Steve’s Discussion Areas –

Current Events of Interest:

The Dulles Area Association of Realtors has announced their view that 2008 is going to be a year of opportunity. The pluses are there for any serious observer to see. Loudoun has a wider then usual selection of housing inventory; that coupled with favorable mortgage rates, and the shift to safer FHA loans and a strong, nearly fully employed economy are key ingredients for future personal economic growth. The future growth in Loudoun continues to look strong according to Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development. Their year end 2006 report says the population is expected to increase 39% over the next 10 years. The report says the county’s population grew by 58% from 169,999 in 2000 to 268,817 people in 2006 making the county the fastest growing in the United States during that period.

Steve’s Comments:

I have heard it said, “it doesn’t get any better then this,”
but then that statement usually comes from pro-growth people. If fast growth, possibly out distancing infrastructure growth, is for you, then you have found the place. Leesburg and the surrounding Loudoun County are booming places. New everywhere you look, roads, stores, schools, over 50 developments, 10 screen theaters, restaurants, you name it.
It’s all here. If a slow, laid back environment is more your thing, you will probably feel more at home in 1 or 2 of the counties west of Leesburg. Personally, I like everything being new.

Cultural and Home Base Developments:

A cultural icon and historic gathering place for local residents, Tally Ho Theater, was thought to be lost by all of us a few months ago. But, in the nick of time, The Market Street Production Company saved the day. The new owners brought with them new ideas and most important, new enthusiasm.
The new group is offering movies on one side and local live theater productions on the other side. The Friday night live comedy shows by two local groups, The Pickled Punks and Last Ham Standing have already attracted theater goers ranging from elementary age, through parents and of course grandparents. A favorite thing for all ages is the involving of the audience in the skits. The shows never fail to provide an evening of laughter and applause.
The new owners don’t plan to ignore the movie side of the house either. Every effort is planned to acquire the best, the newest and the most entertaining movies to appeal to a wide range of movie goers. Although the new super size movie theaters have A lot to offer, they can’t offer the same thing the Tally Ho does. Welcome to town and good luck to you.

Steve’s Comments:

Everyone I have had the occasion to speak to about the surviving of the Tally Ho has had a positive take on the new venture. The ones with the strongest feelings are the natives who grew up in or near Leesburg. They were saddened to hear that the theater was closing, and now they are most joyous to learn that it’s not gone, it’s still here with us and even seems to be an improvement. I am going, how about you?

Loudoun Schools Earn Governor’s Award:

Eighty-nine Virginia public schools met the tough criteria to earn the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence. Among the award schools announced by Governor Timothy Kaine were eight Loudoun County schools: Belmont Ridge Middle School, Broad Run High School, Farmwell Station Middle School, Hillsboro Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Loudoun Valley High School and Waterford Elementary. The reward is the highest honor created under a new incentive program created by the Board of Education to advance the governors “competence to excellence” agenda for Virginia schools. Kaine said “students in these schools are soaring far beyond the minimum requirements of the Standard of Learning and No Child Left Behind programs.

Steve’s Comments:

It is wonderful to think that our young people are receiving a top flight education in our public schools. I understand that this top award is an indication that our schools are top flight, something we should all be proud of.

Roads and Highways Issues:

The supposed $300 million deposit to Virginia’s treasury as a result of the hurriedly passed Abusive Driver fines the General Assembly passed in 2007, has apparently mostly evaporated. Accordingly, the Virginia House of Delegates recently passed an overwhelming majority bill that repeals the fees. All well and good for the residents, but as pointed out by Del. Tom Rust (R-86), the problem now is how is the budgeted revenue going to be replaced. A meeting was just held with Governor Kaine to discuss possibilities, but as of now, no viable ideas have come forth.

Steve’s Comments:

Many words have already been written about the unfairness of the Abusive Driver fines, to which I will add my own. The fines plan stinks and should be appealed. I want to note that it’s not just abusive drivers who have been fined. An acquaintance of mine was stopped and fined $2,000 because unknown to her, her license had been suspended for reasons unrelated to reckless driving, but the then new law provided for heavy fines for other things too, such as driving on a suspended license. Good riddance as far as I am concerned.


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