Amy V. Smith’s Money Talks

June 29, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns, News, Your Money 2 comments
Amy Smith-BRL

Meet Amy Smith, our newest columnist who will write here each month on how to plan for an independent financial future. She will give special attention to the needs of pre-retirees and widowed and divorced women.

It’s hard to take up the subject of financial planning these days when so many individuals and families have been hit so hard by the recession. And yet, there’s probably no better time to begin to look ahead than right now.

As J. Pierpont Morgan, a gentleman who knew a fair bit about money, said, “The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” … Continue Reading

Clarke Responds

June 29, 2011 by Contributor Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Clarke Responds

Response: to Blue Ridge Leader & Loudoun Today June 2011 “OPINION” article, that was written by Valerie Joyner, about the Republican Candidate for the Blue Ridge District titled “Is Janet Clarke the Right Choice?”

I appreciate your reaching out through the media to seek feedback and want you to know that I am always happy to sit down and speak with you. I have an open door policy. To address your article, I was not chosen to serve on Town Council. I served on the Purcellville Town Council from July 2006 to June 2008 while initially working for Loudoun County Public Schools in their central office, conducting sub- stance abuse and violence prevention programs throughout the county in the secondary schools. I was one of four who applied for the Council vacancy, in part, to help affect a resolution to the Woodgrove High School issue.The entire Council interviewed all candidates and voted to fill the vacancy, not one member as suggested. During my tenure on Council I served on the Infrastructure, Ways and Means and Public Safety Committees and never voted to raise taxes. Prior to serving on Town Council, I also served a separate three year term on the Loudoun County Community Service Board.

    … Continue Reading

We Remember Janet Clarke

June 29, 2011 by Contributor Columns, View From the Ridge 1 comment

By Nick Pelchar

Janet Clarke voted repeatedly with the Purcellville Town Council to sue Loudoun County to block the construction of Woodgrove High School. The school is now built exactly where the County want- ed it built. What changed things? After the Lazaro Council held the students of Western Loudoun hostage for 3 years Janet Clark spearheaded the effort to extort nearly $6 million dollars from Loudoun County to put in the town’s cof- fers. An effort she is very proud of today. In truth, Janet Clark and the Purcellville Town Council held the children of Western Loudoun hostage. They were ransomed for nearly $6 million dollars. There is no other way to say it. Ms. Clarke admits that her own children were victims of the Purcellville Town Council’s greed which resulted in unnecessarily overcrowded schools for years. What should we infer about a woman who would sacrifice the well-being of her own children to further her political capital?

If there was ever a more twisted com- munity battle in America than the Woodgrove High lawsuits I would like to hear it. Blue Ridge Board of Supervisors candidate Janet Clarke’s reaction to criti- cism that she was part of an extremely liti- gious Purcellville Town Council by claiming credit for affecting a resolution is disingenu- ous. Her notes and study of Purcellville’s recent history are inaccurate and revision- ary. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors purchased the Fields Farm property in 2000 and immediately provided a plan to build an elementary and a high school on the property as agreed to and provided for in the PUGAMP (Purcellville Urban Growth and Management Plan). The anti-school arguments that followed and were supported by Purcellville Town Council Member Janet Clarke were based on fear and ignorance. Now that Woodgrove High School is built none of the “problems” the Lazaro/Clarke Council cited have proven true. Purcellville’s Town Council would not have appointed Ms. Clarke to serve on council if she disagreed with their filing lawsuit after lawsuit against the County in order to fight Woodgrove High School.

Dear Ms. Clarke – THEIR public schools are OUR public schools.

What did the Lazaro Council do with the $6 million they extorted from the Loudoun County taxpayers? They went to court again and have condemned land on Crooked Run Orchard, a farm which has been in the Brown family for 250 years. The Southern “Commercial” Road (Southern Collector Road) is well under- way. The Lazaro/Clarke Council has been successful in trading an apple grove for a strip mall. Stop by Crooked Run and take a look at what the Town of Purcellville is doing to Sam and Uta Brown’s farm. They are destroying a state landmark and a fami- ly’s livelihood. All in a day’s work on the dais at the Purcellville Town Council. For this abhorrent decision I blame you Ms. Clarke. Afterall,youweretheoneto spearhead the effort to extort the money which made this destruction possible.

Janet Clarke, who is eager to point out that she now has a child attending the dreaded Woodgrove High School she fought so hard against would like to be your Blue Ridge Supervisor. I wonder what she thinks about Woodgrove now?

She would like you to vote for her to represent you on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Before you press the lever remember that Janet Clarke sacrificed the children of Western Loudoun to further her own political career. Remember who is paying the bill for the $6 million dollars she is so proud to have extorted from the County. YouandIarepayingthebill. Every resident of Loudoun County is pay- ing the bill.

Editor’s Note: Janet Clarke was appointed to the Purcellville Town Council in July 2006 to fill the seat left vacant by Bob Lazaro when he was elected Mayor. Nicholas Pelchar served on the Council from July 2002 to June 2006. There was no litigation between the Town of Purcellville and Loudoun County while Mr. Pelchar served on the Council. Contrary to Mrs. Clarke’s statement, litigation against the County regarding Woodgrove High School began and was voted on during her tenure on the Purcellville Town Council.

Flowers As Art…From a Scanner

June 29, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Uncategorized, Virginia Gardening Comments Off on Flowers As Art…From a Scanner
Fireworks2009

By Donna Williamson

Well it’s May and has been raining for days and so I ordered more seeds! Baker Seed had all of these strange and beautiful tomatoes and eggplant so I started a whole second series of plants! This made me think about summer and one of the best garden tools I used…my flatbed scanner.

Flatbed scanners are not costly as equipment goes. I bought this one to work on a family history for a friend and it has beautifully scanned many photos and slides over the past few years. This Epson V500 Photo scanner was chosen because many of my friend’s photos were in frames and the top lid adjusts for bulky items and it was affordable. … Continue Reading

Sheriff’s Office Advises Residents of Computer Technician Scam

June 29, 2011 by Contributor Public Safety Comments Off on Sheriff’s Office Advises Residents of Computer Technician Scam
sheriff

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is advising residents on the latest telephone scam where the caller claims to be a technician for Microsoft and advises the victim their computer has been hacked.

In a recent case in June an Ashburn woman received a call advising that their computer had been infected with a virus causing their programs and files to
become corrupt. The scammer on the phone states that they have called to help fix the program but they would need to remotely access her computer. … Continue Reading

Oh, Go Take a (Local) Hike

June 29, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns 4 comments
Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau

Now that summer is in full swing, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stay inside watching the Real Housewives of wherever or playing the latest first-person shooter game. Instead, it’s time to hit the trails, and Loudoun County has plenty of hiking trails nearby. Here are two of my favorite spots that are perfect for getting some exercise, some peace and quiet, and to observe the local wildlife:

The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES), is an excellent place for beginners to take an easy hike. With a diverse landscape which features young forests, meadows, ponds and streams, BRCES is a great area for wildlife spotting, so pack your binoculars. History buffs will love poking around the old homesteads scattered throughout the property. The center boasts 14 trails which add up to 9 miles, of which you can wander as much or as little as you like. There are plenty of picnic spots at BRCES as well. Take route 9 west past Hillsboro and turn right on Harpers Ferry Rd. Keep an eye out for the small sign for BRCES on the left at 11661 Harpers Ferry Road. The Center is open from dawn ‘til dusk and there is parking available by the information kiosk. … Continue Reading

Real Estate Ticker July

June 29, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns Comments Off on Real Estate Ticker July
Heather Elias Photo

By Heather Elias

I’ve been up to my elbows in the spring market since my last column, and I have to say that I’m pleased by how busy and strong our local real estate market is here in Loudoun County.

According to statistics from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), our local multiple listing service, new signed contracts to purchase in LoCo for May were at the highest levels we’ve seen since May 2005. Meanwhile, median sold price across the county has risen 6.5 percent compared to May 2010, and the average sold price is coming in at 96.6 percent of the original list price. So if you are a buyer and you think that you are going to put the squeeze on a seller, think again: our inventory numbers are still low, and sellers for the most part are getting very close to their asking price. Townhome and condo inventory was actually down 30 percent in May, compared to the prior year!. … Continue Reading

“A Little Short of Boats: the Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21-22, 1861,”

June 28, 2011 by Contributor Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on “A Little Short of Boats: the Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21-22, 1861,”

By Jim Morgan

Renowned Civil War author Jim Morgan will present “A Little Short of Boats: the Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry,” October 21-22, 1861,” on Sunday, July 10, as part of the Lovettsville Historical Society’s 2011 Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at 2:00 p.m. at St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville.

Morgan will show that, despite the widespread belief that the Battle of Ball’s Bluff resulted from a deliberate and pre-planned Union attempt to take Leesburg, it was, in fact, a simple accident. A small Union raiding party, on a very limited mission, encountered and engaged a few Confederate pickets, and from this unintended skirmish, a battle evolved. It had nothing whatsoever to do with an attempt on Leesburg, Morgan maintains, although expectations and appearances contributed to that mistaken historical impression. … Continue Reading

Samantha Heaslip of Purcellville Named to the University of New Hampshire’s Dean’s List

June 28, 2011 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Samantha Heaslip of Purcellville Named to the University of New Hampshire’s Dean’s List

Samantha Heaslip of Purcellville has earned Honors for the spring semester of the 2010-2011 academic year at the University of New Hampshire.
Students named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire are students who have earned recognition through their superior scholastic performance. Highest Honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.7 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.5 to 3.69 average are awarded high honors and students whose grade point average is 3.2 through 3.49 are awarded honors.

Round Hill United Methodist Church Offers Day Camp

June 28, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on Round Hill United Methodist Church Offers Day Camp

Kid’s That Care Mission Camp at Round Hill United Methodist Church will be held July 18-22 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for rising first graders to rising fifth graders. The goal of this day camp is to create a community of children that uses their time and their talents to serve the Seniors and residents in need of aid and those with special needs. To register, email joblinger@yahoo.com.

Procrastination Is Expensive!

June 28, 2011 by Contributor Columns Comments Off on Procrastination Is Expensive!

By Cat Morris

It’s been raining lately.

I assume that our visibly clogged gutters are at least partly to blame for my sloshy basement since water is draining straight against our foundation. Last year we paid $25 for someone to clean our gutters, saving us having to find and climb—eek–an extension ladder. I have just needed to make this year’s call, but I have been putting it off. Since March.

Every time my husband and I suffer a major upset on the domestic front it can usually be attributed to–or at least exacerbated by–procrastination or negligence by one of us, and “one of us” is usually me. It has taken a long time for me to see this, but it’s true. … Continue Reading

Communty Breakfast and Membership Drive

June 27, 2011 by Contributor Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Communty Breakfast and Membership Drive

The “Between the Hills” Community will be having a Country Breakfast and membership drive on July 16 from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.. Country biscuits & sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, home fried potatoes, pancakes and more. 11762 Harpers Ferry Rd., (Rt.671). Free Will Offering will be accepted.

Purcellville Police Department Places Third in State Traffic Safety Challenge

June 27, 2011 by Contributor News, Public Safety Comments Off on Purcellville Police Department Places Third in State Traffic Safety Challenge

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) recently announced the winners of the 2010 Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Award. The Purcellville Police Department placed third in the Municipal 2 Category (agencies with 11-25 sworn law enforcement officers). First place was awarded to the Bedford Police Department and Ashland Police Department received second place. “This is the second time in my five years here in Purcellville that we have placed. In 2007 we tied for first with Vinton Police Department in this Traffic Challenge. Placing requires a very balanced program of enforcement and education. I think last year we really stepped up the education piece, which help us place. For a 14 sworn member agency its very difficult to compete with agencies that have 25 sworn. I am proud of our effort each year. We only want our community of drivers to be safe,” said Chief Smith. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

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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

Childhood and Adolescent Depression: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

2 Sep 2015

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects one in every 10 Americans.  And while the CDC’s data on depression currently shows that folks residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia fall slightly …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Suzanne Kane Nature Preserve

2 Sep 2015

suzanne kayne nature

This innocuous little area lay smoldering in my semi-consciousness for several years – and after thousands of passings-by – I finally woke up one morning and just had to find out what was to be found out there. See – …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015

morvenpark

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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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

donnawilliamson

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

A Man of Character

3 Sep 2015

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “I thought it would be appropriate to reiterate my thoughts on power and quote something from Frederick Douglass that I believe is quite true,” Manfred Kory wrote to me after reading Lonnae O’Neill’s June 29 column in …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

When To Take Social Security: Timing Is Everything

3 Sep 2015

Smith0035

As you approach retirement, there are several decisions that can impact the level of income you will receive when you stop working. One such decision will be about claiming your Social Security retirement benefit. More than half of eligible Americans …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

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

benkellog

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

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

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

Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament

3 Sep 2015

stoneleigh

Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s is having their 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 Golf Magazine and recently awarded a 3.5 star rating by Golf Digest. The format is …

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Irish Sessions at Corcoran Brewing

3 Sep 2015

noerpel150

Gina Faber and Tony Noerpel have started an “Irish Session” at Corcoran Brewing Company in Purcellville once a month on the second Sunday. The next session will be from noon to 3:00 p.m. on September 13. It is an open session, and anyone can bring an instrument and play along. Tony and his wife, Nancy, visited Ireland last year and were impressed by …

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September Calendar

3 Sep 2015

blueridge2

Ongoing events Saturdays, September 12 to October 17, Interpreting Scripture Through Visual Arts, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Jonathan Holland, artist and youth pastor, will take you on a journey to create powerful and moving art rooted within the Bible. Cost is $105. Go to opusoaks.org. On Saturday, September 12 at noon, Sunday, September 13 at 1:00 p.m., September 26 at noon and September 27 …

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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

Good Government Reinforces the Family

davelarock

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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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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Sports

Las Vegas Tournament Good for Loudoun Teams

2 Sep 2015

basketball

D1 Sports & Athletics 15U Spartan Elite Boys basketball team won the Gold Elite Championship out of 158 teams from across the country at the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic on July 26. D1SA Spartan Elite defeated Drive Bounce Elite from British Columbia, Canada, in the championship game with the …

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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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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

Perfection and Expectation in High School

3 Sep 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde If you think about high school, what do you think about? Do you think about the sports and how important they are to some students whose only dream of getting into college is a scholarship? Do you think about the high school student struggling for an …

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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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