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It’s time the Counties Of The 18th District had their own Veterans’ Service Offices

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On Memorial Day, we remember the more than 640,000 men and women who have given their lives serving the United States since the first such commemoration in 1868. As Americans, we’ve always paid our respects to those who have died in defense of our great nation. However, the cost of war isn’t just measured in those we’ve lost. The cost of war is also seen in the aftermath. Our devotion as Americans ought to also be measured by the tangible ways we continue to care for our veterans long after their service.

I’ve been meeting with veterans across the 18th House of Delegates district (which includes parts of Fauquier, Warren, Culpeper and ‪Rappahannock‬ counties) and it’s clear that there is a need for a Veterans Service Office (VSO) in each county. Today, our veterans are forced to navigate a complicated federal and state system for medical claims; too often without the aid of a Veterans’ Service Office.

There is no VSO anywhere in the 18th district and that must change. A common refrain I hear from veterans is that they learn more about the benefits they could receive in the waiting room, than they do by interacting with the office Richmond has tasked with caring for them.

Virginia has a proud history of supporting our veterans. It’s time we bring that support closer to home and ensure our veterans get care and service without undue bureaucratic delay. It’s time the counties of the 18th district had their own dedicated VSOs.

Laura Galante
Candidate – 18th House of Delegates District

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Opinion

Memorials: A prominent place for honoring

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For four decades we served our country, nearly 22 years stationed overseas. In many countries we visited memorials honoring those who fought and died for their home and country. While Germans share remorse for World Wars I and II, for example, they nevertheless honor their fallen soldiers with memorials that are often located prominently near the town center. The memorials, often decorated with wreaths or flowers, serve as a reminder of those who perished, the many lessons of humanity, and the consequences of wars.

The Civil War memorial in front of the Warren County Courthouse likewise serves to honor the fallen and the sacrifices of local families. It allows one to reflect upon the cost of war, the lessons of injustice, and the moral ills that plagued our country during those times. Although people interpret its symbolism differently, most see it for what it is: a memorial.

If one honestly supports democracy, then one should want the people’s voice heard. We believe the Board of Supervisors made the right decision to ask the citizens of Warren County through the ballot instead of taking unilateral action on a very politically and emotionally contentious proposal to remove the memorial.

Instead of the cost and emotional divineness of removing a memorial, maybe the citizens of Warren County could unite to erect a similarly prominent memorial to honor those who suffered under slavery in Virginia?

Dave & Toni Gosinski
Bentonville, Virginia

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Opinion

Political stereotyping by Republicans called out by Democratic reader

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I met a Republican the other day who said he was left-handed. Employing the logic of the Republican Party, I can reasonably conclude that all Republicans are left-handed: If one is, they all are.

I am a Democrat. I am not a socialist. Joe Biden is a Democrat. He is not a socialist. Bernie Sanders does not belong to the Democratic Party. He says he is a democratic socialist and ran for the Democratic nomination as such. He was soundly defeated by Joe Biden. The Democratic Party chose a moderate to be their standard bearer.

I have even heard Democrats say that they have found Biden to be too conservative for their taste.

But the “left-handed” Republicans have become experts at setting urban against rural, black against white, and now in desperation as the election approaches, they are trying to sell the notion that all Democrats are socialists.

Democrats are no more all socialists than all Republicans are left-handed.

I first met Joe Biden in 1973. I have followed his career with great interest. Joe Biden has the temperament and ability to find the good in people, even those who oppose his views. He is a healer not a divider.

Tom Howarth
Warren County, Virginia

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Opinion

We cannot afford to leave out truth

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Let me begin by saying I am not a politician, nor am I running for any local office. What I am, is an observer, and on occasion I have commented on issues by writing to the editor. My beliefs as a citizen of a local area, state, and country as it stands right now, is the freedom to speak logical and with reasonable understanding.

Why, I ask myself, does one person or a group of people think it is okay to destroy, cause havoc, and spread hate and discontent, and think this is peace and progress, is beyond me! What happen to the unified citizenry that made this nation so great in the first place?

Too think that bricks or stones, yes even statues make us into a righteous nation is plain ignorance about humanity. What does bring about what will keep us a great nation, a better human being, yes even a great town to live in, is TRUTH!

My simplicity of being an observer, is to find out and follow the truth! Not what someone else tells me, nor what their outlook of their perceptions on issues or matters are! This is what is so great about this country, I can pursue finding out for myself what is factual and true.

With local and state and nationwide voting this year, we cannot afford to leave out truth, nor be one-sided in our humanity. But if we seek truth above all, too let our hearts and minds seek what is knowing to be right that serves for the people, of the people and by the people? I believe we will be blessed by God, our Creator.

Tenia Smith
Front Royal, Virginia

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Opinion

There is a more appropriate place to honor the statue soldiers than in front of the Warren County Courthouse

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I have to say that I am proud of Front Royal and all its citizens that are having a peaceful, respectful, and substantive conversation about moving the Civil War statue from in front of the Warren County Courthouse. I have heard both sides of the argument and considered them both.

If you take away all the emotion that comes with the history on both sides of the issue, for me the logic comes down to this:

If the soldiers that are named on the statue had won the war, Front Royal would not be in the United States of America. It would be part of a southern Confederacy.

The Warren County Courthouse is a living, working symbol of the American rule of law. The statue out front is not. Therefore, I believe there is an inconsistency to its location.

I understand wanting to honor ancestors of this area that fought and died, but I believe there is a more appropriate place to do that than in front of the Warren County Courthouse.

Voting YES on Ballot Initiative #3 would honor those ancestors in a respectful place to do that.

Kathleen Mancini
Linden, Virginia

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Opinion

Justice is a must – EDA scandal not to be forgotten

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Warren County has experienced and been violated through a $21M embezzlement that appears to have extended roots beyond the EDA.  Our community has witnessed several arrests in relation to this crime and saw charges dropped, a sheriff’s loss of life, the resignations of a County Attorney, EDA Chair and other EDA Board members and a County Finance Director, the rotation and changes in our Judicial System, the retirement of a school superintendent, our new Board of Supervisors wisely releasing a long-time County Administrator, with an Assistant County Administrator and a Fire Chief’s announcements of retirement following, the county taking fiscal responsibility of the EDA without providing insight on the loss incurred.

All the while, the Town of Front Royal gathered and reported their loss along with the filing of a lawsuit.  Yes, I agree, Warren County can do better than this!  I commend and thank the new Board of Supervisors who have the courage to stand and make decisions for the betterment of our entire community – that is truly service above self!  Your diligent work in learning and perseverance is not going unnoticed!

The reprimands made to the new Board for their decision in declining a renewal contract for the County Administrator, makes me question what is known, or what one may be involved in?  In my opinion, the comment using military lingo to describe our past administrator was an insult to the men and women of our US Armed Forces.  It takes very strong and courageous people to wear the boots of the “Best of the Best”, as they willingly and tirelessly put their lives on the line – with some having given their all to protect the Freedoms of this Nation.  During this administrator’s tenure, he served on several Boards/Committees in the county, taxes were consistently raised year after year, an increased budget of $6.1M was submitted during this pandemic crisis, an empty and still empty warehouse building on Baugh Drive was purchased for $5M owned by the EDA, with a resolution that the county would pay; one signature being that of this administrator, costing the citizens $26K a month over the past few years and still going, the county has over $90M in bonds and has extended them through 2040, lawsuits were filed against the county, school property has been used as collateral for renovations on buildings and for the construction of the new Fire Department, as well as another building being used as collateral for the purchase of 2 new fire trucks.

Warren County has the potential to rise above and thrive – now and for generations to come.  This scandal needs to be fully exposed, corrected, and accountability being put on the shoulders of those responsible, regardless of their level of power!  Do not forget – Justice is a must and is – what’s right!

Leslie Mathews
Warren County, Virginia

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Opinion

Thoughts on the Confederate statue removal at the Warren County Courthouse

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To the Editor:

On August 4, Tony Carter, a member of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, offered a motion that would put the question of whether the Confederate statue on the Courthouse lawn should be relocated to a referendum on November 3.

One opponent of the relocation said, “it’s in the bag.”

It seems obvious that they did not want any public comment on his motion, but word got out, and several people came at the last minute expressing their frustration that they had no time to prepare their remarks on a matter of some sensitivity.

Nonetheless, it seems poor sport to argue that allowing the people to decide the issue is wrong.

Were the public schools in Warren County desegregated in the 1950s by a popular vote? No, they were not. It was the State Supreme Court that protected minority children. In 1965, did the citizens of Alabama, by popular referendum, allow black people to vote?

Confederate statues and flags tell the country that the South had school integration and black voting forced on them. They never accepted black advancement.

Lynching used to be discussed as something that happened in “the bad of days.” In 2020, we saw the lynching of George Floyd on our television screens. His killing and that of others have caused people around the country, Virginia, and the world to take a hard look at their racist past and rid themselves of the stain. Will there be such introspection in Warren County?

If others think relocation of the statue is ill-advised, will they come forward to offer other changes as evidence that they hear the cry of black citizens?

Your move, Mr. Carter.

Tom Howarth
Front Royal, Virginia

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Upcoming Events

Oct
19
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all-day WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Oct 19 – Nov 12 all-day
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Please show your support by purchasing fresh fruit for you, your family and friends to enjoy over the holidays! To place your order online, simply click here. Navel, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges — Whole Box $40, Half[...]
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30
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6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
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Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
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Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
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Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
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31
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10:00 am Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
10-11 am: Dog Costume Parade and judging 1-2 pm: Wedding on the Gazebo 4 pm: Children’s Costume Parade with judging and prizes 5 pm: Trick or Treat on Main Street. Merchants and County Businesses will[...]
10:00 am Skyline Middle School Food Drive @ C&C Frozen Treats
Skyline Middle School Food Drive @ C&C Frozen Treats
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Skyline Middle School Food Drive @ C&C Frozen Treats
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.
5:00 pm Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Oct 31 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Bring your best costumes and GLOW throw with us! Trick or treat, throw axes and have an amazing Halloween with SVAXETHROWINGCO! KID friendly! Make your reservation today, spots will fill up fast: www.svaxethrowingco.com Fill out[...]
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all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Nov 1 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
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6:00 pm Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Nov 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Community Clinic @ Online Event
St. Luke Community Clinic, Inc., of Front Royal, will hold its Annual Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, by ZOOM. All members (those who donate $35 annually or volunteer at the clinic) are[...]
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6:00 pm Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Nov 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Boy Scouts @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Shenandoah Area Council Boy Scouts Fashion, food, cash bar, silent auction, raffle, door prizes, vendors on-site. Sponsored by Anna Quinn Jewelers, Grove’s Winchester Harley Davidson and Firenza Pizza. Showcasing clothing by[...]
Nov
7
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all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Nov 7 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]