Vance: Thankful and Ever Hopeful

The mere fact that a day after a big snowstorm–with roadways still dicey—some 350 people turned out for a “Rural Summit” hosted by Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall and joined by Supervisors Tony Buffington, Geary Higgins and Kristen Umstattd, speaks volumes about the importance Loudoun residents attach to the subject. Even more impressive was the level of the discussions, the composition of the attendees—including old farm families and young rural entrepreneurs—and the sense of urgency that permeated the summit.

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Vance: Future-Making History

We are making history on July 1 in Hillsboro. We are also making our future. And that is something to celebrate indeed. But more than that, as we celebrate our nation’s birth and pay tribute to our democracy on this day, we are holding high an example of good governance—when a grassroots vision for the future was perceived and embraced by politicians and officials at the federal, state, regional, county and local levels.

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Vance: A Call for Rural Renewal

Loudoun County is approaching a fork in the road. The path we choose to follow, as we near the end of the second decade of the 21stcentury, will determine the future that awaits generations to come. On the horizon in one direction the outlines of some of the shapes of our future are coming into focus. But what we cannot yet see is what awaits us behind that next curve, beyond that next ridge.

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Vance: Recognition is the Foundation for Dialogue

I am glad the silence is in fact not deafening and that my January View From the Gap has prompted much dialogue and discussion in this newspaper and elsewhere. The confluence of recent events that prompted my commentary—anti-immigrant fervor, local Klan activity and the juxtaposition of holidays honoring Confederate heroes and civil rights leader Martin Luther King—seemed to me to beg for some contextual bearings that might help lead us toward reconciliation.

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Vance: Building Bandwidth

As I sit in Hillsboro’s Town office in the Old Stone School to write this column, I’m marveling at the lightning-fast internet access speeds we are now getting within the landmark’s 143-year-old stone walls. And, I’m feeling confident this level of service will soon be available to all of our residents in town and in the surrounding area. A long time coming and—as with many of the challenges in this small and historic town—the internet solution has arrived with a quixotic twist, helped along by a widening bandwidth of community activism that is driving a series of exciting initiatives about to bear fruit in the New Year.

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