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R-MA J-Term class builds hydroponics lab

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Lynette Lane explains how to build an NFT system at the start of the J-Term. This photo was from the first week of the J-Term classes. Additional photos showing more of the completed lab will be available later this week upon request.

On Thursday, January 23, 2020, Randolph-Macon Academy will introduce its new hydroponics lab to the R-MA community during an open house from 3 pm to 4 pm. The lab features five different kinds of hydroponic systems, all of which have been built by students taking the “Hydroponics and the Food We Eat” J-Term (January Term) class. Each system has been built with materials purchased at Lowes or on Amazon – such as gutters, plastic containers, hoses, boards and lights – developing systems the students can later recreate for themselves at home.

“We’ve been kind of hands-off,” commented Lynette Lane, the R-MA science teacher who is leading the project. “Sometimes I have to show them very specific steps or techniques, but then they have to figure out how to get it done. It’s been really great. Students have stepped up to do things that have really surprised me.”

The lab includes various systems, such as a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), which will allow the students to harvest lettuce weekly. A deep water culture (DWC) is a non-circulating water system in which the students will grow basil, chard, and other greens. The students will grow microgreens in a bottom watered, coco coir system. The R-MA lab’s Dutch buckets will contain strawberries and peppers. The final system the students will build is a flood and drain one used for seedling propagation.

An earthworm composting process has also been created; this will make use of any leftover organic matter from the lab systems. In early May, earthworm castings will be removed from this system to be used as nutrient-dense fertilizer for spring plantings.

“I  think it’s so important for kids to see where food comes from, because most of them  just don’t know,” said Ms. Lane. “And a lot of these students come to R-MA from countries where growing food is problematic, because they don’t have land, they don’t have water. They can take this back. It uses 95% less water than conventional methods of agriculture.”

Although the J-Term ends January 24th, a hydroponics intramural class and the Environmental Science and Biology classes will continue to grow the plants throughout the spring semester.  The lab will start again in the fall, and run through the school year, providing leafy greens and microgreens for the community.

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Community Events

United States Navy Country Current plays concert February 21, 2020

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US Navy Country Current plays at R-MA on February 21st at 7:30 pm in Boggs Chapel.

The 44th Annual Military School Band and Choir Festival will be held at Randolph-Macon Academy on February 21-23, bringing with it several events that are open to the public. After a full day of clinics and band auditions, the students will enjoy a concert performed by the U.S. Navy Band Country Current in Boggs Chapel. This concert, which takes place at 7:30 pm, is free and open to the public.

The United States Navy Band Country Current is the Navy’s premier country-bluegrass ensemble. The group is nationally renowned for its versatility and “eye-popping” musicianship, performing a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass. This seven-member ensemble employs musicians from diverse backgrounds with extensive high-profile recording and touring experience in the music scenes of Nashville, Tenn., New York, New Orleans and more. In the tradition of country music, each member is a skilled performer on multiple instruments. The band utilizes banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle, electric bass, upright bass, dobro, pedal steel guitar and drum set.

Formed in 1973, the band has a rich legacy of notable alumni including Bill Emerson, Wayne Taylor, Jerry Gilmore, and Frank Sollivan. They have performed at the Grand Ole Opry, for Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and overseas in Stockholm, Nova Scotia, and Beijing. With a fun-filled and family-friendly stage show, Country Current has been delighting its fans for over 40 years with their musical virtuosity and humor.

A staple of the bluegrass scene, Country Current has shared the stage with music luminaries Rhonda Vincent, Dailey and Vincent, Mountain Heart, Little Roy Lewis, Third Time Out, The Lonesome River Band, Josh Williams, The Seldom Scene, J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Ned Luberecki, Chris Jones and many others. Country Current routinely performs at bluegrass festivals such as Darrington, Windgap, Gettysburg, Lake Havasu, and Grass Valley. In 2011, Country Current became the first military band to perform at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Country Current performs regularly for the president, vice-president, the secretary of the Navy, the chief of naval operations, the chairman and vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy and numerous other dignitaries. Reaching out to communities both locally and nationally, they regularly perform for veterans, elementary schools, and in support of our active-duty Sailors.

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Crime/Court

Open air fire causes wildfire, occupant charged

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Photo / Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services

Just after 2:00 pm on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Warren County Fire and Rescue units were dispatched to the 1800 block of Oregon Hollow Road for a reported brush fire which was threatening multiple structures.

Units quickly arrived on the scene to find approximately 3/4 of an acre of wooded area involved in fire with the fire spreading away from any structures. Firefighters were able to quickly control the blaze before any structures were damaged. It was determined that the fire was caused by an open air fire spreading to the wooded area when winds increased.

The occupant of the home where the fire started was issued a summons by the Virginia Department of Forestry for violation of VA Code 10.1-1142. The occupant faces being guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor and may be liable for the full amount of all expenses incurred in suppressing the fire.

This incident should serve as a reminder as to why the 4pm Burn Law is in effect between February 15th and April 30th.

Briefly, the 4pm Burn Law regulates the open air burning before 4pm and after midnight. This law was adopted to reduce the number of wildfires during this period of risk associated with weather conditions that include elevated winds, lower relative humidity, and dryer forest floor fuels.

For more information on the 4pm Burn Law, visit www.dof.virginia.gov/fire.

Units on the call:

  • Engine 1
  • Brush 8
  • Brush 9
  • Brush 10
  • Tanker 3
  • Tanker 8
  • Tanker 9
  • Ambulance 4
  • Fire Marshal 1
  • Forest Warden 1 (Department of Forestry)
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The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution recognizes local volunteer Fire Department President

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Bronze Fire Safety Commendation Medal awarded to Suzi Shiley, President of the Linden Volunteer Fire Department.

In December 2019, Dale Corey, of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, presented Bronze Fire Safety Commendation Medal to Suzann (Suzi) Shiley, President of the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. Ms. Shiley was honored for her commitment to public service.

Ms. Shiley began as a volunteer with the department several years ago, as a way to give back to her community after her last child went away to college. The fire department quickly became a passion, and a commitment for excellence.

Over the past 18 months as President, she has addressed staffing requirements, and been fortunate to add 10 new members, fostered improved communications with the county, addressed financial, equipment, and building needs. She has trimmed down expenses whenever possible to maximize donation dollars.

Ms. Shiley has enhanced community outreach events such as the Santa Runs, Breakfast with Santa, Easter Bunny Breakfast, just a few that the community looks forward to each holiday season. Under her guidance, the department completed long standing projects, and is in the process of developing new ones to better serve the public. She acquired a lighted sign board, located at the front of the station to keep the community informed of upcoming needs and events.

Ms. Shiley has made a significant difference in a faltering unhappy organization, turning it into a growing positive environment in which all efforts by staff and volunteers are welcomed and recognized.

Upon receipt of the award, Ms. Shiley shared, “I am extremely proud of the progress of our department. Each volunteer has supported our goals, and has contributed many hours to reach them. It is truly a team effort. Their dedication, commitment, support and contributions make us a strong team. I am grateful for all we have achieved in 2019, and I look forward to all we will accomplish in 2020! On behalf of our organization, and all our volunteers, I wish to express my gratitude to the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution for this honor”.

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Maggie’s last shot

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Maggie Acquaah, 2018-19 season.

Her senior year season of basketball did not go as planned for Randolph-Macon Academy’s Maggie Acquaah. Sidelined by a knee injury, she was forced to play a supporting role for her teammates when what she really wanted to do was be on the court.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the R-MA Yellow Jackets faced off against cross-town rival Chelsea Academy. It was the last home game of the season, Senior Night, and the night before Maggie’s surgery. One by one, R-MA Head Coach Jeff Moxie put the seniors into the game, the home crowd cheering wildly over each one. But their cheers reached a new level when Maggie pulled off her warm-up shirt and went into the game with less than a minute left.

Coach Moxie had explained the situation to Dr. Mark Clark, the head coach of Chelsea Academy, who had in turn briefed his players. In a display of good sportsmanship, none of the Chelsea players challenged Maggie, knowing that one wrong move could cause her to further injure her knee and delay her surgery.

To the raucous cheers of her classmates, Maggie took an easy shot and uncharacteristically missed–because the normally stoic young lady was so moved by the events of the afternoon that tears were blurring her vision. She wiped her eyes and her teammates got the ball to her again, and once again the Chelsea players gave her space. Maggie took one more shot, and this one went in, giving the senior the final basket of the last regular-season home game. The crowd erupted.

The Yellow Jackets won easily and will now move into the DAC playoffs with a home game on Thursday, February 20th, but for this night, that wasn’t what mattered. What mattered was that thanks to the sportsmanship of another school and the support of her coach and teammates, Maggie got back a few precious seconds of the season that had been stolen from her, and a memory that will last forever.

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Front Royal Christian School Lady Warriors close season with win and Senior Night

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Front Royal Christian School Varsity Lady Warriors defeated the Front Royal Lady Varsity Flames 54 to 16, with Audrey Moya as the leading scorer with 15 points. FRCS Seniors Bailey Coughenour, Hannah Fletcher, and Hannah Johnson ended their season strong on both offense and defense. Fletcher, Coughenour, and Johnson (pictured left to right) were presented framed jerseys from their high school career, as well as lettering for their season. FRCS Coach Scott Babcock and Athletic Director Robert Darrow congratulated the girls for a season well done and recognized their individual successes including all time personal high scoring records. The FRCS Lady Warriors ended their 2019-2020 Basketball season with a winning record of 7-3.

“The girls set the all-time winning record for the FRCS Varsity level basketball with 7 wins,” stated Babcock. “For not having a varsity program in five years, these ladies didn’t play like a team – they played like a family, supporting each other on and off the court. The credit for this season goes to the girls, their determination, faithfulness, and heart.”

FRCS athletics now turns to varsity girls soccer and baseball. This is the first year that FRCS will have a baseball team. “We are excited to bring baseball to the FRCS athletic program,” shared Darrow. “Interest in team participation is high, and it should start us off strong.” Practice begins for both soccer and baseball this week.

Front Royal Christian School is a Pre-K through 12th-grade school in Front Royal, Virginia, that fosters your student’s innate learning potential. From special needs to gifted, FRCS is committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of its students and mediates a sense of competence, confidence, and belonging. FRCS provides the 21st-century learner, exceptional and challenging educational experiences, including college preparatory courses with a dual enrollment program with LFCC, performing arts, life skills, and athletics. For more information, call the school at 540-635-6799 or visit www.frontroyalchristianschool.com.

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I-66 Outside the Beltway Project: Lane closures and traffic changes – Week of February 16, 2020

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Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project construction continues throughout the corridor during daytime and overnight hours as weather conditions allow. Current activities include (new or updated items are bolded):

• The ramp from I-66 East to Route 123 North is scheduled to close Friday night, Feb. 21. Drivers will exit toward Route 123 South, stay left, then use two signal-controlled turn lanes to turn left onto northbound Route 123. Learn more

• Bridge demolition at Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) and Fairfax County Parkway Route (Route 286)

• Constructing bridge foundations at Route 29, Route 28, Waples Mill Road, Jermantown Road, Route 123, Vaden Drive, and I-495

• Small charge dynamite operations along I-66 East and West near Route 28

• Bridge deck work for new collector-distributor road over Route 234 Business (Sudley Road), new Route 28 bridges over I-66, and new Poplar Tree Road bridge over Route 28

• Relocating water lines at Jermantown Road, Stringfellow Road, and Gallows Road

• Constructing new utility duct bank and relocating underground utilities along I-66 East

• Constructing retaining walls along I-66 and Route 28

• Corridor-wide roadway maintenance as needed

The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project will add express lanes stretching 22.5 miles from the Capital Beltway to Route 29 in Gainesville, rebuild major interchanges along the I-66 corridor, create thousands of new park and ride spaces, and expand trail options for cyclists and pedestrians. Learn more at Transform66.org.

Upcoming Lane Closures and Traffic Changes
The following planned lane closures are expected to have significant traffic impacts. All work is subject to change based on weather and schedule. Find the latest information on travel conditions and work zones by visiting 511virginia.org or downloading the Virginia511 app.

ROUTE 29 / GAINESVILLE
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.

ROUTE 234 BUSINESS (SUDLEY ROAD) / MANASSAS
Ramp from I-66 West to Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) North
Tuesday, Feb. 18: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for underground drainage culvert work. Traffic will be detoured to Route 234 Business South, turn right at the third traffic signal onto Coverstone Drive, take the first right at Miramar Drive, turn right on Balls Ford Road, then turn left at the traffic signal on to northbound Route 234 Business.

I-66 East from Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) to Route 29 Centreville
Wednesday, Feb. 19: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three left lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.

Compton Road at I-66
Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Compton Road will be closed under I-66 while crews install bridge beams over Compton Road. Traffic will be directed to Route 29 (Lee Highway) via Bull Run Post Office Road or Old Centreville Road as an alternate and then back to Compton Road. Learn more

ROUTE 28 (SULLY ROAD) / CENTREVILLE
Route 28 North and South between Route 29 and Braddock Road
Braddock Road at Route 28
Ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 East
Wednesday, Feb. 19, through Friday, Feb. 21: 11 a.m. to noon
Temporary 15-minute stoppages of traffic on Route 28 North and South, and on Braddock Road near Route 28 for blasting operations. Additionally, stoppages will occur on the ramps from Route 28 North to I-66 East and West.

Compton Road at I-66
Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Compton Road will be closed under I-66 while crews install bridge beams over Compton Road. Traffic will be directed to Route 29 (Lee Highway) via Bull Run Post Office Road or Old Centreville Road as an alternate and then back to Compton Road. Learn more

I-66 East from Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) to Route 29 Centreville
Wednesday, Feb. 19: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three left lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.

ROUTE 286 (FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY) / FAIR LAKES
Stringfellow Road between Fair Lakes Boulevard and Village Square Drive
Monday, Feb. 17, through Friday, Feb. 21: 9 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21, from 9 p.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24
The right lane of southbound Stringfellow Road will be closed for underground utility relocation. The lane will be reopened weekdays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. to accommodate the evening rush.

Route 286 North from Route 29 (Lee Highway) to I-66
Monday, Feb. 17, through Thursday, Feb. 20: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for demolition of I-66 bridges over Route 286. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages along northbound Route 286.

Route 286 South from Fair Lakes Parkway to I-66
Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Thursday, Feb. 20: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for demolition of I-66 bridges over Route 286. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages.

Ramp from I-66 West to Route 286 (Fairfax County Parkway) South
Thursday, Feb. 20, and Friday, Feb. 21: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for overhead bridge demolition. Traffic will be directed to Route 286 North, stay to the right and take the exit for Fair Lakes Parkway/Monument Drive, at the traffic signal make a left on to westbound Fair Lakes Parkway, then stay to the left and follow signs to Route 286 South.

ROUTE 50 / FAIRFAX
I-66 East from Route 608 (West Ox Road) to Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Tuesday, Feb. 18: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three left lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.

Ramp from Route 50 West to I-66 West
Tuesday, Feb. 18: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for utility work. Traffic will be detoured farther west to Route 608 (West Ox Road) South, stay to the right for Route 50 East, then follow signs to I-66 West.

ROUTE 123 (CHAIN BRIDGE ROAD) / OAKTON – CITY OF FAIRFAX
I-66 East from Waples Mill Road to Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Tuesday, Feb. 18: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge demolition at Route 123 between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

I-66 East at Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
I-66 East Collector-Distributor Lane at Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Ramps from I-66 East to Route 123 North and South
Wednesday, Feb. 19, and Thursday, Feb. 20: Midnight to 4 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22: Midnight to 5 a.m.
The ramps from I-66 East to Route 123 North and South and the collector-distributor lane will be closed for overhead bridge demolition at Route 123. Traffic will be detoured farther east to Route 243 (Nutley Street) North, stay to the right for I-66 West, then follow signs to Route 123 North or South. Additionally, the right lane of I-66 East at Route 123 will be closed.

Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) North and South from I-66 to Eaton Place
Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
One lane will be closed on northbound and southbound Route 123 for crews to implement a traffic pattern change at the ramp from I-66 East to Route 123 North.

ROUTE 243 (NUTLEY STREET) / VIENNA
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.

I-495 (CAPITAL BELTWAY) / DUNN LORING
Ramp from I-66 East to 495 Express Lanes South
Tuesday, Feb. 18: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The ramp from I-66 East to the 495 Express Lanes South will be closed for utility work. Drivers will be directed to take the exit for the I-495 South general-purpose lanes.

Commuter Alternatives
VDOT and the project team have invested in a broad range of programs to help commuters and others stay mobile and safe during construction. Learn more about carpool, vanpool, telework, and commuter bus alternatives.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
19
Wed
8:45 am Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Feb 19 @ 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now (RON) together with Skyline Middle School to host its 1st annual Career Day, “Passport to Success.” Joining with area business leaders, Warren County Public School, as we come together to empower our[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 19 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
2:00 pm Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Feb 19 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
All are invited to the Rotary Club of the Shenandoah Valley (The Area ONE|ders) blood drive on Wednesday, February 19th, from 2pm-7pm, at the Front Royal United Methodist Church (1 W. Main St. Front Royal)[...]
Feb
20
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 20 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Feb
21
Fri
9:00 am Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Feb 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Are you considering independent, corporate, or social entrepreneurship, or being groomed to take over a family business? Then, this workshop is for you! Topics to be covered: Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur The Importance of[...]
Feb
22
Sat
10:00 am Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths @ Strokes of Creativity
Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths @ Strokes of Creativity
Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths In this beginner level class, you will learn some basic crochet stitches and pattern reading to make pretty dishcloths for your home. Instruction will be for right-handed crochet. Please pre-register!
11:00 am Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars is a special needs art discovery program. This program is for ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 22. Participants should have a caregiver or attendant present in the program.
12:30 pm Crochet Workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Crochet Workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 22 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Crochet Workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Crochet Workshop Do you have a crochet project you need a little help with? Already bought the supplies, but need help reading the pattern? All skill levels are invited to this Bring Your Own Project[...]
1:00 pm Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Stop by Petco located at 2580 S Pleasant Valley Rd. on Saturday, February 22, between 1 and 4 PM. Meet the amazing Petco adoption team from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke, learn more about[...]
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]