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( 5 Votes )

Linda Mullin and Susan WalkerMembers of the Fluvanna Art Association (FAA) walked through a door in an artisan building in Charlottesville Nov. 17 and emerged into The Glass Palette, an interactive glass studio owned by Maria DiMassimo and her daughter, Cara, who is known as the glass guru.

Against the backdrop of massive concrete walls stood tables full of bold and colorful iridescent and translucent glass. A variety of styles, shapes and patterns were represented, from thin delicate lacy plates to swirled candy stripe tulip-shaped vases, sculptures, sun catchers, jewelry, picture frames, mirrors and even a dress made in glass.

The dress, startling in its painstaking beauty, was the centerpiece in the room, and stood in front of a door framed with a bold mosaic of glass. Each piece of the dress was special in its design. The cobalt and soft blue circles of glass were woven into the dress with lacy, delicate brass chain link. The bodice, all in glass, gleamed under the bright overhead lights. The FAA members stood in awe, trying to imagine how Cara DiMassimo envisioned the design and executed it. There was even a photo of her wearing the dress, which she said weighs over 20 pounds.

Then it was the members’ turn to create. Maria DiMassio explained the process to those who had never made anything out of glass. She demonstrated the use of glass cutters, which to some looked heavy and industrial. She showed the proper way to cut tiny glass pieces, easily snapping them.

“You cannot cut yourself with these unless you deliberately put your finger in between the blades,” she said. Members laughed, which made them less afraid of handling them.

She discussed the variety of items members could make, from a little plate or bowl to earrings, a pendant, or even a Christmas ornament.

“Everything is created on the flat and then fired twice,” said Maria DiMassimo. The materials could be layered and overlapped, but would get tiny beads of glue on the corner. Add a comment

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( 1 Vote )

Carol Tracy Carr and Camilla WashingtonIt takes courage to run for elected office and commitment to do the job once elected.

After serving on the Fluvanna School Board since 2009, Vice Chair Camilla Washington (Columbia) decided to not run for re-election. Chair Carol Carr (Rivanna) was appointed in February 2012, then ran for and won the seat in November that same year. Carr also decided to step down.

The Fluvanna Review asked them both to share their experiences as a Board member and their thoughts on the work they did.

Camilla Washington

Why were you interested in running for School Board and what convinced you to do it?

My sons, Nick and Chris, were fifth graders at Central Elementary School when the Columbia District seat became available. I had been an active participant in my children’s education since kindergarten and a member of the Parent Teacher Association at Columbia and Central Elementary. I was approached by several teachers in the division to pursue becoming the School Board candidate. As I began to think about the position, I saw it as an opportunity to represent the constituents in my district and have a voice for all children in the division.

What was the mood of the county and the country when you first ran?
In 2009 the economy was being challenged with high taxes and financial instability. Locally, the high school was in the final stages of construction and there was still quite a bit of conflict in Fluvanna about the need for the facility and the funds that were spent on the building. Add a comment

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( 1 Vote )

Larry and Sharon StraussLake Monticello resident Larry Strauss has been counseling people for over 40 years and spoke about his experiences, from 9/11 to the recent event in Charlottesville, and how these events have shaped society.

“In natural or man-made disasters there are different stages survivors go through and stress is the normal reaction of course, but the commonality is loss, displacement, feelings of futility and fear of the future,” he said. “Mostly my job is to listen and help them with resources. I have an appreciation for what they’ve been through.”

Strauss recalled growing up in Brooklyn and later working in the area where the Twin Towers went down.

“When I was a kid I used to make deliveries around that area,” he said. “I was startled for the first 24 hours after it happened.”

Strauss’ own past may have been an influence on helping others through trying times. His family, Russian immigrants, fled Eastern Europe in the late 1900s, beginning a new life in America, but the new life came with its own share of difficulties. In 1918 his grandfather was killed in a robbery. In 1921 his mother came over from Europe and the ship she was on sank. “She was never able to board a boat or a ship after that experience,” he said.

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( 0 Votes )

Jane SmithLet’s admit it, when students know that they have a substitute teacher, they assume they have a day off.  That would not be the case for a very special substitute teacher named Jane Smith.

Smith may be the oldest active substitute teacher in Virginia. Subbing for Buckingham County Public Schools for almost 20 years, Smith, at the age of 86, reports to the school division’s classrooms on a fairly consistent basis; she’s a regular at Buckingham Middle School.

Why would an 86-year-old go into the classroom when she could be doing most anything else? Because of her love for children and the joy of teaching.
Originally from Page County, Smith attended Radford University (nee College). Because her husband was a forester, the family moved to a number of locations in Virginia. While living in Charlotte County, Smith taught at Randolph Henry High School – she recalls teaching Gene Dixon, Jr. and Patrick Henry’s great-great grandson – where she also ran the debate team. “Those were wonderful years,” said Smith.

Sadly, those wonderful years ended when Smith and her husband had to deal with the death of their college-aged son at the hands of a drunk driver. “That destroyed our marriage,” said Smith. “My husband was angry and could not get over our son’s death.”

Smith, now a single woman, entered Union Seminary in Richmond to earn a master’s in religious education. “Those four years in Richmond were enriching,” she said. “I went into very depressed areas of the city to assist in feeding the poor. I found out what life was really about. It allowed my life to broaden and see across cultural and economic lines.” Add a comment

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( 0 Votes )

cheeringThe Fluco girls’ basketball team under long-term Coach Chad White went to the Conference semi-finals last season. Chaniyah Brown, who was the senior team leader last season, has graduated, but White’s squad last year was extremely young with a number of freshman standouts and he has a host of strong returnees. Navaeh Ivory returns at guard. She was a first team All-Conference selection as a freshman last year.

Jemika Johnson is a senior who will man the post for the Flucos. She was an All-Conference honorable mention last year. Two athletes who made major contributions last season as freshman are speedy guard Jules Shepherd and rangy forward Mya Wright. They are both expected to start. The fifth starter was also a freshman last season. Kyla Scott had some strong games in her freshman year and will contribute again from the wing. Accordingly, it looks like White will have a very young and promising line-up with one senior and four sophomores starting. He also will have two freshmen contributing: Destini Monroe and Caitlyn Broderick.

The Fluco girls will continue to play their usual pressing and harassing defense that is intended to create a host of turnovers that lead to easy fast break baskets. White’s teams are always entertaining to watch as the action is always fast paced.

Fluco boys’ basketball Coach Jason Davis will have a very young team this year with six sophomores and one freshman on the roster. However, he will have some veterans in the starting line-up. The two highest scorers from last year’s squad return as seniors. A.J. Gregory, who swings between guard and forward, was a Conference honorable mention last year and he and DaShon Carter, who will be the shooting guard, will be counted on again to lead the Flucos on offense.

Two sophomores who will be in the starting line-up are Emory Davis, who played well on the JV squad last year and will handle the point guard position, and Walt Stribling, who will be the team’s center, or in more current terminology, the team’s post player. Stribling was a standout lineman on the football team and he will bring some size and rebounding to the Flucos forecourt. The fifth starter for the Flucos will probably be senior Caden Koslowski or junior Andrew Pace, both of whom logged serious playing time last season for varsity. Add a comment

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