soften the ceiling material, which can then be scraped away with a trowel.
To simplify patching, painting, or removing your popcorn ceiling, hire an experienced contractor to complete the job.
Before renovating a popcorn ceiling, you need to determine if it contains asbestos. If it does, make sure to hire a professional asbestos remediation company to remove it.
Treat yourself to an at-home honeymoon
Restrictions put in place during the pandemic make it challenging, if not impossible, to travel to most prime honeymoon destinations. And once you arrive, who knows what restaurants and attractions will be open. So, while white sandy beaches and European cafés may be out of reach, a romantic staycation should hardly be considered settling for second best.
All the comforts of home
First and foremost, you don’t have to worry about contracting the coronavirus if you choose to honeymoon from the comfort of your home. Additionally, you’ll avoid the hassle of preparing for a trip — no need to renew your passport, get vaccinated, convert your cash, or buy travel insurance. Plus, you won’t have to pack, and you can be sure that the bedding hasn’t been used by strangers.
Indulge in an array of luxuries
• Order all of your meals from restaurants and get them delivered right to your door.
• Splurge on a high-end sectional sofa, king-size bed, or home theater system.
• Surprise your partner with designer lingerie and drink only fine wines every night.
Honeymooning at home allows you to start your life as a married couple in the comfort and privacy of your own home while indulging in food, wine, and gifts.
Looking to send a little Valentine’s Day cheer?
Warren County Parks and Recreation Department is looking for several young sweethearts to help make Valentine’s cards that will be delivered to some of the elderly in our community. We will provide all the necessary supplies; we just need your help to make their Valentine’s Day a little bit brighter!
If you are interested, stop by the Warren County Community Center and pick up the “Valentine’s Card Goodie Bag” from Tuesday, January 26, 2021, through Monday, February 8, 2021. Cards will need to be returned to the Warren County Community Center by Thursday, February 11, 2021.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Warren County Community Center, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (evening and weekend hours may vary), at (540) 635-1021 or via email at email@example.com.