We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor and 3D materials. Composition, color theory, form, line, shape and texture will be discussed and applied to their projects. They will also explore the style and techniques of famous artists while creating their own artwork. The classes are in alignment with the Virginia Standards of Learning.
This session of 4 classes is $100, and all materials are included. Sign up early! Limit of 8 students per session.
About the instructor: Laura Corebello is a licensed art teacher who has taught art in the public schools of New Jersey and Virginia for the past 30 years. She has written curriculums for New Jersey and Virginia private and public schools. Laura can recognize the unlimited potentials of creative expression through the eyes of children and nurtures this in all her students. Some of Laura’s students have been stimulated to follow careers in art, have earned awards, and have had art shows at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Wednesdays, Sept. 11 to Oct. 2, from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. Classes are located at 205 E. Main Street, Front Royal, UPSTAIRS in Suite 4.
Class policies: We understand that scheduling conflicts do happen. You may cancel your session for a full refund up to 48 hours before the first class, by phone or in person. No refunds will be issued after this time.
In case of inclement weather, we will reschedule the class. Please check our Facebook page for class schedule changes due to weather.
Grand re-opening & ribbon cutting at Code Ninjas
Code Ninjas at 133 N. Royal Avenue in Front Royal held its grand opening on July 31, 2021. Nike Foster Cales of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce along with Board of Supervisors Chairman Cheryl Cullers and Vice-Mayor Lori Cockrell welcomed Kimmee Hancock LaCross and husband Chris to the Front Royal business community.
Code Ninjas is where kids learn to code while building their own video games. This is where they learn problem-solving, critical thinking, and STEM skills in a fun, safe, and inspiring environment.
Coding has been called the literacy of the 21st century for good reason. Just like math, science, and literature, coding is a key aspect of understanding our technologically advanced world. There’s a huge need for a generation that not only understands technology but how it works. Regardless of whether your kids one day pursue a career in coding, Code Ninjas teaches them confidence, logic, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Front Royal children ages 7-14 can look forward to visiting the new Code Ninjas center to learn how to code in a fun, safe, and social learning environment where gaming is celebrated, and STEM is cool. Everything about Code Ninjas is built around fun, which keeps kids coming back. But the center also provides the results that parents are looking for, as their children gain coding and problem-solving skills they’ll need for the jobs of the future.
Code Ninjas accomplishes this with a robust, game-based curriculum made up of nine belts, just like martial arts. The curriculum is self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get immediate help and encouragement from Code Senseis and fellow students as they advance from white to black belt. The program keeps kids motivated with little wins along the way, and “Belt-Up” celebrations where they receive color-coded wristbands to mark their graduation to the next level. By the time a child finishes the program, they will publish an app in an app store.
Code Ninjas offers a variety of opportunities for children to get involved, including a flexible drop-in program, camps, and Parents Night Out events on weekends.
For more information about the Front Royal Code Ninjas, please visit https://www.codeninjas.com/va-front-royal.
Why wolves howl
Has anyone ever told you that wolves howl at the moon? Since these animals are often heard at night, many people mistakenly believe that they’re howling at the moon. However, in reality, they use these calls to communicate. Here are some of the reasons that wolves howl:
• To gather the pack
• To indicate their location
• To find a mate
• To warn others to stay out of their territory
The reason wolves tend to be more vocal when the moon is out is simply that these nocturnal creatures are most active at night. This doesn’t mean they don’t also howl during the day or on cloudy nights when the moon is hidden. It just depends on whether they have something to say.
The moon isn’t the reason wolves raise their head toward the sky when they howl either. They do this because it helps project sound upward and throughout their environment. Turning their head upward when they howl allows their message to travel over long distances.
Finally, it’s interesting to note that not all howls are alike. In particular, the duration of a wolf’s cry can completely change its meaning.
Did you know?
Just like humans, wolves communicate and express their emotions with different facial expressions.
Ask the Expert
Home prices have been rising fast. Should I apply for a preapproval that’s more than I think I need?
There’s no question we’re in a hot market right now that shows few signs of cooling off. However, the fundamental rule still applies when it comes to getting a mortgage: Stay within budget.
The more prep work you do ahead of time, the better. This serves the dual purpose of helping you move quickly when needed, as well as acting with a cool head. Before you even start looking at homes, figure out your finances and calculate how much you can and want to spend on a mortgage. Remember to factor in insurance, taxes, and a rainy day fund for repairs.
Then you’ll apply for your preapproval. This is the bank’s letter attesting to how much you can afford.
A quick note about preapproval versus prequalification letters: The prequalification is typically based upon self-reported information, while the preapproval involves the bank checking your credit score and verifying bank and income records. Although some institutions may use the terms interchangeably, the preapproval generally carries more weight — and in a hot market, this can give you an edge when making offers. Remember that neither is final, however. Your loan will go through a final round of verifications and include an appraisal and inspection before it becomes official.
Back to how much you should apply for. A common rule of thumb says to keep your mortgage payment — including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance — at or below 28 percent of your gross monthly income, and your total debt service below 36 percent.
When you stick to this formula, you make things easy on yourself. Now you’ve got a definitive number in mind, and you can shop for houses that fit your budget rather than the other way around.
VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for August 2 – 6, 2021
The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in the Staunton transportation district during the coming weeks. The Staunton District consists of 11 counties from the Alleghany Highlands to the northern Shenandoah Valley: Alleghany, Bath, Rockbridge, Highland, Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, Frederick, Clarke and Warren.
Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.
*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new or revised entry since last week’s report.
*UPDATE* Mile marker 7 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for paving operations, 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. through September 3.
No lane closures were reported.
No lane closures were reported.
Route 624 (Happy Creek Road) – Road closed between Front Royal eastern town limits and Route 647 (Dismal Hollow Road) for a safety improvement project. Follow posted detour. Estimated project completion December 10.
Vegetation management may take place district-wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.
The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Youngkin announces plan to invest in all Virginians
On July 29, 2021, political outsider, successful business leader, and Republican nominee for governor Glenn Youngkin delivered remarks outlining his plan for the Virginia budget surplus and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
Glenn outlined his plan in Richmond at the L. Douglas Wilder Library at Virginia Union University, stating:
“It’s going to take a new kind of leader to pave the way for a new day in Virginia. So today I’m offering my priorities for investing in all Virginians by using the surplus and the American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide Virginians tax relief, reinvigorate our job machine, reestablish excellence and empower parents in Virginia’s classrooms, and rescue public safety and our mental health system.”
“I’d like to see a meaningful amount of these dollars go directly into the pockets of Virginians. Under Democratic rule, the general fund revenues, which are taxes and fees, have increased at two times the rate of GDP growth.”
“The McAuliffe-Northam regime has had their chance and failed to deliver. They’ve had 8 years to make your lives better, but they live by the philosophy that government should decide all things; which businesses will win and which ones will lose, especially penalizing small businesses and more rural parts of this great Commonwealth. They tell us what’s best for our kids in schools, giving parents no voice, and no choice. And they think they know best how to keep us safe, by underfunding law enforcement and our mental health system. They govern by the belief that they know best how to spend Virginians’ money, these tax dollars. Terry McAuliffe thinks it’s his money.”
“My vision for Virginia is one day, we will lead the nation in job creation because taxes are low and regulations are reasonable, because small business can access capital, can hire who they need to hire, and expand because every graduate is either college-ready or career-ready with the skill that will put them on the pathway to a more prosperous future. To reinvigorate our job machine, we will take several important steps.”
“My vision is a Virginia with safe neighborhoods, where our children can play without worry, where the elderly can take a walk without fear, with police partnering with communities to patrol and keep everyone safe. These are my investment priorities. This is a moment for transformational investment. This $5.8 billion plan includes over $2 billion that goes directly to Virginians in the form of tax relief and educational recovery assistance. It invests $2.6 billion to reinvigorate our job machine, $1.2 billion to reestablish excellence in education, and $500 million to rescue public safety and our mental health system. Make no mistake, with the Youngkin Administration, this is the Virginia that you can expect. When I’m your Governor, we will get things done.”
Glenn listened to the concerns of parents and small businesses owners when formulating a plan to reinvest in our schools & economy. Mother Michelle Williams and small business owner Hayden Fischer joined Glenn to share their personal experiences and demonstrate their support for his plan to invest in Virginians:
“As a mother of five children who have and is currently attending public school in Virginia, I am concerned today. We’ve seen a lurch to the left in the name of indoctrination and lowering of academic standards, prioritizing unions and bureaucracy over education. I trust Glenn Youngkin to go to work for our children and get our education system back on track. Our children deserve higher standards of education. As parents, we should be empowered to choose the best educational opportunities for our students. The education refund Glenn’s proposing will be a huge help to parents like me. I’m with Glenn because he’ll improve educational outcomes for all Virginian students—that’s what matters,” said Michelle Williams.
“My name is Hayden Fisher, I’m a local attorney and entrepreneur, and small business owner. And as we all know, the past eight years we’ve seen an increasingly anti-business climate. A climate particularly anti-business towards small businesses. And that doesn’t take the form just in increased regulations, and higher taxes, it really takes the form in a lack of empathy for small businesses in particular. And that’s why we need someone like Glenn Youngkin who understands every big business starts as a small business. And never was that more apparent than last year when the pandemic hit. As y’all know in a time of crisis we need leadership, we needed Glenn Youngkin to lead us through a time like that.
Instead, McAuliffe Northam administration provided nothing by way of guidance and help for small businesses. And I’ll tell you, in particular, that was present when you talk about the essential vs non-essentials categories of business. If you were big buys grocery store or if you were a gas station, you were essentially you were open. If you’re an innovative new business, that sold similar products or services, especially products and goods in the retail sector, you were non-essential even though you had a business model, that was a new business model, that didn’t fit into a neat government category. And as we started to reopen, the biggest frustration I heard from clients that I advise, I consult with a lot of small business clients, and other small business owners is there was no process. Like, what if my business does, can safely reopen? I don’t fit into a neat category. Why can’t I apply? There’s no process to try and say hey my business can also safely reopen. In fact, the only option was to potentially think about filing a lawsuit. Can you imagine having to file a lawsuit to reopen a business you put your heart and soul into? And not only that, but your concern was not winning, but being retaliated against for even having the audacity to file that lawsuit. That’s a complete lack of empathy for local business and for small business and with Glenn Youngkin, I can assure you there would be a process in place where he can bring every business back that can safely reopen back open as quickly as possible. And that’s why I and many small business owners support Glenn Youngkin for governor,” said small business owner Hayden Fisher.
Youngkin’s Plan to Invest in Virginians will focus on:
• Providing Relief for Taxpayers and Families:
o Immediately return the $1.5 billion in available taxpayer surplus to offset Virginian’s mounting tax burden
o Help working families by suspending the state gas tax hikes passed by Democrats for one year
• Reestablishing Excellence in Education:
o Empower parents with educational choice by piloting 20 new “Innovation Schools”
o Provide $500 per public school student in refunds to parents to invest in student educational recovery
• Reinvigorating the Job Machine:
o Protect employees and small businesses from a cataclysmic payroll tax increase of $270 per employee
o Invest $700 million to bridge the digital divide
o Provide a tax holiday for small businesses
o Invest in initiatives to grow jobs and address environmental challenges
• Rescuing Public Safety and Mental Health:
o Stop the exodus of our law enforcement heroes from the force with a $5,000 retention bonus
o Keep first responders safe with significant investments in critical equipment and continued legal protection
o Fund Virginia’s mental health care crisis plan
EDA Litigation Update – that and other impacts on Economic Development
The morning of Friday, July 30, this reporter sat down for a “Town Talk” with Economic Development Authority (EDA) Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Browne. Well, maybe we should call it a “County Talk” since the Town of Front Royal continues to distance itself from what Browne pointed out is still legally the Front Royal-Warren County EDA, as unresolved civil litigation initiated by the Town regarding financial liability from the EDA financial scandal continues to swirl and the Front Royal Town Council continues its initiative to create a parallel, unilateral EDA.
Those moves have come despite the total realignment of the EDA staff and board of directors, and a repeated EDA offer to work out of court to determine who is owed what in the wake of alleged embezzlement and misdirection of EDA assets between at least 2015 and 2018 under the leadership of former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald.
LITIGATION!!! – Now there’s a topic of conversation to begin our discussion by whatever name we choose to call it. Acknowledging that public interest, and discontent, is high concerning the slow pace at which both civil and criminal court proceedings have developed related to the EDA financial scandal, Browne agreed to open our conversation with an update on those legal developments.
Prominent among those are the recent Bankruptcy Court ruling forwarding a $9-million “non-dischargeable judgment” that central financial scandal figure McDonald, along with the EDA, has agreed to.
Watch the discussion progress through that litigation front among others, including what is known on the criminal side since it was handed over to federal officials in the Western District of Virginia, and how all this legal maneuvering impacts the EDA’s day-to-day operational goal of economic development, targeting business recruitment and retention. It is an operational environment also traversing Warren County’s extremely low statewide 37% COVID-19 pandemic vaccination rate, something that could be frowned upon by some potential economic development clients.
And after all that, we end on an upbeat, or beats:
First, that the new EDA board and staff are actively and jointly working to market Warren County in its entirety to the type of Technology, Manufacturing, and Logistics companies that would fit in well with what this community has to offer.
And second, the anticipation of an Open House to be hosted by a recently recruited drone manufacturer and operations manager, Silent Falcon at the County’s Front Royal Airport (FRR). While no date has yet been set as Silent Falcon continues development of its new home base, at least one kid, if a somewhat aging one, is anxiously anticipating coverage of that event. – And I think we’ll bring the video crew along for that one – Mark, Mike, who wants the drone assignment?
Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com