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Catoctin Creek Apartments – The Wrong Kind Of Growth

January 9, 2013 Editorial, Opinion 3 comments
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By Karen Jimmerson

In the coming months, Purcellville Town Council will review the application for the high-density Catoctin Creek apartments off Hirst Road (“Planned Development Housing” or PDH zoning), as well as commercial developments within town limits. The issue of growth in Purcellville is more complex than just growth or no growth. The real issue facing the town is how to attract and direct – or resist – certain types of growth in order to serve the community interest.

The Comprehensive Plan’s vision is to increase the commercial tax base to 30 percent in an effort to offset the residential tax burden. But the dilemma is how to achieve that without becoming over run by retail development. The Stupar property – the proposed site for the apartments – is currently zoned CM-1, which allows for light commercial development. The Valley Commercial Center off Hirst Road, where the Police Station and Purcellville Copy are located, is an example of CM-1 zoning. The Hirst Road Charette indicated that such zoning is fitting for the Hirst Road corridor and would have a minimal effect on the by-way. The town has few properties suitable for PDH zoning or commercial development, as there is interest in what the impact from nearby land uses will be. The primary rationale for zoning is an effort to “protect” residential neighborhoods and inappropriate development for a particular area. … Continue Reading

The Great Purcellville Land Grab

January 9, 2013 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on The Great Purcellville Land Grab
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You knew it was too good to be true when Purcellville wanted to get out of PUGAMP (the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan). Why drop a plan the town used to its advantage to obtain millions of dollars for “transportation improvements” from the county in order to settle the Woodgrove High School location lawsuit? It turns out that the town may have more to gain by PUGAMP going away than keeping it in place.

Over the past year we have been tracking PUGAMP developments. During this period we have attended multiple county and town meetings and public hearings, uncovering an ingenious and complex plan by the town and county to control and potentially annex land around the town.

The process officially started in March 2012 when the PUGAMP Joint Policies Committee recommended repealing PUGAMP. And, the town dropped PUGAMP that August by a unanimous vote of the town council that contained the following unusual conditions: … Continue Reading

A Ponzi Scheme of Suburban Growth

December 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on A Ponzi Scheme of Suburban Growth
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By Andrea Gaines

Small towns and cities in American have suffered from a Ponzi scheme of suburban growth. Most small towns are bankrupted or heavily indebted because the growth did not alleviate fiscal gaps. The local government benefits from the increased revenues associated with new growth, but it also assumes the long-term liability for maintaining the new infrastructure. This exchange — a near-term cash advantage for a long-term financial obligation — is one element of the Ponzi scheme.

The cycle demands ever-increasing growth rates to maintain bloated and inefficient infrastructure systems, a pattern that seemingly seems to never stop. … Continue Reading

Purcellville’s Water and Sewer Rates Fiasco

November 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Purcellville’s Water and Sewer Rates Fiasco
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Taxpayers Foot the Bill For Overcapacity and Mismanagement

In late October, the Purcellville Town Council considered the issue of monthly billing for Purcellville water & sewer customers, and at a worksession meeting decided against it because it would initially cost approximately $50,000 for the software required. (Customers are now billed on a bi-monthly basis.) But, this is as far as the town’s cost-savings’ ethic goes …

Background – how much does it cost the town to produce water?

The answer of how much it costs the town to produce water is found in the budget for the water fund. The annual budget for the water fund is almost $3.3 million … but, after you subtract the cost of debt service (interest plus principle) and a charge back to the general fund, the budget is reduced to just over $1.5 million. Using May as a typical month, the average amount of town water pumped was 586,000 gallons per day. So, let’s round up to an even 600,000 and do the math. The formula is approximately $1,500,000 (cost) divided by 600 times 365 days = cost per thousand gallons … or $6.96. So, the cost of Purcellville water per customer is $6.96 per gallon. … Continue Reading

Apartment Complex Wrong for Purcellville

November 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 2 comments
town of purcellville sign

By Karen Jimmerson

Growth has impacts on every aspect of quality of life that people care about: environmental, social amenity, economic welfare, and cost of living. Many current residents of Purcellville moved here because of the way it is; newcomers are attracted by the way it is; and few would argue that they made the choice based on what it might become.

I am opposed to the proposed high-density apartment complex off Hirst Road; a development that could bring in excess of 600 additional residents and would have nearly 10 percent of the town’s population traveling through this corridor. This complex would be the fourth tax-credit (low-income) property in Purcellville, a town that has a higher ratio of tax-credit properties per capita than all other communities in Loudoun County. … Continue Reading

Open Letter to Chairman

October 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Open Letter to Chairman

Dear Mr. Chairman,

I have read your statement earlier today regarding the alleged misconduct of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio and am somewhat encouraged that the Board intends to look into this but I don’t see how, however well intended this effort may be, that the Board can “independently” investigate itself.

Accordingly, I have some observations and recommendations.

You must appreciate, how, even the appointment by the board of an “independent” counsel would be suspect if the Board was making the selection.

Given what has already transpired, according to your public statement, this appears to be a legitimate concern.

I am talking about the supposed criminal referral of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s alleged misconduct as to, among other possible subjects of investigation, the misappropriation of public services. … Continue Reading

Four Years of Constant Water Rate Increases Too Much To Swallow!

July 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Four Years of Constant Water Rate Increases Too Much To Swallow!
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By Daniel E. Shaughnessy

Item (6e) of the proposed agenda for the Purcellville Town Council June 12 meeting, once again, as was the case for the June/July meetings of 2009, 2010, and 2011, proposes another increase in water and sewer rates for town residents and businesses.

These rate increases are of considerable concern and they seem to reflect the Council’s continuing embrace of a water system that is unable to pay for itself and which, increasingly, has become reliant on large annual rate increases and the use of reserve funds. … Continue Reading

On the 25% Meals Tax Increase …

July 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

“We make decisions on what is best for the Town.” – Councilmember John Nave

Last month the Town of Purcellville raised the town meals tax by 25 percent – from four percent to five percent. Councilmember Tom Priscilla stated that the increase was necessary due to a $1.5 million shortfall. More specifically, he cited developer defaults on public improvements for Locust Grove and Hirst Farm performance bonds, county versus town lawsuits related to efforts to block the Southern Collector Road, and lawsuits filed by Sam Brown (owner of Crooked Run Orchard) to protect his property from seizure by eminent domain/quick take. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Going the Way of Stockton?

July 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Purcellville Going the Way of Stockton?
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Stockton, California is filing for bankruptcy protection. While one of their big problems is unfunded retirement costs, the other one is the amount of bond debt they have amassed. Earlier this year creditors seized an empty building that was supposed to be the new town hall, along with a couple of parking garages after the town failed to meet a bond payment. These are the lucky creditors since they will likely have enough to recoup the value of their bonds. But the more interesting thing is the amount of debt they have.

It was listed at a little more than $700 million, with a population of just under 300,000. Interestingly enough, if you compare this to Purcellville’s debt, Purcellville’s debt is three times higher on a per capita basis. Stockton has a debt of about $2,500 per capita and Purcellville has a debt of about $9,000 per capita. At this time in history, it is important for municipalities to limit debt.

Railing Over Rail

June 17, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Railing Over Rail
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Printed with permission from www.jimburton.org

The Board of Supervisors must decide by July 4 whether or not Loudoun will participate in the Phase II Metrorail project which will bring rail to Dulles Airport and two Loudoun stations west of Dulles. It has been one of the most hotly debated subjects in recent memory. The blogosphere has been full of comments pro and con, some articulate and fact-based, as well as those which have been ideologically based, emotional, or totally irrational. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Sleight of Hand on Meals Tax Increase

June 12, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 3 comments
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The question is this: If the Budget Committee now supports a 25 percent increase in the meals tax, when did this shift occur – as an increase from four percent to five percent was voted down in April?

At the April 3, 2012 Budget Committee meeting Vice Mayor Joan Lehr made a motion to keep the town meals tax at its current rate of four percent. The motion passed 5-1-1, with Council Member Wiley voting against and Council Member Nave absent for the vote.

The May 8, 2012 Town Council meeting agenda showed the meals tax rate being supported by the Budget Committee at four percent. … Continue Reading

Fear Not Metro

June 6, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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Guest Editorial by Malcolm Baldwin

Despite Loudoun’s increasingly vibrant rural economy, rural residents fear that forces of sprawl may erase the economic, recreational, historic, and environmental values that Loudoun residents now enjoy. That fear affects debate over Metro to Loudoun, allying some rural residents with the no-tax, Tea Party/Koch Brothers Metro opposition. But, in fact, Metro offers positive opportunities for enhancing our rural economy, if we energetically pursue practical policies open to us. Otherwise, with – and especially without – Metro, Loudoun’s unique rural economy – that some call our oft-neglected economic “weapon” – risks a diminished future and a loss of what is arguably our county’s greatest competitive advantage. … Continue Reading

Bystanders or Leaders?

June 6, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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In the past 20 years Purcellville has changed from a very rural, quiet and polite town to a suburban outpost with a lot more noise, activity and impatience. Loudoun County, the wealthiest county in the country, harbors a vast government machine whose contractors and subcontractors, and those who benefit from these businesses with all sorts of spinoffs and support industries, is not suffering from the affects of the economic downturn felt in other jurisdictions. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Holocene Climate

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(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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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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Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Loudoun Workforce Resource Center Presents STEM Career Fair March 28

16 Mar 2017

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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

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?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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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