Tag Archives: Short Hill Mountain

The disposable planet – and its people

jonflan-blueearth - 1As a people, we are suffering the twin insanities of our Chief Executive, Mr. Donald Trump, who has insisted on pursuing two separate paths that promise to destroy our planet and ourselves.

First, our “Commander in Chief”, and another mad world leader from Korea, improvised a bullying chest-beating duet of world-shattering war threats, from the slippery edge of an existential precipice, promising to hurl nuclear fire upon the world, and to kill countless innocents.

Second, our “Chief Executive,” Mr. Trump, belittled every other nation in the world and refused to honor a hard fought international agreement on climate change that the United States had signed.  Mr. Trump also dismantled air and water safeguards and denied that humans have in any way caused the planet to heat from fossil fuel emissions.

Each of us is a furnace of life, warmed within a sheaf of skin, at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, with a strong will to survive.

But too many of us defer to leaders, trusting them to do what’s best for us and the world’s survival when we now know they are doing nothing of the sort.

Our leaders take the corporate contributions of fossil fuel predators and vote their way, insisting that we not trust our senses that that’s what they are doing, even as they do it at the cost of our health and safety and survival.  In the bargain, they stall cleaner, safer renewable energy sources. Continue reading

What we’ve got

Eugene Scheel, map maker, at Bonnie’s

Eugene Scheel, map maker, at Bonnie’s

Maybe some don’t appreciate what we’ve got here in Western Loudoun because they just don’t know.

A fun way to cross that divide, and find out what we’ve got, is to get to know Eugene Scheel.

Eugene draws a line on fine paper to record an historic remnant, the ridge of a mountain, a creek or stream, a graveyard, a church, the place a plane crashed, and he does this with precision, and after much person to person historical research, gathering up the memories of eye witnesses, riding the local roads, and then memorializing the event and the date and the geographic spot where it all happened.

Gene, who is originally from Park Chester, in the Bronx, New York, has lived in Waterford, VA with his wife, Annette, since the 60s, and is best known these days as a mapmaker and historian par excellence.

Gene found he had a strong sense of location and direction walking the rolling ground and woods and rocky hillsides in training missions day and night for eight years as a corporal in the U.S. Marine reserves.

Gene “doodled” imaginary maps as a kid, and, after his service in the Marines, he really learned his craft from his tour of duty with the National Geographic Magazine, and his days at Rand McNally.

When he was a High School student, Gene wrote a letter to Dr. Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, the first full time editor of National Geographic Magazine, and told Dr. Grosvenor that he liked to “doodle” imaginary countries and islands and was interested in making maps. 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