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Transforming Scars – Engendering Hope

By Samuel Moore-Sobel
The woman’s voice on the other end of the line is warm and inviting, speaking softly in crisp tones, with great excitement, and at a hurried pace. Her words are eloquent and profound. Furiously I type, trying to capture every word. “I am probably rambling on,” she says mid-way through our conversation. Hardly. I cannot get enough.  … Continue Reading

Giving Voice To The Voiceless

– By Samuel Moore-Sobel
“It’s to make a difference in someone else’s life,” Wendy Melcher, coordinator at McLean Bible Church’s Loudoun Campus, tells me when I ask the source of her motivation. “It’s to see them smile.” I first met Wendy in 2009 as she was just assuming her role working with special needs children and their families. She struck me as a kind and thoughtful soul, committed to the idea of making a difference in the lives of others. Over the years, I have come to love her enthusiasm, encouraging spirit, and commitment to the children and the families she serves. … Continue Reading

Soul Lost in Translation

April 5, 2017 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Soul Lost in Translation

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) tells us in the 1987 movie Wall Street. The newly released book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar, seemingly seeks to disprove Gekko’s statement at every turn. … Continue Reading

Choosing To Forgive

March 8, 2017 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Choosing To Forgive

By Samuel Moore-Sobel
“Truly forgiving is the ability to say, ‘Thank you for giving me that experience.’” James Arthur Ray vaulted into fame on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in the mid-2000’s. Stunned hearing these words while watching The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray on CNN, they began to bounce around my mind, leading towards a contemplation of the concept behind forgiveness.

There are some famous examples of forgiveness that paint the halls of our cultural collective conscious. A particularly poignant example can be found in Germany circa 1947. In speaking of her internment in concentration camps Corrie ten Boom told a crowd, “When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.” Moments later, an opportunity presented itself to practice what she preached. A familiar figure approached — a brutal guard at Ravensbruck. Instead of extending his hand to inflict pain, he made a plea for forgiveness. Her initial hesitation led towards a startling realization. “Forgiveness is not an emotion … forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”  … Continue Reading

A Rainy Romance

February 2, 2017 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on A Rainy Romance

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 Kelly) pursues her. He works his way into her heart; and the rest is history.

With her recent passing, Debbie Reynolds has proven that Don Lockwood wasn’t the only one whose heart had been stolen. The moment seems historic not only because of her storied life, but because of what her performance represented in Singin’ in the Rain. The era of dancing featured in film has been long over. Reynolds was a living symbol of that seemingly modest time. … Continue Reading

Choosing a Different Lens

January 4, 2017 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Choosing a Different Lens

We have all heard, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” maybe even said it aloud while perusing old photo albums or scrolling through Facebook timelines. Sometimes words fall short of adequately describing an emotion encapsulating a distinct moment. Pictures fill in the gaps when words fail us. Perhaps the flash of a camera can tell us just as much as the length of this column. … Continue Reading

America: Worthy of Our Trust

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 exchanges, much laughter, even sarcastic wit. Yet on this night, my friend is talking in hushed tones, detailing his anxiety over the future of our country. My optimistic outlook, borne from a sense of hope that pervades my very soul, make it impossible for me to share his dim view. … Continue Reading

In Search of an Author’s Soul

November 2, 2016 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on In Search of an Author’s Soul

By Samuel Moore-Sobel
Attending the National Book Festival has become a tradition for my mother and me. Attending the very first one, we heard Robert Caro speak on his latest tome about…you guessed it…LBJ. He was wooing the crowd with deep insights and strange tales of our flawed yet consequential 36th President.

Fourteen years later we return for a man wearing a distinctive black hat, his tall and lanky form betraying youth, despite his 59 years. He begins talking about his most recent work, Kill ‘em and Leave, In Search of James Brown and the American Soul, but promises to speak about The Color of Water, since “that is what everyone wants to hear about…” Unlike that unexpected New York Times bestseller, his new book was written under a bit of duress. “My wife…now ex-wife…decided she no longer wanted to be married to me,” he says, which was quite “costly financially.” The divorce came on the heels of his beloved mother’s death, making it one of the hardest years of his life. … Continue Reading

In Defense of ‘Adulting’

By Samuel Moore-Sobel

Most friends transitioning from college to the workforce long for the days of college, wishing to be back in class and participating in campus life. To be honest, I may be in the minority, but I have trouble understanding the desire to return to the past. Yet the fear of adulthood persists.

The term “adulting’’ is often used by millennials in reference to the transition from college to the workforce. The urban dictionary defines it as, “to do grown up things and hold responsibilities,” such as paying bills and obtaining employment. More precisely, the appropriate moniker is #adulting. What else can one expect from a generation schooled in the ways of social media? Complicated feelings are diminished to an emoji. Our society was built upon the foundation of the written word. Now it has been reduced to a hashtag. #irony … Continue Reading

A Man on the Move: Supervisor Ralph Buona, Vice Chairman Board of Supervisors

September 7, 2016 Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on A Man on the Move: Supervisor Ralph Buona, Vice Chairman Board of Supervisors

By Samuel Moore-Sobel
I first met Ralph Buona when I was a senior in high school. A “Youth in Government” day event allowed us to meet with our local supervisors. Chosen to sit next to the supervisor for my district, I got the sense that he was a kind and thoughtful man, someone who possessed a strong intellect and a powerful sense of right and wrong. As we sat on the dais, he quietly motioned towards the cameras positioned in the back. He told me to tell my “relatives” that I was “on television,” informing me that the meeting could be viewed on the local county channel. It was said with a sense of excitement mixed with idealism. The honeymoon period after his election had yet to wear off. … Continue Reading

Remembering the Man Who Never Forgot

August 3, 2016 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Remembering the Man Who Never Forgot

By Samuel Moore-Sobel
“God is God because He remembers.” The implication being that the defining element separating humans from God is the Divine’s inability to forget. Elie Wiesel was defined in part by his willingness to remember, along with his insistence that the world never forget. The overarching struggle that came to define his life in many ways was with the God who remembers. … Continue Reading

Brotherly Love

July 7, 2016 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Brotherly Love

– By Samuel Moore-Sobel

There he was. A small, innocent being entering the world for the very first time. Can I touch him? Nervously, I lean forward. He seems so perfect, so completely serene. He is loved instantly.

The last two months have been replete with graduations. Friends and relatives reaching this landmark moment which encapsulates four long years of academic achievement and hard work. Out they will go to meet an exciting world in which they will be tested; yet, the hope is that the lessons learned will sustain them in college, the workforce, and for the rest of their days. Admittedly, sometimes this is wishful thinking. Life has a way of beating down its most active participants. Yet there is one recent graduate who I have no doubt is more than ready to face whatever life throws his way.

I remember the day my brother was born as if it were yesterday. The excitement over a baby brother had been building for months. My mother spent hours preparing me for a sibling. She was more than patient with my incessant questions, a patience to her credit she has maintained even to the present. Though I could not conjure up the image of what it would be like to have a sibling, at the age of 3, I felt it was time to have someone else in the family. I always have loved an audience. Or maybe I just wanted someone else to love. No matter the reason, it was impossible to predict the many ways in which the trajectory of my life was positively altered by this wonderful new addition to our close-knit family.
I am proud that this once small boy is not only my brother but also my best friend. Noah and I have always been close from the very beginning. We have laughed together, cried together, shared life together. His wit and wisdom never ceases to shine through. Like the time he jokingly informed me of my unhealthy obsession with the presidency. When I asked him how to overcome this supposed malady, he flashed a smile and said, “Become one.” Easier said than done.

It was with great pride that I watched my brother, Noah Moore-Sobel, graduate high school on June 16. As he stood on stage, I could not help but reflect upon the past. Many memories flooded through my head, too many to recount. Looking upon the life my brother has led and the choices he has made, I could not help but feel both awe and affection. Watching his beaming smile in response to finally reaching this milestone, I reflected upon his courage. After spending two years as president of his class at Stone Bridge High School, he courageously transferred to Rock Ridge High School in order to start anew. The reasons were complicated and completely undue to any actions on his part. Not a choice he would have made willingly if circumstances had not demanded it. He flourished despite the obstacles, and in the process built a legacy that is far-reaching, touching the lives of students across the county and even the world.

The past few weeks have seemingly been consumed with traveling along the graduation circuit. I attended plenty of graduation parties, listening to future plans and dreams. Many are excited, full of plans for the future. Yet doubt lingers. Perhaps they have watched their older siblings struggle under the crushing weight of student loan debt. Maybe they have seen the many young adults who have failed to obtain jobs after graduating with a college degree.

Despite the obstacles that await the Class of 2016, there is hope for the future. Sitting in the bleachers, I scanned the sea of graduates. I pondered all of the accomplishments amassed by the class, both collective and individual. It will not be easy, but the initiative shown by these students indicates a bright future. When we were much younger Noah made a habit of asking me in moments of doubt, “Can we win? Can we win in life?” I always responded in a reassuring tone, “We are going to win, I just know it.” He would always smile. In that moment, watching him on his graduation day, I wanted to tell him he had won, with many more victories to come.

Being my younger brother is far from easy. There are moments in which I believe my brother feels that the outsized personality of his older sibling outshines him. After he was elected president of his class, a teacher told him, “Wow, you’re a freshman and you are already freshman class president. You’re just like your brother: A leader.” Yet Noah has become a leader in his own right, serving in far more leadership positions than I ever held. He has grown into a man of quiet strength. His patience is admirable, best exemplified by his willingness to enjoy the journey instead of intently focusing on the destination. Observing my own goal-oriented personality has led Noah to warn more than once, “You can’t force your narrative.” He possesses wisdom far beyond his years. I guess one of his middle names is Solomon for a reason.

For his final news show, Noah gave a speech to all Rock Ridge students that had spent the last two years watching him report the news. He recounted how our mother sent him out the door each morning saying, “Have a good day. And remember, Rock Ridge should be a better place because you are there. Make a difference.” Noah, you have made a difference, and for that, I could not be any prouder.

With all this in mind, I humbly offer a heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2016. May you enter the world with a clear mind and a kind heart, coupled with a steely resolve to face the adversity bound to come your way. Congratulations, Noah Moore-Sobel. Know that I will always be grateful for everything that you taught me, and will be cheering you on as this new exciting chapter is begun. Your life reflects character. May you never forget where you came from, while traveling to new heights completely unimagined. Your life is an occasion; rise to it.

Samuel Moore-Sobel is very proud of his brother and loves him dearly. He cannot wait to see the ways in which he, along with his fellow members of the Class of 2016, will make the world a better place.

The Art of Memory

June 1, 2016 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on The Art of Memory

By Samuel Moore-Sobel

Still Alice. A movie that not only elicits tears, but naturally incurs reflection. This heartrending movie was the starting point of a personal wrestling with the implications of human memory. Remembering can bring us back to a moment of sheer happiness, or a time of intense pain. Over time memories may fade. Yet the effect that memory has on our lives is unmistakable. Reminiscing reminds us of who we are, allowing us to linger for albeit a few moments with the parts of ourselves that may have been lost along the way. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Public Input June 6, 2017

Public input June 6, 2017 “We must, incidentally, make it clear from the beginning that if a thing is not science, it is not necessarily bad. For example, love is not a science. So, if something is said not to …

Anatomy of a Sunflower

By Andrea Gaines Nothing is as simple and summery as that big yellow ray of light known as the sunflower. These not-so-bashful beauties enter the world from seeds we’ve sown intentionally, or from seeds tossed out as happy, uneaten castaways …

Parental Help Needed

Dr. Mike, My husband and I are planning to hold our son back to repeat eighth grade. He plays on a travel sports team, and the extra year would give him an advantage for high school. My sister did it …

Misconceptions about 529 Plans

Just like the kids you’re saving college funds for, 529 plans are often misunderstood. Read on to learn 529 plans are more flexible than you may think. They can be set up by anyone, for anyone, and used for a …

Transforming Scars – Engendering Hope

By Samuel Moore-Sobel The woman’s voice on the other end of the line is warm and inviting, speaking softly in crisp tones, with great excitement, and at a hurried pace. Her words are eloquent and profound. Furiously I type, trying …

Addicted

By Mary Rose Lunde When most people think of addictions, they choose the more well-known types, such as alcohol or drugs. But there are other addictions that people don’t always want to talk about. These can include: screen time, video …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Cooksville Road

By Tim Jon You see – there’s this bell: A church bell, suspended inside a little white tower atop the old Mount Olive Baptist church building – that you can see for just a few split-seconds as you make your …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

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

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

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

June 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
May 29, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
May 30, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
May 31, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017

First Friday at the Winery

First Friday at the Winery

TGIF@North Gate Vineyard with Maddy Curtis Live

TGIF@North Gate Vineyard with Maddy Curtis Live
June 3, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
June 4, 2017

OPEN HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA

OPEN HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA
June 5, 2017 June 6, 2017 June 7, 2017

Beale Street Puppets: Teddy Bear Circus

Beale Street Puppets: Teddy Bear Circus
June 8, 2017 June 9, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
June 10, 2017

20th Annual Cajun Festival

20th Annual Cajun Festival

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Healing Service

Healing Service
June 11, 2017

Come Paint with Us

Come Paint with Us
June 12, 2017 June 13, 2017 June 14, 2017 June 15, 2017 June 16, 2017 June 17, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Pete Lapp Live at north Gate Vineyard

Pete Lapp Live at north Gate Vineyard
June 18, 2017
June 19, 2017 June 20, 2017 June 21, 2017 June 22, 2017 June 23, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
June 24, 2017

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

Acoustic Soul Live at north Gate Vineyard

Acoustic Soul Live at north Gate Vineyard

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You
June 25, 2017
June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
June 29, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
June 30, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
July 1, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Willie White Live at North Gate Vineyard

Willie White Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
July 2, 2017

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard
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Lifestyle

Music with a Cause June Concert: Bud’s Collective

31 May 2017

The Music with a Cause Concert celebrates the culmination of its first year with a concert to be held at Otium Cellars at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. Bud’s Collective is a powerful trio of pickers from the hills of West Virginia. The evening will also feature an auction of a piece from David Norton Pottery. Norton is an …

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Loudoun Library Card Design Contest Has Begun

31 May 2017

Loudoun artists are invited to submit designs for Loudoun County Public Library’s Second Annual Library Card Design Contest, which began May 22. A panel of judges from the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee will choose three finalists based on creativity, originality, and message. Artwork or photography submitted should reflect the spirit of Loudoun and the work of Loudoun County Public …

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Loudoun Art Advisory Committee – Call for Artists

31 May 2017

All Loudoun County artists are invited to submit original photographs for the 2017 Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee show “Loudoun’s Evolving Landscape: At-Risk Art Project.” The photographs, which may be in color or black and white, will be exhibited in Gallery One on the first floor of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg, from September …

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

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 …

Op-ed

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

– 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

– 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

A Winner of a Budget

On May 23, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and the Purcellville Town Council voted to finalize the FY18 budget on behalf of our taxpayers. As an elected government, this is the greatest responsibility that we have. We also have the unlimited ability …

Supports Walbridge

I am proud to endorse and express my full support for Tia Walbridge to represent the 33rd District in Richmond.  As a current Town Council member in Purcellville, I understand the concerns of Purcellville and western Loudoun citizens and I …

View From the Ridge

Envision Loudoun – Bold Action Versus Business-As-Usual

Everyone is talking about it. “Envision Loudoun,” our local government’s effort to reach out to the public for advice on how to rewrite and update the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Officials …

Around Virginia

Tuesday, June 13 – Primary Elections Voting Information

A Primary Election for both parties is scheduled on June 13. Voters will choose a candidate for the Republican Party for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. For the Democratic Party voters will choose a candidate for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and House of Delegates for the 33 …

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Cultivate Innovation-Driven Solutions

By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) Schools are letting out for summer break and many families are celebrating graduations and making plans for college. Few would disagree with the importance of quality affordable education. While it may not be prominent in the conversations, our state and local governments play key roles …

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Transportation: Problem Solving and Promises Kept

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) Four years ago I came before the voters of the 33rd District, challenging the status quo transportation funding policies that sent our taxes to other parts of the state while leaving us sitting in traffic. I called out projects like the Dulles Rail Project, …

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Sports

Purcellville Cannons: Talent, Talent and More Talent

31 May 2017

By Andrea Gaines Cannons home opener vs. the Winchester Royals at Fireman’s Field, Friday, June 3. At their 2017 home opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers absolutely trounced the San Diego Padres. Said one sports commentator: “Their opening-day bats were so special … it was easy to forget the Dodgers also …

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WLVBC U14 Boys Volleyball Wins WLVBC Invitational

3 May 2017

The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys team won the inaugural WLVBC Invitational Tournament held Saturday, April 15 at Foxcroft School.  The team went 4-0 on the day, winning first place against WLVBC U15 boys team in a three-set match 25-19, 22-25 and 15-11. The team reached the Gold Bracket …

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