Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas … Day 8: Celebration of Holiday Lights in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Everyone loves the lights of the season so pile the kids in the car and head to Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park “Celebration of Holiday Lights.” Drive around the two-mile loop and gaze, ooh, and ahh over the dozens of Christmas displays set up by area organizations. Each year tens of thousands of vehicles take part in this holiday treat. Open daily now through the New Year, the lights will be on from 5-11 p.m. offering a delightful treat for young and old.... (continue reading here)

Merry Christmas, Stacy ... wherever you are

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Christmas ornament hand-painted by 10-year-old Stacy in 1975.
As I was growing up, a tradition in our family was for my parents to give us ornaments each year from places they had traveled. My husband and I continued the tradition with our children … so we have a number of “special” ornaments that are placed on the tree year after year.

This year was no different. As I carefully unwrapped the tissue paper from around one particular ornament, memories flooded back as I saw the hand-painted ceramic decoration for the tree. It was a jack-in-the-box painted in 1975 by a 10-year-old boy named Stacy. I held the ornament in my hand and remembered back to the days when I worked at Children’s Hospital in Richmond.

Stacy touched my heart more than any other child I came in contact with because of his devilish sincerity. I loved that child. He was from southwestern Virginia, one of many children from a large, down-on-their-luck Appalachian family. As best I can remember, the accident that changed his life occurred when he was playing with his siblings and they tied him to a tree, piled leaves at the base of the tree, and set the leaves on fire. Stacy was horribly burned, so much so that much of both legs and part of one arm had to be amputated. He came to Children’s Hospital for rehabilitation.

The patients at the hospital lived in dorms and received daily treatment as well as schooling. Far.... (continue reading here)

Friday, December 19, 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas … Day 7: Holiday offerings at the Augusta County Library

Churchville Branch of the Augusta County Library.

There’s Kindles and laptops and video games and smart phones and every other device available out there but the wonderful thing is that libraries are still as popular as ever. With a wide selection of seasonal reading selections, a trip to the library provides hours of entertainment for kids and parents during school vacation over the holidays. (continue reading here)

Friday, December 05, 2014

Special Forces soldier dies in Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Matthew Ammerman, a native of Noblesville, Ind., was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) when he died Dec. 3, 2014, as a result of wounds received in combat. (continue reading here)

Let’s raise the level of debate and the integrity of our cause

By Benjamin Dessart

While I normally do not give such articles much consideration, the editorial written by the Daily Caller and promoted by Tom White is the most appalling editorial I have read in my time engaged in conservative politics.

Not only are the accusations implied here heinous and logically flawed, they are written (and promoted) in the name of journalism. This article is not news. This article is not journalism. (continue reading here)

‘Daily Caller’ and Virginia blogger stoop to new low regarding UVa ‘Rolling Stone’ article

By Daniel Cortez

In my 45 years as a writer-broadcaster and political media operative, this remains the worst breach of journalistic ethics I have ever seen. I find the author and editors of the Daily Caller reprehensible to suggest, by inference through association, that the son of former Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor had anything to do with the alleged gang rape reportedly occurring at the University of Virginia in 2012 during a fraternity party.

In the past such acts of desperate yellow journalism were frowned upon.... (continue reading here)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

They did it to Bill Bolling, now they’re doing it to Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush. Not conservative enough. Try as I might, it remains impossible to see these two concepts as even remotely related. John Ellis Bush, the second son of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush, who during his first run for Florida governor in 1994 cheerfully called himself a head-banging conservative, a hang-’em-by-the-neck conservative … who during his second run for Florida governor in 1998 had to craft for himself a more compassionate persona so as not to scare off independent voters … that Jeb Bush has come to be viewed with suspicion by the uber-conservative, Tea Party wing of his Republican Party?
They did it to former Virginia Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.... (continue reading here)

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

24th State Senate race candidate to announce

State Senator Emmett Hanger has not announced if he intends to seek reelection for the 24th Senate District seat that he has held since 1996 but one challenger has already announced and a second is set to make his announcement today. (continue reading here)

Jeb: GOP needs to show it can lead

Jeb Bush came out again on the side of common sense and pragmatic leadership when he addressed The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting.... (continue reading here)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Republicans most likely to be 2016 GOP nominee

The Hill has their list of 13 Republicans most likely to be nominees for the Republican presidential nomination for 2016 (see 13 Republicans most likely to win WH). I don’t agree with some of their choices but it makes for interesting speculation.

Thirteen — an interesting number. Why not 12 or 14?

They’ve divided their choices into categories beginning with....(continue reading here)

Small Business Saturday is today

It’s Small Business Saturday in Virginia … shop local. Check out the mom-and-pop businesses that.... (continue reading here)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Thanksgiving 2 

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." -- Charles Dickens

The writers at -- Daniel Cortez, David Karaffa, Kurt Michael, and myself -- extend Thanksgiving greetings with gratitude to our readers for helping us become a successful statewide voice in the Virginia conservative blogosphere. We wish you a joyful day with family and friends as America pauses to give thanks for the blessings we all enjoy. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Special Issue: writers, guests discuss Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Today at, we are looking at the Atlantic Coast Pipeline issue that has stirred opinions both for and against in Augusta County and elsewhere. Posts from guest writers and regular contributors include Augusta County supervisors, citizens, information from Dominion, and an editorial cartoon.

Supervisor Tracy Pyles, Supervisor David Karaffa, former Supervisor Nancy Sorrells, well-known local farmer Joel Salatin, political cartoon from Kurt Michael, and more.

Here is the list of articles in today’s Special Pipeline Issue.... (See links to all authors here)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The mountains were calling

I had a million things to do today. I should have gotten my work done. But I couldn’t get my mind off a friend in Richmond who is going through some serious health issues and is back in the hospital.... (photos, continue reading here)

Photos ... Skyline Drive in late November 2014

The Friday before Thanksgiving … we took the day to play in Shenandoah National Park. It was sunny but a very cold 22 degrees with some wind and few visitors. I wrote about our day with photos.... (continue reading here)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dr. Rob Marsh … Delta Force soldier finds peace as country doctor

An unassuming man walked to the middle of the stage in front of a room of 300 military veterans and their guests who stood and applauded the Desert Storm veteran, now in his mid-50s. He paused and seemed to take in the faces before him, humbled at the reception. As guests sat down, Dr. Rob Marsh began his story by noting that he doesn’t often speak but, when he does, his priority is with military groups, veterans groups, and medical gatherings that may offer new medical and surgical techniques that can help our soldiers at war.

Then he paused, kind of bowed his head, and quietly said that he would talk with groups if he felt his message could honor the Lord. He went on to add.... (continue reading here)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

ALERT! Police impersonator reportedly working Rt. 250 in western Augusta County

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Department has issued an alert warning travelers of a police impersonator who is working the area of Route 250 in West Augusta near Ramsey’s Draft and Mountain House Wayside. That area, surrounded by the George Washington National Forest, is very rural and mountainous with spotty cell phone service.

Residents in the area report the suspect is targeting women who are driving alone.

From the Augusta County Sheriff’s Department.... (continue reading here)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Korean War vet survived behind enemy lines

Saturday's Veterans Day parade in downtown Staunton, Va, saw many families lining the streets to wave American flags and cheer as floats passed by filled with local veterans. The community honored past and present military members including many who vividly remember the details of war.
One of those local veterans is a quiet, unassuming gentleman, slightly stooped with graying hair.

Until last year, few people knew that he had suffered life-threatening injuries during the Korean War.

Now in his 70s, Tom LaBarge (pronounced La-BARGE) does not like to bring attention to himself. That was very evident as he reluctantly gave in to my persistent prodding to talk about his military service after a surprise presentation in 2009 of war-time medals that had been long overdue. Four of his seven grown children had flown from Minnesota to Virginia for the event, and I had been invited by his wife Millicent to join them.... (continue reading here)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Craig Parisot for vacated Comstock 34th House District seat … primary this Saturday

By Daniel Cortez

Last night at Tyson’s Corner, I had an opportunity to see a veteran on the stump who could responsibly attempt to fill the very big shoes of Congresswoman-elect Barbara Comstock in the House of Delegates 34th District .  His name is Craig Parisot of McLean, Va.  Pass the.... (continue reading here)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kay Coles James for RPV chairman: A visionary for the future of the party

The announcement by Pat Mullins last week that he will step down as State Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) on January 31, 2015, has begun the usual flurry of telephone calls and email messages that range from “Who will run for RPV Chairman?” to outright requests for support for one candidate or another.

Before the RPV State Central Committee rushes to promote from within, Virginia Republicans should step back and ... (continue reading here)

Friday, November 07, 2014

My thoughts: Gillespie concedes but close race damaged Warner during Va. U.S. Senate race

In a race that had been too close to call for three days, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie conceded Friday afternoon to Senator Mark Warner who will serve his second six-year term in Washington.

Gillespie came out of nowhere to surprise political....(continue reading here)

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Gillespie exit poll was spot on

Tuesday evening at 6:30 the Gillespie campaign posted on Facebook.... (continue reading here)

Oliver North speaks to Liberty University students

Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC (Ret), addressed Wednesday’s Convocation gathering.... (photo, continue reading here)

Shenandoah National Park’s hunting season night closure

Shenandoah National Park implements this policy each fall during hunting season.... (continue reading here)

RPV's Mullins to resign

The expected email from Republican Party of Virginia chairman Pat Mullins came this morning congratulating Republican candidates for wins on Tuesday. Then the bombshell part.... (continue reading here)

Gillespie's statement on canvassing process

On Wednesday, Ed Gillespie issued the following statement on the canvassing process in Virginia.... (continue reading here)

VPAP update on certifying U.S. Senate race

VPAP has the latest information about certifying the results from Virginia’s U.S. Senate race.... (continue reading here)

Monday, November 03, 2014

Lee Talley: ‘I am a dad and I’m voting for Ed Gillespie’

By Lee Talley

I am dad to the greatest privilege and hero I know in one Mr. Harry Talley. My son struggles daily with Autism. He’s come a long way since first being diagnosed. Many families in the Commonwealth of Virginia also struggle with this epidemic. It now affects 1 in 68 children in the United States.

I endorse Ed Gillespie for one reason alone. He stands for the opportunity.... (continue reading here)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

President George W. Bush surprises Gillespie’s ‘G-Force’ phone conference

“Thanks for the chance to speak with the mighty G-Force!”

With those words, President George W. Bush joined in as the special guest on an Ed Gillespie campaign phone conference Tuesday night, one week before Election Day 2014. In characteristic GWB style, he was funny.... (continue reading here) endorsement: Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate Editorial enthusiastically endorses Republican candidate Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate 2014. His vision for the Commonwealth has re-energized Virginia’s citizens who have felt unrepresented by incumbent Mark Warner and, in the gridlock that is Washington politics, Mr. Gillespie brings fresh ideas with his proposed EG2 economic plan for Virginia. He is positive and optimistic, and has carried that upbeat attitude on the campaign trail with his belief that “the old normal is the new mediocre. We can do better.”  (continue reading here)

Gillespie runs ad during Monday Night Football, suggests jobs, economy more important than Reid’s bill to change Redskins name

Boom. The Gillespie for U.S. Senate campaign ran a great ad during Monday night’s football game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.

In a smack-down to Senator Mark Warner’s rubber-stamping of....(Video, continue reading here)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Remembering Dennis Burnett 1964-2014

[Editor's Note: When I left Augusta County almost two weeks ago to spend time with family in Florida, Dennis Burnett was working at his job bringing jobs to the Valley. When I returned last night, he had passed away and been buried. How quickly life can change in the span of a week. I wrote this while in Florida, reflecting about this friend to so many. See also Augusta County’s Dennis Burnett passes away and Memorial Service today for Dennis Burnett.]

“I like your pictures of the county!”

Dennis Burnett was across the room heading my way after a board of supervisors meeting at the Augusta County Government Center, trademark reading-glasses-on-top-of-head, with that wide Dennis grin.... (Continue reading here)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Augusta County's Dennis Burnett passes away

Dennis Burnett, the sunny, all-smiles, friendly and outgoing executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, a position he took over on September 1, 2013, and former Economic Director for Augusta County, Virginia, has passed away from.... (Continue reading here)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sabato: ‘This is not a good development for Mark Warner’

Since Monday night’s debate between Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie that the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin called Warner’s debate from hell and noting that Gillespie had drawn blood, Warner has ducked from reporters and is keeping a low profile while Puckettgate continues to grow.

On Wednesday night.... (continue reading here)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fairlawn Farm celebrates fall in Highland County

If you left Fairlawn Farm this weekend and weren’t in the fall mood, there’s not much more that could be done because it doesn’t get much better than all the activities offered by Highland County’s....  (More photos, continue reading here)

October surprise for Mark Warner? Game changer for Virginia?

Fallout from the former Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett case in the Virginia General Assembly seems to have now hit U.S. Senator Mark Warner (see Warner discussed job for Puckett’s daughter by Laura Vozzella in the Washington Post).

October surprise? Game changer for Virginia’s.... (Continue reading here)

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Evelyn’s Pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street

Autumn was on full display on the patio of Evelyn’s Pantry on Monterey’s main street the last day of September 2014. The warm days of fall are an invitation.... (Photos, read more here)

Finding autumn in Highland County, Va.

Over four dozen photos of the autumn colors, scenic farms, and brightly-colored mountains in Highland County, Virginia's "Little Switzerland." Leaves, sheep, clear blue skies, cool air ... bringing fall to you....  (Photos, continue reading here)

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Campbell County Republicans file lawsuit against RPV and former Campbell County GOP chairman

Members of the Campbell County Republican Committee filed suit late Tuesday afternoon, September 30, 2014, in Campbell County Circuit Court against the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) and former Campbell County chairman Leslie Williams for declaring null and void the results of a Mass Meeting held in Campbell County on March 20, 2014..... (Continue reading here)

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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tribute for Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot held in Longmeadow, Mass.

The community of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, turned out Saturday to honor one of their own. Lt. Colonel Morris Fontenot, 41, was killed Wednesday morning when his F-15C Eagle slammed into a mountainside in western Augusta County, Virginia. He had reported an emergency situation five minutes before the crash.

Continue reading here....

Photos: Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park

Skyland Resort stands at the highest point along the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. While up there last week, I took photos of the resort's buildings and views, and included a bit of history about this beautiful escape from the city. Read more at Skyland Resort ... Shenandoah National Park.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

50 Team Cantor walkers join Autism Society's 5K

In the middle of a sea of red "Team Cantor" tee-shirts was the congressman himself walking to support families who are close to him including Harry Talley, 11, who raised $425. Read more at

Augusta County supervisors discuss future of courthouse

Should Augusta County build a new courthouse in Verona, or should they renovate the historic building in Staunton? There was quite a discussion from supervisors at Tuesday's work session. Read Augusta County supervisors discuss future of courthouse at

20 made-up lies about Eric Cantor ... and the truth

The rumors and lies about Congressman Eric Cantor continue from Brat supporters. It's time to set the record straight. See 20 made-up lies about Eric Cantor ... and the truth at

25 years later ... remembering the Tiananmen Square massacre

Has it really been 25 years since the uprising in Tiananmen Square that resulted in the massacre of hundreds? Those of us who are older remember the young man who defiantly stood up to Chinese tanks (see 25 years later ... remembering the Tiananmen Square massacre).

Virginia: Emmett Hanger proposes compromise on Medicaid expansion

There may be a light at the end of the Medicaid expansion tunnel with today's press release and proposals from state Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Mt. Solon). With the state budget deadline looming, legislators are feeling pressure to do something about the stand-off between the Senate, House, and Governor Terry McAuliffe. (See Virginia: Emmett Hanger proposes compromise on Medicaid expansion.)

Perspective ... a teen's final days, a family's courage journey

In the midst of political sniping, a story like this puts life in perspective. Read about Kennedy's journey into the final days of her life (see Perspective ... a teen's final days, a family's courage journey).

'I support Eric Cantor'

Brian Kirwin lays it on the line with his support of Congressman Eric Cantor. Read his guest post at (see I support Eric Cantor).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Earthquake confirmed in Powhatan, Virginia

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is confirming a 3.2 earthquake Wednesday evening in Powhatan County located outside Richmond. The quake was centered near the Powhatan-Amelia county line around 10:00 p.m. This is breaking news. Stay tuned for additional details.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Courtesy on the internet

We don't have to agree on an issue but I expect a civil discussion on my Facebook Wall and blog comments, not personal attacks and name-calling. Read my post, Courtesy on the internet, on

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Flash flood watch for Shenandoah Valley

Grab your umbrella! More details at

Cantor challenger Brat stands up Grover Norquist

Dave Brat was a no-show on Wednesday for a round of planned meetings in D.C. The Washington Post wrote, "... as much as Brat may dream of defeating Cantor, the man widely seen as the likely next speaker of the House is well-organized, well-funded and more plugged in than most Republicans. To beat him, you probably need to show up." Read more details at

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Burgers with Bill … Bolling and Romney together again

For the 20th year,  former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling will have Burgers with Bill. Check out all the details at

Will tea party glee be short-lived?

Anything can happen at political conventions. That was evident in the 2013 Virginia Republican State Convention with the candidates that were elected to represent the GOP on November’s ballot.  It was again proven at Saturday’s 7th Congressional District Convention when backers of Fred Gruber, head of the Louisa County tea party, turned out to vote for him as chairman over long-time Republican volunteer and incumbent Linwood Cobb. (continue reading at

Monday, May 12, 2014

Republican Hunger Games

The latest political cartoon from Kurt Michael is at

Tea party: Why the take-over of GOP and not Democratic party?

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Something has been gnawing at me for a while and others have vocalized it, too. Several years ago while I was still a member of the 6th Congressional District committee, a tea partier from Harrisonburg....  (continue reading at

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tea party win in 7th Congressional District doesn't bode well for Republicans

Guest poster Daniel Cortez has thoughts on Saturday's 7th Congressional District convention and where it puts Virginia Republicans. Check it out at

Friday, May 09, 2014

Latest posts from

We've been busy at so please check out some very good posts:

- Red vs Blu, the political cartoon creation of Kurt Michael, based on the Spy versus Spy comic strip from "Mad Magazine."

- Staunton: Body found in Gypsy Hill Park - UPDATED: 16-year-old charged with murder

- Balance in Augusta County by Supervisor David Karaffa 

- Covering Saturday's 7th Congressional District Convention

A 3-part series by guest poster Bill Wheaton:
- Campbell County 1: What really happened at the 2014 Republican mass meeting?
- Campbell County 2: Refusing to concede a loss
- Campbell County 3: Background on what led to appeal to be heard on Saturday

- Appeal upholds Frank Wagner as chair of 2nd Congressional District

- Stuarts Draft: Summer flowers from Milmont Greenhouse

- "American Idol" includes audition stop in RVA

- Congressman Cantor honors life of 8-year-old Martin Cobb

Campbell County 2: Refusing to concede a loss

Part 2 of Bill Wheaton's information about the Campbell County mass meeting is posted at

Campbell County 3: Background on what led to the appeal to be heard Saturday

Bill Wheaton was chairman of the nominations committee at the disputed Campbell County Republican mass meeting. Here he gives in a nutshell background, the meeting events, and why the losers have appealed. Read it all at

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Staunton: Body found in Gypsy Hill Park

An early-morning discovery of a body by a Staunton Parks and Recreation employee has left folks a little rattled. Read more at

Will marijuana, drug concerns sideline 2014 Nelson County Lockn' Music Festival?


Appeal upholds Frank Wagner as chair of 2nd Congressional District


Campbell County GOP: What really happened at the 2014 mass meeting?

We have published a guest post by Bill Wheaton at He took part in the Campbell County Republican mass meeting and has details of what happened....

Ed Gillespie adds 65 legislators to growing list of endorsements

Ed Gillespie is racking up the endorsements heading to the Virginia Republican Convention on June 7. Read about the latest ones at

Summer flowers at Milmont Greenhouse

I was at Milmont today to pick up summer annuals and garden vegetables. Check out the photos of the gorgeous flowers on display at

Mother's Day and the Bush family

George W. and Barbara ... check them out on

Eric Cantor honors 8-year-old Richmond boy who died while saving sister

Eight-year-old Martin Cobb saved his sister but died in the process. The Richmond boy was honored today by U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who took to the House floor to remember this young hero. See the post, his remarks, and the video at

Monday, May 05, 2014

Linwood Cobb

Linwood Cobb ... husband, father, conservative Republican leader in the 7th Congressional District. Read more at

RVA: My hometown is growing up

I'm a product of the Richmond area of our Commonwealth of Virginia so it's been fun to watch the city on the hill overlooking the James River come of age. From its heyday to the slump years of the 1970-80s, it has built into a mecca for young professionals and sports enthusiasts. History, architecture, government ... the city has in recent years become a mecca for craft breweries, food trucks, and festivals.

Now read the 26 (wonderful) things you need to know about Richmond before you move there. RVA: My hometown is growing up at

Patriotism or perversion?

Military veteran Wayne Ozmore post a photo and writes, "As I continue to see a leader of the local Tea Party Patriot movement fly the U.S. Flag upside down, I take solace in the words of Simon Wiesenthal–a prolific hero of mine and people the world over. Wiesenthal was a survivor of the Nazi concentration camp located at Mauthausen."

Read his entire post Patriotism or perversion? at

Red vs Blu: Bending the Rules

Check out talent of Kurt Michael with the adventures of Red versus Blu's "Bending the Rules" at

Latest posts at

In case you missed it, here's what has been posted at the past few days. Grab a cup of coffee and come on by for some thought-provoking, informational, and entertaining moments from our political cartoonist and group of writers:

- Patriotism or Perversion? - by Wayne Ozmore. A military veteran's observation of an upside-down American flag flow by tea party leader.
- Red vs Blu: Bending the Rules - by Kurt Michael
- Linwood Cobb - by Lynn R. Mitchell
- Augusta supervisors prepare for staggered terms - by David Karaffa
- Staunton's Best Buy celebrates 20 years in business - by Andrea Oakes
- RVA: My hometown is growing up - by Lynn R. Mitchell
- Libertarian Chris Stearns takes on Republican Reid Nicholson in 3rd District chairman's race - By Lynn R. Mitchell
- George W wants Jeb to run - by Lynn R. Mitchell
- Riding with warriors - by Lynn R. Mitchell
- Leader Cantor statement on House Select Committee on Benghazi

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New posts at ... come check us out!

It's been a busy morning at as contributors have published posts that we hope you will find informative and entertaining. Here's a sampling:

- Coming soon: Red vs Blu: Kurt Michael brings his new comic strip Red vs Blu to the blog. The characters are a take-off of the classic 1961 comic strip in Mad Magazine, Spy vs Spy: “The comic strip always featured two spies who are completely identical save for the fact that one is dressed in white and the other black. The pair are constantly warring with each other, using a variety of booby-traps to inflict harm on the other. The spies usually alternate between victory and defeat with each new strip.” Red vs Blu follows the same genre. Stay tuned as we prepare to follow their adventures.

- Andrea Oakes: Staunton's Best Buy celebrates 20 years in business: City Councilwoman Oakes recently joined Congressman Bob Goodlatte as they attended Best Buy Distribution Center's recognition of their 20 years as an employer in the city.

- David Karaffa: Augusta County supervisors will begin staggered terms: Supervisor Karaffa explains how staggered terms will work beginning in 2015.

- Eric Cantor: U.S. House schedule for April 30, 2014: What's going on in Congress today? Here's the schedule for the House of Representatives.

Pop on over and check out these and more as the day goes on. We've got the coffee pot brewing and keyboards are clicking ... stop by and sit a spell at

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Say hello to the new blog at WordPress

Blogger, we've had a long-time affair going back to 2006 but it's time for me to move on. This will remain the SWAC Girl blog for posting my mountains photos and personal writings -- for now -- but the harder hitting news and political feedback with photos are now published at

The paint's still drying and I'm still putting up the curtains but it's time to open the front door and invite everyone inside. Come join the party with some friends who have joined me on this new group blog adventure -- check out the Contributors page and the About page that tells what we hope to achieve.

Join me ... the hors d'oeuvre are ready so stop by and browse at See you soon!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Photos 3 ... Sixth Congressional District convention

Jeb Wilkinson is one of my favorite Republicans. We met during the 2004 George W. Bush re-election campaign when he was state coordinator and I was Augusta County coordinator. We was driving to Richmond to pick up supplies from Jeb to carry back to the three local units -- Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro. That was an intense race. He's a hard worker. Since he's heading up the RPV State Convention in June in Roanoke, he was filling everyone in on some of the details. Probably the best announcement was that two food vendors will be on the premises -- Buffalo Wild Wings and ChickFilA.

Elizabeth Cline

Karen Kwiatkowski

That certainly looks like a military stance to me.

Patsy Walker

Secretary Sandy Gates

Trixie will probably shoot me for this one but I love the look on her face as she's listening to Senator Steve Newman. Doesn't she look like she's thinking that line from the old TV show "Different Strokes"... "Whatcha talkin' bout, Willis?"

The Goodlattes

Delegate Terry Austin

Then finally ... lunch! Thank you, Congressman Bob Goodlatte. Delegates Steve Landes and Dickie Bell in the chow line. If we had only had time to eat it....

Trixie and Dan Averill, Roger Jarrell, Trey Jarrell, my husband and me. Roger is the new chairman of the Rockbridge-Lexington Republican Committee. His son is 17 years old and a race car driver. See his Facebook page here.

Then back to the auditorium for a resolution fight. Don't you just love conventions? I'd just like to say that most people who vote on these resolutions have no idea what they're voting on so there should be a deadline for submitting them, then they should be emailed to every delegate so these things are sprung on people at the last minute. Members of Sixth District's State Central Committee had their votes taken away today, something that was tried four years ago but they were unsuccessful. Here we go again. Stop making resolutions at conventions without prior notice!

Freedom out of the building into the sunshine and 83-degree temps didn't come soon enough and we headed north on I-81 to Augusta County. Look at that beautiful scenery with redbuds blooming and mountains in the distance ... that's Virginia in the spring!

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
April 26, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Photos 2 ... Sixth Congressional District Convention faces in the crowd

Delegate Terry Austin of Botetourt

Dr. Ed Lynch of Hollins College


Vance Wilkins

Carl Tate

Delegate Steve Landes

Augusta County Supervisor Marshall Pattie.

Suzanne Obenshain

Chaz Haywood-Evans

Zach Martin

State Senator Mark Obenshain

The "Mob Czar" from Shenandoah County.

Matt Homer, Jon Scott

Elizabeth and Delegate Ben Cline

Congressman Bob Goodlatte and wife Maryellen

Matt Homer

Trixie Averill and Wendell Walker

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
April 26, 2014