Commentary on Roanoke.com

Looks like Roanoke.com is changing again. We now have our own url: blogs.roanoke.com which is nice and all, but now features RT-online blogs, above our (the suppliers of said blogs) listings.

Now I realize this is a wee bit nit-picky, but we bloggers have been pretty productive in terms of pumping out product. Now the Times, as it has every right to do, places 2 of its own blogs above ours. Thats not a big deal, what I personally feel is a big deal is the placement of the 2 Times blogs - on top is one about some guy who wants to lose weight.


The 2nd, and far more important (at least IMAO) is this one: "The Roanoke Times has sent staff writer John Cramer and photographer Kyle Green to follow Southwest Virginians who left the area to help with Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts. Our hope is to follow these local people and to show what they're doing to help people in hurricane-damaged areas. Read their blog"

Now this is the power of blogging taken the right way. And at a time like this, I think its a wee bit more important than some guy trying to lose weight. Want to lose weight? Go to New Orleans and help out - live on one MRE a day, help run evacuations while trying to breathe under oppressive heat and humidity, enhanced by a smell akin to that of a NYC Subway station on the worst day of the year.

Seems a wee bit more important, lifewise, to me.

In other news, September 10th is rapidly approaching. Why its just a week from this Saturday! What are you doing that day?

Feel like taking part in a goofy little funtime cavalcade of futility ?

keep your eyes open.. things are about to get silly in Roanoke.

roanoke.com - Commentary Stories -History, efficiency, safety and cost argue for saving Fire Station No. 1

This ones for Rhett.

And heres a follow up I had not previously thought of: Downtown is in the process of gaining residents. With condos and apartments being built in some of the older buildings, if I remember - the current estimate of people living downtown will be roughly 3-400 by years end. Next year it could be double that. Your going to ask these people to wait 8-10 minutes for a truck to scramble from Elm and make its way downtown?

Lack of a quicker response time might make downtown a less attractive place to live.

Just a thought.

Allegedly 9 days to the groundbreaking for the AMWV. Don't think I've forgotten.

Don't worry, its coming.

Oh, and after we have seen what happened in New Orleans, a group of friends were talking about the flood of 85 again. Considering this is going to be the 20th anniversary of the flood come Nov. I have to ask, think the AMWV would survive it?

Heres a look at the current location of the AMWV, back in 85, courtesy of Tommy Firebaugh.


Just a little notice, all your floodzones are belong to us.

ROANOKE, VA - Construction of Phase I of the Roanoke River Flood
Reduction Project is scheduled to begin soon after Labor Day, and
residents can expect to see major tree clearing, digging and
re-landscaping in the effected areas.

The Army Corps of Engineers awarded the project to Branch Highways,
Inc., which was issued a Notice to Proceed Monday. The project will

• Creating four bench cuts along the river from 9th Street to
Bennington Street (Wastewater Treatment Plant),
• Developing 900 linear feet of recreational trail from Jefferson
Street to Reserve Avenue,
• Clearing and snagging,
• Installing rip rap around the pedestrian bridge, and
• Landscaping the bench cuts.

Bench cutting, changing the slope of the river banks, lowers the
height of the river by widening it. In order to create the bench
cuts, all trees and vegetation along the river's edge must be
removed, said Khadija Abdur-Rahman, civil engineer for the City of

Replanting will immediately follow the excavation to restore
vegetation in these areas.

The project's first activity will be the clearing and snagging of
13th Street off of Tayloe Avenue in preparation for the first bench

"This project will reduce the frequency and impact of flooding from
the Roanoke River that affects so many residences and businesses,"
said Abdur-Rahman. "We are pleased to be moving forward on this
important project."

Too much is happening lately

Between the Hurricane, there have been 2 deaths which touched me personally this past weekend, and work - I don't have much to say right now.

So expect a light week, although Im still going to try to get a page up at Forgotten-Roanoke for the weekend. I will let you know when that happens.

Although kudos to Q99's Dick and Dave - allready planning a fundraiser for the victims of Katrina. Truly honorable, Ronin.


CBS 2: Explaining Doppler 2 Million

CBS 2: Explaining Doppler 2 Million

Uhhh.. Jaime? Oh Mark?.. I think you have some competition in the ViPIR field.

2 million.. thats alot of millions.

News from The Roanoke Times -Carolina Oak II may replace historic fallen tree

To which I say: bravo. And without a doubt Im sure some punks will come and mess with it, because thats what they do. And someday a car might hit it, because people tend not to pay attention to these things when they are small. And someone might actually even attempt to steal the tree itself, because it seems par for the course.

But thats ok, we've got plenty of trees. And eventually, someone gonna get their ass kicked for messing with it - and thats when the tree will be fully part of Roanoke. When we protect it like family.

Back 50 years ago, it was just a tree in the road till the city came and tried to take it out. Then it became family.

It had been hit by drunk and careless drivers before on a few occasions, but it stood - so it was no big deal. But when they tried to take it away, thats when it became a big deal.

Go and buy about 5 white oaks Roanoke Parks and Rec - you might need them before this tree takes root in our family.

Lewis-Gale Medical Center to buy Lewis-Gale Clinic

Lewis-Gale Medical Center to buy Lewis-Gale Clinic

Well this is kinda wild. What always confused me was having both the L-G Med Center and the L-G Clinic, and neither was affiliated with the other.

The operational layouts of the two were totally different. L-G Med Center is a traditional hospital group, while the Clinic was a doctor-owned, group pratice basically.

Makes me wonder how this will affect the work the Clinic does on a daily basis.


Things got interesting

There will be a time when I will discuss all that happened this weekend, and yes I know its only Sunday.

Pray for all those in New Orleans, and pray we can keep our memories of that city after it's been wrung dry. I fear that might be all we have left.

American Red Cross - Preparing Communities for Emergencies and Keeping People Safe - Preparedness

American Red Cross - Preparing Communities for Emergencies and Keeping People Safe - Preparedness

now would be a good time to donate, if you feel so inclined.

Otherwise, pray a lot.



todays new section is up, enjoy!

Meant to post about this yesterday

roanoke.com - Commentary Stories -Time once stood for August musings

Beautifully written piece, and so damned true.

roanoke.com - Business Stories -Downtown Roanoke wine shop to close

Now I know most people could give a rats patootie about the business section.

I read it religiously, and exactly for moments like this. Not only is Lee & Edwards closing (eventually - go buy something and thank these people for the hard work they put into it.) but quite a few things have closed suddenly.

JaMar on Grandin, a wonderful bakery which started out (I believe) in the Heironymous Building downtown before moving to it's current Grandin location, has closed. Now granted - it was an interesting set up. If you havent been, let me explain - Think of a supermarket, stripped empty of its shelving and cases. Just a giant empty building. Well someone came up with the brilliant idea to make that building a "open" mini-mall. So you walked in, and to your left was JaMar - to the back was a florist of high caliber - and to the right was (recently installed) a Bank. I think I remember seeing a bunch of wine there - but that might be my imagination.

JaMar was simple - a few tables, a few display cases, and simple half walls separating the public space from the kitchen space. It was a fairly large kitchen space at that. Im sure that in the mornings - when the doors would first open, the smell of baked goods that would pummel you as you walked in the door would be like heaven.

Also closed, Lars Hansson's Big and Tall at Crossroads. A store that truly lived up to its name. It was a place where Yao Ming and Shaq would be able to find clothing and footwear that fit them. And it's not easy finding a place that caters to people that large. I personally run in the 1XLT to 2XLT range myself - depending on the clothing, and growing up - I can remember having to shop at a small store instead of being able to go to the mall to get my clothes. Plus, the one I went to would do alterations on most pieces, so I was always assured a great fit. But it was small, in both selection and size. I was recently over by Mr. Hansson's store, and did some window shopping. I was amazed at the size of the place. But thats just me.

One last note about Lee & Edwards. I recently took a stroll through to see what was left, this was about 2 weeks ago. And boy did they have alot of wine at great prices. Not to mention the sheer amount of beer, ale, and stouts they still had. But my eyes lit up when I saw the "wine cellar." Some great, great vintages - some ultra big magnums (one equalling 150 bottles of Champange), and some really curious wines.

Now I am not a big wine buff, I like a good Syrah but not much else. Its a personal quirk. However, Tomahawk Vineyards makes a KILLER Earl of Chatham Meade. If you can find it, grab it and enjoy - its the closest to the true mead I had when I was in Ireland. Also of interest, but I have not yet had the chance to try it, are the Peaks of Otter Vineyards fruit wines. Just an interesting concept, a fruit wine. I know I had an applewine (No, not talking the Boone's Farms either) a few years back at the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival, but damned if I can remember who created it.

If you are not a wine person - there are options out there for you. I am not a wine person, Cabernet - Bordeaux - Burgundy, they just fail to interest me. I love to cook with them though. But the smaller, different wines fascinate me.

If anyone has a bottle of Gewurztraminer or Reisling they are sick of seeing, drop a line. Ive been curious about them.

Forgotten-Roanoke will update later in the day. Time to walk the dogs, get the paper, and reflect on the loss of friends.

News from The Roanoke Times -200-year-old landmark falls in Roanoke

Damn this sucks twice.

And we had just shown the tree to some out of town friends as part of the "Move to Roanoke" grand tour.

Louis Hudson has an idea to carve the tree up into mementos of some sort.

I think thats perfect. I personally would like to see the Roanoke Star with a image of the tree in the middle of it. Something about 6 inches large, and with all the wood from the tree - there might just be enough for everyone in Roanoke to get one.

However, if you live on Carolina Ave. you should get one larger - maybe 12 inches.

They could even use it as an opportunity to raise funds for the Roanoke City Horticultural program - you know, the ones who put the nice landscaping everywhere. Plus, some of the funds could be used to REPLANT A TREE there, where the mighty has fallen.

I can tell you this much, if Roanke thinks its going to pave that spot over, they are going to have some serious issues - I have a feeling alot of people want a tree replanted.

I wonder if we will be meeting a 21st Century Jack Main.

Godspeed, good tree.