Come join Gloria Howarton, self taught artist, and explore the rich medium of oil painting. This is a 4 week Thursday Evening Class from 6:30-9:00 pm. The dates are 12/06/2018, 12/13/2018 , 12/20/2018 and 1/3/2019 (with snow date of 1/10/2019 if needed) .
For the “artist at heart”, this class will help you learn the basics of handling oil paints. Bring photos of subjects you might like to paint and be prepared to have fun! Also feel free to bring any supplies you may have at home to use along with those supplies we will provide. Questions, call Gloria at 210-789-0975, or Teresa at 540-751-8635.
Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – June 2, 2020; addresses protest, Phase 2 starts Friday
Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here are the highlights:
The Governor began the June 2 briefing by discussing the protests across Virginia. His message to protesters is “I hear you,” and that he pledges to stand with them. Several spoke with the Governor including 70th District Del. Delores McQuinn, Shirley Ginwright with the Virginia African American Advisory Board, and Jim Bibbs, chief human resources officer for the Virginia Port Authority.
The Governor announced most of the state can move into Phase Two of reopening the state this Friday, June 5. He said Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Accomack County will stay in Phase One.
Here are some changes under Phase Two:
- Restaurants can have indoor seating at 50 percent capacity
- Gyms can have indoor classes/ workouts at 30 percent capacity
- Pools can open with some restrictions
- Museums/zoos can open with restrictions
- Recreational sports allowed but there can be no shared equipment
- Gatherings limited to 50 people rather than 10
Money, money, money, EDAs and ongoing weekend downtown walking mall
At a Monday night, June 1st work session the Front Royal Town Council wrestled with the legal and financial dynamics of a number of matters, several related to COVID-19 federal and local relief packages, as well as a Chamber of Commerce request that the Town partner with the County in keeping the Chamber financially solvent through the end of the calendar year. That request for $5,000 per month from both the Town and County ($10,000 total) beginning “immediately” is also COVID-19 pandemic-related, as the Chamber noted cancellation of its biggest annual fundraiser, the Wine & Crafts Festival among others, as well as a drop in membership renewals believed related to pandemic restrictions on business operations.
Also, on a busy agenda, the council discussed having its own Economic Development Authority created and a board and staff in place by the July 1 start or close to it, of Fiscal Year 2021. That should answer any county board questions about the status of the Town’s request to become the first Virginia municipality to be authorized to be part of two EDA’s simultaneously, as it was noted the governor had finally signed the request approved earlier by the General Assembly, into law.
The belligerent town elected official stance toward the re-tooled and recovering from financial scandal EDA noted by the Warren County Board of Supervisors on May 4 (see related story: ‘Cancer’ gone from EDA, will Town belligerence follow suit in November?) was on full display Monday night, beginning just over an hour into the work session.
“The Front Royal-Warren County EDA brand is hugely damaged right now – beyond repair. They’ll have a really hard time going forward attracting businesses to our area,” Councilman Gary Gillespie said in support of the rapid movement to creation of the Town’s own, unilateral EDA.
Gillespie said he has championed the distancing of the Town from the EDA, if not it’s total withdrawal apparently hoping for some property to fall the Town’s way along with virtually all the money the EDA is seeking to recover from alleged co-conspirators with former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald.
“The EDA mostly works for the County – and it’s been that way for the last 15 years or better,” Gillespie asserted despite the Town’s current civil legal claim of over $20 million in allegedly lost Town assets from the EDA financial scandal centered on the past four to five years of Town business with the EDA. The EDA’s civil action against multiple defendants stands at $21.3 million in allegedly misdirected assets.
“We need this for the Town of Front Royal for economic development; and more so now with this COVID-19, just for redevelopment. Nobody knows where the chips are going to fall after all this is said and done,” Gillespie said of the chaotic pandemic economy. “And this (new) EDA would go a long way in helping us. You know, I’ve been told by several people, you know, that if the Town wants a say-so in the EDA that we need to pony up. And it makes it really difficult to do that now, because the EDA possibly owes the Town of Front Royal $20-million dollars, you know. So, we need to bring this in house to bring economic development to our town in a major way and in a hurry.”
Jacob Meza concurred with Gillespie’s assessment, saying “the pros far outweigh the cons” in the Town going solo on economic development in the future.
COVID-19 relief impasse
Monday’s work session began with council complaining about a County proposal brought to them by Mayor Gene Tewalt and Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock concerning the distribution of COVID-19 federal grant funds distributed through the state government to counties and cities based on population sizes.
The staff summary noted the Town anticipated a mandated distribution of between $1 million and $1.5 million – approximately $1.3 million was settled on in estimating the Town’s approximate 14,000 (around 38%) of the County’s total population of 40,000 – of the total of $3.5 million the County would receive in CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security) funding.
Mayor Tewalt explained the County wanted Town agreement on the distribution of approximately $1.7 million for a jointly administered relief program targeting all county businesses, in and outside the town limits.
“They want to take the $3.5 million and use half of it for economic recovery and then take the population and split it whatever that ratio would be with the other $1.7 million, and then they propose that (unintelligible) we want to utilize that amount of money, whether you pay the water bill, the electric bill, whatever. But they just want to know if we’d be agreeable tonight to just split the money and use half of it for recovery and half of it to do the other as far as the government’s concerned. So, we can pay whatever we have to pay, and they can pay what they want to pay,” Mayor Tewalt told the council.
However, a lack of detail or a county official to explain such detail and the lack of a 50/50 split of the funding allowing the Town to manage its half without County involvement seemed to annoy several council members.
“They’re going to get the big chunk of it, and we’re going to get the crumbs,” Gillespie complained.
The mayor reiterated the population-based nature of the general distribution to try and re-explain why it would not be a straight 50/50 split.
Meza noted the Town had a local relief plan in place and suggested the County just hand the Town its share and let town officials work unilaterally to distribute their portion as they saw fit. However, when Interim Town Manager Tederick referenced page 18 of the agenda packet summary of how the CARES money could be utilized, it appeared a big chunk of the Town’s local relief plan – to allow businesses or citizens to pay back town taxes and utility bills – ran afoul of the CARES program guidelines.
Those limitations noted that “Fund payments may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the provision of assistance to meet tax obligations.”
As for utility bill payments, there was a mixed message.
“Fund payments may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the replacement of unpaid utility fees,” the second graph on page 18 of the agenda item summary began, adding however that, “Fund payments may be used for subsidy payments to electricity account holders to the extent that the subsidy payments are deemed by the recipient to be necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency … For example, if determined to be a necessary expenditure, a government could provide grants to individuals facing economic hardship to allow them to pay their utility fees and thereby continue to receive essential services.
In the end, council agreed to table a decision pending further elaboration and documentation of the County proposal.
Weekend downtown street closure thru fall
Prior to adjourning to what ended up being a five-minute closed session “to discuss or consider a bond repayment resolution regarding recent large scale construction the Town has been involved in,” council instructed Interim Town Manager Tederick to make the necessary moves to implement the continued closing of portions of East Main and Chester Streets from 4:30 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday to vehicular traffic to continue the walking mall COVID-19 business reopening initiative likely through the fall.
As part of that initiative, the council agreed to close Town Hall’s drive-thru Finance Department window on Saturdays.
There was no post-closed session announcement, so which “large scale construction” bond repayment was discussed remains a mystery.
Listen to council’s far-ranging work session discussion in this Royal Examiner recording:
How to update French doors
French doors are a great way to separate two interior spaces that are visually connected. They’re also ideal for enhancing your view of the outdoors and letting natural light shine into a room. However, they can sometimes look dated. Here are a few ways to give them an upgrade.
Change the look
French doors are typically made of wood. If you’re not a fan of yours, why not paint them? White is a timeless choice, but you can also turn your doors into a focal point by painting them a color that contrasts with the rest of the room. Alternatively, replace the whole setup with doors that each feature one large pane of glass or have a modern steel frame.
Adopt a new style
Finally, if you love the look of French doors but lack the space for them to swing open, consider sliding or folding options.
Certified pre-owned 2017 Chevrolet TRAX AWD 4dr Premier
GM Financial Off-Lease Vehicle. Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned means that you not only get the reassurance of a 12mo/12,000 mile Bumper-to-Bumper limited warranty and a 2 year/24,000 mile Standard CPO Maintenance Plan, but also up to a 6-Year/100,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, a 172-point inspection and reconditioning process, 24hr roadside assistance, and a complete vehicle history report. All prices exclude tax, tags, and processing fee of $399. See us for more details.
Test drive Certified pre-owned 2017 Chevrolet TRAX AWD 4dr Premier in Front Royal
CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED BENEFITS
This Certified Pre-Owned vehicle comes with the following benefits:
- 12-month/12,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty
- 6-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
- Roadside Assistance
- Courtesy Transportation for warranty repairs for the life of the Powertrain Warranty. See participating dealer for details.
- Two Scheduled Maintenance visits
- Trials of OnStar® Safety & Security Plan and Connected Services and SiriusXM
- 3-day/150-mile Vehicle Exchange Policy
- Detailed 172-point vehicle inspection
Landscape redesign: 5 factors to consider
Upgrading your yard can be a major undertaking, and it’s easy to miss a key detail if you’re not careful. Here are five things to consider before you begin.
If your upgrade involves moving large objects into your yard, there needs to be a safe access route. Fences, walls, and trees can make it difficult or impossible for trucks to deliver supplies. Create a plan before the work starts to avoid delays.
If your project involves a significant structural change, you may need to obtain a permit from the city. Your landscaping might also have to meet certain requirements such as respecting the maximum height for fences and hedges. Contact your municipality before starting any work.
The consistency of the soil on your property can directly impact the stability of new installations. Heavy rainfall and rapid freeze-thaw cycles can make the ground unstable. Hire a professional to inspect the yard before you begin construction.
Gardens may require frequent care to ensure they don’t become overgrown. Also, keep in mind that maintaining trees involves clearing seeds, leaves, and branches. Additionally, many building materials need to be regularly cleaned, painted, or stained.
Landscaping projects can revitalize your yard but for best results, they should be planned in advance.
Changing a life, one car at a time
WHAT MATTERS Warren — Bill and Sandy Long, owners of the Auto Care Clinic in Front Royal, had no idea in 2018 that their car giveaway event would prompt them to start their own 501 (c)(3) nonprofit a year later. The generous couple has a goal of giving away one car per month through “Cars Changing Lives” and they have already donated 7 cars to those in need. Learn more about their efforts as they passionately describe their nonprofit during this video:
The Longs have a long history of giving back to the community they love. They enjoy providing uniforms for several sports teams, monetarily supporting local non-profits and completing charity repairs for local churches. They’ve also raised significant funds through area fundraisers. They are partnering with case managers of local non-profit organizations such as Phoenix Project, United Way, Front Royal Women’s Resource Center, and Valley Assistance Network (VAN), to discover recipients for their free vehicles. If you or someone you know is in need of transportation, contact a local nonprofit to inquire about being nominated.
Those interested in learning more about their ministry, volunteering, contributing tax-deductible funds, donating vehicles (running or not) or helping with preparing cars for grateful new owners are encouraged to contact them at (540) 635-2455 or email@example.com. Be sure to visit their website and like their Facebook page.
WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE
Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.
Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WHAT MATTERS:
WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.