Fluvanna Review

Deep Run Hunt Club.  Photo by Tricia JohnsonFox hunting in Fluvanna

First things first: the fox is just fine. In fact, the fox (or, sometimes, coyote) is always fine when Deep Run Hunt Club holds its fox hunts. Their goal is to give their hounds, their horses, and themselves the incomparable thrill of the chase; their quarry, the wily fox, always escapes in the end.
The horses stamped their hooves and shook their heads, bridles jingling. The hounds milled about, intently watching the huntsman, eager for his signal to begin the chase. Riders finely dressed in buff breeches, knee-high glossy riding boots, and fitted jackets chatted as they waited for the hunt to commence. Sunnyside Farm, near Wilmington, was host to more than 40 fox hunters on Nov. 13; the forests, fields, and Rivanna River bottom echoed with the baying of hounds and thunder of horses’ hooves once again.
To the casual observer, little has changed since the days when George Washington and Thomas Jefferson rode to the hounds. A painting of the gathered hunters waiting on the crest of a hill on this beautiful Central Virginia autumn afternoon could be framed and hung next to a hunt print of 200 years ago, and one would be hard pressed to guess which century either painting came from. The hunters, the horses, and the hounds form an iconic image familiar to almost any Virginian.

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It was opening day at the Fluvanna Farmers Market on April 3. Once again the people of Fluvanna can buy truly locally grown fresh produce where the person they meet is the person who grew it. 
We are pretty strict about that. Co- manager Jutta Glasscock visits farms to be sure, if they say they grew it, they did!  We are unique among markets and CSA’s – where sometimes produce is purchased regionally for resale.

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In a few months the water and sewer bills at Lake Monticello might get even bigger, thanks to Aqua Virginia’s proposed rate increase and infrastructure service charge.
So the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Board of Directors established an ad hoc committee tasked with digging up information in opposition to the increases, said Board Treasurer Mike Harrison.
Aqua has petitioned the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for an 8 to 21 percent increase in its water rate and a 4 to 13 percent increase in its sewer rate. It has also asked for the implementation of a water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC) that would have customers providing advance funding for Aqua’s eligible capital projects.
Chair Ida Swenson said that her committee’s work goes beyond simply trying to get the SCC to nix the bill increases. “Our number one demand is to deny the rate increase,” she said, “but we’re also asking that policies and rules at the SCC be changed.”
The problem isn’t Aqua, said Harrison – it’s the SCC. “It’s Aqua’s job to make money,” he said. “They’ve stated as a matter of corporate policy that they want to go into states with low regulations. We have a situation here: our SCC, which is supposed to be watching out for the consumer in the regulation of rates and charges, is not.”

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If Aqua Virginia has its way, the company will begin charging an additional fee to its customers up front to fund its infrastructure projects.
This fee, called the water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC), would be separate from Aqua’s base charges and water and sewer rates – or any water and sewer rate increases. Aqua is currently petitioning the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for an 8 to 21 percent increase in water rates and a 4 to 13 percent increase in sewer rates.
Having a WWISC would allow Aqua to replace critical infrastructure more quickly and to save money in the process, explained Aqua Virginia President Shannon V. Becker. Emergency fixes in the middle of the night can cost three to 10 times as much as planned maintenance, he said, because of overtime, rush demand, and the inability to bid anything out for competitive prices. Plus this method increases transparency, he said, because the proposed WWISC regulations call for Aqua to file an infrastructure improvement plan in advance with the SCC.
But some of Aqua’s customers at Lake Monticello aren’t convinced. “The rates paid by consumers that are set by the SCC include infrastructure as part of that rate structure,” said Mike Harrison, treasurer of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Board of Directors. “If they get both approvals for the WWISC and the rate increase, they’re double-dipping us.”
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Art by Lorraine LaVistaA few months ago, artist Lorraine LaVista, spoke to the Fluvanna Art Association regarding using Sharpie markers as an alternative art medium. Many embraced the new medium. Currently, LaVista, a member of FAA, is exhibiting her work at the Fork Union Community Center.

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