Potentially Historic Monster Storm Bears Down on the Washington Area

A potentially historic storm is bearing down on us, coming up from the south in a blaze of glory.  Virginia has already had its huge storm, back in December.  Yet here comes another when last weekend’s storm still hasn’t melted. 

Predictions have changed hourly.  Currently the prediction for the Virginia burbs is 20-22 inches of snow by Saturday night.  That is a heap of snow.   The December storm was recorded at 16.4 inches for Washington, DC.  Naturally areas outside the city measured in at deeper amounts.

This storm is expected to hit around noon Friday.  VDOT has already requested that people stay home, starting Friday night.  It is harder to plow when cars are on the road.  This storm will be a real budget buster for VDOT.  Most area schools, especially in Virginia, cancelled classes for tomorrow. 

This will be our snow thread for the week.  Will we have a blizzard?  What will total amounts be?

Tea Party Convention

Convention Attendee
Convention Attendee
View of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
View of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

This political movement  needs a new name. What group of adults says they belong to the Tea Party. What does it stand for? Does anyone remember? From all reports, the Tea Party Convention this week in Nashville isn’t going too well.  Various people have stomped out and there is plenty of bickering. 

Why? The average person can’t afford to go. There are a bunch of Tea Party grassroots organizations. Many of them are squabbling already over the overly priced accommodations and set up in general. The Washington Post describes the following problems:

… [T]he first gathering of a sprawling movement, made up of hundreds of disparate Tea Party groups, has been marred by controversy. Some high-profile speakers and activist groups have canceled their appearances in protest of alleged profiteering by the convention organizers.

Attendees have been charged $549 a ticket (plus hotel and transportation) to gather for three days at the luxurious Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center — an expense that critics say is out of reach for the average grass-roots activist. Some of the proceeds will go to cover former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s reported $100,000 fee to deliver Saturday’s keynote address.

There was also some mention of a $600 per person lobster dinner that one person who sat home described as a typical Republican fundraiser dinner. That sure doesn’t sound like an ‘average Joe’s’ kind of meal.  Sarah Palin is a keynote speaker who has said she will not profit from her honorarium but has yet to say who will receive her speaking fee.

What has happened to the grassroots, ‘tired of high taxes’, just your every day average person who showed up at town hall meetings to shout his or her outrage at the ‘system?’  The Post article indicates that those in attendance at the initial Tea Party Convention in Nashville are not your ordinary people being taxed to death.  The people attending the Convention are staying in  opulent accommodations, eating fancy meals, and living high on the hog.  The little man probably can’t afford the plane ticket much less the accouterments that go with that plane ticket.

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County Schools Could Lose 700 jobs

Dr. Steven Walts has proposed massive cuts in the School Board budget to make up a shortfall of nearly $80 million dollars.  Projects and building will also be delayed as will certain school bus routes.  After school programs will also see the budget hatchet.  700 jobs could also be cut. 

According to the Manassas News and Messenger, additional cuts considered are:

Walts is also proposing increasing parking fees for high school students, charging athletic participation fees at the middle and high school level and reducing Central office budgets by 10 percent. The elimination of bus routes means that all students being bussed to specialty schools out of their district would be eliminated. However, bus routes for Thomas Jefferson School for Science & Technology and both Pennington and Porter Traditional Schools would remain.
The net effect of the bus issue, according to budget presenter David Cline, would be to transition those 32 buses to handle the surge in the regular student population, which is expected to reach more than 78,000 students by next fall.


The budget cuts are going to run deep.   Bus services for specialty programs will be cut.  Parents would have to provide transportation.  Parking fees will increase.  Central office will get a 10% cut.  Class sizes will increase.  Retirement will be encouraged.

Finally the N & M has hinted at the freeze on re-calculating  the Local Composite Index issue  submitted  by former Governor Kaine and apparently getting ready to get the nod by current Governor McDonnell.  They have taken no position to day on NoVA schools being short-changed by millions.  The county and both cities stand to lose millions of state dollars because the formula is not being re-calculated  as it should be. 

The budget takes into account an expected $20 million shortfall due to the proposed freezing of the composite index by former governor Tim Kaine. The index is a formula that determines the ability of localities to pay for education, and grants state funding based on that determination.
Prince William’s index dropped more than 4 percentage points, thanks in part to a huge decrease in property values and consequently, potentially less money for both the county and the schools. Approximately 57 percent of the general fund revenue from the county goes to the schools.

People who value education should be swamping the governor’s office with letters, calls and emails advising him to recalculate the formula to ensure the Northern Virginia schools do not get shortchanged as they surely will if things remain the same. 

The Washington Post makes no bones about the LCI causing a quarter of the problem:

Officials attributed a quarter of the school system’s projected $80 million shortfall to a proposed freeze in the adjustment of a state funding formula that is intended to compensate school systems for enrollment growth and declining tax revenue. School Board members urged parents to contact their elected officials.

“The entire General Assembly needs to hear that this is not fair,” said board member Don Richardson (Gainesville).

In an unrelated topic, the PWC School Board has appointed Lisa Bell to serve as the Neabsco School Board member until a special election is held November, 2010.

Double PW Murder Shrouded in International Intrigue

Prince William County is reeling from a double homocide where a Bulargian mother and her 8 year old son were brutally stabbed to death in Dale City.  The mother, Slavka  Naydenova , had been married to Lester Wilson  and had an 8 year old son, Paul Wilson.  Police are being very close-mouthed about motive and details of the case.  Some rather disturbing facts have emerged.  Naydenova’s brother had been murdered, execution style,  in 2003. 

According to Manassas News and Messenger:

Naydenova’s family ties don’t appear to have anything to do with her death, Ebert said. In fact, little is known about her, except that she and her first husband — Lester Wilson — bought the house on Hanover Court on Nov. 3, 2000.

Ebert said Naydenova met her current husband in Bulgaria in March 2003, at the funeral for her brother, Iliya Pavlov. Her husband, now a janitor, worked as one of Pavlov’s bodyguards.

Pavlov was Bulgaria’s wealthiest businessman and was alleged to be the head of the country’s mafia. A year before his death, he was named one of 25 billionaires in Central and Eastern Europe, according to the Sofia News Agency in Bulgaria.

He was shot to death in his office in March 2003.

On Wednesday, Pavel Naydenov — father of the Bulgarian tycoon and the slain Dale City woman — was quoted telling the Sofia News Agency that he thought his daughter’s death may have been a mafia hit.

“She could have had problems with making payments to banks, but banks hardly ever kill people over default loans,” said Naydenova’s father.


A suspect has been arrested.  A Russian woman named Natalia Wilson who just happens to be married to Lester  Wilson, father of deceased little Paul Wilson,  currently.  The couple has been married about a year.  Natalia has been described as a Russian ‘mail order’ bride.    Again, no motive given.  There have been suggestions of jealously, money, and other things causing friction when families divorce and remarry.  To date, all motives have been speculative.  It is very difficult to sort facts.  Facts seem to vary a great deal between the Washington Post, Manassas News & Messenger, and the Sofia Newspaper, Novinite. 

The more about the father of the deceased woman is quoted in Novinite:

Pavel Naydenov, father and grandfather of murdered Bulgarian Slavka Naydenova, sister of killed Bulgarian tycoon Iliya Pavlov, and her son, 8-year-old Paul Wilson has spoken of his grief.

Naydenov told local journalists that he had failed to do the main duty of a father – to protect his own children. He also added that no one should link the murder of his daughter in the US in a personal fight on Monday with the assassination of his son in Sofia in 2003 and that Darina Pavlova – the wife of Iliya – was also not linked in any way.

Pavel added that Slavka will be buried alongside her mother in the Bulgarian village Mirovyane, near Sofia.

It makes one wonder why this Bulgarian tycoon didn’t help his daughter with the finances he mentions. 

Much has been said on this blog about how the crime in Prince William County has become increasingly urban.  Now we have to add international to our list of descriptors.  Police have been working with the Russian FBI and with Bulgarian interpreters to solve this case.  This is not the time to cut back on cop money.  Make the financial slashes some place else.

Further Reading:

Sofia News

Washington Post