Home » Bill Druhan » Recent Articles:

An Apology?

March 25, 2010 by Letter to the Editor 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 by Blue Ridge Leader 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 by Blue Ridge Leader 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

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

25 Jul 2015

noerpel150

“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

8 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, We go to the Outer Banks every summer as a family, but our seven-year-old daughter is now freaked out by the reported shark attacks at the Outer Banks. Thanks to her older siblings teasing her about sharks, she …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

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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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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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

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015

Smith0035

– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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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

benkellog

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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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

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

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COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Creedence Clearwater

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Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

blueridge2

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

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015

kwasifraser

– By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville Many of our fellow citizens are baffled by the proposed increase in our already high water and sewer rates, and not just about the increase that was proposed for the Fiscal Year 2016 but also about the proposed increases over the next nine years. This quote from one of our citizens to a …

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015

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– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015

farmtofork

Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

hillsborojuly3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

1 Jul 2015

wildloudoun

– By Andrea Gaines She feeds the birds. She shelters the mammal. She cools the air, provides us with shade and conserves the water and soil. She is the mighty old oak, an ecosystem unto herself. All except the smallest living things function as an ecosystem of sorts – whether harboring the bacteria and microscopic plants that break down organic …

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Around Virginia

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

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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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Bipartisan Legislation Hopes To Reduce Wasteful Spending

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U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have teamed up on a bipartisan proposal to empower federal workers to identify and cut down on unnecessary federal spending. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015 would build on existing law by expanding a program that allows U.S. government …

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Sports

Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015

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– By Carri Michon The Majors championship game for Upper Loudoun Little League dawned with prospects of stormy weather. Nonetheless, a nice crowd assembled for the pre-game ceremonies in the light rain. Following the announcment of the AL Royals and the NL Pirates teams, the ULLL Hometown Heroes scholarship given …

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WLVBC Ignite Takes 2nd at Tournament

13 May 2015

Ignite Takes Silver at Spring Fling resized

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club U15 Team Ignite placed second at the NVVA 15’s Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, May 10 at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Leesburg. Ignite met the host team, NVVA 15 Fairfax Black, in the finals. “I’m proud of each player for pushing hard through 10 …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

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– 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

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

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– 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

Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

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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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Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

3 Jun 2015

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise …

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