In this issue… Baubles, Bangles And Beads Why I Love Warrenton Contest Winners
Burch Builders Group, LLC Design Build Remodeling Custom Homes Kitchens & Bath Construction Management
Burch Builders Group, LLC 53A East Lee Street | Warrenton, Virginia | 540.351.0840
Executive Board Member 2
www.burchbuildersgroup.com Warrenton Lifestyle
BE AN AVID READER. BE A VORACIOUS EATER. BE A HOPELESS ROMANTIC. BE A HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDPA FOR A LONG, LONG TIME.
©2008 Fauquier Health System
Be a person and a patient all at the same time. Be the one who has access to expert medical care and chocolate cake in the middle of the night. Be the one who has the best doctors and nurses and best friends who can pop in whenever they want. Be the one who’s in charge. Be the one who comes ﬁrst. Be the one whose health and happiness are both a priority.
Publishers Tony & Holly Tedeschi for Piedmont Press & Graphics email@example.com Advertising Cindy McBride CindyMcBride@piedmontpress.com Subscriptions Shannon Mullan firstname.lastname@example.org The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine c/o Piedmont Press & Graphics 404 Belle Air Lane Warrenton,Virginia 20186 540-347-4466 Ph 540-347-9335 Fx www.warrentonlifestyle.com For general inquiries, advertising, editorial, listings or technical support: E: WarrentonLifestyle@piedmontpress.com Tel: 540-347-4466 Fax: 540-347-9335 Editorial & Advertising office: Open 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, Mon to Fri 404 Belle Air Lane Warrenton, VA 20186 The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to all its advertisers and selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustration or photography is strictly forbidden. ÂŠ2008 Piedmont Press & Graphics Printed in Warrenton, Virginia. USA
From the Publisher
ebruary, our shortest month of the year, may prove to be one of our best. It is the time when we celebrate our love (Valentine’s Day), reflect on our culture (Black History month) and hosts the dawning of a New Year for the largest culture on the planet (Chinese New Year).
Visit us on the web www.warrentonlifestyle.com
Subscription Information Newsstand Locations Town of Warrenton Business Directory Archived Articles Special Features Cover Photo Necklace on coral: Hartman Jewelers, Main Street Warrenton. A 14 karat white gold necklace with sapphires in various colors, accented with diamonds, will win her heart. The triple strand chain is 18 inches long. This beautiful piece retails for $3,551.00
Cover Photo by Karl Pittelkau, www.whitepostphotography.com Contributing Writers: Jennifer Heyns is a resident of Delaplane, where she enjoys country life with her husband, two young sons, two dogs and her mother-in-law. She has been published in many local, regional and national publications and is currently working on her first book.
So, like most Americans, I will be shopping for cards and gifts for Valentine’s Day. Warrenton always has a fantastic selection of flowers, jewelry, clothing, gifts, chocolates, cards, dining, gift certificates and more. Use our online directory to find what you are looking for www.warrentonlifestyle.com or, better yet, explore our streets and shopping centers to discover that unique gift. We are fortunate in Fauquier County to have the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County to preserve and bring to life a significant part of the history of our community. The AAHA is located in The Plains and is open to the public and has a museum, a resource center, a reference library, an auditorium and a genealogical library. Visit their website to find out more information at www.aahafauquier.org or call them at (540) 253-7488. Looking to party in February? Warrenton is celebrating the traditional Chinese New Year at the Warrenton Galleria, home of Yen Cheng Restaurant, on February 9th. A ten-person dragon is part of the entertainment that day. Bring the family and then dine at one of our several great Asian restaurants. Also, The Partnership for Warrenton is having their Monte Carlo Night Gala in conjunction with The Boys and Girls Club of Fauquier at the Fauquier Springs Club on February 2nd. It promises to be a fun night to benefit two great causes. Call 540-349-8606 OR 540-349-8890 or visit www.partnershipforwarrenton.org for details. Finally, one way you can help your family and friends through an economic slow down is to move some of your out-of-County shopping purchases back to our community. Taking the extra step to find food, goods and services from Warrenton and Fauquier County will do wonders to keep our local economy thriving and healthy. The merchants you shop support our local governments, schools, non-profit organizations and their tax dollars help keep your personal taxes down. Enjoy February!
Tony Tedeschi, Publisher 5
By Jennifer Heyns
photo by Jennifer Heyns
As soon as the ball drops in Times Square our mailboxes and televisions are laden with advertisements for glittery, glamorous gems and jewels. Although Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending holiday in the United States, it must be number one for jewelry purchases. The patron saint of lovers, Saint Valentine, made his mark on the world in ancient Rome where he performed forbidden marriages and consequently, was sentenced to a cold, dank jail cell. Legend has it that Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. It is believed that he sent a letter to his sweetheart from prison, professing his love and signing it ‘From your Valentine’.
other sparkly choices that gleam and glitter in jewelers’ showcases? According to local jewelers David Hartman of Hartman Jewelers and Christopher Duncan of Marta von Dettingen, jewelry is a very personal choice, as unique to each individual as are fingerprints. Popular trinkets for Valentine’s Day include charm bracelets, diamonds, rubies and hearts – lots of hearts. Hartman says, “Guys like to buy hearts but not all women like hearts. I think our new beaded charm bracelets will be very popular this Valentine’s Day. It’s all about style and taste, though, and what a piece of jewelry will signify to each person.” Other trends of the day include sterling silver, dangly earrings, diamonds, which are eternally en vogue but don’t always meet budget constraints, and chocolate pearls, which are decadent and dazzling with a more modest price tag. “You can never go wrong with diamonds,” Lorri Brown, Jewelry David Hartman, Hartman Jewelers Designer for Marta’s, advises the men. Luckily, most of us will never have “Pearls are also very nice and there are to risk life or limb to make our mark now so many styles and different colors.” on the world or to proclaim our love, As far as buying jewelry for someone but it can feel that way when under other than your sweetheart, Duncan pressure to find the perfect gift to show suggests a birthstone or other colored our loved ones how much they mean to stone for mom and something in sterling us. As beautiful and tempting as gems silver for siblings and friends. and jewels can be, it’s very difficult to The key to buying jewelry for yourself know what to purchase, especially if or for others is to know what you’re you’re buying baubles for someone else. looking for. Make a list of the likes and The mystical “they” of the universe have dislikes, styles and lifestyle of the person exclaimed that diamonds are a girl’s best who will be wearing the adornment. friend but what have “they” to say about This can be the most difficult part of the pearls, rubies, amethysts and all of the purchase. Give some thought to what 6
that person does during a typical day. Are they active and possibly hard on their jewelry or are they quiet and gentle? Take note of what colors you see them wear. This can indicate their style and flair – are they bold and courageous with lots of bright colors and unique outfits or do they follow the mainstream trends with muted or neutral colors? What other jewelry do they wear and what does it look like? What is their birthstone? Try to remember any favorite animals or hobbies they may have – taking information like this into account may help you choose a more unique and personalized piece. You don’t want to buy someone something similar to what they already have, but you do want to follow their style and complement what they wear. Hartman remembers a customer who brought his sweetheart in under the false pretense of getting a new watch battery. While they waited, he nonchalantly asked her what she liked in the store. Later, he was able to make a purchase he knew she’d love. If you’re not quite that smooth and sneaky, you can always take your love into a jewelry See Baubles, Bangles page 8
photo by Jennifer Heyns
Header photos by Karl Pittelkau
Baubles, Bangles And Beads
ea ss T c B er u sin e
store and ask him or her to make a wish list. This will help you select a winning piece and you’ll still be able to surprise your sweetheart on the big day because they won’t know exactly which piece you’ve selected. This is also a great way to get ideas for future occasions. If you still lack the confidence to pick out a trinket for your love, ask one of his or her closest friends to come shopping with you, but be discreet. The last thing you want for Valentine’s Day is a sticky situation. When shopping for jewelry, keep a budget in mind. According to Hartman, you can never go wrong with diamonds, but they can be quite costly and not in everyone’s price range. “We sell a lot of Hearts on Fire® diamonds,” notes Hartman. “They are ‘the world’s most perfectly cut diamonds®,’ but they are a significant, major gift and on Valentine’s Day, there are very different reasons to buy jewelry and different budgets to accommodate.” Hartman admits that many single men absolutely refuse to buy their significant others diamonds or rings for Valentine’s Day, wary of sending the wrong message. This is where the hearts, dangly earrings and photo by Jennifer Heyns charm bracelets come in. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets come in such a wide variety of styles that it’s not difficult to find or fashion something that will be meaningful to the recipient. Charm bracelets are especially thoughtful since they are customized. They also allow for perfect perspiration-free future gifts – start with a bracelet and one charm and you can build on that gift for several occasions to come. Select a bracelet made from the recipient’s preferred metal such as silver, gold or white gold. The charm you select should be meaningful to both of you, perhaps a heart or ruby for love or passion. Then, on her birthday you can present a charm with her birthstone on it and for Christmas, maybe a charm of her favorite hobby or animal. The possibilities are endless. Another good option for winning brownie points this Valentine’s Day is to select a classical piece with the recipient’s birthstone in it – amethyst, if you’re also celebrating their birthday this month, offers Duncan. Every gem is significant in some way and many have folklore attached to them, notes Hartman. “The ruby means love and warmth, diamonds are eternity and some represent power,” states Duncan. “That’s photo by Karl Pittelkau
F or m
Baubles, Bangles continued from page 6
See Baubles, Bangles page 10
The Warrenton Business Directory Is Now Online Visit our website at www.warrentonlifestyle.com and select Local Business Directory and begin searching. Our printed version generated many phone calls and emails. While we received many thanks over publishing this free directory, we did encounter several upset businesses that were unintentionally excluded. The reason this happened is that not all businesses and organizations are required to have a Town business license and it is the licensed business list that we used to start the directory. A few businesses had incorrect phone numbers and we have corrected them in the online version. Typically, the phone numbers of record were those that were listed on the license application and several people put their home number. We encourage all businesses in the Town of Warrenton to contact us with changes, corrections and additions to their listing so that we can keep the online version up-to-date. We intend to produce another printed directory in July. Businesses, if you have not submitted your 25 search words to us, now is the time to do so. Email Shannon@piedmontpress.com or call us at 347-4466 and ask for Shannon or Tony. Special thanks to our co-sponsor SonaBank for building the back end of the online directory and hosting it for us.
Baubles, Bangles continued from page 8
why they have such value. It used to be that only the wealthy and royal families could afford gems because they were thought to bring power and photo by Jennifer Heyns importance.” Although not as encrusted and embellished as the nobles of the days of yore, many men today are starting to wear more jewelry. “Men’s jewelry is an untapped industry for the most part, but men are starting to wear more diamonds and even some colored stones,” says Duncan. According to Hartman, the most popular choices for men right now are stainless steel, watches, cuff links and bracelets. For pieces with color in them, he suggests sticking with white, black and gray. Something that could be even more meaningful than a new trinket is having 10
an older piece restored. Duncan suggests, “It’s a nice idea to sneak a damaged piece out of the house and have it fixed for Valentine’s Day. If it can’t be completed on time, present your loved one with a photo of the piece.” This can be a great idea for a man or a woman. Watches, pocket watches, rings, bracelets and necklaces can be restored. Additionally, you can have the stones of older pieces put into new settings, or have a piece completely custom-made. Maybe you’d like to surprise your sweetheart with the promise of the perfect piece that they can select themselves. “I’ve seen people give a piece of wire, paper clip or something of lesser value fashioned into a ring to represent a piece to come,” says Duncan. “One customer made a scavenger hunt for his sweetheart that included a trip to the jewelry store. Anything photo by Karl Pittelkau
romantic that comes from the heart will work. There’s really no wrong way.” If you’re going for diamonds but don’t want to dangle the wrong carat, go for the pun! Do your homework and find out how many carats you are willing or able to purchase. Give your sweetheart that many carrots for Valentine’s Day and explain the meaning. “There are so many reasons people buy jewelry,” explains Hartman. “It might be to celebrate a holiday, anniversary, birthday or another significant event like graduation or surviving cancer. This is such a great industry to be in because we get to go through the emotional experience with our customers.” Adds Norris, “It’s great to know we’re helping people pick out jewelry that signifies something so important to them.” There is no situation as fitting to the expression ‘it’s the thought that counts’ than buying jewelry for the people you care about. Jewelry is a very unique gift that, if chosen carefully, can mean as much to the recipient as it does to the donor. Jewelry shown in this article provided by Hartman Jewelers and Marta Von Dettington. Warrenton Lifestyle
Why We Love Warrenton
Winner “Young Students” Category Why I Love Warrenton
by Tony Tedeschi Warrenton has been my home for the past 21 years and during that time I have discovered hundreds of reasons why, in my opinion, it is the best place in the country to reside. Friends and acquaintances all talk of their love for this community and their statements are as varied as the people that express them. We thought it would be entertaining to have residents write about why they love Warrenton and publish a few of the top articles. We gave out cash prizes in four categories – come-here, from-here, students under 23 and students under 12. The submissions are fantastic, written by a broad range of folks from around the area. One entire family, including four children, sent in entries, one class from Auburn Middle mailed us a packet and several hand-written pieces were sent in by people who have not lost the art of the written letter. We are sharing two of them with you this month and the other winners will appear in the upcoming issues. Enjoy!
By Dara Goldman, age 10
Kevin, age 15, Jake, age 5, Dara, age 10, and Snoopy
I think Warrenton is pretty special. I was born at Fauquier Hospital and my family lived in Opal. I don’t remember much about the house because I was only one, but when I look at pictures I see our beautiful back yard and the horses that grazed in the farm behind us. After that we moved to Ivy Hill and now I have beautiful woods in my back yard and a pretty view of the reservoir in the front. Not only do I think my neighborhood is pretty, but driving around town is special, too. We are surrounded by so much history here and how lucky is that. I have to say my favorite thing to see while riding around Warrenton is the occasional horse trailer going by and what may be inside. Going just a few minutes outside of town can bring more horses into view than any city girl can ever imagine. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty. I find the people that live here to be very friendly. We have the best neighbors and when my mom and I take walks in the neighborhood everyone waves hello. When my family takes walks down Main Street, people are so friendly. Some storeowners are even nice enough to put out water bowls for the dogs in the summer when they are out walking. Our dog, Snoopy appreciates that. When my grandparents moved here from New Jersey, they were overwhelmed by
the friendliness of their new neighbors as they were welcomed with food and plants. I especially love all the parades and the events that are held on Main Street. Halloween is fun when we walk down Main Street in our costumes and then visit the stores for candy. My little brother likes that part the best. I like 4th of July when we decorate our bikes and scooters and ride down Main Street and have ice cream. I think my favorite is the Christmas Parade, even when it is freezing cold, it is still fun. My brothers and I each like the schools that we go to. All of my teachers at C. M. Bradley have been very nice and make school fun. My family and I feel very blessed with all the good friends we have made here. My older brother still has friends that he met in Toddlin’ Time fourteen years ago. My mom says she has met so many good friends at places like Toddlin’ Time, library story hour, Rady Park, and playgroups. When you move somewhere from another state you don’t always know what to expect. I don’t think my parents (or I) would want to live anywhere else (except maybe my teenage brother who wants to be a famous guitarist). Warrenton has everything my family needs.
Winner “From Here” Category Why I Love Warrenton By Beth Wayland Tierney, a “From Here” I’m walking down the halls of Fauquier High School with my sons. I point to a locker and tell them, “This was mine when I went to school here.” Though they know I was born and raised in Fauquier, they still seem surprised that something so “old” could still be in existence. As we walk down the hall, I show them the room that used to be Mr. Turner’s French class. A little further is Mr. Key’s writing class, obviously still home to an English teacher. I step through the door and experience a wave of déjà vu, as I stare at the man sitting behind the desk. “Mr. Keys?” The man stands and replies, “Yes?” Amazingly, he remembers me, and we chat for a moment. After we leave, my son whispers, “I can’t believe one of your teachers is still here after all these years.” That’s what I love about Warrenton. The memories are still alive for me to share with my children. Though Warrenton has grown and changed, it remains a community -- a place where people have connections. On the way home, we stop on Main Street to run some errands. We park behind the Bank, as I always have. My father worked here for 35 years, though the bank he worked for no longer exists, having merged with larger institutions. Now it’s known as BB&T, but the people are still the same. As I make my deposit, we chat with employees, who tell my kids that I used to love green lollipops when I was little. My sons ask for red lollipops, and even remember to say thank you. On the way out, I see Rick Monahan, who worked with my Dad. We stop to talk, and my son remembers that he gave our cubscout troop a tour of the bank vault. He wants to see it again, so we take a quick peek. It hasn’t changed any. Next stop is the Town Duck. Mrs. Johnson asks about my parents, and I ask about her daughter, whom I went to school with. My boys are frustrated with talk of old times and want to go home, but I still need to stop by 68 Main to drop off a check. I chat with Ali about our kids’ school activities, until I notice that the boys are about to revolt. As we return to the car, they complain that I always spend too much time talking. “It’s boring”, they whine. Ironically, I remember being frustrated with my own parents, when they stopped to chat with everyone on Main Street. Yet now, I treasure those community connections, which were forged so long ago. Perhaps my memories seem 14
pointless to my children, who are more interested in creating their own. As we drive up Main Street headed home, my youngest son suddenly points to a house and says, “That’s where the Tolsons’ used to live!” My other son adds, “And there’s Grandma T’s gypsy girl!” I smile, because my children don’t really remember the Tolsons, who died years ago. But they recognize the house and the porcelain gypsy girl, who still sits in the window, just like she did when I was a child. The people who lived there are gone, but not forgotten. The memories remain and live on through stories I’ve told my children. It’s late at night now, and my children are in bed. I’m glancing through the “Warrenton Lifestyle” magazine, when my attention is caught by the “Why I Love Warrenton” contest. I laugh out loud, as I remember essays submitted in Mr. Key’s writing class. I never did very well. I wonder what he would say about my writing style so many years later. Perhaps I should submit an entry. If it’s published, maybe he’ll read it. On second thought, he might use it in his class as a warning to students who aren’t paying attention. I remember, that he would often refer to essays written by former students, as examples. But then, that’s why I love Warrenton -- the community connections remain, even after all these years. So this is for you, Mr. Keys. I’m sure my commas aren’t in the right place, and I know I shouldn’t be using contractions. But I did learn something, and hopefully, so too will my children, since you’re still in Warrenton to teach them, even after all these years.
Historic Old Town Warrenton Happenings By Amy Gable
The Partnership has events scheduled for Main Street and Old Town Warrenton for the year. Please join us for Fathers’ Day on Sunday, June 15th for our annual Car Show. July 4th our annual Children and Pets Parade will be on Main Street. The third Saturday in September always brings us “An Evening Under the Stars”, a not to miss event of dancing and dining in the street. The children’s Halloween Parade will be October 25th and is sponsored by the Fauquier Hospital. Christmas in Old Town Warrenton and GumDrop Square will begin on Friday, December 6th. Please call the Partnership office with any questions or to volunteer at 540-349-8606, or, you may e-mail us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.partnershipforwarretnon.org. Amy Gable is the Director of The Partnership for Warrenton. The Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the economic and aesthetic development of Old Town Warrenton through a comprehensive process of economic revitalization that seeks to protect, enhance and promote its architectural and historical heritage.
February is here and Valentine’s Day is being celebrated all around Old Town where the perfect gift and dinner await you. Visit Main Street and find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift at one of our jewelry stores. Carter and Spence has a wonderful selection of fine jewelry and other wonderful gifts. Hartman Jewelers just moved to their new location and are waiting to help you make your Valentine’s happy. Marta’s has anything you are looking for from estate jewelry and one-of-a-kind pieces to a box of fine Belgium Chocolates. Make your dinner reservations now at any of our award winning restaurants. Claire’s at the Depot will be offering Valentine’s Specials. Iron Bridge Wine Bar is offering a four course dinner for $75 per person, wine not included. Chef Rob at Crescendo Bistro is offering his signature Valentine Special. If you propose to your Valentine in Crescendo on Valentine’s Day, your name is entered into the Valentine pool (if anyone else proposes) and the couple selected will be entitled for one year to be a guest of Chef Rob’s for dinner for two on the fourteenth of every month! The Partnership for Warrenton would like to thank all of you who visited Old Town Warrenton during the Christmas Holiday. Main Street was bustling with shoppers, diners and little ones waiting to see Santa.
WA R R E N T O N
Change Is In The Air By Andreas A. Keller
As the 2008 presidential campaign gets underway, all of the candidates consistently present themselves either as agents of change or leaders with experience in the hope of garnering the votes to win the national election in November. Irrespective of which candidate prevails, change is already upon us and an experienced leader may not be able to do much about it, because we have begun to undergo a transformation in our country which will have an impact on all of our lives.
Credit Markets are Imploding The transformation began in 2007 when the implosion of the subprime mortgage market reverberated through the entire global financial system. World-class financial institutions wrote off billions of dollars in losses and, in desperation, turned to rich countries in the Middle East and Asia to find money to stay afloat. It is reasonable to expect shotgun mergers of financial institutions in 2008 and 2009, similar to Countrywide, the largest mortgage company, which has already succumbed to the credit crisis. This begs the questions: How did we get here, and where do we go from here? Living Beyond Our Means Few things happen overnight and our present situation is no exception. For over a quarter century the U.S. savings rate has been declining from 10 percent in 1980 to less than 1 percent today.
With seventy percent of our national economy driven by consumer spending and average incomes slowly declining every year due to globalization, low interest rates and easy credit seduced an entire nation to live beyond its means: declining savings and declining incomes were replaced by debt.
The Big Transfer of Credit Risk A quick glance at the mortgage market shows two segments: origination and secondary market. Providing mortgages to the public is called origination. In the secondary market, those loans are sold to aggregators who bundle millions of mortgage loans into bonds for onward sale to institutional investors like insurance companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, retirement funds, and foreign investors. Banks and mortgage lenders divested themselves of the default risk inherent in mortgages through the channels of the secondary market. As long as the secondary market accepted mortgage-backed securities as low risk investments, there was no need for originating lenders to tighten up their lending standards. The Housing Bubble Bursts Everything worked well while we continued to experience a declining interest rate environment coupled with inflating housing prices. However, in 2004, rates began their slow and steady upturn, exerting a punishing strain on marginal borrowers with adjustable See Change page 18
Urgent Care on Demand
Every parent knows a healthcare gap exists between the doctor’s office and the hospital emergency room. Sometimes children are too sick to wait until Monday morning to see their family practitioner, but an endless wait in the ER waiting room with an irritable child doesn’t seem like a good alternative. Now there is another choice. FAUQUIERURGENTCARE has extended hours in the evenings and on weekends – times that are more convenient for today’s working families. The ER doctors and nurses at your urgent care center provide state-of-the-art medical care with a personal touch.
Treatment of Trauma & Illness
• Personalized care by an experienced emergency medical doctor • Simple and complex laceration repair • Treatment of 1st & 2nd degree burns • Care of minor eye trauma • Asthma/other respiratory illnesses including minor trauma • Broken bones, joint injuries and inflammatory disorders • Joint & trigger point injections • Adult and pediatric illness • Treatment for bee stings, insect and spider bites • Assessment and treatment of general medical diseases • Allergic reactions
• On-site X-ray department • On-site EKG and heart monitoring capability • DOT Testing • Employee drug screening • Hearing testing • School & sports physicals • Flu shots
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY 75 West Lee Highway • Warrenton, Virginia 20186 Phone: 540/347-4757 • Fax: 540/347-4271 firstname.lastname@example.org Located next to Domino’s Pizza, in front of Giant
HOURS: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Closed 17
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rate mortgages. These borrowers eventually started to default as housing prices began to deflate. By August 2007 a confidence crisis erupted in the secondary market as foreclosures began to accelerate. The foreclosure rate is currently increasing between 400 and 500 percent every quarter. The meltdown of the subprime mortgage market consequently is creating a ripple effect, which is now spreading throughout our debtladen economy to credit cards, car loans, commercial real estate, and even to borrowers with excellent credit. As the effects on our nation continue to grow, at some point they will likely spill over into the global economy.
The Next Wave of Defaults Some hold out hope that this correction in the real estate and mortgage markets will have run its course by mid-2008 as the resetting of interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages is expected to have been digested. Looking beyond the current wave of defaults, however, the next wave of adjustments soon will roll in: Option ARM mortgages, popularized by their minimal monthly payments, will reach their five-year recast point, resulting in monthly payment increases of anywhere between 20 to 50 percent. With housing values falling and negative amortization increasing, many such loans originated with a Loan to Value ratio above 80 percent are likely to default, which will result in a new wave of foreclosures that may last until 2012. (To better understand the dynamics and dangers of the Option ARM you may want to refer to http://www.mortgagemomentsonline.com/mortgages.php)
Somebody Forgot to Read the Fine Print This debt destruction process can be traced back to the Federal Reserve, which kept interest rates too low for too long, and lending institutions, which relaxed basic credit doctrine in pursuit of the fee and commission income they received by selling mortgages in the secondary market. Wall Street, acting as the middle man for the secondary market, sliced, diced, and packaged promissory notes from mortgages, credit cards, and car loans into collateralized bonds, and Rating Agencies provided the stamp of approval. Whatever did not make an acceptable investment grade was enhanced through insurance companies. Investment managers
around the world, blinded by the higher returns of collateralized bonds, forgot to read the fine print of the investment prospectuses in which descriptions such as “high risk investment” or “unrated investment instruments” were buried. Bond insurers are the latest link in the chain of this credit crisis to come under pressure. They agreed to cover losses on the bundled promissory notes if defaults occurred. Continued losses may force the insurers to make payouts in excess of earned premiums, which would halt the underwriting of weak or marginal credits. Ambac, one of the premier bond insurers, saw its stock price drop from $90 eight months ago to $6 as of this writing, and lost its AAA rating. This trend may spell further trouble for some of the major banks and lending institutions.
Going Deeper Into Debt As 2008 approached, the U.S. economy started to enter into a recession. Nevertheless, our nation’s debt continues to grow: every single day we need a capital injection of over $5 billion, which we mostly borrow from other nations. The reason for this unfettered growth in debt lies in the fact that the U.S. Dollar still is the world’s only viable global trade and reserve currency, and as long as oil is priced in U.S. Dollars, each country needs to pay for the purchase of U.S. Dollars in order to buy oil. The exception to this rule is, of course, the United States: we can simply print more money. (A more in-depth understanding of this fascinating subject can be gleaned from the article, “Dancing on the Head of a Pin”, which is available at www. mortgagemomentsonline.com.)
With close to 75% of all of our oil requirements being imported, oil-producing countries accumulate vast sums of dollar holdings, which are then recycled into U.S. investments, mostly treasury bonds, for yield and safety. In similar fashion, emerging export-driven economies rely on the U.S. consumer market to buy the products they manufacture. These countries then invest large portions of their profits in the U.S. treasury market, which has helped to keep interest rates low. China and Japan alone have about $2.5 trillion in foreign reserves, most of it held in U.S. Dollars. The Gulf States’ foreign assets reportedly exceed $2 trillion. The United States, by See Change page 20
RELAY FOR LIFE WHAT IS RELAY FOR LIFE? The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be eliminated. Relay For Life is an event that occurs every spring in Fauquier County which celebrates a year of education, advocacy, fundraising, and support for survivors and caregivers. Save the Date Saturday, May 31, - Sunday, June 1, 2008 at Fauquier High School
HOW CAN YOU HELP OR PARTICIPATE? v Create or Join a Team v Be a Corporate Sponsor
v Donate Your Time v Make a Monetary Donation
For more information go to www.fauquierrelay.com
Celebrate! Remember! Fight Back! 18
WA R R E N T O N
I am like no other. My diamond won’t be either.™ It’s not round; it’s not square. The Cushette® diamond isn’t quite like anything else. Which is why it’s patented, and why it kicks light and fire™ like no other diamond. Different. Dazzling. I’d say it’s totally me.
The new shape for romance. Guaranteed Certificates Independent Laboratory
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contrast, has only about $80 billion worth of foreign reserves.
The Fed between a Rock and a Hard Place This global imbalance - savings in the East and debt in the West, with the United States as the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest debtor and the Gulf States and Asian countries as our largest creditors - has created a very precarious and delicate situation for the global financial system, putting the Federal Reserve Bank squarely between a rock and a hard place. The choice is to rescue either the economy or the dollar! Lower Interest Rates and Inflation Ahead To prevent the economy from sliding deeper into recession, the Federal Reserve appears to choose lower interest rates in the hopes that liquidity will be restored in the market place, helping consumers to borrow and spend more money. Unfortunately, lower interest rates make dollar-denominated investments less attractive for foreign investors when compared with investments denominated in different currencies. However, foreign investors will find it problematic to sell those under performing investments, because the United States does not have enough foreign currency to give in exchange for dollars returned. The argument can be made that foreign investors are trapped and any attempt to â&#x20AC;&#x153;dumpâ&#x20AC;? the dollar could lead to the collapse of the international reserve currency system. Compared to a basket of other leading currencies, the U.S. Dollar has lost about 40 percent in value over the last five years. As the U.S. Dollar continues to weaken, higher-priced foreign goods will contribute to inflation in the United States. New government debt issues, for which reluctant foreign investors no longer have much risk appetite, will need to be funded. With few investors to be found, we will simply print new money, which, in turn, will create more inflation. We already are experiencing accelerating inflation: in 2007 the official consumer price inflation exceeded 4 percent, the highest rate in over 17 years. See Change page 22
WA R R E N T O N
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Tax Payers to the Rescue As we are in a presidential election year, the Federal Reserve appears to have decided to come to the rescue of the domestic economy and allow the U.S. Dollar to fall further. It made this decision despite the fact that lowering interest rates alone is no longer effective in reviving consumerism, because most of our lending institutions not only have tightened their lending standards but lack sufficient capital to extend credit under new capital adequacy rules. Those rules require that risk assets be fully backed by valuable collateral. The scramble to be in compliance with capital adequacy rules will lead to a worldwide wave of mergers and consolidation in the banking industry, which is likely to further reduce the availability of credit and capital, which are the financial engines that could pull our economy out of recession. Therefore, fiscal stimulus will be used to give the economy a shot in the arm by returning about $150 billion to the taxpayers directly. The unanswered question, however, remains: How can the government give back something that is already spent? Obviously, we continue on the path of more debt. Our Debt Continues to Grow Faster Than the Economy By the time the new President arrives in the Oval Office, his or her administration will have to wrestle with the true indebtedness of our country. Our federal debt alone has reached $9 22
trillion and keeps growing because of the compounding of unpaid and capitalized interest. Furthermore, our country faces $80 to $90 trillion of un-funded liabilities in Social Security, Medicare, and U.S. Government pensions, which 77 million retiring baby boomers, or 25 percent of America’s population, hope to claim over the next 30 years. The growth of these entitlement programs is outpacing the growth of the economy, which diminishes our ability to pay for them. As a result, one rating agency, Moody’s, has suggested that the United States is at risk of losing its AAA credit rating within the next ten years, which would undermine all credit markets. Given the enormity of the cost of these programs, which amounts to about seven times the annual output of the U.S. economy, the problem may be much more urgent than implied by Moody’s.
Moving From a Culture of Debt to a Culture of Savings Over the next five years the risks to our global financial system are high. Globalization moved wealth and industry to lower cost countries, which has left a graying America to wrestle with its legacy of entitlement expectations and rising indebtedness. Without a magic solution, we are fast approaching a fork in the road: either we continue to inflate our economy with all of the resulting economic and societal effects, or we take steps to cut social benefits and entitlements. Both directions have little appeal, and therefore, we are likely to
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tinker around in the hope of “muddling through” as we begin the long journey from a debt and credit culture to a savings and investment culture.
How to Weather the Perfect Storm With the prospect of a perfect storm on our horizon, how can we protect ourselves at a personal level? The first step would be to evaluate one’s debt situation with a particular focus on loan documentation for mortgages and credit cards to detect covenants that could trigger loan recasts, acceleration, or interest rate resets. Principal reductions of mortgages or debt refinancing may be better options than putting money into safe investments. For people with discretionary income, paying off debt, including debt incurred from home equity loans, is likely to yield the best and safest return in the coming environment. As consumer spending slows and our domestic economy softens, the rest of the world will feel the impact and volatility in the stock markets is likely to continue. Seeking professional help for investment advice and risk management is paramount, in particular, investment portfolios ought to be realigned towards a more defensive posture and reflect the reality of a global world. For people 62 years of age and older who are facing retirement and have insufficient income, unlocking home equity through a Reverse Mortgage may be their best option to augment living expenses. See Change page 24
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Controlling expenses ought to start with an energy audit of one’s lifestyle for which valuable advice can be found in the booklet “Energy Savers”, available at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/. Additional steps should include a financial audit of one’s lifestyle by recording one’s expenses for the last six to twelve months and putting together a budget for the next 12 months. Making a budget is the basis for controlling one’s expenses. In my practice, I see a lot of people who do not know how to prepare and maintain a household budget therefore I am offering twice a year a free ten-week financial planning and money management course. That’s my way of helping our community facing tougher times. Tougher times ahead will affect different people differently and bring out the best in the community where people help people and businesses help businesses. The slogan “Shop Here – Fauquier! Support business that support your community” says it best. In short, for those who want to prepare for the coming changes, all guidelines revolve around four basic steps: reducing debt, investing defensively, simplifying one’s lifestyle and focusing on one’s community. By taking these steps, one can be assured of weathering the upcoming financial and economic storm.
Andreas A. Keller is a mortgage banker with Warrenton-based Mid-Atlantic Mortgage Funding Group, which does neither approve nor disapprove of this article. Mr. Keller can be reached at his cell phone 703-346-7262 or email: email@example.com with more information available at his personal website: www.mortgagemomentsonline.com. 24
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An Acccessible Playground for ALL Children By Jennifer Heyns If we build it, they will come. At least that is the hope of John Schlenker and Linda Reid, two amazing parents from the Warrenton area who have championed a project called Fun For All Playground. The pair, supported by the Town of Warrenton and several local sports organizations, are devoting countless hours to raise both awareness and funds for the accessible playground they envision for the children of Fauquier County. “We want to have a playground for everyone,” said Reid, “There are several new playgrounds in the area and at several of the schools where children with disabilities are in attendance, but they aren’t accessible.“ “Our playground will be a place where all children can play with their peers,” added Schlenker. The idea for the Fun For All playground came from Reid and Schlenker and is an especially personal and meaningful crusade for them both. Schlenker is the proud father of three children; 15-year old Danny, 14-year old Katie, who was born with Down syndrome, and 11-year old Lauren, as well as the coach of a TOPSoccer team that includes children of all ages and abilities. Reid is rewarded daily as the mother of 17-year old Conrad and 15-year old Teylor, who is visually impaired, autistic and suffers from seizure disorder, in addition to coaching adaptive tennis at Chestnut Forks Health Club. “You can really challenge all children,” noted Reid, “Children with special needs want to learn new things and be
involved in competition just like everyone else.” Although their children are a bit too old to be interested in swings and slides, they both realize the need for such a place in the county where, not only can special needs children have access to all of the play equipment, they can interact with children of lesser needs. “We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” admitted Reid. They chartered a not-for-profit organization called Warrenton Fields Association (WFA), which was responsible for developing the ball fields adjacent to the aquatic center. Schlenker noted how instrumental Town of Warrenton’s Mayor Fitch was in ensuring that the fields were constructed in an accessible manner. The organization is now focused on maintaining the fields and adding extra community benefits to the grounds such as the accessible playground. According to Reid, there are about 275 special needs children attending the county’s special education preschool program and approximately 1300 children enrolled in individual education programs in Fauquier public schools. The benefits of a playground that special needs children can utilize alongside their healthier peers are numerous for all of the children in our community. See Playground page 30
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Playground continued from page 28
Many parents have acquiesced to the isolated interests of their children; video games, television and computers have scores of children across the country lacking in social skills and heading toward obesity. Reid noted that this is even more abundant among families containing children with disabilities. Numerous parents of special needs children are unaware of the types of activities that their children are capable of participating in and so they are allowed to be sedentary and isolated for most of the day. The Fun For All playground will give all of the children in the surrounding area a place to go and have fun, be active, spend energy and gain confidence. “Children of all abilities develop more when challenged in social situations,” informed Reid, “they learn about teamwork,
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WA R R E N T O N
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Playground continued from page 30
having fun and sportsmanship.” In addition to having fun and developing physical skills, an integrated playground can help all of the children learn to socialize together and share the same interests. “It’s not just about playing,” said Schlenker, “if regular children and children with special needs learn to play together as small children then they won’t even notice a difference when they are older.” “Awareness is the first step toward acceptance,” added Reid. Their own families are proof of this and both will admit that having special needs children at home has made their family bond a stronger one. The goal of the Fun For All playground is to bring that special bond to the community as a whole. Reid has been working with All Recreation of Virginia, Inc. to design the playground, which will encompass approximately 100 square feet of play space located on the grounds of the 65-acre complex surrounding the Warrenton Aquatics and Recreational Facility (WARF) that just opened its doors this past fall across from Fauquier High School.
The playground will have all of the amusements that any regular playground would have, but they will be adapted for the use of wheelchairs, walkers and the needs of children with special capabilities. The entire play space will be surfaced with a rubberized material for better mobility of wheeled equipment and to help prevent injuries from falls. A barrier-free ramp system will navigate the play equipment, allowing a wheelchair bound child to reach even the highest points of the play structure. “It’s not just for the kids,” said Schlenker, “this playground will make it easier for disabled parents, grandparents and caretakers to watch their kids and participate in the fun.” In an effort to stimulate and aid in developing the senses, the playground will incorporate bright, primary colors, various textures and play devices that make different sounds. You could say this playground is designed with all the latest bells and whistles! Unfortunately, a playground with all the bells and whistles will cost a pretty penny. Due to the specialized features that an accessible playground must include in order to meet the strict guidelines set forth by the federal government in the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is much more costly to build than a regular playground. The Fun For All playground is estimated
See Playground page 34
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to cost $300,000 and Schlenker, Reid and WFA are hard at work raising funds for the project. To date they have collected more than $25,000 and have another $100,000 in pledges. Although that’s a generous $125,000 in donations from businesses, organizations and individuals in the community, it still leaves more than half of the funds needed to be amassed. WFA is hoping to break ground on the play space this spring and, with an eight to ten week construction period, be able to allow the public access to it by fall. Schlenker has taken the lead in finding new ways to bring in funds for the playground and for keeping track of them. Through networking efforts and raising awareness throughout the community, Schlenker and the WFA has received generous donations from organizations such as Pepsi Cola, Knights of Columbus and the Town of Warrenton, to name a few, as well as from a few local families. Schlenker would like to see more businesses make large donations and more families and individuals donate their time. “We would love for the community to volunteer to do extra projects,” confided Schlenker, who envisions the playground surrounded by a masonry wall, flower beds, gardens and a shaded picnic area. On March 1 WFA will host a Fun For All Day at WARF in an effort to show the community what the organization and accessible playground is all about, and if they can collect some money for the cause at the same time - all the better.
“Our primary goal for the Fun For All Day is to get the word out about the playground effort and what it means to the area,” said Schlenker, “as well to provide a lot of family fun. Our secondary goal is to raise funds for the playground - we are hoping for $10,000 - $15,000 from this event.” The Fun For All Day is the first in what Schlenker and Reid hope will become an annual event. The day will kick off at 9 a.m. and various passes can be purchased depending on the level of involvement desired for the event. A family run will take place in the morning and participants will be given a Fun For All T-shirt. Also taking place at the affair will be indoor swimming, live entertainment, and food. Schlenker is still working out all of the details of the event, but is proud of his son and his band, The Number Red, for volunteering to perform for nothing but the experience. “You need to teach children to give back,” said Schlenker, “we strive for volunteerism - to have everyone get involved.” He is really looking forward to seeing a throng of people from the community and beyond enjoying themselves at Fun For All Day. Even more, he is hoping that during the festivities people realize the importance of events like this that bring
families and communities together for a good cause and that it can be fun and rewarding to help others. Schlenker sees the aquatic center and surrounding property as the “crown jewel of Warrenton” with its accessible ball fields, indoor pools, skate park and hockey rink. “We no longer have a movie theatre, bowling alley or roller rink,” lamented Schlenker, “people are going to come here and we need to make it a year-round attraction.”
What can you do to bring Fun For All to Warrenton?
È È Volunteer to help at Fun For All Day È È Provide live entertainment at Fun For All Day È È Talk to your employer or other business/organization about making a donation È È Make a donation yourself È È Volunteer time or materials to WFA for extra projects surrounding the playground È È Get involved in WFA or other local charitable organizations All donations to WFA are tax deductible. Make checks payable to WFA Playground Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 1247, Warrenton, VA 20188. For more information contact John Schlenker at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 540-349-3974 or visit www.funforallplayground.com.
The Fauquier Health System LIFE Center can help you with your healthy resolution Perhaps you’re one of the many who pledged to get healthier and exercise more in 2008. You’ve thought about it. You know you should do it. But how do you get started? At Fauquier Health System (FHS), we support your resolution to live a healthier lifestyle, and we’ve got a great option to help you take action. The FHS LIFE Center is a fitness facility that offers general fitness and weight equipment, as well as a range of individualized programs developed by professional exercise physiologists. Programs include cardio, free weights, circuit training, group exercise classes, yoga, wellness classes and lectures, and nutrition and weight management. The expert staff includes exercise physiologists, registered dieticians and nurses, and massage therapists. “This isn’t just another gym. We offer a full wellness program,” says LeAnn McCusker, Life Center director. Recently, the LIFE Center moved to a new location at 419 Holiday Court, Suite 200, in Warrenton (next to the Holiday Inn Express). “This more spacious facility allows us to expand our programs and amenities,”
says McCusker. Amenities include spacious exercise rooms, wireless Internet, personal TV and iPod jacks on equipment, locker rooms, and a café. There are a variety of membership plans, including pricing for couples and families and month-to-month memberships. Members enjoy discounts on massage and wellness education. There is an initial membership charge, which includes a health and fitness assessment and a personal training session, but this fee will be waived if you join by May 31. Although the LIFE Center does offer medically supervised programs and rehabilitation services, no physician referral is needed to join. The center is open Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Contact the LIFE Center at (540) 316-2640.
Please join us for the grand re-opening celebration on Friday, February 29, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mention this article and get your initial new member assessment free, plus a free 15 minute massage by our certified massage therapist, now through May 31.
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This is the place to find out all the doings of local businesses in Warrenton. Recently opened businesses include Denny’s Restaurant with a 7-Eleven and Liberty Gas Station (near the IHOP). The 7-Eleven was actually moved from next door into the new building with the Denny’s. The Art Shop of Warrenton is now open above The Paint Shop in Old Town and carries art supplies. Blue Ridge Mountain Sports opened in the Warrenton Center with all sorts of hiking, kayaking and rock climbing equipment; along with the outdoor clothing you need. We now have the Warrenton Cycling Center to satisfy your every bicycle need, in addition to skateboard, in-line skating and ski equipment. Ready to Go Cleaners on Blackwell Road can handle all your dry cleaning needs and Hobbies, Etc. has opened in the same space as the old hobby store in the Warrenton Center. We also have new stores on the way with the construction of a new Chick-Fil-A (next to BB&T bank), Warrenton Toyota Scion (next to IHOP) and United Rentals (across from Wal-Mart. Old Town will be getting a new home theater store and Costco plans to have their store in New Baltimore open by Thanksgiving of 2008. Trible Equipment, on Meetze Road, has long been the place to go for John Deere equipment, great service and a friendly smile. But now we must say goodbye to some familiar faces and make room for some new ones, as the family has sold the business and it will now be Aeheart Trible Equipment, Inc. There are also businesses that have moved, so if you can not find them, check here first. Piedmont Internal Medicine has moved into their new building on Holiday Court, near the Holiday Inn Express, which has given them the room to add two more doctors to the staff. Wells Auto Sales has moved from Broadview Avenue to Fifth Street in Old Town and Hartman Jewelers has moved up Main Street to a beautiful new store next to Molly’s Irish Pub. Lastly, the Old Town Athletic Club has got their new building going and should be ready in a few months. Amy Griffin is the owner of inFauquier.com, the most comprehensive online directory of consumer businesses located in Fauquier County. Check out the What’s New page for more business happenings in the entire county. You can reach her at (540)347-4922 or amy@inFauquier.com with your questions or any tidbits you hear about local business.
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