Save Our Children Front Royal is hosting a Color Run/Walk to raise money for The Child Safe Center, located in Winchester, Virginia. The Child Safe Center is a local non-profit who supports sexually abused victims and their families.
Registration will be in person upon arrival on the day of the event.
While attending this event, recommended garments are tennis shoes, eye protection, and a white shirt. If you do not want to walk, but would like to contribute or volunteer, please contact Brittany Lewis, President of Save Our Children Front Royal, at 540-692-9893 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5k participants will be responsible for timing themselves.
- What: Color Walk & 5K
- When: Saturday, April 24th, 2021
- Time: Registration starts @ 12:30pm. Walk starts at 1pm and ends at 3pm.
- Where: The track: 465 W 15th Street | Front Royal, VA 22630
- Adults — $15
- Children — $5
- 4 & under — Free
- Group rate for 10+ people — $5/person
CLICK HERE to join our Facebook event page and stay updated on the event!
Glass ceiling on statewide offices remains for black women
Four Black women have entered the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race. If elected, the commonwealth would become the first state with a Black female governor.
Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, and former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, are competing for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Former Roanoke City Sheriff Octavia Johnson is seeking the Republican nomination. Independent activist and educator Princess Blanding is running for the new Liberation Party, which she helped establish last year.
Former U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, D-New York, made history in 1972 when she became the first Black woman to seek a U.S. presidential nomination for a major political party. Almost 50 years later, the road to electing a Black woman to a governorship or the presidency has yet to be traveled.
“The next time a woman of whatever color, or a dark-skinned person of whatever sex aspires to be president, the way should be a little smoother because I helped pave it,” Chisholm said in 1973 regarding her unsuccessful presidential bid.
Dearth of representation
Since Chisholm was elected, 50 Black women have served in Congress or federal office, according to the Center for American Women and Politics database. Ten Black women have held statewide executive offices such as lieutenant governor or attorney general, according to the same database. No Black woman has ever been elected governor, although former Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, came close in a 2018 hotly contested election.
Carroll Foy said the nation’s history limits what some citizens view as a capable candidate.
“Unfortunately, people look to the past to try to dictate what can happen in the future,” she said. “When people see women of color running for higher office, we are seen as the exception and not the rule.”
Organizations dedicated to electing women to an office such as EMILY’S List, Higher Heights, and EMERGE aim to make the paths to the office more accessible in recent years, providing advice, contributions, and peer support to women candidates.
McClellan said when she first ran for a House seat in 2005, she had very little guidance and few mentors.
“There was no collective PAC, there was no EMERGE, you know, groups that have since formed to help Black candidates and women candidates and Black women candidates. They weren’t there,” McClellan said. “I had to really do it on my own, with help from the handful of people who had done it before me.”
The media often poorly represents women in politics, according to Political Parity, a research group that recruits and supports women candidates. Often, media coverage surrounding women running for office adds unnecessary details about a woman candidate’s clothing, weight, qualifications, motherhood situation, and emotional maturity, according to the same report.
“Whether it’s questions about their parenting or their husbands, it’s just questions that we don’t see male candidates get,” said Kristen Hernandez, deputy director of campaign communications for EMILY’S List, an organization devoted to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. “We’ve seen sexist rhetoric, misogynistic comments, and racist tropes as well.”
McClellan said perhaps the most consistent troubling narrative she sees in the media surrounding her campaign are questions about her qualifications. McClellan said she has more experience than all her Democratic opponents combined.
“There never seems to be a question, when a white man runs for governor, but yet for us it’s, ‘Are you ready?’” McClellan said. “If I’m not ready after 16 years in state government, when would I ever be ready?”
McClellan said she also frequently sees herself and Carroll Foy lumped together in news articles, as they are both Black women who have served in the state legislature. A New York Times analyst hypothesized last month that McAuliffe might win the Democratic primary race because three of his competitors — McClellan, Carroll Foy, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax — are Black, younger, and generally more left-wing than McAuliffe.
Voters typically prefer candidates that most resemble themselves, according to a study published in an Oxford Academic Journal. This tendency suggests that Black women must also convince all constituents that despite being Black, they do not solely represent Black Virginians. Instead, most see themselves as the most qualified person for the job who just so happens to be a Black woman.
“I am not the candidate of Black America, although I am Black and proud,” Chisholm said during a campaign event in ’72. “I am not the candidate of the woman’s [sic] movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.”
Even now the persistent myth that Black candidates can only win in majority-minority districts continues to plague America’s political scene, according to the Brookings Institute, a public policy organization headquartered in the District of Columbia. But of the five non-incumbent Black women elected to Congress in 2018, all were Democrats and four won in majority-white districts, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
One of the biggest barriers to elected office is the ability to raise campaign funds. The ability to fund a campaign continues to be a major obstacle to success for many women, not just women of color, according to the Brennan Center, a nonpartisan law and policy institute. The Center also found that candidates often receive party support based on their fundraising potential, which disadvantages candidates without notoriety, wealthy support networks or self-funding abilities. Donors who fund political campaigns are often wealthy, white, and typically male, according to Demos, a Liberal think tank. These donors, according to the same report, also have different views and priorities, especially on the issues that matter most to Black women.
Blanding is the sister of the late Marcus-David Peters, a Black man shot and killed by a Richmond Police officer while he experienced what his family said was a mental health crisis. Blanding said fundraising is an ongoing struggle. She recalled looking at the first financial records report from the Board of Elections and said she could not help but “crack up laughing” at the amount she raised compared to other candidates.
“But guess what? I have volunteers who are working around the clock to get the same results that they are paying for,” Blanding said. “That means a whole lot more to me.”
Carroll Foy raised just over $1.8 million in the first quarter, while McClellan raised roughly half a million dollars, according to a Capital News Service analysis of fundraising reports. Carroll Foy resigned from her seat to fundraise. General Assembly members can not fundraise until the session adjourns. Blanding raised almost $12,000 in the first quarter and Johnson raised $800. Altogether, all four women have raised just over half of what Democratic frontrunner and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe raised.
Aprill Turner, vice president of communications and external affairs for Higher Heights for America, said all women must run against a “boys’ club.” Higher Heights for America is a political action committee that seeks to mobilize and elevate the voices of Black women across the country. Turner said the path to elected offices has typically been paved by white men, and usually involves network connections and exclusive organizations that people of color and women have historically been unable to access.
“You’ll see men groomed in a different way, or almost appointed,” Turner said. “Like, ‘You’ve got next,’ and kind of that little boys’ network.”
Will the statewide glass ceiling remain intact?
Former Del. Winsome Sears, R-Winchester, is running for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Sears was elected to a majority-Black district in 2002, becoming the first Republican to do so in Virginia since 1865. If she won the seat she would be the first Black woman to ever serve as Virginia’s lieutenant governor. Fairfax, who currently holds the seat, was the first Black man elected to serve in this position.
Carroll Foy and McClellan will both compete for the Democratic Party’s nomination on June 8. Johnson competes in the Republican Party’s unassembled convention taking place statewide on May 8. Blanding will make it to the November ballot if she collects 2,000 signatures by June 8, which she is confident she will achieve.
Carroll Foy feels confident she will win the election.
“We’re mobilizing and organizing more people of color, more people from the AAPI community, from the Latinx community, the Indigenous community, the millennials, more women than ever before,” Carroll Foy said, regarding her campaign. “We’re building the most diverse coalition of voters and supporters that Virginia has ever seen.”
Early voting is underway for the Democratic primary on June 8.
By Josephine Walker
Capital News Service
Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.
VDOT dynamics, Health Insurance switch, closed meeting discussions dominate county meeting agenda
Closed Sessions and reports on Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) projects and funding and county priorities in its 6-year Secondary Road Plan took up much of the Tuesday morning, May 4, Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting and work session. The meeting closed session topics were EDA-related litigation and personnel matters related to the Warren County Planning Commission.
The post-meeting work session began with a closed session adjourned to, to discuss requested adjustments to the Lease Agreement with VA Golf, LLC. The supervisors voted in June 2020 to accept the group’s management offer to operate the County’s municipal Front Royal Golf Club gifted to the County’s citizens in the 1930’s by William Carson Sr. in memory of his late son. Referencing video of that meeting in a written summary in the board agenda packet, VA Golf principal Louis Nicholls noted that maintenance and care of the club’s restaurant equipment was not part of the original agreement that has been revised by the County to include that. Nicholls said VA Golf was willing to take on that responsibility, but asked for adjustments to the lease that would allow the golf management group to pay rent primarily through “trade out” dollars in the provision of space and services to all County-related departments including public schools. There was no announcement on the lease arrangement out of the work session’s closed executive session.
Then VDOT’s Edwin Carter was back from his meeting update on ongoing projects to review spent and available funding in coming years committed to the County’s 6-Year Plan priorities. One issue addressed during his earlier meeting report was VDOT versus utility company jurisdiction in preventive or reactive work on clearing trees which threaten to or have fallen on power lines during extreme weather events. Recent and forecast high wind conditions were sighted for the danger they posed in downing trees in proximity to power lines. Carter explained that VDOT was limited in its authority when the trees have already been downed onto power lines or trees deemed a danger were not on VDOT right of ways.
During his monthly projects update, Carter told the board that a recent VDOT roadside litter collection project on primary and secondary roads had produced 20,000 bags of trash in the tri-county area of Warren, Shenandoah and Frederick Counties, at a $65,000 cost to the contractor.
One item on a 15-item Consent Agenda was removed for discussion and another was pulled from the agenda at the request of Interim County Administrator Ed Daley. Pulled for discussion at the request of Board Chair Cullers was approval of the new Health and Dental Insurance Rates achieved by the board decision to switch providers for more favorable rates. Removed from the agenda was authorization of approval of an Amended Agreement between the County and Town for the allocation of CARES Coronavirus Relief Funds. Those federal funds pass through state agencies to the County, and are allocated to the Town by the County upon receipt of documentation of the Town recipients’ eligibility for CARES funding. With submitted changes the interim administrator explained he needed additional time to assure the version presented to the board was the correct one in its entirety.
Also during the meeting, North River Supervisor Delores Oates asked her colleagues to consider eliminating the board’s first Tuesday of the month morning meetings in favor of a 7 p.m. starting time. She argued that the 9 a.m. meetings made it difficult for would-be board of supervisors candidates and working citizens in general to attend.
Happy Creek Supervisor Tony Carter explained the morning meetings were established to facilitate outside agency and departmental monthly reports during workday hours for those involved people, some like VDOT’s Ed Carter who have to travel some distance to attend. After County Attorney Jason Ham explained some legal dynamics involved in establishing and advertising meeting dates and times, it appeared the board will take up the subject at a coming work session.
Health Insurance switch dynamics
Cullers noted concerns expressed to her about coverage dynamics related to the switch from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield to United Healthcare, as well as RSW Jail’s coverage package through SIGNA compared to the rest of county departments. Cullers said she wanted to assure impacted employees that they would not be losing coverage options from the lower rates presented by United Healthcare.
Health Insurance consultant Ed White of McGriff Insurance explained that during the review of available options an “apples to apples” comparison of coverages had been made to assure comparable coverage options at the various rates presented by providers.
Pointing to Anthem Blue Cross as likely the major provider in the region and Virginia as a whole, White said it was understandable that employees who have had the same Anthem coverage for decades would be concerned about a change. He said that as far as overlapping medical provider representation it was essentially a 98% overlap, indicating minimal impact on participating medical providers. As far as prescriptions there could be some variables related to co-pays, he admitted.
Interim Administrator Daley told the chair and board that orientation meetings for employees and retirees on the County’s health care plan were being scheduled. He added that he had put the person who brought the concern forward in touch with White, so that a personal review of impacts on that individual’s coverage could be made.
Following those assurances, on a motion by Delores Oates, the board unanimously approved the insurance carrier switch.
Sheetz and IT issues revisited
One member of the public addressed the board on the last open meeting agenda item – reconsideration of the denial of the Sheetz rezoning application in Linden. See more on that in a coming related story.
At the meeting’s outset, Board Chair Cullers also read two resolutions of appreciation for work done by County Public School and neighboring Frederick County’s Department of Information Technology staffs assisting with the aftermath of the March discovery of the cyber intrusion of the Warren County software and communications system.
As previously reported that “intrusion” was determined to be part of a larger national incident being investigated by law enforcement at multiple levels.
Stacy Swain also gave the board an update on Virginia Cooperative Extension Office programs and how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
See all the meeting and work session highlights in the linked County video of the May 4 meeting and work session, also available on the County website.
Naming change for LFCC – want to participate in telephone town hall on May 6th?
After celebrating our 50-year milestone, the Lord Fairfax Community College board made the decision to find a new name for our college — one that aligns with our mission, vision, and values. With an eye toward selecting a name befitting of our college’s rich history, welcoming culture, and bright future, they engaged a task force and a team of naming and branding professionals.
As they approached the end of this journey, they want to invite you to participate in a Q&A discussion about the renaming process, their aspirations for the new name, and the list of naming finalists. The discussion will take place on May 6 from 6:30-7:30 pm.
Registration will close 3 hours before the event; 3:30 on May 6. Click here to register.
For 50 years, LFCC has been welcoming students from all walks of life, from every race, every religion, every socio-economic group, every generation. As our 50th-year draws toward a close, we are excited to be given the opportunity to really examine how we want to move the college forward for the next 50 years – and beyond.
After months of study, research, discussion, and contemplation, it became evident that our name – the first introduction to the college our potential students receive – must change. In the days following George Floyd’s murder, Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, was determined that the 23 institutions he oversees in Virginia do better and contribute solutions to our nation’s ills.
“Equity and access to opportunity have been at the heart of our community college mission since we first opened our doors in 1966,” Chancellor DuBois said. “We need to invest ourselves, and our colleges, in actions that elevate equity before we can realize the rhetorical promise of equality – and that work begins now.”
In July 2020, the State Board for Community Colleges passed a resolution asking all community colleges in Virginia to review their names. This provided us with an opportunity to reflect upon and honor our past while ensuring our name and brand reflect our values and our future.
The name Lord Fairfax was chosen in 1969 – a year before the college opened. The original college board chose the name in part for its link to the region’s colonial history. Thomas, the 6th Lord Fairfax, was born in England, and would ultimately hold more than 5 million acres from Virginia’s Northern Neck to near what is now Pittsburgh. He became a friend of George Washington, although his loyalties lay with the British during the Revolutionary War. Lord Fairfax – like many large landowners at the time – used enslaved workers to further enrich himself. There are historical records indicating he also engaged in the long-term sexual abuse of enslaved women.
Our research showed that 90 percent of those surveyed were unaware of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, and some respondents found the name confusing since they associated it with Fairfax County in Virginia, and Fairfax, W.Va. Additionally, we discovered that people feel an affinity for the college because of what it has meant to them, and not to the man for which it was named.
Most importantly, we learned that when those surveyed learned more about the history of Thomas, the 6th Lord Fairfax, support for changing the name more than doubled in all demographics, except one. Among people of color, that support more than quadrupled – it increased from 14 percent to 61 percent. Integrity and diversity are among LFCC’s core values. This means we exemplify honesty, character, and respect for our communities, and we honor the uniqueness of individuals and communities. The college needs a name that honors those values.
College Board Vice Chair Mike Wenger said considering whether or not to rename LFCC was a “challenge that everyone took very seriously, saying, “Throughout the effort, everyone consistently came back to the values of the college and our shared concern for the students and communities we have served and will serve over the coming decades. It seems appropriate that these six months of self-reflection came during our 50th year and in the midst of a major strategic planning effort to lay the foundation for the next 50 years.
“The process has been comprehensive, disciplined, inclusive, deliberative, and, above all else, respectful of our responsibility for the history and future of the college. Hard-working groups reached out to constituents, dug into the records, read history, gathered data, and debated issues. We considered the overall college branding with an eye to the future. The process invited deliberations about the values we want to inculcate, the focus we hope the college brand projects, and the breadth of community reach we want to facilitate. Though this decision wasn’t easy, it was in many ways clear.”
Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, who represents Shenandoah County on the Board, said, “Often, we just move forward day by day without thinking about our name, so this gives us a great opportunity to look at ourselves and determine who we are in relation to our values, our mission, where we are today as an institution, and where we want to go tomorrow. Lord Fairfax doesn’t represent anything we are about.
“Our students come to us from different backgrounds, but they value the opportunity presented by earning an education at LFCC. The college embraces inclusion, opportunity, equality, access to education, and helping students find their way forward. Our faculty is devoted to that. We want people to feel welcome where they serve and live, and if we exclude some part of our faculty and some part of our students, that’s not who we are, whether that exclusion is intentional or unintentional. I think for our students, for our faculty, and for our future, it’s the right time to take this opportunity to rename the college and move forward, capturing all we have accomplished in the past and the bright future we have ahead.”
The college is now in the exciting phase of searching for a name that will move us forward and stand the test of time, one that will serve as a welcoming beacon to all students, a name for which we can feel pride. A task force made up of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and board members will work with our communities as we embark upon this task. Our goal is for the board to have a name to consider by this summer.
Following the college board’s decision to rename the college, LFCC President Kim Blosser shared with faculty and staff a video message the evening of Feb. 4, 2021. She noted, “We have a fantastic history and so much to be proud of – our college has changed the lives of many thousands of people in our service region and beyond. Our dedication to our mission and our values is what has made our community college the asset it is today. As we develop our new strategic plan and look forward to our next 50 years, we will find a name that better suits our vision of an inclusive, equitable learning environment for every student, one that improves their economic mobility and supports the economic development of the communities we serve. And we will involve our employees, our students, and our community members in this process; we will do this together.”
Benefit for Mason Ryder: Local Front Royal boy in need of liver transplant
Let’s help Mason, a local 8-year-old boy who lives here in Front Royal!
Please watch this video to meet Mason and his family. Learn a little about his journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita and get excited about the upcoming fundraiser. Mason has been recommended for liver transplant pre screening, and we all need to support the best we can:
To learn more, visit: Mason Ryder’s Journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita
Event: June 19, 2021
Time: 3 pm to 8 pm
Location: 1481 Hazard Mill Rd, Bentonville VA 22610
More Info: Facebook Event Page
- Raffle Items, Live Music, Lego Auction (made by Mason)
- Hot Dogs or Hamburgers | 2 Sides – BYOB – tickets $10.00
- Raffle Tickets – $1.00 each | Drawings will be announced starting at 7pm
- Cornhole Tournament – $10.00 entry fee
- Call Pam Coyle for details: 540-233-2597
If you can not attend and still want to donate, click this link: Mason’s GoFundMe
Main Street Vaccine Clinic in Front Royal on May 10th
Front Royal Brewing Company and the VA Heath Department are bringing a Covid walk-in vaccine clinic to Main Street! The clinic will be from 8:00-11:00 am on Monday, May 10th at Front Royal Brewing Company.
WALK-IN APPOINTMENTS ONLY, NO NEED TO REGISTER BEFOREHAND
The Virginia Department of Health will be giving the Moderna vaccine which is a two-dose shot. Anyone (18 and over) that hasn’t received the first dose of a vaccine is welcome. So you can bring your friends and family members too.
Anyone who gets the first dose at the brewery will automatically be guaranteed to get their second dose here four weeks later. Right now, the second dose is planned for June 7, 2021, at the Front Royal Brewing Company. This is expected to be quite a popular event, so get here early (first come, first served).
IMPORTANT: Please click that you are going /interested on the Facebook event here, so we have an estimate of how much of the vaccine the Health Department will need. This will NOT reserve your spot, the Health Department just wants to get an idea of how many vaccines to bring. COME EARLY! This will be a popular event!
Family Fun Day is this Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Gazebo
Yes, there will be a 2021 Family Fun Day – and it will be this Saturday, May 8, 2021, at the Gazebo in downtown Front Royal. The activities will start at 10:00 am till 6:00 pm.
Family Fun Day is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event, hosted in Front Royal, Virginia, by C & C Frozen Treats. Family Fun Day is an official 501c3 nonprofit and will be happy to accept your tax-deductible donation to help fund this year’s event.
If you love and support the community of Front Royal and the surrounding areas, we encourage you to come out and bring your family and friends to enjoy this community-building event with an antique car show, kid’s events, and of course ICE CREAM! Let’s not forget that Nina will be boiling crawfish! Don’t miss the fun!