Anti-Powerlines Picnic Scheduled


(Monday, July 9, 2007 11:03 AM EDT)

People who are against the proposed power lines in Hunt Country will have the chance to join the Piedmont Environmental Council in raising money and fighting the lines at the “No Power Picnic” on Sunday, July 22.

To be held at Byrnley, the home of actor Robert Duvall and his wife Luciana, from 4 to 8 p.m., the picnic will feature musical entertainment and family friendly games.

Tents will be set up to provide shade, but for those who want some fun in the sun, soccer and three-legged races are on the lineup of activities. A power line piñata “bashing” also is on the schedule.

A week after the fund-raiser, the State Corporation Commission will hold public hearings in Fauquier County regarding the power lines proposed by Dominion Power and TrAILCo (an Allegheny Energy subsidiary), and picnic organizers hope the event will rally backing for their cause.

“We want to raise awareness for the hearings and get people to vote and take part and show their support in beating these power lines,” said Piedmont Environmental Council development assistant and “No Power Picnic” coordinator Cathy Hall.

Supporters of the power lines say they are needed to maintain capacity in the growing local and regional corridors. Opponents question both the need for the power lines, and their proposed route.

Anyone interested in the cause may attend, but tickets must be reserved in advance. General admission is $50 per car. Sponsorships also are available at $100 and $500 levels.

Guests are asked to bring their own picnic and a dessert to share, as well as lawn chairs, “sunbrellas” and blankets.

The past two anti-power-line fund-raisers in February and April brought in about $150,000 and $75,000, respectively, and more than 500 people attended each event.

Organizers said they are hoping for about 1,000 people to attend the picnic, but do not have a set amount of money they want to raise.

“We don't have a monetary goal,” Hall said. “It's more of an awareness thing.”

For more information on the “No Power Picnic” or to reserve tickets, call (540) 341-0175, ext. 7#.

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