March News in Brief


$25 Tree Voucher Give Away to Homeowners

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards (CATS) will provide a $25 tree voucher to homeowners in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties this spring to encourage more trees to be planted.

Homeowners with a property of less than a half-acre are eligible for vouchers.  The homeowner must agree to call Miss Utility before they dig, learn the mature height and width of the tree, and plant the tree before May 30. CATS recommends native trees that will grow to 25 or 30 feet and fit under power lines. A larger tree may be selected if the homeowner has space for it. Tree stewards will assist in planting the tree if requested by the homeowner.

Five area garden centers will redeem the vouchers and discounts for the tree selected are available at three of the centers.

Homeowners who wish to apply for a tree voucher should email [email protected] and provide a name, address and phone number.

For more information, visit, or call Jacki Vawter at 434-974-7683.

WAHS Principal Announces His Retirement

Dave Francis, the principal at Western Albemarle High School since 2008, will retire at the end of the current school year, June 30.

Francis’ 42-year career as an educator includes 23 years as a high school principal.

He began as a social studies teacher in 1969 and became a high school principal in Goochland County in 1986. He subsequently served as a high school principal in Mecklenburg and Nelson counties. He first retired in 2004, but came out of retirement to join Western as an assistant principal.

Albemarle Assistant Superintendent Matt Haas said a search committee that will invite the participation of community residents will begin work immediately and a new appointment should be announced before the end of June.

RVCC Kicks Off Fund Raising for Septic System

The Rockfish Valley Community Center has kicked off fundraising campaigns to replace a 1930s septic system and to install a sign on Route 151.

Because of the septic system problem, RVCC cannot use the building’s main bathrooms and relies on those in the back addition (where the Treasure Chest and Rockfish Lounge are located) served by a newer system built in 1975.

Replacement of the main system is expected to cost $20,000. With permission from donors, some earlier gifts have been redirected, giving the center $12,000 toward that goal, according to Executive Director Stu Mills. Recent matching gift promises from the Michael Donovan Foundation will provide a $1 match for every $3 raised.

Mills said the center needs $1,200 for the sign. Donors who send in at least $25 and write their zodiac sign in the check’s memo line may be entered in a drawing for an astrology session with professional astrologer and RVCC member Nancy “Scooter” McMoneagle. Those donors whose zodiac sign is the most represented will be entered in the drawing.

Donations should be sent to RVCC, 190 Rockfish School Lane, Afton, VA 22920.

Summer Jobs for Teens at SNP

Shenandoah National Park is now accepting applications for its summer Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program. YCC enrollees maintain park trails, roads, buildings and campgrounds while learning about Shenandoah National Park.

The YCC program runs for eight weeks, from June 1 through August 9. Boys and girls applying for YCC crew member positions must be between the ages of 15 and 18 during the enrollment period. YCC enrollees work 40 hours per week and earn minimum wage. Workers must have transportation to a rendezvous location, from where transportation will be provide to work sites.

Additional information and an application can be found online at

Applications must be postmarked by April 15 to be eligible.


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