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Guest Opinion: Endless Taxation Won’t Relieve Congestion

May 1, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Opinion 7 comments
Dave_larock

Sound Decision-Making Will
By Dave LaRock

Dave LaRock is a 26-year resident of Loudoun County, where he built a successful small business as a general contractor. For the last few years, he has been fighting to protect taxpayers and toll road users from government regulatory overreach and wasteful transportation projects. He is running for the House of Delegates in order to protect taxpayers and bring some common-sense reform to Richmond. The Republican Primary is June 11.

Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans have finally earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for one year.  Virginia taxpayers this year worked until April 20 to pay their total tax bill. Why are Virginians so highly taxed?

Under the guise of “transportation funding,” state officials have repeatedly raised our taxes in recent years. Our taxes are particularly high in Northern Virginia as a result of “special” regional taxes and increasingly high local tax rates. … Continue Reading

Choose Your Delegate Wisely – June 11

April 21, 2013 by Contributor Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
speak

When Republicans consider who to cast a vote for in the June 11 primary, they should check the facts to make sure they are voting for a true conservative.

A true conservative Republican ought to adhere closely to the principles of put forth in the Republican Party platform. They are, “lower taxes, less government, personal responsibility, creating opportunities for anyone, protection of life, empowering families, and defending freedom and liberty.”

Joe May has supported four huge tax and fee increases since he began his 20 year career as a Delegate. He broke ranks with Republicans in 2004 to join Gov. Mark Warner and cast the swing vote for higher taxes. High taxes work against families and businesses while diminishing liberty. High taxes also have the effect of impeding opportunity for working men and women. … Continue Reading

Endorsement of Dave LaRock, 33rd District State Assembly

April 18, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
Dave_larock

State Assemblyman Joe May’s latest campaign flyer calls on Republicans to vote for him because he is “a pro-life conservative standing up for our values.” It is illustrated by a fat and happy baby, looking very cute, clutching an iconic red apple in chubby little hands, and a list of Joe’s “pro-life votes” in the General Assembly.

Pro-life is a buzz word used by Republican politicians who want to sit on the fence concerning the question of whether it is morally licit for society to allow the murder of babies growing in their mothers’ wombs. The other buzzword in the matching set is pro-choice, which is used by Democratic politicians who also want to obfuscate the issue of whether abortion amounts to the morally illicit taking of a human life.

In 1993, when I ran for the State Assembly as an independent candidate against Joe May, the Republican, and Jean Brown, the Democrat, I asked each of them in every public event during the campaign if they supported abortion. Ms. Brown aggressively asserted she was pro-choice. Mr. May’s answer, word for word, was that “abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor.” He repeated this position in front of community meetings, press conferences, in debates, and in discussions with high school students throughout the campaign. … Continue Reading

Guest Opinion: Juvenile Injustice in Our Schools

April 18, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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By John P. Flannery

Many students and parents are rightly upset that school principals, administrators and counselors conspire and combine with police assigned to the schools (called “resource officers”) to make schools more like prisons.

Police are assigned to almost every school with one principal function being to criminalize what used to be student discipline, to stigmatize young students, to compromise their futures – what schools they may attend and what jobs they may aspire to have.

Nor is this some informal arrangement between the school and the police. It’s the law. Virginia Code Annotated Section 22.1-279.3:1 spells out how student discipline at the school transmogrifies into a crime. … Continue Reading

Relay Recess of KWC

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

Eighty-nine students, along with sixty family members and friends joined the fight against cancer at the 4th Annual Relay Recess of KWC on March 8, 2013. The Cat in the Hat led the parade of fourteen survivors with their families around KWC for the first lap of the Relay while everyone else cheered for them! Family members and friends touched by cancer were honored and/or remembered with decorated Luminaires bags that lined the hallway.

Due to the generosity of the KWC community, fund raising events at Jersey Mike’s Subs & Tropical Smoothie, the Relay Recess sponsored Croc Shop, Jeans Week for the faculty, and the KWC Read Across America Challenge, almost $4,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society at the 2013 Relay Recess. The KWC community has now contributed over $12,000 to the American Cancer Society in four years. … Continue Reading

BOS Public Comment Time Limits

April 5, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment
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For a very long time, Loudoun residents who wished to speak before the Board of Supervisors during public comment sessions of hearings or meetings, were limited to three and sometimes five minutes. It depended on the number of sign-ups or whether meetings were running late. Those representing organizations were often given five minutes or longer to speak, because they spoke on behalf of large numbers of residents. But no longer.

Board Chairman York, citing ‘time constraints’ and other excuses decided some time ago that comments be limited to two minutes, or even one minute (when certain agenda items drew in many speakers). The only individuals for whom this does not apply are usually public officials and those who have submitted applications to the County, such as developers. This time limit applies even when the Board is considering highly complex and detailed proposals such as the current debate over the stadium on Rt. 7, or major transportation initiatives, etc. Thus, although the current BOS considers itself responsive to the public, it is anything but. … Continue Reading

Cut-Through Traffic in the Country Club Hills Neighborhood and the Planned Route7/690 Interchange

March 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment
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I want to share some eye-opening statistics on the volume of traffic that cuts through the Country Club Hills Community on a normal week day and respectfully ask that folks please consider the safety and quality of life of the residents and not cut-through this neighborhood. In 2010 traffic data was collected by the town and showed an average volume on a normal weekday at 889 vehicles/day. Traffic data was again collected by the town during the first week of March 2013 and the results showed that on a normal weekday the volume has increased by ~23.61 percent to 1127 vehicles/day. I realize these are public roads and anyone can use them. However, this 50+ year old neighborhood with narrow roads and no sidewalks was not designed for this amount of traffic and presents safety issues for the residents. This traffic volume will only increase as the population grows and with the construction of a planned interchange at Route 7/690. The town needs another interchange to relieve traffic congestion, but at what expense to the Country Club Hills Community? I encourage the residents along this cut-through gauntlet (33rd St., Country Club Dr., Ashleigh Rd.) to contact the Mayor and Supervisor Clarke with any concerns you might have and let’s start addressing this topic now before it is too late. Thank you to the folks that will consider this request and not cut-through the neighborhood and to the fellow residents for getting involved if concerned with this ever-growing issue in the community.

Bill Conover
Purcellville

The Cost of Development

February 13, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment
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Both Malcolm Baldwin and David La Rock are wrong about their assessment of growth, the metro and the developer situation. Yes, the Metro will definitely bring lots of development. But the reason that the taxpayers are increasingly burdened for everything is that developers are paying less and less in proffers. We shouldn’t be paying for the metro at all, it should be paid for by the big developers because they will benefit the most from it.

Every state is now competing to woo commercial businesses by giving these companies millions of dollars in tax breaks because if you don’t do it, the next state will, so when the need for more roads, schools, and services are created when the jobs do come, the taxpayer is paying more and more for the needed improvements, much of it in the form of grants. … Continue Reading

You Have a Target on Your Back

February 6, 2013 by Valerie Joyner Editorial, Opinion Be the first to comment
town of purcellville sign

Those who live in the proposed Purcellville Joint Land Management Area (JLMA) are in the target area for the future growth of Purcellville. If this growth area is approved as part of the County’s Revised General Plan, sooner or later you will become part of Purcellville, or, as the Loudoun Times Mirror called it “The Ideal Town.”

Unfortunately, the newspaper didn’t mention the almost $70 million debt that the town carries (about $9,000 per person). Nor did it mention the town water and sewer bills that increase approximately 25 percent annually. As reported here in January, Purcellville wants you in its JLMA … regardless of your feelings on the subject. … Continue Reading

Reducing Threats To Our Rural Economy

February 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Be the first to comment
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By Malcolm F. Baldwin

Our Board of Supervisors has made lowering property taxes a key objective, to be balanced by higher commercial tax revenues. Several supervisors recently noted that each new Loudoun residence costs $1.61 in schools and other public services for every dollar it contributes to property tax revenue, while commercial development costs only $0.31 for every revenue dollar it contributes. The board justifies its approval of Metro into Loudoun by plans to ensure net positive returns from new commercial development around the two Ashburn Metro stations, despite cries of dismay and coming taxpayer doom. … Continue Reading

Doing the Wrong Thing … In Private

February 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Be the first to comment
town of purcellville sign

By Kelli Grim

No citizen should have to go to the time and expense of a formal Freedom of Information Act request to find out the basics of what their local government is doing. However, because the Town of Purcellville routinely conducts public business under the shroud of private emails and other communications – as opposed to open discussion in committees where citizens can listen in – it has also become routine for ordinary citizens to have to avail themselves of the protections of FOIA, just to understand what is going on …
For example, a recent FOIA request produced the following emails and letters on the subject of Hirst Farm II – an 84-acre parcel of undeveloped land outside of the Purcellville town limits directly across from the entrance to the original Hirst Farm development on 690. There has been no mention of this subject in a single town council or committee meeting. However, the correspondence clearly reveals that this issue has been discussed by the town council and staff in numerous emails, letters, meetings, and closed sessions. … Continue Reading

Easy As 1 2 3

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

Once again we’re hearing the call for increased taxes on Virginia’s families. There’s no question that our lawmakers face some tough decisions trying to adequately fund core services like transportation. Instead of raising taxes, they should cut out wasteful spending. Here are three ideas to start with:

Idea 1: Substitute express buses for wasteful spending on rail-transit systems that make no financial or transportation sense. Bus routing is more flexible than fixed-rail trains, and buses operate at a fraction of the cost of rail. The Virginia highway fund is going dry because over a third of it is used for public transportation and other pet projects like Dulles Rail. Leaders have been siphoning off money from your gas taxes for decades to promote economic development schemes like the Silver Line. Few people use rail and everyone else subsidizes it; rail costs at least four times as much, per passenger mile, as driving. … Continue Reading

Continued Traffic Concerns on Country Club Drive and the Route 7/690 Interchange

February 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment
town of purcellville sign

Purcellville Town Leadership,

I feel it is time again to raise up the concerns that I have regarding the high volume of cut-through traffic that we continue to have in the Country Club Neighborhood and bring to your attention a number of events that have occurred recently.

1) Over the past few weeks we have had our two Stop Signs and Road signs at each end of the neighborhood mowed down by vehicles. Though we have had inclement weather during the past few weeks, it shows that the volume continues to grow and folks are just barreling through the neighborhood, trashing our neighborhood and more importantly presenting a safety hazard to our residents walking or riding bikes because of the absence of sidewalks. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

noerpel

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

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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

springiscoming

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

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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

Molly

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), …

(2 comments)

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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Events

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

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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"

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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

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April 30, 2014

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

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SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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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.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

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

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

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 …

(3 comments)

Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

Jim_Burton_cropped

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 …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

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

9 Apr 2014

sadiestart

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

Mayor_Zoldos_Citizen_of_Year_Award

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

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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 …

(1 comment)

Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

Frank_wolf

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

Kaine

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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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

ulll

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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Letters

Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

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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

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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 …

(2 comments)

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 …

(3 comments)

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