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Virginia Public Access ProjectAbout 100 Lake Monticello Newcomers and Old Friends members heard about the scourge of gerrymandering Sunday (Jan. 29) at a meeting at the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department.

It’s an issue with unusual bipartisan support that has far-reaching effects on who represents the people, said Brian Cannon, executive director of One Virginia 2021, a group dedicated to changing gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is the deliberate manipulation of legislative district boundaries for political power – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and One Virginia 2021.

Whatever party is in power in a state when districts are redrawn every 10 years will legally draw those lines to maximize its base of support, Cannon said.

One need not go far to see an example: the 22nd Senate District of Virginia, to which Fluvanna belongs. The district snakes through six counties and includes parts of Lynchburg and Louisa County. It is a largely Republican district and the Republican candidate Mark Peake won the Jan. 10 special election.

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Philip Floyd and Andi Cumbo-FloydWhen people ask Andi Cumbo-Floyd, 42, if she has children, she can list the names of her beloved pets, Mosey and Meander, and readily awaits a surprised look. It’s easier to clarify that she has “fur babies” than to admit she and her husband, Philip Floyd, 39, have experienced difficulty while trying to start a family.

However, she may soon be able to add a child to that list thanks to friends like Jodi LeFebvre Jackson who want to see it happen. Jackson, who graduated from Fluvanna County High School with Cumbo-Floyd in 1993, brought the couple an idea.

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Alli SearsSunday (Jan. 29) was bittersweet for the Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline who filled Sheridan Funeral Home in Kents Store to pay respects to the family of their sister brownie Allianna Sears of Troop 1484. One week earlier, sudden illness had claimed her life.

At the celebration of life party held after the funeral services, many of Alli’s friends, family, and a flood of sister Girl Scouts came to show their love and support and to share great stories. There was dancing, singing, and an astonishing amount of food donated from people throughout Fluvanna – even some who’d never met Alli, said her mom, Alicia Martinez.

“I know some people felt that the party wasn’t right for an 8 year old,” Martinez said. “They thought it was wrong, but Alli loved balloons and she would have loved it.”

Martinez spoke about Alli’s sudden illness. “When she woke up that morning she was a little lethargic watching cartoons,” said Martinez. “She got her clothes on and [Girl Scout] vest on and brushed her hair. When we got out of the driveway, she said her throat felt funny.”

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Jason AbbottKicking off a new year of programs at its monthly meeting on Jan. 20, the Fluvanna Art Association welcomed artist Jason Abbott, who focused on the business of art.

Somewhat shy, Abbott broke out of his shell by using humor.

“Public speaking is worse than death,” he said. “So if you’re at a funeral, you’re better off in the box than giving the eulogy.” The members laughed at his opening, immediately warming to him and setting the stage for a frank discussion about his career in the often-competitive art world.

He began by talking about his yearning to become a commercial artist. He got sidetracked by other career obligations suggested by outside forces, he said, and ignored his inner artist.

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Girls varsityBoth the Fluco girls’ basketball team and its opponents, the Western Albemarle Warriors, came into the game on Jan. 17 with records of 10-5, according to MaxPreps, a sports scoring website. The Flucos were not intimidated by the fact that the Warriors topped them earlier in the season by a wide margin. Instead they came out strong and grabbed a 12-4 lead after one quarter and led virtually the entire game, winning 38-32. Senior guard Chaniya Brown led the way with 16 points. Add a comment

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