( 1 Vote )

Watching the eclipseMy friend burst into peals of laughter when she saw the DVD screen hanging in my car, suspended from multiple bungie cords.

My son had hung it in anticipation of the many hours we’d spend on the road during our solar eclipse vacation. Frankly, I was impressed he had gotten it to stay put.

“That’s how we roll,” I told her.

That DVD player came in handy as we sat in stop-and-go traffic after the eclipse. The doleful predictions of traffic disaster proved all too true. After three hours had elapsed I checked the odometer. We’d gone 85 miles.

“On the bright side,” I said to my mother in the passenger seat, “We don’t need to get gas.”

By the end of the night my mom was plying me with questions about every controversial subject she could think of, from statues in Charlottesville to transgender military policy, in a much-appreciated attempt to keep me from falling asleep behind the wheel. Four non-stop days of eclipse fun had worn us out. In the backseat the DVD player had fallen silent and the kids were sleeping. The littlest one whimpered, uncomfortable in her booster seat.

When I finally closed my eyes in my own bed, I saw an endless stream of brake lights on a dark ribbon of road.

The trip was worth the pain it took to get back. I knew I’d have to have something up my sleeve in addition to the eclipse in case the sky clouded over. So we visited a water park, an amusement park, and, best of all, spent a morning ziplining through the Smoky Mountains. Add a comment


( 0 Votes )

Flucos win opener

The Flying Fluco football team opened its 2017 season tonight (Aug. 25)  with a tense 14-12 win over the visiting Bluestone High Barons. 

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AquaAqua Virginia, the company that provides water and sewer service to much of Fluvanna, filed a request Aug. 1 for a rate increase with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) that could raise customer bills by 7.4 percent.

The average household in the Lake Monticello system uses 3,200 gallons of water and sewage service per month, said Aqua Virginia President John Aulbach.

That puts the average customer bill at $118.61 per month. Once the rate changes go into effect, that bill will increase to $127.38 per month.

Aqua is permitted to charge its new rates before the SCC rules on the case. If the SCC ultimately approves a rate increase lower than Aqua’s new charges, Aqua must refund the difference plus interest to its customers.

The rate case requests that the SCC allow Aqua to begin charging its new rates “no later than 180 days after the company’s application is deemed complete.” Gretchen Toner, Aqua America spokesperson, said that the company will wait to hear from the SCC before implementing the new rates.

Aqua provides water and sewer service to nearly 5,000 homes, offices and other buildings in the Lake Monticello system. Lake Monticello, Sycamore Square, Nahor Village and Piedmont Village comprise the Lake Monticello system, which is Aqua’s largest system in the state.

Aqua also provides water to 40 locations in Columbia, 31 locations in Palmyra, and 28 locations in the Stage Coach neighborhood. Add a comment


( 1 Vote )

Herman TolliverThe operators of the county’s food pantry have extended a challenge to Fluvanna residents.

If everyone in the county gives $1, the food pantry can move into its new digs and launch operations that will better serve Fluvanna’s hungry.

Fluvanna Christian Service Society (FCSS), which operates the food pantry, hopes that local churches will take up “love offerings,” or special collections, as part of the challenge.

FCSS needs $35,000 for its new setup. Counted toward that goal is $11,520 that Fluvanna County will pay to acquire one of its buildings.

That leaves $23,480. FCSS hopes that each of the 26,000 residents of Fluvanna will throw in a buck to help out their neighbors.

The food pantry needs to move. Currently FCSS owns two small buildings in the Carysbrook complex and uses space inside a county public works building to house some of its operations. But the arrangement has become inadequate for both FCSS and public works.

FCSS is selling a stick-built building to the county and moving a second shed-like building about 200 feet, from behind the social services building to behind the Carysbook gym. The organization also hopes to purchase two new shed-like buildings.

The cost of the move, including the new buildings, wiring, insulation and other needs, totals $35,000.

Included in that figure is the cost of a new industrial-size refrigerator and industrial-size freezer. “We have eight or 10 refrigerators that have been donated. They go on the fritz,” said FCSS member Susan Hughes.

Because FCSS pays its own electric bill, the cost can be enormous. FCSS hopes to save money and boost reliability with the two new appliances.

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RoundaboutAfter almost a year of construction, the roundabout at Routes 15 and 53 is finally complete.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) estimated throughout the past year that the roundabout would be finished as of Wednesday (Aug. 23). Both Lou Hatter, of VDOT district communications, and Alan Saunders, VDOT resident engineer, confirmed earlier this month that construction should be completed on time.

The roundabout has transformed the landscape of one of Fluvanna’s busiest T-intersections. During school and rush hour traffic, vehicles often remain stopped for several minutes. VDOT hopes the roundabout will transform traffic congestion as well.

“The roundabout should work extremely well in that location,” said Hatter. “One of the issues that we had was an increase in traffic volume after [Fluvanna County] High School was relocated to Route 53. The advantage to a roundabout is that it allows traffic to flow through the intersection using the natural breaks in the traffic flow, so you tend to not get the stacked-up traffic at the stop sign.” Add a comment