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

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Put a Match To It

Nobody on this planet is more sensitive to the need for historical preservation than I am. Nobody.

But I'm also a realist ...

When you drive into the village of Bland, you come upon a century-old building - the old jail - now abandoned, and your heart will speak to you, asking that something be done to save it. To renovate it. Before it's too late.

But if you take a second look, a closer look, an impartial look, you'll come to the realization that it is already too late; that it's nothing more than a pile of bricks waiting to happen. The old Bland County jail is in an advanced state of disrepair and is structurally unsound (to this untrained eye). That's why, I think, sober heads need to get together and do the right thing. The right thing being to put it out of its misery.

Unfortunately other residents have other ideas:
County to decide fate of old jail
By Wayne Quessenberry, Bland County Messenger


The fate of the old Bland County jailhouse will be determined by the Board of Supervisors during budget workshops in April and May. Options of selling the building or dismantling it will be reviewed.

At last week’s board meeting, County Administrator Jonathan D. Sweet informed the supervisors of an unnamed person’s wishes to use the building for various projects. Among the possibilities, he said, are a museum with crafters doing onsite demonstrations, a coffeehouse or café and an open deck at the rear of the building facing the post office as a farmers’ market. (link)
A museum. A craft shop. A café. How neat?

Then reality sets in:

"In 2000, contractors estimated it would cost $370,000 to remodel the old jail building."

Uhhh. An expensive coffee shop, I think. Beyond that, we're looking at a price tag of $370,000 and I still wouldn't go inside for fear that the building would come down around me.

A better idea: Sell the very old - and marketable - bricks by the piece. And be done with it.

Besides, we already have a coffee shop. We affectionately call it Subway.

Stackin' 'Em On Top Of One Another

Isn't there a Wal-Mart at exit 9 off of I-81 in Bristol? Is it possible that those running America's favorite place to shop would want to build another one just five miles up the road? Seems so:
Builder says Wal-Mart project at Exit 14 still a go
By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier

Abingdon, Va. – While not a lot of noise has been heard lately about the controversial Wal-Mart project, developer Tim Scoggin says it is moving forward at Exit 14.

After five years and nearly $1 million invested, double the normal cost, Scoggin said he hopes to submit applications to the town this spring and break ground on the shopping center this summer. If that happens, he said the projected opening date for the stores would be late next year or early 2010. (link)
Don't hold me to this, but I believe exit 14 is the Kmart exit (which ought to tickle the folks there). Are we soon to see a Wal-Mart on every street corner?

Fascinating stuff.

Maybe He Should Be Running In New York

Update February 5, 5:05pm: I received the following in the form of an email from Tom Periello's communications director:

"Your most recent post on our fundraising numbers, especially on the percentage of donors from inside the district, was as you know, erroneously reported by Media General. Although the corrected story has been posted in the comments, your original post is still predicated on the 90% figure, which as you know was retracted. I hope that you will also alter your original post to reflect this fact."

To all who read this: I'm not inclined to alter the post (I just don't alter posts; sorry), but I can certainly make it known that the 90% number cited in the article and in the weblog post is inaccurate. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

- - -

The post as originally written:

This seems a bit odd. The Democratic challenger to 5th District Congressman Virgil Goode raised more campaign cash in the last quater than did the incumbent. A lot more. So what's odd about that? Nothing.

It's where all that cash is coming from that makes it peculiar:
Perriello narrows funding gap in 5th District race
Donations from out of district aid coffers of Goode challenger

By Neil H. Simon, Media General News Service

Washington -- Thanks to help from his family and out-of-state donors, Democratic challenger Tom Perriello raised about $100,000 more than incumbent Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., R-5th, in the last three months of 2007, according to campaign-finance reports.

Perriello raised $266,665 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to Federal Election Commission records. Goode raised $165,009 in the same period ...

"He has a tremendous amount of money from New York and California and other places outside Virginia," Goode said. "This means I'm going to have to work even harder and raise more money."

Ninety percent of Perriello's fourth-quarter contributions came from outside the district. Most of the donations from within the district came from Perriello's relatives, many of whom gave the legal maximum of $2,300 per election. (link)


I touched on this a few weeks ago, the fact that - at the time - Periello was bragging about all the dough that he'd raised but, of the pile of cash that had come pouring in, only two donors were actually from the district (if you don't count relatives). The rest came from far away Washington D.C., New York, and points beyond. Now we find out that the percentage of donors that reside within the district is ten. As in 10%. As in 90% of those who want to see Virgil Goode defeated live in liberal New York and liberal California and liberal Washington. (And a few other places.)

Says a lot, I think.

- - -

By the way, it's also worth mentioning that, according to the FEC filing, much of that remaining 10% is coming from the liberal bastion of Charlottesville.

A pattern forming here?

- - -

Update, Feb 4: See comments for a correction to the story cited above.

Carpe Diem. Those Days Are Numbered.

If you're a parent, this should give you pause. They are grown and gone before you know it.

Lessons Learned From Virginia Tech

Unfortunately, they were learned hundreds of miles away in South Dakota, and not just up the road on the Virginia Tech campus:

Guns on campus?
Aberdeen News

A bill passed this week by a House committee would guarantee people the right to carry or possess firearms on the campuses of South Dakota's public universities.

HB1261 would also prevent schools from expelling students or firing employees for having a gun on campus. (link)


As we learned from the Appalachian School of Law incident over in Grundy a few years ago, law-abiding armed citizens on campus can stop a sociopath in his tracks. We also learned (or not) from the Virginia Tech tragedy last April that banning the possession of firearms on campus simply makes that campus a free-fire zone for those same psychopaths. A killing zone.

Here's to the people of South Dakota for putting the safety of their children before others' dreamy notions of "what ought to be."

I Don't Expect Much ...

... but is it wrong for me to expect more from our commander-in-chief?

Osama will have a field-day.