Randolph-Macon Academy invites you to come discover what “The Power of Rise” can do for your child at the next open house on Monday, February 18th. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. To RSVP to the open house, visit www.rma.edu/open-house, or call 540-636-5484.
Discovering textured vegetable protein
As more people eliminate meat and animal products from their diet, the food industry is adapting by offering an increasing number of plant-based products. Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is one such innovation, and here’s why it’s gaining in popularity.
It can replace ground meat
Rehydrated TVP has a texture that’s remarkably similar to that of ground beef. This makes it a popular choice for things like spaghetti sauce, shepherd’s pie, hamburgers and tacos. As a bonus, it’s cheaper than ground beef.
It’s dry and easy to store
In addition to being affordable, TVP keeps for a very long time in its dried form. It’ll stay fresh for as long as six to nine months at room temperature and for even longer if frozen or refrigerated. Note, however, that it’ll only keep for three days in the refrigerator once rehydrated.
It’s easy to cook with
Preparing TVP is as easy as adding an equal amount of hot liquid, such as water or broth. If using it in a dish that contains liquid, you can simply incorporate the TVP in the sauce or stock. It’s a highly versatile ingredient that absorbs seasonings well, so it can be used in a variety of cuisine styles. It can also be used as a way to boost the nutritional value of any dish.
It’s rich in nutrients
TVP contains almost twice as much protein as ground meat. It’s also rich in dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Even better, it’s low in both fat and sodium. Its calorie content is effectively the same as ground beef, meaning it provides just as much energy at a fraction of the cost and fat content.
TVP is easy to find in bulk stores, grocery stores and natural food stores. It offers a convenient alternative to meat and could be especially useful when transitioning to a plant-based diet.
TVP is made from soy and sometimes referred to as textured soy protein, soy meat or soy chunks.
Council poised for decision on CDBG pavilion project despite added costs
After technical difficulties with the remote hook up of Gallagher representative, Cheri Herschman knocked the employee insurance plan presentation off the top of the Monday virtual work session agenda list, the Front Royal Town Council heard from Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick on issues with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program’s revitalization of Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District.
“Needless to say, we’ve had some challenges with the CDBG in general, and now with the Coronavirus hitting our community it’s been even more of a challenge,” Tederick told the council to begin the March 30th work session discussion.
Among those challenges needing to be addressed almost immediately, Tederick explained were approval of amendments to bylaws to address personnel changes in the Façade Advisory Board and acknowledgment of the decision to move to the “materials only” option on financing downtown business façade improvements due to unexpectedly high bids on work and materials through the federal-state grant process.
“Several members got off the board; we have to add new members to the board,” Tederick said of the necessity of bylaw updates regarding program staffing.
As the agenda packet noted, those several “members who got off the board” included two, former Town Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Camp and Tourism and Community Development Director Felicia Hart, whom Tederick terminated as part of his January 27 municipal downsizing initiative tied to his FY-2021 budget proposal. Also on the list was former Town Manager Joe Waltz, whom many observers of Town Hall believe resigned several months earlier to avoid being asked to implement then-Interim Mayor Tederick’s staff and departmental cutback plan.
The bylaw amendment would acknowledge Tederick’s replacement of Waltz as the program’s Grant Administrator, Director of Finance B. J. Wilson’s stepping into Hart’s role as “Assistant Project Manager” and the addition of Interim Planning-Zoning Director Chris Brock as “Project Manager”.
To build or not to build
Also on the table for movement toward quick council action, as in its first meeting of April, was a decision on whether or not to proceed with construction of the new Village Commons-Gazebo area Pavilion building aspect of the CDBG plan. Staff noted in the agenda packet that project estimates have added $143,349 to the $140,000 the Town has available for that major new downtown revitalization construction project now estimated at a total cost of $283,349.
Staff’s recommendation should the council decide to proceed with this new construction aspect of the CDBG program, which was to request a CDBG budget amendment that would allow a 50/50 Town-CDBG Program split of the additional costs.
“We just need to get some guidance from council whether to continue down the path of staff trying to find the $75,000 dollars – in the packet we have various line items that I’ve been able to identify in the current budget in order to fund the $75,000 dollars. So, I just need to know … if that’s what you want to do,” Tederick told the council.
The line items Tederick identified to raise the Town’s half of the needed additional revenue should the State Grant administrators agree to the budget amendment for the project, came from departmental budgets whose staffs were impacted by Tederick’s late January terminations. They include a total of $39,079 from the Community Development Department; $25,000 from former Council Clerk Jennifer Berry’s budget; and $10,921 from the remaining staff salary allotment for the Horticulture Department.
First, Councilman Jacob Meza questioned whether the Town could commit the money to this project while so many revenues and timeframe on business closing variables from the COVID-19 pandemic emergency response remain unknown.
“We’re still kind of structuring our budget for next year. But I still think there might be decisions to be made on the dollars that’ll be spent out of our budget considering the financial impact that we’re going to sustain with the all the preparation and the work keeping the COVID-19 down,” Meza said, adding, “All I’m saying is I think I’m okay with tonight deciding that we’re going to put the $75,000 in the budget with the line items that you’ve put in our packet that went out. But I’m still not a hundred percent sure that some things will be financially feasible depending on the financial impact of the COVID – does that make sense?”
While replying that he understood Meza’s concerns, Tederick noted that the line item funds he had identified were out of the existing budget, not next year’s where the Town will see the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and response on Town revenue streams and expenditures. The interim town manager pointed out staff needed a direction from council in the short term on whether they wanted to pursue a major aspect of the CDBG project in this budget year, or leave it to an uncertain budget-year future.
“So, you’re saying take it out of this year’s budget, but I thought we originally talked about having to set aside additional funds because the cost overage was unexpected, and you’re saying not take it out of the next year’s budget,” Meza replied.
Tederick reiterated that the additional $75,000 he had identified to try and move the pavilion project forward with a requested CDBG budget amendment was, indeed, out of the Town’s current FY-2020 budget.
Noting that due to project changes some funds committed to the façade aspect of the downtown revitalization project might end up coming available to other CDBG projects like the pavilion, Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock suggested council seize the moment if funding was now available, rather than wait facing an uncertain budgetary future.
“So, I’m thinking looking forward instead of looking backward with this epidemic or pandemic, that we need to think about going forward in a positive manner,” Sealock told his colleagues.
Tederick then told council he did not feel there was great time pressure, and that the matter could be forwarded to another work session “to give you time to process … and have another round of discussion on whether to move forward or not”.
However, Finance Director B. J. Wilson noted that the building contractor on the project had been holding the price now on the table for some time. He pointed out that work session discussion of the matter had been on council’s schedule several weeks earlier; and that it was currently an unknown how much longer the price estimate at the root of the March 30 discussion might hold in what has been a builder’s market.
After the mayor polled a somewhat nervous council, a majority consensus was established to move the matter forward for a decision at the council’s next meeting.
Hear, if not see, council and staff’s discussion in the linked Royal Examiner audio recording:
3 signs your car needs a wheel alignment
A suspension alignment, more commonly known as wheel alignment, keeps your tires pointed in the right direction and ensures a smooth ride. However, any type of impact, such as driving over a pothole or into a curb, can affect your car’s alignment. Here are three signs you should have yours checked.
1. Uneven tire wear
Tread that’s worn on just one part of the tire or that’s dissimilar on the different tires can indicate a problem with your car’s alignment.
2. A vibrating or loose steering wheel
When you’re driving on an even stretch of road, your steering wheel should be perfectly still and straight. In addition, your car should be responsive when you turn the wheel. An alignment problem can make your steering wheel vibrate or feel loose.
3. The car pulls in one direction
If your car swerves or drifts to one side when you relax your grip on the steering wheel, there’s an issue. You shouldn’t have to steer to keep the car pointed in the right direction when driving in a straight line.
Don’t ignore the signs that something’s wrong with your suspension. Alignment issues can decrease your car’s fuel efficiency, increase wear and tear on the vehicle and make it more difficult to steer or to brake.
Warren County Parks and Recreation facilities closed
From the Warren County Office of Emergency Management:
Warren County is taking additional precautionary measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Among these is restricting the use of Warren County’s parks to trails and outdoor spaces only. The Front Royal Golf Club is also open to the general public.
During the use of these areas, individuals must, at all times, maintain social distancing as described in the Governor’s Executive Order 55 (Temporary Stay At Home Order Due To Novel Coronavirus – COVID-19).
Effective immediately, all Warren County parks restrooms, playgrounds, and picnic shelters will be closed to the general public. The Warren County Parks and Recreation community center, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities remain closed. Registration for classes and events is temporarily disabled on our website. Events and organized activities are canceled; this includes use by sports leagues. Equipment rental is not available at this time. The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department offices remain open (but closed to the public) to field your related questions via phone at 540-635-7750 or 540-635-1021 or via email at email@example.com.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and the most current information is available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.
Additionally, you can find local information on the Warren County COVID-19 website: https://www.warrencountyva.net/coronavirus-latest-information, the County of Warren, VA Facebook page, or the Town of Front Royal COVID-19 website: https://www.frontroyalva.com/645/Covid-19-Local-Response.
Monday afternoon fire burns one acre, destroys vacant home
On Monday, March 30, 2020, at approximately 2:00 pm, the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services received a report of a residential structure fire in the area of the 200 block of Summit Drive in Front Royal.
Units arrived on the scene to discover a single story, single-wide house trailer with an addition with significant fire conditions throughout the home and approximately one acre of wooded area on fire. The home appeared to be vacant at the time of the fire and firefighters worked to extinguish the wildland fire and the structure fire from the exterior of the home for safety concerns.
As a result of the significant nature of the structure fire and wildland fire, firefighters received assistance from the Virginia Department of Forestry. Firefighters utilized the Town of Front Royal Hydrant System to supply water to the fire incident which caused the closure of John Marshal Highway for several hours, the Front Royal Police Department assisted with traffic control. It took firefighters approximately one hour to bring the fire under control. Units remained on the scene for several hours ensuring the fire was completely extinguished and assisting the Office of the Fire Marshal and Virginia Department of Forestry.
The cause of the fire was determined by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office to be a result of an electrical malfunction that caused a groundcover fire that spread to the abandon home. The fire caused an estimated $50,000.00 in property damage which rendered the house a total loss. The Fire Marshal’s Office received assistance from the Town of Front Royal Police Department Criminal Investigations Division, Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Town of Front Royal Electric Department.
Units on the call:
- Engines 1, 4, 6, and 2
- Brush 6 and 2
- Chief 100
- Fire Marshal 1
Part 1 of 7: Practical real estate tips for quarantined homeowners, buyers, sellers and realtors
This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.
This is the first of Beth Medved Waller’s video series offering tips for people to enhance their “real estate health” while they are stuck indoors to protect their own health. In the seven-part series, she’ll be advising homeowners, buyers (both active home seekers and those thinking of buying soon), sellers (those with active real estate listings and with properties preparing to hit the market this spring) and Realtors (agents already in business as well as people who are considering becoming a licensed practitioner). She’ll share suggestions about what each party can do to make their time at home productive from a real estate perspective. A four part article is also being published with her timely tips by “Real Estate Agent Magazine.”
Part 1: Top 5 real estate tips for homeowners with no immediate plans of moving
- Turn being cooped up inside into an opportunity that will pay off in the future whenever it’s time to sell your home. Start a folder of home improvements you’ve made throughout the years and use it as a place to log annual maintenance, record replacement costs and keep track of ages of heating/air conditioning units, your roof, and other important systems/utilities in your house. You can even keep booklets, receipts and other handy information in a convenient location inside the binder.
- Start that long-overdue de-cluttering – focus on your main level first (the garage/basement area is less important to keep organized than your kitchen, main living areas and master bath/closet areas). If it’s hard to get rid of even unused items, put them in a box and move them to the basement–if you haven’t gone into the box in 6 months, it’s likely safe to donate the box to be enjoyed by someone who will be blessed by your “hand-me-downs.”
- Start an online folder to store seasonal photos of your home. It can also be home to “before/after” photos if you complete improvements a future buyer would appreciate to have documented. Go one step farther and set reminders on your calendar to take quality digital (cell phone is fine) photos of your home during different seasons. Upload onto your online album shots that showcase views in the winter, lovely sunsets or sunrises, fall foliage and flowers blooming in the warmer months.
- Take a slow and intentional walk around the outside and throughout the inside of your home and make a list of major and minor maintenance projects you’ve been putting off. Now’s the time to make a plan and budget for completing them (or to check some off the list if you have the skills to earn some sweat equity). So many people wait until they sell to invest the time and money into improvements they wish they prioritized sooner to enjoy the benefits of the updates before handing the keys over to the buyer, who is sure to appreciate your investment in curb appeal and upkeep.
- Bite the bullet and begin pricing out big ticket items on your “to do” or “dream” list. Contact your trusted Realtor to brainstorm about the potential return on costly improvements. Calling on an expert for guidance can ensure you make an educated decision about your monetary investment vs. projected future impact on market value. Be ready to share photos or video clips with your agent so they can visualize your situation and be better equipped to educate you about the potential return on your updates.
Stay tuned for more BETHvids and corresponding articles made for buyers, sellers and Realtors for additional tips to implement while stuck indoors. Follow her real estate and WHAT MATTERS postings on the Royal Examiner under the Features Tab, “What Matters Warren.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Beth Medved Waller is a self-proclaimed “Pretend Reporter (creating video interviews/articles to promote causes or events), Pretend Philanthropist (see whatmattersw2.com to learn about her initiatives) & a Pretend Singer/Songwriter” (hear her song at dollardreamdownload.com). She’s also a real life mother of two teens, founder of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named WHAT MATTERS and a top producing real estate broker who has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for her various real and pretend titles.