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

Monday, March 13, 2006

If It Will Shut Up the Crows ...

We seem to be living in tumultuous times here in Bland County. The residents are up in arms. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore ... to coin a phrase. The reason? An ordinance was proposed recently that is intended to limit our free and unfettered right to make noise. Loudly. At all hours of the day and night. Who do these politicians think is in charge around here? The story:

Crowd gets personal at public hearing
Justin Harmon, Bland County Messenger

At the February meeting of the Bland County Board of Supervisors, a lively crowd filled the courtroom. When the time came for the public comment time, many people told the board exactly how they felt about a proposed noise ordinance.

The crowd was overwhelmingly displeased with the regulation proposed at the December 2005 meeting. The ordinance, which was designed to combat excessive noise, didn't sit well with those at the meeting.

One of the biggest concerns among the citizens who spoke was the section that pertained to animals. Eddie Hoge said that it was nothing but a dog law and Mary Stowers said you can't shut dogs up. (link)

I wouldn't want to be the person who brought this complaint to the board. Someone has gone and attempted to alter the natural order of things in Bland County. Hounds bay. And have since the beginning of time. And are destined to forever.

Now if the board wanted to pass an ordinance prohibiting cows from bellerin' and the crows from their incessant cawing, well I'll be right there with them then.

If You Build It, They ... Will Still Relocate To China

What does it say about an economic development policy when, after financially strapped communities in Southwest Virginia spend millions in scarce tax dollars to create thousands of new jobs, the result - after seven years - is 0 jobs created. With no hope of birthing even 1.

Is it fair to say the policy is flawed? Would that be a stretch?
Seven years and millions later...nothing
Commerce Park in Pulaski County was supposed to bring thousands of jobs to the region. It hasn’t.
By Angela Manese-Lee, The Roanoke Times

DUBLIN — It was to be the park that would stop the drain.

An industrial site so large it would bring companies to employ thousands of the area’s young people, invest hundreds of millions of dollars and pour machinery and tools tax dollars into community coffers.

Tempted by the vision, jurisdiction after jurisdiction signed up.

First the counties of Pulaski, Giles, Montgomery and Craig, and the towns of Pearisburg and Pulaski. Then, Bland County, Roanoke County, Roanoke, Radford and Dublin.

They banked on it, too, promising to pay back loans totaling almost $6 million and persuading the state to contribute another $2.5 million in grants.

But seven years after 11 localities joined to develop the more than 900-acre Commerce Park, the land near Dublin is empty. (link)
Read the whole thing. The article provides an abundance of information and insight as to how far local communities are able to go - and sometimes are willing to go - in doomed and costly efforts to lure employers that are - because of inherent local risk factors and enticing overseas incentives - destined to migrate to Singapore. And Shanghai. Honduras. Juarez.

The report also speaks volumes about weak-minded politicians and their reflexive responses to complex problems. They spend money. On whatever elixir the latest snake oil salesman comes around to pitch.

Dublin, Virginia now has a really nice $2.5 million empty field.

Let's face it: The economic climate in Southwest Virginia is not conducive to growth. The costs of doing business here compared to Seoul, South Korea are too high. Recognizing that, government investment in acreage and in a new building out in the sticks with a nice sewer system and telecommunications infrastructure and an abundance of available power doesn't alter the fact that the potential cost of doing business is still too high.

Our politicians need to think in different terms - like those in Ireland who are (kicking your ass and ...) slashing the tax/regulation burden shouldered by companies who relocate there and who are - as I write this - hiring thousands of workers; filling jobs that were once to be found in Pulaski County and Bland and Radford and Giles.

Until we bring in a new crop of politicians who understand that their blowing money on empty buildings and fields of weeds is no longer acceptable, we're doomed to watching more and more area businesses close their doors and flee. And we'll be reading a whole lot more articles like this one about ... what might have been.

I'll Bet This Makes Sense

From the world-renowned Charleston (WV) Gazette:


LAST fall, a grandfather visited five Cross Lanes pharmacies in an attempt to buy Plan B, the “morning after” emergency birth-control medication [sic], for his 15-year-old granddaughter — but no druggist would fill her prescription. But this problem soon will end, because Wal-Mart has agreed to sell Plan B in all of its 3,700 pharmacies nationwide, starting March 20. “Religious right” [sic] groups are upset, because they think this step will reduce consequences of premarital sex. However, they should also be pleased, because emergency contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies, thus reducing the number of abortions [my emphasis]. (link)
Would someone care to explain to the geniuses at the Gazette what it is the RU-486 "morning after" abortion pill does and why it is sought by pregnant women?