Home » Dear Editor » Recent Articles:

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
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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

Cozy Relationship

March 4, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Cozy Relationship
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During the February Purcellville Town Council meeting, members had a discussion about the Volunteer Award program. The debate was about separating the town from a private event hosted by a private organization. This award ceremony is not a program the town council organized. It was brought to the public’s attention at the January 2014 Purcellville Business Association (PBA) by former Mayor Bob Lazaro in his State of the Town Address, “…after discussion with Business Association President Bowman, this March at the PBA’s Annual meeting luncheon, we will recognize an outstanding volunteer and/or volunteer organization…”. … Continue Reading

A Loudoun Civics Lesson: It Pays To Have Money

January 6, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion 11 comments
blueridge2

Having spent an evening at the Loudoun Planning Commission monthly meeting December 16 to listen and participate in the exception application for the helipad on Egypt Farm, I came away much more knowledgeable about how the exception process works and gained additional knowledge about helipads and helicopters.

Some items presented by the Helipad/Helicopter applicant Charles Kuhn or his designated helicopter expert are:
I didn’t know this but to satisfy the exceptions bylaws, an exception for this area can be granted only if it’s for agricultural use. The answer: Mr. Kuhn needs the helicopter to monitor his cattle on his Egypt farm Ponderosa. Really. Wonder if they’ll be a cattle drive through our neighborhood? The fact his moving company operates out of Maryland and also has a helipad has nothing to do with his need for a helicopter. Nah, no way. … Continue Reading

Zoning War Confusion

January 6, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Zoning War Confusion
BenPackard

It is often amazing to read articles covering meetings that seem far different than those I attend. A good example was your recent article “Zoning War Coming To A Head.” First, while it may make good press to suggest that there is a confrontational relationship between the mayor and me, the fact is that we have had and continue to have a strong and good working relationship. Reasonable minds may disagree, but when there is respect for each others point of view, then there is not animosity between the parties. The two items I made a motion to remove from the agenda were discussed briefly before and more thoroughly after the meeting with the mayor to make sure he understood fully why I did not believe the Efficiency Review and Real Parties of Interest were not ready for discussion (for those who didn’t attend the meeting, the reason I stated was no staff report or additional information provided beforehand to prepare us for discussion and no council members were yet to be assigned to the council task items). I would welcome the two items in the future when citizens and council members are adequately prepared to discuss the matters and we have council members championing the items. … Continue Reading

Advice To Developers

January 6, 2015 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
blueridge2

We know you want to make money and lots of it. But across America citizens are fighting back. Please don’t destroy our quaint little town. Tough! We need progress. More homes, more businesses mean more income for town officials.

In every election since Loudoun became a bedroom community, developers and politicians became close friends. Lots of money was spent to get developer friendly politicians elected. So here was what the developers need to do to save face with the elected officials. Simply double or triple your density, building heights, water privileges, roads, and so on, knowing that you can “settle” for what you really need.

Next time there is a hearing, the developers can “back off” just a bit. Still the citizens will not be satisfied. So after a few more hearings, even lawsuits, you can advise the population that the town successfully reduced the developers plans. Hooray for the citizens. They are pleased. And the developers got what they wanted – corruption and deception begins at the local level. Stay alert.

A. Kevin Carbone, PhD
Bluemont


 

 

 

 

Columns

Pie in the Face (with remarks from Ron Paul)

noerpel_new

“In any field, the establishment is seldom in pursuit of the truth because it is composed of those who sincerely believe that they are already in possession of it.” E. T. Jaynes. Everybody prefaces Bernie Sanders name with “pie in …

Asterisk No More

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

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By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

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

Job Well Done!

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Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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 …

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

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

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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

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

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

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

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

Chocolate & Cabernet

Sweetheart's Soirée at Breaux Vineyards

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

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

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

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

5

Merlot Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

North Gate Vineyard Wine Dinner with Chef Sebastian Oveysi

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

turtle_swartz

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

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

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

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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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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