What you may not realize about a day like today is that the ambient light is perfect for playing photographer.
So we will be out and about, and if you see us - if you can figure out who we are, stop by and say hi.
I'm beginning to wonder if the Times themselves are not responsible for the quagmire (yes, I said it) that is Victory Stadium? Reading the article, and thinking of past articles, it would seem that the Times is trying to manipulate the reader in several ways, from several angles.
And as always, rather than just reporting, they report with feeling. I don't know, like I said - it seems rather manipulative as I think about it now. And I realize that if the Times had any actual influence on Roanoke Im sure things would be very different, but with declining readership (all newspapers have this problem, not just the Times) it's gotta be tough holding onto that warm-fuzzy monopolistic grip over the Roanoke area.
Yeah - it's just that important.
But anyway, it's a beautiful day - you all should get out there and take advantage of it. It's January, the flies are buzzing and the moths are mothing. You'll not find a better spring day in any winter anywhere.
Im just thankful it's not warm enough for skeeters... or wasps.. or yellowjackets...
and you wonder why I like winter?
First, it is my belief that Roanoke allready has more to offer than most large cities do. The Times, current City Council, and several others do not see this. They are more than happy to point out the reasons Roanoke does not have things, the things it does not have, and how detrimental to the city it is not to have these things.
We cannot land a 747 at Roanoke Regional. There are plenty of other common sized planes we can land at Roanoke Regional. DC-10s for example. But the key core issue behind the lack of decent transportation at Roanoke Regional continues to be the cost of flying. All airlines are "suffering", hurting for cash. I have been to Roanoke Regional when you could not find a spot to stand for crowds, and times when I have been one of 10 passengers on the incoming flight. Until the cost of airfare becomes more competitive, Roanoke Regional will not see increased traffic.
However, that being said - there are things we can do to create competition. Fully backing the TransDominion Express is a good start. We need, on a local level, to get with the planners and begin work on proper stations. By starting now, rather than after the coming test runs of the TDX, we will be in a better position to launch when any type of commuter rail even looks in our direction -be it the TDX or Amtrak.
We have a vast wealth of natural resources at our command. Mill Mountain, the Greenways, Explore Park - and we are a jumping off point for places like the Peaks of Otter and other natural wonders.
Roanoke sits in a highly desireable climate, sure it gets humid during the summer, but we are sheilded from the very worst storms (usually) and actually have 4 identifiable seasons.
There are those who complain that Roanoke's schools are not up to snuff. To those, I ask them to find schools which are better in a city, with the same circumstances as Roanoke. Pull a comparison - and you will find Roanoke schools are no worse off than other comparable schools. A large part of the success of any school is parental involvement. Through-out America parental involvement is slipping, if not nearly extinguished. Most parents are happy to sit back and wait till the school does something they do not like, then complain to the hills. An active, aggressive citizenry would be a benefit to the educational system here in Roanoke.
There are those who complain that Roanoke's City Council does not act in the best interests of the citizens. It is my claim that they do not act in anyones best interest, including their own.
With blinders on to any problem other than Victory Stadium or the 2 high school stadiums, the City Council is actively failing the citizens of the city. Its greatest advancement to date is the new zoning regulations - which were laid out in the adoption of the Vision 2020 plan. It's not like it took alot of work to ratify something that has been sitting on the side burner for years.
Rather than focus on building upon the good in Roanoke, the city council hires planners and consultants to figure out what the citizens could have told it all along. It brings in groups from outside Roanoke, rather than working with the local firms we do have to build the city past greatness, and towards the future.
That is not to say everything they do is wrong, but they do maintain a status quo standing for the city, immobilized till forcibly motivated.
Roanoke needs leadership who can recognize the value of what we allready have, the wisdom to get what we do need, and the common sense to act when needed.
The Star City of the South should be the City that Sells Itself, with vast natural and physical resources, and yet the focus has been shifted from that which we have, to a laundry list of pop-culture wants and needs. There is much to lose in all this, and little to gain. And if you think businesses and families want to move to a place better served by casual dining franchises, you might want to take another look at that equation.
Im not sure how to unleash it - but again, the question is how...
I'll tease you with this, Roanoke might just have a curse upon it. A curse it placed upon itself, and stores in a highly visible location.
Hold on, its coming....
By popular request, I have added hoodies.
Poke around, see what ya like.. remember, valentines day is coming. Gifts for the everyone on your list, as long as they dont mind it saying Roanoke.
Taxes, not stadium, should be the issue
I received reassessment notices recently from Roanoke. I own four properties in the city.
The taxes were increased from a low of 7 percent to a high of 15 percent. I assume other owners received similar increases.
This large increase affects every citizen, both renter and property
owner. This increase, coupled with last year's hefty rise, puts an
undue burden on thousands of Roanokers.
It is time for Roanoke City Council and the candidates in the
upcoming election to focus on a meaningful tax-rate reduction instead
of tiresome bickering over the stadium issue.
The first job of local government is to oversee a safe city. The second most important job is to run a cost-efficient city.
Roanoke has, at best, a static population. The inflation rate is in the 3 percent range.
A 7 percent to 15 percent tax increase is not justified, and should be addressed immediately.
Lee T. LawsonAllright, I've had just about enough of this....
Griping and whining about property taxes going up. Now, where do those taxes go? The city itself - the parks, the schools, the social services, trash collection, police and fire departments...
So you don't want your taxes raised? Then start hauling your trash yourself. Go clean a park. And police your own streets. Fight your own fires.
A city must, in order to be a good and desireable city, provide certain basic services to its residents. The residents must fund the projects, as citys are not non-profit organizations and can only recieve certain grants and funding.
You don't like your assesment going up, well imagine if it went down. Property rates start going down, the cost of the city providing services remains the same, and suddenly - theres no more money to buy another police car. The city will really be unsafe then, as the police and fire department are forced to run skeleton crews.
And heres a secret you won't hear anywhere else. Your property taxes going up means your property is more valueable. And your property value going up is a GOOD THING.
The most desireable properties in the country are in areas where property values go up, city services have no problem with funding, and property taxes are in the high-median range.
Its called a ROI - or Return on Investment. Study it, read about it - its worth it. And that investment you make in the city of your choice, by paying property taxes, determines what kind of city you live in. Being a decent civilian who uses their voice in the business of the city doesnt hurt either.
So go ahead and gripe about your property taxes going up, but I come from an area where property taxes run in the $6-12,000 a year range, and yet everyone wants to be there - paying those high taxes.
Ever wonder why they only pick up the trash once a week for residences but more often for downtown businesses? Think about it.
slanderous utterances, or the woeful anticipations of petty men.
In the building up of our City, we have been met, at times, with base calumny and direful prophecy. Like the proud athlete, conscious of his power, taunted by some boastful weakling, Roanoke, smiling at her defamers, walks steadily forward to take her place among the industrial centers of the earth."
Roanoke Booster Speech (circa 1890)
Think those who wrote that speech yesterday would believe today there are still petty men who do not believe?
Industries change, the greater potential of Roanoke has not.
Take one highly visible location, a restaurant with 2 access points, and insert food - you've got a business, or atleast you should. So what's the dilly, yo?
I guess on 2nd thought I should be more specific. My real question is WHY has this place been shut and boarded since 1994. I know why it closed, but my question is why is it not on the market? Has it ever been? And what was it before?
Certain of my research tools are down today, but with any luck - I will have more info tomorrow.