Friday, November 30, 2007

Living in Loco loses its Blogger..

Tammi's saying goodbye to her blog readership is this notice over at Living in Loco. Too bad; while originally a very insightful and individual blog, the "Living in Loco" badge has essentially turned into just another "content channel" staffed by paid reporters. It's a good channel, but not a blog by Tammi's original standards...Hopefully some more bloggers pick up the slack around here...

10-Prints at Dulles Airport

In a widely known event to industry and government insiders, including the privacy and homeland security community, but little-known to the general public, the US-VISIT program component of the Department of Homeland Security began collection of 10 fingerprints yesterday from visitors to the US. Till now, non-US citizen visitors were only required to submit 2 fingers - this additional information will assist the homeland security interests in coordinating their knowledge of persons traveling to and from the county, across all agencies involved, including FBI, State, CBP, etc. This information is particularly useful in matching information from law enforcement (which already utilizes 10 prints) with that of Immigrations and Customs.

A pretty major step forward for Homeland Security, but not necessarily for global privacy rights enthusiasts, right here in our own backyard.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Patch your computer before online Holiday Shopping!

According to this post over at the Dadministrator Internet Safety blog, be very careful to make sure your computer is fully protected, before using search engines such as Google, MSN or Yahoo to help you find holiday gifts...this year, and every year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Dulles South Online Classifieds

New capability on the Dulles South Online portal for residents, businesses and organizations of this area of Northern Virginia...Free Classified Online Listings specifically for this region of Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William county areas, including HOAs and towns such as South Riding, Stone Ridge, Arcola, Aldie, Brambleton, Lenah's Run, Chantilly, Broadlands, Ashburn, Herndon...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pressure-treated Lumber still leaching arsenic - on playgrounds, decks, etc.!

Great story by Melanie Alnwick on FOX5 DC about "Poison Wood" aired Nov. 13th on TV - it is or nearly is an "unacceptable risk to children" on playgrounds, backyard decks and swingsets, at your home or daycare centers. Read, learn, respond.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Dulles Slows Down" - but perhaps only from unrealistic expectations

Today's WAPO covers a story on the Dulles Area "slowing" down - primarily reflecting the growing inventory and outstanding balance of commercial real estate along the Dulles Toll Road corridor. While this is true by all metrics, we tend to think that a large portion of the empty space is a result of over-speculation - i.e. getting a head start on the prospect of Metro coming to Loudoun, planning for growth right in the middle of the heaviest growth periods (i.e. 2-5 years ago), along with a bit of knee-jerk reaction to rapidly rising land prices. True, there's a bit of constraint coming in Loudoun from a residential growth perspective, but growth in residential communities and businesses is far from "not growing" - it continues to grow fast, with a lot happening (especially in business) "under the covers" (the proliferation of home-based businesses, expansion of companies and government from Tysons Corner west, etc.).

Dulles may be "slowing down" from the perspective of those traveling the Toll Road in Fairfax, but it's not slowing down in any drastic measure, from the perspective of business owners (except Real Estate!) and advocates actually in Loudoun County. It's simply settling in at a comfortable cruising speed, below the hyper-growth redlines. That's only our opinion, obviously.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Salvation Army no longer accepts toy donations - just in time for the holidays!

Here's some news - on a regular basis, we load the car up with slightly-used toys, and drive them over to the Manassas Salvation Army collection, we were politely informed that "because of the toy recalls going on, the Salvation Army will no longer accept donations of toys - any toys."

This isn't very good timing - many needy recipients of our pretty well-preserved toys, along with thousands of other donations that markedly start increasing this month, will not get much this Christmas.

I'd encourage other groups perhaps to step up, accept and distribute toy donations if possible.....regardless of the recalls, I'd think there's certainly some broad categories of toys that could still be accepted, like wooden toys for example.

Stevens Miller seeks Planning Commissioner Applicants

Broadlands, VA – Dulles District Supervisor-elect to the Loudoun county board of supervisors, Stevens Miller, is asking local media to help put out the word that he is seeking qualified persons who will apply for his nomination to the post of Planning Commissioner. Miller promised, during his campaign, to consider applications submitted from Dulles residents before making his choice. “I’ve been hearing from some folks already, a couple of whom are clearly strong contenders. I can already guarantee that the next Dulles Commissioner will definitely be competent and respectful towards the residents. But I want to find the very best person that I can, so I’m doing as I said and opening the door to anyone who wants to ask for the job.”

Miller said that anyone interested should simply send him a short e-mail, at, stating who they are, why they want the spot, and what qualifications they have. “Keep it brief,” he said. “Just let me know of any relevant community, professional, academic, or other relevant experience, and tell me how to reach you. And, to answer a question I’ve been asked already, I don’t care about your political affiliation. We’re all in this for Loudoun, that’s all I care about.”

The incoming Dulles supervisor says he plans to make a decision before the end of November.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Loudoun Blogging - slowing down a bit

It appears the blogs have started to fall quiet in Loudoun County, on the one hand probably exhausted by the election, on the other hand scooped up by's "stable" of bloggers under the "Living in Loco" nameplate, or by the Loudoun Times Mirror blogging troop...

Blogs that have stalled:

-Landsdowne, and out in the Open - "Earlier this week, I signed an independent contractor agreement with Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive to provide between 4 and 8 stories (a.k.a., “blogs”) per month to the “Living in LoCo” section of Loudoun Extra"...more content for the Post's awakening giant in LoCo, soon Fairfax also...
-Another Loud Blog - quiet now, no more posts
-Loudoun Leadership - maybe once a month, now
-Loudoun Talk - no talk since Sept.
-Loudoun School Dais - every month or so - maybe Tom'll check in more frequently with his re-election
-Equality Loudoun - election's over, no more posts
-Eastern Loudoun News - flash in the pan, no more posts
-Pastoral - dribbling, last posts in Oct.
-Loudoun Travelers - travel agency isn't doing too much business
-Leesburg Tomorrow - still giddy from the election

Here's the ones that are still buzzing, though slowing:

-Loudoun Schools Feedback - great, thoughtful stuff!
-Loudoun Restaurant and Beer Reviews - new review just added!
-Loudoun SEO - very interesting comments on the Internet and the Election
-The Mom-Force WAHM blog - about once or twice a month now....Mom must be busy
-Loudoun Insurance - regular updates
-Loudoun Clear (Chamber of Commerce) - fairly regular updates by a core group of businesses
-Phoebe's Place - the library's still hoppin'
-Too Conservative - still active, but what's next, now the political excitement's over?
-Sterling Volunteer Fire - still active
-Pete Shaw's Homepage - still active
-Our Loudoun Schools - going strong
-Notviva Vineyard - catching up on some sleep
-Mommy Life - well, she's pretty busy
-Loudoun Stats - even in the downturn, these guys are running strong
-Loudoun Proud - keeping up, week to week
-Loudoun Force - still activating
-Loudoun Democrats - well, they're taking a much deserved early spring break
-Loudoun Career Firefighters - still fightin'
-LVFC - still cookin', though hard to tell with no blog entry dates visible
-Brambledirt - still dirtin'
-Becoming a Firefighter - still working on it
-Allergy Free in Loudoun - still providing good info

and last but not least....

-Gateway to Loudoun County - really the only regular, cross-cutting collection of regularly interesting stuff out there (of course!)

Did the Internet matter in Loudoun's Elections?

It certainly did, but mostly because it was significantly underutilized - according to a Loudoun County Election Internet Usage Assessment by KME Internet Marketing at their local South Riding blog.