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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

The Gospel According To Saul Alinsky

July 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
blueridge2

In the article by Andrea Gaines, Carolyn Lazaro is quoted as saying, “This land is God’s land and the farmer was just trying to keep it for himself.” If this is a correct quote, then Mrs. Lazaro does not believe in private property. It would be interesting to find out just how far she would take this belief. Should all property belong to the people? Should all you people who live in Purcellville sign over your deeds? But, sign over to whom? The people? Purcellville? Regardless, property must be managed. The “right people” would have to manage all of this property for the people. I assume that the Lazaro’s could help select those managers. Of course there may be problems along the way. The Castro brothers could describe some of the pitfalls that they have experienced in that paradise on earth called Cuba.

Why stop at land and buildings? What about cars, trucks, bicycles, even tricycles and strollers?

Private property ownership is one of the foundations of America that helps make us strong. Attacking that ownership is a tactic of nihilists, socialists and other true believers in the gospel according to Saul Alinsky.

Dan Mc Ginnis
Round Hill

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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

Supporting a Transgender Child

1 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, My husband and I are worried because our 14-year-old daughter thinks that “he” is transgendered. It’s true that she’s always been interested in more masculine activities, and this past year she announced to …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

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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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

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

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

moore-sobelnewmug

– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015

Smith0035

– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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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

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

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015

kwasifraser

– By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville Many of our fellow citizens are baffled by the proposed increase in our already high water and sewer rates, and not just about the increase that was proposed for the Fiscal Year 2016 but also about the proposed increases over the next nine years. This quote from one of our citizens to a …

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015

artist3

– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015

farmtofork

Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

hillsborojuly3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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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

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one 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

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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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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