Tag Archives: Kurt Michael

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all of us at LynnRMitchell.com

Christmas 12 lanternThe reason for the season….

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.” Luke 2:8-20

The true meaning of Christmas … a time for the Christian world to pause and celebrate the birth of the son of God.

As 2014 comes to a close, we are thankful for a successful year and especially for our readers who contribute and share the posts we publish at LynnRMitchell.com.

It is a time to remember those who have special meaning in our lives. We are grateful to have our core group of contributors –Kurt, David, Daniel, and Lynn — working together as each brings a unique perspective that is shared in our writings:

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The 12 Days of Christmas … Day 7: Holiday offerings at the Augusta County Library

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Churchville Branch of the Augusta County Library.

There’s Kindles and laptops and video games and smart phones and every other device available out there but the wonderful thing is that libraries are still as popular as ever. With a wide selection of seasonal reading selections, a trip to the library provides hours of entertainment for kids and parents during school vacation over the holidays.

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Happy Thanksgiving from LynnRMitchell.com

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Thanksgiving 2

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

The writers at LynnRMitchell.com — Daniel Cortez, David Karaffa, Kurt Michael, and myself — extend Thanksgiving greetings with gratitude to our readers for helping us become a successful statewide voice in the Virginia conservative blogosphere. We wish you a joyful day with family and friends as America pauses to give thanks for the blessings we all enjoy. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.


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Special Issue: LynnRMitchell.com writers, guests discuss Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Pipeline mapBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Today at LynnRMitchell.com, we are looking at the Atlantic Coast Pipeline issue that has stirred opinions both for and against in Augusta County and elsewhere. Posts from guest writers and regular contributors include Augusta County supervisors, citizens, information from Dominion, and an editorial cartoon.

Here is the list of articles in today’s Special Pipeline Issue:

Previous articles on the pipeline:


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Veterans Day 2014: Their sacrifice enables our freedom

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Today we honor those who have sacrificed to enable our freedom.

At LynnRMitchell.com, two of our contributors are veterans. Today we thank them for their dedication to God and country. Contributor Daniel Cortez is a Marine Vietnam veteran who was wounded in 1970 and was decorated for extraordinary heroism in combat. Managing editor Kurt Michael is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran. My husband, a Southeast Asia-Vietnam era Air Force veteran, is flying American flags in front of our home along with the POW-MIA flag, a reminder of those who did not come back.

Grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors … heroes surround us.

As then-Governor Bob McDonnell, himself a U.S. Army veteran, noted in 2012, “The sacrifice of these heroes and their families makes it possible for us to continue to live and to freely pursue our dreams here in the greatest nation this world has ever known. Freedom is not free. Our brave veterans remind us of that every day. … I urge all Virginians to once again renew our pledge to all of those who are serving and have served: an eternally grateful Commonwealth and country stand forever ready to serve you. … We can’t just stop and recognize our heroes on one day. We must recognize them, serve them, and thank them every day. Our liberty depends upon their sacrifice.”

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Election Day 2014 … Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate

American flag 4By Lynn R. Mitchell

Election Day 2014. It’s all over except the voting.

We live in a free country where men and women have fought to protect our freedom to vote. As contributor Daniel Cortez wrote yesterday,  An Independent Political Perspective: Vote your conscience … but vote.

All of us at LynnRMitchell.com endorsed Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate (see LynnRMitchell.com endorses Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate), and guest poster Lee Talley shared his reasons for voting for Mr. Gillespie (see Lee Talley: ‘I am a dad and I’m voting for Ed Gillespie’).

Former Delegate Lacey Putney, long-time legislator in Richmond and an Independent, gave a rare endorsement by backing Gillespie (see Lacey Putney endorses Ed Gillespie, not impressed when Warner was governor).

Many newspapers endorsed Gillespie including the Richmond Times-Dispatch (see Ed Gillespie endorsed by Richmond Times-Dispatch).

In the Republican red Shenandoah Valley, LynnRMitchell.com managing editor Kurt Michael reminded that upping the voter margin is a major responsibility of the GOP to off-set Democratic-rich northern Virginia, Richmond, and the Hampton Roads areas (see Valley Republicans needed to up the vote margin).

Gillespie, who has worked for years in Republican politics including with President George W. Bush in the White House, received endorsements from his old boss (see President George W. Bush surprises Gillespie’s ‘G-Force’ phone conference) and President George H.W. Bush #41 (see George H.W. Bush #41 endorses Ed Gillespie).

Dana Perino has said for months that Ed Gillespie is the tortoise in this senate race but on Monday she was joined by fellow “The Five” panelist and Democratic strategist Bob Beckell in predicting an upset win in Virginia (see Dana Perino, Bob Beckell predict big upset win for Gillespie).

Constitutional Amendment: Vote YES. Help our military widows by providing a tax break on their real estate taxes.

Election Day 2014 … make it count.

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Valley Republicans are needed to up the vote margin

By Lynn R. Mitchell

One longtime Valley Republican said the region could become pivotal in a close Warner-Gillespie race. “This will be a close election and the Valley may be important,” said Kurt Michael, the former chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee. “If Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta voters want to see Gillespie in there, they have to turn out.”

Michael recalls the 2005 state attorney general’s race between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds. “The turnout in the Valley put him (McDonnell) over,” Michael said.

Michael said divisions within the Republican Party locally may be contributing to a less effective ground game for Gillespie. “I’m not seeing the yard signs, the door knocking and I’m not seeing the literature dropped,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the party. We’re in a civil war now between the tea party and the mainstream party. They are so busy infighting they are not getting people elected.”

Political reporter Bob Stuart with the News-Virginian talked with political leaders in the central Shenandoah Valley about Tuesday’s election that has Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Mark Warner running for the U.S. Senate seat (see Senate race has meant for scant Valley visits). Turnout turnout turnout is the key.

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LynnRMitchell.com endorses Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate

LynnRMitchell.com Editorial

LynnRMitchell.com enthusiastically endorses Republican candidate Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate 2014. His vision for the Commonwealth has re-energized Virginia’s citizens who have felt unrepresented by incumbent Mark Warner and, in the gridlock that is Washington politics, Mr. Gillespie brings fresh ideas with his proposed EG2 economic plan for Virginia. He is positive and optimistic, and has carried that upbeat attitude on the campaign trail with his belief that “the old normal is the new mediocre. We can do better.”

Ed Gillespie doesn’t just talk the talk. He has spent more than 30 years in Republican politics with skin in the game, “paying his dues,” so to speak. With a work ethic and goal-oriented passion passed on by his Irish immigrant parents, he watched first-hand what hard work could do toward building the American dream. They are lessons he still practices.

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on James River near Snowden

Kurt Michael 000By Kurt Michael

Near the community of Snowden, Virginia, deep within the Blue Ridge Mountains, a road crosses over the James River. Alongside the roadway, the CSX railroad tracks run parallel to the river and then traverse the James on their way south to Lynchburg. See Map.James 826A few thousand feet from the Route 501 bridge is where the Appalachian Trail foot bridge crosses the James River high above the waters of the Cushaw Dam reservoir. At this place is the convergence of four modes of transportation: truck, train, foot, and stand up paddle board (SUP).

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on Lake Anna

wk0a_Photo_8-12-14By Kurt Michael

Vrooom. There goes a power boat. Vroom vroom. There goes another power boat. Brace for the wave … waves from passing boats and jet skis brought an element of excitement to my paddle boarding  experience on Lake Anna (see map).

Lake Anna 036

I launched my paddle board from the marina located on the east side of the route 208 bridge and headed toward the power station two miles away. The late-September day was sunny and warm with temperatures in the mid-70s as I paddled under the 208 bridge.

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on the Rivanna Reservoir, Charlottesville

Kurt Michael 000By Kurt Michael

The September day was sunny and warm as I launched my stand up paddle board (SUP) in the South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir (see map) just outside  Charlottesville.

rivanna river reservoir 09

The dam, built five decades ago, held back the water of the 450-acre reservoir that was busy  with canoes, kayaks, and anglers. The lake offered miles of tree-lined shore to explore along with many coves and inlets.

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on Sherando Lake

By Kurt Michaelwk0a_Photo_8-12-14

From the shoreline of Sherando Lake (See Map), I placed my stand up paddle board (SUP) into the water, jumped on, and was off. Traveling at a relaxed pace through occasional patches of underwater vegetation, I propelled myself through the deep forest green water toward the other side of lake. Looking down at my watch, I had reached my destination in a little over five minutes.  It appeared that the 24-acre lake, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Waynesboro, was somewhat small for the 12’6″ touring SUP designed for long-distance paddling. But there I was at the far northeast corner of the lake staring at a dam.

Kurt Sherando 6

Void of any warning signs, I figured it must be safe to paddle in closer. As I cautiously approached the dam, in the back of my mind I envisioned a strong current pulling me over the edge and plunging me to my death. My fears were unfounded when I realized it was only a four-foot drop. After paddling along the brim, I turned back toward the open lake and set my bearing for the island located in the middle of Sherando. The island has been a popular attraction for generations of beach goers who made the swim from the lake’s beach area to the island and back again.

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