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The Roanoke Star-Sentinel Community | News | Per spective

3/14/08

TheRoanokeStar.com

City Managers card favors Hotel Roanoke Bratton Signs P8– Marcus Bratton earned a scholarship to play football next year, three and a half hours away at UVA Wise.

A Little Princess P6– Faith Christian kicks off its stage season with a new play and a new stage in their upgraded facilities.

Spring is in the air P8– Spring sports for all the area schools are getting warmed up for a busy season. Catch all the previews in Sports.

1st LEED Certified P2– Roanoke has its first LEED certified building- the State and City Building which houses Frank L. Moose.

It’s not because she doesn’t like the atmosphere or food, “its actually quieter there,” she said. But when you’ve been to Hotel Roanoke more than 80 times over the course of two years, how could you not ask for more variety? City Manager Darlene Burcham said the meals shown on her city-issued Mastercard represent a variety of meetings with different individuals. The card, commonly referred to as a ‘P-card’ by city employees, is one of 700 purchasing cards issued to Roanoke City employees. “I meet on a monthly basis with as many

Arts Council seeks input The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge wants to know what you think. They’re seeking input from local artists, cultural organizations and the generLaura Rawlings al public. New executive director Laura Rawlings, who used to work for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, has put together a series of Art Town Meetings that will stretch into early April, in venues from Abingdon to Bedford. There are two of these pubThe Arts lic meetings coming up in Roanoke: on Tuesday, March 18 at WVTF Public Radio, beginning at 5:30pm, and at the Dumas Center on Tuesday, March 25, also at 5:30. Rawlings has also designed “technical assistance” workshops designed to help artists promote their work, something they aren’t always good at, she says. Grant

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council members as I can,” Burcham said, it was conveniently located to much of citing that as an example of some of the downtown. 78 charges to the Hotel Roanoke made in Another example of a recurring meet2006 and 2007. ing was with representative Onzlee Ware. She said the hotel is simply a conve- She said he prefers to meet at the hotel for nient location for many of the individuals breakfast because the mornings fit better with which she does business on behalf of into his schedule and his office is close. the city. “It has been a practice, even prior to my “It’s very rarely my arrival, the city manager meets choice,” she said, “I try with the mayor the Thursday City Government to make it convenient or Friday before a council for them.” meeting,” Burcham said. She She said it was a, “preferred meeting said it gave the city manager a chance to place because it’s a little private,” and that cover the agenda items prior to council

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meetings. Though the charges to the hotel make up nearly a third of all the transactions on the card, the dollar amount ($1,495.50 in 2006 and $1,461 in 2008) is only 13 percent of the total placed on her account. The majority of the costs are involved in the city manager’s travels. She said the traveling she does is on behalf of the city to a number of regional, state and national conferences and committees.

> CONTINUED P2: Burcham

[Red Cross]

Payday lending draws protest

Kaine commends local efforts

Protesters on Melrose Avenue

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> CONTINUED P3: Art Council

Protesters lined Melrose Avenue in front of “Ace Checks Cashed” on Saturday, urging passersby to “break the cycle.” The protest is a response to House Bill 12 and Senate Bill 588 on payday lending. The protest was prompted by the Virginia OrgaFinance nization Project, which called the protest “Break the Cycle of Debt.” Protesters gathered on the curb holding poster-sized signs that said, “Call your Governor,” and “Payday loans are a trap.” Sharon LaMar led the protest. LaMar said, “when the General

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Photo by Lawson Koeppel

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overnor Tim Kaine was in town recently, thanking the firefighters, emergency services personnel, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Forestry and others for their work in February, when a staggering 348 wildfires broke out across the state. The high winds that day meant an all-time record for the Common-

wealth: 4 times as many fires were worked that day statewide than ever before. Kaine, speaking at a church parking lot near I-81, also had praise for the American Red Cross, which did its part by serving meals to hundreds of hungry firefighters > CONTINUED at the Green Ridge fire site in western P3: Kaine

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> CONTINUED P4: Loans

Ties connects young dancers with regional artists Performance tied into Roanoke’s rail past “There’s going to be a train wreck on stage,” Mike Lawson says with a cheerful grin about the Southwest Virginia Ballet’s upcoming debut of “Ties”, an original dance production set during Roanoke’s days as a railroad boom town. And he doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a disaster. It promises to be quite the opposite, in fact. “Ties” is the brainchild of Pedro Szalay, Artistic Director of the Southwest Virginia Ballet. Szalay says that “Ties” was inspired both by his own experiences as an immigrant (he is Hungarian by ancestry and grew up in Venezuela) and by Roanoke’s early history as a railroad town. ““Ties” is a metaphor,” Szalay says. “It is about connections between people, between earth and spirit, and between material things.” The production will feature costumes and imagery from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s and is set to various musical selections including Appalachian themed compositions by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and music by Buchanan-based songwriter David Austin.

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studios.  Every junior and senior company member will be performing on the stage featuring two train passenger cars. Creative collaboration is one of the most striking features of “Ties”. “We have a dozen ladies who are sewing [the period costumes],” Executive Director Lawson notes. “Six to eight volunteers from GE Supply are working on the train car.” Artistic director Szalay cites his collaboration with Kim Parker at the O. Winston Link museum, Barbara Fitzpatrick at the Museum of Transportation, and local watercolor artist Nancy Stark. Three performances of “Ties” will be staged at the Jefferson Center during the first week of April. The school audience performance of “Ties” will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 3rd (open seats are still available). Then there will be two weekend Photo courtesy Southwest Virginia Ballet Dancers perform during a dress rehearsal for the performance which opens the performances of “Ties”: Saturday, April 5th at 7 pm and Sunday, April 6th at 3 p.m. first week of April The Southwest Virginia Ballet has over Mike Lawson, executive director of that moves away from our traditional rep40 dancers, 38 of who are either junior or Southwest Virginia Ballet, says he believes ertoire. Young people will love it because senior company members. Junior compathat “Ties” will appeal to all of the chance to see their peers ny members are 10 to 13 years old. Senior ages. “Seniors will love it beperform.” The Arts company members are 14 to 18 years old.  cause of the 30s, 40s, and 50s Members of the dance comthemes. Performing arts lovers pany are the cream of the crop By Daniel Voss will enjoy it because it is something new drawn from six local and regional dance dvosster@gmail.com

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Page 2 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/14/08

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Sabrina’s Place: a safe haven now for supervised visitation Sadly, in some cases, it seems that tragedies must happen before action takes place. That’s what happened when Sabrina Reed was one of twelve women murdered in a 20-month period from 2004-2006 in Roanoke City, incidents all related to domestic violence. That spike in homicides prompted city officials to launch a task force and conduct forums on the issue. Reed was murdered in 2005 when her ex-husband Robert came to exchange their thenseven year-old daughter Asjah during a visitation period.  The task force uncovered the need for a safe place that could be used for court ordered supervised visitation – and that’s what “Sabrina’s Place� at 330 Luck Avenue is all about.  The space was a printing shop but has been totally made over, much of it with donated materials. Operated by Total Action Against Poverty (TAP), Sabrina’s Place opened last November as the TAP Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Program (TSVSEP). But program director Annette Lewis acknowledged that was a mouthful and Sabrina’s Place was unveiled as the new name last week with Asjah, Sabrina’s father John Lynch and her other family members on hand. The visitation center features three brightly colored playrooms that can be used by appointment. A monitor sits in during supervised custody situations while two-way mirrors allow Roanoke City police officers, who are required to be on hand, to look in from the hallway. “Abusers often use children as pawns,� said Lewis as she led off a ceremony for the renam-

Photo by Gene Marrano

City Manager Darlene Burcham makes brief remarks with TAP officials looking on. ing.   Many women, however, fear losing custody if they report on an abusive spouse or exspouse, which sets up a sometimes deadly scenario when a couple tries to deal with child visitation on their own. “The City of Roanoke recognized the need,� said Lewis.   Grants from the U.S. Department of Justice helped the city and TAP get Sabrina’s Place off the ground. The visitation center is open afternoons and evenings Wednesday through Sunday, with staggered arrival times for both parties. Visits can be terminated if things get out of hand and there is an intake process. City Manager Darlene Burcham, noting that she was a social worker before becoming an administrator, called Sabrina’s Place “a dream come true for many people.�   TAP President Ted Edlich praised Burcham as being “sensitive to

the concerns that are [felt] by children, women and families,â€? in helping the visitation center get off the ground.  “I knew Sabrina,â€? said board member Pam Forrest, who first suggested the new name.  “This tragedy was a catalyst for a lot of good things happening in the Roanoke Valley. Sabrina’s always on my mind‌when I’m thinking about domestic violence.â€? Now nine, Asjah is being raised by an aunt. Fighting back tears Forrest recalled Reed’s final hours, when a “simple exchangeâ€? during a weekend visitation “ended up being the last day of Sabrina’s life.â€?  That’s what the new center on Luck Avenue is all about said Forrest: “a safe place.â€? (call program coordinator Sammi Rader at 767-6230 for more By Gene Marrano i n for m a gmarrano@cox.net tion)

> Burcham From page 1

In 2006 there were $6,002.61 in travel-related charges and $8,255.61in 2007. Burcham says Roanoke is chosen as a representative of Southwest Virginia for a number of state-wide advisory committees because it’s the largest city west of Richmond. “It think it clearly has a benefit, it also has a price,� Burcham said. And it’s not just a financial price she said, having just spent six hours on the road Tuesday for a two and half hour meeting. She sits on a number of committees including the Urban Policy Task force and Energy Adisory Council which require travel. “Part of my role as a city manager is to make sure Roanoke gets its fair share,� Burcham said. She said being a part of such committees gives the city a chance to help shape legislation to benefit Roanoke. When asked if the city sees the return on her participation she said, “I think it very definitely[does].� Burcham said one of the better

City Manager Department P-card Spending 2007 Darlene Burcham Brian Townsend James Grigsby

$11,937.48 $2,084.81 $874.13

2006 Darlene Burcham Brian Townsend Rolanda Russell James Grigsby

$10,431.09 $NA $1,069.21 $602.24

news items to come out over the last few weeks of P-card scrutiny is that the city actually receives a rebate from the purchases. Fifth Third Bank actually gives the city a rebate based on its spending. An earlier newspaper report said that meant $90,456 during the last fiscal year. The rebate is 1 percent of annual

spending from $1 million to $ 5 million. Above $6 million the rebate is 1.25 percent. Burcham said the bank, based out of Cincinnati, Oh., won the right to provide the cards through a bid. By Lawson Koeppel lkoeppel@theroanokestar.com

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3/14/08 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 3

TheRoanokeStar.com

First LEED certified building in Roanoke

Roanoke City Councilwoman Gwen Mason honors Stan Breakell (left, from Breakell Contruction) and John Garland (right, from Spectrum Design) for their work on the State & City Building at 102 Campbell Ave. Home to Frank L. Moose Jewelers, offices and luxury condos, the building owned by Rob Glenn was pronounced LEED certified on Monday for a variety of energy-saving materials and systems that were installed during the 100 year old building’s renovation. The U.S. Green Building Council awards the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The State & City building – once a bank – is the first of its kind in the Roanoke Valley.

Electronica, sculpture latest Emerging Artists The mood was mellow at the March 6, Emerging Artists opening at the downtown branch of the Roanoke Library.   The opening featured artist Sam Knapp and musicians Josh Cloudt and Ben Pranger, who collaborated to create the Signal Keepers.  The event was catered by Isaacs Restaurant. Knapp’s art mixed seamlessly with the Signal Keeper’s “Appalachian Electronica,� which gave the evening a progressive ambience.  The Signal Keepers’ music provided an eerie soundtrack as patrons walked through Knapp’s exhibit snacking on falafel bites and samosas. Knapp’s specialty is paper sculpture.  Pieces are displayed naturally or through photographs. Knapp described his

creative process as a form of escape.  He started working with paper in graduate school.  Knapp has a passion for the composition, transitions and the “little happenings� of working in 3-D. He said that when he came to a place in life where he got stuck, he always returned to 3-D. Originally Knapp’s started out using circuit boards from computers in his art. “I love urban gridding, so I came up with the idea of using paper with them,� Knapp said. He’d wet the paper, nothing special—just regular printer paper found at Staples, and apply it to the circuit boards.  The finished products were cities surrounded by lifelike landscapes, all through the medium of paper.  River Laker, Developmental

Coordinator of the Roanoke Library, described the process in pairing artists together.  Laker, said “the artists are paired specifically. We meet through various means, mostly through networking.�  Laker pairs artists, musicians and food vendors on how well they compliment each other.  For instance, Pranger and Cloudt were paired specially for the Emerging Artists opening.  The next scheduled event is April 3. Sam Knapp’s artwork can

> Arts Council shopping,� says Rawlings, who wants to draw the Arts Council and its members closer to the surrounding community. As for the Art Town Meetings, these are the first of their kind says Rawlings, although the council has brought together groups of people before to put together a blueprint. “It needs to be a living document – not just something you create and put on a shelf.� The Art Town meetings are a chance to ask, “how

are we doing?� says Rawlings. “Lets talk about it together.� She would like to hold these types of sessions every few years, “for people that have an interest in the arts or maybe just have been curious.� Even business owners that are barraged with requests for donations - for any type of art says Rawlings. All are welcome. (see theartscouncil.org for more information)

Bart’s Tailoring

By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

Quality Alterations on Quality Clothes

> Kaine

59 Years of Experience

From page 1

Roanoke County, which took about a week to contain. “We don’t always respond to just house fires,� said Amy Whitaker, a Roanoke County resident who handles public relations chores for the Roanoke Valley chapter of the Red Cross - which shelters people displaced in those situations. “Often times we’re asked by emergency management to assist with canteen services.� While others were fighting the Green Ridge blaze, which consumed about 4000 acres, food might have been “the last priority� but the Red Cross was one of the agencies making sure there were meals for the asking.

The Red Cross does more than help organize blood drives, also offering CPR training, babysitting classes for teens, emergency preparedness courses, swim lessons, etc. All of that takes money and the Roanoke Valley chapter, headquartered on Luck Avenue in downtown Roanoke, may be feeling the effects of a slowdown in the economy said Whitaker.  The first two months of this year also saw a ten percent increase in demand for Red Cross services. “With the bad economy charitable giving is down. At the end of the fiscal year in June I’m afraid we’re going to be pretty short. We just hope that people can continue to see what we do and know that

it’s important, and give to us.� Governor Kaine spent a few minutes talking to the local Red Cross chapter after he spoke from a podium about firefighting efforts related to February 10, when strong gusts also led to canceled campaign appearances by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Roanoke. Whitaker said that was a nice morale boost. “This was a great honor for the Red Cross to be here and for the Governor to thank us for what we’ve done. Disaster assistance is what we do best and we’re just glad we could take part today.�   (go to roanokevalleyredcross. org for more on the By Gene Marrano local chapter). gmarrano@cox.net

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writing techniques will be another focus. The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge is an umbrella organization that “sustains and strengthens the diverse culture of southwest Virginia,� according to Rawlings. Based on Church Avenue downtown, the Arts Council also works with local businesses and schools to promote the arts and foster the appreciation of them. On the website is a directory of close to 200 artists and organizations. “You can almost go

be viewed in the library until March 28. Past work can be seen at www.samknapp.net. The Signal Keepers can be heard at www.myspace.com/ thesignalkeepers. Issacs Restaurant is located at 1910 Memorial Ave in Roanoke. The Emerging Artists series is an ongoing program of the Roanoke Library.

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Page 4 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/14/08

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ears ago, the ten o’clock news in my home town would begin their broadcast with the phrase “It’s ten o’clock, do you know where your children are”? As a father of a fifteen year-old boy I not only can answer that question with a firm “yes”, but I can also account for every like-aged child in our neighborhood. My house is the central meeting point in our locality. Teenagers dash through our doors like we are doling out ipods, two for a nickel. Amazingly, my wife is able to identify 90% of our inbound and outbound traffic (a dizzying blur of hair, jeans and t-shirts). Me, I couldn’t pick most of them out of a line-up, although some of our visitors look as though they might have that identification experience in their near future. Along with the constant flux of high school students, we also have a core group of vagabonds who are convinced that they live in our home. A bag of Doritos or a box of cookies don’t stand a chance when these guys are around. Their annual consumption of food and soft drinks rivals that of a Panama. Empty wrappers, bags and cups litter our den nightly, looking not

By Donna Hopkins Britt he word “passion” had only one meaning for this Baptist girl when growing up and it wasn’t something discussed around grownups. Thankfully, definitions expand as can our vocabulary throughout our lives. Christians are approaching the time of year called “Passion Week.,” and this can be discussed among all ages. Less related to high emotion than to the word “passive,” Jesus of Nazareth spent the week we’re getting ready to commemorate choosing to not retaliate against those who

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unlike the streets of New York af- sider the implications of her prester Lindbergh landed. Next year I ence. am writing this posse off as a tax The boys have sort of a set deduction. routine when they gather at my The “gang” always stays over- home. First they play “Slam Ball”, night on the weekends. Afternoon a basketball hybrid game played turns into evening and evening on a trampoline, which makes me turns to night and still they lin- extremely nervous. A temporary ger. All of them seem to carry basketball goal is set-up next to our some sort of blanket visa from battered trampoline and the comtheir folks, permitbatants bounce, leap, ting them to cross push and fight through Jon Kaufman our borders without a one-on-one game. If need for parental my insurance agent ever confirmation. caught wind of this activity he On Saturday mornings, I often would beat me unconscious with come across a scene in my den my canceled homeowner’s policy. reminiscent of the aftermath at Next comes the electronic porGettysburg. There are bodies ev- tion of the evening. Two of out erywhere. Wading through the tenants begin playing XBOX humanity strewn across the floor, 360, another launches a laptop I hum the “Battle Hymn of the and is in direct communication Republic” quietly to myself, being with whatever posse member careful not to awaken the troops. might be grounded or missing, One particular morning I was and the remaining troops work greeted by a young lady who was the cell phones and the frig. Last watching MTV in my recliner as night the gamers were locked in a the masses slept. She introduced war simulation battle with some herself and assured me that she bloodthirsty Swedish speaking had recently escaped an all-girl teens (aren’t they supposed to be sleepover down the street, and was neutral?), who massacred our seeking the quiet of a more agree- boys on-line then taunted them able venue. Barely awake, I wished in Nordic. It amazes me that boys her a good day and grabbed my all over the world can battle each newspaper too stunned to con- other mano-a-mano without even

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leaving their homes. (Or in this case MY home). I guess that is what they call progress. Finally, a lively game of Madden Football is played on the XBOX to determine the sleeping arrangements. The winner gets the couch, runner-up the recliner, and the rest are rug fodder. By 4:00 AM most of the group is sleeping, unless someone has slipped by the guard. Shiloh, our blind, diabetic beagle-mix patrols the downstairs and generally howls whenever a door is opened. My son and his buddies once snuck past our defenses and would have completed their mission if it weren’t for a phone call from a certain young lady’s mother who awakened me at 3 AM wondering why my son was making eggs in her kitchen. My first reaction was “He knows how to make eggs”? My next action was to quickly round up the prisoners and return them to lock down. Most parents would enjoy the security of knowing where their children are at night - unfortunately none of those parents live nearby me. Jon.Kaufman@sprint.com

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were, shall we say, less gracious. Jesus was the example for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King not only preached non-violence but lived it. Our gratefulness to him is renewed when we imagine how much more violent the 1960’s could have been without his wise leadership. We may be tempted to think that Jesus or Dr. King or others who have led in this “passive” way were weak, that they didn’t have the brawn or the boldness to fight back when people attacked them. We would be wrong. It takes more strength, courage, patience, and wisdom to be non-violent than it does to be violent. Within us, there seems to be a tiger, ready to pounce when we feel the least bit threatened. “Strike first, or get struck,” we think. Yet, outside the heat of the moment, we can see that there are better ways to handle difficult situ-

ations than to attack. Military drills are effective because they train the mind and the muscles. Muscles have memory, so when you do something over and over, you get faster and more efficient, and you can perform the task without thinking your way through it; it comes naturally. The same is true with training our spirits. I believe that, when we pray in the heat of the moment, God will help us. But more importantly, if we do some training for our spirits, we are less likely to arrive at “the heat of the moment.” With spiritual calisthenics, an invitation is extended to God’s Holy Spirit to fill our own spirits as we, for example, take deep breaths (in-spire/spirit), meditate, listen, read sacred texts; or attempt to empty our minds/hearts of our own desires, thoughts, even hopes, so

that God can replace them with holier ones. (Google “Centering Prayer.”) As with physical exercises, we feel more “fit” when we do these regularly. When we’re then confronted with situations in which our first instinct might be to retaliate, we find ourselves more centered on God and God’s ways; more able to dispel anger’s shadowy grasp on us; able to let the inner tiger—instead of attacking and leaving messy carnage in its wake—rise gracefully and walk away. Godspeed as you seek to live a passive, passionate life.   Rev. Donna Hopkins Britt is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Roanoke, 608 Campbell Avenue, SW, across from the Jefferson Center. Information on Passion Week services may be found at www.calvaryroanoke.org.

We need help with local puzzle There are many who still sit at the kitchen table each week, mug of coffee steaming by their side, sketching on newsprint a few letters here or there, trying to solve the week’s crossword puzzle. I know this not from simple anecdotal evidence or by means of market research. I know this because I’ve left the crossword puzzle out of the newspaper a dozen or so times in my newspaper career. Dedicated readers tend to let you know rather quickly when you’ve changed something they like about the newspaper. And make no mistake, it is their newspaper, you just happen to put it together for them. Some of our readers have noticed that our inclusion of the crossword puzzle in each week’s paper has been incon-

sistent at best. A number of reasons are to blame, the most pressing is the age-old fight for space on the page. Each week we have to decide, say, between a few young men receiving their Eagle Scouts awards or a crossword puzzle. For me it’s an easy decision because the kids who achieve that deserve the recognition. And it’s not just the recognition- their names mean something here locally and the projects they worked on were here in the valley. That single, small news- item affects a web of relatives and friends the way 32 Across simply can’t. A few weeks ago, Don Waterfield received one of the papers sans crossword. He contacted me about a simple, but brilliant, idea that would both sate the crossword enthusiasts and

my allegiance to everything local. He proposed a crossword puzzle whose clues and answers were about Roanoke. Don and I have been working behind the scenes the last few weeks to make that a reality, but we need your help. We need you, our readers, to submit questions and answers about our Valley. They can be about favorite eateries around town, historic and current people, geography, news events ad infinitum. The only rule is that they have to be local. They have to be about our lives here in the valley. We will begin publishing the new puzzles April 1. Send your entries to: puzzles@theroankestar.com By Lawson Koeppel lkoeppel@theroanokestar.com

The Roanoke Star-Sentinel C o m m u n i t y | N ew s | Pe r s p e c t i ve Publisher Stuart Revercomb | stuart@theroanokestar.com | 400-0990 Editor Lawson Koeppel | lkoeppel@theroanokestar.com | 400-0990 Advertising Dir. Vickie Henderson | advertising@theroanokestar.com | 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 ar ticles 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 adver tised in this newspaper are available on an equal oppor tunity basis.


Perspective

TheRoanokeStar.com

3/14/08 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 5

Traveling better and General Assembly’s blunder will cost taxpayers wiser in my old age B

This is the way I used to behave on business trips: Get there whenever. Get to know the other people in the seminar or class. Pay attention during the sessions. Find a bunch to have dinner with. Drink a beer, trade stories and go to bed wondering if I’d missed anything. Repeat the same ritual every day. This is the way I behave now: Joe Kennedy Get to the airport, grouchy, at 4:45 a.m. for the 6 o’clock flight one of my work colleagues arranged for me. Realize that leaving Roanoke before daylight on a Sunday isn’t halfbad, because the airport is empty and utterly quiet, the way I like it. Land in Charlotte before sunrise, and realize Charlotte looks better that way. Transfer to a flight to Orlando. Engage young pharmaceutical sales rep occupying seat beside me in flight-long conversation about cultivating business relationships, because that’s part of my job now rather than just interviewing people and writing stories. Reach Orlando with no intention of visiting Disney World or any other attraction. Eat dinner alone, and enjoy it. Watch Super Bowl on TV alone in my room, and like it. Attend fundraising classes. Take notes. Participate. Network during lunches and breaks. At 5 each evening, take 30-minute walk, by myself,  along a lovely parkway near - but not in - Disney World. Dine alone at the nearby shopping center devoted entirely, it seems, to eating spots: a Japanese steak house, an Irish pub, a pizza place, a fish house, a kosher restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a Hooters and one or two other places, including a stand-alone establishment on the far side of the murky pond in front of the hotel, with the faux-exotic name of Coconut Tiki Bar. Eat at the Japanese place and the pizza place. Eat twice at the fish house. Get take-out from the Chinese place. Avoid Hooters and the Coconut Tiki Bar, though I did sort of want to glimpse the latter’s decor. Turn in, alone, happy and satisfied, at 10 p.m. Rise at 6 a.m. and be the first conference attendee to reach the breakfast room of the lavishly appointed Holiday Inn Express, where the inroom wireless Internet signal was weaker than I’d be if I tried to climb Kilimanjaro. Quietly and calmly get to know the other conference participants better than I would have if I’d gone out to eat and drink with them. Learn that they represent such diverse organizations as the American Hiking Association, the Country Music Hall of Fame, a Montana Horse Rescue, a rape crisis center, Mississippi State University and other schools, an opera, three Methodist church camps, a couple of hospitals, some evangelical religious enterprises and, of course, the Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley. Figure out that I’m probably not the oldest person there, though many in the class look young enough to be my grandchildren. Find myself deeply interested in the art and science of non-profit fundraising. Notice that there may be three other introverts among the 38 participants, and do not feel compelled to alter my behavior. Give in and go out to dinner at Downtown Disney on the final night of the class and eat the most expensive, and least satisfying, meal of the week. Accompany two younger guys and four younger women to the cluster of night spots. Decline to go in and dance. Return to the car and ride back to the hotel with the two guys, who didn’t dance because they’re married, and a young woman who didn’t dance because she has a boyfriend in Jacksonville. I just wanted to sleep. This is a gift that you receive as you age: You realize who you are, and what you like, and what you need to get by, and you live that way. It was the best business trip I ever took. By far.

> Loans

ecause state legislators state House and Senate two didn’t bother to under- times, with an election cycle in stand the language of a between the two votes (a two- to constitutional amendthree-year process). ment they passed last The amendment year, much-needed cannot be changed tax relief for Virginia in between votes and families will be delayed must contain the exanother two years or act same wording as more. The amendment before. The language allowing local governwas poorly written ments to reduce their last year and it wasn’t skyrocketing real estate caught, but legislataxes was defeated by tors can’t “fix� the many of the same leg- Brian Gottstein language of a constiislators who voted in tutional amendment favor of it in 2007. without starting the process over The problem the amendment again. was trying to solve: Throughout The language allowed “the Virginia, real estate tax bills are governing body of any county, increasing by 15-20% or more city, or town to exempt or pareach year. This makes it difficult tially exempt from real property for homeowners, especially older taxation� the primary residences citizens on fixed incomes, to pay of citizens. What the “partially their taxes. Some people are be- exempt� language actually did ing forced out of homes they’ve was allow local governments to owned for decades and paid off selectively grant the exemption long ago, because they can’t af- to certain citizens and not othford the rising tax bills. In many ers; to dole out tax relief to pocases, the taxes are more than litically favored neighborhoods.  the original mortgage payments! How do we know these sheThe proposed amendment – nanigans would have happened?  called the Homestead Exemp- Because they already do.  For tion – would have offered some example, in Lynchburg, Ward 2 relief, letting local governments residents pay less for their trash who wanted to, cut tax bills for service, while everyone else pays all homeowners by up to 20% a extra.  For whom do you suppose year. folks in Ward 2 vote, incumbent Our state legislators suddenly city council members or chalrealized a couple weeks ago that lengers? the language of the amendment   While we would rather the they passed last year could be General Assembly take another used for political favors for spe- three years to pass a new amendcific citizens, rather than for tax ment than see a bad one become relief for all homeowners in a law, it is upsetting that our 140 jurisdiction.  Essentially, the tax legislators (the vast majority of relief could be used as a vote- whom are lawyers who deal with buying program by the members legalese every day) didn’t see this of city councils and boards of su- flaw a year ago. Some used the pervisors. excuse that they didn’t read the Because of this flaw, Senate bill before voting on it. That may Republicans killed the amend- seem absolutely irresponsible to ment this session, with a couple you and me, but unfortunately, of Democrats joining in.  it is common practice. Yes, even Constitutional amendments though we pay them to read in Virginia must pass both the

every one. Good for them for stopping this flawed amendment. Bad for them for just now deciding to do their jobs. bgottstein1@yahoo.com

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From page 1

Assembly passed the bill, it only slightly helped borrowers. By calling the governor, we’re hoping to strengthen the bill.� According to VOP’s literature, the number of loans a borrower can receive far outweighs the number of “true emergencies.� A citizen who is paid weekly can receive 15 loans in a year, bi-weekly—10 loans in a year, monthly—six loans in a year. The cost of the loan is only slightly lower than the current loan cost. Janet McNair, who participated in the protest, pointed that the extra fees tacked on and the 3 percent APR do not help.

the bills they vote on, and even though it seems immoral to pass a law that affects everyone without first understanding it, legislators say they propose too many bills during their two-month session to take the time to read

Gov. Kaine is scheduled to come to Roanoke on March 17 for a town hall type meeting. His first stop in these town meetings was Staunton. According to the News-Virginian, much of the discussion was on payday legislation. Kaine said a bill is in the works that will limit the number of loans per borrower, have a lock-out plan for borrowing and have an extended payment plan. The employees of Ace Checks Cashed were not authorized to make comments. By Stephen Nelson info@theroanokestar.com

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Schools

Page 6 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/14/08

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TheRoanokeStar.com

FCS kicks off new drama season with A Little Princess

Last Friday evening, the Drama Department at Faith Christian School staged its first play at its new building. Over 320 people flocked to the 5 pm performance of “A Litte Princess”, followed by a more mod-

est crowd at 7:30 pm. Faith Christian School plays took place in the basement of Cave Spring Baptist Church until the 2007-2008 academic year, when the school moved into its new facility on Buck

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Mountain Road. The new building includes a “cafetorium” which, as the name suggests, does double duty as a cafeteria and an auditorium. “The new stage allows us to do much grander projects,” says FCS Drama Instructor Barbara Johnson. For example, the new stage allows much more creative freedom in set design. As always, Johnson is committed to do the best she can with what she’s got. “We don’t have a huge budget,” Johnson says, “but my motto is: ‘We’ll make it work somehow.’” Something of this spunky can-do spirit was reflected by Sarah Crewe, the protagonist of “A Litte Princess” in Friday evening’s performance. Crewe, who was played by 7th grader Megan Martin, is reduced from a princess to a beggar before the reversal at the play’s heartwarming ending. “I love children’s classics,” Johnson said when asked why she chose “A Litte Princess” as the first play of the year. “There is something ennobling about them. In “A Litte Princess”, there’s a line, ‘I’ve tried to be a princess even when I

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Faith Christian students now have their own stage after recent school upgrades. am in rags.’” Sarah Crewe does not allow circumstances or her detractors to bring her down to their level – not even quintessential Victorian mean girl

Lavinia Herbert or the indignity of living in a rat-infested attic. “Most of our plays,” Johnson observes, “have dealt with or-

phans: Tom Sawyer and Anne of Green Gables. This is my way of opening up the ‘world outside’ to our private school community. Some people might see us as privileged, but at its best theater allows one to live in someone else’s shoes. I see theater as a way of sensitizing ourselves to others and developing a servant’s heart.” Johnson is a self-described taskmaster who stresses the importance of an ensemble cast in rehearsal, dress, and performance. “I seek to develop a strong work ethic in my students,” she says. “I encourage my students to look out for each other and clean up after themselves. We stand or fall together.” FCS’s next dramatic production is Treasure Island on May 2nd. “I’m looking for a sense of adventure,” Johnson says. “Even if I end up with a mostly female cast, I’m going for a boy’s adventure story. I hope it will be something ‘children of all ages’ can get excited about.”

By Daniel Voss dvosster@gmail.com

Cycle Systems partners with schools Cycle Systems Inc., a regional leader in reshaping, recycling and renewing, is providing recycling bins at all five Roanoke County middle schools as a way to encourage students, their families and area residents to recycle and reduce solid waste. Under this unique privatepublic partnership, art students are invited to paint each of the mobile trailers to match the personality of the schools and their students. “As a leader in recycling, we saw a need to make recycling

Don’t miss Roanoke’s Third Annual

SCRABBLE® Tournament!

more accessible for our communities,” said Jay Brenner, president of Cycle Systems. “With the ongoing attention to preserving the environment, it made sense to partner with our schools – representing our future – to teach the values of recycling while making recycling convenient for residents where there is no curbside pickup.” The recycling containers will contain slots for newspaper, cans and plastics. They will be located in the parking lots of Cave Spring, Central, Glenvar, Hidden Valley, Northside and William Byrd middle schools. The schools will receive financial contributions from Cycle Systems for collected recyclables. “This is a terrific opportunity

to encourage children and their parents to recycle while making it easier for residents to drop off their recyclables every week,” said Nancy Duval, solid waste manager for Roanoke County. “Recycling has a direct impact on our limited landfill space, oil consumption and our environment. Consider that recycling just one aluminum can saves a half-gallon of gasoline. And if every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save 25 million trees a year.” “We are delighted to partner with Cycle Systems to make recycling a part of the educational experience for every student,” added Juliette Myers, principal of Glenvar Middle School.

Second hearing on school start times The city school board had their second meeting at Patrick Henry High School Tuesday, March 11 to discuss the change of start times for all the schools. The proposal is to consolidate the three current start times to two start times. Most of those in the crowd, which consisted of parents, staff and students, were against the change.  The board will have a workshop the morning of  Mar. 19 to review all input.  The final decision is to be made at the April 8 board meeting at William Fleming High School.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fitzpatrick Hall, Jefferson Center Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for light supper Games starts at 6:15 p.m. Presented by Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley & the Roanoke Public Library Foundation to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley Join others who love to play SCRABBLE and help the literacy effort in the Roanoke Valley at the same time. This will be an evening of word-building fun and fast-paced competition — you won’t want to miss it! Proceeds from the tournament will go to Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley (an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America), a group that teaches English literacy skills to adults and raises literacy awareness throughout the Roanoke Valley. Talk to your friends, co-workers, book club members, neighbors — anyone you know who loves to play SCRABBLE. Everyone is welcome to play, have fun and support literacy. Teams need to be in multiples of 3 and the cost is $30 per player. For more information, please call the Literacy Volunteers office at 540-265-9339.

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3/14/08 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 7

TheRoanokeStar.com

Carew Selected as Intern for Clinical Hospital Program Kathleen Carew from Roanoke, a recent graduate of Radford University, was awarded a clinical internship in the Clinical Hospital Program last year and is currently interning at Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville.

Mathew finalist for Merit Scholarship North Cross School senior Anna Mathew is one of only 15,000 students across the country to advance to the finals, meaning that she is now eligible to Anna Mathew compete for a coveted National Merit Scholarship. More than 1.4 million juniors entered the 2008 National Merit Program by taking the 2006 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). She is a member of the varsity field hockey and tennis teams and is the captain of the School’s academic team. She is the daughter of Matt and Anita Mathew. In  October of 2007, seniors Katya Brozyna and William McIvor were each named a “Commended Student” in the Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the region  were recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

North Cross teams place 2nd On March 1, one of North Cross School’s Destination Imagination teams placed second in the regional meet at Glenvar Middle School. Those students, along with parent coaches Nancy Pecor and Travis Hall,  will go on to compete in the state meet at Western Albemarle High School, in Crozet, VA on April 5. Team members are Moira Pecor, Rachel Hall, Abigail Chernault, Lauren Echols, Margaret Deane, Cailyn Hash and Emma Stacey.

3D history lesson of Civil War photographs captures imaginations A door to the past opened Feb. 28, as the Civil War-era came to life in three dimensions at the Jefferson Center. The exhibition featured Bob Zeller’s exhibition of “The Civil War in 3-D.” Stereoscopic images were displayed for the large audience in Shaftman Hall. The exhibition was another exciting event headlined by the Roanoke Public Library’s innovative curriculum that offers diverse cultural opportunities to Roanoke patrons. The O.Winston Link Museum and the Roanoke Arts Festival were also contributors. At 6:30 p.m., patrons slowly started to file in, filling the lower level of Shaftman Hall. Guests were handed an adjustable pair

of 3-D glasses. Some laughed as the glasses took them down memory lane, while others were so excited that taking off their 3-D glasses for even a moment was out of the question. As soon as 7 p.m. rolled around, the lights went out and the show began. A slideshow of Civil War photographs may sound like a stuffy history lesson, but Zeller’s production was captivating. Perhaps most telling of this fact was that earlier that morning the 3-D spectacle was held for 700 fourth graders and according to Zeller, “they didn’t make a peep.” The most surprising thing about the exhibition was that 21st century technology wasn’t used to make the images three-

dimensional, nor was technology from the 20th century. All of the photos in Zeller’s presentation were three-dimensional photos taken during the Civil War. The images were stereoscopic, a popular and innovative form of entertainment in the 1860’s. Viewing these photos in 3-D, is just like looking into a ViewMaster, a toy that children have played with for generations. Stereoscopic vision is created when a pair of images, taken at slightly different angles, of the same object is viewed together, thereby creating a 3-D illusion. On display were works by Civil War photography pioneers, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and George S. Cook. Zeller

had a variety of photos in his collection: some of battlefields in the quiet before the storm, some of medics tending to wounded soldiers - even controversial photos of President Lincoln arriving in Gettysburg to give his historical speech were present in the exhibition. Zeller is President of the Center for Civil War Photography and has authored several books on Civil War photography. He first became interested in 3-D photographs in his thirties, when he discovered that 3-D photography from the 19th century existed while antique shopping. Carli Dodd, who works in downtown Roanoke, saw flyers for the event and decided to

check out the exhibition. Dodd said,” I think events like these are good for the community because they offer a free way for people to be educated and entertained about history.  It also brings awareness to other activities and venues available to the citizens of Roanoke.” Sheila Umberger, the Director of Roanoke Public Libraries, agreed saying events like Thursday’s are “critical to who we are as Virginians.” Now if only all history lessons could be in 3-D.

> March 14,15

Dinner Dinner and silent aution begin at 5 p.m. A live auction will start at 7 p.m. For a detailed description of items for auction, please go to our website at rcs.k12.va.us/cbes. When- 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Where- Clearbrook Elementary School Cost- Adults $5, Children $4 For more- Please call #772-7555 to reserve your dinner.

and culture in their community to attend. When- 10 a.m.              Where- Salem Museum & Historical Society, Salem For more- 540.342.5790, Ext. 5 www.theartscouncil.org

540-772-2760

New RCPS Honors Program aims to improve student retention and graduation rates.The meetings will cover: The Middle Honors Program The Challenge Program Carnegie credit courses Advanced Placement Center for Humanities CITY School Governor’s School The IB Middle Years Program When- 7 p.m.             Where- Stonewall Jackson Middle School

The Crucible The Colonel’s Theatre Company of William Fleming High School will perform The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s timeless play that puts truth on trial. The show is directed by Larry Van Deventer. In 1953 Arthur Miller proved that the pen is mightier than the sword by writing a play that shook America to its core. The Crucible is a gripping historical play about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. When- 7:30 p.m. Where- William Fleming High, Dickinson Auditorium Cost- $8 For more- 540-362-0139

> March 14

Dances of Universal Peace Simple circle dances rooted in the world’s spiritual traditions, using sacred names, phrases and movements from those traditions and contributing to inner and outer peace; no experience needed, all dances are taught for ages 5-85 ! A multi-faith experience of The One When- 7:30-9:30 p.m. Where- Christ Episcopal Church, 1101 Franklin Road (corner Franklin Rd. and Washington Ave.) Cost- Free of Charge, donations encouraged For moreDiane Elliot, 540-344-6036; dwolf@davishelliot.com Clearbrook Elementary PTA Sponsored Auction and

By Stephen Nelson info@theroanokestar.com

Community Calendar

> March 15

Peace Vigil on 5th Anniversary of Iraq War Plowshare Peace Center will hold a silent peace vigil on Saturday in front of the City Market building in downtown Roanoke, to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. We will hold signs listing the names of American and Iraqi dead. We will also pass out flyers containing the current casualties and costs of the war. This will be the thirty-seventh vigil organized by Plowshare since March 2005, with a usual attendance of about 25 people. When- Noon - 1 p.m.             Where- in front of City Market building Art Town Meeting Do you have ideas to share about the arts and culture in your region? The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge wants to hear it.The council has scheduled Art Town Meetings around its service area and invites anyone interested in learning and sharing their thoughts about arts

Book Fair to Benefit Grandin Court Barnes and Noble Book Fair through Saturday March 15th. All purchases at Barnes and Noble or on-line using cash or a gift card will benefit Grandin Court Elementary. Please be sure to mention Grandin Court when you are checking out at the register. Applebee’s at Tanglewood Pancake breakfast- Saturday March 15th. Tickets are $5 at the door and include pancakes with sausage and a beverage. All proceeds support Grandin Court Elementary School’s overnight field trip. When- 7:30 - 9:15 a.m. Where- Applebee’s Tanglewood, Barnes and Noble

Write Your Journey Creative Workshop With Tameko Barnette Third Saturdays, “Cleansing” When- 1:30-3:30 p.m. each class Where- LifeStream Center Cost- $15 each session - Please Register For more- www.lifestreamcenter. org

> March 17

RCPS Middle School Honors Program Meeting

Sister to Sister Join other girls from the Roanoke Valley area at the Sister-to-Sister Summit at Roanoke College. Girls of all races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, abilities, and sexual orientations aged 12-16 are encouraged to attend. When- 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Where- Olin Recital Hall, Roanoke College Cost- Free of Charge For morehttp://members. cox.net/aauwva/sisreg07.pdf or

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Sports

Page 8 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/14/08

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TheRoanokeStar.com

Marcus Bratton signs with UVA Wise

It was hot in the media center at William Fleming High School on Thursday afternoon, but there wasn’t a complaint from the Bratton family. That’s because Marcus Bratton signed on with the University of Virginia’s Wise College football program. Bratton was accompanied by his mother, LaRhonda, his father, Tim, and his little sister, Jerika, at the signing. After signing, Bratton shook hands with Cavalier Head Coach Bruce Wasem, and Offensive Coordinator Dewey Lusk. Lusk, who recruited Bratton, smiled and said, “congrats, welcome to the family.” Marcus’s home for the next few years will be about three and a half hours southwest of Roanoke near the Tennessee border. His new ‘family’ will consist of around 100 football players and staff, along with the student body and faculty. It also boasts one of the best Division II athletic facilities and football field in the region. “It feels good,” Bratton said. “I just felt it was the right choice after my family and I talked it over. They have a really nice athletic program and I’ve never seen a field that nice! The college is big, I thought it was going to be a small college but it’s really big. This whole process has gone so fast but it’s been fun. I’ve wanted to play at this level ever since I was young.” When asked about his off-season routine, Bratton said, “I’m gonna hit the weights even harder, and I’ll probably run track to get in shape.” Head coach Bruce Wasem said he looks forward to what Bratton can add to the defending conference champion team. When asked if he thinks Marcus will make an immediate impact he said, “we need good freshmen coming in, to be able to compete. We think Marcus is one of those guys who will compete very well. We sometimes red shirt guys but I think Marcus is going to make an immediate impact.” Offensive Coordinator Lusk said, “he is very physical and that’s what we like about him,

Photo by Willow Rosenblatt

Kate Norbo dribbles past Cave Spring defenders in the scrimmage.

Patriot girls soccer ready to kick off Photo by Jason Hawes

Marcus Bratton will play for UVA Wise next year. He signed his letter of intent at Fleming with his family and coaches. and coach Robert Senseney does a great job of recruiting his kids. We’ve seen one of the plays where the receiver and the ball are in the air and Marcus comes out of nowhere and hits him on the ear hole (of the helmet) and just lays him out! That combined with others and special team plays convinced us that this is a kid who could play for us right now.” When asked about his expectations going into the first season of his college football career Marcus said, “hopefully I can help them win a championship and just do my best.” Bratton is not the only talent in his family. He has two very active siblings. There’s Jerika, who is a 15 year-old cheerleader and fantastic student as well as Darius, a 10 year-old who also plays football under the watchful eye of his coach and father, Tim Bratton. Darius wants to follow in his big brother’s footsteps and with the help of his father and the support of the rest of his family it looks like another Bratton superstar is in the making for William Fleming via Oakland elementary. How much hard work is involved with raising football stars, good students and citizens? Laughing, Mrs. Bratton

said, “we don’t have any life of our own, it’s very hard but I think it’s paying off. We can see that in our younger ones too now.” Mr. Bratton said, “between coaching, getting them all to practices and school and me working the night shift it’s very hard but definitely worth it.” Not everyone is happy that Marcus is leaving. William Fleming’s head football coach Senseney said, “it’s going to be very hard replacing a kid like Marcus, he’s very unselfish, plays hurt, smart, reliable day to day, and just an all around good kid. His parents did a great job with the recruiting process putting their time and effort in, that some parents put all on the coach. I just think he’s gonna do very well and make an immediate impact.” The most important opinion of all comes from Marcus’s little sister, Jerika, who after thinking about her brother’s departure next year said, “I feel happy in a way but sad too because he’s not gonna be home...This makes me want to work really hard and motivates me to try and do my

In an exciting but chilly  scrimmage between Cave Spring and  PH on Monday night, Patrick Henry came out with their game faces set for victory. With the score still tied 0-0 in the second half, the determined Patriots dug deep to pull out a 2-0 win over the Knights. The victory helped give the girls assurance that after losing six seniors, they still have a strong team. The team didn’t fare as well in an earlier scrimmage against Salem but the Lady Pats are looking forward to showing off  their skills in their first game verses Pulaski on Thursday night at 7 p.m. They are a young team but definitely have some returning talent to help nurture and develop the newer players. One of those returning is standout Kate Norbo, a junior that was All-District last year and sister, Carter Norbo, who also has many talented moves. Head Coach Whitney Wright says these two ladies, with the addition of hard worker Maggie Dent on defense, and the new  faces of freshmen Jaline McPherson and Scarlett Strickler, are definitely worth watching this season. The team will play a total of 16 games before finding out if they make

Districts but if last years record (14-1-3) and second place finish was any indication, you’ll see plenty of action from the purple and gold after the regular season. The Patriots practice everyday after school scrimmaging the starters on offense and defense Wrights favorite method of learning. The girls also are encouraged to do weight training on their own. Many of the players have played rec or travel soccer, so most are not strangers to what it takes to condition themselves for long periods of time on the field. “I felt fantastic about the scrimmage against Cave Spring,” Wright said. “After losing six seniors we have some work to do to make up for a younger team. Our first scrimmage against Salem looked like we were indeed rebuilding, but on Monday night, we looked determined and all the girls came through 100 percent.” You can catch the Varsity Patriots in action on March 18 in their new PH stadium at 7 p.m. when they take on PuBy Willow Rosenblatt laski. willow@theroanokestar.com

Shamrock Festival this weekend

The volleyball players are coming! This weekend March 15-16, there will be 228 volleyball teams coming to the Roanoke Valley for the Shamrock Festival. The Shamrock Festival is the largest nationally sanctioned USAV tournament held in the state of VA and one of the premier volleyball events for juniors on the East Coast. This year the tournament will feature girls 13 to 18 years-old from NC, SC, Md., WV., TN., Pa., Ky. and VA. The website lists over 70 colleges represented by scouts at the 2007 tournament including schools By Jason Hawes such as NC State, Penn State, Rutgers, Bucknell and jasonhawessports@gmail.com VA Tech. The tournament will kick off with its first annual ‘Shamrock Recruiting Showcase’ on the evening of Friday, March 14 at the Roanoke Civic Center. This showcase will be limited to 144 girls from grades 9-12 who will have the opportunity to display their skills

Recipe of the Week from The Happy Chef!

in one location for college coaches. The coaches will be given a guide with all of the player’s information and the girls will wear colored and numbered jerseys for easy identification. This showcase will run from 6:45-9:00 p.m. with free admission. The matches begin Saturday at 8 a.m. and will continue through the finals at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Almost every gym in the Roanoke Valley will be in use. Locations in the past have included The Salem Civic Center, Northside Middle, Lord Botetourt, North Cross/ Carter Athletic Center, Hollins University, Hidden Valley, Glenvar, Cave Spring Middle, Patrick Henry, William Byrd, Cave Spring, Northside, and Roanoke College. There is no admission cost. The tournament is hosted by The Roanoke Juniors Volleyball Club and Virginia Amateur Sports. By Beth Anne Revercomb bethrev@cox.net

By Leigh Sackett

Potatoes, Potatoes, Potatoes!!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! Scalloped Potatoes

¼ cup chopped onion 2 tbs. butter 2 tbs. all-purpose flour ½ tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 1 ¼ cups milk 1 cup of American cheese 3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced -Cook onion in butter till tender -Stir in flour, salt, pepper -Add milk -Cook and stir till thick and bubbly -Stir in cheese -Place half the potatoes in a greased 1 quart casserole -Cover with half the sauce -Repeat layers -Bake covered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes -Uncover, bake 30 minutes more or till potatoes are tender

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 medium potatoes ½ cup sour cream ¼ tsp. garlic salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 1-2 tbs. milk -Bake potatoes -Cut a lengthwise slice from the top of each potato -Discard skin from slice and place pulp in bowl -Gently scoop out each potato, leaving a thin shell, add pulp to bowl -Beat or mash potato pulp -Add sour cream, garlic salt, pepper, and milk (I am always heavy on the sour cream) -Beat till smooth -Add more salt if necessary -Pile mashed potato mixture in potato shells -Place in baking dish -Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes -Top with cheese if you desire and bake 2-3 more minutes!3 ½ cups of sliced carrots, cooked 3 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed 1-2 tablespoons of salt 1 tablespoon pepper 1 ½ teaspoons of poultry seasoning 2 teaspoons hot sauce

Photo by Willow Rosenblatt

Students tryout for spring track.

PH track traveles a long way

The Patriots had to travel to Landover, Maryland this season to compete in the Regional Track & Field meet, but the long road trip did nothing to hamper their craving for success. The Feb. 22 meet brought great results for the Patriots with a huge win going to shot put standout, Philip Mesadeui. He placed first overall in the meet, thrusting him towards a spot at the State final and giving him the Regional Champion honor. Natalie Woodford competed in the 500m and landed a comfortable third place finish to qualify her as well. Kate and Carter Norbo paced each other in the 3200m

and hung in to finish the event third and sixth respectively. Carter also crossed the finish in the 1600m race in sixth place. Those that qualified had their chance to show their talents once again at the State level that was held at George Mason Feb.29 and March 1. Due to an extremely high level of competition, Mesadeui was the only Patriot to place in his event, the shot put. He finished the season with a sixth-place finish and in the top eight for points. He was also the highest finishing junior in the top fifteen. Coach Chad Cox was very pleased with the efforts the

team put forth and is looking forward to spring track and the results that hard work can bring. Practice started on Monday and Cox said 40-45 students came to practice. “We lose people that play in other spring sports due to the time constraints,” he said,” but we are still a very young group with quite a few freshmen.” The first scheduled meet for the team is set for April 5 at E.C. Glass where Cox said he usually expects around 25 teams to compete. By Willow Rosenblatt willow@theroanokestar.com


3/14/08 |The Roanoke Star-Sentinel |Page 9

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Coach Joe Gaither is shadowed by his two Lithuanian basketball players. Mindaugas Markevicius, left, is a senior who will play college ball next year, and Domas Rinksalis, right, is a junior with another year left to play for the Celtics.

Catholic offseason no sweat

Off-season basketball practice at Catholic looks more like the team is getting ready to play for a state title. No wonder these young men strive for greatness when they have a head coach like Joe Gaither. He teaches his players to not only keep their body strong, but that a strong mind will take them further than a basketball court. “The academics here are challenging and we expect to win championships so to put it into perspective, the kids know it doesn’t come easy.� Gaither said. One of the best kept secrets to Catholics program has been a transplanted  Lithuanian student by the name of Mindaugas Markevicius. Trying to pronounce his name may take a couple of tries but he says, “just call me M-Dog, that’s what everyone calls me here.� This 6�3 senior, who recently turned eighteen, maintains a 3.2 GPA and scored a 910 on his SAT’s. He will take the TOFL exam on Friday that will score his English literacy since English is not his first language. Moreover, this outstanding student athlete has contributed over 1200 points in his two years with the Celtics, making him a wanted man for several colleges that plan on taking a closer look. Coach Gaither is planning on visits with him to Longwood College and Milligan,  among others. Long Island University and Middle Tennessee State are both coming to Roanoke to either watch tapes or for a full work out. “Milligan has already offered me a full scholarship,� Markevicius said . He is expecting a similar offer from Hampden-Sydney following the results of his TOEFL exam, which would qualify him for an International Merit Scholarship. He is hosted by Angela and Patrick King, along with their son, John Michael, who is also a senior at Catholic, and five yearold daughter, Lillie. “Lillie is always cheering me on

when I play or practice,� Markevicius said . “She calls me ‘brother,’ I like that.� Markevicius does all that he can to stay in touch with his family back in Lithuania. He uses the Internet and a web cam through a program called Skype to video conference with them almost daily. Missing his mother’s cooking is foremost in his mind, but he is enjoying his time in the United States and wants to continue to play basketball and finish his education here. “My family worries{about me}, especially my mom, but I’m really happy about being here and so are my parents,� he said. “It was a hard decision to leave but I love it.� In addition to his parents in Lithuania, he has two younger sisters aged thirteen and two years old. Markevicius started playing ball at age 8 in Lithuania when a friend of his father’s, who was a basketball coach, asked him if he was interested. In Lithuania, there are no school teams. You have schools just to receive an education and then you have schools just for basketball, so he was very busy doing both. There are agents that scout players for the States and if you are  talented enough they will offer you a place to stay with a host family. If he could play college ball anywhere he said his choice would be UCLA. His favorite pro team is the Los Angeles Lakers. In the last two years Markevicius has made every All-Tournament Team and will most likely be named 1st Team All State for the Virginia Independent School division this year. He will declare his intentions by mid-April, if not before, but he will consider all options carefully, with the guidance of Coach Gaither. Graduation is set at Catholic for June 7, which will reunite him with his mother, father and oldest sister as they make the trip to Roanoke from Lithuania. After graduation his plans include re-

turning home to practice for the Lithuanian National Team with the hope of eventually playing again for the European Championship Team, for which he has previously been a Captain. Then he will report to the college stateside  that is lucky enough to get a commitment from this well rounded, likable athlete. With his positive outlook and hard work ethics, success will hopefully find him wherever the road leads him. Roanoke Catholic was not only blessed to have one Lithuanian player, but two this season. Domas Rinksalis is a junior in his first year and is being hosted by Becky and Taz McDole, along with their two daughters. He is seventeen and stands about 6�4 with plenty of talent on the court. Domas was found in a camp the same way that his countryman, Markevicius, was and in fact, the two had played in Lithuania against each other before coming to the US. They are from towns approximately 200 miles apart but both agree it is nice to have someone to speak to in their native language – they also share similar appreciations in regard to life here. Rinksalis will be staying a total of two years with his host family and is looking forward to his future. He has one sister and his parents in Lithuania and admits that his mother misses him the most and makes him email her daily. He misses the girls back home, saying that they are different from girls here, but finds it hard to describe in detail. His hardest class is British Literature but is taking Spanish and said, “I like it, it’s easy for me. There are a lot of good things here, sometimes it is frustrating, but overall, it’s great.� he said. “Great� will be having his welcome talent on the court for Catholic again next season - the future looks bright for the Celtics.

Fr i d a y , M a rc h 2 8 a t 3 : 0 0 P M 5 2 8 ¹ A c re s O f fe re d i n 1 4 Tra c t s Attention developers, investors and individuals looking for acreage tracts in Bedford County. The Sieverdes Farm is located in Forest, Virginia, the most sought after area of Bedford County. This is your opportunity to purchase acreage tracts in this wonderful community which is surrounded by high end subdivisions, making it ideal for development. Part of the property is covered with mature timber and the rest open pasture land. Tracts range in size from 1.07 to 92¹ acres. 5% Buyer’s Premium applies.

Auction Sale Site is the Forest Recreation Center For More Information, Contact Russell Seneff

VA #321

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Preview at Your Leisure. Auctioneers will be On Site for Open Houses on March 11, 16 and 22 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Auctioneer will be on Tract 8.

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Location: 2223 Wycliff Avenue, SW Roanoke 24014 Directions from Tanglewood Mall: Take Franklin Rd. and then make a right onto Avenham. At the end of Avenham make right on Broadway, right on 22nd st. and then an immediate right on Wycliff where you’ll see the house on the right.

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Smith Mountain Lake 2 Valuable Real Estate Auctions

By Willow Rosenblatt willow@theroanokestar.com

Pitch and catch Spring training is underway and the season not far off. Lucian Grove, left, an outfielder for the Patriots baseball team, warms up on the mound. Patrick Henry plays Glenvar in their first game of the season.

Sale held April 5th, 2008 Auction Sale Site is the John W. Elkins and Company Auction Gallery in Glade Hil, VA

Sale 1: 42.5¹ acres Offered in 10 Tracts at 12:00 Noon 3,814¹ feet of Lake Frontage - Sold Without Reserve The estate of A.P. Davis will be sold without reserve - subject only to approval from the Franklin County Circuit Court. Located across the lake from the Water’s Edge, this pristine property is within minutes of marinas, restaurants and the State Park. The property is ideal for development, a family retreat or individual home sites.

Sale 2: 17.8Âą acres Offered in 4 Tracts at 2:30 PM 2,400Âą feet of Lake Frontage

2 beautiful waterfront homes offered with a unique peninsula waterfront tract and an additional lake lot. Located across the lake from Magnum Point Marina, these tracts offer you a chance to experience lake living at its best. For More Information, Contact Russell Seneff (VA#1185) VA #321 5% Buyer’s Premium

540-342-3560 800-551-3588 www.woltz.com

Open Houses: Preview either property at your leisure. Auctioneers will be On-Site Thursday, March 20 and Sundays, March 23 & 30. Sale 1: Open House from 12:00 to 3:00 PM Sale 2: Open House from 3:30 to 6:00 PM


Page 10 | The Roanoke Star-Sentinel | 3/14/08

Spring athletics get underway at William Fleming & Faith Christian

On Wednesday, March 5th, The Warriors (22-2) met Grace Christian School of Sanford, NC (24-12) in their first game. The Warriors fell behind 16-20 at halftime, but in the third quarter they held Grace to 3 points and were able to establish a five point lead. Faith had 19 steals for the game and Rachel Nymeyer scored a game high 19 points to lead the Warriors. Rachel Sherman locked down Lydia Kruse, the leading scorer (18 points) for Grace, in the second half. They then pulled away for a 49-33 victory over Grace Christian. Final: Faith Christian School 49, Grace Christian School (Sanford, NC) 33 On Thursday, March 6th, The Warriors (23-2) met Olathe Christian School of Olathe, KS (30-2) in

Final: Olathe Christian School (Olathe, KS) 53, Faith Christian School 27 On Friday, March 7th, The Warriors (23-3) met Harvester Christian Academy of Douglasville, GA (23-1) in their third game for third place. The Warriors led 10-7 in the first quarter, but were pressured into 15 turnovers in the first half. The Warriors shot very poorly but played hard and never quit throughout the game. It was evident that Faith had lost their

Little Foxes at Star City, den of vipers southern family-style of capitalism.” The play is set in the year 1900, with distant echoes of the Civil War and pre-war plantation life still on people’s minds. The Star City production featured a few southern accents that were hard to decipher at times and some mismatched characters that are supposed to be married but seem too different in age perhaps. That however is part of the charm of very-off-off Broadway theater. The Little Foxes, once made into a movie starring Bette Davis, had a plot that had to be followed closely at times (a short synopsis in the playbill would have helped some of us with thicker heads) but in general for $10 or less (seniors, students are $6) another side of the theater experience in Roanoke can be experienced in the capable hands of Semones - a Hollins-educated playwright and Roanoke native – and Ferguson, a Kentuckian who likes to tell the story that it took them 41 years to get a flat tire fixed in New York City so they could work their way back to Roanoke. Local high school students figured in The Little Foxes, with Patrick Henry sophomore Amy Freidman portraying one of the main characters in a play where the women characters get stronger as the plot moves along. Freidman also played piano on stage and is classically trained. “We got lucky,” says Ferguson, who was going to use taped piano music until Freidman auditioned and won the part of Alexandra Giddens. William Fleming junior Sarah Furrow handled many of the technical

United Way distributes drug cards

Coach Pat Wolfe reported that The Warriors “were excited about finishing in fourth place considering that Faith was a Division III team competing at a higher Division II level. It was a great experience and the team gives God all the glory for the victories and defeats.” The team was extremely proud of receiving the Team Sportsmanship award which was selected by all the other competing teams.

Local Kroger grocery stores are partnering with United Way of Roanoke Valley to distribute free FamilyWize discount cards that offer immediate discounts on prescription drugs at participating pharmacies.  People without health insurance or prescription drug coverage can use the FamilyWize cards, which will be distributed by United Way of Roanoke Valley, partner agencies and other community organizations. Those covered by Medicare, Medicare or private insurance plans are not eligible. Kroger Mid-Atlantic pharmacist Tia Daniels estimated the savings at about 20% for customers that use the FamilyWize discount card. “We’re very pleased with the results [so far],” said Daniels, speaking at a Wednesday news conference,

held next to the Tanglewood Kroger pharmacy.  United Way board chairman Barry Henderson said community feedback indicated that the “cost of health care and prescriptions [are one] of the greatest concerns.”  Local United Way president Frank Rogan said the objective was simple: for those without health insurance or medicine coverage, “to help reduce the cost of prescription medications.” United Way has distributed 17,000 FamilyWize cards nationally said Rogan.  “Our goal right now is to let the community know the card is available.” In Roanoke City, CVS, K-Mart, Friendship Pharmacy, Blue Ridge Apothecary and Lipes Pharmacy will make the free FamilyWize discount cards available.

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T

chores backstage and works on productions at her school as well. Fellow Fleming student Dylan Amick portrayed Cal the servant in The Little Foxes. Ferguson said some performances were near sellouts. Next up is Almost Home from April 25-May 18, written by Karon Sue Semones and based in part on Huntington Place, a historic home in Roanoke. “I wrote Almost Home after 9/11,”’ says Semones, who was running a theater then in the area with Ferguson. “Four of our tenants worked in the [Twin] Towers and each had an explanation of why they didn’t go that day,” says Semones, who calls Almost Home a farce.  She felt the world could use some laughter after September 11. “It’s about a Southern grandmother who leaves her two spoiled granddaughters her mansion.   They are forced to live as Southern Belles for two week in order to inherit the homespun estate. Each discovers who they are and where they want to be. Add in a ghost or two and host of various mayhem including a Mafia hit man, and you’ve got an evening of pure fun.” When she lived in New York, Semones and her dog inadvertently wound up on FBI surveillance tapes while they were tracking mobsters in the neighborhood – and she once got flowers from a member of the Gambino crime family. Sounds like the makings of yet another production at Star City Playhouse. By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

Final: Harvester Christian Academy (Douglasville, GA) 56, Faith Christian School 43

Faith places fourth at Nationals Game Summaries:

TheRoanokeStar.com

legs by the second half. At the end of the third quarter, the Warriors were down by only four points but were again not able to mount a run in the second half. The game was close until the last few minutes of the game when Faith had to begin fouling to stop the clock. Harvester pulled away by hitting 9 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter. Christina Nymeyer scored a game high 21 points for Faith, and Christina Sams led Harvester with 16 points. Faith finished in fourth place.

By Jason Hawes jasonhawessports@gmail.com

their second game. The Warriors were pressured into 17 turnovers in the first half and never mounted their signature run in the second half. Coach Pat Wolfe reported that, “Olathe was by far the best team that Faith has ever competed against.” Olathe had three Division I college level prospects in their starting line-up. Two of the three boasts 36 inch vertical leaps. Leah Cotton led Olathe with 31 points while Rachel Sherman led Faith with 8 points. Olathe went on to win the Girls Division II championship game on Friday.

Marlow Ferguson and wife Karon Sue Semones have performed quite a makeover at 2914 Williamson Road, turning the back of an old warehouse into a classy little venue for live theater. The Star City Playhouse, which appears to hold perhaps 75 at best, features a high ceiling and steel beams painted black. Ferguson, who also takes tickets, says he and his wife did most of the work. On stage most recently at Star City was The Little Foxes, written by Lillian Hellman. Before the curtain went up one Sunday Ferguson called Hellman, who was born in 1906 and died in 1984 “probably the best female playwright ever.”   He directed Foxes at Star City, and put out the cookies and coffee for patrons. (from e-notes.com) “Lillian Hellman’s cynical play of family greed and revenge, The Little Foxes, is her most popular piece of drama, and it is the one most frequently revived. It was acclaimed an instant hit after a hugely successful opening night in 1939, even though drama and literary critics then, as now, disagreed over whether the melodramatic story of the greed-driven Hubbard family succeeds either as a morality play or as a satire. Certainly moral dissembling lies at the heart of the play: the Hubbard siblings steal, deceive, and plot against each other in their efforts to invest in one of the first cotton mills to industrialize the New South, a plan that stands to win them millions of dollars…the play voices Marxist disapproval of the Hubbard form

These two schools had phenomenal spring sport seasons highlighted by Faith Christian girl’s basketball team winning state and placing 4th at nationals and then William Fleming’s boy’s basketball team having fans at the edge of their seats trying to win back to back state championships with 18 wins in AAA this year. Now it’s time for spring sports and the athletic directors Mr. Elliott (WF) and Mr. Lawrence (FCS) won’t see much of a break heading into Spring. Fleming starts it all up on Tuesday March 11th with Baseball, Softball, and Tennis (boys and girls) with bouts against Bassett at home for the softball and girls tennis teams. The baseball and boys tennis teams will be traveling to Bassett High school for their games. The boy’s soccer team will battle it out with Magna Vista on Friday March 14th on their home field. The boys and girls track and field teams headed up by division II football prospects Marcus Haggins and Amondre Johnson for the boy’s team and Kayla Lewis (the shot put pro) on the girls squad will take on Pulaski County April 2nd. Due to extensive construction taking place at William Fleming the team does not have a track and will not have a home meet this season. Faith Christian will field boys and girls’ teams in both soccer and tennis. The soccer teams will start things off for FCS with the girls match at home against New Covenant School March 25th at 5 p.m. on their new soccer field. The boys will have their first home game on April 4th taking on Timberlake Christian School out of Lynchburg at 5:30 p.m. Faith Christian athletics operates in the Virginia Association of Christian Athletics (VACA) and is in the Southern division with seven other teams who will compete with for the conference championship. The boy’s soccer team has just moved to a spring sport from a fall sport to accommodate other conference commitments. The Warriors and Colonels are ready to compete and showcase their skills as these 11 teams all strive for excellence.

The Faith Christian Warriors Girls’ Varsity Basketball team competed well in their first National Basketball Tournament.

HSMM 540-857-3100 Engineering Technician This person will work with experienced Hardware Engineers to perform complex PCB modifications, review assembly drawings, build test platforms, and assemble products. This person will also be called on to help engineers with their Hardware Acceptance Testing especially environmental tests. In addition this person will be called on periodically to help the Design Verification team perform Systems Acceptance Testing of our products.* High School Diploma required with a minimum of one (1) year experience in a technical position repairing and testing electronic equipment. JDSU 240-404-2211 karen.mullikin@jdsu.com Entry Level Maintenance This entry level maintenance position requires performing preventative maintenance for the assembly and assembly molding departments and minimal maintenance throughout the facility. Position requires HS diploma and 2-3 years experience in the maintenance field. Must understand basic electrical/electronics, schematics and other technical drawings. Must be able to operate Mulitmeters, Amp probe, various hand held tools, forklift, scissor lift, etc. Must be able to life 50 lbs. Express Personnel 540-389-8978 Engineer 2 – Traffic Traffic Engineering technical design for the preparation of traffic impact analyses, signal design, traffic modeling, and equipment specification. Oversight of junior engineers in the preparation of the above tasks. Management of projects. Bachelor of Science degree in Civil engineering. 8 years of experience in traffic engineering design with experience working with VDOT and municipal clients. HSMM 540-857-3100 Hardware Design Engineer JDSU, headquartered in San Jose, CA, has an opportunity for an Engineer interested in development for our Blacksburg, Virginia site. Become a key contributor in supporting the design and sustaining of all products and projects. In this role, you will lead a small, elite team developing products from concept to completion. BSEE or equivalent experience · Digital design experience in - Microcontroller/processor, DSP, Programmable Logic (FPGA, VHDL, Verilog,

sign experience in multilayer designs (required) JDSU 240-404-2211 karen.mullikin@jdsu.com Sales Rep New and Pre-Owned Vehicle Sales. High income potential with established dealership with great reputation in the Roanoke Salem area. Income ranges with current staff range from $45000 to over $100000 Pinkerton Chevrolet 540-562-1337 - smcdaniel@ pinkertonchevy.com Senior Computer Engineer Candidates must possess strong leadership skills and outstanding technical skills. Responsibilities include ability to resolve complex technical issues, design computer hardware, design and test computer systems, and impact product roadmap strategy. Expertise required in Microsoft operating systems and applications. Unix experience a plus. Excellent communication and customer service skills, innovative thinking, and the ability to manage competing demands. Position requires a B.S. in Computer Engineering or other engineering discipline with an emphasis on Computer Technology and at least 3 years of experience in a manufacturing or technology field. Masters degree and technical certifications preferred. CCS-Inc. 540-382-4234 hr@ccsinc.com Software Developer Position is responsible for the full lifecycle development of all internally developed reports and applications, administration of CRM and ERP systems, and administration of our internal and external facing websites. Ideal candidates will have 3+ years experience developing database driven web applications and reports, XML, ASP, HTML, JavaScript, IIS 5 and IIS 6. Computer Science or related degree preferred; knowledge of Microsoft SharePoint a plus. CCS-Inc. 540-382-4234 hr@ccsinc.com Police Officer Full time position to perform law enforcement functions include processing citations, effect an arrest using handcuffs and other restraints, operate a law enforcement vehicle during emergency situations involving high speeds, and other related duties. Town of Blacksburg - 540-558-0721 - tharless@blacksburg.gov


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Regional music- the faces of Nashville- at the Art Museum

The Art Museum of Western Nashville musicians are now on Virginia kicked off a program exhibit at Center in the Square last week that will be in full gear through March 23. by the time the new Taubman Mike Seeger plays a number of Museum of Art opens this fall. instruments, including a banjo That’s when music of the region fashioned from a large gourd. will be heard on Saturday nights, Art Museum executive director with musicians to be recorded Georganne Bingham said Seeger for posterity. CD’s will also be might teach a class on creating produced and sold at the new such a banjo at the new facility. $66 million edifice on Salem Avenue, scheduled to open in star team.qxd 4/26/2006 3:25 PM Page 1 November.   Mike Seeger, half brother to legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, opened the music series last week on a twin bill he shared with photographer Jim Maguire, whose photographs of

“This is a monumental, historical occasion,� said Bingham of the Art Museum’s foray into music. Seeger played guitar, the banjo and even a small mouth harp (Jew’s harp) after Maguire talked about some of his portraits, most of which came about after he shot them for album covers.

From Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, the New Jersey born Maguire, a long time Nashville resident, has photographed a Who’s Who of country music superstars and session players in black and white. Stanley, the bluegrass legend from Franklin County, pulled up for his shoot

in a Jaguar convertible. “I grew up listening to the Stanley Brothers,� recalled Maguire, who as a recent transplant to Nashville in the 70’s was allowed to shoot the last days of the Ryman Auditorium when it was home to the Grand Ole Opry radio program. Getting subjects to relax for the camera often

just involved “putting a guitar in their hands,� he told several dozen people that gathered to hear him speak last week. Nashville Portraits by Jim Maguire is on exhibit at the Art Museum of Western Virginia through March 23. By Gene Marrano gmarrano@cox.net

Tired of the ordinary? Looking for a change? of the ordinary? Looking for a change? Craving a fresh new start?    Craving a fresh newTired start?

   Botetourt Dems back Rasoul Following in the footsteps of their chairman Jim Fain, the Botetourt County Democratic Committee recently endorsed Sam Rasoul in his bid for the 6th District Congressional Seat. This is the first time a full committee has voted to endorse a candidate in this 2008 Congressional election. The Sam Rasoul campaign is hopeful that this committee will be a strong leading voice in encouraging other local democratic committees to do the same. Rasoul said “I am very thankful towards the Botetourt County Committee. They are a dedicated organization that believes in the progressive message which my campaign stands for.�

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