Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Work Program Presented September 1

September 3, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Be the first to comment

On September 1 Supervisor Jim Burton of the Blue Ridge District, and Supervisor Sally Kurtz of the Catoctin District hosted a community meeting for the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act at the Loudoun County Government Center. A power point presentation was given by Laura Edmonds, who is an environmental engineer and manager for the Chesapeake Bay project. Also in attendance were David Ward, water resources team, Kevin Haile, erosion and sediment control program administrator, Dan Schardein, zoning administrator and Mark Stultz, deputy zoning administrator.

Click here to view the presentation.

Early Morning Fire Destroys Lucketts Barn

September 3, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, Our Towns Be the first to comment

At approximately 1:43 a.m. on September 1, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center was alerted of a fire at 15050 Lee’s Crossing Lane. Emergency personnel arrived on scene shortly and reported a large wooden barn well involved with possible extension into an adjacent barn. Since the property was located in a non-hydranted area in Lucketts, crews utilized tankers to shuttle water from a cistern to the fire ground.

As a result of the fire, the barn was a total loss. However, the adjacent barn sustained minimal damage due to the aggressive suppression operations of firefighters. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the fire and there is no damage estimate at this time.

Emergency crews from Lucketts, Leesburg, Lansdowne, Lovettsville, Hamilton and Loudoun Rescue responded to the fire and remained on scene for several hours.

Ghost Hunting at Oatlands

September 3, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County Be the first to comment

Paranormal tours at Oatlands will take place during the last week in October. During this time guests will enjoy a guided evening tour through the mansion. Tour guides will share exciting ghost legends and personal accounts of unexplained happenings on the property. Guests will also learn about some of the findings of the ongoing paranormal investigations at Oatlands. Paranormal tours at Oatlands promise to be a treat for the whole family.

Paranormal Tours will be held twice each evening from October 25 to October 29 at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $ 5 for children under 12.
Reservations are required; call 703-777-3174 for reservations and additional information.

Our Economy

September 1, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment

“I’m more worried than I have ever been about the future of the U.S. economy. The challenge is unique: poor and diminishing growth, a sticky unemployment rate, sky-high deficits and a sovereign debt that makes us one of the most fiscally irresponsible countries in the world.” Allen Sinai, co-founder of the consulting firm Decision Economics, attending an economic symposium, and after hearing a presentation by Carmen M. Reinhart, an empirical economist at the University of Maryland.

In his book The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb cautions us about relying on our predictions of future events. We are not very good at it. However, he does recommend we make predictions and write them down. He suggests we record the predictions of all the media pundits and experts as well. He opines that these experts don’t perform well. His instructive lesson is that we should take op/ed pieces in the papers and the Sunday morning talk shows with a grain of salt. The failure of our own predictions will teach us well earned humility.

A topic we’ve visited in the past, several times, here and here, is the current housing bubble. I’ve shown various plots of the Case-Shiller home price index. I like figure 1 below because it is so instructive. Home prices are normalized to 1890 values and indexed to inflation. Note that for the most part, home prices tracked inflation. This makes sense because a home cannot sell for more than people can afford to pay for housing and wages and salaries tend to track inflation. If we compare the current bubble with the two bubbles which formed around 1980 and 1990, we see that the current bubble should have collapsed during 2002 or 2003. This did not happen perhaps because the Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act of 1999 eliminated critical banking regulations by repealing the successful Glass Steagall Act of 1933. In addition, in order to pay for Bush’s wars while simultaneously reducing badly needed tax revenue by cutting taxes on the wealthy; Greenspan was forced to hold interest rates artificially low. In his defense, Greenspan probably believed the rhetoric of the Bush administration that the war would fought cheaply, be over quickly, and resultant access to Iraqi oil would reinvigorate the US economy. These circumstances created a perfect storm of loose credit causing the housing market to dangerously overheat at a time when prices were already high. The resultant economic stimulus caused by rising personal debt, masked the rising national debt.

Last week on August 24, the National Association of Realtors released the existing home sales figures for the month of July. The pace of used home sales plunged 27.2 percent from the June pace, and is 25.5 percent lower than the pace of sales one year ago. This drop is onerous when one considers that it is occurring when interest rates are already low. They cannot go lower. The drop has been attributed to the expiration of the $8000 tax credit incentive for home buyers. Figure 1 shows that this program halted the precipitous decline in home prices since the peak in 2006, at least temporarily. Unfortunately the current average price of homes is still 20 to 25 percent higher than what was normal for most of the past century and 40 percent higher than the average price between the start of World War One and the end of World War Two. This period included both the relatively prosperous Roaring Twenties and the not-so-prosperous Great Depression.

A friend recently asked me whether I thought home prices would recover and I said I thought they would fall further because they are still too high. I showed him this data and his response was that maybe houses were better now and simply worth more. The average home was certainly bigger so maybe the higher prices were justified. I replied that I thought the relative quality of houses was immaterial. Families could only afford to pay so much for shelter since they had to budget for other expenses. And other expenses such as health care and college costs were increasing much faster than the nominal rate of inflation. Median incomes were also going down as a result of unemployment and manufacturing jobs were moving overseas. I told him I didn’t think it mattered how fancy or large a house was; if nobody could afford to buy it, the price had to come down. According to the same report no homes priced above $750,000 sold during June or July in the country. The homes are not worth what people cannot afford to pay. He saw my point.

Figure 1. Case Shiller home price index from 1890 to the present.

So what will happen to home prices? We have to assume that most likely they will fall further between 20 and 40 percent. If this happens, more and more families will find themselves hopelessly underwater on their mortgages. More and more families will be forced to walk away from their homes. This will put more downward pressure on home prices. It is possible that home prices will overcorrect on the downside. This may not happen but it is hard to make an argument that it cannot happen.

In order for such a drop not to occur, major structural changes would have to be made to the US economy. We would have to employ more people and pay them more money and reduce their health care and education liabilities. In order to do this, we would have to invest in America. We can no longer afford to misallocate resources and run up debt on wasteful enterprises. We would have to cut our losses and withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq immediately and cut military spending by 80 or 90 percent, freeing up funds for domestic investment and stimulus. We would have to overhaul our health care industry such as adopting a universal single payer system. This would reduce health care costs perhaps 40 percent while covering everybody. Freedom from health care worries would encourage entrepreneurial activities within the middle class creating jobs. We could use the resultant savings to invest in conservation, the most economic source of new energy available to the United States, in mass transportation projects and in renewable energy. We could invest in education. We need to restore banking regulation.

Unfortunately, none of this looks likely to happen. So the best guess is that jobs continue to disappear, incomes continue to fall, the housing market continues to collapse, wasteful defense spending continues to bleed the US economy to death and the current Bush depression becomes painfully evident eventually even to the pundits on the Sunday morning talk shows and the Op/Ed pages, albeit a little too late.

What can we do? The advice I have is that we should build strong communities based on tolerance, trust, cooperation and peace.

Tony Noerpel

Get Fashionable with Loudoun Youth, Inc

September 1, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County Be the first to comment

Loudoun Youth Inc. is hosting their first annual fashion fair featuring local teens and vendors on Saturday, November 6, from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the AVCom Visual Arts, 45965 Nokes Blvd., Suite 159 in Sterling.

The event will feature five fashion shows, two local youth musicians, four professional musicians and local vendors. Loudoun Youth is seeking sponsors and vendors for this community event and also youth models to participate in the show. Youth between the ages of 11 and 18 interested in modeling at the show, should visit the Model Sign Up page on the website.

Finally, Loudoun Youth Inc. is hosting a raffle as a lead in to the event. Enter now to win your Ultimate Shopping Getaway in your choice of New York or Los Angeles. The winner receives a $1,000 Shopping Spree with a Personal Shopper, two nights hotel and round-trip airfare.

Raffle tickets are $100 each and we are only selling 100 tickets in all giving purchasers a greater chance to win. Learn more about the trips and to purchase a raffle ticket.

Rozlyn Sorrell Performs Songs of Faith, Hope and Freedom at Rust Library

August 31, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County Be the first to comment

Rozlyn Sorrell, recognized for her remarkable dramatic abilities and six-octave vocal range, will give an exclusive performance created to accompany the traveling exhibit, “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation” at 2:00 PM, Sunday, September 12 at Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road, Leesburg. Sorrell’s integrity, passion and unique vocal talent ring with equal clarity and reveal a soothing grace – a calming sincerity of music and emotion – all sung deep from the heart. A performance of broad appeal for all ages.

A New York native, Sorrell spent a number of years performing in music and film in Los Angeles before relocating to North Carolina where she operates a private vocal studio while expanding her concert touring and work in film, TV and music. She has performed or recorded with artists including Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Cece Winans and others.

“Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation” has been organized by the Huntington Library and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, in cooperation with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. Loudoun County Public Library is proud to have been selected to host the exhibit September 7 through October 15, at Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road, Leesburg.

Loudoun County Public Library, the community’s information center, provides free and equal access to a full variety of library resources and innovative technologies to enhance the quality of life and meet the informational, educational and cultural interests of the entire community.

Pages, the Loudoun County Public Library quarterly publication provides a full listing of library programs, events and services and is available at all branches and the library website library.loudoun.gov

Middleburg Celebrates the Harvest

August 31, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Our Towns Be the first to comment

Celebrate the Harvest Week brings together local farmers, vintners and foodies with area chefs showcasing the Piedmont region’s bountiful harvest. Restaurants in Middleburg, Va. will offer special dishes on their menus featuring fresh and local produce, meats, cheeses, and wines.

The free events held September 10 – 19 are hosted by the Middleburg Business and Professional Association and the Middleburg Arts Council. Participating restaurants include Market Salamander, Red Horse Tavern, Upper Crust Bakery, Julien’s, Red Fox Inn, Home Farm, Mello Out, Backstreet Café, The French Hound, Teddy’s Pizza and Good Stone Inn.

For more information, visit http://www.celebratetheharvestweek.com/.

Cruise-In Party Offers Rewards

August 31, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Be the first to comment


Mary Liz Mc Cauley of Middleburg Bank awarded donations from the Cruise-In on Monday August 30 at 11:00 a.m. The donations went to Franklin Park, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, C.S. Monroe Technical Center,Purcellville Auxilary and Hamilton Elementary School. The Cruise-In is a party for classic and mussel cars, trucks, and motor cycles. The trailer raffle was won by Ron Brooks of Sterling. Next years date is Saturday, July 30 at Franklin Park.

Why Are They Going……

August 31, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sushi's Corner Be the first to comment

…….. I for one have been born and bred to honor the oath of the great Cairn terriers and that is to honor and defend all poultry and fowl from all enemies fox or not to our death. So here and now I tip my hat and soul to the duties that lay before me on my great American Farm.

And with pleasure I serve …Speaking of serving with Love and Honor – you know, it isn’t easy to love someone so much that you can let them go and still keep a happy attitude around the farm. That is just what I am facing starting this week, when my little girl – oops I should say young lady, Laino goes back to school. Uggg, what am I going to do all day?

Just the thought of it puts me in a very depressed state. I want to curl up on the couch and bury my head right into my furry little paws and moan myself to sleep. Uh oh! Now I am busted. Your right, I got caught admitting to sleeping on the couch! Did I really say that and give myself away? Well, that’s just how I feel right now. I just don’t care about anything.

Oh the sadness of it all. Why do my human friends have to go to this place called school for most of the year? I certainly think there is plenty to learn right here on the farm. They have me to teach them! What more could they possibly want?

For instance, it is very important that we get the rotation of the turkeys and chickens done this week and the lambs wormed. The tall lespedeza grass needs to be trimmed in the turkey pasture where the Mama Turkeys have been busy with their last clutches of babies for the summer. It is really smart how the Mama Turkeys nest under the deep pricker bushes. They cleverly keep out of sight from the hoot owls and hawks, setting patiently on their nest until each clutch of hatchlings break from their shells bringing new life to the barn yard.

I guess I will just have to defend the barn yard during the day with just lonely ol’ me. I guess I had to go to doggy school a time or two myself!

Until next week – I will continue to serve,

With Love and Honor

Sushi

State Offers Bed Bug Forums

August 29, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Public Safety Be the first to comment

Because bed bugs are quickly becoming the leading public health pest of the 21st Century, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently developed a Bed Bug Outreach and Education Project and hosted a series of Bed Bug Forums across the state. The project was funded through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Forums, which were held in Alexandria, Dulles, Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke, provided attendees with basic information regarding the biology of bed bugs, the health significance of the pest, inspection and current treatment methods and challenges of bed bug management, and also suggested best management practices.

More than 340 people attended the Forums, representing pest management professionals, housing services including management associations for multifamily housing, members of the hospitality industry, public agencies and other individuals and groups interested in bed bug biology and management. “The resurgence of bed bugs in recent years has brought the pest from the shadows to the limelight,” said Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner. “A few years ago, no one admitted to having an infestation, but now there is a growing, collective effort to prevent, control and eradicate the pest.”

Lohr said he was interested to learn of new treatment methods, ranging from beagles that can sniff out the pest to heat treatments. “As a frequent traveler, I was especially interested in some of the tips for consumers,” he said. “These include simple things such as laundering clothing and drying them in a hot dryer. Some have even suggested that leaving your suitcase in a car parked in the hot sun is sufficient to kill bed bugs.” Experts believe that the thermal death point for bed bugs is around 114-115° F and that the bugs cannot live in temperatures higher than that.

Bed bugs were a common pest in the U.S. up to the 1950s but declined dramatically in subsequent decades. Their resurgence after a long absence created a desire for information on the bugs themselves, as well as treatment options. The workshops included presentations from Dr. Dini Miller, a Virginia Tech researcher and professor of entomology; a demonstration of canine bed bug scent detection and heat treatment units, along with a discussion of a variety of other chemical and non-chemical treatment options. Speakers also included the Virginia Department of Health’s Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Inspection Unit and the Virginia Apartment Management Association. Finally, VDACS’ Office of Pesticide Services presented a regulatory overview.

All attendees received outreach materials including a series of bed bug fact sheets. The sheets encourage and help facilitate additional training and outreach to coworkers, peers and tenants covering the following topic areas: Bed Bug Biology and Behavior, How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation, Bed Bug Prevention Methods, Bed Bug Treatment Using Insecticides, Non-Chemical Bed Bug Management, Bed Bug Action Plan for Apartments and Bed Bug Action Plan for Hotels. The Bed Bug Fact Sheets as well as the Forum presentations are available at: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticides/bedbugs.shtml. Fact sheets are available in both English and Spanish. The EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/bedgugs/ has additional information.

Any pesticides used in bed bug treatment must be registered with VDACS and used according to the label directions. In addition, all pest control companies must have a Virginia pesticide business license and all commercial pesticide applicators must be certified. More information regarding certification and business license requirements is available at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticides/index.shtml.

For more information, contact Dr. Dini M. Miller, Department of Entomology, 216A Price Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061; call 540.231.4045; or e-mail her at dinim@vt.edu.

Volley for Breast Cancer

August 29, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Uncategorized Be the first to comment

Help the Loudoun Valley High School Volleyball team raise funds to support Breast Cancer education programs and research efforts by attending “Dig Pink” games on Thursday, September 30 – Freshman and Junior Varsity at 6:00 p.m. and Varsity at 7:15 p.m. Wear pink, buy some baked goods and watch the returning players from the 2009 AAA State Championship volleyball team.

Contribution will assist Side-Out in its mission to raise money and awareness about Breast Cancer through volleyball. The support you lend this initiative is not only counted in dollars and cents but also in the “spirit of community”. Go to the teams website https://www.side-out.org/application/teams/team_page/3069, choose an amount to donate, follow the steps, and, after the process is complete, you will receive email confirmation of your donation. All donations are tax deductible and the website is secure, fast and easy to use.

Blue Ridge Leader News – August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News, Tim Jon with BRLN Be the first to comment

Two Bodies, Two Stories, One Town

News for Loudoun County returns to the dark side this week, with the recent discovery of two bodies in and around Ball’s Bluff Regional Park on the north side of Leesburg.

Authorities reported 52 year old Cornelia Arnold, a town resident, the victim of homicide; her remains were found Monday in the aftermath of a fire at a rustic shack off Balls Bluff Road. … Continue Reading

Entropy

August 24, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet, Uncategorized 1 comment

“What an organism feeds on is negative entropy.” Erwin Schrodinger, What is Life (1956)

“The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.” — Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

“The American people are sending a strong message here: We don’t like the implications of this law, and we will not rest until it has been reversed in the courts.” Christian Coalition president Ralph Reed, as reported in the Onion, America’s Finest New’s Source [1].

What is entropy? Why does life so utterly depend on the ability to extract negative entropy from its environment? What does that mean? What is the secret of really good satire?

To comprehend just a bit why the Entropy Law is so absolutely supreme among the laws of physics consider this. All other physical laws are invariant with respect to time. Newtonian or Classical Mechanics, Einstein’s special theory of relativity, his general theory of relativity, Maxwell’s equations, quantum Mechanics, quantum electro-dynamics, Superstring theory all are equally comfortable with the flow of time in either direction. Only the Entropy Law defines time’s arrow. If we drop a wine glass on a concrete patio it shatters. Time never runs the other way. Shards of glass never come back together and reconstruct the wine glass. The simplest explanation, one of many interpretations of entropy, is a probabilistic one. There is only one organization of the glass shards which forms the glass but an infinite number of random configurations of shards which do not form the glass and all of which are functionally indistinguishable. The glass is ordered and far from thermodynamic equilibrium and has very low entropy. The scattered shards are disordered and have high entropy. Wine glasses shatter in forward time and could only spontaneously reconstruct in negative time. We’ve never observed a glass spontaneously reconstruct. The Entropy Law, the second law of thermodynamics, tells us that we can proceed in one direction from order to disorder in time but we cannot go the other way.

A gallon of gasoline is in a state of low entropy. The concentrated carbon-carbon and hydrogen-carbon bonds store enormous free chemical energy and are far from thermodynamic equilibrium. We can burn these molecules and release the energy and create carbon dioxide and water vapor and heat. What we are doing really is transforming the low entropy of the gasoline into high entropy of scattered carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat. We are using the transformation of the quality of the free energy to move our car.

The energy and matter in the system before and after the transformation is the same and has to be by the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This is the conservation law. We started with a highly ordered collection of gasoline molecules far from thermodynamic equilibrium and ended up with dispersed molecules and heat scattered throughout the environment. And if we’ve burned a gallon we’ve moved our car 20 or so miles up the road. We’ve done work. Cars like organisms, like society require low entropy.

Even standing still requires low entropy. Bananas rot, cars rust, organisms including people age. Much of the low entropy cost of operating society is simply required for maintenance not growth. GDP got a boost in the wake of Katrina but New Orleans still is not recovered fully. We haven’t fully replaced the wealth we once had. Out bloated military spending, defending as it is, our oil supply, requires vast amounts of low entropy which could otherwise have been spent on growth or simply maintenance of existing wealth. Growth is therefore limited by available low entropy after the requirements of maintenance have been met. If our society is so complex as to require more low entropy than is available growth is impossible.

The arguments which economists raise against prescient books such as Limits to Growth [2] include: price, technology and substitution. We see that by the Entropy Law, there is no substitute for low entropy. We can replace one source with another but that game is very limited. We can replace wood burning with coal burning and indeed coal has a higher energy density but available coal is limited and not renewable. We have supported less than a billion people burning wood whereas we are supporting seven billion people burning coal and other fossil fuels. We cannot therefore simply go back to wood.

The substitution argument tells us that when oil prices get intolerably high, we will simply substitute some alternate source of low entropy for the low entropy we have been capturing from oil. One problem with this argument is that we’ve invested incredible amounts of low entropy in the development of fossil fuel infrastructure. We did this when oil, from an energy cost perspective, was cheap. Any substitute will require the build out of equivalent infrastructure which right now does not exist [3]. We will have to do this when energy costs are high and low entropy is scarce. And we know there is no substitution for other sources of low entropy. There is no substitution for fresh water, good top soils and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer, for example.

Technology may increase our rate of burn of available low entropy and it can improve the efficiency with which we transform available low entropy into useful work but it cannot create available low entropy any more than the wine glass shards can magically reconstruct the wine glass. We see that technology can actually exacerbate limits to growth. Technology cannot violate the second law. And even the most partisan judges cannot repeal it.

Price signals lose their effectiveness when resource limits are reached [4, 5 and 6]. Neo-classical economic hypothesis violate the second law because they assume resources and waste sinks are infinite. At least we know therefore that there is no hope for them.

The point of lowest entropy in the universe was 13.7 billion years ago at the big bang. Black holes represent the highest entropy we are aware of today [7]. Whatever stuff is inside a black hole, and maybe only Steven Hawkins knows, can be rearranged billions upon billions of ways and one still has a black hole. That is thermodynamic equilibrium. You by contrast are a collection of precisely constructed atoms and molecules. Even a very minor deviation, such as the miscoding of a single nucleic acid may portend a cancerous death. You and I are far from thermodynamic equilibrium. We should not take life for granted.

Good satire is almost plausible. :+)

Tony Noerpel

[1] The Onion, http://www.theonion.com/articles/christian-right-lobbies-to-overturn-second-law-of,281/

[2] Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows, William Behrens, Limits to Growth, 1972 and Limits to Growth, The 30-Year Update, 2004.

[3] Vaclav Smil, Energy Transformations, 2010.

[4] Frederick Soddy, Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt, 1926.

[5] Herman Daly, Beyond Growth, 1996.

[6] Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, 1971.

[7] Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, 2004.

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

noerpel

The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014

springiscoming

By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.10.56 AM

I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012

Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …

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Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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Events

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

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April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Celebrate Easter & Spring’s Arrival at Salamander Resort & Spa

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April 16, 2014N/A

As the long winter ends and spring unfolds, generations are invited to join Salamander Resort & Spa as they bring back the wholesome goodness of a traditional Easter where family and togetherness matter most.

From Wednesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 20, guests can hop on over for the colorful celebration. Salamander features dedicated children's and family programming with Easter and Spring-themed festivities including Easter Painting and Egg Dying, Easter Candle Making and Cupcake Decorating as well as Family Corn Hole and Badminton Contests.

The festive week culminates on Sunday with a Grand Easter Buffet in the Middleburg Ballroom complete with an Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Roll. Seating times are 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $85 per adult (includes sparkling wine), $34.00 per child. The Egg Hunt and Egg Roll will take place out on the Middleburg Terrace at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Wear your Sunday best and enjoy delicious Easter fare and delighted faces when Mr. Cotton Tail makes a surprise visit as complimentary pony rides are led through the Grand Lawn from 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Bid the day farewell and the evening in on the Grand Lawn at 5 p.m. for the Salutation to the Evening featuring Salamander’s Equestrian Team as they ride through the Grand Lawn sounding the horn as twilight falls. Photo opportunities are available with the riders and horses after the salutation.

Whether it’s finding treasures throughout the resort grounds during an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt or leading your family in their first Easter Egg Roll, traditions start here. Bring your stylish Easter bonnet or trendy Fedora hat for our first Best Bonnet Contest and let’s make memories.

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Celebrate Easter & Spring’s Arrival at Salamander Resort & Spa

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April 17, 2014N/A

As the long winter ends and spring unfolds, generations are invited to join Salamander Resort & Spa as they bring back the wholesome goodness of a traditional Easter where family and togetherness matter most.

From Wednesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 20, guests can hop on over for the colorful celebration. Salamander features dedicated children's and family programming with Easter and Spring-themed festivities including Easter Painting and Egg Dying, Easter Candle Making and Cupcake Decorating as well as Family Corn Hole and Badminton Contests.

The festive week culminates on Sunday with a Grand Easter Buffet in the Middleburg Ballroom complete with an Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Roll. Seating times are 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $85 per adult (includes sparkling wine), $34.00 per child. The Egg Hunt and Egg Roll will take place out on the Middleburg Terrace at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Wear your Sunday best and enjoy delicious Easter fare and delighted faces when Mr. Cotton Tail makes a surprise visit as complimentary pony rides are led through the Grand Lawn from 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Bid the day farewell and the evening in on the Grand Lawn at 5 p.m. for the Salutation to the Evening featuring Salamander’s Equestrian Team as they ride through the Grand Lawn sounding the horn as twilight falls. Photo opportunities are available with the riders and horses after the salutation.

Whether it’s finding treasures throughout the resort grounds during an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt or leading your family in their first Easter Egg Roll, traditions start here. Bring your stylish Easter bonnet or trendy Fedora hat for our first Best Bonnet Contest and let’s make memories.

18

Celebrate Easter & Spring’s Arrival at Salamander Resort & Spa

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April 18, 2014N/A

As the long winter ends and spring unfolds, generations are invited to join Salamander Resort & Spa as they bring back the wholesome goodness of a traditional Easter where family and togetherness matter most.

From Wednesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 20, guests can hop on over for the colorful celebration. Salamander features dedicated children's and family programming with Easter and Spring-themed festivities including Easter Painting and Egg Dying, Easter Candle Making and Cupcake Decorating as well as Family Corn Hole and Badminton Contests.

The festive week culminates on Sunday with a Grand Easter Buffet in the Middleburg Ballroom complete with an Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Roll. Seating times are 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $85 per adult (includes sparkling wine), $34.00 per child. The Egg Hunt and Egg Roll will take place out on the Middleburg Terrace at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Wear your Sunday best and enjoy delicious Easter fare and delighted faces when Mr. Cotton Tail makes a surprise visit as complimentary pony rides are led through the Grand Lawn from 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Bid the day farewell and the evening in on the Grand Lawn at 5 p.m. for the Salutation to the Evening featuring Salamander’s Equestrian Team as they ride through the Grand Lawn sounding the horn as twilight falls. Photo opportunities are available with the riders and horses after the salutation.

Whether it’s finding treasures throughout the resort grounds during an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt or leading your family in their first Easter Egg Roll, traditions start here. Bring your stylish Easter bonnet or trendy Fedora hat for our first Best Bonnet Contest and let’s make memories.

19

Celebrate Easter & Spring’s Arrival at Salamander Resort & Spa

Close

April 19, 2014N/A

As the long winter ends and spring unfolds, generations are invited to join Salamander Resort & Spa as they bring back the wholesome goodness of a traditional Easter where family and togetherness matter most.

From Wednesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 20, guests can hop on over for the colorful celebration. Salamander features dedicated children's and family programming with Easter and Spring-themed festivities including Easter Painting and Egg Dying, Easter Candle Making and Cupcake Decorating as well as Family Corn Hole and Badminton Contests.

The festive week culminates on Sunday with a Grand Easter Buffet in the Middleburg Ballroom complete with an Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Roll. Seating times are 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $85 per adult (includes sparkling wine), $34.00 per child. The Egg Hunt and Egg Roll will take place out on the Middleburg Terrace at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Wear your Sunday best and enjoy delicious Easter fare and delighted faces when Mr. Cotton Tail makes a surprise visit as complimentary pony rides are led through the Grand Lawn from 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Bid the day farewell and the evening in on the Grand Lawn at 5 p.m. for the Salutation to the Evening featuring Salamander’s Equestrian Team as they ride through the Grand Lawn sounding the horn as twilight falls. Photo opportunities are available with the riders and horses after the salutation.

Whether it’s finding treasures throughout the resort grounds during an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt or leading your family in their first Easter Egg Roll, traditions start here. Bring your stylish Easter bonnet or trendy Fedora hat for our first Best Bonnet Contest and let’s make memories.

Easter at "The Park"

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April 19, 2014

Morven Park
17263 Southern Planter Lane
Leesburg, Virginia 20176
7037772414

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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WILLY WONKA - a delicious musical for the whole family!

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April 25, 2014

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences. This scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

Starring Tom Sweitzer as Willy Wonka and directed by Karlah Louis, 25 year Equity actress and veteran of 7 National Broadway tours.

Tickets $20 adults/$15 seniors and students

For tickets call 751-9588 or email karlahlouis@aol.com

26

WILLY WONKA - a delicious musical for the whole family!

Close

April 26, 2014

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences. This scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

Starring Tom Sweitzer as Willy Wonka and directed by Karlah Louis, 25 year Equity actress and veteran of 7 National Broadway tours.

Tickets $20 adults/$15 seniors and students

For tickets call 751-9588 or email karlahlouis@aol.com

27

Lovettsville Spring 5k and Fun Run

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April 27, 2014N/A

Lovettsville Community Center
57 E. Broad Way
Lovettsville, VA

Register in person at the Lovettsville Community Center. Call 540-822-5284 or e-mail lovcc@loudoun.gov for more information.

WILLY WONKA - a delicious musical for the whole family!

Close

April 27, 2014

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences. This scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

Starring Tom Sweitzer as Willy Wonka and directed by Karlah Louis, 25 year Equity actress and veteran of 7 National Broadway tours.

Tickets $20 adults/$15 seniors and students

For tickets call 751-9588 or email karlahlouis@aol.com

28 29 30

VAL's Pals Kids Club

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April 30, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1601 Village Market Blvd #100
Leesburg, Virginia 20175
USA

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

1

At the Water -- an exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson

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May 1, 2014N/A

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In May, Arts in the Village Gallery presents At the Water, a Featured Artist Exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson who shares her collection of acrylic and mixed media pieces that seek to convey the essence and mood of various water-related settings.

The ocean, the beach, boardwalk, lake house, dock, river, - - all places where water provides the back drop for some of our most treasured experiences.  Karen Watson offers an eclectic mix of acrylic paintings, textured and collaged mixed media canvases, and panels featuring found object niches, designed to trigger memories and feelings from those times spent in At the Water.

Join us to meet Karen and other gallery artists and enjoy a glass of wine and light fare at a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, May 17, from 5 – 8 p.m.

2

At the Water -- an exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson

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May 2, 2014N/A

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In May, Arts in the Village Gallery presents At the Water, a Featured Artist Exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson who shares her collection of acrylic and mixed media pieces that seek to convey the essence and mood of various water-related settings.

The ocean, the beach, boardwalk, lake house, dock, river, - - all places where water provides the back drop for some of our most treasured experiences.  Karen Watson offers an eclectic mix of acrylic paintings, textured and collaged mixed media canvases, and panels featuring found object niches, designed to trigger memories and feelings from those times spent in At the Water.

Join us to meet Karen and other gallery artists and enjoy a glass of wine and light fare at a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, May 17, from 5 – 8 p.m.

WILLY WONKA - a delicious musical for the whole family!

Close

May 2, 2014

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences. This scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

Starring Tom Sweitzer as Willy Wonka and directed by Karlah Louis, 25 year Equity actress and veteran of 7 National Broadway tours.

Tickets $20 adults/$15 seniors and students

For tickets call 751-9588 or email karlahlouis@aol.com

3

At the Water -- an exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson

Close

May 3, 2014N/A

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In May, Arts in the Village Gallery presents At the Water, a Featured Artist Exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson who shares her collection of acrylic and mixed media pieces that seek to convey the essence and mood of various water-related settings.

The ocean, the beach, boardwalk, lake house, dock, river, - - all places where water provides the back drop for some of our most treasured experiences.  Karen Watson offers an eclectic mix of acrylic paintings, textured and collaged mixed media canvases, and panels featuring found object niches, designed to trigger memories and feelings from those times spent in At the Water.

Join us to meet Karen and other gallery artists and enjoy a glass of wine and light fare at a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, May 17, from 5 – 8 p.m.

WILLY WONKA - a delicious musical for the whole family!

Close

May 3, 2014

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences. This scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

Starring Tom Sweitzer as Willy Wonka and directed by Karlah Louis, 25 year Equity actress and veteran of 7 National Broadway tours.

Tickets $20 adults/$15 seniors and students

For tickets call 751-9588 or email karlahlouis@aol.com

4

At the Water -- an exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson

Close

May 4, 2014N/A

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In May, Arts in the Village Gallery presents At the Water, a Featured Artist Exhibit by mixed media artist Karen Watson who shares her collection of acrylic and mixed media pieces that seek to convey the essence and mood of various water-related settings.

The ocean, the beach, boardwalk, lake house, dock, river, - - all places where water provides the back drop for some of our most treasured experiences.  Karen Watson offers an eclectic mix of acrylic paintings, textured and collaged mixed media canvases, and panels featuring found object niches, designed to trigger memories and feelings from those times spent in At the Water.

Join us to meet Karen and other gallery artists and enjoy a glass of wine and light fare at a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, May 17, from 5 – 8 p.m.

WILLY WONKA - a delicious musical for the whole family!

Close

May 4, 2014

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences. This scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

Starring Tom Sweitzer as Willy Wonka and directed by Karlah Louis, 25 year Equity actress and veteran of 7 National Broadway tours.

Tickets $20 adults/$15 seniors and students

For tickets call 751-9588 or email karlahlouis@aol.com

SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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May 4, 2014

Heritage High School
520 Evergreen Mill Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
USA
7032205202

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

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

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …

(3 comments)

Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

Jim_Burton_cropped

In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

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

9 Apr 2014

sadiestart

Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014

Mayor_Zoldos_Citizen_of_Year_Award

At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election

Frank_wolf

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

(1 comment)

Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

Frank_wolf

By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting

Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

ulll

Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Letters

Let’s Think Outside the Box

23 Apr 2014

blueridge2.jpg

Sometimes it’s necessary to think outside the box, and this is one of those times. Leaving emotion aside and dealing only with cold, hard facts, …

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Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

blueridge2

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 …

(2 comments)

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