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Thank You Purcellville

August 7, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment
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 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Cozy Relationship
grim_portrait

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 by Blue Ridge Leader 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 by Blue Ridge Leader 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 by Blue Ridge Leader 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

Doesn’t Belong on 32nd St

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Doesn’t Belong on 32nd St
town of purcellville sign

Purcellville is a town loaded with character and charm. Increasingly residents seem keen to preserve what makes our town distinct from others. This is true in the town’s central commercial district and in residential neighborhoods alike. Efforts to turn available property over to dense, national-chain development have been rejected by the town’s citizens.

Purcellville has its own celebrated local businesses and it would be nice to see vacant commercial rental space occupied by more of such local businesses. A focus on more dense development, with potential to be occupied by national chains, would damage the unique character of the town and its neighborhoods. While residents increasingly appreciate this, efforts to increase density persist. … Continue Reading

A Time of Gathering and Reflection

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on A Time of Gathering and Reflection
home_for_christmas

It seems like December is all about Christmas.  And that means Black Friday, endless renditions of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Grinches, Scrooges, dysfunctional family stories with happy endings, after-midnight shopping, and dancing snowmen.

But let’s not forget that it’s also a time of gathering and reflection.  It’s a time to gather together with family and friends.  And it’s a time to reflect on our lives, the meaning of our lives, and how we can give and make a difference in our communities.  Remember, even if we don’t have money, we all have something to give and contribute.

Kevin O’Neil
Leesburg

Let’s Consider Franklin Park for a Park and Ride

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Let’s Consider Franklin Park for a Park and Ride
blueridge2

I’m writing this because you have provided valuable insight into a number of Loudoun County issues that the towns or Loudoun Board of Supervisors (BOS) have railroaded past us.  There was the quick take of the Brown’s Farm for the Southern Collector Road, the power lines down Route 7 and now the Red Hill water towers and the proposed Purcellville Crossroads development.

But there is one more:  The Franklin Park Park and Ride and the resulting perfect storm of traffic at St. Andrew Park and Ride.  If you go to the Loudoun County website you can find the completed plans for Franklin Park Park and Ride, which the county paid over $120,000 for.  And then there were the additional expenses of archeological verification, environmental research, county employee involvement, etc. so that the final overall cost of the plans was easily over $300,000. Then Janet Clarke got into office as the Blue Ridge representative and the plans were killed.  We, the Loudoun County bus riders, would have to continue using the overcrowded St. Andrew lot, being reduced twice down to 78 parking spots.  Her rationale was that children going to the pool could get hit by a car. … Continue Reading

Save Western Loudoun Schools

October 17, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Save Western Loudoun Schools
blueridge2

This November’s school bond referendum is a threat to every school in Western Loudoun. On November 4, voters will be asked to approve a $162,900,000 bond to finance ES-27 Dulles North Elementary, MS-9 Dulles North Middle, and the Advanced Technology Academy (ATA).

One could argue truthfully that that none of these new schools will be located in Western Loudoun and, thus, will continue to move more Western tax dollars to pay for projects in the East. But there is an even greater threat. ES-27 and MS-9 are to be built for new students who are coming from new families bringing new tax revenue. The Advanced Technology Academy is not. The ATA is an overlay school for existing students that will necessitate funneling more money from all other schools in order to pay for its construction, maintenance, and operating costs.

With the School Board’s most recent attempt to close Western Loudoun schools, every single dollar counts. Voting for this school bond puts greater strain on the school budget and will increase the likelihood that some or all of Western Loudoun schools will be closed in order to fund the ATA. I encourage all residents to vote for Western Loudoun schools and vote against this bond.

David Dickinson
Leesburg

Congress Needs To Get Down To Work

October 12, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Congress Needs To Get Down To Work
blueridge2

I recently read about a Wall Street Journal poll that said that only 14 percent of people approve of the job that Congress is doing. A whopping 71 percent of people felt that the economic problems facing this country are due to the inability of our elected officials in Washington to get anything done to improve the economy. What is it going to take to get them to see that the problems in this country go beyond politics?

It’s time for everyone in Congress to put aside their differences and get down to the real work of making the lives of the people who put them there better.

Kevin O’Neil
Leesburg

Medicaid Russian Roulette

May 13, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Medicaid Russian Roulette
blueridge2

This budget game of Russian Roulette that Gov. Terry McAuliffe is playing with the General Assembly over the Medicaid expansion issue is now causing real financial panic by our local governments.

Because of this Medicaid impasse, more than $10 Billion in expected state aid that makes up three-fourths of local budget revenue is being held hostage by our political leaders in Richmond. … Continue Reading

Bostic versus Rainey

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Bostic versus Rainey
blueridge2

Following U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s opinion finding that Virginia’s controversial marriage amendment violates the U.S. Constitution, I received a list of Virginia Family Foundation “talking points” for use in letters to the editor. The list is a tour-de-force of false statements.

Contrary to the claim of VFF, the opinion is based precisely on the facts of the case and the testimony presented – including testimony that a Virginia state official told one of the plaintiffs, of her legal relationship to her daughter, “You don’t matter. You’re nobody.” The facts of the case show that the amendment doesn’t protect children, it harms them. … Continue Reading

Will the Real Mary Daniel Please Step Forward?

October 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 3 comments
blueridge2

Her office is putting out adorable flyers showing her as a cute little girl growing up in Berryville – that’s fine and certainly is her right. What surprises me after receiving such feel-good information is the follow-up mail and messages I’ve received sent out on her behalf by the Democratic Committee …it’s nowhere near as polite and even less flattering.

Mary’s been on the campaign trail for months now and her effort should be commended. Her message and platform however continue to say nothing about how she intends to make Virginia a better place to do business and improve our traffic. As a resident of Virginia’s 33rd District and registered voter, I want to hear about her plan as an elected Delegate to make positive changes for our community and state, not more election scare tactics.
This campaign can still be what it should be – a contest of ideas. Dave LaRock has offered plans that involve improving the state. I’m not voting to send someone to Richmond if all they can do is toe the party line and snipe at others. That’s not going to move our state forward at all.

Gregg S. Vest
Purcellville

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

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NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015

morvenpark

I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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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

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015

Smith0035

By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

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

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

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

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

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

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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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

COFFEEHOUSE: J.RILEY STEWART

COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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KAYDEE PUPPETS: SHEEP DOG DETECTIVES

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

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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

September Fourth Friday at Breaux

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Rally for the Cure

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

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

BUSH BROTHERS LIVE!

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Recent Comments

  • Merlis on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Yes! What a great idea.
  • Mark Gunderman on Gifts Within: Second Mount Olive Baptist Church, located in Hamilton, VA, was founded in 1872. The congregation desires to exalt God and...
  • Kathleen Hannon on What It Means To Be a Man: Great article Samuel! We have two daughters and we try to teach them to look for qualities such as...
  • R. Ohneiser Esq. on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Interesting discussion but let's consider how to actually resolve this problem permanently FOR THE BENEFIT OF LOUDOUN NOT JUST FOR...
  • Nan Siegel on Remembering Mabel: A lovely, heartfelt tribute. Though I never met Mabel, I think she must have had a wonderful life, full of...

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

Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Lifestyle

Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015

IMG_4106

The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015

blueridge2

Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015

wildloudoundragonflies

Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Governor McAuliffe Launches Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Order 47 establishing the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and fostering the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for young people in Virginia. “The foundation of the new Virginia economy rests on the strength …

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Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

davelarock

By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …

(2 comments)

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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Sports

Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015

drewhunter

Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015

americanlegionpost34

Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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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

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Letters

Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

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 …

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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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