Forgotten-Roanoke - hosted by excoboard.com

Forgotten-Roanoke - hosted by excoboard.com

Yes, you see it right - its a messageboard. And a guestbook for the site.

Its 2, 2, 2 things in 1.

This is just the beginning of the new stuff.. so stay tuned.

After the Storm

beautiful morning, even if it is a touch grey. The air has been scrubbed clean, and visibility in our peaceful valley is nearly endless.



After much consternation and problem, I finally have the Pod able to launch. So sorry you missed the big St. Pats pod, but I'll run it some other week when Im bored or tired.

too much news this week.. here you go

The Pod 12


The mold has been broken. In one fell swoop, Novozymes Biologicals and Lewis-Gale Medical Center (HCA) have set the course for Corporate "Charity" and community involvement in the Roanoke Valley for the 21st Century.

Yes, there are differences between the two actions. Novozymes' donation of $250,000 over 5 years to the Roanoke Valley Greenways, plus products for use to accelerate and stabilize new plantings, creates a watershed moment for the culture of Business and Community here in Roanoke.

Lewis-Gale Medical Center has paid for the sponsorship rights to Salem's baseball stadium, for an undisclosed sum. While appearing different in context, they are similar in thought.

Both Novozymes and Lewis-Gale had the same thought in mind when embarking upon their respective missions. Community involvement. That two-way street that normally benefits all involved. Sometimes it has even greater implications than originally thought.

And I know I have been harping on this theme for a while, but good ol' Victory Stadium could be refurbished at no cost to the city itself. All the city needs to do is sell the naming rights to it. Roanoke Times Victory Stadium. Why not, they have been making a buck off it for many a year now, what with the endless stories they run.

Roanoke Fruit & Produce Co. Field @ Victory Stadium.

Anthem Field @ Victory Stadium.

And the one that would be sure to turn heads: Carilion Victory Stadium.

We allready have corporations and groups sponsoring the Adopt-A-Highway program in areas around Roanoke. Hotel Roanoke employees go and clean the ramps of 581 around Orange Ave. Have done so for many a year too.

Mill Mountain Zoo has animals sponsored by companies and individuals.

Corporate "charity" and sponsorship is more like buying into the community. For most, it is a small slice of the pie, profit wise. But the returns are endless. High visibility in the community, a chance to actually make a difference in something (especially if it relates to your business), and something the company and the community can be proud of.

Might I reccomed that the Art Museum, based on its new design actively seek Melita, Black & Decker, and other makers of Coffee Percolaters as the corporate sponsors for the museum, based on similar designs.

Ahhh but I digress.. it's Friday. Looking like we might alleviate this dreaded "d" word this weekend with some rain. Podcast on the way today (provided the well oiled machine I've been working with holds up), and site update sometime Sunday night/Monday morning.

There you have it. If anyone wants to sponsor this blog, the podcast, or the site - contact me. I'll take anyone, even Halliburton. Our current contract with H & H Grocers of Vinton is about to expire. It was a nice run, but not as encompassing as I hoped.

But they are your friendly local grocers, providers of the freshest quality produce and meats, dairy and seafood. H & H - located in beautiful and friendly downtown Vinton, stop by today and see the difference.


Things have a way of working, don't they?

A good number of the topics I have touched upon in the past are suddenly appearing in the news. A rundown quickly.

WDBJ is asking the tough questions about the AMWV, like "Will the new Art Museum draw enough people?"

The new Lewis-Gale Mecial Center group has purchased the naming rights to Salem's Memorial Baseball Stadium. A reccomendation I made for Victory Stadium, and several other strugging ideas around Roanoke.

Including the Greenways
, which have also recieved Corporate interest.

Historic Tax Credits are being used in 2 locations to keep history alive, not just a vague representation thereof.

And some things defy reason, such as "Dateline NBC" sending "Middle Eastern looking individuals" to NASCAR races to gauge reactions. I could have saved them quite a bit of time on that one, considering in Ol' New York I had a customer of Guyanese origin, who looked very "Middle Eastern" and was one of the biggest NASCAR fans I ever met - to this day. He went to more races, had more Dale and Dale Jr.-wear than I thought existed. Nice guy, truck driver at that. And he would tell me about the reactions he would get at the track. Little to none. It was the source of a joke, "rednecks must think I just have a deep tan."

And just one more little throw-away. First Fridays begins tomorrow, in its new location. But a comment about its old location appears in the listing: "(the former location behind Billy's Ritz is supposed to house a new art museum soon)".

Skeptcisim? Creeping meatball-isim? Or are the questions finally beginning to percolate?

Oh, and no - I don't feel psychic.. for that you need a brain.. and its too early for me to have one of those.


Policy Paper #4: Would somebody please answer that phone!

Greetings once again, my fellow Roanokers.

I realize it has been a while since you have heard from me. Rest assured your friendly neighborhood Overlord has been keeping a watchful eye on things. I have seen many things since last we spoke, and have dismayed at several of them. The slate of canidates for City Council looks less and less appealing every day. I invite you to go examine their stands on issues.

Trinkle, Mason, and Dowe
Revercomb & McConnel

Only Revercomb and McConnel touch upon the fact that the City Council is a dismal failure at providing for the city itself. Trinkle, Mason, and Dowe only make passing mention of politics and the City Council in the platform.

I would show you the other canidates, but they do not have websites which are a key to making the citizenry informed as to your stance. It is a shame as to date, I really have no idea what they are exactly about.

At the most recent "debate" the canidates were asked about Darlene Burcham, the City Manager. Most, with the exception of Revercomb and McConnel, agreed that she should be given a "grace period" to see if she would be able to meet the needs of the new council.

Thats all nice, but honestly - her job description reads as what one would expect from a vice-mayor. Or, heaven forfend, even a Mayor. What this system appears to provide is a sub-level mayor. Rather than bother the actual mayor with departmental reports and other such nonsense, Darlene takes the brunt of it. Which leaves me with 2 questions:

  1. If the City Manager is the single party all city departments answer to, the office that handles community relations and all the rest, why is this person not elected? Im sure others who could be just as capable in the position might have alternate ways of doing the job. Should not the citizenry have a choice in who actually runs the city day to day?
  2. If the City Manager does all that, why do we have a Mayor?
I realize these are not the best questions to ask, but they need to be addressed. If we hold elections for Mayor, Sheriff, and City Council; and all those people are "hired" because the majority of the voting population felt they would be the best to do the job, then should not the day to day operations of the city, something so critical, be up for a vote as well?

Also, shouldn't the City Manager be limited as to the affiliations they can hold without being considered in conflict with the daily duties they are charged with upholding?

The City Manager position appears to be a hazardous one when looking at Mrs. Burcham's curriculum vitae. She sits on the board of no less than 7 organizations which could directly affect her job as City Manager. I am sure keeping a balance is not an easy task.

Again, my stance on this is to eliminate the City Manager position alltogether. It is an extra level of bureaucracy the city can do without. The Mayor of the city is both a figurehead and leader, as the position would indicate. Being Mayor of the City of Roanoke should be paid position, full time with benefits, so that the people of Roanoke can rest assured that the Mayor is on duty as mayor, and not sometimes as mayor and sometimes as something else.

The City Council, as much as many of you would like to see it eliminated, should stay as is - with one major exception. More seats on the council. More voice for the people.

In short, this is revolution calling, and someone needs to answer the phone. As Overlord, I would be in position to do just that. Straighten the course of this historic and important city.

People forget, time forgets - Roanoke is a highly important city. One trip to Valley View or Tanglewood will tell you that much. Look at the lisence plates on cars in the parking lots. The Personal Property Tax stickers in the windows of the cars. People come here from all over the country for various reasons, but they come. Roanoke is not, as it has been portrayed, a retirement haven for those who are uncomfortable in Florida. Roanoke is still very much alive, and crying out for change. Revolution.

The business of Roanoke, the business that is Roanoke has been mismanaged for many years. All aspects of life have been affected. First and foremost, Roanoke is a valley. We must deal with the mountains. And yet we can barely handle the mountain we have right here within city limits.

My first Overlord order would be the commencement of public transportation (of some form) up Mill Mountain. Even on Sundays. If it has to be a voluntary concept - then perhaps Vice-Mayor Fitzpatrick would be willing to offer the services of Commonwealth Coach and Trolley. On fair weather days, on the half hour - one should be able to catch a bus from Downtown to the top of Mill Mountain.

Part of the reason the zoo has financial troubles is the fact it is so inaccessable to those who rely upon public transportation. Families could easily get to and from the zoo on weekends. People who normally ride the bus could venture up Mill Mountain and walk around for a few hours, escape from the city vertically. Those who come to the city from out of town on weekends would be able to leave the car downtown, not need to worry about using extra gas (and at these prices, we all worry) and still be able to explore Mill Mountain and all it has to offer.

Not one of the canidates, previously elected officials, or sitting elected officials to my knowledge has suggested such a thing. It would be an instant boost to the "liveability" of Roanoke. As would asking Valley Metro to run on Sundays. Even in a limited capacity (ie. 1 bus per hour), it would make a noticeable difference for Roanoke.

And along the same line - an increase in the Personal Property Tax for cars. Yes, I said increase. For a small increase in your sticker-tax, it would enable you to park in any city garage free of charge for 1 year. A separate parking sticker would be available for purchase for those who live in the County, but work in the city, and it would be reasonable as well.

And Roanoke County would no longer have the option of dealing with the city when it felt like it. A strong partnership must be forged for the benefit of all in the area. City and County must work hand in hand in making this a better valley.

And as I feel familiarity does breed contempt, I would do everything within my power to draw back those who left the City due to lack of opportunity. I would work hand in hand with the Chamber of Commerce to expand the business base, and market the City to new businesses. Roanoke can attract the jobs, the companies - the people. It is my opinion that in the past, the efforts made were only cursory (J&J excluded) and fell short on selling the city properly. I will not fail. I will take public suggestions on how to best display the city's assets. And I will make sure there is no executive left on this world who does not know Roanoke.

For a small city, Roanoke has always dreamed big. 6 years into the 21st century - its time to make some of those dreams come true.

Thank you for your time and attention. Vote Overlord.


Breaking news from The Roanoke Times-New art museum $20 million more than estimated

Just to let you know, the number is now $66 million for the AMWV - and it will begin in 4 to 6 weeks.

Numbers can be funny in the long run - and the project is slated for at least a year of construction.

Well, I guess we will just have to see.


WSLS.com | 10 candidates vie for 3 spaces on Roanoke City Council

WSLS.com | 10 candidates vie for 3 spaces on Roanoke City Council

Ahem - I believe you'll find that its 10 canidates for City Council, and one for Overlord.

Is it fear that motivates them to ignore the Overlord?

Perhaps they are on the payroll of those in power, keeping the Overlord down. Or it could just be ignorance.

The Overlord does not like ignorance.

The Overlord will have something to say very soon, so be prepared.


Not enough, not nearly enough - but its a start.

Podcast delayed till tomorrow, when I actually have a day off.

Not sure if its the pollen getting to me, but Im feelin a touch on the funky side today.

Deathly Lyrics: Roanoke Riot

Deathly Lyrics: Roanoke Riot

Seems theres a song about last weeks Forgotten-Roanoke update. Not the most pleasant lyrics, but in the interests of historical accuracy, I present them anyway.

(those easily offended may look away now)

The Roanoke Riot

It was the twentieth of September,
When the moon shown from on high,
In the magic city of Roanoke
Nine innocent men did die.

They were shot down by the militia
that was stationed in the jail.
It was the awfulist outrage
That ever did prevail.

The captain gave his orders to fire
When heard instructions from Mayor H. L. Trout.
It was the awfulist outrage
That ever was heard about.

And I think it was foolish
To call out the militia
All because of
A dirty low down [Negro].

Some were shot through the heart
While many were shot through the head.
After the firing was over,
Nine men lay dead.

Many people did many cruel things,
Yes, things we call hard
For they wanted to bury the [Negro]
In the Mayor's backyard.

But the preacher pleaded with them,
Yes, loudly he did shout,
"Have some respect for your neighbor here,
If not for Mayor Trout."

Some suggested they burn him
At the stake
For the awful crime attempted,
Mrs. Bishop's life to take.

So they built the fire upon him
Out of oil and pine,
And all looked on him
To see him burn.

That it was outrage in our city,
Yes, everyone that could be clear.
Let's all be quiet now
And have no lynching here.

For the [Negro] is dead
And gone to a different world from this,
But all do know that he did not go
To a world of heavenly bliss.

The site which contained the song also has some additional detail about the Riot itself, including the reports that the man who was lynched was actually innocent - the real guilty party having been captured and released, and thrown out of town.

Consider this one a Developing Story.. infact could be highly developing if things pan out.