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Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

July 2, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Arts, Lifestyle 1 comment

– By Andrea Gaines

Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers.
The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work.

I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good!

But, it really is hard to describe Sommers’ work without using words like moving, spiritual, dreamy, captivating.

Sommers says that she grew up doodling. But, how she got from that to taking on well-paid commissions for huge, wall-sized murals is quite the story.

Michele’s father was artistic, she says, but while very talented he never pursued art as a profession – something she seemed to regret on a personal level.

Michele has always loved to draw, but has only recently had any formal artistic training. When a good friend who owned a gourmet shop in Front Royal asked her if she would paint something pretty on the shop’s counter, however, she said, yes.

Within a few years, by word of mouth the paid commissions were rolling in. Her work is now in private homes, professional offices, small businesses, churches and animal shelters, on the interior and exterior of barns and on cinderblock walls.

Murals, as Sommers describes it, are living things. And, they are. Michele’s work seems to bloom and grow – to evolve – over time.

Says Sommers, “I ask my clients what they want in the mural. They give me a list of what should be in it, but we often add things along the way. When the mural is finished, I follow up with them every couple of weeks to make sure nothing more needs to be added. Murals evolve and age, just like living things.”

This was the case with a large, almost mural-sized canvas that Sommers recently completed for a local farm. With every manner of animal and insect in it – from cattle, to sheep, goats, farm dogs, horses, pigs and bees – Sommers’ reaction to the finished product was, “Might need another bird or two.”

A dramatic mural for an Ashburn seafood restaurant begs the same question – does it need another seagull? A large Mediterranean-style canvas, awash in tropical trees and flowers, literally looks like it is getting ready to sprout another fern. A seascape mural in a child’s bedroom shows a group of sea turtles, yearning to welcome, over time, a just-hatched baby turtle.

Then there is a very touching mural entitled, “Freedom Isn’t Free.” The personal story behind Sommers’ Freedom Isn’t Free says it all about this lovely and devoted artist and her client.

Her client, the manager of a large factory in Winchester said he wanted to dedicate a wall space to the sacrifices of the nation’s soldiers, including those he had served with in Iraq. He knew he wanted particular elements in the image, but provided her with few other details. He did, however, give her many of his own personal photos and contribute his military expertise. With that, she dove deep into herself … producing a dramatic, floor-to-ceiling image that shows an American eagle swooping in with a dramatic Freedom Isn’t Free banner, empty boots topped off with an old helmet, a POW/MIA flag, helicopters patrolling in the distance and two soldiers – one of whom is stepping out of the mural to greet those looking at it. A simple idea rendered in very personal and engaging way, the two soldiers are based on old wartime photos of Michele’s father and a newer one of her brother, both of which served as marines. Generations of soldiers seem to be waiting to be added to the moment.

This is Michele Sommers in a nutshell. Quietly humble. Aware of her talent. But, always focused on showcasing the beauty of life, and how it evolves over time.

See more of Michele Sommers’ work at www.facebook.com/sommersend.

Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

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, the night before the fourth annual Farm-to-Fork Loudoun kicks-off. The event is free and open to the public.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for first come first serve seating in the Cafe’s back yard area. Appetizers, entrees and desserts from their regular menu, as well as a preview of their Farm-to-Fork Loudoun menu, will be available to purchase and enjoy, along with various soft drinks, wine and beer.

Since permanently leaving his corporate environmental engineering career in 1996, Lincoln resident Andrew McKnight has traveled nearly a million miles of blue highways, and earned a wealth of critical acclaim and enthusiastic fans nationwide for his performances and seven recordings.

Farm-to-Fork Loudoun is an 11-day countywide event highlighting locally sourced foods and celebrating the true bounty of Loudoun from July 23 through Aug. 2. Farm fresh food is incorporated into special menus prepared by each of the participating restaurant chefs and offered to guests. This year features 23 special and diverse spots and one food truck from which to choose throughout the entire county. For details go to www.FarmToForkLoudoun.com.

Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles Town Pike in Hillsboro.

… 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

– 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.

Relaxation In Horse Country’s Finest

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, Real Estate Comments Off on Relaxation In Horse Country’s Finest

– 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 sunlight – reconsider. The thoughtful construction of this estate allows for every accommodation. Follow round the circular driveway with a centerpiece of a mature maple tree to the front porch that leads to a bright foyer. Beautiful hardwood floors are seen throughout and provide a brightness that gives a happy feel.

You’ll find more of the same to the entry of the family room that is surrounded by windows, including lovely French-style double doors opening to a slate patio. Seamless transitions are executed between indoors and outdoors, but we don’t want to go outside just yet. First we want to grab an afternoon snack in the kitchen with its white, custom cabinetry, recessed lighting and tiled countertops. Stand over the island or move the party to the formal dining room, which is elevated by two stairs and flanked by columns. You’ll enjoy showing off the extra finishes to friends, including the wood-burning fireplace.

If you’re more of a casual person take them to the breakfast nook with built-in bookcases and views of your 10-acre property. You’ll have ease of access between the kitchen and family room, but still maintain privacy away from the little rascals who have no doubt overtaken the great room where they’re also sure to enjoy a wood-burning fireplace and cathedral ceilings.

The most enviable room of the home is arguably its most private – the master suite. You’ll find no detail was overlooked in an effort to promote relaxation and rest. Crown molding, carpeting and another fireplace make for a slightly moodier ambience that promotes peacefulness. You won’t be the only one to enjoy a bit of privacy – guests and kids alike will find their room assignments equally as appealing.

Now, it’s time to return to the great outdoors where you’ll be wont to never leave. The slated back patio with lattice work awnings is perfect for entertaining. If you’re childlike at heart why not take a dip in the pool? Or, if you’re more of a worker bee take the short walk to your private multi-stable barn and start saddling up. Once you hop on the bandwagon of this home you’ll never jump off.

23559 Parsons Road
Middleburg, VA 20117
Bedrooms: Four
Bathrooms: Three and one half
Square footage: 5,361
Fireplaces: Five
Listing Price: $1,299,000
Acres: 10.5
Contact: Matt@sherrywilson.com

A Servant’s Heart Scholarships

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on A Servant’s Heart Scholarships

Joshua’s Hands was established in 1999 in memory of Joshua Guthrie, who was an enthusiastic community volunteer. Joshua’s years of service were cut short by his death at the age of 16. Joshua’s Hands seeks to continue to be his hands of service in the community and to encourage others to serve.

In addition to an annual Fall Festival that is free to the community, American heritage education programs – which includes our Valiant Warrior Quilts, community service and teen safe driving education, the organization offers A Servant’s Heart Scholarship. The scholarship is essay based and open to all seniors in Loudoun County. To date, the organization has awarded $27,000 in scholarships.

The 2015 recipients are from varied backgrounds with diverse interests. Emma Appleton (Woodgrove High School) will pursue a degree in secondary education at JMU in the fall. In her essay she wrote about bringing lessons from foreign volunteer efforts back home to her family and community.

“One of the biggest lessons that I learned about serving was to bring my growing love for God home and serve my family,” Emma said. “I have found that it is really hard to humble yourself before the family you live with all the time – the people whose faults you know well. In Bolivia, it was easy to help clean up after meals. Our ‘fights’ were over who got to serve and wash the dishes. It was easy to give up space to my teammates. But as I started to look at my Bolivian ‘family,’ I realized that I was not as eager to serve my own family back home. God really challenged me to take the servant’s heart I had in Bolivia back to Virginia with me.”

The winning essay from Freedom High School was written by Peyton Aspinwal, who learned about service on a Nicaraguan soccer field. She wrote: “One of my favorite things about Nicaragua is the love the kids have for each other and the joy that radiates from each smile. It is a love that is geared towards serving, sharing, and doing. They are each so quick to give up what little they have for someone else who has less.”

Loudoun Valley High School’s Henri Brown learned about a servant’s heart as he used his musical talents to inspire others as he served in his community and as he built hurricane resistant walls in Belize. The message hit home when a poverty stricken child in Belize placed three of his cherished marbles in Henri’s hand as a parting gift. In his essay he noted that a mission or volunteer effort might only make minor changes in an environment or slightly improve conditions for those in need, but it changes the volunteer forever.

Joshua’s Hands Valiant Warrior Quilting Event is July 17-26 to make quilts for our wounded warriors. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the organization, the Valiant Warrior Quilting Project or A Servant’s Heart Scholarship visit the website: www.JoshuasHands.org


Summer Movie And Skate Nights At Bush Tabernacle

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Summer Movie And Skate Nights At Bush Tabernacle
town of purcellville sign

The 4th Annual summer of free Movie and Skate Nights will be held every Wednesday evening throughout the summer at the historic Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink.  These events are jointly sponsored by the Bush Tabernacle and the Town of Purcellville. All movies start at 7 p.m., and roller skating starts around 8:30 p.m. (immediately after the movie has ended) and ends at 10 p.m. 

All movies are full-featured, family-friendly (rated G or PG), and include titles such as Maleficient, Into the Woods, and Toy Story 3.  The full movie line-up is listed below and can be found at http://www.bushtabernacle.com/movies.  Admission is free and the concession stand will be open selling pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas at a nominal charge.  The schedule is below:

 July 8: Earth to Echo
July 15: The Boxtrolls
July 22: Paddington
July 29: Mulan
Aug 5: Toy Story 3
Aug 12: Monsters University
Aug 19: Into the Woods
Aug 26: Big Hero 6

He Slipped The Surly Bonds Of Earth For Us … Happy 4th Of July, Carl

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on He Slipped The Surly Bonds Of Earth For Us … Happy 4th Of July, Carl

– By Andrea Gaines

This aviator’s poem is presented in memory of my uncle, Carl E. Alber – a veteran and celebrated test pilot – to mark all of the freedoms that became ours on July 4, 1776.
My uncle died on September 7, 1994, but would have turned 100 this year – on July 4, 2015.
The poem was written in 1941 by a young pilot named John Gillespie Magee, Jr. during a test flight of the Spitfire V aircraft. As Gillespie wrote to his parents at the time, “I am enclosing a verse I wrote the other day. It started at 30,000 feet, and was finished soon after I landed.”

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air …
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Court Is Back In Session July 10 At Union Cemetery Chapel

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Court Is Back In Session July 10 At Union Cemetery Chapel

The Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court is hosting a special program Friday, July 10 to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening session of the Loudoun County Court after the Civil War.

In May 1861, the court justices ordered George K. Fox Jr., clerk of court, to remove all court records, some of which dated back to the county’s founding in 1757. Fox removed the court records to Campbell County, Va., for safekeeping and they remained there until the summer of 1865. From February 1862 through June 1865, no court was held in Loudoun. To commemorate the July 10, 1865, court session, Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary M. Clemens and the Historic Records Division will offer an evening program July 10 to observing this historic event in Loudoun’s court history.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., at Union Cemetery, 323 North King Street in Leesburg, the clerk’s office historic records team and the Loudoun County Sesquicentennial Committee will sponsor a wreath laying and presentation on the life of George K. Fox to honor his legacy of saving the court records from destruction. Brenda S. Butler, chief deputy clerk for the clerk of the Circuit Court, will give a presentation on the life of George K. Fox Jr. Butler has conducted extensive research on the life and role Fox had in saving the court records. The court will also enter an order commemorating the July 10, 1865, court session and Fox.

The evening will conclude with a free 45 to-60-minute guided tour of Union Cemetery by Mary Fishback of the Thomas Balch Library. During the tour, Fishback will highlight the graves of many prominent Loudoun citizens and special monuments. The tour and wreath laying will be conducted by costume interpreters. Registration is required for the tour. Call 703-737-8775 to register.

Wine & Food Festival In Purcellville July 18

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Wine & Food Festival In Purcellville July 18

Purcellville’s fourth annual Wine & Food Festival will be Saturday, July 18 from 3 – 8 p.m. at Fireman’s Field, 250 S. Nursery Ave. This popular event was awarded the Visit Loudoun 2014 Tourism Event of the Year. To help offset some of the many fees associated with the event, Town Council set a $5 general admission fee. Children under 21 years of age and designated drivers (non-drinking) are free, and will be issued a designated wrist band at the entrance gates.

Families and friends can reserve a VIP café table with seating for ten for $250. Included is one bottle of wine, reserved seating for the entire event, early entrance at 2 p.m., and a keepsake wineglass. These tables offer exclusive seating for viewing the festival stage. Additionally, a limited group of four tables seating 6 each sells for $750 and includes covered, reserved seating by the gazebo and music stage, two bottles of wine and keepsake wineglasses. General admission and VIP tickets can be purchased through the website at ?www.purcellvillewineandfood.com or directly through Ticketfly at www.ticketfly.com/event/869025.

A new feature this year is the beer garden. Four Purcellville breweries have a collaboration brew debuting at the festival. The brew is called “4 Saisons” and is a farmhouse Saison – a French word meaning ‘season’ – and is a broadly defined pale ale, generally highly carbonated, fruity and spicy. Historically, Saison was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there has been a massive revival.
This event is open to the public and will showcase the amazing wines, foods and other fineries from purveyors located in and around the town. There will be live music from a variety of local musicians, wineries, craft breweries, gourmet foods and wine related art and accessories. Attendees may purchase food, wine by the glass or bottle and wine tastings.

Kids Across Loudoun County to Perform in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.

June 18, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Kids Across Loudoun County to Perform in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.

Kids from more than 17 elementary, middle, and high schools from across Loudoun County will be spending their summer “under the sea” as part of Loudoun Centre Theatre’s summer production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. “We had no idea that kids would come from all over the county to audition for the show,” explains Jeffrey Taylor, Loudoun Centre Theatre’s executive director. “We couldn’t be happier with the degree of talent that has come together. It is turning out to be quite an amazing experience.”

The kids will sing and dance as Ariel, Flounder, and other characters in this abbreviated version of the classic movie-turned-stage production. Matinees and evening performances will be on July 24 and 25 at Franklin Park Arts Center (36441 Blueridge View Ln. Purcellville). Tickets can be purchased online at www.thelct.org.

About Loudoun Centre Theatre
Loudoun Centre Theatre is a 501c3 Non-profit Loudoun County-based theatre organization dedicated to delivering excellent live theatre and providing arts education through its Academy for the Arts.

For more information, visit www.thelct.org, email info@thelct.org, or contact the theatre at 540-514-3332.

Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run To Be Held June 13

June 12, 2015 by Contributor Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run To Be Held June 13

Team Mathias and Be The Match are excited to co-host this year’s 5K and Family Fun Run to raise awareness for childhood cancer on Saturday, June 13, at the Village at Leesburg. The race will start at 8:30am. It will be a family fun event with activities for all ages with music, lots of kid’s activities, food and fun. Smokehouse Live will host the after party. To register, visit www.bethematchfoundation.org/TeamMathias. … Continue Reading

Next Loudoun County Household Hazardous Waste Event Set for June 27

June 12, 2015 by Contributor Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Next Loudoun County Household Hazardous Waste Event Set for June 27
Loudoun County Seal Color

Loudoun residents are invited to participate in the next Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection event from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, June 27, at Freedom High School, 25450 Riding Center Drive in South Riding.

Loudoun residents are welcome to bring Household Hazardous Waste from their homes to these events. Typical HHW includes: fluorescent bulbs, household batteries, oil-based paints/stains/varnishes, paint thinners, metal polishes, rust removers, wood preservatives, furniture polish, waxes, pesticides/insecticides/herbicides, pool chemicals, and expired fuel. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

25 Jul 2015


“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

8 Jul 2015


Dr. Mike, We go to the Outer Banks every summer as a family, but our seven-year-old daughter is now freaked out by the reported shark attacks at the Outer Banks. Thanks to her older siblings teasing her about sharks, she …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015


– 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


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


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


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

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015


– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


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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August 2015

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

28 29

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


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



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


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show


Live Music: Willie White at North Gate VIneyard


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Lovettsville Historical Society Lecture: "Hex Signs: the History and the Mystery"




Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show


Creedence Clearwater


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Emily Guagliardi Live at North Gate Vineyard


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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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


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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How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015


– 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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Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015


– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015


Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015


Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

1 Jul 2015


– 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


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


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


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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Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015


– 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


– 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


– 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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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015


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


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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