The Town held a kick-off meeting for the Comprehensive Plan Update this past Monday, and welcomed ideas and suggestions from the public. While attendance was light, those present talked at length with town employees and Planning Commission members. They divided the town into eight sections, and large maps of each part were placed on the walls around the room. Everyone was encouraged to post their ideas or concerns on the maps using sticky-notes; dangerous intersections were noted, concerns over traffic patterns and road plans were observed, and the approved developments were highlighted. We have a really talented and dedicated group of people working for our town. I love that they are so passionate about maintaining the integrity and the spirit of Ashland. Be sure to check the town website frequently for updates on the process: http://www.town.ashland.va.us/ The Planning Commission meets the second Wednesday of each month at 7pm in Town Hall and will hold a discussion concerning this process at every meeting. It would be worth your while to attend.
Congratulations to Andrew Datovech who won first place in the Henry Clay Spelling Bee! Andrew is a second grader and went on to compete against 7th and 8th graders at the County Wide Spelling Bee January 30th. Well done Andrew!
Register now the the 30th running of the Ashland Railroad Run to be held early this year, on Saturday, March 15th. Does anyone know how many times Ted Schubert has run it? The first person to email me the correct answer, besides Ted, will win your very own copy of the 2003 Comprehensive Plan, personally autographed by Town Manager, Charles Hartgrove. Go to http://www.hanoverarts.com/ to register or call 798-2728 for information.
In celebration of Black History Month, Jerome Bridges will be performing Friday, February 8th and Saturday, Feb. 9th at 7:30 p.m. at Blackwell Auditorium (RMC Campus). With his exceptional story-telling ability, Mr Bridges will give us first-hand stories of pre-Civil War slavery and Civil Rights activists. Accompanying Mr. Bridges with spirituals and gospel songs from these historic periods will be the George Crawford Memorial Choir from the Providence Park Baptist Church and a Community Chorus including over fifty voices from local church choirs. This event was created and is sponsored by the Hanover Arts and Activities Center (HAAC), with the local Hanover AARP Chapter as co-sponsor, and supported by Dominion Power and Randolph-Macon College. For more information please call Ragan Phillips at 798-9721 or Buddy Kelly at 798-8782.
Bring your children to the Ashland Library on Thursday, February 7th at 6:30 pm to celebrate Clifford the Big Red Dog. Listen to stories about that friendly and helpful dog, make a craft, enjoy face painting, and play games. As with almost every event at the library, refreshments will be served and the event is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Library.
If you've ever participated in one of our famous Ashland Variety Shows, then Lorie and Sue need your help. Visit the Arts and Activities website: http://www.hanoverarts.com/ to fill out a questionnaire about your memories and experience.
Still no snow and now February is here. I'm going to stop talking about it because it's too frustrating. We might as well start planning our gardens. My father always said that you should plant peas on President's Day- that's February 18th. Call or email me with your Town news, or the answer to the Ted quiz: (804) 310-5320, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find a complete archive of these columns at http://www.ashlandnews.blogspot.com/. Have a wonderful week.