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Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday

December 10, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday
fraser

As we approach this season of giving, I encourage you to reflect upon and to celebrate the multiple blessings afforded to us in this great nation, state, and town.  Also, please remember our brave military men and women whose daily sacrifices on behalf of our nation enable us to maintain our freedom, live our dreams, and care for our families.  If you can, support our wounded warriors and active duty personnel, stateside and abroad, this holiday season.  Whatever you can do or give will be greatly appreciated.

I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve you, and I look forward to your continued support. So, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Kwasi Fraser,
Mayor, Purcellville

Debt, Debt and, More Debt … Or, Is There an Alternative?

December 10, 2014 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on Debt, Debt and, More Debt … Or, Is There an Alternative?
blueridge2

The entire trajectory of the Town of Purcellville can be summarized in one word. Debt.

The massive debt the town incurred to build the wastewater treatment plant – which currently operates at just 40 percent capacity – stands at $33 million. There was a $6 million mandated upgrade to the facility – which was paid for with a taxpayer funded grant. But, the balance of the $33 million spent was a choice by the town to dramatically increase the capacity of the facility- on the hope that the rapid growth in and around Purcellville would continue. Tap fees – the cost to be hooked up the system – now run about fifty thousand dollars apiece. And, that would keep the debt manageable.

But with the additional extravagant and ill-advised spending by the town (including the $8.5 million for the new town hall) and the housing crash recession, town debt has now ballooned to $61 million in less than a decade …

There is no looking back, but there is a way to look forward. … Continue Reading

Lack of Ethical Journalism

December 10, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
jimmerson

It disappoints me to see the gross distortions promoted in the Purcellville Gazette this past week. I posted my full response on my blog (Jimmerson.org) and in doing so, I showed the outright attempt to mislead the public and the lack of ethical journalism taking place at the Gazette.

It is clear the Gazette represents an agenda and a select group of people in Purcellville and it reflects very poorly on their publication. They provided clear evidence of an extreme bias against myself and Mayor Fraser and any credibility they had has just been lost by our community.

Clearly the Gazette dislikes anyone representing the interests of Purcellville Residents. I will continue my resolve and this false campaign against me will not dissuade me from doing the job I was elected to do.

Karen Jimmerson
Purcellville Town Council

Thank You for a Wonderful 4th Annual Halloween Block Party

November 5, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You for a Wonderful 4th Annual Halloween Block Party
pvllehalloween_lettertoeditro

The Purcellville Halloween Block Party drew 1000’s for the 4th annual event held in Old Town on 21st street. Everyone had an awesome time participating or just watching the five categories of costume contests, with over $1500 in cash prizes and trophies awarded to the many creative costumes. … Continue Reading

Keep Zoning By Right

November 5, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Keep Zoning By Right
blueridge2

On behalf of my lovely neighborhood in the historic district of Purcellville, I urge the town authorities to deny the developer’s request to change the R-2 zoning of the Ball property on 32nd Street.

Our neighborhood has been blessed with several young families. They chose to move here to avoid the travails of congested living.

The developer, MI Construction of Ohio, has requested rezoning the Ball property from R-2 to R-8. Currently, the property is zoned by right for two houses per acre which reflects the character of the neighborhood. A change to R-8 would allow the building of up to 80 units on ten acres. … Continue Reading

I Hate Fraud

November 5, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion 2 comments
blueridge2

I watched my father get taken by a variety of fraudsters. Some even came to our house to take his money under false pretense. Scotch whiskey investment scams, oil and gas lease scams, business start-ups that never really started up etc each taking a piece of his meager savings and a big chunk of his confidence. My reason to write this is not to relive history but to warn fellow Loudouners of a very current scam that I was shocked to recently watch play out. I got a call from people claiming to be the US Treasury Department warning me they were issuing a bench warrant for my arrest unless I paid overdue taxes from a prior year They left this message on my legal office line quite audaciously as that didn’t intimidate them from still trying to execute a scam. … Continue Reading

Save Western Loudoun Schools

October 17, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Save Western Loudoun Schools
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This November’s school bond referendum is a threat to every school in Western Loudoun. On November 4, voters will be asked to approve a $162,900,000 bond to finance ES-27 Dulles North Elementary, MS-9 Dulles North Middle, and the Advanced Technology Academy (ATA).

One could argue truthfully that that none of these new schools will be located in Western Loudoun and, thus, will continue to move more Western tax dollars to pay for projects in the East. But there is an even greater threat. ES-27 and MS-9 are to be built for new students who are coming from new families bringing new tax revenue. The Advanced Technology Academy is not. The ATA is an overlay school for existing students that will necessitate funneling more money from all other schools in order to pay for its construction, maintenance, and operating costs.

With the School Board’s most recent attempt to close Western Loudoun schools, every single dollar counts. Voting for this school bond puts greater strain on the school budget and will increase the likelihood that some or all of Western Loudoun schools will be closed in order to fund the ATA. I encourage all residents to vote for Western Loudoun schools and vote against this bond.

David Dickinson
Leesburg

Congress Needs To Get Down To Work

October 12, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Congress Needs To Get Down To Work
blueridge2

I recently read about a Wall Street Journal poll that said that only 14 percent of people approve of the job that Congress is doing. A whopping 71 percent of people felt that the economic problems facing this country are due to the inability of our elected officials in Washington to get anything done to improve the economy. What is it going to take to get them to see that the problems in this country go beyond politics?

It’s time for everyone in Congress to put aside their differences and get down to the real work of making the lives of the people who put them there better.

Kevin O’Neil
Leesburg

Sweeping Zoning Changes Continue To Be Proposed

September 3, 2014 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Sweeping Zoning Changes Continue To Be Proposed
town of purcellville sign

Visions Of Purcellville Looking Like Reston

At the August 21 Purcellville Planning Commission Work Session town community development staff continued to forge ahead with sweeping zoning changes to the town. Latest in the discussion was the PDH zoning district. Vice Chair Dennis Beese mentioned that he thought the goal was to make Purcellville look like Reston. This PDH district is high density residential in the form of multi-family residential units – such as apartment buildings. The district according to a staff memo, “does have a commercial component to it but that component is limited in its commercial scope.” The memo continued, “The short coming to the PDH district is that it doesn’t provide for mixed residential and commercial utilization…it falls short if a developer would like to add shopping, restaurant or service component…Our commercial district, the Mixed Use (MC) district only allows for apartments or multu-family residential uses on the second floor. This is too limiting.” … Continue Reading

Purcellville Crossroads Tilley Entertainment Proposal

September 3, 2014 Editorial, Opinion 33 comments
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The new Tilley-Kline Entertainment complex proposal is in its initial stages of design. The proposal – not yet formal – is on a 50-acre parcel (50.46) that is not within the town of Purcellville, but north of Rt. 7 on the corner of Rt. 287 and Saint Francis Court (Rt. 722). The developers are considering a boundary line adjustment, and are initially proposing 91 residential units, 90,000 square feet and retail to include five restaurants. They are also proposing an 80-room hotel. … Continue Reading

Efforts To Extend CDAs for Vineyard Square Continue

September 3, 2014 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
town of purcellville sign

Ever since a May 29, 2014 Town of Purcellville staff memo about Vineyard Square Certificate of Design Approval expiration “issues,” the town and Councilmember Joan Lehr have been trying to extend the Certificate of Design Approvals for developers Mark Nelis and John Chapman by amending the town code Section 54-78. There are three deadlines which are set to expire for this project. The first deadline is November 14, the second is December 16, and the final deadline is January 14, 2015. The CDAs are related to demolition, and for an approved site plan and zoning permit for new buildings to be constructed. If the CDAs expire then there “might be the possibility,” according to the staff memo, “that the approvals will not be forthcoming and the project would have to stop.” … Continue Reading

Where Is the Money?

September 3, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Where Is the Money?
blueridge2

I’ve been reading a lot lately that Social Security is a drag on the deficit that must be reformed. But aren’t payroll taxes the sole source of Social Security funding?  I realize that over the last few years Social Security spending has outpaced payroll tax receipts, but isn’t there a Social Security trust fund surplus to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars?

It appears that the real problem is that Congress borrowed from the trust fund over the past couple of decades so that they could spend more than they were making.  And now they can’t pay the money back.  Really?   All this bending over backwards in Congress to avoid not paying back the money foreign investors loan to the U.S. , and not a care in the world about paying back its own citizens? 

Kevin O’Neil
Leesburg

Sign the Petition

September 3, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Sign the Petition
blueridge2

Loudoun Water’s proposed construction of twin 189’ water towers at the very dangerous intersection of Red Hill Road and Stone School Lane is flawed. Red Hill Road is a historic sunken, tree-lined, twisting dirt road that is just 12 feet wide in parts. Loudoun Water plans to bring all construction vehicles for these water towers from Watson Road onto Red Hill Road. This is preposterous if you truly understand the road and the entrance from Watson Road.

During the initial Planning Commission meeting, several commissioners expressed concern about access for construction traffic, indeed had a vote been taken that night it is likely that the application for the proposed water towers at Red Hill Road would have been denied. Instead, the application was moved to a work session after which Loudoun Water proposed using southern access from Willowsford for the construction traffic. Based on a verbal statement and a vague map showing an arrow coming in from the south, several Planning Commissioners changed their minds and decided to vote to approve the Red Hill site. Now, just six weeks later, Loudoun Water’s submission for Board of Supervisors approval only cites southerly access as a possibility in the notes. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Hundreds Will Join 20th Annual Butterfly Count August 6

spring garden butterfly

By Andrea Gaines How Is a Butterfly Like a Rainbow? Scientists recently discovered that some butterfly wings contain tiny structures called gyroids that diffract or break up light into the colors of the spectrum. You may also have seen this …

Your Retirement Plan B

Smith0035

Take the time to design an alternative retirement plan should retirement come earlier than expected. Imagine this. You’ve spend decades working, saving, and planning for your version of the ideal retirement. Your company was just acquired, and your boss is …

Learning Patience As a Camp Counselor

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde They say that one of the biggest blessings is being a teacher. It is also one of the hardest. Explaining to nine-year-old kids how to build a fire is one of the most challenging things I’ve …

Remembering the Man Who Never Forgot

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “God is God because He remembers.” The implication being that the defining element separating humans from God is the Divine’s inability to forget. Elie Wiesel was defined in part by his willingness to remember, along with his …

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Balch Library

Thomas Balch Library

By Tim Jon Solitude, peace, and quiet: Not exactly the first three adjectives I’d choose to describe the greater portion of downtown Leesburg, although its charms do shine through even on the busiest of weekday afternoons. The last morning I …

Superforecasting a Book Review

noerpel_new

The book “Superforecasting” by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner contains a nearly complete list of the attributes of superforecasting, as well as critical thinking. Tetlock’s research empirically confirms the aspects of critical thinking I’ve been discussing in this column. Their …

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

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Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, …

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, …

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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. …

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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 …

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Calendar

August 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
August 1, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 2, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 3, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 4, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 5, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 6, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

OysterFest & Roussanne Release!

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Doug Parks

August 7, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 8, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 9, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 10, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 11, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 12, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 13, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 14, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 15, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 16, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 17, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 18, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 19, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 20, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Lucketts Fair

Live Music: Stealing Dawn

August 21, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Lucketts Fair

August 22, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

AUDITIONS

August 23, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 24, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 25, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 26, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 27, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Fabulous Hubcaps

August 28, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 29, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 30, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 31, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

September 1, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 2, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 3, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Snaggy Mountain Boys

September 4, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

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Lifestyle

Winchester Plans Patsy Cline Music Festival Labor Day Weekend

11 Aug 2016

Patsy Cline

The Patsy Cline Music Festival will be held Labor Day weekend in her hometown of Winchester, Va. in honor of the legendary singer’s birthday anniversary on September. 8. Celebrating Patsy Cline sponsors the celebration that begins with a block party from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of the Patsy Cline Historic House, 608 S. Kent St. Music will …

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Vigil for Lost Promise to Remember Loved Ones Lost to Drugs

11 Aug 2016

sheriff

Residents and local leaders are encouraged to join the many families, friends and community groups to share the light of their loved ones lost to drugs. The Vigil for Lost Promise will be held Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Drugs: Cost and Consequences Exhibit (DEA Museum), located at 750 Miller Dr. …

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August Is National Peach Month: Eat a Peach in Salad

3 Aug 2016

peach

Are You Kidding? No. A nectarine and a peach are basically the same species. Nectarines are bald peaches, in effect. In early cultivation, nectarines occasionally appeared on peach trees, the result of a recessive allele, the fruit from which were then cultivated as nectarines. Peaches are also part of the rose family. No wonder why we like all three, so …

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

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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!

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– 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

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– 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

Lessons from Short Hill

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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 …

Thank You

speak

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 …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Around Virginia

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

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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State Senators Investigate University of Virginia’s $2.3 Billion Operating Surplus

Uva-logo

Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach), are calling for an investigation into disclosures that the University of Virginia has accumulated a $2.3 billion operating surplus, now titled a “Strategic Investment Fund,” that is significantly larger than the Commonwealth’s own cash reserves. Both senators agree that the …

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Sports

Let’s Make Some Memories

3 Aug 2016

baseball

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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Registration Open For Ida Lee’s Fall NFL Flag Football

7 Jul 2016

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Ida Lee’s Fall 2016 NFL Flag Football League will begin with player evaluations on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.  Players must be registered by Tuesday, July 26, to participate. This fall, Ida Lee’s Leesburg NFL Flag Football House League will have the following age groups:  6-7; 8-9; 10-11; …

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