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Blue Ridge Leader News – May 16, 2010

May 17, 2010 by Tim Jon filed under Loudoun County, News, Tim Jon with BRLN No Comments

Precisely the Prescription from the Vessel with the Pestle

I’m trying to think of an analogy to kick off the fact that Loudoun County’s second full-service hospital gained formal approval this week; ‘an apple a day’ doesn’t really fit the bill, ‘ just what the Doctor ordered’ isn’t really in order- maybe we can say it’s a ‘shot in the arm’ for local healthcare: how’s that sound? We’ve been talking about this HCA proposal for some time, and they’ve been around these parts for years- trying to leverage their way onto the local medical scene.

Now it’s time to put their money where it counts and build this latest design- in the Route 50 corridor; Stonespring Medical Center should feature 164 patient beds when they open- about five years from now.

And if you’ve been to Ashburn or South Riding or the general Dulles area recently, you’d probably agree that it’s not the worst idea to locate a hospital down in that area.

Not sure how our local healthcare entity- Inova-Loudoun- feels about this latest development, but I’m sure that pill’s easier to swallow than the previous HCA application- the ill-fated Broadlands Regional Medical Center.

Don’t mark your calendars or or maps for that one.

Anyway, this should be a good thing- that is, if we can afford the health insurance premiums that would allow us to receive services at such a facility.

Anybody ever think of trying to implement a national health care plan?

Oh, never mind…


Local authorities say alcohol factored into a fatal crash this past week in western Loudoun; Arlene Mae Tines of Leesburg died from injuries in Tuesday night’s accident along Route Seven just west of Round Hill. We understand the victim attempted to take a left turn from the Hill High Orchard driveway, first attempting to cross the west-bound lanes, where her vehicle was struck by another car at highway speed.

The other driver wasn’t seriously injured, but Tines succumbed to injuries at Loudoun Hospital after her Ford was propelled into pond just off that portion of Route Seven.

Yes, they say alcohol may have played a role in the fatal crash, and some say that alcohol-related incidents aren’t accidents- they’re crashes following a deliberate decision to drink and drive.

In any case, having negotiated many of those driveways along Route Seven west of Round Hill, I can say that even the most stone-sober driver needs to be extra cautious when entering the highway in that area; westbound traffic moves mighty fast and it’s very possible to miss seeing one of those on-coming cars.

I’m just sayin’…

Paper Trail

We hear that one of the bigwigs in charge of one of the companies which swallowed up one of our major local papers is heading for quieter, if not greener pastures; American Community Newspapers President and Chief Executive Officer Gene M Carr officially resigned a week ago, after nine years at the helm. ACN counts Leesburg Today among its offspring- along with Ashburn Today, Loudoun Magazine, Middleburg Life and Loudoun Business.

Not sure how and/or if this will affect those publications; ACN actually filed bankruptcy papers a couple of years ago, before being bought up by a cadre of creditors- and they’re still happily pumping out papers.

And I hope they continue; you know, the press gets a lot of bad press these days- the ‘liberal media,’ ‘the corrupt media,’ the agenda-driven media,’ etc.

But, I ask: “Where do you go for news?”

Yeah, the internet blogs can be a good answer, but there’s something kinda comforting about finding the local paper in your mailbox, and paging through the thing over (or under) a sandwich or a cup of coffee.

And, if you think you could do better than the local papers we have- well, have at it: there’s a world of opportunity for somebody to take over the local media market around here.

Any takers?


Not sure what wine fanciers will end up thinking of the elixer eventually made from the 2010 crop in Loudoun County, but some of the bottlers may have precious little to pass around; some of our local grape growers reported a substantial bite from this past week’s overnight frost. Fabbioli Cellars seems the hardest hit- with up to 90 percent of this year’s crop lost in the freeze.

Other vintners announced lesser levels of ‘burnt fruit.’

Fabbioli’s location up in the Lost Corner area of northeast Loudoun must have placed them in just the right- or wrong- spot for that recent thermometer drop.

And, we can attest that they really know what they’re doing when it comes to making wine from those grapes of theirs.

Hope they can ‘weather’ the year of 2010 with some kind of innovative answer to this blow.

We hear that the community of local growers already stepped up and offered to help out with some of their crop.

In any case, it’s gotta hurt when your passion and effort sustain this kind of loss.

Here’s to you guys, in the best way.

What, Worry about Road Money?

And, here’s the state’s official plan for future road building in Virginia: ___________. (Fill in the blank with your favorite quip or expletive)

The truth is, they really don’t need a plan because they have no money.

Oh, well, I guess the highways’ll build themselves; or maybe all those commuters from Maryland and West Virginia will suddenly stop coming through Leesburg and Loudoun County on Route Seven and Route 15.

Be careful of what you wish for.

I’m sure the Commonwealth does have some kind of design, if only in the virtual stage, but after a recent visit from the friendly state transportation secretary, this local driver and commentator has little faith in any road manna from Richmond in the near future.

And federal sources?

Oh, that’s right, they’ve got their own problems.

Well, I guess it’s just us chickens.

…Let the Airwaves Flow…

You know, for the past three years, people’ve been asking me, “What’s up with Wage Radio?” And, honestly not knowing ‘what was up’ with the station or their parent company- Potomac Radio- I usually made some snide comment to deflect the conversation.

I don’t like other people speaking for me, and I prefer other people to speak for themselves, in turn.

That said, Supervisor approval pending, we just may be hearing the strains of Wage Radio again in the not too distant future.

Potomac Radio, which purchased Wage back in 2006 from former independent owner Gerry Emmet, awaits an application in process with the local government, which could give them permission to install a station of 50,000 watts in Ashburn.

There’ve been some concerns about impacts on a local heron rookery and people have expressed objections to the idea of constructing radio towers on some of the acreage on which the County’s water works facilities lie, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether this application will pass or no.

But, I have it on good authority that what many remember as Loudoun County’s one and only local radio station could be back on the airwaves in some shape or form by sometime around October.

I’m not going to try to tell you that you’ll ever hear the ‘good old Wage’ in the exact form of its hitherto incarnation.

But that may not be the worst thing either.

We all have to live in the 21st Century.

Or something like that.

Stay tuned.

Boy, that’s fun to say.

Marital Doctrine

And, lastly, here’s wishing the beautiful young couple married yesterday at Oak Hill a life of peace, prosperity and all kinds of other good things. It was the first time I’d been in the former home of President James Monroe; it’s been maintained in immaculate condition; the visitor can literally meet the past and come to terms with American history in a setting such as this.

It was a wonderful backdrop to an occasion which reminds me that it’s great to have friends, family and activities centered around love and fellowship.

Have a good life, kids.

Thanks for stopping by. Now get our and mow that lawn, so you can fire up the barbecue with a clean conscience.

Tim Jon for the Blue Ridge Leader

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