Fluvanna Review

The Virginia State Water Control Board voted 6-1 on January 14 to approve a revised permit that allows Dominion Power to release treated water into the James River from coal ash ponds located at its Bremo Power Plant.
This process, called “de-watering,” removes excess liquid from the ponds, where decades of coal ash from the plant’s time as a coal-fired facility are stored, and prepares the toxic residue to be either capped and sealed on site or removed. Once the surface water has been removed from the ponds, wells will be drilled to remove residual water from the ash. That water will likely be contaminated with toxic chemicals like arsenic, cadmium, and lead – by-products of coal combustion – so the permit establishes limits to the amounts of these pollutants that may be released into the river.
The James River Association, as well as the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the James River Outdoor Coalition, and the Falls of the James Commission were vocal opponents of the permit.
“I speak with a strident voice,” said Brad McLane, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, representing the James River Association, “because I believe we are right on the law and I believe this permit does not comply with the law.”
McLane pointed out that the Department of Environmental Quality has a responsibility to prevent damage to vulnerable populations of aquatic life – particularly those that are threatened or endangered. “In the ‘mixing zone,’ at low water conditions,” he emphasized, “there will be a toxic plume that will extend 2,000 feet downriver.” McLane went on to call the permit arbitrary and capricious.

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Fluvanna Art Assoication members (front) Page Gifford, Maria Carter,Deborah Nixon, Gayle Bielanski (back) Loli Stams, Izzy Hickey, Mickey Meyer and Carolyn Brown.It was a long time in coming, but a small group of members from the Fluvanna Art Association finally spread their wings and traveled over to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Member Gayle Bielanski, arranged for a private tour of a couple of exhibits the members were interested in, including the late 19th century and 20th century American art. The members looked in awe at the opulence reflected in the period of the late 19th century. Pam, their guide for the tour, explained this was commonplace for wealthy individuals to display their wealth openly. Pam skillfully combined elements of these periods, to complete an interesting art history as the members toured the American wing.

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2015 Fluvanna Penguin Plunge. File PhotoFluvanna County’s annual winter event, the Fluvanna Penguin Plunge, is back and will be held at the Lake Monticello Main Beach on Saturday, Feb. 20. Check-in begins at noon, and the plunge is at 1 p.m.
This year’s plunge will also include a silent auction to be held in the Faulconer Room of the Lake Monticello Clubhouse. Those who want to support the event but stay warm can bid on baskets and watch the plunge from inside.
For those who want to fundraise for the event but stay dry, register and raise money as a “chicken on the beach” and cheer on the brave souls who plunge.
All donations to the Fluvanna Penguin Plunge are split evenly among Fluvanna Habitat for Humanity, Fluvanna Meals on Wheels, Fluvanna SPCA, Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire and Rescue, and FAST (Fluvanna Aquatic Sports Team).
The 2015 Penguin Plunge raised over $12,000 for the Fluvanna non-profits. The goal for this year’s plunge is $20,000.
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Some wonder what the future of public libraries is. It is no longer a warehouse for dusty tomes, antiquated microfilm machines – petrifying in storage, never seeing the light of day again – or research materials costing thousands and touched by few. According to experts, the 21st century library will be expanding their roles in communities as trends in culture and education evolve.
Many libraries have already reinvented themselves, becoming the central nucleus in a digital age, disseminating vast amounts of digital information while offering communities vibrant and appealing places to learn and educate themselves by offering current research materials, entertainment, and programs.
Cyndi Hoffman, director of the Fluvanna County Library, is always looking at what’s current and what’s coming, whether it’s a new movie on DVD, audio books, e-books, anything that keeps the community coming and using library resources. Exploration of the trends shaping society is an important factor in determining what happens at local libraries and directors like Hoffman know this.
Hoffman recently addressed the Friends of the Library (FOL), reporting on the latest additions to the library. Already, the library has drawn young families with children to programs, particularly their summer reading program, which is always popular. There are even adult reading programs for adults who ravenously read. Overall, Hoffman has increased programs to 50 events for last year, including pop-up programs at the schools.
“Every second Tuesday of every month we visit the middle school with a program, the latest one was Gadgets and Gizmos,” she said.
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Ian Jackson, of I and J Home Builders talked to the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association Board at Thursday (June 28) night’s board meeting about more than 30 acres he hopes to buy on the Lake side of Route 618. Jackson said he plans to build homes that would cost between $190,000 and $200,000.

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