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Offsetting the Costs of Residential Growth

January 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, View From the Ridge Be the first to comment
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By Malcolm Baldwin

“According to a study by the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission, for every dollar in county tax revenue, residential costs $1.62 in services while commercial only costs $0.38 in services.” 

So wrote Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run District) in his December 2012 newsletter. Supervisor Matt Letourneau ?(R-Dulles District) noted the same facts in his own.

How will these facts about the costs of residential growth affect upcoming decisions of our Board of Supervisors, including Williams and Letourneau, who campaigned for lower property taxes and a stronger commercial tax base?

We may soon have some answers, as Loudoun now has eight applications to change zoning from commercial to residential that would result in a total of 10,000 new housing units. More than half of these rezoning proposals lie in Letourneau’s Dulles District, followed by Williams’ Broad Run, with the rest lying in the Catoctin-Leesburg joint planning area.   If approved they will add some 3,000 new students and require $282 million in capital facility costs. How would that square with the Republican goal of reducing taxes and increasing the business tax base? … Continue Reading

Please Skip the PR and Protect the Things We Love

September 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, View From the Ridge 1 comment
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By Andrea Gaines

Gov. Bob McDonnell has appointed Purcellville mayor Bob Lazaro to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF).

The VLCF – designed to protect the working farms, forests, natural areas, parks, rivers, and historical sites critical to the state’s economy, culture and quality of life – has spent more than 42 million dollars since 1999. That’s serious money and political influence, and you have to wonder whether Bob Lazaro is a fitting choice.

In the five years since being elected mayor, Mr. Lazaro has overseen one controversial action after another regarding the preservation of Purcellville’s history and the conservation of the broader local environment upon which this growing town has such an impact. … Continue Reading

“We’re Going To Look Like Sterling … ”

June 6, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, View From the Ridge 7 comments
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By Andrea Gaines

In what many town residents will remember as one of the saddest days in recent memory, the Town of Purcellville last month bulldozed hundreds and hundreds of trees, including nearly 100 fruit producing trees, on the 250 year old working farm, Crooked Run Orchard.

Said local businessman Tom Inman, “We’re going to look like Sterling, and frankly, that’s not the reason I moved to Purcellville.”

The Crooked Run Orchard saga has been going on for many years – but this was a theshold moment. … Continue Reading

My Time with Paul

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It was things he said, and the way he said ‘em: like, a chilly morning: “I tell ya, ya step outside, it gets yer attention, do-n’t it?” Or, his drive in from Middleburg: “Traffic at Gilberts Corner was jus’ outta this world.” And, the ubiquitous: “The cause o’ the fire – as they say – is under investigation.” But food-talk was the holy of holies, in which Paul possessed an almost otherworldly talent: On deep fried turkey: “Like sittin’ down to a meal with Jesus.” His favorite snack: “Chocolate’s one of the basic food groups.” And, his beloved donuts: “We need some Krispy Kreme.” Paul was perfectly suited for local radio, because- most of all – he just plain loved talking to- and about – people. … Continue Reading

A Matter of Priorities

April 4, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, View From the Ridge 1 comment
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Budget decisions often reveal the real priorities of a Board. Competing needs and limited resources force any Board to fund its highest priority items. In that light, there are two decisions that the Board made during its budget workshop sessions that are especially worthy of note.

First, on the evening of March 21st the Board adopted a School Budget that will require the School Board to cut an additional $25.5 million from its proposed FY13 Budget. The School Board, a majority of whom are fiscal conservatives, had already reduced the Superintendent’s proposed budget as far as it felt that it could without causing serious harm to the school system. An additional $25.5 million in cuts will almost certainly lead to that end and do harm to the system. … Continue Reading

It’s Time for Change

April 29, 2010 by Contributor View From the Ridge Be the first to comment

Submitted By Kelli Grim, Candidate for Town Council

Abraham Lincoln, once said that nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Our sixteenth president was an ardent believer in that messy, creaking process we call democracy, both in its capacity to improve the human condition and also to improve the human. Selecting candidates, voting, abiding by the results, are an important part of the process, to be sure. Lincoln thought that the greatest virtue of democracy is that it calls all of us to be better human beings, or, at least, use the process we call democracy to move us farther along on that road. Sometimes, in the rough process of electioneering, amidst all the rhetoric, hoopla, and, yes, the lies and distortions, there is a goal often missed, an arrow that falls far short of its mark. Yet, it is a lofty goal, to both set public policy, even on a stage as small as Purcellville’s, to be a good steward of the people’s money, to set decent, responsible, and compassionate policy, and still to aim for something greater: to become a better human being and to instill in others a respect for the human condition and its vast God-given potential.

So much has passed since the time of Lincoln, some of it good, such as the end of slavery, and some of it bad, two world wars, for example. Someone else said that people get the government they deserve, a proposition I have never agreed with. Why good people do bad things or why good people tolerate people who do bad things is a question I will leave to theologians and residents of Purcellville.

One thing, however, is certain: Lincoln distrusted power, and what it could do to people. And, Lincoln himself had to exercise great power. Leadership is a great part of power, and we touch and influence many lives every single day. Leaders do not have the right to serve only those that agree with them. A good leader is always open to new ideas and never degrades anyone for their own. As a leader, one must respect everyone’s opinions, and embrace, as opposed to belittle, those involved and listening.

The problem in Purcellville is not only that the Town is immersed in debt, but, that its managers are engaged in a shell game with the Town’s finances. Not only are major decisions constantly made behind closed doors, its leaders are impervious to any view but their own, and find it acceptable to ignore citizens requests for explanations. How many lost lawsuits, for example, does it take to drive the point home to the Town’s leaders that you cannot sue your way out of bad decisions. The battle with the County has hurt us all. The battle with the Browns over the Southern Connector Road has diminished all of us as individuals, and as taxpayers. The Town’s childlike attempts to lay at a couple of individuals’ feet the blame for the road delays is erroneous and absurd, with bad consequences for us all.

It is time for a change in the way Purcellville deals with its problems and time for a change in the way Purcellville deals with its citizens, and it is time for a change in the way Purcellville sees itself and in the way it deals with its neighbors. Democracy is a messy, often terrible, often agonizing process, and not immune to outside pressure. That’s why the voting is secret. Because, it is only in a democracy, and in the privacy of the voting booth, where voters do not have to walk the line between pressure and intimidation. There, they can vote their consciences.

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

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The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014

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By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

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I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012

Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …

(2 comments)

Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

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By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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Events

April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate

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April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"

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April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club

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April 30, 2014

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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May 4, 2014

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …

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Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

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In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014

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Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014

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At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election

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Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

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By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting

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U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

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Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Letters

Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

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Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

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I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …

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Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

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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 …

(3 comments)

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