Variety of vendors, fresh baked good, soup and sandwiches available for lunch, silent auctions on-going through-out the day.
FREE ADMISSION | All proceeds to benefit Living Water Christian Church’s Mission Projects.
EDITORIAL: Try looking at it this way
We all see things according to what we think is best for our Survival. That’s kind of it. We might be right or we might be wrong. We might have formed our opinions through experience or some other source: reading news, education, church, friends, etc. – the list of our information sources are endless. Also weighing in on our judgment about what is right for our survival is our current environment, urban or rural, our circle of friends, and our ethnic, racial and class status. New experiences can also alter our perception of what is best for our survival. Our view is always subject to change. What we may see as good for us today may not seem so good a year from now.
What we think is good for our survival, which may also include what we consider thriving economically, certainly reflects in our politics, and our choice of information. So much so, that we may only seek out sources that reflect our preconceived beliefs.
All of this is normal human behavior. The only thing that has changed over the years is the amount of information (24 hours a day) and the variety of sources, some accurate some not.
The reason we make these observations are only this: understand that others that feel differently as to what is best for their survival are not stupid, the enemy or any of a thousand other words we use to demonize and dehumanize others. They are simply saying or voting as they see best for their survival from their perspective. Also, consider this: if we do not seek compromise in a nation as diverse as ours, none of us have a good chance of survival, at least not in a thriving way.
Remember that the three 24-hour news networks all cater to their established viewer and advertising bases to some degree. Seek other sources of respected news that may present an alternative perspective to the one you are used to; and stay away from the blogs that have no editorial oversight, and by all means, seek to understand why others see their survival in a different light than you view your own.
Our differences in some issues have always existed and we have always, except once in our national history, been able to find common ground, or at least mutual livability. While in the short term there is money to be made on fear-mongering, the long-term payoff for us as a nation will come from recognizing the common humanity that people of goodwill all share, regardless of our superficial differences.
We must quickly adapt to, and recognize the latest use of technology that seeks to maximize profits by dividing us, and remember that we are all humans seeking to survive.
Beware those who love to fight. They will drag us all into the pit if we allow them.
Being able to see behind words to the objective truth of any situation that impacts us all must be our goal – our collective survival may depend on it.
Royal Examiner Editorial Staff
Public decries golf course proposal; Warren County supervisors listen
Local citizens prevailed in forcing members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors (BOS) to postpone action on a proposed golf course management agreement and lease during a public hearing at their February 18 meeting.
Specifically, the BOS postponed action on a proposal submitted by New Direction Golf Management Corp., which would manage and lease the County-owned and -operated Front Royal Golf Club for an annual $100,000 fee over an initial term of 36 months, with payments on the total due monthly, according to Warren County General Services Director Brandy Rosser.
At the end of the three-year term, New Direction also would have the option to extend the agreement and lease for another three-year term, with the annual fee dropping to $70,000 per year.
Many residents, however, denounced the BOS plan as a huge waste of money.
Kushner also wasn’t happy about a Warren County plan “to pay somebody to make money off a County property.”
“It just seems crazy to me,” he said. “Normally, when you lease something to somebody you get a return on it. As I understand it, the contractor is going to take the profit out of this. The County’s not going to get anything.”
Kushner suggested that the item not be considered during the Tuesday night meeting and that the BOS conduct further analysis “on whether we want to keep this property at all and save $100,000 and see if the County can get a tax benefit out of it in the future.”
He also suggested that if the BOS does go forward with the proposal, a profit-sharing provision be added to the contract.
Gabbert also said that while he didn’t know what the BOS could do with the municipal course, he suggested turning it into a large dog park.
Another speaker during the public hearing was Ginger Morrison Winkler of Charlottesville, Va., whose father Lynwood Morrison of Bentonville, Va., built both the local Shenandoah Valley Golf Club and the Bowling Green Country Club. Winkler said that she and her brother, Lynwood L. “Woody” Morrison Jr., continue to own and operate the Bowling Green Country Club.
Winkler acknowledged the legal implications associated with the Front Royal Golf Course, the property for which originally was gifted to the County with the stipulation that it remain a golf course. But, she said, “it seems out of control to keep this thing going.”
“I see it as a losing game,” she added.
Lynda McDonough of Linden, Va., also doesn’t think the proposed $100,000 yearly contract with New Direction is a good idea and asked that the BOS table the idea pending further consideration.
“Why can’t we just give it back to the family” who donated it, “and wash our hands of it,” McDonough asked the BOS.
On the other side of the situation was New Direction Golf Management President Mike Byrd, who told the BOS that it has “a wonderful asset in this community and unfortunately, it’s been a little under-utilized.”
In fact, according to data provided last night by Rosser, the Front Royal Golf Club has operated at an average yearly deficit of more than $100,000 from 2014 through 2018.
Nevertheless, Byrd said that New Direction has evaluated the course “very closely and we see that it could fit very nicely in this community, but most importantly, it’s going to be the leader in growing golf in this community.”
While there are plenty of golf holes in Warren County, he said, “what we need are a lot more golfers.”
Byrd thinks that under the leadership of New Direction, that’s exactly the goal that could be accomplished if the company’s submitted proposal is approved.
Kenneth Roko of Middletown, Va., a member of the County’s Front Royal Golf Club Advisory Committee, said the group has gone through several iterations of what would be the best choice for oversight of the County’s municipal golf course.
“We have part-time staff there and that’s fine and dandy,” he said, “but if we want to make it grow, we really need to have those who do it for a living perform that service.”
Roko said the committee looked at the economic implications of having a management company run the County’s golf course that could reduce expenditures while growing the game for the area.
“New Direction offers a unique approach,” he said. “They use technology, they use social media, and they’re very savvy … they do a good job of attracting people not just from the surrounding area but from” elsewhere, including Northern Virginia.
Roko noted that hiring New Direction also would save the County money when compared to the yearly deficit it’s experienced over the last several years.
Kushner, however, said there’s an option that hasn’t been considered yet: not having a golf course at the 902 Country Club Road location in Front Royal at all.
Interim Warren County Attorney Jason Ham told the BOS that the proposed management and lease agreement between the County and New Direction was tweaked during the last week or so since the January BOS work session when the proposal was first discussed. He said the contract is in an “acceptable position” for action.
After some discussion, North River District Supervisor Delores Oates motioned for the BOS to postpone the item until its March 3 meeting “so that we can delve into it further,” Oates said, adding that she’d also like to better understand the legal implications of the bequeathing of the golf course by reading the will and testament of the donators.
Tony Carter, supervisor representing the Happy Creek District, gave the motion a second with the entire Board of Supervisors, including Oates, Vice Chairwoman Cheryl Cullers, Chairman Walter Mabe and Fork District Supervisor Archie Fox voting unanimously to postpone their review.
In other action on public hearing items, the BOS also postponed action on a requested conditional use permit for a short-term tourist rental at 64 Rocky Lane in Front Royal, which is owned by Brian and Ann M. Conley of Bentonville, Va.
Board Vice Chairwoman Cullers forced the Board’s postponement of action on the Conley’s request explaining that she wanted assurances from a nearby neighbor that he is on board with the property being used as a short-term rental.
While the Warren County Planning Commission received a signed letter from neighbors Elwood and Barbara Wines in August 2019, Supervisor Cullers wants to authenticate that Mr. Wines actually signed and understood the document, which says he and his wife understand that the Conley’s cottage is less than the Warren County-required minimum distance of 100 feet, but that they don’t object to the conditional use permit.
“I don’t want to drag this out,” Cullers said, “but I want to be comfortable with it.”
The golf course management agreement and lease public hearing are in this first Royal Examiner video. The second video is the complete Board of Supervisors meeting of February 18, 2020.
Lord Fairfax Community College staff members win national award
LFCC instructional technologist Gannon Nordberg and instructional designer Erin Mills recently received the 2019 Award for Outstanding Support for Faculty or Students from the Instructional Technology Council (ITC). The award was presented during the ITC’s 2020 Annual Conference – eLearning.
Announcing the “Ignite What Matters” book series lead by Beth Medved Waller
On the evening of February 18, 2015, at Wolf Trap (as Beth Medved Waller sat with long-time best friends on the front row at an Edwin McCain concert), her friend Stacey slipped Edwin (who is best known for his hit 90’s songs “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask for More”) a note and asked him to play Beth’s favorite song, called “What Matters.” He did. Beth cried hysterically. And the idea for WHAT MATTERS was born.
After the concert, the local Realtor and avid volunteer began to name her philanthropic endeavors and videos “WHAT MATTERS Initiatives.” The Edwin “What Matters” song lyrics profess, “What matters is your heart,” and after that night, she started following hers. Little did she know this time 5 years ago that her heart would lead her all the way to Africa and that she’d eventually form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named after the song she heard played live in February 2015.
She certainly had no idea that exactly five years later she’d be announcing a new book series called “Ignite What Matters,” as the first of her many upcoming global fundraising platforms. “I’ve designed each book to infuse a minimum of $35,000 into nonprofits, and I feel so blessed to have created a project that combines my passion of story-telling, writing, fundraising and spreading awareness about worthwhile causes,” said Beth of the new book series. She added, “I’m honored to be partnering with publisher JB Owen and the fabulous Ignite team. I’ve already worked with when I wrote about these last five years in an Ignite series book that launched in November and I’m a huge fan of their phenomenal publishing platform.”
Below is a portion from Beth’s chapter in the compilation book, “Ignite your life for Conscious Leaders.” Stay tuned for news of the brand new “Ignite What Matters” upcoming book projects that will each highlight 35 people who will share stories about how they too have ignited what matters in their own lives. Learn more at www.igniteyou.life (click on the Ignite What Matters upcoming books).
Listen to the song that inspired it all: What Matters, by Ewin McCain.
“Running Away from The American Dream—with a Soundtrack”
(An excerpt from the Amazon best-seller, “Ignite your Life for Conscious Leaders”)
In early 2015, I booked an evening out with my best friends from high school and college. All three of us are busy mothers and we hadn’t made time to get together for ages. When they said they could come with me to an Edwin McCain concert scheduled for the next month, I quickly logged online and booked our tickets.
Much to my dismay, about a week later, I received a phone call saying that the ticketing company couldn’t secure tickets and to call them for a refund. I was so disheartened that I couldn’t bring myself to return their call nor to tell my friends our evening was canceled. Weeks went by, and an unforgettable moment occurred when I was about to walk in to pick up my kids from my parents’ house. After a stressful day, I found myself in need of spiritual affirmation, and I pleaded for a sign that the major changes I was contemplating in my life would lead me in the right direction. Within seconds, my phone rang. “We’re calling to tell you that we’re over-nighting tickets for the Edwin McCain concert. You’ve been upgraded to front row center.”
I don’t know how or why that upgrade happened, but getting that phone call was an unforgettable moment. To this day, recalling that miraculous sign still brings tears to my eyes. But those tears are nothing compared to the sobbing I did when, on the night of the concert as I sat in the front row, on 2/18/2015 (EXACTLY 5 YEARS AGO TONIGHT), my friend slipped Edwin a note (which I now have on my wall) asking him to play “What Matters.” She knew that with everything going on in my life, I needed to hear my favorite song.
It’s impossible to describe what happened in my heart as I heard the lyrics being sung specifically for ME. I sobbed like I have never sobbed before or since. I was awestruck. The artists who wrote and performed the song that had been such an inspiration to me were playing it live, just feet away from me — FOR me. It was that experience that validated the profound truth that the “ask and you shall receive” and “anything is possible” verses can truly be realized. As the song finished and I wiped my eyes, I made a vow to stop “choking on a lifetime of never taking a chance,” as the song lyrics encouraged.
For more than a decade prior to that night at Wolf Trap when I heard the song live for the first time, I felt an uncanny comfort playing “What Matters” to remind me that, one day, I’d not awaken wishing I tried, as the lyrics encouraged. In hindsight as I look back on those years, I was trying too hard to reach some level of accomplishment that always had me longing for more. I had amassed, by anyone’s definition, the American Dream — complete with the boy, girl, dog, church-going family, positions of leadership in my community and blessings too numerous to count. I was debt- and mortgage-free (with large retirement accounts and college funds for the children), had a pontoon boat that we enjoyed taking out a handful of times each year, and I had a bright financial future with a thriving real estate team.
But I was wasting away inside. What looked like perfect to everyone else wasn’t right for me. Month after month, I’d sit on my therapist’s couch and weep while uttering the same frustrating question, “Why am I so miserable when my life is so perfect?” As time passed, my self-loathing increased as I punished myself for not feeling happiness or fulfillment, even when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had more blessings than most. I felt like a fraud, living a life that didn’t belong to me. But even on my most stressful day with responsibilities spinning out of control, playing “What Matters” brought an absolute assurance that, one day, things would be different.
Since that monumental winter of 2015, I’ve been on a journey to discover my passion and purpose in life. It’s a transformation fueled by taking chances, discovering new ways to make a difference and unlocking one dream after another. What’s the secret to my newfound lease on life the past five years? It’s this: through the sweet sounds of music, I found my way back to myself.
I discovered that in trading my abundant American dream for my heart’s dream of nonprofit passion projects, I was blessed with even greater prosperity in all areas of my life. I’ve closed a thriving real estate brokerage to have more time for my mission. I created a 501(C)(3) nonprofit named WHAT MATTERS (after Edwin’s song, of course) and have formed initiatives from scholarships and interest-free loans… to a community meeting space and nonprofit center… to video interviews to promote causes and events. I’m now a thriving co-parent instead of an incompatible spouse and my travel has metamorphosed into frequent flights across the globe, including ten mission trips in less than two years. My passion for providing support to children in Africa (including the construction of a Ugandan primary school named after my hometown) is another long story with a soundtrack of its own.
Now, I live with my heart as my guide; and there’s even a song to prove it. I wrote the lyrics for a song of my own while at a recording studio in the ghettos of Kampala, Uganda. The song “What Matters is Your Heart” is my nonprofit’s theme song and is also the basis of the first of my global nonprofit fundraising endeavors centered around music.
I’m an everyday girl from a small town in Virginia who, through music, heard the song of my heart. What is YOUR heart trying to tell you? Make a decision TODAY to start listening and watch your life transform as you see proof that anything is possible and that it’s always working out, even when it isn’t. As my own lyrics declare, “What matters is your heart…let it lead the way.”
Visit www.whatmattersw2.com for more about the book and other WHAT MATTERS Initiatives.
- Audio version of the story (read by Julie Wise Covert and recorded at National Media)
- Her Chapter in print
- The Full Book (published by Jb Owen)
Governor Northam announces new funding to preserve farmland
~ $350,000 for permanent conservation easements in Albemarle, Clarke, Fauquier, and Stafford counties, cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach ~
On February 19, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam announced $350,000 in grants from the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund to help six localities protect their farm and forest land. The grants will be used as matching funds to permanently preserve working lands through local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs.
The grant recipients for the fiscal year 2020 are Albemarle, Clarke, Fauquier, and Stafford counties, and the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. PDR programs empower localities to limit development on priority farm and forest lands and provide an incentive to landowners who want to protect their working lands by voluntarily securing a perpetual conservation easement.
“As Virginia’s largest private industry, agriculture plays a vital role in maintaining our strong economy and outstanding quality of life,” said Governor Northam. “Through this program, localities are helping us identify the working farm and forest lands that are most important to conserve for agricultural and forestry production, and working to ensure that future generations of Virginians can benefit from cleaner air and cleaner water.”
Since the program’s inception in 2008, Virginia has provided matching funds for certified local PDR programs to 23 localities, allocating $12.8 million to protect more than 14,100 acres on 105 farms. In August, Governor Northam celebrated the milestone of surpassing more than 100 conservation easements through the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund. Conservation easements supported by this program ensure that protected lands stay intact as working farms and forests in perpetuity.
“Conserving working farm and forest lands is crucial to maintaining Virginia’s economy, through the agricultural and forestry industries and agritourism,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Keeping farms in production conserves open spaces and provides economic, environmental, and social benefits to local communities and to the Commonwealth as a whole.”
Localities interested in doing more to protect their vital working farms and forestlands by creating a PDR program or implementing other best practices should contact Jen Perkins, Coordinator, Office of Farmland Preservation at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, at Jennifer.Perkins@vdacs.virginia.gov or (804) 786-1906.
3 things to consider before building an addition
Do you love your home but wish you had a little more living space? If you’re thinking about building an addition, here are some things to consider before you break ground.
1. What you’re allowed. Most municipalities require you to obtain a permit if you intend to build an addition. Also, you may need to abide by their regulations concerning how large the new part of your home can be and how far from the edge of your property it can reach.
2. Your budget. Building an addition is pricey, but it may cost less than moving altogether. When making your budget, be sure to leave a little wiggle room for extra expenses that may come up.
3. The team you’ll hire. Building an addition isn’t something most people can do themselves. You’ll need to hire an architect as well as various contractors (or a general manager who’ll be responsible for overseeing the whole project).
One final thing: building an addition is a huge project that will undoubtedly overtake your home. If possible, it may be a good idea to move out while it’s under construction.