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Greetings from The Booth!

I want to start this week’s blog by sending thoughts and prayers to the people of Florida, who endured incredible devastation from Hurricane Ian last week. Many of us have some connection to the Sunshine State, whether it’s a family trip to Disneyworld, having relatives who live there, or just living vicariously in Florida through Jimmy Buffett’s songs. I’ve been to Key West three times, and once you’ve been there, it becomes a part of you. The rain we experienced this past weekend in the Shenandoah Valley was merely an annoyance, as compared to those who have lost everything. In some cases, entire barrier islands have been wiped away. The recovery effort will take years. Here’s to better Floridays ahead…

Changing gears, I came across one of the great movies of all time the other night, 1954’s “On The Waterfront,” starring Marlon Brando. The film won eight Oscars, including a Best Actor Academy Award for Brando. His character, a washed-up prizefighter, utters the line late in the movie, “what did I  get? A one way ticket to Palookaville.” I looked up Palookaville in the dictionary, and it’s defined as a state or situation of obscurity or failure. I immediately thought of Washington, DC, as it relates to sports.

How did Washington become Palookaville? In 2019 the Washington Nationals won the World Series. Just a few short years later they are finishing a 107-loss season. Let that sink in. It’s said that in a 162-game season a major league baseball team will win 54, lose 54, and how good they are will depend on the other  54 games. Using that equation, the Nats are 1-53 in those games. Ouch. In two short seasons, GM Mike Rizzo gutted the team of it’s championship core and committed to a rebuild. How patient the fans are remains to be seen, but it’s easy to get to a Nationals game now–just park at the Vienna Metro stop and take the Orange line to Palookaville station.

Then, there are the Commanders, formerly the Washington Football Team, formerly the Redskins. Their ineptitude under owner Dan Snyder is well documented. There have been brief periods of success like the NFC East titles in 2012 and 2020, only to be followed by immediate returns to failure. The 20-plus years of the Snyder era have been filled with bad draft choices, free agents past their prime, numerous coaches and quarterbacks, terrible on and off-the-field decisions, one of the worst game day experiences in the NFL, Fed-Ex Field filled with opposing-team fans, and a toxic workplace culture. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

The Washington Wizards are just perennially mediocre. Their last NBA title was 1977-78. Enough said.

And we come to the Washington Capitals, who won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Since then, they’ve been ousted in the first round of the playoffs every year, despite having one of the best players to ever lace up the skates in Alex Ovechkin. The Caps tease us each year with lots of regular season wins, only to make their tee times in early April.

And there you have it. But take heart, Washington sports fans. There’s always next year in Palookaville.

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO FLORIDA!






Winchester selects a new Police Chief

lorenzo wheeler homicide

Winchester City Manager Dan Hoffman announced the promotion of  Deputy Chief Amanda Behan to the position of Winchester Police Chief.

This promotion makes Behan the first female Police Chief in the department’s 200-year history.

The vacancy was created when Chief John Piper was promoted to Deputy City Manager in the recent administrative reorganization of key personnel.

Behan has been with the Winchester Police Department since 2001 climbing the ranks from recruit to the Deputy Chief promotion in 2021.

The new Chief  has a master’s degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and has served many roles with the Police Department.

Hoffman made note of Behan’s role as public servant her volunteerism, mentorship and role model.

Behan’s accomplishments include implementing officer fitness standards, expansion of the department’s community outreach, redevelopment of the departmental policies and acquisition of the department’s first therapy canine.

Behan remarked that she is grateful for the opportunity and thanked her husband, children and everyone for their support through her journey.

The new Police Chief will be sworn in Oct. 21 during the Department’s scheduled promotion ceremony at Jim Barnett Park Recreation Center at 2 p.m.

You can meet the incoming Police Chief today until 9 a.m. at Coffee with a Cop click here for locations.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Front Royal addresses 2 major power outages

front royal town hall

The Town of Front Royal addressed the two major power outages that occurred over the weekend.

The outages affected almost 1,500 homes and businesses in Front Royal on Oct. 1.

Residents in both the Kendrick area and south side of town experienced a complete loss of power first at 3:30 a.m. and again at 10:15 p.m.

The issue was not Hurricane Ian but a loss of the power supply to the Sprint Substation.

Upon arrival crews found there were transmission issues in the lines into town.

Crews worked through the unfavorable weather conditions switching and restoring power as quickly and safely as possible.

In the first event power was restored 3 hours and 22 minutes after the initial loss.

Restoration of power in the second outage took 4 hours and 21 minutes.

Many agencies worked on the situation from the Energy Services Team, Dispatch Officers, Police Department and linemen worked tirelessly in the unfavorable weather to complete the work.

The town and community are grateful for the work put in in the overnight hours over the weekend in the unexpected circumstances.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

News Maker Rusty Holland on the Walk out of the Darkness

This Sat. Oct. 8 the Walk out of Darkness suicide prevention event will take place in Stephens City.

We spoke to the Director of  Concern Hotline Rusty Holland about that event in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Rusty tells us about the walk which starts at Sherando High School.

He also tells us about the three fundraisers that have occurred the last month to benefit Concern Hotline including two fairly new annual events.

Rusty also tells us who is behind the walk taking place Sat. Oct. 8 and a lot more.

Click here for Rusty’s interview.

Register for the Walk out of the Darkness event here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.