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Amy & Dan Smith’s Planning For Life: Planning For The Unexpected

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Amy & Dan Smith’s Planning For Life: Planning For The Unexpected
Amy Smith-BRL

– By Amy and Dan Smith

Life-changing medical events of the past week have reminded me to not only review my plans but perhaps serve as a messenger for a “call to action” to any of you who think financial and estate planning is for the well-heeled or something you cannot afford or don’t need.
The situation happened quickly. I had visited my parents last month and, while chronic issues were evident, crisis did not seem imminent. Then one of my elderly parents began falling at home repeatedly. My other parent, also physically impaired, did not register the gravity of this matter and did nothing. My sister, arriving a few days later, immediately called 911, taking my parent to the hospital emergency room.

… Continue Reading

13 Financial Planning Strategies for 2013

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on 13 Financial Planning Strategies for 2013
Amy Smith-BRL

Part three of a series
By Amy Smith

Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012(ATRA) on New Year’s Day. A number of changes came out of the act that will affect your tax bill. In this month’s column, I will be offering financial planning strategies for you to consider in 2013 that by taking appropriate action may help you avoid an unexpected tax bill next April.

7. REVISIT YOUR PLANNED CHARITABLE GIVING
Charitable giving can reduce your tax burden and also provide a sense of satisfaction by benefiting your favorite causes. Generally, donations to qualified charities count as an itemized deduction for that tax year. This includes cash, real estate, or other assets. The deductibility of charitable gifts is based on several factors, such as the donor’s income, the nature of the donation, and the charity receiving the donation. A sound plan can help offset an increase in taxes in 2013 due to higher taxes. … Continue Reading

The “Fiscal Cliff”

September 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on The “Fiscal Cliff”
Amy Smith-BRL

By Amy Smith

What is the “fiscal cliff”? It’s the term being used by many to describe the unique combination of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013. The ominous term reflects the belief by some that taken together, higher taxes and decreased spending at the levels prescribed have the potential to derail the economy. Whether we do indeed step off the cliff at the end of the year, and what exactly that will mean for the economy depends on several factors.

Will expiring tax breaks be extended?

With the “Bush tax cuts” set to sunset at the end of 2012, federal tax rates will jump up in 2013. We’ll go from six federal tax brackets (10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent) to five (15 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent, and 39.6 percent). The maximum rate that applies to long-term capital gains will generally increase from 15 percent to 20 percent. … Continue Reading

What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on the Health-Care Reform Law Mean for You?

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on the Health-Care Reform Law Mean for You?
Amy Smith-BRL

On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) including the provision that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty, is constitutional.

The ACA, signed into law in 2010, made sweeping reforms to health-care coverage in the United States. Many provisions of the law have already taken effect. A number of other provisions are scheduled to take effect in subsequent years, including the requirement that most Americans and legal residents have qualifying health insurance (exceptions apply) or pay a penalty in the form of a tax. … Continue Reading

Asset Allocation in Retirement

June 6, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Asset Allocation in Retirement
Amy Smith-BRL

By Amy Smith

Asset Allocation in Retirement
Your asset allocation should be dynamic and flexible-adjusting with you as you move through life. Finding your unique formula for the many years you hope to spend in retirement is an important consideration as you transition your lifestyle into your non-income producing years.

The asset allocation formula that worked for you as you were building your nest egg will need to change to a more conservative approach, perhaps allocating a greater percentage of your overall portfolio to income-generating investments as you grow older. Simply put, you don’t want to assume the same level of risk since your capacity and investing time horizon to recover from losses is no longer as great. Your focus should now be on preserving capital and generating a predictable income stream to supplement other income sources.

Allowing For Inflation
Although it’s not a problem right now, many observers believe we will be facing higher inflation down the road. That can be a very real problem in retirement. For example, at a three percent inflation rate, $100,000 worth of purchasing power declines to $54,379 in 20 years. Most people also assume that their healthcare costs are going to increase in their later years, so you will want to allow for that, too. These two factors, plus the possibility of other unexpected expenses, mean that you are likely to still need some percentage of growth-oriented assets in your portfolio.

As the market gyrations of the past few years demonstrated quite convincingly, one of the big risks of investing is having to sell at the wrong time. For this reason, you also need to keep a certain percentage of your assets liquid, in cash or equivalent, so you can access that money quickly if needed. Although everyone’s situation is different, keeping six to 24 months’ or more worth of expenses in cash is a good goal. To visualize the benefit of this, think about the difference between an investor who had to raise money by selling stocks during the market crash of 2009 versus another who could wait until a few months later.

How Long Should You Plan For?
While you can’t know for certain how many years you’ll spend in retirement, we do know that because life spans in general are increasing, the years people spend in retirement are also increasing. For example, actuaries say that for a couple who are both 65 when they retire, there’s an 85% probability that at least one of them will live past 85. This means that your assets may have to last you quite a long time.

Living longer also means that the growth oriented portion of your portfolio has more time to experience the magic of compounding. For example, if you have $100,000 allocated to that portion and are able to achieve annual returns of 6%, after 10 years you’ll have $179,084.77, and after 15 years, you’ll have $239,655.82. This assumes no losses-a good reason to stick with less-risky investments.

Asset allocation in retirement is a critically important element of your overall plan-be sure to get some expert help in deciding what’s best for you. Also, don’t forget to revisit your formula periodically to be sure your asset mix is increasingly conservative as you get older.

Amy V. Smith Wealth Management, LLC, is an independent firm. Amy is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Her office is located at 161 Fort Evans Road, NE, Ste 345, Leesburg, VA 20176. www.amysmithwealthmanagement.com.

The opinions and recommendations here are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of Raymond James or RJFS. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

The Long-Term Care Dilemma: Insurers Leaving, Premiums Increasing

May 2, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on The Long-Term Care Dilemma: Insurers Leaving, Premiums Increasing
Amy Smith-BRL

If you’ve planned for long-term care, you’ve done well because there’s a pretty good chance you or your spouse will have a need for care at some point. According to the National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care (www.longtermcare.gov) about 70 percent of people over age 65 will need some type of care during their lifetimes and more than 40 percent will require care in a nursing home.
According to the National clearinghouse, in 2010 it cost an average of $75,000 per year ­for a semiprivate room in a nursing home, while one year of care at home costs about $19,700 per year. … Continue Reading

There’s Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2011

April 4, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on There’s Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2011
Amy Smith-BRL

Good news! There’s still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2011. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,000 for 2011($6,000 if you were aged 50 by December 31, 2011.) For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2011 is April 17, 2012. Normally, your tax return must be filed by April 15. However, the IRS has extended the deadline to April 17 this year because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in Washington, D.C. (Emancipation Day). … Continue Reading

The Power of Dividends in a Portfolio

March 7, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on The Power of Dividends in a Portfolio
Amy Smith-BRL

By Amy Smith

It wasn’t so long ago that many investors regarded dividends as roughly the financial equivalent of a record turntable at a gathering of MP3 users – a throwback to an earlier era, irrelevant to the real action.

But fast-forward a few years and things look a little different. Since 2003, when the top federal income tax rate on qualified dividends was reduced to 15 percent from a maximum of 38.6 percent, dividends have acquired new respect. Favorable tax treatment isn’t the only reason, either; the ability of dividends to provide income and potentially help mitigate market volatility is also attractive to investors. As baby boomers approach retirement and begin to focus on income-producing investments, the long-term demand for high-quality, reliable dividends is likely to increase. … Continue Reading

Modestly Optimistic in 2012?

February 2, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Modestly Optimistic in 2012?
Amy Smith-BRL

“We are suffering just now from a bad case of economic pessimism. It is common to hear people say the epoch of enormous economic progress which characterized the century is over; that the rapid improvement in the standard of life is now going to slow down; that a decline in prosperity is more likely than an improvement in the decade which lies ahead.” — John Maynard Keynes … Continue Reading

7 Steps to Increase Your Wealth

January 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on 7 Steps to Increase Your Wealth
Amy Smith-BRL

By Amy Smith

Being rich is not hard. It’s a matter of adopting the right attitude.

After all, the woman convinced by her mother that she’ll always be poor is unlikely to take steps to attain substantial wealth. And the couple who plays it safe to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for the kids won’t take perceived risks to change their financial situation. … Continue Reading

Social Security is Worth the Wait

November 2, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Social Security is Worth the Wait
Amy Smith-BRL

By Amy V. Smith

According to the Social Security Administration, more than nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits.

Anyone considering retirement and drawing Social Security retirement benefits should have an understanding of how this important decision will affect his or her family and themselves. For someone whose full retirement age is 66, drawing benefits at age 62 permanently reduces an individual’s per year base benefit by 25 percent. While it is true that some people needed to retire, or found themselves in situations where the decision was made for them, it is more financially advantageous to wait. “If you wait, you will receive a guaranteed increase each year of seven to eight percent per year until you reach age 70,” says Raymond James Senior Tax and Estate Consultant Susan Hartman. … Continue Reading

Save a Fortune on Herbs and Spices

October 6, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Uncategorized Comments Off on Save a Fortune on Herbs and Spices
money

By Cat Morris

We are coming into spice season. Mmmmmm! Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove come to mind as the weather begins to turn and the days get shorter. Now is a great time to clear out your old herbs and spices so you can start the cool weather season on a fresh, flavorful note.

If you’re like me, you never remember what you have in the cabinet, and often return from the store with a container of herbs or spices as insurance against being left short on a special recipe. I believe we all have that spice we can never recall seeing recently in the cupboard, and that spice, for me, is cinnamon. No matter that I possess pounds of the stuff: I inevitably find myself staring at grocery shelves, wondering, “Am I out of cinnamon?”

Now is the time to officially take inventory and update my holdings. In addition to lots of cinnamon, I admit to owning ancient jars of stuff I’ve barely touched. It hurts to think of tossing something for which I paid a pretty penny, and just possibly might need someday.

The good news is that since I first bought some of those ancient, pricey jars, I have discovered that quality herbs and spices are not expensive. In fact, if you have been buying your herbs and spices from a mainstream grocery store, as I used to; cease and desist: Supermarkets impose scandalously large mark-ups on spices. That .12 ounce jar of McCormick bay leaves that costs $3.99 at your favorite grocery store? The same quantity from a local health food store will set you back a whole 17 cents. Did that get your attention?

Let’s do some math:

As of this writing, McCormick bay leaves at one major grocery store cost $3.99 for a .12 ounce jar, which comes to $33.25 per ounce, or $532 per pound (not that you’d ever need a whole pound of bay leaves).

By contrast, Frontier brand bay leaves from the bulk section at Natural Mercantile of Hamilton cost about $1.21 per ounce, or $19.30 per pound. Yes, that would be a $512.70 price difference from the grocery store for a pound of the same product.

[Incidentally, if you were to actually need a whole pound of bay leaves, Costco sells a one-pound container for a whopping $6.40.]

Would you like another example? Ground cloves are priced between $6-8 dollars per ounce at one major grocery store right now. I found them elsewhere for $.86 per ounce. In a recent comparison shopping exercise, I found that I could replace one-ounce quantities of fifteen common herbs and spices for less than $14 total by buying them outside a supermarket, versus upwards of $60 at the supermarket.

Another fantastic, and often even less expensive, source for herbs and spices is ethnic food stores. Indian markets, or Mediterranean and Mexican grocers will have large quantities of excellent quality spices for a fraction of the cost at a mainstream grocery store.

Unless it’s a seasoning I use a lot, I prefer to buy herbs and spices from a health food store because I can purchase as little or as much as I like. I am charged only for what I take. If I need a larger quantity, I’ll hit a local ethnic store for high quality spices sold in larger amounts, and store them at home in pint sized mason jars. And of course, if you can use a pound or so of a seasoning (I can’t) warehouse stores such as Costco offer fantastic prices.

How long will your freshly purchased herbs and spices keep? The Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers indicates that dried herbs and ground spices will stay fresh at room temperature for six months, or one to two years in the freezer. Whole spices will last 1-2 years at room temperature and 2-3 years in the freezer. (Interestingly, the shelf life of ground mustard is reduced by chilling it, so always keep mustard at room temperature.) If you keep your spices at room temperature, keep them in a dry, dark location. Avoid storing them above your cook top, where their flavor will suffer from heat.

The best way to check the freshness of herbs and spices is to open the container, put some in your hands, and check for strong aroma, taste and color. Seasonings kept longer than recommended won’t hurt you, so don’t fret if your oregano is five years old. It won’t do harm, but it won’t have much taste, either.
I’d love to hear where you find the best bargains on herbs and spices in the area. Email me at Cat.Morris@earthlink.net or visit us online at brleader.com and leave your comment following my column.
In last month’s column I promised an article on extreme frugality. I spoke too soon. My apologies, but I couldn’t resist writing about getting great deals on herbs and spices first, what with holiday cooking right around the corner!

Market Volatility and Your Emotions

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Market Volatility and Your Emotions
Amy Smith-BRL

“Market volatility: period when financial instrument prices fall quickly or go up by an unusual amount.” That’s a dictionary definition. Mine is more like the “I’m going to be sick” feeling that usually accompanies a roller coaster ride at my daughter’s favorite theme park. Unless you’ve not been checking your emails, reading newspapers, or watching television (a.k.a. “vacation”), you know it’s been a bumpy ride the last few weeks, and some financial experts say it might be like this for a while.

Here are some things you might want to consider before F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) kicks in:

  1. Don’t Panic: No matter how careful you are, you can neither predict nor control the future. No one has a crystal ball.
  2. Know what you own and why you own it: When the market goes off the tracks, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether those reasons still hold and whether a lower price might actually be a buying opportunity. It is individual stocks that determine the market, not vice versa. Buy value, not market trends or the economic outlook. … Continue Reading
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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015

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NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015

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I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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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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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

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015

Smith0035

By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

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

benkellog

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

blueridgemiddleschool

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

September 2015
M T W T F S S
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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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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

COFFEEHOUSE: J.RILEY STEWART

COFFEEHOUSE: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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KAYDEE PUPPETS: SHEEP DOG DETECTIVES

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

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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

September Fourth Friday at Breaux

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Rally for the Cure

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 - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

BUSH BROTHERS LIVE!

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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

Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

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Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Lifestyle

Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015

IMG_4106

The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015

blueridge2

Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015

wildloudoundragonflies

Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers

davelarock

By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …

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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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Sports

Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015

drewhunter

Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015

americanlegionpost34

Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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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

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve 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

Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to …

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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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