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“Future Developers Must Follow The Rules Of Law Set Forth In Our Town” Citizen Activist Challenges Vineyard Square Development

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Be the first to comment
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– By Andrea Gaines

Purcellville resident and businesswoman Mary Ellen Stover addressed citizens June 27, as she explained her legal challenge to Purcellville Zoning Administrator Patrick Sullivan’s decision to let the historic downtown project known as Vineyard Square proceed, despite at least two expired Certificate of Design Approval permits.

Stover’s antique shop, Mary Ellen Stover Antiques, is located in a part of historic downtown Purcellville that will be directly impacted by the 5-6 story, mixed-use Vineyard Square development. But, according to Stover, while she opposes the project on principle, believing that its size and scope is inappropriate for the spot and incompatible for historic downtown, the essence of her legal challenge centers on the special treatment being given to developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis.

… Continue Reading

Stage Is Set For Purcellville’s July 7, 8, 9 Zoning Debate

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News 1 comment
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No-Size-Limit Big Box Stores, By-Right Drive-Thrus And More On Developers’ Wish List

The Purcellville Planning Commission has finalized its agenda for the approximately 229 zoning regulations that will be the subject of three major public input sessions in early July.

The commission’s agenda ranges from uses that will remain unchanged in residential, commercial and industrial zones, to new uses that would now fall into the by-right category, eliminating requirements for public input before a particular project can proceed. These by-right uses include drive-thrus, no-size-limit big box stores, and high-density town center-style developments.

… Continue Reading

Public Asked To Weigh in on Developer Demands for Sweeping Changes to Zoning Map

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Public Asked To Weigh in on Developer Demands for Sweeping Changes to Zoning Map
town of purcellville sign

Expanded Big Box Stores, By Right Drive-Thrus, Data Centers and More on Planning Commissioner’s Agenda

Purcellville Planning Commission Chairman Gilbert Paist – under significant pressure from Mayor Kwasi Fraser, Town Council member Karen Jimmerson, Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman and others – is asking for public input on a long and increasingly aggressive list of developer demands for sweeping changes to town zoning regulations.

Paist, serving on the Planning Commission since 2011 and as chairman since 2014, is viewed by the preservation community as decidedly pro-developer, as are many long-standing members of both the Planning Commission and the Purcellville Town Council. … Continue Reading

Kline Proposal Update

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Kline Proposal Update
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In late May the developers of the Purcellville Crossroads Property had a meeting at the Carver Center to update the neighbors on the proposed annexation project – although the residents in the town of Purcellville were not notified of the meeting.

Pleasants Kline, along with three other property owners, is requesting the annexation of approximately 50.4 acres. The property is currently zoned JLMA-3 (one house per three acres). It is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Berlin Turnpike (Rt. 287) and Harry Byrd Highway (Rt. 7) and along St. Francis Court. … Continue Reading

BOS Approves $167,000 For Northern Collector Road Study

June 3, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Development, News 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

Another Give Away To “Deep-Pocketed” Developers, Says One

In March, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved funding for a study of the NCR. The road –envisioned as a four-lane highway – appears on Loudoun’s Countywide Transportation Plan. However, smart growth advocates point out that collector roads are often purely conceptual in nature, put on transportation documents in the event they are needed in the future. Loudoun’s official transportation plan map, in fact, is designed to chart county transportation needs through the year 2030. Said Wright Farm resident Ray Baker, whose residential neighborhood would be directly impacted by the road “ … for every deep-pocketed voice which demands zoning changes, there are dozens of regular folks like myself who moved to Purcellville specifically to be away from the noise and congestion of other areas … the last thing this area needs is a four-lane Northern Collector Road running through our peaceful development.” … Continue Reading

Help Shape Loudoun’s Future; Attend a Silver Line Scenario Planning Work Session May 28

May 10, 2015 by Contributor Development, News Comments Off on Help Shape Loudoun’s Future; Attend a Silver Line Scenario Planning Work Session May 28
Silver Line Land Use Scenario Planning Study Area Map

Loudoun County encourages anyone interested in the development around the future Metrorail stations in Loudoun to attend an interactive work session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 28, at Moorefield Station Elementary School, 22325 Mooreview Parkway in Ashburn.

The work session will include a presentation and interactive activities. Participants will hear about the process the Loudoun County project team is using to consider alternative growth scenarios for land around the future Metro stations. People attending the work session will help shape the future of Loudoun County by sharing their ideas about new development. During the work session, participants will have the opportunity to talk to team members about the issues most important to them and help set priorities for the land use scenario planning study as the process moves forward. … Continue Reading

Annexation Requests Move Forward Along the Proposed Northern Collector Road Corridor – And Beyond

May 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 2 comments
town of purcellville sign

– By Valerie Cury

Three new annexation requests are in process or will be submitted shortly to the Town of Purcellville. These include:

The Purcellville Crossroads Proposal

Pleasants Kline, along with three other property owners, is requesting the annexation of approximately 50.4 acres. It is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Berlin Turnpike (Route 287) and Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and along St. Francis Court. The property is currently zoned JLMA-3 (one house per three acres). … Continue Reading

Sullivan Vineyard Square Ruling Facing Official Appeal

May 6, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Development, News Comments Off on Sullivan Vineyard Square Ruling Facing Official Appeal
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On March 9, 2015, Purcellville Town Manager Rob Lohr received a letter from developer John Chapman asking the town manager, who has broad powers, to confirm that the Vineyard Square development project had “commenced” – thus eliminating the need for the developers to reapply for long-expired permits and start the project over. The project “ … is well under way,” according to the letter. Chapman asserted that because he had demolished three buildings under CDAs 13-13 and 13-14 – the project as a whole had started.

Prior to this letter, Vineyard Square, which is a planned 5-6 story mixed-use development on 21st Street, had a time limit for the Certificate of Design Approval (CDA) permits from the Board of Architectural Review to demolish certain buildings on 21st Street. Developers Chapman and Mark Nelis had to meet time limits on each CDA. At the time, zoning administrator Patrick Sullivan said in a memo dated May 29, 2014, “Each of the CDAs has a time limit of one year that is imposed by ordinance (Chapter 54 Section 54-78 F of the Town Code). The expiration dates laid out in Sullivan’s memo were November 14 2014, December 16, 2014 – with a required approved site plan and zoning permit, and January 14, 2015 – again with an approved site plan and zoning permit. … Continue Reading

Brand New Home for a Battle-Injured Soldier

May 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Brand New Home for a Battle-Injured Soldier
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Construction on a brand new home for a battle-injured soldier is well underway in western Loudoun County.

The home is a project of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation of New York City, with secondary funding by the actor Gary Sinise’s foundation and the Building for America’s Bravest Foundation. Crews from Fuog/Interbuild, Inc. located in Purcellville and sub-contractors from western Loudoun have passed the half-way point in construction with a July target date for completion of the project outside Lovettsville.

John Fuog said his firm was awarded the contract by the foundation, “And we’re very happy to be a part of this historic project which honors a critically injured warrior, as well as a New York City fireman who lost his life trying to rescue people on 911 in the World Trade Center disaster.” … Continue Reading

Purcellville Meeting On Proposed Northern Collector Road – May 5 At Loudoun Valley High School

May 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Purcellville Meeting On Proposed Northern Collector Road – May 5 At Loudoun Valley High School
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There will be a community meeting Tuesday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Loudoun Valley High School to discuss plans for the Northern Collector Road study as well as the re-alignments. Many citizens see this proposed road as leading to further high density development, as most large parcels of land along this proposed route are undeveloped, and currently have low density zoning. Supervisors Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) have set up this meeting.

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Purcellville Community Meeting On Proposed Annexations – May 1

May 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development Comments Off on Purcellville Community Meeting On Proposed Annexations – May 1
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There is a meeting scheduled for Friday, May 1, 5:00 p.m. at 16932 Berlin Turnpike (Route 287), directly behind Carlyle and Anderson. This meeting is with the property owner, J. “Ron” Roncaglione, looking to get feedback from the community of his proposed annexation plans into the Town of Purcellville for development of 67 acres. Joe Bane gave a presentation at the Purcellville Town Council Work Session in January 2015. At the time he proposed the idea of data centers on this property. Roncaglione is asking for the neighbors to attend to voice their input. A public input session is usually customary prior to submitting an annexation application.

There will also be another meeting on Friday, May 1, 6:30 p.m. at the same location for another proposed annexation of 84 acres known as Purcellville West, LLC.

Zoning Administrator Rules Vineyard Square Project May Proceed Despite Expired Permits

April 3, 2015 by Valerie Cury Development, News 17 comments
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Decision Goes Into Effect Unless Challenged By April 13

In a surprising reversal of policy, Purcellville Zoning Administrator Patrick Sullivan is siding with Vineyard Square developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis and allowing their project to proceed, despite the fact that numerous dates for their project have expired.

Sullivan’s action is in direct conflict with a Purcellville Town Council vote in July 2014 denying an extension.

Background

Vineyard Square, a 5-6 story mixed use development planned for downtown Purcellville, obtained Certificate of Design Approval (CDA) permits from the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) to demolish certain buildings on 21st Street, each requiring a separate CDA.

… Continue Reading

Study For The Northern Collector Road Advances

April 2, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Study For The Northern Collector Road Advances
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At the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS) March 4 Business Meeting, the board unanimously approved the funding to complete the Northern Collector Road (NCR) study. The total amount approved was up to $166,883, which includes funding for two phases.
The concept study for the NCR will include the following areas: Allder School Road to the north, Purcellville Road (611) to the west, Berlin Turnpike (Route 287) to the east and Main Street in Purcellville to the south.

The present and future developments listed as the reasons why the study is needed include: the Wright Farm residential community, the Fields Farm School Complex, the Mayfair/Autumn Hill community (not yet built), the yet to be built Loudoun Youth Football Stadium, the yet to be built second access road to Woodgrove High School, the build-out of St. Francis de Sales Church and the future Route 690 interchange (projected to begin in 2025). Future build-out conditions for the town and the county will also be taken into consideration.
According to the March 4 BOS Business Meeting Action Item, Phase I of the study will determine if the NCR “is still needed given the level of actual and planned future development … ” This phase will cost approximately $123,544, and is estimated to take 8 months.

… Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Radiophysics

6 Jul 2015

noerpel150

“Radiophysics is a Hoax” – James Inhofe The climate of a planet is stable when the incoming radiation from a planet’s star equals the outgoing heat radiation from the planet itself at the top of the atmosphere. Everything else is …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Supporting a Transgender Child

1 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, My husband and I are worried because our 14-year-old daughter thinks that “he” is transgendered. It’s true that she’s always been interested in more masculine activities, and this past year she announced to …

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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

donnawilliamson

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

Smith0035

– 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

benkellog

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

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

Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: READERS THEATER

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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

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

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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

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

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

artist3

– 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

ULLLpic5

– 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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