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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Disc golfWatch your back, pickleball, there’s a new sport in town. Disc golf has finally come to Pleasant Grove.

The first nine holes of an 18-hole course have been staked out and are ready for play. Aaron Spitzer, director of Fluvanna County parks and recreation, said the full course should be completed by spring.

Disc golf follows the basic rules of traditional golf, except instead of trying to sink a ball into a hole, players try to hit an elevated metal basket with a Frisbee or flying disc. The goal is to complete each “hole” in the fewest throws.

The course was first proposed about three years ago. Until now, local disc golfers had to go to Charlottesville or Richmond.   

Players here in Fluvanna will wind their way through the woods behind the Pleasant Grove playground, facing low-hanging branches, dense underbrush, and challenging “dog-leg” throws around bends.

The course was laid out by a professional disc golfer who blazed a path through the trees. Then Spitzer and his father went to work, clearing trees and brush and building small bridges across watery areas. Volunteers, including Eagle Scouts and students, also assisted with trail-building. Add a comment

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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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Sensory swing in BEST roomCarysbrook Elementary Principal Scott Lucas didn’t like what he saw.

Lucas wanted students on the edge to feel supported, not punished.

After a year of searching, he and his staff opened the Behavioral, Education, Social/Emotional Teaching lab – the BEST room – in August.

“Any student who needs a time out, or to finish work, or decompress can ask to go,” Lucas said.

The room is available and open to any student. Students whose teachers know they routinely struggle can apply for a pass, which then hangs on the wall in the student’s classroom. Students who feel the need ask the teacher for permission, pick up the pass and go.

“We have the pass because we can’t have students just roaming around in the hallway,” Lucas said.

In the BEST room students get to hang with William Reese, a licensed teacher hired as an aide.

The room has study or work zones where students can finish work, a “zones of regulation” area where they can talk about how they’re feeling, and a “take a break” corner furnished with a hammock swing, exercise balls, books and bean bags.

They can also do “Teach Town,” an educational computer program with a social and emotional component. Each day, some students are scheduled to sign in to Teach Town. “We also have organized small group discussion led by Mr. Reese,” Lucas said. “The whole process is more reflective rather than punitive.”

But there are rules written clearly on the board:

  • I treat others kindly;
  • I follow directions;
  • I keep my hands to myself;
  • I take care of BEST lab materials and equipment; and
  • I leave the BEST lab when my time is finished. Add a comment

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