Summer Art Week for children is designed for students who love art and want to go beyond what they have experienced in the school setting, while meeting the Virginia Standards of Art. Recommended ages for these classes are 8-12.
The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor and 3D materials. Composition, color theory, form, line, shape and texture will be discussed and applied to their projects. They will also explore the style and techniques of famous artists while creating their own art work.
Each session is $150, and materials are included. Projects will be different for each session. Recommended ages for these classes are 8-12. Sign up early! Limit of 8 students per session.
Session 1: June 17-21, from 10 am – 12:30 pm. Classes are located at 205 E. Main Street, Front Royal, UPSTAIRS in Suite 4.
A snack will be provided, so please let us know if there are any food allergies we should know about.
About the instructor: Laura Corebello is a licensed art teacher who has taught art in the public schools of New Jersey and Virginia for the past 30 years. She has written curriculums for New Jersey and Virginia private and public schools.
Laura can recognize the unlimited potentials of creative expression through the eyes of children and nurtures this in all her students. Some of Laura’s students have been stimulated to follow careers in art, have earned awards, and have had art shows at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Class policies: We understand that scheduling conflicts do happen. You may cancel your class for a full refund up to 48 hours before the class, by phone or in person. No refunds will be issued after this time.
In case of inclement weather, we will reschedule the class. Please check our Facebook page for class schedule changes due to weather.
Warner Weekly Wrap-Up: Presiding
Shortly after the inauguration, the Senate got to work confirming Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, and today confirmed Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary – the first Black American to run the department.
Sen. Warner also presided over the Senate today for the first time in the 117th Congress. With Democrats in the majority, you can expect to see Sen. Warner holding the Senate gavel from time to time, in addition to the gavel of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he will be Chairman.
This and more in your Warner Weekly Wrap-Up:
At noon on Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, while Kamala Harris became the first woman, first Black American, and first person of South Asian descent to become Vice President.
Prior to the inauguration, Sen. Warner appeared on CNBC to talk about what lies ahead for this administration, which inherits a crippled economy and the greatest public health crisis in generations, on top of a host of other threats including one of the worst cyber hacks in history.
On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Sen. Warner expressed optimism at President Biden’s ability to lead and address the health and economic crisis. He also emphasized the importance of ensuring that vaccine distribution is rolled out appropriately and the next COVID-19 relief package is able to deliver relief to the American people.
In a win for national security, the Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to confirm Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, making her the first woman to lead the nation’s Intelligence Community.
Prior to the vote, and after participating in open and classified hearings with Ms. Haines, Sen. Warner – the incoming Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support the Haines nomination. You can watch that speech by clicking here.
After the Senate voted to confirm by a vote of 84 to 10, Sen. Warner praised the decision in a statement, saying:
“Given the critical importance of the role of the Director of National Intelligence to our country’s security, it is appropriate that Avril Haines has now become the first member of the new administration to be confirmed by the Senate in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. After being deliberately undermined for four years, the Intelligence Community deserves a strong, Senate-confirmed leader to lead and reinvigorate it. I am confident Ms. Haines will serve capably and honorably in the role and I look forward to working with her.”
You can expect Sen. Warner to continue working with his Senate colleagues to get President Biden the cabinet he needs to get the economy back on track and the COVID-19 crisis under control.
In honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Warner on Monday joined Shiloh Baptist Church volunteers to help assemble and distribute supplies to donate to 500 local families. This comes as Virginians continue to rely on food pantries and food banks to help them weather the current economic crisis. You can read more about this in FOX 5 by clicking here or below.
Sen. Warner has been a strong advocate of expanded access to food assistance for families in the Commonwealth amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Earlier today, he announced his intent to reintroduce legislation to allow the federal government to pay 100 percent of the cost to states and localities so that they can partner with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable populations, such as seniors and underprivileged children.
He has previously put pressure on the USDA to formally authorize Virginia’s request to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot Program, successfully pushed USDA to waive a requirement that made it more difficult for families to receive USDA-reimbursable meals, and secured a USDA designation that allows food banks to distribute food directly to Virginia families in need while limiting interactions between food bank staff, volunteers, and recipients. Additionally, in August, Sen. Warner successfully pushed for USDA to extend critical food waivers to help make sure students have access to nutritious meals while school districts participate in distance learning.
In the COVID-19 relief package signed into law last month, Sen. Warner fought to include his legislation to help hard-hit minority communities and businesses weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
Provisions of the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act, which makes the largest single investment into minority-owned and community-based lending institutions in the nation’s history, will help bring targeted relief to communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Additionally, the relief package provides $13 billion in nutrition assistance, including a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits.
· PRECAUTIONS: Ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration, Vice Chairman Warner and Acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter requesting information from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe regarding the Intelligence Community’s preparations for the inauguration on January 20, 2021.
· BRIDGE CLOSURES: Sen. Warner, along with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, and U.S. Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, and Jennifer Wexton (all D-VA), issued a statement on the agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Secret Service (USSS) authorizing the use of Virginia State Police assets, resources, and personnel, to assist with the closure of bridges spanning the Potomac River during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
· TREASURY: Sen. Warner, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released a statement in support of the nomination of Janet Yellen to be Secretary of the Treasury.
The Senate will be in session next week, holding hearings on more of President Biden’s cabinet nominees and preparing to receive the impeachment articles from the House of Representatives. Sen. Warner is expected to participate in a number of Zooms including with the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Public Lands Alliance. He is also expected to host a webinar with Virginia small businesses, so keep an eye on your inbox for an advisory.
New Administration, New Congress
This last week, the world saw the historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
After the January 6th attack on our nation’s Capitol, I know many were worried about our inauguration. But we showed ourselves and countries around the world that America could come back from that day and continue our critical tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. Amid an incredibly dark winter, Wednesday’s inauguration offered all Americans a bright moment they can feel proud of.
Now, as we enter an era with a new Administration and a new Congress, we can and must work together to get things done for the betterment of our country.
Here are some of my priorities for this Congress:
• COVID relief – My top priority is working with the Biden-Harris Administration to pass a comprehensive plan to better address the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes speeding up vaccination efforts and delivering direct relief to those hit hardest
• Broadband access – We’ve learned living through this pandemic how important it is to expand broadband access so that telehealth, virtual education, and keeping in touch with family is available for Americans in every corner of the country
• Infrastructure – Whether it’s the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, I-81, or Metro and rail service, an infrastructure bill would have enormous benefits throughout Virginia that both sides of the aisle can work towards
• Job training – As Americans face massive unemployment numbers, I’m working hard to pass legislation like my JOBS Act to get people access to training and fill millions of jobs
• Expanding health care – Rather than having to constantly defend health care access from being stripped away, we can now focus on expanding and improving access to affordable, quality insurance like I’ll plan to do with my Medicare-X legislation, which establishes a public plan to offer Americans more quality and affordable options
I’m thrilled to get straight to work with both the White House and my colleagues on behalf of all Virginians and deliver the meaningful legislation our communities deserve.
Submitted Commentary: Is information free in Front Royal?
From: Front Royal Town Councilman Joseph McFadden
During a presentation on FOIA by Town Attorney Doug Napier, which is available on the Town Website if you wish to watch the entire presentation, I was given a lot to think about.
During the presentation, I wrote down questions. Some were answered at the time I asked them (at the completion of the presentation) and others were to be answered with information either provided to me or that I would have to dig up (which I was willing to do). It was emailed to me in a spreadsheet the following day thanks to a competent staff able to generate a report for me.
I’ll present some facts and figures here and the subsequent answers I learned by reviewing the spreadsheet I was given.
In the presentation, I was told that in the Calendar Year 2021 (Jan 1- Jan 19, 2021) there had already been 91 FOIA requests submitted to the Town of Front Royal. I was told that if that rate continued, we would face 1700-1800 FOIA requests in this year alone. Considering the issues we’ve already faced (Old: EDA Lawsuit, Afton Inn and Happy Creek project. NEW: Article 47 Lawsuit, Sexual Harassment, and Firing of former employee Lawsuit), I thought the number believable.
According to the document: There were 7.
I followed that statement up with a question regarding how many did we get in 2020 so that I could look at the trends and see if it was high, or normal for a month-to-month statistical comparison. I like processes and I like tracking trends.
According to the document: There were 87.
It would be a 2,011% jump in the number of FOIAs if we were to hit 1700-1800 predicted (I used 1750, splitting 1700 and 1800, as my number and 87 as the originating number to determine that percentage). That’s quite a jump.
Trying to wrap my mind around how there could be such a discrepancy in these numbers, I thought back on hearing in the presentation about FOIA requests that had 15,000 or even 80,000 pages in the request. But again those numbers don’t match up.
I heard that many of the requests take a lot of time to review because “Some laws are not easy to decipher.” Well, I’ll just leave that there. Shouldn’t we have a staff member that is an expert on this to field the massive volume of FOIA requests? That was my thought at the time.
I was told that we billed the staff hours used to fulfill the requests. Later, I asked to clarify if the staff was paid hourly as a contractor or yearly salary as an employee and if these FOIA requests were only being completed during overtime hours? They are salaried employees, and the searches are completed during normal business hours. And in fact, the searches are often farmed out to department heads to complete.
Specifically, I asked that if it is in the scope of work of a staff member and not done outside of normal business hours, how can we then bill the requestor?
And my follow-on question is that if the FOIA is for my emails, couldn’t I simply pull them at no cost to the citizen?
Based on section 6 of the VA FOIA Advisory Commission’s Guide that I took the time to read before the meeting – Section 2.2.3704.1: “6 – A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.”
That doesn’t seem to talk about charging for salaried employees to do what is part of their job duties, such as pulling emails when there is a FOIA request. We have search features in Microsoft Outlook that makes searching super fast and easy. And indexing on a server is also pretty fast. I should know, I once advised a DOD agency looking for a way to archive all their historical records being pulled from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq onto closed secret computers so that they could be searched by historians and journalists. And I got very familiar with how quickly indexing of documents and emails happens and can be accessed real-time.
I learned that some FOIA requests are “fishing expeditions” or submitted “to harass.” I also learned that it is charged this way to “be fair to everyone.”
However, upon review of the data provided to me, I saw that there were a few repeat requestors (out of the total 94 in the spreadsheet) but that not everyone got a bill. I found my dad’s name on the list. I followed up with him. He was not billed. If everyone is billed and treated fairly, why wasn’t he?
I learned that we have never been fined for not completing an FOIA request.
I am now awaiting the answers to several questions about the obvious discrepancies I saw between what I was told in the work session and what was delivered in the form of reportable and quantifiable data.
But I am also waiting to find out 2 key things:
1. If we collect money from an FOIA request for salaried time, where does that money go once collected?
2. How much money did we collect from FOIA requests in 2020?
Stay tuned if you are as interested in this as I am.
Remember, until only a few weeks ago, I was just a citizen like you!
(Originally posted on the councilman’s social media site)
We can agree to disagree, but never to the point of being narrow-minded
On January 21, a group of concerned citizens went to a BOS meeting to declare Warren County a “Constitutional Sanctuary County” against the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, I believe we need to stop with the fearmongering from our state health officials and governor! We have lived with this pandemic for over a year now, which we have learned a great deal and can, by all means, use our God-given brain to make health decisions for ourselves!
Second, if you are sick or have come in contact with an infected person. Do the right thing, get tested, stay at home for 7 to 10 days and get on with life!
All along we were told by CDC, NIH, even our general M.D.’s to use the 3 things that help stop the spread. Hand cleaning, mask-wearing, (when out in crowds), the social distancing of 6ft. which by the way should always be the case with stopping illnesses.
But, no, some in our government want to take away our rights and freedoms and call it for the good of the nation.
Really? Then how come some elected officials get to carry on their lives any way they want, but we can’t?
I call that “a narrative” to power over the rights and freedoms of our Constitutional laws!
To the email writer calling those residents “selfish patriots” was uncalled-for. Name-calling never did settle things, it just keeps the solutions from being talked about in a manner which all can come together.
We can agree to disagree, but never to the point of being narrow-minded.
Let’s take this issue of being restricted to conduct our lives and businesses seriously. We were not made to live in a bubble, our bodies will either adapt and fight or die. Either way, all flesh will die that’s a given.
Fear will kill far worse more than any pandemic or war!
4 facts you may not know about bullying
Contrary to what some people think, bullying isn’t a normal part of childhood. Here are some other realities about this harmful behavior that need to be acknowledged.
1. Kids don’t grow out of bullying
Unless children face meaningful consequences and learn that bullying is unacceptable, this behavior is likely to persist through adolescence and into adulthood. It can also evolve into dating violence, workplace harassment, and domestic abuse.
2. Fighting back makes bullying worse
3. Peers can stop bullying in seconds
Most bullying incidents happen when peers are watching, and their reaction plays a major role in reinforcing or stopping the behavior. In fact, research shows that when peers intervene, more than half of the time the bullying stops within 10 seconds.
4. Bullying can cause serious harm
Bullied children are more likely to experience headaches, stomach aches, anxiety, and depression. They’re also at greater risk of long-term mental health problems and suicide. Additionally, children who bully are more likely to use drugs and engage in criminal activity.
It’s only by dispelling myths about bullying and teaching children to develop healthy relationships that the issue can be properly addressed and bullying eradicated for good.
Normal aging: what to expect as you get older
From lapses in memory to joint pain and hair loss, a wide range of symptoms is often chalked up to getting old. But which changes are really considered a normal part of the aging process? Here’s some of what you can expect as you get older.
A different experience for everyone
Aging is a complex process that affects every system in the body. But while all people age, not everyone does so at the same rate. This means that people of the same age can look and feel very different as they get older. In other words, their chronological ages are identical, but their biological ages don’t match.
Noticeable signs of normal aging
• Weakened vision (presbyopia)
• Gradual loss of hearing (presbycusis)
• Slight decrease in memory and learning skills
• Loss of muscular endurance and strength
• Diminished sensations such as hunger and thirst
• Increase in percentage of body fat
Tips for healthy aging
The best way to delay the effects of aging is to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Among other things, you should avoid smoking, limit your alcohol consumption, exercise daily, get enough sleep, keep in touch with loved ones, and challenge your mind with puzzles, reading, and strategy games.
Finally, be sure to schedule regular appointments with your family doctor, optometrist, audiologist, and other health-care professionals. This increases the likelihood of medical issues being detected and treated early.