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FEB 2016

vaOBSERVER.com A MONTHLY MAGAZINE SERVING CLARKE COUNTY

Lovely winter, awaiting spring


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FEBRUARY 201 6

Trivia Night Grab your smartest friends and join us at Barns of Rose Hill on Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, from 7-9pm for CCHA’s Live Trivia Night. Prices will go to the top three teams.

INSIDE THE OBSERVER FEATURES The New Career and Technical Education

Tickets are $5 for CCHA members and $8 for non-members. To order, please call Barns of Rose Hill at 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org/events

By Jess Clawson

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VAOBSERVSER.COM SELLING HOMES, FARMS and LAND

Hill High Bakery and BBQ Company By Claire Stuart

Marcy Knows the Local Market

ON THE COVER Snowy Reflections of Clarke County. Photo by Warren Krupsaw.

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4

Aging in Place

5

Real Estate

6

Around Clarke County

9

As the Crow Flies

14

Make a Little Plan Sam

15

A Threat to Our Walnut Trees

16

Barns of Rose Hill

12


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F EBRUARY 201 6

FROM THE EDITOR STAFF

David Lillard, Editor/Publisher Jennifer Welliver, Associate Publisher Aundrea Humphreys, Art Director Hali Taylor, Proofreader

CONTRIBUTORS Karen Cifala Jess Clawson Wendy Gooditis Victoria Kidd Doug Pifer JiJi Russell Claire Stuart Annie Young

COVER PHOTO Warren Krupsaw

ADVERTISING SALES Jennifer Welliver

Advertising Information 540-398-1450 (Mon-Fri, 9-5) Sales@vaOBSERVER.com

AD DEADLINE 1ST OF EACH MONTH The Observer prints signed letters-to-the-editor of uniquely local interest. Letters containing personal attacks or polarizing language will not be published. Letters may be edited. Send letters to the editor of 300 or fewer words to editor@vaOBSERVER.com or to:

THE OBSERVER

PO Box 3088 Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Not My Father’s Vo-Tech By and large, the way we go about educating young people today is not substantially different than it was 100 years ago. Sure, modern kids learn to use computers — basically word processing and how to make slide presentations. Think how much the world has changed in the last 60 or so years, yet our education model is still oldschool, typically involving one teacher talking to students seated for the duration. Our public education system was crafted to shape factory and industrial workers. Its goal was to give workers some basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills, teach them how to show up on time, listen to directions, and stay put for several hours at a stretch. Back then, there was a teacher’s creed that went, in effect, “Sit down, shut up, and listen to me.” It worked for a while. One of the reasons our manufacturing economy was the envy of the world for so long, some education researchers say, was that the system worked. Into the middle of the 20th century, dropping out of high school was not unusual. My own father was forced to leave high school after ninth grade after his father died. He had to

work to help support the family. In 1947, that’s what kids in his situation did. Fortunately, thanks to his stint in the “vocational” high school, he was ready for the marketplace of the day. He was able to put seven children through college and retire at the age of 53 with a nice pension. The space age, the information age, and the global economy — everything has changed since the ‘40s. Except the way we train teachers and teach kids. You could take a kid from 1947 and drop her or him into a modern classroom, and the routine would offer comforting familiarity. One area of public education, though, has changed with the times. Career and technical education has continued to evolve and innovate. First came the shift toward programs to prepare students to earn a postsecondary credential or industry-recognized certification. Now programs are emerging that create that bridge within the high school classroom. In this edition, we offer the first of three articles by Jess Clawson on new and — we think — exciting changes underway in Clarke County. It’s a lot different than it was in Dad’s day, as it should be.

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FEBRUARY 201 6

Aging in Place

Home modifications that make sense By Karen Cifala

We have a lot of beautiful older homes in Clarke County, and sometimes these homes cannot safely accommodate people as they age. Your home is where you feel most comfortable and it’s no wonder that more people are looking for a way to ensure that they can stay there. To meet the specific needs of people living in or visiting the home, renovations and adaptations can be made. Depending on your budget and the type and style of your home, modifications can be as simple as removing rugs and thresholds to prevent tripping, or installing grab bars at various locations. Replacing the old flip light switch to a motion sensor, remote control or a rocker-wall light switch can make all the difference in the world to some people. Some of these can be done by you at a low cost, but many require a professional. Making the home barrierfree can take some resourceful

thinking. Let’s start with no-step entries. Ramps can take the place of stairs; or a garage lift for someone who uses a wheelchair. Ramps don’t have to be unsightly. They can be landscaped to blend with the home. Wider doorways are a must for a wheelchair or a walker. Consider replacing standard 30” or 32” door with a wider 36” or larger doors to accommodate a wheelchair or a walker. Bathrooms and Kitchens: If you do end up fully remodeling your bathroom or your kitchen, try to get a full 4’ or more of turning radius for a wheel chair as well as some of the following brilliant modifications. Roll-in showers, wet rooms or larger showers with low thresholds can be installed to accommodate a wheelchair, stool or a sitting chair. A wet room allows for no curb, barrier-free showering. They are fully tiled walk-in shower rooms with no need for a tub or

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shower enclosure. Planning a wet room with a wall hung toilet and sink would truly make your bathroom barrier-free. Heightadjustable handheld shower heads are great as well. The walk in bathtubs are great for some people who want or need the hydrotherapy, but they still have thresholds and may still create an obstacle getting in and out. Anti-scald valves, known as pressure-balance valves compensate for sudden changes in both hot and cold water lines. If your old home is prone to sudden changes in water temperature this might be an option to prevent a person from jumping or losing their balance in the shower, not to mention getting scalded. Replace older style bath and kitchen faucets handles with paddle style handles or touch faucets that pull down and turn the hot and cold on with one hand. Elevated toilets can help prevent falls. A 19” toilet

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means that the seat is 19 inches from the floor, compared to a standard which is 15”. Four inches might not seem like a big difference but it makes it easier for the elderly to get up and down, coupled with an assistance railing. They also make different kinds of flushing mechanisms which could make it easier. Lower wall-mounted bathroom and kitchen sinks with no vanities will make it easier to roll a chair underneath, but be mindful of the possible hot or sharp sink connections underneath that might need to be covered. If needed, you could consider replacing the standard 36” high countertop with a lower one. Lower roll-out shelves in both the bath and the kitchen work well as do walk-in closets with different heights of storage. A Stair or Chair Lift can be installed if your old colonial home lacks any place to install a bathroom on the main floor or all of the bedrooms are upstairs. Chair Lifts fit to the stairs, not the wall and can be made to fit just about any staircase. Air quality is important and needs to be safeguarded. Your basement and roofs need to be checked for water infiltration. Mold can accumulate over a short period of time. Common areas for mold growth in homes are in basements, showers and areas around heating and

cooling appliances. The best way to guard against mold is to ensure that are no active leaks or areas where moisture is collecting regularly. Ductwork, in particular, can be a source of unhealthy air. Paying for these modifications is what’s next on everyone’s mind. Basically, unless you fall under one of the following categories (veterans, low-income or vocational rehabilitation) your sources for funding assistance are limited. You can save some money through tax deductions, second-hand products and senior discounts. Depending on your insurance policy, there might be some equipment and home modification coverage available. Paying for the modifications yourself, taking out a home equity line of credit, finding a low-interest rate loan or setting up a reverse mortgage are also options. Changes that you make to your home, if designed and executed well, will enhance the value of your home. A big thanks to Randy Sprouse, a local Class A General Contractor for his help and suggestions. You can reach him at 540-664-9100. Karen Cifala is a Realtor with Remax Roots in Berryville. She welcomes your suggestions on other topics and she can be reached at Remax Roots in Berryville, 540955-0911, (cell 303-817-9374) or you can email her at kcifala@gmail. com.


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F EBRUARY 201 6

Real Estate

Adding Value Through Renovation By Wendy Gooditis I know I am not alone in my fondness for TV shows about renovating houses. My attachment is long-standing, beginning with long ago how-to shows on PBS — in particular, This Old House series and its descendants. When HGTV came along, the abundance of these shows almost satiated my appetite. Almost. Oh, the glorious new kitchens, gleaming bathrooms, acres of hardwood floors, and elevations of stairways — and all completed in 30 minutes! And afterwards, all the houses had doubled, nay, tripled in value. What paradise for the homeowner. It was heavenly allowing myself to believe in all of it. Most of those hours of enjoyment occurred before I became a real estate agent. These days, my enjoyment of these shows is still extant, but I am more educated about what I’m seeing. So I want to explain how the quality and the extent of the renovation really affect the value and marketability of a house. First of all, a house and grounds should be clean, neat, and in good working order to attain its top value. Without these conditions, the house has a chunk cut out of its market value — sometimes that chunk is a huge one. Secondly, there are fairly simple, cosmetic

updates that can truly add value. For example: • Fresh paint in currently popular shades (not necessarily all neutral), •

Refinished hardwood,

New carpet and flooring,

• New faucets and fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens, •

New kitchen countertops.

And again, clean, clean, clean! Corners and edges of woodwork and baseboards, power-washed decks, scrubbed or freshly grouted ceramic tile in the bathrooms. But beyond the simple things, how can you do a renovation that makes your house the one everyone wants when it comes time for you to sell? We recently sold a house in a lovely quiet neighborhood in Winchester which had started life as a humble brick ranch house sometime in the 1950s. But through the years, the changes made by various homeowners gradually enhanced it. The most recent homeowners did such a fantastic and thorough job that the house sold for top dollar within a week. The house isn’t huge, and it isn’t exactly fancy, but it is really appealing. Here are some features that made the house so desirable: Gorgeous kitchen and

bathroom renovations. Of course, kitchens and bathrooms probably matter the most, but this kitchen and these bathrooms are original and bold. They are built with good materials, and more importantly, the design is thoughtful, well-planned, with nothing cookie-cutter about it. Beautiful floors. Some of the floors are wide hardwood, some are good carpet, and some are stone or ceramic. What they have in common is their quality and the design impact they make wherever they are. For example, the hallway along the bedrooms and bathrooms is done in a gray stone: very original. It’s a way to give real interest to what would have been a boring little space. Handsomely designated spaces. The rooms in this house have been truly defined, and those definitions have been enhanced with built-ins which invite use. The small laundry area downstairs would in many houses be enclosed by standard louvered folding doors, but in this house is hidden behind huge sliding doors with tops of frosted glass. The doors are

dramatic and beautiful, and add architectural interest. Truly fantastic landscaping. The outdoor spaces have been attended to as much or more than the indoor spaces, with the result that one doesn’t know where to go first: the lovely rustic table under the pergola (Provencale style), the sweet swing tucked into a beautiful corner of the yard, or the front porch so gracefully adorned by the ivy cultivated in a trellis pattern on the shabby chic brick wall. As a rule, the spaces in this house aren’t large, and they don’t appear elaborate to the point of fussiness. It is all eminently livable and relaxed. In my opinion, most of what the owners have done, they did to please themselves — risk-free for those gifted with impeccable taste! So they had their cake — living in their redone house — and ate it too by selling it for top dollar. Not everyone has such perfect taste, it’s true, but buyers do actually like a house with personality. There is another way to do renovations, an all too common one. People try to please the

greatest number of potential buyers by trying not to offend. The results: all the carpet is tan, all the granite counters are tan, all the ceramic tile in the bathrooms is tan, all the … well, you get the idea. Neutral colors have their place, but that place is rarely at the top end of the market. On the other hand, it is foolish to overspend on renovations in an area or in a market where you can’t make your investment back, much less profit from it. It is a good idea to make a study of recent sales in your neighborhood, perhaps with the help of a real estate professional, to plan the amount of effort and money that has the best chance of bringing you a good return. Meanwhile, I suggest you make changes that really please you, and do them as well as you can. Wendy Gooditis is a real estate agent on the Chip Schutte Real Estate Team with ReMax Roots at 101 East Main St., Berryville, VA 22611, phone (540)955-0911. Wendy would be happy to answer any questions you may have about real estate; reach her at Gooditis@ visuallink.com or at (540)533-0840.

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FEBRUARY 201 6

Around Clarke County Promote your event in TO Send notices by the 1st of the preceding month to jennifer@vaobserver.com. Keep event descriptions to 125 words, following the format of these pages. One or two CMYK photos, saved as tiff or jpg at 200 dpi, are always welcome. February

13 Self-Defense Basics Clarke County Recreation Center, 255 Al Smith Circle, Berryville; 6:45–8:45pm. Learn awareness of one’s surroundings, how to create escape routes, hit & run tactics, releases from holds, fighting strategies and use of common objects as self-defense tools. Ages 16 and up. 1 class. Instructor: Steven LaForce. $13 For information call 540-9555140.

15

Red Cross Babysitter Training

Clarke County Recreation Center, 255 Al Smith Circle, Berryville; 9am–3:30pm. This course can help participants care for children and infants, be a good leader and role model, make good decisions and solve problems, keep the children you baby-sit and yourself safe, handle emergencies such as injuries, illnesses and household accidents, and more. Bring a packed lunch. Successful completion of final tests is required for certification. Ages 11–15. $70. 1 class. For more information call 540-955-5140.

20

Furnace Mountain

w/ Julie Miles Art Exhibit Opening. Barns of Rose Hill, 95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville. A special evening of music by Furnace Mountain and artwork by Julie Miles. Furnace Mountain is Aimee

Curl on bass and vocals, Danny Knicely on mandolin and fiddle, Dave Van Deventer on fiddle, and Morgan Morrison on guitar, bouzouki, and vocals. The band creates music that is at times lively and raucous, with spirited fiddle melodies weaving in and around the powerful rhythms of the bass and bouzouki, and other times poignant and poetic. Exhibit opens at 7. Music starts at 8. $15 in advance $20 at the door. For information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

20

4-H Spaghetti Dinner & Auction

Clarke County Ruritan Building. Dinner is from 5–7pm (including silent auction). Live auction starts at 6:30. Auction items typically include homemade cakes, wine tastings, Rubbermaid products, home & garden items, sporting goods, restaurant gift certificates, collectibles, toys, gift baskets, live trees and much more! The funds raised will help the Clarke County 4-H Volunteer Leaders’ Association (VLA) improve and enhance opportunities available to 4-H members. VLA directly supports the 4-H youth and its educational programs such as 4-H camp scholarship assistance, regional, state and national educational competitions, and higher education scholarships. The mission of 4-H is to empower youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.

Furnace Mountain will perform at The Barns on February 20.

21

Terra Voce

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville. Terra Voce is a flute and cello duo known for lively and creative programs combining the diverse and the unexpected. Cellist Andrew Gabbert and flutist Elizabeth Brightbill thrill audiences with their virtuosity, engaging, conversational style of presentation, and their

genre-expanding programs that explore musical styles ranging from Baroque to Brazilian choro, contemporary tango, Irish traditional, and beyond. Concert starts at 4pm. doors open at 3:30. $20 in advance. $25 at the door. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.

26

Salam Neighbor

Barns of Rose Hill. 95

Chalmers Ct., Berryville. Salam (Hello) Neighbor is a film and campaign to connect the world to refugees. Immerse yourself into the life of a Syrian refugee through the journey of Chris and Zach as the first filmmakers allowed to be registered and given a tent inside of a refugee camp. In Syria alone, more than 4 million people have fled the country to escape the atrocities of war. Movie starts

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F EBRUARY 201 6 passionate music. Music starts at 8. Doors open at 7:30. $20 in advance $25 at the door. For information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org; see article on page 16.

4

Sunflowers, featured at the Firehouse Gallery Trunk Art Show.

at 7. Doors open at 6:30. There is a suggested donation of $10; 70% of proceeds go to Save the Children www.savethechildren. org. For information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

28

Winter Film Series

Mistress America, at the Barns of Rose Hill, 95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville. College freshman Tracy Fishko (Lola Kirke) is having trouble adjusting to college life at Barnard. On her mother’s advice she contacts her soonto-be stepsister, who also lives in New York, Brooke (Greta Gerwig). Tracy is immediately entranced by Brooke and her life-style, and becomes wrapped up in Brooke’s dream to open

a restaurant. The Winter Film Series is presented by Barns of Rose Hill and Magic Lantern Theater. Film starts at 4. Doors open at 3:30. $5 for BORH and Magic Lantern members. $8 for non-members. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.

March

2

Russian Duo

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville. Russian Duo is an international project, born out of a love of traditional music and classical elegance. Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika virtuoso, and Terry Boyarsky, masterful pianist, have teamed up for exuberant performances of soulful,

DIY Zodiac Constellation Embroidery

March 5th 7-9pm $30 per person

The Plank Stompers

Barns of Rose Hill, 95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville. Plank Stompers do not like to think of themselves as a group; but rather, as a movement. Before knowing Plank Stompers, you must first know the Preamble to the Stompstitution: “We, the Stompers of the United Planks, in order to form a more funky union, establish ruckus, insure intergalactic stank-quility, and provide listening pleasure to whoever we may encounter along the way, do hereby proclaim: If sound was butter, and the last 250 years were a biscuit, then Plank Stompers would be the hypothetical knife that smears, scrapes, and swirls all of the sounds from the past together. Pickaxes and pianos, war whoops and woodwinds, fiddles sawin’ and crows cawin’, bass drones and mobile phones, all getting pushed into a greasy noise anthology.” Music starts at 8. Doors open at 7:30. $15 in advance $20 at the door. For information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

4

Craft Night at Modern Mercantile!

For more info: Email:modernmercantilellc@gmail Call: 540-955-1830

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/5 Trunk Art Show

by Cosmic Harvest! Fire House Gallery. 23 E. Main Street. Berryville. 5–7pm Friday. 11am–4pm Saturday. Local artists Keith and Kelli Patterson will share not only their art, but their philosophy in our first Trunk Art Show. They believe in supporting sustainable agriculture and will be donating part of their proceeds to a local organization (as yet undecided). Keith works with acrylics, using his own “drip and splatter” technique and bold color palettes that blend to create a unique vibrancy on his paintings. Kelli works in mixed media collages and incorporates vintage and repurposed items into her pieces. For more information

Duck Pond, Boyce Fine house with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths on 39 acres – Well cared for and well maintained – Wrap-around porches - Master bedroom on main level – Kitchen and baths updated – Lovely property - Excellent 4 stall barn with hot and cold water wash stall and heated tack room – Board fencing – Paddocks - Very good run-in shed – Level land, mostly open – Pond - Invisible fence on 10 acres - Blue Ridge Hunt territory. $1,027,000

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FEBRUARY 201 6

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5

Book Signing

Best selling local author Forrest Pritchard at the Fire House Gallery, 23 E. Main Street. Berryville; 1-3 pm. the author of Growing Tomorrow and Gaining Ground will be at the Gallery to sign books and answer questions about sustainable farming and life as a farmer/writer from Clarke County. Refreshments will include nitrate-free beef sticks and other delicious foods from the author’s Smith Meadows Farm. For information visit Firehousegalleryva.com or call 540-955-4001.

10

Sketch This!

A Drawing Workshop with Tia Maggio, Fire House Gallery. 23 E. Main Street. Berryville; 7pm. Learn how to draw what you see, not what you know, with artist and teacher Tia Maggio. Tia is an artist based in Millwood with 15 years experience as an art educator. With creative exercises in a relaxed environment, master the basics of drawing. Supplies included. $40/session. More classes coming in April. No prior experience necessary— artists of all levels are welcome. For information visit Firehousegalleryva.com or call 540-955-4001.

13

Madeline MacNeil Concert

Barns of Rose Hill, 95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville. Join Madeline MacNeil for an evening of tunes and songs. Since 1972, when she began performing in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, MacNeil has brought listeners into the song. Her interest in stories first brought the mountain and hammered dulcimers to her attention, for they are part of this country’s musical history. She’s been honored by folk organizations and festivals across the country. Music starts at 6:30pm. Doors open at 6. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.

VAOBSERVER.COM In Memory: JoAnna Williams Schulz by Cathrine Via Burzio and Patricia Fox

This is the day the lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. - Psalm 118:24 On Sunday, January 3, family and friends gathered to share the life of JoAnna Williams Schulz. If it wasn’t clear before, it couldn’t be missed after … JoAnna loved fiercely and was fiercely loved. "Beginnings are scary, endings are very sad; it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.” - Sandra Bullock, Hope Floats JoAnna didn’t have an easy life, but she had a lot to live for. Her brothers shared of a family divided, but bound by a deep unspoken love. For JoAnna, she found her emotional voice with the love of her life, JD. Their union created two precious children, Alecia and Ted. “This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed JD’s too soon departure left a great void in their small woven tapestry. With determination

and without complaint, JoAnna raised her children to fly on their own, never missing a chance to encourage, prod, redirect, cheer on…or laugh. JoAnna knit together a family, not just by blood, but in community. Her laughter, her joy in friendship and family, her faith will be missed… but it lives on in those who shared her life. Everything in between is what makes life worth living and meant everything to JoAnna! She was loved deeply and will be missed fiercely. Through JoAnna we found it is okay to say “I Love You”! “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller


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F EBRUARY 201 6

As the Crow Flies

A Bird In The House An adventure with a Carolina wren, a kitchen in winter, and bright white pied piper Story and illustration by Doug Pifer A Carolina wren got into the kitchen. We found it fluttering against the window pane when we came down for coffee this morning. My wife, who has quicker reflexes than I, tried to quietly catch the bird so we could let it outside. She had it in her cupped hands but it managed to escape through a small space between two of her fingers and flew to the top of the kitchen cabinet. There it stopped to rest, panting with stress. When a bird gets into the house, the best way to get it out is to open a door or window and leave the room so the bird can find its way out calmly on its own. But this was a twentyfive degree Sunday morning in January and we didn’t want to lose all the heat in the kitchen. And I didn’t want to stress the bird further by chasing it around. The way outside was down a set of stairs through the cellar way. And to put as much distance between itself and danger as possible, a bird

usually wants to fly up, not down. To solve the problem I went to the studio and found a white, 20 by 30 inch canvas stretched on a wooden frame. By the time I returned to the kitchen the wren had flown to the brick wall above the kitchen door. So far, so good. Very slowly I opened the door and sneaked back up the stairs while the bird quietly watched from its safe perch. I continued to move slowly. I picked up the canvas and raised it as high over my head as I could without waving the canvas around. The bird calmly moved down the brick wall towards the door. Continuing to hold the canvas still, I slowly moved down the stairs. The bird hitched its way toward the open space below and quickly flew out, heading towards the woods across the paddock. The wren was apparently none the worse for its experience other than the loss of a few tail feathers. We found the feathers behind some plants on the window sill. Our cat had

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evidently pounced on the bird when it came in, knocking the pots in disarray. Cleaning this mess up, I also discovered how the bird had gotten into the house. Between the brick wall and the window frame was a small hole, through which I could see outside. Thanks to that Carolina wren, we’ve discovered part of the heating problem in the kitchen! Living in old farm houses for many years, my wife and I have had our share of visits by birds. Chimney swifts and starlings enter through the chimney, usually by accident. Wrens come in voluntarily, following their mouse-like tendency to explore dark crevices. Other birds fly in through an open door or window. While we’re honored to have them, we realize they probably don’t want to be there. We help them escape as soon as possible. And

in every instance we’ve been able to learn something new about the birds. Some people believe a bird in the house is a bad omen or are afraid of birds. However you feel about this, move slowly and be aware a bird will panic

if it feels trapped! To resolve things with minimal stress just open a door or window, then take yourself, family and pets elsewhere, and relax. The bird will probably find its own way out in a very short time.


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FEBRUARY 201 6

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The New Career and Technical Education C&T program brings opportunities for Clarke County students By Jess Clawson This month begins a series examining career and technical education in the U.S. in order to help readers more fully comprehend the significance and potential impact of the new programs in Clarke County High School. This installment provides an overview of new local career and technical education initiatives. The next two months will give an overview of the history of vocational training, with insights into the progress of the programs at CCHS. Jess Clawson has a PhD in education history from the University of Florida. Educators everywhere are concerned about improving the academic performance of students who struggle to achieve in schools, as well as the career and higher education outcomes for high school graduates. Clarke County Schools Superintendent William “Chuck” Bishop is no different. In the December school board meeting, he announced plans for Clarke

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County High School to begin a career and technical education program for CCHS students. Clarke County High School has always had courses that filled the CTE role, and this year is incorporating a workbased learning program in partnership with local businesses and industry leaders. Clarke County High School Principal Dana Waring and Director of Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Seal have examined industry data to provide opportunities for students in fields that are hiring. Twenty students this year will have the opportunity to work with professionals in their area of career interest. “Students will be able to meet with and observe whatever experience comes from those community partners, to determine whether it’s something they want to do and pursue,” says Waring. “For instance, the student who

wants to be a physical therapist might realize ‘this might not be for me,’ and those experiences are just as valuable.” Local business owners who are willing to let students shadow them can offer a variety of experiences to help the students confirm or deny their initial interest in the field. The school is working with about twenty participating businesses covering a wide array of interests, from exotic veterinarians to CPAs to agricultural businesses. They are hoping to expand into opportunities in food service, as well as locations in Winchester, particularly the Old Town Mall. The degree of handson experience varies by placement. For instance, Seal says, a student interested in construction may not be able to do much on the site because of their age, but someone interested in architecture may get to learn how the software works. “They are going to be


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F EBRUARY 201 6 spending a significant number of hours with the employer in the field,” according to Seal. “We’ve left it wide open, so kids who are involved in sports and extracurriculars can tailor the program to meet their scheduling needs.” The initiative at CCHS has two major partnerships: Valley Health and Lord Fairfax Community College. Students at CCHS can get their Certified Nursing Assistant credential, and each year three students in the nurse aid program have the opportunity to do a paid internship with Valley Health. This provides economic opportunity, as the pay starts at $15/hour, and supports their college application materials. Prior to placement, they will have completed coursework and other clinical experience like visits to the local nursing home. According to Waring, “the vast majority of [CNA] students go into nursing.” The cooperation with LFCC will expand upon the handson technical education CCHS offers. The local high school may not have the equipment available to give students the chance to learn about things like HVAC, electrical work, or welding. Through their work with LFCC, students will get two certifications and a college credit. The partnership with LFCC is a consortium agreement and will include students from Warren, Frederick, and Winchester schools, along with Clarke County. Lord Fairfax will take 15 students combined, and CCHS has been allocated three spots. As the program evolves, more spots may become available and more programs offered. Seal sees this as a tremendous opportunity for students: “Being the size that we are with one high school and a little over 700 students, we have to look to those community partnerships and opportunities that are available, because we can’t

offer the variety of pathways and the variety of course offerings within this building,” she says. “We don’t have staff, we don’t have budget, we don’t have space. So that partnership with Lord Fairfax and that partnership with Valley Health is a good attempt to provide kids career exposure.” Some opportunities for dual enrollment with Shenandoah University are also possible for students, particularly through the sports medicine course at CCHS. The course, taught by sports trainer Lindsey Greigo, is a daily block class with high medical terminology that Waring describes as intense and challenging. The state is putting increased focus on career and technical education, including widening its reach into middle school. Eighth grade students are meant to have a career pathway document completed with the assistance of a guidance counselor to bring with them to high school. This helps Waring and the high school counselors assist them in choosing the appropriate coursework. Seal believes this effort should be moved into the elementary division. “We certainly know kids aren’t going to decide in fifth grade what they’re going to be for the rest of their lives,” she says, “But if we can help them start to understand what their strengths are and what they’re naturally interested in and guide them down that path, it would be really helpful.” Seal is part of the Top of the Valley Regional Chamber Committee, and as a function of work on the strategic plan, proposed a project to get fourth and fifth grade students exposed to more career and industry pathways. While teachers might bring architects or other professionals to their classes to talk to students, the entire school is not necessarily exposed to those ideas. “We

need to firm up more consistent efforts for kids to realize the vast array of careers,” Seal says. The school system is doing more career exploration at earlier ages. In the fall semester, for instance, all of the seventh grades in Clarke County, as well as surrounding counties, went to the sports complex in Winchester for a middle school-appropriate career fair. Students would go through the fair and do activities that simulated work in the field. As Seal described it, “They didn’t have a firefighter talking to them about what it was like to be a firefighter… They actually suited up and went through a tunnel that was like a smoke/heat simulation to see what it was like.” Beginning with the graduating class of 2017, all Virginia students on a standard diploma need a CTE requirement, but are not actually required to take CTE courses. This requirement is fulfilled through a standardized CTE exam. “The interesting piece to me is that they did not mandate that you have to take a CTE course,” says Seal. “They just said you have to pass the test. So I think they have some work to do in that area.” Clarke County will mitigate this problem through having all students take economics and personal finance—also mandated by the state—and using the accompanying standardized exam as their certification. Subsequent installments will cover more details of the CCHS CTE initiative as well as the historical background that gives context to the local innovations. Next month, the history of Reconstruction and the debates over black education will feature the Josephine School Museum and its place in the vocational versus classical liberal arts education debates.

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Kyla and Debbie, photo by Claire Stuart.

If you’ve travelled east of Berryville on Route 7, you no doubt passed the covered wagon that marked Hill High Country Store in Round Hill. And, it’s likely that you may have stopped to sample some of their famous pies. Sadly, they closed in 2014, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go pieless! On July 4, 2015, Hill High opened in a slightly different incarnation on Route 340 just a bit south of downtown Berryville. It’s now called Hill High Bakery and BBQ Com-

pany, owned by Debbie Heimburger and her daughter Kyla. It is carryout only, but there are picnic tables outside for use in good weather. Debbie was working nonstop as she talked, mixing up a huge tub of salad dressing, then quickly transitioning to chopping apples. “My inlaws owned Hill High Country Store,” she says, “and Kyla worked there weekends and school vacations. She now co-owns this store with me. We’re an all woman-owned business. There is no guy be-

hind the scenes smoking the meat for us!” She stresses that all the food is freshly prepared, and all of the meats are smoked right there. They make their own sausages—English breakfast, Italian and chicken. “And we will be smoking our own bacon.” They feature pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket and chicken barbecue, for sandwiches, meals or by the pound. There is a long list of freshly-made popular sides like coleslaw, mac-&cheese, baked beans, and potato salad. Most people commonly think of pulled pork when they think of barbecue, but Debbie says that an increasing number of people are choosing brisket as their favorite. “Once they taste the brisket, they keep coming back,” she reports. Debbie is a certified judge in the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Why Kansas City? Because Virginia doesn’t have a barbecue society. And what does it mean? “I can judge barbecue for taste, tenderness and texture. And they have meetings, and I get to go and eat a lot of good food!” she laughed.


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Hill High pies, photo by Claire Stuart.

She went on to explain that Hill High makes North Carolina style barbecue. “It’s all dry rub and we make a big variety of sauces.” Kyla added, “We make all of our own soups and chili. We make chili daily and a soup of the day. What other soup we make depends on the weather. We try to use local produce in our soups.” Along with barbecue, the big attraction is the pies. They regularly bake around 20 kinds of pies, as well as cakes, cookies, bread, rolls, quickbreads, and cheesecakes. In addition to the pies you would expect — apple, cherry, and blueberry — there are surprises like walnut-caramel-apple, French silk, and five fruit (apples, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and rhubarb). “I love the pumpkin pie,” Kyla reported. “I could eat it all year round.” Some days they bake half a dozen pies, some days three or four dozen, and more on weekends. They start baking early in the morning, and additional pies are baked as needed because they do not want them left over. They will bake pies for special orders. Debbie and Kyla are happy that two women who worked at the old location made the move

with them. Meghan Snapp does all sorts of baking and Kay Bowman runs the smoker. Says Debbie “We all like to play with food. We’ll make different soups and try them on each other. Soups are a big competition.” “Meghan bakes the cakes and cookies and things,” says Kyla. “If you want something special, she’ll bake it for you.” Debbie explained that they relocated from Round Hill because she wanted to make changes to the property but they did not have a lease. They were excited when the present location became available. “Lots of our old customers found us, and lots of new ones

discovered us,” she says, “and the people in this area have been terrific to us and very encouraging.” She threw in a plug for the talented yearbook production students of Clarke County High School who designed a new logo for the business. Their biggest focus now is getting their catering business up and running. They can do large or small parties, weddings, and fund-raisers as well as pig roasts, meat-and-cheese platters, tubs of chili, and special occasion cakes. “We can do anything from pick-up catering to full service,” says Debbie. You’ll also find a big selection of locally-made foods in the store, including jams and jellies, honey, apple butter and salsa. Debbie and Kyla are very environmentally-conscious, so they offer a rather unusual service. They will share their fresh produce trimmings for composting to anyone who brings their own bucket—first come, first served! Hill High Bakery and BBQ Company is located at 6967 Lord Fairfax Highway (Route 340). Open Tuesday through Thursday 8am–6pm; Friday & Saturday 8am–8pm, Sunday 9am–5pm; closed Mondays.

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Make a Little Plan Sam Moving an idea from dream to reality begins with getting it out of your head by J.C.Coon

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I recently had the opportunity to attend a Small Congregation Training Day sponsored by the Winchester District United Methodist Church. The guest speaker was a great fan of the singer/ song writer Paul Simon; hence his presentation was seasoned with quotes (or mis-quotes) from Simon’s music. The one that keeps rotating in my brain is Make a Little Plan Sam. The lyrics are about how to leave your lover, and the original words were “Make a New Plan Stan”. How many of us have ‘lovers’ that we need to leave? The opening lines remind us that “the problem is inside your head.” “Take it logically; I’d like to help you in your struggle, to be free.” What wise words. Our struggles are often just inside our head, and they hold us hostage. As a writer, I like to sit down with pencil and paper, and with my own hand write out my thoughts. Writing my thought down takes it out of my brain. I like this saying by E.M. Forster: “How do I know what I think till I see what I say.” Putting my thoughts on paper takes them out of my head (where they often float around in a random pattern) and begins the process of going from a dream

or an idea to a reality. Think of putting what is in your head on paper as a comparison to taking a seed and planting it in the soil. So back to the Plan Sam. We all have dreams/ ideas/plans. If we have a Plan Sam it might help us to make better choices. If we take the time to actually put that Plan Sam on a piece of paper (or maybe in your ‘Notes”), it gives you something to look at, a goal to work toward. Many years ago I gave up on New Year resolutions. I wrote the same ones every year and broke them all before Martin Luther King Day. I think a Plan Sam is a wee bit different than New Years resolutions. A Plan Sam is a lifetime goal. Go big. where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? Write it down. Next write an outline of an action plan. Now tuck it away in your sock drawer. Let it sit there till you run out of socks. Open it up look at it, edit it. Put it back in the sock drawer, repeat. Who knows where that dream/idea/plan will lead you but at least you now have a Plan Sam. Oh, one more thing we learned in our training session. You actually, right now, have everything you need to make your plan happen. Be creative, use the resources you currently have. Think about it.

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A Threat to Our Black Walnut Trees By Shawn Walker, Trees 101 LLC

Ash trees in our region have been hit hard by the emerald ash borer (EAB). In my work with clients last year I came across numerous dead trees. And even among the living ones we would choose for treatment a significant proportion showed signs of infestation ranging from decline in the crown to larvae revealed under the bark. If you have ash trees on your property and have not taken steps to address EAB now is a good time to contact an arborist or forester to come up with a plan. Well, guess what? There is another threat to our trees looming on the horizon. It is called thousand cankers disease (TCD) and it aggressively kills black walnut trees. TCD results from a fungal pathogen native to the western US transmitted by an insect called the walnut twig beetle. The fungus causes patches of dead tissue, known as cankers, that coalesce and lead to the death of entire branches and ultimately the entire tree (see image). A few years ago the disease was detected as far east as Tennessee and it has been working its way up the I-81 corridor since then. Warming climate conditions are pointed to as a promoter of this spread. Treatments for the disease itself are not available, so the remaining options include controlling the beetle and/or making plans for walnut tree mortality in coming years. I have learned from University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp that good control of the insect in individual trees should be possible using the same chemical some arborists use for EAB control (Tree-Age® or emamectin benzoate).

Dead tissue on black walnut due to TCD. Ned Tisserat, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.

There are no reported detections of TCD in West Virginia but the state has issued an exclusionary quarantine due to confirmed detections in surrounding states (see map). In my unofficial opinion this means that the disease is present in parts of our state and it is simply a matter of time before it is detected. According to West Virginia’s Department of Agriculture black walnut has an estimated value of $500 billion in the eastern US. Additionally it comprises a significant portion of our forest ecosystem and is a cultural favorite of many West Virginians. I have met people who think of their walnut trees as their college fund – plant a grove at the time of your child’s birth and harvest the timber in time to pay for college tuition. And how many woodworkers out there appreciate the beauty and versatility of walnut wood? If our experience with EAB is a guide, we should not wait until TCD is recognized as a region-wide problem before developing a plan. We got caught behind the curve with our ash trees and should take

steps to keep ahead of the curve with our large walnut tree population. Visit this multi-agency website for more information on TCD: www.thousandcankers. com Shawn Walker is a consulting arborist at Trees 101 (www. trees101.net) based in Shepherdstown.

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Russian Duo was born in 2007 out of a love of traditional music and classical elegance. Oleg Kruglyakov, a balalaika virtuoso, and Terry Boyarsky, a masterful pianist, will present an exuberant program at the Barns of Rose Hill March 2. Doors open at 7:30 for the 8PM performance. Reservations are available in advance at www.barnsofrosehill.org, or by calling 540-955-2004. The audience will be treated to the mysterious and lovely sounds of the balalaika, a threestringed instrument of Russia, and other traditional Russian instruments paired with the vast expressive range of the piano. The duo has toured extensively in the United States and Canada, and the artists separately have performed all over the world. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this superb duo in an extraordinary program that brings together beautiful music of both Russia and America,” said Morgan Morrison, Program Director for the Barns. The offering of musical styles will appeal to a broad range of tastes. Oleg and Terry’s program will draw from Russian folk music, romances, dances, classical music, gypsy melodies, bluegrass, ragtime, tango, film scores and Soviet songs, commenting on the historical context of the music and instruments. The performances have won rave reviews: The Vermont Journal writes, “The audience was enthralled as the music slid from exuberance of joy and anger to whispers of love and crying so faint you could have heard a pin drop.”

WKSU host and Cuyahoga River Concerts presenter Matt Watroba says, “We loved the way the Russian Duo combined historical information with world-class playing and performance. Our audience was mesmerized! They didn’t want them to leave the stage.” Oleg Kruglyakov was born in Omsk City, Siberia, Russia in 1966. He has a keen ear for musical styles and a deep respect for cultural tradition and the history of the Russian people. He was educated at the renowned Ekaterinburg Conservatory, studying conducting as well as teaching balalaika. He is a protégé of Yevgeny Grigorovich Blinov, the foremost balalaika virtuoso of the Soviet Union. Oleg has performed as balalaika soloist with many Russian folk groups, touring Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia and Ukraine. He traveled for five years with a Urals folk ensemble performing in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Malta and Turkmenistan, and he has participated in many international festivals. He had the honor of performing at the United Nations when he came to the US. Terry Boyarsky, pianist, is a movement specialist, singer and ethnomusicologist. Her search for musical collaboration has led her into chamber music, choral singing, folk dance, coaching, accompanying dance and creating ceremony. Terry has collaborated with singers and dancers across the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, and Venezuela.

Profile for Clarke County Observer

Clarke Observer February 2016  

Clarke Observer February 2016  

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