Tag Archives: Community leaders

Enough Mephisto

Eugene's campaign workers. Hannah Champ (Scoggins) at the door, Werner Workman on the right.

Leesburg Today ran a very critical editorial of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s latest LCRC antics, but the criticism, “Stop the Circus,” didn’t go far enough in exposing Supervisor Delgaudio operations.

He was putting on a political show—one, like so many during his 14-year board tenure, that was woefully short on substance, but with potential to help fuel his campaign fundraising machine. Continue reading


Mayor Ed Koch (l) with John Flannery aboard the Circle Line

If there was ever a force of nature in politics and life, a model for talking, arguing and doing, it was Ed “How’m I doing” Koch, the former Councilman, Congressman and three term Mayor of New York City.

We could use more politicians like Ed who cared so deeply and worked so hard until finally his heart failed him at 88 years of age last Friday morning. Continue reading

“A brave stand”

While all agree that some traditions should be honored, others must be put to rest as our national values and notions of tolerance and diversity evolve. At any rate, no amount of history and tradition can cure a constitutional infraction.

Does this sound familiar? It’s from the January 11 ruling on Ahlquist v. City of Cranston, in which an explicitly sectarian prayer banner was ordered removed from the wall of a public high school. The Rhode Island school district argued that “the prayer, which dates back to the early 1960s, is an historical memento of the school’s founding days, with a predominantly secular purpose.” The plaintiff who took her school district to court is a 16 year old student, Jessica Ahlquist. Here is the full paragraph from the ruling (PDF): Continue reading

Road spam and special rights: Two great tastes that taste great together?

Now this is really getting interesting. The new Board of Supervisors is apparently considering a motion to kill the volunteer illegal sign removal program, and it is not going over well with LI. I happen to agree; the program seems like a perfectly sensible way of dealing with the vexing problem of road spam.

“So in keeping with the overriding theme of this Board, paybacks, one of their first acts will be to kill this program as payback to those who helped fund their campaigns – the builders and developers and David Ramadan, and Godfather Dick Black as well. Here is the link to the staff report for this item, pay special attention to the motions at the end. They’re not doing this to keep things the way they are. This program costs Loudoun very little in minimal staff oversight, and provides its citizens with a great service – keeping our roadways safe and free of trash. But does that matter to this Board? Apparently not – this program ticks off their masters, so it must be done away with.”

Continue reading

Conduct unbecoming

See if you can follow the logical arc here:

Newly elected supervisor Janet Clarke makes an embarrassing gaffe right out of the gate, getting her board-mates to “fire” the Blue Ridge representative on the Economic Development Commission (only to find that, since his term isn’t actually up until the end of the year, the board action is null and void. Awkward.)

Why the retribution? Because of (in the words of Leesburg Today, not Clarke) “his public criticism of the Purcellville Town Council over its efforts to build the final segment of the town’s Southern Collector Road through a portion of Crooked Run Orchard.”

The truth is that EDC member Steve Mackey has the integrity to stand up for the David in this conflict, against the Goliath that is Clarke’s Purcellville Town Council. He shares what happened when he tried to reach out to then-candidate Clarke here, and Crooked Run Orchard owner Uta Brown explains what the Town is doing to them and other small businesses here. It’s pretty obvious that this is unethical political payback of exactly the sort a code of ethics is meant to address.

Continue reading

‘Just say no’ in Purcellville

Well. This changes the equation a bit, don’t you think?

July 11, 2011

Mayor Lazaro, Purcellville Town Council Members:

I am writing to inform you of our alliance with Sam and Uta Brown, owners of Crooked Run Orchard, in their efforts to preserve their farm.

For some time now, we have followed with mounting disappointment and ire the news reports of their ongoing battle with the Town of Purcellville. Perhaps, like many others in the community, we held high hopes the issue would somehow “sort itself out” and that the Browns would prevail in their campaign. And perhaps, like many others in the community, we also held high hopes that their rights as citizens, rural business owners, and landowners would be preserved.

We reacted with shock as we learned of the Town’s aggressive tactics in removing the injunction preventing the seizure of the Brown’s property, and your subsequent acquisition of their land. In our opinion, you have violated a sacred American right, and we find it unconscionable that the Town of Purcellville has engaged in such actions.

Continue reading

Of Power Towers and Trees

Two of Loudoun’s more loquacious activists and commentators have entered into a bit of a debate at Leesburg Today. Leesburg’s own Ann Robinson wrote a thoughtful letter about power lines, trees, development and piorities, framed in the context of a long drive she recently took.

Looking out my balcony windows this morning, I see a steely high voltage tower where just over a year ago, huge evergreens graced the view, shielding my community from both noise and pollution. The air is dirtier, the atmosphere filled with the sight and sound of nonstop traffic, with the very ugly reality of high tension wires cutting a scar across the town. Was this degradation absolutely necessary to bring electric power to those who need it? No. The wires could have been run underground-but someone convinced the powers that be that the cost would be too high.

Too high for whom? I would have paid more for electricity in order to maintain the pollution shield of large old-growth trees. Their contribution to the health and well-being of my family and me is immeasurable. Who knows how our lives are now shortened by the combination of dirty air, tension and high voltage electrical wires constantly overhead. Surely, if we the consumers could have paid a little more and the electric company’s investors accepted a little less in ROI, then we could have saved our quality of life. – Ann Robinson

I, for one, happen to agree with Ann on this one, and have been a proponent of full undergrounding of major power lines for a few years now. Ann’s letter illustrates the unrecouped cost of decisions to act, or not act, made by our elected leaders years ago. Dominion earns billions in profit, even while sometimes failing to do their essential job. I think we can and should insist that companies like Dominion repay us, the public, for the unfunded costs to our land and community that they impose as part of their business. It doesn’t matter whether those costs are lost old-growth trees, or more traffic, or the need for more schools. If your business decisions directly incur a cost on the public, you should be responsible for offsetting that cost in some manner. We should get our fair share, and you should pay your fair share. That is my choice, and my priority.
Continue reading

The Laramie Project at Broad Run HS

Download this poster

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun.

Later update: There’s a Washington Post article.

Update to the press release below: We are fortunate to have living in our community two people who were present in Laramie at the time of Matthew Shepard’s murder, and who became intimately involved in the unfolding story. Stephen Johnson, a minister whose Unitarian Universalist church provided the only safe space for GLBT people in the Laramie area, was the basis for a character in the play. Penelope Thoms was Matthew’s chaplain at the Fort Collins hospital where he died. Penelope tells of their experience here. They will be present for the Saturday, June 4 performance and discussion.

Continue reading

Loudoun Out Loud at St. James

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

Sunday, May 22 at 11:00 am
St. James United Church of Christ
10 East Broad Way, Lovettsville

Loudoun Out Loud, the PFLAG support group, has now been meeting since January (See interview with Lori Stevens here, and Living in Loco has more links). Not only does LOL facilitate two monthly support group meetings – one for LGBTQ youth and one for family/allies – they have also provided appropriate resource materials for use in Loudoun County Public Schools, partnered with locovore eatery American Flatbread to raise funds for PFLAG, collected bikes for Bikes for the World as an Earth Day project, hosted a screening of the film Bullied, and probably more I don’t know about yet.

Lori Stevens and some of the youth will be sharing the stories that have brought them together to create this much needed group – and the public is welcome.