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First Meeting of New Administration Foreshadows Change

August 6, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on First Meeting of New Administration Foreshadows Change
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Town Council Divided, But New Mayor Fights for Fresh Approach

The new Purcellville Town Council and Mayor held their first meeting, a work session, on July 22.

The meeting began with the new administration first discussing and then voting to go into closed-session to conduct interviews of six candidates for two vacancies on the Planning Commission.

The vote for the closed session was 4–3 with council members Lehr, McConville, McCollum, and Packard in favor of the closed session, and with Mayor Fraser, Jimmerson, and Nave voting to keep the interview process open to the public. … Continue Reading

June 17 Swearing In – Purcellville New Mayor And Council – Terms Begin July 1 –

July 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on June 17 Swearing In – Purcellville New Mayor And Council – Terms Begin July 1 –
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Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Loudoun County Circuit Court delivered the oath of office to Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser, and Council Members-Elect Karen Jimmerson, Doug McCollum and Ben Packard. Father Escalante, from Saint Francis De Sales gave the invocation. Former Purcellville Mayor Eric Zimmerman delivered opening remarks and told the newly elected members that they represent all the citizens of the town.
The swearing in ceremony ended with Clemens telling the attendees that the new council members are “accountable to you.”

… Continue Reading

Proposed Code Changes Delayed

July 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Proposed Code Changes Delayed
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Public Pressure Pushes Decision To New Mayor And Council

The outgoing Purcellville Town Council held sway over a loud and angry crowd in a packed meeting on June 24 as it considered whether to make significant changes to amend town code Section 54-78. In the end, the decision was delayed until the next Town Council meeting, when Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser and a new Town Council will have taken office. Section 54-78 controls the expiration dates of what are known as “Certificates of Design Approval” (CDAs) by the town’s Board of Architectural Review related to the demolition of historic structures, site plans, zoning permits, and other construction-related documents.

While the town’s public hearing notice for the proposed code changes did not specify that these changes related to the 100,000 plus square feet mixed use Vineyard Square development, the majority of citizens attending the meeting clearly believed otherwise.

… Continue Reading

Purcellville Town Council Loosens Employees As Candidate Rules

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News 4 comments
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Many localities require that town employees desiring to run for elected office take an unpaid leave of absence while campaigning. They also require that, if elected, the employee resign their original position. Laws such as these prevent potential conflicts of interests. For example, a newly elected member of a town council might serve as a member of law enforcement while at the same time, now voting on budgetary matters related to his/her job as a police officer. Or, an individual who, as a town employee and member of the town council might feel pressured to vote on town matters in a certain way.

At the Purcellville Town Council Worksession on February 25, council members voted unanimously, with Mayor Bob Lazaro absent for the vote, to repeal Purcellville’s Town Code Section 42-41 (Political Activity). This would allow a town employee to serve on town council, for example, without resigning their original job with the town. Earlier in the month the town manual was also changed so that a town employee would not be required to take an unpaid leave of absence while running for political office. Lt. James Rust of the Purcellville police force is running for town council. Under the new rules, Rust is not required to take an unpaid leave of absence while campaigning, and if elected, he can still hold positions on both the police force and the town council.

Candidates Announce Bids for Purcellville Town Council

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Candidates Announce Bids for Purcellville Town Council
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All announced Town of Purcellville candidates who filed as of our deadline have been contacted to send us their press releases. The statements from three of the four candidates for town council are featured below. Kwasi Fraser, who is running for mayor, sent us his press release last month.  We contacted mayoral candidate Keith Melton; however as of press time we have not received anything.

Karen Jimmerson
Karen Jimmerson is pleased to announce her candidacy for Purcellville Town Council in the upcoming May 6 town election.
“Among other reasons, I wish to become a member of the Town Council to protect the small town values that are being undermined by out-of-town developers,” says Jimmerson. Recent votes and annexations make it clear that developers have great representation in Purcellville, and Jimmerson believes that residents deserve to be better represented. … Continue Reading

Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

February 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review
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The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and John Chapman’s plans for the destruction of old town Purcellville.

Now that Mr. Nelis and Mr. Chapman have been given the whip hand to go ahead with their plans without compromising with their fellow citizens, it would behoove them to think twice before they do. They should remember how often and how recently, in government and law, we have seen those who have power force their views, without compromise, down the throats of large numbers of people, sometimes even majorities, opposed to them. They should consider that, by refusing to compromise on a matter solely concerning their financial interest rather than any moral or even legal principle, they contribute further to the ugly winner-take-all attitude too prevalent in our politics and society. … Continue Reading

Chairman York: “It’s Time To Move On”

January 8, 2014 by Mary M. Bathory Vidaver Development, News Comments Off on Chairman York: “It’s Time To Move On”
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Autumn Hill/Mayfair Gets Go Ahead

Saying that it was time to move on, Chairman Scott York (R-At-Large) led the Board of Supervisors in an approval of a boundary line adjustment with the Town of Purcellville. The January 2 vote in conjunction with the town council’s vote on December 10 seemingly ensures the development of at least 257 homes on the Autumn Hill / Mayfair property.

Citizens opposed to the decision were extremely disappointed. Richard Corns, a resident of the Chestnut Hills development adjacent to the Autumn Hill property, highlighted that the board voted on the motion prior to the meeting’s public comment period. “After I spoke, someone informed me that the board had already voted to approve the annex and “It was time to move on. How can I move on when my home has no chance in recovering the lost value? Maybe Scott York can absorb a $700k loss on his home – I cannot.” … Continue Reading

BAR Recommendations Rejected By Town Council

January 8, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 2 comments
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By Valerie Cury

Historic Preservation Threatened

The Purcellville Town Council held a special meeting December 17 to hear an appeal by developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis on their Vineyard Square project.
The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) had earlier voted to stop demolition of two historic structures on 21st Street, noting that the existing facades in the town’s Historic Corridor Overlay District had to be maintained and incorporated into the design for the 6-story mixed-use project. In the BAR’s motion to deny the demolition, it noted that the buildings “possess integrity of design, craftsmanship and materials from their early twentieth-century period of significance that cannot be replicated.” “These buildings embody the early twentieth-century development of Purcellville’s business district and incorporate original period features such as brick facades, storefront windows, period appropriate entry doors, sign bands, and steeped parapet walls which are distinctive architectural elements of Purcellville’s downtown and link the design of these buildings with other buildings of the same period on the street which contribute to the historic context of the street.” … Continue Reading

Town of Purcellville Passes Sweeping Public “Conduct” Regulations

October 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News 2 comments
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By Andrea Gaines

New Town of Purcellville policies put in place seek to control “Public Meeting Conduct” and conduct in public facilities.

The regulations, designed to address what a September 19 Staff Report describes as “formal and informal complaints from citizens, businesses and the public who were impacted by the conduct of a few individuals within our community” were adopted in late September.

While the regulations are very detailed, cover public conduct in both town facilities and at public meetings, and are acknowledged by the town to be of great “magnitude,” the staff report did not present any evidence or documentation of the bad behavior described. … Continue Reading

Citizen Protest Regarding Closed Door Meetings – Denied

October 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Citizen Protest Regarding Closed Door Meetings – Denied
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By Valerie Cury

Loudoun District Court judge Deborah C. Welsh – former Purcellville Town attorney – ruled against Purcellville citizen Ben Belrose in his September Freedom of Information Act complaint against the Town of Purcellville. Belrose had filed his complaint on Tuesday, September 10 in an attempt to prevent Purcellville from using select provisions of the Virginia Code to go into “closed session” while conducting discussions regarding future possible annexations of land by the town. Closed sessions enable governmental bodies to preclude public attendance and input in specified proceedings.

The annexation discussions have special bearing on a series of 2012 actions taken by the town and the county to repeal PUGAMP – the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan. PUGAMP provided for a process wherein Purcellville’s growth – via annexation or other actions – would be timed to ensure the town had the ability to provide public utilities and other required services to, for example, new residential developments. PUGAMP also provided for extensive public input on how and where Purcellville might grow. At the time that PUGAMP was repealed, Mayor Bob Lazaro commented that the town had no intention of expanding its borders and was not interested in growing. … Continue Reading

Catoctin Creek Apartments Inching Closer To Vote

April 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on Catoctin Creek Apartments Inching Closer To Vote
town of purcellville sign

By Karen Jimmerson

Purcellville’s Hirst Road and Maple Avenue corridor is on the cusp of major changes. Developers have put in an application to build a large apartment complex (Catoctin Creek Apartments), and have future plans to build retail/office space. S.L. Nasbaum wants to develop the western 13.72 acres of a 20-acre parcel with 176 (and up to 205) apartment units. At the same time, Renauld Consulting is advertising for sale/lease thousands of square feet retail/office space within the same 20-acre parcel.

The application for the Catoctin Creek Apartments would require an amendment to Purcellville’s Comprehensive Plan, and a rezoning amendment to PDH-15 (high density). The property was annexed into the town in December of 2008 by the Purcellville Town Council, and was designated as Transition X and CM-1. The Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP) ultimate land use map depicts the planned land use for the subject property as local service-light industrial, not residential. According to county staff comments, “rezoning the subject property for residential use as proposed would not be in conformance with the PUGAMP land use map.” … Continue Reading

Catoctin Corner Up for Approval

April 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Catoctin Corner Up for Approval
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Catoctin Corner, a 6.53 acre property on Main Street and Rt.287 in Purcellville, is going through the approval process at the staff level. The majority of the property was annexed by the Purcellville Town Council in 2008. The property was zoned for low density dwelling units at 1-3 houses per acre. Against the recommendation of the Purcellville Planning Commission, the Purcellville Town Council voted to rezone the property for 50,000 sq. ft. of commercial, which will include a bank, pharmacy, gas station, and several restaurants.

View full-size map of the project

Farewell to PUGAMP

March 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns Comments Off on Farewell to PUGAMP
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At its February Public Hearing, the Board of Supervisors indicated its intention to terminate the Annexation Agreement between the county and the Town of Purcellville, abolish the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP), and eliminate a planned urban growth area around the Town of Purcellville. The Purcellville Town Council is expected to take a similar vote in the near future. Thus ends the almost eighteen-year experiment with joint planning for growth between the town and the county.

Public opinion differs as to whether the decision will lead to a positive or a negative outcome, will make it easier or harder for Purcellville to adjust its corporate limits in the future. The future, as always, is uncertain. Sometimes, however, a study of the past provides insights into what the future may hold. With that thought, The Blue Ridge Leader offers its readers a PUGAMP timeline.

PUGAMP is more than just a planning story, though. It also includes the Town’s search for sufficient water and the County’s search for sufficient land on which to build facilities. Thus, the timeline includes some mention of these issues as well. Politics and personalities played roles as well, but don’t lend themselves well to timeline formats. Due to space considerations, not every relevant event can be included. More than likely, everyone will likely feel that some important date is missing or some important issue unaddressed. We leave it to historians and professors of planning to undertake the complete evaluation.

Click here to view more

Click here to view the lawsuit over out of phase annexation by the Town of Purcellville

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

25 Jul 2015

noerpel150

“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

8 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, We go to the Outer Banks every summer as a family, but our seven-year-old daughter is now freaked out by the reported shark attacks at the Outer Banks. Thanks to her older siblings teasing her about sharks, she …

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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

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– 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

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– 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

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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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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

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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

August 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

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Spinners

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Live Music: Connor Duffy at North Gate Vineyard

Ronnie Milsap

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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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Live Music: Willie White at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Lovettsville Historical Society Lecture: "Hex Signs: the History and the Mystery"

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COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Creedence Clearwater

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Emily Guagliardi Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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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

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

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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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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