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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 are to be commended for the huge effort they are putting into bringing citizens into the process, including two months of presentations and workshops which engaged 1,400 participants, generated what the county called “5,000 unique ideas,” and comprehensive, well-written reports on the progress that’s been made.

Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall deserves a lot of credit for her authentically open and inclusive style. People are paying attention. … Continue Reading

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

October 5, 2016 View From the Ridge 1 comment

By Andrea Gaines
On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born Lafayette, inspired by stories of American independence, had sailed here to fight side-by-side with Americans at the young age of 20. Half a century later, he was back to visit old friends and a growing United States, watching former colonists work with their representatives to build a new country. … Continue Reading

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

May 5, 2015 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them

By Steady and Nobull

The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major changes are similar to the changes that occurred in 2008 which gave us a six story project on 21st Street. By that we mean the town council at the time, based on developer input changed the height restrictions on 21st Street from 32 feet to 65 feet. … Continue Reading

Correct Course and Review the Comprehensive Plan

Like a ship lost at sea, many residents of Purcellville see the development patterns in and around town as having drifted dangerously off course.

The Autumn Hill/Mayfair development – which resulted in the annexation of previously open land, is one example of this drift. The Vineyard Square development project, which, if built, will in one fell swoop fundamentally and permanently degrade the historic nature of Purcellville’s downtown.

Town-based communities in Loudoun County are required to develop the planning and zoning document known as a Comprehensive Plan – a blueprint that directs both where and how development will occur, and provides protection for the historic and environmental resources communities have identified as essential to how they see themselves today and want to define themselves in the future. … Continue Reading

Debt, Debt and, More Debt … Or, Is There an Alternative?

December 10, 2014 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on Debt, Debt and, More Debt … Or, Is There an Alternative?

The entire trajectory of the Town of Purcellville can be summarized in one word. Debt.

The massive debt the town incurred to build the wastewater treatment plant – which currently operates at just 40 percent capacity – stands at $33 million. There was a $6 million mandated upgrade to the facility – which was paid for with a taxpayer funded grant. But, the balance of the $33 million spent was a choice by the town to dramatically increase the capacity of the facility- on the hope that the rapid growth in and around Purcellville would continue. Tap fees – the cost to be hooked up the system – now run about fifty thousand dollars apiece. And, that would keep the debt manageable.

But with the additional extravagant and ill-advised spending by the town (including the $8.5 million for the new town hall) and the housing crash recession, town debt has now ballooned to $61 million in less than a decade …

There is no looking back, but there is a way to look forward. … Continue Reading

I Wanna Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Undo It

There’s a popular country western song that tells the story of a young woman who gets swept up in a night of partying and wakes up to find she has a ring on her finger, a new last name and a new husband. Knowing she had been duped but determined to take her future back, she proclaims “Boy you blew it, you put me through it I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it.”

Many people in Purcellville feel the same way about the 100,000 square foot Vineyard Square mixed-use development project … a project which, once the zoning party got started moved from one excess to another, wedding the citizens and taxpayers of Purcellville to a decidedly unattractive future for their historic downtown. … Continue Reading

There’s a New Gang in Town – And Isn’t It Time?

For many, the recent town-wide elections in Purcellville present all of western Loudoun with a significant opportunity to launch a more citizen-focused future.

On July 1 there will be a new mayor and a decidedly different balance of power on the Purcellville Town Council, as four new members with fresh policy views join the group.

Growth is here and will continue. But, the question of exactly where that growth will occur, whom it will benefit and who will pay for it now has the opportunity to be answered – out in the open. … Continue Reading

Will the Voter’s Changing Mood Express Itself on May 6?

April 30, 2014 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on Will the Voter’s Changing Mood Express Itself on May 6?

Interesting …
Businesses and homeowners in Purcellville took up the cause of parents to the east, west, north and south fighting to save their small schools.

If you drove through the village of Hamilton to the east and the village of Lincoln to the south you saw signs of every kind demanding to “Save Lincoln Elementary,” “Vote For Kids,” “Save Hamilton Elementary,” and “Small Schools = No New Debt.” And, then those same signs started popped up in Purcellville proper. And, then there was a very-well attended school board meeting on Monday, April 21, followed by a 6-3 vote on Tuesday, April 22 which settled, for now, whether these small community-based schools would close. And, the answer was, NO. … Continue Reading

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park.
Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts center. A community pool complex. Beautiful natural areas. Walking paths. A frisbee golf course. Tennis courts. Campfire and grill pavilions. Baseball and soccer fields. It, in short, is a really wonderful place, purchased, crafted and planned by a board of supervisors with active community involvement. A community that knew what it wanted and worked, through its government, to get it done. … Continue Reading

Purcellville’s Broken Heart

It is both interesting and so disheartening to read Wikipedia’s description of the place known as Purcellville.

It describes how in 1764 the town’s first known settler, James Dillon made his way here from Buck’s County, Pa. How an “early ox cart track” stretching west from Leesburg toward the Blue Ridge Mountains served as “the nucleus” of the town. How the first recorded business – “a combined store and inn” – arrived in 1799, followed by Purcel’s Store and Post Office, the town’s first stagecoach delivery (1841), a blacksmith’s shop (1848), and the first public school (1883). And, how on March 14, 1908, the town was incorporated by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. … Continue Reading

A Citizen-Directed Future for Western Loudoun?– What It Will Take

January 8, 2014 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on A Citizen-Directed Future for Western Loudoun?– What It Will Take

The Blue Ridge Leader’s View From The Ridge feature was introduced in 1984.?This feature is intended to present to the public our big picture assessment of what is going on in our western Loudoun community – an independent and spirited assessment, free of the special interests that seek to control the day. As we begin 2014, we recommit ourselves to being that independent voice for you.

Why Is An Independent Voice So Important To Western Loudoun?

All communities, even small ones, have centers of power. As the people run their businesses and live their lives, it’s up to government, even if it is a small town council or county board of supervisors, to make sure everyone’s getting a fair shake. And, it’s up to the news media to make sure government is doing its job and conducting its business out in the open, while providing citizens a microphone with which to express their views.

This is critical in a fast growing community such as western Loudoun where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in land deals, residential and commercial development and political favors. And, it is absolutely urgent in a political atmosphere where town councils and boards of supervisors seem more interested in greasing the skids for developers than in serving the public. … Continue Reading

The Last Hardware Store?

In their 2011 documentary The Last Hardware Store, noted portrait photographer and executive producer Sarah Huntington, director and veteran videographer Peter Buck and well-known advertising agency owner and writer/editor Drew Babb tell the nearly 100-year-old story of Nichols Hardware.

Representing, in many ways, the commercial lynchpin of Purcellville’s Historic District, Nichols Hardware is remarkable not only for the fact that it will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary next year, but also for the fact that you and I, old timers and newcomers alike can walk into Nichols today and experience the same thing a customer in the early part of the 20th Century would have experienced. Personal service. Quality products. Problem solving for that pesky household job.

Just as Nichols advertised back in the day, “We have the largest and most compete stock of hardware and furniture in the county … “ so goes the Nichols story today – not withstanding the product selection, size and reach of big box stores such as Home Depot. … Continue Reading

It’s Not “Time For Compromise”

The photo op tents are in place and the state and local government officials, local business leaders and more are lined up – current and former mayors of Purcellville, Virginia Transportation officials, members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, local developers.

The press is here, and a broad white ribbon has been pulled across part of the Southern Collector Road. Bob Lazaro, the Mayor of Purcellville has conducted his ceremonial ribbon cutting signaling that the road is open, and a muted moment of hand-clapping has blown off into the warm June breeze.

Yes, the Southern Collector Road is open and ready for our cars and trucks and commercial vehicles. And, it’s a big, beautiful wide and majestic road. … 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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