Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home school ... support group versus co-op

As a member of the SWAC area home school support group for 10 years, I watched as other home schoolers around the state started co-op groups and some eventually lost their support groups as a result. It was a concern at the time because each provided something different for the families involved.

A friend in the PEACH (Parent Educators of Augusta County Homes) group sent over the following from this month's newsletter because it mentioned that while president of PEACH, I advocated the importance of preserving the support group. It seems that is still relevant today:
A Bit from the Board

The other day, I received a phone call from a homeschool mom in Fluvanna County. She was inquiring about PEACH Skate and was anxious to be able to attend with her children. They had re-located from North Carolina several years prior and were still missing all the benefits of their support group back home. In the course of our conversation, not only did I learn that there is no skating rink in the Charlottesville area, but that it’s also lacking a homeschool support group.

I was flabbergasted. After the initial shock, a mix of sympathy and gratefulness sprung up within me. Sympathy for the home educators of Charlottesville and surrounding counties and a sense of gratitude for what we’ve been blessed with here.

I recalled what a former PEACH president, Lynn Mitchell, had passionately written about in her newsletter address to PEACH members more than once. She urged us all to support our support group and to not let our dedication be trumped by our participation in a co-op.

I felt that to be a timely reminder for this day as well. As you peruse through our needs for volunteers and coordinators on the front page, please remember the mom in Fluvanna county. Without the many hands of PEACH members making light the workload, we would be in her shoes. --Kim, PEACH Newsletter Editor
The reasons are all still there why it is good to have support groups in addition to co-ops. While co-ops offer a structured learning environment, support groups provide a less-structured social network for parents and students.

Many thanks to all the home school parents who volunteer their time for the good of the group. Without them nothing would run, nothing would be provided, nothing would be available. Without volunteers, PEACH would not exist.

The home school community is a special group of friends and I thank them for inviting me to be their keynote speaker at the recent PEACH Senior Banquet. More about that in a follow-up post.

Swannanoa ... Afton Mountain mansion

Swannanoa, Major James Dooley's Afton Mountaintop home circa 1912.

Barb looks at the ornate front door. She and I stopped by last week to check out the schedule for upcoming tours.

Visitors leaving Shenandoah National Park on the Skyline Drive or meandering along the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Rockfish Gap at Afton Mountain may do a double-take as they catch a glimpse through the trees of white marble towers. Most have no idea of the grand mansion named Swannanoa that sits nearby.

The property, located just off I-64 between Waynesboro and Charlottesville, Virginia, at the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Augusta and Nelson counties, was the summer villa of Major James Dooley, a millionaire and philanthropist who also owned the Maymont mansion located on the James River in Richmond.

An opulent white Italianate marble mansion built in 1912, Swannanoa is a curiosity to hikers and travelers who have sometimes found their way off the Parkway and up the long private drive, amazed at this seemingly out-of-place structure in the middle of nowhere.

Construction began in 1904 and it took 300 artisans eight years to build, following the popular style of the time preferred by the industrialists of the late 1800s and early 1900s. No expense was spared to create extensive terraced Italian gardens, fountains, and an ornate stain glass window located on the magnificent marble balcony landing.

Embracing the latest in technology available at the time, Tiffany windows and gold indoor plumbing fixtures were installed and, as the first residence in Nelson County to have electricity, it also boasted an elevator.

To complete the ornate Italianate style, the house has such features as towers, arches, capped columns, balconies, brackets, cornices, and dentil molding creating an artistic feast for the eye.

Swannanoa is majestic even in its rundown condition, but extensive repairs would be necessary to restore it to its original opulent state. Marble slabs have fallen off stairway walls and the house itself. Walkways are cracked. A recent visit revealed a broken window, and marble steps have cracks that require attention to navigate.

For the curious, weekend tours of the property will begin in April and continue through October for those who want a closer view of a place that is a reminder of an earlier time in history when millionaires lived on Afton Mountain.
See more photos at Swannanoa ... the formal gardens.

Cross-posted at The Washington Examiner

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
24 March 2010

Coming out of hibernation

The sign at Swannanoa Golf Course on Afton Mountain said it will reopen tomorrow.

This little guy was still asleep in the compost pile but got a rude awakening last week.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
24 March 2010

Get well, Barbara Bush

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, 84, was expected to be released today from a Houston area hospital after spending a few days under observation after not feeling well. Our prayers and best wishes go with her for a complete recovery.

McDonnell announces new jobs in Waynesboro

At a time when Waynesboro and the surrounding communities have been reeling from the loss of jobs in tough economic conditions, the news today announced by Governor Bob McDonnell about Polymer Group's expansion in Waynesboro is good for local citizens.

Bringing 41 new jobs and investing at least $65 million, Polymer Group is "one of the world's leading producers of nonwoven fabrics." According to the press release from the Governor's office:
[Polymer Group] plans to invest at least $65 million to expand its existing facility in the City of Waynesboro. The investment would include the purchase of high-technology equipment to establish a new manufacturing line and increase production, and the expansion of the current building in order to accommodate the new line. The project would also create 41 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the project.

"An investment of this magnitude and the creation of 41 new jobs is important for Waynesboro and important for the manufacturing sector in Virginia,” said Governor McDonnell. “PGI has experienced success in the Commonwealth, and this planned expansion enables the company to increase both production and product capabilities with state-of-the-art new equipment. The project ensures that PGI will continue to build on its progress in Waynesboro.”

Speaking about today’s announcement, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling remarked, “Needless to say, we are delighted that PGI has decided to expand their operations in Waynesboro and Virginia. This expansion will result in a significant capital investment and create many new, high paying jobs in the Shenandoah Valley. I enjoyed working with PGI officials to help make this expansion a reality, and I applaud their recognition that Virginia is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Hopefully, this announcement will by the first of many more to come as we work to get our economy moving again and create the jobs we need to secure a more prosperous economic future for the people of Virginia.”

PGI is a global, technology-driven developer, producer and marketer of engineered materials. With the broadest range of process technologies in the nonwoven fabrics industry, PGI is a global supplier to leading consumer and industrial product manufacturers. The company operates 15 manufacturing and converting facilities in nine countries throughout the world.

Veronica "Ronee" Hagen, Chief Executive Officer of PGI stated, “This planned expansion in product capability and capacity is part of PGI's ongoing strategy to provide superior solutions to the marketplace and meet our customers' needs. The efforts of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and local Waynesboro officials to address and meet our unique needs through their combined incentive package have allowed us to make this planned expansion possible in Waynesboro."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with both the City of Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Delegate Steve Landes also assisted with the project. Governor McDonnell approved a $750,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Waynesboro with the project. Governor McDonnell also approved $750,000 in a performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide new job training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Waynesboro Mayor, Timothy D. Williams, noted his enthusiasm for the project and called the expansion a much needed boost for the Waynesboro economy. “I appreciate the cooperative effort on the part of representatives of PGI, the Commonwealth and the City of Waynesboro to land this expansion. Our community is proud of its manufacturing heritage and we believe that PGI will help us secure a healthy future in the manufacturing sector.”
Maybe other new job opportunities will follow.

Chick-Fil-A coming to Waynesboro

Waynesboro continues to become the shopping hub of the SWAC area with the announcement that Chick-Fil-A has broken ground for a stand-alone restaurant at the Waynesboro Town Center beside I-64.

A new McDonald's opened there recently, joining McAlister's Deli, at a site that has become popular with locals because of the Target, Books-a-Million, Michael's, Kohl's, and other shopping outlets. The addition of Chick-Fil-A, to be open by late summer, is welcome news.

Cleaning house

It's that time of year. We'll be saying that in November, too....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring in Staunton

Today was a glorious spring day in Staunton, Virginia!

Jonquils bloom in the Gate B. Flanders Memorial Garden next to the railroad overpass.

Panies were in full bloom at the Water Can at the Overpass.

What a goriously beautiful spring day in the central Shenandoah Valley with sunny skies, temps around 60, and a feeling of warm weather on its way. The breeze was a little cool but the forecast was for 80 degrees by the weekend.

While out and about, I met up with Kelly for lunch at the Depot Grille at the old train station in historic downtown Staunton. Dana aka Waitperson Extraordinaire waited on us as we enjoyed salads on the porch on what was an unusually light middle-of-the-day crowd. Kelly used crayons to draw and color hearts on the trademark butcher block table cover ... I grabbed a crayon and jotted notes on my side, tore it off, folded it up, and tucked away in my purse for later. Butcher block paper artwork can be seen in the entry of the Depot and there is some good stuff out there including several by SWAC blogger Bob from The Journey.

Talk is about the new Staunton Republican Committee Chairman Alex Davis who is young, energetic, and willing to work hard to pull together a badly splintered local Party. It will be exciting to hear about all the electeds who have contacted him to say congratulations. Alex doesn't talk the talk ... he walks the walk. Many thanks to former Augusta County Chairman Kurt Michael for chairing the mass meeting and running a smooth transition.

Staunton is a small city so you never know who you will see (or who will see you) while out and about. Yesterday we spied the Staunton News Leader crew in Clock Tower on Beverley Street enjoying some after-business refreshments. Editorial cartoonist Jim McCloskey and city editor Cindy Corell were probably waiting on more colleagues to join them as we headed out. I haven't always agreed with Jim about some of his political cartoons over the years but I liked the one he did about Francis Chester and the county board of supervisors using a hatchet to go after a fly on their collective forehead, and the one about being screwed over county reassessments.

Last night late there was a light rain as I drove by the Wharf and I noticed people sitting on the Statler Brother Stools located at the north end of the parking lot. It was dark. It was raining. Hmm.

It's spring in the Shenandoah Valley....

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
30 March 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway is ready for spring

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers many opportunities especially now that spring finds roadways reopened after a long winter and with their 75th anniversary celebration underway.

Check out my two blog posts about the BRP over at the Washington Examiner:

- Blue Ridge Parkway reopens after harsh winter
- Swannanoa ... Afton Mountain mansion

I'll have photos up later of my trek with Barb to Swannanoa last week as the greening of spring returns to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Congrats to Alex Davis Staunton Republican chairman

Del. Dickie Bell addressed the 60+ folks who attended the Staunton Republican mass meeting Monday night.

The meeting started with prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

A large crowd turned out to support Alex Davis showing he has the ability to grow the Party in the city of Staunton by reaching out to all ages.

Preparing for the meeting.

Thanks to Kelly, Joy, and Dave who manned the sign-in table.

Alex Davis thanked everyone who turned out to support him.
Del. Dickie Bell gave a brief update from the just-completed General Assembly.

Staunton Councilwoman Andrea Oakes received applause when she said the current bad economy was not the time to raise taxes.

Former Augusta County GOP Chairman Kurt Michael ran the meeting while Joy acted as secretary.

The meeting ran smoothly as some participants stood along the walls of the City Council Chamber meeting room.

Closing prayer by Alex.

After the meeting, Trixie Averill, running for Chairman of the 6th Congressional District, spoke to a roomful of delegates excited to support her at the convention to be held in Lynchburg on May 22.

Many thanks to Kelly, Joy, Dave, Will, Jakki, Kenny, Kimberly, Tracey, John, Kurt, and Alex Avery for their help in running a smooth meeting. There were familiar faces as well as new in the crowd.

On the morning after the mass meeting, new Chairman Alex Davis was excited about the direction of the Party and had already reached out to new potentional Party members. For more information about the Staunton Republican Committee and how to become involved, contact Alex at

Bob Stuart with the Waynesboro News Virginian covered the meeting and has an interview with Alex Davis in the Tuesday edition, page A2.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
29 March 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rob Bell's office windows smashed

From Del. Rob Bell....

Many of you have called or e-mailed us about the bricks that were thrown through my office window on Thursday night. The vandalism resulted in broken glass being scattered through the room where my legislative assistant Anna works, and it has received attention in local papers and the Washington Post.

The most important news is that no one was hurt. After spending Friday talking to police and picking up glass, things are back and running today. We appreciate everyone who stopped by to help clean up, especially Eric Seitz, who helped put plywood in the windows. Total damages were estimated by the police at $1,000.

The police investigation is ongoing. If you have any information, please call the Albemarle Police Department and ask Robert Warfel (434) 972-4059 mailbox 3884# (Case# -- 2010-02364).

This was the second such incident in our community since the Health Care vote. I think I speak for all of us when I say that this sort of thing has to stop before someone gets badly hurt. We have had propane gas lines cut and now bricks thrown into office buildings. I am hopeful that the police will catch all the perpetrators so that they can be prosecuted. In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to make their voices heard at the ballot box, not through things like this.

Once we get everything fixed, I hope you will again feel comfortable stopping by to say hello or to help with projects. It remains a privilege to serve you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu ... defender of freedom

Artwork compliments of Bob at The Journey.

See Obama snubs another American ally.

Fog alert on Afton Mountain ... rainy night in the Shenandoah Valley

It has been a rainy Sunday in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains. As a result, there is a possibility of thick fog on Afton Mountain so extra caution is required on I-64 and Rt. 250 crossing the Rockfish Gap.



Staunton News Leader censorship?

Ah, the Staunton News Leader. They have been accused of censoring letters to the editor for years. Their left-slanted opinion is legend in these areas and is the reason many have abandoned the newspaper while others, including myself, have turned to the Waynesboro News Virginian. After three years, I am still very happy with the NV's fair-and-balanced reporting.

Yankee Phil had given the News Leader a fair chance over the years because he knew the publisher who is a neighbor. But he submitted a letter to the editor this week that had two whole paragraphs chopped off the end, and he's not happy.

And I'll tell you this: It takes a lot to get Phil upset because, as long as I've known him, this retired cop laughs quickly and angers slowly.

The NL changed the hard-hitting effectiveness of Phil's LTE, and he responded:
The worst part of the editorial was the last paragraph, concerning the comparison of the Tea Party movement to racism. The Democrat party is and has been the party that divides people by race. It is the home of Ku Klux Klanner Robert Byrd. It is the party of Jim Crow and Black Codes. It was Democrat Sen.Harry Reid who called President Obama " a light skinned" man without "a negro dialect". President Clinton said that President Obama would be fetching coffee for him and Ted Kennedy.

The very first Black, Mexican, and female members of Congress were all Republicans. It was the first Republican President who sent Americans to die to end the evil of slavery. It was a Republican who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. It was Democrats who filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Acts. It was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen wrote the language for the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1968 Civil Rights Bill. A. Phillip Randolph, a Republican organized Republican Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's March on DC for his famous "I have a dream" speech. It is the Republican Party that wants people to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
There is a word limit for the NL so not sure if that came into play but it sounds as if they may not have given Phil the opportunity to rewrite his LTE, a courtesy I have been offered by the NL in the past. Phil asked:
Please let them know that you don't appreciate CENSORSHIP. Send in your own Letter to the Editor here or write the Executive Editor Davis Fritz at
See Phil's original Letter to the Editor here.

Who will take Matt Lohr's delegate seat?

I was talking with GOP Hokie the other day about the Matt Lohr seat that will be open when Del. Lohr joins the McDonnell administration as Commissioner of Agriculture on May 1. Today he has posted his thoughts at Virginia Virtucon about the race and who the candidates may be from both sides of the aisle. Many folks have asked me about this race so I will be pointing them to GOP Hokie's post for the latest news.

Tea Party Express bus egged in Nevada ... message being delivered to DC

First Amendment rights for thee.... The Tea Party Express and crowds estimated up to 30,000 met Saturday in Searchlight, NV, home of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who helped jam health care reform down the throats of America, to kick off the latest "Tea Party Express -- Just Kick Them Out" cross-country tour to bring attention to ObamaCare and other overreaching government programs. They were reportedly met with eggs thrown at the bus by those who oppose their freedom of speech as Democrat SEIU members held directional signs pointing attendees in the wrong direction.

The Tea Party Express is carrying a message throughout America:
“You, the politicians in Washington, have failed We The People with your bailouts, out-of-control deficit spending, government takeovers of sectors of the economy, Cap & Trade, government-run health care, and higher taxes! If you thought we were just going to quietly go away, or that this tea party movement would be just a passing fad, you were mistaken. We’re taking our country back!”
The grassroots movement continues.

Gloucester citizens appeal to VA Supreme Court

~Citizens fined for trying to remove county supervisors~

A group of 40 Gloucester County citizens, upset at what they considered unjust real estate assessments, circulated petitions in 2008 to have county supervisors removed from their jobs. The Washington Examiner reported that a County judge fined them $2,000 each:
The 40 Gloucester residents circulated petitions in 2008 to have members of the county board of supervisors removed from office after several were indicted on charges of meeting in secret.

Substitute Circuit Judge Westbrook Parker dismissed the charges and the removal petitions and assessed the fines after ruling the residents were politically motivated. The fines are intended to defray the supervisors' legal expenses.

"I've never seen the judicial system abused so much for purely political ends," Parker said in his ruling. "This should not happen in America."
I respectfully disagree with Judge Parker because, what "should not happen in America," is judges and elected representatives fining American citizens for daring to question their elected officials, as guaranteed in the First Amendment.

This is reminiscent of the real estate assessment battle currently going on in Augusta County where citizens and their lone pro bono lawyer are being crushed by the local government and sanctioned by a local judge ...

... where 600 citizens turned out on February 3, 2009, to hear how to fight back against high real estate assessments ... where 10,600 citizens signed petitions asking the Augusta Board of Supervisors to roll back assessments ...where over 1,000 -- the largest crowd ever -- turned out for a supervisor meeting on March 18, 2009, to protest those high assessments. They were met with arrogance and lectures from their elected representatives.

It would be good to see the 40 citizens from Gloucester successful in their appeal before the Virginia Supreme Court. It would restore their faith in government for many.

"Hail to God's Ambassador!" ... Palm Sunday 2010

"The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city, and a huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him, shouting, 'The Savior! God bless the King of Israel! Hail to God's Ambassador!' "

--John 12:12-13 (The Living Bible)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bob Goodlatte ... what does $1 trillion look like?

Congressman Bob Goodlatte talks with Christy Huffman at Shenandoah County GOP dinner.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-6th CD, VA) addressed those who attended Friday night's Shenandoah County Republican dinner. The 9-term representative was part of the Republican fight to prevent ObamaCare from passing but Democrats pushed it through on a partisan vote.

Even now, he said, 62% of Americans want Congressional Republicans to continue fighting the health care reform bill with a rally cry of, "Repeal and Replace."

While talking recently with a group of high school students, the subject of the health care reform bill and its costs came up ... and those students realized they were the ones on whose shoulder the huge debt would fall ... and the shoulders of their children.

I'm a visual learner so I loved the example the Congressman gave to help students visualize what $1 trillion looks likes. After all, most people will never see anything near that amount of money.

Imagine, he told the students, that you had a 4-inch stack of $1,000 bills and that was $1 million. Four inches high ... how high would the stack be to have $1 trillion? After all, $1 trillion was what it cost for the stimulus package that was passed by Democrats in 2009, the bill that was supposed to save and/or create 2 1/2 million jobs but has instead lost 3 million jobs.

How high a stack would it be for $1 trillion? The stack would be 63 MILES high ... right up into outer space!

That is quite a visual.

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
26 March 2010

The death of Congressman Stan Parris

Statement from RPV Chairman Pat Mullins....

"I was greatly saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Congressman Stan Parris. The Commonwealth of Virginia lost a great public servant, and I have lost a close personal friend. From his gallant service in the Korean War to his decades in public life, Congressman Parris will always be known for the way he always put country and Commonwealth ahead of self.

"I came to know Stan during his first run for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and I was immediately struck by his sense of humor and optimism, summed up in his first campaign slogan — 'Parris in the Springtime.'"

"Whether he was sitting on the Board of Supervisors, working in the committee rooms of the House of Delegates, or arguing his case on the floor of the House of Representatives, Stan was a tireless advocate for Northern Virginia. Anyone who uses the HOV lanes on I-395 or enjoys watching a sold-out NFL game at home owes Congressman Parris a debt of gratitude.

"His dedication to public service was matched only by his tenacity. Most freshman members of Congress would walk from public life away after suffering an electoral setback as serious as the one that befell Congressman Parris in 1974. But Stan came back, fought hard, and retook the 8th District, and held it for the GOP for another decade. From that first campaign in Fairfax to the impromptu debate with Jim Moran at city hall, I'm proud of every moment I was able to speak for and be associated with Stan Parris.

"We are all profoundly grateful for the life Stan lead, and for the time we were able to know him. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Martha, and his three children, Michael, Ann, and Susan."

Shenandoah County GOP dinner ... more guests at the Yellow Barn

Jon Comer, Wade Zirkle, Suzanne Curran

Daryl and Tara Bowman

Christy Huffman and Suzanne Curran

Tara Bowman with her mom, Peggy Huffman.

Del. Todd Gilbert talks with constituents after dinner.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte talks with constituents after dinner.

Trixie Averill, running for 6th District Chairman, during dinner.

Trixie Averill and Todd Gilbert.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
25 March 2010

Shenandoah County GOP dinner ... guests at the Yellow Barn

The Yellow Barn in Mt. Jackson welcomed guests of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee. Many thanks to Chairman Mike Monahan and Vice Chairman Jeremy McCleary for a wonderful event. Sue Hughes, president of the Republican Women, headed up the Silent Auction. Vito Gentile recognized notable faces in the crowd.

Speakers were Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, state Sen. Mark Obenshain, Del. Todd Gilbert, and RPV Chairman Pat Mullins.

I was invited to join Shenandoah County residents Suzanne Curran and Tara and Daryl Bowman at their table along with Tara's mom and sister, Peggy and Christy Huffman. The fellowship at the table was wonderful and I thank them for their warm hospitality. It was also good to see Ken Cruise, the "Mob Czar," who was part of the group that went on the 9/12 Taxpayer March to DC.

Christy Huffman talked with Pete Larkin, who works for Congressman Bob Goodlatte in Roanoke.

Jon Comer (left) and Wade Zirkle (right).

Jon is a fellow blogger and chairman of the Page County GOP. Wade started "Vets for Freedom" about six years ago, is a veteran of Iraq, and an all-around great guy. We thank him for his service to this country.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
25 March 2010

Shenandoah County GOP dinner ... Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling shared the stage with a Republican elephant. You've heard the saying, "The elephant in the room...." This huge stage prop shared the speaking platform with Friday night's speakers. Bill Bolling was the keynote ... and he did not ignore "the elephant in the room." He looked at it, pointed it out and laughingly said, "This is a happy elephant ... a strong elephant ... a conservative elephant." Dinner guests laughed ... it was a hoot.

The Lt. Governor went on to talk about last year's historic Republican wins in Virginia, admitting that a change in the national mood helped Virginia candidates move from an election outlook of +7 Democrats ... to an election night reality of +12 Republicans for a 20-point swing.

People, he said, are scared to death about the future of their country ... Washington is making promises and spending money we don't have. The national debt per household when Obama took office was $56,000; currently it is $72,000 per household; it is projected to be $170,000 per household by the year 2020.

Americans, he said, sent a message with Republican wins in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts in November of 2009. In 2010, Americans can change the direction of our country.

When we are Republicans, he said, we win. When we are Democrat Lite, we lose. We loved Ronald Reagan because he made us believe it was morning in American.

We have to reach beyond the GOP. Most people in Virginia today, he said, are not Republicans or Democrats. They are independents. They are worried about their jobs, their families, how they will survive. "We can win every part of Virginia if we stick with our beliefs," he said.

Leaders are those who lift us up rather than tear us down.

In 2010, Virginia Republicans were energized. We won. As the Lt. Governor's voice rose and echoed throughout the Yellow Barn, he emphasized that the government is subservient to the people ... not the other way around! "The future of America is in our hands. America will continue to be the Greatest Nation on Earth!"

Those in the crowd jumped to their feet in a standing ovation for a man who has been in Virginia leadership for years ... a man who came from humble beginnings ... a man who understands what Patrick Henry meant when he implored his fellow Virginians, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Many thanks to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling as he continues to inspire me in my volunteer work ... and as he continues to inspire others around the Commonwealth.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
26 March 2010

Shenandoah County GOP dinner ... RPV Chairman Pat Mullins

Pat Mullins, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, addressed those at the Shenandoah County GOP dinner. Many thanks to Chairman Mullins for his leadership.

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
26 March 2010