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Catoctin Creek Apartments – The Wrong Kind Of Growth

January 9, 2013 Editorial, Opinion 3 comments

By Karen Jimmerson

In the coming months, Purcellville Town Council will review the application for the high-density Catoctin Creek apartments off Hirst Road (“Planned Development Housing” or PDH zoning), as well as commercial developments within town limits. The issue of growth in Purcellville is more complex than just growth or no growth. The real issue facing the town is how to attract and direct – or resist – certain types of growth in order to serve the community interest.

The Comprehensive Plan’s vision is to increase the commercial tax base to 30 percent in an effort to offset the residential tax burden. But the dilemma is how to achieve that without becoming over run by retail development. The Stupar property – the proposed site for the apartments – is currently zoned CM-1, which allows for light commercial development. The Valley Commercial Center off Hirst Road, where the Police Station and Purcellville Copy are located, is an example of CM-1 zoning. The Hirst Road Charette indicated that such zoning is fitting for the Hirst Road corridor and would have a minimal effect on the by-way. The town has few properties suitable for PDH zoning or commercial development, as there is interest in what the impact from nearby land uses will be. The primary rationale for zoning is an effort to “protect” residential neighborhoods and inappropriate development for a particular area. … Continue Reading

The Great Purcellville Land Grab

January 9, 2013 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on The Great Purcellville Land Grab

You knew it was too good to be true when Purcellville wanted to get out of PUGAMP (the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan). Why drop a plan the town used to its advantage to obtain millions of dollars for “transportation improvements” from the county in order to settle the Woodgrove High School location lawsuit? It turns out that the town may have more to gain by PUGAMP going away than keeping it in place.

Over the past year we have been tracking PUGAMP developments. During this period we have attended multiple county and town meetings and public hearings, uncovering an ingenious and complex plan by the town and county to control and potentially annex land around the town.

The process officially started in March 2012 when the PUGAMP Joint Policies Committee recommended repealing PUGAMP. And, the town dropped PUGAMP that August by a unanimous vote of the town council that contained the following unusual conditions: … Continue Reading

A Ponzi Scheme of Suburban Growth

December 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on A Ponzi Scheme of Suburban Growth

By Andrea Gaines

Small towns and cities in American have suffered from a Ponzi scheme of suburban growth. Most small towns are bankrupted or heavily indebted because the growth did not alleviate fiscal gaps. The local government benefits from the increased revenues associated with new growth, but it also assumes the long-term liability for maintaining the new infrastructure. This exchange — a near-term cash advantage for a long-term financial obligation — is one element of the Ponzi scheme.

The cycle demands ever-increasing growth rates to maintain bloated and inefficient infrastructure systems, a pattern that seemingly seems to never stop. … Continue Reading

Purcellville’s Water and Sewer Rates Fiasco

November 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Purcellville’s Water and Sewer Rates Fiasco

Taxpayers Foot the Bill For Overcapacity and Mismanagement

In late October, the Purcellville Town Council considered the issue of monthly billing for Purcellville water & sewer customers, and at a worksession meeting decided against it because it would initially cost approximately $50,000 for the software required. (Customers are now billed on a bi-monthly basis.) But, this is as far as the town’s cost-savings’ ethic goes …

Background – how much does it cost the town to produce water?

The answer of how much it costs the town to produce water is found in the budget for the water fund. The annual budget for the water fund is almost $3.3 million … but, after you subtract the cost of debt service (interest plus principle) and a charge back to the general fund, the budget is reduced to just over $1.5 million. Using May as a typical month, the average amount of town water pumped was 586,000 gallons per day. So, let’s round up to an even 600,000 and do the math. The formula is approximately $1,500,000 (cost) divided by 600 times 365 days = cost per thousand gallons … or $6.96. So, the cost of Purcellville water per customer is $6.96 per gallon. … Continue Reading

Apartment Complex Wrong for Purcellville

November 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 2 comments

By Karen Jimmerson

Growth has impacts on every aspect of quality of life that people care about: environmental, social amenity, economic welfare, and cost of living. Many current residents of Purcellville moved here because of the way it is; newcomers are attracted by the way it is; and few would argue that they made the choice based on what it might become.

I am opposed to the proposed high-density apartment complex off Hirst Road; a development that could bring in excess of 600 additional residents and would have nearly 10 percent of the town’s population traveling through this corridor. This complex would be the fourth tax-credit (low-income) property in Purcellville, a town that has a higher ratio of tax-credit properties per capita than all other communities in Loudoun County. … Continue Reading

Open Letter to Chairman

October 7, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Open Letter to Chairman

Dear Mr. Chairman,

I have read your statement earlier today regarding the alleged misconduct of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio and am somewhat encouraged that the Board intends to look into this but I don’t see how, however well intended this effort may be, that the Board can “independently” investigate itself.

Accordingly, I have some observations and recommendations.

You must appreciate, how, even the appointment by the board of an “independent” counsel would be suspect if the Board was making the selection.

Given what has already transpired, according to your public statement, this appears to be a legitimate concern.

I am talking about the supposed criminal referral of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s alleged misconduct as to, among other possible subjects of investigation, the misappropriation of public services. … Continue Reading

Four Years of Constant Water Rate Increases Too Much To Swallow!

July 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Four Years of Constant Water Rate Increases Too Much To Swallow!

By Daniel E. Shaughnessy

Item (6e) of the proposed agenda for the Purcellville Town Council June 12 meeting, once again, as was the case for the June/July meetings of 2009, 2010, and 2011, proposes another increase in water and sewer rates for town residents and businesses.

These rate increases are of considerable concern and they seem to reflect the Council’s continuing embrace of a water system that is unable to pay for itself and which, increasingly, has become reliant on large annual rate increases and the use of reserve funds. … Continue Reading

On the 25% Meals Tax Increase …

July 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 3 comments

“We make decisions on what is best for the Town.” – Councilmember John Nave

Last month the Town of Purcellville raised the town meals tax by 25 percent – from four percent to five percent. Councilmember Tom Priscilla stated that the increase was necessary due to a $1.5 million shortfall. More specifically, he cited developer defaults on public improvements for Locust Grove and Hirst Farm performance bonds, county versus town lawsuits related to efforts to block the Southern Collector Road, and lawsuits filed by Sam Brown (owner of Crooked Run Orchard) to protect his property from seizure by eminent domain/quick take. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Going the Way of Stockton?

July 5, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Purcellville Going the Way of Stockton?

Stockton, California is filing for bankruptcy protection. While one of their big problems is unfunded retirement costs, the other one is the amount of bond debt they have amassed. Earlier this year creditors seized an empty building that was supposed to be the new town hall, along with a couple of parking garages after the town failed to meet a bond payment. These are the lucky creditors since they will likely have enough to recoup the value of their bonds. But the more interesting thing is the amount of debt they have.

It was listed at a little more than $700 million, with a population of just under 300,000. Interestingly enough, if you compare this to Purcellville’s debt, Purcellville’s debt is three times higher on a per capita basis. Stockton has a debt of about $2,500 per capita and Purcellville has a debt of about $9,000 per capita. At this time in history, it is important for municipalities to limit debt.

Railing Over Rail

June 17, 2012 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Railing Over Rail

Printed with permission from www.jimburton.org

The Board of Supervisors must decide by July 4 whether or not Loudoun will participate in the Phase II Metrorail project which will bring rail to Dulles Airport and two Loudoun stations west of Dulles. It has been one of the most hotly debated subjects in recent memory. The blogosphere has been full of comments pro and con, some articulate and fact-based, as well as those which have been ideologically based, emotional, or totally irrational. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Sleight of Hand on Meals Tax Increase

June 12, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 3 comments

The question is this: If the Budget Committee now supports a 25 percent increase in the meals tax, when did this shift occur – as an increase from four percent to five percent was voted down in April?

At the April 3, 2012 Budget Committee meeting Vice Mayor Joan Lehr made a motion to keep the town meals tax at its current rate of four percent. The motion passed 5-1-1, with Council Member Wiley voting against and Council Member Nave absent for the vote.

The May 8, 2012 Town Council meeting agenda showed the meals tax rate being supported by the Budget Committee at four percent. … Continue Reading

Fear Not Metro

June 6, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment

Guest Editorial by Malcolm Baldwin

Despite Loudoun’s increasingly vibrant rural economy, rural residents fear that forces of sprawl may erase the economic, recreational, historic, and environmental values that Loudoun residents now enjoy. That fear affects debate over Metro to Loudoun, allying some rural residents with the no-tax, Tea Party/Koch Brothers Metro opposition. But, in fact, Metro offers positive opportunities for enhancing our rural economy, if we energetically pursue practical policies open to us. Otherwise, with – and especially without – Metro, Loudoun’s unique rural economy – that some call our oft-neglected economic “weapon” – risks a diminished future and a loss of what is arguably our county’s greatest competitive advantage. … Continue Reading

Bystanders or Leaders?

June 6, 2012 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment

In the past 20 years Purcellville has changed from a very rural, quiet and polite town to a suburban outpost with a lot more noise, activity and impatience. Loudoun County, the wealthiest county in the country, harbors a vast government machine whose contractors and subcontractors, and those who benefit from these businesses with all sorts of spinoffs and support industries, is not suffering from the affects of the economic downturn felt in other jurisdictions. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Charles Murray’s Middlebury Melee

“Earthrise”, photo taken from Apollo 8 by Bill Anders on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. By Tony Noerpel On March 2, 2017, the appearance of Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont caused a small riot [1]. The media blamed …

Earth System and Paleoclimate Change

In a new paper Owen Gaffney and Will Steffen [1], present a high order abstraction of the Earth System, E, in the form This is fine as an abstraction and shows the subsystems which impact the Earth System. The authors …

Famous Estate Blunders and How To Avoid Them

These celebrities’ tales are a strong reminder to review your estate plan before it’s too late. There’s a calm comfort that comes with estate planning: a sense that your family will be taken care of after you pass away (hopefully …

Fidget Gear, Good or Bad?

What do you think about the new fidget cubes and fidget spinners, and do they really help kids with ADHD? They’re making their way around our neighborhood, but I couldn’t find any good studies out there on either of the …

A Community Together: The Ten-Year Remembrance of 4/16/2007

Time moves forward, whether we are ready to move on or not. It’s been ten years since the massacre that shocked America. I’m talking about the event that started a standard of condolences from the president, tears and prayers from …

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 …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: North Fork Road

It’s difficult to be in a hurry when all the surrounding geography seems to encourage thoughtful, relaxing contemplation – maybe even a meditative cat nap thrown in for good measure; now – turn your TV off and take the music …

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

April 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
April 3, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 4, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 5, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 6, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 7, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

First Friday at the Winery

First Friday at the Winery
April 8, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Cherry Blossom Celebration

Cherry Blossom Celebration

Come Paint with Us! Cherry Blossom

Come Paint with Us! Cherry Blossom

Meet the Artist - Robert Merhaut

Meet the Artist - Robert Merhaut

Healing Service

Healing Service

North Gate Vineyard presents a Vertical Tasting

North Gate Vineyard presents a Vertical Tasting
April 9, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

SPRING AWAKENS: DECORATED EGG AUCTION

SPRING AWAKENS: DECORATED EGG AUCTION

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out
April 10, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 11, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 12, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 13, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 14, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
April 15, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Easter at the Park

Easter at the Park

Easter Extravaganza

Easter Extravaganza
April 16, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Easter Sunrise Service

Easter Sunrise Service
April 17, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 18, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 19, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 20, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 21, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Jules & The Hammer Band with Teddy Chipouras

Jules & The Hammer Band with Teddy Chipouras
April 22, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

20th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Re-Opening

20th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Re-Opening

Celebrate Earth Day at North Gate Vineyard

Celebrate Earth Day at North Gate Vineyard

Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders

Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders
April 23, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Franklin Park Big Band is Coming to Franklin Park Arts Center

Franklin Park Big Band is Coming to Franklin Park Arts Center

Jammin' at James

Jammin' at James
April 24, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 25, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 26, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 27, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 28, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

April Fourth Friday

April Fourth Friday

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
April 29, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

2017 Virginia Touch-A-Truck

2017 Virginia Touch-A-Truck

Live Music: Dear Creek

Live Music: Dear Creek

Music With a Cause - The Loudoun Chorale

Music With a Cause - The Loudoun Chorale
April 30, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
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Recent Comments

  • SS Teacher on Fidget Gear, Good or Bad?: The fidget spinner and the fidget cube are very different. The fidget spinner is a disease to the classroom. It's...
  • Jimmy Hill on March 28 Purcellville Town Council Work Session: We have 2 playground areas within a few hundred yards of the proposed one from the article. LVCC has two...
  • Susan T. on ZOAM 2016-0014: Not exactly. ZOAM 2016-0014 allows for a maximum density of no less than 4 residential dwelling units per acre. ...
  • Blue Ridge District Supervisor on ZOAM 2016-0014: Amazing! The Board of Supervisors identifies and takes immediate action to close a loophole whereby unlimited by-right residential development will...
  • Martha Polkey on Envision Loudoun – Bold Action Versus Business-As-Usual: But concisely: Be careful of Bold Action. It may not be the ones you want.

Lifestyle

Welcome Home to this Colonial in Lovettsville

6 Apr 2017

By Hannah Hager All of us seek to put down roots in ?a pleasant, safe and prosperous area, and you’ll find as much within this home in the Dutchman’s Creek neighborhood in Lovettsville. Today, Lovettsville has all the trappings of an all-American hometown – a pizzeria downtown, excellent schools and busy streets that settle into quiet nights. Its claim to …

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Keep Loudoun Beautiful

5 Apr 2017

Greater Lovettsville Area Volunteers Needed The Keep Loudoun Beautiful spring clean-up takes place the entire month of April and greater Lovettsville needs volunteers. Bags, vests, gloves and grabbers are available at the Lovettsville Community Center during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.  Contact Lovettsville area leader, Laura Lieberman, for details and to coordinate pick-up  locations:  laura.long.lieberman@gmail.com.

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Take Me To the Garden Show

5 Apr 2017

The 27th Annual Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival comes to town Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The award-winning event, estimated to attract 40,000 visitors over the two days, gets better and better every year. And, that’s not just the vendors and organizers talking; that’s the truth, …

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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

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

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

Rep. Comstock Returns from Bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon

Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement after returning from a bipartisan Congressional Delegation visit to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon: “As believers around the world observed Holy Week, I appreciated the opportunity to visit and hear from those who serve our fellow man – our military men and women …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Growth in Solar Industry-Related Jobs

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia is one of the fastest growing solar job markets in the country. In the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016, Virginia is 2nd in the Southeast and tied with Utah for 9th in the U.S. for year-over-year solar job growth. The Commonwealth is ranked …

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McAuliffe Vetoes LaRock’s Public Assistance Eligibility Legislation  

On March 28, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed Del. Dave LaRock’s (R-33) House Bill 2092, which would have required any applicant for public assistance to undergo a full review of death records, incarceration status, employment status, lottery winnings, and all income. Recently, an Arlington woman was arrested on four counts of welfare fraud for …

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Sports

Woodgrove Training for Spring Track

9 Apr 2017

Woodgrove students get ready for the upcoming Spring track season. Photos courtesy of Robert Nelson

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Western Loudoun Volleyball Summer Camp Launched

6 Apr 2017

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club will be hosting its first ever summer camp June 26-29 at Foxcroft School in Middleburg.  The coed, four-day camp will run from 9-5 each day and feature advanced skills training, game strategy and mental approaches to the game.  The program will be managed by WLVBC’s Technical …

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