Go Skateboarding Culture!

Harrisonburg skateboarders recently celebrated Go Skateboarding Day - and "it was awesome".

Go Skateboarding Day is a national holiday, but unless you ride a skateboard on at least some of the other 364 days of the year, chances are you didn’t know that. Maybe, despite all the fliers posted around downtown, you didn’t know we celebrated it here in Harrisonburg. Well we did celebrate it at The Artful Dodger, and it was awesome.

The day began with the first day of Skate Camp at Westover Skate Park. From 9am til noon the owners of Wonder Skate Shop graciously volunteered their time to teach kids from 6-14 years old how to skate. Then, from 1pm until 5pm, Wonder Skate hosted a cookout in front of their store. They fed a ton of hungry skaters, parents and people just interested in the event. Continue reading “Go Skateboarding Culture!” »

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Give Me “Liberty” or Give Me…?

Since our arrival on these shores, we Americans have been obsessed with the idea of “liberty.” Some of the earliest European settlers came here to enjoy their newly found freedom from the 17th Century pluralistic society that was evolving in their mother country. They came to practice a more disciplined brand of religion, a legalistic brand that did not place a high priority on individual liberty.

But as the colonies evolved and the Age of Enlightenment swept the soon-to-be nation, the concept of liberty was re-examined in the context of political and economic matters. Liberty became a more inclusive term that extended to so-called Continue reading “Give Me “Liberty” or Give Me…?” »

This post was submitted by David Rood.

This All Might Be A Little Too Much

Part III in a series about the South Africa 2010 World Cup and the meaning of life in Harrisonburg, Virginia (Part I and Part II).

Here I am, alone, in the cool, comfortable dim of a booth in the Harrisonburg edition of Buffalo Wild Wings, basking in the electric glow of, like, 20 televisions. It is just after 10 a.m., early for a Saturday trip to my friendly local sports bar, and I am the only patron in the restaurant section. The staff are engaged in a relaxed and practiced weekend morning routine: cutting lemons, wrapping napkins around cutlery, updating the markerboards, Windexing glass surfaces.

On the biggest of the big screens, centered along the south wall, Uruguay and South Korea are playing the first game of the 2010 World Cup’s knockout stages. The vuvuzela cacophony, beamed across the world through the digital ether, blares through the house sound system. Continue reading “This All Might Be A Little Too Much” »

This post was submitted by Andrew Jenner.

Interfaith Peace Camp Starts at EMU

Today, over 40 children are beginning a week-long day camp at Eastern Mennonite University designed to build friendships and understanding between children of different Abrahamic faith traditions.

Interfaith Peace Camp, offered to rising 1st through 6th graders, is planned and staffed by an interfaith team of community members with the desire to provide low-cost, high-quality learning experiences for campers.   Continue reading “Interfaith Peace Camp Starts at EMU” »

OCP Lawn Jam Underway

Our Community Place, a downtown nonprofit focused on supporting hungry and homeless people by providing basic needs and community, hosted its 7th annual Lawn Jam today. Complete with food, a live auction, volleyball tournament, balloon toss, and a yard sale, all proceeds support the nonprofit.

A highlight of the event was the “Slowest Bike Race”, featuring a dozen riders trying to be the last to complete a 10 yard distance. Video below:

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Continue reading “OCP Lawn Jam Underway” »

Harrisonburg Hosts Bike Virginia

Press Release from Harrisonburg Tourism

Bike Virginia the Shenandoah Expedition starts its journey in Staunton on Friday June 25, 2010, arriving in Harrisonburg on Monday June 28th. This five day tour takes cyclists through the magnificent country sides of Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties.

The economic impact of Bike Virginia in 2005 calculated at 3.1 million dollars for a five day tour. Bike Virginia travels the Commonwealth in cycles (no pun intended).  “Their last ride through Harrisonburg and Rockingham County was in 2004,” reports Tourism Operations Manager, Brenda Black.

The 2,000 Bike Virginia cyclists come in all sizes, shapes, and ages. This is a fun ride, not a race. The tour is designed for recreational touring, not fast pace-line riding. The average age on the tour Continue reading “Harrisonburg Hosts Bike Virginia” »

Best Buy Opens with Community Gifts


Hundreds gathered to be the first inside Harrisonburg's new Best Buy.

A young man named Nathan arrived at 5:45am this morning to be the first customer at Harrisonburg’s new Best Buy – and he was joined by over 150 people by the time the ribbon was cut at 9:45am.

Store manager John May, who will employ up to 100 people during the busy holiday season, gave remarks prior to the ribbon cutting.  He stressed the company’s commitment to being active corporate citizens, and promptly demonstrated it by gifting the local Boys and Girls Club $2,000 and the Harrisonburg Children’s Museum $10,000. Continue reading “Best Buy Opens with Community Gifts” »

Water Street Gets Crosswalk


Downtown Water Street was paved earlier this week, and now is getting a crosswalk connecting the sidewalk by Shank’s Bakery and the alley between Beyond and Finnegan’s, an area frequently used by pedestrians.

Note: This post and picture was prepared completely using a smartphone, in this case a Droid using the Android WordPress application.  It is an example of how community news writers might quickly add timely content to the Harrisonburg Times!  If interested, contact editor@harrisonburgtimes.com.

Downtown Company Celebrates 5 Years In Business

Immerge Technologies celebrated its five year anniversary on May 17 – and is celebrating at Earth and Tea Cafe on Thursday June 24 from 5-7pm.   A JMU grad startup company, Immerge has grown into a highly profitable organization, providing web design and custom programming services to hundreds of clients including Harrisonburg Electric Commission and Casterbridge Tours.

Located in the Keezell Building in Downtown Harrisonburg, Immerge has also forged a strong relationship with Continue reading “Downtown Company Celebrates 5 Years In Business” »

This post was submitted by William Roy.

Vengeance Is Mine, Hopeth The Pilk

Part II in a series by local writer Andrew Jenner about the South Africa 2010 World Cup and the meaning of life in Harrisonburg, Virginia (read Part I).

John Pilk says the Dutch are due.

For 36 years, John Pilk has been waiting on revenge.

Ever since that July day in 1974, when Pilk watched his beloved Dutch soccer team, the Oranje, lose 2-1 to West Germany in the World Cup final, Pilk has been hoping for another chance.

After the game ended, Pilk stepped out on his porch in The Hague and wept. He sounds as if he might weep again, telling the story, because Pilk is madly Continue reading “Vengeance Is Mine, Hopeth The Pilk” »

This post was submitted by Andrew Jenner.

Give Me a Little K.I.S.S. Will Ya, Huh?

Keep It Simple, Stupid! (KISS)

I cannot recount the number of times I have been subjected to the over-used acronym-adage – K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). I first heard it in the military, then college lectures and most recently, while attending professional seminars and workshops. The more I am exposed to this morsel of unsolicited advice, the more I realize that it does not, at least not in any practical way, pertain to the human race.

First, human beings are complex organisms driven by complicated mental and Continue reading “Give Me a Little K.I.S.S. Will Ya, Huh?” »

This post was submitted by David Rood.

Alternative Health: Home Birth

Many women want choices for safe and affordable healthcare during pregnancy, and yet the options seem to be decreasing as the rate of birth by Caesarean section increases across the United States. Here in the Valley, Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington, and also Bedford Memorial Hospital, will close their birthing centers. Yet, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a rise in the number of home births, with a 5% increase between 2005 and 2006. Women who want to give birth at home are turning to midwives for assistance. In the Shenandoah Valley, some are turning to Misty Ward, a certified professional midwife.

Ward is the director of the Harrisonburg chapter of Birth Matters, a supportive community for women who want to give birth at home. She is also the founder and Continue reading “Alternative Health: Home Birth” »

This post was submitted by Tracey Brown.

Denise Kanter’s Talent and Vision

Denise Kanter is a local artist and graduate from JMU; her medium is oil and her show is up at The Artful Dodger. To say it is a fine display of talent and vision only leaves me wanting to say more, but I do so with trepidation. I’ll try and explain.

Denise’s stylized oil paintings depict people or beautifully abstracted realities, and sometimes they depict both on the same canvas. Many of her figure paintings in fact seem to be emerging out of some abstract world or emotion. Stirring our curiosity with such subject matter, she further draws us in by the precise execution of her own unique style. Continue reading “Denise Kanter’s Talent and Vision” »

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Then and Now: Coming of Age in the Best of Times

I turned 13 in 1943, a year of world chaos and personal up-heaval. The world was at war, my family on the move. My dad had joined the navy and after he returned from battles in the Pacific, new orders shifted him about stateside. I attended three junior high and three high schools. Yet it was a wonderful time to enter my teens. And even today I’m still grateful for the innocence and idealism that marked my generation. They forged me—and many others—a confidence to face any future and to look forward to it.

Today, however, I sense an opposite outlook on life—too many youthful cynics, too many who don’t dare to dream. And so too many won’t risk Continue reading “Then and Now: Coming of Age in the Best of Times” »

This post was submitted by Nancy Bondurant Jones.

The Hydrofracking Challenge

The good news is that there is valuable, comparatively clean natural gas in the eastern U.S. The bad news is that the process for getting it is so new, so complex and so dangerous that states which have drilled first and then scrambled to regulate later have found themselves overmatched by a highly industrialized process which turns out to be highly hazardous.

Field and Stream magazine says drilling has exploded so suddenly Continue reading “The Hydrofracking Challenge” »

This post was submitted by Ruth Stoltzfus Jost.

Bishop Dansby’s Global Warming Presentation

See presentation on Global Warming given by H. Bishop Dansby to Bridgewater Rotary Club on June 15, 2010. Entire presentation lasts 20 minutes, and includes a number of video excerpts.  Go to the following link:http://www.bendansby.com/bridgewater/.

This post was submitted by Bishop Dansby.