People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, August 19, 2005

More Textile Mfg Layoffs In Southside

Another nail in the coffin:
Dan River closes sewing operation, 175 jobs lost
Danville Register Bee staff reports

Dan River Inc. announced plans to close its accessory sewing operation. A total of 175 jobs will be lost later in the year. The plant is located in River Pointe Park.

The employees were allowed to go home at noon today to discuss the layoffs with their families. The total Dan River workforce in Danville will settle at 1,250 workers, with 2,250 workers companywide. (link)

The Dan River Inc. mill looming over and extending along the river in downtown Danville is one of the most impressive historical sights - if only for sheer magnitude - in all of Virginia. And with the Old Dominion's rich history, that's saying something.

The mill is now abandoned and has begun the process of decay.

This does not have to be...

It Only Gets More Bizarre

I wrote last night that Rick Boucher, my congressman here in Southwest Virginia, continues to believe, all evidence to the contrary, that he can pour tax dollars into projects that are intended to promote tourism in the area, projects that have only proven - up to this point in time - to attract flies and lots of dust, and that local economies will prosper as a result.

I'll give him credit for one thing. He's relentless. Utterly misguided but relentless. He's done it again.
Historic mountain paradise or hog heaven?
By Joe Eaton, New River Current

Giles County officials welcome the new federal money, but critics call it congressional pork.

A 304-acre U.S. Forest Service preserve in Giles County got a long-awaited financial boost Tuesday when Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Abingdon, announced that $800,000 in the new federal road bill will go toward preserving and developing the Glen Alton property.

But a taxpayer watchdog group said the money is just a small-town example of wasteful federal spending.

The land, which has several ponds, is now used by hikers, birdwatchers and even wedding parties. (link)
At this point you're thinking this must be a joke. Right? Boucher diverts funds from the federal transportation bill (while Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore spar over what to do about the deplorable road conditions up in Northern Virginia) so that improvments can be made to a lodge and some outbuildings on a piece of land that few people will ever gain access to, much less have an interest in? Why?

As if you couldn't guess ...
Boucher said improvements to Glen Alton will help boost tourism and bring money into Giles County.
No. It won't. And he knows it. It will however get him reelected. So there will be something positive coming out of this foolishness. This abject waste. This shameful diversion from what needs to be done to resolve economic problems in Southwest Virginia. Problems that won't be solved by hikers, birdwatchers, or wedding parties.

The worst aspect to this story is that it ain't over. Boucher is enjoying this.

After the $800,000 is spent, Boucher said he is confident he can bring more federal funding to the project.

"I think this (sic) it is an absolutely terrific place," he said, adding that more funds will be required.

At least his timing is good. All you folks up there in Giles County who are about to lose your jobs when Celanese shuts down its operation (Celanese has such a massive impact on the economy that it generates 25% of the county's tax revenue) will at least have a place to spend your idle hours between job interviews. Go on over to Glen Alton and have a look at the birds. Your congressman gives it five stars.

He won't lift a finger to help Celanese keep its operation there (in all reality, he probably doesn't know how) but he's passed judgement on your park. He thinks it's an absolutely terrific place.

Party on.


The members of the editorial staff at the Roanoke Times are such a gullible lot. In my weaker moments, I feel like I can drive up there, provide them with a bargain-basement price on the Jefferson National Forest, and sell it to them - bears, boulders, bugs, blossoms, and ... Bambi. A package deal.

Today they have an editorial lauding the Israeli pullout from Gaza. That it is a good move on Ariel Sharon's part I don't disagree. I think the Jewish settlements that the government of Israel was trying to protect were indefensible. Now the Sharon government can complete its wall and fight to maintain its existence against overwhelming odds..

Where we differ is with this bit of pollyannaism in their editorial entitled, "Completing Israel's Deoccupation of Gaza."

As the recent history of the Middle East has shown so often, pretexts for inciting violence and bloodshed have been too readily accommodated. Israel's relinquishing of Gaza should ease much of the tension giving rise to such pretexts. (link) [my emphasis]
It will do no such thing and there is not one Israeli on earth who is foolish enough to believe that.

Already the Palestinians are demanding more withdrawals. From the West Bank. From the Golan Heights. From Israel.

Ariel Sharon is a marvelous strategist. And he is cold-sober in his understanding of his enemies. The pullout from Gaza will not change one Arab mind. Or soften one Islamist heart. It will, however, allow for a stronger defense of the state of Israel. And that is why Sharon's move should be supported.

I envision the Roanoke Times editorialists routinely running off to Glen Alton (see above) on weekend retreats, gathering around a blazing campfire and singing songs of the 70's and 80's, celebrating the world as it ought to be.

Let's all sing along with them ...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.
Ariel Sharon and the Israeli people can't afford such absurdity. They let their guard down for a moment and terrorists slaughter them. And dance in the blood and body parts.

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
My attitude? My message to the people of Israel?

Sing this:

Keep the powder dry.

Lock and load.

Never again!


Paula's cats have been lining up at the windows at sunset lately to watch the show. The bats come out for a brief period each evening to feed on insects that abound on the hillside this time of year.

I walked out on the deck overlooking the valley the other night to get a better look at them. They were everywhere, flying directly toward me then suddenly darting upward, downward, swooping in a short arc, disappearing into the deepening night, returning to zip past within inches of my face.

The bats seem to have been accepting of my being there. I made no attempt to disrupt their feast. They got their fill and were gone.

Another night on the mountain begins.