Civil War Historian Dr. James McPherson to Lecture in Winchester October 24

Handley Regional Library’s One Book One Community program will host Pulitzer Prize winning author and Civil War historian, Dr. James McPherson at 7 pm at Daniel Morgan Middle School on Wednesday, October 24.

McPherson’s For Cause and Comrades:  Why Men Fought in the Civil War was selected as the one book our whole community will be reading in 2012.  After his lecture, McPherson will take questions and sign books.  Read excerpts from For Cause and Comrades on Tuesdays in October through the 23rd in The Winchester Star.

Dr. McPherson received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize and was recognized in 1986 as the George Henry Davis Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. The author of 20 books and numerous other book and journal contributions about the Civil War, Dr. McPherson has spent his career developing an exceptional command of the history of that era.  Your questions about the Civil War can be submitted via the Web Chat with McPherson through The Winchester Star on Tuesday, October 9 from 10-11 am.

Leading up to Dr. McPherson’s lecture, Handley Regional Library is sponsoring two other events.  “‘To Provoke a Reply:’ Understanding the Civil War through Soldier’s Letters” will feature Jonathan Noyalas, assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Civil War History at Lord Fairfax Community College.  This event will take place at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 3 at the Handley Library Auditorium at 100 W. Piccadilly Street, Winchester.

“Readings from Civil War Diaries,” the second event in the series will highlight the words of those who lived the war.  These readings will take place on Thursday, October 18 at 7 pm at the Old Court House Museum at 20 N. Loudoun Street, Winchester.

All of these events are offered at no charge to the community and questions about this program should be directed to Trish Ridgeway at 540 662-9041 ext 14, or by email at

See You at the Pole 2012 Tomorrow at JWMS and CCHS

Last year students at JWMS gathered indoors due to rain.

See You at the Pole, the annual student-led prayer event held at schools across America, is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Students will gather before the day’s classes around the school flagpole to pray for their school, classmates, teachers and their communities. The 2012 See You at the Pole™ theme is Awaken and the Scripture is Ephesians 3:14–21—“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father… I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts…And I pray that you… grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…’”

Events in Clarke County will include gatherings at Johnson-William Middle School and the Clarke County High School. Students will meet at 7:15 AM at JWMS and 7:30 AM at CCHS.

See You at the Pole™, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. More than two decades later, millions around the world pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September. These gatherings are simple prayer rallies where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God.

McKesson Corporation Plans Distribution Center in Frederick County Creating 205 New Jobs

Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that McKesson Corporation, a leading healthcare services and information technology company, will invest $36.9 million to establish a new distribution operation in Frederick County. The company will distribute medical and surgical supplies to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities and home care businesses in a regional service area that includes New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and northern North Carolina. The project will create 205 new jobs.

McDonnell said, “McKesson’s new distribution facility in Frederick County represents this FORTUNE 500 company’s third operation in Virginia. Not only does McKesson have a significant presence here, the Commonwealth is one of the company’s largest employee bases in the U.S. It is gratifying to see this continued growth in Virginia due to the pro-business climate and success McKesson has experienced. We value the company’s strong corporate partnership and ongoing investment in the Commonwealth.”

“McKesson Corporation’s significant investment and creation of 205 new jobs will enrich the Frederick County community and region,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The company continues to choose Virginia, as the Commonwealth provides convenient access to its East Coast customer base due to our strategic location and solid transportation infrastructure. I am confident that McKesson will experience the same growth and success with its third operation in Frederick County.”

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson’s Medical-Surgical business unit, which is locating its facility in Frederick County, delivers a comprehensive offering of more than 150,000 healthcare products, equipment and technology solutions to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, home medical equipment suppliers and home care agencies. McKesson partners with more than 300,000 customers to provide them with solutions and supplies with a primary goal of helping to improve the health of their business, allowing them to focus on what matters most: delivering quality care for patients.

“We’re pleased to expand our operations in Virginia, the home of our Medical-Surgical business headquarters,” said Stanton McComb, President, McKesson Medical-Surgical. “It’s another great opportunity to match the strength of Virginia’s infrastructure and labor force with our strong growth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Frederick County and the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Frederick County with the project. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities.

“We are pleased to welcome another Fortune 500 company, McKesson Corporation, to Frederick County,” said Richard Shickle, Chairman of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. “McKesson’s significant investment is indicative of the pro-business climate in Frederick County and Frederick County’s strategic location.”

Join the Clarke County Community Choir

Dr. Ryan Keebaugh, the Director of the Clarke County High School choirs, will be leading this new choir for singers who are alumni or members of the Clarke County community. Show up at this first meeting and lend your voice to the success of this group!

CCHS Choir – Photo Pam Lettie

Location: Johnson-Williams Middle School Choir Room

Date: Sunday 9/30 and following Sundays

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact Info:

Website: On Facebook: Clarke County Community Choir 

Letter to the Editor: 20 Questions (more or less)

Rather than write an opinion piece this time, I thought a nice change would be to pose questions that my CDN friends could put to those who shape their opinions as much as I do.  And so.

Here’s a question for your rich friends: how many of them think it’s okay not to pay taxes even though they make lots of money, but that it’s not okay for the poor, retired, disabled or those in military service to pay no taxes, even if they make very little money?

And for the Republican right:  why does Romney speak of the lower classes who pay no taxes with what the New York Times called “bone-chilling contempt and revolting smugness” when he thinks no one can hear?  And then, with trademark schoolboy earnestness, show just how stupid he thinks we are by refusing to show if he paid taxes while claiming the poor would pay taxes if only they could, when he, Romney, and his rich friends contort themselves energetically not to?

And for your in-your-face, bumper-sticker proud religious friends who boast of being “One Nation, under God”.  Now, which god is that – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Wiccan?  Do they rotate?  Shouldn’t that be notional not denominational?  Better yet, an ethical construct?

And another for right-wing Republicans: what do you make of Nixon passing environmental protections, and of earned income tax credit expansions under Ford and Reagan – did these iconic Republicans have surreptitious bleeding hearts or were they RINOs?   Reagan the RINO?

And for your hypocrite friends: what’s more damaging to health, eating as much as the ads promote and becoming obese; breathing polluted air; gaming mine safety; incompetent doctors, lawyers or bankers immunized by lobbyists; or being LGBT?  Or just being female in a Romney world?  See the money-coming-out-of-ears Bain photo?  Like a Republican House hearing.

And another for right-wingers; does having a mercenary military make being a chickenhawk easier?  So stupid wars won’t be protested by real people.  And does a mercenary military justify inadequate armaments in combat theaters and indifferent care after returning home?

And for my Constitutional scholar friends: how is government regulation of corporations less benign than corporate stacking of the deck using one-sided adhesion contracts and lobbyists that protect incompetence through malpractice caps, mandatory arbitration and prejudicial personal bankruptcy law, like for student loan treatment compared with corporate executive bonuses?

And last, isn’t it stupid to do everything to stymie a President trying to fix an economy broken by greedy creeps, and stupid to claim rape victims can’t get pregnant, and stupid to listen to Donald Trump always or Rick Perry almost always?  And isn’t it stupid to let the middle class and equal opportunity be denigrated by Fox personalities and a talk radio host with little heft other than a breathtakingly impressive body weight?  Mysterious how people who think they’re canny can trust in a drug addict that does news rant HipHop, or in a “news channel” ownership that disdains fact, is converting the Wall Street Journal to tabloid and hacks a murdered girl’s voicemail.

By gosh, I think I like the Socratic method.  Don’t you?

Donald Marro

The Plains, Virginia

Schools Across Virginia Increase Focus on Fresh Produce for Lunches

RICHMOND—Updated federal guidelines are increasing the demand for fresh produce and transforming lunches in schools across the country.

The updated school lunch rules went into effect in July and are the first change in the standards in 15 years.

The guidelines increased requirements for fruits and vegetables in school lunches from the previous one-half to three-fourths of a cup of both per day to the new requirement of three-fourths to one cup of vegetables plus one-half to one cup of fruit per day. Schools must offer a variety of vegetables, including a weekly serving of dark green and red or orange vegetables and legumes.

“I hope that as many school systems as possible will utilize locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to meet their students’ nutritional needs,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Hopefully this will create new opportunities for farmers who may want to use high tunnels to extend their fresh produce growing seasons or begin packaging and processing local produce for use outside the fresh market season.”

The new guidelines also will help support the mission of the Virginia Farm to School program and will allow greater opportunity for Virginia-grown products to take a starring role on school menus, said Leanne DuBois, state coordinator of the Virginia Farm to School program for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The program is an effort to increase the amount of fresh and nutritious Virginia products offered in schools and to promote opportunities for schools and farmers to work together.

Nov. 5-9 will be the fourth annual Virginia Farm to School Week. Schools and farmers across the commonwealth will celebrate with menu items like apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beef, milk and more. Some schools hold special events that include visits by farmers, farm art contests and other activities.

A recent survey of school nutrition directors throughout Virginia, sponsored by VDACS, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Education, revealed that all participants have knowledge of the Farm to School program and 70 percent have participated in a previous Farm to School Week.

Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said they serve local food in their school divisions; 46 percent have developed a purchasing relationship with a local farmer; and 30 percent plan to develop such a relationship within the next year. As for problems in sourcing local food,

50 percent said seasonal availability of local foods within the school calendar year was their biggest challenge.

via Virginia Farm Bureau

Sheriff’s Office Participates in Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Berryville, Virginia – On September 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your medications for disposal to John H. Enders Fire Company at 9 South Buckmarsh Street, Berryville, Virginia.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners.  In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.  DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act.  Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sgt. Travis M. Sumption at 540-955-5182.


Celebrate Autumn in Clarke County with ArborFest

Celebrate autumn in the Arboretum at ArborFest, the State Arboretum of Virginia’s annual fall festival and plant sale, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 13 & 14, 2012. ArborFest features a select group of high-quality vendors offering small trees, fall perennials, and Virginia native plants, as well as a wide variety of other fall landscape plants and fine items for the home and garden.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 13 & 14
Time: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., rain or shine
Where: Blandy Experimental Farm
Cost: $10 per car
Public Contact: 540-837-1758 Ext. 0

ArborFest visitors can enjoy an Arboretum tour on foot or on a hay ride, and kids can make their own scarecrow and birdfeeder ($5 per child). Visitors can also check out live alpacas and new this year, Storytime in the Arboretum will feature a reading of “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss.

Shade Tree Farm will demonstrate their huge tree spade both Saturday and Sunday, relocating a large pine tree from a nursery area on the Arboretum grounds to a permanent spot along the property’s perimeter. Visitors can follow the action on a special hay ride as workers from Shade Tree Farm relocate the tree.

The Arboretum will accept plastic pots for recycling or exchange throughout the weekend, and Arboretum staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer gardening questions from plant selection to fall pruning.

Artwork by members of the Blandy Sketch Group will be on display and available for purchase throughout ArborFest, and a reception is planned Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.

FiddleFest will kick off ArborFest weekend with a concert from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in the Arboretum’s outdoor amphitheater. Linda Lay and Springfield Exit will perform bluegrass music, and Mr. B’s Bar-B-Q will provide dinner. Advance tickets are $20 for adults, and $5 for anyone under 12; after Oct. 5 the price rises to $25 for adults. FiddleFest is sponsored by Bank of Clarke County.

ArborFest is hosted by the Foundation of the State Arboretum, and is underwritten by Bartlett Tree Experts, with support from event sponsors Valley Health, Shade Tree Farm, Nancy Sanders Video Production, Sara Festivals, radio station Q102, and Nibblins. Most activities are FREE (although donations are appreciated). Admission to ArborFest is $10 per car, so bring the whole family and a friend or two and enjoy autumn in your State Arboretum of Virginia.

The State Arboretum of Virginia is part of historic Blandy Experimental Farm, a research field station for the University of Virginia. The Arboretum grounds are open dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Blandy Experimental Farm is on Route 50 in Clarke County, about 10 miles east of Winchester and 20 miles west of Middleburg. For more information call 540-837-1758, or visit online at

Virginia Announce Governor’s Cyber Challenge

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell will host the first Governor’s Cyber Challenge this fall and is inviting Virginia high school students to participate in this initiative. This free competition will challenge students in skills related to the fast-growing industry of cyber security. The Governor invites Virginia’s students who have an interest in computers, information technology, and cyber security to compete in the upcoming free competition.

“There is a gap in our country right now between the skills of our high school and college graduates and the needs of employers in high growth fields like cyber security,” said Governor McDonnell. “Virginia has the highest concentration of high tech jobs of any place in the country. Inspiring Virginia students to pursue interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is critical to their futures as well as the future of our nation. Events like this one will help to engage students and introduce them to the much-needed technology skills that so many careers of the 21st Century will require.”

The challenge is hosted by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, the SANS Institute, and George Mason University. The Challenge consists of 2 parts. The first part is a set of online quizzes and the top 40 scoring students will advance to the second part, which are in person finals held March 2, 2013 at George Mason University. Winners of the competition will receive scholarships in the amounts of $5,000 for first place, $3000 for second place, and $1,500 for third place.

More information can be found at

Free Child Safety Seat Check in Berryville

The Berryville Police Department will be sponsoring a child safety seat check on September 22, 2012 in the Food Lion parking lot located on Mosby Boulevard in Berryville. September 22, 2012 is National Seat Check Saturday, and the Berryville Police Department will be joining public safety agencies across the nation in checking child safety seats for proper installation. The police department will have certified child safety seat installation technicians at the event from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm checking for proper installation and offering advice on how to keep children safely secured while riding in motor vehicles.

“Three out of every five child safety seats are installed improperly,” said Berryville Police Chief Neal White. “At the inspection we make sure that the seats are installed properly and also check the seat against a National Transportation Safety Administration master list for recalled items.”

White said that many people are unaware that child seats also have an expiration date after which they are no longer safe to use.

“Sometimes people pick up safety seats at yard sales and don’t realize that product is beyond its useful life” White added.

The Berryville police department employs three staff members who are certified safety seat installers and have attended NTSA’s  32-hour Safe Kids Worldwide safety course covering installation and other aspects of child transportation safety.

White explained that the safety seat requirement is not necessarily based on age alone, but also takes into account the child’s height and weight. However, children two years and younger must be in a seat that faces the rear of the vehicle.

“Children under eight years old must be in a safety seat,” White said. “Children older than eight years can use a booster seat provided that they are at least 54 inches tall.”

“When people stop by the safety check we can also give them advice on how the child seat or booster seat fits,” White said. “It’s really important that the shoulder strap be positioned properly in the event of an accident.”

“The biggest problem that we see is seats that are installed incorrectly. The problem is usually easy to correct once one of our staff gets a chance to look at the seat.”

The event is free to the public and anyone who transports children is encouraged to attend. Anyone with questions may call the Berryville Police Department at (540) 955-3863 for more details.