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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cain't have none o' that developin' 'round here

Heaven forbid we should contemplate economic development along the New River down in Wythe County. We've kind of gotten used to the abject poverty and substandard way of life you see.

Besides, the editorial staff at the Roanoke Times may want to (go slummin' and) picnic one day down at New River Trail State Park and they certainly don't want to have to rub elbows with those ... RV types.

Here's their editorial this morning.
An alarm bell rings for New River

An RV/campground project planned on its banks signals the need to protect the river before private development changes it forever.

The thought of 85 recreational vehicles parked along the New River at a Yogi Bear Jellystone Park shouldn't just be a preservationist's worst fear.

It should be a recurring nightmare for everyone.

For the sake of the state's multimillion-dollar New River Trail investment, the Department of Conservation and Recreation should discourage the Jellystone project by denying a trail crossing needed for the RV sites. (link)
I like that "It should be a recurring nightmare for everyone" line. Campers peeing in the New River! RV owners fornicating in the bushes! Children in dirty diapers unattended! Beer flowing freely! The pungent aroma of marijuana wafting through the forest! My God, they'll probably be playing their NASCAR races on the radio! And there'll be Christians among 'em! Not to mention the Bush/Cheney bumper stickers!

No. The Times editors prefer the abandoned farms, stripped vehicles, mounds of trash, and poorly clad, dirt-poor, uneducated Wythe Countians who rent hovels along the New River to be there whenever said editors drive by on their way down I-81 to West Boca on vacation.

In other words, the editorial staff at the Roanoke Times wants the banks of the New River to resemble present-day Roanoke.

I just wish they would huddle with their lord and savior, Congressman Rick Boucher, and come up with a unified message. It is Boucher, for those of you who don't know it, who has decided that tourism is going to save Southwest Virginia. And it will be tourists in them thar RV's, folks. My suspicion all along has been that Boucher and his ilk actually want to target hikers and horse trail riders, Vanity Fair photographers and wine sipping Manhattanites to the area. The elite. The upper crust.

Not them damn campers at Jellystone Park.

As far as I'm concerned, if developers could line the banks of the New River with luxury condos and a couple of Wal-Marts, we in the area would all benefit. Yeah, we'd have to put up with the riffraff; the ragtag and bobtail. And NASCAR.

But, just as you won't find abandoned farmhouses or stripped vehicles in West Boca, perhaps, if everything goes well, you'll no longer find them along the New River either.

Then perhaps, and only then, will the editorial page staff at the Roanoke Times venture out of their BMW's and mingle with us local folk.

I can't wait.