Opinions

I am writing to inform members of the community that I have heard conversation at the restaurant that the Ashlawn Grille is in danger of closing in the very near future because of a pending disruption of service between Skip Alston and his customers by some of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association staff and Board members.
As we all know, restaurants have a high mortality rate in the first five years of operation. Skip has survived for nine years and we are about to lose him. Previous Boards granted the Alstons certain guarantees, understandings and promises on a “gentleman’s handshake.” Some of the present Board and the general manager would like to renege on these agreements, effectively putting the Ashlawn Grille out of business.
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I would like to express my support of the Ashlawn Grille and Skip Alston.
He has provided our community with a much needed service for almost a decade of his life. I feel that he, a neighbor in good standing, should be supported in his efforts. My hope is that Lake Monticello will respect our neighbor Skip and find a just and equitable solution to whatever this mysterious disagreement is. Since it is a human problem, I am confident a solution can be found. Skip is an asset to this community.

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Southerners are such great people! On Thursday, July 31, my daughter’s dog, Roxy, jumped out of the car window while I was shopping inside the Food Lion. So many people were concerned and offered assistance. A special thanks to Alan Bingler. Alan and others searched Rt. 53 and the surrounding woods behind the Food Lion and Nahor Village for over an hour. Finally, my husband spotted Roxy at the edge of Sal’s Restaurant and called her to the car. Adventure over! Thanks again to Alan and all the nice shoppers and employees at the Food Lion.

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I am glad to note that the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association Board is starting the conversation regarding changes to the main clubhouse and the golf course facilities. The object of all is not to spread rumors or disrespect an opposing view, but to have open, civil discourse and arrive at the end of the road knowing that we have done the best for our community.
At this time, however, there is a more timely discussion of the Ashlawn Grille and its use of the non-exclusive space, ie. the Faulconer and Terrace Rooms. This letter is not about the issue of reserving the room; that is an internal/organizational matter. Rather the concerns that have been addressed to me relate to the room use fee. I recognize that venues charge fees for the use of the space. However, this question was addressed in a 2007 amendment to the 2005 lease when Skip Alston’s fees for use of non-exclusive space were dropped, eliminating the rental fee for the rooms. It makes no sense to eliminate the fee from Skip and then require the customer to pay it.
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On Wednesday, Aug. 6, at around 11 a.m., I was heading in to Charlottesville on I-64 west.  I saw brake lights, a billowing cloud of black smoke and stopped cars ahead.  I was three cars behind the tragic multi-vehicle accident that claimed two lives.  The first on the scene were Virginia Department of Transportation officials.  They directed our cars to pull over to the guardrail on the left and set up cones to direct the many emergency vehicles that would come to the scene from behind us.  The VDOT workers were efficient, professional, calm and very courteous to the many drivers waiting at the scene.  After about an hour, they directed us to turn around and drive back on the shoulder to the nearest median cross-over. They helped us get out into traffic in the eastbound lanes, making sure that we were safe to merge.  I didn’t have a chance to thank the VDOT workers at the scene, but I hope they will read this and know that their professionalism, courtesy and concern for our safety was noted and appreciated.

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