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Shell Games

June 16, 2015 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Let me be very very clear, for us climate change is real and it’s a threat that we want to act on. We’re not aligning with skeptics.” – Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell [1]

“What we have to understand is that free will is our capacity to see probable futures, futures which seem like they’re gonna happen, in time to take steps so that something else happens instead.” Daniel Dennett [2]

I received an interesting comment to my April 20 article “Stupid” [3] from Brett, a denier of human-caused climate change and it happens to segue into what I wanted to write about next.

“Why have you been hiding your genius from us so long. I’m now convinced by your omnipotent knowledge to just disregard any credible scientists that disagree with you. Now I too can live my life in fear.” … Continue Reading

Good Character Takes Work

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Be the first to comment
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By Samuel Moore-Sobel

How is character developed? It is a simple question that requires, I suspect, a somewhat complicated answer. New York Times columnist David Brooks gives us profiles of the mental and moral qualities distinctive to great leaders in his new book, “The Road to Character.” Brooks’ desire was to provoke a conversation about character, and ever since hearing him speak, I have certainly carried out his wish.

Brooks has been on a journey, one in which he examined the road to character and how others have navigated it. His journey began by pondering resume virtues, a list of skills and experience, and eulogy virtues, the ones that are discussed at a funeral. Most people readily admit that eulogy virtues are more important, but how often are they emphasized in our world today? … Continue Reading

Worried About Mid-life Crisis

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Be the first to comment
Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike,

I think my husband is going through a mid-life crisis, and I’m worried. It started about two years ago. He tries to get away from the kids and me every chance he gets on the weekend. He complains all the time none of us can do anything right anymore. He drinks a bottle of wine pretty much every night. He works out several hours a week and pampers himself with massages, facials and frequent shopping sprees at Nordstrom’s. He’s into teen popular music and has a new trendy hairstyle. He bought a new expensive and flashy sport car that no one can eat, drink or pretty much even breathe in. He puts down our house and where we live and always wants the bigger and the better of whatever. He has become more reckless and adventure seeking. Like he recently told me that he wants to plan to climb Kilimanjaro with his guy friends next summer because he “deserves it.” I don’t think he’s cheated on me (yet), but I have caught him looking at inappropriate things on-line a few times. Last weekend he told me that our lives are “lame” and that we live in “Lamedoun County.” He says that “getting crazy” should be more than shopping at Costco or getting a babysitter to eat out at Clyde’s or Ford’s Fish Shack with your wife. He’s 49 and doesn’t want to discuss or celebrate his 50th Birthday, and he’s completely miserable about it. I actually love my husband and my life with him, but the drastic changes in him over the past two years have taken a toll on the kids and me…and him. I miss the man I fell in love with and want him back. I plan on showing him what you write, so please get this right!

Concerned in Loudoun County … Continue Reading

Belted Kingfisher – Streamside Rock Star

June 3, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Columns, Wild Loudoun Be the first to comment
wildloudoun

It’s hard to say what you noticed first.

The cool blue streak of color. The piecing cry – a sharp rattle – here one second and gone the next. The splashy exit as a very spirited bird made off with a very unlucky fish.

These are the behaviors, sights and sounds of the belted kingfisher, one of our local waterways’ most dramatic avian hunters.
Belted kingfishers are loud, colorful and fast, but their noisy, bandit-like disruptions don’t last long. The bird spends most of its time perched above its watery kingdom scoping out the food sources in and around the streams, marshes, ponds, rivers and shorelines below – including small fish, crayfish and shellfish, salamanders, lizards and frogs. … Continue Reading

Galileo’s Telescope

May 13, 2015 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Galileo’s Telescope
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“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Hanlon’s Razor [1]

We can be confident in the knowledge that humans are now in control of the Earth’s surface climate for three very good reasons. First, every national and international scientific organization in the world has endorsed this conclusion which summarizes the five IPCC reports. Many of these organizations have issued multiple independent reports of their own. Every knowledgeable scientist endorses this observation. Second, all of the denier arguments are uniformly stupid. As I’ve explained, I use “stupid” as a technical term appealing to Hanlon’s razor to indicate that the arguments are worse than Wolfgang Pauli’s characterization of bad science as “not even wrong”. A fairly complete list of these arguments can be found on the Skeptical Scientist web site with explanation and rebuttal. I’ve examined many in my articles. Third, there is no science which defends denial. If it existed you would have heard about it. It is not for lack of imagination that Charles Krauthammer argued to undermine the entire body of physical knowledge citing an uncertain report on the uncertainty of a technician’s ability to interpret a mammogram which Krauthammer probably didn’t read. It was for lack of any relevant science. If any denier finds some relevant science which supports denial, he will tell Krauthammer who will then let us know. … Continue Reading

Should I Send My Sensitive Son to Camp?

May 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Should I Send My Sensitive Son to Camp?
Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike,
What do you think about overnight or stay away camps for 11 year-old boys? Our son is sensitive and has struggled a lot this year socially, and my husband feels that a couple of weeks away from home and with other kids at camp will help him to be “less soft.” My husband went away to camp at a young age and remembers it as being a great experience. I agree with my husband that our son is sensitive and that he lacks social skills for his age, but I’m afraid that the separation from us will be too upsetting for him. I also don’t trust that my 11 year old boy will be safe after all the camp counselor abuse stories that I’ve heard about in my life. Unless you or my husband can convince me that sending our anxious and sensitive 11 year old away all at once is the right decision, I am against the idea. Middle school is going to be hard enough for him next year. Your thoughts on this are appreciated.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

It’s Screen Free Week Loudoun County Parents

May 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on It’s Screen Free Week Loudoun County Parents
Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider

May 4 through May 10 is International Screen Free Week. In today’s technologically driven society, this is a time for us to unplug from our televisions, phones, computers and other gadgets and instead celebrate being in the moment. But the notion of our children playing, thinking, creating, reading, and being active without technology is difficult for many.

Taking a break from screens every now and then is a good thing for us all, and it’s especially good for our children and teens. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children two years and younger should not engage in any screen time. … Continue Reading

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

May 5, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Virginia Gardening Comments Off on Planting an Allergy-Free Garden
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 included information about 3,000 different species that we plant in our landscapes and grow in seasonal gardens. His ranking system relates to the level, size, stickiness, and potency of pollen produced. … Continue Reading

Relay for Life with the Hokies

May 5, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Mary Rose Lunde Comments Off on Relay for Life with the Hokies
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By Mary Rose Lunde

On April 24 Virginia Tech hosted their annual Relay for Life fundraising event that supports the American Cancer Society. The event lasted more than 12 hours from five at night to five in the morning. At the closing ceremony, it was announced that the event raised more than half a million dollars for cancer research. This alone is amazing and hopefully will bring scientists closer to finding a cure for cancer. … Continue Reading

Make College Work for You

May 5, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Make College Work for You
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By Samuel Moore-Sobel

The month of May is often consumed by graduations. As thousands of high school seniors are reaching this important milestone in their lives, many are faced with the prospect of an uncertain future. Some will choose to enter the workforce, while many will opt to endure more years of schooling. While many students are likely excited with the prospect of attending college, they may still harbor strong disappointments about where they landed at the end of the college application process. … Continue Reading

Not-even-wrong

April 6, 2015 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Not-even-wrong
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“The phrase ‘not-even-wrong’ describes any argument that purports to be scientific but fails at some fundamental level, usually in that it contains a terminal logical fallacy or it cannot be falsified by experiment (i.e. tested with the possibility of being rejected), or cannot be used to make predictions about the natural world.” – Wikipedia [1]

The physicist Jakob Bekenstein [2] proposed in his PhD dissertation in 1972 that black holes had positive entropy proportional to the surface area of their event horizon. This concept disagreed with the prevailing consensus and the physics community was very skeptical including Stephen Hawking, who set out to falsify Bekenstein’s argument. What Hawking did instead was to confirm it and then concede the point [3].

The physicist Richard Muller was a rather vocal skeptic of human-caused climate change until he analyzed the data for himself. His team has since published analysis that not only is the Earth surface warming rather dramatically but human emissions are 100 percent responsible [4]. Muller describes his results in this video [5]. In this example the outlier Muller was wrong and the consensus was correct, which is the more common result in science. We only here about the rare times the outlier is correct simply because that makes better news. In any event, it is always the argument with the most evidence which prevails in science.

These stories are good examples of how science progresses and also highlight the most important characteristic of skepticism: the willingness to be wrong, which distinguishes it from denial. Another distinguishing characteristic is knowledge of the science.

The expression “Not even wrong” is attributed to the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. He used it to criticize a paper written by another physicist. This critique implies that the argument is worse than simply being wrong and has come to be identified with arguments which are flawed in some fundamental way as describe on the Wikipedia page quoted above.

We have thus identified three categories of scientific argument: empirically correct, e.g. Bekenstein’s argument, empirically wrong, e.g. Muller’s argument, and not-even-wrong, e.g. string theory and the multi-verse, perhaps. Empirically wrong arguments which are falsified are important to science insofar as they may illuminate blind alleys and scientific arguments which are not-even-wrong may eventually prove not only to have value but to be correct in some limited circumstances. However, this is only possible if the argument is at least grounded in science and does not have logical fallacies.

In my last article [6] we examined arguments championed by the deniers Charles Lane [7] and Charles Krauthammer [8] in the Washington Post. Conflating climate physics with a single study of mammograms as Krauthammer did or cholesterol as did Lane is worse than not-even-wrong and requires a new and more accurate designation. Pauli did not have anything this stupid in mind when he coined the phrase “not-even-wrong”, which is why employing Hanlon’s razor we coin the label “stupid”.

There is a popular argument with global warming deniers, recently used by Senator Ted Cruz [9], which assumes that denier scientists must be right because they are in a very small minority. But that is a logical fallacy. The popularity or lack thereof has nothing to do with the correctness of a scientific argument. If climate hawks were to argue that the consensus of the climate science community is right only because they are in the majority that too would be a logical fallacy. In fact climate hawks point this out only to address yet another self-contradictory denier argument which claims that there are lots of climate scientists who deny global warming [10]. When the latter argument was falsified, deniers rather than concede the point made up the opposite argument. Deniers employ adaptive irrationality.

The consensus view is correct because of the weight of evidence summarized in the five IPCC reports. This happens to be the consensus of most climate scientists because of this overwhelming evidence. Instead of foolishly comparing himself to Galileo and confusing historic fact in the process, i.e., conflating a flat earth with Ptolemaic geocentrism [9], Cruz would have done better to read these reports and familiarize himself with the facts. He confuses campaign contributions with evidence and while in the short run that is profitable for Cruz, in the long run it is stupid and reckless.

In the case of global warming we are fortunate to have these five IPCC reports and lots of survey reports published by all of the relevant science organizations in the world such as AGU, NASA, NOAA, NSF, NAS, AAAS, ACS and so on. These surveys and summaries include all the good testable arguments which have been verified by experiment, observation and analysis, and in addition, all the good testable arguments which have been partly or wholly falsified.

When we examine denier arguments, we find that most of them, as is the cases with Krauthammer’s and Lane’s, actually avoid relevant science, even that which is not-even-wrong, and are best classified as stupid. Making the same falsified arguments repeatedly is also stupid unless new evidence is presented. Thus I have observed that all denier arguments are stupid which may be why the scientific community has difficulty addressing them. Why would any credible scientist bother to respond to someone as dumb as Krauthammer? I submit that this is one reason is why industry consultants, apologists, the press and politicians avoid evidence-based science in favor of stupid arguments. Another would be that confronting evidence-based science contradicts their world view and creates painful and unwelcome tension. They would be forced to reject their sacrosanct ideologies. For many like Cruz it would impact their ability to earn a living. And a third reason would be that they have no idea what science or the truth is.

Are Krauthammer, Lane, Hiatt and Cruz lying, confabulating, self-delusional or just stupid? Cognitive psychologists and neuro psychologists study this from a clinical perspective. An excellent introduction to this effort is William Hirstein’s “Brain Fiction”. The orbitofrontal cortex is the part of the brain which would ordinarily tell a rational person that cholesterol has nothing to do with the polar vortex. It is the same part of the brain which malfunctions in sociopaths.

At a party last weekend a climate activist averred that our mistake was calling it “global warming” instead of “climate change” or maybe the other way around. But this is as stupid as any denier argument and avoids the problem. We have been using both terms in equal measure for the last forty years and calling it something else would have made little difference. The fossil fuels industry is not paying these people to lie because they object to the terminology. The solution is a threat to their profits. Implementing the solution by government regulation is a threat to all large multi-national corporations and all plutocrats. Self-criticism by climate activists is an irresponsible waste of time. We are not the problem.

The philosopher Daniel Dennett has defined free will [11]: “What we have to understand is that free will is our capacity to see probable futures, futures which seem like they’re gonna happen, in time to take steps so that something else happens instead.” We have to concern ourselves with whether deniers have a free will, whether any amount of evidence would persuade them and whether or not Homo sapiens can survive as a consequence. We need to understand what has gone wrong in the denier brain and why.

According to Dennett scientists and activists exercised their free will “seeing probable futures.” We know what these are. The problem is we as a society are not taking the necessary steps so that something else happens. Why is that?

All of the people I’ve criticized have had large soap boxes and are paid to lie. All of their global warming denier arguments are stupid assiduously avoiding evidence. If we are going to find a rational argument which supports denial we will have to look elsewhere. We need to find a scientist, preferably a physicist, who understands what science is and whose livelihood does not depend on defending the over privileged and who is genuinely skeptical of the conclusions of the IPCC reports.

A good friend sent me an email he received from his friend who has a PhD in nuclear physics. I will call him Joe. Joe is a global warming skeptic and his email was his attempt to persuade my friend, an advanced degreed engineer that the IPCC reports are in error. We will examine Joe’s arguments in my next article.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Bekenstein

[3] Jim Baggott, Farewell to Reality, How modern physics has bretrayed the search for scientific truth, Pegasus Books, 2013.

[4] Muller’s team’s papers http://berkeleyearth.org/papers

[5] Muller’s video http://www.skepticalscience.com/fiddling-with-global-warming-conspiracy-theories-while-rome-burns.html and an audio interview here http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/08/02/climate-change-skeptic

[6] Tony Noerpel, Deniers and Liars and Dunning-Kruger, March 17, 2015, http://brleader.com/?p=16610

[7] Charles Lane, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/science-with-a-side-order-of-humility/2015/02/18/d139f3d4-b78e-11e4-aa05-1ce812b3fdd2_story.html

[8] http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-myth-of-settled-science/2014/02/20/c1f8d994-9a75-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html

[9] Chris Mooney http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/26/ted-cruz-invokes-galileo-to-defend-his-climate-skepticism-and-historians-arent-happy/

[10] an example: http://www.skepticalscience.com/OISM-Petition-Project.htm

[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joCOWaaTj4A

Deniers and Liars and Dunning-Kruger

March 17, 2015 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Deniers and Liars and Dunning-Kruger
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“We now live in a culture in which it is entirely possible to live the vast majority of one’s life inside a[n] ideological bubble.” Slaughter and Gutenson [1]

Dunning-Kruger Effect: The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. [2]

“Without free will there could be no rational thought.” – Nicolas Gislin [3] … Continue Reading

The Climate Change Economy

February 16, 2015 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on The Climate Change Economy
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A few weeks ago [1] I showed that the costs of climate events such as storms, draughts and floods were growing at a seven percent per annum clip while US GDP was only growing at a 2.7 percent rate. I showed that if these rates continue the costs of climate events would exceed the growth in GDP by 2058. This estimate is optimistic and should be considered an upper bound because the costs only include the big events costing more than one billion dollars adjusted for inflation in 2014 dollars and do not include damage from all the lesser events. Further, much of GDP growth is in services which do not increase accumulated wealth in the same way as material wealth and most material wealth deteriorates with time and must periodically be replaced even without climate impacts. Food gets eaten or rots, cars rust, houses fall apart and sports stadiums get torn down and replaced. But there are two more important considerations. The rate of growth of the cost of climate events is unlikely to remain as low as seven percent. It will have to grow as the surface temperature increases. And, it is unlikely that US GDP will continue to grow at a 2.7 percent rate into the future. Since 2005 it has been growing at less than 1.4 percent annually. Referring to Figure 1 showing the growth of derivatives, I would suggest that neo-liberal economics and deregulation of finance which are well underway increase the risk of an economic collapse in the near future. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Shell Games

16 Jun 2015

noerpel150

“Let me be very very clear, for us climate change is real and it’s a threat that we want to act on. We’re not aligning with skeptics.” – Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell [1] “What …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Worried About Mid-life Crisis

3 Jun 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, I think my husband is going through a mid-life crisis, and I’m worried. It started about two years ago. He tries to get away from the kids and me every chance he gets on the weekend. He complains …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

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– 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

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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

Good Character Takes Work

3 Jun 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel How is character developed? It is a simple question that requires, I suspect, a somewhat complicated answer. New York Times columnist David Brooks gives us profiles of the mental and moral qualities distinctive to great leaders in …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Challenges for Blended Families

3 Jun 2015

Smith0035

By Amy & Dan Smith The blended family has become more the norm than the exception in our society. As with most second marriages, Amy and I came into our marriage with our own children, our own careers and our …

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Student News

Woodgrove High School Senior Garner Signs With Wheaton

2 Apr 2015

woodgroveHS

Woodgrove High School senior, Kristen Garner, has signed to swim with Wheaton College in Ilinois She is the first Woodgrove swimmer to sign with a college and will compete on Wheaton’s NCAA Division III team. “I am incredibly honored to …

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Buchanan Earns Eagle Rank

1 Apr 2015

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Harry Buchanan, V, from Waterford, earned his Boy Scout Eagle Rank three days before his 18th birthday. The Eagle Rank is the highest rank from the Boy Scouts of America to award.  Less than 2 percent of all Boy Scouts …

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Loudoun Student Awarded Environmental Scholarship

6 Jul 2014

Allison_Arpajian

American Disposal Services is proud to announce Allison Arpajian, the Loudoun County recipient of their Annual American Disposal Services Inc. Scholarship. Applications were distributed to all public high schools in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. One winner was chosen from each …

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Events

July 2015
M T W T F S S
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: READERS THEATER

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

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

It’s Time We Invest in Public Education

3 Jun 2015

chuck hedges

By Chuck Hedges Delegate David LaRock believes in school choice. So do I. Delegate David LaRock is concerned about children with special needs. So am I. But that’s where our agreement ends. I have worked with children with special needs for some two years. I know the joy that comes with offering an effective program for these children. For 95 …

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Lifestyle

Summer Movie And Skate Nights At Bush Tabernacle

1 Jul 2015

town of purcellville sign

The 4th Annual summer of free Movie and Skate Nights will be held every Wednesday evening throughout the summer at the historic Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink.  These events are jointly sponsored by the Bush Tabernacle and the Town of Purcellville. All movies start at 7 p.m., and roller skating starts around 8:30 p.m. (immediately after the movie has ended) and …

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He Slipped The Surly Bonds Of Earth For Us … Happy 4th Of July, Carl

1 Jul 2015

surlybonds

– By Andrea Gaines This aviator’s poem is presented in memory of my uncle, Carl E. Alber – a veteran and celebrated test pilot – to mark all of the freedoms that became ours on July 4, 1776. My uncle died on September 7, 1994, but would have turned 100 this year – on July 4, 2015. The poem was …

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Court Is Back In Session July 10 At Union Cemetery Chapel

1 Jul 2015

unioncemeterychapel

The Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court is hosting a special program Friday, July 10 to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening session of the Loudoun County Court after the Civil War. In May 1861, the court justices ordered George K. Fox Jr., clerk of court, to remove all court records, some of which dated back to the …

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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

governorsigns

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

McAuliffe

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

blueridge2

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

ULLLpic5

– 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

thismonthhistory

– 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

The Summer Semester Is No Break

3 Jun 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde So, what should a college student do with their summer? The appropriate response is relax; summer is meant to be a break complete with sleeping until noon each day and marathons of episodes on Netflix. Instead of doing this however, many college students wake up earlier …

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Sarah's Closet

Summer White Out

3 Jun 2015

sarahsclosetlogo

By Sarah Nearis Good fashion has a feeling. As we head into June and the warmer summer months, the feeling you want is one of being cool, easily put together, and comfortable. White has a way of cultivating that cool, comfortable feeling. A crisp pair of white capris. A simple …

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Letters

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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No Tax Increases

1 Apr 2015

speak

– By Delegate Dave LaRock I’ve heard it said that elections should be held on April 16 so that people would cast their vote while …

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