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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Local News: Presidential Library receives $100,000 grant, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.
Local News: Statement from Francis Chester regarding county reassessments fight, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.
Local Events: Taste of Downtown Harrisonburg, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.
Local Events: Vendor Fair at AFP, Thursday, 10:40 a.m.  


Local News: Presidential Library receives $100,000 grant, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is pleased to announce the receipt of a $100,000 challenge grant from the Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation. The grant will be used to help with the development of a new Library and Research Center at the Presidential Library. To receive this funding, the WWPL must match the grant with other private donations toward the Library and Research Center Campaign.

Eric J. Vettel, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, said, “The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum deeply appreciates the generous challenge grant opportunity from the Cabell Foundation. Once we obtain the necessary match, we will use this grant to help us produce a new Library and Research Center to expand our many programs and make our collection of Wilson-related materials more accessible to students, teachers, scholars, and the public.”

The Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation was established in 1957 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Cabell, III, of Richmond, Virginia, as a private charitable foundation. Its purpose is to provide financial support for capital projects for non-profit organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is a private organization and is not part of the federal Presidential Library system. The Presidential Library established its digital archive, the Wilson e-Library, in 2004 and, since then, has increased its collections of Wilson-related documents to more than 1,000,000. It is preserving these documents and making them accessible, both on site and on the digital archive at These historical materials are integral to the Library’s educational programming for schoolchildren, institutes for teachers, and conferences for scholars. The Presidential Library is now working to develop a new Library and Research Center to provide a site for the preservation and study of these documents.


Local News: Statement from Francis Chester regarding county reassessments fight, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

“I am leading my fellow citizens in opposing a huge increase in real estate tax assessments in our county. The Board of Supervisors employed a local company called Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal Company LLC to undertake the appraisal work. Our people are up in arms. Reassessments range from 25 percent to 1,300 percent increase since 2005. This with a serious drop in the real estate market. The law calls for the new assessments to be the market value as of Jan. 1, 2009.

“Augusta County, located in the Shenandoah Valley and Allegany Mountains, is a strong agricultural community of salt-of-the-earth people.

“The Board of Supervisors flatly refuses to budge on this even though the appraisal service did an unprofessional job and many of the parcels were never even visited by the appraisers.

At this point we have several thousand signatures on petitions asking the supervisors to roll back the assessments to 2005 with hundreds more coming in. I am receiving calls from other parts of the state and one call from the state of Washington from concerened residents who have property tax issues in their localities.

“On March 11 at 7 p.m. we are expecting as many as a thousand county citizens joining with me to speak against what the supervisors are aiming to do.

“Since our state does not have a class action procedure per se, I have set the petitions up so that each signature is a client and a potential plaintiff in a petition to the Circuit Court of Augusta County for an order by the court to set aside these illegal and immoral assessments. Court action will be taken to achieve justice if the Board of Supervisors refuses to budge and I will be instructing these suites, free of any legal fees to my fellow Augusta land owners. I have been licensed to practice law for almost 47 years.

“I remember while living in Mill Neck, Long Island (near Oyster Bay), the assessments for my small farm that I owned and the farm land I rented for my sheep, together with my law office and farm marketing in Roslyn Heights, went through the roof each year. It became impossible for me to economically continue conducting my agricultural activities on Long Island. With my wife and a couple of hundred sheep and several horses, etc., we moved to Virginia in 1968.

“It looks like our Board of Supervisors is starting to play the Long Island game. This time I have the huge support of my fellow citizens. We will fight our government to become a responsible and responsive government.

“I would hope that our county could be the spring board for other communities to do likewise. I am humbled that the citizens of Augusta County have given me the honor to shepherd them in reigning in government power and spending. As you may note I raise many sheep and own and operate a wool mill, one of only seven left in the country.

“This battle that we are having should be an example to all that only when citizens unite and get involved that only then will honest and responsive government will prevail.”


Local Events: Taste of Downtown Harrisonburg, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

The restaurants of Downtown Harrisonburg have joined together to promote the idea of supporting local dining. This community friendly movement is highlighted during Taste of Downtown, a three-day long celebration of the finest local cuisine, March 10-12. Independent restaurateurs will prepare menus showcasing the talents of area chefs and offer them at reduced, package prices.

Event organizers saw an overwhelming response during the last Taste of Downtown event in August. Faithful patrons as well as new customers enjoyed the unique offerings of downtown chefs with some businesses even selling out of their specials! With increased restaurant participation this year and competitive pricing Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance expects an even greater turn out than in August.

No tickets are required for Taste of Downtown. Take this opportunity to eat some great food and boost the local economy.

Menu details can be found at Restaurants and menu descriptions are below.


Local Events: Vendor Fair at AFP, Thursday, 10:40 a.m.

The arrival of spring brings many things to mind – warmer temperatures, flowers and more daylight hours. Also for many home-based businesses, it means the launch of a new season and new products.

On Saturday, several businesses will come together to share their Spring/Summer lines with the public at our Vendor Fair.

Augusta Free Press Publishing is playing host to a number of vendors – including Cookie Lee Jewelry, Scentsy Wickless Candles, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and more!

The open house will take place from 1-4 p.m. at 539 West Main Street in Waynesboro.

Browse with no pressure and enjoy refreshments and giveaways throughout the day!

For more information, call Crystal Graham at 540.910.1233 or visit us on Facebook.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press