Opinions

A recent study of social services in Fluvanna County yielded some pleasing results about which the people of the county should be proud, and also concerned. The study looked at the needs of people in the county and the mechanisms by which these needs are met. Dozens of needs were identified, such as food and adequate nutrition, housing adequacy, water, heat and plumbing issues, health access and child and elder neglect.
The study found that almost 20 percent of the county’s people rely on some type of assistance with some issue during each year, and importantly, that help is provided by a very large number of interacting organizations working together quite seamlessly and selflessly on the part of hundreds of individuals and organizations – churches, non-governmental organizations such as Meals on Wheels; county agencies such as the Department of Social Services and county officials at all levels; state and federal agencies and extension services, to come to the aid of people in need. As a community we all can be proud of the interwoven mosaic these folks and groups create to help our fellow citizens. And as a very rich country, we ought to be doing these things. Hunger and cold are unthinkable in such a prosperous land.
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I feel the need to warn residents of Fluvanna of a danger from two large (pit-bull type) dogs which are currently in our county. They attacked a small, sweet little terrier and its owner on the evening of April 11 near the dog park. Their owner was a young woman who had absolutely no control over the dogs and indeed ended up on the ground and being bitten herself in the attack. The larger dog is blackish and its partner was tan. Both were on leashes, which meant nothing to the dogs. After the police were called and the victim and owner were taken to the emergency vet I was shocked to see the police return the two big dogs to the owner.
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On behalf of the Frawley family, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to every one of the wonderful people for the delicious meals, the beautiful cards, and the many prayers during this very difficult time. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your kindness and support.
We are so blessed to live in a community like this. The caring and love that comes from everyone is amazing. Jim loved it here. As hard as this journey has been, you have all made it just a little easier for us to bear. God bless all of you.

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Supervisor O’Brien wishes for more information on land use taxation “so the Board can make a reasoned, well informed decision about whether land use is good for the county.” I am happy for the opportunity to help educate him.
Mr. O’Brien apparently fails to grasp that his “fairness” argument cuts two ways. While the rural landowner may only pay a reduced rate of taxes on qualifying parcels, this is a far cry from the tax exempt status of significant portions of Lake Monticello. Available public records show at least 35 LMOA owned parcels within the community are tax exempt. The underlying economic theory is that the value of the amenities will result in a higher valuation of the residences that enjoy the amenities and, consequently, a higher tax payment. In water-access subdivisions at Lake Anna, where every home has a deeded boat slip, this theory holds true. In Lake Monticello, however, it breaks down, as the amenities are undersized for the population present by any standard reference work on land use development. While the waterfront and golf course homes do exhibit the benefits of the theory, these properties are only a small fraction of the homes in the community. Having done a matched pair analysis of the “typical lot” homes and their counterparts outside the lake, I can make a compelling argument that Lake Monticello’s commonly owned areas should lose their tax exempt status. This would result in a higher home owners’ association (HOA) fee required to pay those taxes and would be wildly unpopular with Mr. O’Brien’s core constituency already straining under HOA fees and high water and sewer fees.
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In the Fluvanna Review of March 16 on page 14 in an article written by your correspondent, it is stated that the remains of a navigation lock now on display at Pleasant Grove were taken from the Rivanna River some time ago. It was not taken from the river. The artifact was found in the woodland behind the tree line on the bank. It had been carried there by a flood. The remains were placed in shelter and for many years the heart pine timbers were treated in an effort to preserve them, and the metal was covered with one coat of paint. It is against the law to remove artifacts from the river. We hope you will print this correction statement.

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