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February 20 Public Hearing for Catoctin Creek Apartments/Town Center

February 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News 3 comments
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By Karen Jimmerson

Local opposition continues to grow as the public hearing for the Catoctin Creek Apartments and Town Center development on Hirst Road/Maple Avenue approaches. Residents feel the development is a threat to the rural character of Purcellville and not in keeping with the surrounding area and comprehensive plan, and are raising their voices in opposition online – creating a Facebook page, a blog, and an online petition at GoPetition.com with over ?835 signatures.

In separate applications, developers from the Franklin Johnston/S.L. Nausbaum Group and Tilley Entertainment want to rezone roughly 33 acres along Hirst Road and Maple Ave. The proposal includes a 176-unit apartment complex on 13.72 acres and an entertainment complex encompassing 18.71 acres with outdoor space for concerts and events, bumper boats, miniature golf, batting cages, and a go-kart track. Additional facilities will include an ice-cream parlor, a food court, and a 35,000-square foot main building with a full service restaurant, sports bar, bowling alley, laser tag course, and a game arcade, open until 1:00 a.m. … Continue Reading

LaRock Introduces Legislation To Equalize Tolls

January 19, 2014 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on LaRock Introduces Legislation To Equalize Tolls
Dave_larock

Delegate Dave LaRock has introduced two resolutions aimed at bringing relief to commuters who face rising tolls on the Dulles Toll Road.

House Joint Resolution 84 and House Joint Resolution 85 memorialize Congress and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, respectively, to collect tolls on the Dulles Access Highway and use that toll revenue for the purpose of reducing tolls on the Dulles Toll Road, which have risen dramatically to pay for Phase 2 of construction of the Silver line. … Continue Reading

Demystifying Purcellville’s Debt Burden and AAA Bond Rating

January 8, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Demystifying Purcellville’s Debt Burden and AAA Bond Rating
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By Kwasi Fraser

Recently, Purcellville received stellar bond ratings from all three Wall Street rating agencies. Standard & Poor’s awarded Purcellville with an AAA rating, while Moody’s and Fitch Ratings issued double-A ratings.

At first glance, these rating seem great, but this is without analysis of the rationale and assumptions behind them. This article will attempt to further analyze and present a clear view of what drove these ratings and what they mean to Purcellville’s current $64 million debt burden.

Current Debt Burden and Debt Service

With an estimated population of 7,829, the current debt burden is about $8,175 per Purcellville resident. According to the Adopted Fiscal Year 2014 Fiscal Plan & Capital Improvement Program Fiscal Year 2014-2018, Purcellville has an outstanding debt of $64,184,129 of which 48.59 percent, equating to $31,190,323, is attributed to the Waste Water Fund. The amount of interest and principal that is due on Purcellville’s Fiscal Year 2014 debt service is $5,085,366. With estimated fiscal year 2014 total budgeted expenditures of $17,355,533, the debt service accounts for 29.3 percent of total expenditures. … Continue Reading

Town of Purcellville Passes Sweeping Public “Conduct” Regulations

October 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News 2 comments
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By Andrea Gaines

New Town of Purcellville policies put in place seek to control “Public Meeting Conduct” and conduct in public facilities.

The regulations, designed to address what a September 19 Staff Report describes as “formal and informal complaints from citizens, businesses and the public who were impacted by the conduct of a few individuals within our community” were adopted in late September.

While the regulations are very detailed, cover public conduct in both town facilities and at public meetings, and are acknowledged by the town to be of great “magnitude,” the staff report did not present any evidence or documentation of the bad behavior described. … Continue Reading

Citizen Protest Regarding Closed Door Meetings – Denied

October 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Citizen Protest Regarding Closed Door Meetings – Denied
town of purcellville sign

By Valerie Cury

Loudoun District Court judge Deborah C. Welsh – former Purcellville Town attorney – ruled against Purcellville citizen Ben Belrose in his September Freedom of Information Act complaint against the Town of Purcellville. Belrose had filed his complaint on Tuesday, September 10 in an attempt to prevent Purcellville from using select provisions of the Virginia Code to go into “closed session” while conducting discussions regarding future possible annexations of land by the town. Closed sessions enable governmental bodies to preclude public attendance and input in specified proceedings.

The annexation discussions have special bearing on a series of 2012 actions taken by the town and the county to repeal PUGAMP – the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan. PUGAMP provided for a process wherein Purcellville’s growth – via annexation or other actions – would be timed to ensure the town had the ability to provide public utilities and other required services to, for example, new residential developments. PUGAMP also provided for extensive public input on how and where Purcellville might grow. At the time that PUGAMP was repealed, Mayor Bob Lazaro commented that the town had no intention of expanding its borders and was not interested in growing. … Continue Reading

August Town Council

September 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on August Town Council
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Purcellville Town Council Work
Session – August 27

Topic: Town Committee Vacancies

The August Purcellville Town Council Work Session began with closed session interviews for appointments to vacancies on various town committees. In the past, when the Blue Ridge Leader started attending the open interview process, the Purcellville Town Council changed the interviews to a closed session process.
On this day from 6:30 to 7:15 council members interviewed Steven Webber, Philip Rohrer and Melanie Fuller for the committee vacancies.

Topic: Services For O Street Project

The council voted to conduct preliminary engineering design and right of way survey services for the O Street project for an initial amount of $67,855.39. The town has already spent approximately $17,000 on a feasibility study for this area. This project, according to council, will provide for another entrance/exit for the 21 Street corridor. … Continue Reading

Mateer Victim of Poor County Practices

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Mateer Victim of Poor County Practices

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

The offer of a board aide position with Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) couldn’t have come at a better moment for Donna Mateer. An unemployed single mother, Mateer needed a job. She didn’t pay much attention to language in the written offer stating that the job was an at-will position; most jobs in Virginia are at-will. Mateer didn’t expect to have any trouble with her new boss. If issues arose, the county’s Human Resources Office would help. Seven months later, worried that her assignments were illegal and frustrated with Delgaudio’s hostile management style, Mateer tested that assumption.

In an interview, Mateer recalled that the HR staff person with whom she spoke was very nice, but offered no assistance. “She told me, ‘You’re hired on their whim and fired on their whim.’ I remember going back upstairs thinking that can’t be right.” Immediately afterwards, Delgaudio fired Mateer. … Continue Reading

Public Hearing for Purcellville’s Zoning Ordinance – August 15

August 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Public Hearing for Purcellville’s Zoning Ordinance – August 15
town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday August 15, 7:00 p.m. at the town hall on proposed changes to uses that are permitted “by-right” and uses permitted “by special use permit.”

Today, uses “permitted by-right,” are just that; they do not require public input – the land owner can develop per the specific zoning. However, uses permitted by “special use permit,” because of their impact on the community, require input via public hearings. This allows the citizens to voice their concerns on changes that will impact the community such as traffic, noise, safety, pollution etc.

The proposed changes would be to the following districts: R-2 single-family residential district, R-T single-family residential district, R-8 townhouse residential district, R-15 apartment residential district and the IP institutional and public use district. … Continue Reading

Public Gives Input on Zoning Change for School Site Approvals

August 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Public Gives Input on Zoning Change for School Site Approvals
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By Sarah Stinger

A recent public hearing on the Board of Supervisor’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment called ZOAM Schools-By-Right brought open dialogue between supervisors, county staff and the public.

The July 31 public input meeting was about the county’s proposed changes to the legislative process for approving public school sites. The proposed change will eliminate the need for Special Exception permits (SPEX) for new school sites in many zoning districts. Such a change will also eliminate the associated SPEX hearings. The meeting began with project manager Larr Kelly presenting the county’s proposal. Citizens who spoke came from several areas, including Lovettsville, Lincoln, Purcellville and Leesburg. All opposed any action that would reduce public involvement in school siting decisions. … Continue Reading

Three New Drive-Throughs for Entrance To Purcellville

August 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Three New Drive-Throughs for Entrance To Purcellville
town of purcellville sign

In July, a joint public hearing was held between the Purcellville Town Council and the Purcellville Planning Commission for three special exception applications within the Purcellville Gateway (Harris Teeter shopping center). Special exceptions allow a developer/property owner to change the original zoning plan for a particular parcel. In this case, two food-related businesses with drive-throughs – and one restaurant which added a drive-through – will replace what was originally planned to be a single office building.

Frank Stearns, the attorney representing the Harris Teeter shopping center, which is owned by Jordan River Acquisitions LLC, and managed by Roadside Development LLC, came before the council to talk about the special exceptions and to answer questions. … Continue Reading

Loudoun’s Grand Jury – The Verdict Is In

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Loudoun’s Grand Jury – The Verdict Is In
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By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

The grand jury verdict is in – the commonwealth’s attorney will not bring an indictment against Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) for misuse of public funds, campaign finance violation, or general bad behavior towards his staff. However, the members of the grand jury took the unusual step of reporting out in detail their findings, frustration, and questions.

Had they asked me, which they didn’t – not even the whisper of a subpoena – I could have answered any number of the grand jury’s questions about the status and treatment of Loudoun County board aides, the history of the Herring law and other ill-fated efforts to enhance ethics and transparency in Loudoun and Virginia government, and a whole host of other facts gained from having served as a board aide for nine years. Had they asked me, which they didn’t, here is some of what I might have shared with them. … Continue Reading

Advisory Groups … What Needs Fixing?

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Advisory Groups … What Needs Fixing?
malcolm_baldwin

By Malcolm F. Baldwin

Following public notice only three business days earlier, on May 15 the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors discussed and then referred to committees a proposal to eliminate or restructure 20 of its 51 advisory groups or refer the question to its committees to review. Word of the pending vote stimulated quick opposition and emergency meetings from affected advisory groups, and the entire process raised questions about the board’s policies concerning public notice and public input. … Continue Reading

Interview With Dave LaRock

June 4, 2013 by Tim Jon Government, News 4 comments
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The Republican Primary for the 33rd District Delegate Race comes up on June 11; Challenger Dave LaRock faces Incumbent Joe May. The following is our exchange with Dave LaRock. He’s seeking his first term in the House of Delegates. Dave and his wife Joanne run a small general contracting business. LaRock served as Blue Ridge District Chairman for the Loudoun Republican Party. He and his wife Joanne live in Hamilton.

Tim Jon: What are the three most important issues facing the 33rd District; how much effort have you put into these, with what results?

Dave LaRock: Taxation – Our taxes and our tolls are too high. Virginia residents have the 10th highest tax burden in our nation. This drives up our cost of living and makes it difficult to create jobs. I pledge to work with Governor Ken Cuccinelli to cut taxes and to reform Virginia’s tax structure, making it more fair and simple by eliminating special-interest tax breaks. I have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to fight for lower taxes; my opponent has refused to sign the pledge. … 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

Childhood and Adolescent Depression: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

2 Sep 2015

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects one in every 10 Americans.  And while the CDC’s data on depression currently shows that folks residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia fall slightly …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Suzanne Kane Nature Preserve

2 Sep 2015

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This innocuous little area lay smoldering in my semi-consciousness for several years – and after thousands of passings-by – I finally woke up one morning and just had to find out what was to be found out there. See – …

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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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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

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

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015

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

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

A Man of Character

3 Sep 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “I thought it would be appropriate to reiterate my thoughts on power and quote something from Frederick Douglass that I believe is quite true,” Manfred Kory wrote to me after reading Lonnae O’Neill’s June 29 column in …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

When To Take Social Security: Timing Is Everything

3 Sep 2015

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As you approach retirement, there are several decisions that can impact the level of income you will receive when you stop working. One such decision will be about claiming your Social Security retirement benefit. More than half of eligible Americans …

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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

September 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

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

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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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

COFFEEHOUSE: J.RILEY STEWART

COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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KAYDEE PUPPETS: SHEEP DOG DETECTIVES

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

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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

September Fourth Friday at Breaux

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Rally for the Cure

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 - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

BUSH BROTHERS LIVE!

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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...
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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

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

Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament

3 Sep 2015

stoneleigh

Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s is having their 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 Golf Magazine and recently awarded a 3.5 star rating by Golf Digest. The format is …

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Irish Sessions at Corcoran Brewing

3 Sep 2015

noerpel150

Gina Faber and Tony Noerpel have started an “Irish Session” at Corcoran Brewing Company in Purcellville once a month on the second Sunday. The next session will be from noon to 3:00 p.m. on September 13. It is an open session, and anyone can bring an instrument and play along. Tony and his wife, Nancy, visited Ireland last year and were impressed by …

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September Calendar

3 Sep 2015

blueridge2

Ongoing events Saturdays, September 12 to October 17, Interpreting Scripture Through Visual Arts, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Jonathan Holland, artist and youth pastor, will take you on a journey to create powerful and moving art rooted within the Bible. Cost is $105. Go to opusoaks.org. On Saturday, September 12 at noon, Sunday, September 13 at 1:00 p.m., September 26 at noon and September 27 …

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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

Good Government Reinforces the Family

davelarock

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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Governor McAuliffe Launches Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Order 47 establishing the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and fostering the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for young people in Virginia. “The foundation of the new Virginia economy rests on the strength …

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Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

davelarock

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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Sports

Las Vegas Tournament Good for Loudoun Teams

2 Sep 2015

basketball

D1 Sports & Athletics 15U Spartan Elite Boys basketball team won the Gold Elite Championship out of 158 teams from across the country at the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic on July 26. D1SA Spartan Elite defeated Drive Bounce Elite from British Columbia, Canada, in the championship game with the …

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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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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

Perfection and Expectation in High School

3 Sep 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde If you think about high school, what do you think about? Do you think about the sports and how important they are to some students whose only dream of getting into college is a scholarship? Do you think about the high school student struggling for an …

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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

town of purcellville sign

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

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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