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Stony Point Ruins Are Special

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

I enjoyed Tim Jon’s pensive piece in the June issue on the Stony Point Ruins of the Potts-Neer Mill. Indeed, it is a very special landmark. The Keating family who live next door and are stewards of the ruins, are very interested in seeing these stabilized, and have met with experts in the field to review the possibilities. They care, in particular, because these are the most visible ruins from the massive Union burning raid of 1864. Once a going grist mill built in 1842 by E. D. Potts (whose name still graces a stone on the mill ruins), it was bought by his neighbor Nathan Neer in 1842. It was he and his wife who worked the mill in 1864 when it met its untimely destruction in time of war. … Continue Reading

Why Protest? Why Even Be There?

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 5 comments
Southern Collector Ribbon

When the Southern Collector Road finally opened the other day, I stood there with Sam Brown and a few friends holding up signs protesting the road that cut Sam’s 250 year old farm in two so a few commuters could cut their hour commute by 4 or five minutes. I know … what a waste of a Friday morning, I am sure most people say. You cannot stop progress. Today I spent 20 minutes held up on the back road going from Hamilton to Lincoln by a VDOT crew paving over the gravel road that had carried Loudounites between the two villages for centuries. Once again, progress, which cannot be stopped. Someone’s Lexus was getting dust on it. But why bother? It is a good question. … Continue Reading

Stony Point Ruins Are Special

June 15, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

I enjoyed Tim Jon’s pensive piece in the June issue on the Stony Point Ruins of the Potts-Neer Mill. Indeed, it is a very special landmark. The Keating family who live next door and are stewards of the ruins, are very interested in seeing these stabilized, and have met with experts in the field to review the possibilities. They care, in particular, because these are the most visible ruins from the massive Union burning raid of 1864. Once a going grist mill built in 1842 by E. D. Potts (whose name still graces a stone on the mill ruins), it was bought by his neighbor Nathan Neer in 1842. It was he and his wife who worked the mill in 1864 when it met its untimely destruction in time of war. … Continue Reading

Shooting in Costco Was Wrong

June 15, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 4 comments

About two weeks ago two male Loudoun county deputies shot and killed a 38-year-old female pizza server inside the Sterling Costco.

After reading she was armed with a pair of scissors and an unknown type of knife, I assumed our local papers would be filled with letters and at least one editorial asking why this mother of two was shot to death. Rather than subdued with mace, tackled or clubbed with night sticks.

Maybe she was acting strangely and did threaten the deputies. Yes she may have threatened them, but with scissors and a kitchen knife, not a rifle.
Even if it was a butcher knife, they decided killing her and shooting inside a crowded store was the best solution? A life was taken for nothing!

Yet, not one letter in The Loudoun Times Mirror, Blue Ridge Leader, Leesburg Today or Purcellville Gazette. Not one passionate liberal letter asking about police brutality.

Not one passionate conservative letter asking about out of control government police. … Continue Reading

Thanks To All For Annual Round Hill Festival

June 12, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

The 2013 11th Annual Round Hill Hometown Festival, held on Saturday, May 25, was attended by hundreds. Families enjoyed the annual 5K race, parade, downhill derby, pie eating contest, arts and crafts in the park, amusement rides, cookouts, concerts, and the town feast in the park. The Festival could not have been a success without the support of our generous sponsors. As the sponsorship coordinator and on behalf of the Round Hill Hometown Festival committee, I would like to thank the following 2013 sponsors: … Continue Reading

Voters Abandoning Joe May

June 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

I voted for Joe May in the past, but this year I paid more attention to the postcards, phone calls, and door knocks we received since Joe hasn’t had any real competition in a while.

I looked at Joe May’s website and voting record and decided he is hardly a “conservative” let alone a “Republican” as he really votes like a squishy liberal. See for yourself http://bit.ly/18DYQgZ.

With just a few more days left, until we go the polls and decide the fate of the 33rd district, it’s time you get serious about the facts.

Tax increases are bad news and Joe May has voted with liberal Democrats for every major tax increase since 1993. … Continue Reading

Vote Joe May

June 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

As a 35-year homeowner and businessman in Loudoun County, I have witnessed the transformation of our wonderful community over the years from a mostly agrarian community into what is considered by many to be the Internet Capital of the world. Most of these years, Loudoun has been one of, if not the fastest, growing counties in America.

I have had the pleasure of working with and supporting Delegate Joe May over the past 20 years.

He has unquestionably been a rock-solid asset to our community. This year, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce gave Joe an A+ rating and named him a “Champion of Free Enterprise.” In 2012, the Loudoun Times-Mirror named him “Citizen of the Year.”
Joe is well-known as a problem solver who cares about serving his constituents and the Commonwealth rather than taking the credit. … Continue Reading

Steve Stockman Endorses LaRock

June 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

I have known Dave LaRock and his family for over 27 years. Having served in public office myself, I am sure Dave has tremendous potential to be an outstanding elected leader. He has demonstrated this potential through his dedication to his family, the success of his business, and his selfless efforts to protecting our community from the effects of Government over-reach. I have watched with amazement as Dave and the teams he has helped form have move public opinion on issues that impact the community.

Dave has in recent years taken a growing interest in demanding accountability from our elected officials. He has been one of the leaders in fights against burdensome regulation, tax increases, and higher tolls. I know Dave will put his business, personal and political experience to work and be a great Delegate representing the 33rd District, but only if people will capture the opportunity by electing Dave. … Continue Reading

May’s Desperate Attacks

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 2 comments

I have been inundated by the mailers concerning the 33rd District Delegate Republican primary race between Joe May and Dave LaRock. I found it quite ironic that in a mailer Joe May accused Dave LaRock of having a negative campaign; since May has launched the most negative attack I have seen in a very long time. He accused Dave of being a “criminal”. Then he really did not tell you what Dave actually did. Perhaps that was because some of you would have applauded him for it. Let me tell you what I know about this “criminal” event. There was an illegal sign erected, a large sign for a West Virginia sex-related business. This sign was erected in the VDOT right of way on Route 9 in Loudoun County. Besides being place illegally, the major problem was that this sign was exceedingly graphic. My understanding is that many people complained about it and it appeared that no one in authority was going to do anything about it. However, based on all of the complaints and apparent lack of action, Dave removed and destroyed the sign. The owner of the adjacent land then filed a complaint against Dave and rather than spend tons on legal defense, he agreed to pay for the value of the sign. It is my understanding that the Judge accepted this deal. Actually, I had heard the story a long time ago and completely forgot about it. The story has been out there for quite a while. Here is a link to the story: http://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/and-so-it-begins-smears-and-mudslinging-in-loudoun-county/ . … Continue Reading

Supports Delegate Joe May

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

Joe May knows how to bring home conservative results for our district.

Joe has been a leader in the state consolidating 19 state agencies, boards and commissions. He has also led the effort to keep over $700 million in our “rainy day fund” which has helped the state maintain its “AAA” bond rating. He has been a leader in cutting $7 billion from the state budget and led the effort to audit VDOT, saving the taxpayers hundreds of millions.  These are some of the reasons Virginia is one of only 12 states with a “AAA” bond rating.  

When we see politicians on the national level allowing spending to get out of control it is good to know our local leaders are keeping the state responsible.  Joe is also 100 percent pro-life and has been endorsed by Congressman Frank Wolf.  On June 11th join me in voting for Delegate Joe May.

Alice Farris

Guest Opinion: Answer To Mayor Lazaro Supporting More Gun Laws

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 3 comments

By Kecia Brown

As a Loudoun County resident, parent and owner of a business dedicated to training women how to properly and safely use a firearm for their own personal protection, I read Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro’s recent editorial “Senate Must Pass Sensible Life Saving Gun Laws” with great interest. 

The literary cornerstone of Mayor Lazaro’s appeal for “sensible” legislation is his reference to an armed attack in 1993 on the Long Island Railroad that left six people dead.  He states,  “… we must do everything in our power to prevent these tragedies.”

The details of the attack left out in the Mayor’s editorial? The Long Island Railroad killer was a man by the name of Colin Ferguson. Ferguson purchased the firearm used in his rampage in the state of California after undergoing a background check and a mandatory 15-day waiting period.  … Continue Reading

Many Thanks from Harmony Odyssey of the Mind

June 1, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

Harmony Middle School’s Problem 2 Odyssey of the Mind team would like to thank the members of our community who supported our recent trip to World Finals in East Lansing, Michigan. We could not have made the trip without your help!

Support from the Harmony Middle School community was critical to our success. We greatly appreciate the generous donation from the Harmony PTA, the financial sponsorship of the Harmony SCA, and the time and energy expended on our behalf by Principal Dr. Edgar Markley, bookkeeper Barbara Means, and Odyssey coordinator Samantha Berman. Thank you too to the numerous students and faculty who purchased our fundraiser lollipops! … Continue Reading

Town Intimidation

May 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment

Dear Editor:

I cannot stand by and allow Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro to disparage the good reputation of yet another resident of this town. Call it silly and old fashioned, but I expect elected officials to actually uphold the Purcellville Standards of Conduct and Code of Ethics.

I attended the April 9th town council meeting, which was a public hearing for the proposed budget. I spoke about my concerns, and a few other residents came forward to speak about their concerns regarding spending, borrowing, and the proposed tax increase.

One of the residents who spoke is very well known for his strong fiscal conservative principles. This resident suggested that there were areas that could be cut from the budget for savings of roughly $650,000. He also disagreed with the 17 percent tax increase from the new Fireman’s Field tax district, and he asked why the town needed to hire its own detective when the Sheriff’s Department provides this valuable resource to our community when it is needed. Besides, just how often does Purcellville experience crimes that require a full time detective?

Near the end of the meeting, the mayor accused some residents of having made negative statements about the police chief and Purcellville Police Department, and said they had suggested that the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department take over law enforcement in Purcellville. Those accusations are completely untrue and outrageous. The absolute truth is that not one person that spoke said a single negative word about Chief Smith or the Police Department. That is completely made up.

There are enormous consequences when you express dissent of any kind against the policies, lack of transparency, or budget of the Town of Purcellville.

So, I salute the brave residents and business owners that stand up and speak out in Purcellville. Unfortunately it has become too obvious that Mayor Lazaro has a problem with the free speech provisions of our Constitution. It is sad and shocking that there are those that still provide support and cover for such bad behavior.

– Kelli Grim, Purcellville

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014


The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014


By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.10.56 AM

I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012


By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …


Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate


April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"


April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club


April 30, 2014

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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May 4, 2014

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

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View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014


In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …



Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014


In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …



Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014


Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014


At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election


Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger


By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting


U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014


Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014


Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …


Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and …



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