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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

June 15, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights
Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories that directly impact our children and therefore teach them what’s right, and what’s wrong – conflict with what we really want them to learn.

During my eight years on the Loudoun County School Board it was obvious school administrators and security officers were interrogating children which in some cases forced them to admit to things there might not be evidence of … all under the false premise that schools need immediate cooperation from children, even if it leads to their expulsion, even if there were no serious exigent circumstance such as a fire, a gunman in the building, etc. Calling parents prior to such interrogations was rare and fiercely resisted by school administrators. And, so, what are teaching our children? To tell the truth no matter what … even though all citizens have a Constitutional right not to self-incriminate? The 5th Amendment may use the terms capital or infamous crime when referring to self-incrimination; but does that mean a child possibly facing school disciplinary action – or worse – has no rights? Not even the right to have their parent present when there is time and opportunity to do so? … Continue Reading

Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock

You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Minimum wage advocates are actively working around the nation. New York’s governor announced he is still working to raise the state’s minimum wage after his state’s legislature rejected his proposals to do so, and, just this last session, several bills were introduced in the Virginia House and Senate to increase the minimum wage in the Commonwealth. None passed. … Continue Reading

No Tax Increases

April 1, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on No Tax Increases
speak

– By Delegate Dave LaRock

I’ve heard it said that elections should be held on April 16 so that people would cast their vote while still smarting from the pain of dropping that check in the mail on April 15. According to The Tax Foundation, Virginia State Individual Income Tax Collections Per Capita Fiscal Year 2013 totaled $1,326 – the 8th highest in the US. It’s important that taxpayers remember that feeling when they interact with their elected officials.

You may remember the bold message on the huge trailer-mounted pink tax pig seen in parades around Purcellville and Leesburg – “No Tax Increases.” No doubt I’ll be the brunt of some jokes for associating with that portly mascot, but that tax-related message is an important one that all elected leaders need to keep in mind.

On April 15, the Virginia General Assembly will reconvene for one day to consider the Governor’s actions on legislation. On that day, the difference in styles of government between the legislature and the executive will be most apparent. Most legislators would agree that we need a more efficient state government, and many adhere to the philosophy that local decision making by local citizens is best. Local decision making and leaner government are at the heart of the philosophy that guides my votes in the legislature.

When Virginia is lean and efficient, hard-working taxpayers get to keep more of their hard earned dollars and enjoy a better quality of life as you spend your money efficiently and wisely. On a personal and on a state level, good management practices can always yield more for less.

As an example, I recently met with a constituent who helped draw my attention to the benefits an interchange at the intersection of Route 690 and the Route 7 bypass would be. We all know how in-town traffic is affected by school and event traffic, resulting in harsh congestion. Fixing that will be costly, and that’s why I have focused effort on making sure our regional transportation funding priorities receive careful scrutiny. When that happens, there is more funding available for projects like the Route 690 interchange. It’s just that simple.

Likewise, with education (which consumes over one third of Virginia’s budget) seeking value for dollars spent is how we achieve our goals without continually asking for more in taxes. This past session, I submitted a bill that would have given parents of special needs children the ability to withdraw them from public schools and receive a portion of that child’s state education funding to strike out on their own. Giving parents the means to customize their child’s education has tremendous potential not only to improve educational outcomes for at-risk kids, but to cut down on the long term costs borne by the Commonwealth and local schools. Better results for fewer dollars is not impossible, but it does take some effort and a creative approach to problem solving.

As always, my top priority remains serving the citizens of Virginia and the 33rd District by passing laws that boost economic recovery, allow the creation of good, dependable jobs, improve education, reform government spending and protect our individual rights. And as always, I value your input – don’t hesitate to give me a call at 540-751-8364.

After the reconvene session I hope to report back to you with the good news that our Governor has signed into law policy that favors more efficient state government and local decision making by local citizens.
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Delegate Dave LaRock represents the 33rd House District, including parts of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties, and the towns of Leesburg (partial), Purcellville, Berryville, Lovettsville, Round Hill, Hamilton and Hillsboro. LaRock serves on the Transportation Committee, the Science and Technology Committee and the Courts of Justice Committee. Dave and his wife, Joanne, have lived in Loudoun for 28 years, building a successful family-owned general contracting business. The LaRocks reside near Hamilton with Laura, Abby and John, the youngest of their seven children.

Let’s Let All Enjoy The Purcellville Watershed – Responsibly

April 1, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Let’s Let All Enjoy The Purcellville Watershed – Responsibly
lettertoeditor

Dear Editor:

Just wanted to drop a note and weigh in on the amazing opportunity to maximize the value of a community resource. As you may know, there are efforts underway to open the Purcellville Watershed up for recreational use of the public. This may include equestrian, hiking, bicycling and other low impact activities.

I am a strong believer in creating these recreational opportunities as a quality of life improvement for residents and visitors to Loudoun County. The land is currently restricted to very selective use by a limited number of town employees and friends. Let’s allow everyone to enjoy this great resource in a responsible, thoughtful and sustainable manner!

Timojhen Mark
Purcellville

Cozy Relationship

March 4, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Cozy Relationship
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During the February Purcellville Town Council meeting, members had a discussion about the Volunteer Award program. The debate was about separating the town from a private event hosted by a private organization. This award ceremony is not a program the town council organized. It was brought to the public’s attention at the January 2014 Purcellville Business Association (PBA) by former Mayor Bob Lazaro in his State of the Town Address, “…after discussion with Business Association President Bowman, this March at the PBA’s Annual meeting luncheon, we will recognize an outstanding volunteer and/or volunteer organization…”. … Continue Reading

Let Valley Energy Expand – Don’t Change Use in Entire District

March 4, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Let Valley Energy Expand – Don’t Change Use in Entire District
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I would like to be sure that my comments at the Purcellville Town Council meeting held on February 10 were clear. I was not opposing the request for Valley Energy to expand their operations; quite the opposite. My comments of concern refer to adding the usage of storage and distribution of propane to the entire CM-1 District, of which some of these districts are adjacent to residential properties and even across the street from one of our high schools. 

Propane storage and distribution belongs in an industrial area, right where Valley Energy is located. The use should not be added to the entire CM-1 District, simply because Valley Energy would like to expand. I feel that there should be consideration given to Valley Energy, as an existing business to allow for him to expand his current operations, but this should not be added back into the district’s usage unilaterally, as it was previously removed, and for good reason. I agree that there are few incidents that occur at propane storage facilities, however, when they do occur, they are tragic. Having said that, the locations of other CM-1 Districts in Purcellville are too close to residents and students.

The Town of Purcellville should begin and complete the Comprehensive Plan Review immediately and put a moratorium on any zoning use changes, annexations, boundary line adjustments, etc. until the review is done.

Lydia Clark
Purcellville

A Loudoun Civics Lesson: It Pays To Have Money

January 6, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion 11 comments
blueridge2

Having spent an evening at the Loudoun Planning Commission monthly meeting December 16 to listen and participate in the exception application for the helipad on Egypt Farm, I came away much more knowledgeable about how the exception process works and gained additional knowledge about helipads and helicopters.

Some items presented by the Helipad/Helicopter applicant Charles Kuhn or his designated helicopter expert are:
I didn’t know this but to satisfy the exceptions bylaws, an exception for this area can be granted only if it’s for agricultural use. The answer: Mr. Kuhn needs the helicopter to monitor his cattle on his Egypt farm Ponderosa. Really. Wonder if they’ll be a cattle drive through our neighborhood? The fact his moving company operates out of Maryland and also has a helipad has nothing to do with his need for a helicopter. Nah, no way. … Continue Reading

Zoning War Confusion

January 6, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Zoning War Confusion
BenPackard

It is often amazing to read articles covering meetings that seem far different than those I attend. A good example was your recent article “Zoning War Coming To A Head.” First, while it may make good press to suggest that there is a confrontational relationship between the mayor and me, the fact is that we have had and continue to have a strong and good working relationship. Reasonable minds may disagree, but when there is respect for each others point of view, then there is not animosity between the parties. The two items I made a motion to remove from the agenda were discussed briefly before and more thoroughly after the meeting with the mayor to make sure he understood fully why I did not believe the Efficiency Review and Real Parties of Interest were not ready for discussion (for those who didn’t attend the meeting, the reason I stated was no staff report or additional information provided beforehand to prepare us for discussion and no council members were yet to be assigned to the council task items). I would welcome the two items in the future when citizens and council members are adequately prepared to discuss the matters and we have council members championing the items. … Continue Reading

Advice To Developers

January 6, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
blueridge2

We know you want to make money and lots of it. But across America citizens are fighting back. Please don’t destroy our quaint little town. Tough! We need progress. More homes, more businesses mean more income for town officials.

In every election since Loudoun became a bedroom community, developers and politicians became close friends. Lots of money was spent to get developer friendly politicians elected. So here was what the developers need to do to save face with the elected officials. Simply double or triple your density, building heights, water privileges, roads, and so on, knowing that you can “settle” for what you really need.

Next time there is a hearing, the developers can “back off” just a bit. Still the citizens will not be satisfied. So after a few more hearings, even lawsuits, you can advise the population that the town successfully reduced the developers plans. Hooray for the citizens. They are pleased. And the developers got what they wanted – corruption and deception begins at the local level. Stay alert.

A. Kevin Carbone, PhD
Bluemont

LCPS Head Start Program Gives A Big Thanks

January 1, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on LCPS Head Start Program Gives A Big Thanks

THS Key Club Donation PickupThe Loudoun County Public Schools Head Start Program would like to acknowledge the many businesses, families and organizations that donated holiday help to students enrolled in the Head Start Program. These children live at the poverty level and often their families struggle to afford such necessities as food and clothing.
… Continue Reading

He Loves You

December 20, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
home_for_christmas

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.

That Bible verse captures the miracle and majesty of the Christmas story. An almighty God, bigger and more amazing than anything we could possibly imagine loves the world. He loves Virginia. He loves Loudoun County. He loves YOU. He loves you so much that he sent His only Son into the world to conquer sin and death clearing the way for you to have a relationship with Him that will last forever. It is His gift for you. And you receive it by accepting His Son, Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to unwrap this Christmas present.

Gary Kunkel
Purcellville

Doesn’t Belong on 32nd St

December 10, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Doesn’t Belong on 32nd St
town of purcellville sign

Purcellville is a town loaded with character and charm. Increasingly residents seem keen to preserve what makes our town distinct from others. This is true in the town’s central commercial district and in residential neighborhoods alike. Efforts to turn available property over to dense, national-chain development have been rejected by the town’s citizens.

Purcellville has its own celebrated local businesses and it would be nice to see vacant commercial rental space occupied by more of such local businesses. A focus on more dense development, with potential to be occupied by national chains, would damage the unique character of the town and its neighborhoods. While residents increasingly appreciate this, efforts to increase density persist. … Continue Reading

Put Family Farmers Back Into Farm To School

December 10, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Put Family Farmers Back Into Farm To School
Hillsboro_Farmers_Market,_fruit

Farm to School programs appeared in the 90’s with a three-way focus: fresh, local foods in schools; agriculture and nutrition education in classrooms and purchases that support local family farms. Years since have seen these programs grow to include 40,000 schools and 23 million students.

However, the focus has slipped from ‘local family farms’ to ‘local food.’ Schools and program administrators alike don’t know the difference between nearby corporate, industrial farms and smaller, family farms that derive their income from the management and daily labor on their own land. It’s far easier for schools and administrators to define ‘local’ than it is to define ‘family farm.’ … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Holocene Climate

noerpel_new

(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

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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

Smith0035

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

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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

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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

noerpel_new

“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

grads_woodgrove

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

buckland

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

adamspromoted

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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Calendar

March 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
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
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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Recent Comments

  • David on Protecting Free Speech: Constitutionally protected speech is exactly what it sounds like, protected. We all have the legal right to utter nonsensical and...
  • Martha on Protecting Free Speech: Free speech is not a cherished right at the not-quite accredited Patrick Henry College, a religious school that Del. LaRock...
  • Martha Polkey on First Look at Envision Loudoun Results: It remains to be seen whether the direction citizens have provided to the Envision process is actually incorporated into the...
  • David on Protecting Free Speech: Mr. LaRock, I assume that the only reason you weren’t at every School Board meeting in 2005 passionately defending the...
  • LongTimePville on Purcellville Emergency Meeting Postponed to March 10: I bet Kelli Grim flip flops on her conflicts of interest and transparency campaign she ran on and does not...

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

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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Keep Loudoun Beautiful—Greater Lovettsville Area Volunteers Needed

16 Mar 2017

Lovettsville Boat Launch 7-26-09

The Keep Loudoun Beautiful spring clean-up takes place the entire month of April and greater Lovettsville needs volunteers. Bags, vests, gloves and grabbers are available at the Lovettsville Community Center during normal business hours, Monday-Friday. This is a great group or individual activity that can be scheduled around your availability. E-mail Lovettsville Area Leader, Laura Lieberman, for details and to …

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National Awkward Moments Day

8 Mar 2017

awkward

?Laughing at Yourself Is the Best Medicine No one knows who invented National Awkward Moments Day, Saturday, March 18. That’s no surprise, since it probably came about as the result of one stunningly awkward moment that the owner of that moment was hoping to forget. We surveyed our readers and friends to ask them about their most awkward moments, sharing …

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Editorial

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 …

Op-ed

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

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– 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

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– 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

blueridge2

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

catesbyproposal

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

blueridge2

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

Protecting Free Speech

Dave_larock

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 …

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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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Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

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Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

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Sports

Vikings Runner-Up at the State Championship 

8 Mar 2017

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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

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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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