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 Lafayette, inspired by stories of American independence, had sailed here to fight side-by-side with Americans at the young age of 20. Half a century later, he was back to visit old friends and a growing United States, watching former colonists work with their representatives to build a new country. … Continue Reading
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 changes are similar to the changes that occurred in 2008 which gave us a six story project on 21st Street. By that we mean the town council at the time, based on developer input changed the height restrictions on 21st Street from 32 feet to 65 feet. … Continue Reading
Like a ship lost at sea, many residents of Purcellville see the development patterns in and around town as having drifted dangerously off course.
The Autumn Hill/Mayfair development – which resulted in the annexation of previously open land, is one example of this drift. The Vineyard Square development project, which, if built, will in one fell swoop fundamentally and permanently degrade the historic nature of Purcellville’s downtown.
Town-based communities in Loudoun County are required to develop the planning and zoning document known as a Comprehensive Plan – a blueprint that directs both where and how development will occur, and provides protection for the historic and environmental resources communities have identified as essential to how they see themselves today and want to define themselves in the future. … Continue Reading
The entire trajectory of the Town of Purcellville can be summarized in one word. Debt.
The massive debt the town incurred to build the wastewater treatment plant – which currently operates at just 40 percent capacity – stands at $33 million. There was a $6 million mandated upgrade to the facility – which was paid for with a taxpayer funded grant. But, the balance of the $33 million spent was a choice by the town to dramatically increase the capacity of the facility- on the hope that the rapid growth in and around Purcellville would continue. Tap fees – the cost to be hooked up the system – now run about fifty thousand dollars apiece. And, that would keep the debt manageable.
But with the additional extravagant and ill-advised spending by the town (including the $8.5 million for the new town hall) and the housing crash recession, town debt has now ballooned to $61 million in less than a decade …
There’s a popular country western song that tells the story of a young woman who gets swept up in a night of partying and wakes up to find she has a ring on her finger, a new last name and a new husband. Knowing she had been duped but determined to take her future back, she proclaims “Boy you blew it, you put me through it I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it.”
Many people in Purcellville feel the same way about the 100,000 square foot Vineyard Square mixed-use development project … a project which, once the zoning party got started moved from one excess to another, wedding the citizens and taxpayers of Purcellville to a decidedly unattractive future for their historic downtown. … Continue Reading
For many, the recent town-wide elections in Purcellville present all of western Loudoun with a significant opportunity to launch a more citizen-focused future.
On July 1 there will be a new mayor and a decidedly different balance of power on the Purcellville Town Council, as four new members with fresh policy views join the group.
Growth is here and will continue. But, the question of exactly where that growth will occur, whom it will benefit and who will pay for it now has the opportunity to be answered – out in the open. … Continue Reading
It is both interesting and so disheartening to read Wikipedia’s description of the place known as Purcellville.
It describes how in 1764 the town’s first known settler, James Dillon made his way here from Buck’s County, Pa. How an “early ox cart track” stretching west from Leesburg toward the Blue Ridge Mountains served as “the nucleus” of the town. How the first recorded business – “a combined store and inn” – arrived in 1799, followed by Purcel’s Store and Post Office, the town’s first stagecoach delivery (1841), a blacksmith’s shop (1848), and the first public school (1883). And, how on March 14, 1908, the town was incorporated by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. … Continue Reading
The Blue Ridge Leader’s View From The Ridge feature was introduced in 1984.?This feature is intended to present to the public our big picture assessment of what is going on in our western Loudoun community – an independent and spirited assessment, free of the special interests that seek to control the day. As we begin 2014, we recommit ourselves to being that independent voice for you.
Why Is An Independent Voice So Important To Western Loudoun?
All communities, even small ones, have centers of power. As the people run their businesses and live their lives, it’s up to government, even if it is a small town council or county board of supervisors, to make sure everyone’s getting a fair shake. And, it’s up to the news media to make sure government is doing its job and conducting its business out in the open, while providing citizens a microphone with which to express their views.
This is critical in a fast growing community such as western Loudoun where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in land deals, residential and commercial development and political favors. And, it is absolutely urgent in a political atmosphere where town councils and boards of supervisors seem more interested in greasing the skids for developers than in serving the public. … Continue Reading
In their 2011 documentary The Last Hardware Store, noted portrait photographer and executive producer Sarah Huntington, director and veteran videographer Peter Buck and well-known advertising agency owner and writer/editor Drew Babb tell the nearly 100-year-old story of Nichols Hardware.
Representing, in many ways, the commercial lynchpin of Purcellville’s Historic District, Nichols Hardware is remarkable not only for the fact that it will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary next year, but also for the fact that you and I, old timers and newcomers alike can walk into Nichols today and experience the same thing a customer in the early part of the 20th Century would have experienced. Personal service. Quality products. Problem solving for that pesky household job.
Just as Nichols advertised back in the day, “We have the largest and most compete stock of hardware and furniture in the county … “ so goes the Nichols story today – not withstanding the product selection, size and reach of big box stores such as Home Depot. … Continue Reading
Long time residents of our area – and even folks who moved here recently – describe the place known as western Loudoun with great fondness. There can be lots to be discouraged about – the loss of one’s favorite dirt road, the coming down of an old barn, fast food restaurants where that old mom and pop luncheonette used to be …
But, while there are things to be discouraged about – things that we hope against hope (maybe unrealistically) will never change – every once in a while something happens that reminds you how very special western Loudoun really is. Something that motivates you not just to consider the positives, but to act in a way that cultivates and sustains them. … Continue Reading
Purcellville, arguably the single most powerful governmental force in western Loudoun, has made significant changes in the way it makes decisions on the major development and zoning issues of the day, including decisions relating to annexations and the town’s comprehensive plan.
In earlier times, the developer for a particular project would present his or her idea to a town committee tasked with reviewing the developer’s plan. Important committees included Infrastructure and Ways and Means, recently disbanded by the town. Once in committee, key documents and ideas would be shared with citizens in open meetings on the specific proposal. Citizens could also follow the issue as it made its way through the decision making process – by attending future committee meetings, accessing minutes from meetings, following press reports, and reviewing documents put forth by the developer. … Continue Reading
A $310,000 regularly scheduled maintenance project for the 160 student Lincoln Elementary School has turned into a very convenient way for politicians to turn some of the most historic and educationally relevant Loudoun County educational institutions into nothing more than surplus property.
Certain members of the Loudoun County School Board are arguing that these small old schools – including (in addition to Lincoln Elementary) schools in Aldie, Hillsboro, Hamilton, Middleburg, and Round Hill – cannot meet the relative per-pupil cost achieved by other more modern schools – that they should be closed. And, what we really need to do is build a large $30 million or so new modern elementary school somewhere out in western Loudoun County … really? … Continue Reading
“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
(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …
By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …
By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …
Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …
I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …
By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …
“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …
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, …
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. …
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 …
Utilizing a chair for modifications to make yoga accessible to people who lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. (Pre-Registration Required) www.LoudounValleyYoga.com
(All ages) Celebrate the Year of the Rooster, wear the lucky colors gold, brown and yellow, enjoy arts and crafts, solve Lantern Tiger Riddles and enjoy refreshments and entertainment. This program is also a reception to celebrate the opening of our yearly Youth Art Show. 263717-01 $10.00 per person 263717-02 $35.00 – family of four or more
(Ages 16 & up) Performance group BITWC ” Imagine That!” presents “Moonlight and Magnolias”- 1939 Hollywood is abuzz. Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down production of his new epic, Gone with the Wind. It’s just not working. So he sends for screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls director Victor Fleming. He locks the doors, closes the shades, and on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men labor over five days to fashion a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful and beloved films of all time.
Utilizing a chair for modifications to make yoga accessible to people who lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. (Pre-Registration Required) www.LoudounValleyYoga.com
Impress your loved one with an evening to be remembered at Breaux Vineyards Annual Valentine’s Day Dinner. Sip on a delicious sparking and enjoy hors d’oeuvres before indulging in a 3 course delectable meal paired with our favorite Breaux wines selections. Menu expertly composed by Chef Author Clark. In addition to wine & food live music will entertain you during dinner, as well as get you and your loved one dancing the rest of the evening in our beautifully decorated Grand Acadia Room. Joining us again (3rd year in a row) by popular demand is a local performer, Frank Lombardi, who sings songs from the American Standards Songbook in the styling of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr. amongst others.
Sip, dine, and dance your night away with your sweetheart at Breaux Vineyards.
On Sunday, February 12, 2017 The Community Music School of the Piedmont will welcome famed cellist, Amit Peled, to the Ballroom at Barton Oaks for our 10th annual Candlelight Concert Fundraiser. Mr. Peled is an internationally-known Israeli musician and on faculty at Peabody Conservatory. He will play the famous 18th century cello that Pablo Casals played in all of his performances.
The program will feature works by Bach and Schubert and others. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 540-592-3040 or visit www.piedmontmusic.org. Tickets are $125.
(Ages 16 & up) Give your Muse a night on the town! We’ll respond to fun, innovative writing prompts and experiment with different forms of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Creating safe space for tender new works of art is a priority, and sharing is optional. All writers, both novice and experienced, are invited to join the party! Leaders: Lisa Colburn and Sue McCollum are certified Amherst Writers & Artists facilitators who lead writing workshops in Loudoun County. To learn more, visit www.marketstreetwriters.com and www.writingfordiabetes.com
(Ages 2 & up) Long ago and far away when folks wanted to proclaim something as silly, ridiculous or just complete nonsense, they would shout out the phrase “Dragon Feathers”! This production is filled with silly, ridiculous and nonsensical dragons doing all sorts of hilarious things!
(Ages 3 & up) The Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. How can she sacrifice the one thing that makes her so unique? ArtsPower has turned Marcus Pfister’s bestselling book into a delightful and touching musical about the value of sharing true friendship with others.
Our wine & soup weekends have been such a hit, we’re introducing another way to warm you up this winter: wine and chili!
On the third weekend of January, February and March, we’ll be serving up a hot bowl of chili with a glass of wine - bring your family out of hibernation this winter and savor the warm atmosphere of the winery!
Glass of any wine and a bowl of chili together are $16 ... available on the advertised weekends while supplies last, on a first come, first serve basis
BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT Join us for an inspiring evening of contemporary dance with the performers of the Edge Company, the Ballet Theatre of Ashburn of dance’s resident contemporary dance company, committed to artistic excellence. The Edge Company is sponsoring a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing the artistic talents of students through scholarships. For ticket reservations call 703-723-8089
February 18 is Comedy Night at Bogati Winery! Your ticket includes admission and a glass of Bogati wine.
Doors open at 7 PM - this is a great way to get out of the house, sample the best wine in Virginia, and laugh the night away with friends both new and old!
Comedian Tyrone Davis has entertained audiences all over the Country. His high energy and "Take No Prisoners" attitude has made him a Standout among Stand-ups. Whether he's talking about his family, or politics, you never know where he's going until he gets there. But, you will enjoy the ride! Some of his credits include TV and Radio; and shared performances with the likes of Todd Yohn, Spanky Brown, Killer Beaz, Bruce Bruce and many more. He has also traveled to entertain our troops in Kuwait and Iraq. A "Must See", the One and Only, Tyrone Davis.
Come enjoy one of our favorite monthly events, Fourth Fridays! On this Friday we will have live music with Jason Masi. We always have great wine specials, delicious food to enjoy, as well as live musical entertainment!
Kick-off Mardi Gras a few days early with your Cajun cousins at Breaux Vineyards! Our annual Samedi Gras Celebration takes place on Saturday February 25th in our NOLA style tasting room. Samedi Gras is a Saturday celebration of the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras, and a festive and lovely event not to be missed. Space is limited and we encourage tickets in advance. Enjoy fun dancing, festive beads, masks, king cake, costume contest, and your favorite Breaux wines. Live music with the infamous Dixie Power Trio begins at noon! We’ll also be selling delicious Cajun cuisine- menu coming soon!
$15.00 per person
(If you are a Cellar Club Member click here to purchase your ticket)
Ticket includes: admission, live music, wine tasting, bead, king cake sample
All tickets will be held at the door– when you arrive you will check in with our host. Make sure you have your ID ready. Under 21 are permitted but not encouraged. We do not permit outside food in our indoor spaces, and please leave your pets at home.
(All ages) Don’t miss this hilarious show full of laughs for the entire family. A group of talented performers take suggestions from the audience to create wacky scenes and funny improv games. If you like Whose Line Is It Anyway? you’ll love Last Ham Standing…the other comedy meat! www.franklinparkartscenter.org
The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …
Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.
February 26, 4:00 p.m. A Taste of Spring! Beethoven’s “Spring Sonata” for violin and piano forms the heart of a recital by Venezuelan violinist Marjory Serrano and Taiwanese pianist Hsin-Yi Chen, featuring additional classics by Mozart, Coleridge-Taylor and Albeniz. The 7th concert in the Music with a Cause series at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Purcellville, will benefit Mobile Hope of Loudoun. …
Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …
Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …
Virginia State Police Trooper M.J. Kryznefski is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash in Prince William County. The crash occurred at approximately 4:10 a.m., on Monday, December 26, on Interstate 95 near Exit 158B. Three males were traveling south on Interstate 95 when their Honda CRV ran out of gas. They …
Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …
The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …