Saturday, March 26, 2022

If not in my backyard then where?

If not in my backyard, then where? 


 Winsome Earl-Sears's father moved to America from Jamaica with a dollar seventy-five in his pocket. Today, his daughter is the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Ms. Sears said, and I quote, “You have to make the right friends.” Nothing could be truer in life; nothing could be simpler. “A lot of temptations” in downtown Newport News was a reason to use a rural setting for recovery, remarked Rev. Travis Hall. Let there be no mistake; getting people away from those of bad influence is a key to recovery. “Prime Real Estate, and we are not even going to get any tax revenue for it while I believe there will be a draw on our services.” Commission Laura Rose said. I must ask, what higher power is there than to help your fellow man become a better citizen? The question that should be asked is as follows. Is money more important to the commissioner than saving lives? 

 A petition commented concerning a rise in crime. According to Recovery Research Institute. “NIMBY (not in my back yard) has been a pervasive attitude that has created resistance to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment centers being built and barriers in access to care. Researchers at Rutgers University tested the claim that publically funded addiction treatment centers were related to violence in excess of other commercial businesses. They found that violent crime around publically funded addiction treatment centers was no different than around convenience stores & even less than around liquor stores & “corner” stores in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the highest crimes-ridden regions of our country. The program would be attended on a “voluntary basis by non-violent offenders.” Commented Rev. Travis Hall. My position is simple. It is not the person who wants to get better you need to worry about. It is the one who does not want to get better you need to worry about. It is the person who has not yet willing to turn or repent you need to keep an eye on. 

 New Kent residents have been wearing orange for many reasons over the years. Trying to protect their rural way of life, not wanting change. “If there is one constant in life, it is change,” I might argue. Twenty-thousand people in New Kent expressed their opposition to gun control and then turned around and boycotted a gun range for training. This is more about staying rural and opposing change, in my opinion. Who can blame the fine citizens of New Kent? 

We read about death every day in Newport News and other surrounding urban centers. In the last election, thirty-three percent of New Kent County residents voted Democrat, and 66% voted republican. New Kent County's violent crime rate is 8.1%, compared to the US average of 22.7%. One can see New Kent County as a safe place to live, and we should applaud this achievement. With Republicans firmly in control, why would anyone want to change? Rural America is watching our urban centers disintegrate under democrat rule, and now there are those in Newport News who want to send us their worst 

My neighbors of New Kent County, the world needs you. Newport News needs you. We need your help and your guidance as fine citizens of this Commonwealth. It is a known fact that the governance of Newport News has failed miserably to protect its citizens from crime and drugs. Our Federal Government has failed miserably to stop the flow of drugs into our country across the Mexican border. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have failed all Virginians, as you, my fine citizens of New Kent, know well. Our only saving grace is Rob Wittman on the Federal level. 

 There are citizens of Newport News that need your help. They come voluntarily seeking change in their lives. We can make a difference in this world one urban dweller at a time. We can teach self-reliance and help those addicted to drugs overcome this affliction. We can be a model of conservatism, moral decisions based on high rural ethics. We can teach trades helping people live better lives. We can do what Newport News has not been able to do, and that is to help its own citizens. We can teach a better life for those who wish for it. My fellow rural Americans, we are the last holdout who believes in the American dream for all. Let us not fail to show compassion for others as our bible teaches us.

Helping those in need

Helping those in need 

 Affordable housing or known as subsidized rent, section-8 vouchers, SNAP, utility assistance the list goes on. Many will ask how our brothers and sisters find themselves in this position. Today there are no housing vouchers for those in need. Thousands wait for the application process to open; thousands wait for a home. In James City County there are about 200 vouchers available for subsidized rent while thousands wait. My observations, lead me to many different scenarios as to how people find themselves on this impossible waitlist. According to our school system, a person is homeless when the family does not live in their own home. Meaning a family can be living with family or friends, living in a hotel/motel, and be considered homeless. Broken families, high divorce rates, a lack of an education that can lead to gainful employment, there are those who should have never had children to begin with due to mental health issues, contributing to the crisis of homelessness. In my view, these are the leading causes of homelessness in our community. Then there are those who are disabled. Citizens who were once self-sufficient and through no fault of their own, succumb to disease, debilitation of the body, or mental health issues. A soldier coming home from a war that old men sent them to fight is a good example. Our brave young men and women come home with limbs missing or mental trauma finding themselves homeless after giving all to our country. If we as responsible citizens of America continue to ignore the homeless, the mentally ill, the physically disabled, their children suffer irremediable harm. A cycle of poverty exists from one generation to another. 

I look at our pollical views of extremism when applied to this cycle of poverty. One side wants to make people responsible for themselves, “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” The other side wants to give away the farm and make people dependent on the government. Both stances create division in our country and promises broken, all the while the less fortunate suffer. Children cannot possibly become productive citizens in this scenario and thus the cycle continues. People from our Urban Centers to our Appalachian poor need our help, you will find few who do not want a better life, we need to stop generalizing our less fortunate as lazy for they are not. They just need a helping hand, but the hand we lend does not always help others progress in large numbers. 

 Solution: We need to invest in centers of learning where affordable housing is a part of the campus of learning. This campus will have mental health experts, academic experts, where we can reeducate and indoctrinate a vision of a better way to live. We remove candidates from areas of high crime and influences that contribute to poor decisions. We move them across the state if we must. This opportunity is for those who want to be better tomorrow than today. We take under our wing those who want a better tomorrow and give them a safe place to live and grow. That means being proactive in policing these centers of learning and housing. Being quick to expel those who break the rules and or continue to make poor moral decisions that do not meet society's ethical standards. We need to stop ignoring the issue and we need to stop giving away the farm. I would rather help someone for four years become a productive citizen than pay for them the rest of my life. It’s simple really and your bible gives you the answer. “Feed a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and eats for a lifetime.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Chesapeake Bay Urban and Farming runoff. We need real dialog.


I wrote back to the Daily Press and copied my Senator Tommy Norment. Following are my ideas for a cleaner bay.

All Concerned, 


Reference: 2-3-1-2022 Daily Press opinion Chesapeake Bay. 

An interesting opinion has been written many times over the last 24 months. As an environmental expert and professional, I pondered your realization as to Farming and Urban runoff as significant issues. Maybe the letters I have written detailing those issues are finally paying off. 

The issue with the Daily Press opinion over 24 months is that you do not elaborate on Urban Runoff or Farming issues as I have written to you before asking why; we must tackle each topic to improve the Bay's health. 

Here are the issues for you to consider for further investigation:

Farming Lobby: A powerful lobby that shakes and moves state legislation. It would benefit the Daily Press to contact the Farming Lobby, perhaps through a senior senator, to discuss issues. Mainly due to farming being rural and not urban, you will need to understand agriculture, to begin with. Urban dwellers do not understand how the rest of the world lives, how the majority of the land in Virginia is used. Also, note the entire state is not in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Driving 81 south from Lexington, you will cross the watershed about 20-miles from Roanoke, Va. Being a rural conservative growing up working on a farm in the 1970's  I can tell you Farmers do care about the environment, but the truth is most farmers do not have the resources to implement river barriers, or plant tree buffers as an example. Fertilizer management is under control. I would not blame the overuse of fertilizers here.

Urban Runoff is the most significant contributor today to the detriment of the Chesapeake Bay. Here homeowner fertilizers need to be considered a detriment to the environment. A soil test should be conducted, and then the proper amount of fertilizer resulting in a net-zero runoff should be considered. Every day I cringe when I see a truck loaded with fertilizers pull up to homes and start spraying without a soil test. The truth is most yards do not need liquid fertilizers sprayed every quarter every year and for years. How do you know how much nitrogen to spray if you don't know where to start? A soil test helps the customer manage fertilizers and runoff. Lawns can absorb only so much nitrogen and other minerals needed for a nice yard; the rest flows into the Bay through rain events. Here again, powerful urban lobbyists are at work, I suspect. 

The Daily press needs to uncover these two powerful lobbyists, interview them, and ask tough questions. At the same time, the Daily Press needs to be mindful of the cost associated with a change in this case as we need to be careful not to bankrupt the very person who puts food on our tables. Urban centers are growing fast; this includes housing and, of course, an increase in urban runoff. Think about it. We increased the number of lanes on 64 from Hampton Roads to the west of Williamsburg. This alone will produce millions of gallons of runoff that may or may not be effectively managed and depends on the hydraulic retention time of the runoff. VDOT will do its best, I might suppose. 

The leading issues for the Bay are urban centers, fast-growing populations that are out of control, and the Daily Press sitting back and doing nothing but complain. 

PS: Thanks for the article Daily Press. As usual, the Daily Press allows me to offer a different point of view, based on knowledge and, regularly, I might add. 

The civil rights movement and letting go of the past.

I wrote this after ready Mr. Filco's commentary in the Williamsburg Gazette on letting go of the past. Septemeber 2022.  "Why Isn&#...