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APR 2016

vaOBSERVER.com A MONTHLY MAGAZINE SERVING CLARKE COUNTY


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A PRIL 201 6 OLD TOWN WINCHESTER

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Phil Travis Teaches Blacksmithing for Everyone

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By Claire Stuart

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VAOBSERVSER.COM Progressive Evolution and Contemporary Development By Jess Clawson

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ON THE COVER Phil Travis at the forge. Photo by Claire Stuart.

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Aging in Place

6

Around Clarke County

9

Remembering Val Van Meter

10

Healthy Outlook

16

Real Estate

17

As the Crow Flies

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Support Your Local Sheriff

20

Faith in Action Appoints New Exec. Director

21

A Spring to Remember at the Barns

22 Sixty-Three to Ninety-Nine


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APRIL 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 Claire Stuart

ADVERTISING SALES Jennifer Welliver

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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 Letters containing personal attacks or polarizing language will not be published.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.

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How Memories of Val Van Meter Can Change The World As we enter the final throws of the Presidential primary season, one in which televised debates and commercials lost the G-rating for family viewing long ago, we can’t help but observe how the breakdown in manners and civility now permeates public life and, sadly, sometimes interactions among neighbors that often take place entirely in the online world. Politics always has been a rough-and-tumble pugilistic affair — without the minimal padding of gloves designed to protect the puncher’s hand, not the jaw on the receiving end. But over the last several years, being rude or snide has become not only acceptable, but something to be cheered. Is this really what we want to teach our children? That when we disagree, our first impulse is to insult or accuse? Is this how we want to send them off into the world? It’s certainly not the world we inherited from our parents. And as a practical matter, can anyone claim to have persuaded another person on any issue by calling them names? In these times, many of us are drawn to people who exemplify civility, civic curiosity, and a genuine love of neighbor — as the faithful are called to embrace. Val Van Meter was such a person. If the pen is, indeed, more powerful than the sword, it’s not just because it’s an instrument for argument. Rather, it’s a means to uplift us all, to remind us of the strength of community and the good that comes from practicing mutual respect.

Whether she was telling the story of a local family or reporting on the dry proceedings of government bodies, she was able to remind us that behind every event and every political controversy there were human beings with hopes and dreams and backgrounds. And she treated them all with respect. Thinking of Val you can’t help but remember George Baily, the character portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life. In the story, Baily’s guardian angel grants his wish to see what life would have been like had he never been born. He sees how many lives each of us can touch and influence. In this light, it’s hard to imagine Clarke County without the life of Val. And based on the remembrances compiled by Maral Kalbian, published on page 9 of this edition, it’s easy to see how lives and this community are fuller today because of her. If we’re looking for people to emulate, people who serve a public role in community life, let’s not look to the angry, fear-mongers of politics flinging pseudo-facts and disinformation. We could do so much better for children, ourselves, and our community by taking Val Van Meter’s example of how to encourage conversation and celebrate all that’s wondrous about community life.

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I didn’t realize this, but like most people I tend to interchange the words Dementia and Alzheimer’s, when in fact there are nine different types of dementia — Alzheimer’s is one of them. Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities that are severe enough that they interfere with everyday life. In general, dementia is caused by physical changes in the brain. Normal aging includes slowing down of our bodies and brain, although our intelligence remains stable. Dementia is usually a set of symptoms that will include more than one of the following brain functions with memory impairments: • Recent memory (the ability to learn and recall information),

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• Language (the ability to write or speak, or to understand written or spoken words), • Visuospatial function (the ability to understand and use symbols, maps, etc., and the ability to correctly judge where objects are), • Executive function (the ability to plan, reason, solve problems and focus on a task). Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60–80 percent of dementia cases. By 2011 guidelines for Alzheimer’s, diagnoses recommended that it is considered a slow progressive disease that begins well before symptoms emerge. Vascular dementia used to

be known as multi-infarct or post-stroke dementia and is less common, accounting for about 10 percent of cases. In dementia with Lewy bodies (DBL), patients often have memory loss common to Alzheimer’s; however, early symptoms might arise such as visual hallucinations, gait imbalance similar to Parkinson’s features, and sleep disturbances. Mixed dementia is more common than previously thought. For example, Lewy bodies can be present at the same time as Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s disease is a very progressive form of dementia, and is similar to Alzheimer’s or Lewy bodies. Frontotemporal dementia symptoms include changes in personality and behavior and difficulty with language.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare fatal brain disorder affecting people and other mammals, like cattle, where “mad cow disease” has been transmitted to people under certain circumstances. Normal pressure hydrocephalus is caused by fluid in the brain and includes symptoms of difficulty in walking, memory loss and inability to control urination. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a chronic memory disorder caused by lack of Thiamine (vitamin B-1) and the most common cause is alcohol misuse. Thank you to the Alzheimer’s Association website for this great info! As we age and possibly become caregivers for our loved ones, it is important to treat them as a human being and


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APRIL 201 6

not just someone who needs our help. Where safety and personal care might be our main concerns, and can be overwhelming at times, it is vitally important to nurture them both physically and mentally. I’ve heard that a good rule of thumb when caring for someone who has dementia: Remember that having dementia doesn’t mean that they can’t interact with you. This thought provoking list of rules below was written by Rachel Wonderlin, a dementia practitioner, and is published on purpleelephant.org. People with dementia are worthy of our respect and love, despite their disease. Enjoy! • If I get dementia, I want

my friends and family to embrace my reality. If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things. I’ll be much happier for it. • If I get dementia, I don’t want to be treated like a child. Talk to me like the adult that I am. • If I get dementia, I still want to enjoy the things that I’ve always enjoyed. Help me find a way to exercise, read, and visit with friends. • If I get dementia, ask me to tell you a story from my past. • If I get dementia, and I

become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering me. • If I get dementia. Treat me the way that you would want to be treated. • If I get dementia, make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house. Even now if I don’t eat I get angry, and if I have dementia, I may have trouble explaining what I need. • If I get dementia, don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room. • If I get dementia, don’t feel guilty if you cannot care for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s not your fault, and you’ve done your best.

Find someone who can help you, or choose a great new place for me to live. • If I get dementia, and I live in a dementia care community, please visit me often. • If I get dementia, don’t act frustrated if I mix up names, events, or places. Take a deep breath. It’s not my fault. • If I get dementia, make sure I always have my favorite music playing within earshot. • If I get dementia, and I like to pick up items and carry them around, help me return those items to their original places. • If I get dementia, don’t

exclude me from parties and family gatherings. • If I get dementia, know that I still like receiving hugs or handshakes. • If I get dementia, remember that I am still the person you know and love. Memory loss like mild forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging; however, because dementia itself is not a disease, it is important to find out the disease responsible for the symptoms. Karen Cifala is a SRES Realtor for REMAX Roots and can be reached at 101 E. Main St., in Berryville, VA or by email at kcifala@gmail.com or by phone 303-817-9374.


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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.

April

15

Rhythm Future Quartet

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. The acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet, has a straightforward agenda: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe. The virtuosic foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For more information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

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Mindfulness in Nature

Guided Walking Meditation. Led by Shell Fischer of Mindful Shenandoah Valley. Blandy Experimental Farm.

6:30—8:30pm. Slow down and draw on nature through guided meditation, silent walking, and personal reflection. Dress for the weather. 16 and older. $10 FOSA members, $12 nonmembers. Reservations required. For information call 540-837-1758 ext. 224 or visit www.blandy.virginia.edu.

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Cash Party

John Enders Fire Hall. 9 South Buckmarsh St., Berryville. Doors open at 5:30. Crazy Cash Party and BBQ Dinner. Grand Prize $1500. Only 275 tickets. Call 540-955-1110 or email secretary@endersfire. com.

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Clarke County Rotary Casino Night

Boyce Volunteer Fire Company Social Hall. Funds will be used for the new Rotary Picnic Shelter at Clarke County Parks and Recreation.  Doors open at 5pm. Food served from 5:30­–6:30. Gaming starts at 5:30. Tickets: $40 donation.

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Michael Chapdelaine

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. From New York’s Lincoln Center to the Cactus Cafe in Austin, from Milano to Bangkok, Michael continues to enchant, dazzle and surprise audiences and critics alike as he redefines

the modern acoustic guitar with his amazing technique. His performances, played on both steel string and classical guitars, include musical styles ranging from blues to Bach to country to rhythm n’ blues as he wins his audiences’ hearts with breathtaking technique and the poetic magic of his original musical portraits and landscapes. Doors open at 3. Show starts at 4. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For more information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.

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VHSA Jumper Show

Sandstone Farm, 3805 Millwood Road, Millwood. Free admission to all events. Breakfast and Lunch available. For Information 540-837-1261 or e-mail sandstonefarm@aol. com. See schedule at www. sandstonefarm.com.

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April Verch will perform at the Barns of Rose Hill May 1.

Film: Land Rush

My Neighbor and Me. 15 E. Main Street. Berryville. One hour Why Poverty? documentary will be shown followed by discussion on tonight’s focus on land and how do you feed the world?  7pm. Free event. 540-955-8124. www. myneighborandme.com.

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Berryville Drum Circle

My Neighbor and Me. 15 E.

Main Street. Berryville. This evening’s drum circle will be lead by Jona Masiya. 7–8:30pm. Free event.  540-955-8124  www. myneighborandme.com.

22

Book Talk

By Lesley Lee Francis – You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. Lesley Lee Francis, granddaughter of the beloved American poet Robert Frost,

talks about her new book, You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost. In the book, she combines priceless personal memories and rigorous research to create a portrait of Frost and the women, including herself, whose lives he touched. Francis’s invaluable insights into Frost’s poetry and her inclusion of previously unpublished family writings and photographs make this book essential to Frost scholarship. But You

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APRIL 201 6 Come Too will appeal to anyone interested in this great poet’s life and work. It also reveals unforgettable stories of strong, independent women and their passion to create and share poetry. Doors open at 6. Book talk starts at 7. Free event. For more information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

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Thru the Garden Gate

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. Lower Gallery. Multimedia exhibit of garden-related art. Free. Opens at 11am. Runs through May 28th. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, sculpture, including work of Kentucky artist Ailene Fraser. kelli.hart@borh.org. www. barnsofrosehill.org. 540-9552004.  

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Artists’ Gardens

Presentation by Suzann Smith Wilson. Barns of Rose Hill. Great Hall. 11am and 1pm, Free. Guests must be seated 5 minutes before program time to be admitted. Suzann will discuss  artists and artwork featured in the book entitled Artists’ Gardens by Bill Laws. The book features twenty artists’ gardens worldwide from those of Claude Monet, Carl Milles, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth to Gertrude Jekyll, John James Audubon, Frida Kahlo and

William Morris. kelli.hart@ borh.org. www.barnsofrosehill. org. 540-955-2004.

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Bluegrass and BBQ

featuring The Foghorn Stringband. Barns of Rose Hill. Berryville. The Foghorn Stringband is the present day shining gold standard for American string band music, with eight albums, thousands of shows, over a decade of touring under their belts, and an entirely new generation of old-time musicians following their lead. Through all this, they’ve never let the music grow cold; instead they’ve been steadily proving that American roots music is a never-ending well of inspiration. The music of The Foghorn Stringband today, revolves around four master musicians: Portland, Oregonbased Caleb Klauder (vocals, mandolin, fiddle) and Reeb Willms (vocals, guitar), and Yukon-based Nadine Landry (vocals, upright bass) and Stephen ‘Sammy’ Lind (vocals, fiddle, banjo). Each member of The Foghorn Stringband comes not only from a different part of the American roots music spectrum, but leads the pack in their field as well. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For more information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

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Michael Lynche and the Black Saints

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. Michael Lynche is a new breed soul singer with classic influences. Undeniable charisma, well-crafted uniquely arranged songs, and a voice soaked in passion gives Big Mike the tools to bring it every night without fail. With talent so versatile he’s played jazz/ blues clubs to opera halls with 100 piece symphonies backing him, Mike aims to please and doesn’t disappoint. Often compared as a new-age Luther Vandross, get ready for a night of amazing love songs from ‘The Minister of Love!’ Michael Lynche’s life has been defined by two things: love and second chances. The Florida native and devoted family man’s rise from obscurity was well documented through his riveting appearance on American Idol. Known to America as “Big Mike,” he was famously “saved” by the judges, giving him a second chance to continue through the prized competition. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $25 in advance. $30 at the door. 12 and under free. For more information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.

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Berryville Councilman Bryant Condrey Vote May 3 Ward 3 Appointed in January to the Ward 3 Vacancy Working to increase town government transparency Dedicated to a thriving Berryville

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Independent Bookstore Day

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540-247-5408 Michael Lynche, performing at the Barns of Rose Hill on April 27.

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A PRIL 201 6 Winchester. 400 Bookstores. 12 Exclusive Books & Art Pieces. One Day Only. The Winchester Book Gallery will launch Apple Blossom Saturday at 10am with hourly giveaways, a central coloring table for everyone, a bloomin’ tree upstairs, a Favorite Classics Wall, an all-day Open Poetry Mic, and a Trivia Wheel with a Grand Prize! We will also offer exclusive day-of merchandise created especially for Independent Bookstore Day by major publishers and authors. www.winchesterbookgallery. com. 540-667-3444.

May

1

April Verch

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. April Verch steps, sings, and fiddles with a fresh and feisty approach to deep North American traditions. Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing, a trifecta of talents she brings together simultaneously to jaw-dropping effect. While

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Verch is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds. Verch tours with world-class musicians as a trio, featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass and clawhammer banjo in addition to Verch’s vocals, fiddle and foot percussion. One might suspect a performer with as many talents as Verch would pause to take a breath, or need to somewhat compartmentalize her skills during a live performance. But on stage, Verch is almost superhuman, flawlessly intertwining and overlapping different performative elements. She stepdances while fiddling. She sings while stepdancing. Sometimes she sings, steps and fiddles all at once, with apparent ease and precision. Verch is – as they say – a triple threat in performance, her live show a beautiful companion to her music: versatile, robust,

and masterfully executed. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For more information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

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Film: Give Us the Money

My Neighbor and Me. 15 E. Main Street. Berryville. One hour Why Poverty? documentary will be shown followed by discussion on tonight’s focus on money and how do you change the world? 7pm. Free event. 540-955-8124 www.myneighborandme.com.

6

Bluegrass and BBQ

Featuring Bud’s Collective. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Court. Berryville. Join us for a night of Bluegrass & BBQ with Bud’s Collective. Bud’s Collective is a dynamic group of pickers and singers from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. With deep roots in Bluegrass music, they are not afraid to venture off the well beaten path and play songs by Bill Withers, Tom Petty, Alabama, Django

Foghorn Stringband, featured in Bluegrass and BBQ at the Barns of Rose HIll on April 24. Rhinehart, Johnny Cash and many more, while maintaining an energy that is all their own. The group also features a long list of original material written by band leader and guitar player, Buddy Dunlap. What began as a “throw together group of whoever Buddy could

collect,” quickly turned into one of the hottest bluegrass bands in the DC area. Since its inception in December of 2012, Bud’s Collective has played with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Loretta Lynn, Rhonda Vincent, Sierra Hull, Larry Sparks, and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen just to name a few. The band took first place in the 2013 DC Bluegrass Union Band Competition, and second place in the 2014 SPBGMA Band Competition in Nashville. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For more information visit www. barnsofrosehill.org.

7

VHSA Horse and Pony Hunter show

Sandstone Farm. 3805 Millwood Road, Millwood. Free admission to all events. Breakfast and lunch available. For Information 540-837-1261 or e-mail sandstonefarm@aol. com. See schedule for times and details at www.sandstonefarm. com.


APRIL 201 6

Remembering Val

9

Van Meter

By Maral S. Kalbian, Clarke County resident Photos courtesy of Michael Hobert On Thursday, March 31, Clarke County lost our well-loved and highly dedicated journalist, Val Van Meter. Even though she wasn’t from Clarke County and didn’t even reside here, Val’s service to this community was an important part of Clarke County history.

Val Van Meter was Clarke County’s reporter. Her death leaves a huge gap in the fabric of Clarke County life. Val clearly loved Clarke County as if it were her own. I first met Val in the 1980s when she was a reporter with the Clarke Courier in Berryville. She eventually became its editor, one of the first women in the region to fill that role. No story was ever too insignificant for Val. She loved writing about history, people, local government, the school system, the environment, and of course, animals. Val was an invaluable resource for information as well as an advocate for all things Clarke County. With her, it didn’t matter who you were; she would listen, ask insightful questions, and come up with a well-written piece that demonstrated her deep understanding of the subject. How she was able to do that day-in and dayout on such a variety of topics was always a source of amazement for me. I once asked her if she ever experienced “writer’s block.” Chuckling and smiling, she responded over her shoulder as she headed back to her office, that no, she didn’t have the time to get writer’s block! Val epitomized the mild-mannered reporter, who listened, doing her job steadfastly and well. In her private life, she had another identity, as a well-respected master horse woman. If you ever had a question about something in Clarke County, you could rely on Val to know the answer since she had probably written a story about it sometime during her

more than 30-year career reporting on Clarke. Everyone who knew Val in Clarke County loved and respected her. This intelligent, modest, hard-working woman was recently recognized by Ender’s Volunteer Fire Department for raising the community’s awareness about the company’s activities. She did the same over and over for countless other non-profit organizations. Val was always upbeat and took things in stride. She routinely showed up to report on meetings, no matter what the time of day or evening. Val had a magic touch. We were all privileged that she used it to report on us here in Clarke County. She could take the driest subject or smallest out-of-the-way thing and magically turn it into an engaging story. With her insightful and thoughtful way of reporting on our news, events, and people, Val Van Meter made Clarke County a better place for us all. Here are a very few other tributes from some of those in the community who knew Val: Val was a great lady. I will miss her and feel a personal loss at her passing; she was a professional colleague and friend. I admired her greatly. In brief, she was a character with character. She was well-read and a student of history. Val sought to report the news, not make it. Val was a great friend to Berryville and Clarke County. Her reporting always reflected a deep affection and admiration for this community and its people. — Keith Dalton, Berryville Town Manager

Val really understood Clarke County and the people who have made it occasionally newsworthy. She didn’t just know, she understood, the background, the history, and the personal relationships that affected current events. If Val told you something, you could count on it. She was absolutely reliable and honest. — Mary Daniel, Clarke County Board of Supervisors Val did so much for this community. She wrote several stories about me and my family, for which I will always be grateful. Wherever one seemed to go in Clarke County, there Val would be. She will be greatly missed. — Geneva Jackson, long-time Clarke resident Val was my mentor at the Clarke Courier. She knew everyone in Clarke and loved her horses so we did a fair share of animal stories. She gave everyone that worked there a chance to improve. It was a local paper because of her. — Bonnie Jacobs, who worked with Val at the Clarke Courier Val and I worked together on the Retrospect articles when she was the editor of the Clarke Courier, and were friends from the moment we met. She was so down to earth and loved this little county. With Val what you saw was what you got. She will be greatly missed. — Mary Thomason-Morris, Archivist, Clarke County Historical Association I would say that in this day of

media hyperbole, Val and her articles were always clear, concise, and factual. We in Clarke County government will really miss her. I will miss her personally as well. What a truly lovely person she was to be around. — George L. Ohrstrom II, chair, Planning Commission Val understood the values, hopes and desires of Clarke Country’s citizens. As a result she always knew which issues

would be of the most interest to her readers and needed to be covered in the greatest depth. Her long-term knowledge and deep understanding of our County allowed her to bring a sense of perspective to each article she wrote. She worked hard to make sure she got each story right, often calling late at night to check her facts. — John Staelin, former Chairman of the Board of Supervisors

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As screen technologies rapidly expand, and indeed dominate, so many aspects of our society today, I invite you to consider the following perspective offered by wellness professional Dr. Brian Luke Seaward: “In a culture defined by short attention spans, training your mind to focus on one thing without ricocheting all around is a form of mental stability.” Not long ago, the idea of “training” one’s mind resided off in the margins, in various camps of meditation, perhaps, or maybe within the realm of competitive sports, which demand the ability to concentrate as a means to higher performance. As a corporate wellness professional, I’m encouraged to report that training for concentration and focus has now entered, and in

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some places truly taken root, within the workplace as well. Such training gives us a tool to help cultivate stability in the truly unstable realms of digital media. The time has come for American households to follow suit, to become more aware of the psychological toll that digital overexposure can place on us and our children.

Risky behavior

The question looms: Do adults truly realize the perilous instability that might be knocking on their own mental and/or emotional doors, as a result of incessant digital connection? Not to mention the threat to the psychological stability of their children? As Seaward stated in an interview with the Wellness Coalition of America (Welcoa): “It is the ego that keeps the brain active all night with anxiety about past and future events. It is the ego’s curiosity or voyeurism that is drawn to many of today’s digital distractions, and it is the goal

of meditation to domesticate the ego for mental, emotional and even spiritual wellbeing.” How well do you know your ego? The better understanding you have of your ego and your mental and emotional tendencies, the more powerful source of strength you can provide for yourself and your children or grandchildren living in a world of laissez-faire exposure to violence, sexual content, virtual “friends,” “likes,” and so many other psychological and spiritual challenges that confront us through the media.

Your brain on screens

One grave problem with screen time overload, reports show, is disrupted sleep. In a nation where at least half all adults suffer from poor sleep (either in terms of quantity and/or quality), looking at one variable that remains in our immediate control (screen usage) seems a reasonable practice. Researchers now believe


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that screens can disrupt the function of the pineal gland, which controls melatonin production (the “sleep hormone”). The blue spectrum light from screens can suppress the production of melatonin, in effect limiting the feeling of normal tiredness at night. If all of that’s not enough to compel your attention, consider the observed damage that digital addiction has been shown to cause on the brain itself, according to multiple studies synthesized in Psychology Today. “Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” These results were laid out within neuro-imaging research entitled “Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study.” (Lin & Zhou et al, 2012).

screens for children under two, and a maximum of two hours per day of high-quality material for older children. The AAP plans to update its guidelines on media use later this year due to the rapidly expanding landscape of media usage among children and teens. The latest findings and guidance from the AAP can be found at www.aappublications. org/content/36/10/54. To gain insight into teen and pre-teen screen media usage, check out Common Sense Media’s illustrative graphics and data at http://bit. ly/1RO21Ze. I don’t have studies to back this one up, but the prevailing wisdom I’ve read and heard from psychologists, wellness professionals, and wise elders goes like this: Anyone, young or old, with a nagging concern, will mostly likely find greater comfort and resolution in

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sharing it with a real person, face to face with human emotion, than otherwise putting it in the hands of social media, or suppressing it through a multitude of other screen technologies. Life is hard; humans need human connections to make sense of it all.

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Ask yourself to honestly assess how often you feel irritable, distracted, “foggy,” or angry when no concrete cause exists. Furthermore, how often do you take your life’s challenges or problems to social media rather than bringing them up face to face with a friend, a family member, or a professional counselor? Consider assessing your screen usage, and absolutely look at your sleep. Do you get seven to eight hours a night? You should. You can self-assess your screen use by taking the “Digital Distraction Test” - http:// virtual-addiction.com/digitaldistraction-test/ or the Smart Phone Addiction Test: http:// huff.to/1Amvohi. For children, the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends avoidance of all

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Phil Travis Teaches Blacksmithing for Everyone Story and photos by Claire Stuart

Phil Travis at forge.

In Colonial America and during the settlement of the west, “the blacksmith shop was the hardware store of the day,” says blacksmith Phil Travis, who teaches a series of classes in this vital traditional craft. He explains that the town blacksmith made all the essential tools (and tools for making tools) for home and farm, from nails and hinges to shovels, axes, forks, pots and pans. To 21st Century eyes, the most amazing thing about blacksmithing is that all of these things can be made using

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only a forge, an anvil, and a hammer. Tongs are useful for holding metal stock, but not essential. Movies usually show the blacksmith at a huge brick forge, often making horseshoes. Travis explains that farriers are another type of blacksmith, and they specialize in not just making horseshoes but also caring for the horses’ hooves. If a blacksmith was the only metalworker in town, he would be making all of the implements and hardware, and horseshoes would be a very small part of his business. If the

town was large enough, there was a blacksmith and a farrier. The big brick forge in the movies also isn’t necessarily typical. Forges come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Travis conducts his classes at forges that are about the size of a backyard grill. The forge is a very simple invention, requiring only a firepot to hold fuel and a source of air that is forced through to make the fire burn hotter. Travis uses a coal burner and an electric fan, but explains that in third-world countries, blacksmiths use whatever fuel

they have — be it charcoal, wood, or animal dung. The firepot can even be just a hole in the ground to contain the fuel and a way to blow air through it. For air, they might use a child blowing into a tube or operating a simple bellows made from animal skin. Of course, nails were essential for early settlers, and Travis says that they were frequently made in the home. Mothers and children would make them during winter in the hearth fire. Often they would make enough to sell for extra cash, just as farm women sold butter and eggs. Forging differs from other types of metal work because forging does not remove any of the metal. Travis explains that all blacksmithing is based on one or a series of just five processes. “Drawing” is thinning or lengthening a metal rod by heating and hammering

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it. “Upsetting” is shortening and thickening it by heating it and hammering in at the end of the rod. Then there is cutting (punching holes), bending, and forge welding (which joins two pieces of hot metal by hammering them together). Blacksmiths generally work in dim light so that they can see the color of the metal being heated, which is essential to the process. As it heats up, the metal goes from dark gray through shades of red, orange, yellow and white. Golden yellow is the ideal color, and white is too hot, causing oxidation and flying sparks. Travis has been interested in blacksmithing since he was about ten years old. As a teenager, he made a forge out of a hibachi grill. He recalls forging arrowheads out of 16-penny nails. He learned his skills by reading about blacksmithing and taking classes. In 1989,


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APRIL 201 6 he took a class at the John Campbell Folk School in North Carolina with noted seventh generation blacksmith Daniel Boone VII, descendant of THE Daniel Boone. Retired as an electrician and project manager with Xerox, Travis says he doesn’t call himself a professional blacksmith, but rather an enthusiast and hobbyist. He has participated in French-Indian War and Revolutionary War living history demonstrations, Shenandoah Longrifles and other events. He used to camp at the Belle Grove Plantation and he rebuilt the forge there, and he demonstrates at Sky Meadows State Park. He enjoys going to blacksmith “hammerins” and meeting people in the blacksmith community, who he describes as having “old American-style ethics.” He has been teaching since 2011, and his classes are open to anyone age 16 and up. He says his students have included teens and seniors, men and women, office workers and construction workers, jewelry

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many steps were necessary to make a small steel bar into a simple hook. Student Jay Quintin was taking his second class with Travis. He said that he grew up on a farm and his father did blacksmithing to maintain equipment. He is trying to set up his own shop. “I make stuff like hooks and nails and give it away,” he laughed. David Patton was taking his first blacksmithing class. He, too, says he likes to “make stuff,” especially “old school stuff” and also plans to have a small forge. Travis recycles discarded metal and gives it new life. He indicated some pieces used in the class made from coil springs and a hammer he made out of a truck axel. He notes that several popular old sayings came directly from blacksmithing, including “dead as a doornail,” “Strike when the iron is hot,” and “too many irons in the fire.” Travis will teach two-day blacksmithing classes on several weekends from April through July and one five-day class. Absolute beginners are welcome in all classes and will learn to make items like barb-que tools, hammers, colonial boot scrapers, shelf brackets, and custom tools. All classes are held at Opus Oaks Art Place, 2330 Crums Church Road in Berryville. For dates and details, e-mail gale.bowman-harlow@ opusoaks.org or call 540-539-6685.

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Progressive Evolution and Contemporary Development By Jess Clawson

This month concludes a series on the history of vocational and technical education in the U.S. This installment focuses on the evolution of vocational education during the Progressive Era and current developments. Jess Clawson has a Ph.D. in education history from the University of Florida. “When I went through school and graduated in ’91, at that point in time, it was called vocational education and it was primarily for students who were going to work, or weren’t sure what they were

going to do immediately after high school,” says Cathy Seal, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Clarke County Schools. “So if you were on a college track, then vocational education wasn’t for you.” Career and technical education (CTE) has changed quite a bit over time. Its origins reside in black education in the Reconstruction-era South (outlined in Part II of this series). Now, the Commonwealth focuses on college and career readiness for all students, so each student needs a CTE certificate to graduate.

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The Progressive Era of the early 20th century brought about vocational education for far more students, especially white students in the urban North. Urbanization and industrialization were significant to centralization of the US after the Civil War. Industrialization brought people to cities for jobs and directly affected school legislation because schools began to develop a new workrelated curriculum. At the same time, the poverty gap widened and became more visible in urban areas. This era came to be seen as one of excess and conspicuous consumption. Because schools were by this time meant to be a solution for the nation’s social problems, school concerns began to take center stage. School planning became more centralized, comprehensive, and detailed. This resulted in a codified, organized, and hierarchical collection of educational institutions. At the same time, the federal government came to be dominated by Republicans who believed in the benefits of an intelligent and educated populace. One of the initiatives was the Morrill Act of 1862, which was a land-grant act that gave financial support to agricultural and mechanical education. Rapid industrialization brought about the birth of large corporations. Big companies had to hire professionals to manage operations because owners could no longer do it themselves. This changed the way business operated, but also meant that people had to be educated for middle management positions as well as for assembly line manufacturing.

All of this set the tone for the educational activities of state legislatures, primarily in passing compulsory attendance laws. Much of the support for these laws came from people who feared the influence of immigrants. They tended to be Protestant, middle- and upper-class white people, who would come to be known as the Progressives. Progressivism was a reform effort meant to correct the supposed evils of urbanization and industrialization. Progressives then did not like the sanitation problems that accompanied overpopulation, the corrupt city governments, or the rising immigrant culture as more diverse populations moved to the cities. They believed in an activist, interventionist government; ideas around efficiency and scientific progress in which society was led by experts; and white Anglo-Saxon Protestant values they intended to enforce with the interventionist government. All of this promoted their support for increasing school attendance. Opposition to compulsory school attendance was more scattered. Some people disliked federal government compulsion at all. Others needed their

children to help work and support the family. Most early school compulsion laws — before 1890 — were unsuccessful in their enforcement, but the laws symbolized the public’s commitment to schools and concern about the children who were not attending school. Urban schools were not especially common before this time, especially public schools. But as city populations grew, they became more popular. These urban school systems tended to be organized by age grading, provide uniform courses of study, and use exams as records of what was taking place in the classrooms—all unusual for schooling at the time. Students in these schools were socialized into the authoritarian order they would have to deal with at work in factories that were developing in the cities. Schools were also supposed to be a force for homogenization, given the emphasis on order and conformity. However, there was a tension built into the way schools did things: Education was also supposed to be for economic mobility. The curriculum taught about individualism, mobility, and political participation and


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agitation. However, the hidden curriculum — that which is not on a syllabus but is enforced by the school nonetheless — promoted conformity to the new industrial life. Progressives centralized schools gradually. Community members outside the schools who thought schools were ineffective imposed centralization. These people wanted to rid cities of neighborhood-controlled public schools—they believed them to be corrupt and unable to effectively educate their students, even though they were enormously popular amongst the families whose children attended them. Many of the parents were immigrants, who were skeptical of the new schools because the increasinglypowerful school boards were not sensitive to their religious beliefs or neighborhood concerns. The curriculum in these schools became more diversified, as education was less about moral virtue than it had been in the 1800s and instead served an economic purpose. The differentiated curriculum could prepare students for the economic roles they would play in their lives. Progressives expanded the reach of public schools through structural expansion measures, like kindergartens and junior high schools, as well as through functional expansion, primarily in the case of the comprehensive high school. Progressives debated whether all students were capable of benefiting from an academic curriculum, and began to introduce nonacademic, vocational courses to reduce dropout rates and prepare lower-class students for what they saw as their destinies in blue-collar fields. The comprehensive high school housed students on

both academic and vocational tracks, encouraging them to intermingle in the cafeteria and auditoriums. The guidance counselor profession emerged as a result—they were meant to have expertise in what a child should study, and to what he or she should aspire. Most teenagers were influenced, if not pushed, into a particular track. While schools preached equal opportunity through their curricular options, it was equal opportunity within prescribed limits, determined by scientific measurements in the form of heavily-biased intelligence tests. Overall, the Progressive Era was one of assimilation and centralization. The Progressive reformers wanted to eliminate the influences of immigrant culture while putting those immigrants and poor nativeborn people to work in the factories. Schools needed to socialize students to these conditions by steering those teens the guidance counselors deemed suitable for factory work into vocational jobs. Schools also began to implement bell systems, like what was found in factories. Now, “vocational education” has become almost a taboo phrase, replaced by “career and technical education,” and is required for all students. “Career and technical education encompasses more things now,” says Seal. “Many of our health and medical courses are actually considered a CTE course.” Advanced computer classes and engineering are also considered CTE courses. Like the Progressives, Seal sees this as beneficial for the students’ futures. “When you look at the labor market today, career growth is in areas where kids need a CTE background,” she says. She encourages students to attain skills through CTE courses that

will help them get into college, even if they intend to pursue humanities backgrounds. Seal, however, appreciates an important evolution since Progressive-era thinking. “It’s not an either/or pathway anymore, which I’m glad of, because we were really doing some dividing of students,” she says. “You were either on the college pathway or you weren’t. And now it’s starting to become a meshing of the two, and how to reach your career goal.” Further, Seal notes that the stigma around not going to college is fading and people with CTE backgrounds are able to make a good living. Clarke County High School (CCHS) Principal Dana Waring notes that CTE can also give students “a step up when they go to their prospective colleges” because admissions offices are looking for students with different work experiences that can give them a boost over what other applicants may have. Another important distinction from the Progressive Era, Waring notes, is that students now have open enrollment at CCHS. “We never want to exclude a student from anything,” she says. Guidance counselors now, instead of steering students towards a particular path, help the students ascertain which courses they need to reach their individual goals. The CCHS guidance counselors encourage students to “look ahead and take the most challenging coursework so they have all those doors open and all those opportunities.” Waring thinks this may be a cultural shift from a time when students were assumed to be incapable of courses like higher-level math. She points out that students may assume they do not need math, but certain programs, like HVAC training, actually require quite a bit of math. There is still an element

of socialization necessary in contemporary CTE coursework. “Every CTE course has what they call workplace readiness skills embedded in the curriculum,” says Seal. Businesses need employees who have the necessary knowledge, but “we also need them to know about showing up to work on time, how do you dress, what’s appropriate workplace behavior, when do you talk on the cell phone and when you do not… That’s critical to CTE resources as well. It’s content knowledge, but it’s also behavior, attitude.” The CTE program in Clarke County will be growing over time as the administration

determines what changes need to be made, and will eventually widen its pool of participating students, as well as local businesses. The encouraging evolution of vocational training to career and technical education to provide opportunities to all students is a shift from the historical approach of divisiveness and class entrenchment. Time will tell if the new ideas and programs provide upward mobility for students, but for now, they are worth examination and consideration as the county moves forward with attempting to help students attain career security in adulthood.

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Real Estate

Do I Want to Buy a Second House? By Wendy Gooditis Every time my husband and I go somewhere nice, we fantasize about buying a house there as a getaway. Our vacation-home fantasies have taken the form of weathered-gray, old-fashioned beach houses, ginger-bready Victorian cottages on a lake or river, sleek little condos near ski resorts — just to name a few. But then we come home and get back to our everyday lives, and maybe start to think about finances and investments, and start to talk about buying a residential property locally as an investment, to rent out and resell some day. We know there

are people out there who have retired very comfortably on income from multiple rental properties. And then I go to my office and start looking at the day’s new listings, and with every fixer-upper that crosses my screen, I contemplate buying it to fix it up and sell it, as I have done before. All of these second-home purchases have an up-side and a down-side. Some people are suited to these purchases financially and emotionally, while others are not. First of all, when considering a second house as a vacation

house, it is important to be clear about finances. If you want to own the beach house without renting it out, you should understand that many banks require a down payment of up to 30 percent, that the interest on the mortgage may or may not be deductible (depending on the amount of mortgage debt you hold between the two houses), and that you have now doubled your upkeep costs — plus have added the cost of paying someone to do routine maintenance (basic landscaping or repairs) because you’re probably too far away to do it yourself. If you decide you must rent it out in order to afford it, understand that banks still want to make sure you have a large cushion in case of a lack of renters or major needed repairs. If it is going to be officially rented out as much as possible, you can only use it yourself for up to 14 days. (There is a small window of opportunity for a bit more time in paradise, however, because technically if you’re there doing “maintenance,” that doesn’t count in the 14 days. Shhh…) The taxes are much too complicated to go into here, but the rental method certainly makes the vacation place affordable for lots of buyers. Some of these buyers plan to retire to that second home, which can make the whole thing pretty practical in terms of what it does or does not do to your capital gains tax situation. Ask an accountant about these aspects of vacation-home ownership. Next on the list is the question of owning rentals. Depending on your nature, your finances, your choice of property and location, and your luck, this could be the

best or the worst idea you’ve ever had! One of our clients always has five tenants, and she absolutely loves being a landlord. Is she just lucky with her tenants, or is it just because she’s incredibly smart and good at being a landlord? You got me. I know she’s smart, but so is another friend of mine who has been much less fortunate, and can’t seem to get a good tenant in his very nice rental house in Winchester. In the long run, owning good rental properties seems to be a good thing financially. But you have to take it seriously as a sort of part-time job, and decide if you have room in your life to deal with the issues as they arise. A great long-term tenant is wonderful, but a tenant who trashes your house, doesn’t pay, and then costs you money to evict is a huge stress, obviously. If you have bought a good property in a good location, its value may go up as it earns a small income for you each year. Again, talk to your accountant about what goes on with the taxes in this scenario: Between depreciation of the house’s cost, your income bracket, and hopeful rising of property value, the tax game can really work in your favor here over time. And finally — my personal favorite — is the flip. As attractive as this idea is, it should not be entered into lightly, nor without PLENTY of money to go on with, plus more to fill in the gaps, and a final stash to get you over the time hump. And if you are not able to do a lot of the work yourself, you had better have a really fantastic and ultra-reasonably priced contractor who will commit virtually 100 percent of her/his time to your project to turn it over fast (carrying the costs month-to-month

are a huge part of the risk in flipping). It is possible still to buy a rundown house cheaply enough in a nice enough area that it is worth the money, time, and labor financially to fix it up for a quick resale. But so many people have figured this all out that good prospects are fewer in this area than you might think. And when one does get listed, the house price is often higher than makes sense to flip a house and then sell a few months later, subtracting real estate commissions and closing costs from the profits. Hopefully you have gathered that the purchase of a second house for any of these purposes can be a great thing for you, but requires lots of research, commitment, and, of course, financial ability. In your research, get up-todate information from the professionals: an accountant, a lawyer, a mortgage banker, and of course, a real estate agent. 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, and can be reached at gooditis@visuallink.com or at (540)533-0840.


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As the Crow Flies

As Time To Set Up Homes For Cavity Nesting Birds By Doug Pifer

Many native birds nest in natural tree cavities or old woodpecker nest holes. But man-made nest boxes are beneficial for cavity nesting bird species whose numbers are declining. This is a great way for a family or youth group to get involved in serious wildlife conservation! My wife and I have kept houses for bluebirds and purple martins for many years. Now that we have a farm with a stream, some nearby woods and much more open space, we’ve expanded our list of prospective tenants to include wood ducks and American kestrels. Last fall I put up a bluebird box in what looked like an ideal spot, with plenty of open space around it. I installed a cylindrical baffle around the 4 1/2-foot metal post supporting the house to discourage snakes, cats, raccoons and other predators. All winter, bluebirds often perched on that house and looked inside. In February I attached four more bluebird houses to various fence posts throughout the farm. I spaced them at least 50 yards from each other, with their 1 1/2-inch entrance

holes facing southeast or east, away from prevailing winds. In the last few weeks the local bluebirds have been fighting over the new boxes, even tumbling around on the ground. To learn more about attracting bluebirds, look up the North American Bluebird society (www.nabluebirdsociety.org). On March 7 I put up a new, lightweight aluminum martin house. I’ve had bad luck attracting martins in the past, but this seems to be the perfect site. It’s surrounded by an acre of treeless open space, is about 30 feet from the house, and has access to open water nearby (see location tips at www.purplemartin.org). Its eight nesting chambers have semicircular openings designed to exclude starlings. I added three of my hand-carved purple martin decoys, and I’m hoping for success this time! Right now the bluebirds are perching on the heads of our martin decoys! Next day I put up a wood duck box beside the bank of the stream that enters Rocky Marsh Run, where I’ve seen wood ducks swimming. I followed the wood duck society’s instructions (www.woodducksociety.

com) and mounted a circular predator guard on the 1 1/2inch electrical conduit pipe below the nest box. Wood ducks naturally nest in tree cavities along streams and are attracted to custom-made nest boxes. The day after hatching, intrepid wood ducklings climb up the inside of the box and spring out of the entrance at their mother’s call. They land lightly on land or

water and scamper to join her. I also put up a nest box for American kestrels in the hayfield. It has an oval entrance 3 inches in diameter, mounted on an 18-foot telescoping pole. Kestrels are the smallest American falcons. Often seen perched on utility wires along the roadside or in open fields, kestrels hunt for mice and grasshoppers. They prefer

to nest in lofty tree cavities that face open fields and are attracted to the proper housing (see Cornell University’s www. nestwatch.org). So far, we haven’t had any kestrels, but the bluebirds keep perching on it and looking inside. In the next weeks, more cavity-nesting birds will be seeking homes. It’s exciting to watch for them!


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Support Your Local Sheriff Anthony Roper Appointed to Governor’s Administration By Jess Clawson

Clarke County Sheriff Anthony “Tony” Roper is getting statewide attention for his dedication to Clarke County. On March 18, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the new appointments to his administration, including asking Roper to serve on the Criminal Justice Services Board. The appointees, including Roper, will help the governor find common ground with members of both parties on issues that will build a new Virginia economy and create jobs. The 28-member board, comprised of members of the criminal justice system, local government officials, representatives of the private security industry, the public at large, and General Assembly members, provides governance and guidance to the Department of Criminal Justice Services. According to the General Assembly, the CJS Board is responsible for

“planning and coordinating the implementation and administration of criminal justice and delinquency prevention and control throughout the Commonwealth.” Board terms are two years. Roper is happy to have been appointed to the board. “I have worked diligently in certain aspects of areas covered by the board, and I have ideas I would like to see considered,” he says. “Maybe my interest caught the Governor’s attention.” Roper was born and raised in Clarke County. He entered law enforcement in 1978 and was elected Sheriff of Clarke County in 2003. His experience in the sheriff’s office has changed as he gained life experience. “I joined the sheriff’s office right out of high school looking for excitement and adventures,” he says. “I grew up watching cop shows on television and thought that was the career for me. And for many years, it

was all about the running and gunning of catching the bad guys. I identified with capturing them and putting them away.” Over time, however, that led him to examine the profession and what those invested in it were and are accomplishing. His work with drug enforcement in particular led him to think specifically about the use of law enforcement in dealing with the problem. “We seemed to be arresting addicts repeatedly for the same type of offenses, with no one leaving prison habilitated. While the addicts themselves need to take some ownership, I believe that we can’t do the same things over and over again and expect different results,” he says. Roper has taken this commitment to reevaluation seriously. He served as a founding member of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force and was a member of the regional FBI Drugs and Violent Crime

Task Force. Additionally, he realized the importance of evaluation of practice in the office. For instance, he questioned whether the department was making the best use of technology. The office now uses video conferencing for some court appearances that do not necessarily require the inmate to appear personally. “This allows us to keep incarcerated folks behind bars, and we do not have to transport them from the jail,” Roper says. “The community stays safer, and we make a better use of our limited

manpower resources.” In general, he sees the profession as one that “can be complacent and do things because we always did them that way,” but he believes “we must challenge everything.” He decided to run for sheriff initially because he saw some things he believed he could change for the better, and wanted to leave his mark on the county. At the time he ran, he says he had a group of loyal followers in the department who were doing a great job, and he wanted to ensure that the new sheriff took care of those

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folks as well. Roper gained the employees’ loyalty in part because he kept them on board. Sheriff’s employees serve at the will of the sheriff, so he could have “cleaned house,” as he says, when elected. But he wanted his employees to feel secure in their future. “I believe their loyalty is inspired by a great working environment here,” he says. “We cannot compete with some salaries offered, particularly with larger, more metropolitan offices to the east. But we do offer a chance to make a real difference here.” Roper has been widely recognized as a valuable community member. He has been asked to serve on a great many boards, including the board of the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center, serving as the Past President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy, and joining several committees guiding the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy. The office itself has been exceptional, achieving reaccreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Commission in 2015 with a perfect score. This reflects many hours of assessment of their operations. Deputies have received a

substantial increase in training hours, and the office plans to maintain that aggressive training schedule in 2016. Roper can also point to many tangible achievements he is proud of, including “new facilities, the creation of a rank structure, and the adoption of standard operating procedures.” These accomplishments, however, are not as important to Roper as the fundamental idea of responsibility to community safety. “Every decision we make in the Sheriff’s Office is made with our mission in mind,” he says. The mission of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is “to provide a safe community through customer service-based policing. We achieve this mission through professionalism, respect, and ethical service.” “This outlook,” Roper says, “keeps us focused as we make decisions ranging from how we handle the dispatching of a fire, handling a mentally ill subject, or deciding how much money we need to ask for in purchasing equipment.” Roper has a reputation for serving the community well, which he believes is his mission. “I truly believe we are sworn to do a job,” he says. “And that calling to help people is a noble one, one that we are lucky to answer.” Along these lines, Roper describes the most

rewarding element of his job as “encompassed by all the services we are given the opportunity to deliver. When we issue a speeding ticket to someone, I truly believe we are taking steps to save a life.” “The same goes for every time we answer a call for any service,” he says. “We are the protectors, and proud to serve as such.” The office is offering community service in the form of online safety presentations geared towards protecting children online. According to the office site, presentations are available for a variety of age groups, including parents, teens, tweens, and small children. These one-hour presentations give statistics, online resources, videos, and expert tips to engage, educate, and empower children and adults to be safer on- and offline. The office has changed dramatically in recent years, in that many calls for service involve quality of life issues and neighbor disputes. “Not long ago I never would have dreamed that Clarke deputies would be answering calls of ‘my neighbor’s trash can is blowing on my property’ or ‘my neighbor’s sign is detracting from my property value,’ but we do now,” says Roper. He believes this comes from the expectation of service from the community. “We do our best to answer the call,” he says. The mission has broadened: “Our office handles calls ranging from shots fired to a dog running at large.” He also sees his role to the citizens in Clarke County and the Commonwealth at large as important because “these are the people that establish the standards that we in law enforcement are held to.” This leads him to the changes he would like to see while he is in office—closely examining the training standards. “In the climate we are working in today, we need to provide the

brave men and women in the field with all of the tools we can,” he says. “I hope to afford this type of change.” Specifically, he wants to examine the curriculum to ensure its continued relevance. For instance, use of force training “reflects ideas that are not based on science,” Roper says. “I want our people to be confident that we are sending them into the field with the best tools, not with a fear that they are ‘out manned.’” As such, Roper believes the office requires more training,

which he thinks is too readily trimmed from the budget. “This is a very short sighted approach,” he says. “This time spent is an investment that we must make.” Roper’s stance on taking the community’s needs seriously has earned him a local and statewide reputation for excellence. His appointment to the governor’s administration is one example of this recognition, but so is his success in re-election every term, and the general public’s appreciation of his service.

“Between the World and Me”

Sunday, April 24th • 3 – 5pm Ta-Nehisi Coates 2015 MacArthur Fellow “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” Join us for the discussion!

Josephine School Community Museum Book Club 303 Josephine Street, Berryville 540-955-5512 • jschoolmuseum.org


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Faith in Action Appoints New Executive Director Faith in Action (FIA), a volunteer-based nonprofit that takes people who need transportation to medical appointments, has appointed Rev. Dr. Charles Franks to the part-time executive director position. Franks has eighteen years of experience as the Young Life Area Director in Williamsburg, Va. and Bermuda plus twelve years as Senior Pastor for First Baptist Church in Devonshire, Bermuda. He has a bachelor’s

degree in economics from The College of William & Mary and a Doctorate of Divinity from the Master’s Graduate School of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. He has provided even leadership and organizational support to help youth participate in Young Life’s camping program while recruiting, equipping, and managing a large team of volunteer leaders to accomplish the ministry objectives. As a Senior Pastor in Bermuda,

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he supported the larger Bermuda community through facilitating social programs and providing opportunities for the community to act on their faith. “Through these experiences I have developed skills in volunteer development, fundraising, community outreach, team leadership, and the provision of helping services,” he says. “I like to think that I have strong rapport building and communication skills and my experiences to date have given me opportunity to hone and practice those skills.” He feels that working for FIA allows him to follow his calling to “love my neighbor.” Winchester is Franks’s hometown. He is a member of First Baptist Church, the Valley Interfaith Council, and serves as a volunteer with the Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter (WATTS). He has two grown sons and recently married Susan Maddux. Karen Shipp, board chair of FIA, is pleased to have selected someone with Franks’s diverse employment and educational experience. “One of Faith in Action’s primary responsibilities is to recruit, train, and retain a group of volunteers dedicated to providing life-saving transportation to medical appointments,” she says. “Charly’s extensive background in working with large groups of volunteers will be invaluable in this position.” Shipp says the organization received 18 applications for the position. “We were very fortunate to have the assistance and direction of Sharon Gromling, director of Our Health, who has extensive human resources experience” in selecting Franks, she says. Faith in Action is a member of Our Health and is housed in the

Our Health office. Faith in Action is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit with one paid staff member and around 50 volunteers. They transport people who are ambulatory and do not qualify for transportation help through Medicaid to medical appointments. They are able to fill 95 percent of qualifying requests and serve Winchester, Frederick and Clarke Counties, and the northern areas of Warren and Shenandoah Counties. Volunteers are credentialed through Valley Health, and thus receive Valley Health recognition and some discounts. Faith in Action seeks to reimburse volunteers up to 30 percent of fuel costs. Franks is impressed with the health of the organization and its “active and committed” board of directors and excellent service to clients. He notes that the group receives strong administrative support from Mike and Kathy Garcia, who schedule the transports. Franks appreciates the generous community that supports the work of many nonprofits in the area, including FIA, as well as the strong support from Valley Health and Our Health. His immediate goals are to get to know everyone involved in FIA and familiarize himself with the administrative and operational details of the organization. By the end of May 2016, he hopes to have completed a vision casting process with the FIA board, staff, and volunteers to set goals together. Over time, he will monitor the needs of the clients and adapt as necessary. Shipp, who has been involved with the FIA board since its discussion phase in 2002, hopes to continue to promote the group’s services to a larger audience who could benefit from their services, as well as further increase the number of

Rev. Dr. Charles Franks. volunteer drivers and expand board membership. Franks and Shipp are addressing their immediate attention to their annual fundraiser, TableScapes 2016. Held on April 10 from 2-5pm in the Ferrari Room of Shenandoah University’s Brandt Student Center, TableScapes showcases local talent. Fifteen decorators will decorate a table with the theme of their choice. There will be a floral arrangement demonstration and individual instruction in napkin folding. The event will also feature a crystal display accented with silver, an antique linen display, a raffle, door prizes, and refreshments. New this year is the addition of three decorated children’s tables. Attendees will help select the “People’s Choice Award.” Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased at Kimberly’s, located at 135 N. Braddock St. in Winchester; Sweet Tea at 15 E. Boscawen St. in Winchester; or Our Health at 329 N. Cameron St. in Winchester. Interested parties can call 540-667-7677 for information or to purchase tickets over the phone. For more information on FIA or to connect with Franks as a potential FIA volunteer, contact him at 540-536-1006.


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A Spring To Remember At The Barns Two concerts and a special offering for Historic Gardens Week top the spring lineup

Michael Chapdelaine in concert Sunday, April 17, 4pm

Michael Chapdelaine is the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world’s top competitions in both the classical and fingerstyle genres; the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition and the National Fingerstyle Championships at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas. His performances, played on both steel string and classical guitars, include musical styles ranging from blues to Bach to country to rhythm n’ blues as he wins his audiences’ hearts with breath-taking technique and the poetic magic of his original musical portraits and landscapes. Advance tickets $15 until 1pm the day of the performance, $20 at the door.

The Gardens of Famous Artists Saturday, April 23: A visual book review of Artists’ Gardens by Bill Laws

April 23 and 24 mark the Historic Garden Week tour in Clarke County of the Garden

Club of Virginia. As part of the weekend’s celebration of springtime and gardens, Barns of Rose Hill is offering “Thru the Garden Gate”, an exhibit of garden artwork, and a special presentation on Saturday, April 23 by Suzann Smith Wilson looking at the influence of their gardens on the work of a number of famous European and American artists. Suzann Smith Wilson lives in Arizona. She’s a lecturer, photographer and painter who has led private tours of gardens and stately homes in England, France and Italy for over 14 years, and has taught fine arts at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City for 29 years. The free presentation will be given twice, at 11am and at 1pm in the James R. Wilkins, Sr., Great Hall in the Barns at 95 Chalmers Court, off E. Main Street in Berryville. The Historic Garden Tour on Saturday and Sunday will showcase several beautiful historic homes in Clarke County. Information is available on the Garden Club of Virginia website. The Barns is the designated “Lunchbox” stop on the tour. Parking is available in the Government Center parking lot on Chalmers Court.

Big Mike Lynche Wednesday, April 27, 8pm

Michael Lynche, an American Idol winner, brings his band Black Saints R&B to the Barns. Lynche’s life has been defined by two things: love and second chances. The Florida native and devoted family man’s rise from obscurity was well documented through his riveting appearance on American Idol. Known to America as “Big Mike,” he was famously “saved” by the judges, giving him a second chance to

continue through the prized competition. His heartfelt music has been virtually a lifetime in the making. He got his first guitar when he was three. He would mimic the moves of guitar players. Beyond church, Michael’s mother shared her love of music with Mike and introduced him to a wide range of artistic sounds and styles, including 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bonnie Raitt and Jimi Hendrix. After wowing millions of fans on Idol with his comforting and

powerful voice, and performing throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! tour, Lynche and his band come to the Barns with music by James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Luther Vandross, Al Green and more. Tickets are $25 in advance to 1pm the day of the concert, $30 at the door. Tickets for all events are available at the Barns box office at 540-955-2004 or order online at barnsofrosehill.org. Parking is available at the Government Center lot on Chalmers Court off E. Main Street in Berryville.

Residential & Commercial General Contractors

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Sixty-Three to Ninety-Nine The Adult Care Center is Here for Your Family By Jess Clawson

The Adult Care Center (ACC) in Winchester is a nonprofit offering a vibrant day program for adults with conditions affecting memory and independence. It provides support for the families who choose to keep their loved ones at home. The ACC serves clients in Winchester, Frederick County, Clarke County, and the surrounding area. It is the only organization in the Northern Shenandoah Valley exclusively dedicated and licensed to provide a day program for adults who need supervision or assistance. The center has formed a strong approach to client engagement, health monitoring, and caregiver support since its establishment in 1993. The ACC aims to keep loved ones in the home and active in the commu-

nity for as long as possible. According to Executive Director Jane Bauknecht, the ACC “offers many researchbased activities that encourage, engage, and enrich the participant. Effective redirection techniques are used throughout the day as needed.” Ageappropriate activities exercise the mind and body and are both recreational and therapeutic in scope including music therapy, music and spirituality, drum circle, an intergenerational program with children from the Fremont Street Nursery, expressive art, daily exercise including the use of weights and bands, aromatherapy, weekly matinee, and more. These activities “enable persons with conditions affecting memory and independence

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to be supported through various stages of their disease,” she says. The ACC is a cost-effective care option for families. “Many households who use the Center are people who have to go to work, but need an affordable place for their loved one to be during the day,” says Bauknecht. “Thus, they drop their loved one off in the morning on their way to their employment, and pick them up when the workday is over.” Others use the service parttime because “they just need an opportunity to have a few days a week to get chores done, or take a break from the demands of 24-hour care giving,” says Bauknecht. “It is so important to caregivers, who work so hard to take care of their loved ones, also value their own health and take measures to look after themselves.” The ACC is located in the Snapp Foundry Building on Cameron Street in Winchester. It is open 7:30am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Rates range from $59 to $63 per day depending on frequency of attendance. For that rate, participants receive the services of a registered nurse for needs like medication administration and medical monitoring, certified nursing assistance for assistance with personal care, and an activity program planned and implemented by a boardcertified music therapist with 16 years of experience. The Activity Director has a full-time assistant and a part-time assistant; the latter is working on her master’s degree in music therapy. The ACC is also a Medicaid provider, and has some limited scholarship grants from the Virginia Department on Aging and Rehabilitative Services for

Jane Bauknecht, left, and Mary Louise Comer, 99. those who are not Medicaid eligible but need financial assistance. Bauknecht points out that the ACC has a contract with the Veteran’s Administration. “If funding is available, eligible veterans may be financially supported two days a week at the Center,” she says. Also, because registered nurse services are offered, some people may have coverage through their long-term care insurance. The staff of the ACC is its greatest asset. “Day in and day out they come wanting to make it special for our participants,” Bauknecht says. Everyone gets involved with the activities, even if those are not necessarily in their job descriptions. “When the [certified nursing assistants] are done with their rounds of personal care, and the drum circle is going on, they are helping to keep rhythm, or assisting someone with their instrument discreetly, thinking about adding range of motion.” All around, the staff members have a solid work ethic and pitch in to ensure quality of care for patients. “Discreet medical care, top-notch certi-

fied nursing care, an activity program that is second to none, and staff that does everything from computer work to kitchen duty to end-of-day clean up, I hold this staff in the highest esteem,” Bauknecht says. “It’s a professional business, but it’s a mission too.” Since its founding, the ACC has served several hundred participants across the age spectrum and with a variety of diagnoses. The center resulted from a group called the Aging Forum who formed in the late 1980s and identified an unmet need in the community. In 1993, the ACC opened for four hours a week until it got a grant from the Center on Rural Development in 1994. Over time, the ACC grew and expanded, changing locations until it landed on the Our Health campus in Winchester in 2011. Bauknecht appreciates the hard work of the Board of Directors who have successfully written two grants from the Administration on Aging. “With those grants, the Center contracted with Michael Rohrbacher, former music therapy


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professor at Shenandoah University, and studied the seven areas of music therapy,” she says. “From this research, a monograph for a college curriculum course was produced.” “The second grant from the Administration on Aging was to study complementary and alternative therapy modalities for persons with Alzheimer’s disease in an adult day health care setting,” Bauknecht says. “The research project included aroma therapy, horticulture, music therapy, music and spirituality, art therapy, Oshiatsu, and hand massage. These grants really catapulted the Center in its work with dementia clients,” she says. The ACC has also received support from many civic groups, businesses, and individuals who have helped to purchase equipment and supplies for the program. Going forward, Bauknecht wants to “continue to work on our programming and be the best we can be at creating a good environment for persons with memory loss. And of course write more grants to purchase the things we want to make those great activities happen.” She believes in the important work the center does to make a difference for those with memory loss. Bauknecht makes the values of the center clear, especially approaching their work with compassion and interest. “We are not merely custodians of care; we are here to make a positive impact,” she says. “Over the years we have seen where our activities can help calm someone who is agitated, and can engage someone who might otherwise be isolated and non-communicative. We have seen where specific exercises can help with range of motion and improve gait and stamina.” Even clients initially resistant to attending adjust and become engaged within a short

period of time. “It is an incredible thing to see a group of persons with memory impairment working together to make music in drum circle, or actively participate in music and spirituality, or paint for an hour on a canvas, or laugh with the person sitting next to them,” says Bauknecht. The staff at the ACC focus on helping people see not the losses that accompany Alzheimer’s disease. “We want to turn that upside down and say ‘look at all that remains,’ and how can we best honor the dignity of the individual as the disease progresses, and be of the most help,” Bauknecht says. “Our belief really is, and has been all these years, that our participants need and deserve a welcoming community; one that offers fun and interesting things to do as the person ages,” says Bauknecht. “As the Baby Boomers age, so much is written about healthy aging, staying fit mentally and physically, having options available, etc. Persons with memory loss deserve the same – the opportunity to participate in an environment that is supportive, beneficial, and ever-evolving.” Part of that beneficial environment is art therapy. “Since 2004, expressive art has been an integral part of ACC’s activity program,” says Activity Director Tara Lescalleet. This program is grant-funded through the Administration of Aging. “As a society we sometimes struggle with age appropriateness, knowing individuals suffering from [Alzheimer’s disease] or other neurological diseases are limited in their cognitive abilities,” she says. “Moving forward in the personcentered realm of thinking, we shift our focus to find ‘abilities’ within ‘disabilities’ by utilizing their preserved strengths to maximize optimum potential.” Expressive art has become a “go-to activity,” Lescalleet says. It occurs three times a

week for about 45 minutes, and clients regularly ask to paint. People with Alzheimer’s have increasingly limited opportunities to make decisions for themselves as their disease progresses. Art gives people opportunities to make decisions, such as brush size, paint selection, and use of other materials. Some projects are collaborative, allowing individuals to highlight their skill sets without becoming frustrated or overwhelmed. An art appreciation activity takes place after the session ends. “This allows participants to give each artist recognition and praise for his or her accomplishments,” Lescalleet says. Participants describe the images, discuss what they like or do not like, and name the pieces. “Evoking creativity and emotion take on a new dimension when participants have that kind of recall in the ‘here and now’ moment along with a sense of self-validation.” The art program is also beneficial for families. “Knowing that their loved one is not emotionally trapped by this disease and they are able to enhance their quality of life in other facets” is “a sentimental gift to the family holding on to that healthy aspect of their loved one’s life,” Lescalleet says. The ACC’s Art on the Brain program, which holds exhibits all around the Winchester area, comes from their art therapy. “This particular event showcases the center’s artwork by individuals with dementia and also builds a sense of community awareness,” according to Lescalleet. Music also gives clients a multi-sensory experience that evokes both cognitive and physical responses. The music therapy program addresses everyday skills like communication, cognition, socialization, motor skills, and emotions. Lescalleet says the purpose of the music therapy program at

the ACC is to “redirect behavior (such as anxiety and agitation), restore communication (verbal and nonverbal), maintain cognitive and physical abilities, prevent falls, and overall enhance one’s quality of life. Shifting focus from limitation to potential is the obtainable goal in mind.” Music also invites participation in a way each individual is comfortable with. Many people with dementia become socially isolated because of their cognitive limitations. “Incorporating familiar age-appropriate tunes, visual, instruments, and movements using various supplemental materials, encourage the potential for positive outcomes,” says Lescalleet. One-on-one music therapy sessions are now being offered

to suit the individuals’ goals, and personal music playlists are being developed for each participant. “Our intention is to capture meaningful memories, which in turn facilitate a reflection of each individual’s life,” Lescalleet says. The ACC is a one-of-a-kind experience in the Northern Shenandoah Valley for adults who need assistance and their families. The thoughtful programs ensure that clients are continually engaged with the staff and each other, and have opportunities for expression and socialization. Their appreciation for the life experiences of people who are commonly viewed with a deficit perspective ensures that people with dementia are treated with dignity and respect.

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Profile for Clarke County Observer

Observer of Clarke County April 2016  

Observer of Clarke County April 2016  

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