Leesburg Vintner withstands competition

Owner Mike Carroll in his shop, Leesburg Vintner

Although Leesburg Vintner was closed Monday, owner Mike Carroll was working in his shop while a ribbon-cutting for Delirium Cafe was taking place across the street.

“I think it’s going to be a game-changer,” Carroll said as he peered through the blinds at the growing crowd outside the cafe, a franchisee of a popular Belgian beer company. “It’s created a buzz unlike anything I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”

Carroll has been selling bottled wines at the northwest corner of King and Loudoun streets in Leesburg for almost three decades. During that time, he has withstood increasing competition from big box stores and local wineries.

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The Washington Post, May 21, 2017

Supervisors debate including transition area in plan’s vision statement

A narrow swath of land between eastern and western Loudoun County dominated the discussion as the Board of Supervisors wrestled recently with the wording of the vision statement for a new comprehensive plan that will guide development in the county for decades to come.

On May 2, six months into the 18-month process of creating the plan, supervisors began discussing a draft vision statement and goals that had been developed by a committee of stakeholders after a period of public input.

Most of the discussion focused on the “transition policy area,” which was zoned to serve as a buffer between rapidly developing eastern Loudoun and the rural west. Supervisors disagreed over whether the vision statement should include the word “transition” as one of the primary types of land areas in the county, along with “rural, suburban and urban.”

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The Washington Post, May 14, 2017

Car Seat Headrest in the news – May 2017

“Australian alt-rock trio Middle Kids are announcing a North American tour today. To promote it they went on SiriusXM radio, where singer Hannah Joy performed a solo piano cover of Car Seat Headrest’s Teens Of Denial opener ‘Fill In The Blank.'”

–Chris DeVille on Stereogum, May 17, 2017

“With a very personal, smart, and insightful lyrical prowess and a dynamic, inventive indie rock style, Car Seat Headrest are one of the most exciting rock group to pop up in recent memory, and with an engaging, stellar live show to boot, they’re at must-see at Bonnaroo.”

–Philip Obenschain on No Country, May 15, 2017

“The band now tours the world and continues to top all the charts with their songs that are angsty, emotionally complicated in the most endearing way, and so honest that it sometimes stings.”

–Cynthia Bonitz on mxdwn.com, May 11, 2017

“Car Seat Headrest’s ambition and stunning songwriting has been apparent since its early days of recording in Toledo’s car − only difference is that they’ve upgrading their recording digs and there’s a host of adoring fans listening.”

–Avery Newmark on AJC.com, May 5, 2017

Hill School Arboretum gets recognition

The Hill School, as seen from the arboretum

Thousands of trees adorn the property of The Hill School in Middleburg, providing a peaceful, natural landscape for the school campus and an outdoor learning laboratory for the students.

Some of the trees at The Hill School Arboretum look as though they could have been there for a century. But less than three decades ago, the school was surrounded by hayfields and cornfields. A gift of land and the vision of a dedicated volunteer led to the establishment of the arboretum, school officials said.

The arboretum was recently selected by the Smithsonian Institution and the Garden Club of America for inclusion in the Archives of American Gardens. The school announced in February that the arboretum was one of 51 properties across the country that were added to the archives last year.

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The Washington Post, May 7, 2017

School Board accepts budget reduction

When the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted a budget for fiscal 2018 on April 4, it handed the school board the task of trimming its expenditures by $5.5 million.

On Monday, the school board completed the budget reconciliation process by approving a list of reductions recommended by Schools Superintendent Eric Williams. That list avoided cuts to the school board’s key initiatives, such as expanding full-day kindergarten, boosting employee salaries and buying new school buses.

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The Washington Post, April 30, 2017

Leesburg gardens on display

In 1817, Gen. George Rust bought a 485-acre tract along the Potomac River north of Leesburg and began building a Federal-style home there. The rock outcrops that studded the land inspired the property’s name: Rockland.

Two centuries and five generations later, Rust’s descendants still own and occupy Rockland. But maintaining old homes is costly, and the current occupants are searching for new ways to generate revenue from the property so they can continue to keep it in the family.

Rockland is one of six picturesque Leesburg-area properties that will be open to visitors Sunday and Monday during Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. The Garden Club of Virginia uses proceeds from the event, now in its 84th year, to restore and preserve historic public gardens across the commonwealth.

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The Washington Post, April 23, 2017

Kids learn about Shakespeare on Saturdays

Loudoun Country Day School students rehearse a scene from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” in the school library.

In between the usual Saturday activities — soccer, ballet, taekwondo — a group of 9- and 10-year-olds from Loudoun Country Day School are learning to “crack the code” of William Shakespeare.

About a dozen fourth- and fifth-graders attend voluntary Saturday morning classes at the Leesburg-area private school to learn how to understand and perform Shakespeare’s works. The school’s headmaster, Randy Hollister, leads the classes.

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The Washington Post, April 16, 2017

Loudoun Supervisors adopt budget

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $2.5 billion budget for the county government and school system for fiscal 2018.

The spending plan provides funding to open several new facilities, give pay increases of 3 percent or more to county and school employees, and add hundreds of government and school staff positions. By lowering the real property tax rate 2 cents, to $1.125, the supervisors also reduced tax bills for most Loudoun homeowners.

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The Washington Post, April 9, 2017

Car Seat Headrest in the news – April 2017

“Last night, ‘Conan’ welcomed musical guests Car Seat Headrest.”

–Evan Minsker on Pitchfork, April 19, 2017

“In between Coachella weekends, Car Seat Headrest stopped by Conan on Tuesday night (4/18) to perform a somewhat revamped version of ‘Unforgiving Girl (She’s Not An)’ from last year’s terrific Teens of Style.”

–Bill Pearis on Brooklyn Vegan, April 19, 2017

“Our 2016 Rookie of the Year performed a new version of ‘Unforgiving Girl” (She’s Not An),’ taken from last year’s excellent Teens of Denial.”

–Michelle Geslani on Consequence of Sound, April 19, 2017

“I don’t know if Will Toledo is satisfied, but I’m certainly happy that songs like ‘Faith In Anyone’ finally made their way into the world.”

–Alex Galbraith on Uproxx, April 17, 2017

“But although Radiohead played to a surprisingly small audience…middlebrow guitar bands such as Bastille, Car Seat Headrest and Local Natives pulled fans in numbers that suggested rock isn’t dead yet…”

–Mikael Wood in the Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2017

“Listen to his lovely, acoustic cover of ‘That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore’…”

–Janice Headley on KEXP-FM, April 12, 2017

“For his passionate and heartbreaking version of ‘That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,’ Toledo swaps out all the electric guitars and drums for a single acoustic guitar.”

–Robin Hilton on NPR Music, April 12, 2017

“Truly haunting.”

DIY Magazine, April 12, 2017

“…this acoustic version is pretty haunting and would definitely make Morrissey proud.”

Pure Volume, April 12, 2017

“Toledo’s version is an aching acoustic rendition in the vein of his ‘Pyramid Song’ cover…”

–Peter Helman on Stereogum, April 11, 2017

“Car Seat Headrest have shared an acoustic cover of the Smiths’ song ‘That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.'”

–Noah Yoo on Pitchfork, April 11, 2017

“Car Seat Headrest have a certain touch which makes them a shining beacon in the ocean of Indie bands competing for attention today.”

–Clare Kelly in Counterfeit Magazine, April 5, 2017