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American Theocracy – Book Review

June 7, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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A few weeks ago I reviewed Emmanuel Todd’s 2002 book, After the Empire. In his book, Todd predicts the end of the American Empire. Todd wrote: “As for George W. Bush and his neoconservative helpers, they will go down in history as the grave diggers of the American empire.”

In 2006 Kevin Phillips wrote the book, American Theocracy. Phillips comes to much the same conclusion and also blames Bush for the perils facing America identifying three interrelated sets of problems which Bush exacerbated. I have discussed two of these problems, oil dependence and depletion, and ballooning debt, in past articles. America is heavily dependent on a diminishing resource despite having been adequately warned constantly during the last forty years and we are perilously close to insolvency as a result. In the first third of his well researched book, Phillips makes the case that Bush’s Iraq War was about oil, writing “Because the United States is running out of its once overflowing oil resources, a military solution to an energy crisis is hardly lunacy. Neither Caesar nor Napoleon would have flinched, and the temptation, at least, to grab land with prime energy resources is understandable. What Caesar and Napoleon did not face, but what overtook the inept and religiously diverted George W. Bush, is that bungled overseas military embroilment, dangerous in its own right, often also boomerangs economically.” … Continue Reading

Cuccinelli’s Tangled Web

May 26, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808), canto 6, stanza 17.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli launched an inquiry last year into whether or not former University of Virginia Professor Michael Mann violated the Virginia Fraud Against Tax Payers Act by suing the University to hand over all of Mann’s private papers and emails along with those of other climate scientists. The IPCC AR-3 published in 2001 [1], contained a curve produced by Michael Mann showing the temperature anomaly during the last 1000 years as measured by proxies. The curve shows how the Earth surface temperature has increased dramatically in the last hundred years.

Cuccinelli’s case [2] rests on three documents. The first was a congressional report [3] commissioned by Congressman Joe Barton of Texas at tax payer expense and principally written by a George Mason University Economics Professor Edward Wegman. Barton and Cuccinelli have been using Wegman’s report to attack Mann. According to Forbes [4] “Barton has taken $1.4 million from the [fossil fuels] industry–more than any other industry.” Recall last summer Barton demonstrated who his constituency was by apologizing to British Petroleum for the gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “I apologize, I do not want to live in a country where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is again in my words amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize [5].” Professed principle does not stop Barton from shaking down Michael Mann. Of course, he is not contributing to Barton’s campaigns. … Continue Reading

Teaching Lies

May 17, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Most teachers are left to center, and if we leave it to teachers to impose their liberal views, then it would make for an unbalanced lesson. Some people believe that global warming is a crock of crap, and others are zealots.” Los Alamitos School Board member and science denier zealot, Jeffery Barke. [1]

The Los Alamitos school board has recently ruled that teachers can use the text book Living in the Environment by G. Tyler Miller in their AP class but they have to teach the controversy of global warming denial at the same time. The teachers will have to give an annual presentation of the course material including additional material which presents some science supporting denial to the school board. Since there is no scientific support for global warming denial it is unclear what material the teachers are going to be able to add. … Continue Reading

The Corporate Brain

May 3, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“I hope we shall …crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the land.” Thomas Jefferson, 1816 [1].

“As Adam Smith pointed out in the Wealth of Nations, when ownership is separated from management (i.e. the actual production process required to obtain the capital), the latter will inevitably begin to neglect the interests of the former, creating dysfunction within the company. Some maintain that recent events in corporate America may serve to reinforce Smith’s warnings about the dangers of legally protected collectivist hierarchies.” Wikipedia entry [2] … Continue Reading

Extreme Science: Is Ocean Acidity Harming the Copepods?

Ceri_Lewis

Reprinted courtesy of Climate Central

This week’s article is by Ceri Lewis a young scientist working on the Catlin Arctic Survey. Her specialty is Copepods a remarkably delightful creature. Once on top of one of the Maritime Alps in France, my buddy and I decided we were living large compared with Rupert Murdoch who had financed our trip. Well what goes around comes around. I am unabashedly jealous of Ceri Lewis and all the other scientists who get to do this great science in the Arctic. Lewis’ article was originally published on April 18, 2011 at Climate Central [1]. Photo credits: Ceri Lewis/Catlin Arctic Survey. – Tony Noerpel

By Ceri Lewis, Catlin Arctic Survey Ice Base scientist

This is the second in a series of blog posts from scientists taking part in the third-annual Catlin Arctic Survey. … Continue Reading

Ideology Verses Reality

April 20, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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I’m fascinated by the way we humans think. It appears that we’ve evolved rather imperfectly. We have substantial levels of intelligence and creativity and this means that we are remarkably clever. But we demonstrate little wisdom or sapience. Or at least we are insufficiently sapient to compliment our cleverness. As a consequence we are continually blindsided by reality and causing ourselves no end of trouble. Events such as the recent housing bubble and economic meltdown are considered by many to be black swans or entirely unforeseeable events when in fact they were not only predictable but predicted. They are actually quite good examples of white swans. We do this kind of thing to ourselves all the time. Indeed, some economists consider crises periodically routine and unavoidable (see for example Crisis Economics, by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm for a summary of economists who hold this view). … Continue Reading

Chernobyl, 25 Years Later

April 12, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment

By Dr. Janette D. Sherman, MD

Dr. Sherman is the author of Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer and Chemical Exposure and Disease, and is a specialist in internal medicine and toxicology. She edited the book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature, written by A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009. Her primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education. She can be reached at: toxdoc.js@verizon.net and www.janettesherman.com. The following article was originally published by Counterpunch on March 4 – 6, 2011 http://www.counterpunch.org/sherman03042011.html. … Continue Reading

After the Empire – Book Review

April 9, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“America’s real war is about economics not terrorism. The country is battling to maintain its status as the world’s financial center by making a symbolic show of its military might in the heart of Eurasia, thereby hoping to forget and have others ignore America’s industrial weakness, its financial needs, and its predatory character. However, instead of reinforcing the image of America’s global leadership as the current [Bush] administration in Washington expected, its forced march into war has produced a rapid decline in the international status of the United States.” Emmanuel Todd, Preface to the English translation of After the Empire, 2003. … Continue Reading

Fukushima Daiichi

March 22, 2011 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Speaking in Tokyo, government spokesman Yukio Edano said the plant – which has six reactors – will eventually be scrapped once the emergency is brought under control. Mr Edano said the plant will be in no condition to be restarted after corrosive seawater was pumped into the reactors to help control the overheating core.” [1]

Last September I described five serious concerns with nuclear power before their vulnerability was made evident by the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster which unfolded last week. The first is the critical supply shortage of fissile uranium U-235 [2]. Based on a European study of all known and speculative reserves and resources, we might be able to derive all of human exosomatic energy from nuclear power for perhaps 12 years. There simply isn’t enough of the stuff. In 2006, the United States imported 84% of our nuclear fuel, so the argument that nuclear power would help wean ourselves off of imported energy doesn’t fly [3].

Second, if we consider nuclear power the solution then it is the solution for all of mankind so we had better get used to Iran processing their own fuel. Given the United States government discomfort with that idea speaks volumes about the inherent security problems, real or imagined, with nuclear energy. Third, we described the impracticality of building out nuclear capacity and the huge investment in capital which would be required and which would have to be siphoned away from more useful enterprises. Fourth, we described the rising costs of the nuclear power plants [4]. It was already prohibitive before the Japanese earthquake disaster. The industry can only possibly make money or be a viable investment if taxpayers and ratepayers are forced to subsidize and take on all of the risk. Since nuclear power cannot happen without the substantial investment of the public, the public has a right to object even if those objections are based on a “not in my back yard” attitude rather than on the very serious and specific objections which I am raising. This attitude happens to be far more rational than that of nuclear proponents.

Fifth, we have no solution to the nuclear waste problem even if Yucca Mountain storage facility were to be opened. This fifth point was highlighted by the accumulation of spent fuel at the Fukushima reactor site, which turns out to be a more serious problem than the partial meltdown of the reactor cores themselves. This happens to be the situation in the United States where most of the spent fuel is stored on-site in similar pools of water.

A sixth very serious problem which I did not discuss is the critical requirement for cooling water. Nuclear power plants cannot be built where there is or might be a water shortage. During droughts, nuclear power plants have to be taken out of service. Water problems are why so many plants need to be constructed on coast lines. This week, we’ve seen though that even that placement is no guarantee of a usable supply of cooling water.

Here is a partial list of nuclear accidents which resulted in decommissioning of the reactor as a result of the incident. Text is from reference [5].

January 21, 1969 — INES Level unknown – Lucens, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland – Explosion. A total loss of coolant led to a power excursion and explosion of an experimental nuclear reactor in a large cave at Lucens. The underground location of this reactor acted like a containment building and prevented any outside contamination. The cavern was heavily contaminated and was sealed.

February 22, 1977 – INES Level 4 – Jaslovské Bohunice, Czechoslovakia – Fuel damaged
Operators neglected to remove moisture-absorbing materials from a fuel rod assembly before loading it into the KS 150 reactor at power plant A-1. The accident resulted in damaged fuel integrity, extensive corrosion damage of fuel cladding and release of radioactivity into the plant area. The affected reactor was decommissioned following this accident.

March 28, 1979 – INES Level 5 – Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States – Partial meltdown Equipment failures and worker mistakes contributed to a loss of coolant and a partial core meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station 15 km (9 miles) southeast of Harrisburg.

April 26, 1986 — INES Level 7 – Prypiat, Ukraine (then USSR) – Power excursion, explosion, complete meltdown. An inadequate reactor safety system led to an uncontrolled power excursion, causing a severe steam explosion, meltdown and release of radioactive material at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant located approximately 100 kilometers north-northwest of Kiev. Approximately fifty fatalities (mostly cleanup personnel) resulted from the accident and the immediate aftermath. An additional nine fatal cases of thyroid cancer in children in the Chernobyl area have been attributed to the accident. The explosion and combustion of the graphite reactor core spread radioactive material over much of Europe. 100,000 people were evacuated from the areas immediately surrounding Chernobyl in addition to 300,000 from the areas of heavy fallout in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. An “Exclusion Zone” was created surrounding the site encompassing approximately 1,000 mi² (3,000 km²) and deemed off-limits for human habitation for an indefinite period. Several studies by governments, UN agencies and environmental groups have estimated the consequences and eventual number of casualties. Their findings are subject to controversy. Four reactors were decommissioned.

October 19, 1989 – INES Level 3 – Vandellos Nuclear Power Plant, Spain -fire in one of its two turbo generators. After the fire in the turbo generators the Spanish commission determined a large list of issues in the plant that was closed by the owners due to economical unviability.

There are about 440 operating nuclear reactors in the world today. At least eight reactors failed beyond recovery as listed above. With the six reactors which will be decommissioned at Fukushima, 14 reactors had to be decommissioned before their service life because of catastrophic failure. That is a failure rate of 3 percent. What entity in the private sector would fund an enterprise which requires billions of dollars of investment up front which has a 3% catastrophic failure rate and unlimited liability?

In a real free market system, nuclear power would not even get a second glance. And since public funding is required then the public has a right (assuming we still have a functioning democracy) to veto their tax dollars and energy rates subsidizing a technology which they do not want.

[1] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fukushima-nuclear-plant-shut-for-good/story-fn3dxix6-1226025025196

[2] http://www.energywatchgroup.org/fileadmin/global/pdf/EWG_Report_Uranium_3-12-2006ms.pdf

[3] Joseph Romm http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/pdf/nuclear_report.pdf

[4] http://climateprogress.org/2009/07/15/nuclear-power-plant-cost-bombshell-ontario/

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents

Tragedy of the Commons – Part One

March 17, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
noerpel150

Tony Noerpel

“Palaeontologists characterize mass extinctions as times when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval, as has happened only five times in the past 540 million years or so. Biologists now suggest that a sixth mass extinction may be under way, given the known species losses over the past few centuries and millennia. Here we review how differences between fossil and modern data and the addition of recently available palaeontological information influence our understanding of the current extinction crisis. Our results confirm that current extinction rates are higher than would be expected from the fossil record, highlighting the need for effective conservation measures.” Barnosky et al, March 3, 2011, [1]. … Continue Reading

Greed or self-interest

March 12, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
noerpel150

“Power tends to confuse itself with virtue and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God’s favor, conferring upon it a special responsibility for other nations to make them richer and happier and wiser, to remake them, that is, in its own shining image.” Senator William Fulbright (D., Ark.)

“What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Madeline Albright, Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton

I received several emails regards my article “Wisconsin Greed”. Some simply wrote “well stated.” Others suggested I was too pessimistic and that in fact “greed is the answer. We must demonstrate what saves real money now.” In other words, the opportunity exists to appeal to greed to achieve a sustainable society.

I hadn’t realized I was such a bad writer. I don’t mean to belabor the point but given that the point was not appreciated, perhaps I should try again. I introduced the concept of a zero-sum game such as poker, where the sum of money at the start is the same as the sum of money at the end. No wealth is created. It is simply redistributed. Somebody has to lose for somebody else to win. So imagine you are in a high stakes poker game and losing badly; the rent money, the money you need to feed your kids, their college funds and so on. Try negotiating with the winners. “If you guys would let me win a few hands, the game would last longer and everybody’s enjoyment would be increased.” Good luck with that. My point is you cannot negotiate with greed in a zero sum game.
… Continue Reading

Wisconsin Greed

March 8, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
noerpel150

“And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’” Bible New Testament, Luke 12:15.

“And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words.” Bible New Testament, Peter 2:1-3.

“But greed has grown into a parasitic infestation of the body politic that bleeds us weak. Just look at the multinational corporations’ lobbying, the resulting flow of taxpayer subsidies, and the failure of government oversight.” Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point, 2011.

“I hope we shall …crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the land.” Thomas Jefferson, 1816, cited from Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point, 2011. … Continue Reading

Mankiw Verses Daly – Part One

March 8, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment

The recent economic collapse encourages us to understand what just happened and why so we might extricate ourselves from the current crises and avoid such a calamity in the future. An interesting observation is that while the collapse was anticipated by ecological economists (Herman Daly, for example), biophysical economists (Bob Costanza), energy analysts (Vaclav Smil), oil geologists (Colin Campbell) and historians (Kevin Phillips), it was a complete surprise to neo-classical economists (for example Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan). This despite the irony that Gramm and Greenspan share culpability for the collapse. In their own words:

“I made a mistake.” Alan Greenspan testimony before Congress, October 23, 2008. The Wall Street Journal article continues: “In his prepared remarks to the committee, Mr Greenspan said he was in “a state of shocked disbelief” about the breakdown in the ability of banks to regulate themselves and, without putting a number on it, predicted a significant rise in unemployment in the coming recession.”

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession …We have sort of become a nation of whiners” John McCain’s Economic advisor and former senator Phil Gramm in an interview with the Washington Times, July 9, 2008. The recession officially began in the fourth quarter 2007.

Secondly, the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming is robust and there is a lack of science supporting denial. One wonders then what motivates people to invent nonsense to support the denial view. It turns out that in addition to the bad science there exists a large body of global warming denial argument based on bad economics. While economic arguments are not relevant to any scientific discussion in any event, the nature of these arguments and the fact that they are even proffered at all gives us a hint as to why deniers are motivated (and why they are being generously paid) to make stuff up.

Surprising to an engineer or “hard” scientist is that economic study is a collection of disparate “schools” of thought which generally contradict each other. As we have shown previously using the example of the recent housing bubble, we seem to be able to find economists who will support almost any opinion, such as that the housing bubble existed and its bursting was imminent (Shiller [1]) and that it did not exist at all (Smith and Smith [2]). The Smiths were clearly wrong and one wonders if they’ve ever come clean or simply made excuses.

I thought it would be interesting to compare two assessable and divergent economic points of view: Gregory Mankiw’s neo-classical views reflected in his popular text book Principles of Economics, 2007, and Herman Daly’s ecological economic views reflected in the text book he wrote with Joshua Farley titled expectedly Ecological Economics, 2004. While they don’t reflect extremes in economic thought by any means, I selected these two principally because I happen to own them. Daly is the founder of ecological economics, was a senior economist with the World Bank and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland. Mankiw is a neo-classical economist, who served as President George W. Bush’s economic advisor, and is currently a professor of economics at Harvard University. As Bush’s economic advisor, Mankiw has a share of the blame for our current economic mess.

Whenever I read a non-fiction book, I begin with the front and back matter: the introduction, table of contents, acknowledgements, references, endnotes and index. If there are no references, I generally don’t read the book because by definition the material will not be verifiable.

As it turns out, Mankiw’s book, surprisingly, contains no reference section and no obvious references to the economic literature. There are references to some articles and commentary in the main stream media but these are themselves opinion and not information. By contrast, Daly’s book contains a reference section as well as generous references throughout the text as footnotes in addition to referencing my two favorite economists Frederick Soddy and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. Mankiw’s book presents this problem for students: some bits of it may be correct and some may be wrong but we don’t know which bits are which and no easy way to find out. It is strictly speaking for the lack of references a useless text book. By contrast, I’m reading Dan Simon’s text book Optimal Estimation for work. Simon provides a wonderful and rich reference section at the back of the book but he also provides an appendix which gives an historical perspective on the subject matter and another appendix which describes other books on the topic. This book is highly theoretical and that book has practical applications, and so on. Simon’s book reflects quality. There are several very good reasons for insisting upon good references in a text book. The first is so that the student can verify the material contained in the book. Secondly, the student might need to do a research paper on a specialized topic and the reference section would provide the sources a student needs to learn more about a particular topic. The third is a matter of attribution. Peter of Blois wrote (cited by Simon): “we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants.” Attribution is simply a demonstration of integrity.

As I generally have some reasons I’m exploring a field of study, the index entries can tell me if the book covers what I may be interested in. I would expect an introductory college level text book on economics would contain these entries: energy, material, thermodynamics, entropy, pollution, agriculture, production, or similar. On this basis, Daly’s book offers considerably more insight. Mankiw’s book strikes out again.

Considering our motivation to understand the recent recession, the following entries are also of interest: recession, depression, inflation, deflation, housing bubbles, derivatives, credit default swaps, total credit market debt, and similar entries. Neither book scores well here.

In the future, I want to address a couple of topics which are well known to economics such as the tragedy of the commons and private property. Both books address the tragedy of the commons. As we might expect, Daly references the salient paper on the topic by Garrett Hardin, published in Science in 1968, and Mankiw does not. We can compare the treatment in both books against the original Hardin paper plus the considerable scientific progress on the topic since 1968. Another topic worth examining is Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Again, it is useful to compare the treatment in Daly and Mankiw with the original text in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

[1] Robert J. Shiller, “Long-Term Perspectives on the Current Boom in Home Prices,” Economists’ Voice www.bepress.com/ev March, 2006.

[2] Margaret Hwang Smith and Gary Smith, “Bubble, Bubble, Where’s the Housing Bubble?” Preliminary draft prepared for the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity, March 30-31, 2006.

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The Gravity of Gravity

6 Aug 2014

noerpel150

“Irrational is a strong word, which connotes impulsivity, emotionality, and a stubborn resistance to reasonable argument.” Daniel Kahneman [1] “Plot idea: 97 percent of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Concern Over E-cigarettes

3 Jul 2014

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– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, I was very upset to find an e-cigarette in my son’s room the other day. At first I didn’t even know what it was but then figured it out. My son is 17, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Shreve Mill Road

6 Aug 2014

timjon

It’s quintessential Loudoun County in transition: In less than two miles, this sleepy, little country road passes by decrepit, abandoned structures (apparently just waiting for demolition and development), some surprisingly tranquil waterways, and stretches of mature forest that would entice …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Blue Ridge Mountain Road

3 Jul 2014

timjon

It wasn’t until I saw it all under heavy fog that this place really came to speak to me; sure, I’d seen it in rain, snow, sleet and just about every other condition you could name, but before that blanket …

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Virginia Gardening

Tomato Harvest and Other Joys

6 Aug 2014

potato

By Donna Williamson Ah, it’s tomato time. As usual, I planted and grew many heirloom and newer varieties of tomato plants and am loving every minute of the harvest. Those little cherry tomatoes are so delicious and refreshing while working …

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Sushi's Corner

The Grumpy Old Troll

6 Aug 2014

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By Sushi One day not long ago a little girl by the name of Adele came to visit the farm. She was a spirited little thing with long flowing blonde hair. She loved to twirl and dance in the wind. …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Why I Still Believe in America

6 Aug 2014

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love the fourth of July. It happens to be my favorite holiday. It’s not just the fireworks and the wonderful blueberry pie that my mother makes each year. It is a day when partisanship can be …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Healthcare Decision Making

6 Aug 2014

Smith0035

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life By Amy and Dan Smith Because of the evolution of the law, documents relating to medical decision making have a variety of names, which together are confusing if not downright bewildering. The Advance …

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Student News

Loudoun Student Awarded Environmental Scholarship

6 Jul 2014

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American Disposal Services is proud to announce Allison Arpajian, the Loudoun County recipient of their Annual American Disposal Services Inc. Scholarship. Applications were distributed to all public high schools in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. One winner was chosen from each …

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Local Residents Graduate from the College of William & Mary

3 Jul 2014

The following residents recently graduated from the College of William & Mary: Alexander Graeme Thomson, from Hamilton (20158), with a BS degree. Gabrielle Alana Graves, from Middleburg (20117), with a BA degree. Kathleen Warren Hale, from Middleburg (20117), with a …

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Kevin Sherman Graduated from Ithaca College

3 Jul 2014

Kevin Sherman, a native of Middleburg, Va., graduated from Ithaca College’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance with a degree in Sport Studies. The degree was awarded in May 2014.

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July 28, 2014

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The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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July 29, 2014

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The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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July 30, 2014

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Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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July 31, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

1

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 1, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

2

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Child Safety Day

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August 2, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Saturday, August 2 from 12pm-4pm  FREE

Get up close to awesome rescue squad vehicles and cool interactive displays! Enjoy music, inflatables,  prizes and giveaways and more fun. Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule.

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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August 2, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Notaviva Vineyards presents their monthly Bluegrass Jam a FREE event held the first Saturday of every month!

An event for all ages featuring Ashby Run. Open to players of every skill level

3pm-6pm Saturday 7/5

Wine available by the glass and by the bottle, lite snacks available. Must be 21 to drink alcohol.

Summer Saturdays

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August 2, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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4

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 4, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

5

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 5, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

6

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 6, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

VAL Movies Under the Stars

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August 6, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last.

  • August 6 – Fan Favorite – vote on Facebook or at the movies for your favorite flick!
    • Superman (original) PG   151 mins
    • Willy Wonka G 98 mins
    • Surf’s Up  PG 85 mins
    • Smurfs  PG  102 mins

Movies Under The Stars

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August 6, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Come enjoy free movie screenings at Village at Leesburg. July 23rd Despicable Me (Rated PG) will be shown. August 6th will be the winning fan favorite vote. Choices are: Superman (original-Rated PG), Willy Wonka (Rated G), Surf's Up (Rated PG), and Smurfs (Rated PG). Vote on Facebook!August 20th Frozen (Rated PG) will be shown. Free event chair or picnic blanket will be given to the first 50 families!

7

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 7, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

8

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

Close

August 8, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

9

Summer Saturdays

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August 9, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

Acoustic on the Green Presents Two-Time Grammy Award Winner Jon Carroll

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August 9, 2014

Leesburg Town Green
25 West Market Street
Leesburg, VA

Jon Carroll’s long and diverse career has garnered him recognition in the Washington, D.C. area. He is a multiple Wammie winner (Washington Area Music Association) as a vocalist, player and songwriter as well as national notoriety and a two-time Grammy award winner with Starland Vocal Band (“Afternoon Delight”) for his vocal arranging and as Best New Artist. Additionally, in 2011 the Washington Area Music Association named Carroll Musician of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Pop Rock Instrumentalist of the Year. After recording five albums with Starland Vocal Band, he worked with a myriad of artists, penned two musicals and had his songs recorded by artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers. He released recently his first solo album in over a decade, “Love Returns.” For more information on Carroll, visit http://www.joncarroll.org/home.html.

Free and open to the public. Picnics are encouraged. Please no smoking, alcoholic beverages or pets. For more information, visit http://www.acousticonthegreen.com or info@acousticonthegreen.com or call 703-737-7144.

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11

Red Cross Blood Drive

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August 11, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA
314-602-1325

Schedule your appointment online or call 1-800-Red Cross.

Space next to Swoon and across from AT&T

2 - 7:30 p.m.

  • Monday, August 11

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FREE Live Music - Adam Bruno

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August 16, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Singer/songwriter Adam Bruno is a Tampa native, now living in Loudoun County. Adam has a powerful, soulful sound, blending all the best of pop, rock and acoustic music. His melody-driven songs and thoughtful lyrics make you an immediate fan!

Notaviva Vineyards will have wine for purchase by bottle or glass to any customers 21 years of age or older. Lite snacks are also available for purchase, or feel free to bring your own lunch and enjoy a picnic while listening to the tunes of Adam Bruno

Summer Saturdays

Close

August 16, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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18 19 20

VAL Movies Under the Stars

Close

August 20, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last.

  • August 20  – Frozen (sing along) PG  108 mins

 

 

Movies Under The Stars

Close

August 20, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Come enjoy free movie screenings at Village at Leesburg. July 23rd Despicable Me (Rated PG) will be shown. August 6th will be the winning fan favorite vote. Choices are: Superman (original-Rated PG), Willy Wonka (Rated G), Surf's Up (Rated PG), and Smurfs (Rated PG). Vote on Facebook!August 20th Frozen (Rated PG) will be shown. Free event chair or picnic blanket will be given to the first 50 families!

21 22 23

Artful August

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August 23, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents the 2nd annual juried Art Show. Free Application. Free display space. Free contest entry. Submit up to five (5) artworks for judging by jury and show attendees for The People's Choice Awards. Free festival for all! July 3rd applications are opened, artists will be notified of acceptance within 14 days of application. Jury selected winners will be announced August 23rd at 6:30 PM.  August 20th People's Choice winners will be announced. For more information please visit villageatleesburg.com/artfulaugust

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Summer Saturdays

Close

August 30, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

31

Donna Clark "Mindscapes"

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August 31, 2014

6474 Main Street
The Plains, 20198

 August 31 - September 28, 2014, “Donna Clark - Mindscapes” A unique solo exhibit by acclaimed regional artist Donna Clark.  “I paint in series - images that are not place specific.  I consider them personal dreamlike mindscapes of imagined locations in my natural world.”  The public is invited to an opening reception on Sunday, September 7, 5:00 - 7:00PM.  In addition, Clark will demonstrate her distinctive painting technique on September 14 at 2:00PM.  This is a great opportunity to watch her paint and ask questions of this very talented artist.

Summer Saturdays

Close

August 31, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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View From the Ridge

I Wanna Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Undo It

6 Aug 2014

blueridge2

There’s a popular country western song that tells the story of a young woman who gets swept up in a night of partying and wakes up to find she has a ring on her finger, a new last name and a new husband. Knowing she had been duped but determined …

(1 comment)

Editorial

War Madness

25 Jul 2014

dying gaul

The Dying Gaul By John P. Flannery In a world that prefers to war, can’t get enough of it, innocents are killed, and those senseless incidents in turn provoke more war. It happened in the Ukraine and the testosterone is running high. Ukraine calls to the West to put up or shut up with military force, not just economic sanctions. …

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Bed and Breakfasts – Boon or Threat to the Rural Economy?

3 Jun 2014

malcolm_pamela_011

By Malcolm and Pamela Baldwin Breaking news, in case you missed it: the Board of Supervisors has created new rules for bed-and-breakfast establishments in Loudoun, among them an increase in the number and frequency of events – such as weddings – B&Bs are allowed to host on their properties. At the same time, the board also tightened fire safety, building …

(3 comments)

Lifestyle

Salamander Resort and Spa Celebrates First Anniversary

19 Aug 2014

Activities On Friday, August 29 – exactly one year after it opened its highly anticipated doors – the resort will host a Birthday Bubbles celebration from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Filled with bottomless sparkling wine, birthday sweets and live entertainment, the event will take place on the Grand Terrace and Lawn. Admission is $30 per person. On Saturday, August 30, there will …

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Legally Blonde Coming to Franklin Park August 21-23

18 Aug 2014

LB

By Sarah Smith What do Harvard law students, UCLA sorority girls, and a group of high school thespians from Loudoun County have in common? They all are in Piedmont Arts Foundation’s summer production of Legally Blonde the Musical. The show takes the stage on August 21 at 7:30, August 22 at 7:30, and August 23 at 2:30 and 7:30. Every …

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Motorcycle Poker Run Fundraiser & Awareness for Loudoun County Project Lifesaver

16 Aug 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Each Poker Hand $20.00 Family Activities with food – Raffles – Live music -McGruff, Loudoun County Sheriffs Office Motor Squad Demos- Fire Apparatus, Vendors and much more! 100 Mile Poker Ride with Three Stops Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Hamilton Safety Center, Harmony Hall- Kickstands up at 9:00 am. Return to Hamilton Safety Center for Meal …

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Wild Loudoun

Mighty Little Crayfish

6 Aug 2014

wildloudoun

Several years ago I was walking along W&OD Trail in Reston when I saw a mighty little thing – maybe two inches long – strutting directly toward me in a very menacing way. It was moving pretty fast and had two large claws raised. I didn’t know if this was how this thing behaved – vulnerable and out in the …

(2 comments)

Around Virginia

VDOE Names Chief Academic Officer

Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples today announced that John William “Billy” Haun of Charlottesville will become the Virginia Department of Education’s chief academic officer, taking the position of assistant superintendent of instruction on September 1. “I am delighted that Billy is bringing his knowledge, leadership and innovative ideas …

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LaRock Appointed to Joint Commission on Technology and Science

Dave_larock

Speaker of the House William Howell has appointed Delegate Dave LaRock as a member of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), effective immediately and lasting for the duration of his term in the House of Delegates. The Commission meets several times throughout the year to “Study all aspects …

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Virginia Earns Top Special Education Rating from U.S. Department of Education

Virginia is one of only 18 states and territories earning a “meets requirements” designation under the US Department of Education’s (USED) new results-driven accountability model for rating state compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Previously in rating states, USED focused on procedural requirements such as timelines …

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Sports

Little League Season Update

8 Aug 2014

ulll

By Carri Michon This spring 2014 Upper Loudoun Little League season found drenching rains making fields unplayable on a regular basis. Over 100 games were rescheduled due to wet, soggy fields, said league president, Norris Beavers. “The most I have ever remembered in my 28 years of volunteering with Upper …

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Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League Registration Ends July 28

20 Jul 2014

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Registration for the Fall 2014 NFL Flag Football league is currently ongoing for boys and girls, ages six to 14, and spots are filling fast. To secure a spot in the league, participants must register by Monday, July 28, 2014. The Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League is the premier …

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Letters

Good News – Virginia Budget Passed

3 Jul 2014

speak

I hope folks have heard the good news that Virginia has passed a two-year budget, and passed it without allowing our new governor to force …

(3 comments)

T-Mac Does an O’Bama

24 Jun 2014

blueridge2

Everyone by now has heard that the Virginia Legislature was able to pass a budget without medicaid expansion. This has infuriated the Governor who has …

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De-couple Medicaid Expansion from the Commonwealth’s Budget

11 Jun 2014

blueridge2

At a September 25, 2103, debate sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, then Mr. McAuliffe declared, “No budget will be shut down in Virginia …

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