Year in Review

December 26, 2012 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Year in Review

Happy Holidays and a Review of a Few of the Year’s Important Climate Papers

“Rates of sea level rise reached at least 1.2 m per century during all major episodes of ice-volume reduction.” Grant et al. [1]

Several recent papers have compared the climate projection of the International Panel on Climate change (IPCC) assessments with the subsequent historic record. These include Brysse et al. [2]; Rahmstorf, Foster and Cazenave [3]; and another paper by Frame and Stone [4]. David Frame and Daithi Stone compare the projections from the first assessment report published in 1990, more than 20 years ago, with the climate history to date. They conclude that “the climate is responding to enhanced levels of GHGs in accordance with historical expectations.” Climate in this context is averaged surface temperature. … Continue Reading

The Christ of Christmas

December 26, 2012 by Contributor Faith, Lifestyle Comments Off on The Christ of Christmas

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6

Christian goal is to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Christ of Christmas.

God foretold his plan for humanity through the Hebrew prophets hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Isaiah wrote, “The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.” … Continue Reading

Fire at Community Corrections Office Classified as Arson

December 26, 2012 by Contributor News, Public Safety Comments Off on Fire at Community Corrections Office Classified as Arson

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office classified the December 19, 2012 fire at the Community Correction office on Edwards Ferry Road as an attempted arson.

The early morning fire produced minimal damage to the structure and did not impair the day to day functions of the business.

The Fire Marshal’s Office is currently leading the investigation into the November 14, 2012 fire and the most recent fire on December 19, 2012. The coincidence of the two recent fires is being evaluated, but currently no conclusive link has been made.

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the responsible person(s) for the fire(s). Anyone with information should call the Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

Purcellville Offers Curbside Christmas Tree Recycling

December 21, 2012 by Contributor News, Our Towns Comments Off on Purcellville Offers Curbside Christmas Tree Recycling
town of purcellville sign

The Town’s curbside refuse and recycling contractor, American Disposal Services, will collect Christmas Trees (only) for recycling on the first two Wednesday collection days in January 2013 (January 2 and 9). Regular yard waste collection will end on Wednesday December 26, 2012. Do not place yard waste curbside after December 26th. Yard waste collection will start again on March 6, 2013. Christmas trees are recycled into free mulch which is available at the Loudoun County Landfill. However, trees collected with decorations, wire, tinsel, lights and tree bags will contaminate the mulch. Follow the guidelines below to recycle your tree.

Christmas Tree Recycling Guidelines

  • Remove all decorations from trees – please check carefully for items hidden behind thicker branches or limbs
  • Remove tinsel, fake snow, angel hair, etc.
  • Remove all lighting from trees
  • Remove all twine, metal or plastic ties and string
  • Place trees at the curb on Tuesday night (the night before collection day)
  • Please do not block sidewalks or streets with trees
  • Do not place trees in plastic bags or “Christmas Tree Disposal Bags”
  • Remove stands and bases from trees

Visit the Town’s website at under “Resident Information” for further information on Christmas Tree recycling and refuse, yard waste and recycling collection.

Financial Peace University Comes to Purcellville

December 21, 2012 by Contributor News, Our Towns 2 comments
town of purcellville sign

More than one and a half million families have positively changed their financial future through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU). Updated in summer 2012, the now nine-week course provides families and individuals with practical tools to gain control of their finances and set themselves up for long-term financial success. The course meets once a week where a different lesson is taught by Dave on DVD followed by a small-group discussion. Lessons include budgeting, relationships and money, getting out of debt, saving for emergencies and investing. FPU will be held in Purcellville at:

Bethany United Methodist Church located at 100 West Main Street in Purcellville. The classes will begin Monday, January 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Call Chris Durbin at 540-338-7648 for more information or to register. … Continue Reading

Christmas Spirit

December 21, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Christmas Spirit
town of purcellville sign

As a Town Council Member and a Citizen of Purcellville, I wanted to say Thank You to all of our citizens who decorated their houses for the holidays. As I rode on the Trolley Tour through Purcellville, there were many “oohs” and “aahs” as we rode through the neighborhoods. It really helped to ring in the Christmas Spirit around Town. We saw multiple Mickey Mouse’s, the famous leg lamp from “A Christmas Story” and unbelievable inflatable characters. We were even home to one of those social media sensations that was coordinated to classic holiday music. On a personal note, my family and I drove through Town almost every night during the week to see the arrangements as my kids loved the displays. My 2 year old daughter made us find every inflatable Mickey Mouse in Town.

I would also like to entend my gratitude to the Town staff and Parks & Rec Advisory Board for pulling together the Christmas in Purcellville events. We sometimes forget about those behind the scenes that do the work and want to make sure they know how important they are.

Thank you!

Patrick McConville II
Mr. McConville is a member of the Purcellville Town Council

Leesburg Offers Christmas Tree Recycling to Town Residents

December 21, 2012 by Contributor News, Our Towns Comments Off on Leesburg Offers Christmas Tree Recycling to Town Residents

The Town of Leesburg’s solid waste collection contractor, CSI, will collect non-artificial Christmas trees from residential customers as part of their regular recycling collection on the following days:

Southeast and Southwest Quadrants
January 3 and January 10

Northeast and Northwest Quadrants
January 4 and January 11

Place Christmas trees at the curb before 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection and prepare trees for collection using the following guidelines:

  • Remove all decorations from trees, including tinsel, angel hair and fake snow.
  • Remove all lights.
  • Remove all twine, string and metal or plastic ties.
  • Remove stands and bases.
  • Do not place in plastic or “Christmas Tree Disposal” bags.

Before January 3 and after January 11, Christmas trees with a trunk size of less than six inches in diameter will be collected as part of the Town’s regular brush collection. Follow the above guidelines and place trees at curb by Monday evening.

Electrifying Trio Brings Carnegie Hall to The Plains

December 21, 2012 by Contributor Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Electrifying Trio Brings Carnegie Hall to The Plains

The Community Music School of Piedmont will present the phenomenal string trio Time for Three at its 6th Annual Candlelight Benefit Concert on Sunday, January 27, 2013 in the beautiful ballroom at Barton Oaks in The Plains.

The dynamic trio of classically trained artists defies classification. They perform music from Bach and Brahms to their own arrangements of The Beatles, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake. A typical concert might include the Bach Double, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and a blistering Orange Blossom Special. They will captivate with their stunning virtuosity and their high octane performance from the first note to the last.

Actor Paul Newman said “To hear these three young guys is to be thankful that music was invented. If I had been able to create a sound like these kids a few years back, I might have thought twice about going into acting!” They’ve played Carnegie Hall twice and toured worldwide. Their remix and music video of Kanye West’s “Stronger” and its anti-bullying message has inspired young students around the globe to pursue classical music careers. … Continue Reading

Leesburg Town Council Swearing-In Ceremony Set for January 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

December 21, 2012 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Leesburg Town Council Swearing-In Ceremony Set for January 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

The Leesburg Town Council will hold a swearing-in ceremony for Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd and Council Members David S. Butler, Thomas S. Dunn, II, and Katie Sheldon Hammler on Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center (60 Ida Lee Drive NW). A reception for the newly sworn-in members of the Town Council will immediately follow the ceremony.

Kristen C. Umstattd will be sworn in for her sixth two-year term as the Mayor of Leesburg. Mayor Umstattd was first elected to the Leesburg Town Council in 1992 and was re-elected to Council in 1996 and 2000. She was named Vice Mayor in 2000 and first elected Mayor in 2002. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mayor Umstattd has been a Leesburg resident since 1987. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a juris doctor degree from Yale Law School, and is a veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve. Mayor Umstattd and her husband, Charles Moss, have a joint law practice in the Town of Leesburg. Their daughter, Kendrick, is a sophomore at Loudoun County High School. … Continue Reading

Tim Kaine Speaks on Connecticut School Tragedy

December 14, 2012 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Tim Kaine Speaks on Connecticut School Tragedy

Tim Kaine released the following statement regarding today’s tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT.

“Words fail to express the profound sadness I feel for the families of those who were lost and those who will carry the scars of this tragedy. Our Commonwealth knows too well the pain of senseless gun violence. Like all Virginians, Anne and I offer our thoughts, prayers, and heartfelt condolences to the community of Newtown.”

Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department Escorts Santa

December 13, 2012 by Contributor News, Our Towns Comments Off on Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department Escorts Santa

The Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department will escort Santa around Round Hill on Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16 from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Santa will visit Stoneleigh, Falls Wood, Lake Point and the Villages South of Route 7 on Saturday. He will visit the Villages North of Route 7 and the Town of Round Hill on Sunday. The RHVFD will be collecting for Toys For Tots and non-perishable food to distribute to the local food banks. Everyone come see Santa!

StageCoach Theatre Company Announces Playwright Competition for Local Teens

December 13, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on StageCoach Theatre Company Announces Playwright Competition for Local Teens

Do you have the perfect scenario for a crime? Can you baffle your audience with clues and laughter? Are you a Loudoun County teen?

StageCoach Theatre Company is proud to announce its first playwriting competition for teens. This competition is open to all teens 13-19 years old who live or attend school in Loudoun County, VA. StageCoach Theatre Company would like to support budding playwrights and encourage more teens to consider playwriting as a form of creative expression. The winning script will be produced by StageCoach Theatre Company during the Summer of 2013.

Plays must be full-length mystery scripts; murder is optional. All scripts will be read. The top three finalists will be asked to meet with directors and professional actors to discuss their scripts and vision for the play. One script will be selected for production.

A $20 fee should accompany the submitted script. However, that fee will be waived if the playwright or a member of the playwright’s team attends the following workshop: … Continue Reading

Agriculture Secretary to Host Twitter Chat on Emerging Opportunities in Rural America

December 13, 2012 by Contributor Around Virginia Comments Off on Agriculture Secretary to Host Twitter Chat on Emerging Opportunities in Rural America

On Monday, December 17, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a live Virtual Office Hours session on Twitter to answer questions on the important role of rural America to the national and global economy, increasing agricultural opportunities in U.S. communities, and the importance of passing a five-year Farm Bill.

Secretary Vilsack will answer Twitter queries such as:

  • What are the emerging sectors in agriculture for new farmers and ranchers; where do I find them?
  • In both rural and urban communities, what is the significance of the agricultural sector?
  • I didn’t grow up on a farm. Are there other opportunities in agriculture besides farming that I should know about?

Submit your questions in advance to the @USDA Twitter account using the hashtag #AskUSDA.

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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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21st Street... 2012 Election... 2015 Election... Aldie... Aldie Elementary School... Amy V. Smith... Andrea Gaines... Andrew McKnight... Appalachian Trail... Armed robbery... Ashburn... Ask Dr. Mike... Attorney General Cuccinelli... Autumn Hill... Babe Ruth World Series... Ball Property... BAR... Barbara Comstock... Barns of Rose Hill... Behind the Scenes... Benjamin Packard... Berklee College... Bethany Anne Decker... Bill Druhan... Bluemont... Bluemont Concert Series... Bluemont Fair... Blue Ridge Middle School... Blue Ridge Wildlife Center... Bob Lazaro... Bob Ohneiser... Boulder Crest Retreat... BRMS... Business... Butterfly Gourmet... Campaigns... Carl Fischer... Caroline Greer... Carver Center... Catoctin Creek... Catoctin Creek Apartments... Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.... Chairman Scott York... Charlie Clark... Christian Sierra... Christkindlmarkt... Column... Columns... Committees at a Glance... Corcoran Brewing... Crooked Run... Dave LaRock... Dave Williams... 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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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