Friday, August 12, 2011

Presentation on the Atlantic Coast, August 23rd

A good friend, Nancy, and her husband have spent a lot of time documenting our Atlantic coastline from a conservationist's perspective. They're presenting their work on August 23rd, at ArtSquare!
“Life on the Edge — America’s Atlantic Coast”

On Friday evening, September 23, at ArtSquare, Nancy Goetzinger and her husband Tom Ramsay will present a lecture and multi-media presentation focused on the ecological evolution of the North American continent’s Atlantic shoreline.

Their 50-minute production utilizes video, stills, and graphics to demonstrate the beauty of coastal habitats and the diversity of the resulting life forms there, all within the context of the geologic and hydrologic formation of the East Coast shoreline.

The Atlantic Coast program is delivered as live narration with full digital visualization, sound effects, and music. This lecture promises beautiful images of the natural world from Georgia to Newfoundland, as well as an incredible educational experience.

The program begins at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $15.

ArtSquare is located at 12 Cardinal Park Drive SE in Leesburg, 703-777-5498,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Leesburg's Budget

Jim Barnes over at Leesburg Patch has a fantastic article on "nuggets found in the Leesburg Town Budget." It is really worth a read. Here's a taste.
Only 13.5 percent of town revenues come from real property taxes. Overall revenues total about $84 million. $11.4 million come from taxes on real estate.

The Utilities Department, which provides water and sewer, is self-supporting. Its revenues and expenditures total $21.3 million. This is about one-quarter of the town budget. - Leesburg Patch
Many thanks to Jim and Leesburg Patch for providing facts in an era of opinion (including, of course, mine, here :).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Local Races, Local Contributions

Putting my money where my keyboard is, as it were, I am proud to have just contributed to four of the campaigns I am strongly supporting this year. Tomorrow is a filing deadline for campaign finance reports, so I encourage you to contribute to those campaigns you are supporting, too!

Kelly Burk for Supervisor

Al Nevarez for Supervisor

Andrea McGimsey for Supervisor

Dave Butler for Delegate (And kudos to Dave's campaign for putting "Democrat" in their banner!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Councilman Reid's Campaign Finance

I spent a bit of time looking through the wonderful campaign finance data on the Virginia Public Access Project this morning. It's an motherload of information about candidates, campaigns and who is playing where in Virginia Politics. After all, in a Citizens United world, money talks - literally. So it will be very interesting to see which money is talking to which candidates.

You can take a look at Kelly Burk and Ken Reid's major donors online, through VPAP. Kelly's donors are a mix of Leesburg businesses, residents and Loudoun community leaders. Both Kelly and Ken get donations from a typical mixture of attorneys and local technology consultants as well.

Other than attorneys and technologists, however, most of Councilman Reid's other donors have a common thread running through them: They're people in the real estate development business. In fact, of the thirty donations over $100 that Councilman Reid has received, no fewer than 10 of them came from people who make their money on real estate and development. That group includes Mr. Reid's single largest donation, $3,500 from a property manager in Reston. In fact, a third of Mr. Reid's campaign warchest comes from folks with a vested interest in real estate development. That's more than three-times as much as the next-largest industry that has helped him: Technology.

Anyone from any industry is welcome to participate in Virginia's elections. And everyone has the right, and privilege, to support whomever they choose in the manner they choose, as long as it doesn't break the law. But we, as voters, have a co-equal right to evaluate candidates, at least in part, on the types of donations they get, and from where. Loudoun County has a long history of development money playing a role in our elections. I believe that Leesburg will do well to look at candidates financed by such money with a jaundiced eye, because it is hard to tell a friend who financed your campaign "no" when they ask to clear cut a farm for the next strip mall.