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Archive for April, 2011

Logmill Road to be flattened

April 22nd, 2011 6 comments

The News and Messenger reports that Logmill Road is to be flattened.  It has been the scene of 7 deaths  since 2000 and countless more injuries.  The project will be completed with federal funds and is projected to be finished November, 2012. 

After reading some of the hateful reader comments on insidenova.com, it seems that some discussion is needed.  Many communities have stretches of road that are particularly deadly, as evidenced by the make-shift graves that spring up along road sides.  Logmill Road is one of Prince William County’s most deadly.  It has no shoulders.  It is like riding a roller coaster because of the hills.  The faster one goes, the better the effect, unless you lose control of your car or an animal darts out in front of you.  The kids used to  call it   ‘jumping the hills’   according to family members (in-laws) who grew up out on the Mountain.  

Good for the county for recognizing this problem   But can this problem be addressed in other, less disruptive ways?   There is a stretch of road on route 29, just as you leave Madison and enter Green County on the way to Charlottesville.  I have never driven through that area that I didn’t see at least one cop car.   The natural inclination there is to speed.  You are coming off a hill to a flat stretch of road.  And the cops are waiting for you.  I always kept my speed to the limit through there and I expect they could probably built a new school or 2 with the money they have brought in giving tickets to unsuspecting drivers. You can tell those who are familiar with that stretch.  Those are the folks going exactly the speed limit.  they learned.

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Corey Stewart Still Flirts with Upcoming Senate Seat

April 22nd, 2011 5 comments

It seems that Corey Stewart is still attempting to flirt with running for the U. S. Senate, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. In an interview, Corey boasts that people either love him or hate him:

“I’ve been a very controversial figure, and people either love me or hate me,” said Stewart, 42.

The moment of blithe self-awareness followed a ceremonial announcement of his bid for re-election as at-large chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Elected countywide, the position answers to more than 400,000 constituents.

But with political ambition to spare, Stewart, an affable international trade attorney and spirited conservative, has designs on higher office — a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Corey still doesn’t get it.  No one I have ever talked to hates Corey.  They dislike his style of governance–that fly by the seat of your pants way of saying one thing to one person and the opposite to the next person.  Corey has a reputation for breaking his word.  He signs pledges he does not keep when a better deal comes along, such as his sell out on the Avendale property.  His total disregard for previous pledges to guard the Rural Crescent was highlighted on this blog.   Most people who know Corey say he is affable and fun to be with.   Many who know him simply don’t trust him, having been screwed over in the past.

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Open Thread ……..Passover…..Good Friday…….Earth Day…..Friday, April 22

April 22nd, 2011 100 comments

Today is Earth Day which was first celebrated on April 22, 1970.  Have we made progress protecting the earth?  That question is certainly debatable.  What do our contributors think?  Is the earth  better off than it was   40 years ago?

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Restrepo: Birds Eye View of Afghanistan

April 22nd, 2011 9 comments

I just finished watching Restrepo.  It is available on Netflix.  It will also be shown again on NatGeo Monday night at 9 pm.  We have been so protected from our wars.  Only military families have suffered.  Industry and defense contractors have gotten rich.  The rest of us have basically remained untouched.

The war in Afghanistan is costing 2 billion dollars a week.  Our troops are being asked to be social workers.  Meanwhile, those same troops are suffering death, horrible brain injuries, loss of limb and overall life-altering injuries.  Military families have suffered because also because of the multiply deployments.  Children have grown up without a parent and spouses have spent 10 years with partners popping in and out of their lives. 

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Faux News in-fighting?

April 22nd, 2011 33 comments

Glenn Beck must be planning to go out in a blaze of glory.  He apparently called Mike Huckabee a ‘progressive’  because of his support of First Lady Michelle Obama over her childhood obesity initiatives.  Anyone who knows anything about Mike Huckabee knows he has continually fought his own personal weight demons and has written a book on the subject.  He also has done some of his own crusading while governor of Arkansas towards childhood obesity. 

According to Huffington Post:

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee shot back on Thursday at recent claims made by Glenn Beck that he is a “progressive,” a word that the conservative radio host often uses to describe some of his most prominent enemies.

Beck declaredearlier this week that Huckabee was “John McCain” and a “progressive” because of his choice to defend First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiative while other conservatives were getting in on the fray.

Huckabee retaliated with a poston his PAC’s website Thursday, standing by his support of the First Lady’s program and even taking a few shots of his own at Beck.

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County Talk

April 21st, 2011 18 comments

There was a request for a thread on Neighborhood Services.  I am not sure how many people are interested but here it is.  I am also going to combine it with another county issue:  DISCRETIONARY FUNDS

Many people see the discretionary funds given to the BOC supervisors as a way for the supervisors to reward their pet groups, charities, organizations with OUR money.  What do YOU think?

Joyous Easter to All

April 21st, 2011 5 comments

Easter is a time of renewed hope for all.  It reminds us that winter is over and spring is here with the rabbits, lambs, flowers, and freshness.  

Easter defines Christianity.  The Resurrection  is the one event that unites  all Christians.  

Regardless of how you acknowledge Easter, whether as a Christian, or in a secular way, may you enjoy  a warm sunny day full of hope and regeneration. 

 

The Tomb

 

 

 

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Director of Documentary “Restrepo” is Killed In Lybia

April 20th, 2011 4 comments

For those who have not watched the documentary “Restrepo”, I strongly urge you rent it.   What a loss to the world that this Documentarian has died. 

British-born Tim Hetherington, co-director of the 2010 documentary “Restrepo” about U.S. soldiers on an outpost in Afghanistan, was killed, said his U.S.-based publicist, Johanna Ramos Boyer.

Here is a brief summary of Restrepo:

Hetherington, a veteran war photographer, and journalist Junger, whose books include best-seller “The Perfect Storm,” wisely follow “The Hurt Locker” formula and leave politics aside, taking no stance on the war other than to show the daily lives of the people fighting it.

“Restrepo” unfolds with an objective yet impassioned voice, the soldiers’ actions, words, loyalty, even their horseplay combining for an unforgettable chronicle of fraternity under fire.

And the men are constantly under fire — sometimes as often as three or four times a day. Hetherington and Junger’s cameras reveal the assaults in frightening detail as the platoon fires back to repel attacks with matter-of-fact resolution.

One scene, almost unbearable to watch, captures the terrible outpouring of emotion after a comrade is killed. Such agonizing images bring home the war in a way no news report or fictionalized drama ever could.

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Unhappy Trails to You…until we meet again

April 20th, 2011 4 comments

 

It seems that PWC has a financial  windfall this budget season.  That is good news, or is it?
According to insidenova.com:

On Tuesday, the over­whelming majority of the eight supervisors were in agreement with Chairman Corey A. Stewart’s tax rate and spending proposals dur­ing the annual budget mark­up. At $1.204 per $100 of real estate property, Stewart’s tax rate would allow for a host of long-sought-after trail proj­ects that the Park Authority has been unable to achieve due to lack of funding.

The proposed tax rate would increase the average tax bill by $62.

More than $600,000 of the $4.73 million in additional revenue from Stewart’s plan would be headed to the Park Authority to spend on im­provements or additions to a number ofprojects, includ­ing the Neabsco Creek Trail, Broad Run Trail, Catharpin Creek Trail, the Potomac Her­itage National Scenic Trail, Lake Ridge Eastern End Trail and the Old Bridge to Minnieville Loop.

Stewart also expects an additional $2.5 million from the annual carryover session in late summer, as well another $1.4 million in proffer funding that can be used for trails and park projects. These include the creation of the Fuller Heights Community Park and Occoquan Riverwalk Park, and the addition of fields at Catharpin Park.

As the county slowly recovers from a devastating crash in the housing market, and thus, a greatly reduced tax base, employees will finally get a much deserved raise of 2% cost of living.  They have not had a raise in 2 years, yet they have been asked to work longer and harder, often doing the work of others.

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Manassas Tea Party Call to Arms?

April 20th, 2011 47 comments

Every once in a while it’s good to step back and look at what is really being said and by whom. 

A friend sent me a link  that I think bears watching.  First off, I am not a resident of the City of Manassas.  I have friends and relatives there and generally I try to stay out of their business.  However, every once in a while something comes along that is so egregious that it needs comment.

Apparently the Manassas Tea Party has decided to wage war on the Manassas City Council.  They decry increases for services:

Gas and food prices are soaring.  Electric, sewer, trash pickup and water rates are all going up.  As citizens, our first step in these dire financial times is to tighten our own belts and we naturally expect our government officials to follow suit. But look no further than our own Manassas City Council to find a government entity uninterested in reducing the burden on its citizens.

Services go up for everyone, including municipal government.   Isn’t trash service part of City services?  These costs will be passed along to the resident.  The City isn’t your parent, Tea Party People.  You have to foot some of this cost. 

Here are additional complaints:

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Doocy: the latest birther?

April 20th, 2011 8 comments

Steve Doocy of Fox and Friends apparently has crossed over to the dark side and is now a birther.

 

 

Carl Rove has said Donald Trump is making a mistake to hone in on the birther phenomena and the Donald takes exception. The earth is spinning backwards. I never thought I would be agreeing with Carl Rove.

The Donald thinks Rove took a cheap shot at him. 

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AZ Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes Birther Bill and Guns on Campus Bill

April 18th, 2011 8 comments

Good for Jan Brewer!

According to Huffington Post:

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill to require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove their U.S. citizenship before their names can appear on the state’s ballot.

The bill vetoed by Brewer on Monday would have made Arizona the first state to pass such a requirement. According to My Fox Phoenix, the governor said the measure “is a bridge too far.”

The Arizona proposal would require political parties and presidential candidates to hand in affidavits stating a candidate’s citizenship and age and to provide the candidate’s birth certificate and a sworn statement saying where the candidate has lived for 14 years.

If candidates don’t have a copy of their birth certificates, they could meet the requirement by providing baptismal or circumcision certificates, hospital birth records and other documents.

 

“I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their ‘early baptismal or circumcision certificates’,” said Brewer in light of vetoing the bill, according to My Fox Phoenix. “This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona.”

Jan Brewer did the right thing.  AZ seems hell-bent on proving itself the most bass-akward  state inu the union.  Jan Brewer did a great deal to help its legislature from reaching dubious honor.  If the birther people only knew how badly the rest of the country is laughing at them.  What do they hope to accomplish?

Brewer also vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on campus along right of ways.  She had this to say:

The bill didn’t define public right of way and also could have been interpreted to apply to K-12 schools in addition to universities and community colleges, Brewer said in her veto letter.

“Bills impacting our Second Amendment rights have to be crystal clear so that gun owners don’t become lawbreakers by accident,” she said.

 

It a pleasure to be able to compliment Governor Jan Brewer for doing the right thing.

Bushwacked Again?

April 17th, 2011 33 comments

Apparently Corey Stewart is going to recommend that a new found “inheritance” of Prince William County money be spent on additions to the budget in lieu of lowering the tax rate.   One of the expenditures is said to be 2.3 million dollars for trails.  

The current Chairman of this County is becoming infamous for last minute “bushwhacking”, to quote the former Chair Sean Connaughton.   Let’s not forget the Land Use Chapter, Parks and Open Space, Transportation, and Environment Chapter updates.     Corey is becoming infamous for adding last minute substantive changes that make it virtually impossible for citizens to understand what those changes mean. 

Shouldn’t this new found money be an opportunity for citizens to comment on what they believe are the priorities in Prince William County?  Maybe it is trails…………, but maybe it isn’t. 

Let us not forget the redistricting maps!  Do you really think you have seen them all?

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Susan J. Demas: Michigan’s New Motto: Blame It on the Teachers

April 17th, 2011 7 comments

Reprinted with permission from Susan J. Demas whose guest opinion appeared in the Huffington Post.

Unless you are saving lives on the operating table or vaccinating children in Africa, it takes a certain kind of chutzpah to constantly insult and berate teachers.

Because chances are, your job is nowhere near as important as that of the folks responsible for shaping the young minds of tomorrow. That goes for lawmakers, lobbyists and yes, annoying reporters like myself.

Anyone who has to corral a bunch of sugar-addled kindergartners or try to break through to angry teenagers deserves hazard pay. Because if our kids don’t get the education they need in their early years, they are screwed. That didn’t used to be the case, when the auto industry was fat and happy and doled out jobs as high school graduation gifts.

But nowadays, if kids don’t earn a college degree, they are almost completely shut out of the middle class. Maybe an associate’s degree in a technical field will suffice. But that’s about it.

Teachers are critical to this process. So are parents, but most of them are too busy working 60 hours a week, often at a couple jobs, to teach their kids very much at home. And let’s face it. Once kids start bringing home algebra, most of us are hopelessly lost.

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2 Words: Disrespectful Pigs

April 16th, 2011 13 comments

Glenn Beck is a swine. No further explanation needed

Listen to his immature school boy giggling and you will understand the title of this thread.  Clare Coleman, chief executive for Planned Parenthood New York, will clarify the stupidity of Mr. Beck’s statement.  She responds in a Washington Post op ed piece:

I’ve never had a chance to talk to Glenn Beck, who implied recently on his Fox radio show that only “hookers” use Planned Parenthood.But when I worked for the organization, I would ask our supporters to picture this: You’re a 22-year-old woman with a job you don’t love, a toddler you’d die for and no health insurance. You live paycheck to paycheck, and you always know to the penny how much cash you’ve got until the end of the month. You’re rushing home on Route 9 to relieve your mom, who’s with the kid, and the engine light on the car comes on. You feel a wave of panic. You know you’re always one emergency away from everything falling apart. That’s our patient — I always have her in my mind.

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