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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 At the time that PUGAMP was repealed, Mayor Bob Lazaro commented that the town had no intention of expanding its borders and was not interested in growing.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
town of purcellville sign

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
blueridge2

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

Interview With Joe May

June 4, 2013 by Tim Jon Government Comments Off on Interview With Joe May
Joe_3_capitol

The Republican Primary for the 33rd District Delegate Race comes up on June 11; Incumbent Joe May faces Challenger Dave LaRock. The following is our exchange with Delegate May. He’s seeking his 10th two-year term. The incumbent serves on numerous committees and commissions on the state level. Joe May serves as founder and chairman for the Sterling-based engineering firm, EIT. He and his wife Bobby live in Leesburg.

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

Joe May: The three most important issues facing the 33rd District are jobs, education and transportation. The issues are interdependent and are absolutely vital to continuing to make our community a great place to live, work and raise a family. … Continue Reading

Kaine Visits Business Communities in Northern Virginia, Participates in Winchester Parade

May 6, 2013 by Contributor Government, News 1 comment
Kaine_parade2

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine visited the Eden Center in Falls Church today to meet with members of the Asian-American business community and discuss the ways immigration reform would have a positive impact in the region and throughout Virginia. Kaine, a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, noted that an improved legal system would continue to draw talent to Virginia’s schools and businesses and develop the state’s overall competitiveness.

“For years we’ve been talking about doing comprehensive immigration reform but haven’t been able to get anything done,” said Kaine. “This bill we have in the Senate is a good measure that covers many of the major aspects of immigration reform – border security, visa reform, family reunification and a rigorous path to citizenship.”

Kaine has expressed his support for the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act that was introduced recently by a group of eight U.S. senators – four Republicans and four Democrats. … Continue Reading

Autumn Hill Battle Continues

April 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Autumn Hill Battle Continues
blueridge2

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

The court battle between the developers of the Autumn Hill project outside Purcellville and Loudoun County will continue, albeit in a much reduced form.

In his March 5 decision Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Horne granted the county’s motion for demurrer on three of the four counts alleged by Autumn Hill. However, Judge Horne, who has a reputation for “splitting the baby” in his rulings, allowed one claim made by Autumn Hill to move forward for trial. The remaining issue asks the court to determine whether a law enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 2009 takes precedent over a 1991 proffer agreement between the county and the developer. … Continue Reading

Catoctin Creek Apartments Inching Closer To Vote

April 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on Catoctin Creek Apartments Inching Closer To Vote
town of purcellville sign

By Karen Jimmerson

Purcellville’s Hirst Road and Maple Avenue corridor is on the cusp of major changes. Developers have put in an application to build a large apartment complex (Catoctin Creek Apartments), and have future plans to build retail/office space. S.L. Nasbaum wants to develop the western 13.72 acres of a 20-acre parcel with 176 (and up to 205) apartment units. At the same time, Renauld Consulting is advertising for sale/lease thousands of square feet retail/office space within the same 20-acre parcel.

The application for the Catoctin Creek Apartments would require an amendment to Purcellville’s Comprehensive Plan, and a rezoning amendment to PDH-15 (high density). The property was annexed into the town in December of 2008 by the Purcellville Town Council, and was designated as Transition X and CM-1. The Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP) ultimate land use map depicts the planned land use for the subject property as local service-light industrial, not residential. According to county staff comments, “rezoning the subject property for residential use as proposed would not be in conformance with the PUGAMP land use map.” … 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

Ask Dr. Mike – 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 …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

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

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015

donnawilliamson

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

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Challenges for Blended Families

3 Jun 2015

Smith0035

By Amy & Dan Smith The blended family has become more the norm than the exception in our society. As with most second marriages, Amy and I came into our marriage with our own children, our own careers and our …

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Student News

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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Woodgrove High School Senior Garner Signs With Wheaton

2 Apr 2015

woodgroveHS

Woodgrove High School senior, Kristen Garner, has signed to swim with Wheaton College in Ilinois She is the first Woodgrove swimmer to sign with a college and will compete on Wheaton’s NCAA Division III team. “I am incredibly honored to …

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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

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

1 Jul 2015

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 … …

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Relaxation In Horse Country’s Finest

1 Jul 2015

horsecountry2

– By Hannah Hager When temperatures hit the top of the thermometer there’s not much more to do than relax in the shade while sipping a cold glass of iced tea. This home is the perfect haven for escaping the humidity as it’s covered by mature trees that create a private cocoon. Before you start thinking that shade means no …

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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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