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Another Year, No More Excuses

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 2 comments
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Dear Supervisor Clark:

I would like to direct your attention once again to three pressing issues which remain unresolved for the citizens of Purcellville North whom you represent. These issues are the negative impact of poorly routed traffic, unbridled noise and unabated lighting upon public safety and the general well being of our community.

The majority of these issues revolve around the Woodgrove High School complex. In general, there is a lack of enforcement of existing traffic regulations including speed which poses a danger to the public. Additionally, the considerable number of school buses, large trucks and motor coaches using Purcellville Road as a short cut rather than using the intended Rt. 690 are causing costly damage to our narrow road and creating a hazardous situation.

Specifically, the high noise level created by both traffic and school events has become a constant day and night time occurrence throughout the school year and the summer months as well. The noise problem can be resolved by adding outdoor sound absorbing materials, such as sound curtains, or sound barriers with noise absorbing materials to the complex; or with the use of natural barriers such as a berm built around the stadium similar to other schools. … Continue Reading

Thanks To the Loudoun Babe Ruth Baseball Team

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thanks To the Loudoun Babe Ruth Baseball Team
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As many already know, there was an unfortunate and accidental collision at home plate during the World Series Game between Loudoun and Twin Cities, WA. The accident seriously injured Loudoun player Hank Biggs. The Twin Cities players (whom several Loudoun families were playing host to for the series) and their families were deeply concerned about Hank, especially their catcher, Kolby Steen. Out of care and concern, the Twin Cities players signed one of their ball caps for Hank along with a card. Loudoun followed later with a team-signed ball for Kolby. Kolby’s mother requested this note be forwarded onto the Loudoun Team. “The ball they signed really meant a lot to him (Kolby) and was such a special thing to do for him. We continue to think about Hank and pray for a complete speedy recovery. Thank you from the Steen family.” More than playing baseball, these boys were learning life lessons and forming bonds that stretch from Coast to Coast!

Mark Donofrio
Hamilton

Virginia Retirement System Stiffs BOS Board Aides

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Virginia Retirement System Stiffs BOS Board Aides

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

County staff has long relied on support from the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) in upholding Board of Supervisor aides’ “non-employment” status. In a 2009 e-mail to an aide inquiring about the process, VRS Legal Affairs and Compliance Coordinator Brian J. Goodman wrote, “Based on a review of your e-mail and the Staff Aide Policies … it appears that these staff aide positions do not function as employees of Loudoun County. In fact, it appears from the underlined portions of the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act] … that the staff aides would not qualify for their exclusion from FLSA coverage if they were indeed employees of Loudoun County.”

VRS manages retirement, life insurance, and disability plans for the state’s civil servants, a select group of state-level political appointees, public school teachers, and many local government employees. Virginia law requires local governments participating in the plan, as Loudoun County does, to enroll all eligible employees and defines eligible employees as “officers and employees of the political subdivision who are regularly employed full time on a salaried basis and whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment.” In addition, “officers and employees of an organization other than a public school board that functions solely within the boundaries of a county, city, or town shall be deemed to be officers and employees of the county, city, or town, and not of the organization.” Either dimension would seem to encompass the Loudoun County Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) aides. … Continue Reading

We Need a Leader

August 28, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on We Need a Leader
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For over 20 years Joe May represented the people of the 33 district with commitment and dedication.

Joe and I may not have agreed on everything, but I know we both wanted to do what’s best for our community. Most importantly,I always knew where he stood on the issues.

For these same reasons I am supporting Dave LaRock to represent us in Richmond. Like Joe May, I always know where Dave stands. He’s not afraid to take the tough stances needed to create jobs, grow our economy, and improve our children’s education.

In stark contrast, I have no idea what Dave’s opponent Mary Daniel stands for. Some people may be impressed by her uncanny ability to make statements that are devoid of any substance, but not I. We don’t need to elect another slick politician afraid to take a stand. We need a leader. We need Dave LaRock.

Carolyn Leeds
Berryville

Guest Opinion: Supervisor Delgaudio’s Dishonor

August 8, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Guest Opinion: Supervisor Delgaudio’s Dishonor
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By John Flannery

Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s dishonor is self-dealing, with little respect for those he was elected to serve or work with, and, all the time, pretending otherwise.

On the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Delgaudio inextricably intertwined his “private” business with Public Advocate, concerned with Mr. Delgaudio’s infamous gay-bashing, with his job as supervisor. Mr. Delgaudio had his Public Advocate staff telling his county board staff what to do. Mr. Delgaudio also engaged in abusive practices in hiring and running his office and had a low regard for the citizens who he was elected to serve. When Mr. Delgaudio gave Donna Mateer a job interview to join his staff, he did it at Chick-Fil-A. He inappropriately asked her what her religious beliefs were, also her views on marriage and on homosexuals.

After she was hired, Mr. Delgaudio put the other staffers down, and the other supervisors as well. He said the other supervisors were “idiots” and he was “the only hope for Loudoun County.” Ms. Mateer said Mr. Delgaudio made racial remarks about Asian people, making fun of the way they spoke, calling them names, and he did as much with Hispanic and black citizens. Mr. Delgaudio also used his county staff to set up meetings for him to raise funds to pay his campaign debts; so he had taxpayers underwriting his personal fund-raising efforts.
… Continue Reading

The SCR Roundabout – A Dangerous and Costly Intersection

August 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 2 comments
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By Valerie Cury

It didn’t take long for the first of many accidents to happen after the Purcellville roundabout near the Harris Teeter Shopping Center opened. The photo below, snapped by a bystander, shows the typical accident that occurs in a roundabout … sideswiping. This occurs when a car entering a roundabout fails to yield to one that’s already in the roundabout. The accident highlights a common problem when roundabouts are introduced into the traffic pattern of a community, as most drivers in Virginia don’t have regular experience with roundabouts.

In many states and areas of the country, roundabouts are common, in Virginia, they are relatively new. In order to accustom drivers to a new roundabout, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recommends that a single lane rather than a double lane roundabout be used initially, so that drivers can learn how to yield and avoid accidents. … Continue Reading

Let’s Say No To a Zoning Change

August 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Let’s Say No To a Zoning Change
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I was dismayed by the number of “unconcerned citizens” not attending the July planning commission meeting. Perhaps it’s because many people still believe elected and appointed officials have our best interest at heart. What is the purpose of zoning if in just a few short meetings a developer can convince the town to abandon its highly touted friendly small town atmosphere?

A gated community of fifty houses on the Ball property (which is zoned for 20 homes on 10 acres by-right) on 32nd Street does not say neighborhood. It says don’t walk down my street. … Continue Reading

Walking for Those Dear to My Heart

August 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Walking for Those Dear to My Heart
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Little noticed by county residents, a troop of 35 walkers from around the country joined a dozen local climate activists on the lawn of the Loudoun County Government Center last week for the county’s first ever climate rally. The walkers were making a 100 mile journey from Camp David to the White House as a part of the Walk for Our Grandchildren, and were walking to generate the moral courage and determination policy makers need to create a greener world for future generations. They were invited to Leesburg by 350 Loudoun, a newly formed civic action group dedicated to issues related to climate. Ralliers chanted for climate action now, and called on the Board of Supervisors to dust off the county’s buried energy strategy.

I have the privilege of being a part of both 350 Loudoun and the Walk for Our Grandchildren. Over roadways and train tracks, along the river and into the nation’s capital, with blisters on my feet and sweat on my brow, I walked to lend weight to the message I want to send not only to the Board of Supervisors, but also to other leaders, businesses, and citizens around the county. … Continue Reading

350 Loudoun Demands Climate Change Policies

July 30, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on 350 Loudoun Demands Climate Change Policies
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Loudoun County is home to many successful companies that base their work on science and technology, from Orbital Sciences to Howard Hughes Medical Institute to Raytheon. Our community is thriving thanks to a well-educated work force, in sectors such as health care, intelligence, defense, biomedical, aerospace, information technology, data centers, and telecommunications, all of which depend on sound science and technology.

The National Academy of Sciences, our nation’s premiere scientific organization, has been trying to get the nation’s focus on the greatest scientific and technical issue of our time — human caused climate change. In May 2009 these preeminent scientists released a Joint Statement of the National Academies of Science ?for the G8 and Five Nations, “The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.”
Source: http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5energy-climate09.pdf … Continue Reading

Guest Opinion: Of School Discipline

July 30, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Guest Opinion: Of School Discipline
Bob Ohneiser

By Bob Ohneiser

Let me state upfront that I found nothing incorrect or misleading about John Flannery’s article about school discipline. Only because I spent eight years directly involved with Loudoun County Public School’s discipline do I have the need to go a bit farther in detail than John’s article.

As a fellow attorney I too am disturbed by the overreaching done by LCPS especially when critical “exigent circumstance” justifications are not present. We should all appreciate that with almost 2,000 individuals in a high school there are plenty of interactions which could be objectionable depending on one’s sensitivities.

When an emergency occurs such as a shooter in the building, fire or bomb Threat, absolute control is necessary to move everyone to safety while
diminishing the threat which may need to be done in seconds depending on circumstances. This could be easily resolved by fronting discipline policies with the phrase “other than in exigent circumstances” the parents/guardians of a student being disciplined should be contacted prior to being interrogated by school staff. … Continue Reading

The Gospel According To Saul Alinsky

July 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
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In the article by Andrea Gaines, Carolyn Lazaro is quoted as saying, “This land is God’s land and the farmer was just trying to keep it for himself.” If this is a correct quote, then Mrs. Lazaro does not believe in private property. It would be interesting to find out just how far she would take this belief. Should all property belong to the people? Should all you people who live in Purcellville sign over your deeds? But, sign over to whom? The people? Purcellville? Regardless, property must be managed. The “right people” would have to manage all of this property for the people. I assume that the Lazaro’s could help select those managers. Of course there may be problems along the way. The Castro brothers could describe some of the pitfalls that they have experienced in that paradise on earth called Cuba.

Why stop at land and buildings? What about cars, trucks, bicycles, even tricycles and strollers?

Private property ownership is one of the foundations of America that helps make us strong. Attacking that ownership is a tactic of nihilists, socialists and other true believers in the gospel according to Saul Alinsky.

Dan Mc Ginnis
Round Hill

Grand Jury, Denied Opportunity to Deliberate Indicting Eugene Delgaudio, Issues Report Detailing Gross Malfeasance

July 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Grand Jury, Denied Opportunity to Deliberate Indicting Eugene Delgaudio, Issues Report Detailing Gross Malfeasance
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Sterling Deserves Better is a group of Sterling residents committed to improving the governance of our community. We are incredibly disappointed that the Grand Jury, which convened for months to investigate Eugene Delgaudio’s misuse of office, was never given the opportunity to deliberate whether or not to indict Eugene Delgaudio. This appalling process justifies our campaign to remove Eugene Delgaudio from office by petition from the citizens. We suspected that we could not count on the system to hold other elected officials accountable, and that’s why we went directly to our neighbors to mount a recall campaign. We have collected sufficient signatures to petition the court to remove Eugene Delgaudio from public office, we will continue to work hard to organize our neighbors to demand better from our elected officials, and we will not be deterred by a rigged system that allows politicians to misuse our precious resources. … Continue Reading

The Delgaudio Dilemma

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 2 comments
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Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio survived the criminal probe into his fundraising and due to a technicality, no indictment was issued. But, that’s not really the big news.

This week’s Grand Jury – a handful of people who don’t even live in Loudoun, and likely never heard of Eugene Delgaudio before now – took the initiative to issue a kind warning worthy of every resident in Sterling, or Loudoun County for that matter.

“This investigation has been an eye-opening experience for this Jury,” they wrote. “Individual voters need to increase their involvement in local politics. Local elections can significantly impact one’s life on a wide range of matters such as property taxes, education, local transportation, community services.” … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Shell Games

16 Jun 2015

noerpel150

“Let me be very very clear, for us climate change is real and it’s a threat that we want to act on. We’re not aligning with skeptics.” – Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell [1] “What …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Supporting a Transgender Child

1 Jul 2015

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– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, My husband and I are worried because our 14-year-old daughter thinks that “he” is transgendered. It’s true that she’s always been interested in more masculine activities, and this past year she announced to …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

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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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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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

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015

Smith0035

– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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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

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

July 2015
M T W T F S S
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: READERS THEATER

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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

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

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

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015

kwasifraser

– By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville Many of our fellow citizens are baffled by the proposed increase in our already high water and sewer rates, and not just about the increase that was proposed for the Fiscal Year 2016 but also about the proposed increases over the next nine years. This quote from one of our citizens to a …

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015

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– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015

farmtofork

Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

hillsborojuly3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

1 Jul 2015

wildloudoun

– By Andrea Gaines She feeds the birds. She shelters the mammal. She cools the air, provides us with shade and conserves the water and soil. She is the mighty old oak, an ecosystem unto herself. All except the smallest living things function as an ecosystem of sorts – whether harboring the bacteria and microscopic plants that break down organic …

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Around Virginia

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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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia

McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Bipartisan Legislation Hopes To Reduce Wasteful Spending

blueridge2

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have teamed up on a bipartisan proposal to empower federal workers to identify and cut down on unnecessary federal spending. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015 would build on existing law by expanding a program that allows U.S. government …

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Sports

Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015

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– By Carri Michon The Majors championship game for Upper Loudoun Little League dawned with prospects of stormy weather. Nonetheless, a nice crowd assembled for the pre-game ceremonies in the light rain. Following the announcment of the AL Royals and the NL Pirates teams, the ULLL Hometown Heroes scholarship given …

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WLVBC Ignite Takes 2nd at Tournament

13 May 2015

Ignite Takes Silver at Spring Fling resized

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club U15 Team Ignite placed second at the NVVA 15’s Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, May 10 at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Leesburg. Ignite met the host team, NVVA 15 Fairfax Black, in the finals. “I’m proud of each player for pushing hard through 10 …

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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

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one 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

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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Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

3 Jun 2015

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise …

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