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Let’s Focus on the Big Issues – Not Gotcha Politics

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Opinion Comments Off on Let’s Focus on the Big Issues – Not Gotcha Politics

By Karen Jimmerson

As a member of the Purcellville Town Council since 2014, I take my job very seriously. My most urgent passions revolve around issues of government openness, fairness in the process and the principal that, as elected officials we are accountable, first and foremost, to people … not to politics.

At a recent town council work session, tempers ran very high between myself and fellow town council member, Doug McCollum. Our exchange garnered quite a bit of coverage in the local papers, some of which, in my opinion, mischaracterized the issues at stake – at best. I’d like to take this opportunity to clear the air and set the record straight. I can do nothing less than that or fail to serve properly the people of Purcellville. … Continue Reading

Lack of Ethical Journalism

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment

It disappoints me to see the gross distortions promoted in the Purcellville Gazette this past week. I posted my full response on my blog (Jimmerson.org) and in doing so, I showed the outright attempt to mislead the public and the lack of ethical journalism taking place at the Gazette.

It is clear the Gazette represents an agenda and a select group of people in Purcellville and it reflects very poorly on their publication. They provided clear evidence of an extreme bias against myself and Mayor Fraser and any credibility they had has just been lost by our community.

Clearly the Gazette dislikes anyone representing the interests of Purcellville Residents. I will continue my resolve and this false campaign against me will not dissuade me from doing the job I was elected to do.

Karen Jimmerson
Purcellville Town Council

Immensely Grateful

May 13, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Immensely Grateful

I am immensely grateful to my family, friends, and supporters who so generously contributed their time and effort to my campaign. It was inspiring and enjoyable to meet so many residents of Purcellville during the campaign, which further affirmed that my message was their message. You took the time to share with me your ideas, your concerns, your aspirations, and I appreciate your willingness to share what matters most to you.

Going forward, we need to take a coordinated look at our community and work together in the best interests of our citizens. We must to be pro-active and not re-active. We need to continue to fight against development that does not truly benefit our community or truly contribute positively to our local economy. We must work in partnership with our county and state legislatures to obtain our fair share of county and state tax dollars. As a town we need to be better communicators and we need to be more transparent with your tax dollars and strive for a sound financial foundation, which will help grow our local economy and provide the funds to meet the needs of our residents. … Continue Reading

From the Candidates

April 30, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Elections, Elections, News 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

Why should you vote for me?

Mayoral Candidates

Kwasi Fraser

Fellow citizens, we have arrived at a critical juncture when overcrowded schools and unwanted zoning changes can still be prevented. But we must act now to balance new development with the needs of our “small town” community. As your mayor, I will implement plans to accomplish our goals, and I am committed to working unceasingly to achieve the results you deserve. … Continue Reading

Interview: Karen Jimmerson

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Elections, Elections, News 11 comments

Karen Jimmerson was raised in Tampa, FL and after graduating from the University of South Florida she relocated to Virginia in 1992 where she worked as a general manager for a national store brand until she settled in Loudoun to raise her family and be a stay-at-home mom. She is the current secretary of her homeowners association, an active volunteer with the PTA, and a community activist who spearheaded the successful opposition to the Catoctin Creek Towne Center, a development which threatened the small town character of Purcellville. Through that work, she has learned to listen carefully to what residents want, worked hard to become informed by attending countless town meetings, and is committed to making careful, thoughtful decisions that benefit the entire community. Karen has been married for 22 years and has three daughters. … Continue Reading

Common Sense

October 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Common Sense

We residents in Northern Virginia don’t have to agree on every issue, and I’m sure we never will, but I will never understand trying to tear down a political candidate for being, gasp, a moderate.

Mary Costello Daniel may have ideas that are more moderate than her opponent Dave LaRock, but her greatest appeal for me is her common sense. She isn’t entrenched in a movement that alienates me as a woman or a philosophy of political factionalism. Mary understands that anyone who governs in America must govern for all the people and it takes reason, intellect, and courage to formulate nonpartisan ideas that invariably draw fire. Her willingness to reach across party lines in order to oppose extremes seems reasonable to me. … Continue Reading

Catoctin Creek Apartments – The Wrong Kind Of Growth

January 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

By Karen Jimmerson

In the coming months, Purcellville Town Council will review the application for the high-density Catoctin Creek apartments off Hirst Road (“Planned Development Housing” or PDH zoning), as well as commercial developments within town limits. The issue of growth in Purcellville is more complex than just growth or no growth. The real issue facing the town is how to attract and direct – or resist – certain types of growth in order to serve the community interest.

The Comprehensive Plan’s vision is to increase the commercial tax base to 30 percent in an effort to offset the residential tax burden. But the dilemma is how to achieve that without becoming over run by retail development. The Stupar property – the proposed site for the apartments – is currently zoned CM-1, which allows for light commercial development. The Valley Commercial Center off Hirst Road, where the Police Station and Purcellville Copy are located, is an example of CM-1 zoning. The Hirst Road Charette indicated that such zoning is fitting for the Hirst Road corridor and would have a minimal effect on the by-way. The town has few properties suitable for PDH zoning or commercial development, as there is interest in what the impact from nearby land uses will be. The primary rationale for zoning is an effort to “protect” residential neighborhoods and inappropriate development for a particular area. … Continue Reading

View from the Ridge

December 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, View From the Ridge 3 comments

By Karen Jimmerson

Since people are free to move, we can assume that they have sorted themselves into areas that meet their preferences. Politicians make determinations about the appetite for growth on the basis of what they hear from their constituents. If we clamor for job and population growth in order to improve economic opportunities and amenities, then go for it. If we ask for this growth without significant increase in population, or if we believe that the quality of life is about as high as it can possibly be, then better to listen.

Purcellville Town Council has been spending on street walk improvements, an expensive water/sewer system upgrade, a new town hall, and now a second roundabout. I believe the quest to bring in more residents is to offset this debt and fulfill a promise made to businesses who have recently moved into town or wish to. Though it is a private developer who wants to build the proposed Catoctin Creek Apartments off Hirst Road, because it will be done with HUD financing, taxpayers foot the bill with our local, state, and federal dollars to provide that financing. But the cost goes much further. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Trusting Science

14 Nov 2015


“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1] I previously reported [2] on …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Some Thoughts on Veterans Day

13 Nov 2015


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is also a time to reflect and remember with gratitude. America is a free and democratic nation today, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Phil Bolen Memorial Park

4 Nov 2015


I never knew Phil Bolen as the Loudoun County Government Administrator; I never even got to know him as Director of Parks and Recreation, and I certainly never knew Phil Bolen the teacher and coach at Loudoun Valley High School. …


Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

30 Sep 2015


You may never feel the urge to travel to this little, unincorporated community; it’s not exactly a conduit for commuter traffic, and there aren’t really any places to shop, or gas up, or procure much of anything else from a …

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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


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

Choosing To Live in the Present

4 Nov 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love a good story. I love telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. Our experiences bring meaning to our lives, and help shape us into the people we are today. Yet inherent in storytelling is the …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Trusts

4 Nov 2015


A common estate planning device is the trust. A trust is simply an agreement between two people: the person who establishes the trust, who may be called the Settlor, the Grantor or the Trustor, and the person or institution who …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


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


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


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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November 2015

Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Mrs. Lucketts’ Haunted Garden & Playground


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Steve Potter Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Elementary Drama Camp

4 5 6

Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – painter Karen Hutchison and glass artists David and Dale Barnes


Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20

The Essential Elvis Tribute Show


Christmas Bazaar

23 24 25 26 27

The Capitol Steps


3rd Annual Bluemont (Juried) Holiday Craft Show

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


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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Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

4 Oct 2015


By Malcolm Baldwin Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become …



2015 Loudoun 10K Trail Race Raises over $30,000 to Support Boulder Crest Retreat and Our Nation’s Veterans

16 Nov 2015


“I continued to be humbled by our community and all they do to make Boulder Crest Retreat a success. Jim Schatz and his team at Loudoun Road Runners are amazing. This trail run is in alignment with the rural nature of Boulder Crest Retreat and we look forward to the event every year. My personal appreciation goes out to all …

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990. If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to …

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


The Carver Center is at 200 Willie Palmer Way in Purcellville. Call 571-258-3400 to sign up for the following programs. November 6, Friday Lunch and movie Still Alice 12-2 p.m. (ages 55 and up).  To sign up call 571-258-3459. November 9, Monday AARP Driver Safety Class 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m (ages 50 and up). Pre-registration required. AARP members $15, …

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


Chipmunks are small, beautifully elegant little creatures, with large glossy eyes, a sleek brown body, a short, pointy head, dainty white stripes above and below the eye, and a series of black land white lines down their sturdy little backs. They have a very sweet posture – sitting upright and holding food with their two perfectly formed front feet, while …

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement on the current terrorist attacks in Paris: “After September 11, 2001, we tragically learned that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them. Again, with the recent murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, we have learned that …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


Statewide data shows increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2013 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s tourism revenues topped $22.4 billion in 2014, a 4.1 percent increase over 2013. In 2014, tourism in Virginia supported 216,949 jobs, an increase of nearly 700 jobs to the previously reported forecast estimate of …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


The Don Rose, Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund is seeking financial support to provide scholarships at college, technical or trade school. Applicants from public, private, and home schools are eligible to receive the scholarship, provided they participated in youth sports within Loudoun County. The fund aims to award two $500 scholarships …

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


Ida Lee Park Tennis Center’s Ladies Singles 2.5 Team, Simply Smashing, won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship tournament, held October 16-18, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club. Simply Smashing members include team captain Beth Cioni, Debbie DeLadurantaye, Jennifer Fox, Robin Haast, Holly McMullen and Deja O’Malley. They train …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– 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

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It’s sad to say that the norm now is to wonder about the next school shooting. For a student it is the most terrifying thing, the next shooter could come at any moment, and any day could be the day that you die. It could be …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– 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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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


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 …

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


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 …

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


Recently Gov. McAuliffe proposed $17 round trip tolls on I-66 inside the beltway with Chuck Hedges the Democrat nominee for the HOD 33rd district being …

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