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Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

February 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review
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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 John Chapman’s plans for the destruction of old town Purcellville.

Now that Mr. Nelis and Mr. Chapman have been given the whip hand to go ahead with their plans without compromising with their fellow citizens, it would behoove them to think twice before they do. They should remember how often and how recently, in government and law, we have seen those who have power force their views, without compromise, down the throats of large numbers of people, sometimes even majorities, opposed to them. They should consider that, by refusing to compromise on a matter solely concerning their financial interest rather than any moral or even legal principle, they contribute further to the ugly winner-take-all attitude too prevalent in our politics and society. … Continue Reading

Is the County’s Word Worth a Plug Nickel?

February 5, 2014 by Jim Burton Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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Should the county light all of Franklin Park’s playing fields including the ones on the upper plateau, one of the highest elevations in the Loudoun Valley? This was the subject of a recent community meeting held by Blue Ridge Supervisor Janet Clarke and Loudoun County staff as they explained Ms. Clarke’s proposal and the government process for implementing that proposal. However, the proposal raises questions about more than just lights. It also raises questions about citizen trust in government and the validity of promises made by a government to its citizens. In short, how binding is a Board of Supervisors vote two decades ago (a vote that carried the force of law) on a board today? A look at the history of Franklin Park offers one lesson, especially in light of the board’s recent vote on Autumn Hill. … Continue Reading

Steady and Nobull

February 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Steady and Nobull
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Introducing our new editorial cartoonist:

 
 
 
 
 



Relief for Dulles Toll Road Users

January 8, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
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By Delegate-Elect Dave LaRock

Why are Dulles Toll Road tolls rising? Like it or not, as Dulles Toll Road users we have been strapped with a huge share of the Dulles Rail construction costs which, although originally estimated to be $875 million, has increased by 245 percent to $3 billion today.

If you pay the outrageous round-trip toll of $7 to use the often-congested Dulles Toll Road, which now costs the average daily commuter about $1,750 annually, you can look to the center lanes and see drivers who pay zero dollars in tolls zipping along in those free center lanes. Elsewhere, drivers who attempt to cope with soaring tolls by moving onto local non-tolled routes add further to already gridlocked conditions. Regional mobility overall is diminished for local residents, businesses and travelers. … Continue Reading

Hope for Rural Loudoun in the Board Room

January 8, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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By Malcolm F. Baldwin

Let us begin the New Year by crediting Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors with some important 2013 actions benefitting our rural economy.

Earlier this year the board approved the Rural Business Strategy developed by the board-appointed Rural Economic Development Council (REDC, of which I am a member), albeit by narrow 5-4 vote. It later funded the staff assistant position requested by the REDC and the Economic Development Department staff to help implementation. And, it went on to reject a proposed notion of eliminating the REDC as an advisory body.

Further support for rural Loudoun came in December with the board’s consideration of the unanimous planning commission recommendation not to allow new school siting by right in rural zoning districts. Several supervisors reversed previous positions favoring speedier approval of school sites, now seeing benefits of public comments and requirements for board approval of special zoning exceptions for new school sites in rural Loudoun, and possibly elsewhere. The board appears likely to follow its planning commission’s recommendation. … Continue Reading

Bumper Cars on Main Street

January 8, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 2 comments
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By Karen Jimmerson

America’s main streets are on a path to all look the same – the same McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Starbucks and Jiffy Lube. They fill the landscape of our everyday paths. Our lives have been franchised or chained. It is so commonplace that is now seems inevitable, unavoidable, and just a fact of our modern lives. Small towns that used to belong in a Norman Rockwell painting are losing that very real esthetic.

As you drive into western Loudoun, large tracts of open space still embrace you. A drive into neighboring counties and parts of eastern Loudoun, you see tangible evidence of development gone awry. Every few miles, fast food restaurants repeat themselves. Strip malls flank bumper to bumper traffic. Western Loudoun is slowing falling prey to this, and remember eastern Loudoun looked like western Loudoun not too long ago. … Continue Reading

A Few More Facts About The Autumn Hill Development

December 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on A Few More Facts About The Autumn Hill Development
town of purcellville sign

To continue the discussion at the point where Bob Lazaro and Janet Clarke left off. “Chestnut Overlook residents bought [land] next to something that was already approved, 20 plus years ago.”

Yes, we did. We bought land in a Joint Land Management Area (JLMA) that was governed by the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP). And this area was set in a County that has regulations for all developments in western Loudoun to be on home sites of at least three acres and to be horse properties. This was in place to ensure that the agricultural traditions of the area remain in keeping with its roots within the character of “This Hallowed Ground.” Additionally, Purcellville was a town that at one time outlawed drive throughs. Purcellville was a town that valued its 21st Street, and “Don’t Fairfax Loudoun” was a very popular bumper sticker. The approved 500 unit complex was placed in as a defensive measure because it was so absurd that the town’s people would never want that. The people I knew in town, liked a low crime, low density, rural small town that valued its old family farms and the traditional western Loudoun life. … Continue Reading

21st Street Is Charming and Authentic

December 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on 21st Street Is Charming and Authentic
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Purcellville’s old-town business district on 21st Street is charming and appealing because it is authentic. Many of the businesses have changed over the years, but the exteriors of the buildings have remained essentially the same.

A drugstore becomes a restaurant. A car dealership becomes a furniture store, then a gift store, then a distillery. Part of another auto dealership becomes a storage facility and then a bazaar. A grain mill becomes a restaurant and another mill becomes a bicycle shop and bookstore. On and on, the buildings are adapted and modified in a natural progression to accommodate new enterprises without destroying the basic architectural character of the old town. … Continue Reading

Preserve Our Unique Old Town

December 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Preserve Our Unique Old Town
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A comment on the proposed 21st Street Project in the historic Purcellville town: This ghastly, tacky, multi-story monstrosity has no place in Purcellville unless the sole object of the development is the generation of maximum revenue for the developers at the prohibitive cost of replacing our charming and unique old town with yet another slice of generic, cookie-cutter suburbia. If this development is permitted, what is left of historic Purcellville will be swallowed whole, leaving little motive to preserve the small remnant that would be left. To add insult to injury, some taxpayer funding will no doubt be required to force us to assist in the destruction of our historic district. This project should be rejected.

D.L. Bell
Purcellville

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

December 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
town of purcellville sign

The good citizens of the Town of Purcellville and the surrounding neighbors have seen few good things happen in and around Purcellville over the past several years. Many people moved here from areas of rapid growth to get away from it all. They liked the small unique character of the town and surrounding community. Now these same people feel the need to move away: Purcellville is becoming “Any town USA.”

Here are some of the reasons: 50 acres of proposed residential and commercial on 287 north of Hirst Road. Travel further south on 287 towards the traffic circle and you have another planned retail area including a gas station, travel south around the traffic circle along the Southern Collector Road, and yet another soon to be planned commercial development. There may be plans to build across from Blue Ridge Middle School, also. … Continue Reading

Autumn Hill/Mayfair – The Real Reason Behind Annexation

December 3, 2013 by Jim Burton Editorial, Opinion 5 comments
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In 1991 the County approved the Autumn Hill rezoning request that would allow the development of 492 multi-family residential units just north of Purcellville. The proffers or legal agreements that were approved required that the development be served by town water and sewer service which could only occur if the property were annexed into the town. Since the town refused to annex and provide the utilities, the current landowner sought and received a permit from the Loudoun County Health Department (which is a state agency) to construct an on-site alternative sewage system rather than use town utilities.

The Health Department’s permit expired November 15. The permit stated explicitly that “Any proposed construction or other action in furtherance of or pursuant to this permit shall be subject to and must comply with all applicable state and local ordinances or regulations, including without limitation, any applicable zoning regulations, proffers, or conditions, any applicable comprehensive plan conformance review requirements, and applicable inter-jurisdictional agreements.” … Continue Reading

Thank You From Delegate-Elect, Dave LaRock

November 11, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You From Delegate-Elect, Dave LaRock
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Dear Residents of the 33rd District,

I’m writing this letter to express my sincere thanks to the good people of the 33rd District for making me your Delegate-elect. This is a great honor, and a humbling one; I look forward to building on the accomplishments of the other leaders who have served in this position with dedication and distinction.

To all of the folks that turned out and voted for me on Election Day, worked at the polls, organized behind the scenes, endorsed me, wrote letters on my behalf, and otherwise gave of your effort, time, and treasure, I am very grateful. Many of you gave very much, and many could only help in small ways, but all of you played an essential part in our campaign. Congratulations on a job well done! … Continue Reading

Preserve Our Unique Old Town

November 11, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Preserve Our Unique Old Town
21stSTfrontpagepic

A comment on the proposed 21st Street Project in the historic Purcellville town: This ghastly, tacky, multi-story monstrosity has no place in Purcellville unless the sole object of the development is the generation of maximum revenue for the developers at the prohibitive cost of replacing our charming and unique old town with yet another slice of generic, cookie-cutter suburbia. If this development is permitted, what is left of historic Purcellville will be swallowed whole, leaving little motive to preserve the small remnant that would be left. To add insult to injury, some taxpayer funding will no doubt be required to force us to assist in the destruction of our historic district. This project should be rejected.

D.L. Bell
Purcellville

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

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NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015

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Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015

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I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015

donnawilliamson

By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …

(3 comments)

Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015

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By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

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Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

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Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

September 2015
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

COFFEEHOUSE: J.RILEY STEWART

COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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KAYDEE PUPPETS: SHEEP DOG DETECTIVES

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

September Fourth Friday at Breaux

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Rally for the Cure

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

BUSH BROTHERS LIVE!

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Recent Comments

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View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

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 sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Editorial

Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

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Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Lifestyle

Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015

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The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015

blueridge2

Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015

wildloudoundragonflies

Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Governor McAuliffe Launches Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Order 47 establishing the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and fostering the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for young people in Virginia. “The foundation of the new Virginia economy rests on the strength …

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Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

davelarock

By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …

(2 comments)

Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

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On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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Sports

Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015

drewhunter

Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015

americanlegionpost34

Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

thismonthhistory

– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Letters

Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

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I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to …

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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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