Fluvanna Review

Carol FleuretteIt all began when Carol Fleurette moved from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., an area she said is nothing but desert and residents are lucky if it rains a week out of the year. While going to school at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., she decided to move to Virginia. In 2012, she packed up her truck and bought a horse trailer, putting her horse on one side and her motorcycle on the other. She made the drive in four days. When she arrived she was shocked to see torrential downpours, something she had never experienced.

“I loved seeing all of the frogs, the turtles, and all kinds of animals traveling the roads to get to dry areas,” she said. “At that time, I was living in a 100-year-old cabin in Reva, Va., with my fiancé. That experience fueled my creativity for my first book, The Rain That Would Never End.” The story, written in 2015, follows a little girl and her pet fish, who get stuck in a flood, jump on a boat and go on an adventure, saving other animals along the way.

Following her debut was Not the Same but Not So Different Either. The story examines two brothers who are very different in their appearance, personalities, and interests. At the end of the day, they find out that they are really not that different.

Her recent book, Access Required, came out in 2016. This story is about service dogs and is told from the dog’s perspective. Add a comment

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AntiquesSteve Sylvia traces his interest in the Civil War to his childhood, sparked by his brother’s help reading Shelby Foote’s Shiloh.


But it was a belt buckle that belonged to a long-forgotten Union soldier that may have been the catalyst for a life-long involvement in the history of this nation’s defining conflict, a career writing about Civil War relics, and even appearances on segments of the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.


Following graduation from the University of Maryland’s journalism program and a couple years performing and traveling with a rock and roll band, Sylvia found himself in search of opportunity.


“I had a gal singing for me in 1972. The band broke up. I’m running out of money and she says, ‘My boyfriend is looking for someone in public relations,’” Sylvia said.


“I walked into the interview with her boyfriend and I was wearing a U.S. buckle I had dug. His eyes were riveted on my buckle.”


Their common interest in the Civil War made them good friends and ultimately led to the opportunity for Sylvia to turn that interest into a life-long career.


“‘Did you dig that?’” the man inquired of the buckle.

“Yes, I did,” replied Sylvia. “I dug it at Chancellorsville.”
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Nine hole honoreesEach year, the Lake Monticello Golf Course senior men’s Gray Foxes organization holds a year-end banquet. This year the event was held for the first time at the new pub facility in the Bunker clubhouse. The senior golfers were offered a choice between beef and chicken, and both choices were well received by those in attendance. In addition, the beer was included.

The Gray Foxes have an 18-hole men’s group that plays Thursday mornings and a nine-hole group that plays Friday mornings. Participants may play with both groups, but most players choose one group or the other.

The coordinator for the 18-hole group for the 2017 season was Dan Atkinson. He runs multiple competitions during the season, which stretches from April to October. The year-round competition that keeps the attention of all the players is known as ringers. There is a ringers competition once a month. The idea of this competition is to keep track of each player’s best gross and net scores on each hole for the entire year.

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Thursday night (Oct. 19) marked the first official meeting of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Ad Hoc Committee on Aqua Virginia Rates.

During the hour-long meeting, chairperson Mike Harrison walked the five new committee members through a lengthy list of tasks to be accomplished over the coming weeks and months.

The LMOA Board of Directors approved the formation of the committee within hours of learning that Aqua Virginia was seeking a rate increase back in September. Harrison, who chaired the same committee during the last round of Aqua rate hikes in 2014 and 2015, was appointed to oversee this new effort.

Aqua has requested that the State Corporation Commission (SCC) approve an 11 percent increase in water rates and 5.4 percent increase in sewer rates, to reach a combined revenue increase of $1.9 million.

The company is also requesting permission to implement a water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC), a separate charge customers would pay to allow Aqua to recover its investments in repairing or replacing aging infrastructure. The company has not yet said how much this service charge would be, but Aqua Virginia President John Aulbach has previously said it would most likely be capped at about 10 percent of the average statewide monthly bill.

The SCC denied the request for the WWSIC in 2015 and Harrison said he is hopeful that community pressure can convince it to do so this time around. Add a comment

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Painting by WeidenheimerMany artists enjoy painting landscapes for a variety of reasons, often thinking they are easier than painting the human form, but are unaware of the pitfalls in landscapes. Clouds can be horrendous to master and amateur clouds look like suspended cotton balls in a massive swath of blue. Skies are challenging and whether artists who attempt a landscape realize it or not, trees are just as challenging. They can, however, be mastered with practice and good technique, according to artist Troy Weidenheimer. At a packed monthly Fluvanna Art Association workshop, members learned new skills about painting autumn trees.

“Children paint lollipop trees or something resembling a power plant,” he said, then discussed the shapes of trees and why they form the way they do. Those who are learning art sometimes fail to understand the science behind what they see. Weidenheimer often cautions members about the pitfalls of not looking at the shapes and perspective of objects, especially in landscapes.

“Amateurs paint flat trees, ignoring light and shadows,” he said. “We don’t seem to appreciate that it is a large three-dimensional object and for the sake of perspective, it is rounded rather than flat.”

Paintbrushes are key to recreating realistic trees.

“There is no brush that can replicate every branch and twig of a bare tree; artists give the illusion,” he said. “The Chinese use the armpit hair of a mouse.” The members laughed. He said he uses a small half-size paintbrush, which is not always easy to find. Weidenheimer said a rigger makes “clunky branches but is great for grass.” He did not recommend the stencil brush either, because it is too hard. His favorite is an oriental brush that can sweep a line easily from thick to wispy. Add a comment

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