First Official Game Under the Lights at Haske Field

May 30, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Uncategorized Comments Off on First Official Game Under the Lights at Haske Field

… Continue Reading

Blue Ridge Leader News – May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010 by Tim Jon Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Blue Ridge Leader News – May 30, 2010

“We don’t need no stinking Water Protection!”

Sounds like our local Supervisors have a real water tiger by the tail. The County Board heard mostly opposition to a document that’s at least supposed to take measures to protect the quality of the Chesapeake.

I don’t think many of those opponents actually want dirtier water- either in the Bay or here in Loudoun; it seems many of the complaints stem from their perception of over-regulation.

(In Loudoun County- imagine that!)

The Board decided to put the measure to its next meeting for final action; we’ll see if they can make any sense out of this proposal by that time.

The Supervisors even agreed that this plan- as it now stands- could use some work.

Loudoun’s participation in the Bay Protection Act would be voluntary, and most of the pending rules would apply to use of land within 100 feet of streams, wetlands and other bodies of water.

Sounds pretty good, in theory.

I do think it’s a good idea to have some kind of plan to protect water, whether it feeds into the Bay or no; imagine if we drilled for oil- say in the Gulf of Mexico- without stringent protection measures in place- just in case something would go wrong- so the problem could be fixed by the quickest possible means.

Oh, you mean we DON’T have those measures in place, so we CAN’T fix disastrous leaking oil problems- and it just happened at a blown rig where a number of lives were lost?

As I said, water protection- in and of itself- sounds like a good idea to me.

It’s better than deliberate water pollution, and I think I’ve seen my share of that right here in little old Loudoun County.

Bunker Mentality

Well, one thing we can do something about- it appears- is take measures to fight crime in eastern Loudoun. The County plans an open house early next month at its new Sheriff’s Substation in Sterling Park.

You may connect the name of the locality to memories of headlines of drive by shootings and other related gang activity.

Well, your memory serves correct and it got so bad the County went and put in a new public safety center- along East Frederick Drive- smack dab in the middle of some of the worst areas- in terms of crime statistics.

This is a full-service facility, so Deputies can run their show right from Sterling Park, without having to commute back and forth from the main office in Leesburg.

Now that is a good idea and I hope it does the trick in ridding those neighborhoods of crime.

Frank Talk

Got a problem? “Call your Congressman.”

Well, you don’t even have to make a call in this instance; Frank Wolf plans a Town Hall Meeting in Leesburg on Tuesday night. Topics on recent stops throughout the District have included the economy and job creation, transportation and immigration.

You might even get the latest on the BP Gulf oil disaster situation, or an update on the war in Afghanistan, and/or his opinions on the best direction for our involvement (or no) in Iraq.

And from the many Town Hall Meetings I’ve covered over the years, you can feel pretty confident of getting the chance to ask the Congressman pretty much any question you want; they don’t screen the attendees or shy away from tough issues.

He’ll stand and deal with whatever comes up.

One of the things I always liked about Frank Wolf. If you ask him, he’ll deal with stuff- if he’s not on it already.

And he’s usually happy to find out whatever your concerns are. I’ve seen him face some pretty tough situations and raw emotions.

Anyway, enough grandstanding.

This Town Hall Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Ida Lee Rec Center in Leesburg.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth your time- you should probably go; it’s got my recommendation.

Somebody find a light switch!

In this perfect society of ours, it seems that a bunch of elected leaders from around the Commonwealth got the idea that we should have more overhead power lines; at least, that’s what I concluded from one of the latest pieces of drivel which floated out of the City of Richmond. Somehow, a bill was passed which makes it much more difficult for localities to gain leverage in seeking to implement an underground alignment in the perennial highwire debate.

This legislation now compels the State Corporation Commission to require power companies to bury transmission lines only if every affected locality along a proposed route signs onto the deal- and- get this, it’s lovely- they’d tack on a special tax for that district to pay for the undergrounding.

“Wouldn’t want those power companies to be put out none, would we, hon?”

And, as we all know, overhead power lines rarely fail in the event of inclement weather (where were you when the lights went out this past February, Senator?).

Boy, it’d sure be nice to be on the meal ticket for the lobbyists down in Richmond. I bet they eat pretty good.

Almost as good as some of our legislators and their corporate buddies.

Like I said, it’s a perfect society and it all works out for everybody.

‘Here, Deer’

And, for those who haven’t heard quite everything, but think they have: we may start painting some of our wild critters in the near future- all in the name of staying healthy. Believe it or not, there’s a program that fights Lyme Disease by treating white-tailed deer at feeding stations. The devices sort of swab the beasts as they dip their heads in to take seed corn, and some sort of concoction supposedly kills the ticks that ride on the deer that eventually spread Lyme Disease. The US Department of Agriculture came up with the idea of for these feeding stations back in the mid-90’s- for a program in upstate New York- another tick-ridden region. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries currently prohibits these feeding stations- a blanket regulation rising from issues involving hunting and chronic wasting disease in deer. Anyway, common sense would say that a dead tick is a good tick. Let’s see what the locals do with this one.

Celebrating Sus Domestica- and other edible critters

And, despite the rainy weather, barbecue season has arrived! Actually, I love to use my smoker-grill in all types of weather, pretty much year-round, but it sure feels good to fire it up right about this time of year- as a salute to Memorial Day.

At the time of this writing, I’ve got about 15 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs on the grates- hovering over indirect heat, accompanied by a lovingly tender blanket of fine wood smoke.

And, if you’ve any doubt about the motivation behind the creation of the original grill- in whatever country or continent it occurred, let me state emphatically that it involved pigs.

Grills exist because of pork.

For those who refrain from the meat of those cloven-hoofed delights, my apologies, but no religion or dietary concern could ever tear me away from a day at the grill with my favorite culinary creature.

You can smoke your salmon (if fact I do, too), you can grill your beef brisket (I actually prefer short ribs) and you can even throw some chicken or turkey or even Cornish game hens on the grates when the mood strikes; but for sheer profundity of flavor, irresistible aroma, textures that run the gamut from melt-in-your-mouth juicy to something of a tree-branch chewing quality- and an overwhelmingly anticipatory color combination of red to pink to near-black, the swine rules.

Hail the pig.

I’m sure we’ve elected less well-loved leaders of our respective nations than this four-footed feast.

For Our Fathers- and all others who’ve served

And, speaking of Memorial Day and this holiday weekend, no- I’m not gonna say that you have to personally thank every veteran for their service and attend each ceremony in your community. However, as I am lucky enough to still have my Dad around, who fought in World War II, I will tell you that I always got the feeling that he figured one of the things he fought for was the right of Americans to observe dates like this as they choose.

But, like everything else, the more you understand something, the more meaning it gains.

Dad talked little about the War when we were growing up, and when he did, he usually made it sound like some kind of four-year long, tropical party in the South Pacific.

He did mention- just once or twice- kind of in passing- some sort of sea rescue effort that he was involved in- in which some of the victims were partially eaten by sharks.

Sounded pretty long ago and far away to us kids at the time, and it was quite a few years before I came to understand that he was one of the first responders to the survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

After that ship delivered some crucial parts for one of the atomic bombs slated for Japan, the enemy torpedoed her on the way back to the States; reportedly the ship went down in 12 minutes- killing about 300 sailors in the process and leaving close to 900 survivors bobbing in the sea.

They were discovered about four days later in a horrific scene of dead and dying servicemen amid scattered floating debris.

The tragedy went down in the books as the greatest loss of life at sea for the US Navy.

No wonder Dad remembered that experience.

Anyway, I’m traveling home in a few days to see him and I want to get the rest of that story- after he gets a big hug for his upcoming 88th birthday.

Happy Memorial Day, Dad.

You, too. Thanks for sitting in- now go tell your family you love them and map out the rest of your day.

Tim Jon for the Blue Ridge Leader

Science Literacy

May 27, 2010 by Contributor Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Science Literacy

Contributed by Jackson Harper

“What laws govern our universe? How shall we know them? How may this knowledge help us to comprehend the world and hence guide its actions to our advantage?” Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality – a complete guide to the laws of the universe, from the chapter The Roots of Science, Knopf, 2004.

Your recognition and understanding of scientific issues is vital to our democracy in an era of decision making on global warming, off-shore oil drilling, stem cell research, nuclear power, genetic engineering, and a host of other concerns. Without familiarity of scientific issues the voter is sometimes manipulated by special interests, unknowingly against her own interests.

Americans are weak in science literacy according to a nationwide study in 2009 by the California Academy of Science. Almost half of Americans did not know how long the earth revolved around the sun. More than half could not estimate the percentage the planet is covered by water. More than a third thought that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. A recent Gallup poll revealed that only 39% of Americans believed in evolution. The United States lags most developed countries in science education with American teens ranking 29th behind such countries as Croatia, Finland, Canada, and Hong Kong.

With the decline of newspapers fewer science stories are being written as science writers are laid off. Between 1998 and 2005 science sections in newspapers were reduced from 95 to 34. The CNN science, technology, and environment unit was terminated in 2008. Science writers and television personalities have been criticized for pitting prominent scientists against ideologues in debate where no debate exists in the science. Many writers, producers, and politicians do not realize that science develops through observation, research, hypothesis testing, peer review, and collegial challenge. Science is a process by which we can understand the universe, not a body of facts and conclusions.

There are so few scientists in Congress according to Representative Vernon Ehlers, PhD in physics, that they are “probably all overworked” dealing with the science-related issues before them. Representative Roscoe Bartlett, PhD in physiology, has long been a leader in Congress addressing peak world oil production. He has introduced a House Resolution to “establish an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency that was incorporated in the `Man on the Moon’ project to address the inevitable challenges of `Peak Oil’.” Unfortunately, Representatives and Senators have been known to enlist as “expert witnesses” non-scientists, such as fiction writer Michael Crickton and writer Christopher Monckton to bolster their positions against recognition of the serious threat of climate change. Renowned scientist Dr. Peter Gleick responds: “Are the climate deniers going to go away? No. Nothing will convince them, since science hasn’t. There are still people — a lot of people — who do not believe in evolution, or plate tectonics, or the Big Bang theory. But the longer that policymakers hesitate to act, the more the balance will shift to suffering. I believe that history will prove those delaying action to be dangerously wrong, at a time when it is urgent that society be courageously right.”

You can become science literate by carefully selecting books, web sites, and films. It is important to choose materials from top science institutions and preeminent scientists in their fields. Unfortunately, special interests have filled book shelves and the internet with half-truths and misinformation in the support of special interests. Starting out, you may want to read about current scientific issues from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), The National Academy of Sciences, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Excellent articles can also be found at web sites including Scientific American, Science Daily, and New Scientist. Don’t be afraid of science. Jump in. The water’s fine!

Jackson Harper has a PhD in Environmental Biology / Public Policy and received the 2008 Environmental Justice award from Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice. He blogs at

Blue Ridge Leader News – May 23, 2010

May 24, 2010 by Tim Jon Loudoun County, News, Tim Jon with BRLN Comments Off on Blue Ridge Leader News – May 23, 2010

A Lot of Nothing

Our locality gets a little closer to seeing justice done on the man held responsible for a brutal beating and murder from last year in Lansdowne; defendant Darwin Bowman waived right to preliminary hearing in the case of the death of William Bennett of Potomac Station and the attack on the victim’s surviving widow, Cynthia. The senseless act occurred in March of last year, as the Bennetts jogged along Riverside Parkway. … Continue Reading

Small Steps To Add Energy Efficiency to Your Kitchen.

May 20, 2010 by Debi Skaggs Lifestyle, Your Money Comments Off on Small Steps To Add Energy Efficiency to Your Kitchen.

We are all aware of the push to save energy. Here are some easy ways to reduce energy usage in your kitchen. Most of us have heard some if not all of this before. A lot of us dismiss the information and continue life as usual. Try making a conscious effort when you’re in the kitchen to remember some these techniques. Don’t try to make too many changes at once. It will only frustrate you and you’ll slip back into the old habits. Try just one thing for starters, for example letting your dishes air dry. After a couple of weeks it will become habit. Next put a sign on your oven door, “Don’t Peek”. After a few false starts it too will become habit and you’ll be able to take the sign down.

Your appliances including your refrigerator, dishwasher and range use about 13 percent of your home’s energy. Here are some general guidelines for improving the efficiency and cutting energy costs.


Adjust the refrigerator temperature settings. Optimum refrigerator range is 37 to 40°F and freezer range is 0 to 5°F. Check your owner’s manual for settings if the temperature control does not specify degrees. A full refrigerator retains cold better than an empty one. The mass of cold items will help the refrigerator to recover more quickly after the door has been opened however don’t overfill it. That will interfere with the circulation of cold air inside. Minimize door openings as much as possible, easier said than done with children in the house. When you do have to purchase a new one keep in mind that top freezer models are 10 to 25 percent more efficient than a side by side. And look for a model with an ENERGY STAR sticker.


Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load. Running it after 7:00 p.m. will avoid using energy at peak hours. Avoid using the “rinse hold” setting on your dishwasher. “Rinse hold” uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use, and heating water takes extra energy. Pieces of food can build up over the dishwasher drain and cause the dishwasher to work harder. Check the drain regularly to ensure it does not become clogged. If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, use it instead of the heat-dry setting. You will cut the dishwasher’s energy use 15 to 50 percent. If there is no air-dry setting, turn the dishwasher off after its final rinse and open the door. When replacing your dishwasher choose an ENERGY STAR model with settings such as partial load setting (which uses less hot water) and energy-efficient drying cycles and the option of air dry and heat dry settings.


Avoid preparing meals that require you to use the range or oven extensively on hot days. This helps to reduce the load on your air conditioner and makes you feel more comfortable in your home. Don’t peek. Every time you open the oven door to look at the food, the oven temperature is lowered by 25°F to 75°F. Use cooking time wisely. Turn off the electric range two to three minutes before the task is done and allow the residual heat to finish the job. Use microwave ovens to save energy. Microwave ovens are about 33 percent more efficient than convection ovens and 66 percent more efficient than conventional ovens. Use the right sized pot on stove burners. A 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Also, cover pots and pans to keep heat in. When it is time to replace the appliance if purchasing an electric range look for one containing ceramic, halogen or induction range elements. They are more efficient than the type containing electric coils. They are also easier to clean and allow for greater temperature control. Consider purchasing a self-cleaning oven. It’s better insulated than other models, so they are more energy-efficient when used appropriately. Select an oven with a window. This allows you to check food without opening the door. Consider a convection oven. A convection unit in combination with a conventional oven cooks faster at lower temperatures.

This article written by Debi Skaggs of Lou Who Contracting, Inc. for informational purposes only. Lou Who Contracting provides conventional and alternative Heating and Air Conditioning solutions for residential and light commercial buildings in Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick County Virginia.

Cuccinelli Verses Everybody Else

May 20, 2010 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Cuccinelli Verses Everybody Else

“Everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected.” Richard Feynman Lectures in Physics [1].

Our Humanity

Both whales and elephants have larger brains than Homo sapiens. They have larger memories and faster processing capabilities [2]. Our accomplishments are not due to our intellectual superiority to these animals with whom we’ve co-evolved but to our thumbs. We can write things down and store information, first on cave walls and clay tablets and more recently on flash drives, so that we have access to the sum of human knowledge and not just the information we carry in our own brains. Whales and elephants are individually limited to what each animal can memorize and pass on verbally. Homo neanderthalensis also may have had a larger brain. Our superiority over Neanderthals may be due to our capacity for complex language, a lucky evolutionary happenstance. It is not to superior individual intellectual gifts to which we owe our success as a species but to our ability to accumulate, communicate and share information and scientific knowledge.

The sum of human knowledge, documented by our science, includes the periodic table of elements, the human genome, the catalogue of celestial objects, the geologic time scale, the theory of gravity, electromagnetic fields, quantum electrodynamics, evolution, how to build a car, how to cook, agricultural sciences and the taxonomy of life and much more. Not everybody knows all of this stuff but it is all written down and we can pass it on. Occasionally, some humans have set themselves up as judges of what knowledge is proper and have destroyed libraries such as the library of Alexandria in 391 AD and the Iraq National Library in Baghdad in 2003. Throughout history scientists have been attacked, imprisoned and beheaded, the fate of Antoine Lavoisier, discoverer of oxygen.

Global warming denier attacks on climate scientists are therefore attacks on all science and really attacks on our humanity. We’ve observed the Heartland Institute’s Diane Bast, and the pundit Alexander Cockburn presume to judge scientists they disagree with [3] and I cannot think of anybody less competent than these two unless it is Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Scientists Make Mistakes

Scientists do make mistakes and often publish results which are later found to be in error, or simply incomplete. Often they make assumptions which are later shown to be wrong. That’s fine. Science progresses by such fits and starts. I give two relevant examples below where scientists published papers which contain major mistakes.

We’ve seen previously [4] that denier Richard Lindzen [5] published a mistaken hypothesis regarding a possible negative feedback mechanism which he suggested might mitigate global warming. Even the technical team for the now-defunct industry funded misinformation group Global Climate Coalition concluded [6]:

“Lindzen’s hypothesis that any warming would create more rain which would cool and dry the upper troposphere did offer a mechanism for balancing the effect of increased greenhouse gases. However, the data supporting this hypothesis is weak, and even Lindzen has stopped presenting it as an alternative to the conventional model of climate change.”

No Attorney General subpoenaed Lindzen or his university and in fact he did nothing wrong other than make a mistake.

In another example, deniers Roy Spencer and John Christy wrote a paper in 1990 [7] which attempted to reconcile weather balloon measurements of atmospheric temperature with satellite-based measurements. Satellite measurements began in 1978 but weather balloon data had existed for decades. In their paper the authors postulate that though the troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) had warmed, it had not warmed as fast as the surface temperature. Their results showed a warming trend of 0.09°C per decade, below the surface temperature trend of 0.17°C per decade.

There has never been a scientific paper written that suggested that the troposphere had not warmed at all by the way. The importance of the paper to denier arguments was that climate models predict that the troposphere would warm faster than the Earth’s surface when CO2 was increased. In other words, if the results from Spencer and Christy held, then either the models were wrong or the cause of the observed Earth’s surface temperature increase might not be atmospheric CO2.

In November 2005, Carl Mears and Frank Wentz [8] at Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) [9] performed an independent analysis of the satellite data. In the process, they found an algebraic error in the Spencer and Christy analysis [8] which Christy and Spencer later acknowledged [10] which adjusted their estimate of the atmospheric warming upwards to 0.12°C per decade. Furthermore, Mears and Wentz performed their own data analysis and showed a trend of 0.19°C per decade, in line with the climate model predictions.

Since this was such an important foundation stone in the denier argument, the issue was adjudicated by the U. S. Climate Change Science Program in a paper [11] co-authored by John Christy, which concludes:

“Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved.

“This difference between models and observations may arise from errors that are common to all models, from errors in the observational data sets, or from a combination of these factors. The second explanation is favored, but the issue is still open.” [11]

Though deniers still cite Spencer and Christy, we note that the discrepancy they reported no longer exists and the most likely explanation for differences between climate models and observations were in fact errors in the observational data sets made by Spencer and Christy. We see that an important argument for global warming denial was in fact wrong. Nobody accused Christy and Spencer of lying or falsifying their data to agree with their ideology. Christy and Spencer made a few mistakes. Those mistakes were corrected when other scientists attempted to duplicate their results further strengthening the scientific support for anthropogenic global warming theory. Since the Mears paper, scientists from Yale have shown by making more accurate measurements that even the discrepancy between climate models and measured temperature in the tropics referred to by the NAS study no longer exists [12].

The Case against Michael Mann

The IPCC AR-3 published in 2001 [13], contained a curve produced by Michael Mann showing the temperature anomaly during the last 1000 years as measured by proxies. This is his famous hockey stick curve. Had Mann’s results contained mistakes then Mann would have been no guiltier than deniers Lindzen, Spencer and Christy of anything more than having been wrong. But Mann’s results are correct and have been validated many times.

Mann’s curve shows a relatively constant temperature, which solar scientists such as Usoskin [14] have shown to be consistent with solar radiation and other natural forcing functions, until the latter part of the twentieth century, when the Earth surface temperature rose dramatically, as a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases, resembling a hockey stick shape.

The study by Usoskin et al. [14] finds that “the solar series shows a ‘Hockey Stick’ shape” except for the blade confirming the Mann Hockey Stick. As an aside we note that two popular denier arguments actually contradict each other, one that the Hockey Stick has been debunked and the other that the warming is due to solar energy and not greenhouse gas emissions. Recently Mann [15] further strengthened the proxy evidence and extends the reconstruction back nearly 2000 years (see figure 1).

Figure 1 shows the latest Holocene climate reconstructions from several proxies [15]. The Medieval Warm Period, roughly centered about 1000 A. D., and the Little Ice Age, roughly centered about 1700 A. D., are visible. These events are generally attributed to a variation of solar irradiation of about +/- 0.2 W/m2. Note that this figure includes the results from Moberg [16] which as we’ve seen [4] deniers cite in support of the denial view. From this figure we observe that the recent warming is unprecedented in both amount and rate of change. Note that it is the rate of change which is particularly frightening.

I’ve never understood why deniers are so committed to trying to debunk Michael Mann’s hockey stick. Denier’s insistence on exaggerating the cooling during the little ice age or the warming during the medieval warm period actually hurts their position because it would mean that the climate is even more sensitive to forcings than assumed in the IPCC report. The solar forcing during the little ice age was about 0.2 W/m2 [17, 18, 19] while the total current forcing is about 1.6 W/m2 or about eight times stronger [20]. You can see the problem, if natural variability is indeed stronger than expected and acts as an amplifier.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research published a paper [21] in 2009 which further confirms Michael Mann’s hockey stick temperature record. Using independent scientific techniques they’ve reconstructed the temperature record for the arctic. Their results shown in figure 2 reinforce the consensus view.

Mann has been exonerated by the Pennsylvania State University [22]. His science has been validated by one study after another including an examination by the National Academy of Sciences [23] and even by papers cited by deniers. The obvious conclusion is that Michael Mann performed important, relevant and quite accurate science that has stood the test of time. His results have been repeatedly duplicated by other researchers using different methods. His research has helped humans understand our predicament and improve our chances of survival. The case against Michael Mann has been fabricated by unscrupulous and ignorant people and doesn’t exist.

Figure 1 reconstructed surface temperature anomaly (Mann, 2008)

Figure 1 reconstructed surface temperature anomaly (Mann, 2008)

Figure 2 NCAR Arctic temperature reconstruction

Figure 2 NCAR Arctic temperature reconstruction

The Case against Attorney General Cuccinelli

On April 23 Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a subpoena against the University of Virginia requesting all the emails, correspondence, computer codes and other documents of Michael Mann. The subpoena does not contain any evidence of any violation of any law according to the journal Nature.

Humans have for the first time faced an existential crisis by assembling our best and most knowledgeable thinkers on the subject when the UN and the World Meteorological Association in cooperation with all governments and industry established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to examine the potential threat of anthropogenic global warming. Every single major science organization in the world has endorsed their findings and every government, including the United States, has accepted their conclusions. Most people are too busy with their lives to dedicate the large amounts of time necessary to try to understand this complex issue. All folks who accept the conclusions are behaving entirely rationally. The problem of anthropogenic global warming is so overwhelming that it cannot be solved unless humans cooperate. This means we have to have some form of regulation. Industry knows this and that is why they fund the global warming disinformation campaign.

We all know that deregulation of industry leads to disaster such as President Reagan’s savings and loan fiasco, Senator Gramm’s recent recession caused by his 1999 deregulation of the financial sector (Goldman Sachs et al) act, Massey Coal’s Upper Big Branch Mine explosion and of course British Petroleum’s disastrous Gulf oil explosion. In fact democracy and free markets do not work without good independent government regulation. We’ve seen this. We know this.

The scientific evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming is so compelling and so thorough, so entirely consistent with all human knowledge that the only recourse left to the fossil fuel industry is to attack certain climate scientists. Michael Mann has performed high quality science and his results are not convenient for the fossil fuel industry. By attacking him, presumably they hope to scare off other scientists from telling the truth. We think of this kind of thing happening in the Soviet Union or Communist China. In fact Climate Scientist Ken Caldeira slammed anti-scientific witchhunts asking: “Are American politicians following in the footsteps of Stalin?” [24] The U-VA faculty Senate averred that Cuccinelli actions threaten “our ability to generate the knowledge upon which informed public policy relies.”

The energy and natural resources industry was Cuccinelli’s largest donor sector [25] in his run for Attorney General contributing $47,465. So perhaps it is not surprising that Cuccinelli is spending taxpayer dollars on a witch hunt to persecute climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State without evidence and without cause. Cuccinelli has no basis for a law suit and any judge reading the NAS paper will throw him out of court on his derrière. Cuccinelli must know this. He is not stupid. Thus Cuccinelli’s intention may be harassment. This he achieves by his subpoena.

On May 12, 2010, the science journal Nature [26] scathingly attacked Cuccinelli’s subpoena as baseless pointing out that he gave no evidence of any wrong doing on the part of Mann.

On May 7, 2010, 255 scientist including 11 Nobel laureates published a letter in the journal Science stating that “We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular.” [27]

I do not know if Cuccinelli is just another corrupt politician doing the biding of those who paid for his election. But he would make a great petty bureaucrat in Stalinist Russia.

In other News

In other climate news, Science just published yet another report on species extinction due to global warming [28] consistent with ‘alarmist’ warnings and NASA and NOAA both report that we’ve just had the hottest April on record following the hottest January-February-March on record [29]. If 2010 turns out to be the hottest year on record which is looking likely, wait until next year when you will be hearing Cuccinelli and other deniers argue that global warming stopped in 2010. Also Jeff Masters of Weather Underground reports [30] that the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic’s Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest April on record being an eye-opening 1.46°C above average. This anomaly, according to Masters, foretells another record hurricane season and bears watching.

[1] Richard Feynman Lectures in Physics, The definitive Edition, Volume I, Addison Wesley, 2006.

[2] John D. Barrow, New Theories of Everything, Oxford University Press, 2007.



[5] Lindzen, R. S., “Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming”, American Meteorological Society, Vol. 71, No. 3, March 1990.

[6] Global Climate Coalition see and

[7] Spencer, R. W., and Christy, J. R., 1990 Precise monitoring of global temperature trends from satellites, Science 247: 1558-1562.

[8] Mears, CA, FJ Wentz, 2005, The effect of drifting measurement time on satellite-derived lower tropospheric temperature, Science, 309, 1548-1551



[11] Wigley, T. M. L., V. Ramaswamy, J.R. Christy, J.R. Lanzante, C.A. Mears, B.D. Santer, C.K. Folland, 2006 “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere – Understanding and Reconciling Differences executive summary”, US Government, April, 2006.

[12] Allen et al. Warming maximum in the tropical upper troposphere deduced from thermal winds. Nature Geoscience, 25 May 2008 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo208. See also

[13] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001,

[14] Usoskin, I. G., Schussler, M., Solanki, S. K., and Mursula, K. 2004 Solaractivity over the last 1150 years: does it correlate with climate?, Proc. 13th Cool Stars Workshop, Hamburg, 5-9 July 2004.

[15] Mann, M., Zhang, Z., Hughes, M., Bradley, R., Miller, S., Rutherford, S., and Ni, F., 2008, , “Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

[16] Anders Moberg, Dmitry M. Sonechkin, Karin Holmgren, Nina M. Datsenko and Wibjörn Karlén, “Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data,” (Nature 433, 613-617, February 2005)

[17] Wang, Y.-M., J. L. Lean, J. L., and Sheeley, N. R. Jr , Modeling the sun’s magnetic field and irradiance since 1713, The Astrophysical Journal, 625:522–538, May 20, 2005

[18] Krivova, N. A., Balmaceda, L., and Solanki, S. K., Reconstruction of solar total irradiance since 1700 from the surface magnetic flux, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 467, Number 1, May III 2007, 335 – 346.

[19] Shindell, D. T. , Schmidt, G. A., Mann, M. E., Rind, D., and Waple, A., 2001, Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum, Science, vol 294 7, December, 2001.

[20] Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for adapting to climate change: Tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27. DOI 10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001.

[21] Darrell S. Kaufman, David P. Schneider, Nicholas P. McKay, Caspar M. Ammann, Raymond S. Bradley, Keith R. Briffa, Gifford H. Miller, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Bo M. Vinther, and Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members, “Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling”, Science 4 September 2009 325: 1236-1239 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1173983]


[23] National Academy of Sciences, 2005, SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECONSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LAST 2,000 YEARS Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies





[28] B. Sinervo et al, “Erosion of Lizard Diversity by Climate Change and Altered Thermal Niches” Science 14 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5980, pp. 894 – 899 DOI: 10.1126/science.1184695,



Valley Teacher Will Spend Year Abroad

May 20, 2010 by Lauren Pichon News, Schools Comments Off on Valley Teacher Will Spend Year Abroad

As the school year comes to a close, students and teachers are giving much thought to summer plans, and, more importantly, next school year. With the opening of Woodgrove High School, many students and teachers will be in a new unfamiliar setting, but few will get to spend the school year in a foreign country, immersed in culture. This is just what U.S. History and International Relations teacher Kent Bailey will be doing as he prepares to travel to Hungary to spend the 2010-2011 school year. … Continue Reading

Tails for May 19

May 19, 2010 by Contributor Columns, Sushi's Corner Comments Off on Tails for May 19

Since we last met, the farm ponies were swishing flies with their long tails, grazing lazily out in the pasture. It was just about that time when……

A pretty little hen, Lady Miss Gracious, was pecking at slugs, bugs and berries in the field. She seemed to enjoy the peace and quiet around the ponies as opposed to the hustle, bustle and gossip around the hen house. She ignored Lord Percy’s call to come in for breakfast. Lulu Belle noticed Lord Percy, perched at the highest point of the Chicken Palace, keeping close watch on this young hen. Lady Miss Gracious meandered further and further out into the field alongside the horses, seemingly unaware of just how far she was straying from the safety of the barnyard.

Upon hearing the girls rustling buckets of corn, Sadie, Penny and Toby kicked up their heels and raced across the field with giant, graceful strides – tails held high, and manes flowing in the wind. Not one of them was about to miss his grain. Poor Lady Miss Gracious was barely quick enough to get out of the way of the ponies. Just as she was collecting herself and fluffing her feathers back into order, the red – tailed hawk flew from his perch, swooping over her head, screeching a warning.

“Little hen! Little hen! Run! Run, for all your might!”

Soaring high over the fields, craning his neck downward as his wings lifted him toward the sun, it was clear the hawk had his eye on something. It was the Sly One, creeping up the hill. Before Lady Miss Gracious could shake up her last fluff, the fox grabbed her tail feathers! Lord Percy crowed in horror, flying off the doorway of the Chicken Palace towards the damsel in distress.

Muscles rippling in her well – conditioned body, Lulu Belle quickly covered the ground and bounded after the Sly One before he could make off with Lady Miss Gracious.

Down the hill into the dark forbidden woods, Lulu Belle continued the chase of the red fox.

Escorting the flustered little hen back to the safety of the Chicken Palace, Lord Percy could be heard. “Lady Miss Gracious what were you thinking? You were all alone in the field. You must trust me and obey when I call everyone in for breakfast. As safe as the farm seems, there are dangers that lurk in the dark and forbidden woods. I’m grateful to Lulu Belle you are alive!”

Upon their return, all the poultry and fowl hustled toward the two of them. One old hen clucked: “Oh, my dear girl! Your poor tail feathers!” Lady Miss Gracious blushed with embarrassment and shivered from fright.

Well, now you can only imagine what went through Bernie and Laino’s minds for two little girls! But – that is for next week. Tah Tah for now!


Old Time Radio Show at Carver Center

May 19, 2010 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Loudoun County Comments Off on Old Time Radio Show at Carver Center

Enjoy an afternoon of old time radio show magic with a presentation from the 1940’s “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio show on May 23 at 3:00 p.m. Veteran Loudoun radio theatre performers and Foley artists (for live sound effects) present this comic gem along with its original commercials (often as funny as the script!). Live music provided by the Telegraph Springs Band, performing acoustic swing and American Roots music including “Oh Lady be Good,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” and “Blue Skies.” The radio show is directed by Lori Daly and features a reprise of the famous Abbott and Costello act “Who’s on First.”

Refreshments available. The show is free, but donations are welcome and all proceeds from the Radio Show at Carver Center benefit Carver Center. The Carver Center is located at 200 Willie Palmer Way, Purcellville, Virginia. For directions, call the Center at 571-258-3400.

Click here to see the radio show poster.

Blue Ridge Leader News – May 16, 2010

May 17, 2010 by Tim Jon Loudoun County, News, Tim Jon with BRLN Comments Off on Blue Ridge Leader News – May 16, 2010

Precisely the Prescription from the Vessel with the Pestle

I’m trying to think of an analogy to kick off the fact that Loudoun County’s second full-service hospital gained formal approval this week; ‘an apple a day’ doesn’t really fit the bill, ‘ just what the Doctor ordered’ isn’t really in order- maybe we can say it’s a ‘shot in the arm’ for local healthcare: how’s that sound? We’ve been talking about this HCA proposal for some time, and they’ve been around these parts for years- trying to leverage their way onto the local medical scene. … Continue Reading

This Week’s “Tails”

May 12, 2010 by Contributor Columns, Sushi's Corner Comments Off on This Week’s “Tails”


It’s me – Sushi! If you didn’t read last weeks part of the story, go back and catch up – I have lots to share with you and more to come….

“Girls, Daddy will be home late tonight. After breakfast, I want to be sure the house is picked up and your chores done down at the barn. Tomorrow we can all have a wonderful day together, a special day indeed.”

“Yes Mama.” The girls raced back upstairs to change into their farm clothes, wondering what mama and daddy were up to.

Mama yelled up to the girls:

“Girls, breakfast is ready, I’ll set it on the front porch for you.”

Bernie, Tiki, and Laino enjoyed their breakfast while watching the little chickadees darting back and forth into the arms of the massive holly trees that hugged either side of the house. The chickadees loved their homes in the holly trees and the girls loved the life they would soon produce. The quiet morning air was broken by the loud call of Lord Percy, the barn yard rooster.

“Cock – a – doodle – doo, cock – a – doodle-doo!”

He crowed to all the barnyard hens to gather around the Chicken Palace for their breakfast.

Bernie and Laino knew the farm animals would be anxiously awaiting them, so they headed down the long farm drive toward the barn. Lulu Belle was on duty. She followed the girls. She carefully picked her spot from which to observe all that was going on. She knew that one never could tell what lurked in the dark, forbidden woods beyond the safety of the open fields. Tiki stayed on the front porch to warm herself in the morning sun. Out in the eastern field, misted in the dew, was a lone, majestic red – tailed hawk. He sat high on the branch of a lovely sycamore tree, overseeing his territory. Lulu Belle kept a close eye on the great hunting bird.

She knew the hawk would give alert if there was danger anywhere near. Sadie, Penny and Toby, the farm ponies, grazed quietly in the field below, swishing flies with their long tails.

Well – let me tell you just how quick the peace and serenity of a beautiful day can change in the blink of an eye – Can’t wait to tell you more about this day on the farm next week in the Blue Ridge Leader! See you then.


Blue Ridge Leader News – May 9, 2010

May 9, 2010 by Tim Jon Loudoun County, News, Tim Jon with BRLN Comments Off on Blue Ridge Leader News – May 9, 2010

Long Time Coming
Well, the man responsible for last summer’s violent crime spree in Leesburg won’t be coming around here anymore; actually, he’ll be residing behind bars for the rest of his life. William Spencer received two life sentences- plus another 58 years for good measure- as penalty for the incidents on July 10. … Continue Reading

From the Desk of Supervisor Burton

May 8, 2010 by Jim Burton Loudoun County, News Comments Off on From the Desk of Supervisor Burton

I. County Business:

a. FY’11 Budget

As I noted in my December newsletter, the budget situation this year was the toughest I have faced during my 15 years as a Loudoun County Supervisor due to cuts in State funding (with the exception of education funding), the lack of federal stimulus funds (such as were available during last year’s budget exercise), and the loss in value in commercial real estate, along with no significant recovery in residential real estate values. On the County side we were also faced with the need to staff an expansion to the jail, while the Schools needed funding to open three new schools … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Trusting Science

14 Nov 2015


“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1] I previously reported [2] on …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Some Thoughts on Veterans Day

13 Nov 2015


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is also a time to reflect and remember with gratitude. America is a free and democratic nation today, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Phil Bolen Memorial Park

4 Nov 2015


I never knew Phil Bolen as the Loudoun County Government Administrator; I never even got to know him as Director of Parks and Recreation, and I certainly never knew Phil Bolen the teacher and coach at Loudoun Valley High School. …


Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

30 Sep 2015


You may never feel the urge to travel to this little, unincorporated community; it’s not exactly a conduit for commuter traffic, and there aren’t really any places to shop, or gas up, or procure much of anything else from a …

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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

5 May 2015


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

Choosing To Live in the Present

4 Nov 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love a good story. I love telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. Our experiences bring meaning to our lives, and help shape us into the people we are today. Yet inherent in storytelling is the …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Trusts

4 Nov 2015


A common estate planning device is the trust. A trust is simply an agreement between two people: the person who establishes the trust, who may be called the Settlor, the Grantor or the Trustor, and the person or institution who …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015


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

1 Jul 2015


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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November 2015

Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Mrs. Lucketts’ Haunted Garden & Playground


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Steve Potter Live at North Gate Vineyard

2 3

Elementary Drama Camp

4 5 6

Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – painter Karen Hutchison and glass artists David and Dale Barnes


Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20

The Essential Elvis Tribute Show


Christmas Bazaar

23 24 25 26 27

The Capitol Steps


3rd Annual Bluemont (Juried) Holiday Craft Show

30 1 2 3 4 5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


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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Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

4 Oct 2015


By Malcolm Baldwin Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become …



2015 Loudoun 10K Trail Race Raises over $30,000 to Support Boulder Crest Retreat and Our Nation’s Veterans

16 Nov 2015


“I continued to be humbled by our community and all they do to make Boulder Crest Retreat a success. Jim Schatz and his team at Loudoun Road Runners are amazing. This trail run is in alignment with the rural nature of Boulder Crest Retreat and we look forward to the event every year. My personal appreciation goes out to all …

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990. If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to …

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


The Carver Center is at 200 Willie Palmer Way in Purcellville. Call 571-258-3400 to sign up for the following programs. November 6, Friday Lunch and movie Still Alice 12-2 p.m. (ages 55 and up).  To sign up call 571-258-3459. November 9, Monday AARP Driver Safety Class 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m (ages 50 and up). Pre-registration required. AARP members $15, …

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


Chipmunks are small, beautifully elegant little creatures, with large glossy eyes, a sleek brown body, a short, pointy head, dainty white stripes above and below the eye, and a series of black land white lines down their sturdy little backs. They have a very sweet posture – sitting upright and holding food with their two perfectly formed front feet, while …

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement on the current terrorist attacks in Paris: “After September 11, 2001, we tragically learned that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them. Again, with the recent murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, we have learned that …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


Statewide data shows increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2013 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s tourism revenues topped $22.4 billion in 2014, a 4.1 percent increase over 2013. In 2014, tourism in Virginia supported 216,949 jobs, an increase of nearly 700 jobs to the previously reported forecast estimate of …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


The Don Rose, Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund is seeking financial support to provide scholarships at college, technical or trade school. Applicants from public, private, and home schools are eligible to receive the scholarship, provided they participated in youth sports within Loudoun County. The fund aims to award two $500 scholarships …

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


Ida Lee Park Tennis Center’s Ladies Singles 2.5 Team, Simply Smashing, won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship tournament, held October 16-18, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club. Simply Smashing members include team captain Beth Cioni, Debbie DeLadurantaye, Jennifer Fox, Robin Haast, Holly McMullen and Deja O’Malley. They train …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– 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

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It’s sad to say that the norm now is to wonder about the next school shooting. For a student it is the most terrifying thing, the next shooter could come at any moment, and any day could be the day that you die. It could be …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– 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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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


The 5th annual Purcellville Halloween Block Party was the best attended to date with an estimated 6,000 descending on 21st street in Old Town this past Friday evening. Costume …

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


My Dad used to say it’s what you do when nobody is watching that counts. Over 80 percent of my “zoning permitted” and “land owner …

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


Recently Gov. McAuliffe proposed $17 round trip tolls on I-66 inside the beltway with Chuck Hedges the Democrat nominee for the HOD 33rd district being …

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