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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

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 most closely connected with remarkable success as an owner, trainer and rider of some of Virginia’s most successful steeplechase horses running under his familiar red with white cross sash silks. But his success in that rugged and dangerous sport was merely a visible extension of his commitment to protect Virginia’s rural countryside, a mission he often defined as a moral obligation. In pursuing that connection between equestrian sport and countryside preservation, he was a founder of the Oatlands Point-To-Point of the Loudoun Hunt, as well as of the Morven Park Steeplechase—the latter being the first race meet in the modern history of Virginia to offer pari-mutuel wagering. A long time member of the Board of Directors of the Westmoreland Davis Foundation, which operates the historic Morven Park estate north of Leesburg, Dr. Rogers was also a founder of the Morven Park Equestrian Institute, as well as a founder of the Loudoun County Pony Club, a founding director of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting and a founding director of the American Academy of Equine Artists. … Continue Reading

Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

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 2013 Citizen of the year to Mayor Zoldos for his support of our annual barn dance in Waterford, his impressive leadership in moving our town forward, and his dedication and service as a firefighter.”

The Lovettsville-Waterford Ruritans make a positive impact on the community through support and service.  Their fundraising efforts go directly back to the community in the form of college scholarships, grants, sponsorships and contributions to those in need.  They sponsor organizations such as Cub Scout Pack 962, the Lovettsville Dolphins, the Lovettsville food pantry, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Lovettsville Elementary School, Harmony Middle School and Woodgrove High School.   … Continue Reading

Kitchen Science Kids: Feathery Friends

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

By Leah Enright

Winter can be quiet, but with spring comes . . . birds! After spending winter in warmer places, birds return to our area looking to set up new homes, and create nests for their little ones. Making those tiny homes can be hard work for such a tiny animal. Some birds have to search for, and gather, tiny bits of useful materials to form into a safe place for keeping their eggs warm and protected from hungry animals. They use feathers, small sticks, leaves, dried grass, animal fur, pine needles and moss-or even bits of paper to create these cup-like creations. This kind of “shopping” can be tough for birds. Can we make their job a little easier? Yes we can. … Continue Reading

Jim Burton’s Book – The Pentagon Wars Re-Issued

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

Jim Burton’s 1993 book, The Pentagon Wars, has recently been reissued in e-book format by Naval Institute Press and is now available at Amazon.com for Kindle users and Barnes & Noble for Nook users as well as in other e-book formats.  Print on Demand paper copies will also be available shortly, as soon as the publisher corrects a technical problem with their equipment.

The Pentagon Wars won The Washington Monthly Political Book of the Year award for 1993 and was favorably reviewed in a number of publications, including The New York Times (October 3, 1993). It was made into an HBO movie in which Cary Elwes starred as Colonel Burton and Kelsey Grammar played a combination of four or five senior army generals. Over the last 20 years the book (and the movie, when the book was unavailable) has been used as a case study in ethics classes at the Air Force Academy and other institutions as well as military seminars. … Continue Reading

Found Object Sculptor John Raymond: Whimsy With A Good Dose Of Engineering

April 1, 2014 by Andrea Gaines Lifestyle, People 2 comments
Raymond with his fish

Old water main plungers. Blacksmith tongs. Scallop net hardware. Bicycle sprockets. Wagon wheel rims. Tractor seats. Shovels and rakes. Lawn mower blades.
They were once used in one person’s profession or trade. Now they are brought back to life in the found object sculpture of Lincoln resident John Raymond.

As John describes it, “I grew up in the house you don’t want to live next to, but I loved it. Dad was a junk collector, so growing up I was surrounded by metal ‘art supply.’ “

As we walked around Raymond’s studio/shop (Lincoln Smithy) he introduced me to the kinds of machinery one needs to cut, shape, torch, melt and manipulate metal, including an old 1920s milling machine and a broad wood and metal table (purchased at a Loudoun County public school system sale) complete with tools and slots that hold metal objects in place so they can be honed and shaped. … Continue Reading

Fishing with the Right Lure Makes a Big Difference

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
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Mark White lives in Hawaii on the island of Kauai and makes fishing lures that can be used all over the world.

The lures are for deep sea, near shore and fresh water. He designs and manufactures a variety of shapes and sizes of trolling heads and surface plugs. Each lure is made with great care and attention to detail—from the mixing of materials for the ceramic body and glazes to the several firings necessary to complete each piece. He and his wife, Nancy, have also been operating a pottery studio for over 30 years.

“The lure is a small sculpture that I can add color to and the ideas I get from making them are endless,” White said. “They are small art work, and the format provides infinite possibilities.”

It all started about 18 years ago when White’s then four-year-old son wanted to start fishing. They got bamboo poles and headed to their local streams and reservoirs with earth worms for bait. They had a lot of fun until they started hooking up Peacock Bass using baby Tilapias for bait.

On one occasion, while battling a large Peacock Bass, his son was nearly pulled in. Fortunately for him White didn’t know much about knots at the time. He discovered you really need a spinning gear to effectively fight those kinds of fish. Their passion for fishing grew, and they started reading everything they could about fishing.
As White honed his skills, he started salt water fishing for Trevally under and over 10 pounds and Ulua, and other near shore species. He became very interested in top water plugs and started making some out of his porcelain clay body for fun. He said he quickly realized some of the benefits of using a ceramic material over plastic or wood. The ceramic lures produced increased casting distance, because of the weight to mass ratio which gave him more territory to attract the attention of predatory species. He got friends to work as early test team members. Over the past six years he has been testing different formulas to improve the fracture toughness rating of the ceramic body. The lures can handle the stress of both fish and fisherman, he said. These lures are nearly indestructible and come with a life-time warranty.

“Because we are potters by trade, for over 30 years, we really enjoy making objects that are useful – a fishing lure that can put food on someone’s table as well as produce the excitement of hooking up a great fish – this is a huge use. The things we make have to look nice, but if they are not functional, we aren’t interested in making them,” said White.

More information is at www.markwhitelures.com or e-mail Mark at info@markwhitelures.com.

Have Some Fun … Right Now …

March 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
kilts lower

With The Blue Ridge Leader’s Second Annual Kilt Reveal

Do you recognize the beautiful and elegant “legs” shown here? Each belongs to a different local business leader, listed below. … Continue Reading

LVHS Junior Completes Gold Award Project

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

Rachel Snyder, a junior at Loudoun Valley High School, completed her Girl Scout Gold Award Project by creating a new program called “Bulldog Buddies” last year in May of 2013.

Fifth graders of four elementary schools that feed into Blue Ride Middle School were able to participate in this program, in which each student was matched with a “buddy,” to whom they exchanged letters with back and forth through the school. Each participant met at least one new person, and those who attended the two summer social events met even more students from different schools. … Continue Reading

French Horn Professor Runs 100 Miles for Scholarships

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

For many, running 100 miles is impossible. For Joe Lovinsky, it’s just another way to prove he doesn’t quit. Or perhaps he’s just plain stubborn.

“That’s the difference between an ultrarunner and any other runner,” Lovinsky said. “You’re not superhuman, you’re not running any faster than anyone else, you’re just the kind of person who won’t give up. Some people call it stubborn — I say it’s not giving up.”

On Friday, March 28, Lovinsky will embark on his first 100-mile run. Not for a medal, but to raise scholarship money for current and future Shenandoah Conservatory French horn students. … Continue Reading

Woodgrove Student: A Presidential Scholar Candidate

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
Patty Schuchman Photography, LLC

Sean-Patrick Magoffin, a graduating senior at Woodgrove High School and the Academy of Science, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2014.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 50th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. … Continue Reading

Middleburg Academy Senior a Winner in Regional Scholastic Art Competition

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

A painting by Middleburg Academy’s Caroline Greer received the highest possible Gold Key recognition in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers recent Regional Scholastic Art Competition.

Greer’s work , “Ivory,” will be exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond from March 1 through April 15. She also received honorable mentions for “Decomposition” and “Lifted,” two submissions in the Mixed Media Category. Caroline Greer is the daughter of Cynthia and Robert Greer of Aldie.

Kitchen Science Kids: The Benefits of Blubber

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

By Leah Enright

If we dropped you and a friendly whale deep into the Atlantic Ocean, and asked you to swim to shore, could you do it? Probably not, because even if you were the world’s best swimmer, you’d have something else to worry about – hypothermia. (The prefix hypo- means below, and –therm indicates temperature. So hypothermia is “below temperature”- that means the water is too cold and you would freeze before making it to land.) But wait, what about that friendly whale? The whale lives its whole life in water and manages just fine. What’s the difference? Well, there are many differences, but one of the most important is . . . blubber! … Continue Reading

Tile Artist Joan Gardiner

March 4, 2014 by Andrea Gaines Lifestyle, People 2 comments

Storyteller, Naturalist, Teacher And Fine Craftswoman

I could have spent hours wandering around Joan Gardiner’s tile studio in the quaint old village of Unison (population 30). As a little girl I collected any bit of natural material I could pick up outside – snakeskins, bird feathers, driftwood, rocks, beach glass. Joan Gardiner has many of these kinds of things casually displayed and posted in her workplace, a combination gallery, kiln-room and work area. Tacked and displayed all over the walls and tables, shelves, bookcases and desks are the inspirations and miniature studies for the tile works that have made her both famous and beloved. The graceful wing of a red-bellied woodpecker. A fallen bird’s nest. Sketches of a majestic and muscular jaguar. Fantastic bits, piles and corners of stuff that fill this spectacular artist’s head and provide her with both information and inspiration as she works her magic. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014


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


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


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


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), …


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


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"


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


April 30, 2014

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

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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.

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View From the Ridge

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

4 Mar 2014


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 …



Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014


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 …



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

9 Apr 2014


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


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


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 …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger


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


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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Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014


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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Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014


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

town of purcellville sign

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 …


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 …



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