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Two Kitchen Cousins Present …

August 7, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Be the first to comment
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What’s For Dinner? … A Turkey Casserole for You and Your Pooch
– By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

As we celebrate the dog days of August, we look to foods that are as tasty and nutritious for us humans as they are for the family dog.

Here’s a fun one – turkey casserole with rice and veggies. Save it for a special occasion … like your dog’s birthday, or any time you want to remind your dog how much your love them. … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present … Plate To Tempt, Plate To Tease

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present … Plate To Tempt, Plate To Tease
kitchencousins

– By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

Plating pulls a dish together, using color for visual appeal, showcasing ingredients and revealing the flavors and textures to be enjoyed. It isn’t so much about making something look pretty as it is about making it look appetizing. Here are the basics of good plating, along with some great examples.

Good plating …

Is more than a garnish. Everything on the plate should be edible and compliment the flavors in the dish.

Is simple. Even if the presentation is a bit unstructured and scattered, it has a limited number of features and a decided theme – whether casual or 5-Star.

Showcases the food. Placing a smaller portion of food on a larger plate or platter, and otherwise allowing the food to be the focus of attention can achieve this.

Balances color. The dark and neutral colors of meat, bread and pasta for example, are offset by bright greens, reds, pink, yellow and orange.

Structures the dish. Sometime this means clustering items in threes – with starch at 10 o’clock, proteins at 6 o’clock and vegetables at 2 o’clock; sometimes this means creating a stack or pyramid; sometimes it means using geometric patterns to emphasize contrasts in flavor and color.

Shows creativity. Food stylists say nothing says good plating more than something that surprises – a chilled shrimp accenting a fish dish, a vertical sprig of fresh herb, a beautiful edible flower resting atop a hearty steak.

Fancy Grilled Steak: Make a signature piece of meat, fish or pork the focus of your plate. Here, a filet mignon is dressed with a small pool of gravy, a dried red pepper, julienned fried onion and a spring of thyme.

Rustic Brochette: French or Italian toast rounds – topped with your favorite brochette mixture and garnished with freshly ground black pepper and cherry tomatoes – is simple, rustic and beautiful.

Spaghetti With Mushrooms & Orange: Plate your pasta to reveal its flavors. Here, creamy mushrooms are presented as a topping with strips of orange zest. A spray of savory orange sauce finishes off the dish.

Blue Cheese Burger: For burgers – and any kind of sandwich, really – put the ingredients together in a loose way that lets all of them show … much more appetizing than a regular old closed face sandwich plate.

Sliced Meats & Cheeses: Arranged on a cutting board with some fresh greens and herbs, sliced meats and cheeses look delicious and ready to snack on – on their own or with a cracker or slice of bread.

Pizza: Fresh out of the oven pizza benefits from an added something – a sprinkling of arugula, a drizzle of oil, a chiffonade of basil, a sprinkling of fresh parsley or thyme or a grind or two of fresh pepper.

About Andrea & Lisa: Andrea and Lisa are cousins who grew up on Long Island together. Andrea is a well-know writer for the Blue Ridge Leader & Loudoun Today. Lisa is a private chef who has been making people’s mouths water ever since she started baking fresh muffins for her office mates in New York City.

Two Kitchen Cousins Present a Cool and Spicy Treat for Father’s Day

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present a Cool and Spicy Treat for Father’s Day
gazpacho

Andalusia Gazpacho
By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

All Dads agree … there is nothing like a chilled mug or shot glass of salty sweet, citrusy gazpacho on a warm summer evening. Originating in the Spanish region of Andalusia, our recipe for this chilled vegetable soup is perfect with Dad’s a favorite thing from the grill … or as a prelude to a hearty dish of pasta.

Gazpacho provides lots of nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Selenium, Vitamin C and Manganese. It is also a good source of protein and is low in saturated fat. Healthy, not just for Dad, but for all. … Continue Reading

Calling All Kids: Lets Make Popsicles

June 3, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Calling All Kids: Lets Make Popsicles
popsicles

Love popsicles? I do. The delicious and healthy kind kids can make at home with summery treats from the garden or local farm stand. The kind that – if the kid doesn’t happen to have a real life popsicle mold – can be made with everyday items from the kitchen like a juice cup, Dixie cup, ice cube tray or cupcake tin.

Popsicles are a – mostly – no rules kind of treat. Just a few things to keep in mind: 1) Freeze your popsicles for a good four to six hours before eating; 2) Let your popsicles freeze for about an hour before you insert your popsicle stick; and 3) To unmold your popsicle, run the container under a bit of warm water. … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present …Cod In Parchment with Citrus Butter

May 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present …Cod In Parchment with Citrus Butter
twokitchencousins

By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

The key to success with any dish is picking a good recipe and then repeating it until it’s second nature to you.
Cooking with parchment is one of the easiest ways to guarantee success, particularly when it comes to subtlety of flavor. It may feel intimidating at first, but it is simple, really – easy to prep, easy to cook, easy to serve. In the case of this dish – which translates to “Le Cabillaud dans le Parchemin Avec le Beurre d’Arrume” – it’s also an opportunity to bone up on your French. Enjoy! … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present: Mason Jar Salads – Healthy, Pretty, Convenient and Fun

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present: Mason Jar Salads – Healthy, Pretty, Convenient and Fun
kitchen cousins salad

By Lisa Wasson and Andrea Gaines

To begin, line up your mason jars (or any wide-mouthed glass jar with a lid) along with your chosen dressing and ingredients. Prepare and season the ingredients as you normally would – slicing, blanching, roasting and shredding – so they are all ready to go. Return pasta, roasted vegetables and other cooked/steamed ingredients to room temperature before layering, and also drain items that come in their own juice – including canned, pickled or marinated vegetables and beans. … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present – Let’s Throw a Winter Chili Party

January 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle, Uncategorized Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present – Let’s Throw a Winter Chili Party
winter_drive

By Lisa Wasson and Andrea Gaines

If you’re going to be snowed in, there’s nothing better than being snowed in with something savory simmering on the stove and making the house smell delicious.

This chili recipe – meant to satisfy both the vegetarian and the meat eater in your household – fits the bill. It has a deep, spicy flavor and also freezes beautifully. Make extra that you can heat up over a weekend and/or have available for a quick lunch, a weekend afternoon of football or a ready-to-go dinner with a fresh salad and warm bread during the week. This recipe makes about 1-1/2 quarts. The list of ingredients is rather long, but it’s worth the effort. … Continue Reading

Restaurant Review: Magnolias at the Mill

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Restaurant Review: Magnolias at the Mill

magnoliaThe reservation was for a Sunday evening as this critic’s experience is that Sunday evenings can be difficult for restaurants. The executive chef is usually not in the house and the staff is generally not from the A-List. Chef Chris Carp who recently joined Magnolias as executive chef was not in the house on the evening we dined but his presence was felt. The menu Chef Carp has created is varied, seasonal and wonderfully tempting. Magnolias has several menus including gluten free and one for kids. The restaurant caters to varied tastes and dietary needs.

My guest and I were seated immediately upon our arrival and within five seconds Alex, our waiter, was at the table. Within 5 minutes we had ice water with lemon wedges served on the side. The entire staff was efficient and friendly. Now if the food is as exceptional as the customer service we were in for a wonderful evening. … Continue Reading

Holiday Cookie Recipe – Snowy Chocolate Crackles

December 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle 1 comment
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Courtesy of Debra Randazzo at Butterfly Gourmet in Purcellville

“For me, the holidays must contain chocolate. A little snow is nice too … and, these cookies really fit the bill. The coffee in these helps intensify the chocolate flavor.  They’re the perfect cookie for enjoying in front of a fire after an afternoon of shoveling snow.” – Debra Randazzo, Butterfly Gourmet

Ingredients
1/2-cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons instant espresso
1-teaspoon baking powder
1/8-teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter … Continue Reading

Anthony’s, Purcellville

September 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Anthony’s, Purcellville

“Our goal is to tell you where good food can be found …”

By George E. Humphries

Anthony’s, the little restaurant on the south side of West Main Street as you leave Purcellville, is a good place to go if you are looking for a tasty and fulfilling Italian Mediterranean meal. From pizza to parmigiana, stromboli to scampi, the menu offers something for everyone and items are reasonably priced to make it possible to bring in the whole family for just a snack or a comfortable neighborhood meal out.

Proprietor Anthony seems to be the very essence of a proper neighborhood restaurateur, welcoming and friendly but with a constant eye on the efficiency of the operation. Formerly in partnership with another eatery proprietor, Anthony left the collaborative relationship to open his own establishment in Purcellville four years ago in an existing space just past Silcott Springs Road (Route 690). Several months ago he greatly expanded and upgraded the look of the building with the addition of a large front patio covered by a tailored awning featuring the restaurant logo. … Continue Reading

Fields of Athenry Farm Kitchen Patio

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Fields of Athenry Farm Kitchen Patio

By George E. Humphries

Snickersville Turnpike, gliding along north to south in between Route 7 and Route 50, is well known for its beautiful scenery and horse farms. Now those enjoying this lovely country route have a place to stop along the way for an elegant lunch prepared from locally produced ingredients, at the new “Fields of Athenry Kitchen.”

The farm, named the Fields of Athenry – from an Irish ballad by the same name – sells pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic-free beef, pork, lamb and poultry, raw milk cheeses, local wines and more. Until recently, the farm’s owner, Elaine Boland also stocked her farm shop refrigerators with smaller quantities of freshly made stocks, stews and chilies crafted in her own farmhouse kitchen. She also dabbled with opening up her farm patio to weekend shoppers and wanderers craving a freshly grilled lamb sausage sandwich and a glass or two of wine. … Continue Reading

Savoir Fare

July 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle 1 comment
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By George E. Humphries

The name of the eatery reported on in this review is a bilingual pun. The French language “savoir faire” is idiomatic for a human attitude of justified social confidence – “a sureness in social behavior” as one of my dictionaries puts it. And in English, among the definitions of the word “fare” is “range of food” and “material provided for consumption or enjoyment.”

So the name Savoir Fare is a bilingual play on words – reflecting a sure and confident hand in the kitchen and a wide range of good food. How much more educated fun can you get? … Continue Reading

Hunt Country Gourmet’s RESTAURANT REVIEW

June 6, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Hunt Country Gourmet’s RESTAURANT REVIEW

“Our goal is to tell you where good food can be found …”
Magnolia’s at the Mill

By George Humphries

Early in my acquaintance with Loudoun County, a pair of world class restaurateurs opened a Leesburg restaurant in a restored (and slightly relocated) historic feed and flour mill on the then edge of downtown Leesburg. Since starting Tuscarora Mill, their range of start-up eateries have grown to five disparate establishments.

An outstanding example of this burgeoning success story is Magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville, where in 2004 the partnership converted another old (1905) mill building to an upscale restaurant. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

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NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015

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Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015

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I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

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– 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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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

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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

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015

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By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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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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Dinner and a Dive In

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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Mobile Hope’s “Back to School” Shopping Event Helps Loudoun Struggling Youth

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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

  • Merlis on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Yes! What a great idea.
  • Mark Gunderman on Gifts Within: Second Mount Olive Baptist Church, located in Hamilton, VA, was founded in 1872. The congregation desires to exalt God and...
  • Kathleen Hannon on What It Means To Be a Man: Great article Samuel! We have two daughters and we try to teach them to look for qualities such as...
  • R. Ohneiser Esq. on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Interesting discussion but let's consider how to actually resolve this problem permanently FOR THE BENEFIT OF LOUDOUN NOT JUST FOR...
  • Nan Siegel on Remembering Mabel: A lovely, heartfelt tribute. Though I never met Mabel, I think she must have had a wonderful life, full of...

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

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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

Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

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Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Lifestyle

Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015

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The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015

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Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015

wildloudoundragonflies

Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

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By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …

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Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

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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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Sports

Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015

drewhunter

Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015

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Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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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

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

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By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve 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

Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

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I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to …

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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

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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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