Skyline Middle School kicks off its 38th Annual Food Drive Saturday, October 31, 10 am-3 pm, at C&C Frozen Treats. Please bring nonperishable food.
Happy Creek road closure continues into August
Work continues on Route 624 (Happy Creek Road) in Warren County. A portion of Route 624 is closed to traffic and will remain closed until ongoing utility work is finished. A reopening date will be announced as this work approaches completion. The closure began on June 19, 2021.
The closure also allows for road widening work, road alignment improvements, and drainage improvements.
The road closure extends from the Town of Front Royal Eastern Corporate limits to Route 647 (Dismal Hollow Road). Access to residential and businesses properties in this area will be maintained during this closure.
Detour signs are posted. Northbound traffic from Route 624 will take Leach Run Parkway to Route 55 (John Marshall Highway) to Route 647. Southbound traffic will take Route 647 to Route 55 to Leach Run Parkway to Route 624.
On April 1, 2021, a construction contract valued at $1,736,387.66 was awarded to Kickin’ Asphalt Paving and Excavating LLC of Strasburg, Virginia. The Route 624 contract provides safety improvements located from the Town of Front Royal Eastern Corporate limits to Route 645 (Manassas Run Road). Project completion is estimated for late 2021.
All work is weather permitting.
Be the Change offers business classes for women, new format for fall semester
Now in its fifth year, Be the Change Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission of empowering, strengthening and inspiring women, offers a series of 12 classes for women who want to start a business or build on an existing one. Taught by local professionals in their respective areas of expertise, each session starts with a local spotlight entrepreneur who shares their unique story and business tips.
Until now, classes have been held in person at Lord Fairfax Community College Fauquier campus. COVID-19 changed the landscape with hybrid sessions necessitated during the spring 2021 semester.
The Be the Change Foundation board voted to adopt an all-virtual classroom format for the fall 2021 semester and contracted with BlueSky Phoenix, a website and marketing development company in Warrenton, to create an online curriculum based on the in-person program.
WomenBizLaunch is a 12-week online entrepreneurship program that educates women on how to form a business and run it successfully, or move to the next level in an existing business. After offering this successful program in-person, the Be the Change Foundation is excited to offer this program to women across the country in a virtual platform.
The two-hour class sessions are held weekly, live via Zoom and recorded in case the time or date is not convenient. Sessions begin with an “Entrepreneurial Spotlight,” where short stories are shared by small business owners hoping to empower and inspire participants as they begin this new journey. Spotlights are followed with the main topic, taught by a well-respected subject matter expert. Additional access and support are offered by the instructors, board members and program director throughout the 12-week program via a private Facebook group.
“We want our participants to be inspired and empowered not only for their own growth but to support others as they grow and truly Be the Change,” said founder Marianne Clyde.
The comprehensive curriculum covers a range of topics for aspiring businesswomen including Finding Your Why, Mission and Vision and Your Unique Selling Proposition, Building Your Business Plan, SWOT Analysis – Why It’s So Important, Organizing the Chaos: Using Systems That Work, Keeping Your Books, Building Your Team, Marketing on a Dime on Your Time, Networking Like a Rock Star and Controlling Stress as examples.
“I appreciate all the support I’ve received,” said a former participant Samantha Spittle who went on to form her own podcast, Flushing It Out With Samantha Spittle. Tune in for the fun conversations at samanthaspittle.com.
This 12-week class is valued at $2,250 but because this program is new and in the beginning stages, your investment is only $475. In return for the value provided, participants will be asked to complete a short evaluation at the end of the program to offer feedback for future programs.
“Out of COVID’s chaos, many nonprofits like ours, have had to adapt and create new opportunities,” said board member Anita Sherman. “We’re excited to offer these classes to women nationwide…we’ve seen firsthand the collaboration and connections made…the virtual platform will open more doors.”
Enrollment for the Fall 2021 semester is open now! Class starts September 14, 2021.
Editor replies to Kushner’s criticism and perspective on what a newspaper should be
Mr. Kushner has always taken my replies, clarifications, whatever you want to call them, personally. I have told him more than once, they are not personal, but simply an editorial reaction to his presenting his opinions as facts, particularly when those opinions advance a partisan political ideology. It is a policy not reserved for him alone, but done on any Letter to the Editor sent to me for review that presents opinions as facts in any context. I’ve found on most occasions when explained that it is the wording presentation, rather than the expression of an opinion I might personally agree or disagree with, the writer is willing to reword to avoid confusion, and in some cases potential libel or slander liability which this paper will not risk. Mr. Kushner has made it clear he does not appreciate his submissions being suggested for rewording, particularly by me, so that course is not pursued. Hence, responses for clarification such as the one tied to his open letter to Joe Manchin.
And may I point out that while Mr. Kushner’s personal sense of “his space” on our editorial page may be offended by it, attaching an editorial response to reader submissions when necessary is not an unprecedented Opinion page methodology, though in a virtual world it may bear rethinking. And actually, I liked the separate, adjacent reply with its own headline better than the originally submitted editorial note at the end of his letter. But there was certainly no “scurrilous attempt” to conceal the response from him – but “paranoia does strike deep; into your heart, it will creep” (a musical nod to The Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For What It’s Worth’)
Let me begin where Mr. Kushner ended his 2214-word commentary on my 4-point reply to his Manchin letter, with his closing accusation that my belief system, which I have attempted to accurately represent below, as opposed to his negative stereotyping, doesn’t reflect “the majority conservative perspective of our community” and should perhaps disqualify me from continued employment at Royal Examiner.
I will say that my publisher and I, while we may not always agree on the national political scene, agree that our job, the job of any responsible newspaper, is not to represent a community’s majority political opinion, nor anyone else’s, as truth, but rather to accurately report what we cover, and ask appropriate questions to give context, motive, and any other relevant aspects to governmental and citizen initiatives and actions impacting the community. If we feel it necessary to deliver an opinion, it is so identified.
To bend reporting to reflect a majority’s, or minority’s for that matter, partisan political ideology is commonly known as “propaganda”. And in many totalitarian societies, such partisan ideology promotion masquerades as “news”.
Verbally and in writing, Mr. Kushner tends to present his highly partisan political opinions as objective facts. Consequently, on the letter-writing side, it has fallen to me in an editorial role to point out where his opinions and objectively supportable facts may clash. Since Mr. Kushner seems not to believe in any truth outside his partisan ideological perspective, that has brought us into conflict. And since we have personally talked enough about our relative socio-political perceptions for him to have developed a not entirely accurate perception of my politics, Mr. Kushner attributes political motive to my editorial comments on his letters.
As to Mr. Kushner’s assumptions about my belief system, let me say that I do not give blanket approval to social welfare programs not thought out to balance the “general Welfare” and the national economic means to achieve that welfare. Let me also say, I do not believe everyone or even a majority in need of social welfare are lazy people, often stereotyped as a specific race, seeking a free ride on the backs of hard-working people. I might add that Democratic Administrations are not the only ones to operate at a budget deficit, and Republicans generally manage to create their deficits without the variable of social safety net programs vilified as “free rides for the lazy”.
Let me reiterate several points I have made to Mr. Kushner verbally in the past, several of which he continues to ignore:
1 – I am a political independent, and have never been registered to ANY political party, in my life. I have not been a fan of either the Republican or Democratic Party national hierarchies since the 1970’s when I studied Political Science as an elective in gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, with credits for a minor in Psychology from VCU. All three of those disciplines, I believe, gave me an excellent perspective to eventually end up in the field of journalism and political governmental beat reporting.
2 – My socio-political perspective guiding my personal beliefs is that a person must balance personal liberty with social responsibility to their neighbors, and to the nation as a whole. No, I don’t believe in unnecessary governmental influence in one’s personal business conducted at home or on private property. However, when one’s personal business is taken into the streets, into the general population, how behaviors impact others must be a concern of every citizen. People who couldn’t accept that standard, I believe used to be called hermits – because at least they had the courtesy to take their anti-social tendencies away from the society they did not want to be a part of.
3 – And yes, I do believe the wealthy, the truly rich, should be taxed more than the middle and lower classes to support general welfare and other governmental programs to a national and collective good because they can afford it.
Does that make Roger – OH, SHIVER-SHIVER – a progressive socialist philosophically aligned with leftist “demons” like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders? Perhaps, though I have recently created a new political category for myself to explain conflicting perceptions of what I believe socially and politically. I have declared myself the first “Conservative Anarchist” – at least I think I’m the first.
What is the Conservative Anarchist ideology, you may ask: It means that while I don’t believe in any societal rules to limit my behavior, I don’t believe in breaking the existing rules either – hence, Conservative Anarchy.
That said, as to Mr. Kushner’s objection to my first point on the opening paragraph of the U.S. Constitution’s reference to “promote the general Welfare” as a fourth and “final” specific goal in establishing the rationale for the Constitution guiding the American nation while leaving out “and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” I will admit to looking at that final phrase differently than the four preceding it. That difference to my mind was the more general nature of the reference to “Blessings of Liberty” – Liberty from what, the British Crown and British taxes? Or perhaps from a notion 200-odd years later that an effort to minimize rampant domestic mass murder incidents by instituting legal controls on who could own and in what social settings firearms, hand-held semi-automatic weapons in particular (which didn’t exist in 1787), could be publicly carried?
Regardless of your perspective on that 21st-century liberty issue, it seemed to me that “Justice” (treat everybody fairly by a set legal standard), “domestic Tranquility” (a social expectation of general livability), “common defense” (an organized central defensive force), and “general Welfare” (survivable living conditions for the general population) were all more specific and easily identified references, while “Blessings of Liberty” was a more general end result of the previous four. If mistaken, I apologize. But I ask, how in 1787 might the Founding Fathers of the American experiment in democratically based representative government have viewed personal liberty issues of the 21st century? Since they’re not here to ask, we can only guess and express opinions, so here is mine:
Somehow I doubt it would be the “Me First/Every Man for Himself” personal liberties outlook of the late 20th and early 21st centuries that would arbitrarily judge an individual’s right to act their opinions out in a public context, above the group’s right to collective survival. Particularly with their introductory concerns about insuring “domestic Tranquility” and promoting “the general Welfare” – their capitalizations – I doubt the Founding Fathers would share the modern Sovereign Citizen or Libertarian perspectives on securing “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.
And that IS my opinion based on readings about them, and the written words of some of them on their collective desire for the new American nation to strive toward a more perfect union, including the final line of the Declaration of Independence in which the signees, some wealthy landowners: “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor” in support of the creation of the new, independent nation” outside control of the British government they were about to go to war with.
And as to Mr. Kushner’s lengthy analysis of presidential election results, congressional majorities, and minorities, and legislative mandates I will say a few things:
In addition to gaining the White House by a nearly 7-million vote majority in 2020, the Democrats currently have working majorities in both houses of Congress, despite the gains Republicans made in the House in 2020 – This isn’t advanced math, Gary, a bigger minority (in the House of Representatives) is STILL a minority. So, it would appear that currently, the Democrats do have a legislative majority, coupled with a president, elected by the American people with which to forward proposals reflecting their socio-political agenda, just as Republicans do when they have the majority.
And in my opinion, Mr. Kushner’s level of outrage at that thought appears to reflect an increasing tendency of the American political right to stereotype people and legislation they disagree with as fundamentally “evil”, often in a religious context, and allied with shadowy figures of darkness like Communism, the Chinese (also Communists), Dr. Fauci and the medical establishment, or perhaps Satan himself, rather than simply Americans with differing social and political perspectives with whom one can negotiate toward a resolution regarding costs and details for a common American good.
Is believing in and striving toward an economically elevated common good such a sin?
Should people who believe in legislatively lending a helping hand to the less fortunate among us be characterized as shadow communists, or on a more fundamental level, evil? I don’t know, maybe we should reference the historical record of the teachings of Jesus for an answer. And while Jesus didn’t lobby for governmental legislation “to sell your possessions and give to the poor” he did threaten the withholding of heaven from those who failed to follow his instructions, and there were many given in this regard.
And on the subject of “Saviors”, including self-anointed ones, as to the rightful occupant of the White House, we’re back to square one with Mr. Kushner: “There is irrefutable evidence that voting activities occurred in 2020 in several states that were inconsistent with procedures approved by their legislatures which resulted in illegal votes that could have influenced the election outcome,” he wrote.
Opinion, Gary, not fact.
And in my editorial opinion, one verified by every court review – was it 30? – often overseen by Republican-appointed judges, and reported by reputable news sources (to some degree anyway, as opposed to online conspiracy websites) the only verified 2020 electoral fraud found by any court, or legitimate recount in any state, as I understand the reports, amounted to 12 votes here, 30 votes there, and the like – the type of individual pathological behavior fraud that occurs in every election, but not an organized institutional fraud in the numbers to have changed any state’s presidential result in 2020.
So, no matter how many places you read it, Gary – NO, the ghosts of Manuel Noriega and Fidel Castro did not rise up into 2020 voting machines to “white-out” – that’s the technology those ghosts would understand, isn’t it?!? – millions of Trump voters. Didn’t happen – and that IS my opinion, but one based in a factual, not an “alternate factual”, universe.
And while I have a hunch, you won’t agree no matter how many state courts and state legislatures contradict your opinion, I think we have both sufficiently made our respective cases – and will just have to agree to disagree.
Consequently, I have editorially recommended that publication of our conflicting perspectives on reality and journalism end here.
Harold Lewis LaMonds (1943 – 2021)
Harold Lewis LaMonds, 78, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at Winchester Medical Center.
A funeral service will be held for Harold at 1 P.M. on August 10, 2021, at Maddox Funeral Home, 105 W Main St. Front Royal, Virginia with Sammy Campbell officiating. Following all services, the entombment will take place at Panorama Memorial Gardens. Guests are welcome to start visiting with the family two hours prior to the service at Maddox.
Harold was born on March 26, 1943, in Albemarle, Virginia to the late Oswald and Lucille LaMonds. He was also preceded in death by his loving wife of 56 years, Betty LaMonds; and his sister Debbie Williams. Harold was a fan of antique cars and his hobbies included gardening, bowling, and fishing.
Surviving Harold is his children, Melvin Lee LaMonds Sr. (Elizabeth) and Harold Lewis LaMonds Jr.; his siblings, Billy LaMonds, Oswald LaMonds and Betty LaMonds; his grandchildren, Melvin Lee LaMonds II, Aaron Jade LaMonds, Angelina LaMonds, Alexis LaMonds and Robert LaMonds; his great- grandchildren, Trey LaMonds, Kiera LaMonds, Silas LaMonds, Kaylee LaMonds, Ryleigh LaMonds, Brantley LaMonds, Brian Richardson and Andrew LaMonds; his very close family friend, Debbie Richardson; and numerous extended family members.
Anyone wishing to send flowers, the family has requested red roses.
Senators’ Statement on the finalized bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement Legislative text
U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Jon Tester (D-MT) issued the following statement:
“Over the last four days, we have worked day and night to finalize historic legislation that will invest in our nation’s hard infrastructure and create good-paying jobs for working Americans in communities across the country without raising taxes. This bipartisan bill and our shared commitment to see it across the finish line is further proof that the Senate can work. We look forward to moving this bill through the Senate and delivering for the American people.”
Kermit Wines Nichols (1926 – 2021)
Kermit Wines Nichols, 94, of Front Royal, Virginia passed away on Friday, July 30, 2021, at Blue Ridge Hospice Inpatient Care Center in Winchester, Virginia.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 1 PM at Maddox Funeral Home, 105 West Main Street, Front Royal with the Right Reverend Dr. Vince McLaughlin officiating. Burial will follow at Panorama Memorial Gardens, Waterlick, Virginia.
Mr. Nichols was born on September 28, 1926, in Fauquier County, Virginia to the late Brian Nichols and Mary Edith Nichols Fauver. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Mildred Louise Mills Nichols; brother, Johnny Nichols; and three sisters Elizabeth Nichols Camper, Irene Nichols Adaire, and Georgia Royston Todd. He was a World War II Navy Veteran and a very active member of the Front Royal Community. He was a founder of Front Royal Federal Credit Union and a past president of their board. He was a member of Lion’s Club, the Jaycees, Masonic Lodge #71, Front Royal Chapter 6 O.E.S., VFW Post 1860, and the Shriner’s. He worked with C-CAP, the United Way, and the Electoral Board of Warren County. He retired from the Avtex plant in 1988 as a supervisor and before becoming a supervisor he was very active in Textile Workers Union of America Local 371 serving a stint as President.
Survivors include his wife, JoAnn W. Nichols; daughter, Gloria N. Clark; two stepsons, Michael Compton Collins and Joseph Logan Collins; four step-grandchildren, Stewart Elizabeth Collins, Logan Alexander Collins, Rebecca Tamalyn Collins, and David Logan Collins; three step great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Larry Camper, Michael Collins, Joe Collins, Paul Waddell, Logan Collins, and David Collins.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75231; American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123; Rockland Community Church, 2921 Rockland Road., Front Royal, Virginia 22630; or to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 West Cork Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601.