Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and prompts, we will reconnect or deepen our connection with the natural world in a way that supports overall health and wellness. Nature and Forest Therapy walks are inspired by Shinrin-Yoku, a term coined in Japan in the 1980’s, where it is a prominent feature of preventative medicine and healing.
All adults (12+ years old) are welcome. No prior outdoor experience or naturalist training required. Wear shoes or boots with good tread, and bring water to drink and a camp stool or sitting pad. COVID-19 guidelines will be reviewed and practiced during this walk.
Registration required by each individual due to “COVID-19 Participant Agreement/Waiver.” Ticket cost is $50 per one person. Cost includes park information packet and entrance fee. This walk will take place rain or shine but will be cancelled in the event of dangerous weather conditions. Registration closes the Monday prior to the workshop date.
Pre-register for this program HERE.
Top 10 tips to avoid tax season fraud
Each year, taxpayers’ personal information is compromised through phishing scams or by unscrupulous tax preparers. With tax season kicking off on January 24, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) wants taxpayers to be aware of tax-related fraud.
“As the investigative arm of the IRS, we see the impact that fraudsters have on taxpayers,” said Darrell Waldon, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington D.C. Field Office. “This tax season, we want to remind U.S. taxpayers about ways they can protect their wallets and personal information.”
Tips to avoid tax season fraud include:
1. Choose a tax preparer wisely. Look for a preparer who is available year-round.
2. Ask your tax preparer for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paid preparers are required to have one.
3. Don’t use a ghost preparer. They won’t sign a tax return they prepare for you.
4. Don’t fall victim to tax preparers’ promises of large refunds. Taxpayers must pay their fair share of taxes.
5. Don’t sign a blank tax return. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for what appears on tax returns filed with the IRS.
6. Make sure you receive your refund. Your refund should be deposited into your bank account, not your tax preparer.
7. The IRS will not call you threatening legal action. If you receive a call like this, hang up.
8. Don’t respond to text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS. They may contain malware that could compromise your personal information.
9. Don’t click links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages about your tax return. These messages are fraudulent.
10. Protect your personal and financial information. Never provide this information in response to unsolicited text messages, emails, or social media posts claiming to be the IRS.
Recent cases of tax preparer fraud:
D.C. tax return preparer sentenced to 14 months in prison for carrying out a tax scheme
Yohanness Ayechew of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 14 months in prison last November for filing false tax returns and causing at least $250,000 of loss to the Internal Revenue Service.
He and his business partner operated Endalk and Yohannes Associated, L.P. in D.C. since 2011, where he prepared false income tax returns for clients that overstated business expenses and claimed exemptions to give them bigger tax returns than they were entitled to receive.
Former Maryland tax preparer sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for a tax fraud conspiracy
Anita Fortune, of Alexandria, Virginia, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison last summer, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution for filing false tax returns using a false ID provided by her co-conspirators. She and her co-conspirators also fabricated, inflated, and improperly claimed deductions on their clients’ returns to inflate their refunds.
For more tips on choosing a tax professional or how to file a complaint against one, visit IRS.gov. Taxpayers who suspect tax violations by a person or business may report it to the IRS using Form 3949A, Information Referral. Taxpayers can report phishing emails to email@example.com or IRS impersonation scams to TIGTA.gov.
This year’s tax season began Monday, January 24, and continues through Monday, April 18 for most taxpayers. U.S. taxpayers are subject to tax on worldwide income from all sources and must report all taxable income and pay taxes according to the Internal Revenue Code. Taxpayers found to be committing fraud may be subject to penalties including payment of taxes owed plus interest, fines, and jail time.
IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft, and more. IRS-CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, boasting a nearly 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 11 attaché posts abroad.
Rev. Frederick R. “Fritz” Trumbore (1935 – 2022)
The Rev. Frederick R. “Fritz” Trumbore, 87, of Winchester, Virginia died Sunday, January 23, 2022, at Westminster-Canterbury in Winchester.
Services will be Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Winchester.
Survivors include his wife Jean K. Trumbore.
Arrangements are being handled by Maddox Funeral Home in Front Royal.
Shirley Mae Perry Funk (1950 – 2022)
Shirley Mae Perry Funk, 72, of Edinburg and formerly of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at the home of her daughter.
A graveside service will be held on Sunday, January 30 at 3:00 p.m. at Saint Stephens Cemetery in Strasburg, Virginia with Pastor Doug Frazier officiating.
Shirley was born January 14, 1950 in Winchester, Virginia, daughter of the late William A. and Mary Frances Seekford Perry.
She was a 1969 graduate of Warren County High School, and a member of First Baptist Church in Woodstock.
Surviving are her loving and devoted husband of 55 years, Clarence W. Funk; one daughter, Michelle Heier and husband Todd; two grandsons, Travis Heier and Christopher T. Heier and wife Chasity; great-granddaughter, Ryleigh Mae Heier; two brothers, William A. Perry, III and Robert L. “Bobby” Perry; and one sister, Linda Perry Andrews.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Bonnie Perry Shifflett; and a nephew, Rex Allen Andrews, Jr.
Pallbearers will be Todd Heier, Travis Heier, Christopher Heier, Wesley Shifflett, Chris Seitz and James Fadely.
Honorary pallbearers will be Benny Shifflett, Matt Pirtle, Josh Cook, Colton Bulatko, Derek Hawkins, Josh Wilberger and Wade Barb.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, January 29 from 6-8 p.m. at Maddox Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, 611 Granite Springs Road, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598.
Town short-term rental rule decision deferred to Feb. 28; citizen concerns voiced and Solid Waste staff and Energy Department Director Jenkins lauded for service
(Writer’s note: as observed in the first caption below, apologies for any name misspellings as Royal Examiner was informed by Council Clerk Tina Presley the afternoon of Jan. 26 that any media requests for information, even correct spellings of involved parties or public speaker sign-in sheet names, must now be forwarded by town staff to the Town’s out-of-town Public Information Officer Joanne Williams for a response, which has not yet been received.)
At its meeting of Monday evening, January 24, the Front Royal Town Council delayed action on an ordinance amendment setting in-town regulations for short-term “tourist” rentals; removed “Vape-Oriented” from a recommendation on lighting regulation code changes for businesses in the town limits; finalized naming of an interim town attorney and authorized the expenditure of $24,500 in contracting an executive search firm to recommend a permanent replacement for recently retired Town Attorney Doug Napier, among other business items.
But before getting down to its action agenda items, two recognitions of Town personnel were acknowledged. First, was the Solid Waste crew for its ongoing work under sometimes trying conditions to keep the town from accumulated waste. Then a fond farewell was bid to soon-to-be-retired Department of Energy Services Director David Jenkins for his 30 years of service to the town and its electric/energy department.
With no citizens present to comment and some questions remaining, the one scheduled public hearing on the short-term rental ordinance was left open so that the public could appear at council’s February 28 meeting to express opinions on how short-term rentals should be regulated in the town’s often more tightly packed than county residential neighborhoods. One change suggested by several council members was elimination of a mandate that short-term rentals have an active landline phone to assure the ability of renters to reach emergency services if cell phone service was to fail. The recommendation was initially made at the planning department level due to sometimes spotty cell phone service in some areas. Amber Morris called the condition “archaic in this day and age” and several members supported that notion.
Public Comments raise questions
Following council discussion of the short-term tourist rental issues, council heard from four public speakers on four separate issues of public interest not on the agenda. Those speakers were George Cline Jr., president of the Warren County Builders Association, who addressed concerns about the Town’s process in taking over inspection on in-town building and repair projects; Gene Kilby restating his initiative to have council rename a town street in honor of the town’s first African-American mayor, George E. Banks, who was laid to rest this past week; third, Michael Shutton, who addressed issues he has observed with uncleared sidewalks packed with ice-covered snow in town in front of private business or residential properties forcing at least one handicapped person in a wheelchair and students heading toward Skyline High and/or Middle Schools to walk or wheel in the cleared street; and finally attorney Tom Sayre who questioned the $24,500 contract expenditure on the town attorney search with a competent, long-term assistant town attorney, George Sonnett, in place, in house.
In posing a list of questions to council and staff (at 17:45 to 28:40 mark of linked Town video), Cline was somewhat critical of a lack of Town communications with the Builders Association in the process of developing the new Town Building Inspection Department.
“Our association has a tremendous amount of depth and knowledge, and could have probably presented some great ideas or suggestions had we been asked. We weren’t asked,” Cline said, echoing previous criticism of the Town’s clearing of trees and vegetation at Happy Creek without consultation with available boards or consultants that led to the resignation of the Town’s Urban Forestry Board and a philosophical break with The Tree Stewards.
Next up (at 29:05 to 31:50 marks of linked Town video), Kilby acknowledged the burial of Front Royal’s first and only African American mayor, George E. Banks, in the Veterans Cemetery in Culpeper, Virginia, earlier that day. Noting his call of a year ago to council to name a street after a man he said, “succeeded in bringing this community together while making considerable improvements,” Kilby renewed that call with some added detail. That detail included support from residents of the involved street at Edgemont Avenue where it turns right into Scranton Avenue and goes by Banks’ property.
“We have signatures (of support) from almost all of the residents of Edgemont Avenue, and I don’t think it would be difficult for us to get signatures from the four properties that face Scranton Avenue,” Kilby told council and the mayor, concluding by giving a brief bio of Banks service to the council clerk.
Next was Michael Shutton (at 32:00 to 35:55 marks of the linked Town video). Shutton, whose name we hope we are spelling correctly in the absence of verification from the council clerk, described a recent experience coming to the aid of a middle aged man struggling in a wheelchair in the street at the intersection of Route 340 (South Royal Ave.) and South Street due to the accumulated snow and ice on the sidewalk. Shutton, who said he has children at both Skyline Middle and High Schools, noted he had also seen children walking toward the schools in the street for the same reason. Shutton
Concluding the Public Comments on non-agenda items, which council has approved moving to after all of a meeting’s public hearings are completed, was local attorney Tom Sayre (36:08 to 37:20 mark of linked video). Sayre questioned the $24,500 expenditure on an executive search contractor to find a new town attorney, suggesting council first take a hard look at current Assistant Town Attorney George Sonnett (not a bad idea, Tom). However, with the expenditure approved, Council member Thompson cited the contractor’s extensive background work beyond what council could accomplish in house. “It really is a perfect company to deal with this. – And we got Steven,” Thompson said of the company bringing current Town Manager Steven Hicks to council’s attention. But if memory serves correctly, Hicks was chosen after a search during which a round or two of interviewed candidates were rejected by council.
Near the meeting’s end council appointed Christine Arrons (sp?) and Michael Williams to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Earlier at the request of Council member Letasha Thompson, Williams was asked to join the Town Solid Waste Crew for its photo op due to his call to the town government alerting it to the accumulating waste situation at the Kendrick Lane subdivision where the property’s ownership appears to have let its privately contracted waste pick up lapse, leading to the town crew being dispatched to cleanup a quickly deteriorating situation for subdivision residents.
The interim town attorney named as one of the meeting’s last four action items, as noted in an earlier press release, is James E. Cornwell Jr. of White Stone, Va. As previously reported with the press release announcement of the plan to hire Cornwell, White Stone is a coastal town near the mouth of the Rappahannock River in Lancaster County. The Town press release noted Cornwell’s 45 years of experience in representation of local “governments, public bodies and authorities”.
Non-FOIA compliant closed meeting addition rejected
At the meeting’s outset (1:50 mark) Councilman Gary Gillespie made a motion to add one item to the agenda, a closed session without any FOIA-mandated identification of subject matter. The motion was seconded and a role call vote of approval was made until the final name called, when Letasha Thompson voted “no”. Mayor Holloway noted that with late agenda additions requiring a unanimous vote of approval, the motion failed. Queried later by the media about her “no” vote, Thompson explained that without clarity on the topic she felt that “whatever it was could wait until next week”.
Dorothy Ann Williams Glascock (1943 – 2022)
Dorothy Ann Williams Glascock, 78, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Friday, January 21, 2022 at her home.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at Maddox Funeral Home with the Rev. Jim Bunce officiating. Interment will follow in Panorama Memorial Gardens at Waterlick.
Mrs. Glascock was born March 12, 1943 in Front Royal, Virginia, daughter of the late Garnett and Katherine Grim Williams.
She was a member of Marlow Heights Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her beloved and devoted husband of 49 years, Leroy K. Glascock.
Surviving are a daughter, Michelle D. Wilkins of Winchester; one son, Kevin Lee Glascock and wife Lori of Front Royal; two brothers, Richard Williams and wife Shirley and Ronnie Williams and wife Susan, all of Front Royal; one sister, Barbara Dolly and husband Dave of Front Royal; two grandsons, Bradley D. Wilkins, Jr. and Derek T. Wilkins and wife Dorie; two granddaughters, Katherine R. Glascock and Lacie A. Glascock; brother-in-law, Mickel Massey of Front Royal; and many special nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter, Katherine Merchant; two brothers, Russell Wayne Williams and James “Big Daddy” Williams; and one sister, Patty Williams Massey.
Pallbearers will be Armando Stinson, Brady Williams, Eric Williams, Mike Sims, Steve Mauck and Todd Tobin.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jerry Williams, Michael Sealock and Mickel Massey.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, February 1 from 12-1 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 West Cork Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601.
There will be a time of food and fellowship following the graveside service at Marlow Heights Baptist Church. Anyone wishing to bring food, please have it at the church the day of the service.
Supervisor Mabe seems badly informed
Supervisor Walter Mabe’s long letter offering advice with respect to the dying days of the Covid infection saga that was published on January 23rd appears remarkably misinformed.
If he had written the letter a year ago, one could acknowledge his good effort to be helpful by just summarizing a lot of the voodoo science recommendations flowing out of the CDC and from Fauci that were once believed. But so much of his advice and assertions, such as the efficacy of masks, have at this point in 2022 been proven bogus.
Also, his generalizations repeat the failure of policy makers to discriminate between the old and vulnerable and the young and healthy. That failure caused such unnecessary hardship to the healthy and the school-age children.
For example, he referred to a crisis in hospitalizations. Currently, the VA Department of Health website says that in the 23 months of this “pandemic” Warren County has had just 221 Covid hospitalizations, which is a rate of 0.5 of 1%. He mentioned 111 deaths which is a mortality rate of 0.3 of 1%. But worse, he failed to point out that about 75% of the deaths came from the small demographic of over 70, and according to the CDC, they would have had one or more comorbidities. To put those 111 deaths into context and to illustrate the abuse of school-age children by persons presenting out-of-context scaremongering, in the whole state of Virginia’s huge under age 20 demographic, only 17 died either with or because of Covid! His assessment of the value of vaccination as worth doing at this point is problematic because evidence suggests that the vaccinated are getting the current Covid variant and transmitting it to others more so than the unvaccinated are. And no argument at this point in time can demonstrate that benefits outweigh the risks.
Judging from the refusal of Democrat-dominated school boards around the state to give parents the freedom to unmask their children, it almost seems that Democrats have nostalgia for the power they enjoyed controlling our lives, so they want to keep the propaganda flowing. The presentation of bogus and out-of-context information contributes to that propaganda.
Tom McFadden, Sr.
Front Royal, Virginia