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South Riding

South Riding

I should have known that this one would take me far from my contemplative, Zen-inspired comfort zone; after I’d traversed more construction projects than I wanted to tally, competed with hurried, coffee-driven commuters with no time for mere existence, and kept a respectable distance from a fleet of school buses which would have made General Patton proud, I tried to enjoy a few moments of near peace at the South Riding Town Hall and pavilion – way down there in the corner of the County – smack dab in the center of a busy universe of activity. Now – having negotiated the pinball-like series of traffic circles on Route 50 – and successfully avoided all the heavy equipment entering and exiting my route – I felt entitled to just a bit of solace and deep breathing before heading back on the road for my return trip. I needed to hear some of those Tibetan monks, or something. Well, this is South Riding, I thought. … Continue Reading

Oatlands Plantation

November 2, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Oatlands Plantation
timjon

It was one of those warm evenings in mid to late July – when the air feels almost as thick as honey, but you don’t even mind, because you’re in a beautiful place, enjoying a unique cultural event in about the coolest setting in the world. My first visit to Oatlands – in the summer of 1997 – I checked out a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by one of the local theatre troupes; they used the front of the Greek Revival mansion for the opening sequence- appropriately set at the Athenian Capitol, and some of the later forest scenes utilized the surrounding greenery. If there were a better way to charm a famous local landmark into one’s heart, I’m unaware of it; Oatlands Plantation became – and has since remained, for me – synonymous with grace, character – and maybe even a little magic and fantasy thrown in for good measure. … Continue Reading

Robinson Park

October 5, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Robinson Park
robinson park

Looking back, now – I’m glad it wasn’t what most people would’ve considered a nice day; I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of hot and sunny to last me for at least a generation (especially since my ‘office’ is right out in the street where you may live). No – the morning of my last visit to Robinson Park in Northeast Leesburg, the conditions were memorably cool, cloudy, and even a little windy. The day hadn’t really gotten started yet (you would’ve been hard-pressed to say just exactly where the sun was – somewhere behind all those greyish masses marching across a dark sky), and I recall moving with a definite purpose of generating a little personal warmth out of the situation. Now, all this may serve as evidence to keep most of us safe at home under similar weather; for me – I’ve long preferred the sort of day that comes right up and introduces itself (even working outside – as long as I survive the experience, I look back at elemental inclemency as at least stimulating – if not always ‘fun’ at the time).

Now – a walk around Robinson Park isn’t exactly a remote, wilderness excursion, is it? The small, scattered stands of trees and the culverted little part-time brook serve as about the only outstanding natural features, with the ballfields and manicured grass looking pretty tame; so, a little challenge from the climactic conditions came as a welcome distraction from the surrounding domesticity.

But I was still outside, after all – exposed to whatever the skies chose to throw my way. So, the antemeridian perambulation left its indelible mark on me: Literally – I had goosebumps and raised hairs from the low temperatures, and figuratively – my sense memory being more accurate than that of the mere intellect – I can still ‘feel’ my way back there in time and enjoy it all over again– like, right now. And, if the human race retains any of the herd and flock instincts of the ‘lower’ creatures (Ever wonder how a swarm of blackbirds can all change direction in the same instant?) you can get an inkling of the experience for yourself. And, I just may possess a better mental picture of Robinson Park’s 10 acres, athletic fields, walking trail, gentle sloping hill, picnic tables, nearby Leesburg Elementary School and surrounding Exeter neighborhood because of Mother Nature’s participation in the event.

And – who knows? Maybe next time it’ll even be raining; one can only hope. So, if you should see a strange character out there walking the perimeter some early – wet – possibly cold – morning, it could be yours truly – out for a stroll when any ‘sensible person’ would be safely tucked in at home. Not that I would disagree – much of the time – with those instincts, but I really do feel like that local walking path makes up a portion of what I consider my enlarged ‘home.’ OK, Robinson stands a bit more out of the way for me than Brandon Park or Olde Izaak Walton – and it’s certainly far under the radar of the more popular Ida Lee – but I will keep it filed away under my list of places to stop and enjoy the atmospheric rewards of whatever moments find me in that part of town. And if it’s inclement enough, I may even leave my electronic device in the car – truly ‘roughing it,’ as Mark Twain might have said. And, as I pull my hat brim down a bit to shield my face from whatever’s falling from the clouds, I just may be thinking, “My, what a nice day!”

I’d like to think that the perfect Robinson Park experience still lies out there – somewhere – in my future; the same holds true for the rest of my favored – and, even undiscovered – local places. The dawn is on the horizon; we may as well strap on our boots and go out to greet it.

Aren’t you gonna come? We’re just about there, now…

Dulles Air and Space Museum

September 7, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Dulles Air and Space Museum
airplane Dulles

You ever have those dreams, that (back – probably when you were a kid) you could fly? Not in any kind of man-made craft, mind you – I mean possessing the ability to levitate and travel the skies at will. It’s an exhilarating, empowering feeling. I guess about the closest I’ve come to enjoying that sensation during waking hours is whenever I visit the Air and Space Museum at Dulles – the Smithsonian’s Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center. … Continue Reading

Potoma Wayside

June 1, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Potoma Wayside
potoma wayside

My advice is: Don’t look straight down; the combination of rushing highway traffic a couple of feet away and, what’s – to me, anyway – a dizzying height, can produce some unsettling sensations. I came to this conclusion after walking back and forth across the river bridge on Route 340 between Virginia and Maryland from one of my newest discoveries in our local treasure chest: Potoma Wayside. Yeah, that’s Potoma, not Potomac – I checked and double-checked the sign. Oddly enough, I’d been just about a hundred yards away countless times – delivering mail at the gas station right at the intersection with Route 671 – Harpers Ferry Road – and had never noticed this little roadside access point nestled in the greenery. … Continue Reading

Foxridge Park

May 4, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Foxridge Park
Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth- Foxridge Park-1

You know, I can still taste those sausages: The first early-spring bratwurst cooked over an open flame in a beautiful setting among good friends; nothing so surprising, really, in recalling a good meal in classic context. The thing is, though – I was propelled back more decades than I care to admit – and transported roughly a thousand miles across our nation – back to the banks of the Mississippi River. Good grilling can do that to you. … Continue Reading

Temple Hall Farm

April 6, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Temple Hall Farm
timjon

I only met the late AV (Val) Symington once; it was a Sunday evening in my first year or two at Wage Radio (this would be the late ‘90’s) and I was putting things in order for the next morning’s news broadcast, when the doorbell rang. Now, it could have been just about anyone: A fellow employee who forgot his key, a local resident wanting help with a lost dog, a commercial client dropping off a check, a high school student seeking an internship, or someone with a potential news tip. But, in this case, I opened the door to find a charming little lady in an old work coat, glasses and a pair of rubber boots, driving an older model station wagon; she introduced herself as a former part-owner of the long-time, local radio station in Leesburg. We probably chatted for 20 minutes or so during our short tour of the building; we discovered a mutual love of hometown charm and character, I think she mentioned her enjoyment of Stokes Tomlin’s Classics in the Morning Show – and then we said our goodbyes, and AV drove off in her ‘clunker.’ … Continue Reading

Georgetown Park

March 2, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Georgetown Park
Georgetown park

The thing I first noticed upon making an actual visit to this place was: It actually has a babbling brook. If you walk along the path toward the western end of Georgetown Park, I found that the level of water complemented the scattered rocks strewn in its bed so as to maintain a constant ‘chatter.’ Pretty cool, I thought. The usually humble Town Branch pretty much parallels the W and OD Trail in this section of the community; maybe the ‘running water’ encourages the small army of joggers, bikers and walkers out here to keep moving along.
The Park seemed larger to me than just its official half-acre, maybe due to its elongated configuration – stretching east and west, with those lines of liquid, grass, brick and blacktop emphasizing its length. Now, I’m not sure if there really is a traffic-free time of day along this part of King Street, so you need to look both ways if you decide to cross over to the other side of the bridge; I was drawn to the more ‘non-vehicular’ sections of the location, with some mature trees, landscaped flower beds, walking trails and benches. The natural amenities here offer a bit more of a sense of seclusion the further you get from the ‘main drag’ out near the little bridge. If I had to get any serious reading done out here, I’d opt for one of the benches along South Street, rather than the more exposed specimens: Even Herman Melville wouldn’t stand much of a chance against all the distracting movement out on the road. But, on the other hand, if one wanted to select a prime viewing point for one of the local events which pass this way every several months – the annual Halloween, Fourth of July and Christmas Parades – well, then – give me one of those vantage points as close as possible to King Street – to be able to look the participants in the eye and cheer them on in their progress. Having participated in many of these marches – on foot and by motor – I always found it a refreshing bit of the journey to pass over the Town Branch at this spot. Even the daily motorists throughout the rest of the year may find it just a wee bit of a respite in their commute – sliding past this slip of a Park in a brief moment – then returning to the rigors of other traffic along the way. … Continue Reading

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a bit skittish as I headed down that little dirt road to encounter the unknown. See – I’d looked as closely as I could at my computer mapping for the end of the line on Peach Tree Lane – way down on the Southern border of Loudoun County – and it looked as if the narrow gravel corridor just sort of dead-ended at the water line; driving to the spot that day, as I recognized some of the landmarks that signaled I was getting close, I slowed down to a crawl, and, as I rounded the last corner, my suspicions were confirmed: I’d found Bull Run Creek, alright – and I’d also found another location in our gnarly little locality where a roadway travels underwater. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Rotary Park

January 7, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Rotary Park
Rotary Park

I couldn’t help thinking, as I strolled around this little green space – with a basketball court on one end – that if Robin Hood and his band had wanted to do some hoopin’ out in Sherwood Forest, the setting may not have looked too much different than these immediate surroundings. Sure, they wouldn’t have had a paved street 10 yards from their playing area, and their wooded greenery – understandably – would have been much thicker and infinitely more expansive – but I don’t think I could find a ‘greener’ place for an impromptu game of buckets around these parts. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Lovettsville

December 2, 2015 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Lovettsville
Lovettsville

Historically quaint architecture, quiet side streets, grown-over vacant lots, views of the Blue Ridge – and entire neighborhoods of new homes planted into the mix; if Loudoun County is rapidly changing, the little Town of Lovettsville is experiencing its own building boom up in the northern section of the locality. The modest population level – approaching, at best estimate, the 2,000 mark – fails to rival that of Sterling or Broadlands or South Riding, but you get the feeling that it’s no longer a ‘sleepy little place,’ tucked far away from the rapid development in the busier South and East.

And, I guess that’s a large part of the attraction to live in this unique place: It’s still a very small Town by 21st Century Northern Virginia standards, it is far and away from the traffic on Route Seven or 28 or the Greenway – or the Leesburg Bypass – and that long line of mountains offers a constant – and consistent – visual backdrop as a geographic reminder of your place in the world. On these merits alone, I can understand why folks would choose Lovettsville as a place to raise a family. … Continue Reading

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

bolen_park

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. No – the summer I moved to Loudoun County – July of 1997 – Phil Bolen was the beloved sportscaster at Wage Radio – formerly at 1200 on your AM dial. It was as if – to me – Phil had had only one occupation his entire life: that of scholastic sports announcing on our little, local radio station; if you ever heard one of his sportscasts, I’m gauging you know what I’m talking about. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

September 30, 2015 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville
willisville

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 consumer standpoint. Nestled in that No-Man’s Land between Round Hill, Middleburg and the Blue Ridge, Willisville is sort of tucked away in an area pretty much forgotten by time – and most of the rest of the county. And, I’m sure many of the folks who live down there will get along just fine if things continue this way for the foreseeable future; they’ve gotten this far without being on the cover of Rolling Stone, they’ll probably be OK on their own – and I don’t think they have a village press agent or anything to lure us out to the coming attractions. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Pearl Harbor

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By Nicholas Reid Seventy-five years ago this December 7, to quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” It will have been 75 …

Early Returns: How U.S. Markets Reacted to the Presidential Election

Smith0035

On November 8, 2016, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump won a closely contested election for president of the United States. Late on election night, when it became evident that Trump was likely to win, despite consistently trailing in the polls, …

America: Worthy of Our Trust

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel My friend and I sit in a bar near our office. He is upset, bags under his eyes due to lack of sleep. Thursday, our weekly night to meet is usually a happy hour filled with intellectual …

South Riding

South Riding

I should have known that this one would take me far from my contemplative, Zen-inspired comfort zone; after I’d traversed more construction projects than I wanted to tally, competed with hurried, coffee-driven commuters with no time for mere existence, and …

Support Group Help Needed

drmikenewpic

Dr. Mike, My son was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago, and his pediatrician at that time recommended we try a social skills group for his “immaturity” and “impulsivity.” We did that, and our experience was horrible. The kids in …

The State of Corals

Figure 3 close up view of healthy coral polyps. [9]

(Presented to the Board of Supervisors December 6, 2016) “Events as severe as the 1998 event, the worst on record, are likely to become commonplace within 20 years.” – Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999 [4] Tony Noerpel

Reply to Nicholas Reid – What is Science

noerpel_new

“The word “cult” has always been controversial because it is (in a pejorative sense) considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with differing doctrines or practices, which lacks a clear or consistent definition.” “[Dogma] is …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

December 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
November 28, 2016 November 29, 2016 November 30, 2016 December 1, 2016 December 2, 2016 December 3, 2016

Holiday Open House

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

December 4, 2016

Holiday Open House

December 5, 2016 December 6, 2016 December 7, 2016 December 8, 2016 December 9, 2016 December 10, 2016

Barrel Tasting Event Saturday

December 11, 2016

Barrel Tasting Event Sunday

December 12, 2016 December 13, 2016 December 14, 2016 December 15, 2016 December 16, 2016 December 17, 2016 December 18, 2016
December 19, 2016 December 20, 2016 December 21, 2016 December 22, 2016 December 23, 2016 December 24, 2016 December 25, 2016
December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

January 1, 2017
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Lifestyle

Ugly Christmas Sweater Fad Keeps Growing

30 Nov 2016

uglysweater

Since 2012, the Re-Love It consignment shop, at 138 N. 21st Street in Purcellville, has developed the reputation as the place to get your Ugly Christmas Sweater in the Metro D.C. area. In that time, Re-Love It has sold more than 3,000 vintage Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

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‘The Giver’ Comes To Franklin Park Arts Center

30 Nov 2016

FranklinParkLog2014web(2)

Geronimo Production Company’s Premier Show Geronimo Production Company is bringing another sort of Christmas play to Loudoun County. The Giver, based on Lois Lowry’s YA dystopian classic, will be premiering at Franklin Park Arts Center on December 8-11. “This show is perfect for Christmastime,” director Keaghan Wier said. “It focuses on displaying the value of family, love, and joy…. These …

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What Is Special To You about the Holidays?

30 Nov 2016

henrycarlson

By Amanda Clark Henry Carlson – Purcellville “For me, the holidays are about celebrating the connection you’ve got with your kin, listening to 50’s music, and staying warm!”

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

catesbyproposal

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

It’s Our Right

catesbyproposal

On December 6, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a “Minor Special Exception” proposal we submitted earlier this year concerning our Catesby Farm property. Unfortunately, our limited …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

blueridge2

By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

History’s Holy Places: Four Local Sites Worth Exploring This Fall

outandaboutloudoun

The Journey through Hallowed Ground is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide trek from Gettysburg to Monticello, encompassing nine presidential homes and places, 18 national and state parks, and thousands of small and large historical sites. Dozens and dozens of these sites and related museums are short ride from just about …

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Land Trust Receives Large Donation

land trust

On August 22, The Land Trust of Virginia received a $10,000 gift from the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, based in Herndon. The presentation of this grant was part of the Foundation’s official launch event, held at Selma Plantation in Leesburg. Notable speakers included Sharon D. Virts, FCiFederal Founder and Chair, …

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Farmers Urged To Be On The Lookout For Marijuana

marijuana

Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this …

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Sports

Accepting Applications for Sports League Funding

30 Nov 2016

basketball

Purcellville is accepting applications from local organizations for its annual sports league funding program. Organizations must serve the Town of Purcellville area, have citizens of the Town of Purcellville as players, and provide a letter to the Town from the IRS confirming the organization’s tax exempt status in order to …

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Woodgrove High Student Will Pursue Track and Field at George Mason

30 Nov 2016

woodgrove

Puneet Kaur of Woodgrove High School has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her track and field career at George Mason University. Kaur has held the school record in shot put since her sophomore year and is looking to throw shotput, hammer, discus and maybe even the javelin …

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