Of Lilies … Toads … & Gardening Friends

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Virginia Gardening Be the first to comment
Toad_Lily

By Donna Williamson

August is an interesting time in the garden. Fall veggies can be planted, taking advantage of the warm, sunny days to get young plants going. Kale, spinach, lettuces (leaf lettuces withstand frosts better than head lettuce varieties), cabbage, pansies for winter color (unless you have deer), and peas will all enjoy a warm start and the cool temps that follow.

It’s also a time of ripening – tomatoes, peppers, figs, and raspberries are all delicious. Fruit on dogwoods and viburnums is ready for the birds. Some perennials and woody plants can get moved around as the nights cool. … Continue Reading

It’s Hot Out There! … But Cool Things Are a Happening!

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Be the first to comment
ice cream cone

Franklin Park Arts Center Welcomes New Crop of Home Grown Musicians

By Andrea Gaines

The way music instructor Frank Keims effuses about the musicians known as “The Immortals” … you’d think he was doing an introduction for the latest inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Immortals are a rotating group of young musicians drawn from Keims’ Loudoun Music Instruction business in Lovettsville.

In 2006, Keim began calling the parents of his most gifted students to push the idea of offering these young musicians the opportunity to challenge themselves with college-level music instruction and the chance to join with a real live band. This group of young men and women would be pushed hard. They would need to maintain certain grade levels at school. They would be tested like undergrads and be given the opportunity to write music, and jam with and exchange ideas with others as talented as themselves. His most promising students loved it. And, not because it was some kind of teenage indulgence. … Continue Reading

Wild Loudoun – American Kestrel

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Farm and garden, Lifestyle Be the first to comment
kestrel grey

By Andrea Gaines

With dramatic coloring – and a body almost like an oversized parakeet – the American Kestrel is one of the most exotic birds you will see in Loudoun County.
That perfectly shaped aviator you see on a passing telephone wire just might be a kestrel … so slow down, pull over to the side and take a good look. Is it relatively small? Does it have a distinctively small curved beak? Does it have dark markings and dots on its head and breast area and a pretty grayish head? Does it have short cropped wings? Does it look like it is about to take off like a rocket after something?

Kestrels are small, open-land falcons – perhaps the most common diurnal (daytime) raptors (hawks, owls, falcons, etc.) in North America. … Continue Reading

It’s Back to School Time

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Feature, Schools Be the first to comment
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Putting a Little Nutrition in Back-to-School

Butterfly Gourmet – a cool little culinary spot that opened in Old Town Purcellville recently – is here to rescue departing college students from what owner Debra Randazzo sees as “artificial mac & cheese and overly salty ramen noodles.”

Butterfly Gourmet is offering a cooking class geared toward college students – or any beginning cook – entitled, “Beyond Ramen Noodles!”.

The class, planned for Thursday, August 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be held at Butterfly Gourmet shop at 148 North 21st Street in Purcellville.

It will be led by chef Victoria Cortes and cover basic food preparation skills – giving students three or four easy, affordable, healthful meals they can add to their repertoire as they hit their college dorms. … Continue Reading

The Monster That’s Eating Your Roof

July 31, 2012 by Valerie Joyner Lifestyle Be the first to comment

If you look at the north facing roof any single family house built with asphalt shingles in the past ten to fifteen years, you will most likely see black stains flowing down the shingles. In some cases there are additional colors in the stains like reds, greens or gray. What is growing on your roof is a complex set of living organisms that is adapting to a new food supply, your roof. These roofs can be seen in Purcellville and adjoining areas. Depending upon conditions of humidity, shading, adjacent trees or vegetation, color, age and slope of the roof, the stains may be minor or major in nature. … Continue Reading

A Town Out of Control

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment
Kelli_Grim_2012_(533x800)

I am still trying wrap my head around the picture in the paper a few months ago showing two roundabouts. But, it is true that the current one lane roundabout at the corner of Rt. 287 and Main St. is going to be torn out, and a new two lane roundabout will be built in mid-September approximately 90 ft. away paid for by the residents and businesses of Purcellville. Further investigation confirmed that the decision to wait until the middle of September to begin construction is the Town’s decision alone as this is the town’s project. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) can only make suggestions, and comments, but the ultimate decision on the time frame is made by the town officials.

Over the past five years while attending town meetings I have constantly heard empty promises from Mayor Bob Lazaro and most Council Members about how the building of the Southern Collector Road (SCR) would not hurt the Crooked Run Orchard Farm operations. … Continue Reading

Committees at a Glance – July

(Committees at a Glance is a feature of the Blue Ridge Leader informing our readers about the inner workings of local government and how actions and decisions impact our everyday lives – from our tax rates to that new development we see going in down the road. For this 3rd Edition we discuss recent actions and discussions at the Loudoun County Government Reform Commission (GRC) and various committees and actions of the Purcellville Town Council. (Note: The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors established the GRC and appointed its thirteen members on January 3, 2012. Chairman Scott York, who sponsored the initiative, laid out four goals: (1) identify efficiency opportunities; (2) explore innovative ways to lower costs; (3) consider privatization and outsourcing opportunities; and (4) identify ways to enhance government transparency, accountability, and customer service.) … Continue Reading

Developer Proffers and the Public Good: Part II

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 2 comments

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

Last month, the Blue Ridge Leader examined of the use of tax credits and other public funds to meet the affordable housing requirements proffered by private developers to offset the costs of residential development to taxpayers. We began this series with an overview of the county’s use of proffers as they relate to affordable housing; we continue with a closer examination of one example involving the non-profit Windy Hill Foundation, its for-profit subsidiary, the Windy Hill Development Company, and the developers of the Brambleton community.

Since its inception in 1983, the Windy Hill Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has been a key actor in the effort to provide an adequate supply of affordable housing in Loudoun County. Its five projects on the western edge of Middleburg provide a variety of housing types with monthly rents ranging from $400 for a one-bedroom cottage to $775 for a three-bedroom apartment. Median family income of tenants ranges from $11,300 for seniors living in Levis Hill House to $33,000 for the residents of Virginia Lane. In total, Windy Hill Foundation provides 67 units of rental housing, much of it subsidized, to individuals and families who might not otherwise be able to continue living in Loudoun County, where, according to the foundation’s website, in 2011 market-priced units ranged from $1,289 per month for a one-bedroom unit to $1,885 for a three-bedroom apartment. … Continue Reading

Critical Fire Station Location Being Revisited … Again

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

In December 2011, Joyce Sowa woke up in time to watch blood spurt from her chest as her estranged husband pulled out the knife with which he had stabbed her. As she turned and reached for the telephone, he stabbed her in the back. Dialing 911, she attempted to escape from her attacker. Before she passed out on the stairwell, with further wounds to her eye and arm, she told the 911 operator, “I’m dying.”

Within minutes of receiving the call for help rescue workers from the Aldie Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company arrived at her home in the village of Aldie and arranged for her transport by helicopter to Fairfax Hospital. “The doctor said if the first responders hadn’t made it when they did, I wouldn’t have made it. When my sister arrived at the hospital, she was told I probably wouldn’t make it.” … Continue Reading

Merchants Unite Over Shared Meals

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Business, News Be the first to comment

The dinners started in April and have continued on the third Wednesday of each month. The gatherings began as local merchants felt the need to discuss where the town of Purcellville was going with its downtown enhancement project on 21st Street, which includes a major hotel project on land owned by John Chapman and Mark Nelis.

Mary Beth Barbagallo, owner of Above Ground Winery, heard the concerns of her business neighbors and decided to invite them and Mr. Chapman to the dinner. This gave business owners an opportunity to ask Chapman directly about his proposed hotel and what it might mean – good and bad – for their businesses. … Continue Reading

What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on the Health-Care Reform Law Mean for You?

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy V. Smith’s Money Talks, Columns Be the first to comment
Amy Smith-BRL

On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) including the provision that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty, is constitutional.

The ACA, signed into law in 2010, made sweeping reforms to health-care coverage in the United States. Many provisions of the law have already taken effect. A number of other provisions are scheduled to take effect in subsequent years, including the requirement that most Americans and legal residents have qualifying health insurance (exceptions apply) or pay a penalty in the form of a tax. … Continue Reading

Agency law in Virginia has changed… Part II

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, Real Estate Be the first to comment
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

July 1, 2012 has now passed, and the new regulations put in place by the Virginia Real Estate Board (VREB) and through it’s licensing and oversight arm, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) are now the law of the land.

So from this date forward, when you engage for the first time ANY licensed real estate agent or broker here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, be prepared to declare how you would like him to provide services for you. You have three choices:

  1. As a STANDARD AGENT, who has the normal and usual responsibilities to represent you as in the past. But he may also have additional duties which you and he must agree to, in writing, or
  2. As a LIMITED SERVICE AGENT, (formerly a limited service representative), who acts for or represents a client with respect to real property containing from one to four residential units, pursuant to a brokerage agreement that specifies that he will NOT PROVIDE one or more of the duties set forth in a specific list itemizing such services, or
  3. As an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, whose role in NOT that of an agent, but may be referred to as a “transaction broker”, among other terms. In this capacity, the service you barter for (and agree to) is best characterized as a third-party facilitator whose job it is to seek agreement between the parties so as to achieve the goal of the client (you). The standards and duties of the agent in this capacity is far more limited on your behalf than either of the other two.

… Continue Reading

Coming Home

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sushi's Corner Be the first to comment
sushi

Before the school year starts it is my master Mrs. B’s tradition to have a fun family gathering around the grill one last time for the summer.

The cool evening breeze was settling in. Bernie and Laino (farm daughters) where down by the fields near the Beaver Dam Creek putting their ponies away for the night. Mr. B was working the grill and good smells began to fill the air. Mrs. B, family and friends filled the tables with yummy treats to compliment the dinner. Before I knew it, we all gathered round Grandfather under the story tree. I love family times like this because you never know what kind of a whopper of a story Grandfather will come up with! … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

noerpel

The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014

springiscoming

By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.10.56 AM

I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012

Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …

(2 comments)

Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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Events

April 2014
M T W T F S S
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate

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April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"

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April 19, 2014

Morven Park
17263 Southern Planter Lane
Leesburg, Virginia 20176
7037772414

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club

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April 30, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1601 Village Market Blvd #100
Leesburg, Virginia 20175
USA

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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May 4, 2014

Heritage High School
520 Evergreen Mill Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
USA
7032205202

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …

(3 comments)

Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

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In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014

sadiestart

Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014

Mayor_Zoldos_Citizen_of_Year_Award

At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election

Frank_wolf

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

(1 comment)

Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

Frank_wolf

By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting

Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

ulll

Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Letters

Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

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Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …

(2 comments)

Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and …

(3 comments)

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