Parking garage project plagued by sinkholes

Two sinkholes that formed during the construction of a parking garage for the Loudoun County courts complex on the Pennington lot in downtown Leesburg have set the project back by about five months and raised the cost by more than $5 million.

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The Washington Post, Sept. 10, 2017

Lucketts Fair comes to an end

When the Hillbilly Gypsies wrapped up a spirited rendition of “Bile ’em Cabbage Down” last weekend to the applause of a small but appreciative gathering of bluegrass die-hards, announcer Bob Veatch walked in front of the Lucketts Community Center’s gazebo stage and proclaimed, “That’s it for the Lucketts Fair forever.”

With that, its run as one of the most popular country fairs in Loudoun County ended.

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The Washington Post, August 27, 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

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

Supervisors debate including transition area in plan’s vision statement

A narrow swath of land between eastern and western Loudoun County dominated the discussion as the Board of Supervisors wrestled recently with the wording of the vision statement for a new comprehensive plan that will guide development in the county for decades to come.

On May 2, six months into the 18-month process of creating the plan, supervisors began discussing a draft vision statement and goals that had been developed by a committee of stakeholders after a period of public input.

Most of the discussion focused on the “transition policy area,” which was zoned to serve as a buffer between rapidly developing eastern Loudoun and the rural west. Supervisors disagreed over whether the vision statement should include the word “transition” as one of the primary types of land areas in the county, along with “rural, suburban and urban.”

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The Washington Post, May 14, 2017

More homes near Dulles Airport proposed

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority officials have raised alarms about a comprehensive plan amendment under consideration by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors that would allow new homes near runways at Washington Dulles International Airport.

At recent meetings of the board’s Transportation and Land Use Committee, airport officials expressed serious concerns about an option in the Silver Line comprehensive plan amendment — known as Alternative A — that would change the designation of two parcels currently zoned for nonresidential uses to “urban mixed use.” If approved, the change would allow retail businesses, offices and homes in those areas.

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Washington Post, Nov. 20, 2016

Residents share their hopes for Loudoun

About 150 Loudoun County residents gathered at the National Conference Center in Leesburg on Monday evening to share their hopes and priorities for future development of the county.

The participants discussed topics that included transportation and taxes in the first of four “listening and learning” sessions organized by the county government to kick off “Envision Loudoun,” an 18-month process of updating Loudoun’s comprehensive plan. Three similar sessions will take place in the county this week.

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Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2016

Interview with Phyllis J. Randall

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Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) became chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in January. She previously had a 26-year career as a mental health therapist, mostly in Prince William County, where she provided substance abuse services for offenders.

The Washington Post recently met with Randall, 51, to discuss her first five months in office and her goals for the rest of her term. The following are edited excerpts from that conversation.

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Washington Post, June 5, 2016

Possibilities for restoring Grace Church

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Grace Church in Lincoln

Jeffrey Jackson wants to be able to show his grandson the church where his ancestors worshiped, near the graves where they are buried.

Reginald Simms envisions a museum honoring Loudoun County’s African American veterans.

Lee Lawrence would like to see a display depicting the long-standing ties between white Quakers and the African American community in the western Loudoun village of Lincoln.

Area residents offered these and other ideas for restoring the abandoned Grace Church building during a four-hour design workshop last month at the Goose Creek Friends Meeting House in Lincoln. Architects then sketched drawings showing how the two-story stone structure that housed an African American congregation from the 1880s through the 1940s might be restored and put to use.

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Washington Post, May 8, 2016