SSC – March Meeting

March 9, 2014

This meeting will be held at the home of Jim and Lynn Chinnis, 29 Brookshire Drive, Warrenton.

Our speaker will be Laurel Schaepmann of CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, which has recently expanded into Fauquier County.  CASA is a network of 933 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.

For more information on CASA click here

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SSC – February Meeting

February 9, 2014

We will meet at the home of Whitney Petrelli,  7122 Baldwin Ridge Road, Warrenton

Our speaker will be Maggi MacQuilliam of the Piedmont Environmental Council.

Maggi is a native of Fauquier County where she grew up on Wildcat Mountain, surrounded by hundreds of acres of farmland and forestland under permanent conservation easement. Her surroundings inspired her to pursue land-use and planning issues and she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in Geography and Urban and Regional Studies from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

She worked for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program performing environmental review before first joining the PEC in 2008 as the Land Conservation and Stewardship Coordinator. Maggi worked for PEC in this capacity until she left for graduate school to pursue a MA in Community Development and Planning from Clark University’s School of International Development, Community, and the Environment in 2011.

After completing her master’s, Maggi returned to PEC in April 2013 as the Southern Fauquier and Culpeper Land Conservation Officer, where she works with landowners, counties, and conservation organizations to protect critical land and resources in the region.

Maggi will talk about the conservation successes that Fauquier County, and our portion of the Piedmont overall, has experienced and what the landscape for future conservation will look like. PEC’s effort not only encompasses work to preserve our open spaces, historic resources, and farmland, but also includes  issues such as wildlife habitat, working farms and forests, transportation solutions, clean air and water, and thriving communities. There are several Fauquier specific projects that PEC is working on, namely the Thumb Run Wildlife Habitat Corridor Project, assisting with the expansion of the Warrenton Branch Greenway trail to trail, and the expansion of our Fauquier Land Conservation Fund to now assist landowners in western Fauquier with the expense of working through a conservation easement project on their property.

She will also provide an update on the current status of the Bi-County Parkway if there is interest.

For more information click on the links below:

Thumb Run Wildlife Habitat Corridor ProjectThumb Run Wildlife Habitat Corridor Project

Warrenton Branch Greenway Expansion

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SSC December Meeting Cancelled

In view of the dismal weather forecast, we have decided to cancel the holiday gathering scheduled for December 8.

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SSC November Meeting

November 10, 2013

We will meet at the home of Whitney Petrelli,  7122 Baldwin Ridge Road, Warrenton

We are pleased to welcome Brian Roeder who will be speaking on the two topics described below.

Winery ordinance.  After almost a decade of community discussion and conflict and now that we are a year out from passage of the ordinance, what effects have there been upon the community and upon the vineyards and wineries?  Brian will bring some facts –and biases—to be discussed by all attending.  We all have our opinions on this issue, so be prepared for an animated and engaging conversation!  BTW, here are a couple of links that may be of interest in advance:


2.      Fauquier Citizens for Balanced Growth PAC.  This is a new citizens grassroots political organization seeking to recruit and fund candidates for local office as well as engage our community in an ongoing dialogue  about the future and how to make our community one of the best places to live and work in the nation.  According to Brian, this organization is “focused upon pursuing well thought-out and established best practices to manage future growth pressures facing our community.  We are for agriculture, tourism, business development and the tax revenue benefits derived from a thriving business sector, and we are for residential development located primarily in the service districts.  We support a professionally managed government structure where staff are empowered to consistently do their very best to represent our residents and business owners.  Finally, we support the pervasive and thoughtful preservation of our community’s natural and historic beauty.”  Brian will ask for your thoughts and views on this initiative and he will be prepared to answer questions.

For more information on the PAC click here or here

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SSC September meeting

September 8, 2013

We’re excited to welcome longtime SSC “member” Michael Rainger as our guest speaker. Michael will be talking about the new,Fauquier -based volunteer organization, the Energized Research- Learning Institute ( Launch day for the organization was Earth Day, 2013, followed quickly by the ER-LI inaugural kickoff Founders meeting in May. At this event, 40 local celebrities including the Board of Supervisors, School Board, Vint Hill EDA, Economic Development, businesses, teachers, students, and members of the public enjoyed 9 local organizations receiving awards and giving details on their accomplishments in energy conservation and sustainability. Check out the article on ER-LI in the Fauqiuer Democrat:

Michael’s presentation will include updates, conversation, Q&A, and details on the next group of award winners- presentation scheduled for September 17th at Vint Hill Craft Winery from 6-9pm (text 540 219 0445 to register for the 25 remaining seats) . Come join us and learn how you can make a difference!

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SSC October Meeting

October 13, 2013

This meeting will be held at the Marshall Community Center

Representatives from Fauquier Hospital will speak to us about the merger with for-profit corporation LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.

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No Meetings July and August

Due to various vacation schedules, we have decided not to have July or August meetings. Please check back for information on our September and later meetings.

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SSC June Meeting

June 9, 2013

We will meet at Dondoric Farm, home of longtime SSC member, Bob Swick. 5098 Dondoric Farms Road, The Plains, Virignia.

Our speaker will be Lee Owsley of Latitudes Fair Trade Store in Warrenton, whose talk has been rescheduled from April. She will speak about the store, her work with artisans from around the world, and her recent trip to Nepal! Latitudes Fair Trade Store specializes in unique, high-quality, handcrafted and fairly-traded products from around the world. Latitudes is about making a positive economic connection between American consumers and marginalized artisans from developing nations. To learn more about Latitudes and Fair Trade in general click here.

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SSC April Meeting Cancelled

Our scheduled April speaker, Lee Owsley of Latitudes Fair Trade Store in Warrenton, has had an unexpected conflict and has been rescheduled to June.

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AILA – National Day of Action April 11

This was sent by Donusia Lipinski a local immigration lawyer and our March speaker. Please email Donusia if you plan to attend.

There is some speculation that a comprehensive immigration bill may be introduced when the Senate and House come back from Spring Break. One of the ways, we can have a positive impact on the dialogue, is by letting our voices and desires be heard. On April 11, 2013, the American Immigration Lawyers Association will once again have their National Day of Action. We have a meeting set up with Rep. Hurt on Thursday morning. I am waiting to hear the meeting schedule for our Senators. It would be great if you could join us. Please let me know if you are available and willing. We can talk strategy after you register. Of course, there is no fee.

To register, please create a nonmember account as follows:
1. Go to
2. Click on “log in” in the upper right hand corner
3. Follow the instructions to create a “Non-Member Account” (enter name, address, username and password)
4. Go to and click “register”

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Immigration Reform – Information and Action

Thanks to Donuisa Lipinski, we had an very interesting and informative presentation on Immigration Reform at our March meeting.

Donna has provided a link to the American Immigration Lawyers Association . The website has information about the issues and links for resources and to other organizations working for immigration reform.

Donna has also passed along the following from Reform Immigration FOR America:

“Our Senators leading the work on immigration reform in the Gang of Eight have been debating for weeks — but have yet to put forward a bill. Every day that they delay, more families are torn apart and more chances at the American dream are denied.

Our communities cannot wait any longer!  So this week, immigrant rights activists across the country are making calls, sending messages, visiting their legislators’ offices and taking action to urge our leaders to support immigration reform for 11 million undocumented Americans.

Send your message to the Gang of Eight and other Senate leaders and tell them that the time is NOW for real reform that keeps families together and creates a roadmap to citizenship!

Send a message for families like Jennifer’s.  Jennifer lost her husband, father of their four young children, when he was deported without any criminal record. She now has to balance working two jobs and raising her children alone. Instead of asking for toys, Jennifer’s kids ask if they can have their dad back.

 If we can deliver a flood of messages to Senate leadership now, we can fix our broken system and save millions of other immigrant families from separation.  

Together, the power of our community is undeniable. Take part in this national week of action and send your message now.


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SSC March Meeting

March 10, 2013

We will meet at the home of Jim and Lynn Chinnis, 29 Brookshire Drive, Warrenton

Our speaker this month will be Donusia Lipinski- immigration lawyer and founder of Blue Ridge Immigration in Warrenton, VA

Donusia has graciously sent us an outline of what she hopes to cover in her presentation.

Immigration: Our Country at a Crossroads: Has the time for comprehensive Reform really arrived?

Overview of some basic terminology and a very brief discussion of what options foreign nationals have to enter the U.S. legally and what happens if they stay too long, work without permission; or enter without a proper visa; who is being deported and why

Brief discussion of why we have an undocumented population in the U.S.
o Why are they here?
o How did they get here?
o How did they become undocumented – what does that mean?
o Why can’t they get legal status?
o What rights do they have?
o Are they entitled to any benefits?
o What is the solution?      Engage the attendees’ highest thinking on the matter

Why is immigration such a divisive issue?
o Does it need to be so divisive?
o Are their ways to temper it some?
o Will we ever agree as a nation on what makes sense for us a country?

**Comprehensive Immigration Reform
o Reasonable, rational, orderly, and realistic – what does this mean
o What are the Key Components?
o What are the solutions?

** If legislation has been introduced, then I would love the opportunity to talk about some basics as indicated above with the prerogative to discuss the pros and cons of any proposed legislation to give people a better idea of what it will mean to us and those who live in Fauquier County.

In her practice, Ms. Lipinski works with lawful permanent residents who want to become U.S. citizens; with individuals who want to petition for their fiancés, spouses, parents and children; with employers who cannot find sufficient authorized workers in the U.S. to meet their needs; and with undocumented immigrants for whom there may be some immigration relief, such as the youth who entered the U.S. when they were under 16 and who may now be eligible to file an application called “deferred action” which allows them to stay in the US, here for at least two years, with employment authorization with the possibility of getting a drivers’ license.

Prior to moving to Virginia, Ms. Lipinski was the CEO of Lipinski & Associates, PC in Colorado until her move to Washington, DC, where she accepted a position as the Associate Director of Advocacy on family and due process issues at the national office of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”).  Ms. Lipinski gained national recognition for her work with H-2A agricultural and H-2B non-agricultural seasonal workers.  She has been a faculty member at numerous immigration conferences and authored many articles on immigration.

Visit Donusia’s website

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SSC February Meeting

February 10, 2013

We will meet at the home of Jim and Lynn Chinnis, 29 Brookshire Drive, Warrenton

Our speaker will be Stuart Baker, who will provide some insights on how to complete successful construction projects. Stuart is a long time carpenter/contractor who is also a mediator and coach. He learned in his construction business that providing high quality work, along with a commitment to excellent service, communication, and a spirit of intentional cooperation is a winning formula.

With the encouragement of friends, customers and colleagues, he wrote a book about the subject, Conscious Cooperation: How to Create Successful Construction Projects. The book was published last September. Stuart will talk about the book and what is behind it, including some lively stories from his career.

We will also hear from Michael Rainger of Energized Fauquier on the state of energy conservation in Fauquier County.

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SSC December Meeting

December 9, 2012

We will meet at the home of Carolyn and Joe Wysocki, 2573 Wildwood Circle, Amissville, VA.

Starting at 5:00 rather than the usual 5:30

This year we’re continuing our one year tradition of having our December meeting sans speaker. If you’ve wished for more time to chat with all the interesting people who attend our meetings, this is your chance!

Please join us on Sunday, December 9th for a holiday gathering. We’re grateful to Carolyn and Joe Wysocki for volunteering to host this event at their home in Amissville. Due to the nature of this gathering, our hosts have requested heavy appetizers and desserts, though if you have a family recipe you are eager to share, feel free :) Don’t miss this opportunity for great food, good fun, and scintillating conversation.

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SSC November Meeting

November 11, 2012

We will meet at the home of Whitney Petrelli

We are excited to welcome Colin Davis, executive director of
Transitional Housing BARN Inc., in Bristow, as our guest speaker.  This
non-profit provides temporary housing and supportive services for women and
their children.  Colin will speak with us about the work they do at BARN
as well as share information about changes in state and local funding for
organizations such as his.

Transitional Housing BARN, Inc. first began as a Ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of
Virginia who envisioned a way to assist the most vulnerable of our population –
homeless women and their children.  As a small Order of Catholic Sisters,
these Benedictine women had been particularly devoted to helping single mothers
through their other ministries including two schools and an adult literacy
program.  Recognizing that more diverse funding would help more women and
children, the Sisters agreed to establish BARN as a secular
non-profit. While BARN (Benedictine Aid Relief for Neighbors) is still
located on the Monastery grounds and benefits from continued financial support
from the Sisters, it is a separately incorporated, secular organization.

When BARN opened its doors in 1997 as a 501c(3) secular,
non-profit it was more than a simple shelter. Not only did it provide
clean, safe temporary residence for women and children it also provided
comprehensive support services to lift these young families out of homelessness.
Today, BARN continues to grow and develop its services to help
women identify and break the cycles that caused them to lose their homes and
their footing in society. Women who complete their program gain
self-sufficiency and increased earning power, allowing them to secure better
jobs and permanent housing. They also focus on the children, providing
support services to help these kids academically, emotionally and
developmentally catch up and keep up with their peers.

BARN is about helping families to overcome the obstacles –
emotional, technical and financial – that have derailed their lives. Once
these barriers are breached, these families can (and do) thrive.”

For more information visit  BARN

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SSC October Meeting

October 14, 2012

We will meet at the home of Jim and Lynn Chinnis, 29 Brookshire Drive, Warrenton

Carla Petersen of Virginia CURE, will speak on prison reform.

Virginia CURE is an all volunteer non-profit organization with a focus on the Virginia criminal justice and prison systems, and the people whose lives are impacted by those systems. Virginia CURE has been advocating for reform of Virginia’s criminal justice system since 1988 and is an effective and respected voice in bringing attention to challenging criminal justice and prison issues that might otherwise be ignored. To promote its goals. Virginia CURE networks with other organizations and the Executive and Legislative branches of Virginia government, and organizes activities providing information, education and support to families, those who are presently or were formerly incarcerated, and other concerned citizens. Activities include an annual Advocacy Day at the General Assembly, an Annual Meeting, and special projects. Virginia CURE’s Board of Directors meets regularly with staff of the Virginia Department of Corrections to discuss current issues. Volunteers advocate for bills, monitor legislation and provide legislative update to members via email , the website and the newsletter. Local chapters meet regularly throughout the state. Virginia CURE addresses a wide range of issues including: parole of Old Law prisoners, prison conditions, medical issues, juvenile justice, voting rights for ex felons, reentry issues, abolition of the death penalty, sex offender issues, mental health and more.

For more information visit Virginia CURE.

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SSC September Meeting

September 9, 2012

We will meet at the home of Jim and Lynn Chinnis, 29 Brookshire Drive, Warrenton.

Our meeting topic will be the Fauquier Free Clinic.

With over a million uninsured Virginians, Fauquier Free Clinic (FFC) works to provide free quality medical access to those in our community. Established in Warrenton in 1993, the Fauquier Free Clinic now serves over 1,500 local citizens annually in both Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties.

Rob Marino, employed fulltime as the director of the Fauquier Free Clinic, and Steven G. Cosby, MHSA Volunteer Board Member of FCC and President & CEO of Cosby Insurance Group, will present on the operations and future of our local FFC.

Rob has been the director of the Fauquier Free Clinic for twelve years, managing over 200 volunteers including physicians, dentists, nursing staff, and clerical workers. He has a Masters in Social Work from VCU and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia.  Rob currently serves on the Board of the Fauquier County Mental Health Association and also serves on the Virginia Association of Free Clinics Funds Accreditation and Membership Committee. He has extensive experience in nonprofit management in both community and inpatient settings. Rob has worked in programs serving health care needs from trauma care, mental health treatment and job training, mental disability, pharmacy access, and child abuse and neglect. He is married to a local physician in private practice and has three children.

Steven has more than 27 years of experience in the employer health benefits industry and his Master’s degree from The George Washington University in health policy. He is a nationally published writer on health benefit topics. He has expertise in underwriting, pricing, and funding arrangements for individuals and businesses. He is a board member of the Warrenton Rotary Club. He serves as a volunteer member for the Board of Directors of the Fauquier Free Clinic and is the owner of Cosby Insurance Group specializing in employer-sponsored health plans. His wife Amy is the Assistant Editor at the National Endowment for the Humanities, they reside in Fauquier County with their three children and two Newfoundland dogs.

Steven and Rob will tell the story of the Fauquier Free Clinic:  review what services are available, how to get care, how to join as a volunteer, and what local health and dental problems are the most pressing. With the available network of volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, and other health care professionals, the clinic has partnered successfully with our local hospital to help thousands of people over the years.

The Free Clinic is actively planning for changes as the insurance and primary health care markets are adjusting to the new health care reform. After a presentation on the clinic as it is currently organized,  Rob and Steven will lead a discussion and answer questions about the impact of the PPACA (commonly referred to as the health care reform law).

For more information visit Fauquier Free Clinic

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SSC August Meeting – Cancelled

Due to various conflicts and absences due to summer vacations
we have decided to cancel our August meeting rather than risk an exceedingly
low turnout for our planned guest speaker.  We will get back on track on
Sunday, Sept. 9th, with a speaker from the Fauquier Free Clinic.  Our
speaker from Virginia CURE- an organization working to reduce crime through
criminal justice reform- has been rescheduled for October.

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SSC July Meeting

July 8, 2012

We will meet at Dondoric Farm, home of longtime SSC member, Bob Swick. For directions, click here.

We are excited to welcome Robert Marro of the ADAMS Center (all Dulles Area Muslim Society) along with Sid and Melissa Hamid for a panel discussion on Islam.

Information on the ADAMS Center can be found at

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SSC June Meeting

June 10, 2012

We will meet at the home of James and Lynn Chinnis, 29 Brookshire Drive, Warrenton

This month we will hear an update on the status of uranium mining in Virginia from Rob Mamet of the Piedmont Environmental Cpuncil.

Rob is Senior Energy Policy Analyst with the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) in Warrenton. Rob came to PEC in 2007 as a part of the legal team that opposed the Dominion Power TrAIL line through Virginia. Working with outside counsel and experts Rob helped focus testimony and prepare witnesses for the hearings at the State Corporation Commission. Subsequently Rob coordinated PEC’s successful opposition to the PATH high voltage transmission line that was proposed to run through Frederick, Clarke and Loudoun Counties in Virginia. Most recently Rob has continued to work on energy issues at PEC. He splits his time between energy and uranium issues.

Prior to coming to PEC Rob worked for a family-owned radio station in Frederick Maryland. Before that he was a Magistrate Judge in South Dakota where he and his wife practiced law.

For more information on uranium mining visit PEC’s website or Keep the Ban

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