Purcellville Closes Indoor Roller Rink

By Erica Garman
Sunday, June 14, 2009

Living in LoCo is Erica Garman's blog devoted to news about Loudoun County. You can find it at http://www.loudounextra.com. This column of highlights appears every Sunday in the Loudoun Extra.

Purcellville's Town Council closed the indoor roller-skating rink at Fireman's Field last week after construction engineers determined that the building shows severe signs of structural weakness.

Experts determined that the 104-year-old building is in no immediate danger of collapse but that it could pose a public safety risk in the event of severe weather.

"The council takes public safety and its stewardship very seriously," Purcellville Mayor Robert W. Lazaro wrote in a statement, "and, as such, the skating rink has been closed immediately to begin the process of evaluating and undertaking the recommended repairs to address the structural deficiencies identified."

The town's teen center, which operates in the building Friday nights, will need to find a temporary home as a result of the closing. Friday's session was canceled as organizers looked for event space, Lazaro said. Possible options for the teen center include privately owned buildings in town and other nearby county facilities, he said.

Purcellville purchased Fireman's Field, which includes the roller rink facility, in 2008. The historic property was first used for religious revivals and as a place to see entertainment and popular orators such as presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. Years later, the Tabernacle, as the building was then called, drew crowds to see wrestling matches and popular country singers such as Patsy Cline. Until Dulles International Airport was built in 1962, the building was the largest structure in Loudoun County.

In other Purcellville news, the first of the town's new LED streetlights were installed last week as part of a pilot project with Dominion Power. The town purchased the high-efficiency lights, and Dominion is installing them for free.

Also, Purcellville police are urging residents to lock their doors and cars after authorities responded to a home alarm shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 37000 block of Drawbridge Way. While setting a perimeter at the residence, police witnessed a male wearing a blue windbreaker running out of a residence. Police determined that the subject had entered through an unlocked rear door and removed food. The K-9 unit was called out, but police were unable to catch the suspect.

Later that morning, at 5 a.m., a homeowner in the 300 block of East Loudoun Valley Drive reported that the back door of his home had been opened during the night (perhaps about 1 a.m., when the homeowner recalled hearing his dogs barking), but it was determined that no one had entered.

Police are asking Purcellville residents to report any suspicious activity to Police Chief Darryl Smith at 540-338-7422.

Documentary on Women in Politics

"Pink State Politics," a nonpartisan documentary filmed in Virginia, takes a look at women's roles in politics and the issues that were important to them in last year's presidential election. The film highlights several prominent Loudoun women.

The documentary was screened May 28 at the Avalon Theatre in the District and will air at 8 p.m. June 21 on the PBS station WHUT-TV.

Filmmakers Laura DeBruce and Laura Hambleton said on their blog that they featured Virginia because "it was one of a handful of swing states in the election, a place that could help determine the next president of the United States."

The film shows Loudoun Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac); Loudoun Democratic Committee member Phyllis Randall; Melinda Lewis, who ran Loudoun's McCain/Palin field operations; Patti Maslinoff of Arts for Obama; and several members of the Loudoun chapter of the League of Women Voters.

DeBruce and Hambleton interviewed Virginian women from all walks of life at political rallies, ice skating rinks, soccer fields, county fairs and shops, recording their views on the economy, education, religion, abortion and the war in Iraq.

And Then There Was One

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) won Loudoun handily, along with the rest of Virginia, in an election that was widely predicted to be a close race.

Deeds won 46.96 percent of Loudoun's votes, according to the unofficial results found on the Virginia State Board of Elections' Web site. Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe won 30.36 percent, and former state delegate Brian Moran received 22.66 percent.

It seems that Paradox13VA, who blogs at Leesburg Tomorrow, best predicted the Deeds landslide as he watched Tuesday's late-afternoon storms roll in. He wrote:

"In what is expected to be a low-turnout election in the first place, the weather in Northern Virginia seems to be conspiring against turnout in the area the trailing candidates are counting on, Northern Virginia. If NoVa doesn't turn out, what is predicted to be a Deeds win might wind up a Deeds blowout. After all, Mr. Deeds has the most committed voters in this race, the kind of voters who show up in spite of the rain."

On Monday, I forecasted a Moran win in Loudoun. Boy, was I wrong. Out of the 7,970 LoCo ballots cast for the Democrat governor contender Tuesday or in absentia, 1,802 were for Moran.

As blogger Loudoun Insider pointed out on Too Conservative, Moran lost big (read: last place) in the districts of the Loudoun supervisors who publicly endorsed him: Supervisors Susan Buckley (D-Sugarland Run), Stevens Miller (D-Dulles) and Kelly Burk (D-Leesburg). Will the Deeds campaign forgive them?

In other election news, Loudoun voters overwhelmingly chose Jody Wagner to be the Democrat challenger for lieutenant governor. Wagner captured almost 78 percent of Loudoun votes. She'll face Republican incumbent Bill Bolling in November.

Speaking of Republicans, it was hard Tuesday to escape the message that GOP candidate Bob McDonnell is in the running for governor, too. Even though Tuesday's election belonged to the Democrats, Loudoun County Republican Committee members didn't miss the opportunity to influence future voters by peppering key polling places with McDonnell signs.

More than 4.3 percent of Loudoun's registered voters cast ballots in the primary.

Firefighter Ambushed

Imagine her surprise when Vicki Clary of Ashburn opened her apartment door to find a beauty team and TV crew beckoning to give her a new look.

"Ambush Makeover" is a contest on NBC's "Today" show, in which hair, makeup and clothing stylists from the morning show pick women from across the country to, well, ambush and make over.

Clary, a firefighter for Fairfax Fire and Rescue, wrote to producers of the "Today" that she'd like to be considered for the segment in order to "rediscover her girlie side."

During the live broadcast, hairstylist Louis Licari told the cameras, "Just 'cause she's a firefighter doesn't mean she's going to be a redhead!"

At this point, Clary looked somewhat nervous, sitting with a cape draped around her neck and her hair wrapped in pieces of foil.

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