( 2 Votes )

CandidatesThe Columbia District seat on the Fluvanna County School Board is up for grabs in the upcoming Nov. 7 election. Andrew Pullen and Linda Staiger are competing for the seat being vacated by Camilla Washington.

Pullen will appear on the ballot. Staiger’s candidacy was originally certified but Registrar Joyce Pace later discovered that Staiger had filed an incorrect financial form. Staiger then submitted the correct form but the State Board of Elections denied her appeal. She is running a write-in campaign.

In an effort to get to know the candidates, the Fluvanna Review asked the following questions.

Tell us about yourself: where you grew up, your education, your family and how long you’ve lived in Fluvanna.

Pullen: I grew up in Fluvanna and graduated from Fluvanna County High School in 2004. I have been a career fireman for 12 years. My wife Sarah and I live in Kents Store with our daughter Emmalyn. 

Staiger: My father was a Navy pilot so when I was little we moved around. When he retired, we finally settled down in beautiful Fluvanna. I was just starting high school and eventually graduated   from high school at Carysbrook. I went on to Virginia Tech for two years; then I worked and later went to the University of Virginia, where I paid my way and graduated cum laude. After I finished medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School on loans and scholarships, I did training to become an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California in San Francisco. I moved back to Virginia in the mid ’90s to help my family. I practiced surgery in Farmville and then at the University of Virginia. I live on land from my family farm near the village of Palmyra.

What three words best describe you?  

Staiger: Compassionate, determined and problem solver.

Pullen: Passionate, determined and empathetic.

Before your candidacy, how many School Board meetings did you attend? 

Pullen: I’m not sure how many to be exact. I’ve been attending School Board and Board of Supervisors meetings for many years.

Staiger: None. Add a comment

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( 0 Votes )

PanelWay back in October 1788, Fluvanna County became part of the first case of gerrymandering in U.S. history when Patrick Henry led a movement to draw the lines of what would become the 5th District in such a way as to keep his political enemy, James Madison, out of office.

The effort failed, but the principle of creating voting districts that favor one political party is alive and well 229 years later. 

Last week, about two dozen Fluvannians assembled at the Historic Courthouse in Palmyra for a day-long look at the issue of redistricting.

Organized by artist Lindsay Nolting and author and historian Mac Griswold, with the assistance of the non-partisan advocacy group OneVirginia2021, the conference brought together activists, politicians, and academics who talked about everything from the moral and ethical aspects of the practice down to the nitty-gritty of algorithms that make gerrymandering so effective and so often damaging.

Most states look at redrawing voting districts in the year following the decennial census, ostensibly to readjust political representation based on whether the population has increased or decreased over the previous 10 years.
The problem is that the politicians themselves draw the lines, and the party in power of a state’s legislature at the time of redistricting controls much of the process. The incentive to draw the map to favor their own party, or “gerrymander,” is strong. Add a comment

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( 0 Votes )

Bank robbery suspect in custody

A suspect in the robbery of the Union Bank & Trust in Palmyra is in custody, Capt. David Wells of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release at about 4 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 12).

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( 0 Votes )

Charles PayneWhen we think of Fluvanna history, we think of people like “Texas” Jack Omohundro, the Timberlakes, and other notables who designed buildings, fought in battle and blazed trails. Few ever mention those who came after, growing up in humble beginnings in rural Fluvanna. They were trailblazers of a different kind, who made sacrifices, withstood trials and faced obstacles. A woman named Chris was one of those people who is rarely talked about, but who made a significant impact in the lives of those who knew her.

In his book titled Chris, Charles Payne talks about Chris and her unique journey through life as a single mother and a woman who made it in a male-dominated world when it was difficult to do so.

“Chris was an extraordinary woman – a product of the Great Depression who had unflagging determination to improve her life and a can-do attitude,” said Payne. This inspired him to write her story.

The book opens around 1910. Payne sets the scene with the innovations, economy and society of that time, and the marriage of Chris’ parents in 1911. Chris was related to the Perkins and Morris families in Fluvanna.
Payne would not give too much away about his story, including Chris’ last name, where in Fluvanna she lived, or his relationship to her, but he did say the family suffered many hardships during the Depression.

“Chris had several siblings and during those years they suffered life-shattering losses and deprivation. They lost everything they had, forever altering the paths of their lives, and death stalked them,” said Payne. “Remember also, in World War II women did many men’s jobs. Chris was tall, slender, pretty, outgoing and kind hearted, but she was also fiercely tenacious and brighter than she or anyone else realized until her accomplishments began to be noticed.” Add a comment

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( 1 Vote )

Cheryl ElliottI blame my brother. He was the one who proclaimed: “May 2016 be a year of adventure and blessing!” I had no choice but to respond with “challenge accepted,” and treat last year’s unexpected breast cancer diagnosis as both adventure and blessing.

For me, his proclamation became: “May this breast cancer adventure bring unusual and exciting experiences, bursting with God’s favor, protection and well-being!” Although he also said I was going through a lot of trouble just for a boob job! Brothers!

As it turns out, my breast cancer journey – in which I experienced the whole gamut:  chemotherapy and its ugly side effects, breast surgery, immune system collapse, and reconstruction – has brought both adventure (and some misadventure) and blessing. I’m told I’ve handled the diagnosis and treatment a little differently than most women, and I pray that sharing my journey will bring hope and encouragement. Here are a few ponderings from my cancer adventure.

Facing fears

A breast cancer diagnosis unleashes a storm of fears. Fear of the unknown: Did I cause this? What’s going to happen to me?  Fear of pain: Will it hurt? Fear of losing control. Fear of dying and fear of a life unlived. Information is often the antidote for fear because I am most afraid of what I don’t know. If I’m going to buy a refrigerator, I have to learn everything I can about refrigerators before making a final choice. The same is true when dealing with a diagnosis. Make decisions based on the information available and advice of doctors. Sorry, but “Doctor Google” should not be a trusted advisor.
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