Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Mason Neck resident Rob Hartwell took brand new medical and green technologies to Britain and Germany. Check out his pictures and tales from Europe.
I recently flew to England and Germany to introduce exciting new medical and green energy technologies to strategic companies in Europe, as well as to see a couple old friends. The trip was successful and memorable, and, having taken a call from Lorton Patch reporter James Cullum about the Eagle Festival while traveling on the Autobahn, he asked me to pen an article on my travels. Observations on the transit I flew to London on a freezing Virgin Atlantic Airbus from Dulles. When the flight attendant, a rather large man walked by, the floor shook and creaked, and the outside temperature of -36 degrees was not abated by much of a heating system. A jacket and two blankets did almost nothing to improve the comfort level. The business While …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Whether you're a business owner holding an event or just someone with something to say, here's how to share it with everyone in town.
No, as far as I've heard, there are no zombies at Walmart or anywhere else in town. But that, of course, doesn't mean you have nothing to tell your neighbors. And if you do, I'm here to help. Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Jessie Biele, and I'm your Community Engagement Editor. What do I do? I help you reach your neighbors, right here on Patch. And why do I do that? Because Patch doesn't just talk to you; Patch gets neighbors talking to each other, too. So, if you're a business owner with an event to announce, a school teacher who wants to highlight student achievement, a gardener who wants to share tips to get the whole city blooming or a photographer who wants to share some great pix, I'm here to help. Posting announcements, …
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Sen. Toddy Puller discusses two hot button issues in the Virginia General Assembly's veto session last week.
The General Assembly reconvened on April 3 to take up the Governor’s amendments and vetoes. HB 2313, the transportation bill, which caused so much debate during the session, came back with amendments which addressed concerns of constitutionality and reduced some of the burdensome fees that my constituents were displeased with. I heard from over one hundred constituents on the issue of the Governor’s recent transportation plan, HB 2313, who came down on both sides of the issue. Although I still feel the repeal of the gas tax and the fee on hybrid cars are misguided, I voted for the bill again during our April 3 veto session for one simple reason: this is the biggest increase in funding for transportation in 27 years, providing substantial …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Be safe out there!
Wednesday, March 13
Each morning, I travel out of Washington, D.C. on Rock Creek’s winding lanes, weave around the Pentagon and onto 395 South, traverse the chaos that is Springfield’s Mixing Bowl, where drivers jockey for position, and exit I-95 in Lorton to begin my day at South County Middle School as a teacher of tomorrow’s business, community, and industry leaders. But as my commute nears its end on the streets around my schools’ campuses, I have one last traffic hurdle to face, and that hurdle constantly forces me to ask myself, “What kind of leaders will they become?” Repeatedly, South County parents have been asked – through reason, and appeals to conscientious and responsible driving – to adhere to the Kiss and Ride policies communicated to them …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Governor McDonnell appears now to be backing out on his agreement with Senate Democrats on Medicaid expansion.
During the final week of the General Assembly Session this year, the Virginia State Senate Democrats worked with Governor Robert McDonnell to reach a compromise to pass a transportation plan — a plan that is funded in part by funds not yet appropriated from Congress. Funds unlikely to ever materialize for Virginia. In return for the Senate Democrats’ votes for the transportation plan, the Governor signed an agreement on Medicaid expansion. We thought this agreement was made in good faith. We are disappointed that Governor McDonnell appears now to be backing out on this agreement, choosing to pacify the right wing of his party instead of working for the health and well-being of our Commonwealth. In a letter to the Obama Administration, …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Medicaid expansion would provide for more than 400,000 Virginians to have health care and provide some 30,000 jobs.
The Virginia State Senate passed a transportation plan after Governor Robert McDonnell agreed to sign off on a Medicaid expansion conference committee to come up “with a concept to ensure that significant reforms are attained prior to any potential expansion of Medicaid.” The committee will be made up of five members of the House of Delegates who serve on the House Appropriations Committee and five members of the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Secretaries of Finance and Health and Human Resources. At least three members of the House and three of the Senate members on the Committee must vote to approve the recommendations. The two secretaries will be ex-officio, non-voting members. Medicaid expansion would provide for more than …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Does your Yoga practice help you deal with reality or escape it?
Traffic. Furloughs. Kids. Spouse. Politics. Stress. Stress. Stress. I can’t handle it! I gotta get away! I can’t take it! Where’s my Yoga class? Ahhhh, mat. After class, chat. Then back to… Traffic. Corpse pose and Om long forgotten, snf serenity has been tossed out the SUV window. Did anything change me in class? Or am I still yelling at the person who cut me off? Yoga Perspective My friend Jamie, a world- traveling Yoga teacher, recently moved back to the mountains and opened her own studio. She and I discussed the differences in mentality between city Yogis and mountain Yogis. She observed that Yogis in Los Angeles tended to use Yoga class as an escape from their hectic lives. I related that my experience of DC-Metro Yogis was similar. …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Sen. Toddy Puller has five amendments up for consideration in the Senate budget.
Working for and with my constituents in Richmond is always exciting, and this year is no different. As we enter the final week of the session, conference committees are meeting to iron out the differences in House and Senate versions of several key bills. I am eager to see the conferees working on the transportation bill come to a common-sense solution. We need a solid transportation plan for the Commonwealth and for my district. The roads and public transportation in Northern Virginia must be able to keep up with, and expand with, our vibrant and growing communities. Another bill I know everyone is watching is the budget. Currently, the Senate version includes Medicaid expansion, while the House version does not. This is one of the top …
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Lorton's Ron Kowalksi weighs in.
Sunday, February 17
Since my last article, “Where Have All the Listings Gone?”, the real estate market continues to experience a severe shortage of homes available for sale. So, I started to think that perhaps sellers may be waiting for prices to increase. I suppose you can’t blame them. And I continue to hear that some buyers may be waiting for mortgage interest rates to go even lower. That may be a losing proposition since most experts believe rates will increase in the next few years. All real estate is local and every situation is different. But this slow-moving market sparked my curiosity to take a look at the relationship between home prices and mortgage interest rates. You might be surprised to see that interest rates have a greater impact on cost/…
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
By Supervisor Pat Herrity
Tuesday, February 12
We have had some successes in improving parts of the Parkway (completing the full Parkway repaving, the Fair Lakes Interchange project and converting the Parkway to a primary road), but even with these improvements, the Parkway is experiencing significant congestion. In order to get in front of the problem and before we wake up and find the Parkway as congested as I-66, I have asked the Board of Supervisors at today’s meeting to request the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) conduct a Corridor Improvement Study (CIS). A CIS will provide a comprehensive look at what improvements need to be made to the Parkway in order to keep up with increased use. The study will outline short and long term solutions, examine various methods for …