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The Last Deglacial Transition

March 21, 2012 by Tony Noerpel filed under Columns, Sustainable Planet No Comments
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“Although the current overall capacity for society to perturb the carbon cycle is comparable to that of the PETM [the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, 55 million years ago], the rate at which we are imposing the current perturbation on the Earth system may be unprecedented.” Ying Cui et al. [1]

“The last deglacial transition, although characterized by temperature and CO2-increase, is two orders of magnitude slower than the current anthropogenic change. It is also thought to largely represent a redistribution of carbon within the ocean and to the atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere and hence did not have as potent or globally uniform an acidification effect as an input from geological reserves.” B. Honisch et al [2].

At a party a few weeks ago a friend identified himself as a moderate claiming to listen to both sides of arguments. I suggested that an issue like illegal immigration has no basis in the hard sciences and therefore on that issue at least a moderate view might make sense but that opinions on either side are likely ideological. I suppose there is a body of historic data or economic analysis but these are subject to cherry picking. Economic analysis is famous for being capable of deriving any desired result and history is a soft science. But the issue of anthropogenic global warming is different. Global warming is founded on hard science by experimentation, observation and analysis and has been developed using the scientific method and is therefore quite rigorous. Thus the truth is knowable with reasonably good approximation. I reminded my friend of Nobel Laureate Physicist Richard Feynman’s advice that science is what humans do to keep from lying to ourselves.

To deny global warming is to deny science itself and thus reality and consequently to slide down a slippery slope into a mind space where any inconvenient reality can be denied and all self-deception can be rationalized. Since AGW is an existential issue for the human race denial is a rather big lie and one cannot reasonably assume a denier isn’t also lying about everything else. And reality has to inform the moderate view else it isn’t moderate.

My friend said [3] “Wait a minute, Tony, there are compelling arguments. After all, the climate has changed in the past without human influence. Consider the ice ages.”

Like all denier arguments, this one is curiously nonsensical. This is easy to appreciate by using the same argument in a different the context. A cigarette smoker informs you that there is no reason for him not to smoke in bed because houses burn down from natural causes. Sure they do but the number one cause of fatal fires is still careless smoking [4]. The possibility of one does not rule out the possibility of the other. In fact, the study of natural house fires reveals just how flammable houses are and how sensitive they are to careless smoking and other human misbehavior. Another salient point is that the scientists, who study one cause, are the same ones who study the other. It is not the case that deniers study natural causes and climate scientists study only human causes. Climate scientists study both while deniers simply make stuff up.

I replied, “Seriously, John? That argument doesn’t make any sense even if you don’t know the science. But the science is that the transition from the depths of the ice age with ice a mile deep over New York to the mild Holocene when humans discovered agriculture and built cities was two orders of magnitude slower than what humans are doing to the climate now; two orders of magnitude slower.”

He looked back at me stunned so I repeated, filling the void, “Two orders of magnitude slower and yet the impact was that dramatic. Did your source forget to mention that not insignificant detail?”

The figure below is from a recent paper by Andrea Burke and Laura Robinson published in the journal Science [5]. The purple curve is a reconstruction of atmospheric carbon dioxide from ice core data stretching back from the last glacial maximum (LGM), 20,000 years ago through the Holocene to the pre-industrial era. I superimposed a box circumscribing the part of the curve which shows the fastest rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide during this time. Atmospheric carbon dioxide increased 30 parts per million by Volume (ppmV) from 17,300 years ago until 16,000 years ago or over a period of 1300 years at the beginning of the shaded Heinrich stadial 1 (HS1). This is equivalent to an average rise of 0.023 ppmV/year over the period of fastest increase. The increase during the Younger Dryas (YD) is almost as steep. Currently, human emissions are increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide by about 2.4 ppmV or one hundred times faster than the most rapid increase during the last deglaciation.


Figure is adapted from Andrea Burke and Laura Robinson [5]. The purple curve is the Atmospheric carbon measurements from arctic ice core records

Likewise the global temperature increased about 5 degree Celsius over thousands of years or by the same amount as the projections based on a business-as-usual path for human emissions for just this century [6]. I wanted to ask my friend who he thought was studying paleoclimate if not actual credible climate scientists. Did he think deniers were generating this science? In fact the study of past climate change, paleoclimatology, is of great interest to climate scientists who are desperately looking for analogous events to the current situation. This study will be a significant part of the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report [7].

A good recent example is a paper by Barbel Honisch and colleagues [2] which reviews climate change events of the past 300 million years and concludes that “Although similarities exist, no past event perfectly parallels future projections in terms of disrupting the balance of ocean carbonate chemistry – a consequence of the unprecedented rapidity of CO2 release currently taking place.” In fact the Permian Triassic extinction event, 252 million years ago may be the closest analogue but it was accompanied by an estimated annual carbon release of between 0.1 and 1 Gigatons per year compared with current human emissions which are 10 Gigatons per year. Yet the End Permian was the most severe of all mass extinction events, extirpating between 90 and 96 percent of all species [8]. We are emitting carbon ten times faster and combining that with a large variety of additional coherent misbehavior such as over fishing, mountaintop removal mining and over fertilization.

Meanwhile about global warming Senator Inhofe said on MSNBC last week in an interview with Rachel Maddow [9]: “I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.” In other words, Inhofe decided to deny physical reality because it conflicted with his very bad economics. Demonstrating that he has gone well off the deep end, Inhofe has also said [10]: “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” Obviously only God can change the climate and start house fires. So according to Inhofe we are all off the hook; liars, murderers, rapists, careless smokers, strip miners, coal companies, Wall Street bankers, corrupt senators, everybody because only God can do anything and if you think your activity has any significance at all, you are just too bloody arrogant. Some theology.

I find it curious that my friend, who is intelligent, would be skeptical of legitimate science while accepting unquestioningly utter nonsense from utterly unreliable people (I assume his source is the main-stream media). Why Inhofe rejects science in favor of nonsense is not nearly as mysterious when we consider that he has received over $1.3 million in campaign contributions from the fossil fuels industry [11]. Money talks and only God can take a bribe.

I’ve pointed out before that the Republican Party institutionally denies climate physics and therefore cannot be trusted on any issue, but heck don’t take my word for it. Ann Coulter [12] recently said: “I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party.” Dishonesty attracts them like flies.

Dear reader, the climate has indeed changed in the past in ways which have been quite dramatic and on a few occasions even resulting in mass extinctions. And yet the perturbations to the earth system, the forcing functions, have been one or more orders of magnitude slower than what we are doing now in many respects but we are also doing additional things which are unprecedented. What do you think the outcome is going to be? You may want to ask yourselves while looking at your kids and grandkids if Homo sapiens could survive a major mass extinction event, regardless of whether it was caused by God or by our own misbehavior.

And a moderate does not take counsel from con men and charlatans.

[1] Ying Cui, Lee R. Kump, Andy J. Ridgwell, Adam J. Charles, Christopher K. Junium, Aaron F. Diefendorf, Katherine H. Freeman, Nathan M. Urban and Ian C. Harding, Slow release of fossil carbon during the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, Nature Geoscience, 5 June 2011 | DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1179

[2] B. Honisch, et al., The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification, Science, vol 335, 2 March, 2012.

[3] It would not have mattered if my friend had chosen any other denier argument as they are all pretty ludicrous. For a complete list with applicable debunking see http://www.skepticalscience.com/

[4] http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/urban.pdf

[5] Andrea Burke and Laura Robinson, The Southern Ocean’s Role in Carbon Exchange During the Last Deglaciation, Science, vol 335, 3 February 2012. See also Michael Kaplan, et al., Glacier retreat in New Zealand during the Younger Dryas stadial, Vol 467| 9 September 2010| doi:10.1038/nature09313

[6] James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato, Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University Earth Institute, New York. See also the MIT study Sokolov, A. P., and Coauthors, 2009: Probabilistic Forecast for Twenty-First-Century Climate Based on Uncertainties in Emissions (Without Policy) and Climate Parameters. J. Climate, 22, 5175–5204. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI2863.1 see also http://globalchange.mit.edu/pubs/abstract.php?publication_id=990

[7] J. Tollefson, “Forecasters look back in time”, Nature, vol 483, 15 March, 2012, also P. Valdes, Built for Stability, Nature Geoscience, vol 4, July 2011, and R. Zeebe, Where are you heading Earth?, in the same issue.

[8] Michael Benton, When Life Nearly Died, Thames and Hudson 2003, also Douglas Erwin, Extinction, Princeton, 2006.

[9] http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/16/446008/inhofe-maddow-global-warming/

[10] http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/12/442584/inhofe-arrogance-people-change-god-climate/

[11] http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cycle=Career&type=I&cid=N00005582&newMem=N

[12] http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/15/445436/ann-coulter-gop-conservative-movement-has-problem-with-con-men-and-charlatans/

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Events

October 2014
M T W T F S S
29

Worldly Inspirations

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September 29, 2014

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In September, Arts in the Village Gallery presents Worldly Inspirations, a Featured Artist Exhibit showcasing intricately wrapped stone pendants and earrings by jewelry artist Dana Jansen, and evocative images captured by photographer Mary Louise Ravese, in a show that draws on inspiration, materials, and imagery from across the globe.

Dana Jansen’s use of intricate wire wrapping techniques encase and frame Brazilian agates, druzy quartz and an array of minerals and fossils found across the world.  Working mostly in sterling silver wire and occasionally copper, Dana’s labyrinthine designs supplement the stone’s natural beauty to create pieces that stand on their own as objects of fine art.

Mary Louise Ravese captures images that transport viewers to diverse destinations from around the block, to around the country, and around the globe. Inspired by a wide array of subject matter, Mary Louise's work resonates with striking color, texture and line. Her photographs of country landscapes, intriguing architectural details and unusual abstract compositions draw the eye and allow the mind to vicariously experience her view of the world.

 

Meet the artists and enjoy a glass of wine and refreshments during a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, September 20th, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Arts in the Village Gallery, 1601 Village Market Blvd, Suite 116, Leesburg, VA 20175. Tel: 571-442-8661 Email: info@artsinthevillage.com Website: http://www.artsinthevillage.com/

30

Worldly Inspirations

Close

September 30, 2014

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In September, Arts in the Village Gallery presents Worldly Inspirations, a Featured Artist Exhibit showcasing intricately wrapped stone pendants and earrings by jewelry artist Dana Jansen, and evocative images captured by photographer Mary Louise Ravese, in a show that draws on inspiration, materials, and imagery from across the globe.

Dana Jansen’s use of intricate wire wrapping techniques encase and frame Brazilian agates, druzy quartz and an array of minerals and fossils found across the world.  Working mostly in sterling silver wire and occasionally copper, Dana’s labyrinthine designs supplement the stone’s natural beauty to create pieces that stand on their own as objects of fine art.

Mary Louise Ravese captures images that transport viewers to diverse destinations from around the block, to around the country, and around the globe. Inspired by a wide array of subject matter, Mary Louise's work resonates with striking color, texture and line. Her photographs of country landscapes, intriguing architectural details and unusual abstract compositions draw the eye and allow the mind to vicariously experience her view of the world.

 

Meet the artists and enjoy a glass of wine and refreshments during a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, September 20th, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Arts in the Village Gallery, 1601 Village Market Blvd, Suite 116, Leesburg, VA 20175. Tel: 571-442-8661 Email: info@artsinthevillage.com Website: http://www.artsinthevillage.com/

1 2 3 4

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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October 4, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Notaviva Vineyards presents their monthly Bluegrass Jam a FREE event held the first Saturday of every month!

An event for all ages featuring Ashby Run. Open to players of every skill level

3pm-6pm Saturday 7/5

Wine available by the glass and by the bottle, lite snacks available. Must be 21 to drink alcohol.

5
6 7 8 9

Start Your Business (Loudoun)

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October 9, 2014

Is owning a small business a good fit for me? What are the steps for starting a business? Will I need funding? What are potential sources of funding? Ruth Cope, Assistant Director of the Loudoun SBDC, and Kelly Keyser Thompson, a Principal of Keyser Thompson Insurance Agency, will answer these and other questions essential for successfully starting a small business. Highlights will include:

•    Entrepreneurial traits
•    Taxes and licensing
•    Business plan development
•    Sources of financing
•    Marketing
•    Insurance

REGISTER at LoudounSBDC.eventbrite.com.

Fee:  $10 for registration online; $15 at the door
Those who pay at the door are not guaranteed seating or handouts.

10 11

Purcellville Tag Sale Space Available

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October 11, 2014

Loudoun Valley Community Center
320 West School Street
Purcellville, 20132
540-338-4122

Loudoun Valley Community Center is offering table space to take advantage of this community affair on October 11 and 12 from 7am to 4pm. Table rental is $25 for 2 days. Call 540-338-4122 or email lynda.vill@loudoun.gov to reserve.

Purcellville Library Fall Book Sale

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October 11, 2014

Purcellville Library
220 East Main Street
Purcellville, 20132
USA
540-338-3013

The Purcellville Library Advisory Board's Fall Used Book Sale will offer hardback and paperback books, CDs and DVDs for sale. Used books for all ages, both fiction and non-fiction will be included in the sale. All proceeds go to benefit the Purcellville Library. Cash or check only, no credit cards. Hardcover books $2, paperback $1.

Harvest Celebration at Breaux Vineyards

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October 11, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, 20132
United States

Come be a part of our celebration of the 2014 harvest season at Breaux Vineyards.  We will have live music with Steele & Oglevee, craft vendors, and, of course, wine tastings.  Also if the weather is nice we will be conducting vineyard tours on the hour.

No admission or RSVP for this fun day at the winery

Looking forward to seeing you here!

12

Purcellville Tag Sale Space Available

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October 12, 2014

Loudoun Valley Community Center
320 West School Street
Purcellville, 20132
540-338-4122

Loudoun Valley Community Center is offering table space to take advantage of this community affair on October 11 and 12 from 7am to 4pm. Table rental is $25 for 2 days. Call 540-338-4122 or email lynda.vill@loudoun.gov to reserve.

13 14 15

Event: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- jewelry artist Dana Jansen and photographer Mary Louise Ravese

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October 15, 2014

44045 Riverside Parkway
Leesburg, 20176

Meet Dana and Mary Louise and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Worldly Inspirations,” presenting the wire wrapped jewelry of Dana Jansen and the evocative photography of Mary Louise Ravese as they reveal inspiration and imagery from across the globe.

 

Working primarily in sterling silver, Dana Jansen’s intricate wire pieces frame Brazilian agates, druzy quartz and an array of minerals and fossils found across the world.

Mary Louise Ravese’s country landscapes, architectural details and unusual abstracts draw the eye and allow the mind to vicariously experience her view of the world.

 

16

Creating an Effective Advisory Board

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October 16, 2014

An effective, motivated advisory board is invaluable for growing a business. It offers a community of support and influence. It helps you weather storms and exceed goals.

Marissa Levin is CEO of Successful Culture and author of Built to SCALE: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth through Exceptional Advisory Boards. Join Ms. Levin as she discusses tools and templates for following her SCALE™ Model.

She’ll guide you on how to:

•    Select who you need to get your business from where it is now to where you want it to be, while developing exceptional leadership skills
•    Compensate your advisors (monetary, non-monetary, and types of equity-based compensation)
•    Associate them into your organization with a successful change management strategy
•    Leverage your advisors for business and process development, networking, and more
•    Evaluate constantly and Evolve the board as your organization grows
•    Exit advisors when they no longer fit

FREE but please REGISTER at LoudounSBDC.eventbrite.com

17 18

FREE Live Music - Adam Bruno

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October 18, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Singer/songwriter Adam Bruno is a Tampa native, now living in Loudoun County. Adam has a powerful, soulful sound, blending all the best of pop, rock and acoustic music. His melody-driven songs and thoughtful lyrics make you an immediate fan!

Notaviva Vineyards will have wine for purchase by bottle or glass to any customers 21 years of age or older. Lite snacks are also available for purchase, or feel free to bring your own lunch and enjoy a picnic while listening to the tunes of Adam Bruno

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October Fourth Friday at Breaux

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October 24, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, 20132
United States
540-668-6299 ext. 204

Come enjoy the magic of fall evenings overlooking 105 acres of beautiful, lush vines at Fourth Fridays. We will have live music on the patio, food for purchase, and endless enchanting views as the sun sets over the vineyard.  Enjoy $4 mini tastings and a great selection of wines by the glass as you enjoy a fun evening with friends and your Breaux Vineyards family.

Don't miss any of these fun evenings!  The fourth Friday of each month from 5-9pm is reserved for this great event, so plan ahead!

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27 28 29 30 31 1

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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November 1, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Notaviva Vineyards presents their monthly Bluegrass Jam a FREE event held the first Saturday of every month!

An event for all ages featuring Ashby Run. Open to players of every skill level

3pm-6pm Saturday 7/5

Wine available by the glass and by the bottle, lite snacks available. Must be 21 to drink alcohol.

2

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

I Wanna Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Undo It

6 Aug 2014

blueridge2

There’s a popular country western song that tells the story of a young woman who gets swept up in a night of partying and wakes up to find she has a ring on her finger, a new last name and a new husband. Knowing she had been duped but determined …

(1 comment)

Editorial

Sweeping Zoning Changes Continue To Be Proposed

3 Sep 2014

town of purcellville sign

Visions Of Purcellville Looking Like Reston At the August 21 Purcellville Planning Commission Work Session town community development staff continued to forge ahead with sweeping zoning changes to the town. Latest in the discussion was the PDH zoning district. Vice Chair Dennis Beese mentioned that he thought the goal was to make Purcellville look like Reston. This PDH district is …

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Purcellville Crossroads Tilley Entertainment Proposal

3 Sep 2014

editorialpic300

The new Tilley-Kline Entertainment complex proposal is in its initial stages of design. The proposal – not yet formal – is on a 50-acre parcel (50.46) that is not within the town of Purcellville, but north of Rt. 7 on the corner of Rt. 287 and Saint Francis Court (Rt. 722). The developers are considering a boundary line adjustment, and …

(33 comments)

Lifestyle

Looking Long Term … Towards Solar Power

1 Oct 2014

Is solar power coming? Nationwide statistics indicate that the national answer question is “yes.” A first-ever Solar Home & Winery Tour in Loudoun County – held in September – is a sign that more and more people in the county are looking into solar power. With respect to Virginia, the Solar Energies Industry Association reports that the state ranks only …

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Looking at Fall Home Improvement and Maintenance – Inside and Out

1 Oct 2014

Nationally, the summer of 2014 was quite interesting weather wise. The West and Southwest experienced some of the hottest summers ever recorded. The Midwest experienced some of the coolest temperatures ever recorded. The Southeast produced a mixed bag of weather – unusually hot in some places while cool in others. While the Washington area, Baltimore, Richmond and other places were …

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Re-Love It A Consignment Shoppe Presents The 3rd Annual Purcellville Halloween Party

1 Oct 2014

halloweenblockparty

More than 6,000 people attended the Purcellville Halloween Block Party last year. They came from all over Loudoun County, ranging in ages from infant to 90 years old. This family friendly event promises to be even bigger and better this year.  The party will be Saturday, October 26, from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. in Old Town Purcellville on 21st Street which …

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Wild Loudoun

Beavers – Biodiversity with a Paddle

1 Oct 2014

It is a bit of a touchy subject to write about beavers. Recent news reports document, for example, how a beaver, later found out to be rabid, threatened children fishing in a pond in Fairfax County and went after an elderly woman swimming in a lake in Reston. As a now life-long conservationist and someone who has related to wildlife …

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Around Virginia

Governor McAuliffe Announces Measures to Expand Healthcare Services to Over 200,000 Virginians

McAuliffe

Launches 10-step plan that will reach Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens Governor McAuliffe launched A Healthy Virginia, a 10-step plan to expand healthcare services to over 200,000 Virginians. This plan is an unprecedented action by any governor in Virginia history and includes authorizations of four emergency regulations, one executive order, and …

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VDOE Names Chief Academic Officer

Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples today announced that John William “Billy” Haun of Charlottesville will become the Virginia Department of Education’s chief academic officer, taking the position of assistant superintendent of instruction on September 1. “I am delighted that Billy is bringing his knowledge, leadership and innovative ideas …

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LaRock Appointed to Joint Commission on Technology and Science

Dave_larock

Speaker of the House William Howell has appointed Delegate Dave LaRock as a member of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), effective immediately and lasting for the duration of his term in the House of Delegates. The Commission meets several times throughout the year to “Study all aspects …

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Sports

Little League Season Update

8 Aug 2014

ulll

By Carri Michon This spring 2014 Upper Loudoun Little League season found drenching rains making fields unplayable on a regular basis. Over 100 games were rescheduled due to wet, soggy fields, said league president, Norris Beavers. “The most I have ever remembered in my 28 years of volunteering with Upper …

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Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League Registration Ends July 28

20 Jul 2014

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Registration for the Fall 2014 NFL Flag Football league is currently ongoing for boys and girls, ages six to 14, and spots are filling fast. To secure a spot in the league, participants must register by Monday, July 28, 2014. The Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League is the premier …

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Letters

Where Is the Money?

3 Sep 2014

blueridge2

I’ve been reading a lot lately that Social Security is a drag on the deficit that must be reformed. But aren’t payroll taxes the sole …

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Sign the Petition

3 Sep 2014

blueridge2

Loudoun Water’s proposed construction of twin 189’ water towers at the very dangerous intersection of Red Hill Road and Stone School Lane is flawed. Red …

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Twin Water Towers Do Not Belong Here

3 Sep 2014

blueridge2

Loudoun Water needs water storage in the Transition Zone to accommodate growth, and proposes twin 189’ water towers at the intersection of Red Hill Road …

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