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Have Some Fun … Right Now …

March 5, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Have Some Fun … Right Now …
kilts lower

With The Blue Ridge Leader’s Second Annual Kilt Reveal

Do you recognize the beautiful and elegant “legs” shown here? Each belongs to a different local business leader, listed below. … Continue Reading

LVHS Junior Completes Gold Award Project

March 4, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on LVHS Junior Completes Gold Award Project

Rachel Snyder, a junior at Loudoun Valley High School, completed her Girl Scout Gold Award Project by creating a new program called “Bulldog Buddies” last year in May of 2013.

Fifth graders of four elementary schools that feed into Blue Ride Middle School were able to participate in this program, in which each student was matched with a “buddy,” to whom they exchanged letters with back and forth through the school. Each participant met at least one new person, and those who attended the two summer social events met even more students from different schools. … Continue Reading

French Horn Professor Runs 100 Miles for Scholarships

March 4, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on French Horn Professor Runs 100 Miles for Scholarships

For many, running 100 miles is impossible. For Joe Lovinsky, it’s just another way to prove he doesn’t quit. Or perhaps he’s just plain stubborn.

“That’s the difference between an ultrarunner and any other runner,” Lovinsky said. “You’re not superhuman, you’re not running any faster than anyone else, you’re just the kind of person who won’t give up. Some people call it stubborn — I say it’s not giving up.”

On Friday, March 28, Lovinsky will embark on his first 100-mile run. Not for a medal, but to raise scholarship money for current and future Shenandoah Conservatory French horn students. … Continue Reading

Woodgrove Student: A Presidential Scholar Candidate

March 4, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Woodgrove Student: A Presidential Scholar Candidate
Patty Schuchman Photography, LLC

Sean-Patrick Magoffin, a graduating senior at Woodgrove High School and the Academy of Science, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2014.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 50th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. … Continue Reading

Middleburg Academy Senior a Winner in Regional Scholastic Art Competition

March 4, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Middleburg Academy Senior a Winner in Regional Scholastic Art Competition

A painting by Middleburg Academy’s Caroline Greer received the highest possible Gold Key recognition in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers recent Regional Scholastic Art Competition.

Greer’s work , “Ivory,” will be exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond from March 1 through April 15. She also received honorable mentions for “Decomposition” and “Lifted,” two submissions in the Mixed Media Category. Caroline Greer is the daughter of Cynthia and Robert Greer of Aldie.

Tile Artist Joan Gardiner

March 4, 2014 Lifestyle, People 2 comments

Storyteller, Naturalist, Teacher And Fine Craftswoman

I could have spent hours wandering around Joan Gardiner’s tile studio in the quaint old village of Unison (population 30). As a little girl I collected any bit of natural material I could pick up outside – snakeskins, bird feathers, driftwood, rocks, beach glass. Joan Gardiner has many of these kinds of things casually displayed and posted in her workplace, a combination gallery, kiln-room and work area. Tacked and displayed all over the walls and tables, shelves, bookcases and desks are the inspirations and miniature studies for the tile works that have made her both famous and beloved. The graceful wing of a red-bellied woodpecker. A fallen bird’s nest. Sketches of a majestic and muscular jaguar. Fantastic bits, piles and corners of stuff that fill this spectacular artist’s head and provide her with both information and inspiration as she works her magic. … Continue Reading

Woodgrove’s Amanda Dukinfield Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

February 4, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Woodgrove’s Amanda Dukinfield Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

Amanda Dukinfield, a junior at Woodgrove High School, has earned the highest award possible within Girl Scouting. Amanda has been a girl scout since kindergarten and has earned her bronze, silver, and gold awards. Amanda’s gold award service project involved 80 hours of service in which she worked with Ken Falke, Founder of Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors, in helping beautify the interior of the guest cabins with her local photography. Keeping with the retreat’s rural setting, Amanda took pictures of old stone buildings and barns within western Loudoun that have a patriotic theme such as American flags.

Ken selected five pictures to adorn the walls of each cabin. Amanda then worked with local frame shops to complete her project. She gives special thanks to Photoworks in Leesburg for developing all 20 pictures, to Turner Framing in Sterling for providing all 20 frames, to My Frame Shop in Leesburg, Ashburn Art and Framing in Ashburn, and Nelligan Gallery in Ashburn for matting and finishing the pictures. Amanda will receive her Gold Award medal at the Girl Scout Council Nation’s Capital, Loudoun County teen awards banquet this May.

Kathy Ratcliffe, Quilting As Family, Fabric and Thread Memories

January 8, 2014 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Kathy Ratcliffe, Quilting As Family, Fabric and Thread Memories

Growing up I’d hear the whir of my mom’s sewing machine and watch as precious pieces of Irish linen and chintz, French silk tassels, soft spring cottons and colorful yarns were transformed into pillows, slipcovers, dresses, yardstick covers, curtains and tablecloths.

This was the beautiful, everyday fabric art and craft sewn by my mother. Art, craft and handmade delight was as common in our household as my grandmother’s homemade peach marmalade, the greens and flowers we harvested from our garden and yard for the holidays, the shells and rocks we collected as children to edge the driveway and the old barn beams that my dad hand-cut, carved and repurposed into handsome and decorative tables and cabinets.

Interviewing Kathy Ratcliffe just before Christmas in preparation for this January issue of the Blue Ridge Leader all of my family’s wonderful fabric and thread memories came pouring out of me.
… Continue Reading

Loudoun County Fire-Rescue System Applauds Efforts of Local Loudoun Boy in Toys for Tots Campaign

December 9, 2013 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Loudoun County Fire-Rescue System Applauds Efforts of Local Loudoun Boy in Toys for Tots Campaign

Friday, December 6, various members of the Loudoun County Fire-Rescue System, the Loudoun Co. Marine Corps League and the Loudoun Co. Local Firefighters IAFF Chapter 3756 gathered at the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company while 11 year old Matthew Newcomer dropped off hundreds of toys he’s collected for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Matthew and his family have actively participated in the campaign since 2006 and have donated thousands of toys for the less fortunate children in our area. Matthew continues to go above and beyond to grow his collection campaign year after year. Aside from reaching out to family and friends for help, he has enlisted the assistance of the Loudoun County Public School System and recently opened up the family home as a donation center complete with a train city for donating individuals to enjoy. … Continue Reading

Christmas 2013: Let Traditions Endure and Give Birth To New Ones

December 3, 2013 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Christmas 2013: Let Traditions Endure and Give Birth To New Ones

By Shirley Volberg

Last month I shared my hopes that my daughter would have a successful first Thanksgiving. It was the first time she hosted the family at her home, and, although there was a bit of flurry about serving pieces, etc., she did a fabulous job.

From the start, she happily delegated several of the more complicated side dishes to me, so she could focus on the turkey and the table.

Her table was lovely, decorated with a blue and yellow French tablecloth, flowers in complementary colors and a scattering of yellow paper leaves to give everything a beautiful fall theme. … Continue Reading

Artist’s Profile – Brown Shop Bears

December 3, 2013 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Artist’s Profile – Brown Shop Bears

The Thing Of Holiday Dreams

As West Virginia “teddy bear artist” Treva Blackford describes it, “My inspiration comes from a piece of mohair, vintage clothing or accessories. Some times a customer will ask for a certain color or style. Sometimes a family member will make a suggestion. I am always trying to come up with new ideas to keep my work interesting.”

But, it is hard to look at Blackford’s work – her handcrafted teddy bears, bunnies and foxes – and not believe that her inspiration comes from anything less than heaven itself.

Blackford has been making her creations for 20 years. “What got you started?” I asked. To which she replied, “I had always loved quilts but when I tried to make one I wasn’t very good at it so I started making cloth bunnies and other animals. I gradually progressed to mohair teddy bears, bunnies, foxes, etc. Raccoons will be my new animal for 2014! … Continue Reading

Remembering Our Bright and Shining Star – Gabriella Miller

November 6, 2013 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Remembering Our Bright and Shining Star – Gabriella Miller

Ten year old Gabriella Miller died at home on October 26, 2013 after a courageous yearlong battle with pediatric brain cancer. In his tribute to Gabriella, Randy Hollister, Headmaster of Loudoun Country Day School where Gabriella attended, spoke of her as “A model student and citizen whose presence lit up the classroom. Every day with Gabriella was pure exhilaration and adventure.”

Gabriella remained true to this description of effervescence during the course of her illness as she became a distinguished and selfless advocate for children with pediatric cancer. As a result of Gabriella’s tireless efforts, she helped to raise more than $275,00 for the Make A Wish Foundation through a letter writing campaign, but she didn’t stop there. Gabriella began a letter writing campaign with Make A Wish – that totaled more than 250,000 letters which were delivered to Macys department store before Christmas last year resulting in a $1 million dollar donation from Macys to Make A Wish Foundation. … Continue Reading

Remembering Ann Jacobson

November 6, 2013 Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Remembering Ann Jacobson

Ann Natalie Jacobson (nee Gandrud), 83, of Hamilton died at her home on October 15, 2013, due to cancer. Jacobson was born April 16, 1930, in Fergus Falls, Minn., to the late Elvin Gandrud and Ada Aarrestad Gandrud. After completing the Glenwood Minnesota schools, she attended Concordia College in Moorhead for two years and graduated from the University of Minnesota in December 1951 with a BS degree in business education. At the university, she served on the governor’s youth commission.

She worked as an executive assistant to the president of Neiman Marcus in Dallas prior to her marriage to Gerhard (Jake) Jacobson on August 8, 1953, at the Glenwood Lutheran Church in Glenwood. As the wife of a career army officer, she traveled widely with her husband. In 1965 they spent a year studying Russian prior to his serving with our embassy in Moscow. In 1980 they moved from Mount Vernon to a farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge which they restored and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. She served on the board of the Land Trust of Virginia and Loudoun Cares. … Continue Reading








The Holocene Climate


(Public Input Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, 7 March, 2017) Figure 1 shows the climate variation over the last million years. The low points on the curve correspond to ice ages when glaciers up to a mile thick covered New …

Choosing To Forgive


By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Truly forgiving is the ability to say, ‘Thank you for giving me that experience.’” James Arthur Ray vaulted into fame on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in the mid-2000’s. Stunned hearing these words while watching The Rise and …

Five Key Retirement Questions


Beyond asking yourself where you see yourself and even what your lifelong goal are, effective retirement and longevity planning begs some very big questions. Review the points below and consider how housing, transportation and health considerations all play a role …

Work Woes


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, I’m a manager at a large tech company and my boss has directed me to fire someone on my team, but as a Christian, I just can’t do it. It’s true that the employee …

Joy or Suffering

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde No one likes to suffer. When given the chance, many people would choose to laugh rather than cry, to sit in silence with their friends rather than talk through their feelings, because not even their friends …

Wage Radio


I will always remember – very fondly – the first time I ever set foot on the property at 711 Wage Drive Southwest in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a warm, sunny July morning in 1997, and I’d driven all the …

Speaking Truth to Power


“With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed.” Abraham Lincoln On Thursday evening, February 23, I requested the Board of Supervisors pass a proclamation resolving to support the March for Science on Earth Day, April 22 [1]. …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016


Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016


Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016


Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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March 2017
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February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017


March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
March 5, 2017
March 6, 2017 March 7, 2017 March 8, 2017 March 9, 2017 March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017 March 12, 2017
March 13, 2017 March 14, 2017 March 15, 2017 March 16, 2017 March 17, 2017 March 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

Wine & Chili Weekend
March 19, 2017

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale
March 20, 2017 March 21, 2017 March 22, 2017 March 23, 2017 March 24, 2017

March Fourth Friday

March Fourth Friday
March 25, 2017 March 26, 2017

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
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Steady and NoBull


Sterling Library Moving To New Location

25 Mar 2017


Sterling Library’s current location, 120 Enterprise St., Sterling, will close beginning Saturday, March 25, to prepare for the opening of the new Sterling Library on Saturday, April 15. Patrons can return library materials using the drop box at the new location, 22330 S. Sterling Boulevard.

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Middleburg Gallery Presents Country Pursuits Exhibit

25 Mar 2017

Mr and Mrs Andrews 24x35 59 2016 whelan

The Gallery on Madison in Middleburg is presenting an exhibit of Brian Whelan’s (a London Irish painter now settled in Waterford) ) transcriptions of a gallery of paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Andrews’ through April 2. The exhibit includes 23 paintings, two masks, two graphics, and nine preparatory drawings.

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Loudoun Workforce Resource Center Presents STEM Career Fair March 28

16 Mar 2017

Illustration of STEM education word typography design in orange theme with icon ornament elements

Anyone interested in a career in the rapidly growing field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is encouraged to attend an upcoming STEM Career Fair in Loudoun. The Loudoun Workforce Resource Center, in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)’s Loudoun campus and NOVA SySTEMic Solutions, is holding a STEM Career Fair Tuesday, March 28, from 1:00 to 4:00 …

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Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Loudoun County Seal Color

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …


Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!


– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West


– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved


Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception


We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm


By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Virginia Schools Kick Off Statewide Campaign To Encourage Safe Teen Driving


More teen drivers in Virginia will be involved in traffic crashes between the months of May and August than any other time of the year, statistics show. To help save lives and prevent such crashes during the high-risk warm weather months, Virginia schools are kicking off a statewide teen safety …

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Protecting Free Speech


By Dave LaRock (R-33) As elected officials and members of the legislature, our most fundamental responsibility is to protect God-given constitutionally protected rights. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the government, including governmental public colleges and universities, from infringing on free speech and the free exercise of …


Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

Tia walbridge

Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

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Vikings Runner-Up at the State Championship 

8 Mar 2017


The Loudoun Valley Vikings are the boy’s runner-up at the VHSL 4A State Indoor Track and Field Championships at Roanoke College.  During the 2015-2016 school year, the Loudoun County School Board approved Indoor Track and Field as a Tier 2 (self-funded) sport.  The seven boys competing scored 48 points, second …

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WLVBC U14 Boys Finish 3rd at VA Beach Event

23 Feb 2017


The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys Team garnered 3rd place in their first travel tournament of 2017, the Virginia Beach Invitational. This event was held Feb. 18-19 and featured more than 24 teams from the U14 to U18 age group. The team was second on their net on day …

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