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New Proposed Uses for Western Loudoun

Loudoun County Seal Color

If you live in the middle or western part of Loudoun where you enjoy a parcel of open space near your property (which probably was put into an open space easement as a condition of the approval for construction of the development), be on notice that those quiet natural or agricultural areas may cease to be so after a vote of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors this Thursday, October 20.

The Board will be voting again on permitting 18 new uses for these properties in open, adding noise, traffic, strains on water and septic systems, and activities inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the terms of many of the easements themselves. No outreach to affected property owners has been made. There are 290 such easements in 2,750 parcels covering 22,500 acres in Loudoun. Of these parcels, 694 are owned by homeowners’ associations and 2,056 are owned privately. Many residents will be affected. … Continue Reading

Bennett Knows How To Make Economy Work for All


In the election for the 10th District House seat, only one candidate has a more than three decades of success growing a local business. As the owner of a successful small business, LuAnn Bennett knows what is needed to improve northern Virginia’s economy and create good jobs.
Her family owned real estate and construction company has helped create job opportunities for more than 1,000 workers and generated millions of dollars in economic development throughout the local region. Her company has also been on the cutting edge of energy efficient and environmentally sustainable development projects. … Continue Reading

Kirkpatrick West Decision Could Prove Costly


Thursday’s [September 22] 5-3-1 vote by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Kirkpatrick West Commercial Center had larger implications on whether the Board intends to retain its ability to hold developers accountable for the increase in intensity of their projects as development expands both west and south. … Continue Reading

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

October 5, 2016 View From the Ridge 1 comment

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 Lafayette, inspired by stories of American independence, had sailed here to fight side-by-side with Americans at the young age of 20. Half a century later, he was back to visit old friends and a growing United States, watching former colonists work with their representatives to build a new country. … Continue Reading

Thank You for Your Generosity


Music, laughter, and dancing were the theme of the day at the LoudounLIVE Music Festival on September 10, hosted by the United Way of the National Capital Area. At the heart of the event was hope for the people of Loudoun whose lives will be positively affected because of the UWNCA’s generous contributions. … Continue Reading

Comstock Understands National Security

Candidate Geary with wife

On 9-11, I attended three ceremonies throughout Loudoun County honoring and remembering those 2,977 souls that we lost on that day of infamy. Our Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock was also there with us at ceremonies in Lovettsville, Purcellville and Leesburg. It reminded me that Barbara has been working on these issues regarding the terrorist threats we face, since that very day when a best friend of hers was on the plane that hit the Pentagon. … Continue Reading

Lessons from Short Hill

July 11, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment

It’s been a little over two weeks since the Commission Permit for the proposed AT&T facility on Short Hill was overruled by the Board of Supervisors. This is just about the right time to reflect on some important conclusions and observations.

I would like to thank the many citizens who came out and got involved, Catoctin Planning Commissioner Gene Scheel for sounding the alarm and my fellow Board Members for supporting me in denying this application. … Continue Reading

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

July 7, 2016 Op-ed, Opinion Comments Off on Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

– 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 severity of dangers facing the United States has increased drastically in the seven and a half years of President Obama’s reign. Without any further ado, it’s time to take a look at the three most dangerous threats to the United States right now:

China: Known as the People’s Republic of China (which is, by the way, neither a republic nor governed in the interests of the people), the PRC, or just China, this Asiatic power poses a critical and sophisticated threat to the United States. Despite considerable economic ties, decades of diplomatic relations, and public cooperation, China remains hostile to US interests. Much like Japan in the decades leading up to WWII, China sees itself as future lord of Asia, a destiny which the Chinese government and military see as blocked by the presence of the US military in Asia. Since the beginning of the modernization of its vast military, China has focused on developing ship-killer missiles and satellite-killer missiles, designed to cripple the US military by destroying the bulk of American communications systems and aircraft carriers early in any potential conflict. During the Obama presidency, however, China’s actions have grown more brazen than developments of these weapons, as Chinese troops restrict freedom of the seas in Asia through new island bases. Did I mention that China is also a nuclear power?

The National Debt: Now, while the other threats on this list threaten America and our interests from the outside, our ballooning national debt threatens to corrode us from the inside. During the Obama presidency, this debt has almost doubled, standing at around $19 Trillion today. And the borrowing of money to fund the ever-expanding leviathan of the Federal Government has gotten so pervasive that 46 cents of every dollar spent by the Federal Government is borrowed money. The amount of debt racked up so far is so high that soon the interest on the debt alone will become the single largest expense by the Federal Government yearly. If the debt continues to grow, then the United States economy will collapse much like the economy of debt-laden Greece.

Islamic Terrorism: It comes in many forms, including, but by no means limited to: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, the Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah. And although different factions clash with each other from time to time about details, the ultimate goal is clear: to spread political Islam, which uses the religion of Islam as a framework for government. This involves the subjugation of women, the murder of homosexuals, the destruction of all things deemed “un-Islamic” (mainly Western forms of entertainment and education), and the destruction or conversion of non-Muslims. Although this motley assortment of religious fanatics and cold-blooded killers that seem to be characters straight from a Mad Max movie is currently weak and disorganized, Islamic terrorism presents the greatest potential to grow as a threat if left unchecked. For example, under President Obama’s (ineffectual) watch, ISIS has emerged out of relative obscurity to destroy the fragile peace the Americans had created in Iraq, becoming the most spectacularly successful (in a morbid sense of the word) Islamic terrorist group in terms of territory held. ISIS, in particular, shows how rapidly Islamic terror can spread if not countered by strong military action to stop its spread (which the Iraqis most certainly did not provide). This speed and ease of spread is why Islamic terrorism makes this list.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of the threats facing the United States today. However, these threats, unless checked, will only continue to grow. This election season may very well decide whether this happens or not.

Nick Reid is a graduate of Loudoun County high schools and is currently pursuing a degree in geology and paleontology at the South Dakoda School of Mines.

Thank You

July 6, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You

Dear Citizens of Purcellville:

As your town council member it is my vision and priority that you feel welcome at your Town Hall and take part in shaping Purcellville’s future because it is your future: your quality of life: your property values; your sense of community.

I am grateful to you, the citizens of Purcellville, for engaging with me during the campaign season, taking valuable time from your day to share your ideas, concerns and vision for our town. Thank you for coming to vote on election day and helping to get citizens out to vote.

Your support for me indicates your resolve to have transparency and openness in town governance and to maintain Purcellville’s small town character. I will work to encourage your participation and to have open and lively debate on all issues that affect us as citizens of Purcellville and Western Loudoun County.

As I finish my service as a Planning Commissioner, I’ve been asking citizens to get involved in any way they can to plan the town and help form its future. I will remain engaged in our Comprehensive Plan Review process that is currently underway, as a citizen and Town Council member, and I urge you to take part.

I understand that we have much to do to demonstrate to citizens the value of their participation. I will work hard to encourage and facilitate participation. I will advocate and vote for improved access to town records including meeting schedules, minutes and topics; work bids; developer applications;financial decision records; and improved ease for our town’s entrepreneurial spirit to thrive with storefronts and other means of accessibility.

I am deeply honored to have your trust and vote. You can reach me at 540 338-2323 or Nedim.Ogelman@gmail.com.

Nedim Ogelman
Purcellville Town Council

Congratulations To Woodgrove’s Odyssey Of The Mind

July 6, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Congratulations To Woodgrove’s Odyssey Of The Mind

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Woodgrove’s Odyssey of the Mind teams that competed in the World competition at Iowa State University.

The team of juniors placed 18th in their performance problem and 25th in their technical competition. The freshmen placed 28th in the classics division. You worked hard all year and represented Woodgrove well on the world stage!

The Odyssey team members would like to thank the many generous sponsors who helped them get to Iowa, including:

Woodgrove Music & Arts Association, Woodgrove PTSO?Loudoun Education Foundation, ?The Human Geo?Dr. Grisius, Dr. Tari?Browning Equipment, ?Independent Solar Solutions?Tri-County Construction, ?John Goldsmith at State Farm?Zeta Associates, All Points Broadband?US Inspect, Carahsoft?Stonegate Construction, Apex Gymnastics?KFC/Taco Bell, Jersey Mike’s?Chick-Fil-A, Jet Evolutions?Catoctin VOICES, VA Odyssey?
We are grateful to have had such terrific hometown support as we competed on the international stage.

Kim Ramsey
Woodgrove OoTM Coach

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

July 6, 2016 Op-ed, Opinion 2 comments

– 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 who opposed Metro are coming to fruition.” Chair Randall’s statement is quite accurate. I, along with many others, vocally opposed the terms Loudoun signed on to. The yet-to-be resolved concerns which were brought to the previous board over and over again are mostly financial, but will impact future development in Loudoun.

While Loudoun’s Metro commitment is referred to by some as an investment, that is a stretch. Loudoun County committed $268 million to build our shiny new Silver Line onto the existing Metro system, which is almost completely worn out. If Metro were a privately-owned business, it would have declared bankruptcy long ago. Instead it hobbles along, becoming less safe and less popular by the day.
By opting to partner on the Metro extension into Loudoun, taxpayers became a party to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Compact. That obligates Loudoun County to pay an unspecified share of the Metro funding starting when the Silver Line becomes operational in the County. The County’s estimate when it opted into the project in 2012 was for WMATA payments to be $17 million in FY2019 growing to $36 million in FY2045, a 27-year total of $721 million.

Where will Loudoun County get all that money? For now, station-area real estate taxes, and gas tax revenue. But those revenue streams won’t scratch the surface when the big ticket items hit, such as money for ongoing operation, money for long-overdue bottom-up system rebuild, money to pay for the $2.5-billion-dollar unfunded employee pension liability, and money to build the critically needed multi-billion-dollar new tunnel under the Potomac. Like it or not, these huge liabilities came with the package.

In preparation for Metro development, Loudoun County has initiated a plan to spend heavily on roads to accommodate Metro-related development, some of that development will take place on Dulles Airport property and be exempt from proffers. It is very important to note that in Virginia, with very few exceptions, roads typically are funded by VDOT or by land developers, not with county dollars.
Departing from that trend and taking on the role of developer, on April 5th of this year, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted the FY17 budget, including the FY 2017-2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Capital improvements include buses, school buildings, equipment, etc. Approximately 38 percent of the CIP’s projected spending for the next six fiscal years is on transportation projects; this amounts to about $723 million. Twelve projects in the FY2017-2022 CIP are directly related to improving access to Metrorail or to non-Silver-Line WMATA capital projects, accounting for $263 million, about 36 percent of all transportation spending. Those twelve projects saw a nearly 200 percent increase in funding from the previous year’s CIP, when they were slated for only $89 million.
The twelve projects also do not include three additional Metrorail-station-area projects whose funding authorization was completed last year – another $165 million. These CIP figures also do not take into account the money the County is spending on Dulles Rail construction costs, or operations and maintenance subsidies Loudoun taxpayers will be obligated to when Metro begins service to Loudoun County.

Loudoun County is in a tight spot. Paying for the Silver Line construction by taxing the developers who are profiting from Metro development is better than taxing people who never use the Metro. But by allowing more rezoning and development in exchange for proffers, you perpetuate a cycle which always leaves taxpayers on the hook. Well-established trends in Loudoun and elsewhere reveal that rezoning and the eventual new development create demand for new services and infrastructure which proffers never fully cover. By pushing forward with massive new development to provide revenue to Loudoun and riders to Metro, as a county we are digging ourselves deeper into a financial hole.

Loudoun supervisors see cash proffers as a valuable source of revenue to address the impacts of new development, impacts which would otherwise be funded through general tax revenue. I agree that counties should be allowed to protect taxpayers by accepting proffers that are fair and allowed by law. The newly revised proffer law just passed by the General Assembly allows that. Loudoun favors having broader discretion to accept proffers in exchange for rezoning to allow higher density development.
Metro has a well-established history of unmet ridership goals and funding shortages. Elected leaders are not likely to admit a mistake like committing to partner on Metro under horrible terms; instead they tend to push forward decisions which try to fix past mistakes, in this case by seeking to stimulate proffer income and Metro ridership with new development.

The easiest, but not the best, way to make Metro in Loudoun County appear successful is to ignore the promises made four years ago in the run up to opting in, promises that new development would be non-residential and be confined to the eastern part of the County. Loudoun County taxpayers should not be the backstop for the Metro money mess nor should we allow our beautiful rural countryside to be overrun with development pushing west trying to proffer our way out of the hole.

Delegate Dave LaRock was elected in November 2013 to represent the 33rd House District, including parts of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties, and the towns of Leesburg (partial), Purcellville, Berryville, Lovettsville, Round Hill, Hamilton and Hillsboro. LaRock serves on the Transportation Committee, the Science and Technology Committee and the Education Committee. Dave and his wife, Joanne, have lived in Loudoun for 29 years, building a successful family-owned general contracting business. The LaRocks reside near Hamilton with Laura, Abby and John, the youngest of their seven children.

Thank You

June 26, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You

It is with great anticipation that I look forward to Monday, June 27, 2016. On that day new Purcellville Town Council members will be sworn into office, at Town Hall. The ceremony is open to the public and I welcome you to attend!

It is my vision and priority that you feel welcome at your Town Hall and take part in shaping Purcellville’s future because it is your future: your quality of life; your property values; your sense of community. … Continue Reading

Thank You Purcellville Voters

June 1, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You Purcellville Voters

I would like to thank you, the Purcellville voters, for your tremendous support of my campaign for Town Council.  I appreciate that so many of you put signs in your yard, sent emails, wrote letters, made phone calls, and talked to your friends and neighbors.  I especially enjoyed my time walking door to door and hearing what concerns you have.  I promise to listen well, work hard, and make the right decisions to Preserve Our Small Town Life in this amazing town.  There is a lot of work to be done, and I am energized more than ever and already working for you.  I look forward to hearing from you over the next two years.  I am humbled and so very appreciative of all of you.  I consider this opportunity to serve the residents of Purcellville an honor and a privilege.  … Continue Reading









2016 Energy Summit – George Washington University


On Friday evening, October 28, George Washington University, Virginia Campus in Ashburn will host the 10th annual Don Sandros Energy Summit in cooperation with local businesses and non-profits. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for a reception with wine donated by …

Attributing Disaster


“Humans are likely to create a catastrophe, and possibly an associated disaster, that vastly exceeds our own ability to recover from it. In the face of all our efforts, it will persist.” – Richard Guthrie [1] “Here we show that …

Concerned Parent


By Michael Oberschenider Psy.D. Dr. Mike, We recently signed our four-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a …

Invisible Illnesses

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It is general knowledge that when people think about illnesses, they don’t think about illnesses that aren’t physically apparent. Sure, people know about conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other diseases with visible symptoms, but many …

Robinson Park

robinson park

Looking back, now – I’m glad it wasn’t what most people would’ve considered a nice day; I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of hot and sunny to last me for at least a generation (especially since …

Are Your Estate and Financial Plans Shock-Proof?


Don’t wait until “what if?” becomes “what is.” Where will you live as you age? Think about your housing options now, so you have choices and won’t have to make a hasty decision should an unexpected health event force you …

In Defense of ‘Adulting’


By Samuel Moore-Sobel Most friends transitioning from college to the workforce long for the days of college, wishing to be back in class and participating in campus life. To be honest, I may be in the minority, but I have …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016


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, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016


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. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016


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 …

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October 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
September 26, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 27, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 28, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 29, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 30, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

October 1, 2016

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

October 2, 2016
October 3, 2016 October 4, 2016 October 5, 2016 October 6, 2016 October 7, 2016 October 8, 2016

Virginia Outdoors Foundation 50 years of Conservation Celebration

October 9, 2016
October 10, 2016 October 11, 2016 October 12, 2016

Barefoot Puppets: Dreamtime, Tales From Down Under

October 13, 2016 October 14, 2016 October 15, 2016

Loudoun Centre Theatre: The Scamps Of Scapin!

October 16, 2016

Harvest Celebration & Fall Farm Tour


October 17, 2016 October 18, 2016 October 19, 2016 October 20, 2016 October 21, 2016

Anthony Semiao Live at North Gate Vineyard


October 22, 2016 October 23, 2016

Come Paint with us at Breaux Vineyards

October 24, 2016 October 25, 2016 October 26, 2016 October 27, 2016 October 28, 2016

October Fourth Friday

October 29, 2016

2 Pound Sterling Live at North Gate VIneyard

October 30, 2016

Music With A Cause - Music of Colonial America

October 31, 2016 November 1, 2016 November 2, 2016 November 3, 2016 November 4, 2016 November 5, 2016

OysterFest at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

November 6, 2016
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Steady and NoBull


Veteran’s Day 10k Raises Funds for Veteran Causes

13 Oct 2016


On November 6, the Loudoun County Road Runners Club will again conduct the annual Loudoun 10K Trail Race in order to raise funds for veteran causes. Since it’s origin in 2011, the trail race has generated more than $90,000 with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to veteran’s charities, specifically Boulder Crest Retreat and Pets for Vets.

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FBRM Clean-Up Day at Blue Ridge Regional Park

6 Oct 2016


Join Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains for an Autumn clean-up to remove invasive vegetation from Blue Ridge Regional Park on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Some tools and equipment will be provided, but please bring your clippers, pruning shears, or saws if you can. Directions: From Leesburg, drive west on Route 7 past the turnoff …

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Painted Barrel Auction Saturday, October 8

6 Oct 2016


The Auction for The Painted Barrels around Purcellville will be held on Saturday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m at the Bush Tabernacle – 250 S. Nursery Ave. Purcellville. Thirty-Five local Loudoun County artists were given an oak wine barrel to create a Purcellville / Loudoun theme on it. Each barrel was sponsored by a local business and was displayed throughout …

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Grief and Greed


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 …


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


– 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


– 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

New Proposed Uses for Western Loudoun

Loudoun County Seal Color

If you live in the middle or western part of Loudoun where you enjoy a parcel of open space near your property (which probably was put into an open space …

Bennett Knows How To Make Economy Work for All


In the election for the 10th District House seat, only one candidate has a more than three decades of success growing a local business. As the owner of a successful …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm


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

History’s Holy Places: Four Local Sites Worth Exploring This Fall


The Journey through Hallowed Ground is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide trek from Gettysburg to Monticello, encompassing nine presidential homes and places, 18 national and state parks, and thousands of small and large historical sites. Dozens and dozens of these sites and related museums are short ride from just about …

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Land Trust Receives Large Donation

land trust

On August 22, The Land Trust of Virginia received a $10,000 gift from the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, based in Herndon. The presentation of this grant was part of the Foundation’s official launch event, held at Selma Plantation in Leesburg. Notable speakers included Sharon D. Virts, FCiFederal Founder and Chair, …

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Farmers Urged To Be On The Lookout For Marijuana


Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this …

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Hunter’s First Professional Race

7 Sep 2016


Drew Hunter and Loudoun Valley classmates at his first professional race, Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, NC in early August , l to r:  Marcos Pierce, Matt Slook, Drew Hunter, Max McNerney. Hunter finished with a time of 3:57.15. Hunter turned professional and signed with Adidas.

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Let’s Make Some Memories

3 Aug 2016


American Legion Baseball At Fireman’s Field, August 3 – 7 By Andrea Gaines American Legion Baseball is here at Fireman’s Field in a big way, featuring five consecutive blockbuster Mid-Atlantic Tournament games – August 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Our local Leesburg Post 34 Rangers had some nice wins …

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