Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Back to normal

Here are a few notes to get you through what for many is the first full-fledged working day of 2009.

- The Weekly Challenge: New and improved

Here’s your payback for being a news junkie. The Weekly Challenge is new and improved this year, with a new set of questions every day on a variety of topics focused on Fredericksburg-area news and events. At the end of every week, the player with the most points will get a $50 cash card, courtesy of sponsor Rejuvalase MedSpa in North Stafford. Here’s a fuller explanation of the game. Here’s where to enter.

- Public art on private property

Laura Moyer wrote for today’s Life section about a Sophia Street resident who painted a replica of Vincent van Gogh’s "Starry Night" on his front porch ceiling. Thom Armentrout said he was inspired by interesting porch ceilings in Charleston, S.C. There’s a lot of talk about public art in downtown-booster communities (here and elsewhere) and this is an example of how it doesn’t always have to come as a mandate funded by government.

- Fred mentioned in Chicago Trib

Speaking of downtown, Fredericksburg got a brief mention in a recent item in the Chicago Tribune about daytrips in Virginia. The writer mentions only the James Monroe Museum and what is known locally as the "slave auction block" at Charles and William streets before sending the reader on to Orange County, but it’s something.

- A reminder of how bad it is

I’ve written about this here before, but The News & Advance reported over the weekend that Bedford city is still negotiating to give up independent city status and become part of Bedford County, in part because of the financial pressure of being such a small city. Bedford is a city of about 6,000 and six square miles.