Saturday, February 17, 2007

We all probably read this week....

...while stuck in with the snow, but we'll go ahead and summarize the "mid-week Loudoun rags" - as one disillusioned reader called them during Thursday's night's BOS hearing on the Ridgewater CPAM. The hearing input appeared to generally boil down to "pros" revolving around Leesburg and County services, amenities and the fact that the area's not really "transition" area as county planners originally intended, and "cons" focusing in on the negative environmental impact to the Goose Creek Reservoir and the fact that most county professional research to date points out the need for more study and clearer impact analysis. Most representation was "Dulles North", though South Riding checked in with a 60-signatory letter delivered by South Riding Residents for Reasonable Growth - the main message being that as this CPAM goes, so do therefore all future CPAMs all the way down to Dulles South. Voila! No more Transition Area.

Loudoun Independent (Feb 7th edition) - chock full of election-year prelude, though the Editorial theme of "wait a while" seems worthy to extend to most contentious issues in play, from CPAMs to finger-pointing over ethics. Jack Ryan's challenge to Lori Waters is in full play in this rag, with half-page ads, endorsmenets, rebukes - the works. The mystery continues in the Real Estate section, with business notes seemingly unrelated to real estate - including a new "Internet Marketing" service in Reston - note that LoudounI continues its apparent disregard for proofreading (every issue is replete with spelling errors), mispelling the website name. We'd suggest online marketing outfits (like South Riding's own http://www.kmewebdesign.com) stick with online or direct marketing - the local papers aren't helpful. Nice to see, however, the calendar and community updates all packed together across 2 pages.

The Feb 14th edition continued the Myers/Waters open-air campaign; it's already getting tired. Real Estate featured no real estate news, as usual, but mentions an interesting Loudoun County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) seminar "to blog or not to blog" offered from 6-8:30 PM 2/28 at the Rust library. ("To blog" is the answer.) Nice overview of Bower's proposed 2008 Loudoun County budget, quick news item on HCA's purchase of property on Rt. 50 in Dulles South for a medical complex (much more on that in the Easterner) and a lengthy diatribe concerning WAPO's coverage the Loudoun "sleaze" campaign by Stephanie Smith of South Riding - worth reading (by you).

Leesburg Today's coverage of news and issues for Dulles South area residents was fairly reasonable including the county budget news, Rt. 15 improvements, news from the Virginia General Assembly, and BOS "ethics" debate (voluminous coverage!), and it appears now Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge) is joining the call for resignation of Dulles District Planning Commissioner Barbara Munsey (after the well-publicized planning hearing fallout with Sandra Chaloux of the Gum Spring Regional Citizen's network). Also, the HCA land purchase news, as delivered almost soley by an HCA spokesperson with positive comments by BOS members Snow and York - kudos to Snow for continued pressure to shift the HCA focus to Dulles South. Decent reading for snowbound parents.

The Easterner's coverage of "Medical Campus coming to Loudoun" is this week's musn't miss read, including a startling graphic depicting the woefully inadequate number of hospital beds per population in Loudoun (.62 per 1000, vs. 1.48 in Fairfax and 1.33 for all NOVA). The editorial ("Room for two hospitals") and a text-box insert says it all; "what to expect: two new medical campuses in the Rt. 50 corridor, and a possible second hospital for Loudoun in the Dulles area". So INOVA or HCA wins the Dulles South Hospital, and we end up with at least 3 urgent-care venues in the area - all good news, and we look forward to the competition. For existing urgent-care centers, see http://www.dullessouthonline.com/dullessouthurgentcare.htm . Brown's coverage of the Ashburn page has a great list of preschools - all neighborhood sections should cover this information at this time of year, with waiting lists so prevalent. Motheral's coverage of River Creek News is frankly always an intelligent read, with a mix of River Creek geology and history, preservation society news, and a discussion of an in-progress Town Water Rates senate bill. Understated but very interesting event in South Riding - a Community Shred (date TBD), helping residents avoid identity theft! Watch for the upcoming Board of Supervisor's community shred, in advance of Plowman's investigation (wink wink).

The Loudoun Connection's date coverage is confusing - the issue is 2/14-2/20, is it therefore the week that was, or the week to come? Many articles and announcements are included for events that occurred after the issue hit our mailbox, or were mis-identified from a date perspective "Board approves Code of Ethics and disclosure laws at Tuesday meeting" (implying 2/13, though it really was on 2/6). Other than a nice article on a new Stone Ridge restaurant (Ciro Restaurante - Italian and Bar), and a "Correcting the Public Record" letter from Waters, this issue is a bit untimely.

Ratings:

Easterner wins - 8
Leesburg today - 7
LoudounI modest improvement - 5
Connection - 4

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