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Dear Supervisors and Staff

November 3, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Dear Supervisors and Staff

During the last three years I have been attending public input sessions quietly dismantling one climate change denier argument after another. I have been doing this for over ten years now in other venues. So you are all unsurprised that three years in succession 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been the hottest years on record. We all know as I’ve described that 2017 and 2018 will likely be la Nina years and therefore colder than “normal”. However, these two “cold” years will very likely be hotter than the year global warming stopped in 1998. In fact we will likely never experience a year as cold as 1998 in our lifetimes. We face a future of mega droughts, rising sea levels, superstorms and floods. The pentagon has warned of climate change induced violence and migration. Climate change is a national security threat. … Continue Reading

Oatlands Plantation

November 2, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Oatlands Plantation

It was one of those warm evenings in mid to late July – when the air feels almost as thick as honey, but you don’t even mind, because you’re in a beautiful place, enjoying a unique cultural event in about the coolest setting in the world. My first visit to Oatlands – in the summer of 1997 – I checked out a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by one of the local theatre troupes; they used the front of the Greek Revival mansion for the opening sequence- appropriately set at the Athenian Capitol, and some of the later forest scenes utilized the surrounding greenery. If there were a better way to charm a famous local landmark into one’s heart, I’m unaware of it; Oatlands Plantation became – and has since remained, for me – synonymous with grace, character – and maybe even a little magic and fantasy thrown in for good measure. … Continue Reading

Wrongfully Willed?

November 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Wrongfully Willed?

Dr. Mike,
I am approaching the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death, and I’m still very angry with him for how he left his remaining money to my older brother, my younger brother and me. My husband and I have two daughters and my older brother has two sons. My younger brother is single and doesn’t have any children. My father had $900,000 when he passed away, and he left my older brother $800,000, which included trust funds for my brother’s two sons’ colleges. My younger brother and me got the remaining $50,000 each.

I was assuming that my dad would just split the family’s inheritance equally. Our parents paid for our colleges, they gave my older brother and me money for our weddings, and they were pretty much always even steven with us as adults. So, imagine how shocked my younger brother and I were to learn that that because in the Will I am “wealthy” and because my younger brother doesn’t have children, my dad decided to give the majority of his inheritance to my older brother and his children to make things “fair.” … Continue Reading

The Cult of “Science”

November 2, 2016 Columns Comments Off on The Cult of “Science”

By Nicholas Reid
There is a disturbing trend developing within science, one which I have been exposed to more than most as a student in a scientific discipline. This trend is harmful to science because it is making scientists seem aloof and elitist, neither of which lend themselves to a positive relationship between scientists and the general public. To put it simply, this trend is pushing science in the direction of becoming a religious cult. … Continue Reading

Guns and Estate Planning “Gun Trusts”

November 2, 2016 Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Guns and Estate Planning “Gun Trusts”

Due to the growth of gun ownership in the United States, there is the increased likelihood that estates will include guns. A thorough discussion of the application of federal and state gun laws is not possible in this article. However, responsible estate administrators can unknowingly violate gun laws, leading to “accidental felonies.” Thus, some information may be helpful.

There are two categories of weapons as to which different restrictions apply. The highly regulated category is referred to as “NFA Weapons.” These include short-barreled rifles and shot guns, fully automatic machine guns, silencers and components to build them, any other weapon (eg, pen and cane guns), and destructive devices (eg, grenades and missiles). All transfers of an NFA weapon must be approved by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). Thus, if an executor innocently delivers an NFA weapon (or even loans such a weapon) without ATF approval, he/she has committed a felony which carries possible imprisonment and significant fines. … Continue Reading

The Truth about Teachers

November 2, 2016 Columns, Mary Rose Lunde Comments Off on The Truth about Teachers
Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde
People underestimate teachers. Most commonly, people put teachers in categories such as: teachers that are horrible at teaching their subjects but are great people; “nightmare” teachers that no one likes; the hard graders who teach you a lot; the teachers that are nice but you don’t learn anything from, and still get good grades; and then the rarest of them all, the all-around great teachers. It is a rarity to find the perfect teacher because people are not perfect; however, they can sure try to be.
… Continue Reading

In Search of an Author’s Soul

November 2, 2016 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on In Search of an Author’s Soul

By Samuel Moore-Sobel
Attending the National Book Festival has become a tradition for my mother and me. Attending the very first one, we heard Robert Caro speak on his latest tome about…you guessed it…LBJ. He was wooing the crowd with deep insights and strange tales of our flawed yet consequential 36th President.

Fourteen years later we return for a man wearing a distinctive black hat, his tall and lanky form betraying youth, despite his 59 years. He begins talking about his most recent work, Kill ‘em and Leave, In Search of James Brown and the American Soul, but promises to speak about The Color of Water, since “that is what everyone wants to hear about…” Unlike that unexpected New York Times bestseller, his new book was written under a bit of duress. “My wife…now ex-wife…decided she no longer wanted to be married to me,” he says, which was quite “costly financially.” The divorce came on the heels of his beloved mother’s death, making it one of the hardest years of his life. … Continue Reading

2016 Energy Summit – George Washington University

October 20, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on 2016 Energy Summit – George Washington University

On Friday evening, October 28, George Washington University, Virginia Campus in Ashburn will host the 10th annual Don Sandros Energy Summit in cooperation with local businesses and non-profits. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for a reception with wine donated by Corcoran Vineyards. The discussion begins at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Don Sandros was an energy specialist who designed and built many of the area’s residential and business solar energy installations. He was a generous man who taught many of the area’s installers their trade. He served as president of Sustainable Loudoun for many years.

The following material is from: https://geog.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Baiocchi/Giovanni%20 … Continue Reading

Attributing Disaster

October 6, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Attributing Disaster

“Humans are likely to create a catastrophe, and possibly an associated disaster, that vastly exceeds our own ability to recover from it. In the face of all our efforts, it will persist.” – Richard Guthrie [1]

“Here we show that human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events…” – Min [2] … Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

October 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent

By Michael Oberschenider Psy.D.
Dr. Mike,
We recently signed our four-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a horrible disaster. From the first lesson, she was frustrated, she couldn’t pick up the instructions, and it was a battle to get her to go every time. My husband took the hard line that our daughter had to continue because she made a commitment and because we couldn’t get our money back. I initially shared his position, but he never went to a single practice to see what I saw, and I couldn’t continue to drag my kid out of the car crying only to peel her off of me to enter a room and an activity she was miserable in for two hours a week over and over. I made the executive decision to pull our daughter, and my husband has been furious with me ever since. His unbending hard line position is that our society is all about immediate gratification these days and that commitment and perseverance means nothing to the youth of today; and that we are spoiling our kids by giving in to their every whim. What do you think?
Concerned Parent in Loudoun County
… Continue Reading

Invisible Illnesses

October 6, 2016 Columns, Mary Rose Lunde Comments Off on Invisible Illnesses
Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde

It is general knowledge that when people think about illnesses, they don’t think about illnesses that aren’t physically apparent. Sure, people know about conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other diseases with visible symptoms, but many have never even heard of conditions like POTS or CPRS, which don’t show outward symptoms, and don’t often require braces or wheelchairs. No, people live with these illnesses, and struggle daily without our knowledge. … Continue Reading

Robinson Park

October 5, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Robinson Park
robinson park

Looking back, now – I’m glad it wasn’t what most people would’ve considered a nice day; I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of hot and sunny to last me for at least a generation (especially since my ‘office’ is right out in the street where you may live). No – the morning of my last visit to Robinson Park in Northeast Leesburg, the conditions were memorably cool, cloudy, and even a little windy. The day hadn’t really gotten started yet (you would’ve been hard-pressed to say just exactly where the sun was – somewhere behind all those greyish masses marching across a dark sky), and I recall moving with a definite purpose of generating a little personal warmth out of the situation. Now, all this may serve as evidence to keep most of us safe at home under similar weather; for me – I’ve long preferred the sort of day that comes right up and introduces itself (even working outside – as long as I survive the experience, I look back at elemental inclemency as at least stimulating – if not always ‘fun’ at the time).

Now – a walk around Robinson Park isn’t exactly a remote, wilderness excursion, is it? The small, scattered stands of trees and the culverted little part-time brook serve as about the only outstanding natural features, with the ballfields and manicured grass looking pretty tame; so, a little challenge from the climactic conditions came as a welcome distraction from the surrounding domesticity.

But I was still outside, after all – exposed to whatever the skies chose to throw my way. So, the antemeridian perambulation left its indelible mark on me: Literally – I had goosebumps and raised hairs from the low temperatures, and figuratively – my sense memory being more accurate than that of the mere intellect – I can still ‘feel’ my way back there in time and enjoy it all over again– like, right now. And, if the human race retains any of the herd and flock instincts of the ‘lower’ creatures (Ever wonder how a swarm of blackbirds can all change direction in the same instant?) you can get an inkling of the experience for yourself. And, I just may possess a better mental picture of Robinson Park’s 10 acres, athletic fields, walking trail, gentle sloping hill, picnic tables, nearby Leesburg Elementary School and surrounding Exeter neighborhood because of Mother Nature’s participation in the event.

And – who knows? Maybe next time it’ll even be raining; one can only hope. So, if you should see a strange character out there walking the perimeter some early – wet – possibly cold – morning, it could be yours truly – out for a stroll when any ‘sensible person’ would be safely tucked in at home. Not that I would disagree – much of the time – with those instincts, but I really do feel like that local walking path makes up a portion of what I consider my enlarged ‘home.’ OK, Robinson stands a bit more out of the way for me than Brandon Park or Olde Izaak Walton – and it’s certainly far under the radar of the more popular Ida Lee – but I will keep it filed away under my list of places to stop and enjoy the atmospheric rewards of whatever moments find me in that part of town. And if it’s inclement enough, I may even leave my electronic device in the car – truly ‘roughing it,’ as Mark Twain might have said. And, as I pull my hat brim down a bit to shield my face from whatever’s falling from the clouds, I just may be thinking, “My, what a nice day!”

I’d like to think that the perfect Robinson Park experience still lies out there – somewhere – in my future; the same holds true for the rest of my favored – and, even undiscovered – local places. The dawn is on the horizon; we may as well strap on our boots and go out to greet it.

Aren’t you gonna come? We’re just about there, now…

Are Your Estate and Financial Plans Shock-Proof?

October 5, 2016 Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Are Your Estate and Financial Plans Shock-Proof?

Don’t wait until “what if?” becomes “what is.”

Where will you live as you age?

Think about your housing options now, so you have choices and won’t have to make a hasty decision should an unexpected health event force you to move or modify your home.

Staying Put
Most of us prefer to stay in our homes as we age. If that sounds like you, plan in advance for modifications you might need to make your home safer or more accessible (e.g. ramps, wider doorways, grab bars.) Think about whether family members can take you to doctor’s appointments, buy groceries and help with home maintenance. If you don’t have a support system, you’ll need a plan and budget for transportation, home repairs, and in-home health and personal care services. Hiring a personal aid, for example, costs and average of $21 per hour.

Sources: Legg Mason, longtermcare.gov

Moving Out
While it may be hard to imagine today, if you can’t stay in your home due to a health event, consider other housing options that could provide more personal, social and healthcare support.

Assisted Living
Among the benefits of an assisted living facility: social connections with other residents and help with everyday tasks like laundry, taking medications and transportation. Some amenities are included in your rent and some cost extra. Your monthly rent could be as high as $4,500, depending on the facility and care needed, so tour facilities in your price range and develop a short list. Ask about additional fees for services like help with dressing if you were to become less mobile.

Nursing Home
If you face a chronic illness or injury that requires 24/7 medical care, your next step may be a nursing home, also called a “long-term” or “skilled-care” facility. Tour facilities and talk to staff. Ask residents and their families (if you can) about the level of response and care they receive.

Keep in mind these facilities are often part of a continuing care retirement community, so residents already in a community’s independent or assisted care facility will get first preference on long-term housing. Ask if there’s a waiting list for non-community retirees.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities
If you’re thinking about the levels of care you may need as you age and prefer to minimize changing neighborhoods and providers, a CCRC may be your best option. These communities progress in cost and care, from independent apartments to assisted living and finally, long-term care. Ask whether there are buy-in costs that guarantee you first preference if, for example, you have to move form an independent apartment to the assisted living facility. Tour each facility within the CCRC and budget accordingly.

Visit at different times of day, including mealtimes. Talk to residents and visiting family members. Review fees for rent and additional services. Ask about average response time to assist a resident.

Next Steps
Think about if you’ll need transportation or live close enough to walk to shopping and medical facilities.

Learn what fees are required upfront to buy into a continuing care retirement community.

Calculate how much to set aside should you need long-term care.

Material provided by Raymond James for use by its advisors. The foregoing contains general information only and is not intended to convey investment advice. Legal advice and services are not offered through Raymond James. Amy V. Smith CFP ® CIMA. Amy Smith Wealth Management, LLC, is an independent firm offering securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Her office is located at 161 Fort Evans Road, NE, Suite 345, Leesburg, VA 20176. Tel. 703-669-5022, www.amysmithwealthmanagement.com. Dan Smith is not affiliated with Raymond James.








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
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


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


?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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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

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


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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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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