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As the Votes Roll in…

November 8, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on As the Votes Roll in…
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We will keep you updated as the results are made public.

11:00 p.m.

Loudoun County Votes

Presidential

Hillary Clinton – 54.76% – 99908 votes

Donald J. Trump – 38.16% – 69633 votes

Gary Johnson – 3.08% – 5611 votes

Jill Stein – .71% – 1304 votes

Evan McMullin – 1.85% – 3378 votes

House of Representatives

LuAnn L. Bennett – 48.73% -88779 votes

Barbara Jean Comstock – 48.77% – 88854 votes

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Question 1: Yes 45.58% No 50.22%
Proposed Constitutional Amendment Question 2: Yes 81.70% No 15.26%
Parks and Recreation Projects: Yes 57.84% No 38.32%
Public Safety Projects: Yes 75.19% No 20.87%
Transportation Projects: Yes 69.93% No 26.01%
School Projects: Yes 68.30% No 27.78% … Continue Reading

“Midnight Special” – Trump Rally in Leesburg

November 7, 2016 Elections, Elections, News 1 comment
Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump, Republican Presidential nominee, spoke to a crowd of over 12,000 just after midnight – Monday morning around 12:10 at the Loudoun County fairgrounds near Leesburg. … Continue Reading

Barbara Comstock

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on Barbara Comstock
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First-term Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock has lived in Northern Virginia for 35 years. A former aide to longtime 10th District Congressman Frank Wolf, she has also worked in the Justice Department. Before being elected to Congress in 2014, she served in the Virginia General Assembly for five years. She has raised a family, started a small business, and been a senior member of a law firm. … Continue Reading

Dave Butler

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on Dave Butler
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Dave Butler was appointed Mayor on February 8, 2016, after being elected to the Town Council in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Prior to 2008 he served on the Planning Commission, the Standing Residential Traffic Committee, the Utility Rate Advisory Committee, and the SE/SW Trails Committee. … Continue Reading

LuAnn Bennett

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on LuAnn Bennett
luannbennett

Democratic Congressional candidate LuAnn Bennett has lived in Northern Virginia for 35 years. She has run a small business that has created more than 1,000 local jobs. She has raised three sons, following the death of her husband. She takes pride in her ability to bring people together to solve problems. If elected, she vows to use that ability on Capitol Hill. … Continue Reading

Kelly Burk

October 5, 2016 Elections, News 1 comment
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Kelly Burk currently serves as Leesburg’s Vice Mayor, and has served as a member of the Leesburg Town Council for over eight years. Burk has also served as Leesburg’s representative on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. She has been a resident of Leesburg for 39 years, and a special education teacher in the Loudoun County School system for 34 years. She is a former president of the Loudoun Education Association. Burk’s service to Leesburg and Loudoun government is augmented by her support of Friends of Leesburg Public Art, the Loudoun County League of Women Voters, and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. In 2001, Burk was named Loudoun Woman of the Year by the Loudoun Commission on Women. She also founded the annual Youth Job Fair. Kelly Burk received her BA from George Washington University, and her MA from Virginia Tech. She has been married to Larry Burk for 40 years, and has two sons.

Blue Ridge Leader: Is it a good idea for the Town of Leesburg to seek city status? Why or why not?
Kelly Burk: Some residents may think becoming a city is a solution to high taxes or double taxes; however, there is evidence it will, in fact, raise our taxes. If the only reason to become a city is to lower taxes, there is evidence it might not work.
Cities are mandated to provide a school system, constitutional officers, courts, social services, building code enforcement, an electoral board, libraries, and many other costly functions.  Loudoun County now provides those expensive services, and due to the economy of scale, it does so at a lower cost than what the town could achieve. If the town were to take over these services, it is unclear how the town could possibly afford to do so without a major tax increase.

The General Assembly has imposed a moratorium preventing any town from becoming a city. This moratorium will expire in 2018 but there is serious talk of extending the moratorium for another 10 years. This is due to a number of indicators that some of the cities in the commonwealth are in financial distress and failing to provide the service.

BRL: One of Virginia’s Top 10 tourism hotspots is Manassas National Battlefield – just a half an hour from Leesburg. How would you increase tourism in Leesburg and keep the downtown vibrant?
KB: The Loudoun Artisan Trail is one example of how our area towns are banding together to create tourism destinations. The County is discussing how to increase biking in our area. The W&OD Bike Trail runs through the heart of Leesburg, and creating bike trails from other tourist hotspots in Northern Virginia to our area can only create opportunities.

Loudoun is home to 44 wineries, and Leesburg is the Gateway Town to the western part of the County. Having the Visit Loudoun Visitors Center located in Leesburg gives our town greater visibility, and opportunity to draw in residents and tourists.

I would like to see much better signage that tells people what is in town and how to get there. Signs can direct people to events and places.

BRL: What is your goal for residential versus commercial development? What’s the right balance?
KB: No one person can agree on what the right mix of commercial and residential balance should be. The Leesburg Town Plan aims for a 60 percent commercial to 40 percent residential revenue balance. Presently it is at a 23 percent commercial to 77 percent residential revenue balance. What is clear is that residents shouldn’t bear the burden of all of the town’s operational expenses. Residents value a balance between the two, and much of it is tied to the quality of life. Our neighborhoods are who we are – their character, streets, homes, parks, and commercial developments give us that small town feel, even though we are one of the largest towns in Virginia. Our residents understand that a healthy business community is essential to their quality of life and the town’s bottom line. The quality of life and impacts on everyone must always be given significant consideration when reviewing development proposals.

BRL: Do you see the need for Leesburg to extend its borders to accommodate growth?
KB: In recent years, the town has positioned Leesburg as pro-business, and put in place policies that encourage more business growth within the town limits. If Leesburg became a city, the door to annexation would be closed forever. We should always be judicious about any annexations. With redevelopment and new development, there are many opportunities for the town to grow.

BRL: Leesburg residents pay a personal property tax rate of 1 percent, and real estate tax rate of 18.6 cents per $100. of assessed value. What are your suggestions for ways the Town of Leesburg can save money and keep tax rates down?
KB: The Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival, Leesburg Airshow, and our 4th of July Parade are signature events that bring in revenue and create a unique brand for Leesburg. By involving the whole community in these events – and other annual ones – we can further their promotion and create more synergy for more success. As an educator, I believe in revitalization through education; give businesses the tools they need to grow and prosper, especially our small business owners. I am committed to working to increase opportunities for growth, and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner that will benefit the Leesburg taxpayer with efficient use of the taxpayer money.

BRL: Distinguish yourself from the other candidates; if elected, how would you make a difference.
KB: My approach has always been and will be to govern by timely and accurate communication, collaboration, transparency, diplomacy, accountability, and ethics.  I strongly believe that the key to effective leadership is being a proactive representative of the people through respectful action, thoughtful listening, and being astute enough to seek the advice of experts where needed.

Having retired from teaching, I can be a full time mayor without the conflicts and commitments of the full time outside job.

During my time on council I spearheaded the creation of the Diversity Committee to outreach to the minority community, I support bike trails and crosswalks at busy intersections. I continue to work to revitalize the downtown. I began the Youth Career Fair and Keep Leesburg Beautiful. I insist that any new or infill residential development mitigate the impacts to the town services, and have govern with honestly and fairness.

My priorities will include: Leading through consensus building, collaboration through active listening with the council, with the town employees, and with local, state, and private industry. I am a firm believer in balanced decision-making through receptive input from others, building partnerships with local communities, and being the best advocate for the people of Leesburg.  Going forward, Leesburg needs solid vision, accountability, leadership, unity, and ethics (VALUE) to put us on a continued path to being one of the best towns in Virginia in which to live, work, retire, and play.

Kevin Wright

October 5, 2016 Elections, News 1 comment
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Kevin Wright served on the Leesburg Town Council from 2006 to 2014, after having previously served as chairman of the Leesburg Planning Commission. During his tenure on the Town Council he served as the Town’s Vice Mayor from 2010 to 2012. Kevin is a lifelong resident of Loudoun County and has lived in Leesburg for over 28 years. Kevin’s prior community service includes serving on various downtown business organizations and refereeing youth soccer. Kevin and his wife, Dena, have a daughter, Katelyn, who graduated from Tuscarora High School in 2014 and is currently attending William & Mary. Kevin works as a delivery manager for Cisco Systems. Kevin and his family attend Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg. … Continue Reading

Leesburg Town Council Race

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on Leesburg Town Council Race
Leesburg

By Amanda Clark
Voting for Leesburg Town Council and Mayor, along with the general election, will take place on Tuesday, November 8 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The online voter registration deadline is Monday, October 17 at 11:59 p.m. and the in-person voter registration deadline is the same day at 5:00 p.m. Here is a look at each of the candidates who are vying for the three open town council seats. … Continue Reading

How To Vote Absentee in Loudoun

September 27, 2016 Elections Comments Off on How To Vote Absentee in Loudoun
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Absentee balloting in Loudoun for the November general election began Friday, September 23.

In-person absentee voting will take place at the Loudoun County Office of Elections, 750 Miller Drive, S.E., Suite C in Leesburg, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Beginning October 24, hours for absentee voting at the Office of Elections will be extended and will be Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Absentee voting will be available on Saturday, October 29, and Saturday, November 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. … Continue Reading

Absentee Voting for November Election Begins Friday, September 23, in Loudoun County

September 23, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on Absentee Voting for November Election Begins Friday, September 23, in Loudoun County
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Absentee balloting for the November general election will begin Friday, September 23, in Loudoun County.

From September 23 through October 21, in-person absentee voting will take place at the Loudoun County Office of Elections, 750 Miller Drive, S.E., Suite C in Leesburg, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Beginning October 24, hours for absentee voting at the Office of Elections will be extended and will be Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Absentee voting will be available on Saturday, October 29, and Saturday, November 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. … Continue Reading

Vice Presidential Nominee Governor Mike Pence Held Rally in Purcellville August 27

August 27, 2016 Elections, Elections, News 1 comment
Mike_Pence

Republican Vice Presidential nominee and Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, held a rally at Patrick Henry College’s Barbara Hodel Center in Purcellville Saturday August 27, 3:00 p.m. He is running on the Republican ticket with Donald Trump.

Pence spoke to a crowd of over 1,500 supporters. He said, “The media is so busy parsing everything Donald Trump said in the last 30 minutes that they keep ignoring what the Clintons have been doing the last 30 years.” Pence mentioned the use of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State, and also the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign donations. He called on Clinton to “shut down the Clinton Foundation immediately.” Pence said the Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and “get to the bottom of this.” He said that the economy is in the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. … Continue Reading

Fraser Wins Purcellville – Big

May 6, 2016 Elections, News 2 comments
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Bledsoe, Cool, Grim And Ogelman Win Town Council

On Tuesday May 3, incumbent Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser won his re-election bid beating out two term Council Member Joan Lehr with 70.87 percent of the vote. Fraser received 1,090 votes to Lehr’s 440.

“I think it’s a clear mandate. The people have spoken, said Fraser. “This is a council we can work with. We’ve put four people in place, and we all have the same vision, which is to listen to the voice of the citizens.” … Continue Reading

And the Results Are in….

May 3, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on And the Results Are in….
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Purcellville election results are rolling in, and here are the current numbers:

Purcellville Mayor
Kwasi Fraser – 1090
Joan Lehr – 440

Purcellville Town Council
Chris Bledsoe – 954
Sam Chapman – 481
Ryan Cool – 795
Chris Hamilton – 319
Patrick McConville – 356
John Nave – 361
Nedim Ogleman – 938

Purcellville Town Council (ends 6/30/2018)
Kelli Grim – 733
Melanie Fuller – 403
Sandy Nave – 308


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

2016 in the Books

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(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …

A Rainy Romance

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …

Concerned Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …

It’s Time To Review Your Estate Planning Basics

Smith0035

Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: George Marshall Center

George Marshall Center

I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …

Meeting the “Other America”

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By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …

The Trump Effect

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“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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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

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

February 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
February 6, 2017 February 7, 2017 February 8, 2017 February 9, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 10, 2017 February 11, 2017

Valentine's Pizza & Champagne

Sweetheart’s Soirée- A Night of Dinner & Dancing

February 12, 2017

Candlelight Concert Fundraiser

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

February 13, 2017 February 14, 2017 February 15, 2017

Bob Brown Puppets: Dragon Feathers

February 16, 2017 February 17, 2017

ARTSPOWER: RAINBOW FISH

February 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT

Comedy Night feat. Tyrone Davis

February 19, 2017
February 20, 2017 February 21, 2017 February 22, 2017 February 23, 2017 February 24, 2017

February Fourth Friday

February 25, 2017

Samedi Gras Celebration

February 26, 2017
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

March 5, 2017
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Lifestyle

Hillsboro Plans Mardi Gras Celebration on February 25

20 Feb 2017

nothing else main in hillsboro grey

Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …

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Four Young Historians Discuss Civil War Turning Points

2 Feb 2017

younghistorians

The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …

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Love In All of Its Forms … Ain’t It Grand

2 Feb 2017

valentinesday

Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.

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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

Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

Tia walbridge

Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

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

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

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Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

barbaracomstock

Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

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Sports

Woodgrove Gymnasts Advance To States

15 Feb 2017

gymnastics Snare

Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …

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Woodgrove Gymnastics Team Places First

1 Feb 2017

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The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …

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