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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Back to School Brigade: Supporting military families
    If you dropped off school supplies at the two Dollar Tree stores in Sterling this summer for the Operation Homefront Back to School Brigade program, your donations are on the way this week to families of service members and wounded warriors throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

    The area headquarters of Operation Homefront, based in Sterling, is in the middle of a project that will provide more than 6,000 school-supply-filled backpacks before the school year begins.

    “We’re here to lend a hand to military families who deal not only with deployments and the other stresses of military life, but also the economic difficulties shared by all Americans,” Vivian Dietrich, Executive Director of Operation Homefront’s Mid-Atlantic field office, said. “Getting children ready to go to back to school can be costly, but these donated school supplies help ease the burden military families face.”

    The organization had a full schedule planned for the week, beginning with the distribution of 1,000 donated backpacks in Woodbridge on Monday, Aug. 11, followed by distribution trips to Suitland, Lanham and Aberdeen, Md. on Thursday and Friday. Last weekend, Operation Homefront distributed nearly 60 backpacks to service member families in Ashburn.

    Although the delivery mission is well underway, the organization is still in need of backpacks and school supplies to reach as many service families as possible. Donations will be accepted during a special event at Dulles Town Center on Saturday, Aug. 23, from noon until 2 p.m. Donors at the mall will be entered into a drawing for prizes.

    According to Cyndi Lucas, Operation Homefront Mid-Atlantic community outreach leader, all school supplies are needed, but backpacks are especially welcome. To help fill in any gaps in donations, the organization is in need of gift cards for office supply stores such as Staples. In addition, cash donations will be accepted at the mall event.

    The Sterling office of Operation Homefront also is gearing up for two 50-mother baby showers, one in Washington in September and one in Springfield in October. For those events, donations of new baby items of any kind, especially diapers, are welcome. Gift cards for Babies R Us, Target or other stores are also welcome and will be used for door prizes for the moms in attendance.

    Operation Homefront is always in need of volunteers in Sterling. Fall and spring interns able to work during the week and on weekends are particularly needed. To volunteer, contact Cyndi Lucas at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]

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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADE/STERLING: Sterling’s Summer Scholars
    School may be out for the summer, but some eastern Loudoun educators and students are still hard at work on the path of lifelong learning.

    If you ask Dominion High School English teacher Karrie Rinder what she did during her summer vacation, you’re likely to hear about a trip to Chicago to study the role of skyscrapers in American life.

    Rinder was one of 80 educators selected from more than 300 applicants to become a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar, a recognition that included participation in a one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop. Rinder was chosen to attend a workshop titled “The American Skyscraper: Transforming Chicago and the Nation,” held at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

    Promoted: Brian Blubaugh, assistant principal at Potowmack Elementary since 2010, is spending his summer preparing for a new role as principal of Algonkian Elementary School. A Loudoun County Public Schools educator for 18 years, Blubaugh spent 14 years teaching the second and fourth grades at Meadowland Elementary.

    Governor’s scholars: Eastern Loudoun is home to more than a quarter of the Loudoun County Public Schools students attending the summer 2014 Governor’s School program on college and university campuses across the state.

    Five Dominion High School students were selected for the Governor’s School agricultural program: Seena Honarvar, Alexandra Kamis, Jack Mu, Yousuf Rehman and Catherine Salamone. The humanities scholars included Gabriella Hernandez-Figueroa of Dominion, Elizabeth Dinneny and William Shangraw of Potomac Falls High School and Kathleen Chesnutt of Park View High School. Eleanor Grace of Potomac Falls was selected for the marine science program. Daniel Judge of Dominion and Kayla Wright-Freeman of Potomac Falls were named to the math, science and technology program. The visual and performing arts scholars included Madeline Hall, Alena Titova and Gina Vucci of Dominion and Hannah Brown and Soyoung Park of Potomac Falls.

    Pool parties: The CountrySide and Cascades communities offer a break from summer studies with a pair of pool parties on Aug. 9. CountrySide offers a Family Fun Night beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Parkway Pool, with food, cold drinks, ice cream, music, games and prizes. Cascades presents its second annual pool movie night with a showing of “The Lego Movie,” beginning at 8:30 p.m. at the Lowes Island Pool.

    Sprouts fundraiser: The eastern Loudoun-based volunteers of the Sprouts Therapeutic Riding and Education Center are looking for golfers to participate in the second annual “Sprout on the Green” golf tournament fundraiser beginning at noon Aug. 11 at the River Creek Club in Leesburg. Information and registration is available online at

    Contact Kathie Felix at KfinLoudoun[at]
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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Bright Lights Bring Big Concerns
    On the evening of July 24, Cascades residents living near the Potomack Lakes Sportsplex found themselves unexpectedly in the spotlight—and on the front lines of a conflict between extremely well-lit sports fields and the expectations of quiet suburban neighborhoods.

    A test conducted that night of new lighting for the playing fields illuminated a number of concerns for nearby homes, beginning with a lack of advance notice to the community of the planned test.

    When contacted by an area resident via e-mail, Algonkian District Supervisor Suzanne Volpe apologized for the failure to inform the community, and wrote that she “literally learned of the testing 24 hours prior.”

    Adding to the area’s concerns, some residents were unaware that the lighting project had been increased to cover six playing fields in 2014. According to resident Janet Anderson, a previously reached compromise set a schedule for the county to install lighting on the two fields farthest from area homes this summer, with the remaining lights to be installed in a year or two.

    An additional sting felt by nearby residents was the attitude of Loudoun County Construction Manager Nicholas Brown, expressed in county e-mail correspondence forwarded to Anderson by Volpe.

    “Lastly, I will add on a personal note that I believe (any of) the complaints received will be generated based on “line of sight” observations,” Brown wrote to Joe Kroboth, the director of Loudoun’s transportation and capital infrastructure department. “For example, if you’re on the third floor of a three-story townhouse and look out your window, you will be staring directly into a light fixture. The same is true if you look up at the fixtures from ground level. Furthermore, should the residents submit pictures (as many were taking them), I believe they should be taken with a grain-of-salt, as the glare in pictures tends to distort the magnitude of the lighting and does not offer a fair representation of in-field conditions.”

    Anderson was stunned by the lack of empathy for the community shown in the county’s approach to the matter.

    “Believe me when I tell you that the magnitude of the lights is very real,” she said, referring to Brown’s comments. “It's disheartening to see, in writing, such blatant disregard for the concerns of the members of our community.”

    A formal report on the July 24 light-level test conducted by Musco Lighting, the manufacturer of the lighting system, was expected to be released the week of July 28.
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    STERLING BOULEVARD: Happy Anniversary
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Cracker Barrel comes to Sterling
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Fun away from the sun in Sterling
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Drama camp for everyone
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Eastern Loudoun Students Rock
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Happy Birthday America
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: A flag-waving fourth of July
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Cascades Green Team needs some helping hands
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Get schooled
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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2014