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Meadow Hill

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I’m not sure if I heard about these guys first, or if I saw them first and then talked about ‘em, but it’s one of the early recollections of my discovery of what I thought was really cool about Leesburg. And, mind you, there were, and still are, a lot of really intriguing things about this Town – but this made quite a deep and lasting impression on me.

Now – you may recall how fond I am of animals: wild critters, pampered pets or good old fashioned farm animals. And that’s (the latter, that is) what these characters are – and they’re right smack dab (pretty much) in the center of the Historic County Seat of Loudoun. Anyone who’s driven into Town from West Market or taken Dry Mill Road toward the western edge of downtown has passed by the cow pasture across from the familiar 7-11. … Continue Reading

Foxcroft Road

October 2, 2013 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Foxcroft Road
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People don’t talk much about this one – it doesn’t slip off the tongue like Snickersville Turnpike or Harpers Ferry Road – or even John Mosby Highway – and it doesn’t serve as a major conduit between big population centers, like Sycolin Road or Claiborne Parkway or Sterling Boulevard. But it’s a nice drive on a Sunday afternoon – or just about anytime you’d like to see some inspiring, expansive vistas and feel some G-Forces as you make the tight turns on this twisty, two-lane blacktop. No, I haven’t read any rhapsodies of this one on any internet blogs or in any newspaper articles – not recently, anyway – or in any of the local travel brochures. And I’m sure most of the people in Middleburg and Unison are OK with that – as well as those sprinkled along the way on the 6 miles or so of windy, hilly and narrow Rt. 626 – Foxcroft Road.

It takes you right by the famed Salamander Inn – as well as the venerated Foxcroft School – and very impressive estates and farms devoted to equine pursuits and beef production. You also travel through some of the more active Civil War history country in Loudoun- with Unison and Middleburg each boasting tales of skirmishes between the Blue and Grey.

Oh, and – ever heard of Leithtown – otherwise known as Pot House? … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Lime Kiln Road

July 2, 2013 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Lime Kiln Road
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There’s a little two-lane blacktop road that runs to the west from Route 15 (just south of Oatlands Plantation) to Snickersville Turnpike; this probably sounds picturesque enough already; the real kicker – for me – is, that it snakes right along the Goose Creek flood plain for much of its length. I guess that’s what makes it kind of unique for Loudoun County: it’s very windy, (with a long I, that is) but not really hilly. Now, I love our curvy mountain roads with their ups and downs and twists and turns as much as anybody, but I must admit that I find a particular relaxation about the gentle sweeps along Route 733 – otherwise known as Lime Kiln Road.

Part of that comfort level – I’m sure – comes from the nearly constant ‘companionship’ of Goose Creek; its waters offer a reassuring sense of close contact with the earth’s elements. I’ve stated before that I find a very ancient form of power at work here (with moving water, that is); it generally has a healing – almost regenerative, effect on me. Makes me just a bit jealous of the folks who enjoy life from the homes adjacent to the Goose, but I can still access the energy from a quick visit. … Continue Reading

The Stony Point Ruins

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There’s a run-down, neglected, dark-reddish little stone structure out in Western Loudoun that gets to me every time I pass by; it doesn’t matter whether I’m in a hurry or taking my time, if it’s a sunny day or a blustery snowstorm, if it’s just after dawn or the middle of the afternoon, or if it’s spring, summer, fall or winter. I always imagine that there’s a hush about the spot – almost a vortex of peace and silence – a location suitable for quiet contemplation and solitude – or companionship only of the deepest empathy.

Now, mind you, I’ve never had the opportunity to stop and walk about this ground or examine the decaying shelter standing just off the roadside. I’m also aware that this county’s got numerous other historic buildings – many in various states of disrepair that try their best to tell their tales of time gone backward. No, I’ve never explored here, in the physical sense – and I probably will never get the chance to give my special little place a closer look than I get in just passing by on the legal right of way; it’s private property, and, since I expect people to respect mine, I do the same for theirs. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Robin Circle

April 3, 2013 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Robin Circle
timjon

Have you ever dreamt of a place without actually seeing it – and then found it in ‘real’ life? Well, my sleeping visions have been focusing – for some time – on what my heart and soul would describe as a ‘home.’ Not just any home, mind you; these are big, sprawling places with lots of surrounding greenery and enough land to offer the kind of seclusion and space that my subconscious evidently feels I need.

Now, the houses along Robin Circle – just south of Leesburg – don’t fit exactly into my nightly structural conjurations (nothing in this world really does!)– but some of them would be a great place in which to start. Elaborate, unique, architectural designs for each structure – with most of the dwellings placed in shady yards full of mature trees – set back far enough from the roadway for my tastes – the whole package answered a lot of my soul’s requirements for satisfaction the first time I happened upon this little, unobtrusive neighborhood. Hey, I could get to like it out here. … Continue Reading

The Place of the Long-Hair Cows

March 6, 2013 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on The Place of the Long-Hair Cows
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It’s those cows. They just seem so appropriate in this place – sorta like the yaks of the Himalayas – those shaggy critters used to lug supplies up and down the dizzying inclines. Well, these guys have it a little easier – from what I can see – until their conversion into table products, anyway. Nice, lean beef on the hoof …

Oh, and, yeah – I know there are several places in Loudoun County where you can see these things – Highland cattle, I mean – originally bred along the cold, windy slopes of Scotland’s high ground and Western Isles. That memorable day I visited, the low-sweeping clouds of a spent tropical storm made it all the more fitting – as if this local herd and their stumbly patch of earth had risen to meet the weather. And, like a lot of other mountaineers I’ve come across, they don’t really have a lot to say: they seem content just to BE – too busy living their lives to spend too much time on commentary and self-analysis. Cow gurus, as it were. Well, like I say, they’re not in a bad spot; I could sure think of lots of worse places to plod out an existence – on which many of us two-leggers actually do – to my way of thinking. … Continue Reading

Middleburg

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I never thought I’d be doing this, but I really need to issue a formal apology here. I am very sorry, Middleburg. Yeah- you heard right; I feel I’d been neglecting one of our most charming places in the County (heck, one of the most charming little Towns in America, when you come right down to it).

You see, I’m very good at excuses, if you hadn’t already noticed. I can come up with an absolutely iron-clad explanation for having failed to perform some of the most painless tasks; but, on the other hand, I’m probably even better at apologizing. “Take responsibility!” I often say, and I’ll stand by my words on this one. It’s my own fault for not having answered the call of Middleburg’s many offerings over the past couple of years in this column- but no more. No, sir.

So, I grabbed the bull by the horns early one morning, camera and coffee in hand, and I made my touristic way down to the fabled center of the ‘Hunt Country’ in Loudoun’s southwest corner. … Continue Reading

Harpers Ferry Road

January 9, 2013 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Harpers Ferry Road
tim jon

If there’s a place in Loudoun County where the term ‘desolate’ could apply, my choice would be some of the spots along Harpers Ferry Road – and I mean this with no sense of disrespect; it’s sparsely populated, and simply runs the gauntlet-esque valley from Charles Town Pike in the south up to Route 340 in the North.

I know, I know, there are lots of other adjectives one could choose to describe this two-lane blacktop and its surroundings: beautiful, for sure- expansive, no doubt – green, except in the dead of winter – wild, for the most part – and, depending on your luck with the traffic, just a bit dangerous.

This last term may come as a bit of a surprise, but – having driven this stretch countless times in the line of duty – I can attest to the number of blind curves and crossings – and the exceptional hurry in which I’ve found some of its travelers. At least a good number of ‘em are NOT out there for the scenery. Except to get through it. … Continue Reading

Algonkian

December 5, 2012 Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Algonkian
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Mist, shadow, woods and water. And deer. Lots of deer: that’s my list of first impressions of what was – to me – one of the hidden gems in the eastern part of Loudoun County.

You see, I’d never actually been inside Algonkian Regional Park before; I’d driven right past lots of times, and I’d made mental notes to ‘go back and really spend some time there, ‘but, like lots of our best intentions, it’d long gone by the wayside. “I didn’t have time,” would’ve been my excuse.

You believe me,right? … Continue Reading

Bluemont Winery

November 7, 2012 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Bluemont Winery
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“You feel like you’re on top of the world!” It may not be Mount Everest, but there’s a certain winery on the western edge of Loudoun County where you can get some literally breathtaking views; I’ve heard that you can even spy the Washington Monument (on a clear day) from up there. I couldn’t see it on my visit – but I’m pretty sure I saw all the way to the taller buildings at Tyson’s Corner and beyond. And – pretty much everything in between: Round Hill, Purcellville, Leesburg, Dulles Airport – you name it.

I must admit I get a real kick out of these ‘vantage point’ experiences; this one’s really worth it – even if you’re like me- not much of a fine wine connoisseur. (My computer just reminded me that I couldn’t even spell that word. Not surprised.) Some of the vintners in these parts can do some pretty fancy stuff with grape juice, though: I’ve had some really delicious pear dessert wine in the northeastern part of the County, a number of great rose’s out in the west, and even (what I’d call) some ‘drinkable’ reds from some of our better ‘fruit engineers.’ … Continue Reading

All of the Barnyard

October 3, 2012 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on All of the Barnyard
historic Leesburg

Stately, tree-lined side streets, unique shopping destinations, cultural events the year-round, comprehensive government services at your fingertips, multiple worthwhile dining choices, historic architecture galore, unending stories from the far (and more recent) past, and more atmosphere than most big-budget movie sets. I’ve often said that you couldn’t blow off a scattergun in downtown Leesburg without hitting a lawyer or two, but there’s so much more to this one-of-a-kind place than its plethora of private and public legal offices – most within a stone’s throw of the historic courthouse square. The core of this little Town has so much charm that you could live here several lifetimes and still feel like a tourist in your own backyard. The word ‘special’ falls dramatically short in describing the inner quadrant of the Loudoun County Seat. … Continue Reading

Bluemont

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Fog-shrouded hillsides, historic landmarks, roads built upon ski-slope grades, and a peaceful calm seldom found in most of our 21st Century Loudoun County: all this- – just a few seconds away from the high-velocity traffic of Route Seven. I imagine that if there’s a perfect spot in which to read a spooky novel (my choice would be Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) in these parts- you could do far worse than a little crows-nest bedroom in one of the houses perched on the ladder-like geography of Bluemont. … Continue Reading

Lost Corner

May 2, 2012 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Lost Corner
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Totally wild. Where the wild things are. The call of the wild. Something wild. If there’s a place in Loudoun County where these expressions apply, I’d have to say it’s up in Lost Corner. I’ve probably already lost you – no pun intended.

It’s sort of a no-man’s land region strewn between Lucketts and the Potomac River – up in the northeast corner of this varied jurisdiction. See – not many people live there – and there really isn’t a major destination at the “end of the road,” like a shopping mall – or a bridge to Maryland – or even a 7-11 where you could score some java. … 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

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

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

Lifestyle

Sterling Library Moving To New Location

25 Mar 2017

Library

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

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Middleburg Gallery Presents Country Pursuits Exhibit

25 Mar 2017

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

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Loudoun Workforce Resource Center Presents STEM Career Fair March 28

16 Mar 2017

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

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

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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

Virginia Schools Kick Off Statewide Campaign To Encourage Safe Teen Driving

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

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Protecting Free Speech

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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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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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