Friday, February 25, 2011

An Interlude: For All My Band Geeks

It's getting circulation out there, so I'll get on the bandwagon.

(Pun completely intended.)



Scramble on.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sen. Herring Explains Assembly Process

This week's video update from Sen. Herring does a good job explaining how the legislative process works in Richmond, given the Assembly's short session. For example, the Senator discusses how the Senate's budget provides more funding for education, healthcare and public safety than the House of Delegates' budget.



Our Senator, hard at work for us in Richmond.

Youth Job Fair 2

Last year's Youth Job Fair was so successful that Supervisor Burk is doing it again.
Second Annual Leesburg Youth Job Fair

March 26, 2011
12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Pro Jet Hanger at Leesburg Airport

Leesburg District Supervisor Kelly Burk will host the second annual student job fair on Saturday, March 26th at the Pro Jet Hanger at the Leesburg Executive Airport.

From 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. high school and college students will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at more than 35 local businesses. A variety of industries will be represented; from retail and banking to hotel/hospitality and transportation, to mention a few. Interview tips, resume pointers and other job-seeking skills will be provided by Inova Loudoun Hospital.

Last year Ms. Burk's event served more than 600 student applicants. It proved popular with youths of all ages and backgrounds. Both job seekers and businesses were pleased with the connections made.

Join Supervisor Burk and take advantage of this opportunity to showcase your skills and talents to all the companies interested in you and what you have to offer.
It should be noted that this is a youth job fair, focused on high school and college students. After all, it is that cohort who has been hit hardest by the Great Recession.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free Tax Help At Rust Library

Did you know that Loudoun County provides free help preparing taxes for families making less than $49,000/year? It's available at various places around the County, including Rust Library.
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Program) offers free tax services for individuals and families in Loudoun County earning $49,000 or less. Walk-ins are welcome for one-on-one assistance. Two locations are available in Leesburg:

* Loudoun County Workforce Resource Center, 102 Heritage Way N.E., Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
* Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road, Mondays & Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

AARP offers free tax preparation services at two locations in Sterling:

* Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
* Falcons Landing, Algonkian Parkway & Potomac View Road, Monday, Thursday & Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Customers must call for appointment, 703-404-5216.

Services are provided by trained and certified volunteers who will complete accurate and secure returns for both individuals and families. Families earning up to $57,000 who would like to complete their own taxes may go to: www.myfreetaxes.com/metrodc. Tax preparation at either a VITA or AARP site or at a free online site is fast, easy, safe and secure. For a list of additional sites in Northern Virginia visit www.nvacash.org. - Loudoun.gov
What a great program! If you know people who could use the help, spread the word.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Public Input on the County Budget

Supervisor Burk's office has sent out this information update about public hearings on the County budget.
Public May Sign Up in Advance to Speak at Budget Public Hearings

Advance sign-ups are now being taken for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors’ public hearings on the proposed Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 12) fiscal plan for the county government.

Hearings will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2010, beginning at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., at the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E., in Leesburg. An additional hearing at the Government Center will be advertised for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 24, if needed. A hearing is also scheduled at the Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building, located at 21000 Education Court in Ashburn, at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 26.

Anyone who wishes to speak at the public hearings may sign up in advance for one speaking slot by calling 703-771-5072 or 703-777-0200. Residents may also provide their comments to the Board of Supervisors by e-mail at loudounbudget@loudoun.gov , by calling the Citizen Comment Line, 703-777-0115; or by writing to the Board of Supervisors, P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg, VA 20177.

The Board’s budget public hearings will be televised. They will also be available for viewing through the webcast system at www.loudoun.gov.webcast.

Detailed information about the proposed fiscal plan for FY 12 is available on the Loudoun County website at www.loudoun.gov/budget.
Details on the proposed budget can be found here: Proposed Fiscal Plan for 2012. County Administrator Hemstreet has proposed advertising a maximum tax rate of 1.32, which would allow full funding of the LCPS adopted budget.
Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet today presented to the Board of Supervisors a proposed fiscal plan for the Loudoun County government for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 12). The fiscal plan totals about $1.610 billion in appropriations for the general county government and school system.

The proposed fiscal plan includes $1.001 billion for the school system, $599 million for general county expenditures, and $10 million for the Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Youth (CSA).

The FY 12 proposed fiscal plan incorporates the School Superintendent’s proposed $778.2 million operating budget, which will require a local tax funding transfer of $521.6 million. The proposed schools’ budget includes $79.6 million for capital projects and asset replacement, and $118.4 million for debt service. Under the proposed fiscal plan, about 69 percent of local tax funding would be used for the school system’s operational, capital and debt service needs, while 31 percent would go to the general county government.

The expenditure request for general county services includes $386.6 million for operating expenditures, $116.6 million for capital projects and asset replacement, and $40.3 million for debt service. About $233.3 million of the general county government operating budget would require local tax funding.

The proposed fiscal plan also includes charges and fee increases that will provide $2.7 million of additional fee-based revenue to offset the current reliance on real property tax. - Loudoun.gov
I, for one, support full funding for cruicial services in Loudoun that have been on the chopping block for the past few years. But that's just one tax payer's opinion.

Other Places To Follow

Just a reminder that I am blogging a bit more frequently at Loudoun Progress than here, these days.

Also, I've apparently joined Twitter: @Paradox13VA, so follow me there, too.

As to the frequency of posts here, I'm pretty deeply involved in the 2011 campaigns going on in and around Leesburg, so my political time has been a bit more focused on the things that will win elections (getting boots on the ground) than blogging here.

Fear not, however, as I intend to keep blogging here at Leesburg Tomorrow for a long time into the future, regardless of the infrequency.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CBS's Women Reporters

I admit being a tiny bit closer to the story about Lara Logan than some others might be. A friend from New York works for CBS news, and through her, I've been following the story of another CBS reporter, blown up in Afghanistan. Today's news about Lara Logan's assault while reporting in Egypt made me take pause.

If it hasn't been said, let me say thank you to all of the reporters, but perhaps especially the female reporters, who go into the field to bring important stories home to those of us comfortable in our living rooms. These journalists willingly put themselves in harm's way, often in a culture hostile to the very idea of women with jobs in the news, an they do so simply to bring us stories that would otherwise go missed. And too often in today's world, the stories they bring home go missed anyway.

So today, I'm taking a moment to give thanks for Lara Logan, Cami McCormick and all the reporters who literally put themselves on the line for three minutes of airtime on low-rated news shows in an attempt to get America to notice things going on around the world.

Thank you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What is Family?

This is worth three minutes of your time this weekend:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Were You Towed in the Snow?

After the horror stories of last week's commute, we can hope that the storm that's predicted for this week will cause less of a mess. Many of our friends and neighbors were unable to get home, and had to abandon their vehicles around Town and find alternative (walking) ways to get home. As a result, towing companies were called in to clear hundreds of cars from around Leesburg. In doing so, many residents discovered they were suddenly on the hook for hundreds of dollars in towing fees, with little if any apparent recourse, simply for trying to get home.

This is exactly the circumstance that our Supervisor, Kelly Burk, anticipated when working to setup a Towing Advisory Board.
Recently, I successfully sponsored an item that will allow Loudoun County to deal with just this type of issue. According to state law, the Board of Supervisors must appoint a towing advisory board consisting of citizens, law enforcement, and towers in order to make the changes which are necessary to protect our citizens. This Towing Advisory Board will advise the BOS as to appropriate ordinance revisions to rates and terms of contracts that regulate private as well as police tows. The BOS would then vote to adopt these new ordinances.

Unfortunately, this Towing Board is not in place yet, but will be established soon. In the meantime, my office is working with local law enforcement and towing companies to remedy this situation. We contacted a specific towing company that was called out in online newspapers comments. The owner was out of town on vacation during the storm but returned our called immediately and told us he is working with law enforcement and has promised to review each and every invoice when he returns and make necessary refunds. I applaud this towing operator and encourage other towing companies to also review their charges.

If you were a victim of unfair towing practices, please contact Captain David Domin of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 703-771-5937 to lodge a complaint. If you were towed in the town of Leesburg, contact Lt. Jeff Dube at 703-771-4538

Hopefully, the ”Perfect Storm” will not happen again, and I want to assure you that the Board of Supervisors is taking steps to make sure price gouging is not part of that experience. - Supervisor Kelly Burk
Once again, Supervisor Burk showed prescience when working on the under-appreciated issue of towing rates last Fall. Her foresight has given the Board of Supervisors, and the residents of Loudoun County leverage to reduce the high fees many neighbors incurred last Wednesday. It's just this kind of thoughtful effort on day-to-day issues that makes Kelly Burk such an effective, and successful, Supervisor for Leesburg.