EclipseThe path of the Great American Solar Eclipse that takes place Monday (Aug. 21) misses Virginia. But Fluvanna residents who have chosen not to travel to see it will still be in for a show.

Although people in Fluvanna will not be able to see totality – the fleeting minutes during which the moon completely covers the face of the sun – they will witness a partial solar eclipse.

By coincidence or design, the apparent size of the sun and moon are nearly identical when seen from the earth. Though the sun’s diameter is 400 times bigger than the moon’s, its extreme distance from the earth – 93 million miles compared to 239,000 miles from the earth to the moon – makes it appear almost exactly the same size as the moon in the sky.

This phenomenon makes it possible for Earthlings to witness what is rightly called one of nature’s most spectacular displays: a solar eclipse. Add a comment


County fairWhile area farmers revived the Fluvanna County Fair in 2014 so 4-H kids would have a local place to show their animals in the summer, there is so much more than animals at the upcoming county fair.

The fair runs from Wednesday through Saturday (Aug. 16-19) at Pleasant Grove Park on Route 53. Gates open Wednesday with a carnival. Attendance is free, but tickets to ride are a dollar apiece.

Thursday, children 18 and under get in free. Friday and Saturday admission is $2 per person and children two and under are free, said fair treasurer Channing Snoddy.
There is something for everyone:

  • High school pep rally – Thursday;
  • Wing eating contest – Thursday;
  • Hot air balloon and helicopter rides – Thursday and Friday;
  • Antique tractor pull – Friday;
  • Equine trials and obstacle challenge – Saturday;
  • 4-H livestock sale – Saturday;
  • Jalapeño eating contest – Saturday;
  • Rodeo – Saturday;
  • Live music – throughout; and
  • Home arts display and competition – throughout. Add a comment


Reserve deputiesHundreds of residents joined first responders at Pleasant Grove on Tuesday (Aug. 1) for Fluvanna County’s Second Annual National Night Out. Featuring a “bike rodeo” course, a cornhole toss, a bounce-house, a “family fun run,” sno-cones and music, it was a great way to pass a summer evening – but it was also a way to build community between citizens and law enforcement.

Building bridges is more important now than ever as public confidence in law enforcement has dropped to near-record lows in recent years. From national controversies like the police shooting that sparked riots in Ferguson, Mo., to the local debate over the teargassing of protesters in Charlottesville after the Ku Klux Klan rally last month, the perception that the police are working against the people has eroded trust in law enforcement.

Even in the best of times, people tend to only come in contact with the police in moments of stress. First held in 1984, National Night Out was designed to give the public and law enforcement a space where they could relax and connect without stress.
“This shows that we are actually human beings,” Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Von Hill told Charlottesville Newsplex. “We’re doing jobs that ordinary people are doing.” Add a comment


Radar gunA familiar scenario: You’re driving along the highways and byways of Fluvanna County – perhaps in a hurry, perhaps just not paying attention – and you suddenly see those flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror.

According to statistics provided by the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), deputies made 2,995 traffic stops between Aug. 1, 2016, and Aug. 1, 2017, and issued 903 traffic summonses. Of those, 476 were for speeding, 66 were for reckless driving, and 12 were reckless driving at 20 miles per hour (mph) or more over the posted limit. Deputies also made 74 arrests for driving while intoxicated.

Capt. David Wells of the FCSO said the overall goal of traffic enforcement is safety. “We try to focus on needs-based enforcement,” he said. “We target locations that either generated traffic-related complaints [or] an area that may be prone to motor vehicle crashes.”

Deputies responded to 473 crashes since August 2016, and three people were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on Route 15 in late January, but the emphasis on the most trouble-prone areas has helped improve overall safety. Earlier this year the county was recognized by the Department of Motor Vehicles for having zero traffic fatalities in 2016.  Add a comment


waterFor the fifth time in 13 years, Aqua Virginia has started the process of raising water and sewer rates for its customers in Fluvanna.

Aqua’s biggest customer in Virginia is the Lake Monticello system, which serves Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square. Aqua also provides water service to Columbia, Palmyra, and Stagecoach Hills. All told, the company provides service to 4,648 locations in Fluvanna. Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square account for 4,550.

Aqua plans to file its rate case with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on or around Aug. 1, said Gretchen Toner, spokesperson for Aqua America.

Aqua has not released any specifics on how high it wants to raise water and sewer rates, and the rate case filing was not available at press time. John Aulbach, president of Aqua Virginia, will discuss details of the rate case with the Fluvanna Review after the paperwork is filed, Toner said.

Because one rate increase was phased in over two years, Aqua customers have actually seen their water and sewer rates increase six times since the company purchased the system in 2003.

The average water and sewer bill at Lake Monticello is $118 – an amount that has more than tripled since the average customer paid $38 a month in the years before and immediately after Aqua bought the system. Add a comment