Day: December 28, 2016

From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

“No Shell Left Behind”

“No Shell Left Behind!” We are all accountable for achieving a cleaner Chesapeake Bay. The Oyster Recovery Partnership has a strong history of serving a pivotal role in restoring oysters and working toward a healthier Chesapeake Bay. The Oyster Recovery Partnership assists in designing and implementing oyster restoration projects that maximize ecosystem services that oysters can provide. ORP’s mission is to increase the number of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, and over the years, this has been accomplished by planting oysters in sanctuaries, managed reserves, and public fishing grounds. ORP has an impressive history of restoration; since 1998, 6.7 billion oysters have been planted on over 2,200 acres of oyster habitat in Maryland waters. During that time, refinements to the oyster restoration process allowed ORP and its partners to redefine success from fewer than ten acres of oyster plantings annually in our early years, to the hundreds of acres planted currently. ORP is now assisting with the one of the largest oyster reef restoration projects to occur worldwide in tributaries on the eastern shore of Maryland.   The ORP relies on its many partners to assist in restoring oysters to the Chesapeake Bay. Some of the many Bay-minded partners who have supported our mission include everyone from the likes of the University of Maryland and NOAA on the “restoration” side to to Finlandia Vodka and Flying Dog Brewery on the “eco-minded” corporation side. The restoration process is complex and could not be carried out without the partners, who work with ORP to supply oyster larvae, identify areas that will sustain successful reefs, and monitor reefs after construction. In addition to our “Restoration Partners” and “eco-minded” corporations, there are several other nonprofits to research and promote oyster recovery efforts and Bay health issues. Moreover, without the continued financial support and interest of…

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Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

Gallery Beat

By F. Lennox Campello If you have read this column regularly over the years, then you know that around this time I am always harping about the importance for artists and art dealers/galleries to explore and then have a presence at one of the reputable fairs in Miami during Art Basel week (which is usually the first week in December). In the past I’ve also warned artists and galleries to stay away from predatory fairs, and to explore first, ask questions second and then ask more questions before investing the significant amount of money that it takes to participate in the art world’s “big dance.” And yet every year, I run into dejected DMV artists and gallerists and art dealers looking gloomy in the face as they face the financial disaster that can result from doing a fair where nothing sells. As every participant learns sooner, rather than later, the art fair phenomenon is all about the commoditization of art. I have been doing the Miami art fairs for over a decade now, and I continuously offer myself to gallerists, dealers and artists as a source of that most precious of things: information! It is all based on empirical data, rather than theory. This year, as we have done for the last five years, Alida Anderson Art Projects participated in the Context Art Miami fair held in the Wynwood district of Miami. The gallery featured work by Dulce Pinzón (Mexico), Jodi Walsh (Canada), and local DMV artists Alma Selimovic (Bosnia), Elissa Farrow-Savos (US), Tim Vermeulen (US), Georgia Nassikas (US), Audrey Wilson (US) and yours truly. The gallery also sponsored former DMV artist (now living in NYC) Matthew Langley, and he hung 35 of his small works series in one of the fair’s public spaces. Over in Miami Beach, the gallery…

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Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

January 2017 Pets of the Month

Old Town Crier- Pets of the Month January 2017   Harvey (A069487): Say hello to Harvey! This one year old handsome man is ready for adoption and searching for his forever family! He is a great cat with one of the shiniest, sleekest black coats you’ll ever see. Harvey seems to prefer the companionship of dogs rather than cats, and even lived with a small dog in his previous home that he loved to snuggle with! If you’re looking for a sweet kitty, or a feline friend for your dog, stop by to meet Harvey today!   Reddick (A069441): It’s absolutely ridiculous how adorable Reddick’s face is! This sweet Pitty has a face you will never forget! Famous for his adorable submissive smile and loose, wagging tail in the kennel, Reddick is for sure a staff favorite at the AWLA! Reddick would likely prefer to be the only dog in the home, but if you have a dog and just can’t resist, he’d definitely be open to saying hello to see how it goes. We’re sure that if you stop by the shelter to meet this handsome man, you may not be able to leave without him! Come down today to give this boy the forever home he deserves! Calix (A069246): Look at cute little Calix and his adorable brown spots! This cutie pie came to the AWLA as one of many rabbits that were saved from a severe hoarding situation by the ASPCA. Due to his lack of socialization in his previous environment, Calix is a little shy around humans, as he is not used to being given the love and attention he deserves. Calix is looking for a new home with patient owners who understand it may take him a little while to get more social around humans…

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Featured Post

On The Road

  The Old Town Crier didn’t make it too far down the road last month! One of our favorite mixologists, Mitchell Hughes of Landini Brothers Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria fame, entertained two fine Scottish lasses with the December issue during Scottish Walk Weekend. This photo by Chester Simpson was just too good not to print!

Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

A New Year!

Exploring VA Wines By Doug Fabbioli   A New Year! The great part about being a farmer is that the work is never the same on a daily basis. It certainly changes with the season. As the cold weather moves in, the firewood becomes a priority along with propane, exposed water pipes and snow removal tools. We know the cold will come and we know it will go away in a few months. Our responsibilities are to maintain through the cold and be ready for when things warm up again.   We always have to plan for whatever job we take on any time of the year, but generally we need more planning for our winter projects. Last week we poured concrete for a floor in a section of the winery. We were making a plan based on the weather as you cannot pour concrete when it’s really cold. So the coordination between the weather and the availability of the concrete from the plant is important. When we want our concrete, so do the other folks working on projects in the area so I have to remember you can’t always have what you want, when you want it.   Part of our maintenance is to keep the roads, driveways, walkways and parking clear. Ice, snow, melting snow and heavy mud from freezing and thawing all add to the challenge of keeping folks safe and business traffic flowing. Another part of that is to keep heavy equipment from messing up the ground. We can layout the rows and fencing for a new vineyard, but ripping and post driving can get delayed from cold and wet. Too many delays can push a project into the spring when we are trying to get other things done.   There is always hand vineyard work…

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Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

2016: Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya…

2016: Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya…   Well, well, well…that was a doozy of a year, wasn’t it? At least we can say that it brought a wealth of fantastic music. It was tough to keep up, and there are still many important albums I’ve yet to hear. But the ones that turned my ears, well they damn near twisted them off.   Here we go again – My Top Sixteen Of ’16.   Mystery Jets: Curve Of The Earth Mystery Jets continue their ascent with their fourth album, a set that takes Bends-era Radiohead and combines it with a modernized psych-pop sound. The songs are amazing, especially “Bombay Blue” and “Bubblegum”, two of the best singles to come out this year.       Marillion: F**k Everyone And Run Not a lot of bands wait 30+ years to release their masterpiece. Then again, Marillion is not your average band. A concept album about the state of the world, this is a statement of purpose like none other. Lyrically intense, the writing and playing is more inspired than it has been in some time, and Steve Hogarth once again reminds us why he is one of the best vocalists around.   Kula Shaker: K 2.0 Twenty years after their debut, Kula Shaker’s fifth album finds the band at the peak of their powers. Indian influences are still present, but there are also detours through folk, pop, rock, funk, a little 70s glam, and a heavy dose of psychedelia. I seriously can’t get enough of this album.     The Monkees: Good Times …and the award for the most pleasant surprise of the year goes to The Monkees who, with the help of Adam Schlesinger and a host of contributing songwriters, created one of the best late-period albums by any…

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January 2017 Alexandria Events

Alexandria, VA’s New 2017 Tours, Exhibits and Events Bring PBS’ Original Drama MERCY STREET to Life for Second Season City that Inspired PBS Series Announces 25 New Visitor Experiences As fans of the PBS Civil War-era drama MERCY STREET anticipate the show’s return for a second season on January 22, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. ET, historic Alexandria, Virginia announces 25 new tours, exhibits and events inspired by the series, launching in 2017 as the new season airs. MERCY STREET, PBS’ first original American drama in a decade, is inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria. Alexandria celebrates the national spotlight on its history by presenting 35 visitor experiences for MERCY STREET fans in 2017, including 25 new offerings. Fans are invited to visit the city’s historic sites to enjoy new exhibits and events inspired by the series, with several that focus on Civil War-era cultural customs including food, fashion and music. Uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, the changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African-Americans claiming their freedom.   HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW 2017 VISITOR EXPERIENCES: Carlyle House events including “Gala in the Garden” with MERCY STREET producers (May 20), “Love and Romance Between the Lines” open house event (Feb. 11) with historic chocolate treats and reenactors playing real-life love birds Frank Stringfellow and Emma Green, and “Fashion Show and Tea on the Terrace” (June 4) featuring Civil War-era fashion Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum’s “Apothecary of Mercy Specialty Tour” (starts Jan. 8) and “This Terrible Disease” exhibit (opens Jan. 13) featuring prescriptions and remedies sold to the Union Commissary Department and to the contraband population and civilian residents in Alexandria during the Civil War Civil War-inspired food events including “Civil War Wine Dinner with Gray Ghost Winery”…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

2016- What a Ride!

    By Bob Tagert 2016 – What a Ride!   Each month during the course of the year I write a road trip article in which I explore the neat places of our region. Each January I recap those road trips from the previous year. Last years road trips began with a three-hour drive to the New River Gorge in West Virginia and ended with the different Veteran’s Memorials that are in the D.C./Virginia local area.   Let’s head southwest to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia!   New River Gorge, WV           We actually visited the New River Gorge and the town of Fayetteville in December and published the article in February. Last December around Christmas time, the weather patterns of this area went absolutely crazy. Expecting cold temps and maybe a little snow in the mountains, we were instead greeted with temps in the mid 60’s the night we arrived and warmed to the low 70’s by the time we left. Upon our arrival at the River Expeditions compound, the fog in the area hampered us, but we soon found our cabin. The campground is huge but at this time of year, we were the only ones present. In the summer months when folks are running the river I am sure that every cabin, safari tent and other accommodation is packed. The next morning we drove into the town of Fayetteville and on to the New River Gorge Bridge. The New River Gorge Bridge was completed in 1977 and at the time was the world’s longest arch bridge. The New River is a steel arch bridge that spans 3,030 feet. The roadway of the bridge is 876 feet above the New River. It is one of the highest vehicular bridges in the world, and is currently the…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Single Space

A Calendar Year

by Lori Welch Brown   A Calendar Year   It’s never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise. —Nancy Thayer   Sharpen up your pencils because this month is all about revising—revising your social life, your waist line, your gym plans, your refrigerator contents, etc. If you had a practically over-indulgent holiday season, perhaps you’re more in ‘repent’ mode. Hail Mary, full of grace…Grace, yeah. I could definitely use some of that. Before I trash last year’s calendar, however, I like to sit down and page through it to do a quick review of the year. It’s a nice stroll down memory lane and a good reminder of things I’ve accomplished. In my opinion, one can never give oneself too many pats on the back. Sure, you can beat yourself up over the things you didn’t accomplish, but what’s the point of that? January is your reset/refresh button. Consider it your God-given mulligan.   After I review last year’s events, I tuck that calendar away, and get out my shiny new calendar. Yes—I’m still a geek who uses a paper calendar, and I take great care in selecting it. It’s a very important decision. The paper, colors, format and construction have to be just right if it’s going to hold my entire life in its hands. Think about it. You’re entrusting your most important milestones and events to that puppy. It has got to be something you like looking at and that makes you happy deep down inside—something you want to share your coffee time with each day. Kinda important. I don’t even wait until January when they’re 40% off—I splurge and get just the perfect one, pre-sale. Crazy, I know. Anyhow, I love opening up that blank slate and starting to pencil in reminders of important dates…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Points on Pets

Senior Pets: When Older Can Be Even Better

Senior Pets: When Older Can Be Even Better By Jason Berger Thinking about adopting a pet? How about adopting a senior animal? The American Veterinary Medical Association considers cats and small dogs senior at age 7, while larger breeds of dog are seniors at age 6. And senior animals often have many healthy years ahead of them. Benefits of Adopting Your Senior Pet Adopting a senior pet has many benefits for both human and animal. In addition to all the love senior pets have left to give, adopting a senior pet can save a life! Older animals are often overlooked by potential adopters. A survey by found that less-adoptable pets—including seniors—wait for a home nearly four times longer than the average adoptable pet does. The survey noted that senior pets had the most difficult time, so adopting a senior pet can save a life. But adopting senior pets is not just beneficial for the animal—it’s also wonderful for humans! For example: Knowing that you are saving a loving, valuable life can be a great feeling for the human of a senior dog or cat. And senior pets instinctively know that you chose them and are grateful for it. They seem to greet their humans with a look in their eyes that says, “Thank you!” And they can love you just as much as kittens or puppies—maybe even more. Senior cats are likely to be already litter trained, while senior dogs are likely to be already leash trained. So there is less chance of an unwelcome accident in your home. Moreover, when adopting a senior pet, humans know what they are getting. A senior pet has an already established size and personality. Ensuring the Health of Your Senior Pet Of course, there are certain important things to keep in mind…

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