Rappahannock News - - COMMENT - From Back Is­sues of the Rap­pa­han­nock News • Com­piled by JAN CLATTERBUCK

Aug. 3, 1978

Sta­tis­tics com­piled by the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture in a Rap­pa­han­nock land use study and data gath­ered by the Rap­pa­han­nock League for En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion show that over 50 per­cent of the county's prop­erty own­ers are ab­sen­tee.

Many of th­ese out-of-county folks have week­end va­ca­tion homes here that are used only a few times a year. For the most part, the houses are de­serted — a tempt­ing tar­get for bur­glars.

Eric Forster took this in­for­ma­tion into ac­count when he was in­ves­ti­gat­ing busi­nesses that he could op­er­ate out of his home in Castleton.

Forster, who has owned prop­erty in Rap­pa­han­nock for over 20 years and been a full-time res­i­dent for six, de­cided to start a home pro­tec­tion ser­vice. After two years of look­ing into pro­tec­tion de­vices, he set­tled on a ra­dio con­trolled sys­tem and is now re­gional man­ager in an eight-county area for Sen­tinel Alarm, Inc.

Forster’s of­fice ad­ja­cent to his Castleton home could serve as an ad­ver­tise­ment for the pro­tec­tion busi­ness. A com­put­er­ized unit that looks like a stereo speaker con­trols the sys­tem from a cor­ner book­shelf. At a flip of a switch, sen­sor de­vices set around the room broad­cast coded ra­dio mes­sages to the con­trol unit.

Jim McGar­vey, new di­rec­tor for the Rap­pa­han­nock Men­tal Health Clinic, faces a chal­leng­ing job in open­ing the county’s first full-time men­tal health fa­cil­ity.

How­ever, his back­ground and ex­pe­ri­ence cou­pled with his at­ti­tude to­wards the com­mu­nity should smooth the path to acceptance in a ru­ral area where many look with sus­pi­cion at any­thing con­nected to men­tal health.

McGar­vey, with for­mer Wel­fare De­part­ment Food Stamp Su­per­vi­sor Becky Burke as of­fice man­ager, will staff the clinic five days a week in re­mod­eled quar­ters in the Clop­ton House. Ren­o­va­tion is ex­pected to be com­pleted by late Au­gust for the build­ing that will be shared by the Clinic, the Health De­part­ment and Eileen Day’s real es­tate busi­ness.

While McGar­vey and Burke will be the only per­son­nel at­tached full-time to the clinic here, a trav­el­ing core team of sub­stance abuse coun­selor Jim Recten­wald, ex­tended care co­or­di­na­tor Bertha Neville and tran­si­tional liv­ing co­or­di­na­tor Leonard Tuchyner will sup­ply ser­vices as needed.

March 15, 1979

Miss Ma­bel G. Holmes has trav­elled a long way since she left her na­tive Rap­pa­han­nock many years ago, and has just been named the Out­stand­ing Alumna in Ed­u­ca­tion for 1978 in the school sys­tem of El­iz­a­beth N.J.

Ma­bel was born and raised in Smed­ley Hol­low in Rap­pa­han­nock, the daugh­ter of the late Richard and Mil­dred Holmes and grand­daugh­ter of the late Robert and Alice Beck­with of Smed­ley.

Help­ing chil­dren to be­come good, use­ful and happy men and women has been the credo for Ma­bel through­out her ca­reer span­ning 43 years in the El­iz­a­beth school sys­tem. They were years of la­bor study and quiet achieve­ment, dur­ing which her firm, but gen­tle dis­ci­pline, her warmth and kind­ness in­flu­enced the lives of gen­er­a­tions of pupils and teach­ers alike.

Ac­cord­ing to the ci­ta­tion, Ma­bel is a wo­man who won the es­teem of her su­pe­ri­ors, the loy­alty of her sub­or­di­nates, the love of count­less chil­dren and the re­spect of the com­mu­nity. She spent 28 years as a teacher in the Con­ti­nen­tal School 3 and con­tin­ued her ser­vice for 15 years as a prin­ci­pal. Dur­ing her teach­ing ca­reer, she trained 20 stu­dent teach­ers from Ne­wark and Tren­ton Teach­ers Col­leges. (Ed­i­tor’s note: To­day there is the Ma­bel G. Holmes Mid­dle School in El­iz­a­beth).

A ve­hi­cle be­long­ing to the Rap­pa­han­nock County School Sys­tem was stolen from the school bus garage park­ing lot lo­cated on Route 211 west of Wash­ing­ton last Wednes­day night, March 7.

The keys were also taken from sev­eral of the school busses parked there and from a bus parked at Sper­ryville Bar­ber Shop. A ve­hi­cle be­long­ing to Miss Ruth Black­well in Jenk­ins Hol­low was tam­pered with, ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fice Trooper R. A. Baines.

The ve­hi­cle, a 1972 Ford sta­tion wagon, was in Jenk­ins Hol­low near Sper­ryville with se­ri­ous dam­age to the un­der­car­riage and is pre­sumed to be a to­tal loss.

Ev­i­dence in­di­cates that the van­dal­ism was done by a school stu­dent or stu­dents, said Baines.

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