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Isn’t Loudoun Better Than This?

blueridge2

More than forty years I have watched a rising tide of development flowing from the east across Loudoun. Once it was thought the western mountains would be spared the flood. Now it seems the forces ready to pave over Loudoun are rising ever higher. Must this deluge reach even to the mountain top and leave its ugly scar?

Our congregation has a church home in the peaceful valley between the Short Hill and Blue Ridge Mountains. Easter mornings before the sun peeks over the mountain, we gather on the Raymond Farm next door to our church. Then we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection as we watch the sun rise above the Short Hill. But AT&T’s planned data dump on Short Hill Mountain may become an eye sore we view for all Easters to come. Isn’t Loudoun better than this?

Roland England, Pastor
Christain Community Church at St Paul’s, Neersville

Campaign of Untruths

April 21, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Campaign of Untruths
jimmerson

Elected officials have done some pretty despicable things while serving in office. They range from bribery, beating a spouse, cheating on a spouse, obstruction of justice, and various forms of corruption. I have done none of these things.

A candidate running for office in Purcellville, a person who seemingly is against everything I do and stand for, has made a baseless and untruthful accusation against me in what appears to be an organized campaign of misinformation, censorship, and half-truths. It is a petty attempt to distract from the campaign issues. I am not running in the election this year, so this character assassination against me is even more incomprehensible. … Continue Reading

Time for Spring Cleaning – Purcellville Town Elections May 3

April 19, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Time for Spring Cleaning – Purcellville Town Elections May 3
town of purcellville sign

I usually don’t look forward to the first round of spring cleaning because it’s a bittersweet chore. But, after it’s done I feel 100 percent better and am ready to take on the rest of the year with renewed spirit—and a clean house. On May 3, the voters of Purcellville get a splendid chance to put democracy into action and do a thorough job of spring cleaning of the town council. … Continue Reading

The Simple Truth – Citizen’s Response to Former Mayor’s Bulk Water Sale

April 17, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on The Simple Truth – Citizen’s Response to Former Mayor’s Bulk Water Sale
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Because the need to know the facts seems to be bypassing us, I did some research into bulk water sale. The Town has sold bulk water for decades as per the Town Code:

Chapter 82 Utilities, Article II, Division 2, Sec. 82-80. – Charges for and limitation on use of public meter. The rate for water drawn at the public meter shall be in accordance with the schedule referred to in subsection 82-77(a) and the minimum charge shall be as set by the council from time to time. … Continue Reading

Conflicts of Interest Real or Perceived Continue To Run Rampant

January 13, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Conflicts of Interest Real or Perceived Continue To Run Rampant
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The Conflict of Interest Act can be subject to interpretation by just about anyone looking to stand on the side of a politician or appointed public servant that decries there is nothing wrong with the issues that have been raised. Usually, it is the public that raises the question with anticipation the elected official will have the integrity to recuse themselves, or step down from their position for the good of the business of the people. Over the nearly nine years I have lived in Purcellville, residents registering Conflict of Interest concerns receive harsh criticism or are simply ignored. … Continue Reading

Where Is Representative Government in Purcellville?

January 7, 2016 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Where Is Representative Government in Purcellville?
blueridge2

As I sit down to help my ninth grade daughter study for her World History test on government, I’m reminded how our own local government has forgotten the true meaning of representative government.

Citizens of Purcellville and neighboring Loudoun County residents banned together to send emails and speak at the December Purcellville Town Council meeting regarding the proposed annexation of property currently in the county – Purcellville Crossroads. The Kline property is zoned for 3-acre homes, but the landowner can make lots more money if he develops the land with higher density. To get the density the owners want, the property must come into the town. … Continue Reading

One-Sided Education

December 2, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on One-Sided Education
speak

Thank you, Nicholas Reid, recent graduate of a Loudoun County high school, for warning us about one-sided environmental teaching in Loudoun (“The Death of American Education,” November 2015).  He watched Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006) in his 7th grade PE/Health class.    John Stossel calls the film mostly “nonsense” that makes “so many odd claims.”   

I urge our School Board to mandate that if a teacher shows Al Gore’s movie about global warming, then that teacher must also show the documentary, “An Inconsistent Truth,” released in 2012.  The film shreds Al Gore’s claims.  E.g., students will learn that there is no consensus in human-caused global warming; thousands of scientists believe that the sun, not human activity, causes temperature change.   

An education must include both sides of an issue, especially this one that will greatly affect our lives.   Otherwise, dubious laws will cause our cost of living to soar while barely changing the global temperature, if at all.  

Rose Ellen Ray
Leesburg

Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

November 4, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party
halloweenphoto

The 5th annual Purcellville Halloween Block Party was the best attended to date with an estimated 6,000 descending on 21st street in Old Town this past Friday evening. Costume contest were held in five categories ranging from infants to adults. Prizes and trophies totaling over $2,000 were awarded to some of the most awesome and creative costumes we have had at the block party. The Judges, Geno Stampora, Karen Jimmerson, Scott Harris and Police Chief Cynthia McAlister had some tough decisions to determine the winners. Thanks judges for a job well done!  … Continue Reading

Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

November 1, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Ethics in Campaigning and Voting
bob_ohneiser

My Dad used to say it’s what you do when nobody is watching that counts. Over 80 percent of my “zoning permitted” and “land owner approved” and “well off the right of way” signs have already been stolen countywide. I believe incumbents whose own signs miraculously appeared in the exact same spot my signs disappeared have knowledge of who is pilfering them when nobody is watching. Isn’t that unethical? I see the word “experience” and trust the “winners” used quite often by incumbents. Really! Other than voters who blindly vote a party out of some national allegiance how can anyone not see the incredible increase in traffic congestion over the last 4 years? How can anyone stomach the easy acceptance of the COSTCO shooting or the Christian Sierra shooting by the incumbent Commonwealth Attorney (not to be mentioned) or the failure to charge the murderer of Erica Smith yet the case was closed when the suspect of two successive Sheriffs died or the refusal to charge the deputy accused by the Sheriff of embezzling $230,000? Are these “Experiences” not enough to wake up the community to the politics of this office rather than ethical execution of its duties? … Continue Reading

Black Is a Straight-Talker

October 27, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Black Is a Straight-Talker
Black_Photo

Liberal Governor McAuliffe’s hand-picked senate candidate, Dr. Jill McCabe, has learned the hard way that ducking important issues doesn’t cut it with voters. It took her three weeks to figure out that the Governor’s $17 toll lanes were bad for commuters. She, like all the other Democrats, was waiting for the green light from the Governor to state her opposition. Once they got it, all the Democrat minions rushed to the microphone to video their statement at the same VDOT meeting – even sitting legislators who had previously voted for the tolls!

Now that Dr. McCabe is back-peddling, she released her 3-week-tardy video and claims that she was always against it. That’s simply not true. Just four days before said meeting, she was still ducking the issue on Facebook. Even her own supporter declared that he would not vote for her since she refused to oppose the $17 tolls. He plead for her opposition explaining his job was at stake and even that plea wasn’t enough to get Dr. McCabe to pledge her opposition. … Continue Reading

Supports Hedges for Delegate

October 17, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
blueridge2

We need Chuck Hedges in the Virginia House of Delegates. On the day I met Chuck Hedges some years ago, I was walking him around my property when I happened to point out my driveway was in need of some new gravel. The next day, the very next day, I look out my window, and there is Chuck, standing in the back of his pickup truck, shoveling a new gravel compound onto the worst spots. He saw the problem. He had a solution. He just moved in and fixed it.

Over the years, I have seen this man, again and again, see a problem: someone needs a job, a curb needs fixing, sick folk need tending to; and there would be Chuck, moving in, cajoling local officials, making phone calls, visiting, checking up, and taking care of what was needed. I never knew him to expect anything in return, he just has this mind set—there’s a problem I can do something about, so I’ll do it. And now he’s running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

How wonderful to have someone in Richmond with Chuck’s attitude: Problem? Fix it!

To be honest, Chuck is a good friend. To be brutally honest, I would not vote for him just because he’s a friend, but I will vote for this friend because he is a man who so generously gives of himself to make life better for other folk. I must also admit that I would like to have a friend in Richmond. If he’s elected, he’ll be your friend too, and that’s a good thing.

Victor H Kryston
Lovettsville

Breweries in Residential Neighborhoods – Wrong Location

October 4, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Breweries in Residential Neighborhoods – Wrong Location
blueridge2

I wanted your readers to be aware of a disturbing new trend in Loudoun County. While most of us support efforts to keep open space in agricultural use, a loophole in the regulations has emerged that threatens the safety and tranquility of our neighborhoods.

In the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood on Foggy Bottom Road in Bluemont a brewery is under construction now that will serve beer until 10:00 p.m. Parking will be provided for at least a hundred cars, most of which will include multiple passengers.

This Bluemont neighborhood has narrow, winding dirt roads, traffic signs cautioning about the presence of horses and riders, children and cyclists. This is absolutely an inappropriate location for the opening of a beer hall. I call it a beer hall because they serve beer in a party-like atmosphere with music and entertainment. … Continue Reading

Thank You Purcellville

August 7, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thank You Purcellville
town of purcellville sign

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to the Vineyard Square development. Your kind words, visits, and support of my efforts have been overwhelming. The final decision will affect everyone.

It was a very difficult decision for me to make when I filed the original appeal. I had no doubt it was the right thing to do, and I knew if this was not addressed now I was not the only business that would be critically impacted and suffer irreparable harm.

But, the process has been frustrating, as I understood it would be when I filed the appeal with my attorney arguing my case against the actions of Purcellville’s zoning administrator. I was most shocked and disappointed that Board of Zoning Appeals member Eric Zimmerman – who represented one of the note holders on the Vineyard Square project – refused to recuse himself from the proceedings despite that obvious conflict of interest. It was a bad judgment, and destroys the public trust in appointed members of the community on so many levels.

I am holding out hope that the mayor and town council will not remain silent. The stage is now set and critical development precedents will be established for the developer of Vineyard Square and all future developers if these issues are not addressed now. So, I must move forward and defend and protect my business from devastating consequences, and stand up for the rule of law in our beautiful town no matter what the cost. My “Save Old Town Pville” Go Fund Me campaign will be the way I am able to keep moving forward. Thank you for your support, Purcellville!

Mary Ellen Stover, Purcellville


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

A Habitable Planet

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“At the moments when we are able to separate ourselves from our daily concerns and ponder deeply, most of us have encountered fundamental questions of our existence as human beings. Where do we come from? What happened before humans appeared …

Choose Joy, Don’t Go Negative

Lunde new

Sometimes life is pleasant and it is easy to smile, other times it is not. The real question is how do you react and live your life when you are going through trials? What do you do when you feel …

Character Outlives Us All

moore-sobelnewmug

“Brains are like muscles, you can rent them by the hour, but at the end of the day all you have left is your character.” This statement was uttered by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a phrase his father used …

Foxridge Park

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth- Foxridge Park-1

You know, I can still taste those sausages: The first early-spring bratwurst cooked over an open flame in a beautiful setting among good friends; nothing so surprising, really, in recalling a good meal in classic context. The thing is, though …

Planning for Life Disclosure and Other Family Issues in Estate Planning

Smith0035

What do we tell the kids? Questions of how much and what type of information to give the children often arise during consultation. The answers depend on the circumstances of each family – the ages and maturity of the children …

A Look Into What Is Learned in High School English

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde English is the arguably the most important subject for a student in high school to learn. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common — being able to communicate effectively. This is …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

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By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Isn’t Loudoun Better Than This?

blueridge2

More than forty years I have watched a rising tide of development flowing from the east across Loudoun. Once it was thought the western mountains would be spared the flood. …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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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 …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

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

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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Calendar

May 2016
M T W T F S S
25 26 27

Hamilton Town Hall

28 29

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

30

Lobster Day with Chef Seb at North Gate Vineyard

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

1

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Spring Wine Glass Painting with Penny

2

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

3

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

4

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

5

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

6

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

TGIF @ North Gate Vineyard!

7

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

The Sprouted Spoon Food Truck at North Gate Vineyard

Nathaniel Davis Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

8

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Celebrate Mother's Day at North Gate Vineyard!

Mother's Day Brunch at Breaux

9

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

10

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

11

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

12

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

13

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

14

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Dog Day at Breaux Vineyards

15

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

16

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

17

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

18

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

19

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Senior Caregiver Training

Hillsboro Ruritan Club Dinner Meeting

20

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

21

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

22

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Land Trust of Virginia Annual Garden Party

BRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

Waterford Concert

23

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

24

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

25

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

26

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

27

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

28

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

A Taste of Paris and View of Normandy at Breaux Vineyards

Annie Stokes Live at North Gate Vineyard

29

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Paella by Carlos at North Gate Vineyard

30

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

31

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

1

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

2

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

3

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

4

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

5

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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Lifestyle

Movies in the Park Return to Ida Lee This Summer

25 May 2016

Leesburg01

“101 Dalmatians” kicks off the season on Thursday, May 26. Get the popcorn ready! The Town of Leesburg will once again be hosting Movies in the Park this summer. This free series will feature an evening movie on the third Thursday of each month throughout the summer, hosted at Ida Lee Park.

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New Concert Series Comes to Purcellville

20 May 2016

brianganz150

On Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 p.m., internationally recognized pianist Brian Ganz will present an all-Chopin recital at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 711 W. Main Street in Purcellville. The recital will feature several of Frédéric Chopin’s studies for solo piano, including the renowned “Revolutionary” Etude, among other works by the Romantic master. Ganz, who recently moved to Purcellville from Annapolis, …

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Eucharistic Procession To Pass Through Leesburg May 29

20 May 2016

Eucharist

– By Mark Gunderman Each year, Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), symbolizing their belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In the United States, the celebration of Corpus Christi is held on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. This is a time when Catholics can demonstrate their …

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Around Virginia

Out and About Loudoun and Beyond

The Plains’ charming restaurants, shops and sidewalks.

Five Stone’s Throw Spring and Summer Destinations By Andrea Gaines Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and beautiful mountains to the west – and with easy access to Rt. 95, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 66 – Loudouners have no short list of fun spring places to …

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Update: Remains Located in Shenandoah National Park; Search Efforts Suspended

VSP Photo - 4-21-16 Whiteoak Canyon Trail Entrance VSP

Update: Body preliminarily identified as Nicole K. Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge. The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation includes a note recovered from the car leads investigators to believe there was no foul play involved in her death. ——————– Search efforts in the Shenandoah National …

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Virginia Trooper Shot and Killed at Richmond Bus Terminal

Tpr Dermyer Patrol Car in front of VSP SPHQ

A Virginia State Police trooper has died as a result of his injuries after being shot on March 31 at the Greyhound Bus station in the 2900 block of North Boulevard in Richmond. At approximately 2:40 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Chad P. Dermyer approached a male subject just inside …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

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

ODFCsoccerpics

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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