Home » News » Recent Articles:

LCSO Investigates Pedestrian Involved Fatality Crash in Sterling

October 11, 2016 News, Public Safety Comments Off on LCSO Investigates Pedestrian Involved Fatality Crash in Sterling
police_tape

On October 9, 2016, members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Unit investigated a vehicle crash which involved a pedestrian struck in Sterling.

The crashed occurred around 2:25 a.m. in the area of Sterling Boulevard and E. Beech Road. The preliminary investigation indicates that Andres Zambrana, 65, of Washington, DC, was crossing from west to east in the crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle proceeding northbound on Sterling Boulevard. … Continue Reading

Five Teenage Suspects Connected to Vandalism of Historic Ashburn Schoolhouse

October 6, 2016 News, Public Safety Comments Off on Five Teenage Suspects Connected to Vandalism of Historic Ashburn Schoolhouse
police_tape

Five teenage males have been identified and connected to the vandalism of a historic schoolhouse in Ashburn.

The teenagers, three 16-year-olds from Sterling, a 17-year-old from Sterling and a 16-year-old from Ashburn, have been interviewed by detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. As a result of the extensive and thorough investigation, Loudoun Sheriff’s Detectives will work with the Office of the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Loudoun County Juvenile Court Service Unit Intake Department to obtain charges related to this incident. The names of the teenagers cannot be released due to the fact they are juveniles. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Town Council Schedules Meetings on Comprehensive Plan

October 6, 2016 Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville Town Council Schedules Meetings on Comprehensive Plan
somequicknotes

The Purcellville Town Council has scheduled special meetings for the purpose of discussing and considering, but taking no action on, the town’s Comprehensive Plan. 

On October 13, there will be a meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. On October 20, there will be a meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall.

On October 27, there will be a meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. On November 5, there will be a meeting from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Town Hall and then from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Town Hall.

Purcellville Strategic Planning Session Brainstorms on Town’s Vision

October 6, 2016 Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville Strategic Planning Session Brainstorms on Town’s Vision
somequicknotes

The Purcellville Town Council held its annual strategic planning session September  9-10 at the Purcellville Train Station. The sessions, taking place on Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., were moderated on Saturday by Mike Chandler.
Sessions with department heads started with Administration/IT, Town Attorney, Finance, Community Development, Public Works, and the Police Department. The council also met with the chairs of the Planning Commission, the Board of Architectural Review, the Purcellville Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and the Arts Council. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Town Council Meetings – September

October 6, 2016 Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville Town Council Meetings – September
towncouncil

By Valerie Cury
The newly elected members of the Purcellville Town Council wasted no time moving forward on more open government measures and transparency measures during the month of September.

Transparency Software
The town council voted to approved the purchase of OpenGov, a financial transparency software used by many localities in Virginia.

With the easy-to-use, collaborative, OpenGov software, citizens will be able to see how every dollar is spent. This system gives the residents the opportunity to view data, analyze charts and also track information other than budgets. Said Council Member Nedim Ogelman, “Citizens will come up with creative ideas based on looking at things and actually find savings.” Mayor Fraser said, “It is an investment in trust.” … Continue Reading

Nonprofits Team Up to Bring Solar Power to Local Veteran

October 6, 2016 Development, News, Our Towns Comments Off on Nonprofits Team Up to Bring Solar Power to Local Veteran
nonprofits

Mayor Kwasi Fraser joined Vice Mayor Karen Jimmerson and Council Member Chris Bledsoe for the installation of a rooftop solar system for Brian Haas in late September. Haas, a local veteran army helicopter pilot with 20 years of military service, will soon receive the benefits of solar power on his home in Purcellville, thanks to a new partnership between HeroHomes and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. Volunteers with the nonprofit solar company GRID Alternatives installed a 6.8kW system on a brand new house build by HeroHomes, which was founded by Jason Brownell, for retired army helicopter pilot Brian Haas, his service dog Buddy and his wife Jolyne. HeroHomes is a local nonprofit that gives disabled veterans homeownership. Standard Solar designed and engineered the system and donated the equipment for the installation. The work was done by local volunteers and veteran job trainees. Over the course of its lifetime, this system will provide approximately $25,525 in savings to the family.

Southern States Celebrates Ground Breaking for New Building

October 6, 2016 Development, News Comments Off on Southern States Celebrates Ground Breaking for New Building
southernstates

Southern States in Purcellville celebrated their ground breaking for construction of their new store which will reopen March 1. The store will be 12,000 square feet with 60 parking spaces on the property. In the interim, the store will relocate during construction to the Loudoun Truck Center at 631 West Main Street.

Dan Virts, the store manager, said that the decision for the expansion was due to the growing broad customer base. … Continue Reading

Loudoun County Strategic Retreat Notes and Highlights

October 6, 2016 Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Loudoun County Strategic Retreat Notes and Highlights
loudouncountystrategicretreat

By Valerie Cury

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors held a strategic planning retreat in September, discussing a wide variety of issues including the upcoming review of Loudoun’s Comprehensive Plan. Discussion highlights included. … Continue Reading

Barbara Comstock

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on Barbara Comstock
barbaracomstock

First-term Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock has lived in Northern Virginia for 35 years. A former aide to longtime 10th District Congressman Frank Wolf, she has also worked in the Justice Department. Before being elected to Congress in 2014, she served in the Virginia General Assembly for five years. She has raised a family, started a small business, and been a senior member of a law firm. … Continue Reading

Dave Butler

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on Dave Butler
davebutler

Dave Butler was appointed Mayor on February 8, 2016, after being elected to the Town Council in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Prior to 2008 he served on the Planning Commission, the Standing Residential Traffic Committee, the Utility Rate Advisory Committee, and the SE/SW Trails Committee. … Continue Reading

Proclamation To Recognize Tracy Robinson

October 5, 2016 News, Our Towns Comments Off on Proclamation To Recognize Tracy Robinson
tracyrobinson

Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser read a proclamation, initiated by Council Member Kelli Grim (third in from right), to recognize the extraordinary fundraising effort of Tracy Robinson. Robinson, a cancer survivor, raised $100,000 in 10 weeks as a candidate for man and woman of the year with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

tracyrobinson

LuAnn Bennett

October 5, 2016 Elections, News Comments Off on LuAnn Bennett
luannbennett

Democratic Congressional candidate LuAnn Bennett has lived in Northern Virginia for 35 years. She has run a small business that has created more than 1,000 local jobs. She has raised three sons, following the death of her husband. She takes pride in her ability to bring people together to solve problems. If elected, she vows to use that ability on Capitol Hill. … Continue Reading

Kelly Burk

October 5, 2016 Elections, News 1 comment
kellyburk

Kelly Burk currently serves as Leesburg’s Vice Mayor, and has served as a member of the Leesburg Town Council for over eight years. Burk has also served as Leesburg’s representative on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. She has been a resident of Leesburg for 39 years, and a special education teacher in the Loudoun County School system for 34 years. She is a former president of the Loudoun Education Association. Burk’s service to Leesburg and Loudoun government is augmented by her support of Friends of Leesburg Public Art, the Loudoun County League of Women Voters, and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. In 2001, Burk was named Loudoun Woman of the Year by the Loudoun Commission on Women. She also founded the annual Youth Job Fair. Kelly Burk received her BA from George Washington University, and her MA from Virginia Tech. She has been married to Larry Burk for 40 years, and has two sons.

Blue Ridge Leader: Is it a good idea for the Town of Leesburg to seek city status? Why or why not?
Kelly Burk: Some residents may think becoming a city is a solution to high taxes or double taxes; however, there is evidence it will, in fact, raise our taxes. If the only reason to become a city is to lower taxes, there is evidence it might not work.
Cities are mandated to provide a school system, constitutional officers, courts, social services, building code enforcement, an electoral board, libraries, and many other costly functions.  Loudoun County now provides those expensive services, and due to the economy of scale, it does so at a lower cost than what the town could achieve. If the town were to take over these services, it is unclear how the town could possibly afford to do so without a major tax increase.

The General Assembly has imposed a moratorium preventing any town from becoming a city. This moratorium will expire in 2018 but there is serious talk of extending the moratorium for another 10 years. This is due to a number of indicators that some of the cities in the commonwealth are in financial distress and failing to provide the service.

BRL: One of Virginia’s Top 10 tourism hotspots is Manassas National Battlefield – just a half an hour from Leesburg. How would you increase tourism in Leesburg and keep the downtown vibrant?
KB: The Loudoun Artisan Trail is one example of how our area towns are banding together to create tourism destinations. The County is discussing how to increase biking in our area. The W&OD Bike Trail runs through the heart of Leesburg, and creating bike trails from other tourist hotspots in Northern Virginia to our area can only create opportunities.

Loudoun is home to 44 wineries, and Leesburg is the Gateway Town to the western part of the County. Having the Visit Loudoun Visitors Center located in Leesburg gives our town greater visibility, and opportunity to draw in residents and tourists.

I would like to see much better signage that tells people what is in town and how to get there. Signs can direct people to events and places.

BRL: What is your goal for residential versus commercial development? What’s the right balance?
KB: No one person can agree on what the right mix of commercial and residential balance should be. The Leesburg Town Plan aims for a 60 percent commercial to 40 percent residential revenue balance. Presently it is at a 23 percent commercial to 77 percent residential revenue balance. What is clear is that residents shouldn’t bear the burden of all of the town’s operational expenses. Residents value a balance between the two, and much of it is tied to the quality of life. Our neighborhoods are who we are – their character, streets, homes, parks, and commercial developments give us that small town feel, even though we are one of the largest towns in Virginia. Our residents understand that a healthy business community is essential to their quality of life and the town’s bottom line. The quality of life and impacts on everyone must always be given significant consideration when reviewing development proposals.

BRL: Do you see the need for Leesburg to extend its borders to accommodate growth?
KB: In recent years, the town has positioned Leesburg as pro-business, and put in place policies that encourage more business growth within the town limits. If Leesburg became a city, the door to annexation would be closed forever. We should always be judicious about any annexations. With redevelopment and new development, there are many opportunities for the town to grow.

BRL: Leesburg residents pay a personal property tax rate of 1 percent, and real estate tax rate of 18.6 cents per $100. of assessed value. What are your suggestions for ways the Town of Leesburg can save money and keep tax rates down?
KB: The Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival, Leesburg Airshow, and our 4th of July Parade are signature events that bring in revenue and create a unique brand for Leesburg. By involving the whole community in these events – and other annual ones – we can further their promotion and create more synergy for more success. As an educator, I believe in revitalization through education; give businesses the tools they need to grow and prosper, especially our small business owners. I am committed to working to increase opportunities for growth, and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner that will benefit the Leesburg taxpayer with efficient use of the taxpayer money.

BRL: Distinguish yourself from the other candidates; if elected, how would you make a difference.
KB: My approach has always been and will be to govern by timely and accurate communication, collaboration, transparency, diplomacy, accountability, and ethics.  I strongly believe that the key to effective leadership is being a proactive representative of the people through respectful action, thoughtful listening, and being astute enough to seek the advice of experts where needed.

Having retired from teaching, I can be a full time mayor without the conflicts and commitments of the full time outside job.

During my time on council I spearheaded the creation of the Diversity Committee to outreach to the minority community, I support bike trails and crosswalks at busy intersections. I continue to work to revitalize the downtown. I began the Youth Career Fair and Keep Leesburg Beautiful. I insist that any new or infill residential development mitigate the impacts to the town services, and have govern with honestly and fairness.

My priorities will include: Leading through consensus building, collaboration through active listening with the council, with the town employees, and with local, state, and private industry. I am a firm believer in balanced decision-making through receptive input from others, building partnerships with local communities, and being the best advocate for the people of Leesburg.  Going forward, Leesburg needs solid vision, accountability, leadership, unity, and ethics (VALUE) to put us on a continued path to being one of the best towns in Virginia in which to live, work, retire, and play.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Trump Effect

noerpel_new

“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Six Tips To a New Year and a New You in 2017

drmikenewpic

By Michael Oberschenider, Psy.D. Research has shown that as many as 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent are actually successful in achieving them. And it seems that age is a factor: about 39 …

Investing in the Family Stock

Smith0035

Family relationships are usually not considered under the rubric of “investments”. Yet, the personal gain and loss from family relationships is much more significant than economic return from stocks and bonds. Taking time out to relate to a person without …

Choosing a Different Lens

moore-sobelnewmug

We have all heard, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” maybe even said it aloud while perusing old photo albums or scrolling through Facebook timelines. Sometimes words fall short of adequately describing an emotion encapsulating a distinct moment. Pictures fill …

Freedom Park

freedom park

A great name for a great place, this public space shows us – in my opinion – what’s best about Leesburg, Loudoun County and our country. Freedom Park – just off the Dulles Greenway on the South side of Town …

The Grim Reaper and the Great Barrier

grimreaper

(to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in January) “The recent frequency and intensity of mass coral bleaching are of major concern, and are directly attributable to rising atmospheric greenhouse gases.” [1]

Pearl Harbor

flag

By Nicholas Reid Seventy-five years ago this December 7, to quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” It will have been 75 …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

January 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

January 1, 2017

New Year's Day Musikabend

Restore & Renew

January 2, 2017 January 3, 2017 January 4, 2017 January 5, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 6, 2017 January 7, 2017

Core Purpose, Core Practice Yoga

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

January 8, 2017
January 9, 2017

AUDITIONS - SEUSSICAL

January 10, 2017 January 11, 2017

Beale Street Puppets: Dig Those Dinosaurs

January 12, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 13, 2017 January 14, 2017

THE IMMORTALS

January 15, 2017

Come Paint with Us at Breaux Vineyards

January 16, 2017 January 17, 2017 January 18, 2017

Virginia Opera: Deep River- The Marion Anderson Story

January 19, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 20, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

January 21, 2017

DANNY KNICELY CONCERT

January 22, 2017
January 23, 2017 January 24, 2017 January 25, 2017 January 26, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 27, 2017 January 28, 2017 January 29, 2017
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Historian Rich Gillespie Speaks on Haunts on the Loudoun Landscape

12 Jan 2017

The Mosby Heritage Area Association announced an event in conjunction with the Purcellville Library on January 29, at 2:00 p.m,. which will feature Rich Gillespie, Historian Emeritus of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, speaking on the “Haunts on the Loudoun Landscape.” The stories are all from the personal experiences of long-time local historian and teacher Rich Gillespie, or from close …

(Be the first to comment)

Help Joseph … and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

4 Jan 2017

blueridge2

Blue Ridge Middle School’s PTO is seeking help with its drama department, working diligently on the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat. The children in the show are enthusiastic and very talented. And, the school has a long history of first class productions with recent shows such as The Lion King, which won 11 National Youth Arts Awards …

(1 comment)

Remembering George Kakouras

4 Jan 2017

blueridge2

Georgios “George” Evangelos Kakouras, of Purcellville passed away on December 22, 2016. Born on February 22, 1938 in Gorianades, Greece he was the son of the late Evangelos and Elizabeth Kakouras. Kakouras came to the United States from Greece in 1955 at the age of 17. He began working for his late uncle Nick Fragakis at the White Palace Restaurant …

(Be the first to comment)

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

blueridge2.jpg

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

blueridge2.jpg

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

catesbyproposal

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

It’s Our Right

catesbyproposal

On December 6, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a “Minor Special Exception” proposal we submitted earlier this year concerning our Catesby Farm property. Unfortunately, our limited …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

blueridge2

By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

image002

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

(Be the first to comment)

Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

barbaracomstock

Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

(Be the first to comment)

Man Killed Walking To Gas Station on I-95

police_tape

Virginia State Police Trooper M.J. Kryznefski is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash in Prince William County. The crash occurred at approximately 4:10 a.m., on Monday, December 26, on Interstate 95 near Exit 158B. Three males were traveling south on Interstate 95 when their Honda CRV ran out of gas. They …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Woodgrove Grabs First at Glory Days

10 Jan 2017

Woodgrove Gymnastics

The Woodgrove Varsity Gymnastics took first place in the red division of the Glory Days Invitational at Park View High School on Saturday, January 7. Woodgrove competed against Rock Ridge, Potomac Falls, Loudoun Valley and Heritage high schools. Host team Park View came in first in the lower blue division. …

(Be the first to comment)

Deadline Extended for Purcellville Sports Funding Application

4 Jan 2017

basketball

The Town of Purcellville has extended the deadline to apply for the Annual Sports League Funding. The new deadline is January 9 at 5:00 p.m. Applicant organizations must serve the Town of Purcellville area, have citizens of the Town of Purcellville as players, and provide a letter to the Town …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2017
  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009