novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

For the first time, Asians will be the largest group entering Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, according to the Washington Post.  It’s not just TJ, either.  The article goes on to say that,

The rising concentration of Asian Americans at T.J. mirrors demographic trends in other elite math and science magnet schools. In New York, the selective and specialized Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School have Asian American majorities, although about 10 percent of the metropolitan population is of Asian descent. In San Francisco, Asian Americans make up more than 60 percent of the students at selective Lowell High School and about a third of the city’s population.

Asians make up less than 10% of the residents in the Washington area, so why are they so overrepresented at the highest end of the educational spectrum?  Are they innately more intelligent?  There is little evidence to support that.  It is possible that selection for intelligence has occurred in China, so the more intelligent have more children, but there is no evidence for that either.  However, there is evidence of a cultural difference:

The success of Asian American students reflects the educational commitment found in many immigrant communities, particularly for second-generation students fluent in English and encouraged by upwardly mobile parents who came to the United States for higher education or professional positions.

Yes, I think culture is more likely to explain the differences in racial disparities in education and achievement.

In an editorial titled, Ending Government Sponsored Blight, the Washington Examiner adds another outraged voice to the roiling controversy over the Loudoun County Department of Building and Development:

Loudoun County officials have for years looked the other way when confronted with glaring violations of their own zoning ordinances. Angry homeowners have now joined a growing list of Americans demanding strict enforcement of such laws…

Read it all.

Eastern Loudoun is finally getting some attention because the problems have piled up to the point they can no longer be glossed over. The upside is we – especially those of us in Sterling – finally have a voice the county will have to listen to. If you are fed up with the utter uselessness of our Zoning Administration Division, send an e-mail to County Administrator Kirby Bowers and copy the entire Board of Supervisors.

(Heck, copy the Easterner or the Independent while you are at it.)

As I alluded to my letter last week, the county could do a lot worse than to empty the entire Department of Building and Development and hire some of the folks from Herndon to come over and show us how to rebuild it into a functioning government agency.

More on the problems in Loudoun County Zoning Adiministration:

Foreclosure, it’s just a state of mind

Eugene Delgaudio and Jeanne West Team Up to Denounce Zoning Violations in Sterling (includes video of WUSA Channel 9 news report)

Zoning Controversy Continues To Heat Up In Sterling

Loudoun County Focuses On Sterling

Dispatches from Sterling: Government-Sponsored Blight

Too bad, I was rooting for the kid. Alan Webb came in fifth in the 1500 meter finals at the US Olympic Trials. Bernard Lagat won in 3:40, at least 5 seconds slower than Webb’s personal best. It was a slow final, and Webb just was not able to bring on the kick – even though he had more sheer speed talent than any of these guys.

Webb has run a 3:46 mile in the past year – a pace which would have blown away today’s field.

My take is Webb does best in low pressure situations. I predict he will break the world record in the mile at some obscure meet, with no media present, in the not too distant future.

Well, according to E. J. Dionne, Jr., our favorite Black Irishman, Barry H. O’Bama, wants to revamp W’s “Faith-Based Initiative.”  Mr. O’Bama wants to call the office the “Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.”  Funny he should choose that last word.  You see, the whole problem with W’s Faith-Based Initiative was the ol’ bait-and-switch.  Get the religious charities dependent on federal largess, then force them to hire active homosexuals, adulterers, “alternate lifestylers,” etc.  Then, when Catholic Charities refuses to go hire people who are blatant, unrepentant sinners, the leftists say, “How disgusting — they’re willing to let people go hungry rather than hire a homosexual.”

Obama is not shy about this: “Obama would keep the religious exemption from federal civil rights laws for congregations but apply them to specific programs sponsored by the congregations that accepted federal money.”  (Emphasis mine.)  And how long would that last?  Only until the charities have swollowed the bait, then the leftists will set the hook, and drop the words “specific programs sponsored by.”  The same applies now to any school accepting federal funds — that’s why VMI was forced to accept women.

One root of the problem, again showing that W is not a conservative, is also pointed out in the article: “Under Bush, [O'Bama] said, ‘you took resources from some programs and gave them to others without clear criteria for why the funds were shifted.’”  Exactly.  What makes bureaucrats in the feral government more qualified to say which charities deserve your money than you are?  Nothing.

Another root is the leftist notion, as stated by Dionne, that “support for religious groups can’t be an excuse for government (sic)backing out of its responsibilities.”  Certainly this is true, but what does he think the government’s responsibilities are?  Caring for the poor and downtrodden is our responsibility, not the feral government’s.  (State constitutions, of course, may be different.)  That is why leftists “give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood,” according to Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks:

The book’s basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone’s tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don’t provide them with enough money.

That’s socialists for you, generous to your last dime, and they know better than you where it should go.

How about this instead: a 50% tax deduction for charitable contributions.

Right now, the lower your income, the less you get to deduct.  If you are in the 10% tax bracket, and donate $100 to your church, you get $10 off your taxes.  Someone in the 33% bracket gets $33 off his taxes.  (Don’t the leftists say our tax code should be more “fair”?)

So, with a 50% deduction, not part of the standard deduction, everyone would get an equal break for charitable contributions, the feral government would essentially be matching one’s donations dollar-for-dollar, and we, not bureaucrats or congresscritters, would decide which charities to support.

Politicians really are a more sinister group.

Keep an eye on her blog and you will see what I mean.

More to come.

In Sterling, apparently.

A story circulating in Sterling the past year is the Loudoun County government has cast a blind eye to many instances of squatting; specifically, when a house is foreclosed and everyone is evicted, little by little people show back up and occupy the residence. Sometimes it’s by entering through a rear entrance, sometimes former tenants of these boarding houses still having keys and going in through the front door, usually a strictly nocturnal phenomenon. People have even been seen sleeping on roofs at night, but by morning the houses are empty again.

Complaints to Loudoun County Zoning Administration, needless to say, have resulted in no action.

Well, the new trend we are heralding here at the NOVA TownHall Blog is to transform anecdotes into documented reality, and with evidence coming in from around the community and my own observations from the front driveway, we will continue that trend right here.

Exhibit One: House A from our June 23 post. You know, the one across the street from my house which Loudoun County Zoning assured us idiot citizens was perfectly above-board: “A family of six and two unrelateds” – no reason to inspect.

Well tonight, someone shows up and occupies House A which was supposedly foreclosed and all the boarders evicted from.

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There are some lingering bad feelings about this particular residence, mainly because the voluminous collection of refuse in the back yard is still there: thirty to fifty bags of garbage a variety of junkyard-style trash in the yard and the back deck piled with refuse. When the car arrived, neighbors called the police tonight and five Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office cruisers showed up, deputies surrounded the house, knocked on the doors, but whoever was inside did not open up. No warrant, so no authorization to enter.

But let’s hand it to our Sheriff’s Office: they knew the resolution of the June situation and that the house was supposed to be empty, and they did all they could – at the present time. That’s the plus side. The minus side is we still have a festering landfill right here and our government entities are apparently powerless to do anything about it – a situation that could have been entirely avoided if our zoning enforcement officer had done what obviously needed to be done about two months ago when the first complaint was filed!

Thank you, Terry Wharton. I am sure someone, somewhere, is pleased that this property owner like so many others in Sterling was given a free pass.

Alas, we’re not the only ones with a problem caused by a broken Zoning Administration division. This is 504 W. Beech (I will make no attempt to protect anyone’s privacy because this one is so egregious):

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The house on the right is 504. Neighbors complained about a boarding house being run from this location for well over a year, and the house was foreclosed several months ago, yet it remained occupied. Neighbors continued to complain to no avail. When the tenants finally left they cleaned the place out, from the major appliances to cabinets to doors to the garage doors.

The house to the left of it has a For Sale sign on it – has been on the market for quite a while. Too bad for them, eh? Laws on the books are not enforced, and the law-abiding citizens of Sterling (who I am convinced our county government considers first-class “chumps”) consequently get hosed.

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Yes, even windows were removed. A resident of this court said they watched all this happening, reported it to the appropriate agencies in Leesburg, and were ignored.

It gets worse. There is another specific case going on right now which may be far more revealing than either of these, because evidence is piling up about a home purchasing mortgage-and-refinancing scam which might explain much of what has been happening in our area. It appears some of these boarding houses have been the result of a loophole in lending practices, in which someone can buy multiple residences, sell and refinance them several times over, then leave with a wad of cash and sticking the lending institutions with the bill. In the lag time between purchase and physical foreclosure, the residence is rented out to illegal boarders, and the rent money kept as additional profit. Banks, and eventually taxpayers, are left to pick up the final bills.

More to come – I expect MUCH more – on that matter. The Loudoun County government, in particular the Zoning Administration division and possibly the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and some other departments, definitely has some ‘splainin’ to do, if you ask me.

UPDATE: A group of Loudoun citizens met tonight to discuss these and other issues, and the consensus was we really need to find out whether any of the members of our Board of Supervisors – beside Eugene Delgaudio – is even conscious of what is happening here. The violations would not likely be allowed to stand if they were occurring anywhere other than in Sterling.

Something is very fishy in our county government, folks. I sense a groundswell of outrage from the citizens in eastern Loudoun.

UPDATE: The car in front of House A was gone by 6:30 the next morning, and did not return last night. Yesterday afternoon someone looked in the backyard and said the gate was open and it was relatively clean, so thank goodness for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office! Even though they would not have had to be there if Zoning had done its job in the first place, our deputies do get results just by maintaining a presence. UPDATE II: Another neighbor informs me the bags of trash had been removed over a week ago so all that was back there when the deputies came was junk like car seat, wire spool, miscellaneous construction-related trash.