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The Roanoke Star-Sentinel POSTMASTER: Dated material, please deliver by publication date

Angela Gillespie

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March 27, 2009

Community | News | Per spective

GE Joint Venture Succeeds in Tough Business Climate

Hi-Tech Research P3– The Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute has awarded five $30K grants to support collaborative research between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic.

In today’s economic climate, a business success story seems to be difficult to find. But TMEIC GE in Roanoke County (on Rt. 419, near the Salem line) is making it known that a difficult economy does not have to mean a failing company. During a recent visit, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Patrick Gottschalk, commended TMEIC GE for being a leader of global exports in Virginia. “TMEIC GE (a joint venture with General Electric and several Japanese companies) recognizes that to be an industry leader today, you must think globally and embrace it in everything that you do,”

Gottschalk said. Gottschalk presented a State of the Commonwealth address, stating that Virginia is well positioned to compete in the global economy. He also recognized TMEIC GE Chief Executive Officer, Dale Guidry for his leadership in ensuring the company’s recent completion of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. “TMEIC GE is proud to be among Virginia’s leaders, and we have benefited greatly from programs such as VALET,” said Guidry at the ceremony. The company certainly extends its

embrace around the globe. Market development director Donn Samsa estimates that 60 percent of their business is exports. “We help companies make things around the world,” Samsa said. TMEIC, which stands for Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation, produces drive and automation systems that control the movement of heavy industrial equipment. “One portion of our business is the metal business, and we provide the drives and the automation control to help our customers make steel,” > CONTINUED P3: TMEIC GE

Dale Guidry, TMEIC GE CEO, Hon. Patrick Gottschalk, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and Paul Grossman, Director of International Trade and Investment for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

[Carilion Clinic]

Local Election Season Heats Up: Johnson Enters Race Jon Kaufman

Traveling Tricks

P4– Jon Kaufman provides his “expert” advice for the seasoned and not-so-seasoned business traveler.

Photo by Eric Earnhart

Cerebral palsy patient Logan Blankenship works with horse Jo and Carilion Clinic pediatric physical therapist Lisa Belderes during his hippotherapy session.

Old is new Again P10– Pitzer Transfer & Storage is back in family hands and has now been serving Roanokers for over 116 years.

Carilion Clinic and Healing Strides of VA Partner for Pilot Program

Carilion Clinic has partnered with Healing Strides of VA (formerly Roanoke Valley Therapeutic Riding Program) to secure a grant from the Foundation of the Roanoke Valley, providing four pediatric patients with hippotherapy treatment this spring, and four additional patients in the fall, as a pilot program. “This shared treatment opportu-

nity with Healing Strides of VA is extremely exciting for us,” says Lisa Belderes, certified physical therapist at Carilion Clinic. “Hippotherapy has been shown to improve muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination, motor development and emotional well-being, all of which is important for our patients.” Hippotherapy is a physical, occu-

pational and speech-language therapy treatment that uses the equine movement as part of a program to achieve functional outcomes. The movement of the horse provides a multi-dimensional movement that has an effect on postural control, sensory systems and motor planning that is used to facilitate coordination

> CONTINUED P2: Equine

He may be young, but soon-to-be 30year-old Roanoke attorney Josh Johnson declared he was “ready for this” when he announced his bid for the 17th District House of Delegates seat. The Republican will compete with fellow attorney Melvin Josh Johnson Williams, and several others (former Roanoke County Supervisor Mike Wray, businessman Chris Head and attorney Bill Cleveland so far) for the GOP nomination during a June 9 primary. An attorney with Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore and a UVA Law School graduate, Johnson promised to bring new ideas and a new approach to the job, if elected to succeed the retiring William Fralin. It’s all about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” first and foremost said Johnson, whose wife Kristin is also an attorney. In the spirit of bi-partisanship he added that, “a good idea does not have a party affiliation.” Johnson’s father was a family doctor in Bluefield and his mother is a school board member in Tazewell County. “I was taught from an early age that everyone should have the opportunity for a good education,” said Johnson, who made his announcement at the Roanoke Regional Airport – symbolic, he said, of > CONTINUED P2: Johnson

Best Selling Author in Roanoke for Fundraiser

Amazing Mom P11– Mother of seven, April Drummond, continues to inspire after receiving scholarship from Hollins.

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Roanoke Star - Sentinel delivered to your doorstep every week for only $44 per year! 400-0990 PO Box 8338 Roanoke,VA 24014

Best selling novelist and part-time Smith Mountain Lake resident David Baldacci will speak at the Roanoke Academy of Medicine Alliance Foundation event, April 4 at the Hotel Roanoke, the 11th annual book and author dinner. New York Times reporter Alex Berenson and anthropologist-author Dr. Bill Bass will also speak. Berenson has covered the war in Iraq, business and health care, and has authored several books. Bass, founder of the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Center, published his memoir, “Death’s Acre,” in 2004. Baldacci has penned 16 New York Times bestselling novels. Most involve spies and other skullduggery around the Washington DC area where he lives much of the time. Another page-turner is due out April 21, “First Family,” starring a pair of ex-Secret Service agents and sometime lovers, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. They’ve starred in several books previously. “They have great chemistry and have hidden secrets,” said Baldacci from his northern Virginia office recently. Baldacci left behind his career as a Washington attorney more than ten years ago to become a full time writer after the success of his first novel, “Absolute Power,” which became a movie starring Clint Eastwood. He began writing short stories in high school and says he wanted to be a fiction

constantly and tends to write in writer all along. “big bursts. I don’t count words Baldacci has written a handful every day, I think that’s sort of of screenplays and uses an agent silly,” he said. in Los Angeles to shop them Proceeds from the book and around. author dinner go to RAMA “I really see myself as a writer scholarship fund, which supports who just happens also to be a local youth and health related lawyer,” said Baldcacci, who said programs in the area. Tickets he couldn’t go the “starving writstart at $75, with proceeds this er route,” early on. year benefitting CASA, CHIP, More than a decade later, his the Achievement Center and the books have been read or disFirst Tee golf program. cussed publicly by the likes of Baldacci says the people he ofBill Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, ten writes about – CIA agents and Howard Stern, Larry King and other government types – live in Newt Gingrich. One title was a “gray” world. Law enforcement strategically placed in view on a and intelligence gathering can be recent episode of “House,” on the dirty businesses at times, someFox network. “I had sort of modest ambi- Novelist David Baldacci is in Roa- thing that comes across in his tions as a short story writer,” said noke April 4 for RAMA fundraiser. novels. “Everyone is sort of gray. I’ve Baldacci, who claims he didn’t become a novelist to get rich. “I just loved to tell met a lot of people in those lines of work. There stories with words.” After early rounds of “cruel are really no winners or losers in that game; there rejections” it’s been solid gold success in recent are just survivors,” Baldacci said. years. “You have to love it, because it’s frustrating Along with his wife, Baldacci has also started a at times.” non-profit, the Wish You Well Foundation, which He was secure enough after “Absolute Power” to promotes literacy and programs that fight illiteraleave law behind, however. He works at his craft > CONTINUED P11: Baldacci

Page 2 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/27/09

Bush Announces Run for Sheriff’s Office

Roanoke City Sheriff Octavia Johnson has another challenger for her position this November – probation and parole officer Joe Bush has declared his intention to seek the Democratic nomination in a June primary. Deputy Sheriff Frank Garrett announced his bid for the Democratic nomination several weeks ago. Garrett works directly for Johnson, who ran as a Republican against thenincumbent George McMillan four years ago. Bush, 35, does not work in the Sheriff ’s office. Roanoke City Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea, introduced Bush, saying, “He’s a young man that wants to make an impact in the city.” Bush studied criminal justice at Hampden-Sydney College, then went to work in the Prince Edward County sheriff ’s office, even before he graduated. After joining the probation and parole department two years later, he moved back to his hometown of Roanoke. Bush said his work experience has given him insight on both the law enforcement and administrative sides

Photo by Gene Marrano

Joe Bush wants to improve morale at the Sheriff’s office. of the business. Admitting he was “new to the political scene,” Bush campaigned for Roanoke State Senator John Edwards, and U.S. Senator Mark Warner in recent years.

He also declared, “a great deal of money,” could be saved at the Roanoke City jail. The father of two young girls - who were present and fidgety during a Monday news conference – Bush said he would shoot for a higher national accreditation that could mean more grant money for the jail. He also pledged to donate ten percent of his first year’s salary to help make that happen. He also said Johnson had helped push down morale with the Sheriff ’s department, leading to the departure of many deputy sheriffs. He declared that if elected, in a cost-reduction move a department spokesperson – Octavia Johnson’s sister – would be let go. Public relations chores would be handled in house by a deputy. Bush considered law school at one point and said he wasn’t surprised to be running for sheriff at age 35. By Gene Marrano

> Johnson From page 1

the regional cooperation he wants to promote. The 17th district covers parts of Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Botetourt County. “We need new solutions in Richmond,” said Johnson, who wants to see fewer regulations and lower taxes to encourage business growth. So far, Roanoke City councilwoman Gwen Mason is the only Democrat to announce a bid for her party’s nomination. By Gene Marrano

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> Equine From page 1

and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills, and attention skills. Children and adults with mild to severe neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction are candidates for hippotherapy as part of a rehabilitation program. Patients typically respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable rehabilitative experience because it exists in a natural setting.  “We are thrilled to partner with Carilion pediatric therapies

to offer hippotherapy as an innovative treatment tool starting this spring,” says Lynda Gray, Healing Strides of VA president. “For over 15 years, our primary goal as a therapeutic riding center has been to provide the community with therapeutic benefits offered by using horses. To now be capable of doing this in partnership with the medical community is very exciting.” For more information on hippotherapy, please visit www. 

Sam Rasoul (left) has given his support to Gwen Mason.

Mason Endorsed by Rasoul Sam Rasoul will not be running for the 17th District seat in the House of Delegates. He made that clear in a news conference staged on the Roanoke River greenway Monday. The former Congressional candidate did endorse fellow Democrat Gwen Mason, who remains unopposed to date, in her bid for the nomination to run against one of several Republican hopefuls this November. A handful of local Democrats appeared with Rasoul in a show of party rank closing. “I will be supporting Gwen and her efforts to unravel the gridlock in Richmond,” said Rasoul before he welcomed Mason to the podium, set up near the 13th Street greenway parking lot – with the sewage treatment plant as a backdrop. “I felt that this was not a time to have challenges in the Democratic Party,” said Rasoul, who has also had to focus more on several businesses he owns in light of the faltering economy. He praised Mason’s “centrist” tilt and called himself a moderate “Blue Dog Democrat” in the same mode. Mason said Rasoul had set “the gold standard,” when it came to campaigning, during his failed run for the 6th U.S. Congressional District seat against Bob Goodlatte last year. Holding the news conference on the greenway was symbolic. “It’s time to reflect on how we can leverage our outdoor amenities [into] economic development,” said Mason Declaring her “vision for the 17th District,” Mason said she was honored by Rasoul’s endorsement. So far, four Republicans have announced intentions to seek their party’s nomination for the delegate seat being vacated by the retiring William Fralin.

By Gene Marrano


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Ralph Smith speaks with Mickey Mixon and Mary Ellen Goodlatte prior to introducing candidates and dignitaries to the over 100 supporters who attended Tuesday night’s reception.

Ralph Smith Returns to Historic Rockledge

State Senator Ralph Smith returned to his former home last Tuesday night for a Republican Party reception and fundraiser hosted by current Rockledge owners Kevin and Nancy Dye. Special guests included Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General candidates Senator Ken Cuccinelli and John Brownlee, House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, Delegate William Fralin, Delegate Dave Nutter, Delegate Ben Cline and Mary Ellen Goodlatte who represented Bob Goodlatte currently in Washington D.C. Rockledge has undergone extensive renovations over the past year as the Dyes have added a new kitchen and dining area as well as a new terrace that offers extraordinary views of the Roanoke Valley. Senator Smith said the renovations met fully with his approval.

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3/27/09 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 3

> TMEIC GE From page 1

Samsa explains. “We don’t actually make the machinery, but we make everything that [helps] that machinery move and produce the product at a high-quality level.” TMEIC GE owes its continued success to the diversity of the business and its far-reaching nature. The backlogs for 2009 are “pretty healthy”, according to Samsa, and the company is planning on keeping their eyes past the horizon. “We have our backlog to support us, so that we can look at where our orders are going to come two years from now. Hopefully when things are on the upturn we’ll be well-positioned to do that,” Samsa said. Additionally, since the company is so diverse, it can adapt to the industry ups and downs. Currently they are concentrating their efforts on countries like Russia, In-

dia and China, where automation equipment is used in the production of bricks, but Samsa is adamant that TMEIC GE is not abandoning customers in struggling industries, such as paper. “Businesses go up and down, and we change with them, but we really believe in supporting our customers long-term. If the industry starts to right itself, we’re still here,” Samsa said. And, when all else fails, go green – or help someone else go green. Since the drives that TMEIC GE produces control mechanical movement, they can also save energy, which will help customers save money in the long run. Although the global scope of TMEIC GE ranges far beyond the valley, Samsa said that the company is making efforts to be a positive presence in Roanoke. Every Christmas, TMEIC GE

participates in the Adopta-Family program for the Turning Point shelter. In their most recent philanthropic events, a chili cookoff and hot dog lunch held on February 20th to support the Junior Achievement Bowl-AThon was so successful that TMEIC will hold a “Soup and Sandwich for the March of Dimes March for Babies” event on April 3. “We don’t do very much business in the Roanoke Valley, but we try to be good corporate citizens and give back,” Samsa said. Their presence and opportunities for employment benefit Roanoke as well. TMEIC took over the former Atlantic Mutual building several years ago when it out grew its former home in Salem, where it shared space in the main GE plant. “This company represents what every locality wants –

high quality jobs in the high tech area – as opposed to low paying and unstable manufacturing jobs, which tend to be vulnerable to market swings,” said John Carlin, senior vice president of Access Advertising and PR, which represents TMEIC GE. They are not expecting layoffs any time soon. “In our company, we really value the employees we bring in, because the stuff we do is high technology. We try and manage our business so that we don’t get too big when times are good - or have to reduce when times are bad,” Samsa said. “There’s no guarantee of employment, but we’re doing the best we can to maintain our workforce.”

Roanoke Star of the Week

Kim Bratic’ was born in Silver Springs, Maryland and grew up in Fairborn, Ohio. After graduating from high school she attended Ohio University where she received her degree in Journalism. After college she worked in the TV industry doing marketing and public relations in Washington, D.C. In 2006 she and her husband, Vladimir, Kim Bratic’ moved to Roanoke. She began working with the Jefferson Center soon afterwards as Marketing Director. They have two daughters, Anya, 4, and Lily, 7 months. The family lives in the Botetourt County area. Kim’s favorite places in the Roanoke Valley are the campus at Hollins College, downtown Roanoke Market area (which she says is one of the things that lured them to Roanoke), and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Favorite restaurants are Alejandro’s, Nawab, and Taaza. By Caitlyn Coakley By Jim Bullington Have someone in mind for “Roanoke Star of the Week?” E-mail Jim Bullington:

Uncertain about the market? There’s a place for people like you. Here. Members of Associate Professor Chris Roberts' molecular virology research lab in the VirginiaMaryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine include staff member Lynn Heffron, veterinary medicine graduate student Greg Swieter, veterinary medicine Ph.D. candidate Andrew Herbert of Blacksburg, Va., Dr. Roberts, and undergraduate researcher Megan Wicks.

Virginia Tech - Carilion Launch Five New Research Projects

The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute has awarded five $30,000 seed grants to support collaborative research between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic researchers on medical challenges that include heart care, cancer, infectious disease, obesity, and technology. "As the Virginia Tech Carilion enterprise grows, these joint efforts will become very important to the success of our educational and research efforts," said Tom Campbell, assistant director for research and operations for the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. "This is a great time to support the Virginia Tech Carilion partnership," said Daniel Harrington M.D., vice president for academic affairs for Carilion Clinic and associate dean for clinic and regional integration for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Carilion Clinic also provides Research Acceleration Project grants and Harrington reports there have been several where Virginia Tech faculty members were partners. "We are starting to see increased interest and activity, with both Carilion physicians and Virginia Tech researchers seeing value in the Virginia Tech Carilion enterprise," said Harrington. During the recent round of funding 14 projects were submitted for consideration. The five projects and research teams selected are: "Back to the Future: Using the mouse to model the molecules and physiological impacts of medical supervised water-only fasting in hypertensive, obese adults," Deborah Good and Roderick Jensen of Virginia Tech; and Richard Seidel, director of research and education at Carilion Clinic.

"Screening for, and intervening to, reduce cardiovascular and material obstetrical care risk during pregnancy," Paul Estabrooks from Virginia Tech, and L. Wayne Hess M.D., OB/GYN department chair at Carilion Clinic. "Characterization of Early Defects in Immunosurveillance Mechanisms during Ovarian Cancer Progression," P. Chris Roberts from the VirginiaMaryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Eva Schmelz from Virginia Tech; and Dennis Scribner M.D, gynecological oncology section chief, Carilion Clinic. "Development of nanoscale optical fiber biosensor assays to detect and differentiate Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA," J.R. Heflin, from Virginia Tech, Thomas Inzana and A.B. Bandara, from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and Tom Kerkering M.D, infectious disease section chief, Carilion Clinic. "Applying and Validating Sophisticated Industrial Technology to Improve Healthcare Quality in the ER," Tony Slonim M.D., vice president of medical affairs, Carilion Clinic; and Ebru Bish from the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute comprise a unique partnership with the goal of establishing a new generation of health care professionals and leaders in their chosen fields. Originating from the Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech the school and institute will seek to achieve modern results-driven medical training with applications-oriented research.

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Page 4 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/27/09


fire hydrant, leaving me dry but dented. The second imprint came courtesy of my son Will who backed into a building when leaving a local restaurant. For the record, many people have bumped into the building in question as witnessed by the numerous scars on its outer façade. Will, however, was probably the first sober person to run afoul of this inviting obstacle in recent memory. Rarely, clean outside or in, my insightful sister Eve once compared my vehicle to the inside of a women's pocketbook. The interior is generally packed with a hodge-podge of debris which my family and passengers wade through upon entering. It is in this rolling pile of refuse where sales are normally born and often go to die. After twenty-some years of traversing the Mid-Atlantic countryside, one tends to develop a few helpful procedures to ease the discomfort of the

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daily sojourn, devising ways of feeling at home regardless of one's location. Allow me to pull back the curtain and provide a glimpse into what I like to call "Jon's Guide to Creative Business Travel." For any traveler, the subject of clean and accessible rest rooms is a universal theme. To me, filing station facilities often resemble the set from the original "Saw" movie. To spot a dismembered corpse in one of the stalls would almost be anticlimatic in such places. This is why I recommend hotel lobby restrooms as a highway accessible alternative. The benefits to such rest stops are obvious. Lobby restrooms are; rarely used, always clean and, if you are feeling particularly daring, you can even grab a complimentary copy of USA Today on your way to "powdering your nose." The trick to this gambit is to breeze past the front desk with a purposeful look on your face, and then exit the premises




















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re you looking for a way to stretch every penny of your household food budget? Are you struggling with dietary concerns, trying to improve your diet by consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables? Are you just plain worried about the safety of the food that you eat? If you share any of these concerns, then vegetable gardening may just be for you. Vegetable gardening can be a means of stretching your food dollar and your household budget. Recently, a gardener told me that for $1.69 worth of bean seed (bought at seasonal discount), he harvested 12 bushels of green beans. Wow! Twelve bushels of fresh green beans translates to more than 360 pint jars of canned beans. A pint of home-canned green beans is comparable to buying a 14.5ounce can of beans at the grocery store. To buy an equivalent amount of canned beans at the store, you would spend more than $270, depending upon the brand of bean. Now, before you start seeing dollar signs, let’s look at the whole picture. What did it take


















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By Don Waterfield

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through a side door once your mission is complete. It works every time, just act like you belong. Caution: Stopping to sample the continental breakfast is pushing the limits and is considered bad form. During my travels I prefer to frequent less familiar eateries, shunning fast food whenever possible. Discovering a concealed jewel on the road seems to elevate my spirits when sales are scarce. One of my favorite haunts is Poogie's, an all you can eat country buffet in Danville. From the road Poogie's looks like a greasy spoon that might seat a half a dozen thin truckers at a time. Indoors is a pinneat dining room and sumptuous food. Their southern fried chicken would force the Colonel into a hasty and unconditional surrender. Locating such restaurants adds interest to the outing and allows me the feel of a culinary Vasco De Gama, searching the wild for nourishment and adventure.

A delightful meal by the chiming of my on the road can, trusty BlackBerry. I however, create awaken feeling fat, other issues for the refreshed and ready traveling sales perto take on another son. Following a afternoon of sales inloving jaunt, or two, difference. or three, through Although you Poogie's buffet line, probably don't nothe blood in my tice us, there are a brain embarks on a lot of sales people trip of its own, hopout there, knocking Jon Kaufman ing to get a whiff of on doors and cold that sweet potato calling businesses. soufflé as it settles like the Ed- Often our sales targets are surmund Fitzgerald at the bottom prised, yet rarely delighted to of my belly. Nearly unconscious see us. Be kind, we mean no and unable to operate heavy harm, and if you should spy a machinery, I gently steer my lone sedan parked beneath a vehicle to that shady spot I had spreading oak in the middle of came across during my pre- the afternoon, tread lightly, remeal reconnaissance. Please clining inside might be a person remember that it is critical to like me, sleeping off lunch and case the surrounding area for a dreaming of a multitude of sales resting place before you chow successes and clean palatial down, you don't want to end up bathrooms. in a ditch with barbeque sauce on your chin. Contact Jon at Twenty minutes into my peaceful slumber I am stirred

The Economics of Vegetable Gardening

Local Crossword Star~Sentinel Crossword 2

“A Hitchhiker’s Guide” to Creative Business Travel

he life of a road warrior is a lonely one. All over this great country of ours, sales people criss-cross the landscape daily, desperately scouring the market for receptive customers. In these trying economic times, journeys such as these are often fruitless, providing more pie in the face than change in the pocket for intrepid peddlers like me. Regardless of the futility that awaits, the optimist who resides deep within me (several floors below the pessimist who owns the building), sees these excursions as an opportunity to hone my skills as a seasoned traveler. My office is a red Dodge Stratus with collision impressions on both my rear fenders. The driver side blemish is a souvenir from Salem, where a small yellow pole impeded my backwards progress while fiercely protecting a vulnerable


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Find the answers online: Have a clue and answer you’d like to see? email:

to grow those beans? Gardening can have many hidden costs. First, we need soil to grow those beans. The gardener indicated he used approximately a halfpound of seed, and this will plant a row approximately 100 feet in length. You may have a yard that can be converted to garden space or you may need to rent a plot at the local community garden. Even if you have a small space, you can grow an amazing quantity of food with successive plantings and use of intensive gardening methods. Second, the gardener needs seed. We’ve already said that the beans were discounted. At full price, a half-pound of beans can cost $3 or more (catalog prices are considerably higher). So, we have soil and seed. We need fertilizer of some sort as well as water to make the seed grow and produce beans. A soil test will tell you what you need to apply, and the test costs $7 (pick up a test kit at a local library branch or at the Extension office). Synthetic fertilizers and purchased compost products cost money. Again, depending

upon the size of garden that you have and how much you have to buy and apply, we might remain cost effective. It saves money to find free sources of compost to enrich the soil. Water can cost city residents a pretty penny, but people with well water may not have to pay for water. Alternatively, rain barrels can be used to capture rain water, if we have rain! There are still other factors to consider in comparing the cost of home-grown vegetables to store-bought vegetables. For instance, you may need a fence to keep an assortment of critters out of your garden. If your beans are consumed by rabbits, deer, or groundhog before you pick and can them, then vegetable gardening is certainly not cost effective! Fences can range from simple to elaborate, and the costs can be spread over many years of harvests, but the upfront cost must be considered. Lastly, food preservation is not free. You must have access to a pressure canner to process fresh green beans. Pressure

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canners are a large, one-time expense. Additionally, you will need glass canning jars, rings, and lids. The jars and rings can be used repeatedly, but lids are purchased new each time. Again, the cost of the jars will be spread over many years and harvests. You also have the option of processing your bounty at a regional cannery, such as in New London or Auburn, for a price-per-unit. So, by now, you may be thinking I have lost my mind in arguing that vegetable gardening can be an economically sound option for you because I haven’t even mentioned how much effort goes into planting, tending, harvesting, and preserving those bounties of vegetables! Sounds like an awful lot of effort for saving $250 or so, until I add the indirect benefits. While we are going to all of this effort, we are getting GREAT exercise. How much money did you just pay for that gym membership? Try pushing a wheelbarrow of compost, double-digging a planting bed, or just shoveling soil into a good planting row. Did I mention the therapeutic benefits of working the soil and nurturing plants? Surely you’ll be able to reduce some visits to the counselor to deal with all the anxiety and pressure that accumulates from our horribly busy days. And did I mention the fact that you know where and how those beans were grown and preserved and that, if you followed the rules of proper food preservation, you have every reason to believe that your food is safe to eat and feed to your family? So, by the end of the summer, you should be stronger, healthier, lighter, happier, and perhaps a little “richer” for having grown those beans in your garden! Sheri Dorn, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Roanoke

The Roanoke Star-Sentinel C o m mu n i t y | N ew s | Pe r s p e c t i ve Publisher | Stuart Revercomb | | 400-0990 Features Editor | Pam Rickard | | 400-0990 News Editor | Gene Marrano | | 400-0990 Production Editor | Stephen Nelson | | 400-0990 Technical Webmaster | Don Waterfield | | 400-0990 Advertising Director | Vickie Henderson | | 400-0990 The Roanoke Star-Sentinel is published weekly by Whisper One Media, Inc. in Roanoke,Va. Subscriptions are available for $44 per year. Send subscriptions to PO Box 8338, Roanoke,VA 24014. We encourage letters from our readers on topics of general interest to the community and responses to our articles and columns. Letters must be signed and have a telephone number for verification. All letters will be verified before publication.The Star-Sentinel reserves the right to deny publication of any letter and edit letters for length, content and style. All real estate advertised herein is subject to national and Virginia fair housing laws and readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis.


3/27/09 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 5


Why We Need New Representation in Virginia’s 11th District

f you have ever read The Artis Blog on my website,, you know that I am not a fan of Roanoke, Va. House of Delegate member, Onzlee Ware. I am often asked why. The answer is simple. I do not support amoral politicians, who sell out their constituents for their own personal gain, who also work to sabotage so much of the work by individuals and organizations that strive to make the community better. I will never support any politician who is more interested in being “Head Negro In Charge” as opposed to doing the job he was elected to do - representing the people of his district fairly and equally. Roanoke community activist, Martin Jeffrey, has announced that he is running against Ware, for the Demo-


cratic nomination in the upcoming June Primary. I wish him well. Jeffrey needs five things to defeat Ware; money, organization, credibility, political connections and some possibly some information on Ware that no one knows about. Like former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, many in Ware's district and some in the local media are very forgiving when it comes to Ware and his actions. It appears Ware has been forgiven for his involvement in the drug trade in 1975, as well as, Ware's cover-up of his involvement in the drug trade which nearly cost Ware his life. Ware's sorry record in the Virginia General Assembly, which includes several sellouts of his constituents, a refusal by Ware to help remove

a racist, sexist judge from the bench, putting campaign contributions ahead of his constituents and Ware's refusal to help Black candidates in local City Council elections does not seem to matter, either. Ware has gotten a free pass for attempting to rig the 2008 Roanoke City Council Democratic Primary - his war on Carolyn Word after she was elected head of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee several years ago when Ware helped form a second Democratic Party in Roanoke. I have also been told of Ware's attempt to keep noted educator Mignon Chubb-Hale from getting reappointed to the Roanoke School Board and to have Roanoke civil rights icon, Perneller Chubb-Wilson, removed from the Southern Christian Leadership Confer-

College Search Conundrum Results in “Stealth Plan B”

ust about the time you think of discussion with experts, time spent you’ve gotten your teen past the reading college websites, and more worst of the contentious teen hours poring over the College Handyears, it’s time to look at where they book, you are met with a hormonal will go to college, if they are going to brick wall posing as a teenager. Your college. It should be a joyous time in offer: “Here, beloved, are 5 remotely which both parent and child can revel affordable schools which have everyin the promise of a bright future that a thing you have claimed you wanted!” good education can bring. Instead it’s, How easily you are dismissed with a well, can we just say we’re back in the string of mere phrases: “that’s a hick contentious zone? For the sake of sane school; that one’s too boring; that discussion, we will ignore the financial city is too big; that one’s too close; Cheryl Hodges aspect. That is a part the kid doesn’t that one’s too far, everyone hates that get anyway. In the current economy, the cost may one…” and so on. Statistically, it turns out that be a deal breaker, but let’s hope not. most students (about 90-some percent) actuYou’ve already pushed, pleaded, bribed and ally really like where they go to college, whether begged along the way in order for them to finish or not they wanted to go there in the first place. homework, get ready for practice, get some sleep, Once they have acclimated, they are usually fine. wake up, go to school ON TIME and are generally All the angst, arguments and “it’s all your faults” worn out from the whole never-ending process. melt away as the child is finally launched into the For those of you whose kids do all this on their semi-independent life of a college student. own, stop reading. I cannot help you. You cannot So now it hits me. College Search Stealth Plan help me. I never bought into “helicopter parent- B. It is actually possible for you, the wise and dising,” but occasionally I feel those propellers whir- cerning parent, to apply to a college FOR your offring overhead. spring. Most applications are done online; you use The idea of cars in the driveway staying right your credit card anyway, right? So you go online, where you left them, your leftovers from the fill out all the bio stuff, copy and paste the stuamazing deli sandwich you splurged on remain- dent’s essay (yes, that one has to be their original ing untouched in the refrigerator, and the thought work) and request transcripts be sent from your of rooms without clothes draped over every avail- kid’s school. You check the mail and voila! If you able surface is downright tantalizing. So, for dif- chose a good fit, your child gets in! You send in ferent reasons, you and your offspring begin the the reply and start packing! college search process with great zeal. It might get a little tough keeping a straight face Things quickly dampen when said offspring re- all summer, but imagine this perfectly plausible alizes that what you and their counselor have been scenario: your offspring thinks they are going to insisting for four years is true; your GPA really College A, while you know they are actually going does determine in large part where you can go. So to College B. You can pull this off! Just keep them if they have dreamt of the Rotunda or the Wren up all night packing before you leave in August; Building, it might be a wake-up call for those who they’ll be so tired that they will sleep the whole decided to spend a whole lot of time on Facebook way. They won’t notice you headed down the instead of hitting the Real books. Our kids’ gen- other highway…and if you’re really lucky their exeration claims to be able to study while tethered haustion will keep them from figuring it out until to an Ipod, computer screen and cell phone. Are you’ve dropped them and all their stuff off! Just ANY of those 3,000 texts per month really about remember to turn off your cell phone. homework? I don’t THINK so! The time is here… the final results are comArmed with current GPA, SAT scores, and a ing on April 1st, about…. NOW! To all you felresume, the task of writing essays, soliciting rec- low families feverishly checking and re-checking ommendations and filling out applications begins college websites, relax! It’s nearly over. If this go- the main variable being which colleges to apply round drove you crazy, next time there’s always to? It is a shocking moment indeed when you re- Plan B. alize your brilliant offspring may be making this Contact Cheryl at decision based not on facts and good fit, but on emotion and even mob psychology! After hours

The Recipe of the Week from The Happy Chef by Leigh Sackett

Blackbeard Bean dip Everyday it’s the same - my son rushes in the door from school, does his homework and runs outside to go play with the other neighborhood boys his age. Not much makes me happier than seeing my children playing outside in the great glory of creation. The fact that they choose to play in the dirt over ALL ELSE is a precious quality in my children that makes me so hopeful for who they will become. At 6 years of age, Anthony is rough on pants and wears them out quickly. He has a large battle scar on his face from where a stick flew up and hit him yesterday (or so he says). But the worn clothes and the rugged face are all glorious signs of a child who is free - free to explore, free to imagine and share amazing worlds with his friends - free from a stifling overburdened, overscheduled society that is way too plugged-in. They walk into our backyard and the time in history in which they have been born melts away - they are Tom Sawyer,

or comic book heroes or Star Wars characters or whatever they want to be. Children are not any different these days then they were years ago. We are the ones who have changed - we left nature, we left our porches, we left our neighbors - and our children are just following our lead. So for those of you who are still allowing and encouraging your children to be warriors, archeologists, spies, scientists, veterinarians, Jedi knights and much more, I say thank you. There is no greater preparation for all they will be to God and others than what they are learning out there in that dirt together today. We would all be the better if we took a lesson from them. I threw this bean dip together for a neighborhood party last week where the children were in peak form. I approached it much as they would - I just grabbed stuff and mixed it together and gave it a name. It was a big hit!

2 - 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed 1- 6 oz whole kernel corn 2 chopped avocados ¾ cup grape tomatoes sliced in quarters ¼ cup chopped red onion 3 tbs. chopped cilantro The juice from 1 lime 1 tbs. celery salt 1 tsp. chili pepper

1 tsp. cumin Salt and pepper to taste -Put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and BLEND, BLEND, BLEND -Chill for at least twenty minutes in the refrigerator -Serve with corn chips for yummy dipping!

ence. Ware also has worked the methadone clinic debate, I to sabotage Roanoke’s SCLC thought I was talking with H. Juneteenth Celebration in or- Rap Brown. It should be noted that Republicans der to promote his love Ware - espeown. cially, White RepubWare has also relicans who should ceived a free pass know better. All the for introducing while, no one takes legislation in the the time to check General Assembly Ware’s record, esto make it easier for pecially some in local governments the local Roanoke to take the land of tax paying citizens media who are either too lazy to do through eminent Jeff Artis their jobs as reportdomain by using the phony guise of ers or who jump at public safety. the chance to kiss Ware's ring One reason Ware receives whenever they can. a free pass is because he is a Roanoke, Va. Vice Mayor, master at going into the White Sherman Lea, can defeat Ware community and saying one in any election. The problem thing while telling the Black is, Lea won't run. Personally, I community the complete op- wish he would. I would love to posite. It's interesting listening see Lea in Richmond. At least to Ware “talk Black." During then, I would know my dis-

trict has a representative who is actually representing me, not exploiting me. To have any chance of beating Ware in the June primary, Jeffrey will need to raise at least $100,000 for his campaign. Given Ware's Republican support and his current war chest, even that amount may not be enough. Still, I admire Jeffrey's actions. It's sad that Ware's people tried to disrupt Jeffrey's announcement to run against him. It's never easy taking on the king. But, no elected official should be allowed to run for re-election unopposed. That is simply unAmerican. I will say this. The Ware-Jeffrey race will be interesting. Contact Jeff at

The American People Deserve Their Money Back


ast month the House of Representa- federal government to recoup the taxpayer’s tives rushed to consider the “Ameri- money from the AIG executives who received can Recovery and Reinvestment Act” these bonuses. Most importantly that legisla– the so-called stimulus bill.  The Democratic tion will go a long way in deterring any other Leadership revealed the final text of the leg- companies that received large amounts of islation just ten hours before the House be- taxpayer money from the TARP from giving gan consideration of this enormous bill. Now their executives bonuses or from even taking we are finding out that this legislation, which TARP money in the first place. I voted against, contained a specific provision While I strongly support reclaiming the taxthat protected certain bonuses for company payer money that AIG handed out in the form executives, even if the companies giving those of bonuses to their executives, the American bonuses took hundreds of biltaxpayer would never have lions of taxpayer dollars to been put in this position in the Rep. Bob Goodlatte avoid bankruptcy.  This provifirst place if the government sion, which was inserted into had not handed out billions of the stimulus bill by Senate Banking Commit- dollars worth of bailouts to various private tee Chairman Chris Dodd at the behest of companies.  AIG received $170 billion in taxthe Obama Administration, was used by the payer funds with hardly any oversight and no troubled insurance giant American Interna- accountability for the irresponsible behavior tional Group, known as AIG, to distribute that led to their situation.  Then they turned $165 million in bonuses to executives just around and paid out $165 million in bonuses days ago. to their executives.This money belongs to the Apparently, at the same time that this lan- American people plain and simple and AIG guage was secretly inserted into the stimulus should never have been allowed to squander legislation, an amendment was adopted and it in this manner.  I intend to continue working then mysteriously removed from the bill that hard to protect the taxpayers and ensure that would have helped avoid this debacle. businesses like AIG are held accountable for According to a recent Gallup Poll, “three in their actions. four Americans want the government to take actions to block or recover the bonuses insurance giant AIG paid its executives after reI am the slowest ceiving federal bailout funds.”  I share the outcarpet cleaner in Roanoke. rage of the American people that AIG would use taxpayer dollars to award their executives bonuses during this economic crisis.  I believe that the American people deserve their money back and I also believe that the American people deserve full disclosure about who in the Administration requested the language allowing these outrageous bonuses and why. I will give your Most important to the wider debate about carpet the time how to address the serious economic crisis facing the country, this is further evidence that and attention the federal government’s place in propping up it deserves to failing businesses is questionable.  AIG made produce the best a series of bad decisions which led it into firesults possible. nancial distress in the first place.  It should come as no surprise that AIG would continue to make poor decisions once they had access to hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.  2 rooms and a hall for $75 I am a cosponsor and strong supporter of 5 rooms and a hall for $155 the Executive Bonus Repeal Act.  This legislation gets to the heart of the problem by repealing the specific provision in the stimulus Furniture cleaning also available! legislation that allowed AIG to legally award these ridiculous bonuses using taxpayers’ money.  Additionally, I voted in support of legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives that may allow the



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Focus on Education Glenvar Middle School Teacher is Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Educator of the Year

Sharon Hill, EngBeing an educator was lish teacher at Glenvar always a goal: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many of Middle School, has been my childhood memories selected as the 2008 Roaconsist of playing teacher noke County Educator in my make-shift classof the Year during the room set up in the family 75th Annual Salem-Roplayroom. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve realized anoke County Chamber over the years that each of Commerce awards student is a miracle in the ceremony March 24 at making, each student dethe Holiday Inn-Tangleserves my best, each stuwood. dent needs to experience Hill has been teaching success and it is my job to in Roanoke County pubhelp that happen.  I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lic schools for 24 years. control what happens to She holds a Bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of a student before he enArts degree from Radters the school doors on a ford University.  Hill has given day, but I can make served as a special edusure that the student feels cation teacher, a gifted safe, loved and proud.â&#x20AC;? Sharon Hill (left) with Glenvar Middle prinresource teacher, and Glenvar Middle School cipal Dr. Juliette Myers. a classroom teacher at Principal Juliette Myers several Roanoke County said Hill was deserving of Schools.  the Educator of the Year honor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In a classroom She comes from a family of teachers including of 25 children, Mrs. Hill teaches every child as if her mother, Judy Stanley; her sisters, Sherill Stef- they were the only student in the room. She unfan and Susan Gardner.  Her sister-in-law teaches derstands to truly create a productive learning first grade at Bonsack Elementary.  Tom, her hus- environment the individual needs of the child band, teaches and coaches in Franklin County. must first be met. Through trust and respect she â&#x20AC;&#x153;I treasure the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;giftsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that walk through my challenges each child to grow in their capacity to classroom door every day. I leave at the end of the learn.â&#x20AC;? day looking forward to another day on the job,â&#x20AC;? said Hill.

Western Virginia Regional Science Fair The Western Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair was held Saturday March 21 at Virginia Western Community College. Pictured above are the winning participants from area schools. Local College and University Scholarships were handed out to the top performers in a variety of categories: Virginia Western Scholarship Award (One year tuition scholarship given to all first place high school winners) as well as Roanoke College Awards ($1500.00 renewable scholarship award to all first place high school winners) Sarah Zillioux, Zachary Truman, Brad Klodowski, Nadia Aly, Rachel Strauss, Jordan Gulli, Alexis Harvey, Allison White, Elise White, Noah Luther, Samuel Jones, Se Jeong, Jared Johnson, Matthew Higgs, Mikayla Schrein, Danielle Thumann, Caroline Thomsen, Leigh Ann Haley - $3000.00 renewable scholarships were awarded to the two grand award winners Je Jeong and Zachary Truman. Hollins University Awards $5000.00 renewable scholarship to each first place high school female winner (not including team categories) Sarah Zillioux, Nadia Aly, Rachel Strauss, Jordan Gulli, Alexis Harvey, Allison White, Elise White $10,000.00 renewable scholarship to each grand or alternate grand female winner Rachel Strauss

Roanoke County Schools Honored for Nutritional Excellence

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Kimberly E. Stevens of Roanoke County has won the School Nutrition Association of Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (SNA-VA) Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award for Excellence at the Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state conference in Virginia Beach. She is the Nutrition Manager at Hidden Valley High School and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chapter President. Stevens also won the SNA-VAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inaugural Physical & Nutrition Education Activity Award. With her nutrition staff and the late Brenda King, Stevens developed a walking program for 9th graders and nutrition employees in the county. Donated pedometers were passed out to all participants and top walkers were rewarded with gift certificates. Lynne Fobare has won the SNA-VAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s State Marketing Award at the Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state conference. She is the Nutrition Manager at Masons Cove Elementary School. This is the second year that Roanoke County has won this award. Fobare, a certified school nutrition professional, implemented the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Masons Cove CafĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Zoo, designating a different animal theme for each breakfast during a week. Students were rewarded randomly selected prizes and breakfast participation was up 9% for the week. Kathy Stackpole of Roanoke County has won the School Nutrition Association of Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Louise Sublette Award. She is the Nutrition Manager at Bonsack Elementary School and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chapter President-elect. The Louise Sublette Award is the highest state award a nutrition manager can earn. Stackpole and her staff â&#x20AC;&#x153;redesignedâ&#x20AC;? the service area of their operation, using monthly themes and colorful imagery to create a warm and welcoming environment while focusing on nutrition education. Students responded favorably to the changes and participation has grown at the school.

Family Service Selected to Represent Virginia for Global Youth Service Day

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For the eighth year in a row, Family Service of Roanoke Valley (FSRV) has been selected by Youth Service America as a lead agency representing Virginia on WSLS 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Global Youth Service Day 2009. FSRV is hoping to mobilize 800 young volunteers as they participate in the 21st Annual Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) taking place on Saturday, April 25, 2009. Over twenty service projects have been planned by a group of young community leaders from â&#x20AC;&#x153;United with Youthâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a year-round program offered by FSRV. This event offers simultaneous service projects for youth and families from 12:00pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3:00pm. 2009 projects include a Walk It Out along the Roanoke River greenway that can benefit the cause or agency chosen by the walkers themselves, a Mega Train Wash at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, trailblazing on Mill Mountain, and planning a carnival for children taking shelter at the Rescue Missionâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; just to name a few. Global Youth Service Day is

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the largest volunteer initiative in the world. Students from throughout the Roanoke Valley join millions of youth in the US and in 120 other countries who have planned community service projects and special events. In line with the mission of Family Service of Roanoke Valley, Global Youth Services Day is meant to empower youth, ages 12-25, to transform their communities through volunteering efforts and events. For decades, leaders have recognized the strengthening effects of volunteer service on individuals, businesses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and in turn â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the vitality of the community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I finally have a chance to give backâ&#x20AC;? says Nikole Kinney of William Fleming High School. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like GYSD because no matter where you came from, what religion you have or how different you are, we all come together to help people and the environment,â&#x20AC;? she proudly stated. Immediately following the service projects, each volunteer is invited to a celebration held at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Each volunteer will receive a t-shirt, a free week pass to one of several YMCA locations and a free ticket to a Salem Red Sox game. This event is free to the public. Families are encouraged to participate, but volunteers under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Service projects are offered on a first come, first served basis. For WSLS 10 GYSD 2009 registration information, please contact Leah Hatcher at 540.563.5316 or email: gysd@


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3/27/09 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 7

Photos by Bill Turner

Photo by Bill Turner

HV starter Nick Ferguson (Above) deals a pitch against the Patriots. PH third baseman Zach Whitaker (Right) snags a hot shot before throwing out a Titan runner.

Roanoke Catholic’s #19 Elizabeth Thompson (left) and North Cross’s Caitlyn Hickey battle for a loose ball.

North Cross Defeats Catholic in Girls’ Soccer

PH, Hidden Valley Square Off Twice

India Helmer’s lone goal held up as the Raiders topped the Celtics in a non-conference win on Monday. North Cross went to 2-0 with the victory, while Roanoke Catholic dropped to 0-2. North Cross goalie Elizabeth Stoeckle had six saves in the shutout.

High school baseball is off and running. Patrick Henry and Hidden Valley have met twice in the past week, with the Titans besting the Patriots both times. The Titans ran their record to 4-0 Monday night with a 3-2 win over Patrick Henry. Last Friday Hidden Valley beat the Patriots (0-4 after Monday’s game) 7-2, with Thomas Kuhlman smashing a home run. Kuhlman was the winning pitcher during Monday’s rematch.

Lady Patriots Laxers Hope for a Repeat Performance It seems odd to call a reigning Western Valley District Champion a work in progress. And yet, that is exactly what the Patrick Henry Lady Patriots are. Not that it’s a bad thing. Last season, the Lady Patriots dealt with a ton of change. The lacrosse team had a new head coach and many new players. But, the team blossomed late in the year, and defeated E.C. Glass in a one game playoff to win the WVD title outright. Patrick Henry would eventually fall to Loudoun Valley High School in the Northwest Region Tournament. “We were definitely rough around the edges last season,” Associate Head Coach Kayla Moore said. “When I got there, I realized early we had a lot of work to do. But we had some freshman step up, we had strong leadership, and we ended up having a lot of success.” This year, the team finds itself in a similar situation. Though the Lady Patriots lost just three players from last season, there are still many questions yet to be answered before their first game Thursday night. “Last year, for example, we had a new goalie who had never played before,” Moore said. “This season, it’s the same thing. We have another new goalie, along with several other new players who haven’t played before. We all have a lot of adjusting to do.”

The team isn’t completely rebuilding, by any means, however. There are five seniors on the roster, several of whom figure to play key roles. Twin sisters Monica and Meredith Scott, the team leaders in scoring and assists, respectively, will lead the attack this season. And Ally Doane, who Moore calls, “a powerhouse,” will be routinely called upon to mark the opposing team’s best player. Doane has committed to play at Virginia Wesleyan next spring. But will the Lady Patriots write a similar script this spring? Moore hopes so. “I do anticipate the same progression as last year,” she said. “We have a lot of work to do, but even if we start off slow, I think as the season goes along we’ll improve consistently.” Patrick Henry begins the season on Thursday night with a home game against Virginia Episcopal High School from Lynchburg, before traveling up to Loudoun County on Saturday for a rematch with Loudon Valley.

Photo by Jeff Reid

Salem defenseman Jonathan Cummings steals the ball and heads to the goal.

Lacrosse Season is Here:

Only four local high schools play varsity lacrosse (Patrick Henry, North Cross, Roanoke Catholic and Salem) but on the youth league level the sport is growing briskly. Last weekend the Salem Junior boys lacrosse team won their season opener against Forest, 10-0. The team is led by Head Coach Patrick Wilkinson and assistants Jay Taliferro, Victor Bell, David Cummings, Greg Wall and David Wells.

Cave Spring Alumna Honored as College Athlete of the Week

Radford freshman thrower Aimee Veatch (Cave Spring) was named the Big South’s field athlete of the week, as announced by the conference office on Wednesday. Veatch, who last competed March 13-14 at the Coastal Carolina Invitational, won the event’s hammer throw event with a toss of 54.79m (178’9”), out-distancing the field by more than 22 feet. Her throw bested the NCAA Outdoor Qualifying mark of 54.17m and was the best hammer By Matt Reeve distance in the Big South this season. The honor is the first of the season for a Radford track & field athlete. Aimee Veatch

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Page 8 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/27/09

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Hunting Hills Country Club to Host USTA Quickstart Workshop

The Roanoke Jrs 16 National team won the Old Dominion Region Bid Tournament held March 22 and 23 at Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, VA. The win clinches a bid to Nationals in Miami, FL June 26-29. The teams record is now 81-19 (games).


Summer Programs

Hunting Hills Country Club will host a USTA (United States Tennis Association) sanctioned QuickStart Tennis workshop, April 4, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The interactive workshop will be a 3-hour informational session designed to help children learn the skills needed to play tennis. Covered during the session will be fundamentals of the QuickStart Tennis format as well as recreational practice plans for coaches and tennis professionals. “Basically the USTA came around in much the same way as other sports,” John Barker, Head Tennis Professional at Hunting Hills said. “If you look at other sports – soccer or basketball for example – they all have smaller courts, different-sized balls, and stuff like that to help kids learn and make the sport easier. That’s what has happened here.” QuickStart Tennis is a USTA format that is crucial to teaching the game to kids up to the age of 10. The program uses modified court dimensions and scoring systems, along with different-sized racquets

Hunting Hills Head Tennis Professional John Barker and tennis balls to help kids learn proper technique and skills. The intention is that the modifications will help kids achieve more success on the tennis court, thereby increasing retention in the sport. Hunting Hills will be one of the first 100 locations in the United States to host the QuickStart workshop. Those who attend the session will learn from a national QuickStart Tennis trainer. “It is important for parents, teachers, coaches, and the like to come out to this event so

that they know how to incorporate the program,” Barker said. For more information call John Barker at 774-8880 or email him at jbarkara@cox. net. Information can also be obtained by emailing or by contacting Kevin Kipp at 7744430. Hunting Hills Country Club is located at 5220 Hunting Hills Dr., Roanoke.

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3/27/09 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 9

Letters to the Editor Image isn’t everything Dear editor, As I read about the loss of Sidney Weinstein, another good Roanoke citizen, it reminded me of the large contribution the downtown merchants made to the education of young people in Roanoke. When Viscose and U.S. Steel moved away, leaving their work force behind, often the children of those families had to quit school to go to work. Some of the students were able to stay in school for the short time it would take to get a diploma because they were given work in these family owned stores and their hours were arranged around school hours. The families can tell you how dedicated their parents were to the education of their own and others' children. Some went on to Roanoke College, National Business and other local schools and others used their experience in retailing to make a career of it. Keeping this in mind when we hear that 'image' is so important I hope the virtues that we ordinary citizens in Roanoke have, will be considered as interesting as the 'image' that we are suppose to copy from other places. Sue Collins Roanoke

Unsatisifed with the school system Dear editor, When Victory Stadium was torn down the solution to the

Community Calendar

problem was to build two equal > March 28 Girl Scouts Art Show football fields: one for Patrick Dear editor, Henry High School and one for Vice Mayor Sherman Lea Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline William Fleming High School. stated recently that the school Council and The League of RoaCity administrators said that a board have had to make some noke Artists invite you to the very school with its own field helps tough decisions--I don’t think first “Artists Cleaning House” Spring Portfolio Art Show and keep students in school. Has it? so, because this is the pattern Sale.The sale will be held Saturday, But good students do not need they have been using through March 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in a football field -- they need the years. Too many schools the conference room at the Girl good teachers and materials. have been closed or torn down. Scouts of Virginia Skyline CounNow William Fleming wants Before Loudon School was torn cil office, located at 3663 Peters 3,000 more seats added along down I only lived three blocks Creek Road, NW in Roanoke. with a field house. Will this from it, therefore my daughter For more information, contact make Fleming equal to Patrick attended Highland Park School Jen Ward at 540-777-5113 or by e-mail at Henry? We all have heard of when it was a dungeon. this proposal for add-on seats Drawing the attendance line is backed by Sherman Lea, Vice again is just a farce. My neigh- > March 31 Business Survival Series:Your Mayor of Roanoke City Coun- bor in front of me wanted to Business – cil. Could this be due to his send her son to Highland Park Looking Ahead connection with the annual Vir- School. Her request was de- Regardless of how small your ginia Education Bowl which has nied. By that time the school business is, learn simple techbeen held in Salem and Vinton was renovated. Her son was niques that can change your busisince the destruction of Victory sent to another school, he was ness from status quo to a leader Stadium? taught in a trailer. His family was in your area. Presented by Tom The following questions come not pleased with the setup, al- Tanner, VSBDC Certified Busito mind. Where will the monies though students were permit- ness Analyst. Tuesday, March 31, come from? The Roanoke City ted to attend Highland Park 8:30 – 10:00 AM in the Roanoke School Board and City Coun- School from outlying areas.Was Regional Chamber of Commerce Boardroom. Cost: $25/person. cil have a shortage of funds at that fair? *Guaranteed to increase your this time (or so it’s said). Are In the event a private com- profits or the seminar is free. the closing of schools, laying off pany is hired to become the di- Sponsored by: The Daily Grind. teachers/staff and contracting rector of the city school buses, For more information or to regisbus drivers being proposed to the school board should make ter, call 540.983.0717 ext. 242 support someone’s pet project? sure our dedicated drivers are By the way, if these add-on treated fairly. This city has been > April 2 seats and field house proposals unfair in so many ways to our A Tea Party Event: Save the pass will there be tailgating on community. This scripture Economy:The FairTax school property when college comes to mind in times like Roanoke Area FairTax will have games are held at Fleming? With these, “when you have done it a special presentation, Save the Economy: The FairTax. You will tailgating activities alcohol is al- to the least of my little ones hear how the FairTax will do just ways available. you have done it unto me.” what the economy needs and perIn closing, why hasn’t the StarJosephine Hutchison haps how it could have prevented Sentinel printed the factual story Roanoke the problem in the first place.The on School Board Superintendent program takes about 35 minutes Rita Bishop’s trial in PA where and will be followed by questions another school official accused Send your letters (and and discussion from the audience. Bishop and others of violating confirmation contact This is a good time to get informed her civil rights? information) to and to see how your needs and Willis Cooper the FairTax principles can merge. Come learn the principles of the Roanoke 250 words or less FairTax and understand how it would be good for America. Bring a friend or relative! When- 6:45 p.m.(sharp) - 8:15 p.m. Where- WDBJ-7 Studios Comnecessary skills in the small the teacher, not the pupil. munity Room, 2807 Hershberger hand muscles. There were no Rollerskating involved Rd. punch-out clothes or self- strapping on flat, four-wheeled Cost- Free stick dresses. Betty Grable, runners that clamped onto the For more- Rita Hayworth and Carmen soles of our shoes. The two Miranda did not come per- clamps could be tightened > April 3 forated, but their dresses and only by their very own skate Auction and Casino Night coats had tiny white tabs that key, always missing, finally Hosted by Cave Spring Elemenhooked over shoulders and found (again!) at the bottom tary PTA around arms. Hats had dot- of the toy box. The key was HiddenValley Country Club ted lines, which necessitated then hung around our necks 6:30pm This fun evening will include an accurate, careful snipping for by a string. Auction of fabulous items, Las Vea snug fit. A slash too far, and And, skating was hazardCarmen Miranda’s fruit-laden ous. There were no concrete hat would droop drunkenly strip malls to thunder down. CAMP over one eye. Instead, we swung along sideDollhouses weren’t preas- walks bobby-trapped with VIRGINIA sembled pink, plastic Barbie pinkish-tan night-crawlers, JAYCEES McMansions. Brown card- and intersected by steep asboard boxes from the grocer’s, phalt “moguls”, thrust upward Camp Virginia Jaycee is a if we were lucky, and shoe by elm tree roots. Inevitably, summer camp for individuals with intellectual and developmental boxes if not. Furniture and the afternoon ended with a fall disabilities. Located at the foot of families were cut out of sepia- and skinned knees. the Blue Ridge Mountains, campers can enjoy participating in daily toned Montgomery Ward catWhen we were finally bored, activities (swimming, horseback alogs and glued to the walls of there was nothing to do but riding, arts and crafts, etc.) and their appropriate rooms. stretch out in the side yard also camp wide evening programs “Playing School” was no and watch the clouds bump, (talent shows, dances, campfires, etc.) . video game. Blackboards on tangle, and float free from elm Camp runs one week sessions from easels with chalk trays were tree branches. June 14th to August 14th. Acwrestled out of closets, and Many elm trees are gone too, cepts ages 7 to 70. there was always a search for alas, with paper doll books, cost for one week of camp is chalk, usually found in the roller skate keys, and three- The $600. Scholarships available. bottom of the toy box. The legged blackboards. lucky owner of the blackboard For more information, got to be the “Teacher” first. Suzanne S. Krueger call 540-947-2972 or And for all too short a time, Roanoke since everyone wanted to be

Commentary: Playtime of Yester-year When I was growing up in the forties, playtime was work. There was no easy path to our pastimes -- and our games, blowing soap bubbles, cutting out paper dolls, playing school, even roller skating, required considerable effort on our part. Soap bubbles, for instance. No little jars with slippery liquid and a wire ring on a handle, producing, with negligible effort, wanton streams of iridescent bubbles. Instead, we used a cake of the dishwashing soap, which hung in a wire cage from the kitchen faucet. And we employed Daddy’s old, seldom used pipe, scraping its bowl across the dampened bar of soap, until a thin, quivering film stretched across it. Then, quickly, before the film could shiver and break, we blew gently, tentatively into the pipe stem. With a little skill and a lot of luck, the soap film expanded into a fragile, rainbow sphere, which we shook free and watched waft away on the breeze until it burst in a mist of spray. The pride, the awe of releasing such brief, ephemeral beauty was almost worth the wrath-to-come when it was discovered that that wasn’t Daddy’s oldest pipe after all. Paper dolls required much manual dexterity, developing

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Aunt Orlene Aunt Orlene is being planned to be presented at Copper Hill Church of the Brethren, 8838 Floyd Hwy N, Copper Hill,VA on April 4, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. The event will be a fundraiser for the John Kline Homestead Preservation Trust fund. For more information and to make reservations, please call Lois Martin (540) 7727736 or email: loismartin66@ Tickets are $10.00. Reservations must be made by March 28, 2009.

> April 18

River Guerguerian Percussion Workshop and Concert 3:00-4:15 Beginners Drum Workshop: explore tone production and our internal rhythm, play harmoniously with others; $20, $5 for children 4:30-6:00 Drum Workshop Intensive: learn finger-style rhythms, vocalizations and odd time meters from the Middle East and other cultures; $25 8:00 Multi-media Earth Day Concert: featuring a collaboration of unique drums, gongs and Himalayan bowls, guest modern dancer Liza Deck, and captivating visual images from around the world; $15 ($10 if attending a workshop) Where - Roanoke Ballet Theater Studios 1318 Grandin Road, SW Call to Register for your Workshop: 540-206-2472 The April Meeting of the Roanoke Valley Chapter, NSDAR Patricia Hanzel of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia will be presenting a program dealing with women’s health issues immediately following the business portion of the meeting. Interested prospective members are welcome. When - 10:00 A.M. Where - St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1201 Hardy Road,Vinton, Virginia

For more information contact Regent Lee Hardin Woody at 3973173 or

> April 21

First Steps to Starting a Business Learn the basics of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur at this introductory seminar for prospective business owners.Tuesday, April 21, 5:30 - 9:00 PM, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Boardroom. Cost: $25/person. Pre-payment and pre-registration required by Friday,April 17. Sponsored by: Business SEED Capital, Inc., BB&T, Cox Business, and City of Roanoke.For more information or to register, call 540.983.0717 ext. 242

> May 16

The Amazing County Treasure Hunt Join in Roanoke County’s exciting new Geocaching event! Using state of the art GPS technology, you, your family or student team will be asked to locate 10 scenic destinations throughout the County. Search for boxes at each location containing gold, silver and bronze coins for points. See who can get the most and win! Your hunt begins at Garst Mill Park. Pre-register beginning April 1 For more - (540) 387-6078 ext. 251 Have an item for the calendar? E-mail it to

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Valley Business

Page 10 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/27/09

Back in the Family: Pitzer Transfer & Storage

Started in 1883 by 16-year-old Armistead Neal Pitzer in downtown Roanoke, Pitzer Transfer & Storage, now located in Salem, was initially a grocery delivery service. “He started with one horse and buggy,” said Skip Hollingsworth, Pitzer’s current chief operating officer. The old Norfolk & Western freight depot was a frequent stop for Pitzer trucks. Old records show details of expenses such as hay, used to feed horses – just fuel of a different kind. Now Pitzer hauls furniture, business equipment and anything else customers desire to be moved over both short and long distances, with its own branded trucks, or via Atlas, for which it is an agent. After being sold to People Services of Canton, Ohio in 1992, the company is now back in family hands, with brothers Lewis Pitzer and Vance S. Pitzer Jr., based locally. Three other family member-owners are spread out from coast to coast. “We all come from different places,” says Lewis Pitzer; modern technology helps them keep in touch and makes decision-making easier. Hollingsworth, originally with People Services, decided to stay on with Pitzer. Also in the warehousing business, Hollingsworth says Pitzer Transfer has long been “a fixture [in the Roanoke Valley as] a third party logistics provider.” Panera Bread and Jersey Mike’s have used the firm to haul their commercial equipment over recent years. One family member, C. Lewis Pitzer, was a principal at Patrick Henry High School more than 30 years ago, when the company was headquartered near Victory Stadium. The flood of 1985 forced Pitzer Transfer to seek higher ground. An old steel safe in the Salem office still sports a high water mark from that catastrophic event. A few years ago, Lewis Pitzer and others were thinking: “wouldn’t it be nice to have the family business back? We’d all talked very informally over the years. This generation wanted to be back in the business.” The business was returned to the family hands in 2007. Now Pitzer Transfer & Storage wants to pick it up a notch and “turn the corner in terms of our branding,” says Hollingsworth. Access Advertising & Public Relations is working on a campaign for the company. The company’s “integrity,” says the COO, is a big part of what they do, and referral work is often a result. Attention to detail is important in what Hollingsworth calls “a worrying busi-

DRI Will Search for New President/CEO Downtown Roanoke Inc. interim president and CEO Doug Waters would not comment earlier this week on why Bill Carder left that same position abruptly last week, along with top assistant Suzanne Gandy. Waters simply said it was a “personnel matter.” Several rumors are making the rounds as to why he was asked to leave. Carder replaced David Diaz about 16 months ago and had been very visible as advocating a complete six million dollar-plus makeover for the City Market building. DRI also manages the Farmer’s Market vendors. Carder was a former Roanoke City Council member and vice-mayor, who left town to work for the Marriott Corporation elsewhere but returned several years ago. It is expected that a wide search for his replacement will be undertaken. Several people have left comments on Carder’s Facebook page about his departure, including Phil Sparks, former executive director for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “Sorry to hear that you left DRI - it's a real loss for

Bill Carder downtown,” wrote Sparks. At one time Carder was also general manager of the now-shuttered Patrick Henry Hotel. By Gene Marrano

Region’s Tech Companies Still Hiring Vintage photos from Pitzer Transfer & Storage.

The NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC) has announced that its membership has surpassed 200 member organizations. The NCTC is a non-profit membership association that serves and promotes the growing technology industry in the NewVa Region, which encompasses Roanoke and Blacksburg, VA and surrounding counties. Cory Donovan, Executive Director, considers the 29% increase over last year especially significant during the current economic downturn. “Technology and innovation will help us recover from this situation and position our region for a bright future moving forward.” The NCTC hosts events and is a resource for those involved with the local tech industry. NCTC members may post their job open-

ings for free on the organizations website because, as Donovan says, “Even in the current economic conditions, many of our member companies have job opportunities for those with the right skill set.” The NCTC will host TechNite on May 21st at the Hotel Roanoke to celebrate the growing technology community in the region. Award nominations are currently being accepted for five awards, including Rising Star, Entrepreneur, Innovation, and NewVa Leadership. The NCTC is also accepting nominations for the Educator Award, which recognizes a K-12 education professional who goes above and beyond in the area of STEM (Science, Technology, and Math) education. For more information about the NCTC, please visit www.

ness.” Despite today’s economy, Lewis Pitzer says business has been better recently. The Pitzer’s good name and family connections have evidently paid off. “The trend has been going up. I think a lot of that is the family is back involved,” Pitzer said. Many people that have gone on to professional careers elsewhere spent summers as teenagers or college students working in the Pitzer warehouse, or helping to load trucks. Others have worked for the company for a long time. “I like my movers to have a little bit of gray hair,” says Pitzer, noting the pride employees have in delivering their cargo intact and unClarification: Final Touch Designs owner Cathy Dick says initial consultation fees for her marked. The Pitzer clan has owned a number of busi- home staging services are closer to $100 and not the higher figure reported in a story last nesses across the valley over the years, perhaps week. none more visible than Pitzer Transfer & Storage. “People certainly know the name,” says Lewis Pitzer. They have for a long time. Visit for more information. By Gene Marrano

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Rupert Cutler, the “Newest” Member of Roanoke City Council

He’s entitled to be called Dr. Cutler, but Rupert Cutler, Ph. D., usually identifies himself as “Rupe.” This lack of pretension marks his style. It’s one reason many believe he will be a steadying influence as he takes on the challenge of serving out the remainder of Alfred Dowe’s term on Roanoke City Council. Alfred Nash also sat in Dowe’s chair for a year before he stepped down at the end of February. Cutler had offered to take over for Dowe last year. Cutler’s appointment on March 2 was voted on by the current city council members. However, voters can follow his public actions and vote him in or out if he runs for the full council term next year. Cutler, 75, has a resume that includes a full term on Roanoke City Council (ending in 2006), service as a founding director of the Western Virginia Land Trust, chairman of the Western Virginia Water Authority board and executive director of Explore Park. At one point has served

as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Jimmy Carter in Washington. He came to Roanoke in 1991 with his wife Gladys after retiring. At his downtown condo, photos of Cutler with Carter, and before that Lyndon Johnson, illustrate a lifelong public administration career. His home is also filled with artwork; both of his parents were artists, and Cutler, a Detroit native, says his father helped design the Ford company logo for its automobiles. One of his most recent positions was as a volunteer member of the board for Opera Roanoke, which he left recently to avoid any conflict of interest. Based on his past record and interests, Cutler, an avowed environmentalist, will likely not bring major surprises to city council. As one of about 1,700 people who now live downtown, he can see the busy market area every day, just outside his windows at the corner of Jefferson and Campbell.

big question remains as Cutler believes the to what will happen to the number of those living old Patrick Henry Hotel, downtown is reaching which owes back taxes and a “critical mass” as new has been closed. One step places to live open up, forward, which Cutler apand he expects new retail plauds, is the new trolley amenities to come soon. line that runs from down As a downtown boosttown to the hospital and er, he wants any new amSouth Roanoke. By parkphitheater located in Elming on the Reserve Ave. wood Park. Rupert Cutler lot and using the trolley, “I supported the demolition of Victory Stadium because it patrons can go downtown without was repeatedly flooded. And it would having to park there - for free. Cutler also supports the Roanoke cost about $10 million to make that Greenway. area flood proof,” he said. “It’s about half done,” he notes. “I His vision for downtown is modeled on what already exists in downtown want it to become a nature trail sysCharlottesville, with a hotel at one tem where teachers and students can end of a large pedestrian mall, and a learn about the outdoors and natural covered amphitheater at the other. He science.” He envisions stops every admires it, but describes the tent-like one tenth of a mile to identify plants. covering of that amphitheater as look- “Children today have a ‘nature deficit ing “more like the wreck of the Flying disorder,’” says Cutler. “They’re afraid Nun.” to go outdoors and parents are afraid In Roanoke, the market building to let them. If that continues, there’ll could anchor a downtown mall. A be no support for conservation.”

Cutler will also continue his support for all the arts and is keen on the outdoor art he helped bring to the city during his previous stint on council. He hopes Mill Mountain Theater will come back, but doesn’t know how that might happen financially. He hopes that the influx of new medical personnel for Carilion Clinic and the joint medical school with Virginia Tech will supplement the current audiences for opera, symphony, theater, ballet and the art museum. One little known fact about Cutler, who attended college in Michigan, was a journalist and taught for a time: long ago he played the trombone in the Richmond orchestra for two years and in high school before that. And he has sung in barbershop quartets. But when he warbles, “Let me call you Sweetheart,” now he’s either serenading his wife Gladys – or his adopted hometown of Roanoke.

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Arts & Culture

3/27/09 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 11

Lincoln in 3-D and Other Tributes Historical Society Of Western Virginia to Honest Abe Next Week Hotel Roanoke, Virtual Exhibit

Many have long thought that Abraham Lincoln was larger than life, but now Roanokers can view the 16th president in “3-D.” As part of an observance of the rail-splitter’s 200th birthday, the Roanoke Public Library system is partnering with several other organizations for Roanoke’s Tribute to “Lincoln: Man. Icon. Legacy.” running from March 31-April 2. Roanoke’s main library (Jefferson St.) will feature a Carl Sandburg exhibit with photographs of the famed poet and official Lincoln biographer. It runs through April 14. Wednesday, April 1 at Jefferson Center (10am and 7pm), “Lincoln in 3-D,” features 160 stereoscopic images taken of the president and of the Civil War. Photography experts Bob Zeller and John Richter will speak. The stereoscopic technique involved images taken with two lenses on the same camera. Sideby-side photographs were then viewed through a special device to make them appear three-dimensional. “John Akers in concert: Sandburg and Segovia,” to be held April 2 at noon, is a brown bag poetry reading and concert (Sandburg was fond of Segovia) at the History Museum of Western Virginia. Later that day, at 6pm, local educator and TV talk show host Mac McCadden will tape a program at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture for Our Voices. Virginia Tech professor Ellington Graves will discuss “Obama’s Lincoln: A Nineteenth Century Icon for a Twenty-first Century President.” The library worked with the History Museum, Jefferson Center, the Harrison Museum and the Roanoke Arts Festival to assemble the Lincoln tribute. Outgoing Arts Festival manager Rick Salzberg (the city is de-funding the annual event, which will now be run by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge) notes that the Lincoln family had ties to Virginia, dating back several generations. “They were part of the westward movement [from Virginia],” said Salzberg, pointing out the president’s grandfather, also named Abraham, married a woman from Rockingham County. This is the second 3-D presentation on the Civil War era at the Jefferson Center; Salzberg said Zeller’s show last year impressed many of the local school kids that came to see it.

Abraham Lincoln and son Tad. “[He’s] done this on C-Span and many places,” added Salzberg. “We all wanted to repeat that success.” Salzberg said about 80 percent of all Civil War photographs were shot with the stereoscopic technique. Those who attend the Jefferson Center 3-D event will use special glasses for something that Salzberg promises is, “just short of an experience transcendent of time.” Alicia Sell, archivist for Roanoke City Libraries, said the Virginia Room at the main branch features some stereoscopic images of its own and a treasure trove of genealogical material. “Botetourt County, at one point, stretched to the Mississippi River,” she points out. Using 3-D for the Lincoln show, “brings [the era] to life,” said Sell. “People come from all over to visit the Virginia Room and do research,” said Sell, a history and library information sciences major. “I love making sure that people have access to information [so] they can interpret history for themselves.” On April 2 they can interpret Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War in 3-D. By Gene Marrano

Fleming Graduate and Hollins Student is an Inspiration to All

(Ed. note: in a story on the Writer’s Conference recently we mentioned William Fleming High School graduate and retuning college student April Drummond – the single mother of seven children. Contributor Beverly Amsler has more on her background.) Writing is April Drummond’s passion and her goal is to write plays professionally, “just to take that craft and make a living off of that,” says the Roanoke native and mother of seven. She’d continue to do it without getting paid, but would love to be able to concentrate full time on her writing, and not have to have “a 9 to 5 [job].” Many years removed from her high school days at William Fleming, Drummond, 39, is entering her junior year at Hollins University and a new $1,500 scholarship might make it a little easier for Drummond to pursue her dream. She received the scholarship at the annual Roanoke Regional Writers Conference last month. Drummond came to the attention of conference organizers through a writing contest she won with a piece on author Oscar Micheaux, a pioneer black filmmaker in Roanoke from the early 20th Century. Drummond received $500 for her winning entry in that earlier contest. Soon after winning the contest, she met Celia McCormick, the director of the Horizons program at Hollins, who encouraged Drummond to pursue her passion. The Horizons program is for women over 25, and is designed to encourage reentry to college at Hollins. But at the time, Drummond was working full time in a medical office, taking care of her children and “didn’t see any room for school.” She always wanted to attend college but thought that goal was unattainable, a dream “too far to reach for.” However, Drummond completed all of the forms, took a writing test and received her acceptance letter from Hollins - but the reality of going to school still hadn’t hit her. “I still couldn’t see a way,” she said. While recuperating from heart surgery, just one more obstacle, her children asked what she was going to do about school. Drummond said, “I don’t know what I was thinking, but I just went to the classes.” She says she was “blown away” by the things she knew she would be exposed to. Even in a basic English class, she says she was, “trying to learn everything … I was so excited.” She remembers other students asking her if she was all right, because she was demonstrably excited over every little thing they were doing in class. Drummond’s children tell her all the time how proud they are of her. Witnessing their Mom continue her education has encouraged the two oldest to enroll in college. She has driven her children through the public housing projects in Roanoke,

The Historical Society of Western Virginia has unveiled their first Virtual Exhibit online this month. The subject is the Hotel Roanoke and the exhibit can be accessed by clicking on the link “Virtual Exhibit” on the menu bar of their website Hotel Roanoke was born with the city of Roanoke in 1882 when Norfolk and Western Railway made its headquarters here. The “Grand Old Lady on the Hill” was, from its beginnings, the focus of the city’s social and cultural life - a “club without dues”. The Hotel brought many notable visitors to the city – Nelson Rockefeller, Billy Sunday, J.P. Morgan (who liked the scrambled eggs), Jack Dempsey, Jeanette MacDonald, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Kylene Barker (Miss America), Ronald Reagan, and George Bush. To quote Roanoker Carter Burgess, “I’ve been all over the world many times since [World War II], and just about everywhere I went, I heard something about Hotel Roanoke from people who had wonderful memories of the place.” The Virtual Collections project is the digitization of the Society’s entire archives and artifact repository. The collections comprise the largest repository of material in the Roanoke Valley devoted solely to tracing human history. Among the nearly 6,000 items

in the History Museum’s collection are Native American cultural materials, items that belonged to patriot William Fleming, a 1781 land grant deed signed by Thomas Jefferson, militaria. The Watts Family library houses a collection of 1,800 books, 8,000 photographs, 2,000 slides, 150 maps, 800 periodicals, and thousands of documents and manuscripts. Also in the Society’s collections at the O. Winston Link Museum are prints, negatives, and sound recordings created by successful commercial photographer, O. Winston Link, centered on his work documenting the N&W Railway, steam locomotives, and life in railroad towns throughout our region. The Society responds to numerous requests for historical information and makes the library’s resources available to the general public for on-site research. Now, with the advent of the Virtual Collections, anyone can access the Society’s collections via the Internet through their website The Virtual Collections are also now searchable by Google. The Historical Society of Western Virginia is located at Center in the Square on the third Floor, and is open Tuesday - Friday 10 am 4 pm; Sat 10am -5pm; Sun 12-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. For more information visit them online at

> Baldacci From page 1

cy. During speaking engagements he addresses that topic and often works in conjunction with local food banks to raise awareness for both issues, holding food drives that coincide with his appearances. “We get about 4,000 applications from across the country [annually] for money,” said Baldacci. “Everything from young children to adults.” He is troubled by some of the statistics: “we’re fast becoming an illiterate nation. About half the adults in the United States read at the two lowest levels of literacy. You can’t have a sustainable Democracy when half the people can’t read or think for themselves.” The foundation now supports programs in 35 states (see;

Baldacci says when he speaks, people often have the same questions – “how much is fact? ..., how much is fiction?,” regarding his writings about goings-on in and around the nation’s capitol. “People have an innate curiosity about what goes on behind the scenes. I think I give them equal measures of fiction and fact. Mostly the plots are products of my imagination, but I think they’re plausible,” he said. For more information on attending the 11th annual Book and Author dinner, call 725-7444 or, e-mail rama-bookandauthor@ By Gene Marrano

This year go ahead and love your lawn. Fleming alumna April Drummond (left) in “Caroline, or Change.” showing them “how life could be if you don’t do well in school.” Then she took them through areas of the city that have nicer homes, telling her kids, “you can have a life like this, but you have to work hard.” Writing gospel-influenced musical plays has also been a passion for Drummond. She has written and starred in a Christmas play, and hopes to have another one of her works performed later this year, perhaps at Jefferson Center. At Hollins she has been on stage as well, acting in Caroline, or Change, last year. Drummond likes to see how her creative writing can change people’s lives. Ernie Zulia, theater department chair at Hollins, directed Drummond in the play Caroline, or Change. [She is] "an extraordinary person. She not only came to Hollins with a self-taught background in theatre, but she has clearly defined goals for herself to expand her horizons, learn everything she can to become a dynamic theatre professional, using her college education to open new doors and further develop her work as an artist, a writer, and a theatre professional … She also presents a tremendous role model for younger students who don’t have to overcome so many obstacles to realize their dreams.  The world could use a few more Aprils!" By Beverly Amsler

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Page 12 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/27/09

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The Roanoke Star-Sentinel  

News from the Roanoke Valley for March 27, 2009.