Vance: Commitment, Unity, Community

The face of Loudoun has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. But within what is one of America’s most prosperous and fastest-growing counties, villages and towns with centuries-old histories remain. While the press of suburban growth challenges them, somehow they retain their “sense of place” generation after generation. However, it is not a given that this would be. Rather, it is commitment and unity of individuals that makes this a reality.

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Vance: Whose View Is It Anyway?

Without much fanfare and with little awareness among the general population, the Loudoun County Planning Commission last week approved a request that may dramatically alter one of region’s most pristine and extraordinary vistas. While the applicant may have very well met the letter of the law and the commission may have, likewise, followed its proper procedures accordingly, a fundamental question has been raised that warrants deeper examination and consideration: “Whose view—or view shed—is it anyway?”

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A View from the Gap: Preserve and Build Legacies

As much as we sometimes desire otherwise, change in our communities is inevitable. But what should not be inevitable are outcomes that disregard or dishonor the past. It is often hard in the pressing present to consider and appreciate what has come before, to embrace the legacies built by others. Doing so, however, can enrich—and reinforce—the legacies we ourselves will leave behind.

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A View From The Gap: Some Assembly Required

We’ve all received the box, stamped “Some assembly required,” full of the parts wrapped individually; the connecting hardware bagged separately, the instructions neatly folded. While we know what the end product will be, we often feel at a complete loss about where to start first, and the instructions often intimidate if not downright confuse. But we muddle through, line up the parts, and begin to see how it all fits together and suddenly arrive at that moment of clarity when we say to ourselves “Okay, we can do this,” get focused and get to work.

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