Monday, March 30, 2009

This is what we're all about....

Here's a view of what we're talking about right now, here at Loudoun's #1 Community and Business Blog....(props to

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Rainy Spring Day Among Future Leaders at Thomas Jefferson Techstravaganza

We spent the better part of a rainy, dreary early spring day basking in brainpower and intellectual curiosity with the children at the 2009 "Techstravaganza" at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology - planned and hosted by TJ's TWIST group (Tomorrow's Women In Science and Technology) with major support from WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science).

Between hands-on experiments in structural architecture, polymer worms and lava lamp creation, many very interested and engaged kids and adults were treated to fantastic technology demonstrations by eager, polite and totally smart high schoolers. This is truly a very unique event, in a unique place produced by a very select group of tomorrow's leaders in science, technology or any other discipline that truly matters.

This is, however, an extremely difficult and family-centric road to travel, for high-achievers among the region's school population to arrive at Thomas Jefferson - documented the #1 high school in the nation by many academic measurements. Why so difficult and "family-centric"? As pointed out by Julia Stewart's very well researched Loudoun Independent story "Are You Being Served? The LCPS Gifted Education Program" - "Gifted Education is truly a "local" agenda, interest and issue"...and "parental involvement remains a lynchpin" to maintaining focus and encouraging excellence among the wide variety and varying levels of investment for advanced programs for which there is "no federal consequence for falling short". No federal consequence, perhaps, in terms of legislation - but plenty of consequences in terms of America's future global dominance in science, technology, economics and every other significant academic discipline.

In short, it's entirely up to parents to ensure their child both strives for and actualizes an academic path that leads to places like TJ; standard government-supported programs aren't enough, and in comparative terms, Loudoun is very far behind Fairfax in developing a "continuum of gifted services" that are truly differentiated, rigorous and challenging for children identified early-on as far above average. For example, it's up to parents to realize that a child really must be in Geometry by 8th grade to ensure a good chance of admittance. How to make this happen? This means pre-algebra by 6th grade, which means your child must be in math classes at least one or two years ahead of grade-level by this time - a level of instruction which is nearly impossible to extract from taxpayer-provided education without significant family investment in homeschooling, summer classes, individual tutoring or other private instruction.

Therefore, it's fairly evident that most of these great young men and women displaying exceptional poise and talent at this Techstravaganza have benefited from external support that's not found in traditional schooling, but was found at home, through exception personal initiative and capability, from significant parent or tutor figures, and/or through really good private schooling - for example at the local Nysmith School for the Gifted and Talented in Herndon. This particular school is a direct funnel for nearly half of its graduating classes into TJ. As demonstrated by the quality of programs, the absolute commitment of its teaching staff and administration, and the prevailing demonstration of community support, philanthropy and pure intra-student kindness, this very special accelerant is just what is needed for the truly gifted...but it absolutely doesn't happen without total parental commitment and investment.

Nysmith's "NYSaves" program welcomes Tigger and Dora - Nysaves is a Clean Water Project envisioned and implemented by Nysmith students for school students in Zimbabwe

As the TWIST program puts it - "helping guide young people toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a very gratifying experience" - it's up to parents to provide this help and critical investments, and provide it early, often and in place of less worthy material investments.

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Freelance Writers & Bloggers - Immediate Exposure in Northern Virginia, Loudoun and DC

Are you a freelance writer or blogger looking to get rapid exposure for your name, your work or your writing capabilities? We're offering immediate assistance.

Join the Dulles South Online writing team! Locally-grown, Nationally-syndicated.

Here's how it works:

We're seeking a local writer/blogger very much in tune with Northern Virginia, especially the "Exurbs" out to Loudoun. For your well-written and timely contributions of local-interest stories, news items, nonprofit activities, opinion, whatever - we'll help you as follows (i.e. service-for-service):

1 - your writing and byline is syndicated throughout our very popular and widely-read Northern Virginia content and social-media network. To websites, blogs, magazines, discussions, twitter, flickr, tumblr....etc...

2 - your contributions are search-engine optimized (SEO'd) for maximum exposure in this region - we are Northern Virginia's premiere Internet Marketing & Social Media firm

3 - we'll syndicate your content (written, photos, video) nationwide, worldwide across the Internet - as we do for all of our paid clients.

Let us know if you'd like to participate in this very special, very exclusive program as soon as possible. We're essentially offering very professional online promotion and advertising of YOUR writing material and/or business - for free - through our extensive network. This kind of promotion is much more effective than blogging for a local newspaper, writing articles in a local magazine, running your own blog, or trying yourself to submit material to online "ezines".

We're simply looking for the very best, most informed, utterly objective local writers or journalists - that's truly the ONLY criteria for selection. Material will be solicited at least a few times a month.

Become a local, regional, national star today! Contact us at "Resumes at", with your contact info, some background and reason why you'd like to participate, and sample (or link) of your writing (no formal resume necessary).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brambleton March 28th: Putting an end to breast cancer AND your home's clutter!

Brambleton Double Header March 28th, 2009:

Do something good for humanity and your sanity all on the same day! Join us at the Brambleton Town Center this Saturday, March 28th, for the 2nd Annual Mini Walk for Breast Cancer & Family Fun Day. The two-mile walk will kick-off at the Brambleton Welcome Center at 9 AM and wind through the paths of Brambleton, Virginia. The cost to participate is $10 per individual or $15 per family, with all proceeds going directly to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. To pre-register for the walk, e-mail The first 100 registered walkers will receive a goody bag with gifts and coupons from local businesses. Strollers, dogs and kids are welcome to this family-friendly event.

After the walk, join us in the Chevy Chase Bank parking lot for a community-wide Safety Shred from 10 AM to 2 PM. The public is welcome and encouraged to bring the following to shred: office paper, manila folders, small fasteners (paper clips, binder clips, staples, rubber bands acceptable).

In addition to the mini walk and community shred enjoy the fun with a moonbounce for the kids, the Arcola Fire Department fire truck, food from Brambleton loudoun restaurants, free screenings from the INOVA loudoun health mobile, sidewalk sales, a craft boutique and a live radio broadcast from 92.5 WINC FM!

We hope to see you in Brambleton this Saturday!!


Arcola Elementary Chorus performs at the2009 Cherry Blossom Festival

Per Arcola Elementary Contact: Sam Woodard

We are excited to announce that Arcola Elementary Chorus has been selected from thousands of applicants to sing at the 2009 Cherry Blossom Festival on April 2nd. As one of the first Loudoun County elementary groups to be selected, these students will be joined by performers from all over the country. They will sing from the Tidal Basin Stage at 1:45 and have the opportunity to see both the Elko HS Marching Band from Nevada and the National Hand Dance performance. "It is a great honor to be selected from thousands of applicants across the nation," Jennifer Leslie, Arcola's music teacher, beamed with pride over her students’ accomplishments. The Parents and students are just as excited. "What an incredible opportunity Mrs. Leslie has provided for our children" says parent Linda Foresha.

These 5th grade students will also have the chance to sing a portion of the Cherry Blossom performance to the School Board on March 24th during "Music in our Schools Month."

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a Good Time For Business Coaching

Looking for an edge to gain some ground back in this economy, preserve or improve your business stature in this very competitive labor market, and generally get some serious, professional appraisal and help for your business skills?

The is the right time, in this economy, to take stock of your personal capability to derive success, satisfaction and reward from your business role and efforts.

The truth is, with a little bit of business coaching you can learn how to revive your career, make some gains financially, and ultimately become more satisfied in your job...and Northern Virginia business coaching is readily available from a number of trained and qualified coaches.

By taking advantage of professional business coaching and guidance, you can learn to make opportunities for yourself - rather than wait for other people to make them for you. You have to look at a business coach as your personal consultant who can help open things up for you - little by little - until you can take the ball and run with it.

Read more about Washington DC and Northern VA Business Coaching... or just visit one of our local leaders in services for executive coaching in the Metro DC area.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Business Shout-Out - Loudoun Eye Doctor and Eczema Relief

Every once in a while, we're inclined to give a "shout-out" to businesses that really impress us, give great service or otherwise just deserve some kudos.

The other week, I had some eye debris that needed removal - and I went to a Loudoun eye doctor I first visited over 5 years ago, Dr. Dariaius A. Unvwalla & Associates, a Loudoun Family Eye Care Provider, providing Loudoun Laser Vision consultation and treatment of eye disease. Meeting both with Dr. Taxali and then Dr. Unwalla, the service, attention and outcome were supurb, professional and very efficient. Not only was the debris removed, but great care was taken to numb the pain, check for other injury and schedule follow-up visits for checkup. An exceptional business, all the way around, at Dulles Town Center mall next to Lenscrafters.

We've got a child who's suffered from eczema for some time - this week we tried "Calcium Montmorillonite" ionic mineral (clay-based) powder (made into a compress) from California Earth Minerals on his arms and the back of his legs. In particular, we used the clay skincare powder called Terrapak. This product really worked fast and well, and provide pain-relieving comfort quickly. His rash and dryness cleared up really well, and we're looking forward to using this "living clay" to provide quick and comprehensive relief as the allergy season gets underway. Great stuff.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nonproft Internet Marketing and Social Media Help Offered for FREE

It's time for many businesses to step up and help stem the tide of donation and service loss from the nonprofits and charities suffering during these hard economic times.

Dulles South Online and KME Internet Marketing are now offering FREE Internet Marketing and Social Media help for nonprofits seeking to raise money and attract donors online, through a strategic partnership with NPOFundingSolutionS.

Read more here.


Monday, March 09, 2009

"First Dog From Kabul - Afghanistan War Veteran and Rescue Dog" Sponsored by Middleburg, VA Resident

On February 3, 2009, Elaine Broadhead, of Middleburg, Virginia, became the first Sponsor of a paws4peopleTM [] Afghan Rescue Dog when she donated the $2,000 it costs to transport rescued dogs from Afghanistan to the paws4prisonsTM [] K-9 Training Program at US Penitentiary – Hazelton, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. These stray dogs were adopted overseas by American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, a country devastated by war and poverty. Some soldiers are able to bring the dogs home to their families but others cannot. These dogs become available for programs like paws4vetsTM’s [] AfghanDogZTM program, which is part of a Strategic Partnership Program with the Wounded Warrior Project®.

Afghan Service Dogs

Read more about these amazing programs...


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Federal Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credits and green building incentives for energy conservation home improvements available in 2009

Virginia energy efficient tax credits for energy efficient windows and home improvements
New Federal Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credits and green building incentives for energy conservation home improvements available in 2009:

As of January 1, 2009 there are Federal tax credits of up to 30% of cost, or $1500, for homeowners making improvements to insulation, vinyl replacement windows, non-solar water heaters, and particular high efficiency heating and cooling equipment. These credits are available for existing homes only, for the next 2 years (2009-2010). For more details and forms needed go to EnergyStar Tax Credits.

Also, as of August, 2008 Montgomery County, Maryland is offering a tax credit of up to $250 for energy conservation improvements including programmable thermostats, vinyl replacement windows, door and window insulation/caulking, and more. Find out more here.

Vinyl-Lite Windows Factory energy-efficient replacement windows are especially effective and relevant with respect to these programs; Energy Advantage Low-E Glass is a high performance, energy efficient window glass made with an invisible coating that blocks heat flow. Follow this link for more information about Northern Virginia climate conditions and Low-E energy efficient window features.

Read more about how energy efficient Northern Virginia replacement windows can earn significant residential tax credits...

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