Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Work Program Presented September 1

September 3, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Work Program Presented September 1

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 Comments Off on Early Morning Fire Destroys Lucketts Barn

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 Comments Off on Ghost Hunting at Oatlands

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 Comments Off on Our Economy

“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 Comments Off on Get Fashionable with Loudoun Youth, Inc

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

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 Comments Off on Middleburg Celebrates the Harvest

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 Comments Off on Cruise-In Party Offers Rewards


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 Comments Off on Why Are They Going……

…….. 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 Comments Off on State Offers Bed Bug Forums

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 Comments Off on Volley for Breast Cancer

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 Comments Off on Blue Ridge Leader News – August 29, 2010

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

Not Your Father’s El Nino

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NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015

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Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

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I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

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– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

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By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

What It Means To Be a Man

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …

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A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

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blueridgemiddleschool

Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

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

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

COFFEEHOUSE: J.RILEY STEWART

COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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KAYDEE PUPPETS: SHEEP DOG DETECTIVES

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

September Fourth Friday at Breaux

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Rally for the Cure

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

BUSH BROTHERS LIVE!

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Recent Comments

  • Merlis on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Yes! What a great idea.
  • Mark Gunderman on Gifts Within: Second Mount Olive Baptist Church, located in Hamilton, VA, was founded in 1872. The congregation desires to exalt God and...
  • Kathleen Hannon on What It Means To Be a Man: Great article Samuel! We have two daughters and we try to teach them to look for qualities such as...
  • R. Ohneiser Esq. on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Interesting discussion but let's consider how to actually resolve this problem permanently FOR THE BENEFIT OF LOUDOUN NOT JUST FOR...
  • Nan Siegel on Remembering Mabel: A lovely, heartfelt tribute. Though I never met Mabel, I think she must have had a wonderful life, full of...

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Editorial

Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Lifestyle

Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015

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The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015

blueridge2

Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015

wildloudoundragonflies

Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Governor McAuliffe Launches Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Order 47 establishing the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and fostering the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for young people in Virginia. “The foundation of the new Virginia economy rests on the strength …

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Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

davelarock

By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …

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Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

governorsigns

On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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Sports

Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015

drewhunter

Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015

americanlegionpost34

Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

thismonthhistory

– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Letters

Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to …

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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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