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December 4, 2002

Tonight the Public Hearing went to 11:15 p.m. The board voted 8 yes, 1 absent, 0 no to accept my motion to allow a local telephone company to improve its central station in my district.


The board voted 3 yes (Hiatt, Kurtz, and Delgaudio) to 6 No, for a motion to put off a plan to build 6,000 residential units and millions of square feet in commercial office space at Moorefield Station, by the Dulles Greenway. I spoke against the New York Style density packing planned in Eastern Loudoun but lost that vote. Ironically, several leaders of the liberal crowd spoke in the public comment against the project also. Among them Peggy Maio, the leader of the PEC.

I said "How truly unpredictable. Here I am a former cliff dweller from New York voting against a cliff dwelling project just like New York. And I thought I would never duplicate the once in a lifetime experience of working with Ralph Nader to stop the congressional pay raise in 1989. Just last month, I ended up working to stop the sales tax on the same side as the liberal PEC, and now for the third time in a lifetime ending up agreeing to vote no on the largest residential development ever proposed in Loudoun."

So the motion to table the density packing plan failed. A motion to send the Moorefield Station project on to a Land Use Committee passed 7 yes to 2 no (Delgaudio and Hiatt).


Safe Winter Driving Tips from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office

There are many good ideas in this message that I just received on account of snow warnings. Read this list for some very helpful ideas.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is reminding motorists that winter driving can be hazardous, especially in our area where we normally receive a mixture of ice, freezing rain and snow. Wet weather, when compounded with cold temperatures and snow, makes driving difficult, whether it is just flurries or a full-blown winter storm.

Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson today advised, "by ensuring their vehicle is properly maintained drivers can keep safe this winter by driving defensively, and always buckling up." He added that with Wednesdays impending inclement weather drivers should make sure their vehicles are equipped with a well-stocked winter driving kit, which should include the following items:

  • Properly fitting tire chains
  • Bag of sand or salt (or kitty litter)
  • Traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Snow brush
  • Ice scraper
  • Booster cables
  • Warning devices such as flares or emergency lights
  • Fuel line de-icer (methanol, also called methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate)
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid appropriate for sub-freezing temperatures
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Flashlight and a portable flashing light (and extra batteries)
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothing, including hat and wind-proof pants, and warm footwear
  • First aid kit
  • Snack bars or other "emergency" food and water
  • Matches and emergency candles - only use with a window opened to prevent build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Road maps.
  • "Call Police" or other help signs or brightly colored banners.
The Sheriff's Office reminds motorists to stay safe this winter by following these safety tips:
  • Always keep the gas tank topped off. When it gets to half, fill it up.
  • Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make the trip, ensure someone is aware of your route of travel.
  • Carry a cellular phone. Your cell phone can be used during emergencies and for notifying those expecting your arrival in case there are weather delays.
  • Always buckle-up. Your seat belt can be the best protection against drivers who are tense and in a hurry because of weather conditions.
  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights - even the hood and roof - before driving.
  • Pay attention. Don't try to out-drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows - stay back a safe stopping distance and don't pass on the right.
  • Know the current road conditions. For statewide highway information 24-hours-a-day, call the Highway Helpline at 1-800-367-ROAD
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Watch for slippery bridges, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition. Bridges will ice up sooner than the adjacent pavement.
  • Don't use your cruise control in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the short touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won't help you stop any faster. Many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle's traction. Your 4x4 can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Do not pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is to "stomp and steer!"
  • Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
  • Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Go slow!

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