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Inspiring Young Investors

February 1, 2017 Lifestyle, Your Money Comments Off on Inspiring Young Investors

By Dylan Winick
The Wakefield Investment Club is a fantastic opportunity for students of the upper school to learn about investment and finance.  For many students, this club serves as their first exposure to information and skills pertinent to the investing world.  The club began as the brainchild of Wakefield School’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, John Neff.  As a professional investor, he feels that understanding the value of a business is a necessary tool to offer students.  By gaining some background in investment, members of the Investment Club are able to supplement their education with real world experience in a unique way.  In the words of Neff, “There is real learning, real responsibility, and real opportunity for those interested.  We’ve only scratched the surface of the Investment Club’s full potential.” … Continue Reading

Your Non-Mobile Website Is Costing You

August 7, 2015 Your Money Comments Off on Your Non-Mobile Website Is Costing You

By B. Brandon Barker

The stats are real: 67 percent of people are viewing your website for the first time on a mobile device. For some potential customers, it’s a huge inconvenience (and sometimes a deal breaker) when they can’t find your products or location from a few taps on their phone. Almost 50 percent of e-commerce activity is mobile, and an increasing number of shoppers exclusively shop on mobile devices.

What makes a website mobile-friendly? In a nutshell, it needs to be readable and clickable from a small, handheld screen – a mobile phone or a tablet.

According to the Google Blog, a page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot: … Continue Reading

What You Don’t Know About Propane – But Should

December 10, 2014 Lifestyle, Your Money Comments Off on What You Don’t Know About Propane – But Should

Answers And Insights That Could Save You Thousands
An Interview With Dale Schultz

Where Does Propane Come From?
Dale Schultz: Propane is a by-product of drilling for Natural Gas (Methane). All propane in our area comes from North America. The U.S. is a net exporter of propane, primarily to Central and South America. The propane is separated from the methane, butane, and ethane at the refinery. Propane is transported to our area via rail and pipelines.

Is Propane less costly than home heating oil and diesel fuel?
DS: Adjusted for BTUs, propane is about $1.00/gallonless than either home heating oil or diesel. This why school districts around the country are converting their school bus fleets to operate on propane. It is not only saving them money, but equally important propane burns cleaner than diesel. … Continue Reading

Looking Long Term … Towards Solar Power

October 1, 2014 Your Money Comments Off on Looking Long Term … Towards Solar Power

Is solar power coming? Nationwide statistics indicate that the national answer question is “yes.” A first-ever Solar Home & Winery Tour in Loudoun County – held in September – is a sign that more and more people in the county are looking into solar power.

With respect to Virginia, the Solar Energies Industry Association reports that the state ranks only 27th nationally in the growth of solar power. However, a quick look at a map of the state shows a large cluster of solar-related companies – including manufacturers, contractor/installers, project developers and engineering professionals – in the northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland region. So, the market is there. Virginia ranks second out of five categories in terms of how affordable residential solar power installation is. While solar power can dramatically reduce your energy bills, the average cost of residential system in not insignificant – $10,000–$15,000 in our state. … Continue Reading

The Builder’s Wife: The Evolution of Green

May 2, 2012 Lifestyle, Your Money Comments Off on The Builder’s Wife: The Evolution of Green

By Cathy Little

There’s a lot of talk these days about Going Green. But, how much of it is reasonable and useful to do?  Can we be kinder to the environment and reduce our utility bills without spending too much green to go green?!

Due to industry innovation many green technologies have improved in efficiency and come down in price in the last few years.

Others are not yet practical options for Northern Virginia. … Continue Reading

Amy V. Smith’s Money Talks

Meet Amy Smith, our newest columnist who will write here each month on how to plan for an independent financial future. She will give special attention to the needs of pre-retirees and widowed and divorced women.

It’s hard to take up the subject of financial planning these days when so many individuals and families have been hit so hard by the recession. And yet, there’s probably no better time to begin to look ahead than right now.

As J. Pierpont Morgan, a gentleman who knew a fair bit about money, said, “The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” … Continue Reading

Belt-tightening Homeowners Discover the Value of Do-It-Yourself Painting

October 28, 2010 Business, News, Your Money Comments Off on Belt-tightening Homeowners Discover the Value of Do-It-Yourself Painting

By Debbie Zimmer

Declining home values, tight credit, and concern about the jobs picture are causing homeowners to scale back their remodeling plans, according to industry sources. At the same time, more consumers are discovering the satisfaction and cost-savings to be had with do-it-yourself painting. “While economic stress has taken its toll on consumer spending, people still want their homes to look attractive,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “For many homeowners, the solution is to take things into their own hands and do their remodeling with paint.”

The economic benefit of sprucing up with paint is apparent when you consider the average cost of remodeling a kitchen or bath – two rooms that homeowners frequently focus on. According to the latest survey by Remodeling magazine, a mid-range bathroom remodel costs $16,142, while a “minor” kitchen remodel runs $21,411.

“By way of contrast, you’d be hard-pressed to spend more than $100 or so repainting a bathroom or kitchen yourself … For a few dollars more, you could even go one step further and repaint the cabinets and woodwork to give the room a totally new look. Granted, repainting would still leave the existing fixtures and appliances in place, but in terms of appearance, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders in remaking a room,” says Zimmer.

The story’s the same when it comes to exterior remodeling. Take the front door, for example. “The average cost of installing a new fiberglass entry door is nearly $3,500, but you could easily repaint an existing door for $30 or so in just a couple hours’ time,” Zimmer says.

Bigger savings are possible for those willing to tackle their exterior walls. Rather than spending more than $13,000 on average to have a contractor install vinyl siding, for example, the do-it-yourselfer’s cost for materials to repaint existing wood, vinyl, or aluminum siding would likely be well under $1,000.

“Do-it-yourself painters are the ones who reap the greatest savings, but big savings are available even to those who hire a professional painter to do the work,” says Zimmer. “It might cost $800 to hire a contractor to repaint a bathroom, but that’s a far cry from the $16,000 average cost to remodel the room.” For those who want to save the most and do their own painting, Zimmer offers some tips:

  • Spend time doing good surface preparation before starting to paint. Make sure all the surfaces are clean and free of dirt and rime, mildew, and flaking or peeling paint …
  • Use high quality brushes and rollers, and when working outdoors, use quality spraypainting equipment. Better tools and equipment apply the paint more evenly, make the work go faster, and produce a better-looking paint job. vUse top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint.

Zimmer explains: “Since these paints have better hiding characteristics, they’ll cover even dark colors in fewer coats, and many of them function as both primer and paint. As a result, they offer a lot of built-in cost savings. Top quality 100 percent acrylic paints are also easy to apply and they produce a tough, durable finish that will last for years, making them a great value in terms of cost-per-year-of-service.”

According to Zimmer, the trend toward do-it-yourself painting, and painting in general, will likely continue. “Recent surveys indicate that consumers’ spending habits will be permanently changed as a result of today’s tough economic conditions. As time goes on, we expect more people to discover that repainting is a very affordable, and very effective, way to beautify their homes,” she says.

For more detailed information about surface preparation, paints, and painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com.

Small Steps To Add Energy Efficiency to Your Kitchen.

May 20, 2010 Lifestyle, Your Money Comments Off on Small Steps To Add Energy Efficiency to Your Kitchen.

We are all aware of the push to save energy. Here are some easy ways to reduce energy usage in your kitchen. Most of us have heard some if not all of this before. A lot of us dismiss the information and continue life as usual. Try making a conscious effort when you’re in the kitchen to remember some these techniques. Don’t try to make too many changes at once. It will only frustrate you and you’ll slip back into the old habits. Try just one thing for starters, for example letting your dishes air dry. After a couple of weeks it will become habit. Next put a sign on your oven door, “Don’t Peek”. After a few false starts it too will become habit and you’ll be able to take the sign down.

Your appliances including your refrigerator, dishwasher and range use about 13 percent of your home’s energy. Here are some general guidelines for improving the efficiency and cutting energy costs.

Refrigerators

Adjust the refrigerator temperature settings. Optimum refrigerator range is 37 to 40°F and freezer range is 0 to 5°F. Check your owner’s manual for settings if the temperature control does not specify degrees. A full refrigerator retains cold better than an empty one. The mass of cold items will help the refrigerator to recover more quickly after the door has been opened however don’t overfill it. That will interfere with the circulation of cold air inside. Minimize door openings as much as possible, easier said than done with children in the house. When you do have to purchase a new one keep in mind that top freezer models are 10 to 25 percent more efficient than a side by side. And look for a model with an ENERGY STAR sticker.

Dishwashers

Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load. Running it after 7:00 p.m. will avoid using energy at peak hours. Avoid using the “rinse hold” setting on your dishwasher. “Rinse hold” uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use, and heating water takes extra energy. Pieces of food can build up over the dishwasher drain and cause the dishwasher to work harder. Check the drain regularly to ensure it does not become clogged. If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, use it instead of the heat-dry setting. You will cut the dishwasher’s energy use 15 to 50 percent. If there is no air-dry setting, turn the dishwasher off after its final rinse and open the door. When replacing your dishwasher choose an ENERGY STAR model with settings such as partial load setting (which uses less hot water) and energy-efficient drying cycles and the option of air dry and heat dry settings.

Cooking

Avoid preparing meals that require you to use the range or oven extensively on hot days. This helps to reduce the load on your air conditioner and makes you feel more comfortable in your home. Don’t peek. Every time you open the oven door to look at the food, the oven temperature is lowered by 25°F to 75°F. Use cooking time wisely. Turn off the electric range two to three minutes before the task is done and allow the residual heat to finish the job. Use microwave ovens to save energy. Microwave ovens are about 33 percent more efficient than convection ovens and 66 percent more efficient than conventional ovens. Use the right sized pot on stove burners. A 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Also, cover pots and pans to keep heat in. When it is time to replace the appliance if purchasing an electric range look for one containing ceramic, halogen or induction range elements. They are more efficient than the type containing electric coils. They are also easier to clean and allow for greater temperature control. Consider purchasing a self-cleaning oven. It’s better insulated than other models, so they are more energy-efficient when used appropriately. Select an oven with a window. This allows you to check food without opening the door. Consider a convection oven. A convection unit in combination with a conventional oven cooks faster at lower temperatures.

This article written by Debi Skaggs of Lou Who Contracting, Inc. for informational purposes only. Lou Who Contracting provides conventional and alternative Heating and Air Conditioning solutions for residential and light commercial buildings in Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick County Virginia.

Surviving the Holidays

December 10, 2009 News, Your Money Comments Off on Surviving the Holidays

With Christmas fast approaching, panic is evident in the malls and shopping centers as people try to get all of their shopping done. With the tough economic situation this year, a little creativit … Continue Reading

Panel Offers Business Coaching

April 24, 2009 Business, Your Money Comments Off on Panel Offers Business Coaching

April 24, 2009

Last Thursday the Town of Purcellville hosted a Small Business Roundtable at the Carver Center. The event brought area small business owners face-to-face with a panel of nine business experts who offered advice and insight along with 30-days of personal coaching and consultation at no cost.

The experts presented 10-minute tutorials on legal, insurance, healthcare, technology, and commercial real estate issues. Over the next 30-days, registered business owners can tap into these experts as their own private consultants to answer questions and discuss ideas.

To find out more about the Roundtable or other future Roundtables, call Dee Cook at 703-777-2581, or e-mail dee.cook@vafb.com. To register as a Purcellville area small business and to set up your own session with the panel members, call Patrick Childs at 703-338-7421, or e-mail PCHILDS@purcellvilleva.gov.


 

 

 

 

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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