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The Roanoke Star-Sentinel December 10 - December 16, 2010

NewsRoanoke.com

Community | News | Per spective

[Christmas Cheer!]

Holiday Ballet Shines Family Art

Courtesy Photo SVB

The cast of the Southwest Virginia Ballet and Executive Director Mike Lawson assemble for a final curtain call.

P10– Roanoke’s Green Living and Energy Expo features alternative energy ideas and plenty of opportunities for students to learn.

Patriots Roll P7– Patrick Henry returns to the hardwood and serves notice to the rest of the district that they’re ready to play by knocking off Martinsville 70-55.

“The Nutcracker” Anything But Ordinary Sometimes something ten following in the footfamiliar can all too eassteps of older siblings. ily slip in our perceptions They go into the audition to become merely ordinot knowing if they will be nary, but in the case of the chosen, but they “find out Southwest Virginia Ballet’s that day – they get a letter upcoming “Nutcracker” to open with the news.” performances, the best deLawson is energized as scription would have to be he explains, “Each year, EXTRA-ordinary. more than 100 people auFrom the moment the dition for the extra roles performance begins to in The Nutcracker. Young take shape in Artistic Dior old, experienced or not, rector Pedro Szalay’s mind, SVB is proud to say that the energy builds toward [so far] we have been able the day when everything Photo by Mike Lawson to offer everyone a part. finally comes together for Each year more than 100 people audition for The Nutcracker. This effort is directed at fulthe much-anticipated largfilling part of our mission er-than-life Ballet. That day is upon us fect mix the set designers visualized. ... to make the performing arts available For the performers, the commitment to all ages from all walks of life. There as “The Nutcracker” will have shows on is huge, with rehearsals beginning in are no participation or costume fees to Friday December 11 at 7 p.m. and SatSeptember and running through the perform with SVB.” urday December 12 at 3 p.m. at the RoaDecember performances. The weekend noke Performing Arts Theatre. He goes on to say there are some The story behind the performance is rehearsals are all day Saturday and half children “who have never danced or nearly as compelling as the performance of Sunday with some during the week. been on a stage before and they get to be itself. There is an ongoing commitment Mike Lawson, SVB Executive Director, onstage in The Nutcracker. It’s huge – it’s and passion that goes on behind the did point out that the younger children awesome!” scenes for many months; in the case of do not have as rigorous a schedule; “Our The sheer manpower behind the things like specialized props, they have 7-year-old reindeers start in late Octo- show is almost been researched, sought out, or custom ber, learning to prance / hold their heads mind-boggling. > CONTINUED built over many years to achieve the per- up / wiggle … they are cute as can be!” According to P2: Nutcracker The young kids who audition are of-

Chamber Sees Hopeful Signs For Growing Economy

Faithful Waiting P5– In the season of Advent, Barkley Thompson reminds us that while no one likes to wait there are times when it can be experienced as a profound gift.

It is curtains for the amphitheater design that excited Roanokers in April 2009. Monday morning Vice-Mayor David Trinkle let go of the amphitheater project that defined his council tenure. “Given the economy and where we are … I p ers ona l ly City Govt. would like to see the project move forward but in a downsized fashion,” said Trinkle. In this economy Trinkle could not “see doing the whole thing at once.” He added that the park needed sprucing up with green space added and new acoustics built into a repositioned stage. Covered seating and a library café and coffee shop could be added later. Trinkle thought this direction would be more appropriate for a city the size of Roanoke. “It is the gateway to the downtown area,” said Trinkle. He wanted city staff to “go back to the drawing table” based on the results of the plans and knowledge gained from studies conducted over the years. In a July 20, 2009 blog post Trinkle esti-

[

P11– Bonnie Branch comes all the way from San Francisco to join her family in showcasing her photography and their many other gifts of art.

Green Energy

Elmwood Park Amphitheater Plan Scrubbed

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership meeting at Hotel Roanoke last week, giving members a chance to swap stories and give each other pep talks about slogging though the current weak economy. The meeting also featured a very non-businesslike choice for keynote speaker – Adrian Cronauer – a retired lawyer now living in Troutville. Cronauer is best known for being portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie “Good Morning Vietnam,” as a zany, over-the-top Saigon-based radio disk jockey during the Vietnam War.

Before Cronauer talked about how the movie came about - he had originally shopped the idea as a situation comedy - outgoing Chamber board president Charles Robbins (a BB&T banking executive) declared from the podium that the organization believed in “the public and private sector working together,” to overcome the current ailing economy. The Chamber also recognized Roanoke City police officer Nick Comas (who thwarted a suicide attempt) and Roanoke County > CONTINUED P3: Chamber

Photo courtesy Jim Markey Photography

Adrian Cronauer blasted the media when he spoke at last week’s Regional Chamber’s membership meeting.

> CONTINUED P2: Amphitheater

Nation’s First Volunteer EMS Needs Support

Roanoke city’s only volunteer rescue squad serves citizens. Roanoke Emergency Medical Services has one and only one volunteer squad, which also happens to be the very first emergency volunteer group established in the United States. Volunteer first responders are not as common as in the past and this one is app e a l i ng to the Fire and Rescue community to help with their annual fundraising campaign which is held during the month of December. Occasionally the community is a bit perplexed as to why there is a need for fundraising since all the other squads are funded by the city and their staffs are paid. According to REMS Business Administrator Sherrie Agee, “there is a greater volunteer presence in outlying counties.” This may be because those locales are less likely to be able to fund them. In Roanoke, they

[

> CONTINUED P3:Volunteer

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Page 2 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 12/10/10 - 12/16/10

> Nutcracker

Sunshine is the forecast for Thursday and Friday with temperatures rising. Temperatures will top out in the mid 30s on Thursday with low to mid 40s on Friday. Sun and clouds are expected during the day Saturday with highs near 50. Our next storm system moves in late Saturday into Sunday. Most of the storm will be rain. As the storm is moving out though, cold air will move in and that could change the rain to snow in a few areas. Highs will top out Sunday in the mid 40s.

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Lawson, “there are 250 volunteer slots (50 – 100 people) that are needed to coordinate rehearsal week and the performances.” This covers such responsibilities as hair, makeup, and costumes. SVB does get some help from a professional lighting designer, Dirk Kuyk from Charlottesville, and this year we will have one guest artist, David Fonnegra, out of California who is dancing the part of the Prince. The mission behind SVB is easily lost in its impressive performances and professional reputation, but they exist to promote the art of dancing to as many people as possible … for free. This includes everything the dancers need for a performance, as well

NewsRoanoke.com

From page 1

as classes offered throughout the year. Lawson says, “Have you ever heard of free dance classes?” The SVB’s main source of funding is the ticket sales from their performances; when people buy a ticket they are directly contributing to the dancers. While the revenue from ticket sales is needed, the SVB considers their performances to be “a gift to the community.” Plan to attend one of Roanoke’s finest holiday traditions, “The Nutcracker,” and prepare to be “delighted as a Christmas tree grows to huge proportions, mice and soldiers battle, and waltzing Snowflakes whirl about amidst “real” falling snow…” and

> Amphitheater mated consultant reports costing “upwards of $800,000.” Council member Bill Bestpitch added “we need to be very realistic in terms of the number of people that we can attract … not build something that would leave the facility sitting empty.” He suggested reopening Bullitt Avenue. Council member Ray Ferris called for an Elmwood Park redo that would “get our arms around the entire park.” The figure Ferris suggested was $3 to $4 million. He asked whether the city had the expertise “inhouse” to come up with a basic approach before spending money on new studies. Assistant City Manager Brian Townsend confirmed that the city had the expertise but that “at some point we have to transition to an architectural engineering firm for planning and construction.” City Manager Chris Morrill said he had experience with spaces similar to Elmwood Park in Savannah, Georgia where he was assistant city manager before coming to Roanoke. Morrill suggested going ahead with funding for a “multi-phased approach.” He envisioned “a Hotel Roanoke to Elmwood Park corridor ... it is way under utilized.” He also added public engagement to the process. In June 2007 Bullock Smith & Partners, consultants in Nashville Tennessee, told Roanoke City council that the Elmwood Park location for an amphitheater was far better than the Reserve Avenue site. Trinkle and then council member Gwen Mason

that’s just a glimpse of the fun. The icing on the cake – ticket proceeds will help ensure dancers can continue to learn and more audiences will be delighted again next year. “The Nutcracker” cast of 160 represents more than 50 area schools from across the Greater Roanoke Valley and 15 area dance studios. For tickets, contact the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre Box Office: 540.853.5483 or visit www.roanokeciviccenter.com For more information on Southwest Virgina Ballet visit www.svballet.org By Cheryl Hodges cheryl@newsroanoke.com From page 1

A rendition of the proposed amphitheater provided by the Red Light consultants. preferred the Reserve Avenue location at the time and were skeptical of the consultant’s recommendation. They questioned the consultant’s bias for downtown venues. The consultants defended their recommendations to no avail so council asked for another study. In April 2009 Red Light Management charged $120,000 to conduct a study for the Reserve Avenue site. When Elmwood Park was added to the study the price tag jumped to $211,500 according to Assistant Manager, Brian Townsend.. Ken MacDonald, director of venue management for Red Light recommended Elmwood Park for the same reasons the previous consultants had done so. “The economic activity has so much more potential than at Reserve Avenue … the Elmwood Park location would produce a patron experience resulting in more money spent downtown,” said MacDonald. The latest Elmwood Park amphitheater design would have seated 5,000 people at

a price tag of $12.2 million. This was far less than the $21.3 million plan for Reserve Avenue. It was suggested that with careful planning it would have paid for itself but MacDonald admitted that breaking even was based on “lots of spin-off spending downtown.” The amphitheater had been coupled with the decades old Victory Stadium debate. In 2003 it was to be built on Orange Avenue. It was tabled indefinitely shortly thereafter and when the “For the City” Independent ticket of Trinkle, Mason and Dowe won the 2006 council elections the 26,000 seat stadium was demolished for $1.2 Million. Football stadiums were then constructed at both high schools and an amphitheater was promised somewhere. For now it looks like that proposal will have to wait indefinitely. By Valerie Garner info@newsroanoke.com

Airport Commission Voices Concerns to City Council The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission along with Airport Director Jackie Shuck held a joint meeting with Roanoke City Council Monday morning. Storm water management fees were on the top of the airport commissions list of topics. “Fuzzy” Minnix remarked that he wanted to “minimize the shock” of the $200,000 annual stormwater fee he saw coming down the pike. The airport will be the second largest facility impacted by the fees. Minnix argued that runways were like city streets and that citizens were not expected to pay city street stormwater fees, but that argument didn't seem to hold much water. “The DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) was looking over our shoulder every time it rains,” said Minnix. Minnix asked for a time frame before the fees were imposed. City Manager Chris Morrill responded saying that the time frame would indeed come and that “all the science is done.” Council members explored the ever-elusive regional approach to stormwater management. Vice-Mayor Dave Trinkle was not optimistic in getting cooperation from surrounding localities. Mayor David Bowers assured Minnix that the Airport Commission would have an opportunity to be involved. The $2.1 million Aviation Drive and Towne Square Boulevard intersection renovation will get under way in spring 2011 with final completion anticipated for December

2011. Minnix still held onto his preference for a roundabout at the intersection. The use of airport owned land being planned for some kind of recreational use as the development plan moves forward for the Countryside golf course property did not fare well. The property cannot be used in any manner that would attract birds or invite congregations of people. Shuck explained that they are even careful to cut the grass at a height that discourages geese and small birds. Anything that would affect airport safety is not allowed. Shuck said that the FAA (Federal Administration Association) was becoming more restrictive and “there are not a lot of things they will approve.” Prior to the closure of the golf course the fairways in the RPZ (Runway Protection Zone) had been “grandfathered” in. It lost that designation once the golf course was closed. When the RPZ was widened two years ago two homes fell within the zone. The airport authority said it would purchase them if they came up for sale. Minnix indicated that if a greenway or picnic area in the RPZ were in the Countryside property plans they would ask the FAA for approval. ”The feeling that we get from our initial conversations with the FAA [is that] they would not be willing to let us have those type activities there,” said Minnix. The FAA fears litigation if an airplane crashes and someone was injured or killed.

Photo by Valerie Garner

Jackie Shuck, "Fuzzy" Minnix, Bittle Porterfield and John Dooley. “Even the property outside the RPZ should be safeguarded,” warned Minnix. “It only takes one accident.” He said on any given day there are one or two mishaps at airports. Minnix, in stressing his forty-year experience working for the FAA said, “I can understand what their reasoning is … if it’s only one [crash] it makes big, big headlines.” When asked how much they would charge to lease the property Minnix said, “my gut feeling is we won’t have to worry about that because I don’t believe they are going to place anyone in a situation where they could be injured or killed.” Shuck will work with the Planning Commission on use of the RPZ as Countryside development moves forward. By Valerie Garner info@newsroanoke.com

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12/10/10 - 12/16/10 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 3

NewsRoanoke.com From page 1 town home off Jefferson Street in the spring, something Robbins talked about at the meeting. Advisors will assist those firms, helping them grow. In addition, activity levels from businesses looking to locate here “[is] significantly up,” according to Waugh, referring to those making inquiries through the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “That’s another good indicator,” she noted. “There are a lot of really hopeful signs . . . and more activity overall in a positive direction.” Lending is also on the upswing according to Waugh, who advised businesses to “do their homework,” and have a good plan in place before looking for money. Retail members of the Chamber also tell Waugh that “things are looking good,” for the current holiday shopping season. “The proof in the pudding [will be seen] right after Christmas.” By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

Attorney General Launches Anti-Fraud Program Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli recently announced a new and innovative consumer education program to protect consumers and financial institutions from fake check scams. Partners include Consumer Service Commissioner Matthew Lohr, the Virginia Credit Union League, the Virginia Bankers Association and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Sixty one banks and credit unions are participating and will hand out a brochure created by the CFA about fake check scams and similar frauds to every person who comes in to deposit or withdraw $1,000 or more. In fake check scams, a consumer receives a genuine looking check or money order for something and is asked to wire money somewhere in return. For instance, the check may be described as an “advance” on millions of dollars that the consumer has won in a sweepstakes or lottery. Other times, people are asked to

process payments for a company and are instructed to send money somewhere as part of a job. No matter the circumstance, the check or money order is always phony and when it bounces, the victim owes the money back to the financial institution where it was deposited or cashed. The average loss is $3,500. “Virginians need to be on guard against fake check scammers,” Cuccinelli said. “One of the best ways to avoid being victimized is to recognize the warning signs of these scams. The most glaring sign is if the person or organization sending you the check asks you to wire back part of the money. If this is the case, it is a scam.” Federal law gives consumers the right to access their funds quickly, usually within a day or two. But the bank can't tell if the check or money order is phony until it goes through the system to the person or company that supposedly issued it. That can take weeks and the vic-

tim is on the hook for the money once it bounces. Lohr said, “In tough economic times such as these, con artists take advantage of vulnerable consumers by offering them bogus work-at-home opportunities, government grants, and other enticements designed to lure them into depositing these checks. By the time the victim learns that the checks are phony, the money is gone.” The brochure is entitled “Don't Become a Target” and is distributed free of charge. It is printed in English and Spanish and an electronic version is available in both languages as well. Visit the CFA's website at www.consumerfed.org/fakecheckscams for your copy. The website also offers a PowerPoint presentation for consumers and other educational materials about fake check scams.

Roanoke City Sales Tax Revenue Improves September was the “first month of positive performance since November of 2008,” said Ann Shawver, Roanoke City’s Director of Finance. This follows news that the September meals tax increased 2.6% over September 2009. Overall the meals tax has increased slightly at .5% for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 compared to 2010. The conservative projection for the 2% increase in the meals tax earmarked for Roanoke City Public Schools is going swimmingly at over $1 million for the first quarter. A healthy 3.3% over projections. With sluggish sales in July and August the first quarter sales tax for fiscal year 2011 comes in at a positive 1.59% over the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. Though Shawver cautiously refers to it as “improved but not substantially improved” it gives some comfort as the Commonwealth and Roanoke look for the economic upturn. A close watch on revenue stability with hopeful signs of

improvement can give some measure of optimism when council begins budget discussions for fiscal year 2012. Shawver stressed that the first calculation of 1.8% had to be adjusted for “some unusual corrections taking place from the Commonwealth from errors made in past months' payments.” The corrections were large and nonrecurring. There was also unusually high activity in the construction and utility area this fiscal year compared to fiscal year 2010 to consider. Shawver said that when removing “both of those items our YTD change from prior year was slightly improved but not substantially improved at (1.59%). This tells us that the nonrecurring items I mentioned above turned out to more-or-less offset one another.” “I am glad to see a bit of positive improvement in the sales tax revenue,” commented Shawver. By Valerie Garner info@newsroanoke.com

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teamwork by the numbers: 14 million Pounds of food Feeding America distributed in the SW Virginia last year. 60,000 Pounds of pet food collected annually by the SPCA to feed homeless & hungry companion pets in our community. 664 Individuals placed into competitive community employment by Goodwill Industries in the Valleys last year. 163 Homes built by Habitat for Humanity for families in the Roanoke Valley.

want them to know we are legitimate.” While it is true that the city charges for each 911 call, Roanoke Emergency Medical Services, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer organization and they do not directly receive any portion of the funds that are charged to cover EMS services. The City of Roanoke provides an annual allocation to help with their financial needs, although it is provided with the understanding that this funding will supplement the donations given by the citizens – it is not enough to provide total financial support. That’s where the citizens come in. On behalf of REMS, “We are very grateful for the wonderful citizens who donate to our organization during the fund drive as well as those who donate throughout the year.” For more information or to donate, contact Sherrie Agee at 540-344-6256 or visit the website www.roanokeems.org.

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“Project Give” Collects Needed Support This past Saturday several area community organizations joined forces for the 2nd Annual Project Give -to help the most vulnerable and undeserved members of our community. In the bitter cold of the civic center parking lot, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity of Roanoke Valley, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Roanoke Valley SPCA and Goodwill Industries of the Valleys were on hand to collect donations from household items to non perishable food items and pet supplies to clothing. “It’s our way of making the donation process easy,” said Suni Heflin of Goodwill Industries. “Especially at this hectic time of year.” While the holiday season often sees an upswing of donations to all the organizations, the challenging economy has made the need greater than ever. By coordi-

have slowly been replaced, leaving the one surviving volunteer squad to grapple with how it will continue in the future. The idea for coordinated rescue was born of a tragedy witnessed in the beginning of last century: “On a May afternoon in 1909, a boy on the bank of the Roanoke River watched helplessly while two men struggled in the water trying to reach their overturned canoe.” The men didn’t survive, and the young boy, Julian S. Wise, was so impacted by what he saw, in 1928 he established the squad now known as Roanoke Emergency Medical Services. Today in Roanoke, the volunteer squad is made up of 30 people who are holding full time jobs plus making the time to work with the EMS group. Agee says “we have a good group here – these people are here because they want to be here; they really have a heart for it.” REMS recently sent out their annual fund drive letter and Agee says, “We always get a lot of citizens who don’t know who we are and what we do – we

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ography,” he noted. Cronauer took time to criticize some of the recent giants of the TV news business, like Dan Rather and the late Peter Jennings, for what he said were false news reports and unnecessary criticism of the federal government. He also said the media was often “derelict in its duty to promote positive values.” He urged Chamber members to “educate our next generation of business leaders,” as well. A day later, Chamber president Joyce Waugh said the 1200-member organization felt “a lot of uneasiness with this current economy. But what we are hearing from people right now is that they are hiring.” Much of that hiring is coming from smaller businesses. “That is a very good indicator. They are not going to take on a full time person that they have to lay off later.” The Chamber will debut a small business accelerator to be based at its down-

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patrolman Michael Vaughn (interagency drug task force) as Officers of the Year - an honor bestowed every year at the membership meeting. Cronauer, who proclaimed himself a “card carrying Republican,” went to work for the Bush administration after 9/11, working on POW issues. Most of his address centered around Good Morning Vietnam, which he consulted on during filming. “My 15 minutes of fame stretched well beyond 20 years,” he noted from the podium. There were five different versions discussed before the script was settled on; as for the hijinks portrayed in the Barry Levinson film, Cronauer, an Air Force veteran, said “if I had done half of those things . . . I’d still be in Leavenworth.” Williams ad-libbed much of the script and Cronauer said Levinson would just let the cameras roll when the comic actor went off on one of his tangents. “It was never intended to be an accurate bi-

> Volunteer

in

> Chamber


Perspective

Page 4 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 12/10/10 - 12/16/10

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

T

his time of year it’s therapist who knew the value of important to think her practice. That’s been many of all the charitable years ago and the profession of organizations that depend therapeutic massage has bloson our contributions to keep somed since those days. their missions afloat. Since the Hotel Roanoke, back in the economy is so difficult now, halcyon days of the Norfolk it’s especially important. All it & Western, employed a fulltakes is a phone call, a check in time masseuse. Harry Cowley the mail, or a website visit. It was his name and he had been will be a gift that keeps on giv- trained at The Kellogg Institute ing. Choosing the perfect gift back in the 1930s. Many of the for individuals gets a lot more scions of local industry visited complicated. him weekly until he became to We’re bombarded with sug- elderly to continue. The techgestions of what we should niques used are strenuous and buy for those on our require significant holiday list, always strength. with the implication In the 1970s the that unbridled hapidea of massage had piness will accoma rebirth . . . and it pany it. Not true, was not a good one. as everyone knows. The parlors, as they Few things are more were known, sprang disappointing that up like toadstools having a thoughtafter a summer rain fully chosen presand they were ent received with, Hayden Hollingsworth about as danger“Oh, how nice,” ous. Eventually, and then it’s tossed aside. most of them disappeared but Here’s a gift that won’t suffer the idea of massage, which goes that fate. I came upon an idea back to antiquity, persisted. some years ago that has worked Schools to teach the mulout well for my family, now all tiple systems of therapeutic adults: A gift certificate to a massage appeared offering massage therapist. When I first courses which took several heard about therapeutic mas- years to complete. Licensing sage, the whole idea impressed boards were established. It me as odd. My daughter and became recognized that there her husband were involved in were substantial health benefits extensive travel with high stress from many types of therapeutic jobs, each week going their massage. own way in their work. On the Having had only anecdotal weekends, exhausted from the experience with improvement stress of it all, they found thera- in musculoskeletal pain and peutic massage restorative and, relief of stress, I interviewed more importantly, they found a Rhonda Amos, a local certified

massage therapist, who had a dream and now owns Soothing Techniques. I was impressed with the casual warmth of the office and her professionalism. Not only has she been in practice for fifteen years, she recounted the daunting challenges she overcame in setting up her business and operating it. I had wondered what questions one should ask before investing in a gift certificate from a message therapist. There are many. First of all, one should make sure the therapist has been trained in a certified school, is licensed by the State Board of Nursing, and is current in their continuing education courses. Second, the therapist should take a detailed history from the client about the type of stress, but physical and mental, that has been causing problems. Third, it should be established that there are no medical contradictions to the planned therapy. This may require a conversation with physical therapists or physicians who have been treating the potential client. And finally, the atmosphere of the therapist’s office should be completely professional and offer a calming ambience. Once this is accomplished, then a program can be designed to fit individual needs. In the interest of journalistic integrity, I must say I have had only one massage and that was years ago. I am not sure I understand from a medical point of view how it worked, but it certainly made me feel quite buoyant. From the comments of those to whom I have given a gift certificate for massage therapy that is a common experience. Holidays, despite all the tinsel and hoopla, are stressful. The idea of giving a gift that will relieve that is one that appeals to me. With times being what they are, we can use all the help we can get and we can still remember this is the time of giving.

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Distress call Middle Computer phone "That's the last __!" They produce 'bilevel security' in Salem. Martin (2 wds.) Cheat Neither's partner Not nice Pot ----- home improvement of roanoke Heat unit Ball holder This Inn takes care of all the Greyhound drivers and is near the corner of Williamson and Orange. Limited (abbr.) Drowsy Relatives Whelp Slumber Inactivity Belts Food and Agriculture Organization (abbr.) Entrances

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Official Build up Drudge The other half of Jima Pouch Scrambled food Irritate 2008 Mayor of Roanoke Slat for ventilation Typing errors You got a problem, -----! (from Where the Wild Things Are, two words) 60 Flightless bird 61 British drink DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13

Sward Poem Part of a min. I want my ___ Tax agency Dit's partner Roanoke milling company founded in 1917. Dirge soloist Scattered Tilt Customs Unit of electric power

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Presbyterian Church in America

ESTMINSTER

Hew To be in debt Lemon Chopping off Canonized Use again Many months Environmental protection agency (abbr) Accountant __ Lee (pie brand name) House cat What workers often feel One song Ornamental olive shrub Needle worker Foreign Agricultural Service Set up __ hole (hiding place) Seed bread Revolutions per minute Note of debt Cereal Shoshonean A well loved city matriarch.

Find the answers online: NewsRoanoke.com Have a clue and answer you’d like to see? email: puzzles@newsroanoek.com

Contact Stephanie at stephaniekoehler@cox.net

provide love and companionship, which research shows improves long-term quality of life. In addition to helping seniors' mental health, dogs help to decrease stress and loneliness, and may even reduce their owners' cholesterol levels. All of which makes folks healthy and happy, so they feel and look great. Think of it as a cost-effective health-lift, instead of a $10K facelift. We're thinking it has all the makings of a grass-roots stimulus program. Instead of unnecessary spending on luxury goods (facelifts), redirect those funds toward idle resources (dogs) and improve our aging infrastructure (senior health). And all it needs is a catchy name. So we thought up a few: The Rover Recycling Program. Bucks for Barkers. Put a Leash on the Deficit. Save Some Face, Walk Some Place. Whatever you call it, it's a great new trick. And one that would make all the old dogs live longer and feel better, whether they have four legs, or just two. Contact Mike at info@theroanokestar.com

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a cookie. -Whine with discontent, get a cookie. -Bark at the mailman, get a cookie. -Wake up from a nap, get a cookie. I think you get the idea.... 5. No matter how ugly you look; how fat you get; how sad you feel; how much you complain; or how stressed out you are.... your dog will love and admire you. 6. I believe the Beatles had it exactly right when they said "the love you take is equal to the love you make." This is why dog lovers help keep some Peace in the world.... they get so much from their 4-legged companions and it radiates out from there. 7. While a dog’s nose always knows how to get him into trouble – it seldom knows how to get him out of it. 8. In the world of dogs . . . play is always exuberant; joy is always heartfelt; food is always appreciated; and loyalty is an unquestionable and unmovable character trait. We could all learn from them.

It's Time to Take Some Facts for a Walk

The service will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.

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ecently, I was asked your story might end up in to serve as a refer- the newspaper. So, thank you ence for friends who to the kind hearts and comare hoping to adopt a lovable, passionate souls who provide happy dog from the SPCA. I a safe harbor for “all creatures was thrilled and honored. great and small” . . . and for For those who know me at the “expecting parents” : enall -- you know all about the joy the ride! deep love I have for my two Dog Owner's Manual: Voldogs, Jack and Blue. ume 1 Both were rescued 1. Dogs help us to from an uncertain be better humans. fate and both have May we all strive to filled my life with be who they think joy and happiness. we are. For 9 years, Jack has 2. The size of a loyally and lovingly dog has no bearstood by me in the ing on the amount darkest of times – of space needed in when human comthe human's bed. passion was no- Stephanie Koehler They will sprawl, where to be found. stretch and conThe adventures of Dog Blue – quer until the humans are a more recent adoptee – have balled up in a corner with a served as great amusement pillow and they are situated and hilarity for anyone who comfortably. regularly reads my column 3. Squirrels are their sworn or Facebook updates. Let’s enemy and must be kept away just say, he’s a neighborhood at all times. celebrity and we keep the vet’s 4. Dog Mantras: phone number on speed dial. -Come inside, get a cookie. As I shared in the excite- -Look cute, get a cookie. ment of my friends’ journey -Be naughty, get a cookie. into dog ownership, it gave -Be nice, get a cookie. me a chance to reflect on my -Humans come home, get a own experience. While the cookie. following started as a private -Humans leave the house, get letter – one of the great haz- a cookie. ards of sharing my life is that -People come for a visit, get

December 24th At 5:00 P.M.

18

NewsRoanoke.com

Everyone Should Own a Dog

Please Join Us For Our Annual Christmas Eve-Candle Light Service

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See? Totally unrelated. ere are three data points that have Unless you consider that the nothing whatso- fastest growing segment of ever to do with each other. the population is people over 65 years of age...and Nothing at all. 1. the cost for providThe Humane Soing long-term care ciety estimates for seniors is going that approximately to increase pro2MM unwanted portionately...and dogs were euthahealthcare pronized in 2009. 2. grams already conThe American Sostitute the largest ciety of Aesthetic percentage of the Plastic Surgery federal budget... reports that apSo here's a way proximately 9MM Mike Keeler to connect the facelifts were performed in 2009. 3. The dots, and the opportunities. American Academy of Neu- Seniors need a way to stay rology has just published a healthy. And shelter dogs Contact Hayden at study that concludes that literally need a reason for jhayden2003@cox.net walking 6 to 9 miles a week being. It's a match made in may help preserve brain size health care heaven. Not only and prevent cognitive dete- does dog-walking provide a great fitness program, dogs rioration later in life.

Local Crossword

The Roanoke Star-Sentinel is published weekly by Whisper One Media, Inc. in Roanoke, Va. Subscriptions are available for $44 per year. Send subscrip12/10/2010 tions to PO Box 8338, Roanoke,VA 24014. Wefor encourage letters from our readers on topics of general interest to the community and responses to our articles and columns. Letters must be signed 1 2 and3 have a telephone 4 number 5 6 for verification. All letters will be verified before publication.The Star-Sentinel 7 8 9 reserves the right to deny publication of any letter and edit letters for length, 11 12 content and style. All real estate advertised herein is subject to national and Virginia fair 14 15 16 housing laws and readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised 19 20 in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. 21

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Perspective

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H

We Are Always Teaching

ow well do you ingrained early on that a child know your chil- needs to know as much about dren? Luckily, us as they can to better navimost parents would answer gate the their world. that question confidently Children have an innate with an assurance that they drive to figure us out. The know their kids quite well. more they know about us and This is especially true with how we work, the more sucschool-aged children. On cessful they will be at pursuthe other hand, the closer a ing their wants. While this is a child moves towards 18, this great thing and enhances our certainty of knowing ability to connect and ones child begins to teach our children, decrease as indepenthere is a downside; dence grows. they see everything. I often ask parents Our children quickly about “knowing” learn whether or not their children as a we are impatient, part of the counselwhat things we really ing process when get aggravated about, working to improve if we follow through family relationships. Keith McCurdy on the things we tell The interesting thing them, how we treat is that no matter how well our friends, if we get enough parents are plugged in to sleep or eat healthy, if we are their children, they are not honest. the experts in the house, the The second area of learning child is. is about the world. Through What I mean by this is that us, our children begin to we may know a lot about our form opinions about the outkids, but they are more of an side world. A great example expert on us than we are on of this is political affiliation. them. Let’s consider this, how You ask the average middlemany different issues in the schooler today about whether world are you aware of each they are Republican or Demday? How many different ocrat and they will respond things are you juggling each in a manner consistent with week? Now, answer those their parents. questions for your child. The Yet, these same kids are average 8 year old does not unable to coherently discuss think about world conflict, most political issues. They if the economy will collapse, believe that their parent’s bills, mortgage, getting their choice is right and follow in hair done, paying for their kind. It is not that this is unolder siblings college, retire- healthy; in fact it is a wonderment, getting this child here ful thing that some parents and that child there on time, fight against. I recently talked etc. We take up a larger part to a parent who was adamant of their awareness than they that she was not going to indo of ours. fluence her child’s faith at all To our children, we are the so that the child could truly largest and most significant be free to choose when she is part of their world. This is, of older. course, more prominent the Because of this, I would aryounger they are. Because of gue, that child will have less this, our children are always of a healthy foundation in latlearning from us, even when er life. We need to recognize we don’t realize it. The first this effect we can have and use area of learning is that they it wisely, not abdicate it. This learn a lot about us as indi- process is not, however, just viduals. Since we are the gate limited to politics and faith. keepers to everything: food, This is where children can privileges, money, etc., it is also learn to be prejudiced,

insensitive to those with need, untrusting of authority, etc. All because of how our children see us dealing with and responding to the outside world. An example I have given before regarding authority is when parents regularly side against teachers and support their kids. The most immediate effect of this is a child that has no respect for a teacher’s authority. When we support the teacher’s authority, children show respect as well. The third and most vital area of learning is that our children perceive things about themselves by how we deal with them. A child’s foundation for how they view themselves begins with the relationship they have with their parents. Take the example of the parent that regularly makes commitments to do things with their child. The time comes and goes and the parent responds to the child explaining how busy they were and they plan another time. Time after time the time together takes the back seat to other more serious or pressing issues. Now, on the one hand, the child may be learning that their parent does not keep their word. But on the other hand, the child then searches for meaning and comes to the conclusion that they are not that important to their parent and that so many other things in life hold more value than they do. If you don’t believe this happens, I have heard thousands of examples of this over the last 20 years from kids in my office. The challenge is to accept that our children begin life pre-programmed to learn from us and that this effects three key areas of their life: what they think about us; what they think about the world; what they think about themselves. Ask yourself in each area, what are you teaching?

The Preacher’s Corner - Faithful Waiting

The Reverend Barkley Thompson, Rector - St. John’s Episcopal Church

A

young couple learns that they are pregnant. The first days upon making this discovery are filled with the waxing and waning sensations of excitement, fear, and utter disbelief. As those first days pass and the weeks and months drag on, the couple settles into a more stable oscillation of excitement, fear, and disbelief. But whatever else their nine months entails, it most assuredly does not include passivity or lack of attention. Theirs is an active and faithful waiting. They do the things that give life. She reads Dr. Spock and paints the nursery. He puts together the crib. They both gaze with wideeyed amazement at the changes in her abdomen as God’s blessing grows within her, until they can feel and even see the child move, rolling and pitching like a ship at sea. Their waiting is marked by prenatal visits to the doctor, sonograms and blood tests. There are anxious moments. There are wondrous moments. And there is an attentive and faithful waiting. The birth will come, and it will be glorious. The couple can prepare. They can tend to this blessing they have been given. But the moment that this child will arrive no one can say. And so they wait. A 92-year-old woman has outlived most of her friends. She enjoys a clear mind, but her body will not respond to her will the way it once did. She is not depressed, at least not often, but she does wonder why she remains when so many have gone. She does not fear death, knowing in faith that death is a transition rather than an end. And so she waits. But hers, too, is an active and faithful waiting. She does the things that give life. She writes letters, and when she is unable to hold a pen, she asks the woman who cooks her meals to write the words for her. She talks to her family, passing on the stories that have informed her life and formed her wisdom. She Contact Keith at mends the tears that unavoidpsycyou@msn.com ably have occurred in some rela-

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tionships over so long a life. She talks to God regularly, and listens for God even more. There are anxious moments. There are wondrous moments. And there is attentive and faithful waiting. The woman’s reunion with loved ones gone before and with God will come, and it will be glorious. The woman can prepare. She can tend to the blessings she has been given. But the moment that she will enter larger life no one can say. And so she waits. A father reaches down from the heights of the cosmos and dips his hand into the chaos and void. He moves back the darkness and ushers in the light. He breathes over the waters and brings forth life. He bestows upon the creation every blessing, most especially the gift of free will, to determine for itself the kind of world it will be. The father looks on with pain and sorrow as the creation makes choices that lead to destruction and death. People kill one another. Nations wage war. Those charged to be stewards of creation instead butcher and use the green earth in ways that cannot be sustained. Knit into this father’s tapestry of creation is a Savior, one who will come and offer redemption to those who have fallen so very far, but the time has not yet come. And so the father waits. His is an active and faithful waiting. He does the things that give life. He comes to those in need. He cries with those who sorrow. He labors to melt stony hearts. There are anxious moments. There are wondrous moments. And there is attentive and faithful waiting. The time will come for the Sav-

ior’s birth. The time will come for his Second Coming, when the creation will be mended and made whole, and it will be glorious. But the time is not yet. And so the father waits. No one likes to wait. When given a choice, we are all people of instant gratification. But blessedly, in those instances in which we have no choice we at times experience waiting as a profound gift. It is just such experiences that should inform our approach to Advent, as we again wait upon the Lord. There will be anxious moments. There will be wondrous moments. But if we wait actively and in anticipation, when Christmas comes it will be glorious. St. John’s is located at the corner of Jefferson St. and Elm Ave. in downtown Roanoke. The congregation gathers for worship on Sundays at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. St. John’s is found on the web at www.stjohnsroanoke.org.

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Page 6 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 12/10/10 - 12/16/10

Dickens of a Christmas

Dickens of a Christmas opened its annual three week run of Friday night holiday cheer with a tree lighting (moved to the Norfolk Southern building near Franklin Road due to construction around the City Market building), street vendors, characters in period costumes and horse-drawn carriage rides. Dickens, a creation of Downtown Roanoke Inc., continues with a Christmas parade this Friday December 10 at 6:30 p.m. By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

Photos by Cheryl Hodges

Mill Mountain Zoo Executive Director Resigns The Board of Directors of Mill Mountain Zoo announced the resignation of Mike Janis as Executive Director. Janis started the job back in May after Dave Orndorff stepped down to focus on being the zoo’s general curator. The Board of Directors says

Ray-Eric Correia has been appointed Interim Executive Director effective immediately. He has 37 years of experience as an administrator and most recently served as the head of Roanoke Catholic School, where he spent 16 years. Correia holds a Bachelor of

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Cream Cheese Cranberry Muffins The Little Drummer Boy is my favorite Christmas story outside of THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY. I know The Little Drummer Boy is not a historical truth - as in that boy with his drum was not likely at the stable with the baby Jesus, but . . . who knows? What I do know is that the story of the Little Drummer Boy is our story. What happens to that little boy is what happens to all of us when we one day understand what Christmas really is‌ We are struck suddenly by the truth of who we are and who God is. My favorite lines in the song are these‌ Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum, I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum, I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum , That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?

If you have never seen the Christmas special of The Little Drummer Boy, watch it this year, we do every Christmas and I always cry. I cry because I know how that little boy feels - all we have to give is what God has given us, our very lives, It is God’s Son that started out as that babe in a manger that moves us to give our lives, to humbly give what we have – to play our drum, however meekly - and maybe especially meekly - before the King. Giving ourselves to others in need at Christmas and any time, does more than we ever know. I will never forget when some friends from church brought us breakfast on the Christmas morning two weeks after my mother had passed away. These muffins make a wonderful Christmas morning gift, that anyone will appreciate.

Arts degree from Washington and Lee University and a Mas1 cup butter, softened ter of Arts degree from New 1 package (8 ounces) cream York University. He has 37 cheese, softened years of experience as an administrator and school head in New York and Virginia. Most recently, Correia served as Head of School at Roanoke Catholic School, where he spent 16 years. Correia was raised in New York City, and has been associated with the area since 1970. His firm, Crossroads Advancement Associates, L.L.C., provides fundraising and advancement consulting for the zoo. Correia and his wife, Kathleen Nowacki-Correia, reside Photo by Valerie Garner in Rockbridge County. The board appreciates Mr. W. Lee Wilhelm, III, wife Lainy and Mayor Bowers. Janis’ contribution to the zoo over the past several months.

1-1/2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries 1/2 cup chopped pecans -In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans. -Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Makes 2 dozen.

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Sports

12/10/10 - 12/16/10 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 7

Patrick Henry Opens Season With Around the Hardwoods With Wild Bill 70-55 Win Over Martinsville

Well readers, here we go as could handle. better results than that, JoAnn. basketball is under way and Key games of interest in the Go out on a clear night, point the high school hoops move area next week include Cave your camera skyward and Patrick Henry used 25 points into high gear. The season Spring visiting Northside and move the lens until you locate from Cam Jones and 24 from opened last Wednesday night Byrd going to Hidden Valley the moon. I feel confident in Marcus Banks as the Patriots deand it looks like the Roanoke- Tuesday night. On Wednesday, telling you the subject is farfeated the Bulldogs in the season area teams will bring a lot of Salem visits Patrick Henry. ther than 22 feet. opener for both teams last Friday excitement to the courts if Now, for the ‘let’s get ‘em Dear Predictor Bill: Do night. Banks hit five of Patrick week one is any indication. ready for the college game ear- you think ACC basketball is Henry's nine three-pointers. PH Cave Spring, the two-time ly’ unusual game of the week still the elite conference in the led by 8 at halftime and pulled defending Group AA last Monday night. In land? (Harold/Tobacco Road) away in the fourth quarter for Division 3 State Chamthe girls JV prelimiAnswer: Sorry, Harold, exthe victory. pions battled William nary, Cave Spring and cept for Duke, the ACC is curByrd to a double overPatrick Henry battled rently in the tank as far as basPH #24 BJ Hamlett deflects a time thriller on opento a tie after regulation. ketball. I heard an esteemed shot by Martinsville #2 Cedric ing night before the There seemed to be a colleague say there was as Tarpley. Knight’s Storm Furslight bit of confusion much separation between row hit a classic buzzon how long the over- Duke and the second place er-beater to pull out time should be, with team in the ACC as there was the Cave Spring win. the general consen- between the second and last No small feat consus ranging from place team. I think he is right Bill Turner sidering the Knights three to four min- about Duke. And, the current graduated 12 players from last utes, along with one opinion of AP Poll bears it out. The Blue season. Likewise, the game exactly 3 1/2 minutes. So, the Devils are the unanimous #1, was the William Byrd coach- officials made a compromise while the rest of the top-25 is ing debut for Kevin Tuck, who and put five minutes on the void of any ACC team. UNC took over for the Terriers after clock. (We didn’t understand does grab a few ‘others receivbeing the long-time assistant it either.) They played out the ing votes’, but the rest of the to Dave Culicerto. Good luck entire five minutes with Cave bunch has left the galaxy. to Kevin for a well-deserved Spring prevailing by four. ForDear Esteemed Predicpromotion. tunately, they also led by two tor: Do you ever predict the On Friday night, the Hall after four minutes, so it was all weather? I need to decide if of Fame Classic, played at a moot point. I need to buy a snow shovel. PH #24 BJ Hamlett looks for a screen as he drives Patrick Henry, showcased a Let’s go to the mailbag (Maude/Clifton Forge) on Martinsville #15 Jeremy Bradley. strong field which left little where a little tip on photogAnswer: I’ll break ranks and doubt about the strength of raphy technique is given and give you a heads up, Maude. both Patrick Henry and Wil- a college analysis is short and Buy the shovel, some de-icer By Bill Turner Patriot senior #2 Kerris Epps goes high to liam Fleming. Jack Esworthy’s sweet. and a pair of snow shoes. It’s info@newsroanoke.com alter a shot by Bulldog #50 Dishay Brown. Patriots made it to the Group Dear Wild Bill: I’m trying to going to be deep. AAA semifinals last year and get the hang of night photoglooked imposing in their easy raphy. The owner’s manual for Send your inquiries to info@ win over Martinsville in Fri- my camera states that at night newsroanoke.com day’s opener. Mickey Hardy’s you cannot expect a good picColonels look to rebound ture if the subject is farther from last year’s 4-12 squad than 22 feet from the camera. and Fleming showed a lot of Do you have any suggestions By Bill Turner promise as they gave talented on this matter? (JoAnn/Riner) info@newsroanoke.com Princeton Day (Md) broke Princeton Day (Md.) all they Answer: You can achieve away from a 42-42 tie after three quarters to down the Colonels last Friday night in the Hall of Fame Tipoff at the Patrick Henry gym. Kris Whitfield led William From a lender that can make it happen! Fleming with 32 points.

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Page 8 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 12/10/10 - 12/16/10

Sports

Patrick Henry Powers Past Cave Spring 70-34 In Girls Basketball

Send sports pictures, announcements and story ideas to info@newsroanoke.com

Hidden Valley Wrestlers Strong in Opener at Jefferson Forest

Hidden Valley Youth WresPatrick Henry's pressure defense proved too much for Cave Spring as the Patriots cruised to the tlers and a roster of new wresnon-district win Monday night at Patrick Henry. Miranda Smith led PH with 20 points and Sarah tlers began a new season last Williams added 15. Tori Doyle was the leading scorer for the Knights with 16. Saturday by participating in the Jefferson Forest Wrestling Tournament in Bedford. The tournament was open to Youth / Elementary ages 5 years old thru 5th grade and a Middle School Division for the 6 thru 8th graders. The Hidden Valley Youth wrestlers went to their first tournament to see how they would compete in regional competition. Elementary School Division Ben Achino (First year wrestler) went through this contest like a seasoned grappler. Ben surmounted a great deal of pressure from his opponents and pinned them all to receive the Gold medal. Chris Comer wrestled in the 37 - 41 lb. youth division and earned a gold medal with 1st period pins over all four of his opponents. His victories were Cave Spring #34 Casey Taylor and PH #42 Kim over two Brookville, a Liberty Russell battle for rebounding position. Christian Academy, and Smith Mountain Lake grapplers. CJ Poulsen competed in the 80 lb weight class division and impressed many as a first year

wrestler. CJ won the gold medal by pinning all of his opponents. Seth Poulsen (First year wrestler and CJ’s younger brother) competed in the 40-44lbs weight class division and won the silver medal. Seth’s first match was a lost to a Jefferson Forest opponent. Seth then went on to win his 2nd match 9-0 and pin his final opponent to take home the silver medal. Jerze Webb (First year wrestler) suffered an early match loss, but recovered to pin his next two opponents to finish strong with a Silver medal for his efforts. Landen Blackshear rebounded after a first round loss to defeat a Brookneal opponent 14-8, and pinned a Franklin County rival to take home the Silver medal. Nick Brabham (First year wrestler) competed in the 7275 lb. weight class division. Nick battled through the day and came home with a Bronze medal. Gabe Hobbs (First year wrestler) wrestled in the 60-63 lbs weight class division. Gabe lost on points in his first match but

rebounded to pin his opponent in the second match. Gabe lost his final round and finished with a Bronze medal. Middle School Division Sam Comer wrestled in the 62 - 69 lb. Junior division and secured a gold medal. He pinned a wrestler from Halifax in the 1st period. In the second match, he notched a second period pin. Ikie Smith wrestled in the 95- 99 lb. Junior division and grabbed a gold medal. He won 6 - 3 over a Forest wrestler in his first match. He captured two 1st period pins over a Halifax and another Forest grappler in his last two matches. Jacob Hurley (First year wrestler) took home the bronze medal in his first tournament action. By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

Roanoke Star to Transfer from Tech Ben Boggs to Leave After Fall Semester

Virginia Tech guard Ben Boggs has decided to transfer at the end of the fall semester, head coach Seth Greenberg anPH #20 Sarah Williams tries to save a nounced today. loose ball. “Ben has been a valuable By Bill Turner member of our team the last info@newsroanoke.com two years,” Greenberg said. “He has been a model studentathlete. I wish him nothing but Knight's leading scorer #22 Tori Doyle the best and will be available to (in white) drives around PH defender him as he pursues his next op#24 Shakeia Salters.

portunity.” Boggs, a sophomore from Roanoke, appeared in the team’s first four games of the season, scoring five points, with a rebound and an assist. He has not played in any of the last four games. He appeared in 25 games as a freshman, averaging 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest, before missing the final three games of the season with

an ankle injury. “I have enjoyed my time at Virginia Tech and would like to thank Coach Greenberg and the coaching staff for all they have done for me,” Boggs said. “A desire for more playing time is the reason I’m leaving Virginia Tech. I will miss my teammates and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Who wants to be the

60th National Champion Crowned in Salem?

Will Familiar Faces Travel to Salem, or will New Names Head to the Valley?

Thirty-two teams have been pared to four as the remaining squads take part in the NCAA Division III semifinals this weekend, with the winners earning a trip to Virginia’s Championship City. The 38th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl (Dec. 18 at Salem Stadium) could be a familiar affair as both the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the University of Mount Union (formerly Mount Union College) are still in the mix. A win for each foe would mark their sixth straight championship meeting. Wesley College (Del.) and Bethel University (Minn.) look to book their own travel plans to Salem. Mount Union (13-0) and Bethel (12-1) square off on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. EST in Alliance, Ohio. The two foes last met in the 2007 semifinals. Mount Union scored 41 first half points en route to a 62-14 win in Ohio. Mount Union is making its 16th consecutive appearance in the NCAA semifinals as the Purple Raiders go in search of their sixth straight and 14th overall trip to Salem for the Stagg Bowl. The Purple Raiders have defeated St. Lawrence University (49-0), Delaware Valley College (31-3) and Alfred University (37-7) in the 2010 playoffs. Mount Union’s victory over Alfred was the most lopsided of the quarterfinal games as the Purple Raider defense held AU to 149 total yards (27 rushing) and forced four turnovers. Mount Union’s offense rang up 430 total yards, marking its 11th contest with more than 400 yards from scrimmage.

Saturday, Dec 18 Kick-off 3:30 p.m.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts hauled in a game-high nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown to pace the second-ranked Purple Raiders. Quarterback Neal Seaman went 20-of-37 for 241 yards and the scoring throw to Shorts. Jeremy Murray carried the ball 33 times for 122 yards including a one-yard touchdown burst to open the game’s scoring. If Mount Union’s trip to the semifinals has been like traveling on a six-lane freeway, Bethel’s journey is akin to driving on a two-lane city street through eight inches of snow. The #14 Royals have won their three postseason contests by 18 combined points, including a pair of five-point victories. BU defeated Wartburg College (28-20), Wheaton College (15-10) and the University of St. Thomas (12-7). The Royals and Tommies benefitted from a break in the weather that allowed nearly a foot of snow to be removed from the St. Thomas field prior to their quarterfinal matchup.

Tickets available at the Salem Civic Center Box office or all Virginia Ticketmaster outlets.

Bethel running back Logan Flannery set the school and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) career rushing mark in the win. Flannery toted the ball 38 times for a game-best 200 yards, giving him 5,253 career rushing yards. His one-yard scoring run in the second quarter left BU down by a point, but quarterback Josh Akare added a short plunge of his own in the third quarter to provide the game’s winning tally. UW-Whitewater (13-0) makes the trip to Dover, Del., to matchup with Wesley (12-0) for a 12:00 p.m. EST kick-off. The two foes are not strangers, having met in the 2005 and 2006 semifinals in Whitewater, Wisc. The Warhawks claimed big victories in each of those games, winning 58-6 and 44-7, respectively. Wesley displayed a high-powered offense in its first two playoff games, dispatching Muhlenberg College (53-14) and Montclair State University (44-7) before grounding out a 10-point win over the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (19-9) in the quarterfinals. The Wolverine defense held the top-ranked UMHB offense to just 239 total yards and forced a pair of turnovers to guide Wesley to the win. Offensively, it was the passing attack and the leg of Dan Tryon that paved the way. Tryon booted a pair of second quarter field goals, connecting from 31 and 38 yards as WC moved out to a 12-3 halftime lead. Quarterback Justin Sottilare fired a pair of touchdown passes as part of a 22-of-37, 252-yard passing day. Both scores were to receiver Ellis Krout, who hauled in a 24-yard strike to open the game’s scoring, and added a second touchdown via a 23-yard pass midway through the third quarter. UW-Whitewater, ranked #1 all season by D3football.com, is making its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA semifinals following wins over Franklin College (Ind.; 52-21), Trine University (Ind.; 45-31) and North Central College (Ill.; 20-10). The defending national champions have now won 28 straight games, the longest winning streak in any NCAA football division. The win over North Central also extended Warhawk winning streaks of 15 consecutive non-conference and eight straight playoff wins. Down 10-7 at the half, UW-W’s defense forced three second half turnovers that led to a trio of scores in the win over NCC. Quarterback Lee Brekke, who hit Adam Brandes with a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter, ran in from five yards out to put UW-W ahead, 14-10, early in the fourth frame. Eric Kindler added six points of cushion with field goals of 27 and 19 yards leading to the final score.

For more information, visit www.ncaa.com and access the championship website.

The 38th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl is set for Saturday, December 18 with kick-off set for 3:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Salem Civic Center Box office or all Virginia Ticketmaster outlets. The game will also be televised live by ESPNU. For more information, visit www.ncaa.com and access the championship website.


12/10/10 - 12/16/10 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 9

NewsRoanoke.com

Commentary - Cybersecurity is Critical Commentary: Fathers and Education

Recently the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued their annual report to Congress. The report, which details all aspects of the relationship between the United States and China, contained disturbing but not unsuspected revelations that the Chinese government is behind the numerous computer hacking incidents involving many U.S. government and military sites. Specifically, the report highlights an incident from April 2010, when for 18 minutes nearly 15 percent of the world’s Internet traffic was redirected through computer servers in China. Emails and Internet traffic to and from such vital government sites as the U.S. Senate, the Department of Commerce, NASA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Departments of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force as well as commercial sites such as Dell, Yahoo, Microsoft and IBM were hijacked and manipulated by China Telecom, a state-controlled Internet carrier. This report follows recent testimony by the General Accounting Office (GAO) that the U.S. information technology infrastructure is vul-

nerable to attack. It has been estimated that the Pentagon’s computer system gets 360 million unauthorized scans or attacks a day. Cyber security is without a doubt a homeland security threat and our government must take the appropriate steps to protect our vulnerable systems. This week Defense Secretary Gates announced that the Department of Defense and National Security Agency will be working together more closely to address the growing cybersecurity threats faced by the federal government. In addition, folks must realize just how important it is for individual Americans to take cybersecurity seriously, not just as a matter of personal safety, but as a matter of our country's security as well. Those who take it upon themselves to implement relatively simple security measures are not only protecting themselves and their families, but are in effect contributing to our national efforts to secure critical infrastructures like telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, water, health care, transportation, and emergency and financial services. Weaknesses in your personal computer systems

can affect the entire country. In fact, 90 percent of the nation’s critical information infrastructure is operated by the private sector. While technology has brought tremendous improvement to our quality of life, these advances have also brought significant vulnerability. These recent attacks on government networks have served to increase awareness that cybersecurity is not just about protecting computers, but also has implications for our national security and economic well-being. Just as the federal government heavily relies upon computers to carry out their business, so do our local hospitals, firefighters and police, just to name a few. Computers are vital to the safety of the American people and as Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and Chairman of the House Republican High Tech Working Group, I will continue working with the Administration and the leadership in Congress to see that our nation’s information networks are protected from future cyber attacks. - Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Letter - Support Veterans with ALS has gone from a healthy marathon runner to someone who is bedridden and breathing with a ventilator. His brain remains unaffected and somehow he keeps a positive attitude even though he knows that he is slowly dying. Why? Is it physical activity, exposure to chemicals? Is it head trauma, which recent headlines also suggest is the reason why more and more NFL players seem to be developing ALS? The cause is still unknown. However, the government is doing something about it. Just a few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control launched a national registry of ALS patients, www.cdc.gov/

We need to support our veterans, not only to thank them for their service to our country, but also because of this disturbing and little known statistic. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, strikes veterans at twice the rate as the general public. It has no treatment, no cure; only death in 2 to 5 years. And it doesn’t matter if vets served in World War II, Iraq or never even left the United States. They are at greater risk of ALS. My brother is a veteran (and Roanoke resident). He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970. In July of 2006 he was diagnosed with ALS. He

ALS. The registry is the first comprehensive, nationwide effort to identify not only who gets ALS, but why. Hopefully the registry will help us learn why our veterans are developing ALS. It may tell us why NFL players are developing the disease and why your neighbor has ALS. And it will help us find a treatment. Please help spread the word about the ALS registry because not only our veterans but thousands of other Americans are fighting a war against ALS. The ALS Registry is there to help them fight back.

As a father and now a grandfather, I know the most important thing I can do to insure the success of my child as an adult is to make sure my child gets a good education. That is my job. That is my responsibility. That is the bolder on my shoulders. I want an Albert Einstein to be my child's math teacher. I want a Charles Dickens to be my child's English teacher. I want a Stephen Hawkins to be my child's science teacher. I want a John Hope Franklin to be my child's history teacher. This is what every father wants. This is what every parent wants. This is what every parent craves. However, if such a scenario were possible, it would be up to me as a father to make sure my child does what they need to do to make sure they get the full benefit of these wonderful teachers. As a father, it is up to me to be judge, jury and executioner concerning school as the need arises. It is up to me to make sure my child values education. It is up to me to make sure my child goes to school, goes to class, does their school work while in school, acts appropriately while in class and do their homework. It is up to me to go to parent / teacher conferences. It is up to me to make sure my child is on the path to graduate on time. It is up to me to make sure my child is not running the streets at night and is getting enough rest to do well in school the next day. It is my job to make sure my child is in bed on school nights by 9:00 in elementary school, 10:00 in middle school and 11:00 in high school. It is up to me to set the example for my child to make sure they get a good education by making sure the electricity stays on, food is in the refrigerator and clothes are on their backs while making sure my child under-

stands D's, F's and bad behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstances. As a father, it is my job to take care of any problem that exists between the school and my child. It is my job to make sure my child understands that if they are wrong in any way, shape or form, they will suffer consequences they don't want to suffer. The job of the school is to offer my child a quality education. My job as a father is to make sure my child takes advantage of every educational opportunity offered to them, whether my child wants to take advantage of that opportunity or not. In an age when politicians are talking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to the issue of quality education, talk show hosts who have never been in the classroom are suddenly experts on education and Americans think it is the job of the school to raise their chil-

dren, my job as a father making sure my child gets a quality education has never been more important. We can talk about fixing bad schools, getting rid of bad teachers, addressing the lack of school funding, poverty, innovations in education and anything else. Until fathers start being fathers again and taking a more active role in their child's education, whatever we do to fix the problems in our schools will never be enough. Too many fathers are AWOL when it comes to their role in education. Our children are paying a horrific price for these wanna-be fathers. Our nationwide high school drop-out rates are simply unacceptable, especially the national drop-out rate of 53% for Black males. Fathers, do your job. We are losing too many children. - Jeff Artis, Roanoke

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Valley Business

Page 10 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 12/10/10 - 12/16/10

“Green” Show Features Alternative Energy Ideas The Floyd-based Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP) held its annual Green Living & Energy Expo at the Roanoke Civic Center’s special events hall last week, an opportunity for businesses and green organizations to show off efforts to make this a more energy efficient, less wasteful world. On hand in the Invenergy booth was project manager Don Giecek, who is working with Roanoke County to push through a wind turbine project that could place 15-18 400’ tall power generating windmills on Poor Mountain - if approved by the Board of Supervisors. Those turbines, opposed by some area residents on environmental and aesthetic grounds, could generate enough electricity to power 8500-10,000 households, according to Invenergy. Giecek said the Federal Aviation Administration should soon deliver a “hazard determination,” after deciding whether those structures might pose a safety issue with aircraft headed to or from Roanoke Regional Airport. The county must also vote to issue an ordinance allowing the project to move forward. Invenergy has built 20 wind farms to date; Giecek said “every [project] has its own challenges . . . and its own strengths. When it comes to community outreach and aviation concerns, and environmental [issues], projects tend to be quite similar.” Giecek called the AECP trade show “very valuable,” for Invenergy, since it allowed him to sit down with booth visitors “and tell them about the [windmill] project on a one-on-one basis, and listen to their concerns. This is a great opportunity to do outreach.” Giecek said he heard “far more support” for the Poor Mountain project than comments from those opposed to it. Younger people seemed especially interested in how the wind industry and other renewable energy sources might provide job opportunities, he added. “It’s really uplifting to hear from them because they’re very positive.” Giecek said he thinks the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors may provide the final word on the Poor Mountain project by next spring. AECP executive director Billy Weitzenfeld said he saw more renewable energy booths at this year’s 11th annual show, plus an emphasis on energy auditing that could detect problem areas in a home or commercial building. A green job fair was also held for the first time. “There’s been a lot of interest. A lot of people … are looking at a career change.”

Photo by Gene Marrano

Don Giecek spoke to booth visitors about the Poor Mountain wind turbine project. Weitzenfeld said viewing the green industry as a major job-producing engine is still a ways off. “It’s not here yet. Some real progress has been made.” Tax credits helped for a while but Weitzenfeld said more are needed, especially at the local level. He pointed to Roanoke City’s property tax break for those that make their homes more energy efficient. “I don’t know how many people are taking advantage of that.” Weitzenfeld said the Green Living & Energy Expo show was about more than just allowing local businesses to show off their wares. “We wanted to get people excited [about alternative energy] and take some action.” Perhaps the next generation of green industry leaders can be found at places like Thaxton Elementary, where some students are part of the N.E.E.D. team. (National Energy Education Development Project.) Retired teacher Viola Henry, honored with an award for her work with the group during the expo, said the national program is all about “kids teaching kids about energy conservation.” The children even use solar ovens to prepare snacks that are then eaten by students which drives home a point about energy alternatives she noted. “We also play games where they have to make conservation choices.” Students in the upper grades learn about conservation, than go into the lower grade classrooms to spread the word. The N.E.E.D. team had a booth at the show. Thaxton Elementary has won awards for the program 20 years running. Several other local school groups toured the expo as well. Henry said some Thaxton N.E.E.D students have gone on to study environmental science in college. In middle and high school, “these are the kids who win the science [and] math fairs. The proBy Gene Marrano gram really works.” gmarrano@cox.net

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NewsRoanoke.com

New Year / New Company Planning

As a tumultuous 2010 comes to a close, many people impacted by the recent economic downturn are pausing to reflect on the past year and plan for 2011. Some have decided to strike out on their own and go into business for themselves. Others may be considering it. Still others may decide to start a side business, or take advantage of opportunities to invest in the real estate market as additional sources of income. As with all challenging times, the opportunities are numerous. The strategic use of new business adventures can benefit these individuals as they plan for their future endeavors. When entering into business, or expanding into a new field, there are many reasons to consider forming a new business entity. The most common business entities for small business are corporations and limited liability companies (“LLCs”). There are significant tax and operational differences between a corporation and LLC, however both offer some of the same benefits to business owners. The most significant benefit, is limited liability. As opposed to a sole proprietorship, a business entity has a separate legal identity apart from its owners. As a sole proprietor, the liabilities of your business become your personal liabilities. This means that if your sole proprietorship owes a debt, the creditor can seek collection against the personal assets (including investments, bank accounts and real estate) of the business owner even if those assets are not in any way related to the operation of the business. By contrast, the corporation or LLC is treated a separate legal “person” for liability purposes. Thus, absent fraud, a creditor seeking to collect on an obligation of the company may only pursue collection against the assets of the company. Another common use of business entities is as a means to isolate and protect certain assets. This is

most common in the area of real estate investing. Many people choose to own their real estate investments in their own personal names. However, by doing so each of those assets are at risk from liabilities associated with any of the properties. For example, Mr. Turner, a small businessman, decides to invest in two rental properties, a single family home and a duplex. He owns the properties outright and holds title in his personal name. One night a tenant at the single family home is seriously injured at the property as the result of an improper repair. The tenant files suit and the amount of the judgment rendered exceeds the limits of Mr. Turner’s liability insurance policy. The tenant can seek to collect not only against Mr. Turner’s equity in the single family house, but also the duplex, and all of Mr. Turner’s other individually held assets. Had Mr. Turner taken title to the house and the duplex using separate business entities, the duplex and his other assets would have been shielded from this liability. As shown above, the benefits of using business entities are not just for large companies. The numerous potential advantages, ranging from tax savings and asset protection, to the ability to limit and isolate liabilities, make the use of business entities even more important for small businesses as well as for individuals investing in real estate. The choice of which type of business entity to use varies greatly with the individual facts, so the advice of counsel, is critical at the early stages when forming a new company. Careful consideration and strategic use of business entities can allow you to minimize risk and maximize the protection of your assets, regardless of the nature of your business. David Tenzer is business attorney with Glenn, Feldmann, Darby & Goodlatte – visit www.gfdg. com to learn more.

Moose Jewelers Donates Fixtures Geoff Jennings of Frank L. Moose Jeweler is donating two large wall cabinets to the city fire chief, which the fire station will use to house their memorabilia. With the pending closure of the downtown store location, Jennings has found some very good homes for some of the fixtures that have been a part of the store for decades. He is also generously donating most of the display cases to the Rescue Mission. The cases were custom made in High Point NC and sent by train to the store after the Second World War. Frank L. Moose held their last Christmas party last Thursday evening, “which had 40-50 people jamming the store right up to near closing,” according to Jennings. He said that there was a mix of longtime and new customers and “some who just wanted to stop in and say ‘hi’ or to take advantage of the sale.” Along with the discounts, many people have been drawn

Photo by Cheryl Hodges

Geoff Jennings will be moving into his new shop in March. in for sentimental reasons as they have memories of shopping there with their mothers and grandmothers over the decades. One customer even came in and wanted a box with the original name “Moose & Bent” as a keepsake. The sale will continue through the store’s closing. Not to worry though, as Jen-

nings is looking forward to continuing to serve customers in their new location which will be around the corner from Reid’s Fine Furnishings, at 1919 Westover Ave. By Cheryl Hodges cheryl@newsroanoke.com

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Arts & Culture

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Branch Family Holds Annual Open House

Every year Roanoke sculptor who has also taken photographs Betty Branch opens the doors in cemeteries: “It’s whatever in of her working studio on Warethe moment [that] gets me. Then house Row (Norfolk Avenue I’ll go with it.” Branch said her downtown) for a few days in goal is to capture what she sees December, allowing art patrons through the camera lens, hoping to take a peek inside. She also that “someone else sees it too.” turns it into a family affair, with Betty Branch started the open her children (Sally, Polly, Bonnie, houses “many years ago,” said her Patrick and Katey) on hand to daughter, and began inviting the show off some of their art (music children to exhibit with her (on in Katey’s case) as well. the second floor of the warehouse On hand for the first time in studio) in the late ‘90’s. “She had several years was Bonnie Branch, such a drive, and a need to crewho now lives in the San Franate,” noted Bonnie Branch about cisco Bay area. Branch moved to the family matriarch. Photo by Gene Marrano the west coast to pursue ballroom “She couldn’t have survived dancing, in hopes of teaching it, Bonnie Branch came back from Northern California with a without … making things with but stress fractures brought on series of flower photographs to exhibit in her hometown. her hands. She didn’t necessarby too many moves in high heels ily preach about it, but when you were beautiful.” Her latest series of flower have shelved that plan for now. have that kind of role modeling you can’t photographs were inspired by her love of She also competed for a while. “That took help but at least try.” The Branch children nature. In much of her work, be it flowers, up a lot of time and energy, but it was great. have done more than explore; they are all trees or the human body, “I see something a I was dancing 25 hours a week.” The hiatus accomplished artists in their own right, as little bit more organic that could be possibly has allowed Branch to pursue another pasthe hundreds who came to the open house something else. It could be an underwater sion – photography – and the open house reception would attest. creature . . . or something in the desert. It show exhibited some of her newer work, a Besides, the annual open house is also could be fabric, it could be paper. That really series of pictures that depict flowers in fine a family reunion. “It’s amazing to me and intrigues me.” detail. “The good side of that injury - that I’m very proud of my family,” said Bonnie Her flower photos “were all taken outchallenge - is that I went out and started Branch. “It’s so cool to see what everyone side in nature. The sun was just in the right photographing again, which I had not done has been working on.” place.” Some are reminiscent perhaps of the since I had been in California.” legendary Georgia O’Keefe. Branch visited art galleries and museums “Sometimes you get an idea in your head By Gene Marrano in the Bay Area for inspiration, then went and you just can’t shake it loose. You want gmarrano@cox.net out “taking pictures of things that I thought to see how far you can take it,” said Branch,

New Arts Council Director Wants To Listen

The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge has a new executive director, although she is a familiar face. Rhonda Morgan (nee Hale) was elevated to the position vacated by Laura Rawlings, who departed after three years for a development job with Roanoke College. The Arts Council board of directors offered Morgan the executive directorship last week. She had been the artist services and arts education director for the past several years. The Arts Council, supported by member dues, grants, corporate sponsorships and local government funding, is an advocacy group for local artists and arts organizations. Morgan studied art at Mary Baldwin College and paints when she has the time. Previously Morgan owned an arts supply gallery and art instruction business in Salem. She closed that when a fire forced her from the rental space. The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge has about 250 artist members “of different disciplines,” said Morgan, with another 100 or so arts and cultural organizations also in the fold. The Arts Council’s tagline, noted Morgan, is “supporting artists and creative communities.” Instead of rolling out any grand plan of her own right now Morgan wants to listen to members, to see what they want from the non-profit organization. “What I want to do is become relevant in this new climate,” said Morgan. “I really want to get out there and start talking to our mem-

STOP IN FOOD STORES

Photo by Gene Marrano

Rhonda Morgan is the new Arts Council executive director. bers, and see what relevant means to them at this point.” The economic conditions and the arrival of the Taubman Museum of Art as a major player on the local arts scene two years ago are realities that Morgan and the Arts Council must deal with. “There’s a very big desire for collaborations and partnerships . . . that’s how we need to do business these days.” Morgan talked about a “new synergy” in the local arts community. “Change is good… we just have new things going on.” Morgan said she would “look forward” to working with Taubman executive director David Micklenberg, who expressed a desire recently to become more closely connected with local artists and arts organizations, as the museum becomes more of the arts center he hopes for. “I think it’s a natural collabora-

tion,” said Morgan, “ I hope he and I will have conversations that will make sense for everybody.” Morgan said keeping P.A.C.E. with the arts community – promotion, advocacy, convening [different groups, seeking feedback], and education – is what the Arts Council is all about. Membership has grown about 60% over the past several years, according to Morgan. Events like 40+40, which has tied together local arts happenings for the past three years every fall, have helped raise the council’s visibility. Morgan was also the focal point for the recent Artview, which brought together international and regional artists for an exhibition of installation pieces and outreach into the community. Morgan was able to connect with organizations like the Sister Cities program (visiting artists represented Roanoke’s sister cities) during Artview, allowing them more visibility as well. “So much is growing out of that,” said Morgan, already talking to other arts organizations about similar collaborations. She would like to start an artist exchange program of some sort as well. “It really is wide open right now – I really don’t want to define it.” Exchanged juried art shows could be part of that equation. Morgan is grateful for the support of the Arts Council board as she takes over the reins from Laura Rawlings. “It’s an exciting time…on a personal level my goal is to be

12/10/10 - 12/16/10 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 11

Kandinsky Trio Performs

The Kandinsky Trio, Artists in Residence at Roanoke College for the past twenty three years, presented a program at Olin Hall on December 4, featuring the music of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Chopin. Selections included "Trio in G Major, Op.1, 2., Trio Elegiaque, and Trio in G Minor, Op. 8. The trio is composed of Benedict Goodfriend, violin, Alan Weinstein, cello, and Elizabeth Bachelder, piano. Text and photo by Jim Bullington

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of value to the arts community. That’s why I’m here, to hopefully [realize] that goal. That’s why I took this position. It’s important that we do the right things for the arts community.”

By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

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Page 12 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 12/10/10 - 12/16/10

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Independent & Assisted Living

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A Very Sure Sign of the Holidays In spite of the record cold the Lenny Marcus Trio heated up the Roanoke City Main library mezzanine Tuesday night providing some classic jazz numbers as well as several wonderfully Vince Guaraldi arrangements (think theme and Christmas music from Charlie Brown.) Library Events Coordinator River Laker pulled the event off for the 3rd year in a row with free h'ordeuvres and a pleasantly laid back holiday atmosphere that had Roanokers from all walks of life tapping their feet and nodding their

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Little Christmas" as well as a scintillating rendition of the Elvis Presley classic, "Blue Christmas." By Stuart Revercomb stuart@newsroanoke.com

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