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Addressing Robin Williams’ Suicide As a Teachable Moment with Your Child

September 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Addressing Robin Williams’ Suicide As a Teachable Moment with Your Child
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,
My husband and I were both shocked by Robin Williams’ suicide. We’ve loved him since “Mork and Mindy” but don’t get how a guy who has everything could end his life like he did. It doesn’t make sense. I feel badly about what happened, but my husband says he has lost respect for Mr. Williams because “he was selfish” and “took the easy way out” even though he had everything. Our 10-year-old son knew Robin Williams from “Hooked” and “Jumanji,” and he has heard my husband’s negative comments about Mr. Williams now and has even made similar such comments of his own. I told my husband that he needs to be more sensitive about the topic of suicide around our little guy. Any thoughts on the topic?
A Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Kitchen Science Kids: Polymers

September 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Kitchen Science Kids Comments Off on Kitchen Science Kids: Polymers
sciencekids

By Leah Enright

Imagine a necklace made of a string of beads. I can pull the string firmly and admire my beads, or roll the necklace into a ball and stick it in my pocket. Why, because the necklace is made of many parts, held together by a string. We can see the beads and string, but scientists work with materials that have many parts, and can be stretched and rolled, but the many parts are so tiny they can’t be seen without a special microscope. They are called polymers. Common polymers include fabrics, such as nylon, plastics, and even the proteins in your hair and fingernails. What do all of those have in common? They can bend or stretch, and go back to the way they were – polymers are amazing. (The word polymer comes to us from Greek and means many parts.) … Continue Reading

Goldenrod – A Major Fall Beauty

September 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Virginia Gardening Comments Off on Goldenrod – A Major Fall Beauty
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By Donna Williamson

It’s easy to think that goldenrod causes autumn sniffles. It’s a native with species that tolerate all kinds of conditions, from full sun to shade, from moist soils to hot and dry. And it blooms everywhere around the same time that the real culprit – ragweed – is blooming and full of pollen.

Ragweed is a tall, coarse plant with tiny greenish flowers and huge quantities of yellow pollen. It’s a plant so non-descript and inelegant that many have never looked at it carefully. Ragweed just seems to be a green thing in the background of many paths and along the road. (And it’s not that very tall plant with yellow daisy-like flowers that bloom along the road – that’s called frost weed. If you look carefully at the stems you will see wings or thin, papery tissue along the stem. Frost weed got its name for erupting with ice at the base of the plant during the first frosts of the season. Harmless.) … Continue Reading

Bloomfield

September 3, 2014 by Tim Jon Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Bloomfield
timjon

Maybe it’s just my imagination (most people who know me stress that it’s one of my stronger – or maybe, stranger – traits), but I’d swear that there are places around this unique county of ours where the past not only still lingers in distant memories and references in musty documents, but it practically reaches out and grabs you. You probably think of some of the same places I’d list – if that’s what I were setting out to do here; you drive, walk or ride past some of your favorite landmarks and feel as if you’d just spent some time not only in another place – but in another era. … Continue Reading

What It Means To Make a Comeback

September 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on What It Means To Make a Comeback
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By Samuel Moore-Sobel

What is a comeback? Merriam Webster gives a number of definitions for this word including, “a new effort to win or succeed after being close to defeat or failure.” This definition seems to capture the essence of the word. Making a comeback is forcing one’s way out of the jaws of defeat, overcoming tragedy and the determined refusal to blink in the face of adversity. Successful comebacks involve hard work and perseverance, the conquering of past demons and the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Comebacks are celebrated in America. We like the notion of the underdog, of overcoming the odds and triumphing in the face of great challenges. America likes to see its sports teams come from behind and win. Some of our most celebrated sports heroes are known for their comebacks. San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana embodied the word “comeback” throughout his career most notably when he led his team to a 38-35 win over the New Orleans Saints despite trailing by 28 points at halftime. Joe Montana is often considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, and his ability to come from behind is one of the qualities that helped set him apart. … Continue Reading

The Spirt of Tech

September 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Mary Rose Lunde Comments Off on The Spirt of Tech
Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde

The bass drums beat in the background, the cymbals ting and crash and the snare drum carries the beat forward. The band choruses in excitement, the music blaring. The fans cheer in the background getting carried further and further into the music. The football game in the background is only a backdrop to the spirit emanating from the band.

At Virginia Tech, the marching band is the true spirit. Literally, it is known as the “Spirit of Tech.” Here, people come to watch the band and the football team. The band is part of the reason why fans are so hyped up at the game bringing energy and excitement. The halftime show brings entertainment and is truly an attraction. … Continue Reading

Dear Loudoun County Supervisors

August 27, 2014 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Dear Loudoun County Supervisors
noerpel150

We know three things with near certainty:

  1. Human-caused global warming is real
  2. The consequences of the business as usual scenario will be catastrophic
  3. Positive local action is required.

All knowledgeable climate scientists have explained this reality to us in great detail in tens of thousands of scientific papers and hundreds of summary reports published by every major scientific organization in the world. I cannot do better. … Continue Reading

A Concerned Parent

August 22, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on A Concerned Parent
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My husband and I are going through a nasty divorce, and my son’s therapist is refusing to appear in court to help us. His position is that he’s a therapist, not an expert and he isn’t comfortable coming to court. This is baffling to me since he has seen my son in weekly counseling for over a year now, knows a lot about my son’s condition and has always had a strong opinion about what our son needs. Our son has serious developmental delays, and I’m just trying to make sure my ex-husband covers mental health treatment and educational costs after our divorce. Thanks to Google, I now know the difference between “a fact witness” and an “expert witness” but still don’t get why he is making such a big deal about coming to court to speak his mind on what he knows as a therapist. He also told my attorney that he would file something with the court to get out of coming when he learned that we would be subpoenaing him. I am pretty certain he cannot do this. Frankly, I don’t care how uncomfortable or upset he is because I need the judge to hear about my son’s problems from his therapist. This has been a very stressful and expensive process for us as a family, and I just want it to end in the best possible way for our son. Thoughts?
A Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Tomato Harvest and Other Joys

August 6, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Virginia Gardening Comments Off on Tomato Harvest and Other Joys
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By Donna Williamson

Ah, it’s tomato time. As usual, I planted and grew many heirloom and newer varieties of tomato plants and am loving every minute of the harvest. Those little cherry tomatoes are so delicious and refreshing while working in the garden or roasted with a touch of olive oil for 20 minutes in a hot oven.

And the big, juicy tomatoes ready for a burger or a salad are the best. Warm from the garden and never refrigerated, tomato sliced with fresh basil and mozzarella is a memorable summer dish.

My tomato bounty is ready for processing and canning for winter use. Keeping up with the harvest and processing in small batches works for me. … Continue Reading

The Grumpy Old Troll

August 6, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sushi's Corner Comments Off on The Grumpy Old Troll
sushi

By Sushi

One day not long ago a little girl by the name of Adele came to visit the farm.

She was a spirited little thing with long flowing blonde hair. She loved to twirl and dance in the wind. I enjoyed following her around the farm and to make sure she was safe from any danger, as that is my born and bred duty as the brave and mighty Cairn Terrier. She always wore the ruffliest, sparkliest of dresses and skirts that made her prancing and dancing that much prettier. She was so kind and thoughtful and worked hard to making everyone smile and feel better about themselves and others.

She was just like having a good fairy Godmother around.

There was just one thing that made Adele pop her teeny tiny little hands up to cover her eyes and go “Oh” – The footsteps of the Grumpy Old Troll. Thump, thump, thump went the sound that caused Adele to squeal and dive into her mother’s arms.

What was Adele doing so near to the Grumpy Old Troll? That my dear is the story to be told. 

Sweet Adele had come this July to visit the Fields of Athenry Farm family and stay for the Willowin Farm pony camp, a perfect summer trip indeed with her mother and GrandMary. If any of you have been to the infamous Willowin Farm’s pony camp, in the tiny town of Lincoln, Virginia you will know there is a little bridge with water you cross over to get to the indoor arena where riding lessons can be held even if there is inclement weather. Once inside the indoor arena you will notice one end has quite the jagged hole through the wall – not too big – not too small – the perfect place for a Grumpy Old Troll to sneak in and out when no one is looking. It was here that Little Adele was the first one to enter the arena on pony camp morning. She was only 500 feet ahead of everyone else and the first to enter into the arena. No one heard or saw the Grumpy Old Troll snatch her off her beautiful pony Firefly. Poor teeny tiny Adele was pulled through the jagged troll hole before anyone knew what had happened.

The troll threw her over his smelly, hairy shoulder. Little Adele covered her eyes squealing, Oh, Oh, Oh. For she knew that stink bug smell. It was a smell that would drive anyone crazy.  In spite of her being frightened, Adele thought, “No wonder Mr. Troll is so grumpy – for he is covered in stink bugs.” The notorious stink bugs found their way into Virginia from Allentown, Pennsylvania, who got them from China or Japan? The stinks bug’s recent introduction to America whirled through little Adele’s mind, for Miss Adele was the daughter of the world’s greatest entomologist (bug scientist) of all time – Bugsy Miguel. You don’t know the Great Bugsy Miguel made some of the greatest rain forest insect finds and stories of the world?  Dengue fever?  Little Adele’s mind was racing as she was flung into a small wire cage with lots of scared, crying baby trolls. The cage door slammed and a big padlock was snapped tight.

Oh! Oh! Oh! She cried in horror covering her eyes with her tiny little hands.

To be continued…
Love,
Sushi

My master, Elaine Boland lives with her husband and five daughters in Purcellville, Virginia at Fields of Athenry Farm. She cherishes farm life and the joy of providing her customers with fine fresh meats and products. She can be reached at www.fieldsofathenryfarm.com or 703 926 -8444.

Shreve Mill Road

August 6, 2014 by Tim Jon Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Shreve Mill Road
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It’s quintessential Loudoun County in transition: In less than two miles, this sleepy, little country road passes by decrepit, abandoned structures (apparently just waiting for demolition and development), some surprisingly tranquil waterways, and stretches of mature forest that would entice Robin Hood, and yet – it offers access (at its mid-point) to the biggest superhighway in our locality (the Dulles Greenway). The real hallmark of mixed identity for Shreve Mill Road, though, for me – at least for now – lies in its claim as a paved – and an unpaved – road. The eastern section offers a very narrow strip of blacktop (almost wide enough for two vehicles), which turns to gravel just after the imposing juncture with the Greenway. Little old County Road 653 even becomes a ‘four-laner’ as it crosses over its bigger counterpart – as if to make an impression in the presence of all that Green. … Continue Reading

Mighty Little Crayfish

August 6, 2014 by Andrea Gaines Columns, Wild Loudoun 2 comments
wildloudoun

Several years ago I was walking along W&OD Trail in Reston when I saw a mighty little thing – maybe two inches long – strutting directly toward me in a very menacing way. It was moving pretty fast and had two large claws raised. I didn’t know if this was how this thing behaved – vulnerable and out in the open – or, if it had “seen” me and was preparing for a fight. As I got closer I saw that it was a crayfish. A perfectly proportioned mini lobster intent on what, I didn’t know.

In doing research for this article I learned that crayfish are very territorial and pack a mighty pinch when handled. Glad that at that moment I decided to leave the crayfish alone instead of picking it up for closer inspection. … Continue Reading

Healthcare Decision Making

August 6, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Healthcare Decision Making
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Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life
By Amy and Dan Smith

Because of the evolution of the law, documents relating to medical decision making have a variety of names, which together are confusing if not downright bewildering.

The Advance Directive, Medical Directive, Advance Health Care Directive, Medical Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, or Power of Attorney for Healthcare can all refer to a document wherein: 1) You instruct medical caregivers as to how you wish for them to proceed if you are in a condition in which you cannot make decisions or communicate your desires regarding medical treatment; and, 2) You appoint an agent to make decisions on your behalf under certain circumstances. In addition the document may – and in current practice usually does – include Living Will provisions, which pertain to end-of-life circumstances. (The Living Will was discussed in our last column.) … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

25 Jul 2015

noerpel150

“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

8 Jul 2015

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Dr. Mike, We go to the Outer Banks every summer as a family, but our seven-year-old daughter is now freaked out by the reported shark attacks at the Outer Banks. Thanks to her older siblings teasing her about sharks, she …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015

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By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015

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– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

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Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

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Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

August 2015
M T W T F S S
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Spinners

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Live Music: Connor Duffy at North Gate Vineyard

Ronnie Milsap

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Live Music: Willie White at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Lovettsville Historical Society Lecture: "Hex Signs: the History and the Mystery"

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COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Creedence Clearwater

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Emily Guagliardi Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Editorial

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015

kwasifraser

– By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville Many of our fellow citizens are baffled by the proposed increase in our already high water and sewer rates, and not just about the increase that was proposed for the Fiscal Year 2016 but also about the proposed increases over the next nine years. This quote from one of our citizens to a …

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015

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– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015

farmtofork

Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

hillsborojuly3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

1 Jul 2015

wildloudoun

– By Andrea Gaines She feeds the birds. She shelters the mammal. She cools the air, provides us with shade and conserves the water and soil. She is the mighty old oak, an ecosystem unto herself. All except the smallest living things function as an ecosystem of sorts – whether harboring the bacteria and microscopic plants that break down organic …

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Around Virginia

Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

governorsigns

On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia

McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Bipartisan Legislation Hopes To Reduce Wasteful Spending

blueridge2

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have teamed up on a bipartisan proposal to empower federal workers to identify and cut down on unnecessary federal spending. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015 would build on existing law by expanding a program that allows U.S. government …

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Sports

Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015

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– By Carri Michon The Majors championship game for Upper Loudoun Little League dawned with prospects of stormy weather. Nonetheless, a nice crowd assembled for the pre-game ceremonies in the light rain. Following the announcment of the AL Royals and the NL Pirates teams, the ULLL Hometown Heroes scholarship given …

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WLVBC Ignite Takes 2nd at Tournament

13 May 2015

Ignite Takes Silver at Spring Fling resized

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club U15 Team Ignite placed second at the NVVA 15’s Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, May 10 at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Leesburg. Ignite met the host team, NVVA 15 Fairfax Black, in the finals. “I’m proud of each player for pushing hard through 10 …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

thismonthhistory

– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Letters

Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

3 Jun 2015

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise …

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