Loudoun Supervisors consider raising Board salaries

A proposal to increase the salaries of members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors drew little opposition at a public hearing Wednesday evening.

The three members of the public who spoke at the hearing said they supported higher pay for the board. The only objections to the raises — which would take effect when a new board is seated in January 2020 — came from supervisors who expressed concerns about the amount of the increases and the timing of the proposal.

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The Washington Post, July 16, 2017

Science Center finds home in Loudoun

8-year-old Ananya demonstrates her invention, a “rolling aquarium,” which she created in the Children’s Science Center’s Garage.

When visitors enter the Children’s Science Center, they are greeted by two distinct sides of the small museum.

To the left is the Experiment Bar, where children conduct science experiments, assisted by family members, staff members and volunteers. To the right, mounted on the wall, is an enormous periodic table of elements showing the names of the museum’s major benefactors.

The Experiment Bar is one of the most popular features of the center, which offers interactive scientific activities for children and their families. The element wall honors the donors who helped open the center, marketing director Dorothy Ready said.

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The Washington Post, July 9, 2017

Solutions sought for Rt. 15 congestion

About 100 people gathered in Leesburg on Monday evening at the first of three public input sessions to discuss potential solutions to alleviate traffic congestion on Route 15 north of town.

Loudoun County officials scheduled the meetings to gauge public reaction to a consultant’s recommendations for reducing traffic backups. Participants met in small groups to discuss possible solutions and to offer their priorities for the highway corridor between Leesburg and the Potomac River bridge at Point of Rocks.

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The Washington Post, July 1, 2017

Board approves controversial contract for inmate medical care

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved a two-year, $4.7 million contract with Correct Care Solutions to provide medical and psychiatric services to inmates at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

The Nashville-based company has been providing those services at the jail for more than a decade. However, several supervisors expressed frustration with the selection process, saying they had little choice but to stay with the current provider, even though two competing firms submitted proposals with lower price tags.

Supervisors also questioned whether the process of reviewing the proposals had been tainted because Correct Care Solutions has made campaign contributions to Sheriff Michael L. Chapman (R), who is responsible for overseeing the contract.

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The Washington Post, June 25, 2017

New business promotes artists with autism

An array of Zenaviv’s products featuring artwork created by people with autism

Brightly colored paintings decorate the home of Harish and Sandhya Bikmal, an Ashburn couple with two teenage sons.

Their older son, Saket, 17, is a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. Himal, 15, who will attend Briar Woods High School in the fall, was diagnosed with profound autism when he was 2.

As Himal’s parents came to terms with his diagnosis, they worried about his future.

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The Washington Post, June 18, 2017

Historical marker for Ashburn School

Less than nine months after vandals defaced the Ashburn Colored School by spray-painting it with racist graffiti, a Virginia historical marker has been installed near the front entrance of the gleaming white building.

The marker came about through the efforts of a group of seventh-grade students at Farmwell Station Middle School who selected it as a project for their social studies class in the fall. They cleared hurdles at local and state levels to obtain grant funding for the marker and win approval from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which installed the marker Monday.

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The Washington Post, June 11, 2017

Uncertain future for Round Hill jam sessions

On the last Friday of every month, musicians converge on the Old Furniture Factory in Round Hill, toting stringed instruments of all sizes, from mandolins to upright basses. Before long, they are standing in small clusters, picking and singing, filling the room with strains of bluegrass and old-time country music.

For 14 years, the informal sessions have attracted singers, instrumentalists and fans from the Washington area and beyond. But the future of the jams is uncertain. The Old Furniture Factory is for sale, and bluegrass enthusiasts fear the music will end when the building changes hands.

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The Washington Post, June 4, 2017

Randall: Exciting times in Loudoun

In her annual State of the County presentation, Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) described Loudoun as strong, thriving and “standing on the cusp of an exciting future.”

A standing-room-only crowd that included business leaders and public officials from across the region packed the Board of Supervisors’ meeting room Wednesday, as Randall recapped the county’s successes of the past year. She also pointed out some of the challenges associated with Loudoun’s high cost of living, including the lack of workforce housing and an inadequate pay scale for public safety workers.

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The Washington Post, May 28, 2017

Leesburg Vintner withstands competition

Owner Mike Carroll in his shop, Leesburg Vintner

Although Leesburg Vintner was closed Monday, owner Mike Carroll was working in his shop while a ribbon-cutting for Delirium Cafe was taking place across the street.

“I think it’s going to be a game-changer,” Carroll said as he peered through the blinds at the growing crowd outside the cafe, a franchisee of a popular Belgian beer company. “It’s created a buzz unlike anything I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”

Carroll has been selling bottled wines at the northwest corner of King and Loudoun streets in Leesburg for almost three decades. During that time, he has withstood increasing competition from big box stores and local wineries.

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The Washington Post, May 21, 2017