Of Lilies … Toads … & Gardening Friends

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Virginia Gardening Comments Off on Of Lilies … Toads … & Gardening Friends
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 Comments Off on It’s Hot Out There! … But Cool Things Are a Happening!
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 Comments Off on Wild Loudoun – American Kestrel
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 Comments Off on It’s Back to School Time
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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 Cury Lifestyle Comments Off on The Monster That’s Eating Your Roof

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 Comments Off on A Town Out of Control
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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

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Committees at a Glance, Government, News, Uncategorized Comments Off on 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 Comments Off on Critical Fire Station Location Being Revisited … Again

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 Comments Off on Merchants Unite Over Shared Meals

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 and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on the Health-Care Reform Law Mean for You?
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 Comments Off on Agency law in Virginia has changed… Part II
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 Comments Off on Coming Home
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

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

noerpel150

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

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015

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Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

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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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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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

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015

Smith0035

By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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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

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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

August 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

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Spinners

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Live Music: Connor Duffy at North Gate Vineyard

Ronnie Milsap

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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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Live Music: Willie White at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Lovettsville Historical Society Lecture: "Hex Signs: the History and the Mystery"

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COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Dinner and a Dive In

Creedence Clearwater

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Emily Guagliardi Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Mobile Hope’s “Back to School” Shopping Event Helps Loudoun Struggling Youth

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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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

Notaviva Vineyards Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Recent Comments

  • Merlis on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Yes! What a great idea.
  • Mark Gunderman on Gifts Within: Second Mount Olive Baptist Church, located in Hamilton, VA, was founded in 1872. The congregation desires to exalt God and...
  • Kathleen Hannon on What It Means To Be a Man: Great article Samuel! We have two daughters and we try to teach them to look for qualities such as...
  • R. Ohneiser Esq. on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Interesting discussion but let's consider how to actually resolve this problem permanently FOR THE BENEFIT OF LOUDOUN NOT JUST FOR...
  • Nan Siegel on Remembering Mabel: A lovely, heartfelt tribute. Though I never met Mabel, I think she must have had a wonderful life, full of...

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

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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

Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015

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The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015

blueridge2

Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s 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 …

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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

Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

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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 …

(2 comments)

Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

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On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia

McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Sports

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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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015

americanlegionpost34

Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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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

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve is …

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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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