Taking Care of Elaine
If I know Elaine Walker, she’s probably working on some form of Town business at the time of this writing, as well as anytime you choose to read it. The Lovettsville Mayor’s recovering from a heart attack, which she suffered on Thursday evening- just prior to a Town Council Meeting.
Physicians at Inova Loudoun Hospital implanted three stints, and the Mayor was doing well in intensive care at last word.
Elaine is in her early 70’s and has been absolutely tireless in the 14 years I’ve known her.
She’s the only current Mayor in Loudoun County who was already serving in that capacity when I moved here in 1997.
In addition to her energy level, Elaine possesses Southern Charm from the old school.
She’s the type of elected leader who remembers everyone’s name and welcomes you into her community.
Now, I know that a lot of people oppose some of the projects she’s backed over the years- like the circle-in-the-square ’roundabout,’ as well as the housing development on the west side of Town.
But, the time has arrived for the Citizens of Lovettsville to let their Mayor know how grateful they are that- not only has she been serving at the helm for 20 years, but it’s been great just to have her around- politics aside.
Elaine used to drive from Lovettsville to Leesburg to stop in at Wage Radio during my time as News Director- roughly a 30-minute drive each way.
I’m sure she put forth similar effort in her other personal and professional relationships.
Now’s the time for the rest of us to do the driving, Elaine- at least for awhile.
I’d like to go to the Lovettsville Oktoberfest in about 10 years and still be able to sit down and have a bratwurst and an adult beverage with Elaine Walker- even though she’ll probably just have soda.
Here’s to your health, Elaine.
Just Like Crazy, Mixed Up Kids
Let’s see: Algonkian, Ashdowne and Dean are new, and Broad Run isn’t what it used to be. I’m sure lots of residents are undergoing culture shock at either living in an Election District with a new name, or trying to get their arms around the changes made in the past weeks by the Loudoun County Board.
The Supervisor’s latest decisions left those still recovering from the recent re-districting process in another tizzy: not only are the borders to these sections all changed around, apparently some of them need new names.
I’m gonna see if I can figure out how this works: Algonkian essentially replaces Sugarland Run, Ashdowne sorta combines Ashburn and Lansdowne, Broad Run includes the real-world Broad Run watershed, and Dean’s pretty much where Dulles used to be.
Thank God we still have Blue Ridge, Catoctin, Leesburg and Sterling.
Now, you’re sure we don’t need to update those names to- respectively- Aquamarine Hills, Western Creekside, Big Town and Homogeneity?
Ok, we’ll leave those alone for now.
Anyway, the the 2011 titles are set to stick around for another decade, at least.
Back to those new names, the one requiring a bit of an explanation is Dean: the District’s titled after Jennie Dean- the founder of an early African-American church- Prosperity Baptist- in the old community of Conklin, near South Riding.
Jennie Dean transformed her earthly existence from a life of enslavement to that of a leading evangelist of her time; in the afterlife, she’s the first African American after which a Virginia municipality has named an election district.
I hope we live up to the standards she set.
Our Robins of Loxley?
And, speaking of the wisdom of our elected leaders, the ever-lovin’ County Board did shave off a little bit of real money from the massive school budget, which perhaps saved enough to preserve some cost-of-living increases for government employees. The Supervisors reduced the educational component by $7.7 million; that’s a mere one percent of the School Board’s not-so-humble request.
The School Budget, as proposed, included a $55 million increase in local tax funding.
Reportedly, the County’s decision to reduce the monster by just one percent may allow them to settle on a tax rate of $1.29.5, but they need to shift a lot more sand before taking the final vote.
The Loudoun Supervisors- so far- have left intact a proposal to provide government employees a 3% raise- which includes those in the public school system.
That item represents about $6.6 million in the County budget- of which the total number goes to $1.6 billion.
And, that’s about as much data as I can stand on a Sunday morning- hope it satisfies the most discerning reader.
If you need more brain work, pick up a copy of Finnegan’s Wake.
Looking Under Rocks
Some recent arrests by the local Sheriff’s Office should justify the fear and anger building up over the past decade against illegal aliens, if my assumptions are correct. A sting operation in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement netted 20 individuals in Loudoun County.
They focused on undocumented people with criminal records, but the dragnet also picked up some who just didn’t have their proper papers- or if they did, they’d committed a crime in the interim, which gives probable cause for processing by authorities.
Those 20 arrests in Loudoun included 11 individuals from El Salvador, two from Honduras, and one person each from the Ivory Coast, South Korea, Peru, Bolivia, Laos, Canada and the United Kingdom.
I’m sure we have residents who’d like to see lots more individuals rounded up and shipped off- perhaps by the hundreds, even thousands.
Maybe we could just start eradicating people based on our judgment of their outward appearance.
“He looks like an alien.”
Maybe I look like an alien.
I’m not in favor of giving our country away to those who would come in undocumented and tax-free.
But I’d like to see just a bit of thought and consideration before we act upon some of our baser impulses.
Call me crazy.
Waiting to Save Time
And, for those looking for the perfect way to get around in Leesburg, things could get a little worse before they get better, depending on an upcoming decision on transportation improvements. The Town Council plans to vote in early April on some plans to finish up the northern section of Battlefield Parkway- the portion between Fort Evans and Edwards Ferry Road.
But there’s a catch: in order to do this, and to get it done prior to the next school year, workers would need to close down the intersection at Battlefield and Edwards Ferry for about six weeks.
So far, the plan would mean detours from the third week in June until about August 19.
The closure at that crossing would allow road crews a bit more elbow room to get both lanes done on Battlefield at the same time, instead of doing them piecemeal, which would extend the timeline on construction.
I say go for it- get ‘er done.
But then, I live just south of the Historic District- off Catoctin Circle.
I pass through that intersection about once or twice a year.
I’m sure the residents who live nearby have other opinions.
That Council vote comes up on April 12, so I’m told.
Tim Jon for the Blue Ridge Leader