Amy V. Smith’s Money Talks

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 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

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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


 

 

 

 

Columns

Pie in the Face (with remarks from Ron Paul)

noerpel_new

“In any field, the establishment is seldom in pursuit of the truth because it is composed of those who sincerely believe that they are already in possession of it.” E. T. Jaynes. Everybody prefaces Bernie Sanders name with “pie in …

Asterisk No More

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

town of purcellville sign

Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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 …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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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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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Chocolate & Cabernet

Sweetheart's Soirée at Breaux Vineyards

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Celebrate Valentine's Day at North Gate Vineyard

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26

Breaux Vineyards February Fourth Friday

27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

Our Love is Here to Stay

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Merlot Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

North Gate Vineyard Wine Dinner with Chef Sebastian Oveysi

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Creation and Evolution in Native American Spirituality

9 Feb 2016

turtle_swartz

In celebration of Evolution Weekend, an annual event led by clergy to encourage serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science, St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville has invited Roger and Deborah “Turtle” Swartz to guide a discussion of traditional Native American Spirituality and its wisdom in celebrating human relationship to the earth. In a …

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Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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