Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror

UPDATE: Camera put up to monitor vandals

photoSeen here, the skeleton Santa display is missing his legs. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Laura Peters

With less than a week until Christmas, vandals have struck again on the courthouse lawn – this time removing the skeleton Santa’s legs. The skeleton Santa display had already been vandalized on Dec. 5 and then on Dec. 10.

The Leesburg Police Department has put up a camera, owned by the sheriff’s office, across the street from the display to keep an eye on the vandalism.

The sheriff’s office maintains the courthouse, Master Police Officer Christopher Tidmore and spokesperson for the Leesburg Police Department said. Per the request of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office the Leesburg Police Department placed the camera there shortly after the Christmas Parade on Dec. 10, according to Tidmore.

“We are enhancing our security measures in response to the incidents that have occurred to the displays,” Kraig Troxell, spokesperson for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said. Troxell would not comment further on the camera.

According to Betsy Fields, research and communications manager for the Town of Leesburg, the camera is not monitored by the town or police department. It was placed there after the Leesburg Police Department had tried to return the camera to the sheriff’s office and they were asked to place it in front of the courthouse, Fields said.

The owner of the display is Middleburg resident Jeff Heflin Jr., according to Julie Withrow, a Loudoun County administrator.

On Heflin’s application for inclusion in the courthouse display, he described his entry as “art work of Santa on a cross to depict society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.” Heflin is not part of any organization and sponsored the display himself.

The courthouse displays have seen such controversy for years. A Loudoun County Board of Supervisors appointed citizen group, the Courthouse Grounds and Facilities Committee, recommended in December 2009 that the county ban courthouse displays. The board later denied the committee’s request. The debate resurfaced in July 2010 when the committee requested a ban be put in place on courthouse lawn displays. The board decided that anyone could put up displays on the lawn on a first-come, first-serve basis, with 10 spots, recently reduced to nine. The board voted on Dec. 6 to move the vote to next year on whether to keep the displays.

A family from Washington, D.C. had heard the buzz being generated over several news sources in the area of the skeleton Santa on the courthouse lawn and made a pilgrimage to Leesburg to see for themselves.

“We don’t believe that you should have a creche on the courthouse lawn … there should be separation of church and state,” Amy, a resident of Washington, D.C. said.
“The message you are sending with just a creche is that there’s no separation of church and state,” she continued.

The family said it was a mix of skepticism that brought them out and thought that it was strange to even put religious symbols on government property.

What they gathered to be the meaning of the skeleton Santa was Christmas was being fueled by commercialism and didn’t understand why residents were so up-in-arms over the display.

“Christmas has already been destroyed,” Maria Zumer said. “It’s so commercialized.”

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for guarding the displays at the courthouse complex and grounds and the Leesburg Police Department also patrols the surrounding area in Historic Downtown, according to Troxell.

“The agency will enhance our current security measures at the courthouse, to include directed patrols in the area,” Troxell said after the first piece of the display was taken on Dec. 10. “We have security measures for the courthouse and the grounds and because they’re county property or considered county jurisdiction, we will investigate any criminal activity on these grounds.”

A report from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said that the display’s theft is under investigation.

Comments


Classy people like Dave do not understand what tolerances is. They want to force God onto everything and ignore the growing population on non Christians in this nation. Keep your religion in your household and leave me alone to beleive or not beleive as I like, that was the founders principles.


Liberals always show how intolerant they are towards others and this “display” is just another example.  Atheist scum can “tolerate” one day a year but we must tolerate their behavior in our schools, on our TV, rewriting our history etc…


Since we’re posting Christmas lyrics, try this:

We’re no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of
You wouldn’t get this from any other guy

I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

We’ve know each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching
But you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it

And if you ask me how I’m feeling
Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see

Never gonna give you up
Find more similar lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.com/ak5Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

Repeat Chorus

Give you up, give you up
Give you up, give you up
Never gonna give,
Never gonna give, give you up
Never gonna give,
Never gonna give, give you up

We’ve know each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching
But you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it

I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand

You’ve just been Rick Rolled!


I was raised a Catholic but I’m not really religious anymore and would probably be considered an atheists now but I have no problem with Chritmas/religious displays of any kind.

Careful Demi. We Catholics aren’t supposed to reveal ourselves since these Bible thumpers on this thread believe that Catholics are the devil!


“There isn’t a single deputy that will ‘see’ anything happen on the courthouse grounds because they are on God’s side”.

I’m laughing so hard my sides are splitting. OK, Uncle, I give! Can’t you tell you’ve been baited by the non-believers? By posting this fire and brimstone drivel, it only encourages them. Stop. Be the Christian you profess to be.


“Loudoun is the last bastion of Christianity in this region of heathens and you won’t find a jury that’ll convict any good Christian who is fighting this holy way against evil.”

You all give that Bible a good ole’ fashion Virginia thumping. I’m a christian. I go to church each and every Sunday and ever high holy day. But you have to be out of your cotton picking mind to make that drivel up and then post it on a public website. And you can keep your religious fervor to yourself. Sir, may I suggest that you run, don’t walk, to Costco and buy one size larger underwear. Yours is clearly impairing your ability to think clearly.


@Misinformed Professional

Quoting the late Saul Alinsky..“It only takes 2 percent of any region to change the culture if that 2 percent is well organized, well funded, and highly motivated”

Let’s turn back the clock shall we, to the I don’t know…1800’s when Slavery was still legal.  I’m sure the so-called “quiet majority” thought slavery was just A-ok. 

Fast forward to the 1920’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought women disallowed to vote was just A-ok too.

Fast forward to the 1950’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought black people should NOT have the same rights as white folks…hell a lot of people in this country still believe that to this day.

Fast forward to the 1970’s and I’m sure the “quiet majority” thought that women having to use a clothes hanger to abort an unwanted fetus was just fine & dandy…and guess what the PRO-lifers still think that is the “healthy” way to go about the Women’s right to choose…just look at the debate over the morning after pill.

You get my point?

What you term as the “screaming MINORITY” is what I would term as the AMERICAN WAY…and without it..well just turn back the clock shall we?  Is that what you want?


@Misinformed Professional

Quoting the late Saul Alinsky..“It only takes 2 percent of any region to change the culture if that 2 percent is well organized, well funded, and highly motivated”

Let’s turn back the clock shall we, to the I don’t know…1800’s when Slavery was still legal.  I’m sure the so-called “quiet majority” thought slavery was just A-ok. 

Fast forward to the 1920’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought women disallowed to vote was just A-ok too.

Fast forward to the 1950’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought black people should have the same rights as white folks…hell a lot of people in this country still believe that to this day.

Fast forward to the 1970’s and I’m sure the “quiet majority” thought that women having to use a clothes hanger to abort an unwanted fetus was just fine & dandy…and guess what the PRO-lifers still think that is the “healthy” way to go about the Women’s right to choose…just look at the debate over the morning after pill.

You get my point?

What you term as the “screaming majority” is what I would term as the AMERICAN WAY…and without it..well just turn back the clock shall we?  Is that what you want?


For the record I am a native Northern Virginian in his 30s; born in Fairfax Hospital and raised in Springfield. I am an atheist. Just growing up in the south does not make one religious.


@Who cares? I am a bit offended by your whole dismissal of this matter using the Loudoun’s growing “educated northern professional” population as your argument. My Native Virginia friends would probably categorize me as one who fits into that generalization, so let me interject a different perspective here.

My “northern education” has taught me there is a reason our government was set up to accommodate delegation of rights at the national, state, and local levels, as to not promote a “one size fits all” agenda.  Additionally, an educated person would recognize the value of preservation of both equality AND diversity in America, which would include those who embrace modern southern Christian values. Most of the transplants I know respect the traditions and culture of the area we moved into…the very one we voluntarily chose to be our hometown.  The respect of tradition is the very reason why I, as a gun-control advocate, support hunting in this area, place a yarmulke on my son’s head when we enter a synagogue (although I’m not Jewish), attempt to speak Spanish when visiting Little Havana in Miami, or would cover my hair should I ever decide to visit a Muslim country.

“Who cares” – I do agree that many educated people, even those who call themselves Christians, are dismissing this all as petty BS and are balking at all of the press coverage, controversy, and tax payer dollars spent to mitigate the needs of the various participants. However, what concerns me is that too many of us are carelessly dismissing the actions of self-serving special interest groups by inviting them to run rampant on county courthouse lawns. Running away from “special interest” is the very reason some of us left our big city hometown and took up residency in the Virginia suburbs. Additionally, the arguments presented on this blog only serve to exploit the whole “native vs. northern transplant” conflict you allude to, and apparently dividing the masses appears to be a primary goal of these groups who are instigating this very ill-timed chaos. That kind of disrespect is not only non-productive, but also damaging to those of us who work and volunteer in support of Loudoun County.

I am “big city” born and raised and most of my native Loudoun friends would consider my social political views as liberal, however, if the majority of Loudoun’s citizens support the creche on the courthouse lawn, I will fully support my neighbors because it is a long-honored tradition, and because the Constitution preserves their right to do so. If the crèche or any other display offended me, I would not patronize the town that supports it and/or move to one of those DC area counties where displays are banned from government property.

So, while I agree that many “northern educated” transplants aren’t phased at all by a Santa on a cross, I totally agree with the “Bluedogs” statement that DC nor any other county resident has any place dictating how “sleepy little Loudoun” should be run, and it is that argument which is capturing the interest of people like myself. As my kids like to say “I do me; you do you.” This is not about the educated vs. non-educated “care factor” but rather preserving the rights of the quiet majority of residents, opposed to the screaming minority and/or non-residents, to define what should or should be allowed on our county courthouse lawns.


Bluedog, stop generalizing.  Most of the community doesn’t care about what is going on here.  Only the “poor oppressed Christians”, a few atheists and a few secularists who bother to speak up care.

Believe it or not, sleepy Loudoun has been invaded by educated professionals from up north who don’t go to church and don’t care about petty BS like this.  Non-issue for 90% of us.


Secular Opponents Of Holiday Displays Get Creative

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/24/144151483/secular-opponents-of-holiday-displays-get-creative


Hey “Sixth Cents” and “Losers in Loudoun Club”.  Don’t you all have a Nike shoe sale to attend today?  Losers - did I strike a nerve?


A couple of points:  (1) Tell “Amy a resident of Washington, DC” that we in Leesburg really don’t care what people in DC say about the displys on our courthouse lawn.  This is our courthouse, not DC’s.  I can’t say I’m fond of all the Occupy people annoying folks at McPherson Square, but I just avoid DC.  (2)  That the Police are expending taxpayer money to monitor a display that the community has largely said is unacceptable is a waste.  As a taxpayer, I want the waste to stop and for the County to withdraw funding.  (3) Finally, that someone has again abused the crucified Santa—good.  Get rid of it and next year let’s have a better plan for dealing with this nonsense.


John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
This gift of transforming power and strength has the ability to transform and beautify our lives…But a gift offered is not necessarily a gift received. It’s up to you friends and neighbors. Visit a church! Meet God. Meet friends. Live life better. <3


Native Loudouner Right Here. All I have to say is that Loudoun is God’s Country. Anybody who doesn’t like it can march their azz back to where they came from.


I NEVER THOUGHT OUR TOWN OR COUNTY WOULD HAVE SUCH A TURN AROUND.  ALL THE YEARS HAVE BEEN PEACEFUL WITH THE NORMAL DISPLAY OF A TREE AND THE MANGER. I WAS SAD TO HEAR A COUPLE YEARS AGO ABOUT STOPING THE DISPLAYS BUT NOW I THINK IT SHOULD BE DONE.  WE NATIVE LOUDOUN COUNTY, BORN AND RAISED DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS KIND OF TRASH DISPLAY.  LET THE COURT SAY NO MORE DISPLAY’S.  IF WE HAVE TO GIVE UP OUR HERITAGE TO THE UNFIT SO BE IT.  LEESBURG IS THE HEART OF LOUDOUN COUNTY AND SHOULD NOT BE SOILED. GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY AND COUNTY…...


Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.  This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.  While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.  And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.


6cent, I don’t go to church, so there’s one rant gone.

You have no clue what my religious beliefs are, if any, so there’s another down the tube.

And how funny is it for a troll preaching that he is more enlightened than anyone else calling one set of Christinas “snobs”?

You are way too agitated to pass this off as simple humor that the unenlightened don’t get.


Merry Christmas Everyone!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g4lY8Y3eoo

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at [email protected].

More News

Email UPDATES
Tuesdays:  
Thursdays:
As Seen IN PRINT
The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Open the e-edition now.