Fluvanna Review

John Nunley of Better Living Building Supply accepted the 2015 businessperson of the year award as his parents stood by. Photos by Lisa HurdleThe Fluvanna County Chamber of Commerce named John Nunley of Better Living Building Supply at Zion Crossroads as the 2015 businessperson of the year Tuesday night (Oct. 27).
About 80 people watched Nunley receive his award at the Chamber’s annual meeting in the Lake Monticello firehouse.
Chamber President Scott Valentine said that Nunley and Better Living are active in the local Habitat for Humanity, SPCA, Caring for Creatures, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and Salvation Army. Better Living went from three to 110 employees and “from a horse and buggy to one of the largest delivery systems in central Virginia,” Valentine said.
When Nunley accepted his award, he spoke entirely about water in Fluvanna. “When we decided to move out here we were told in 2003 that there would be water at Zion Crossroads by 2007,” he said. “I really hope that people can read the information that’s being put out by the county and really support your Board of Supervisors in moving forward with this. You’ve seen the success and it has happened in Louisa. You just have got to get public water and sewer to commercial areas if they’re going to be able to thrive.”
After the meeting Nunley talked about the secret to his success. “It’s the employees,” he said. “It really all starts and ends with your employees – the person that greets you when you walk in the door, the driver that delivers the materials. It’s all about their attitude, their concern for the customer. If you’re fair to your employees then they will strive to help you in return. We also believe if you support the community then the community supports you. That’s why we’re very active in charities.”
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Drilling the new well. Photo courtesy of Wayne StephenHeavy equipment rolled onto Pleasant Grove Thursday (Oct. 29) to begin what Wayne Stephens, county director of public works, called a “noisy and dirty operation” – drilling a new well.
When the new well is done, people will be able to drink the water at the Pleasant Grove House and in the restrooms behind the house.
Currently the water is undrinkable because the existing well has repeatedly failed bacteriological tests, said Stephens. Bacterial contamination usually means that surface water is getting down into the well, Stephens explained. He suspects the existing well has a broken plastic casing or that the grout between the casing and the well shaft has failed, letting in rainwater.
“I suspect it was earthquake damage that wasn’t discovered at the time because we weren’t using the well then,” he said. Before the Pleasant Grove House was renovated and the restrooms were put in place, water wasn’t used much at the west end of Pleasant Grove.
Drilling the new well will take up to four days, said Stephens. After sampling and a draw down test, the contractor will install a well pump, a pitless adaptor, and a concrete pad around the well head. The entire process could take between 10 days and three weeks.
Calling the well an example of forward thinking, Stephens said it will be compatible with a drinking water system that may someday come to Pleasant Grove.
Stephens expects the project to cost between $20,000 and $25,000.

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The Fluvanna Arts Association celebrated its 40th anniversary. Photos by Page H. GiffordIt was a long time in planning but members, past and present, came together on Oct. 11, at the Palmyra United Methodist Church to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the Fluvanna Arts Association (FAA).
While Carol Carr played the piano, FAA Members, their relations and friends, milled around, talking, reminiscing, glancing at art work and looking through scrapbooks on a beautiful, sunlit Sunday afternoon filled with memories. It was a time to honor those who dedicated their time and talent to build the FAA into a viable and respected group in Fluvanna County.
One of the original members, Windy Payne, took the lead to recognize a few of the members present who helped the FAA move forward in past years, including Alice Clifford, Lindsay Nolting, Mildred Shumake and Peg Redd. Alice Clifford, always recognized as a force in the FAA, discussed her journey as an artist.
“I was always known as salacious, fallacious and outrageous,” she said then smiled and added, “but mostly outrageous.” Clifford paused and took a serious moment to say everyone is blessed with some artistic talent but that it needs to be explored.
Susan Lang, president of the FAA, presented each of the original members with a glass palette, crafted by FAA artist Catherine Hamilton. Redd was credited with pushing the schools to get an art teacher for the children and June Wiehe for being a long-time president for 12 years.
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Jackie Geer with George Gorman. Photo by Christina Dimeo GusemanFluvanna’s Meals on Wheels (MOW) is taking the plunge to feed hungry folks in Fluvanna seven days a week instead of just five.
“Last time I checked, I didn’t eat just five days a week,” George Gorman said to the MOW board when he joined their ranks a year ago and pitched his idea for weekend meals. Gorman, the pastor of Palmyra United Methodist Church and Haden Chapel, struck a chord with the board, said MOW secretary Jackie Geer, and wheels started to turn.
“It really hit home with a lot of people in our community, and they came up with the money to fund it,” Geer said. Suddenly the idea started taking shape, couched in the form of bags of “durable” products that would last on a shelf, like nutritious canned stews, macaroni and cheese, packets of tuna fish, unsweetened applesauce, mini tubs of peanut butter, sleeves of crackers, and granola bars.
Some MOW clients pay for their meals. Of MOW’s 71 current clients, three pay for the food delivered to them five days a week. Five pay a portion of the price, and 11 have their meals funded by Jefferson Area Board for Aging. The rest receive their meals for free, lovingly funded by the Fluvanna community that wraps itself around the elderly and hungry.
But the weekend meals won’t add a penny to the price for the clients who pay. The entire weekend operation is funded by generous donors.
Geer and her husband will buy the supplies twice a month from E. W. Thomas, a Palmyra grocery store partnering with MOW in this endeavor, and deliver them to Palmyra United Methodist Church. Gorman, weekend meal coordinator Bonnie Nix, and an army of 50 volunteers will meet them to package the meals. “There was a little concern, given our small congregation, of having enough volunteers,” said Gorman, then a smile spread across his face. “I always had confidence that there would be enough volunteers.”
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John Gooch and Patricia EagerWith just days before the Nov. 3 election, the Palmyra district supervisor seat will soon be filled. Patricia Eager, 66, and John Gooch, 55, are vying for the spot vacated at the end of the year by Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch, who is not seeking re-election.
Chairperson Mozell Booker is also up for re-election in her district of Fork Union, but is running unopposed. Supervisors Tony O’Brien of the Rivanna district, Mike Sheridan of the Columbia district, and Don Weaver of the Cunningham district all have two years remaining in their terms.
The Fluvanna Review asked Eager and Gooch to share their thoughts with voters on some of the big issues facing the county.
Tell us about yourselves.
Patricia Eager: My husband, Minor, and I have four children and 10 wonderful grandchildren. We came to Fluvanna 30 years ago via Highland County from Brooklyn, New York. Minor is from central Virginia and always planned to return to farm. I was born in southwest Pennsylvania 66 years ago. I was raised in Lorain, Ohio, graduated from New York University and worked on Wall Street as a commodity broker and as a treasury finance trader. From the city to the farm, life is a great adventure!
John Gooch: I was born in Charlottesville and moved to Fluvanna when I was six to our family farm. My father served on the School Board and Board of Supervisors and my mother worked in the Fluvanna school system. Currently my sister is a teacher at the middle school. My wife, Andileen, and I both graduated from Fluvanna County High School (FCHS) as well as the University of Virginia. Both of my children, Sarah and Joshua, graduated from FCHS. Sarah graduated from Virginia Tech in architecture and Joshua graduated from Penn State as a meteorologist. I was part owner of an engineering business for 15 years, but I currently work as an estimator for Fielder’s Choice Enterprises, Inc. in Charlottesville. I attend Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Troy where I currently serve on the board of deacons. I have refereed basketball and umpired softball in Fluvanna and the surrounding counties.

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