Tag Archives: Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors Favors More Development Over Math and Science

A simple Algebra problem

A simple Algebra problem

I was in the Lovettsville Library the other day, looking at a 3 D pair of plastic glasses made on a state of the art printer at the Leesburg library, and a library patron asked if I’d heard that the County had killed a state of the art math and science library for the County.

It’s true, they have.

Our elected leaders almost always favor development that covers and destroys open fields and trees and wild life so developers can build more roads and small artificial parks where once were rolling fields and trees.

In this dystopic world of excess development, one tragic irony is that our Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has decided to steal funds dedicated to a science and tech library and to spend it instead on roads and parks!

Could we possibly make worse choices in this County, that passes itself off as a high tech community, and among the wealthiest in the nation, than to disfavor advancement in science and math?

America has been steadily sliding in global education rankings for decades. Continue reading

Are Women Equal?

Do you support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for Women?

Equality_silouhette“Yes,” a Lovettsville woman said.

A few moments passed.

“Is that a trick question?,” she asked.

If the Virginia General Assembly supports the Amendment, constitutional experts agree, this ERA Amendment, first introduced in Congress in one earlier version in the 1920s, would finally become part of our U.S. Constitution.

Thirty-Seven states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, one short of the Thirty-Eight states needed for passage.

The Lovettsville woman added, “Virginia should be the State that makes passage possible.”

In Virginia, in the past, the upper House, the Senate, has supported the Amendment, but not the lower house.  There is a push to change that when the legislature convenes in January.

Opposed to the Amendment, the Vice Chairman for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), blocked any consideration of the Amendment, and said, “The General Assembly doesn’t care what we think.”

“If that’s true,” said one ERA supporter, “then why do they send any requests to the legislature.” Continue reading

How Narrow the Band in Western Loudoun

In this picture is a broadband source to connect to the Internet

In this picture is a broadband source to connect to the Internet

Out in Western Loudoun, near Lovettsville, there are various ways to get on the Internet.

There is of course by satellite connected to a dish by your house.

There are broadcasting links atop various structures including a silo out by Stevens Road.  What else would you expect in the country?  It had to be on a silo.

Dishes are put outside home windows pointed toward the “broadcasting” structures including the devices affixed atop a silo.

You have to look long and hard to see the connecting devices including atop that old silo.

Connection to the Internet via silo

Connection to the Internet via silo

The County Board has promised it was going to make a difference to broad band in Western Loudoun.

But little or nothing has happened to do so.

Some were surprised by the recent pronouncements by Loudoun’s Economic Development folks  that “Loudoun County Leads Virginia in Broadband Use.”

“According to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau,” according to the County’s Economic Development Crew, “Loudoun has the highest percentage of households with a fixed broadband (not mobile) Internet subscription in Virginia.”

Unfortunately, this is “somewhat” off the mark as they are really only talking about eastern Loudoun.

There was a broadband survey that the County conducted earlier this year.  It was in May and was extended through July 27, 2018 for residents to express their opinion.

There was an online map that showed the reaction.

Only “blue” was “great” and that was dominant in the eastern part of the County; “green” was “hit or miss” online (heavy in the West), and “red” was “terrible” (dominant in the West) and, as a result, the map of Western Loudoun looked like the onslaught of a teenage acne condition.

The survey map that was – and isn’t any longer

The survey map that was – and isn’t any longer

By the way, if you go looking for this map, as it appeared, and found in this article, it’s vanished; one source argued that’s what the County does to “hush” up what they don’t want the community to consider.

The original url was http://loudoungis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=1a995526e50c424896bfa48fdb793d9e .

When you go to that address (url) now, you will find a map and an array of only blue dots and no legend as to what the blue dots represent.  Continue reading

Loudoun citizens battle AT&T, declaring “not on our mountain”

The “view” from the Lovettsville Squircle on Memorial Day

The “view” from the Lovettsville Squircle on Memorial Day


The Short Hill Mountain is a scenic and pre-historic geologic treasure for which the County Board of Supervisors is responsible as stewards to maintain and preserve and protect; the County’s Comprehensive Plan memorializes this praiseworthy obligation.

Many citizens have objected that AT&T wants to deface the mountain, by placing a Costco size industrial building, atop the mountain, visible for miles around, sucking up millions of gallons of water, and megawatts of electricity, in a rural and residential area, and the community is calling foul, and demanding that the Board stop AT&T in its tracks.

Citizens on both sides of the Mountain are demanding that the Board overrule the permit that the Planning Commission, they charge, improvidently granted, and that the Board do this at its meeting scheduled for June 23, 2016.

There have been public and private gatherings all for the purpose of defeating this permit. There have been statements and letters published and forwarded to the Board and on social media. There are resolutions to this effect. Some are drafting reports they may submit to the Board. Citizens are seeking audiences with their elected representatives at every level – county, state and federal government. Continue reading

Fools destroy trees

What’s left after cutting down a 95 year old tree

What’s left after cutting down a 95 year old tree

While Joyce Kilmer said, “only God can make a tree,” he did not consider those fools who destroy these trees with glee.

In my home town of Lovettsville, Tree City USA, VDOT destroyed a 95 year old Maple tree, with leaves no lower than 10 feet above the ground.

The reason, they said, was to make a bike path 8 feet wide, when the distance from the base of the tree to the roadway where the path would be placed was 16 feet, twice the width of the path.

They destroyed a majestic Maple for no good reason – as VDOT does characteristically treat trees as “inconvenient” – for VDOT is of the school of dig and destroy.

Susan Clark said, “It was a perfectly good tree and they cut it at ground level.”

Briana N. Edelman said, “Why does everyone feel the need to cut down trees? Trees provide shade, cooling, prevent erosion, hold sentimental and historical value, clean the air, house birds, insects, animals….among so many other things.”

Trees also produce the oxygen we breathe. Some think that’s important.

When trees abut a stream or river, their root system holds the bank together, reducing erosion, and curtails the runoff of the killing chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, acting as a natural system of filters restraining pollutants.

Our problem is not, however, a single tree that once grew in Lovettsville.

We have an epidemic of foolishness beyond VDOT’s serial violations, among developers, and prominent individuals who prefer a “scenic view” over what is environmentally conscientious. Continue reading

Gaming the crowded Loudoun elections

prefVotingThe candidates seeking countywide offices in Loudoun have been elbowing for political advantage for weeks and months.

The field is not yet set but, it appears, we’re going to have more than two candidates for several county wide offices and this favors split voting and an uncertain outcome that may not represent what most voters really want.

In some elections, split voting occurs by Machiavellian design, introducing a bogus candidate (or candidates), as a misdirection, to split the opposition in favor of a candidate who can’t win otherwise.

In Loudoun, this election cycle, we have more than two candidates, it appears by chance, in two countywide races – (1) to become Chair of the Board of Supervisors, and (2) to become our next Sheriff.

The Republicans chose lawyer and party activist, Charlie King, as their Republican nominee for Chair, and the Democrats chose a professional and community leader, Phyllis Randall, as their nominee. This is where the process, however, gets complicated. Republican Supervisor Shawn Williams challenged Mr. King for the Republican nomination for Chair, then Shawn withdrew because of embarrassing personal and seemingly disqualifying disclosures. That said and done, Shawn has now taken a U-turn, and decided to make a run as an Independent. Among the Dems, a former Democratic nominee, who lost in the election four years ago, Tom Bellanca, has decided he wants to run again, and, having sat out the Democratic nominating process, he’s running as an Independent.

In the Sheriff’s race, the Republicans chose the incumbent Sheriff, Mike Chapman, over a vigorous Republican Challenger, Mr. Eric Noble. Brian Allman, a law enforcement officer, filed to become the Democrats’ nominee. But there’s more. When Mr. Noble lost his party’s nomination, former Sheriff Steve Simpson, who was a Noble supporter, announced he’d run himself as an independent.

How does a voter game the choices, four seeking the Chair, three wanting to be Sheriff, and select the persons in the races most representative of what Loudoun needs? Continue reading

Board gets a failing grade on schools

One Student’s Plea for saving Lincoln Elementary School!

One Student’s Plea for saving Lincoln Elementary School!

Our Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is poised to close four community schools to save what they spent on the Redskins – two million dollars.

The Board calls this “budgeting.”

I call it government mismanagement, preferring games over grades, and fail the Board for its gross mishandling of a core governmental function, how we rightly educate our children.

In 2012, our football sycophantic Board of Supervisors promised to pay Danny “Redskin” Snyder two million dollars to sell Loudoun as the home of the Redskins; in the bargain, the County got game tix, and a classy suite like political big shots crave to watch pro ball games.

(Not to be too much of a buzz kill, but don’t the Redskins now rehearse their winning team form in Richmond, and not Ashburn?)

Now we want to close these four elementary community schools in Aldie, Hamilton, Hillsboro and Lincoln, the oldest of these founded in 1840 and the newest in 1922, because these closures will save the County two million dollars of a school budget shortfall of thirty eight million dollars, because the proposed budget was irresponsibly shrunken by the Board, making these misguided cuts by our School Board “necessary.”

Outgoing School Superintendent Hatrick, to his credit, fired away, rightly charging in the most forceful language that this Board has created an “artificial crisis,” as 2,000 more students enter our countywide school system, and “willfully chosen not to listen to the public, not to listen to the School Board about the funding that is needed for next year for this school system.” Continue reading

“Sprawl Is The American Dream”

With all the crazy coming out of Loudoun Republicans lately, its easy to forget that underneath that hard shell of cultural divisiveness is a sugary nougat of truly awful policies.

Take, for example, a race that has flown under the proverbial radar this year. The race for Algonkian Supervisor, which sets long-time community resident and activist (and personal friend, in the interests of full disclosure) Denise Moore Pierce against long-time conservative gadfly Suzanne Volpe. Here’s a race that can, and should turn truly on policy grounds, because there is a clear difference between the candidates, and a clear choice to be made.

Specifically, Ms. Volpe, who is running to represent a “mature” community in Loudoun, one with established neighborhoods, schools, traditions and families, is an advocate – and an unabashed one – for sprawl. Indeed, she gave a speech calling development sprawl the American Dream. A stark statement for a stark choice.

Continue reading