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The Land We Story

May 2, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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Despite the fact that Virginia recognizes the ownership of land as a possession that by its nature, is very different from all other possessions, eminent domain abuse is rampant throughout the state. This November the citizens have a chance to curtail some of the worst abuses, which are those that have strayed most liberally from the Constitution. The taking of property, etc.

The taking of property is now routinely done for no other reason than to increase the revenues of a town. This is precisely what Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro said he wanted to do when he decided to annex three properties to the east of the town. However, that is one of many prohibitions in the Virginia Code. Any lawyer will tell you that most of these prohibitions are ignored with complete impunity. We are constantly being told we are a nation of laws, but it appears some laws are more “equal” than others. … Continue Reading

Reform the Government Reform Commission

May 2, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Reform the Government Reform Commission
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By Malcolm F. Baldwin

Our Board of Supervisors established the Government Reform Commission (GRC) at its first meeting last January, as promised during its election campaign. Opting against broad-ranging bi-partisan participation, the Board appointed an all-Republican commission drawn from developer and other business interests, with no apparent experience in local government to apply to the effort of reforming ours. The Commission’s work assumes the business priorities of the Board. … Continue Reading

Equalized Real Estate Tax But Car Tax Increase Maintained

May 2, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Equalized Real Estate Tax But Car Tax Increase Maintained

The Purcellville Town Council has set the real estate tax rate at 22.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation. This is a reduction in the tax rate of one half cent but amounts to an equalized tax rate.

What constitutes an equalized tax rate? There are two variables in computing the tax on a property: The assessed valuation and the tax rate. Loudoun County controls the assessment for all property in the county and annually reassesses every property in the county. This data is then passed to all incorporated towns within the county for property within the respective town’s boundaries. … Continue Reading

Did You Know You Are Building a New Hotel?

April 4, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 9 comments
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It seems like Loudoun County lives in a bubble. While Detroit’s much-reduced population struggles to get back a sense of community, and is building gardens where there were once houses, Loudoun continues to “pave over,” building office buildings, big box stores and taxpayer-funded hotels. Although Loudoun has always been a sweet place for developers to build, it just got a whole lot sweeter. … Continue Reading

“But, it was just my ‘magination … running away with me … ”

March 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on “But, it was just my ‘magination … running away with me … ”
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Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro is still using the sound bite that he has “taken 1,000 residential homes off Purcellville’s planning map,” and he did so again at the Purcellville/County Joint Committee meeting on February 21 when he said that Purcellville does not want anymore residential housing. However, in reality, residential use is still being recommended for undeveloped land within the Comprehensive Plan, which is being reviewed by the Planning Commission.

But, as the song goes … “it’s just his ‘magination … ” … Continue Reading

Is Loudoun About To Lose Its Highly Ranked School System?

March 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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At its first meeting for the term, the Board of Supervisors instructed the County Administrator to prepare a draft FY2013 budget with two options: A zero percent increase in the average homeowner’s tax bill option and a minus five percent option. The Board also directed that two-thirds of the budget would fund the schools and one-third the County government.

The instructions came on a motion by Chairman York, which passed unanimously with no debate and no questions to County staff on the possible conse-quences. This raises two questions: 1) was the guidance ideologically, rather than fact-based; and 2) are the Supervisors communicating in private – bringing what are, in essence, done deals to the table. … Continue Reading

Purcellville’s Multi-Million Dollar Vote for Less Transparency

February 2, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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Should residents of Purcellville enjoy the rights to transparency and open government in the Code of Virginia? This paper says, YES.
For over one year now, there has been a movement, initiated by local resident and businesses owner Kelli Grim to request that Purcellville’s Mayor and Town Council adopt what many localities, including Loudoun County have in place with respect to “Real Parties of Interest Disclosure.” … Continue Reading

Time For a Code of Ethics

February 2, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Time For a Code of Ethics
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Loudoun County’s previous Board of Supervisors, whose term ended on December 31, 2011 adopted a formal Code of Ethics, along with a separate Standards of Conduct. All members of that Board, except Supervisor DelGaudio (R-Sterling District), signed a pledge to conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions of these two documents. The need for a Code of Ethics was a direct result of the behavior of some members of the 2004 Board, who finished their terms with a cloud of suspicion hanging over their heads. … Continue Reading

Town Hall Shines – But at what Cost?

January 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Town Hall Shines – But at what Cost?
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So … at long last the major kitchen renovation you’d been planning for years is complete.

Dealing with the contractor was difficult, the cabinets still don’t close exactly right and your costs were much higher than originally estimated.

But, in the end, you decided to cut your losses and just get the thing finished! … Continue Reading

What Might Be Coming to Loudoun?

January 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on What Might Be Coming to Loudoun?

By Bob Ohneiser

The new year is a good time for prog-nostications. I hope the following does not occur but if it does Loudoun may need to finally stop its residential growth. Here is one scenario to consider:

  1. Loudoun commits to metro thereby encumbering a few hundred million of capital that would otherwise be available to work down the almost $1 billion in backlogged Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) projects. … Continue Reading

More Taxes? … Really?

December 1, 2011 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on More Taxes? … Really?

Over the years, various candidates for Purcellville Mayor have argued against the imposition of the dreaded BPOL Tax (Business Professional Occupational License Tax). Others have argued that if the Town of Purcellville didn’t impose the tax … the County would.

However, according to an employee at the County Commissioner of the Revenue’s office, it is the choice of the town to impose this tax (and Purcellville takes full advantage of this). Purcellville now imposes a tax of 17 cents per hundred dollars of gross profits on most businesses in Town, except for building contractors who pay 14 cents per hundred. State Code gives towns the right to impose a business tax but it does not compel them to do so. And, a town must pass a local ordinance before it can impose this tax. … Continue Reading

Zoning … and the Power to Destroy

November 2, 2011 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Zoning … and the Power to Destroy
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By Kelli Grim

We have often heard that the power to tax is the power to destroy. The same can be said of zoning.

Zoning controls what a particular piece of land can be used for and how intense that use can be. Residential use versus commercial use, for example … one house per acre versus 10 houses per acre … a high rise commercial development versus a simple commercial strip.

Zoning influences the entire direction and quality of life of any town, and has destroyed/made generic the original downtowns of many. Zoning and annexation are one of the most powerful tools that towns, cities and counties have, along with condemnation of land. More than one politician has climbed his way up the ladder by annexing and up zoning properties (making their use more intense and profitable for the developer). This is where the money and influence are, and this is where politicians get their war chests for political office. … Continue Reading

Do You Know Where Your Candidate’s Money Is Coming From?

November 2, 2011 Editorial, Opinion 2 comments

Everybody who donates money or in kind services to a candidate running for office has a reason.

Many small donations are from average citizens who always vote for the party the candidate represents or believe in the principles the candidate espouses. Then there are the donors that usually contribute larger sums because they expect something in return for their contribution when the candidate is elected.

Fortunately, because of campaign finance laws in Virginia, you can go on line and easily find out how much was contributed by an individual or corporation to a particular candidate*. … 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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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

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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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