This class provides a hands-on experience for painting with oils. Students will focus on techniques for painting landscapes. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Materials are provided, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. All skill levels are welcome. Instructor: Michael Budzisz
Thursday evenings from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Jan. 24th – Feb. 21st. Classes will be held in our studio at 205 E. Main St., Front Royal, Virginia. In case of inclement weather, we will reschedule the class. Please check our Facebook page for updates on class cancellations due to weather.
Class policies: We understand that scheduling conflicts do happen. You may cancel your class for a full refund up to 48 hours before the first class, by phone or in person.
POLICE: 7 Day FRPD Arrest Report 12/11/2023
Front Royal Police Department’s arrest report for the past 7 days:
Warren County HS vs Strasburg HS – Girls Basketball, December 12, 2023
Join us on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, when the Warren County High School Girl’s Basketball team takes on Strasburg High School. JV starts at 6 p.m., followed by Varsity. The pre-game action starts at 5:45 p.m.
Catch all the action right here on the Royal Examiner.
Commentary: Administration’s Inertia on Decertifying Officers Sets Troubling Precedent
Let’s say you order a washing machine online. The manufacturer admits the appliance is in short supply but pledges to deliver the item in a couple of months – tops. You pay the hefty cost.
You wait. And wait some more.
In the meantime, you keep schlepping your dirty clothes to the laundromat, fishing around for enough quarters each week. You wonder what’s going on with your purchase. Nor can the appliance maker tell you when your machine will actually arrive.
That example is similar, in a roundabout way, to the issue of getting rid of bad cops in Virginia. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has repeatedly delayed updating parts of a 2020 law to decertify rogue police officers despite a more than a year old deadline. What’s going on?
More tools to remove bad cops have taken effect since then; the changes are an obvious improvement. They help bolster the confidence of Virginia residents toward the men and women in blue. But the administration was supposed to have approved related statewide standards more than a year ago – and still hasn’t.
VPM recently reported on the foot-dragging.
In essence, Youngkin, a Republican, and his public safety officials have thumbed their noses at the law passed during the administration of Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, which expanded reasons for officer decertification.
This is a bothersome precedent. It could lead to reprisals when political parties shift power in a never-ending tit-for-tat in which duly enacted laws aren’t enforced by succeeding administrations. Ultimately, Virginians lose.
“I’m kind of mystified,” Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax and a supporter of the 2020 law, told me in an interview. He also wondered if the administration could be sued over the delay.
The governor “doesn’t get to pick and choose what laws he wants to follow,” he said.
“We worked very closely with law-enforcement leadership to design changes to the process,” Surovell continued. Police chiefs and sheriffs had been frustrated about the inability to root out bad officers, and the options to decertify police had been limited.
Before 2020, departments could decertify officers only after they were convicted of felonies or specific misdemeanors or if they refused a drug test. Nor were law-enforcement agencies always checking closely with previous employers when officers tried to relocate.
A Dec. 1 letter from Surovell, the Senate majority leader; Sen. Mamie Locke, the Senate Democratic Caucus chair; and Del. Don Scott, the incoming speaker of the Democratic-majority House of Delegates, asked administration officials when they intend “to comply with state law” and why the review has taken so long.
The law’s approval in 2020 came partly as a response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Virginia legislators and high-ranking police officials, however, had been seeking more ways to decertify officers long before that.
A 2012 news story, for example, noted officers in Virginia fired for criminal convictions and other infractions often kept their state certification. They could move to other jurisdictions in the commonwealth. Top police officials said they needed the state’s help to change the status quo.
From 1999 to early 2021, 83 law enforcement officers and jail staff lost their ability to work in Virginia because of bad conduct. From March 2021 – when the new law took effect – through February 2023, 118 officers were decertified, according to state data published by the law enforcement watchdog group OpenOversightVA.
The majority of the latter group were decertified for false statements during internal affairs investigations, VPM reported. Others were jettisoned for infractions, including use of force violations or falsifying documents.
The stats suggest some of those officers could’ve hung on to their jobs before the new changes.
As then-Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone told me in 2020, if he fired an officer for using excessive force, that person could “go to another agency if that department did not come and look at his personnel records.”
The changes in the decertification law also meant an officer could lose his credentials if he were fired or resigned for actions that compromised his “credibility, integrity, honesty, or other characteristics.”
Another clause in the law dictated officers would be terminated if they didn’t adhere to as-yet-to-be-determined statewide standards. As VPM reported, a work group including representatives from law enforcement and criminal justice advocates developed those policies. It took the group nine months to reach consensus on the standards, which the Criminal Justice Services Board passed in June 2022, five months after Youngkin took office.
The proposed standards require officers to “treat all individuals with dignity and respect” and “uphold the public trust.” The proposal spells out misconduct that can lead to decertification, including making a false arrest, tampering with evidence or a witness, or having sex with someone in custody.
However, the regulation and several others relating to training and accountability have spent more than 470 days under review by Youngkin’s secretary of public safety, even though state law required the standards to be passed within 280 days of the statute going into effect.
I asked Macaulay Porter, Youngkin’s spokesperson, about the delay and whether any pending reviews of other laws had taken so long. She didn’t respond to voicemail and email requests.
Law enforcement officials and other interested parties worked diligently to craft the policies. There’s no justifiable reason for the administration’s delays.
At this rate, the phantom washing machine will arrive before the updated decertification standards. The administration’s tortoise-like review is indefensible – and worrisome.
by Roger Chesley, Virginia Mercury
Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: email@example.com. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.
History of American Political Parties, Part VII: Birth of the Second American Party System
Love him or hate him, Andrew Jackson is undoubtably one of the most influential and important presidents in American history.
Jackson’s presidential victory in 1828 ushered in several major political parties shifts including the creation of a new party and the birth of the Second American Party System of Democrats and Whigs.
Jackson, and the real mastermind behind the curtain, Martin Van Buren, created the new Democratic Party as a classical liberal Jeffersonian Party. Together Jackson and Van Buren planned to succeed where Jefferson had failed during his presidency, especially in his attempt to keep the federal government small. Jackson vetoed improvement projects like the National Road to keep spending low and went to war against the Second Bank of the U.S. until he successfully killed it – along with the nation’s economy. Jackson also fought banks in general, hating what today we call ‘predatory lending.’ He preferred hard currency like gold and silver to paper money loaned by banks.
Jackson, on the other hand, acted much more like a modern president than others of his day. During the 19th century, Congress ran made the rules and set the policies; presidents very much took a back seat. The exceptions were Jackson, and later Lincoln. Jackson felt he should dominate government being that his position was the only one elected by the entire nation. He vetoed 11 bills in his presidency, more than the previous six presidents combined. Earlier presidents only used the veto if they felt a bill was unconstitutional; Jackson used his vetoing power if he simply disagreed with the bill.
Jackson wielded so much power during his presidency that his enemies began calling him King Andrew. The nickname stuck and became the basis for the opposition party name that grew to challenge him. In 1833, the Opposition Party began referring to themselves as the Whig Party, a name taken from a British political party that once opposed King James I.
At first, the party makeup was eclectic. The only requirement to join was hating Jackson. Its principal founders were an old Federalist lawyer from Boston, Daniel Webster; a classic conservative westerner from Kentucky, Henry Clay; and a state’s rights liberal from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun. Over time the party came to represent the classical conservative stance of what will be known as The American System, which called for positive government to build an infrastructure of roads, canals, and railroads to support industrialization as well as impose higher tariffs to support homegrown businesses.
The other area of change was the idea of parties. Where once parties were seen as an evil necessity, Jackson saw them as a positive good. He believed parties guaranteed that ideologies remained pure. Under the one-party Era of Good Feelings, Federalists, calling themselves Republicans, were able to get into the henhouse. Under a two-party system, people could gather with likeminded individuals and push an actual agenda. Under this system people knew what to expect when voting for a Democrat or a Whig. If a candidate did not agree with the party’s platform, they would not be supported by that party in an election. So, if you ever vote straight ticket in an election, you can thank Jackson. Often voters do not need to know who is running for office; they just know to support either Republican or Democratic candidates because those values are intrinsic to those parties.
Parties also gave control to their leadership. Leaders could force candidates to follow the party line or lose support. Leaders kept constituents loyal by offering rewards for their support. The principal job of the 19th century president was granting government jobs to party supporters, something known as the spoils system. This led to a great deal of widespread corruption, but also solidified the party’s power.
The most important aspect of legitimate parties came from Van Buren, who saw parties as the ultimate glue to hold the nation together. As the North and South were starting to go in different directions, it was parties that united them. As long as there were Whigs and Democrats in both the North and South, and they kept conversations to banks, tariffs and internal improvements, Americans remained loyal to their parties’ ideologies and hence to a unified nation.
Whigs and Democrats fought it out in the 1830s and 1840s. Neither side able to hold the presidency for long. In fact, there was not a two-term president between when Jackson’s departure from office in 1836 and when Lincoln’s 1860 election. The two parties stuck to their ideological roots – Democrats as classic liberals and Whigs as classic conservatives – during these decades. However, starting in the 1850s, America was forced to deal with the slavery issue which tore the Second American Party system apart and set the nation up for war.
James Finck, Ph.D. is a professor of history at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. He may be reached at HistoricallySpeaking1776@gmail.com.
Festive Gratitude: Ways to Show Client Appreciation During the Holidays
Enhancing Client Relationships with Thoughtful Holiday Gestures.
The holiday season presents a unique opportunity for businesses to express their gratitude to clients. In a time marked by celebration and giving, showing appreciation to clients is not just a nice gesture—it’s a strategic move that can strengthen relationships, foster loyalty, and leave a lasting positive impression. Here are several effective and thoughtful ways to show your clients they are valued during the holiday season.
1. Personalized Greeting: A classic and timeless way to convey gratitude is through holiday cards or personalized emails. Addressing clients by name and including heartfelt messages can make them feel genuinely appreciated.
2. Gift Giving: Small tokens of appreciation, like gift cards or branded items, can go a long way. These gifts need not be extravagant; it’s the thoughtfulness that counts.
3. Exclusive Discounts: Offering special holiday promotions or discounts exclusively to loyal clients shows appreciation and encourages continued patronage.
4. Hosting a Holiday Event: Whether it’s a simple open house, an elaborate party, or a virtual event, inviting clients to a festive gathering can strengthen your relationship and provide a relaxed environment for networking.
5. Charitable Contributions: Making a donation to a charity on behalf of your clients is a meaningful way to show you care about more than just business. It reflects your company’s values and commitment to giving back.
6. Prompt Support: Providing timely responses and support during the busy holiday season demonstrates your dedication to client satisfaction.
7. Follow-Up Calls: After the holiday season, reaching out to clients to inquire about their experience with your holiday gestures can provide valuable feedback and show continued care for their needs.
Showing appreciation to your clients during the holidays is more than a mere formality; it’s an important business strategy that can enhance relationships and set a positive tone for the upcoming year. By implementing these thoughtful gestures, businesses can effectively convey their gratitude, ensuring clients feel valued and respected.
Homestretch Preparations: 2-Weeks to Christmas
Essential Tasks for a Smooth and Welcoming Holiday Experience.
With just two weeks until Christmas, the festive preparations are in full swing. This period is crucial for tackling those final tasks that ensure your home is ready for the celebrations. From cleaning and organizing to stocking up on essentials, this week’s to-do list is about setting the stage for a warm and inviting holiday atmosphere.
1. Home Cleaning and Decluttering: Start by focusing on the areas of your home where guests will spend most of their time. A thorough cleaning and declutter will make these spaces more inviting and easier for you to manage during the festivities. Pay special attention to the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms, creating a pleasant and comfortable environment for your guests.
2. Checking Supplies: It’s important to ensure you have enough supplies to accommodate all your guests. Do a quick inventory of dishes, chairs, and other essentials. If you’re short on anything, now is the time to arrange to borrow or rent additional items. This foresight will prevent any last-minute scrambles and make your guests feel well taken care of.
3. Stocking Up on Essentials: Ensure your home is stocked with necessities like toilet paper, hand soap, and facial tissues. These items are often overlooked but are crucial for guest comfort. Having a good supply on hand will save you from emergency store runs during your celebrations.
4. Planning Party Games: To add an element of fun to your Christmas gathering, prepare a few party games. These can range from traditional board games to interactive group activities. Planting various games will keep your guests entertained and add an extra layer of enjoyment to your holiday festivities.
The final weeks before Christmas are all about ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Completing these tasks sets you up for a relaxed and enjoyable holiday. Cleaning, organizing, and preparing your home now means you can fully embrace the joy and companionship of the season when it arrives.