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River Creek & Lansdowne
Last week the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) featured another in a series of lectures titled “Exploring the Genes that Built You.” Dr. Mathew Scott, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science, explained the extent of his research involving genetics.

One of the first messages related to “How similar we are.” Animals, humans, and even plants bear genetic similarities. In a less serious vein, I always felt a kinship with a 100-year-old oak tree. Scott described how the multiple breeds of dogs, for example, are descended from one form of canine, the gray wolf. He discussed interaction among cells, DNA and how genes mutate. Essentially, “This means that animal biology, and even plant and microbe biology, is far more relevant to understanding human biology than was apparent from looking at the diversity of life.” According to Scott, they can apply that “knowledge to human biology.”

Where does all this lead? It provides “insights into medical problems, such as birth defects, cancer and degenerative disease.”

The Janelia Campus of HHMI has a cadre of some 200 scientists including a Nobel Prize recipient. These quarterly lectures give the public not only an understanding of interesting areas of science but a glimpse into a well-managed, comfortable setting. They offer reservations for free, but the amphitheater with its high-quality acoustics and visual presentations go quickly. Check out http://www.hhmi.com for more information.

Blu Vino Rifugio

The Rifugio restaurant recently opened in Lansdowne Town Center off Belmont Ridge Road. The extensive menu includes appetizers, small plates, soup, salads, “The Classics,” beef and bison, chicken, fish, pasta, desserts and a category for children. I had my usual adventurous spaghetti and meatballs and found it to be delicious. Others had braised short ribs and they gave them a thumbs up.

The owner, Jean Marotta says, “Most of our customers come in from Lansdowne, River Creek and Belmont. We get quite a few from Leisure World.”

Prices range generally from $15 to $25 for the main courses, under $10 for sides, the children’s selections and desserts with Italian Peach Torte, Tiramisu cupcakes and BVR Cake and Cream Martini being the favorites.

Most reviews contained in Yelp give the restaurant a five stars for food quality and friendly service And the name ‘Blu?’ “A bluebird flew into the restaurant prior to it’s opening.” Explained the owners.
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RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Golfing for charity
A map of Goose Creek in the mid-1800s. Map provided by Eugene Scheel.
The River Creek Club will hold its annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament at noon Wednesday, Sept. 23 accompanied by dinner at 6 p.m. This year the tournament will be supporting Augies Quest, an organization that helps fund ALS research and the Employee Partner Care Foundation which provides financial assistance for Club Corps employees in times of crisis. In addition another beneficiary is the Cookology Foundation, a group that grants scholarships to LAWS, Mobile Hope and Invisible Wound.

Augie Nieto was diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. You may remember the Ice Bucket Challenge that became a widespread, public cavalcade inspiring people nationwide to donate money, no matter how small to ALS research.

The event, that also has positions for sponsors, is open to “Members, family, friends and co-workers.” The cost to play golf and have dinner is $100; dinner only $35. To sign up members can call 703-779-2022. Or register online at http://www.clubcorpcharityclassic.com As i.ndicated members can sign up on behalf of their friends, co-workers, etc.

If anyone has any connection with potential sponsors or if there are individuals who would like to donate they should email Member Relations Director Samantha Starbuck at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Goose Creek

Goose Creek forms the boundary between River Creek and Lansdowne and reaches its terminus at the Potomac River. Golfers on both sides have a clear view of the stream that meanders all over Loudoun County. The question often arises about the origin of the Creek named by the Indians because of the proliferation of water fowl including geese.

According to Wikipedia, the 54-mile long creek starts its run at Manassas Gap at the border of Fauquier and Warren counties . Initially it “flows eastward down the mountain, falling 600 feet in its first 10 miles.” It finally levels out and eventually finds its way under U.S. Route 50 into Loudoun County. Before reaching the Potomac there are several tributaries, including Little River and the north fork of the creek that originates in Round Hill. From there it flows 12 miles before hooking up with the main branch at the water gap of the Catoctin Mountains.

Historically in the mid-1800s milled grain laden barges floated down the creek across the Potomac eventually to the C&O Canal. When the railroads came into existence the commerce on the creek ceased.
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RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Dialogues of Discovery
Mathew Scott, the president of the Carnegie Institution for Science, will be the featured speaker Sept. 16 at the Janelia Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Lansdowne, delivering a talk on “Exploring Genes that Built You,”

The subject sounds fascinating, especially when you consider the implications. According to information from Janelia, evolution has a role in our being.
“Thus, genes required to form muscles and nerves often are recognizably similar in organisms whose common ancestor existed half a billion years ago. This means that animal biology, and even plant and microbe biology, is far more relevant to understanding human biology than was apparent from looking at the diversity of life.”

This line of study has enabled scientists to “arrive at insights into medical problems such as birth defects, cancer and degenerative disease.”

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments before the lecture begins at 7 p.m. Even though late to get in, you can try at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) as there could be cancellations. If you have never attended one of these lectures, it’s an opportunity to experience a well-run event in a comfortable setting with interesting speakers.

School days

This past Monday, Loudoun County schools opened. School buses will be driving through neighborhoods and the presence of the new Riverside High School in Lansdowne has added a significant amount of traffic. As a word of caution, extra care is in order for all of us motorists.

Remembering 9/11

This week marks the 14th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Most have had personal references to the tragedy of that day. Former River Creek resident, Ernie Carpico, was the pilot on a commercial airlines flight from Paris to New York. He got word to turn around, which they did, and wound up for a few days in Frankfurt. Another resident had the misfortune to be on the flight that went into the Pentagon. In memoriam his name is on a plaque at the base of the flag pole in River Creek on the banks of the Potomac. Another resident who had been scheduled to pilot that same plane was sick that day and one of his best friends took his place in the pilot’s seat. His emotional anguish will likely always be with him.
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