Clarke County Firm Part of Business Group that Lands International Green Energy Award

ECU Installation on board the Taiko

A collaboration that includes Shenandoah Control Systems, Inc., a technology firm located in Clarke County, Virginia, has received international recognition for an inspired green energy solution that has a broad range of applications to improve fuel efficiency and emissions in diesel engines and boilers.

On Friday, September 21, 2012, Savannah Ocean Exchange announced the winners of the 2012 Orcelle Grants, which provided $100,000 in funds to two recipients and are aimed at identifying inventions that protect the environment. One of the two grants was awarded for NONOX: Emulsion Combustion Systems submitted by Eric Cottell of NONOX, Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas, Wes Pence of Wholesome Energy and Jerry Boyles of Shenandoah Control Systems Inc. The “Emulsion Combustion System” or ECU, is designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions by improving the combustion process on the inlet side of the diesel engines. The ECU produces an on-demand, water-in-oil emulsion fuel that reduces nitrous oxide, black carbon/soot, and other air pollutants. The system can also be switched back and forth between emulsion and straight fuel at the flick of a switch. The NONOX Fuel Emulsions System is easy to install with little or no down time for the customer, the return on the investment is typically less than a year, and on larger installations less than that. This system is most attractive in today’s market due to ever increasing fuel costs and more stringent emissions regulations.

Wes Pence of Wholesome Energy (middle) and Jerry Boyles (right) prepare to board the Taiko in Long Beach

The process of developing the system began about four years ago when NONOX, Ltd. provided a “proof of concept” oil/water emulsion system for a building boiler heating system at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, VA. Jerry Boyles, owner of Shenandoah Control Systems, Inc., offered his services to NONOX to improve the performance of the system by designing electronic controls to regulate the ratio of water to fuel. After the successful initial installation, the process of emulsion fuels was proposed to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics shipping lines as a means to reduce pollution and fuel consumption for their fleet of ships.

Jerry Boyles said,”Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics agreed to let us design and implement a prototype system on one of their fleet ships, the Taiko, which is a 860 foot long roll on, roll off (RORO) cargo vessel.”

Boyles described the collaboration of the three businesses who worked together to complete the award-winning installation by saying,”To execute the prototype, we formed a collaboration between NONOX, Ltd, the owner of the patented emulsion generation technology, Wholesome Energy, Edinburg, VA, who did the mechanical fabrication and installation of the equipment, and Shenandoah Control Systems. We performed the electrical design and software programming to control the blending of fuel oil and water and fail-safe programming to detect and react to any system faults.”

The prototype was tested on several voyages of the Taiko, including passages from Long Beach, CA to Newport News via the Panama Canal; Melbourne, Australia, around Western Australia to Singapore; and from New York City to Baltimore. The results of the testing showed an average of 4-5% improvement in fuel consumption, a 30% reduction in nitrous oxide emissions and significant reduction in particulate (soot) emissions. Typically, a ship of this size would consume about 65-70 metric tons of oil per day. So, a 5% savings could mean a savings of over  8000 pounds of fuel a day.

Christopher Connor, Deputy CEO and CCO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, congratulated the winner saying, “The NONOX Emulsion Combustion System is an innovative solution that can decrease emissions of harmful substances to the air considerably, both at sea and on land. The team has done an impressive job in developing this promising technology. We hope that the Orcelle Grant will make it possible for them to bring this product to market, and look forward to supporting the laureate on this journey.”

The journey could take the product into many markets. The flexible and  convenient approach can translate to almost any industry. Mr. Boyles said,  “I think what decided the award in our favor is that this technology is applicable to any form of combustion of oil products, whether it be ships, trucks, trains, or stationary boilers.”

Lady Eagle Digs Deep to Play at High Point

Courtney Butterfass in High Point game against Elon. Photo credit Phill Butterfass

Clarke County soccer teams have grown to represent a powerful force in the Bull Run District and beyond. Both boys and girls teams consistently make it to post season action and last season the Lady Eagles made it all the way to the state semifinals. However, when our finest leave Clarke County they find themselves competing against student athletes from much larger schools. While that challenge can often mean the end of a student’s school soccer career, other times it forces exceptional athletes to step-up their game and rise to the occasion.

Such was the case with local midfielder, Courtney Butterfass.

Courtney graduated from Clarke County High School last year after amassing three varsity letters, three All-District,  two All-Region and two All-State selections. She was also named to the All-Area team as a senior on the the Clarke County team that advanced to the state semi-finals.

Courtney elected to attend High Point University in North Carolina and planned to major in Pharmacy. As the new school year approached Courtney felt the draw of soccer and was compelled to try out for the High Point team during the summer.  Courtney went to the last summer camp and was evaluated during the camp.  Coach Marty Beall explained that there were already 32 girls on the roster, but he would like her to be on the team as well.  The coach provided Courtney with a training booklet for running and ball skills that she would be expected to perform. With only 5 weeks between being accepted to the team and the first day of training, Courtney gave it all she had.  Due to the excessive heat this past summer, Courtney and her mom were up at 6am every morning traveling to Handley High school  to use the turf football field for the running drills.  After dinner, the family would go over to the Clarke County recreation center to work on ball skills training.  It was truly a family affair.

It paid off,  Courtney was excited to be selected as a member of a Division 1 NCAA soccer team and was one of only 9 teammates to pass all the running tests on the first try.

Courtney knew that she would have limited playing time going into her first year, but has already amassed 96 minutes of playing time in the first 11 games of the season.

Courtney is the daughter of Berryville residents Philip and Carlene Butterfass.

Cabral Challenges Wolf for 10th District Congressional Seat

Tenth District candidate Kristin Cabral says that it’s time for a change in Washington and promises to inject new ideas into the US House of Representatives if she is elected.

10th District House of Representatives candidate Kristin Cabral – Photo Edward Leonard

“I will bring fresh leadership to our broken Congress in order to ensure that we preserve and grow the American Dream,” Cabral said in Berryville on Tuesday. “I have been blessed with educational opportunities that the American taxpayers provided to me and I want those opportunities to be there for future generations as well.”

Cabral, who is a lawyer and federal prosecutor, is the Democratic Party’s challenger to incumbent Republican Frank Wolf for a seat on Capitol Hill.

Cabral has made education a central plank in her campaign platform.

“I was the first person in my family to go to college and thanks to that educational opportunity I have been able to both practice and teach law,” Cabral said. “That increased educational support for young people is the key to ensuring that the American Dream will still be available for future generations of Americans. Education has allowed me to support my family. In order for people to achieve the American Dream of providing for a family we have to have better educational opportunities which in turn lead to better jobs and improved incomes.”

“Students need access to Pell grants and students loans, we need to support our community college so that we can provide technical training beyond high school,” Cabral said. “We need careful spending in order to create access to education so that our children have the opportunity to get good jobs. Right now we are winding down two wars. I favor using some of the funding being used in the wars towards the Federal debt but we also should use some the funds to increase spending on our children and current workers.”

Cabral said she supports reprograming some of the funds currently being used for the Iraq and Afghanistan towards improved education opportunities.

In addition to education, Cabral’s campaign platform incorporates a range issues that she hopes will appeal to area voters including fair pay for women workers. Cabral says that if she is elected she will also advocate for more job training and budgetary changes that she says Frank Wolf has resisted.

“Frank Wolf has 32 years of seniority and a track record of not delivering for our district,” Cabral said. “We should have better educational opportunities and better job opportunities. But Frank Wolf is part of the gridlock in Washington.”

Cabral also criticized Wolf for voting for budget sequestration, a decision that she says placed many families in the 10th District at risk.

“Frank Wolf is part of the Congress that kicked the can down the road,” Cabral said. “With 32 years in office he should be a stronger leader by now.

“Studies show that women only earn 77-cents compared to a dollar that a man earns for the same job,” Cabral said. “Not only are women are putting in the same amount of labor but earning less, they’re not being promoted to higher paying jobs.

Asked if there are companies in the northern Shenandoah Valley guilty of paying women less than men for the same jobs Cabral replied “There is a very good chance that there are.”

Cabral, who says that she supports the Afforable Care Act, believes that affordable access to healthcare is key to the American public’s well-being because it allows for citizens to care for their families and that.

Cabral said that prior to the Affordable Care Act women who had undergone breast cancer treatment had difficulty obtaining healthcare policies in the open market because of the pre-existing cancer condition.

“Too many Americans are underserved by the healthcare markets in this country,” Cabral said. “If that weren’t true the Federal government would never have had to intervene to begin with. The Affordable Care Act also means that women will no longer be penalized simply because they are women.”

Cabral says that if she is elected she will take immediate steps to address what she termed the “Federal budget crisis” in part by ending the corporate favoritism that she says Frank Wolf supports.

“In order to deal with the debt crisis we need to raise revenue,” Cabral said. “We need to reform the tax code and end the Federal subsidies to oil companies that Wolf supports. We need to make sure that American companies pay taxes and don’t hide funds in offshore banks. We also have to have a sunset on tax breaks for people with incomes over $250K.”

Cabral said that she favors rolling back tax rates to Clinton-era levels.

Cabral readily acknowledged that running against incumbent Frank Wolf was an uphill battle, Even so, she believes the effort is worth it.

“Resources are important to a campaign and it’s hard for a first time candidate in a battleground state where donors are already contributing to a lot of other issues,” Cabral said. “I’m doing my best to run a 200-day campaign against a career Washington insider. I’m just a regular person making a run for a House of Representatives seat. I hoping to earn the voters trust because I am representative of the people.”

Last week Cabral issued a challenge to Wolf to participate in a series of debates across the district. The debates will be sponsored by various community organizations and media outlets. Cabral proposed debate locations  in Winchester, Berryville, Great Falls and Manassas.

“Participating in these debates isn’t something Frank Wolf should do for me,” said Cabral. “It’s something that he should do for his constituents.”

The first of the four debates is scheduled for Tuesday, October 2nd in Winchester and sponsored by The Northern Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.

“The Northern Shenandoah Valley Tea Party would welcome the chance to host a debate between the candidates of the 10th Congressional District of Virginia,” said Chairman Jay Marts. “We want all citizens to cast an informed vote in November.”

“Healthy debate is a huge part of maintaining a healthy democracy,” added Cabral. “We need to give voters all across this district access to the candidates as much as we can throughout the next month and a half. If a congressman decides to only debate in certain specific areas of his district, what does that say about him and his perception regarding the importance of one particular area’s constituents versus another?”


Heartbreak at The Felt as Eagles Lose to Rams in Final Seconds

#1 Kasey Lake makes the interception late in the first half. Photo credit Pam Lettie

Payback was on the minds of coaches and players as the Eagles faced the Strasburg Rams Friday night at the Felt. Two losses to the Rams last season, the second of which ended the Eagles playoff hopes, gave the team an added incentive in their first district game of the 2012 season.

The Rams had their own ideas.

The tightly matched game saw entire quarters eaten by single possessions on each side of the ball as offensive sides fought for yardage. In the end two 4th quarter breakout scores pushed the momentum to Strasburg handing them the victory over Clarke County 20-13.

Going into the game Clarke County knew their defense would have to stop Strasburg running back #23 Rakwon White. Last season White amassed over 500 yards rushing in their two match-ups and remains a force to be reckoned with this season. While the Eagles rose to the occasion in the first half, the relentless running attack wore them down in the second half as White amassed 174 yards rushing and scored the winning touchdown with 30 seconds left in the game.

Clarke County jumped ahead early in the game and both teams traded series in a closely fought game. The  lead that the Eagles carried into the half held until mid 4th quarter when the momentum shifted as Strasburg Quarterback #7 Troy Gordon broke around the outside and ran 36 yards for the tying score.

The next drive for Clarke County would be pivotal as they moved the ball towards breaking the tie.  A steady drive was knocked back by a holding call backing them up to 1-20. Driving forward to 4th and 1 the Eagles went for the first down and were stopped.

The Rams took possession on their own 46 and put together a 3 minute drive capped off by the Rakwon White’s TD with 30 seconds left to play.

Strasburg remains undefeated at 5-0, while the Eagles drop to 3-2 and are now 0-1 in the Bull Run District.

Next week Clarke County is not the road against the new school in Loudoun John Champe H S. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM


The Clarke Weekender – 9/21/2012

I love this time of year. The crisp clear air, the colors, great apples, and here in Clarke County another weekend packed with great activities. From music to steeple chases there is an abundance of fun for the whole family.

However the beautiful weather we have enjoyed may not make it into the weekend as summer makes a last gasp at the Autumnal Equinox. Highs on Saturday will be around 84° with a chance of showers so make sure you bring your umbrellas for outdoor activities.

So here’s my list of things to do in Clarke County this weekend. Welcome fall and enjoy what Clarke County has to offer.

Friday September 21

Watermelon Park Fest 2012” – The three day Americana Roots Music Festival started Thursday night and will continue through Saturday. The festival includes artists like The Del McCoury Band, Tim O’Brien, Larry Keel, Furnace Mountain, and 20+ other bands. There are also contests workshops, camping, kids activities and more. Located alongside the Shenandoah river at Watermelon Park. Tickets are $40 a day. Kids under 12 are FREE. For more details visit:

Enjoy a free evening of fine acoustic music in town as Local Flavor Featuring folk singer Bill Johnston performs at 6:30 pm. at the Barns of Rose Hill.  Free Admission.

Clarke County vs. Strasburg. The Clarke County Varsity Football  Team takes on arch-rivals Strasburg in their first district game of the season at The Felt. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.

The “Calcutta Dinner, Dance & Auction” will be held at 6:00 PM at Woodley Farm in Berryville. Enjoy the sunset over the rolling hills of Woodley Farm, sipping cocktails, enjoying fine dining and live music from Soul Expressions, a 7-piece band playing funk, rock, jazz and today’s hits. To find out more or to reserve your seats, visit: or call: 540-536-2387. This year’s beneficiaries of the Blue Ridge Fall Races are the Youth Development Center and the Winchester Medical Center Foundation Angel Fund.

Saturday September 22

Start your morning at the Clarke County Farmers Market and pick up some of the great apples and fall vegetables that are in season. The market runs from 8:00 AM though 12:00 noon in the municipal parking lot on South Church Street.

After the market stroll on over to the  Fire House Gallery on East Main Street for the “Art of Making Art — Watercolor Demonstration with Julie Read” 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.Berryville. for more information call 540-955-4001 or visit:

Blue Ridge Fall Races”. The annual running of the Blue Ridge Fall Races will take place at Woodley Farm in Berryville, VA on Saturday.  Enjoy a relaxing day in the countryside with excellent views of the scenic race course. There is also a great schedule full of family friendly activities including a children’s area with pony rides, face painting and moon bounce plus great shopping in vendors row. Gates Open 11 a.m. — Post Time 1 P.M. For more information visit: or call: 540-536-2387

HOOT for WILDLIFE!”  5:00 – 10:00 PM. Enjoy great food, drink, and dance music under the big tent after the Blue Ridge Fall races at Woodley Farm.  Proceeds benefit the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center.  Tickets are $40 at the gate. For more information, call 540-539-6150, visit

Enjoy free “Music for a September Evening”  Saturday at 7:30PM at the Barns of Rose Hill
Featuring: Francis Lapp Averitt, Flute, Elizabeth Temple. Piano, Melissa Chavez. Soprano, David Chavez , Piano. Jeff Luksik. Baritone
Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

Exploring the Night Sky by Telescope” 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. at Blandy Experimental Farm. Members of the Shenandoah Astronomical Society will guide participants in a search of stars, constellations, planets, and more.  Bring binoculars if you have them. FOSA members $8, nonmembers $10, families $20. For more information or to register for this event, call 540-837-1758 ext 224.

Sunday September 23

Worship at Christ Church” Millwood at 8:30 AM & 10:30 AM; Christian Education at 9:00 a.m.  Christ Church is located at 809 Bishop Meade Road.  Please call 540-837-1112 for more information.

Saint Luke Baptist Church will observe its Annual Women’s Day” 11:00AM at 17 Liberty Street, Berryville, VA. Minister Daniesha White, from Angels Ministries, will be the guest preacher at the 11:00 AM worship service. Please call 540-955-1883 for more information.




New Equinox Features Discovered at Clarke County Solstice Site

By René White (White Feather)

Remarkable discoveries are reported this week from the archeology team studying the 12,000 year old Spout-Run Paleoindian site found in Clarke County, VA in 2009. The Department of Historic Resources added the Paleo-site to the Virginia Landmarks Register as #44CK151 last year (Nov. 4, 2011). This week, just days before the Autumnal Equinox which occurs Saturday, Sept. 22, the team discovered a new solar alignment with a triangular rock formation.

On Wednesday (Sept 19), after the team took this year’s photos of the Equinox in alignment with concentric rings on the Paleoindian site, they visited a nearby triangular site, the land owner discovered last year. On an elevated partial nearby, the triangular rock configuration also aligns with the Equinox.

Wednesday, Sept. 19 photograph shows site owner Chris (Comeswithclouds) White standing on the two petroglyphs found Wednesday (Sept 19), as the equinox sun causes a halo effect over his head. Photo by René White (White Feather)

In 2011 during the Winter Solstice, land owner Chris (Comeswithclouds) White found a triangular shaped 12’- x 12’- x 12’-feet set of stones next to a small boulder set.

“The triangular shape has two lines of stones placed in the ground which form a V shape,” said White. “The open part of the V opens due East. On the west end of the V is a lead stone about 21” x 14” inches in diameter which has foot-type markings on it,” he added.

Lead Archaeologist Jack Hranicky confirmed the shapes as two incised petroglyph shapes carved into the lead stone: a foot shaped print approximately 9½” x 4” inches and a small foot shaped print approximately 7½” x 3½” inches, both attached together at the heel.

White used chalk to outline the shapes which face away from the Equinox sun rise.

“It appears the incising is the shape of two foot prints. When stood on, during the Equinox, the sun causes a halo effect over the person standing on the prints,” confirms Hranicky. “This is a new major feature,” he added.

The triangle of stones is in 105 degree alignment with the Autumnal Equinox as it crosses over the Blue Ridge Mountain, he added.

In 2010, Hranicky suggested the Virginia’s Spout Run Site as among the oldest above-ground Paleoindian ceremonial sites in North America. He describes these first people living approximately 12,000 years ago as, “Virginia’s first Engineers.”

Whats Next for the Site?

Jack Hranicky and Chris (Comeswithclouds) White analyzing the foot-type markings on the triangular shape days before the fall 2012 Equinox.

The University of Washington State has agreed to use the Thermoluminescence (TL) method to help date heat-treated jasper found during the 2011 excavation. The TL technique has a range of 1,000 to 500,000 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey web site. The team is also in the process of registering the Spout Run Site as a state-recognized prehistoric site with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and as a National Historic Landmark with the U.S. Department of Interior.

White said he is continuing plans to preserve the site for future generations and welcomes partners who wish to do the same. The team has been studying the PaleoIndian site for three years now.

Autumnal Equinox

On Sept. 22, during the Autumnal Equinox, the sun will be perpendicular (directly above) the equator. Viewers along the east coast will see the sun rise at a 90 degree in direct line-of-site to the east. In comparison, the site does not have direct line-of-site to the east coast because of the mountain so the sun has to rise higher and at an approximate 105 degree angle as it makes its way over the mountain to be seen at the Paleo-site here.

The Equinox is a precise moment in time which is common to all observers on Earth. Twice a year, in September and March, day and night become equal. There are only two Equinoxes only two days during the year, in September and March. The length of the day and night are approximately 12 hours a part, giving 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at all points on the earth’s surface. The word Equinox comes from the Latin language “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night,” thus “equal nights.”

Most people recognize the September Equinox as the beginning of fall or autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Others believe the Fall Equinox marks the mid-point between Autumn (which begins in August and ends in October). Seasons are opposite on either side of the equator during the Equinox. Many cultures and religions celebrate holidays or observe festivals around the September Equinox.

The triangular lead stone with foot-type markings outlined in chalk.

The Fall Equinox day of transition shows up on Mayan, Judaism, Buddhist, Druid, ancient Irish, Native American Indian calendars and more. René White (White Feather) is a resident of Clarke County, Bluemont, Virginia and owns the property described above.

By René White (White Feather) is a resident of Clarke County, Virginia and owns the property described in this story

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Cool Spring Among Civil War Battlefield Preservation Grants Announced Today

Site of proposed Cool Spring Battlefield Park – Photo courtesy Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

RICHMOND – With the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War now into its second year and attracting visitors to the Commonwealth from around the nation, Governor McDonnell today announced 11 state grant awards to organizations working to conserve historic battlefield lands for present and future generations of Americans.

The grant awards are drawn from the Civil War Historic Sites Preservation Fund that Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly permanently established in 2010. Funds for the grants, this year totaling up to $2,620,500, will be awarded by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which determines the awards based on a rigorous evaluation process.

This year’s awards will provide vital assistance in protecting more than 2,792 total acres associated with battles at Appomattox, Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, Cool Spring, Kelly’s Ford, Peebles Farm, Port Republic, and Second Manassas.

The grant recipients include the Civil War Trust, the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. These organizations will match state funds dollar for dollar either to purchase lands approved as part of the awards process or to obtain easement rights on the tracts. All awards will result in the donation of perpetual easements to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources.

“Virginia is a premier destination for tourists from around the nation and the world, thanks to our legacy of renowned historic sites, including those connected with the American Civil War,” said Governor McDonnell in announcing the awards. “By preserving battlefields through public and private partnerships, we save hallowed ground and honor the Commonwealth’s past while we simultaneously make an investment in its future through heritage tourism.”

Battlefield lands that will be protected through the grants are geographically and militarily diverse and include sites of significant Union and Confederate victories. They cover farmlands, wetlands, and woodlands and range from the mountainous northern and central Shenandoah Valley to the rolling hills of the Piedmont and to the flat coastal plain of south central Virginia.

“I can think of no more appropriate way to honor our brave ancestors who fought in the Civil War than to set aside the physical landscapes where that conflict was decided,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech. “In addition to their educational benefits, these battlefields are also environmental resources consisting of open spaces, working farms and forests, and wetland that offer habitats for fish and wildlife,” said Domenech.

“Protecting battlefield lands goes towards Governor McDonnell’s commitment to conserving 400,000 new acres of open space and scenic rural lands in Virginia,” Domenech added.

In awarding the grants, the Department of Historic Resources based its evaluations in part on each battlefield’s significance as determined by the Congressionally-commissioned “Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields” originally issued in 1993 and subsequently updated, including a 2009 update on Virginia battlefields. Other factors considered by the department included the proximity of each parcel to other protected lands; the threat of loss due to encroaching development, and the potential for education, recreation, research, or heritage tourism, among other factors.

“The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War offers Virginia an opportunity to pass forward a great legacy, namely the conservation of open space, natural resources, and historic hallowed ground of national significance through the protection of battlefields,” said Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, director of the Department of Historic Resources.

“The Department of Historic Resources looks forward to securing that legacy through the support and leadership of Gov. McDonnell and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, which is chaired by Speaker of the House William J. Howell,” Kilpatrick said.

“This year’s awards will allow us to secure places with the power to connect us and future generations to the lessons of a defining period of our history,” said Kilpatrick. “Time is running out. Each year, battlefield lands are lost forever.”

Civil War Battlefield Grant Awards 2012

Summaries of Battles and the Affiliation of Preserved Land Tracts

Appomattox Court House Battlefield, Appomattox County:
Preserved Property: Webb Tract (49 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

In this final engagement of the war, on April 8, 1865 Gen. Robert E. Lee bivouacked near the village of Appomattox Courthouse, while nearby Union troops converged. The last Confederate offensive on April 9 initially gained ground, but the arrival of Union infantry stopped the advance and Lee found himself surrounded on three sides. Lee’s formal surrender took place the following day.

Cedar Mountain Battlefield, Culpeper County:
Preserved Property: Broomfield Tract (4 acres) and Proctor Tract (6 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

During this battle on August 9, 1862, which resulted in a Confederate victory, Union Maj. Gen. John Pope’s forces tangled with Confederate Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops, gaining an early advantage. The Confederate army counterattacked, however, and drove the Union army north. As a result, fighting in Virginia shifted away from the Peninsula and into northern Virginia, giving Lee an early tactical advantage.

Chancellorsville Battlefield, Spotsylvania County:
Preserved Property: Charles Link Trust Tract (81.69)
Sponsor: Central Virginia Battlefields Trust

Chancellorsville was fought near the village of Spotsylvania Courthouse from April 30 to May 6, 1863, raging along present-day Route 3 and the farmland to either side. The battle, pitting Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s forces against Gen. Robert E. Lee’s, “is arguably the most important Civil War battlefield in Virginia,” according to historian John S. Salmon. “It is the site of Lee’s greatest victory and of [Gen. “Stonewall”] Jackson’s mortal wounding, and it had greater consequences for the Confederacy than any other battle fought on Virginia soil,” writes Salmon in The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. The battle is notable for Lee’s counter-intuitive decision to divide his smaller army (of roughly 60,000) prior to attacking Hooker’s larger force (of more than 133,000). Lee’s daring plan and Hooker’s timid response led to a Confederate victory.

Cool Spring Battlefield, Clarke County:
Preserved Properties: Textron Financial (195 acres) and Holy Cross Abbey Tract (955 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

Fought July 17-18, 1864, this battle resulted in a Confederate victory. Union troops under Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright pursued Confederate troops under Lt. Gen. Jubal Early as they fled following an unsuccessful attempt to take Washington, DC. Union troops forded the Shenandoah River to engage the Confederate army, which held its ground until the Union army withdrew under cover of darkness. The battle delayed the Union army’s pursuit of Early’s forces for several days, allowing the Confederates to regroup in Winchester.

Kelly’s Ford Battlefield, Culpeper County:
Preserved Property: Triple S Tract (964 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

Kelly’s Ford, fought on March 17, 1863, was an inconclusive battle for both sides. Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. William Averell forded the Rappahannock River to attack Confederate cavalry under Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. Lee’s forces counterattacked, but lost Maj. Gen. John “Gallant” Pelham to an exploding artillery shell. Union forces retreated across the river without either side obtaining clear victory. It was one of the largest cavalry battles of the war, and set the stage for the battle of Brandy Station and the Gettysburg Campaign.

Manassas II Battlefield, Loudoun County:
Preserved Property: Wotring Tract / Gen. Longstreet’s Line (2.99 acres)
Sponsor:  Civil War Trust

The Battle of Second Manassas, fought August 28-30, 1862, was a decisive victory in Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Northern Virginia Campaign against the Union’s Army of Virginia under the command of Maj. Gen. John Pope. The battle marked the height of Confederate power and opened the way for the first Confederate campaign in the North and involved forces under Confederate generals James Longstreet, “Stonewall” Jackson, A.P. Hill, Richard S. Ewell, and William B. Taliaferro, among others. During the battle, Pope’s forces mounted a sustained attack against Jackson’s men, who were entrenched along an unfinished rail line. Upon the arrival of reinforcements under Longstreet, the Confederate army launched the single largest mass attack of the Civil War (known as “Longstreet’s Line”), which crushed the Union army and sent it into retreat.

Peebles Farm Battlefield, Dinwiddie County:
Preserved Property: Dear Tract (19.3 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

The Battle of Peebles’ Farm, fought Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 1864, resulted from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s attempt to extend his army’s left flank at Petersburg and cut the Confederate army’s last rail link into Petersburg from the west. Union forces overran Confederate positions on the southern Petersburg defensive line, resisted a counterattack by Confederate Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, and captured Fort MacRae. While the battle allowed Grant to extend his lines significantly, Confederates were able to protect the vital South Side Railroad.

Port Republic Battlefield, Rockingham County:
Preserved Properties: Prillaman Farm (92 acres) and Heatwole Tract (424 acres)
Sponsor: Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

Fought on June 9, 1862, during this battle forces under the command of Confederate Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson repulsed multiple Union attacks, ultimately forcing the Union army into retreat. It resulted in giving Jackson and the Confederate army undisputed control of the upper and middle Shenandoah Valley.

Drop Box Donations Hurting Local Charities

Local charities are being hurt by clothing collection bins placed in parking lots advertising charitable benefit. Ernie Carnavale, Jr., Executive Director of Blue Ridge Hospice, told the Berryville Town Council last week that the large blue or yellow drop-boxes are siphoning resources away from his charitable organization as well as others.

One of four clothing donation bins scattered throughout Berryville, Virginia – Photo Edward Leonard

“Blue Ridge Hospice, Salvation Army and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have all seen a drop in giving,” Carnavale said. “Donations that we would normally receive are being siphoned off by these collection boxes.”

Carnavale said the collection bins have no local affiliation with any local charity and that the donated clothing is actually shipped to a nearby warehouse where it is processed and resold. A blue clothing donation bin located in an east-end of Berryville parking lot appeared to confirm Carnavale’s claim.

A sign on the bin states:

“The donated items deposited will be sold and after expenses Charity receives a guaranteed fixed monthly revenue without risk of financial loss. This revenue helps to further Charity’s charitable purpose.” (sic)

Carnivale, whose 200-member hospice staff provides care to over a thousand clients in eight Virginia counties and the City of Winchester, asked the Town Council to take immediate steps to ban the clothing bins.

“These bins create an eyesore and litter,” Carnavale said. “I request that you prohibit placement of the bins on private property.”

Assistant town manager Christy Dunkle told Council Members that town staff is working on zoning language to address the bins. Dunkle said that she plans to present the proposed ordinance for consideration soon.

Collection box in Berryville, Virginia offers only a vague description of who donated items will benefit – Photo Edward Leonard (click to enlarge)

Supervisors Approve Financial Incentive Package for Berryville Graphics

The Clarke County Board of Supervisors cleared the way for on Tuesday for a $467,200 combination of state and local funding for Berryville Graphics. The funds are being offered as an incentive to the German-owned multi-national corporation to strengthen its position in Virginia.

“The owners of Berryville Graphics, Bertelsmann AG, also own other printing companies in Virginia and other states,” said Supervisor John Staelin (Millwood). “Last fall Bertelsmann looked into consolidating some of its smaller operations into other existing facilities. Senior management at Bertelsmann narrowed the choice for that consolidation down to two possible locations, Louisville, Kentucky and Berryville, Virginia.”

At yesterday’s meeting Staelin said that the Virginia governor’s office knew there was a competition between Kentucky and Virginia for where to locate jobs and equipment used in the company’s printing business.

“If the Kentucky facility had been chosen not only would 84 New York jobs have gone to Kentucky – rather than Virginia – 102 Frederick County jobs would also have been lost as well,” Staelin said. “The Berryville plant could have also been affected in the longer term due to the competitive nature of the industry. Members of the Governor’s office studied the economics of the situation and decided the Commonwealth should offer a total of $467,200 in grants to Berryville Graphics if Clarke County and the Town of Berryville would provide $200,000 of the funds. By State law these offers require a set local match. It was announced that of the State funds, it $67,200 of the grant was to come from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program and $200,000 was to come from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.”

Staelin said that the Board of Supervisors approval means that Clarke County will spend $106,000 to aid the Governor’s efforts to support Berryville Graphics’s expansion in Clarke County. The Town of Berryville will invest an additional $94,000.

“The County’s share of the funds will come from the ‘profits’ the County received in the past from the sale of Business Park lots,” Staelin said.

Staelin said that the deal will have a positive impact both for Virginia as well as Berryville.

“A total of 186 new jobs will be created at the Berryville facility within three years,” Staelin said. “These jobs must be in addition to the number employed as of January, 19, 2012. At least 84 of those jobs are to be new jobs in Virginia – not jobs transferred from other Virginia locations – and at least 30% of the new jobs must be offered to Virginia residents.

Staelin said that the average wage of the new Clarke County jobs is to be at least $41,584.

Staelin explained that Berryville Graphics will make its investment at the Berryville facility over a three year period and that added tax revenues derived from that three-year expansion is expected to pay back all the local taxpayer funds expended during that same three-year period. “After that, it is expected that the Town and County will receive a total of about $100,000 annually in new tax revenue from the facilities and equipment associated with the expansion,” Staelin said. “That is an annual return of about 50% on the original $200,000 investment in addition to the many other local benefits received by the community’s retention of a fortified Berryville Graphics.”

The Clarke County Board of Supervisors were unanimous in their support of the proposed grants.

“It makes sense to me to encourage a business to stay here and expand in Clarke County,” said Supervisor David Weiss (Buckmarsh).

“I’m glad that an increased percentage of the jobs are staying here in Virginia,” said Supervisor Barbara Byrd (Russell).

“We owe a lot of thanks to John [Staelin] for all of his work to get this accomplished,” said Bev McKay (White Post).

“This is a good step toward economic development in this community,” said Supervisor Michael Hobert (Berryville). “This is an excellent investment for us and the town. This is the kind of partnership that we should be fostering.”

View the “Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund Performance Agreement” here: Berryville Graphics Performance Agreement

Read Supervisor Staelin’s complete statement here:  Staelin Statement Regarding Berryville Graphics Performance Agr


Bistro to Open on Day Off to Support Family with Fundraiser

A Berryville eatery is rallying support for a local family that is coping with the tragic loss of two children. The two boys, Braydon and Landon, were the sons of husband and wife James C. Jenkins and Shannon Berg. The children lost their lives in a house fire that occurred on Summit Ave in Winchester on the morning of  August 23. James Jenkins suffered severe burns to his hands in his effort to rescue the children, but was unable to save them from the terrible fire.

Locals are banding together to help the family because James (Jamie) has deep ties to Clarke County. He was raised in Berryville and went to Clarke County schools where he also participated in local agricultural organizations. Hope Cather who operates the Valley Bistro said, “Our staff and owners were blessed to watch Jamie grow up here in Clarke County and we would like to show him how much we still care.”

So, in an effort to help Jamie and his wife, The Valley Bistro is holding a fundraiser Tuesday to support the family. “God took two beautiful little boys and we would like to help their parents in their time of need.”

The Bistro is typically closed on Tuesdays, but this week they will open their doors from 5:00 PM till 9:30 PM to offer Homemade Spaghetti & Meatball Dinners with salad and bread for $12.50, eat-in or carryout.

“The staff will be volunteering their time and the Bistro is donating the food so all of the funds raised will go directly to the family.” Hope said.

Valley Bisro is located at 24 West Main Street Berryville, VA. Call 540-955-1538 for more information or to place your order.