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An Apology?

March 25, 2010 Dear Editor Comments Off on An Apology?

Let me first clarify that I serve on several Boards, Committees, and yes, I am an appointed member of the Purcellville Planning Commission for which I receive $1,800 (before taxes) annually. I personally would serve on this commission without any compensation, but State Code does not permit that, so, all public monies I have received for the past decade to date for my community service I have donated to charity. I also have never requested nor have been paid for legitimate out-of-pocket expenses for my community service as I view this as volunteer work.

When I speak before any public forum, unless otherwise identified, I comment as a “regular” citizen. Further, when and where it is required to sign-up for public comment, I indicate that I speak for “self”, unless otherwise identified or stated.

As to my February Town Council public comments I must apologize for my selfish, inconsiderate, self-important and bullying behavior in defending my family’s health, safety and welfare from the incessant cut through and speeding traffic in my “turn-of-the-century” neighborhood and my adjacent neighbors on 9th Street that occurs at all hours of the day and night virtually making the situation unlivable. As a town resident of 30 years, I should have displayed more tolerance and followed the example of Ms.
Rosette who would not be a hypocrite if incessant cut through and speeding traffic at all hours of the day and night was occurring in her Hirst Farm neighborhood.

I also should not have been so blissfully ignorant and insensitive not to realize the empathy that some Hirst Farm residents have for the owners of Crooked Run Orchard Farm as Hirst Farm too was “split” by an un-necessary road – Rt. 690, which only brought more development (including the 240 homes now occupying what was [Hirst] farm land) and more traffic into and out of town. As we all know, farmland lost, is farmland lost forever. I can now see that some Hirst Farm residents have every right to protest the completion of the SCR even if it was a requirement for the build-out of their community and three other communities; Locust Grove, Brown’s Farm and Case Farm as well as use any road they wish for their convenience.

In the end, we are all neighbors; I don’t cut through your neighborhood, please don’t cut through mine. Please treat with respect and keep safe our Maple Avenue/9th Street neighborhoods as you would expect the same respect and well being of your own neighborhood.

Bill Druhan
Purcellville

The Taco Bell Echo

April 24, 2009 Dear Editor Comments Off on The Taco Bell Echo

April 24, 2009
Guest Opinion
By George Dahlman, Purcellville

The Town Council meeting to approve the Purcellville Taco Bell drive-thru was distinguished less by debate on the fast food restaurant than by huffy indignation in defense of former mayor Bill Druhan; who had characterized Taco Bell opponents as “not-in-my-backyard” (NIMBY) elitists with the gall to question the integrity of the town management. My my! So much for diplomatic leadership.

The rant was in reaction to some who had wondered aloud whether some hanky-panky wasn’t involved in this approval process. And appearances certainly suggest some “accommodation” at the very least. The developer and franchisee had been angling to build the Taco Bell at Hirst and Hatcher. Unfortunately, the proposed zoning plan for that area did not allow for a stand-alone restaurant, let alone one with a drive-thru. But somehow – miraculously – when the plan was adopted by the Planning Commission and Town Council it included a 15 percent set-aside for stand alone restaurants. The developer and franchisee now had their “by-right” restaurant – but needed a special exemption for the drive-thru. That has now been approved. So we’ve gone from having no stand-alone restaurants at all in the corridor to drive thru fast food joints.

What’s wrong with this? It is that the developer’s desires drove the planning process; not the other way around. It exposes the hypocrisy of a planning process intended to improve the quality of life for Purcellville residents and the complicity of town officials in its compromise.

In approving the special exemption for the drive thru at the Planning Commission, Mr. Druhan made the courageous observation that they had no choice; Virginia state law protects “by-right” development. There are two problems with that. First, the “by-right” status of the restaurant was a fait accompli after the Planning Commission rolled over on the 15 percent set-aside. Second, Virginia state law does not require municipalities to approve special exemptions. To claim otherwise is disingenuous.

As to whether there were any real shenanigans in this story, Town Council members would righteously have you believe that critics are accusing them of personal corruption. No one, to my knowledge, has actually made that charge. Nor is it likely – or necessary. The influencing and bending of public policy is a much more subtle art form that begins with “relationship development,” and continues with civic favors and contributions – to the town, to be sure, not the politicians. It nevertheless ingratiates the town leaders by making their life easier. So when there’s a need for a slight edge to consummate a business deal, the applicant has access to a sympathetic audience. As a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, I know this game. And the developer in this case also knows how to play it.

The price paid by our community goes beyond hodgepodge development, and strikes at the heart of public trust. The Town leaders would tell you – and may believe themselves – that they are not so influenced. But if that’s true, when they adopt a plan – they need to stick to it. Even when good citizens and friends ask for a little “accommodation.”

Step Aside

April 10, 2009 Dear Editor Comments Off on Step Aside

April 10, 2009

Bill-
I would address you as Mr. Mayor, but frankly you don’t deserve the respect after your editorial submission. Reading your article calling your former constituents and Mr. Corn, and now fellow citizens, “self-important, self-centered, selfabsorbed, elitist NIMBY and his likeminded neighbors” is reprehensible at best. As those who taught me growing up, it takes one to know one; except I would add ignorant and arrogant to your repertoire of characteristics as they go hand-in-hand. I have asked for the meeting minutes for the last Town Council meeting where this potential development was discussed in depth but they still aren’t posted or available. Nothing like the speed of Government on such an issue that citizens are paying attention to. During that meeting a presenter in favor stated that while it is known that such an establishment so close to residential properties would have a negative effect on property values, that wouldn’t happen in this case. Where’s the data to support that nonsense? Given your recent published statements you must also subscribe to this foolish concept so show the data. After the heated debate, did the Town’s leaders go and talk to the concerned citizens? No, rather they ran right to the developer and shook hands, I mean coddled with him. So you want to track money? It’s quite easy to track our leaders loyalty. Just attend a local business dinner and see who sits at their table: the same developer.

Ryan J. Cool
Purcellville


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

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Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

February 2017
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January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
February 6, 2017 February 7, 2017 February 8, 2017 February 9, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 10, 2017 February 11, 2017

Valentine's Pizza & Champagne

Sweetheart’s Soirée- A Night of Dinner & Dancing

February 12, 2017

Candlelight Concert Fundraiser

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

February 13, 2017 February 14, 2017 February 15, 2017

Bob Brown Puppets: Dragon Feathers

February 16, 2017 February 17, 2017

ARTSPOWER: RAINBOW FISH

February 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT

Comedy Night feat. Tyrone Davis

February 19, 2017
February 20, 2017 February 21, 2017 February 22, 2017 February 23, 2017 February 24, 2017

February Fourth Friday

February 25, 2017

Samedi Gras Celebration

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LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

March 5, 2017
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Lifestyle

Hillsboro Plans Mardi Gras Celebration on February 25

20 Feb 2017

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Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …

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Four Young Historians Discuss Civil War Turning Points

2 Feb 2017

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The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …

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Love In All of Its Forms … Ain’t It Grand

2 Feb 2017

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Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

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Op-ed

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Dear Editor

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Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

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Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

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Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

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Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

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Sports

Woodgrove Gymnasts Advance To States

15 Feb 2017

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Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …

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Woodgrove Gymnastics Team Places First

1 Feb 2017

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The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …

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