Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn afternoon road trip to apple country

Apple Country was calling this afternoon so after whittling away the morning, we decided to hit the road to Paugh’s Orchard in Shenandoah County. I’m not even sure how long it takes … maybe an hour? … but it was a sparkling sunny drive. We left.... (Photos, continue reading here)

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on the Rivanna Reservoir, Charlottesville

By Kurt Michael

The September day was sunny and warm as I launched my stand up paddle board (SUP) in the South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir (see map) just outside.... (Continue reading here)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

RPV Chairman Pat Mullins’ partisan retort is not helpful in search for ethics reform

No sooner had Governor Terry McAuliffe announced a bipartisan committee on ethics reform to be headed up by former Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and former Democratic Congressman Rich Boucher than the Republican Party of Virginia’s Chairman Pat Mullins came out with a snarky response....  (Continue reading here)

What if Dominion Virginia Power ran high speed internet with Atlantic Coast Pipeline?

What if the proposed natural gas pipeline running through Augusta County and beyond had fiber optics buried along with.... (Read more here)

Jesse Matthew arrested in Galveston, TX, in case of missing UVa student Hannah Graham

I was on the phone with my Texas sister tonight who was in Houston, about an hour from Galveston. I had texted that Jesse Matthew, 32, had been captured in Galveston, a location that was.... (continue reading here)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Carter Mountain Orchard offers Virginia apples, pumpkins, and views


Last night’s low temperature west of Staunton was 39 degrees so today seemed perfect to visit Carter Mountain outside Charlottesville. The mountaintop orchard offers not only apples, pumpkins, gourds, and country store goods but it also provides one of the most outstanding long-range views in central Virginia — east toward Richmond and west toward.... (Photos, continue reading here)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Harrisonburg Bojangles now open

We drove out Port Republican Road through Harrisonburg Saturday and passed the new Bojangles Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits restaurant that is now open.... (continued reading here)

Justin popped the question, Lexy said yes

It’s not every day you see a headline that reads, “Blogger Gets Engaged,” but that’s the lead story by Justin Higgins over at his JHPolitics blog.

Two young people I’ve enjoyed working with in the political and blogging worlds became engaged....(continue reading here)

Friday, September 19, 2014

U.S. Marine from Va. killed in Afghanistan, wife expecting baby in December

Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, of Suffolk, Virginia, died Sept. 15, in Herat province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. He leaves behind his wife Taylor who is expecting a little girl in ... (continue reading here)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bob McDonnell, Frontier Culture Museum appointment, and me

Over my desk hangs a framed document signed by Governor Bob McDonnell when I was appointed in 2010 to the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia’s Board of Trustees. That was Bob McDonnell fitting a hand into a glove, and it had nothing to do with money or....  (Read more here)

Defending Bob McDonnell ... will federal government now go on witch hunt for others?

The stunned shock when former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted on questionable federal fraud charges turned into disbelief and concern from his supporters and even some of his adversaries. (Continue reading here)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Augusta County residents organize against pipeline

By David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

Saturday, September 6th, saw a great number of Augusta County residents at the Verona Government Center. The topic of discussion was the Dominion Virginia Power Natural Gas Pipeline that ... (continue reading here)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13th anniversary of 9/11 remembered at

At, we have dedicated this day to the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks. From guest posts to a timeline of the tragic events of that day, it is a continuation of an annual remembrance that affected millions of people. Posts will continue into the night. Here are links to posts published at this time:

Guest posts: 
- Vonda Lacey, local military mom and friend: A military mom reflects on the anniversary of 9/11
- Donald Williams, a friend who worked in President George W. Bush's administration: 9/11: Never forget American under attack, those who perished, and the heroes of that day
- Patricia Kennedy Birdsall, Texas friend and volunteer: 'Never again' begins with you

 More posts:
- 8:30 p.m. President Bush addresses the nation
- 9/11 remembered at University of Virginia
- President George W. Bush and the bullhorn speech
- GWB and 9/11: America is not weak
- 9/11: Thank you, NYPD
- President George W. Bush's emotional 9/11 National Cathedral speech
- 10:28 a.m. World Trade Center South Tower collapses
- 10:06 a.m. United Flight 93goes down
- 9:45 a.m. White House evacuated
- 9:37 a.m. The Pentagon is hit
- 8:45 a.m. America is under attack as World Trade Center is hit

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apple season in Shenandoah County, Va.

There's nothing like a big red apple sign to entice travelers to stop at a roadside stand in the fall for apples and mums. That's exactly what happened as my sister and I traveled the back roads of Shenandoah County this week, meandering where the wind took us and making discoveries along the way.... (Photos, read more here)

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on the York River

By Kurt Michael

Recently my family and I took a mini vacation to Williamsburg, VA. While my wife and kids opted for shopping, I headed toward historic Yorktown, the site where the British army surrendered to the American troops, ending the Revolutionary War. Over the bluff toward the York River is Water Street. During colonial times, the waterfront served as a major port for exporting tobacco from local plantations but now it is a place to enjoy the river. And so my day began…. (see photos, read more here)

Augusta County’s ‘Chapstick Girl’ has gone viral, Fox News calling

Ten-year-old Grace Karaffa’s common sense question asking why it is against Virginia’s Augusta County School Board rules to carry Chapstick to school has gone viral. Now Fox News has come calling.

Grace attended last week’s school board meeting armed with petitions.... (continue reading here)

Grace Karaffa, 10, petitions Augusta School Board to allow ChapStick in schools

Augusta County Supervisor David Karaffa, 30, had better watch his back. He has political competition from within the four walls of his own home. Karaffa’s ten-year-old daughter Grace petitioned the Augusta County School Board (Virginia) at their Thursday night meeting to have the school system’s ChapStick policy changed. ChapStick in Augusta County is categorized by the school system as a medication.... (continue reading here, photos)

Augusta GOP chair Dan Moxley calls it quits

Perhaps signaling a seriousness in his challenge for the state senate seat currently held by Senator Emmett Hanger, Dan Moxley resigned Monday as chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee.

Or his resignation could be from pressure.... (Continue reading here)

George W. and Clinton joke with each other at Monday announcement

There’s insight with this video snippet that suggests why the Clintons and Bush family have become closer over the years. Watching Bill and W yuck it up is not only entertaining but also shows....

Click here for video and to continue reading.

On eve of 9/11 anniversary, Americans feel less safe

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks, Americans feel less safe in the wake of weak leadership, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that revealed:

Read more here.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Augusta County photos: Thunderstorm damage in our yard

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The thunderstorm that rolled through my part of Augusta County west of Staunton around 3:30 Saturday afternoon took down two trees and caused more tree and fence damage. This, however, was one lucky car. The Bradford pear tree snapped off at the roots and fell neatly beside the car, not on it.

Back in the homeschool classroom: Rob Bell's Tebow Bill

Delegate Rob Bell (R-58th House District) has been working for years to pass the Tebow Bill in the Virginia legislature (for more information about the Tebow Bill, see here). Sadly, it has hit a brick wall every time it was sent to the State Senate.

Continue reading here.

Massanutten Lodge ... Skyland home of early 20th century renaissance woman Addie Hunter Pollock

This Skyland Resort mountain summer home called "Massanutten Lodge" (see Skyland Resort ... Shenandoah National Park) was owned by Addie Hunter, a Washington, DC, divorcee who later married Skyland developer George Pollock "when she was almost 40 years old," the lady ranger-interpreter told us. When they married, she said, he had financial issues and she was wealthy but, well, almost 40. Theirs was an interesting relationship that eventually floundered but is part of the overall history of Skyland.
Continue reading, more photos, here.