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Paist Abruptly Resigns Purcellville Planning Commission

November 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Paist Abruptly Resigns Purcellville Planning Commission
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Position Again Filled By Council Member Doug McCollum

At the beginning of the October 15 Purcellville Planning Commission meeting, Chairman Gil Paist made a motion to put a vote for the election of a new chair and vice chair on the agenda for the evening.

Typically new appointments/changes to those serving on the commission are made on an annual basis at the body’s first meeting in the month of November. … Continue Reading

LaRock Condemns Massive I-66 Toll

October 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News 5 comments

Delegate Dave LaRock went on the record condemning Governor McAuliffe’s proposal to enact heavy new tolls on I-66 inside the beltway.

“This plan is outrageous,” LaRock stated. “Hard on the heels of a massive transportation tax hike only two years ago, the citizens of Northern Virginia are being told they will have to pay as much as $17 a day, $4250 a year, just to drive to work. This is highway robbery, and it’s being done in plain sight.”

The Governor’s plan amounts to alleviating congestion by tolling at such an outrageous rate that it forces people off one of the busiest stretches of Route 66. Expansion of the actual highway is not even up for consideration until 2025, and may wait as long as 2040. Instead, the Governor proposes that highway tolls would be spent on bike and pedestrian paths, additional bus service, and metro upgrades. … Continue Reading

Bonfils Sworn In As Interim Broad Run Supervisor

September 30, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Bonfils Sworn In As Interim Broad Run Supervisor

James G. Bonfils has been sworn in as the interim Broad Run District supervisor for Loudoun County. The swearing-in ceremony was conducted by Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens. Bonfils was appointed to the position by the Board of Supervisors.

“It’s a real honor to serve as Broad Run District supervisor,” said Bonfils. “I look forward to doing my best to serve my district impartially.”

Bonfils was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife, Terri. Also on hand for the ceremony were Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Scott York, Vice Chairman Ralph Buona, House of Delegates member Randy Minchew, and County Administrator Tim Hemstreet.

Bonfils will serve on the Board of Supervisors through December 31, 2015. The candidate who is elected as Broad Run District Supervisor in the November general election will take office on January 1, 2016. Bonfils was one of 12 people from the Broad Run District who applied for the position which became vacant September 6 when Shawn Williams resigned.

More information about the Board of Supervisors is online at www.loudoun.gov/bos.

Jim Bonfils Sworn in as Interim Broad Run District Supervisor

September 24, 2015 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Jim Bonfils Sworn in as Interim Broad Run District Supervisor
Jim Bonfils

James (Jim) G. Bonfils has been sworn in as the interim Broad Run District supervisor for Loudoun County. The swearing-in ceremony conducted by Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens occurred at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Loudoun County Courthouse, following Bonfils’ appointment to the position by the Board of Supervisors Monday evening.

It’s a real honor to serve as Broad Run District Supervisor,” said Bonfils, following this morning’s ceremony. “I look forward to doing my best to serve my district impartially.” … Continue Reading

Stover Appeal Goes To Circuit Court

September 3, 2015 by Valerie Cury Government, News Comments Off on Stover Appeal Goes To Circuit Court
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Acting on behalf of Purcellville resident and 21st Street business owner Mary Ellen Stover, attorney Frank Bredimus of Hamilton filed an appeal in early August to the Loudoun County Circuit Court challenging the decision of Purcellville’s Board of Zoning Appeals. The BZA ruled that the Town of Purcellville Zoning Administrator, Patrick Sullivan, was correct in his determination that the Vineyard Square project had commenced.


Vineyard Square, a five story mixed use development planned for historic 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.

To proceed with the project John Chapman and Mark Nelis had to meet time limits on each CDA. At the time, zoning administrator Patrick Sullivan said, “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 CDAs will expire and a new CDA will have to be applied for if the applicant does not commence construction on each CDA prior to its expiration date.” The deadlines laid out in Sullivan’s May 29, 2014 memo were as follows: … Continue Reading

Public Hearings

September 2, 2015 by Valerie Cury Committees at a Glance, News Comments Off on Public Hearings
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Planning Commission And Town Council This Month
The Big Giveaway

At the Purcellville Town Hall on Thursday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m., the first of two public hearings on the proposed zoning use changes will occur to amend sections of the zoning ordinance. One big change to the C-1 District is to allow for the addition of general retail sales to this district which is along Hirst Road. Currently not allowing for “big box,” this district’s use is being proposed to up to 10,000 square feet and a special use permit for anything above. The stated purpose of the C-1 District is to provide for planned office parks, offices, and similar business buildings and is limited to office support uses – in attractive surroundings with types of uses, structures, plantings, and signs so controlled as to be generally compatible with medium or low density residential surroundings. According to the spring Town of Purcellville 2008 minutes, a pharmacy was allowed, but it was supposed to be located in an office building, not stand alone. In fact, the current Comprehensive Plan does not allow for uses like “big box” retail. Some of the current proposed additions for this area are: Retail sales, child care, financial institution, fitness center, hotel, parking lot and structure, recreation facility, and temporary food trucks and trailers. Further, Special Use Permits (SUPs) are proposed to be eliminated for eating establishments. … Continue Reading

Weekly Water Demand Report Now Online

September 2, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Weekly Water Demand Report Now Online

By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville

As you all know, our Water Utility Fund accounts for over $40 Million of our total town debt.  During our budget cycle, I made the commitment to focus on identifying and implementing solutions to reduce this debt without negative impact on our water capacity or the environment.  One such solution is the pilot program for the bulk sale of water to companies and other entities.  So that you can be aware of the impact of such sales on our water capacity and safety, we will be publishing online a weekly report of our water demand and supply across each source, clearly showing water output and available quantity.  Figure 1 shows a draft of the Weekly Water Demand Report. … Continue Reading

Town Seeks Volunteers for Economic Committee

August 16, 2015 by Contributor Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Town Seeks Volunteers for Economic Committee
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The Town of Purcellville is seeking two (2) volunteers to serve on the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC). The EDAC is an advisory committee that will assist Town Council and staff on matters pertaining to economic development and tourism including:

  1. Working on strategies for advancing economic development within the town which facilitates community sustainability in areas of business attraction, expansion and retention;
  2. Collaborating with other Town committees and business groups to establish economic development and tourism initiatives for the good of a sustainable community;
  3. Assisting the Town in building strategic relationships and alliances with regional stakeholder groups and other Town committees to foster new business opportunities and growth for the good of Purcellville.

… Continue Reading

Purcellville Town Council Member McConville Takes Job With Bowman Consulting

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville Town Council Member McConville Takes Job With Bowman Consulting
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At the June Purcellville Town Council meeting, council member Patrick McConville formally announced that he had started a new job with Bowman Consulting.

Founded in 1995, Bowman offers its clients a wide variety of services related to land development, transportation, mining, power and energy, structural design, wastewater, construction management and surveying. It also provides clients with zoning and regulatory expertise at the local, state, and federal levels. While its headquarters are in Chantilly, it has dozens of offices nationwide and operates in 11 other states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

… 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

Planning Commission Public Input Sessions Zoning District Use Changes

June 22, 2015 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commission Public Input Sessions Zoning District Use Changes
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The Town of Purcellville Planning Commission will hold public input sessions on July 7, 8, and 9 to hear comments on proposed changes to the Purcellville Zoning Ordinance regarding permitted and special uses in the R-2 Single Family Residential District, R-3 Duplex Residential District, R-3A Office Residential District, R-8 Townhouse Residential District, R-15 Apartment Residential District, RT Single Family Residential District, C-1 Office Commercial District, MC Mixed Commercial District, C-4 Central Commercial District, CM-1 Local Service Industrial District, M-1 Limited Industrial District, PDH Planned Development Housing, X Transitional District, IP Institutional and Public Use District, and AC Agricultural Conservancy/Commercial District. … Continue Reading

Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increase – Not Good For Our Citizens and Businesses

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government Comments Off on Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increase – Not Good For Our Citizens and Businesses

By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville

Prior to the decrease in rates last year, our citizens and businesses had experienced over six years of increasing water and sewer rates.  This decrease in rates, although small when compared with the double digit increases Purcellville citizens and businesses faced for years, was well received and deserved.  The question remains – were those increases politically driven or strategically done with a plan to enable us to cover the lower rate?  With the agreed to connection fees from the Mayfair project along with our debt refinancing and restructuring, the lower rates from last year were financially supported by fees throughout the year.  ?In addition, following financial analysis and modeling of our water and sewer operations, our consultant, Municipal & Financial Services Group, recommended no increases or decreases in rates for Fiscal Year 2016, but increases of three percent in water rates and five percent in sewer rate starting in Fiscal Year 2017.   The town paid the Municipal & Financial Services Group over $12,000 for their analysis and recommendation.  A few of our council members, however, have decided to ignore the recommendation of our paid consultants at the Municipal & Financial Services Group and raise rates in this new Fiscal Year. … Continue Reading

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
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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

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Sustainable Planet

Trusting Science

14 Nov 2015


“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1] I previously reported [2] on …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Some Thoughts on Veterans Day

13 Nov 2015


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is also a time to reflect and remember with gratitude. America is a free and democratic nation today, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Phil Bolen Memorial Park

4 Nov 2015


I never knew Phil Bolen as the Loudoun County Government Administrator; I never even got to know him as Director of Parks and Recreation, and I certainly never knew Phil Bolen the teacher and coach at Loudoun Valley High School. …


Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

30 Sep 2015


You may never feel the urge to travel to this little, unincorporated community; it’s not exactly a conduit for commuter traffic, and there aren’t really any places to shop, or gas up, or procure much of anything else from a …

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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


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

Choosing To Live in the Present

4 Nov 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love a good story. I love telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. Our experiences bring meaning to our lives, and help shape us into the people we are today. Yet inherent in storytelling is the …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Trusts

4 Nov 2015


A common estate planning device is the trust. A trust is simply an agreement between two people: the person who establishes the trust, who may be called the Settlor, the Grantor or the Trustor, and the person or institution who …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


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


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


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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November 2015

Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Mrs. Lucketts’ Haunted Garden & Playground


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Steve Potter Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Elementary Drama Camp

4 5 6

Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – painter Karen Hutchison and glass artists David and Dale Barnes


Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20

The Essential Elvis Tribute Show


Christmas Bazaar

23 24 25 26 27

The Capitol Steps


3rd Annual Bluemont (Juried) Holiday Craft Show

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


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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Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

4 Oct 2015


By Malcolm Baldwin Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become …



2015 Loudoun 10K Trail Race Raises over $30,000 to Support Boulder Crest Retreat and Our Nation’s Veterans

16 Nov 2015


“I continued to be humbled by our community and all they do to make Boulder Crest Retreat a success. Jim Schatz and his team at Loudoun Road Runners are amazing. This trail run is in alignment with the rural nature of Boulder Crest Retreat and we look forward to the event every year. My personal appreciation goes out to all …

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990. If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to …

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


The Carver Center is at 200 Willie Palmer Way in Purcellville. Call 571-258-3400 to sign up for the following programs. November 6, Friday Lunch and movie Still Alice 12-2 p.m. (ages 55 and up).  To sign up call 571-258-3459. November 9, Monday AARP Driver Safety Class 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m (ages 50 and up). Pre-registration required. AARP members $15, …

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


Chipmunks are small, beautifully elegant little creatures, with large glossy eyes, a sleek brown body, a short, pointy head, dainty white stripes above and below the eye, and a series of black land white lines down their sturdy little backs. They have a very sweet posture – sitting upright and holding food with their two perfectly formed front feet, while …

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement on the current terrorist attacks in Paris: “After September 11, 2001, we tragically learned that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them. Again, with the recent murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, we have learned that …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


Statewide data shows increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2013 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s tourism revenues topped $22.4 billion in 2014, a 4.1 percent increase over 2013. In 2014, tourism in Virginia supported 216,949 jobs, an increase of nearly 700 jobs to the previously reported forecast estimate of …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


The Don Rose, Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund is seeking financial support to provide scholarships at college, technical or trade school. Applicants from public, private, and home schools are eligible to receive the scholarship, provided they participated in youth sports within Loudoun County. The fund aims to award two $500 scholarships …

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


Ida Lee Park Tennis Center’s Ladies Singles 2.5 Team, Simply Smashing, won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship tournament, held October 16-18, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club. Simply Smashing members include team captain Beth Cioni, Debbie DeLadurantaye, Jennifer Fox, Robin Haast, Holly McMullen and Deja O’Malley. They train …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– 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

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It’s sad to say that the norm now is to wonder about the next school shooting. For a student it is the most terrifying thing, the next shooter could come at any moment, and any day could be the day that you die. It could be …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– 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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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


The 5th annual Purcellville Halloween Block Party was the best attended to date with an estimated 6,000 descending on 21st street in Old Town this past Friday evening. Costume …

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


My Dad used to say it’s what you do when nobody is watching that counts. Over 80 percent of my “zoning permitted” and “land owner …

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


Recently Gov. McAuliffe proposed $17 round trip tolls on I-66 inside the beltway with Chuck Hedges the Democrat nominee for the HOD 33rd district being …

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