Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Community Meeting

<Bt>Inova Loudoun Hospital is holding a community meeting, Thursday, May 17, from 7-9 p.m., at Arcola/Pleasant Valley Fire Department, 24300 Gum Spring Road, Sterling, for a briefing on Inova’s plans for the future

of Route 50 health care. Light refreshments will be served.

<sh>Task Force Meeting

<bt>Superviosr Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) will be hosting his first Waxpool Road Task Force meeting at Broad Run High School in the library, May 22, at 7 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to organize the task force and to identify problem areas of Waxpool Road. The goal of the task force is to produce a long-term plan for improving traffic flow along Waxpool Road and identifying private and public solutions to the problem.

<sh>Public Comment

<bt>Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announces the Commonwealth Transportation Board has released a draft version of a six-year transportation program reflecting an additional $500 million a year in new revenues and bonds. In addition, the governor announced that the board will conduct five statewide public hearings including in Fairfax County.

Over the course of the next month, the board will examine and prioritize projects related to safety, congestion, the Public-Private Transportation Act program, corridors and other mandates, such as transportation impacts expected as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure process. For fiscal years 2008 through 2013, statewide public transportation funding will increase 44 percent, rail is up more than 40 percent, and highway construction dollars will increase by 35 percent. Overall highway construction funding available for allocation totals $7.8 billion. For public transportation, total funding is around $2 billion.

The working draft of the FY 2008-13 Six-Year Improvement Program is available for public review at www.VirginiaDOT.org and www.DRPT.Virginia.gov.

The public may comment about essential rail, public transportation, commuter service, bicycle, pedestrian and highway projects — except local/secondary roads — at the hearings. Public comments will be considered before the board adopts a final program in June. The FY 2008-13 program will go into effect July 1, 2007.

Locally a public hearing will be held Wednesday, May 23, 7 p.m., at the Fairfax Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

<sh>Health Survey

<bt>Starting this month, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will survey mothers of newborns to learn why some babies are born healthy and some are not.

Each month, about 100 mothers of 2- or 3-month-old babies will be randomly selected from VDH's listing of births in Virginia and asked to complete a questionnaire that will help public-health officials and others understand what may be causing preventable deaths or diseases among infants. More mothers of low birth weight babies will be invited to participate because babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds at birth have higher rates of deaths and illnesses. Survey answers will help VDH develop a better understanding of how health care professionals and mothers can work together to improve birth outcomes.

VDH was awarded a grant in 2006 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) in Virginia. PRAMS data is used by state and local governments to plan and review programs and policies aimed at reducing health problems among mothers and babies.

PRAMS survey forms will be mailed to the mothers who can then choose to return their responses in a postage-paid return envelope or be contacted by phone. All answers will be kept confidential. The monthly surveys will be ongoing with data available on an annual basis. The first results are expected in about 18 months.

For more information about PRAMS, call 877-89 PRAMS, 877-897-7267, or visit http://www.vahealth.org/prams.

<sh>Agreement Reached

<bt>Construction workers at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia reached an agreement with their employer, Lane Construction Corp., after more than six months of trying to join together in a union. As part of the contract between Lane and Local 11 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, 120 mostly immigrant workers on two current construction projects at the airport will receive immediate wage increases of 5 percent with a four percent wage increase coming next year.

<sh>Click It or Ticket It

<bt>The Loudoun Sheriff’s Office will be joining with state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials during mid-May through Memorial Day to launch an aggressive national "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement mobilization to crack down on low seat belt use and to reduce highway fatalities — with a new emphasis this year on convincing more motorists to buckle up — day and night.

Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

Stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during the national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement mobilization, which runs May 21-June 3. The mobilization is being supported by a projected $10 million in paid national advertising, and additional advertising in each state, to encourage all motorists, but especially motorists at night, to always buckle up.