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Should VDOT Remain a Four Letter Word?

November 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
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As my wife and I visit our new home under construction in the Lucketts/Taylorstown area, it remains highly disturbing to see VDOT ignore obvious safey hazards on roads they are responsible for maintaining. New Valley Church Road has a curve just west of the Route 15 intersection that is so bad residents have to plea for help by putting signage on trees. This assumes VDOT managers can read. Even the minimum standards required for road acceptance by VDOT are not practiced on such roads. Some cul-de-sac’s in Ashburn have wider and safer roads than Route 15 and New Valley Church Road, and a great many “secondary” roads where residents pay just as much taxes for safety maintenance. … Continue Reading

Thank You For The Purcellville Halloween Block Party 

November 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You For The Purcellville Halloween Block Party 
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Re-Love It and all the sponsors and organizers for allowing me to MC the recent Purcellville Halloween Block Party. To put it simply, it is this kind of community programming that helps makes small town USA such a vital part of our changing society. With the support of the Town of Purcellville and its police department and the PFVD, it was truly a fun experience, not only for all the residents, but for all the visitors as well. There was no talk of politics….unless it was Snickers vs. Milkyway and there was no talk of metro/taxes…unless it was about aliens in hovercrafts, in short, it was a wonderful time to get to know each other, even though we may have had a mask on.

While I was on stage keeping the ghosts and goblins at bay, I was reminded how much Purcellville means to me. Seeing this event in Old Town Purcellville was special. For years when I was on the Economic Development Committee for the town, we discussed “Where is the real Purcellville, where is the heart of Purcellville.” Well we have an answer, it is located on 21st Street and in the hearts of its residents.

R. Ben Weber

From “Affordable Housing” To “Food, Fun and Games”

November 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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By Karen Jimmerson

As promised in late summer, lawyer Mark Nelis has repackaged his proposal for the controversial 178-unit Catoctin Creek Apartment complex. Inappropriate development can come to growing towns like Purcellville with lightening speed, greased by a wink and a nod by those who are (supposedly) charged with the public trust and the developer’s “sales force” – insiders who know the soft spot citizens have for terms such as “family friendly,” “low-cost housing,” and “open [air] space.” But, an increasingly well-educated and wary public, I hope, will see through the language being used to try and get this project over the finish line.

In October, the Town of Purcellville received a revised concept plan application for the construction of an approximately 178-unit apartment complex on Hirst Road along with a large outdoor and indoor “entertainment complex” to also include retail. The project includes different properties under different owners now lumped into one application. … Continue Reading

LaRock: Ready to Go to Work and Serve

November 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on LaRock: Ready to Go to Work and Serve
Dave_larock

I am pleased that the voters of the district endorsed our message and propelled my campaign to a solid victory. I’m honored and humbled to be selected by the voters of the 33rd District as their Delegate-elect.

Now it’s time to deliver on what I promised. I look forward to serving the District and our Commonwealth by focusing on improving our economy, attracting quality jobs, and building a better Virginia for our children and our grandchildren. … Continue Reading

Etch-A-Sketch Dave LaRock

October 31, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
blueridge2

Recent letters by supporters of Dave LaRock have unintentionally revealed why their candidate is so afraid of public debates. In one letter responding to an account of a disturbing tirade about “Sharia law” made by Mr. LaRock at a Back-to-School night, Kristen Kalina first tries to claim that the conversation was “made up,” then offers the sorry admission that it must have taken place in a previous year, “when people were more focused on terrorism.” Her argument seems to be that while it was acceptable to spout off such extreme and ignorant rhetoric back in 2012 or 2011, now that he’s decided to run for public office Mr. LaRock would keep such bigotry to himself – and therefore his intemperate words back then shouldn’t be brought up.

Likewise, Mr. LaRock made some notably hateful and ignorant remarks about Loudoun’s LGBT residents back in 2011 in his attack on another candidate. While it may be true that his extreme anti-gay views were more socially acceptable in 2011 than they are now – and thus are now more likely to harm his campaign – this fact does not excuse or make irrelevant his bigoted remarks. It’s clear that Mr. LaRock has no interest in representing all of his would-be constituents, and bland statements about how he’s (now) focused on “the economy and transportation” do nothing to change this.

Mr. LaRock appears to lack the strength of character to own up to his words: To say either “yes, I said that – and I now realize I was wrong,” or “yes, I said that – and I still believe it,” and let the chips fall where they may. That would at least be honest. Instead, he demands to be shielded from any questions that might undermine the slick “Etch-A-Sketch” version of himself he wishes to present now. The truth is that he has left a trail of extreme rhetoric and hotheaded lawless behavior (willful destruction of private property) that he cannot hide in an open forum not under his complete control. The real Dave LaRock can only appear before his like-minded friends, in private.

David Weintraub
Lovettsville

Clear Choice for 33rd District Delegate

October 30, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Clear Choice for 33rd District Delegate
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This November, voters of the 33rd District have a clear choice between two fundamentally distinct candidates for House of Delegates: Dave LaRock who resoundingly defeated the Republican incumbent in the primary election, and Mary Daniel who just recently entered the race. If campaign conduct has anything to do with how we cast our votes, I prefer the candidate who has remained solidly focused on the issues and who has refrained from finger pointing accusations that have little to do with our main concerns as citizens of the 33rd District, which include but are not limited to taxes, education, traffic, agriculture and standing up to Washington, D.C. … Continue Reading

Stop Your War on Women

October 27, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
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Mrs. Daniel and her supporters are falsely trying to get voters to believe that Dave LaRock wants to amend Virginia’s constitution and also have women report miscarriages to law enforcement. These messages simply aren’t true. Dave has never supported either of these measures.

In addition, demonstrating the lack of principles of Dave’s opponent and her supporters, these kind of attacks show the eagerness of Democrats to shift the discussion from the real issues that are facing the district and the real problems that matter to them. The facts speak for themselves. … Continue Reading

Support Public Education

October 20, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Support Public Education
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Professional educators in district 33 are proud of their service to Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun’s 100 + public schools, so when I read that candidates for state legislature could potentially dismantle Virginia’s public education system, I’m alarmed. While instructional needs should guide decisions about funding, we see arbitrary tax limits suggested before local school boards even submit requests.

I attended August’s “meet and greet” for Mary Daniel and expressed grave concern for protection of public education funding. Ms. Daniel sensed my frustration and answered me in thoughtful and articulate manner, reassuring me “educational funding should be a priority for the General Assembly.” … Continue Reading

LaRock Will Make Virginia Even Better

October 20, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on LaRock Will Make Virginia Even Better
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Federal gridlock aside, I’m very optimistic about what the future holds for Virginians and Virginia businesses.
Check out the most recent Forbes ranking – Virginia is #1, ranked “Best State for Business.”

I strongly recommend that you give the article a read. It shows how commonsense values like low taxes, minimizing unnecessary regulation, and preserving freedom through things like Virginia’s “Right to Work” laws have helped Virginia thrive, and will continue to do so if we keep pursuing freedom.

Our dependence on the Federal economy could be a setback, but so could a liberal reversal in Richmond. The latter we have a lot more control over, and that’s why I’m encouraging all my friends to vote for Dave LaRock this fall. Dave is a solid businessman who fights for the same values that are already making Virginia great; sending him to Richmond this fall will go a long way toward helping to make Virginia even better.

Jesse Andrews
Lovettsville

No Response from Daniel

October 20, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 3 comments
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Just as in any election, I prepare myself with questions to ask the candidates that will be serving our community, and this election is no different. I unfortunately missed Mary Daniel as she and her supporters were canvassing through my neighborhood the last weekend in September. I sent her an email on October 3, expressing my interest in speaking with her for just five minutes. As of today, I still do not have an acknowledgement to my email.

I would think she would want to reach everyone in the community she wants to serve and have the opportunity to share her experiences in business with them. I want someone that answers the phone, answers the mail and be responsive to their constituents. I want what’s best for Virginia and the 33rd District. I am personally fiscally conservative and socially liberal, giving a hand up when needed, not a hand out. A strong government deserves a strong businessman to lead new businesses to Virginia. Ms. Daniel has made my decision easy… my views are best represented by Dave LaRock.

Mary Beth Barbagallo
Purcellville

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

October 16, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
blueridge2

For those of you who have yet to decide upon whom to vote for in the 33rd House District, let me assure you that Dave LaRock is the only option. Not only is he the candidate with the best understanding of the top issues in our region (transportation, education, and the economy), but he is also the candidate who will listen to you, the constituent, with regard to your questions and concerns, whether he agrees with you philosophically or not. … Continue Reading

Teachers for Dave LaRock

October 16, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Teachers for Dave LaRock
Dave_larock

Having lived in Virginia since 1978, I’ve seen how education has evolved.

I’ve sat in a student desk, and after earning a graduate degree and a teaching certificate from a Virginia university, taught middle and high school in two counties.

I’ve personally seen the number of schools grow and accept children of all nationalities and religions in all shapes and sizes.

I’ve talked to many fellow teachers in teacher networks and other places and many know we could do better than the status quo. … Continue Reading

Vote for Mary Daniel

October 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Vote for Mary Daniel
Mary_Daniel

Mary Daniel is the best choice, hands down, for Delegate in the 33rd district. She has the experience, she understands our region, she is committed to our quality of life. She is a moderate and fiscal conservative. She has worked on behalf of others as an elected official, volunteer, and as a guardian ad litem for children and the disabled. I am opposed to the radicalism of Mary’s Tea Party-connected opponent. There is no other candidate in this race with such a strong background of working for the community. Mary is the best.

Shirley Lyle Volberg
Purcellville

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

noerpel150

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

Childhood and Adolescent Depression: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

2 Sep 2015

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects one in every 10 Americans.  And while the CDC’s data on depression currently shows that folks residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia fall slightly …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Suzanne Kane Nature Preserve

2 Sep 2015

suzanne kayne nature

This innocuous little area lay smoldering in my semi-consciousness for several years – and after thousands of passings-by – I finally woke up one morning and just had to find out what was to be found out there. See – …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015

morvenpark

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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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

A Man of Character

3 Sep 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “I thought it would be appropriate to reiterate my thoughts on power and quote something from Frederick Douglass that I believe is quite true,” Manfred Kory wrote to me after reading Lonnae O’Neill’s June 29 column in …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

When To Take Social Security: Timing Is Everything

3 Sep 2015

Smith0035

As you approach retirement, there are several decisions that can impact the level of income you will receive when you stop working. One such decision will be about claiming your Social Security retirement benefit. More than half of eligible Americans …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

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

benkellog

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

blueridgemiddleschool

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
M T W T F S S
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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 Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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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

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

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

town of purcellville sign

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

Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament

3 Sep 2015

stoneleigh

Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s is having their 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 Golf Magazine and recently awarded a 3.5 star rating by Golf Digest. The format is …

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Irish Sessions at Corcoran Brewing

3 Sep 2015

noerpel150

Gina Faber and Tony Noerpel have started an “Irish Session” at Corcoran Brewing Company in Purcellville once a month on the second Sunday. The next session will be from noon to 3:00 p.m. on September 13. It is an open session, and anyone can bring an instrument and play along. Tony and his wife, Nancy, visited Ireland last year and were impressed by …

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September Calendar

3 Sep 2015

blueridge2

Ongoing events Saturdays, September 12 to October 17, Interpreting Scripture Through Visual Arts, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Jonathan Holland, artist and youth pastor, will take you on a journey to create powerful and moving art rooted within the Bible. Cost is $105. Go to opusoaks.org. On Saturday, September 12 at noon, Sunday, September 13 at 1:00 p.m., September 26 at noon and September 27 …

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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

Good Government Reinforces the Family

davelarock

By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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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 …

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Sports

Las Vegas Tournament Good for Loudoun Teams

2 Sep 2015

basketball

D1 Sports & Athletics 15U Spartan Elite Boys basketball team won the Gold Elite Championship out of 158 teams from across the country at the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic on July 26. D1SA Spartan Elite defeated Drive Bounce Elite from British Columbia, Canada, in the championship game with the …

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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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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

Perfection and Expectation in High School

3 Sep 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde If you think about high school, what do you think about? Do you think about the sports and how important they are to some students whose only dream of getting into college is a scholarship? Do you think about the high school student struggling for an …

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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

town of purcellville sign

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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