From the desk of Delegate Anne B. Crockett-StarkThe town of Pulaski sure didn't need this burden added to its current woes.
I know we are all concerned about the economic conditions we are experiencing. I have had several calls concerning the closing of the Pulaski Correctional Center. The Secretary of Public Safety has also informed me that the Tazewell Correctional Field Unit is also being closed. I have been in contact with regional and state Department of Corrections officials concerning this matter. I have also written the following letter to Governor Kaine expressing the concerns of my constituents.
The Honorable Timothy Kaine
Third Floor, Patrick Henry Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Dear Governor Kaine,
Last week’s announcement of the closing of six prisons left me with mixed feelings. I understand the need to consolidate and cut back to make an effort to keep our State running smoothly. However, I have great concern about the closing of the Pulaski prison.
As you are aware, the State has spent over $100,000 to update the bathrooms with low-flow showers, toilets, and sinks. These renovations also included a new parking lot, new paint, new heating and air conditioner units, and new solar panels to make it a clean and efficiently-run facility.
There are 128 employees and 422 inmates currently housed at the Pulaski facility. As you are aware, Pulaski is also a field unit. It has not paid any overtime since 1989 and it houses its prisoners at the annual cost of approximately $17,000, which is significantly lower than the Statewide average of $31,000. The security level of this unit is considered Level 1-2. It offers programs including Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Counseling for Preparation of Outside Environment, and religious services. I know that you support these kinds of services in order that prisoners will be successful when they return to society.
I appreciated the Secretary of Public Safety calling me at your request. I know that these decisions you are having to make have not been easy and I believe that you are a governor who does care greatly about our State’s operations. When I spoke to Mr. Marshall, he indicated that Bland and Pocahontas would be able to take care of some of the slack. However, bearing in mind that the Tazewell Field Unit is also being closed, this will certainly increase lost job opportunity. I have major concern for the Pulaski employment situation due to the approximately 1,000 permanent layoffs at Volvo. I feel that the Tazewell employees should be given the first opportunity to be hired at Pocahontas, since that is their county.
With most of our prisons already being overcrowded, I would ask what you intend to do with the prison population that must be moved? Will it require new mobile units or new infrastructures to be built at other existing prisons? I also have concern that regional jails, which are also overcrowded, will be housing prisoners longer waiting on the State to make the transfers to State prisons. Will we be asked as the legislature to help fund new buildings at regional jails? Will we be putting an exceptionally heavy load on our local governments at their jails?
I want to thank you for your consideration of this matter. I know we must each individually, and as a State, adjust to our economic climate. It is not an easy job for any of us. You are certainly in my daily prayers as our State’s leader.
With Warm Regards,
Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Court Orders Ohio to Verify New VotersWhy this Brunner woman would be opposed to safeguarding the integrity of the voting system is beyond me. But then Democrats are generally beyond my understanding ...
By the Associated Press
Columbus, Ohio (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered Ohio’s top elections official to set up a system by Friday to verify the eligibility of new voters and make the information available to the state’s 88 county election boards.
The full United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, upheld a lower court ruling that Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner must use other government records to check thousands of new voters for registration fraud.
Ohio Republicans had sued Ms. Brunner, a Democrat. Her spokesman had no immediate comment on Tuesday. (link)
Candidates differ on female draft
If I were to list the top ten reasons the USA lost the Vietnam War, the draft would be near number one. Not only did it bring the "intelligence challenged" to the battlefield in disproportionate numbers (rich, smart kids knew how to beat it), but it also brought stupid, unskilled teens who had no desire to be there or to fight. It was a monumental problem.
But for some inexplicable reason, Democrats just can't seem to give up on the idea.
Well, looks like we have no business being in Afghanistan either:
As U.S. Gains in Iraq, Rebels Go to AfghanistanIs there anyone out there who believes an Obama administration will continue this fight?
By John F. Burns, The New York Times
Kabul, Afghanistan — American military successes in Iraq have prompted growing numbers of well-trained “foreign fighters” to join the insurgency in Afghanistan instead, the Afghan defense minister said on Tuesday.
The minister, Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, said at a news conference that the increased flow of insurgents from outside Afghanistan had contributed to the heightened intensity of the fighting here this year, which he described as the “worst” since the American-led forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001. American commanders have said that overall violence here has increased by 30 percent in the past year and have called for more troops. (link)
Out of Afghanistan! On to Okinawa!
Downward SpiralNow wait a minute. Wasn't it this same bunch who demanded that President Bush bring the international community to the fight against the Taliban and "not go it alone"? Isn't that exactly what Bush did when he ceded control of the war effort there to NATO? And now it's his fault because NATO proved to be a hollow shell of its former self and completely flubbed the mission?
Imagine if Mr. Bush had not invaded Iraq in 2003 and instead put all of this country’s resources and attention into defeating Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Even optimistic analysts say that things have now gotten so bad that, with the best strategy, it could take another 5 to 10 years to stabilize Afghanistan.That is one more reason why the next president must plot a swift, orderly exit from Iraq and begin a swift and serious buildup of troops and aid in Afghanistan — the real frontline in the war on terror. (link)
And do we need to talk once again about that "real" frontline in the terror war? Do these guys not read their own paper? That frontline is in Madrid and London and Riyadh and Berlin and Manila and East Timor and Mogadishu and Ankara and ...
Poll Finds Almost Half of New Jersey Adults Want to Move Out of State
By Sara Bonisteel, Fox News
Even New Jerseyans can't stand living in New Jersey, according to a new poll that said nearly half of adults residing in the Garden State want to pull up stakes.
The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll, released Wednesday, found 49 percent of those polled would rather live somewhere else.
58 percent of those residents polled said the heavy financial burden of just living in the state is no laughing matter, and that's why they want to leave.
Poll participants cited high property taxes (28 percent), the cost of living (19 percent), state taxes (5 percent) and housing costs (6 percent) as the main reasons they want out. The poll also found that 51 percent of those who expressed a desire to leave planned to do so, with adults under the age of 50 making between $50,000 and $100,000 the most likely to flee. (link)
Yeah, let's raise 'em taxes. Let's elect 'em Democrats. We too can be just like New Jersey if we try.
NHS trust spends £12,000 treating staff privately
By Graham Tibbetts, London Telegraph
An NHS [jf: National Health Service] trust has spent more than £12,000 [jf: $20,978] on private treatment for hospital staff because its own waiting times are too long.
The money was used to bring in physiotherapists to help workers recover from muscular-skeletal injuries at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
Bosses said it prevented them from leapfrogging NHS patients and enabled them to return to work more quickly.
However, the private treatment, which amounted to £12,116 for 271 appointments over the past year, was described by critics as "shocking".
Mark Wallace of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Their staff should have to wait like everybody else.
"Perhaps if they experienced it as their customers - that is the taxpayer - experienced it, they might be a little keener to improve their waiting times." (link)
Yeah. Waiting lines. Rationed care. Preferential treatment for the well-connected. We can, if we try, do this to ourselves too.
I wonder how many people are trying desperately to get the hell out of Britain these days. Are there Democrats over there?