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INSIDE LIBRARY BIDS page 4 TOWN HALL DATES page 5 NO 911 page 6 COUNCIL MINUTES page 9 B&B page 10


MARCH 2012 VOL. 6, NO. 10

Circuit Court Dismisses ReStore’N Station Appeal

TIARA TIME page 12

Then Supervisors Undercut Neighbors’ Challenge


Members of the Crozet Garden Club weeded and pruned the embankments at the railroad trestle in Downtown Crozet in February, getting them ready for spring. The murals in the underpass will be cleaned and touched up during the first week in April under the guiding eye of Bob Kirchman, an architectural illustrator who was instrumental in their creation, and local painter Meg West. They will be joined by other volunteers. The murals were painted in 1994.

Development of Rural Interstate Interchanges Put Off Albemarle County Supervisors declined a suggestion from Rivanna District Supervisor Ken Boyd to separate the matter of allowing development at Albemarle’s rural interchanges with Interstate 64 from consideration with other possible changes to the county’s comprehensive plan at a joint meeting with the Planning Commission Feb. 8. The

action means the chance for development at the Yancey Mills interchange will be forestalled at least a year while alterations to the county-wide blueprint controlling growth go through normal county planning procedures. County spokeswoman Lee Catlin told the supervisors that a Target Industry Study being performed by continued on page 14

Albemarle Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins threw out an appeal February 7 of a decision by the Albemarle County Board of Zoning Appeals brought by neighbors of the ReStore’N Station proposed for Rt. 250 just west of Western Albemarle High School. Neighbors of the project had sought to overturn a BZA ruling that backed Deputy Zoning Administrator Ron Higgins’s administrative decision that declared the project’s revision of its plan to create a 3,000 square foot second floor as in “general accord” with Board of Supervisors’ conditions for the project. Supervisors, in detailing constraints on the project, had limited the gas station/convenience store to a footprint of 3,000 square feet with no future additions, but in spelling out the conditions of its approval had not specifically limited the size of its second floor, believing its design as a 1,000 square-foot “family office space” was settled and thus unwittingly leaving a loophole. In his revision of the plan to conform to the Supervisors’ terms, project developer Jeff Sprouse enlarged the second floor, essencontinued on page 8

How to Prune a Peach Tree When you live around Crozet, it just seems fitting to have a peach tree in your yard. It’s heritage here in Virginia’s old Peach Capital. Nothing tops a fresh peach for taste. But to actually get peaches to eat, you have to manage your tree toward sun and air and keep it feeling young. It’s pruning time in the sprawling Chiles Peach Orchard in Greenwood. Ignacio Becerra bosses two crews of workers there, each crew with a foreman who has worked under Becerra

for years. Becerra is also the master pruner and instructs every worker on how it’s properly done. Born in Mexico, Becerra first worked on the Chiles peach orchard in 1975 at age 20. “I learned [how to prune] here,” said Becerra. “When I first came, I came to pick fruit. I went back to Florida for four years and then came back in 1979 and worked for Joe Henley.” In 1981 he came to Chiles’s. continued on page 20

Freshly pruned peach trees in Chiles Orchard.


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Whom Does the People’s Lawyer Work For? Readers familiar with the tortured history of the Restore’N Station project on Rt. 250 would have been stunned to see an Albemarle County attorney sitting with the developer’s attorney, conferring in whispered tones over their tactics, at a recent Circuit Court hearing. At the table opposite them sat lawyers representing the station’s neighbors, who had yet again persevered through official forums seeking justice for themselves. The Board of Supervisors imposed numerous conditions on the station that limited its size and operations in agreeing in October 2010 to issue a special use permit to allow the station to be built. Ironically it was the neighbors who

MARCH 2012 were trying to get those conditions upheld and they were being opposed by the supervisors’ (and our) own legal staff. In submitting a revised plan to conform to the SUP, developer Jeff Sprouse discovered that no conditions specifically addressed the size of the second floor, which, when the matter was before the supervisors, had been understood as an agreed-upon feature of his original plan. In his next plan, Sprouse increased the second floor from 1,000 square feet (it was formerly dubbed a “family office”) to 3,000 square feet of rental office space. This change got around a condition that forbids an addition to the building. County deputy zoning administrator Ron Higgins next ruled that this alteration was in “general accord” with the supervisors’ conditions. Since when does 3,000 equal

1,000 wondered everybody else. Neighbors asked that this judgment be reversed but Higgins’s bosses didn’t take that chance to fix things. The neighbors were obliged to make a formal argument before the Board of Zoning Appeals. After a perfunctory hearing in which the meaning of the word “general” was explained to them by county planning staff, BZA backed the 3,000 equals 1,000 notion. From there the bewildered neighbors went to the next rung in the justice system, the county circuit court. But before their appeal could be heard, county lawyers sought to have the case dismissed. They didn’t want “3,000-is-1,000” to get its day in court. They saw it as their job to preserve the zoning administrators’ bad decision. [See the story on page 1]. Astonishingly, readers, their argument that the appeal didn’t continued on page 26

Letters reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the Crozet Gazette.

Henley’s Renewable Energy Sources Are a Good Value I am writing in response to February’s Letter to the Editor that questioned the value of the recently installed wind turbine at Henley Middle School. While the Gazette’s article focused primarily on the wind turbine, that structure is only one piece of the Renewable Energy Resource Center that was being dedicated. This Center also includes solar thermal panels that heat 60 percent of the school’s hot water and an array of 182 solar photovoltaic panels. Additionally, the money for the Center will provide electronic dashcontinued on page 5


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CROZET Published on the first Thursday of the month by The Crozet Gazette LLC, P.O. Box 863, Crozet, VA 22932. © The Crozet Gazette

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MARCH 2012

Crozet Library Goes to Bid Why Libraries Matter

About 20 representatives of construction companies, many from major firms, showed up for the prebid meeting for the new Crozet library held at Crozet United Methodist Church Feb. 23. A list of who attended is posted on the county procurement department’s webpage. The county project manager Ron Lilley said the crowd was evidence of “a good level of interest.” He was joined at a table by the building’s designers and engineer from Grimm and Parker Architects. Brian McPeters of Kimley Horn in Richmond, who is the engineer for the Crozet Avenue streetscape project, was present to answer questions about it because the two jobs are now expected to happen at the same time. “We will likely need coordination,” he said. Plans for the library are drawn as if the streetscape (first expected to be done in 2008) is in place. If the streetscape does not start soon, the builder of the library might be obliged to do about 100 feet of the sidewalk and sewer project in order

to be able to make progress on the library. “It’s a builder-friendly site,” said Lilley. “It has a parking area and a staging area.” The representatives all walked across the street later to eyeball the location. Lilley said that a deeper excavation into the hillside, once desired for enlarging the square footage of the lower level, is not in the plan now. “It’s a money decision,” explained Lilley. Asked later, the architects estimated that the planned area could be doubled in size for another $150,000 to $200,000. It is not feasible to excavate later. The library, which is funded in the county’s proposed budget for 2012-13, is expected to start construction in July. Lilley said contractors can start in June, but no payments will be made until July. Some venerable oak trees on the neighboring property will come down when construction starts. Bidders must familiarize themselves with two volumes of specifi-

continued on page 33

by Clover Carroll Whenever budget cutting gets underway, library services always seem to be one of the first things to go on the chopping block. With some Albemarle County Supervisors questioning the need to contribute to a regional library system, and wondering whether building “bricks and mortar” libraries is even necessary any longer, it behooves us to reflect on why libraries are essential, even with the advent of the Internet and ebooks. New York clergyman and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher’s conclusion that “a library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life,” is as true today as when he said it in the late 19th century. Throughout world history, from Egypt to India to the Islamic empire to medieval monasteries, libraries have been prized as preservers and transmitters of culture, bastions of learning, and necessary foundations for intellectual exploration and scientific advancement. In Renaissance Europe, “libraries were places where ideas were exchanged and where scholarship and reading were considered both pleasurable and beneficial to the mind and soul,” recounts Stuart A. P. Murray in The Library: an Illustrated History. Libraries were integral to the foundation of America, from the 17th century Boston Town Hall library, to Benjamin Franklin’s 18th century Library Company of Philadelphia, to Thomas Jefferson’s sale (for a song) of his own personal book collection to the Library of Congress after it was destroyed in the fire of 1814, to steel magnate Andrew Carnegie’s 19th century donation of over 1,400 library buildings throughout the United States to help bring about the “improvement of mankind.” Before 1900 when access to public schools became widespread, libraries served as cultural hubs in many communities, where the public could hear notable speakers—such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Darwin, and Mark Twain—poetry readings, and discuss the issues of the day, all for free. Libraries have long been considered a cornerstone of democracy. “Whenever the people are wellinformed, they can be trusted with their own government,” wrote

Jefferson. Public libraries are vital to democracy because they provide free access to information—in the form of books, video recordings, computers, Internet access, and informational programming. In America we still believe that the race is not to the swiftest, richest, or most powerful; it is to the most inventive, the most productive, the most hard-working. And how do we improve our condition? How do we “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps”? Through self-education, inquiry, and ingenuity. This is the essence of the American Dream that politicians love to talk about preserving. Knowledge is indeed power, the power to better oneself, to become an informed voter, to protect oneself as a consumer, to start a new business. Libraries are not only gateways to knowledge that allow our citizens to educate themselves, but also a major tool in overcoming the digital divide. In the Information Age more than ever, when not everyone can afford to own a TV, a computer, a newspaper subscription or even Internet access, public libraries provide free access to the information necessary for full participation in society. The library is a place where people of all income levels can go to read the news, read the latest magazine issue, learn, do research, access the Internet, send email, fill out an online college or job application, take an enlightening book home with them, or these days, download it to a mobile device—all for free! And more importantly, this sanctuary of learning is staffed by a trained librarian to guide patrons through the maze of information and find the answers they are looking for. Libraries are public spaces, community gathering places, which have become rarer over time with the decline in community centers and other common spaces. They are the glue that brings and holds a community together. As Caroline Kennedy pointed out in her keynote address at the I Love My Librarian Award Ceremony in December, “libraries are…busy social hubs for the exchange of life skills and information. They have become community centers in the very best sense—places where we build community and weave together lives and dreams. The unemployed come to find job traincontinued on page 35


—continued from page 3

board monitoring—a flatscreen monitor that will provide a constant electronic readout of energy being generated by the various resources. Students at Henley and throughout the county and state will be able to access this information for science and math lessons. And, because the solar panels on the roof will not be accessible to students, two polemount panels will be placed in front of the building so that students can use them for experiments. The energy from these two pole-mount panels will power a kinetic sculpture designed and built by Henley art students. The total cost of the turbine, all materials and installation, was $23,250. The overall cost for all components of the energy center was $280,000, money that was well invested to provide invaluable hands-on learning for students, to lessen Henley’s carbon footprint, and to save Albemarle County Schools thousands of dollars annually. Susan Guerrant Librarian and Environmental Coordinator, Henley Middle School Supervisor Ann Mallek Schedules Town Halls Dear Crozetians, Thank you for your confidence to send me back for a second term representing the White Hall District. You are vitally important to success, by sharing your insights about problems and solutions in our community. Unlike some radio hosts, I believe “community� is a good word, conveying a sense of caring about neighbors, local business success, our children’s futures and the protection of the environment that helps us to lead healthy lives. None of us is alone on an island; we are all connected to sink or succeed together. This month I will host three citizens’ town halls. Police Chief Steve Sellers and school board members should be in attendance. In addition to the budget details, I ask for feedback on any other issues of interest. I will gather topics every 30 minutes to prevent leaving issues unaddressed. Please join me at an upcoming meeting: Tuesday, March 13. 7 p.m. Town Hall with Pam Moynihan at

MARCH 2012 Broadus Wood Elementary cafeteria. Saturday, March 17. 1 p.m. Town Hall with Steve Koleszar at White Hall Community Center. Monday, March 19. 7 p.m. Town Hall with Eric Strucko and Ned Gallaway at The Meadows on Crozet Ave. We will discuss the timetable for ordinance changes for rural area businesses such as bed-and-breakfast rooms in outbuildings and food service at farms, as well as changes to county process to “fast-track� applications to help our economic recovery. There are many other questions. What are your thoughts on costrecovery billing to insurance companies only for ambulance transport? Should changes be made to ordinances currently allowing burning of household trash in our backyards? Are you concerned about drug use in the school-age population? Updates will also be provided about upcoming VDOT projects in the White Hall District. Actions of the General Assembly as the session ends will affect the local budget. State government has passed us the bill to restore funding to the state retirement system by requiring an additional $1.4 M each year from Albemarle County. Sadly, the Governor did not repay the loan he took from the retirement system, calling it “surplus� and handing out bonuses to state employees. General reductions in funding for schools, for mental health services as patients are returned to their communities, for maintenance of roads (unless matched 50/50 by local funds), and cuts in funding for commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff, and jail budgets will hamper our ability to fund our local future. It is unknown today what the Governor will do as the bills pass and come across his desk. What is known is that we all can work together. Many of you help me to be well informed about issues of particular interest to you. We will continue to work together to fund the completion of the Historic District application and the furnishings to the Western Albemarle/ Crozet library. Thank you all for your assistance. Very sincerely, Ann Mallek Earlysville

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MARCH 2012

Are You Ready for a Day When You Needn’t Bother Calling 911? by Larry Miles June 24, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m. was when it began to hit home for me. I was at the Omni, in Charlottesville, wrapping up a meeting when suddenly the power went out and the double doors that open onto the downtown mall blew open with a startling crash. Looking out the windows I noticed amidst the menagerie of flying umbrellas, hats and leaves that rain was literally blowing sideways and at times it even looked as if it were defying the laws of gravity and going back up to the heavens. I didn’t realize how bad things were until I decided to get in my car and go home. Since the storm was over in approximately seven minutes, this seemed like a logical thing to do. Thirty minutes later, after I’d only moved about 500 feet on McIntire Road, it seemed slightly less logical. The whole trip from the Omni to my home on the east side of Crozet took a little less than two hours that June afternoon (and eve-

ning). But it wasn’t the length of time it took me to travel that relatively short distance that struck me so hard and created the lasting impact on my psyche that afternoon, rather it was what I heard them say on the radio as I struggled to make my way home. I don’t remember if it was AM 1070, or AM 1260 (I listened to both stations during the long trip home) where I heard it, but I do clearly remember hearing the announcer say it, and all I could say when I heard it was, “Whoa!” So what did I hear? I distinctly remember hearing the announcer say, “Don’t bother calling 911 unless it is really a life or death situation because no one will come.” For those of us who’ve been “conditioned” by living in suburbia for the past 30 or 40 years, one thing we all know is that if you’re ever in trouble, you call 911. We teach our kids to dial 911; in fact I’ve even heard stories about pets dialing 911. A shock came over me as I realized that a seven minute thunderstorm

had effectively neutered the response of at least three local police forces and untold rescue squads. That was 2010. Next came 2011, which, as it turns out was one of the biggest years for natural disasters in the history of the US. “There have been more billion-dollar natural disasters in the U.S. during 2011 than any year on record, and we have seen our share of grief throughout Virginia,” noted Michael Cline, state coordinator of emergency management. This time it was the earthquake in Louisa that shook my confidence in things that I had supposed were unshakeable, like cell phones. I experienced the earthquake on the second floor of our company headquarters in Waynesboro and my wife experienced it at friend’s house in Barboursville. The only problem was I couldn’t call her to make sure that she and my two young daughters were OK, because my cell phone didn’t work. Hers didn’t either, but I didn’t find that out until later. It dawned on me that

evening, after we’d re-united and shared our separate experiences, that so many things we take for granted, like cell phone communication, like the ability to dial 911 and have someone respond, are actually very unreliable in times of even minimal widespread destruction, and perhaps the most unreliable at the times when we may need them the most. One more quick anecdote before I move on. I read an article in the Gazette a month or so ago (I’m sure many of you read it, too) about Lake Anna’s nuclear facility shutting down during the earthquake, about how they were going to restart it, and various other scary facts (like the fact that it’s built on a fault line). One thing that struck me in particular was that I happen to live inside the 50-mile radius of Lake Anna, (the radius that might be in a mandatory evacuation order if there were in fact a problem). I read that and immediately remembered my trip back from Hilton Head last summer. (I know, strange connec-


MARCH 2012

tion, but bear with me for a moment). We were travelling north on I-95 about fifty miles south of Richmond when we hit a 6-mile backup. It turns out that the traffic was backed up for six miles because one lane of Interstate 95 had been closed by construction crews. I wondered aloud to my wife how in the world it was possible to evacuate everyone out of a 50-mile radius of Lake Anna, if closing just one lane of I-95 caused a six-mile backup on a sunny Saturday afternoon? So what’s the point of these strolls down disaster lane? Well, as I thought about these different events I came to some conclusions. First, though they work diligently and train repeatedly for multiple catastrophe scenarios, and undoubtedly do their absolute best to prepare, our local government, fire, police, and rescue services are totally incapable of responding to all of the different needs that suddenly arise during an emergency or disaster situation (or for that matter, even during a seven-minute microburst thunderstorm). Second, if we can’t count on the authorities, then that only leaves us. Third, the “us” consists of: you,

me, and everyone of our friends, neighbors, and close community members. That brings me to the real purpose behind this article and the ones that will follow it. If 2011 was the biggest year for disasters in U.S. history, we can play the odds and figure that 2012 won’t be as bad, or we can all use a little wisdom and think about how we can be prepared—just in case— and be there to help our families, neighbors and friends in the event that 2012 does bring some unpleasantness upon our small community. During the next several months, a number of people including me, and a few other forward-thinking Crozet citizens, will pen a series of articles largely modeled after the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website. Their website at http://www.vaemergency. gov/readyvirginia, contains great information about some of the wise actions we should all take so that we’ll be “helpful,” and not “help-

less,” in the event that something unpleasant occurs. But don’t wait for the next article to do something. Check out the emergency department’s website now and begin to take action. When it comes to being prepared, there’s no time like the present to start. Finally, remember this: if a real disaster comes, we are the ones who


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MARCH 2012

ReStore’N —continued from page 1

tially placing the disallowed office addition on top of the first floor. Neighbors had appealed Higgins’s approval of the revised drawing in which 3,000 square feet was deemed the same as 1,000 to the BZA and in a perfunctory hearing of the dispute, the four-member BZA backed the zoning department’s “general accord” finding on May 3, 2011. Following formal appeal procedures, neighbors then took their case to the Circuit Court. The actual dispute over the intentions of the supervisors in setting conditions for the project was not heard by the court. Instead it ruled on a motion to dismiss the appeal brought by Albemarle County lawyers who were working in conjunction with Sprouse’s attorney, Rick Carter. County lawyer Andy Herrick and Carter moved for dismissal on two grounds. First, they said, the site plan being appealed was no longer under consideration, having been replaced by a later version, a claim that ignored the cause of the dispute, which had not been resolved by the revised site plan but in fact created it. Second, Herrick said, one of the complainants, Marcia Joseph, who filed the appeal along with Bruce Kirtley and Richard Brown, was not an immediate neighbor of the project and therefore did not have standing to bring the appeal. Joseph, who lives north of Charlottesville, is not “an aggrieved person” in the case, Herrick said, regardless of her willingness to come forward to oppose what she saw as an injustice, because she has no “direct financial interest” in the BZA’s decision.

Herrick cited the ruling in a case from Virginia Beach that he said supported his reasoning. Eliminating Joseph from the appeal for “lack of standing” had no real effect on it because both Kirtley and Brown, as boundary neighbors, remained legally bona fide adversaries of the BZA action. Neighbors were represented by Craig Marshall and T. J. Aldous of the Zobrist Law Group.. Herrick contended that the appeal “was moot because the issue is no longer alive” because Sprouse had submitted the revised site plan on July 14, 2011. “The actual controversy no longer exists,” Herrick said. Carter, asked by the judge if he had any other points to raise, replied that he “concurred” with what Herrick said. Joseph next addressed Judge Higgins and said, “Bruce Kirtley and Richard Brown and I said we can’t let this stand because it’s not fair. If you take me out of the equation then you take out every taxpayer in the county.” Marshall pointed out to Judge Higgins that there is no precedent for dismissing all parties to a suit because one is determined not to have standing. He then argued that the case was not moot because “an actual controversy exists and the property of the aggrieved is threatened.” “What’s at issue is the official determination of the deputy zoning administrator [approving a 3,000 square foot second floor], not the site plan. Dismissal amounts to approval of the official determination. “The BZA ruling continues to aggrieve the petitioners” Marshall argued. “We have a statutory right to appeal. . . . If mooted, this case will never be heard. . . .They can

have a second floor two or three times the size of what the Board of Supervisors approved. “We have no reason to believe the land owner will restrain himself. Three thousand square feet will be as ‘a thing decided.’ If every time we appeal they can change their plan, they will change their plan every time there is an appeal. That would be bad precedent.. . . These citizens feel their rights are being ignored.” Asked for his rebuttal, Herrick said Restore’N Station has no vested right to build a 3,000-square-foot second floor because no significant governmental decision was made. Carter argued that the issues in the public’s objection to the Restore’N Station when the Supervisors considered the special use permit had centered on water use and parking lot considerations and that these had already been decided by the board. “They are trying to get in through the side door what they could not get through the front door,” he said. “We’re here because of the ‘general accord’ ruling,” countered Joseph. Aldous, picking up a volume of the Code again, returned to the section that establishes the vested right to appeal governmental rulings. “A vested right exists if an official determination is made,” he read aloud. Judge Higgins then paused to consider the matter and, noting “that it is refreshing to see someone so concerned” with civic affairs, she ruled that Joseph is not a legitimate party to the appeal because she had no direct financial stake and dismissed her as a petitioner. Next, adding that she regarded the issue of the 3,000-square-foot second floor as still under consideration, she ruled that, “Because the site plan is no longer in place, the issue is

moot.” Thus the county’s motion to dismiss the appeal was granted. Marshall said afterward that that meant Sprouse could be able to proceed to build a 3,000-square-foot second floor over the store. Aldous said Higgins’s ruling might be appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court but that submission of the appeal would have to wait until Judge Higgins released her written statement of the dismissal and gave official reasons. Aldous also filed a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for documentation about whether the supervisors had formally voted, as required by FOIA law, after leaving an executive session discussion of the case. County attorney Larry Davis had said that the supervisors did not have to give him authority to defend a zoning decision at an open meeting. Chris and Ann Suh, owners of Brownsville Market, who were among those bringing the appeal, disagreed and asked Aldous to pursue the FOIA matter. It appeared no vote had been taken, which would have been a violation of the FOIA. At this stage, at a February 24 meeting of the Supervisors, Davis presented the supervisors with a draft of a resolution he had prepared for them to ratify. It asserted that Davis has the authority to act on behalf of the supervisors “without specific additional authorization,” and that deputy zoning administrator Ron Higgins, who made the decision in dispute, has similar authority. The presentation of a resolution for the supervisors’ vote had not been posted on the public agenda for the meeting on the county website. The resolution, adopted unanimously by the supervisors, concontinued on page 13


MARCH 2012

Five Seats Come Open on Crozet Advisory Council This Spring Landscaping along the new Jarmans Gap Road will be modest, VDOT project manager Danny Lyons told the Crozet Community Advisory Council at its meeting Feb. 16. A 400-foot line of abellias and Siberian iris will go near Wayland’s Grant and the vicinity of Haden Lane will get dogwoods, arbor vitae and serviceberry. Lyons said civic groups are free to plant other things at their own expense, once they get a permit. Planning Commissioner Tom Loach lamented the number of trees that were lost to the widening. The available right-of-way along the road varies, Lyons said, but generally speaking, a six-foot planting strip is available along the sidewalk. He said any surplus plants available from the creation of the storm water biofilter at Old Trail Drive could be moved to other places along the road. “We need trees back,” agreed Meg West. Crozet Community Association president Tim Tolson said the CCA might be a partner in a tree-planting project. Ravi Respeto and Joyce Dudek, representing the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, which is attempting to land a $700,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development that will enable it to repair houses in Orchard Acres, said AHIP has so far received 40 applications from residents who appear

qualified to receive aid. If all meet requirements, each could get as much as $15,000 worth of repairs. Dudek asked the CCAC for a resolution of community support to boost their chances to secure funding. The council did so. Katurah Roell, developer of Claudius Place, a two-story, bluestone and brick commercial building that will be built across from the new library, showed the CCAC new elevations of the building’s south and west sides. It now has rooftop dining pavilions for use by a restaurant. He dubbed it “Crozet’s sky bar.” The restaurant will also have a performance area for musicians. Roell said he believes he is close to finalizing a lease with a restaurant operator and hopeful that he can begin construction April 1 with a completion date in September. Two other spaces on the main floor are still for rent, he said, but he has met his bank’s requirement of 60 percent leased area prior to construction. The CCAC also reviewed the prospect of light industrial development at Yancey Mills. More than 10.4 million square feet of light industrial and commercial land has been approved in Albemarle in the last 10 years, noted Loach, and most of it has not been built. Bill Schrader informed the CCAC that the fundraising group

Piedmont Baptist Church Reopens

Old Trail Home Sales Increased in 2011

After a fire destroyed their church’s sanctuary on November 19, 2010, members of Piedmont Baptist Church in Yancey Mills have been worshipping with their neighboring churches. In January the reconstruction was completed and the congregation was able to worship in their Fellowship Hall the first Sunday in February and go back into the sanctuary on the third Sunday. They are inviting the community to come celebrate their Grand Reopening with an open house March 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. and a Rededication Appreciation Service April 28th at 3 p.m.

Last year 84 houses in Old Trail were sold or placed under contract, 72 being new construction, according to Beights Corporation, the project’s developer. Sales totaled $37.3 million, nearly $7 million more than in 2010. The average sales price and median sales price increased over 2010, to $444,081 and $423,590, respectively, increases of 12 percent and 16 percent. The average cumulative days on the market for Old Trail properties is 66, roughly half that reported for the greater Charlottesville area.

continued on page 28



MARCH 2012

B&B Cleaners: A Crozet Instituion by Scott Hilles Crozet may not (yet) be famous for having the crispest dressers in the state, but Crozet’s only dry cleaners has a long history of caring for our garments and helping us to dress our best. B&B Cleaners was purchased in 1990 by Buddy and Betty Rauch, hence the name B&B. Buddy passed away in 2002, and Betty has run the business continuously since its purchase. The Rauch family is the third of three families who have had a hand in providing Crozet with its dry cleaning at the same location on Crozet Avenue for almost seventy years. In 1946, brothers Frank and Harold O’Neil opened the dry cleaners business, complete with a WWII era Quonset hut. After the war, the military sold many of its surplus Quonset huts, and it is likely, though not confirmed, that the galvanized metal and curved roofed building that still stands behind the storefront saw service in the war. In 1951, George and Robert Trimble purchased the cleaners and named it Trimbles. With dry cleaning experience in Staunton, these brothers ran the store together for ten years until George and his family moved back to Staunton. George’s daughter is Jean Trimble Wagner, another familiar Crozet name—she and her family are stockholders and employees at Crozet Great Valu. Jean remembers running around the store when she was a child. Robert and his wife Anne continued to run the business until they retired in 1990. Upon the Trimbles’ retirement, Buddy and Betty bought the busi-

ness. At the time, Buddy was managing the Fruit Grower’s Co-Op and already contributing to Crozet’s economic growth by renting out Co-Op owned retail space in the 1980s to two of Crozet’s longstanding businesses, Crozet Pizza and The Green Olive Tree. There is a commonality in these three owners’ stories, and it is what has made Crozet a great village in which to reside, family run businesses. From the O’Neil family, long involved in local business during Crozet’s early days, to the Trimbles and the Rauchs, brothers, husbands and wives, and children have all played a role in Crozet businesses and specifically in Crozet’s one-and-only cleaners. Buddy and Betty Rauch, their two children, Becky and Beth, as well as Becky’s and her husband Chuck’s children, have all worked at B&B Cleaners at one time or another. The Rauch granddaughters were all Western Albemarle High School and then Longwood College graduates. One mainstay at Trimbles and then B&B is Connie Showers who has been working there since 1980. She currently begins her 5 a.m. day at the cleaners running the machines and also doing alterations. She likely knows the building better than anyone else. The cleaners actually is made up of four buildings—the store front, the Quonset hut where ironing and alterations are done and completed clothes hang, a building that supplies the steam, and a room that contains the washers, driers, dry cleaner unit, and additional ironing equipment. A number of the Huebsch commercial machines date from the 1940s and are still locally

From left, Becky Kennedy, Betty Rauch and Connie Showers

serviced. The neighborhood around the cleaners has changed some over the years. There is more asphalt now and fewer trees. The Crozet Bank, which was diagonally across the street, was torn down in the 1980s. The movie theatre that was beside what is now Mountainside Senior Living is also gone. The next-door neighbors were once the Pool Parlor and lunch counter, and the Post Office. They both moved across the street. The second location of the Pool Parlor now houses La Cocina del Sol. Across from B&B was also the Crozet Shoe Shop, owned by Lester Washington, and Modern Barber Shop which is still owned by the McCauley family through three generations. Betty is closing in on twenty-five years owning B&B Cleaners. Over the years she has seen it all—has found numerous unmentionables in garments, but is not wishing to air anyone’s dirty laundry. A bullet put

a hole in the wall behind the counter once, and someone stole the trademark round clock that had hung outside over the door for many years. The store’s van was once used in the 1991 movie Toy Soldiers, filmed at the Miller School. But mostly the operation has served customers who have exchanged clothes, dirty to clean, swapped their ripped garments or too-tight pants for newly altered ones, and shared news and gossip with Betty, Becky, and Connie concerning Crozet and sports at Western. If you like to read, you can drop off or pick up a used book from the book rack. And make sure to bring your change if you bring your children inside. They are sure to want a gumball from the machine. (Proceeds go to charity.) Now that is full-service.


MARCH 2012

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Winter finally came. For one day! On February 19th, five and a half inches of snow fell and that has been the only significant snow of the year. It melted the next day and five days later we hit 76 degrees. The day before the snow, the sun was out and we peaked at 62 degrees. Our promises of Sunday snow were met with great skepticism but Mother Nature delivered in a most improbable way. Has it ever been 60 one day and snowed the next before? Well, of course it has. This is Virginia. On March 29, 2003, the high was 78 and the next day had three inches of snow. October 9, 1979 was 76 degrees and was followed by the earliest snow ever the next day. There are dozens of cases of the sixties followed by snow in our database. Believe it or not, there are five times in 100 years when a day with temperatures in the seventies was followed by snow the next day. March can be a snowy month but the chances drop off quickly as the month progresses. Instead, it’s time to look forward to spring.

Usually, the forsythia blooms about the 13th of March but that should be coming any day now with the warm weather. According to Heidi’s blooming calendar, the cherry trees are due to bloom March 29th but expect them much earlier this year. Also in March, Daylight Savings Time kicks in on the 11th and the sun will set at 7:36pm by the end of the month. The normal high is just 53 on the first but rises to 64 by the end of the month. Rain was slightly below normal for the month but sheets of rain on Leap Day made up much of the deficit. So far, we are in good shape for moisture heading into the growing season. Here are some monthly rain totals from around the area. February Rain Totals Afton Summit 3.22” UVA 3.14” Crozet 2.91” Ivy 2.69” Waynesboro 2.39” Charlottesville Airport 2.21” White Hall 2.17”

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MARCH 2012

Crimaudo Crowned Miss Mountainside 2012 By Connor Andrews After a long and entertaining night of performances from all contestants in the Miss Mountainside Pageant, Sally Crimaudo was crowned Miss Mountainside 2012. In the front of the Mountainside Senior Living dining room decorated with heart shaped balloons, Crimaudo stood in awe at her accomplishment. “I’m quite surprised,” said Crimaudo, who had never competed in the pageant before this year, “I think it’s wonderful; it gets everyone together and we all have fun. It’s a fun time.” The dining room of Mountainside Senior living was filled with friends, family, and local community members who came out to support the participants. The pageant’s judges included Francis Morris, Patty Baber, Elbert Dale, and Betty

Ferneyhough. In front of this gathering, the participants demonstrated to the judges their humor and experiences through anecdotes from their past, and flaunted their talents ranging from the poetry readings of contestants Mary Wegner and Joyce Fincham to the crocheting by Sally Sue Blose. Dressed in coconut tops and straw skirts over their dresses with flower necklaces, Pat Young, Rebecca Garrison, Janet Breeden, Millissia Monk, and Sally Crimaudo all participated in a hula dance for their talent. With the music playing in the background, all five stood on stage and performed a well rehearsed routine to the crowd’s applause. Emcee Tammy Sue Besecker introduced each contestant and made sure, the best she could, that they “kissed and swished” on their way through the crowd and up to the stage. She asked questions of the contestants about their life, their

Mae West (Alberta Corey) entertained the audience while the judges totaled the scores.

Sally Crimaudo, Ms. Mountainside 2012.

hobbies and interests, and even a few questions about when they had their first kiss, allowing the judges and the crowd to learn more about each person. “[Tammy Sue] does a wonderful job,” thanked Crimaudo after the competition. First runner up went to Rebecca Garrison and second runner up went to Evelyn Grimes. No participant left empty handed, however. The award for “Biggest Flirt” went to Polly Connor, “Best Overall” to

Lucy Chambers, “Funniest” to Montru Roudabush, “Miss Congeniality” to Mary Wegner and Joyce Fincham, “Most Outgoing” to Janet Breeden, “Most Outrageously Interesting” to Pat Young, and “Sexiest” to Darlene Pritchett. “Best Talent” went to Helen Stone for her performance of singing “The Hills Are Alive,” and to Ruby Witt for her singing of “Freight Train Blues.”


MARCH 2012

Seasonal Flavors

ReStore’N —continued from page 8


Spring Tonic As a very young girl I looked forward to March and in particular to the following early spring ritual. My mother and I would go down to a park by the Delaware River, in Trenton, New Jersey, where I grew up, on sunny, but still cold and windy days in early March to gather the first sproutings of dandelions. In Italian these are called piscia cani, which has to do with urine and dogs, (Although the word dandelion is derived from the French dent de lion, meaning lion’s tooth, the French also call them pisenlit which has to do with urination in bed.) We would cut the very youngest and tenderest sprouts, and when we returned home, my mother would wash them very diligently and shake them dry in a towel. Of course, I thought all the washing had to do with the dogs and that business. She would then heat two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar in a sauté pan along with a clove of garlic sliced in two and an anchovy filet. The anchovy would dissolve as the mixture heated up. After a few minutes she overturned the sauté pan onto the salad greens. There it remained five or so minutes wilting the greens. We would eat this with hardboiled eggs and tuna packed in oil and crusty Italian bread. I always thought of this lunch as a spring tonic. Indeed it well may have, been since dandelions are a gentle diuretic, hence the Italian and French names. They are known to purify the blood, liver, and kidneys and recycle nutrients. Nowadays we have many choices, even year round, of young and tender “spring greens” mixes. You need not pick your own, but the heated oil/vinegar dressing is worth a try any time, especially in March. ***** This year I have been consumed with what to do with our overly abundant sweet potato harvest of

last fall. An idea came via my son who worked this past year in Brooklyn. He often indulged in West Indian street food called “rotis.” Some were of goat meat and some vegetarian. I found a recipe for a sweet potato filling for tortillas and adapted it to rotis. My daughter, who works full time, made it, proof that it is fairly easy and not time consuming. One can cook or roast the equivalent of 4 cups or so of mashed sweet potatoes ahead of time.

Sweet Potato Rotis Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan. Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and cook until they start popping. Add 1 cup of chopped onions. Saute until soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon chopped up or grated fresh ginger root (or you can use powdered ginger), 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Continue to sauté a little longer. (You can add a bit of water to prevent sticking.) You can also add a sweet pepper to the sauté mix; I am just too cheap to buy one out of season. Mix in mashed sweet potatoes and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice). For the rotis themselves, I make half the recipe below.

4 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt ¼ cup oil 1 cup water Mix, knead briefly, and let stand for 15 minutes. Divide into six parts. Roll each out about 6 or 7 inches square and a little thicker than a tortilla. Add filling, maybe half a cup or so. Fold dough over and press down with fingers or fork continued on page 28

cluded that “the County Attorney and the Zoning Administrator need no further authorization to act on the board’s behalf in such matters, in the case of site plans submitted under SP-2009-00034 specifically [Restore’N Station], the Board supports both (a) the official determinations made by the Zoning Administrator and (b) the legal positions and authority of the County Attorney to defend those determinations in all tribunals.” Aldous said the resolution weakened the case of the neighbors should it ultimately go forward because it put the supervisors on record as saying they agreed with Ron Higgins’s “general accord” finding over the larger second floor rather than what they approved in granting the special use permit. “What we did was to affirm that it is [the county’s attorney’s] job to defend the county and the zoning administrator,” said White Hall Supervisor Ann Mallek afterward. “We went through a rehash of how we got where we are and we had a discussion about the Restore’N Station. The County Attorney assured us that the only plan that is alive is the one approved by the Architectural Review Board.” That version has a first floor of about 2,800 square feet and a second at about 1,700. Mallek said the draft resolution was brought forward by Davis and that the Supervisors had not asked for it. As for Davis motion to dismiss the appeal, she said, “There was no decision [by the Supervisors] to instruct him to oppose the appeal being brought by the station’s neighbors.” She said she felt the Sprouse’s project consultant, Jo Higgins, had seen the loophole in the supervisors’ original conditions for the project at the meeting when they were set and that the Supervisors’ mistake was that they had failed to tie their approval of the special use permit to a specific site plan. “I feel bad for everybody being riled up about it,” she said. “I would hope it can go forward as it was approved by the ARB. I hope the folks making the appeal can be at peace with this.”

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MARCH 2012

Interchanges —continued from page 1

Younger and Associates, a consulting company, has identified three general types of companies that the county should try to attract: bioscience and medical device firms, business and financial services companies, and information technology and defense/security firms. The study is considered important baseline information for deciding where, or even if, to add light industrial zoning that might draw new companies and jobs to the county. Catlin called the report “preliminary� and said the consultants will meet with supervisors in March. Catlin said Albemarle has “growth potential in light manufacturing for medical devices,� as well as “special momentum� with financial services companies, which are expected to grow as electronic payments become more common. She predicted that some out-sourced business operations will return to the United States. Because Albemarle is now the home of the National Ground Intelligence Center, services and manufacturers related to the military may be attracted to the area. “The intelligence community is seen as immune from defense cuts,� she said. She added that the report also suggests health care companies, retiree relocation, art and design companies and sports-related businesses as “complementary targets.� But the report’s advice does not get more specific than that. “We need to eliminate obstacles and get out of the way of the private sector,� observed Boyd in reacting to her summary. County planner Elaine Echols reminded supervisors that the revi-

sion of the Comprehensive Plan began last summer and changes are slated to be presented to the supervisors next January. The county has more land in Growth Areas zoned for residential and commercial uses than the plan currently recommends and less light industrial land than called for. Still, there are 3.1 million square feet of undeveloped light industrial zoning in the University of Virginia Research Park near Hollymead and another 300,000 square feet available at the University’s research park on Fontaine Avenue. The southern side of Charlottesville that officially lies in the county has not been master planned, she noted, and the interchanges at Rt. 29 South, Fifth Street, Rt. 20 south and Rt. 250 east at Shadwell may have locations suitable for light industry. More detailed plans for those areas “are pretty critical� in the Comprehensive Plan, she said. Echols’s report on the interchanges purposely ignored recommendations for the four urban interchanges near Charlottesville because of their planning limbo. At the time light that industrial development was suggested for the Yancey Mills interchange, and Crozet citizens opposed it by a three to one margin, county planners had suggested that the rural interstate interchanges might be developed in a “low impact� way that did not involve extending public water and sewer to them. But public water availability was a top consideration in her analysis of interchange suitability. The interchange at Black Cat Road has no public water near it and is not considered a likely for development, she said. The south side of the Shadwell

interchange has “a patchwork of zoning� and some a highway access issues, but it is near public water and sewer. The Ivy interchange also has no water and has some challenges from slopes. That left Yancey Mills, “which could be served by public water and sewer. It may have some difficulty meeting VDOT requirements,� she said. The Crozet Master Plan process, completed in 2010, decided not to add to the growth area, she noted. Supervisor Rodney Thomas asked if the plan review could be sped up. “It’s a lot to get done,� said planning director Wayne Cilimberg. “This is an aggressive schedule.� The Target Study remains an important piece of information, he said, as is the master plan for the southern neighborhoods, and he reminded the supervisors that property owners can still bring forward rezoning requests under existing zoning. “It’s a massive plan,� said Boyd, who proposed that the interchanges and light industrial features of the plan be “pulled out and dealt with on a piecemeal basis. Why take so long?� Planning Commissioner Mac Lafferty said “several studies say we have enough light industrial land to last us 20 years.� “People who own it are not stepping forward,� answered Boyd. “So let’s go to the owners who will.� “A piecemeal approach would be a huge, huge mistake,� said supervisor Dennis Rooker. “The project at the [Yancey Mill] interchange was proposed six years ago and it’s languishing,� said Boyd. “You said private companies should be doing it,� said Rooker. “There’s LI land at Fifth Street that’s not going forward because of economics. Those are business deci-

sions.� “We’re taking away property rights from people who want to develop,� answered Boyd. “I’d like Yancey Mills to go forward.� The acreage proposed there for industrial use is currently zoned rural. Planning commissioner Tom Loach of Crozet said that development at Yancey Mills had been fairly aired out at public hearings during the master plan review. “It came before the planning Commission twice and was turned down. The Crozet Master Plan gave it due diligence and the people turned it down. We added 60,000 square feet of light industrial zoning in downtown Crozet. We did what the board asked us to. If the board is going against the will of the community, that’s a different matter.� He pointed to the data collected in the survey of the Crozet community done in 2009, responded to by 700 people, which showed solid public opposition to development at Yancey Mills. “There’s a small group of activists in Crozet who get together,� said Boyd, which brought spontaneous laughter from a contingent of Crozet citizens who had come to watch the meeting. “We need to know whose needs we are trying to provide for,� said Echols, referring back to the Target Study. “A distribution center and a biomedical facility are totally different things.� Loach said that if the planning staff is going to make new recommendations about the interchanges, those should go to the local advisory councils—Crozet or Pantops— for their reaction. “There’s plenty of opportunity for the advisory councils to particicontinued on page 28







MARCH 2012

by Phil James


ow did the early settlers do it? With a finite supply of rations, tools and able hands to help, they ventured where few had gone before. Enduring seemingly endless strings of obstacles and setbacks, many, nevertheless, survived. How did they react when the mule came up lame, their child fell ill, or yet another handle broke out of the felling axe or grubbing hoe? With no villages to offer sanctuary and without public-funded safety nets to drop into, they learned in a jiffy to be more creative with the resources that Providence had left to their careful management. It was through the much-practiced habit of reaching down to tug at their own proverbial bootstraps that the hardy-in-spirit stepped over or around the stumbling blocks of each new day. The pioneer struggled to raise his simple shelter in the forest, and prayed that furrows scratched into the new land would yield muchneeded foods. Likewise, those who first envisioned a village where only rural farmland existed, were faced

with a plethora of decisions that required wisdom and resources. By the early decades of the 19th century, the rural land of Albemarle County west of the seat of government in Charlottesville had been under cultivation for nearly a century. Travel followed routes very similar to today’s byways, over road surfaces that were totally at the mercy of the day’s weather. Stagecoach routes stuck to main highway arteries like the old ThreeNotch’d Road, where post houses or taverns offered various services. Trips across the Blue Ridge Mountains took many days at some expense and risk. With the building of the Virginia Central and the Blue Ridge Railroad in western Albemarle County c.1850–1858, many saw opportunities at the stations established by the railway planners. Woodville (Ivy Depot), Mechum’s River, Greenwood and Afton, where the locomotives stopped to take on water and fuel, prospered and grew. Water tanks and freight platforms at these locations were soon augcontinued on page 16

Lester Washington (1915–1996) was a Crozet businessman and community leader for over a half-century. The famous as well as the average citizen visited his Crozet Shoe Repair business on Main Street. [Photo by Ray P. “Pete” McCauley]

The clubhouse of the Woman’s Club of Crozet was used by the Red Cross for a blood drive. At the time of this 1952 event, the clubhouse was also home to the Crozet Library. [Photo courtesy of the Woman’s Club of Crozet]

Citizens of Crozet banded together in 1958 to form Claudius Crozet Park, Inc. Fundraising efforts included the sale of 25¢ coupons—equal to the cost of one cinderblock. Funded by individual and business contributions, the versatile park facilities continue to serve an evergrowing community. [Image courtesy of Crozet Print Shop, Crozet, VA]


MARCH 2012

Bootstraps —continued from page 15

mented with passenger shelters and weather-proof depots with wired communication systems. In 1869 former Batesville native Samuel Miller’s will provided the financial means to establish a boarding facility, Miller Manual Labor School, where the county’s orphans could learn the skills necessary to provide for themselves in an increasingly industrialized society. Design work on this gigantic project was begun in 1874. To facilitate the movement of construction materials and personnel to the remote worksite, school officials, in 1876, requested that the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company establish a rail stop at a point three miles west of Mechum’s River Depot. That same year, hearing the unmistakable sound of opportunity rattling at their farm gates, a petition was signed by landowners in the immediate region requesting that a depot also be established at this place. At a meeting with these petitioners, C&O Vice-President Williams C. Wickham agreed, decreeing the name of the new stop to be “Crozet,” memorializing the Frenchman who had engineered the railroad through the Blue Ridge Mountains during the 1850s. The new hamlet of Crozet began its life surrounded by farmers who were familiar with one another and

accustomed to lending a willing and able hand whenever needed. They were soon joined by entrepreneurs attracted to the traffic being generated by the great project at Miller School. Immediately, a livery stable and blacksmith were needed. Arriving rail passengers could rent a horse, with or without a buggy or wagon. Others leaving on the train for a day trip or overnight excursion could secure board for their steeds at the livery. The smith on hand could perform repair work on all sorts of equipment. The locals took in boarders, providing, for a fee, lodging, meals, baths and laundry services. The host’s workload often necessitated the hiring of additional domestic help. A growing demand for commercial and residential space encouraged the adjoining farms belonging to the Wayland, Ballard and White families to sell off lots from the corners of their properties near the depot. In the mid-1880’s hoteliers and merchants such as James M. Ellison, who relocated from Augusta County, provided rooms for the business traveler as well as for the growing tourist trade. Ellison’s enterprises dominated the area of town that became known as The Square. Churches soon located in town. The earliest, Crozet Methodist, received funds from individuals,

The Crozet Board of Trade was an early-20th century organization of businessmen who encouraged and promoted the local fruit industry. [Image courtesy of the Phil James Historical Images Collection]

businesses and the Miller School, and, in 1889, erected their new sanctuary along Main Street, which was known at that time as Miller School Avenue and is now called Crozet Avenue. Tradesmen of every ilk soon found their place in the progressive town, leaving little to be required from outside the village that could not be brought in easily by rail. The new opportunity to ship by rail encouraged farmers in the region to follow the lead of the prosperous orchardists in the Covesville area and to develop new orchards of apples and peaches, especially the highly profitable Albemarle Pippin. As these fruit trees matured, Crozet came into its own as a state leader in fruit production. The Crozet Board of Trade was formed in the first decade of the 20th century. Comprised of local businessmen with a financial interest in fruit production, they marketed the Crozet area far and wide, including hosting orchard owners for seminars and exhibitions. Civic and fraternal organizations established followings within the village. Volunteers established and manned a free lending library in 1907. The Crozet Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1910.

In addition to protecting the village’s inhabitants from fire catastrophes, it organized an annual community parade and carnival. The Modern Woodmen fraternal band presented outdoor concerts. Dr. E. D. Davis established a hospital downtown next to his office and pharmacy. The all-volunteer Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, located in the fire department’s former squad house, has served the region around the clock since 1978. By the 1930s, hotels, restaurants, car dealerships, a movie theater, and retail establishments provided services that one would expect to find in much larger cities. Several decades later, a new generation of business leaders enticed thousands of industrial jobs to Crozet, supplanting the dwindling agricultural jobs and refueling the area’s growth for another solid halfcentury. As with any vital, successful community, the appeal of Crozet is determined by the collective assets of its individual citizens: always ready to meet a challenge by digging a little bit deeper, and, whenever necessary, reaching down in the manner of their forebears and pulling themselves upward and onward through their faith and the strength of their character.

James Crosby established The Bulletin in 1978. Published weekly in beautiful downtown Crozet, it informed and educated western Albemarle communities for 16 years. [Image courtesy of The Bulletin, Inc.]

Members of the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department collected and refurbished toys for Christmas distribution. Pictured is a portion of those collections in 1961. [Photo by Hugh Strickler]

Follow Secrets of the Blue Ridge on Facebook! Phil James invites contact from those who would share recollections and old photographs of life along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Albemarle County. You may respond to him through his website: or at P.O. Box 88, White Hall, VA 22987. Secrets of the Blue Ridge © 2003–2012 Phil James


MARCH 2012

Crozet Community Association (CCA) Meeting Agenda March 8, 2012 at 7:30 PM The Field School Auditorium

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Agenda Review (Changes and additions from the floor) Approval of last meeting’s Minutes (January 12, 2012) Treasurer’s Report (Emery Taylor) Annual dues are $10 A Moment in Crozet History (Phil James) “The debut of a seminal document in Crozet history”

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Presentation: Ms. Jennifer Hallock, Arcadia Preservation, LLC. (http://www.arcadiapreservation. com), will talk about the Crozet Historic District, its inventory, state application process, and advantages. Followed by a question and answer period.

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Updates and News from Our Supervisor, Ann Mallek Old Business: • Touch-up the murals in the underpass in first week of April (Meg West) • Update on transferring CCA Bank of America account to BB&T (Emery Taylor) • Vote on motion at January 12 meeting to make Emery Taylor the CCA’s agent for State Corporation Commission registration and annual filing. • New Crozet Community Association web site coming soon ( • Other items? New Business: • The CCA is hosting a Country Square Dance, March 9, at the Greenwood Community Center, from 7:30 to 10:30 PM. Uncle Henry’s Favorites will provide the music and Brad Saylor will call the dance. Admission is a donation to support the Crozet Historic District application to the state. - Please help by bringing cider, water, cookies, finger food, and fruit. (Avoid things that need utensils or plates to be eaten). - If you have questions, please contact Ann Mallek at 434-996-6159 or Tim Tolson at 434-882-5265 (email • Other items? Comments and Questions? Announcements: • Crozet Community Advisory Council meeting next Thursday, March 15, at 7:00 PM at The Meadows. We encourage everyone to attend. • Ann Mallek’s community input meetings: March 17 at 1:00 PM at the White Hall community center, with Steve Koleszar, Chair of the School Board; March 19 at 7:30 PM at the Meadows community center, with Ned Galloway and Eric Strucko, School Board members. Future Agenda Items Adjourn by 9:00 PM CCA meetings are at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the odd numbered months. Next meeting is May 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM at the Field School Auditorium. The mission of the CCA is to be a non-partisan forum for communicating information and issues associated with the quality of life in Crozet.


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Myth: My pet doesn’t have fleas; I’ve never seen one. Fact: In the vast majority of flea cases I see, the owners were completely surprised that fleas were present. Most flea infestations are not obvious unless you are looking in the right places or recognize typical patterns of flea allergy. Myth: We can’t have fleas in the house; we have all hardwood floors. Fact: Fleas love it in the tiny c r a c k s between boards! They also love furniture, beds,

etc… Myth: It can’t be fleas. I’m not getting bitten and my other pet seems fine. Fact: Fleas do not like humans and will only bite humans as a last resort or if flea numbers in the home are very high. Also, some animals are not allergic to fleas and may not suffer from the typical allergic reaction. The Flea Life Cycle: There are four stages of the flea life cycle: Eggs, Larvae, Pupae, and Adults. Eggs: One adult female flea lays about 40 fleas per day. About onethird of the fleas in an infested house are in the egg stage. Eggs are laid on the pet and easily roll off into the environment where they hatch. They do best in temperatures between 65-80 degrees, i.e. your house, or outside in Virginia nine

months of the year. So once fleas have gotten inside, they do not care less if it is 20-below-zero outside. But from March to November, this life cycle is doing well outside as well (or this year, in January and February too!) Larvae: Eggs hatch into larva, tiny little caterpillar-like creatures that crawl around feeding on organic matter in your floors, carpets, furniture or outside. About 50 percent of the fleas in an infested home are in the larva stage. Eventually these larva spin a cocoon and turn into pupae. Pupae: Once fleas make it to the pupa stage they are nearly invincible. Inside the cocoon, the pupa transforms into the adult flea we know so well. Adult: An adult flea waits until it senses your pet nearby to emerge from its cocoon. On average, the time between an egg and an adult flea is about three weeks, but fleas can remain dormant in the pupa stage for up to a year! Once an adult flea finds its host (your dog or cat), it will never purposefully leave that animal. A female will begin laying eggs within 1-2 days and can live for 4 to 6 weeks. That’s 1,000-1,500 eggs in a female flea’s brief life! Consider a house with three pets with just 10 female fleas on each pet: that would be 1,200 eggs laid in your house per day, or 36,000 per month! It only takes one flea on your pet to turn into a nightmare infestation continued on page 27


MARCH 2012

Zoning Out The United States Department of Agriculture recently came out with a new version of their Plant Hardiness Zone Map, or PHZM. (To avoid clumsy acronyms, I’ll just refer to it as the Zone Map.) Most gardeners live or die by these zones, or more accurately, their plants live or die by them. The Zone Map divides the United States into twenty-six zones that are based on the average annual minimum temperature that a weather station experiences. Most of the Virginia Piedmont is in Zone 7, indicating that the average annual minimum is between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. There are earlier editions of the Zone Map around, the first dating to 1960, and this generally depicted a relatively warm climate for much of the country. The map was revised in 1990 based on weather records from 1974 through 1986, and this edition put many locations into a lower-numbered, or colder, zone. This may have merely reflected a cold climatic cycle, rather than a permanent change, if indeed, any climatic change could be considered “permanent.” The need for a revised map became apparent, and in 2003 the American Horticultural Society came out with one based on the years 1986 through 2002. This map was never officially accepted, however, so it’s not likely you’re going to see it. It was roundly criticized for throwing out the earlier weather records and only being based on very recent years. So, work began on yet another map, and just now we are seeing the fruits of those efforts. The 2012 Zone Map is based on

records from 1976 through 2005, a good solid chunk of years that should include both warm periods as well as cold ones. You might think that it would have been wise to include records from even earlier years, but only if the climate were not changing. If the climate is warming, then records from an earlier cooler period are less relevant. And you have to consider carefully just what the Zone Map is depicting, that is, the Average Annual Minimum Temperature in a particular zone. To calculate that for the years 1976 through 2005, take the lowest temperature reached in each of those years at a particular location, add them up, then divide by thirty to get your average. You have to remember what that number is not telling you: it’s not the absolute minimum temperature that was reached during that entire period, let alone the lowest temperature that may have been reached in years prior to 1976. Perhaps more importantly to gardeners and farmers, it is not necessarily telling you anything about temperatures in the future. We just tend to assume that since the map tell us that we are in Zone 7a, our annual minimum temperatures will continue to be somewhere between zero and five degrees. The 2012 Zone Map is based on records from 7,983 weather stations, so it pretty accurately depicts climatic differences across space. It also uses a sophisticated algorithm to estimate temperatures in-between weather stations, based on factors such as topography, proximity to major water bodies, etc. There are several versions of the map, including an interactive one, that you can find by going to Enter your zip code, and it will tell continued on page 28

Taylor Jenkins Hobson John and Vicki Hobson are proud to announce the arrival of Taylor Jenkins Hobson, who was born February 21 at 10:11 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. Taylor weighed 8lbs and 1oz and was 21 inches long at birth. Mother, father, and baby are all doing fine!


MARCH 2012

Peach Pruning —continued from page 1

Twenty to 30 men work in the orchards year round. These days, with so much pruning to do, 30 men are clipping with shears. Each was working his way down a row of trees, steadily judging and snipping. In their wake stand trees as graceful and elegant as ballerinas on their toes, their fingertips extended. Occasionally men chatted with men

in adjoining rows, but mainly there was silence as each observed the tree he was shaping. Each man is expected to prune at least 50 trees a day. “We begin pruning apples in November and then stop and move to peaches in January,” said Becerra. Apples are more forgiving and can be pruned later. The time for peaches is January, February and into March. Peaches must be pruned every year to produce well, he said emphatically.

Ignacio Becerra

A peach tree after it has been fully pruned.

“I prune trees every day to show the guys how I want it done.” Chiles’s has about a dozen varieties of peaches and about 10 percent of the orchard is being replanted in each year to rejuvenate the orchard, he said. “I planted all these orchards, said Becerra, looking around at the many acres of rows. The trees are planted nine feet apart and the rows are 18 feet apart. He did a quick calculation. If 30 men prune 50

trees per day and you start in January and it takes you more than two months with men working six days a week, then there must be at least 75,000 trees in the orchard. Becerra pointed out a leaf bud, which has a rather pointy shape and is higher on the branch, and a fruit bud, which appeared rounder and plumper and nearer the older part of the tree. Leaf buds are expendable. “You leave more wood on a vari-

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CROZET ety that has naturally fewer buds,” he explained. Some varieties with denser branching require heavier pruning. Pruned branches are gathered together when the tree is finished and placed down the aisle between the trees. Once a row is done, the clippings are bush-hogged and chopped up. Every row has an irrigation line down it. Without that, peaches on a commercial scale wouldn’t work.

MARCH 2012 Becerra approached a young tree. “At the end of one year you prune the main stem at knee height, about two foot high,” he said. “When you make that cut the tree shoots out branches and then the next year you shape it the way you want. “You want to open it up. And have forks. Cut right at the top of a bud with the angle you want the tree to grow in. You make forks. You don’t want branches to touch. More

Farmers Tour Chiles’s Orchard Operations

continued on page 33

Cynthia, Sarah, Ruth, Huff and Henry Chiles at the Apple Barn on Carter’s Mountain.

Some 130 farmers from around the country, Canada and the United Kingdom toured the Chiles’ family peach orchard in Greenwood and Crown Orchard on Carters Mountain as part of the North American Farmer Direct Marketing Association’s tour of Virginia February 11-13, the time of year when growers can leave their farms to see how others are doing it. This was the first time the association has organized a tour that could include the Chiles’s orchards. The tour made 12 stops ranging from Williamsburg to the Valley and north to Loudoun County. The Chiles peach orchard in Greenwood was planted 100 years ago A young pruned peach tree.

Hunger Games Countdown

March 1 - 18; Boys & Girls 12-18 Answer a Hunger Games trivia question and enter your name into our 3/18 drawing. One girl and one boy will receive passes to The Hunger Games movie.

OTM BOOK CLUB Thursday, March 8, 6 p.m.

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

RAISE A GARDEN WORM! Sunday, March 11, 2 p.m. Kids, get ready for spring gardening and make your own worm habitat! Call store for details.

NEW SPIRITUALITY SERIES Sunday, March 18, 10:30 a.m. Mindfulness for Parents & Teachers

Call to register—limited space. $20 includes book.


Sunday, March 18, 2 p.m.

Craft and drawing for free movie passes to The Hunger Games.

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MARCH 2012


Crozet School Attendance Boundary in the Growth Area

The existing attendance area boundary for Crozet Elementary School snakes through neighborhoods in eastern Crozet. The most recent redistricting of Crozet Elementary students took children from Browns Gap Turnpike and White Hall and sent them to Meriwether Lewis Elementary in Ivy. A shift two years earlier moved children in neighborhoods north of Jarmans Gap Road to Brownsville Elementary. A map showing a broader view is on page 32. View and download full-resolution maps at


MARCH 2012

An Education in Ultrasound on imposing my wisdom on the unenlightened community docs probably wasn’t helpful either. One evening that first year I saw a young woman with low abdominal pain and a small amount of vaginal bleeding. Her pregnancy test was positive, which was a surprise to her. Those of you who have read my accounts of my experiences in Ob will recall how well versed I am in all things obstetrics, so I called a local obstetrician to admit her to the hospital for close observation. A quick biology primer for those who haven’t had health class in a while: human eggs are released from the ovary once a month and fertilized by sperm in the fallopian tubes. Normally after fertilization they continue down the fallopian tube and after about a week they implant in the uterus. Occasionally though the new baby hangs up in the fallopian tube and starts to grow there, recruiting its own blood supply from the mother to grow in the tube. This is called an ectopic pregnancy. This is fine for a while but

Early Days In 1991 I was a newly minted attending physician starting my first job in a community hospital in New England. Emergency Medicine (EM) as a specialty was relatively young and not widely accepted as legitimate by the rest of the medical specialties. Most EM training programs, like the one I graduated from, were in the Midwest. There were none in staunchly traditional New England and certainly none were at any of the hoary Ivy League medical schools, which only accepted EM thirty years after the rest of the country. I later helped start an EM residency at Yale, but that is a whole other story. The hospital ER I worked at was busy and well-staffed, but I was the only ER doc who had any training in EM. I was viewed with a great deal of suspicion and skepticism by most of the medical staff of the hospital. My insistence #FIFBMU






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unlike the uterus, the fallopian tube cannot expand as the baby grows and sooner or later it ruptures. Because of the newly grown blood supply the mother can hemorrhage massively when the tube ruptures and often will rapidly die. The classic presentation for ectopic pregnancy is low abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding and a positive pregnancy test, which is why I thought this lady needed to be admitted until an ultrasound could be performed the next day. Ultrasound was a new technology then and wasn’t easily available, certainly not after hours. The obstetrician was very nice and assured me over the phone that many normal pregnancies bleed a little in the first trimester (three months). This is true, but without an ultrasound I had no way of knowing that this was a normal pregnancy, and I pressed him to come in to see the patient and admit her. We went back and forth, but eventually he convinced me to discharge the patient with the assurance that he would see her first

thing in the morning in his office. It was clear if I was going to practice in the community, I was going to have to practice to the community standard, not the ivory tower standards I was taught. Keep in mind also that ruptured ectopics are quite rare and were even more rare back then, before the widespread use of fertility drugs. Well, she did see him the next morning and he ordered an ultrasound. Unlike today, ultrasound was not an office ob procedure, it was performed by radiologists in the hospital. Ironically, I was well trained in ultrasound in residency 22 years ago but had no authorized access to a machine in this ED. She left his office to return to the hospital for her ultrasound. She collapsed in the parking lot and was rushed into the ER actively dying of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. She was transfused with ten units of blood and went directly to the operating room for an emergency hysterectomy as they could not localize the bleeding site to just the tube, which continued on page 37


MARCH 2012

MARCH 3 at Rockfish Valley Battle of Waynesboro Community Center RVCC will host an artists’ recepCommemoration A living history commemoration marking the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Waynesboro will be held Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Plumb House Museum at 1012 West Main Street in Waynesboro. Activities will include a Civil War military encampment; living history demonstrations; talks about famous Civil War generals; a presentation on Augusta County flags; a memorial service; food vendors and sutler shops. The event is free to the public. For more information contact the Waynesboro Heritage Foundation, Inc. at 540 943-3943 or visit their website,


Artist Reception

tion March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. for an exhibit of paintings by Nancy Maxson and photgraphs by Eleanor Amidon. Maxson paints local landscapes and florals using watercolor, pen & ink and Japanese flat brush techniques. Eleanor Amidon captures images of her Buddha statue through the seasons using photography. Both artists are Nelson County residents. The exhibit runs through March 30. Call RVCC for more information at 434-361-0100 or email at


Free Kidney Health Screening

A free kidney health screening sponsored by the UVA Health System Division of Nephrology,

Renal Services and the National Kidney Foundation of the Virginias Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 2p.m. at the Free Clinic at 1138 Rose Hill Drive, Suite 200, in Charlottesville. For more information, call: 434924-5504

Church; Dr. Don Hardman, Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Wine and light appetizers will be served. The event is hosted by the Lodge at Old Trail and will be held at the Old Trail Golf Pavilion. RSVP to 823-9100 or



Local Church Leaders Speak at The Lodge

Thursday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. pastors from five local churches will present an historical perspective of their churches followed by a present day look at their congregations and anticipated growth. Each pastor will then share news about one of their church’s community initiatives. Speakers include: Todd Johnson, Trinity Presbyterian Church; Rev. Douglas Forrester, Crozet United Methodist Church; Rev. Walt Davis, Life Journey Church; Rev. David Collyer, Crozet Baptist

Wildlife Center of Virginia Benefit at Pollak Vineyards

Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood will host a fundraising event for the Wildlife Center of Virginia Saturday, April 7, when Bill Sykes, a center volunteer, will bring a hawk and an owl from the center to the vineyard. There will be no fee for the program but donations will be accepted. The vineyard is located at 330 Newtown Road in Greenwood. The Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro provides care and a safe haven for injured wildlife from across Virginia.


MARCH 2012

The Blue Ridge Naturalist © Marlene A. Condon |

The Virginia Opossum I feel extremely fortunate that I received my degree from Virginia Tech. For a nature lover, such as I am, the campus and the Blacksburg area where Tech is located provided me with plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife. I lived a few miles away from the university in a rented trailer that was surrounded by farmland. One morning when I left for class, I forgot to close my bedroom window. Much to my surprise (and delight, to be honest with you), when I returned home later that day and walked into the bedroom, I found a momma opossum with her babies clinging to the fur on her back! Young opossums accompany their mother in this manner during the final month that they are suckling. I was absolutely thrilled to get to see such a cute sight. But many folks don’t like this mammal because they consider it ugly and rat-like in appearance. Since people tend to be afraid of rats, they are often afraid of opossums. However, a Virginia opossum is an interesting animal that you have no reason to fear and a special reason to appreciate: As a member of Mother Nature’s

cleanup crew, recycling dead plants and animals, it helps to keep the environment functioning properly. Unfortunately, this role causes opossums to get run over when they try to feed upon animals that have been hit by traffic. It saddens me that they get killed as they try to do their job. In addition to feeding upon dead plants and animals, opossums eat just about anything that they find, including insects and other invertebrates (animals without a backbone), small birds and mammals, amphibians (such as frogs), eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you drive slowly after dark on back roads, you might spot an opossum and be able to watch its ambling gait as it searches for food. These nocturnal animals (active mostly at night) make their homes in cities and towns as well as in the countryside. The opossum’s ancestors that roamed the North American continent about 98 million years ago were not significantly different from the animal with which we are familiar today. In fact, the family of animals called “New World Opossums” may be the only mammals from this ancient time to have representatives

A Virginia opossum peeks out of one of the author’s wildlife boxes at the edge of her yard in western Albemarle County. [Photo: Marlene Condon]

that are still in existence. The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial in the United States. A “marsupial” is a mammal whose young are born alive but are not fully developed. Opossums in Virginia often start to mate in late January. The young are in the uterus for less than two weeks. They are born blind and naked (furless), but their mouth, forelegs, and sense of smell are well developed. Each tiny baby (it takes 18 to fill a teaspoon!) has to use its front feet to crawl to the female’s pouch, utilizing its sense of smell to find its way. The mother will give the young no assistance other than to dampen a pathway for them with her tongue. The young opossums attach to a nipple in the mother’s abdominal pouch where they are nourished by her milk for two months. Those that survive the first 60 days will then be developed enough to move in and out of the mother’s pouch for an additional 30 days before being weaned. Opossums hide during the day in abandoned burrows or empty tree cavities, or under

stumps, fallen logs, brush piles, or human structures, such as houses or sheds. Sometimes they use wildlife boxes as I discovered one day when I noticed an opossum looking out of a box that I had put up for Eastern Screech Owls. An opossum carries leaves and grass for bedding to these protected locations. This past fall I watched one as it gathered leaves together with its front paws in front of my porch, then used its tail (!) to carry them underneath the porch. A ground hog is hibernating in a burrow under there and I’m certain the opossum was making use of the upper portion of the burrow that it probably thought was vacant. Captain John Smith, who explored Virginia in the early 1600s, wrote one of the first descriptions of opossums. That’s probably why these animals are called “Virginia” opossums, even though they occur throughout a large portion of the United States. They originally inhabited wet areas of the Southeast, but they have spread northward and westward. In colder areas, however, their almost hairless tails and ears often freeze off at the tips. Most people think of a kangaroo, an animal

that is not native to the United States, when asked to name an animal with a pouch for its young. I hope that now you will more often think of our very own pouched animal—the Virginia opossum.


MARCH 2012

Karl Pomeroy, Past President; Anne DeVault, owner of Over The Moon Bookstore and Artisan Gallery.

Lions Go Orbital Anne DeVault, owner of Over The Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery shared with the Lions the challenges and pleasures of starting and operating a small business in Crozet. Her shop offers a warm and inviting space for all community members to share their interests in reading and local arts. Lions Learn about US Joiner David Rathburn, CEO of US Joiner will speak to the Lions at their March 12 dinner meeting. Taking It to the Streets The spring trash pick up will be held March 24. Lions gather at the Meadows Community Building at 7:30 and then enjoy

a hearty hot breakfast after the trash pick up. Check Us Out We meet the second and fourth Monday of each month at the Meadows Community Building off of Rt. 240. Anyone interested in attending a meeting is welcome. Please contact Karl Pomeroy at 987-1229. Meetings start at 6:30 pm with dinner provided and followed with a presentation. Lions Club International’s mission is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding. Visit for additional information about the Crozet Lions Club.

Academic Honors Western Albemarle area students earning Dean’s List honors at the College of William and Mary for the fall 2011 semester include: Lucas Allen, Micah Bouchard, Alexandria Brown, Jennifer Hays, Selden Koolman, Kaila Margrey, Margaret Schwenzfeier, Ellen Shaffrey, Margaret Southwell, Stephanie Batson, Kevin McCrory, Kathryn McGovern, Molly Michie, Margaret Morris, Laura Pugh, Arianna Roumeliotes, Benjamin Weaver, Allison Baer, Patrick Leisure, Claire Johnson, Nathan Bird, and Nora Wicks.

Tim O’Brien Plays the Field School Grammy-award winning folk and bluegrass singer Tim O’Brien performed in Crozet to a sold-out and admiring audience of 250 at The Field School Feb. 15. Local musical heroes Uncle Henry’s Favorites—Jim Childress, Mark Beall, and Pete and Ellen Vigour— opened for him. Introducing O’Brien, Field School head Todd Barnett recalled how, when he met O’Brien a few years ago, he mentioned that he was opening a school. O’Brien said he would come play a show. Afterward, O’Brien said he enjoyed the reception he got and playing in the old school auditorium. He said he

—continued from page 3

matter because the plan was changed—which to ordinary people looked like exactly what was in dispute—prevailed in court. Thus the supervisors’ intentions in imposing conditions were subverted by their own lawyers. Just whom does the Board of Supervisors supervise? In the first instance it’s their own employees. County Attorney Larry Davis, according to White Hall Supervisor Ann Mallek, did not ask the board if they wanted him to oppose the neighbors. He saw it as his job to defend the prerogatives of local government employees. How many of us would hire a lawyer to work for our opponent’s victory? Yet that is what happened. When the neighbor’s lawyers next filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking documents about

would come back to Crozet. Wearing a plaid shirt and khakis, O’Brien performed on guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and fiddle. His first set included older bluegrass songs and traditional songs from the 19th century. O’Brien said he agreed with the definition of country music as “three chords and the truth.” His second set was requests from the crowd, and he displayed an awesome knowledge of songs. He made his name as part of the group Hot Rize. He has had a solo career since 1990 and has issued 15 CDs. He was named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year in 1993 and 2006. the procedures of government, Davis responded to them that he was not obliged to turn over the information they were after. This is reminiscent of the school superintendent’s claim that she needn’t turn over 268 FOIA-requested emails that she exchanged with the company that supplied a school software package that teachers strongly dislike using. Finally, Davis presented a resolution to the supervisors, also unbidden, in which they agreed to defend his action and the action of the zoning administrator, a document which through a bit of sophistry led the supervisors to say that when they imposed limits on the size of the station they actually meant to make it bigger. In agreeing to the resolution, the supervisors are at best guilty of inattention. At worst, they mean to stiff arm the legitimate rights of the neighbors and spare themselves a court case. continued on page 37


Gazette Vet —continued from page 18

in no time. Once you are seeing fleas on your pets, you must realize that what you are NOT seeing are hundreds or thousands of fleas that haven’t reached adulthood yet. Yikes! Fortunately, there are very safe and very effective flea treatments/ preventatives out there! But first, what doesn’t work: OTC flea medicines: By this I mean the stuff you find at the grocery store or pet store like Hartz, Sargents, and Biospot. These all share a common ingredient, pyrethrins. Pyrethrins (and similar compounds) are old school pesticides that are not very effective at stopping the flea life cycle. Yes, these drugs will kill fleas if directly contacted and they are typically dispensed in a tube that you squeeze on your pet’s neck. And that’s where these pesticides stay. I regularly see pets with these products over their necks and fat, happy fleas hanging out by their tail. These drugs wear off rapidly, so your pet’s neck is certainly not protected for an entire month. These drugs also do nothing to stop the rest of the flea life cycle. Adult fleas survive by your dog’s tail, and continue to lay eggs that infest your home. Lastly, these pesticides are toxic to both insect and mammal nervous systems, and many pets get sick after these products are applied. We usually have one or two cats die every year at our practice from over-the-counter flea medicines, and many others that suffer from seizures and tremors. Bottom line, these are a waste of your money and really shouldn’t be on the market.

MARCH 2012 Flea baths: Will kill all adult fleas on your pet, but then your pet dries off and the hundreds of flea pupa in your house begin to hatch and you’re back to square one in less than a day. Flea collars: I’m not really sure what they do except smell terrible and bother your pet’s sensitive nose. It must be torture to wear one of those! Flea bombs: Effective at putting toxic pesticides all over your house and killing some larvae. Do nothing to the pupa; they will hatch as soon as you let your pet back in the house. Natural remedies. I’m not a super skeptic and I’m all for natural solutions. I don’t use pesticides in my yard or garden and I try to eat organic when I can. But in my 10 years of being a veterinarian, I have never seen one “natural” remedy work. What works There are four products that are safe and effective. Frontline (fipronil), Advantage (imidaclopramid), Revolution (selamectin), and Comfortis (spinosad). These are all insect specific pesticides (i.e. they only work on insect nervous systems, not on mammal nervous systems), and not only do they kill adult fleas, but they also disrupt the rest of the flea life cycle by preventing eggs from hatching and preventing larva from turning into pupa. The only downside to these medications, in my opinion, is that they are relatively expensive, ranging anywhere from $12-$18 per dose depending on the product and your pet’s size. Call your veterinarian to discuss your particular case (there is a lot more to discuss) and to get a recommended treatment.

Save Your Vision Month: Give Children Early Vision Examinations by Dr. Shannon Franklin, OD Early detection of vision impairment and disorders in children can prevent and help reduce the threat of developmental delays and serious vision impairments later in life. The American Optometric Association recommends that your child have a comprehensive eye exam at age 6 months, at age three, and just before kindergarten, followed by routine exams every two years. Research has shown that parents tend to feel confident that their child’s pediatrician will spot potential eye and vision problems, but most are not able to conduct extensive assessments. Visual acuity is being able to see small letters on a chart. Vision is the ability for the eyes to work together as a team. Both are important to learning and development and both need to be evaluated. At 6 months of age, the average child has reached a number of critical developmental milestones, making this an appropriate age for their first eye and vision examination. A program called InfantSEE® developed by the AOA in partnership with the Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. enables participating optometrists to offer a one-time comprehensive eye exam to infants ages 6-12 months at no cost, regardless of income level. To learn more about this program visit www. If your child is past the 6-month mark, it isn’t too late to start him on the right path. Ten percent of preschool children are affected by vision problems; 1 in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia (lazy

eye); 1 in 25 will develop strabismus (crossed eyes); and 1 in 33 will demonstrate nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Watch for The Following Signs in Your Children For Pre-Schoolers Sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close Squinting Tilting their head Frequently rubbing their eyes Short attention span for the child’s age Turning of an eye in or out Sensitivity to light Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding Avoiding coloring, puzzles and other detailed activities

For School-Age Children Frequent eye rubbing or blinking Short attention span Avoiding reading and other close activities Frequent headaches Covering one eye Tilting the head to one side Holding reading materials close to the face An eye turning in or out Seeing double Losing their place when reading Difficulty remembering what he or she read


MARCH 2012

In the Garden —continued from page 19

you what zone you are in, as in Zip Code 22932 is in Zone 7a. You can also put your cursor on any location in western Albemarle County, click on it, and it will tell you the latitude, longitude and average minimum temperature for that location. For downtown Crozet, it was showing me a temperature of 3.9 degrees, which seems like amazing precision. If you happen to live near a weather station, this number may indeed reflect what you have in your yard, but if you do not live near one, it’s only an estimate, or interpolation, of what your average minimum temperature has been. Even on a small property, temperatures can vary greatly depending on relief and exposure. Cold air is heavier and sinks, creating “frost pockets” in low-lying areas. Conversely, areas near a south-facing brick or stone wall can pick up extra heat on a sunny day, then radiate it back to the environment at night, yielding a warmer microclimate. It’s much more important to be aware of small climatic differences on your own property, as opposed to knowing that the line between Zones 7a and 6b meanders


—continued from page 9

that has formed to raise money for books and furnishings for the new Crozet library has “reactivated” with the prospect that the library could be funded. CCAC members Nancy Virginia Bain, Meg West and Bill Schrader said they are willing to serve additional two-year terms. Brenda Plantz has already been reappointed.

around at a certain elevation on the Blue Ridge. Nonetheless, as a onetime geography major, I find that staring at any map can be entertaining. Don’t forget that the Zone Map is based on only one number, that nearly sacrosanct Average Annual Minimum Temperature. It ignores so many other factors that can influence the survival of plants, some of which we can affect, while others are beyond our control. How long does it stay cold, i.e. a few hours, or a few days? Not much we can do about that. How windy is it? We can shelter a tender plant, either with other plants or structures. What about sun exposure? It certainly raises the temperature of a plant’s leaf surface during the day, but has no effect at night. And the bright sunlight can actually “burn” leaves on evergreens, leaving them brown or yellowish in the winter. Such plants often appreciate some filtered shade during the colder months. So, take the zone or temperature hardiness information you see on plant labels or read in books with a healthy dose of skepticism. Then, put your plants in the right place and tell them not to read any labels or books.

Leaving the council are Tim Tolson and Michael Marshall, both members for six years, and Jessica Mauzy and Jon Mikalson, who have both served four years. Thus five seats are open on the 15-member council, which is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to advise it on the implementation of the Crozet Master Plan. Interested citizens can apply online on the county’s website at boards. New members will join in April.

Interchanges Recipes —continued from page 14

—continued from page 13

pate,” said Boyd, looking at the end of the room where laughter had come from. Rooker made a motion to keep the interchanges as part of the general review of the Comprehensive Plan and Samuel Miller Supervisor Duane Snow seconded it. The vote went 5 to 1.

tines. Melt one tablespoon of butter in pan until bubbly. Turn down heat and place at least two rotis in pan. Cook turning and browning on both sides. I have also made them with a filling of half black beans and half sweet potato. Very yummy.

WAHS Girls Swim and Dive Team Repeats as State Champions by David Wagner The Western Albemarle High School Girl’s Swimming and Diving team won their second straight State Championship February 11 at Virginia Tech. Led by seniors Natalie Cronk, Seanna Acker, Katie Leseman and freshman Remedy Rule, the girls set five new team records and one new state meet record. Hannah Chiarella and Meredith Higgins also earned state honors in diving. Chiarella finished seventh overall after a 17th place finish in 2011 and Higgins finished eighth after placing 18th last year. Cronk showed why she has been one of the best in the state over the last four years, bringing home four medals. She won her first individual gold medal, winning the 100M butterfly in an amazing come-frombehind win at the finish. She also took third place, earning a bronze medal in the 200 IM and posting an All-American consideration time. She also was a part of two silver medal winning relay teams in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle. Cronk is arguably the team MVP, finishing out her high school career in impressive fashion. Acker battled a stomach virus over the weekend, and still finished in the top eight in both the 200 IM and 100M breaststroke. She was also a member of the silver medal winning 400M freestyle relay team. Leseman earned All-State honors, finishing seventh in the 100M backstroke and added a 12th place finish in the 50M freestyle. She swam the anchor leg in both the 200 medley (new team record) and the 200 freestyle relays, leading her team to the silver and bronze medals. Rule made the big splash of the weekend, though. Rule is one of the best freshmen swimmers in the nation, and she backed it up in the pool. She won gold medals in both of her individual events (the only swimmer to accomplish that over the weekend), and set a new state record in the process. Winning the 200M freestyle by more than five seconds and breaking the state record by more than two seconds, Rule secured a gold medal and earned an automatic All-American time in the event. Rule also won a gold medal in the 100M Freestyle,

missing the state record by .03 seconds and earned an All-American consideration time for this event. She also was a member of the silver medal medley relay team and swam the anchor leg of the silver medal, team record-setting 400M freestyle relay. With three more years to swim at the high school level the sky is the limit for this young lady, and the competition could be in for a long four years. A superbly talented swimmer, Rule should continue improve. This could be one of the most exceptional high school swimming careers in state history when it’s all said and done. Also making significant contributions were (for the girls), Elsa Strickland (19th place 50M freestyle) who was a part of the bronze medal 200M freestyle relay and the silver medal 400M freestyle relay and Anna Corley who finished top 16 in the 100M backstroke and 500M freestyle, earning points for her team in both events. Led by Junior Alex Rayle, senior Shimiao Wang and freshman Max Tempkin, the Western boys improved on their 2011 season, moving up five spots to land an eleventh place finish overall. Spencer Elliott and Bobby Surina also earned points for the dive team. Elliott showed remarkable athleticism, finishing 15th overall, despite only a month of dive practice, plus he swam an inspiring leg of the 200M freestyle relay team. Surina showed a lot of heart also, finishing 16th. Wang qualified for the state meet for the first time and finished 17th in the 500M freestyle. Rayle set two new team records. He won a bronze in the 200 IM and added a fifth place finish in the 100M breaststroke. Tempkin swam a career best leg in the 200 medley relay and finished twelveth in the 200M freestyle. Morgan McKee swam a strong breaststroke leg in the 200M Medley relay, helping his team earn a ninth place finish, and Danny O’Dea finished eleventh in the 100M backstroke and was the lead anchor on the 10th place finishing 400M freestyle relay team that included Wang, Tempkin and Rayle.


MARCH 2012

by David Wagner |

Warriors Host District Basketball Tournament After cruising past Powhatan for a third time this season in the first round of the district tournament, the third-seeded Warriors played county rival and second-seeded Monticello in the semi-finals. Western jumped out to an impressive 14-0 lead. Senior Ben Turner scored the game’s first four points, followed by a Parker Morris threepointer, back-to-back Chase Stokes baskets and a Will Donnelly threepointer to give the Warriors the big lead. Monticello countered with an 8-2 run before Morris drained another three-pointer for Western Tabor Presbyterian (USA) Church Serving the community since 1879

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and a 20-15 lead at the end of the opening quarter. Western controlled the game in the second quarter with six Warriors scoring points. Western led 37-27 at the break. In the third quarter Western shut the Mustangs down, allowing them only five points in the quarter. With a 19 point lead, Western cruised to the victory, with Morris (8 points) and Donnelly (6 points) leading the way in the final minutes of the game. Western end the night with five players in double figures including Morris with 20 points and Stokes with 15.

In the championship game the Warriors faced Charlottesville High School for the fourth time this season, having beaten them three times. With a regional playoff berth and the district championship on the line, the Black Knights came ready to play. Riding a hot streak to close out the regular season, CHS upset top-seeded Fluvanna in the tournament semi-finals. The Warriors were also prepared for a tough contest. Lacking Stokes, one of their top scorers, who suffered three fractured bones in his foot in the game against Monticello, Western knew this game would not be easy. The Black Knights started the game with a defensive intensity that Western could never quite match. CHS stifled the shooting of Western’s outside threats and led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter. Three of Western’s points come from defensive specialist Austin Ellis. Shooting guard Parker Morris was held scoreless and point guard Will Donnelly could only manage two points. In the second quarter things didn’t get any easier for the Warriors. CHS denied Western’s perimeter

shooters good looks at the basket and when they did get them, Western’s shots just wouldn’t fall. WAHS trailed 26-14 at the half. Coming out of the locker room, Warrior Head Coach Darren Maynard made adjustments. Morris and Donnelly still struggled from the outside but Ben Turner and Brett Engle played solidly in the paint, and the Warrior bench contributed 10 points. Western was able to cut the lead to eight, but CHS led by 10 at the end of the quarter. Western scored the first four points of the fourth, cutting the lead to six on a beautiful reverse layup by Turner but that was as close as they could get. The Black Knights went on a 9-2 run and their stifling defense proved to be more than the Warriors could handle. Western tried to get back in the game by sending the Black Knights to the foul line down the stretch, but CHS would have none of it, hitting 12 of 14 free throws and icing the game. The tough loss at home ended the Warriors’ season and sent CHS to the regional playoffs.


MARCH 2012

Blue Ridge Edges Miller School on Senior Night by David Wagner On Valentine’s Day the Miller School Varsity Boys Basketball team hosted conference rival Blue Ridge School for Senior Night. Seniors Andrew White, Janeil Jenkins, Chase Cannon and Devon Anderson were recognized before the tip-off. Coming into the game, White (committed to Kansas) had amassed 999 points and 325 rebounds in just two seasons at the Miller School. He was an AllConference and first team All-State player in 2011 and has been named a top 50 recruit in the nation, an All-American, and has been nominated as a M c D o n a l d ’s All-American in 2012. Jenkins was first team AllConference in 2011 with 52 starts in his Miller career and 416 points. Anderson, team captain, has been the total assists leader the last two seasons with 321 points and Cannon was a first team All-Conference player with 522 points, 122 three-point field goals and the highest GPA in the senior class. Blue Ridge jumped out to an 8-2 lead, getting baskets from four different players. White got Miller into the game with a bucket for 1001 points in his career, capping it off

with a free throw. White scored seven points in the quarter and Miller trailed 17-14. Senior Paris Maragkos scored five in the quarter for Blue Ridge with his imposing frame and strong inside presence. The Greek-born Maragkos will attend George Washington University in the fall on a basketball scholarship. Crozet native Travis Hester started the second quarter with a three-point field goal to tie the game at 17, but Blue Ridge responded with a 10-0 run to break the game open. Had it not been for Jenkins’s aggressive play at point guard, Miller would’ve been in trouble. Jenkins scored six of the next 10 points (White had the other four), getting four of them from the free throw line. Blue Ridge led 35-27 at the break. Things didn’t change much in the third quarter. Blue Ridge continued with their balanced attack, scoring from all over the court and Maragkos continued to dominate the paint with the help of Corbyn Jackson. Blue Ridge neutralized White, as he only scored four points in the quarter, though two of those came on an emphatic alley-oop dunk, a spectacular play, with Jarod Williams making a stellar pass across the lane and over the basket to White. Even though Blue Ridge still led, 48-39, the big dunk

Mr. WAHS Pageant and Fundraiser March 19 at 7:00 pm in the WAHS Auditorium

$2 for Students (K-12) $3 for Adults

Photos courtesy Tom Pallante

gave Miller momentum and got the crowd back in the game. Hester started the scoring off again in the fourth quarter with a rebound and put back to cut the Blue Ridge lead to seven. Maragkos asserted himself to get the lead to 52-41. The game seesawed back and forth until the final minutes. Trailing by 10 with about two minutes to go, Miller got hot. Jenkins came up with a loose ball at midcourt and passed to White off the glass, NBA style, for another alleyoop dunk that brought the house down. White scored another quick basket and Miller only trailed by six. With time now a factor, Miller started fouling, but Blue Ridge couldn’t convert at the free throw line. Miller’s Chase Cannon got in on the action with his first bucket of the game. Another Miller foul and another missed opportunity at the line put the ball back in the Mavericks’ hands. The game was like a Hollywood thriller. Miller’s

Daniel Ginsberg connected on a long three-point field goal to make the score 64-63 for Blue Ridge. Miller committed another foul and sent Blue Ridge’s Jarod Williams to the line with less than 10 seconds in the game. Williams missed both shots and Miller got the rebound, took the ball up the court and finally got it in White’s hands. Following a rebound and three passes in less than 10 seconds, White had no time to set up for a shot and just missed a 15-footer at the buzzer. Blue Ridge ended up spoiling the heralded senior’s big night (White scored 26 in the game) but it was an exciting, hard fought game. Miller got a third chance to play Blue Ridge in the conference championship game last week but came up short again. They’ve lost three games to Blue Ridge this season by a total of six points. But with a win in the first round of the upcoming state tournament, they would play Blue Ridge again.


MARCH 2012

Holy Rollers Meet High Rollers at WAHS by Clover Carroll Poised to surpass its rousing performance of Annie last spring, the Western Albemarle Theatre Ensemble will wow us again this month with its production of Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls on Friday and Saturday, March 8 & 9 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 pm. Based on the short stories of Damon Runyon (1880-1946), this sizzling musical comedy involves the low-life gamblers, passionate missionaries, and glamorous show girls of New York. The plot heats up when high rolling gambler Sky Masterson (Ian Grimshaw) accepts a bet to take prim-and-proper Salvation Army Sergeant Sarah Brown (Anna Webster) to Havana, but ends up falling in love with her instead. The Tony award-winning show features such beloved Broadway songs as “Luck Be a Lady,” “Take Back Your Mink, and the sweetly romantic “I’ll Know (When My Love Comes Along).” A cast of 46 students along with a 15-piece orchestra and crew of 25 have been rehearsing since Thanksgiving to mount a fullscale production replete with dance numbers, a strip tease, a stage slap, and a trap door in the specially-built stage apron! All four leading actors agree that the company has reached a whole new level of collaboration and teamwork this year. “We really bonded dur-

ing last year’s show so now it feels like a family,” observed Paige Rammelkamp, who shines as Miss Adelaide, the lovelorn showgirl with the chronic cold. A multi-talented senior, Paige also plays bassoon and saxophone, which she studies with John D’Earth, and has auditioned for seven college musical theater programs. “Theater kids are cool kids,” concurs junior Gabriel Zak, who plays Adelaide’s boyfriend Nathan Detroit (played by Frank Sinatra in the 1955 movie). “This show is more energetic, a step up from Annie” declared junior Anna Webster. Anna, who expresses her passion for music by taking voice and ballet lessons as well as singing with the a cappella group Spark, has to defy her boss, General Cartwright (Kate Pfeiffer), to go on a life-changing date with Sky (played by Marlon Brando in the film). Gifted baritone Ian Grimshaw, a junior, keeps his sensational voice in shape by singing with the Virginia Consort, and also loves to play piano. “It’s a challenge,” he said, “because Sky is more forward than I tend to be.” Balancing as many as four AP classes with rehearsals and memorization, time management has been a challenge for all of these students, but since they all hope to major in music and/or theater in college, the effort has been well worth it. Director Caitlin Pitts, working alongside student

Anna Webster and Ian Grimshaw.

director Mickey Davis, chose this show because of its “fantastic music” as well as her wish to get more young men involved with the WAHS theater program. There are 15 guys in the cast. The Crozet community is encouraged to come out and support the still growing WAHS theater program as it soars to new heights! Tickets are $10 for adults / $5 for students in advance, and $12 for adults / $6 for students at the door. Pick yours up today at Over the Moon Bookstore or the Mudhouse in Crozet.

5221 Rockfish Gap Turnpike Crozet, VA 434-823-1387 Monday to Friday: 7am–5pm Saturday: 8am–1pm Website:

MARCH 2012


Swing Dance Draws More Fans

Duncan and Allie Hill of Ivy were among the dancers.

As many as 76 people were on the dance floor at one time at the Valentine’s swing dance held Feb. 11 at the Field School auditorium as a fundraiser for the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department and the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad. The two volunteer services split the donation pot, which totaled $1,626. Both CVFD chief Preston Gentry and WARS president Bill Wood thanked the crowd, which numbered about 150. The dance was organized by Ann and Leo Mallek with help from Crozet Community Association volunteers. Leo Mallek, a dentist by trade, leads the Salute to Swing band, the 17-piece group with four excellent singers that played for the dance. The Crozet Lions Club staffed the refreshments table. Swing dance virtuosos from Cville Swing taught dance lesson for novices before the dance started at 8 p.m. Dancers were still arriving at 9:30. The band, whose repertoire is the American Songbook, also played Happy Birthday to one dancer, Dave Belch of Charlottesville.

Crozet Elementary School Attendance Boundary See page 22 for a detailed view of the Crozet growth area.


MARCH 2012

Chiles Tour

Peach Pruning

by Henry Chiles’ two grandfathers, so this year it will earn a state designation as a “Century Farm,” a farm that has been in same family for 100 years. At Carter Mountain the Chiles had fresh apple cider donuts ready for the three busloads of farmers that arrived. The sales buildings would normally be closed at this time of year and the Chiles had spent two weeks making them spic and span, ready to show off. The Chiles are also members of the association and have been on tours in other parts of the country. Most of the tourists operate pick-your-own farms and most grow fruit. They look for ideas like corn mazes and pumpkin patches to add to their own businesses. “We’re not direct competitors, so we can help each other out,” explained Cynthia Chiles. “We get lots of tweaks on what we do, like our school tour program and that’s also why we started making donuts.” About 25 percent of Chiles’ sales are direct. The rest are wholesale. “There’s more money to be made in direct sales,” said Chiles. “Wholesale prices haven’t changed but your costs keep going up.” Visitors were transfixed by the 40-mile views from the mountaintop, where about 200 acres of apples and grapes are raised. “Oh my goodness,” said one visitor, “You can’t beat this. Location, location, location. This is the best stop on the tour so far.” David Milburn of Elkton Maryland, who raises 400 acres of fruit trees, said he admired the Chiles’ display shelving. “We look for how to handle the public and for ideas for attractions. We try to work off each other’s ideas. And we talk about the blunders we’ve made.” Becky Edwards of Poplar Grove, Illinois, was interested to know who the distributor for farm gift items was. Roger Cahoon of Redmond, Washington, called Crown Orchard, “Outstanding! The chair on the shed roof, the scarecrow; the tour is about stealing ideas.” He has gone on it for the last seven years. “There is also a lot of time on the bus talking with other farmers.” He said a topic many are interested in now is how to cope with coyotes and wild hogs.

forks will hold the fruit up good. “There are two reasons to have it open. One is the tree gets so big. The second is that it needs sun and air in the middle. The fruit looks for the sun. The tree needs light in order not to have dead limbs in shaded areas.” He pointed out some small, weak dead branches and then clipped them off. They had tried to grow in shade. “Most fruit comes off new wood on the tree because it gives better fruit at a better size. Every time you make a cut, it will cause new wood to shoot up next year.” He smartly removed some stunted limbs on main branches. “Don’t let trees shade each other,” he said. Deer love the orchard, said Becerra, and they are something of a problem. “Deer damage trees and they eat the fruit. They enjoy being in the orchard.” Becerra knows that feeling, so he grinned. “I love being outside.” He has worked this particular land for more than 30 years. His policy towards the deer these days is peaceful coexistence. “There’s not a whole lot you can do but fence the orchard.” That would be a very big job. Becerra said they give no consideration to what deer may do in making pruning decisions. “They’re gonna eat,” he shrugged. “The tree has to sort of go around,” said Becerra as he seemed to make dance steps around branches. He studied for where to force the next fork to emerge. A small tree, say four years old, should produce 75 to 90 peaches a year. A mature tree will produce 450 to 500. “The future of the orchard is strong,” he said confidently. “The tree likes being cut,” said Becerra reassuringly. “Every time you cut it, it gets younger. You give it strength. If you don’t prune a tree it will last 10 years. Pruning gives it longer life. “Try to leave the fruit all on the same level,” he said. Becerra sharpens his clippers every day. He winced at the idea of carrying a tool that does not have a keen edge. “People in cities do not know where their fruit comes from. If we don’t work the land, where will peaches come from?” Yes, in the end the fate of civilization gets down to farming and how we do it.

—continued from page 21

—continued from page 21

“The men here are happy to be working, but if their family is in Mexico, they are distressed over that.” He looked over his job and touched it up with a few second cuts. He inspected the tree in the next row to see how it had been left. When the fruit gets thumb size, they will pass through the rows again and pluck off peaches so as to leave them six inches apart. Becerra has 10 children. He’s glad about that, but he doesn’t want to tell the story. Nine of them live in Crozet, two still at home. One is in Mexico. His wife Maria operates Las Cabanas, the Mexican food and grocery store on Rt. 250. The store is named in honor of a cabin they have in Mexico that they hope to visit again. They’ve lived in Orchard Acres for the last six years. “I still feel I don’t speak English well,” Becerra said. “It took years for me to feel comfortable talking to somebody.” He prefers to read in Spanish. “I passed the citizenship exam,” he said. “That was hard for me. You have to know the answers to 100 questions and they ask ten of them. You don’t know which. I studied for month. I took off that last week. I told Huff [Chiles] I had to.” His look became worried at the memory. “A lot of people are trying to do it. If they have the opportunity they work at it.” Prune now so your peaches will be ready in June.

Library Bids —continued from page 4

cations and one of drawings. Bids are due at the procurement office by 3 p.m. March 28. The Library will be LEED Silver certified, a distinction of a “green” building. If the county budget passes with the library still included, the new 23,000-square-foot facility is slated to open in the summer of 2013. Architect Todd Willoughby of Grimm and Parker said he expected bids to come in somewhere between $5 million and $6 million.

Read, comment, share.


MARCH 2012

The Great Cycle That Binds Us All: a Review of Bless Me, Ultima by Clover Carroll |

“Ultima came to stay with us the summer I was almost seven. When she came the beauty of the llano unfolded before my eyes, and the gurgling waters of the river sang to the hum of the turning earth. The magical time of childhood stood still, and the pulse of the living earth pressed its mystery into my living blood.” So begins this year’s Big Read selection, Bless Me, Ultima, which will be discussed at the Crozet Library Book Club on Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m. This powerful, lyrical mystical, Chicano—that is, MexicanAmerican—classic serves as a healthy antidote to the anti-immigration sentiments abroad in our country. Author Rudolfo Anaya (1937- ), author also of The Heart of Aztlan (1976), Tortuga (2004), and The First Tortilla (2007) (among others), is a professor emeritus of the University of New Mexico. This month he will join Sandra Cisneros and many other writers and artists in the Librotraficante Caravan that will carry “contraband” books from Houston to Tucson in protest of Arizona’s recent prohibition of Mexican-American studies programs. Bless Me, Ultima is a wise and strong book, deep as the Pecos River that is central to its setting, deep as the nature of good and evil, deep as its title character, who serves as spiritual guide to the narrator as he grows from an inquisitive child to a

wise and strong young man over the course of its pages. Deftly mingling action-adventure, psychological soul-searching, and Native American spirituality, this engrossing book is the fictional memoir of narrator Antonio Juan Marez y Luna, chronicling the three years that changed him from a child to a man and the events and people that bring about that change—most notably, his elderly paternal grandmother, Ultima, who comes to live out the end of her life with his family. As in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, we experience events as they happen to a child, but they are told by an adult, with the complexity and insights he brings to our understanding. The youngest of six children, living just after World War II on the edge of the llano (plains) of eastern New Mexico where it meets the farming settlement, Tony is caught between two worlds on several fronts. His mother, having been raised by the settled, devoutly Catholic, farming family of Lunas, hopes that Tony will become a priest. His father, having been raised among the wild, free vaqueros (cowboys) of the llano, believes that “the greater immortality is in the freedom of man.” There is further tension between his Spanish-speaking home life and English-speaking education, suggested both in the taunting of his schoolmates over the food he brings for lunch, and in the language of the book itself, which uses Spanish chapter numbers and is peppered with untranslated Spanish vocabulary. Thirdly, and central to the book’s theme, is Tony’s intense internal conflict between Christian theology--as he

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learns his catechism, takes his first communion, and considers his future path--and the native folk beliefs, as Ultima teaches him the secrets of her healing arts and tells him the legends of his ancestors. Ultima is “a curandera, a woman who knew the herbs and remedies of the ancients, a miracle worker who could heal the sick.” “She is a woman of learning,” his mother scolds when her daughters repeat rumors that Ultima is a bruja, or witch. Although this is a coming-ofage novel, in which the protagonist matures from innocence to experience, the “wide beauty” of the New Mexican llano is not the typical idyllic landscape of childhood, but rather a much darker world where death, doubt, and mysticism mingle with familial love and life-changing friendships. After witnessing the deaths of two local men as well as a friend his own age, Tony is desperate to understand why there is evil in the world, leading to a profound questioning of his faith. “Why was Narciso killed? Why does evil go unpunished? Why does He allow evil to exist?” These questions come up in his mind again and again—as I expect they do for all of us. In contrast to these tragic events, Tony accompanies Ultima as she collects herbs and remedies around the countryside and makes several home visits where she cures illness and even exorcises evil curses— offering successful remedies that the priest’s efforts had failed to solve. From her Tony learns to value all living things. “When I had to cut into a live tree I first talked to the tree and asked it for its medicine, as Ultima had instructed me to do with every living plant.” Unfortunately, Ultima’s power for good invites the vengeful hatred of the local saloon-keeper Tenorio, whose unrelenting pursuit of her and her supporters lead to tragic

consequences. My one criticism of the book is that the character of Tenorio is unrealistically onedimensional, a personification of pure evil. Other than that, however, Anaya is a great storyteller. Tony’s harrowing escapes and the heartrending situations he endures brought me to tears more than once. From the first chapter, the book is punctuated by Tony’s visions, dreams, and pesadillas (nightmares), beautifully written surreal passages that either warn him or help him sort out dilemmas as he sleeps. Tony’s spiritual quest is not completely resolved by the end of the book, or perhaps even beyond. After he is confirmed and begins to take communion regularly, “the God I so eagerly sought was not there, and the understanding I thought to gain was not there.” Symbolizing the native naturereligion is the legend of the golden carp, which Tony is privileged to encounter in a hidden, quiet backwater of the river. “I knew I had witnessed a miraculous thing, a pagan god….then a sudden illumination of beauty and understanding flashed through my mind. This is what I had expected God to do at my first holy communion.” Through Tony’s crisis of faith—“Whose priest will I be?” he asks himself— the author explores both the comforts and disappointments of the two religious outlooks. The book does not end by rejecting Christianity, but does profoundly question its methods, and suggests that various worldviews can and should co-exist. We, like Tony, learn through reading this timeless novel that “the tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides in the human heart.” For more information on the novel and Big Read events, visit htm.


Why We Need Libraries —continued from page 4

ing and job opportunities, new immigrants come to learn English, students use the library for college readiness and college access, and adolescents can explore difficult social and emotional issues in the safe space of a library.” Kennedy continued by elucidating perhaps the most important role of the library. “One of the hallmarks of a great civilization is the preservation of and access to information—libraries. But [how can we] explain why libraries are so often under attack—even in our own time? Why it is that Mao’s army destroyed Tibetan libraries? Why did the Germans target the medieval library in Louvain, Belgium and follow that with the sweeping destruction and confiscation of libraries throughout central Europe? Why did the Serbs burn the great multi-cultural Bosnian National Library? And here at home, why were nine people arrested in 1961 during the first “read-in” at a segregated public library in Jackson, Mississippi? And why did the Patriot Act seek to obtain the personal borrowing records of library patrons? Not only because libraries are important symbols of a civilized society, but because they are, in a sense, tabernacles of personal freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of opportunity, and the true test of liberty—freedom to dissent.” In 1971 in a letter to the children of Troy, New York on the occasion of the opening of their new public library, renowned scientist and writer Isaac Asimov wrote: “Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you— and most of all, a gateway to a better and happier and more useful life.” Let us visualize our new Crozet library as all of these things and more: a hub of learning, bastion of freedom, cultural center, community center, the heart and soul of our beautiful, inquiring town.

MARCH 2012


by claudia crozet

EXPERIENCED SEAMSTRESS with 30 years of tailoring and garment alterations experience. I work from home in Crozet (Highlands). Please call for a free consultation. Ruth Gerges: 434-823-5086. LOOKING FOR OUR DREAM HOME in Crozet. Want to buy 2500 sq ft or larger home, 4BR, 3BA. One acre or larger in Western Albamarle school district. Price range $250-400K. Licensed in VA. 281.636.6278. Send pics to NO MORE EXCUSES: Is not having enough time to exercise your excuse? If so, come try out Boot Camp for REAL People at Crozet Park at 6am on M/W/F. It is an outdoor exercise class for all ages and abilities. For more information or to register visit or call Melissa Miller at 434962-2311. Come try your first class for FREE! ORGANIC GARDEN PLOTS AVAILABLE: One 10’ x 10’ plot rents for $20 in Old Trail Community Garden! Ten hour requirement to help maintain common areas. Reply by April 1st to 434-205-4087 or email

CROZET GAZETTE ROUTE CARRIERS Claudius Crozet Park Neighborhoods: Chris Breving: 823-2394 Western Ridge, Stonegate: Tyler Gale: 823-1578 Old Trail, Cory Farm, Foxchase, Wayland’s Grant, Grayrock, Clover Lawn: Austin Germani: 882-4370 Highlands, Wickam Pond, Bayberry Court, Red Pine Court, Emerald Ridge: Colton Germani: 882-2161 Laurel Hills, St. George Avenue, Wayland Drive: Rachel Anderson: 823-7440 Have the paper delivered to your doorstep the weekend it comes out! Call your neighborhood carrier to subscribe. One year is $20.

Solution on page 38

49 Sound of satisfaction 50 Goth Swan Lake? 1 It’s prologue 55 Outlet tag letters 5 She dreams of the 56 As well Sugar Plum Fairy 57 Self to Jean-Paul 10 Football pts. 58 Breathalyzer event: 13 Downwind on board Abbr 14 Out loud 59 Big and Little 15 Pizza place? Dippers? 16 Warning from the 64 SAT producer Enterprise helm? 65 Cardinal crest 18 Fall girl 66 Greek goddess of 19 Hugs and kiss? discord 20 World-wide 67 Get it entertainment co. 68 Urban-speak for 21 Captain’s bunch worse than a dummy 22 Stick for urban croquet 69 It can be human or X-treme Shopping? 27 English honor est. in DOWN 1917 28 Patty Hearst 1 Huck’s dad kidnaping gp. 2 Nothing opposite 29 Wedding 3 Bounding main announcement word 4 Mortise counterpart 30 Damon or Dillon 5 IRS worker 32 Little pasta tail 6 Parent Trap twins 34 Earth personified 7 Olajuwon’s first 37 Poet’s request to name publisher? 8 Republican saint? 41 Home to 60% of 9 Common humans conjunction 42 _______ generis 10 Some place else 43 Naval elite 11 Bed topping 45 Author Tolstoi (Var.) 12 Fret over 47 That’s _____ 14 Rat fink brainer 17 Nos. on business ACROSS

cards 21 Makes transparent 22 _____ Perignon 23 Hawaiian born politician 24 World’s heaviest insects (sometimes over 2 lbs.) 25 Lack 26 Interlocking block 31 Musical ornaments 33 “Talks” on line 35 Fluid build up 36 Formal “me too”? 38 Film critic Pauline 39 Chinese dough 40 Starts a pitch 44 Post K trio 46 Background checked 48 Chanel from bottom to top? 50 Caesar’s last word 51 “_____, fair sun, and kill the envious moon” 52 Flatterer 53 Main artery 54 Trail seeker? 55 March day for this puzzle’s theme 59 ______ Lanka 60 Iota 61 Great age 62 Nervous motion 63 Crozet-Scottsville dir.


MARCH 2012

Crozet Readers’ Rankings Last month’s best sellers at Over the Moon Bookstore, with a few recommendations for this month from the experts there


General Family Dentistry • Veneers • Cosmetic Dentistry • Whitening • Invisible Fillings • Implant Dentistry • Non-Mercury Fillings

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The Weird Sisters Eleanor Brown

The Story of Beautiful Girl Rachel Simon

A Discovery of Witches Deborah Harkness

The Lonely Polygamist Brady Udall

Fast, Fresh & Green Susan Middleton

Folks, This Ain’t Normal Joel Salatin

Secrets of the Blue Ridge Phil James

Appointments encouraged. No credit cards. full line of Paul Mitchell & Biolage Matix

Catching Fire

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The House at Tyneford Natasha Solomons

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick Chris Van Allsburg

F in Exams

Richard Benson

A Reliable Wife Robert Goolrick

The Angel Makers Jessica Gregson

Jane Austen on Love and Romance



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The Randolph Women & Their Men Ruth Doumlele


Recommended by Anne: Adult: The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall Children: Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

Recommended by Elizabeth: Adult: The Odds: a Love Story by Stewart O’Nan Kids: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


—continued from page 26

Why does the bureaucracy so regularly appear to have its own agenda in matters of public policy? Why do zoning administrators who the public thinks are hired to protect it from the schemes of avaricious individuals instead become the handmaidens of developers? Or, in the case of schools, why are educational fads such as the eightperiod day for high schools imposed when they are opposed by teachers and parents? Perhaps it comes from exercising power with a sense of entitlement to job security and, from what the public sees, no real accountability. Let the supervisors handle that load.

Ultrasounds —continued from page 23

they removed as well. So, she lived but lost her fertility. Today You can’t swing a dead cat in our ER without hitting an ultrasound machine. They are everywhere. Recently a colleague loaned me “the stethoscope of the future,” a pocket sized ultrasound. He wanted me to trial it for a day. It is a marvel of technology and I used on a pregnant lady who was having vaginal bleeding and low abdominal pain. A perfectly healthyv baby was growing in her uterus, right where it was supposed to be. It was her first pregnancy. I congratulated her. “It wasn’t planned,” she said, some ambivalence in her tone. “Oh,” was all I had to say in reply. I paused and held her hand in support for a few moments. Which brings me to the point of my column this month, an education in ultrasound and its role in the doctor patient relationship for all the Virginia legislators mandating ultrasounds before elective abortions under the cover of providing informed consent. For those who didn’t follow the discussion, the Virginia State House and Senate passed a bill February 10th mandating that all women undergo an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. During the debate phase on the Senate floor, the senators were advised that most of these ultrasounds would necessarily be trans-

MARCH 2012 We elect the supervisors, as former supervisor Walter Perkins once said wisely, to manage the ideas that come from our public employees. When we elect the School Board, we have a similar expectation of them. If county attorneys do not understand that their bosses, the Board of Supervisors, are our employees, they need a different job. They were sitting at the wrong table. If our supervisors cannot manage their (our) employees in accordance with their oaths of office, they should get out now and let someone else take up the job. Sound, honest government is our only hope for preserving our freedom and our rights, which are constantly being bled from us in small cuts. We refuse to believe that 3,000 equals 1,000. vaginally performed, something even the sponsors of the bill were not aware of. Apparently very few actually understood what the term meant and they voted to pass the bill. The Virginia senators who voted for this ought to be ashamed of themselves. They are such champions of informed consent that they did not even bother to inform themselves of the very procedure they would force on patients. A one-minute conversation with any EM intern would have sufficed to show them what they were proposing, an invasive procedure driven by the politics of abortion. By the time the bill came to the House for a vote it was increasingly clear what was being proposed, but they passed it anyway. Undeterred by the subsequent exposure on a national stage of their complete ignorance, they simply modified the bill slightly to leave out the mandated transvaginal probe and resubmitted it. It still stinks. The issue is not the probe. The issue is that mandating these ultrasounds serves no valid medical purpose. The lawmakers are still trying to legislate medical practice in order to advance a political agenda, without the slightest glimmer of medical knowledge. If they knew at all what they were talking about, they would know that almost all abortions are preceded by ultrasounds already, mostly transvaginally, to determine dates and ensure that an ectopic is not present. Happy legislating. I’ll get back to doctoring now, thanks. Now where did I leave that darn stethoscope of the future?

BEREAVEMENTS Jacqueline Eubank Keesee, —

January 26, 2012

James Alvin Shifflett Sr., 69

January 26, 2012

Deborah Via Hoy, 53

January 27, 2012

Arthur Thomas Harris, 73

January 28, 2012

Jessica Lynn Hunt, 33

January 29, 2012

Dianne Sanford Washburg, 77

January 29, 2012

Henry Harrison Bell, 84

January 30, 2012

Merium Knight Jinks, 75

February 2, 2012

Robert O. Jones, 72

February 2, 2012

Corrine Allen Hocker, 76

February 3, 2012

Christopher Jermaine Robinson, 34

February 3, 2012

Gerleane Estes Shaver, 66

February 3, 2012

Heber Charles Willis Jr., 87

February 3, 2012

Louisa Virginia Haynes Dodson, 78

February 4, 2012

Paul Curtis Herndon Sr., 84

February 4, 2012

Olivia Irene Klein, 95

February 4, 2012

Carolyn Patricia Shifflett, 57

February 4, 2012

Kathleen Barnett Hicks, 62

February 7, 2012

Mary Jane Thompson, 82

February 8, 2012

Nancy Payne Spitler, 73

February 10, 2012

Clifton Albert Thomas, 70

February 10, 2012

Steward Elma Walton, —

February 10, 2012

Wallace Canady Bedell, 91

February 11, 2012

Chris Breiner, —

February 14, 2012

Lori Kaye Taylor Deane, 48

February 15, 2012

Ricki Lynn Gordon, 57

February 16, 2012

Nathaniel Lewis Howard Sr., 91

February 18, 2012

James Withers Toliver, 53

February 19, 2012

Marjorie Horner Webber, 93

February 19, 2012

Sydney Alexis Smith, 85

February 21, 2012

Irma Fortune Rube, 85

February 22, 2012

Patty Saunders Vineyard, 75

February 24, 2012

Serving Western Albemarle Families Since 1967


MARCH 2012


Crozet’s Favorite Flicks

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References Available

Here’s what’s popular at Maupin’s Music and Video with a few recommendations for this month from the experts there.




Top Rentals in February Drive

(Drama with Ryan Gosling)

The Sunset Limited

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In Time

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Tower Heist

(Comedy with Ben Stiller)

The Rum Diary

(Comedy with Johnny Depp)

Puss in Boots

(Family with Antonio Banderas)

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PETE’S PICKS The Parking Lot Movie (new) Babel

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MARCH 2012

Down America’s Founding River Albemarle High School junior Eric Hahn narrated his 28-day trip from the head waters of the James River to its mouth at Fort Monroe in Hampton to the White Hall Ruritans Feb. 23. The canoe trip, dubbed the James River Expedition, brought together a dozen students from four high schools, Albemarle, Bethel in Hampton, E.C. Glass in Lynchburg and the Open School in Richmond, to experience the river by camping along it and to become ambassadors for it, as Hahn was doing. It was sponsored by Dominion Virginia Power and the expedition also toured Dominion Virginia power plants along its course. The James is 348 miles long and enters the Chesapeake Bay at Hampton at a rate of 313,000 gallons per second. It drains a watershed of 10,000 square miles. On average the group paddled 12 miles a day. They ate a lot of tortillas and peanut butter, Hahn said. Their clothing tended to stay wet and they rarely got clean. After they launched at Iron Gate in Allegany County, where the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers combine to form the James, the students began looking for locations where cattle could reach the river, Hahn said. They took GPS data on those spots and planned to return to talk to farmers about keeping the cattle out. Hahn called Balcony Falls near Natural Bridge “the coolest place on the upper James.” They saw a snapping turtle on the way there that had a head the size of a man’s. They stopped to study Lynchburg’s sewer system. “You get a deeper feeling for the river from that,” Hahn said. “The system makes sure humans don’t

Eric Hahn

impact the river the way they used to.” The students picked up litter they found on their way. At Scottsville they stopped to fly fish with armed services veterans. Nearby they rescued a calf that had become trapped below a bank of the river. They found a batteau, a colonial-style barge meant to haul tobacco hogsheads, that apparently had been carried away from its mooring. Batteaus once used a canal system along the river that was subsequently taken over by railroads for track bed, Hahn explained. The banks of the river are tree-lined until you begin to see mansions along them west of Richmond, he said. They paddled around the Deep Water Terminal at Richmond, where they encountered ocean-going vessels that reach the capital, which lies on the James’s fall line, by a channel. At the Chickahominy River, they investigated the effects of DDT, a pesticide that accumulated to toxic levels in the food chain and was outlawed. They paid their respects to river explorer Capt. John

Smith’s statue at Jamestown. They passed the Surry nuclear power plants. They passed the World War II ghost fleet near Newport News and were met by TV news crews when they got out of their boats at Fort Monroe. “The lower James is not as clean as I would like it to be, but it’s improving,” Hahn reported. “It’s lifetime of memories and a huge learning experience,” said Hahn, who counts himself among the few people ever to travel the river’s whole distance. “We read Huck Finn at school and I really related to floating down river on a raft,” he said. Hahn got the nickname “MacGyver” on the trip because of his resourceful solutions to problems. A student in AHS’s Math, Engineering and Science Academy, he said he is thinking of becoming an engineer. Hahn said the expedition stopped counting bald eagles along the way when they got to 160. He didn’t say where on the river that was.

March 2012 Issue  

The Crozet Gazette, March 2012, Volume 6, Number 10.

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