Business


Editor’s note


When news breaks in Fluvanna, people turn to the Fluvanna Review.


Website traffic and Facebook hits jump through the roof when an event, such as a burglary and shooting, occurs. That shows us that you – our friends and neighbors – are looking to us to explain what happened.


And we do. We drop everything and drive to the scene, snap up press releases, and grab our phones and dial the county’s top players, regardless of weekends, holidays, or dinnertime with kids. We do this because you deserve to know what happened.


Hassled decision makers, busy at such times with trying to keep the county running, sometimes grimace at our calls. But they – usually – take our calls anyway, because they know they owe you an explanation. This is the service we provide for you.


Reporters can make pests of themselves. To be a reporter is to be flattered and glad-handed, but rarely liked. People are suspicious, worried that anything they say can and will be used against them. It is lonely being sought after and guarded against.


But contrary to what you might think, reporters are the best secret keepers. We know what to leave out of our stories and what to put in. An edgy comment over a controversial issue makes the cut because people deserve to know how powerful decision makers think. A tidbit from someone’s personal life is left out because people deserve their privacy. And we keep that trust, because a bridge burned is a bridge burned forever.


We are the paper of record for Fluvanna County. Because of that, we can’t miss an issue. The paper always goes to press. That means even on holidays we all show up, dragging our kids behind us if they’re off from school. In 2015 two serious tragedies struck Fluvanna on the Fourth of July. I left a cookout to dash down to a press conference to find out what had happened, bawling constant updates into my then-editor’s ear as he tore himself away from his own celebration. Our families were not amused. But that is the life of newspaper folk. Add a comment

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Gabe Andersen and familyLake Monticello’s Gabe Andersen gets fired up by finding simple ways to make others’ lives better.

“Making seemingly insignificant changes to how we do things on a daily basis can cause county, country and worldwide ripples if done as a group,” Andersen said.

That’s why earlier in the year he founded Community Ripple.

“My neighbor and I had both unknowingly hired tree companies to do some work on our properties one day apart from each other,” Andersen wrote in an email. “I was sitting there watching from my deck this scene play out and realized how it was costing us more money as well as [creating] unnecessary traffic, pollution and potential road fatalities simply because we didn’t know each other’s plans.”

Joining Community Ripple is free. Not too long ago, Andersen celebrated the 1,000th member. He’s looking forward to adding a zero to that number because the more people who join, the more impact it will have.
Community Ripple’s greatest need is more members.

“Watching potential clients’ mouths drop when I walk them through the simplicity of it all is really exciting,” Andersen said. “You can join in 10 seconds by going to communityripple.com and start saving and connecting today.”

It’s all about making the best use of time and resources within the community. Add a comment

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Local EatsMembers of the county business community, government, and a bunch of hungry Fluvannans turned out on Thursday (Aug. 24) to celebrate the official opening of Local Eats on Joshua Lane in Palmyra.

Owner Amy Myers said she got the idea for the micro-restaurant and grocery after visiting The Store in Staunton last February. Opened in 2012 by John and Stella Matheny, the farm-to-table cafe/grocery has become a popular spot for Staunton foodies, and Myers soon found herself asking the Mathenys about the nuts and bolts of their business.

“Finally I decided, why not do it?” said Myers. “Sink or swim.”

Working with the support of the Fluvanna business development community and the Small Business Development Center, she got underway earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by the Christian Outreach Thrift Shop. Add a comment

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AntiquesSteve Sylvia traces his interest in the Civil War to his childhood, sparked by his brother’s help reading Shelby Foote’s Shiloh.


But it was a belt buckle that belonged to a long-forgotten Union soldier that may have been the catalyst for a life-long involvement in the history of this nation’s defining conflict, a career writing about Civil War relics, and even appearances on segments of the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.


Following graduation from the University of Maryland’s journalism program and a couple years performing and traveling with a rock and roll band, Sylvia found himself in search of opportunity.


“I had a gal singing for me in 1972. The band broke up. I’m running out of money and she says, ‘My boyfriend is looking for someone in public relations,’” Sylvia said.


“I walked into the interview with her boyfriend and I was wearing a U.S. buckle I had dug. His eyes were riveted on my buckle.”


Their common interest in the Civil War made them good friends and ultimately led to the opportunity for Sylvia to turn that interest into a life-long career.


“‘Did you dig that?’” the man inquired of the buckle.

“Yes, I did,” replied Sylvia. “I dug it at Chancellorsville.”
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Matthew McDaniel and Ian McDanielTechnology is moving at a faster pace than most of us can conceive. In a recent conversation with Ian McDaniel of Gravity’s Edge, a local business specializing in computer repair, networking and data recovery, the question came up of what to do with our old computers, laptops and desktops and whether they can be upgraded with new versions of software, such as Windows 8 and 10. As most of us now know, Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported, and that leaves some of us wondering if our old computers are worth saving or can even be upgraded.

McDaniel thinks it is wiser to simply buy a new computer, since the cost of upgrading an older computer would not be worth it. For those who have McDaniel’s know-how and skill, the process could be as simple as hunting for all the necessary hardware, including four gigabytes (GB) of random-access memory (RAM) and installing it for $100 to $200.

Then there is the added cost of software. McDaniel said there are no downloadable freebies; you have to purchase the pricey software. And if you are not skilled and knowledgeable about computers and installation then someone like McDaniel would also have to be called in to complete the job at an added cost. He pointed out that for the cost of improving an old computer, you can purchase a new one with Windows 8 or 10 for anywhere from $150 and up depending upon your needs. Add a comment

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