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Bostic versus Rainey

March 4, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Bostic versus Rainey
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Following U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s opinion finding that Virginia’s controversial marriage amendment violates the U.S. Constitution, I received a list of Virginia Family Foundation “talking points” for use in letters to the editor. The list is a tour-de-force of false statements.

Contrary to the claim of VFF, the opinion is based precisely on the facts of the case and the testimony presented – including testimony that a Virginia state official told one of the plaintiffs, of her legal relationship to her daughter, “You don’t matter. You’re nobody.” The facts of the case show that the amendment doesn’t protect children, it harms them. … Continue Reading

Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

February 10, 2014 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

Purcellville’s Broken Heart

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It is both interesting and so disheartening to read Wikipedia’s description of the place known as Purcellville.

It describes how in 1764 the town’s first known settler, James Dillon made his way here from Buck’s County, Pa. How an “early ox cart track” stretching west from Leesburg toward the Blue Ridge Mountains served as “the nucleus” of the town. How the first recorded business – “a combined store and inn” – arrived in 1799, followed by Purcel’s Store and Post Office, the town’s first stagecoach delivery (1841), a blacksmith’s shop (1848), and the first public school (1883). And, how on March 14, 1908, the town was incorporated by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. … Continue Reading

Is the County’s Word Worth a Plug Nickel?

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

 
 
 
 
 



A Citizen-Directed Future for Western Loudoun?– What It Will Take

January 8, 2014 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on A Citizen-Directed Future for Western Loudoun?– What It Will Take
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The Blue Ridge Leader’s View From The Ridge feature was introduced in 1984.?This feature is intended to present to the public our big picture assessment of what is going on in our western Loudoun community – an independent and spirited assessment, free of the special interests that seek to control the day. As we begin 2014, we recommit ourselves to being that independent voice for you.

Why Is An Independent Voice So Important To Western Loudoun?

All communities, even small ones, have centers of power. As the people run their businesses and live their lives, it’s up to government, even if it is a small town council or county board of supervisors, to make sure everyone’s getting a fair shake. And, it’s up to the news media to make sure government is doing its job and conducting its business out in the open, while providing citizens a microphone with which to express their views.

This is critical in a fast growing community such as western Loudoun where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in land deals, residential and commercial development and political favors. And, it is absolutely urgent in a political atmosphere where town councils and boards of supervisors seem more interested in greasing the skids for developers than in serving the public. … Continue Reading

Relief for Dulles Toll Road Users

January 8, 2014 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 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 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 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on A Few More Facts About The Autumn Hill Development
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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 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 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 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Company We Keep

noerpel_new

“Truly important and significant hypotheses will be found to have assumptions that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality and, in general, the more significant the theory, the more unrealistic the assumptions.” – Milton Freidman [1] “I am increasingly convinced …

What Happens To My Stuff When I Die?

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Amy and Dan Smith Only in the rarest of circumstances will the state receive the property of a decedent. Joint tenancy. If you hold property jointly with another person “with survivorship,” it is presumed that the survivor is entitled to …

Integrated Scientific Discovery

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By Mary Rose Lunde Many suggest that science is the gateway to the future. The rise in scientific discovery has driven more and more funding for research. The fact of the matter is, however, that science is far more complex …

A Man on the Move: Supervisor Ralph Buona, Vice Chairman Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Ralph Buona

By Samuel Moore-Sobel I first met Ralph Buona when I was a senior in high school. A “Youth in Government” day event allowed us to meet with our local supervisors. Chosen to sit next to the supervisor for my district, …

Dulles Air and Space Museum

airplane Dulles

You ever have those dreams, that (back – probably when you were a kid) you could fly? Not in any kind of man-made craft, mind you – I mean possessing the ability to levitate and travel the skies at will. …

New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time

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By Amanda Clark Michael Oberschneider, a clinical psychologist and founder/director of Ashburn Psychological Psychiatric Services, has just released a book titled Ollie Outside. This book addresses the very timely and important topic of screen- and media-time management for children. Ollie …

Defending the Over-Pampered

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“The purpose of studying economics is to learn how not to be deceived by economists.” Joan Robinson, Professor of economics at Cambridge University, Basel Lecture, 1969. “[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

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Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

September 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
August 29, 2016

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

August 30, 2016

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

August 31, 2016

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

September 1, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 2, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 3, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Snaggy Mountain Boys

September 4, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 5, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 6, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 7, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 8, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 9, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 10, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

A PLACE TO BE: A THOUSAND STEPS

September 11, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Silk Scarf Painting with Penny

ART IN THE PARK

September 12, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 13, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 14, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 15, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 16, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 17, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 18, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Artist Reception - Penny Hauffe

September 19, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 20, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 21, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

BLUE SKY PUPPETS: BARKER OF SEVILLE

September 22, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 23, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 24, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING WORKSHOP

FOBR Annual Meeting

5th Annual Leesburg Fine Art Festival

September 25, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

5th Annual Leesburg Fine Art Festival

Music With A Cause - Pas de Deux

Gallery Coffeehouse: The Comedy Cult Improv

September 26, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 27, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 28, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 29, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 30, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

October 1, 2016

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

October 2, 2016
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Lifestyle

Artwork Sought for W & OD Trail Exhibit

27 Sep 2016

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Regional artists and craftspeople are invited to enter their original artwork in the W & OD Trail Exhibit and Sale at Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville. This exhibit celebrates the beauty and historical nature of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, a 50-mile linear park managed by NOVA Parks that begins in Loudoun County and ends in Alexandria. The …

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Skate ‘Til Midnight at the Catoctin SkatePark Closing Party

23 Sep 2016

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Catoctin SkatePark will host a late night skate on Sunday, September 25, 2016, from 7:00 p.m. to midnight, before closing for construction. Enjoy one last ride at the original Catoction SkatePark! Construction of the new concrete skate park will begin in early October, but before the old skate park closes, you can celebrate the end of an era. On Sunday, …

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Middleburg Film Festival Announces “La La Land” As Its 2016 Centerpiece Film

20 Sep 2016

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The Middleburg Film Festival announced the highly anticipated film La La Land as its 2016 Centerpiece selection. La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, will screen on Saturday, October 22 with Oscar-nominated director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) in attendance. The Festival runs October 20 through October 23.

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Comstock Understands National Security

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On 9-11, I attended three ceremonies throughout Loudoun County honoring and remembering those 2,977 souls that we lost on that day of infamy. Our Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock was also there …

Lessons from Short Hill

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It’s been a little over two weeks since the Commission Permit for the proposed AT&T facility on Short Hill was overruled by the Board of Supervisors. This is just about …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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

Around Virginia

History’s Holy Places: Four Local Sites Worth Exploring This Fall

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The Journey through Hallowed Ground is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide trek from Gettysburg to Monticello, encompassing nine presidential homes and places, 18 national and state parks, and thousands of small and large historical sites. Dozens and dozens of these sites and related museums are short ride from just about …

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Land Trust Receives Large Donation

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On August 22, The Land Trust of Virginia received a $10,000 gift from the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, based in Herndon. The presentation of this grant was part of the Foundation’s official launch event, held at Selma Plantation in Leesburg. Notable speakers included Sharon D. Virts, FCiFederal Founder and Chair, …

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Farmers Urged To Be On The Lookout For Marijuana

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Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this …

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Sports

Hunter’s First Professional Race

7 Sep 2016

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Drew Hunter and Loudoun Valley classmates at his first professional race, Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, NC in early August , l to r:  Marcos Pierce, Matt Slook, Drew Hunter, Max McNerney. Hunter finished with a time of 3:57.15. Hunter turned professional and signed with Adidas.

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Let’s Make Some Memories

3 Aug 2016

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American Legion Baseball At Fireman’s Field, August 3 – 7 By Andrea Gaines American Legion Baseball is here at Fireman’s Field in a big way, featuring five consecutive blockbuster Mid-Atlantic Tournament games – August 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Our local Leesburg Post 34 Rangers had some nice wins …

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