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County Reaches Multimillion Dollar Redskins Deal

July 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Loudoun County, News 1 Comment

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

On June 19, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 8-0-1 to enter into an 8-year marketing agreement with the Washington Redskins at a cost to the County of $2 million, payable in $500,000 installments over the first four years. The agreement is part of a $12.4 million initiative spearheaded by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R).

McDonnell announced the initiative as a multi-part deal to retain the Redskins corporate headquarters, training facilities, and summer training camp in Virginia and to assist with a planned $30 million expansion of the team’s training facilities. All three are currently located at Redskins Park in Ashburn. According to a press release from the governor’s Office, the Redskins have agreed to keep their headquarters and training facilities at the current location. However, the summer training camp will shift to the City of Richmond beginning in 2013. The City of Richmond has agreed to contribute $400,000 to McDonnell’s initiative. In a 2010 presentation to the Board of Supervisors, county staff and the Redskins calculated that the summer training camp generated 20,000 visitors and an estimated $1.13 million in spending annually.

The Board item from the June 19 meeting references a Memorandum of Understanding between the State and the Redskins organization that more fully describes “the larger, multi-pronged package.” The item stated that the county had requested a copy of the MOU from both the governor’s Office and the Redskins, but had not received a copy. As of June 24, Anna Nissinen, Loudoun County public affairs and communications officer, stated that the county had still not received a copy; Jeff Caldwell, a spokesperson from the Gov.’s Office, stated no written document yet existed as details of the agreement are still pending.

Caldwell did not respond to a question regarding which of the announced portions of the agreement in principle might still be subject to change. However, Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At-Large), stated that the county’s “marketing agreement is an eight-year agreement with the Skins only. What the state does with the Skins is between those two parties and will have no impact on our agreement.”

McDonnell made the recruitment and retention of business a cornerstone of his campaign in 2009. [However, in this case, recent news reports indicate that McDonnell had neither the undivided support of the General Assembly nor members of his party. A recent article in The Washington Post reports that in a rare act of bipartisanship the House of Delegates twice rejected the proposal earlier this year.]

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, (VPAP) McDonnell received $50,000 in campaign contributions from the Redskins organization, making the team one of his largest individual corporate donors. It was also the largest donation recorded by the team on VPAP, some three times the amount it contributed to Mark Warner’s One Virginia Political Action Committee (PAC) and five times the amount it contributed to the Virginia Republican Party’s Virginia Joint Republican Caucus. In addition, McDonnell and his PAC, Opportunity Virginia, received $185,000 in contributions from Redskins co-owner, Dwight Schar.

The state portion of the deal was originally announced as a $4 million economic development and job creation grant. However, based on the board item and comments made by supervisors and staff at the June 19 meeting, it appears that the Virginia Lottery has also agreed to contribute $6 million to the effort for a total state commitment of $10 million.

John Hagerty, a spokesperson for Virginia Lottery, explained that the $6 million figure represents a 4-year agreement to continue the lottery’s successful Redskins-themed scratcher game, which has generated over $58 million in revenue over three years at an approximate cost of $6.6 million paid to the Redskins. According to Hagerty, the $1.5 million per year price tag of the new agreement includes the right to use the Redskins’ logo on the scratcher tickets, media promotions in the Northern Virginia market, sponsorship and special event opportunities, and prizes for lottery players, such as season tickets, individual home game tickets, and seats at the 2013 NFL Draft.

Under a 2000 amendment to the Virginia Constitution endorsed by 80 percent of Virginia voters, all Virginia Lottery proceeds (the funds remaining after winner pay-outs and operating expenses) are reserved for educational purposes. In short, the greater expenses, the fewer funds available for allocation to the public education system. According to Hagerty, the Virginia Lottery currently offers 50 different scratcher games and sales of the Redskins game tickets are on a par with the others.

It is not yet clear when the County became involved in the governor’s negotiations with the Redskins. County staff and Chairman York attended at least one meeting with the governor. in 2011 to discuss a possible public-private partnership for the construction of an indoor training facility. According to a source with knowledge of those discussions, the Redskins were to contribute the site, while the County would build the facility. Public access to the facility, when not in use by the Redskins, would be negotiated. It does not appear that the last Board chose to act on that proposal. This was confirmed by Chairman York, who stated that the June 19 agreement supersedes those discussions.

In August 2011, the Redskins submitted plans to the County’s Building and Development Department for an indoor facility housed in an inflatable bubble with a public announcement made by team General Manager Bruce Allen the following month. The “bubble” opened this May. At that time, Allen indicated it was only the first of many upgrades planned for the Ashburn facility.

The June 19 vote is not the first sponsorship agreement between the county and the Redskins. In 2009 the Board of Supervisors agreed to a 2-year, $250,000 sponsorship deal. That deal was negotiated by a team made up of staff from county administration, the Department of Economic Development (DED), Loudoun Convention and Visitors Association (LCVA) and members of the CEO Cabinet. The latter is an advisory group of local CEOs established by the County DED. In 2010, however, after members of the Board of Supervisors began raising questions about the group’s refusal to observe open meeting laws and other requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Cabinet transferred its affiliation to the Chamber of Commerce.

The new agreement, while twice the cost of the older agreement, includes additional features, such as four annual business development meetings at the park, the use of the indoor practice facility for up to four recreational or sporting events, a limited number of game tickets each year for four home games at FedEx Field, and presenting sponsor status at one home game each year. This last includes a private suite with 24 tickets. The 2012 agreement also promises an appearance by a Redskin team executive, coach or member of the player personnel department at a Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce event.

The Chamber of Commerce is a private membership organization, whose events generally require payment by attendees. Attendees, who are members of the Chamber, generally pay $10-$50 per event. And though non-members can attend most events with the payment of an additional surcharge.

In May 2010, under the county’s partnership agreement with the Redskins, the Chamber booked team coach Mike Shanahan as the featured speaker in its Leadership Luncheon series. Individual tickets were sold to members at $45 and non-members at $65. In addition, the Chamber offered two sponsorship opportunities, a gold sponsorship for $750 and table sponsorships at $450. An email request to the Chamber of Commerce for information as to what purpose receipts in excess of luncheon expenses might be used went unanswered.

When asked to comment on the use of public funds to support the activities of a private, membership organization, a major purpose of which is to lobby the government, Board Chairman York stated, that the reference in the Draft Agreement to the Chamber of Commerce was “an example, where a member of the Skins could appear.” He further stated, “We [the County] do joint activities to promote economic development with the Chamber. I have no issue with using the hotel tax revenues to promote that which helps to put heads in beads, and as we have learned over the years, businesses make up a huge part of the numbers of overnight stays in the county.”

Like the 2009 agreement, the new agreement will also be funded with Restricted Use Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues rather than property tax revenues. The TOT is a county tax on “limited-stay facilities,” such as hotel rooms. Of the percent tax charged, 2 percent is allocated to the county’s General Fund and used to fund the county’s annual operations. These are known as Unrestricted TOT funds. The remaining 3 percent of the tax collected, the Restricted Use TOT funds, are earmarked for activities that promote “tourism, travel, or business that generates tourism within the County.” According to county budget documents, the County receives approximately $2 to $4 million each year in Restricted Use TOT funds.

By a Memorandum of Understanding, the county transfers 75 percent of the Restricted Use TOT funds received each year to LCVA (now known as Visit Loudoun). This is a private industry association, which promotes tourism in Loudoun County. Its membership includes local hotels, B&B’s, wineries, and other tourism-related entities. The Board of Supervisors determines how to allocate the remaining funds. In past years the board has approved their disbursement to individual organizations, such as America’s Cup Polo, Journey Through Hallowed Ground, and the Round Hill Arts Center, for special projects, such as the Wayfinding signage program and the Sports Tournament Grants Program, and for marketing materials, such as the Farm Tour brochures.

With the financial crisis and the need to provide property tax relief, staff recommended, and the board approved, the funds appropriation for staff salaries and operations. These appropriations included the Franklin Parks Visual and Performing Arts Center, the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, a Special Events Coordinator position within Fire & Rescue, existing DED staff positions which provided support for tourism activities, and approximately $250,000 to enhance DED’s efforts to increase the County’s international visibility.

In 2008 as the Board debated the initial agreement with the Redskins, several supervisors questioned whether the use of TOT revenues to fund corporate recruitment activities met the spirit or the letter of the state law allowing the county to impose such a tax, especially since Visit Loudoun, using its own allocation of TOT funds, had already entered into a sponsorship agreement with the team. Supporters of the agreement argued that since the bulk of TOT funds were received from business travelers, the agreement qualified as promotion of business tourism. However, the staff report presented to the Board of Supervisors highlighted how the sponsorship would help county DED staff reach executives who might be interested in locating their businesses in Loudoun County and provide a unique destination for “schmoozing” with prospects.

In order to ensure that the funds be used strictly for business tourism, then Blue Ridge Supervisor Jim Burton made a motion that the future proposal focus solely on the tourism aspects – no skyboxes, no annual event for “business leaders and targeted prospects,” no “Off Day Tours” for VIP corporate guests, no participation in sponsor events. This motion failed 3-5-1. As a result, the agreement contained a number of hospitality features, including a hospitality event at Redskins Park for up to 200 invitees, fivetours of Redskin Park for up to 10 invitees per tour, and invitations to Redskin Corporate Sponsor events for an agreed-upon number of County personnel and guests.

The Blue Ridge Leader submitted a public records request to the county for the names of invitees to these hospitality events, including designation of those attendees who were business prospects and whether those prospects established or expanded business activities in Loudoun County.
The county responded with a list of attendees to the 2009 VIP Reception held at Redskins Park and a copy of a May 2010 presentation to the board evaluating the benefits accrued from the partnership. The response also noted that the county had failed to take advantage of the opportunity to hold a VIP Reception in 2010.

However, the county withheld information about participants in the small tours and Redskins sponsorship events under a clause within the Freedom of Information Act that exempts “memoranda, working papers or other records related to businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Virginia, prepared by a public body, where competition or bargaining is involved and where, if such records are made public, the financial interest of the public body would be adversely affected.” An amended request was submitted asking for just the names of County staff, elected officials and/or members of the Economic Development Commission and CEO Cabinet. The county responded that no such records existed.

The public record indicates that neither the last Board as part of the May 2010 evaluation nor the current Board as part of its June 19 decision requested or received such information as a means to evaluate the effectiveness of the investment.

1 comment

  1. Patrick says:

    Mary Vadiver’s deep digging shows how the richest team in the National Football League used campaign contributions and luxury box tickets to wheedle $16 million in taxpayer funds out of Richmond and Loudoun Republican politicians. Leesburg Today, the Loudoun Times-Mirror and the Washington Post simply relied on government public relations handouts to promote what is a very smelly deal. Most outrageous is the $6.6 million the Virginia Lottery paid Billionaire Danny Snyder to use the Redskin logo on scratch tickets. $6.6 million! Under the law enforced by Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, Lottery money is only supposed to go to Virginia education. But Vadiver’s reporting shows Snyder gave McDonnell’s campaign $50,000 and Snyder’s partner, Dwight Schar, gave his campaign another $185,000. For the political investment of only $235,000 , Snyder and Schar have racked up $10 million from Richmond including $4 million from Richmond city.
    And the budget cutting Loudoun Board of Supervisors handed Snyder a $2 million deal that includes 24 tickets for a game to be viewed from luxury box suites. What happened to Redskin owners such as Middleburg’s Jack Kent Cooke who used his own money to build the Redskin stadium and cover all team expenses.

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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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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.

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6 7 8 9

Start Your Business (Loudoun)

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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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Loudoun Valley Community Center
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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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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

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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

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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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