Vote to Sink New Swim Centers

The latest plan hatched in Leesburg to take your tax money and spend it better than you could is to massively subsidize two new government gyms/swimming stadiums. Documents reveal that users of this new entitlement program will only pay 3 cents for every dollar of costs.

Thus, the latest special interest group to gain a hold on the county's exploding budget is swimmers. They argue that there is a "need" for such activities, but typical of such selfish special interest groups, they want everyone but themselves to pay for their fun.

On June 16, the Board of Supervisors heard that the costs for building two gym/swimming complexes had exploded to $3,700,000. And it will cost taxpayers at least $923,000 to operate them every year! Those using the service will only pay 3 percent of the cost. This subsidy is more generous than that for Metrorail, nationally known as one of the federal government's biggest boondoggles.

This, of course, is just one example of how the county continues to be led by the nose by special interest groups. It's no wonder county spending will increase 28 percent next year. Moreover, creating new welfare programs (in this case welfare for swimmers) has two disastrous consequences. First, they compete against businesses that pay taxes. Every private swim club and gym will still be required to pay taxes to the government to build and subsidize their competition. Second, we will continue to create a society where every special interest's "want" is translated into a "need" for the government to satisfy. The Romans had "bread and circuses"; we'll have government gyms/aquatic centers to keep the people loyal to their benefactors.

However, voters can put an end to this scam. The government gyms/swimming complexes, along with tens of millions of dollars worth of other debt-funded projects, will be on the ballot in November. Voters can say no to special interest groups and tell them to take a plunge with their own money.

STEVE WHITENER

Sugarland Run Supervisor

Neighbors Help in Time of Need

In recent months, it appears all the letters to the editor appear to be focused on the issue of growth. The majority of the citizens writing are voicing personal comments based on bias in favor of one position or another. The facts become distorted and the truth is nowhere to be found.

The purpose of my letter is to recognize that the citizens of my neighborhood do care about one another and that they have extended willing hands to reach out to assist me in my time of need. The assistance comes without strings attached, without stipulations and qualifications, and without thoughts of personal gain or furtherance of individual wealth. My neighbors have no hidden agenda.

Since I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma last fall, my neighbors have reached out to assist with tasks that healthy individuals take for granted. In addition to providing support with arranging for rides to doctors appointments, be they in Falls Church or Baltimore, and undertaking the yard work, my neighbors assist in keeping my spirits up by having warm hearts, big smiles and positive attitudes. Nothing has been too small or too big for my neighbors to assist in. When I was being considered for a bone marrow transplant, my neighbors willingly volunteered to be put on the test list.

My special thanks to Sue for her words of encouragement and her help with the rose bushes, to Mary and Stan for the meals they have brought over (now if I only could persuade Stan to let me win at pool), to Jay for keeping me laughing, to Michelle for the many errands she has done for me, and to Brandon for the many rides he has given me.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for my neighbors for the assistance they have provided me. My neighbors care about others. My neighbors are my friends. I'm proud to say that I live on Longfellow Drive in Leesburg.

I am grateful to be living in this community. Many thanks to all my neighbors.

A.L. RODENBURG

Leesburg

Review Unfair to Lovettsville

I was delighted to see Candelora's restaurant reviewed in the June 17 Loudoun section of The Washington Post ["After One of Candelora's Italian Dishes, You're Bound to Be Back for More"]. However, quite conspicuously, a reader will find that there were two reviews, intended or otherwise: one on this wonderful restaurant and one on our fine town of Lovettsville.

William W. Horne spoke rather derisively of Candelora's location as "being as inconveniently and weirdly located as any restaurant in Loudoun County." Well, Mr. Horne, Lovettsville is nestled in some of the most beautiful rural land in Virginia. The ride to Lovettsville passes well-maintained farmland, rolling hills, mountain views and historic houses. You are as likely to see horses in the fields on your drive to Candelora's as you would in your travels to restaurants in better-known parts of horse country, such as Middleburg or Upperville. Lovettsville exudes the small-town charm that, quite frankly, is a natural fit with the country dining atmosphere that Candelora's promotes.

Lovettsville was recently cited in Washingtonian magazine as the best place in the region in which to raise a family. Traffic is light, and the loudest noises you are likely to hear come from crickets and songbirds. The people who live in this part of the county are open and neighborly, as you so aptly noted in your glowing remarks about the restaurant's wonderful staff.

Maybe Lovettsville is too inconvenient for you, Mr. Horne. It clearly isn't for the many people who come to enjoy Candelora's -- one of the many wonderful family-owned enterprises that makes Lovettsville such a gem in Loudoun County's crown. Since Candelora's gladly offers takeout service, maybe utilizing that amenity and dining at home will be more suitable to your more urbane expectations. That will free up table space for those who come to Candelora's to enjoy not only the good food and hospitality but also the quiet country charm of our small town.

RICHARD H. EFTHIM

Lovettsville Town Council Member

LETTERS WELCOME

Loudoun Extra welcomes your opinions, which run on Thursdays and Sundays. Letters, which may be edited for length, should include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers so we can verify authorship. Deadlines are noon Tuesday for Thursday publication and 6 p.m. Thursday for Sunday publication. Send them to:

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