It looks like the time to move on Heironimous (my speeling was wrang in pst posts). The brickwork is in sad condition, both on the top and bottom of the building. Before we lose anymore of this historic building, we need to figure out a purpose. I am not sure if the damage is from the, well.. unfortunate granite siding it was clad with, or perhaps another past addition. Whatever it is, exposed to the elements, its not good. And with time, not much time, but time - it will crumble to the point of no return. Posted by Picasa

even down here (Heiro2) Posted by Picasa

Just a note

Due to work and the Harvest Fest, a new page (and the completion of the streetcars page) will not be up til Tuesday at the earliest.

Now Im off to get me some cider...

Well, this looks to be a banner day...

Sadly I have to work today, but I will be stopping down the Market first for the Harvest Festival. I've been dying to get me some nice cider.

oh - and if you cruise on over to downtownroanoke.org you'll see they are allready planning Dickens of a Christmas. The theme is Christmas through the ages.

Good opportunity for Rhett to drag out the old truck, decorate it and run it in the parade.

And Im wondering if "A Christmas Story" themed float would be inappropriate. Well - those are ideas for another day. Today, work! But first.. a little cider.


pbwiki :: wikiroanoke WikiRoanokeCollaborativeBlog

Go ahead, give it a try. Password is Roanoke.

Odeo: Jefferson St. Podcast

Odeo: Jefferson St. Podcast

Well, here it is. Set aside 12 mins 33 seconds of your life to hear the first official Forgotten-Roanoke.com podcast.

Topic: Jefferson St. A continuation of the blog entry from earlier today. A little more folksy, a little more conversational.


Todays Roanoke Times

God, I almost wore out my Blog This! button this morning.

The exceptionally historic Gainsboro section of town has gained State recognition and is now on the Virginia Historic Register. You might think of Gainsboro as "that place across the tracks," Henry Street, and other certain places pop to mind. But we all have an interest in Gainsboro. It's the predecessor of Roanoke itself.

Gainsboro is where Roanoke begins. In time, in history, and in the community - there would not be a Roanoke were it not a Gainsboro first.

Now we come to the write up on the meeting between Norfolk and Roanoke on what is essentially Operation Broken Windows. Of course, this means that Roanoke itself HAS to start taking responsibility for all those unoccupied buildings downtown. Especially those buildings which are long-term unoccupied, default on back taxes, or generally of a ruined nature. (ie. - The Heironymous Building, the Virginian Railway Station.)

As I was growing up in NYC back during Op Broken Windows, I remember going to Rockaway Beach and seeing abandoned homes and buildings everywhere. And each one had its windows boarded up, from the inside. And each window board had a scene painted on it - some had curtains and flowerpots, others painted with blinds that were drawn. Somewhere in my familys archive of photos, Im sure theres a photo with these windows in the background.

And now we move onto the Public Action portion of our programme. You, yes you, now have the opportunity to GET INVOLVED in the future of Roanoke. Roanoke is about to undertake a study of the City Market plan, the Library plan, and the Jefferson St. Revitalization plan.

Lets be honest here, while its nice to see political headquarters go into empty spaces on Jefferson, they dont last - they don't contribute much to the area for the short time they are there, and they certainly do not generate revenue. We need a distinct idea for what is essentially Roanoke's Main St (part 2, Campbell being part 1)

With the changing nature of the Patrick Henry Hotel, the empty storefronts lining the street, the Jefferson Motor Lodge being the absolute best location downtown for a hotel and the worst type of hotel possible for downtown, the abandoned (at this point) Heironymous building, Lee & Edwards shutting its doors, Kara O'Cairns being gone, and stories and stories of empty office space - Jefferson needs help.

And what will happen when Carilion finishes its Bio-Med park, will they consolidate all facilities to it? The Wachovia Building (not tower) houses much of Carilions financial-billing-human resources offices. Are they going to the Bio-Med park too?

I would not blame Carilion in the least, why not move your holdings to the land you own? But from end to end, Jefferson has problems. Yet Jefferson LOOKS great, it looks like a place where commerce should be king, and De Espresso is doing a fair amount of business there.

Heres an idea - take the old Heironymous building, and finish stripping off the granite exterior at ground level. Clean it up, and use it to open The Museum of the City of Roanoke. Certainly Roanoke has enough history inherent to properly run its own museum, and the former US Airways ticket counter could serve as a "one stop" location for tickets to all Roanoke venues and events. Even that.. thing theyre building.. the one for art... (I feel dirty now.)

Launch a partnership with Salem, and tickets could be sold to Salem Avalance games, Center in the Square, the Roanoke Civic Center, the Salem Civic Center, O. Winston Link Museum, Virginia Museum of Transportation, events like Affair in the Square, the Mill Mountain Zoo... all of it, in one place. And located close to the Market.

This is possible, but only if Roanoke steps up and wants it. Otherwise, it will just come down to more talk, more committies, and more of the same. Haven't we all had enough of Victory Stadium-style decision making?

Floyd and Fincastle are moving forward protecting their assets, planning for the future. If they can do it, why can't Roanoke?


News from The Roanoke Times -Cleaning up city helps clean up crime

News from The Roanoke Times -Cleaning up city helps clean up crime: “"If you talk to neighborhood groups, you will find that the top priority of a lot of them is crime and code enforcement," said Shirley Bethel, a member of the Neighborhood Advocates, a city-sponsored panel charged with helping neighborhoods solve their problems. "The code enforcement, the neighborhoods think it's not getting done."”

Allright, I've been mulling this one over in my head for a few days now. I have some experience with this one, having lived in NYC during the time of Rudy Giuliani's "Operation Broken Windows."

The key to ridding yourself of crime is not code enforcement, code enforcement is one method incorporated in Broken Windows. The biggest component to the whole program, and one which is truly the most effective, is Quality of Life enforcement.

You really want to rid yourself of the riff-raff and improve your communities? Quality of Life. That lowlife thug down the street who keeps his bass kicking so loud it rattles his trunk? Ticket him endlessly for violating the Quality of Life statute on noise pollution. If he wont learn, he will go bankrupt. Now then, how does this apply to Roanoke?

First, it means writing more tickets for failure to obey traffic rules. Too many people getting in too many accidents on a daily basis. I cannot tell you how many I see on a weekly basis that occur directly out my door. Cause? Ignorance. 9 out of 10 accidents I see are due to distracted driving, failure to obey rules of the road, and the ever-present "I'm more important than you" attitude. I cannot cross my street to go to the supermarket ( we have two lanes, one turns - the other goes straight; they have two lanes - same deal) without the person in the turn lane across from me turning before I have passed. Need I remind you that if I'm going straight, I have the right of way?

I have learned to hesitate a half-second to watch what the other person is going to do. Thats not defensive driving, thats accomidating the ignorant for your own safety. Also, its on the books I don't care what you say, when you get into an accident you are to pull off to the side of the road, or in the safest location that does not impede the flow of traffic. Now I know the police make the determination at scene as to who is at fault. They can do that in a parking lot just as well as in the middle of traffic. It's safer for them, for you, and for all the people driving by.

If police started issuing citations when situations like that arose (ie. an accident which is in the center lane of a road, and the involved parties remain in that lane, although a shoulder is available) people might start moving out of the way.

Mind you, I live directly across from Tanglewood, home of a Roanoke County PD substation, and still there are some of the worst drivers imaginable who go without being stopped.

Lawns, abandoned cars, and stuff like that will most certainly effect those who are living in run-down homes. However taking it to the streets for such things as improper headlights, windows tinted too dark, and those type things will impact the wallet far more often. If you are on patrol, and see someone toss a lit cigarette to the ground, ticket them for littering. Instantly you have established a presence, set a standard, and reinforced the rules.

As much as I would like to believe in Roanoke's participation in a program like this, the presence of the homeless at the Market leads me to think otherwise. They panhandle, harass, leer, drink publicly, and generally detract from the quality of the Market area. Now I am not saying to ship them to Vinton or something like that, what I am saying is - we have a Market area which we claim to "love." We have a group of people who hang around doing nothing, and having nothing done to them. Why not get them all simple uniforms, give them a broom or something and let them go around the Market to clean. It gives them something to do, a few dollars in their pocket, and in return we get a cleaner Market. And it can be a day to day thing, and only if the person wants to do it. But if they do not wish to participate - then they must clear the Market and find someplace else to spend the day.

That place should not be the library either. But that is another matter.

I am not a person without compassion, and I do believe that each person has value. But it's lax attitudes like this that led to the Hotel Earle fire back in 1991. And if Roanoke truly wants to present a modern image to the world when the Crack by the Tracks opens in 2007, it needs to move now to get everyone invested in the future of Roanoke.

Besides, Quality of Life tickets can be a great source of revenue for the city. But I'm not saying that out loud now am I?

Technorati tags: , , ,

Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates The Pilot - Google Video

Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates The Pilot - Google Video

The best 21:03 I have spent in front of the computer. Thanks Google for finally delivering good tv without commercials!

Oh, and for something interesting and unexpected - search TWC under the video search.

Technorati tags: , , ,


roanoke.com - Extra stories -A Star City of South of the Border?

roanoke.com - Extra stories -A Star City of South of the Border?

It looks like the Star City is about to gain a new Sister City, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. Our mayor (evil goatee or not) took a handful of Roanoke's artists with him. Among them was John Reburn, owner of the Roanoke Valley Printworks on Salem Ave. just to the right of "Say Cheese."

I met John roughly a week ago when I finally gave into temptation and entered the shop (which I had not been in since Wicked Wicks closed his business).

I wonder if John knows the history of the store, including the large wood peice which lines the back wall?

But anyway, aside from the Roanoke/San Miguel de Allende commonalities, John notes one thing - much like Roanoke, a good chunk of its population is missing. "People in their 20's and 30's" as the article puts it.

Well first off, Im 30 and I can assume you Im not missing, my mind maybe - but not me personally.

But if you keep scrolling downwards in the article, you come across the 2nd peice. An article on a museum complex that is being built in Biloxi, Missisippi. Which has been designed by Frank "I was on the Simpsons" Gehry. You can see it HERE. Make note of one thing, the museum complex makes use of the land as it is. It has trees in and among the buildings, and no building that does not compliment the existing trees. There is a house which will also be a gallery for artwork, it is historic and old. And it is given its own feature location in the complex - it does not have any of the new buildings hovering above it. I guess Mr. Stout was absent on the day that Mr. Gehry was showing how to be a good designer.

Oh, and for those of you who might be interested, John Reburn designed the posters for the Roanoke Harvest Festival coming up this weekend. When I first saw them, among all the relics in his shop - I thought they were posters from the Roanoke Fair Grounds, circa 1900 or so. He's talented to say the least.

Side note: Is it just me, or does it seem like its always Kevin Kittredge's articles which catch my eye.

Technorati tags: , ,


begin the beguine

begin the beguine

Allright, its not done yet - but Ive got more to do offline that originally thought. Yay me!

It's there, and if you need help finding it - its got something to do with streetcars.
Technorati tags: , ,

Somethings missing, plus site news.

roanoke.com - Editorials Index - Editorials

This is just something I've noticed, and I could be wrong.

Several weeks ago the Times added a new member to the editorial staff, Christian Trejbal. In his introductory piece, he said he looked forward to being "a voice for youth" and representing a different voice on the Times Editorial staff.

I like to pride myself of being one of those people who actually reads a newspaper cover to cover (exception being the sports section, but I do make a point to read the business section). I can honestly say there have been no editorials which, to me, spoke to the youth or issues facing the youth. Closest I can come to that would be Shanna Flowers column on Older Men/Younger Women.

And that was a column. So Im not sure where Mr. Trejbal has been since his arrival at the Times. There is no differing viewpoint on the editorial page, no "voice for youth" as of yet. Im still hoping to see something soon, any longer and I might think he went back to Bend, Oregon.

And as I said, site update by 10am today. Working on it as we speak.


Forgotten-Roanoke.com update sometime within the next 12 hours.

Thats right, its 10pm now, and by 10am tomorrow there will be a new addition to the site. Why the delay? Because Im feeling lazy, having eaten dinner and relaxing from work. But I will find my muse soon enough to finish the page. (half done by the way)

tick tick tick tick....