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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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Dear Editor

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Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

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Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

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Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

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Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

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Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Chocolate & Cabernet

Sweetheart's Soirée at Breaux Vineyards

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Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Celebrate Valentine's Day at North Gate Vineyard

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

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22 23 24 25 26

Breaux Vineyards February Fourth Friday

27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

Our Love is Here to Stay

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

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Merlot Vertical Tasting

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6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Creation and Evolution in Native American Spirituality

9 Feb 2016

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In celebration of Evolution Weekend, an annual event led by clergy to encourage serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science, St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville has invited Roger and Deborah “Turtle” Swartz to guide a discussion of traditional Native American Spirituality and its wisdom in celebrating human relationship to the earth. In a …

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Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

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On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

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The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

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The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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