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Planning Commissioner Raises Red Flag for Second Time

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commissioner Raises Red Flag for Second Time
town of purcellville sign

Ogelman Challenges Significant Rezonings And “Muzzling” Of Zoning Debate

– By Andrea Gaines

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman is not afraid to put it in writing.

In passionately worded statements entered into the March Purcellville Planning Commission record, Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman called out his colleagues for taking actions in direct contradiction to the Purcellville Comprehensive Plan. Ogelman also challenged one town council member’s characterization of recent proceedings as negative and unproductive, saying “Sometimes we confront positions with which we disagree, but that doesn’t make them negative … I read that as short-hand for trying to muzzle debate.”

Ogelman’s statement comes in response to a long series of Planning Commission and Purcellville Town Council sessions where developers have pushed for sweeping zoning changes via what is essentially a closed door administrative process, versus the public process called for by Comp Plan defenders, including Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Town Council member Karen Jimmerson.

At issue is whether the major changes proposed should happen piecemeal and in contradiction of the Comp Plan, or whether the changes should be delayed to allow the public to participate as part of the plan’s mandated 5-year review.

… Continue Reading

Phase II of Downtown Project Will Commence in Spring

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Phase II of Downtown Project Will Commence in Spring
town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council voted unanimously to authorize town manager Rob Lohr to execute the contract with Jefferson Asphalt Products Company for Phase II 21st Streetscape improvements and also to GeoConcepts Engineering.

The project has changed from the initial concept. There will be no loss of parking on the east side. The project will consist of drainage work starting at the lowest point – from near the train station and moving up to close to the Pancost building, which is near the White Palace Restaurant. The work will be done from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., starting Sunday and stopping Friday morning 10:00 a.m. … Continue Reading

Board of Architectural Review Discusses Duplex Design of M/I Homes Proposed “Cottages at 32nd Street”

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Board of Architectural Review Discusses Duplex Design of M/I Homes Proposed “Cottages at 32nd Street”
town of purcellville sign

Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review on February 17 heard from M/I Homes’ representatives regarding their proposed duplex development on S. 32nd Street, in the town’s historic overlay district. The property is currently zoned for 19 homes and M/I Homes has applied for a comprehensive plan amendment as well as a zoning amendment to allow for a density increase to 42 units on 10 acres. Each unit is proposed to be between 2,500 to 2,800 square feet with a price tag of $450,000 to $500,000. BAR Chairman Pat Giglio noted that M/I Homes’ application is currently undergoing review by town staff. Representatives of the developer presented plans for four building models that would consist of two units each. They displayed drawings of the duplex designs, showing that each unit making up one building would have different architectural features. Architect David Robbins described the building design plans to the BAR, saying the developer is incorporating multiple features to reflect design patterns seen on the existing neighborhood’s homes. BAR members, however, having heard the presentation informed the M/I Homes representatives that among other things their design “has many inconsistencies with BAR guidelines,” “is too busy,” “is of a mass and design inconsistent with S. 32nd Street and Purcellville,” and “is inconsistent with architecture throughout the town.” … Continue Reading

York Flips – Deciding Vote To Approve 189 Foot Red Hill Road Water Tower

November 10, 2014 by Mary M. Bathory Vidaver Development, News Comments Off on York Flips – Deciding Vote To Approve 189 Foot Red Hill Road Water Tower
water_tower

The Red Hill Road water tower saga took yet another surprising turn at the Board of Supervisors November 5th business meeting. Reversing his Transportation/Land Use Committee vote against the towers, Board Chairman Scott York (R-At-Large) failed to support Blue Ridge District Supervisor Janet Clarke’s (R) motion to deny Loudoun Water’s application to build two 189-foot, million-gallon water storage tanks alongside rural unpaved Red Hill Road. Instead, he voted against Clarke’s motion and then offered an alternative motion to approve a single 189-foot, million-gallon water tank on the property. Community members and their supporters watched surprised and stunned, as a majority of the Board voted to approve York’s proposal. Clarke, Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), and Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) voted against the towers.

Ashley Ziviello, co-chair of the No Red Hill Water Towers Coalition, commented in an e-mail, “I left the Boardroom feeling totally disgusted with this process. Some Supervisors forgot who they were elected to represent. They had the chance to affect change and hold Loudoun Water accountable but they chose to reward them instead. Where is the accountability?”

… Continue Reading

Hirst Road Developers Continue Push for Quick – Fix Zoning

November 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Hirst Road Developers Continue Push for Quick – Fix Zoning
town of purcellville sign

Special Treatment vs Full Comprehensive Plan Review

At the Purcellville Planning Commission over the past several months, town staff has addressed significant zoning changes along Hirst Road.

The properties set for development are along Hirst Road east and west of Hatcher. One of the parcels was recently proposed for comprehensive plan amendments and zoning amendments to accommodate the Tilley Entertainment and 178 unit apartment complex (Catoctin Creek Town Center) that was eventually withdrawn because of community opposition. The community wanted the zoning to stay as CM1 light industrial similar to the building the town leases for the police department. … Continue Reading

High Density Rezoning Again Proposed for S 32nd Street

November 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on High Density Rezoning Again Proposed for S 32nd Street

high density ball property
MI Homes is proposing to rezone the 10-acre Ball property on 32nd Street (S 690) to PDH-5. The property is zoned R-2 which means two houses per acre (19 single family homes) of low-density single family ?detached residential development. The current zoning is consistent with the neighborhood which is single family detached residential houses. This neighborhood is in the Historic Overlay District. … Continue Reading

Update On Red Hill Road Water Towers

October 31, 2014 by Mary M. Bathory Vidaver Development, News Comments Off on Update On Red Hill Road Water Towers
water_tower

Board Vote On Nov. 5

The Red Hill Road Water Towers story took a surprising twist at the Board of Supervisors’ Transportation / Land Use Committee meeting on October 17, when committee members Scott York (R-At-Large), Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), and Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) voted to send the application to the full board with a recommendation that the board turn down Loudoun Water’s proposal for two 189-foot, 1 million-gallon water tanks alongside unpaved Red Hill Road. Committee Chairwoman Suzanne Volpe (R-Sugarland Run) was the sole vote in opposition; the committee’s fifth member, Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), was absent from the meeting.

The committee’s action means a final vote will occur at the board business meeting on November 5 with at least four Supervisors aligned against the project. Clarke, Higgins, and Delgaudio voted against the application at the Board’s Public Hearing in September. York’s decision not to support the application now leaves tower opponents within one vote of their goal. The Blue Ridge Leader attempted to contact the remaining supervisors, but only reached Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), who commented, “At this point I am still evaluating my position.”

… Continue Reading

Public Encouraged to Vote for Favorite Name for Silver Line Stations in Loudoun

October 20, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Public Encouraged to Vote for Favorite Name for Silver Line Stations in Loudoun
Phase_2_Map

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is seeking public input into the naming of the Route 606 and Route 772 Silver Line Metro stations that will be constructed in Loudoun County. The names under consideration for the stations are:
Route 606 Station
Broad Run
Dulles Gateway
Loudoun East
Loudoun Gateway
Loudoun Dulles North … Continue Reading

Property Owner Exploring Purcellville Annexation of Warner Property

October 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 3 comments

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Purcellville have begun preliminary discussions on the possibility of bringing land that is now within county boundaries into the Town of Purcellville.

The Warner property as it is known consists of two parcels equaling 131 acres bordered by Rt. 611 Purcellville Road on the west near the recently annexed development, Autumn Hill/Mayfair. The property is currently zoned JLMA 3, and by county zoning regulations can be developed by right with 35 residential lots. … Continue Reading

“Glamping” Recreational Area Proposed for Paeonion Springs/Waterford

October 1, 2014 by Andrea Gaines Development, News Comments Off on “Glamping” Recreational Area Proposed for Paeonion Springs/Waterford

It’s a term not many people have heard but many may soon find in their backyards.

“Glamping” stands for “glamorous camping for families,” and is the subject of a new kind of recreational project in preliminary application stages for a site just east of Purcellville near the corner of Rt. 9 and Rt. 7.

The rural recreation pre-application project envisions a site that will accommodate approximately 210 persons at any one time. The property consists of 30 acres and is proposed to include: … Continue Reading

Planning Commission Still Moving Forward With Major Zoning Changes

July 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commission Still Moving Forward With Major Zoning Changes
town of purcellville sign

In one of the most significant zoning shifts in recent months, the Purcellville Planning Commission has made clear its intent to move forward with a proposal to eliminate the CM1 (Office Light Industrial) zoning along the Hirst Road corridor. The collection of properties is located on Hirst Avenue from the corner of Hirst and Maple Avenues to shortly before the corner of Hirst and Hatcher Avenues. The area is zoned for office light industrial (CM1) and if changed would become Mixed Use Commercial (MC). This change would allow residential units, entertainment venues such as Tilley’s Entertainment, and commercial uses.

This land was the proposed site for the Catoctin Creek Town Center complex. The proposal – complete with bumper boats, go-carts, bumper cars and more – was denied by the planning commission shortly before the May 2014 town elections. If the Planning Commission undertakes and approves this change after a public hearing has occurred, the land owners would then have “by right” zoning – including the ability to construct residential units, commercial buildings and entertainment businesses. Further, the “by right” designation means that the land’s zoning uses cannot be challenged.

… Continue Reading

Proposed Code Changes Delayed

July 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Proposed Code Changes Delayed
proposedcodepic

Public Pressure Pushes Decision To New Mayor And Council

The outgoing Purcellville Town Council held sway over a loud and angry crowd in a packed meeting on June 24 as it considered whether to make significant changes to amend town code Section 54-78. In the end, the decision was delayed until the next Town Council meeting, when Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser and a new Town Council will have taken office. Section 54-78 controls the expiration dates of what are known as “Certificates of Design Approval” (CDAs) by the town’s Board of Architectural Review related to the demolition of historic structures, site plans, zoning permits, and other construction-related documents.

While the town’s public hearing notice for the proposed code changes did not specify that these changes related to the 100,000 plus square feet mixed use Vineyard Square development, the majority of citizens attending the meeting clearly believed otherwise.

… Continue Reading

Autumn Hill/Mayfair Developers – We Want More

April 30, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 2 comments
blueridge2

New plans have been submitted to the Town of Purcellville by developers of the recently annexed and approved Mayfair/Autumn Hill project. The new, higher density plans request an up zoning from Transition X to PDH 8 on a 3.98 acre portion, which would allow an additional eight units per acre with the maximum of 32 additional residences and 64 parking spaces. This would bring the total number of units to nearly 300.
Another proposed plan is to rezone from Transition X to MI Limited Industrial 19.01 acres of the property which is owned by Brookfield Homes.

Mayfair/Autumn Hill is an approximately 75 – plus acre property located near the industrial park in the northwest portion of Purcellville. The property was given the zoning in 1991 for 492 quadraplexes if the Town of Purcellville would annex it and give it utilities. It changed hands several times over two decades because the owners could not get the town to annex the property. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Shell Games

16 Jun 2015

noerpel150

“Let me be very very clear, for us climate change is real and it’s a threat that we want to act on. We’re not aligning with skeptics.” – Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell [1] “What …

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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

moore-sobelnewmug

– 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

blueridgemiddleschool

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

blueridgemiddleschool

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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