See you all later...

De Espresso - 3p-5p

Jefferson and Kirk, in the old Hallmark store.

Bring your brains, and a few bucks for the coffee guy.


An open invitation:

Well, you wanted an open call, hows this for an open call?

 This is an open invitation to come down and meet the Bloggers, Saturday April 29th, between 3-5pm at De Espresso on Jefferson St. downtown.

Confirmed: RoanokeFound (moi)
                   Roanoke Firefighters
                   Ms. Elenaeous

And many more..

Just a reminder that De Espresso is WiFi-friendly, so bring your laptops. With any luck - we will be running a live blog of the event. Possible AudioBlog posts as well. And (blackmail) photos for sure.

Remember to bring a couple of bucks for the coffeeman, and your sense of fun.

This could be the first in a series of get-togethers, so if you miss this one, you have only yourself to blame.

That is all...


Once again, I give you the Roanoke Times Editorial page

Young workers seek more from Roanoke

Allright, I'm going to need a moment here, hold on please.


Allright, that moment's over. Sometimes Im halfway between bewilderment and stupification when I read a Times editorial. But this one is different.

 I really wish I knew who wrote this one, because Ladies and Gentleman, this one defines the concept of "missing the point." Oh it starts out well enough, Roanoke's not hip, not cool and with-it. Theres a line about attracting retailers, restaurants, bars which will fill the void. Great. Wonderful.

But could someone explain to me how pathetically narrow the view the Times staff holds of these "Generation X and Y" worker-bees with saddlebags of disposeable income?

I am Gen X, or as I like to call it: "The 13th Generation". I work for a living, sweat for a living, grunt for a living.  I am not a high-paid, innovative company worker as the Times would like all us Gen X'rs to be. I am what used to be called "working class." My disposeable income is somewhat limited. More so as I am trying to buy a house. I would not be likely to purchase or lease a "loft or apartment or condominium" downtown. I do not shop at "high-end retailers", nor would I be inclined to do so.

I think the problem with the Times editorial is they are subconciously trying to strike a balance between the retirees the city markets itself to, and the big paycheck volatile-market workers they desire so much.

Can you honestly tell me that a big-paycheck tech worker is more important than the plumbers, police and fire, bus drivers, and carpenters?

They have needs and wants too, but with the current focus on "high-end" life, pricey downtown living, and retirees - they are being shut out of the equation.

So Roanoke Times, how do you propose to attract and retain those who will fight the fires, fix your leaky pipes, cook you a meal, and drive you around? Or are they not as important as those who design a new layout for a website?

Oh wait, they have service-related needs too.

And where are the waitresses, the salespeople, the ones who have to fill the jobs at these "high end" places supposed to live? Are you going to force them out of downtown? Force them out of Roanoke?

Retirees and "big paycheck" people.. go ahead with a plan like this and you are dooming Roanoke in one fell swoop. A city full of people who cannot get the basic services they need to live, will be an empty city soon enough.


Independents lead money race in Roanoke City Council campaign

Independents lead money race in Roanoke City Council campaign

In the interests of fairness and openness, your Overlord-to-be will release my financial information.

Amount of money raised for campaign: $10.53
Donations: $0
Special Interest donations: $0

Total War Chest: $5.00

So where did the $5.53 go? Mrs. Overlord asked for milk and eggs at the supermarket. And I bought some candy.

But notice, Im not bought and paid for by anyone. Well, except the Mrs.

I owe no group loyalty, no one has any hold over me. (Again, except the Mrs.)

Could you ask for a better canidate?

I think not.


Political stories from The Roanoke Times-City council puzzles over library system

Political stories from The Roanoke Times-City council puzzles over library system

I've been holding off on this one for a few hours now, trying to reason it.

"The consultants found that six out of 10 city residents never use the public libraries; that the facilities are dark, uninviting and hard to find a seat in; and that the libraries don't have the resources -- printed or electronic -- to adequately serve the city's residents."

Could it be the lack of interest from the public over the years has allowed the library to fall? The lack of interest? Much like a vital organ, it will suffer and deteriorate if not used regularly. I've spent time in the Downtown branch, and while the building itself is spectacular in design (I would love to see it returned to the library in the old postcards) the layout is quite confusing. As for the age of the books, well yes, they are old.

But with lack of interest, why bother buying new? The complaints were minimal. Besides, with the RVL.info website, and cross-lending between city and county one had access to any book in the metro area. Sure, it was not exactly instant, but you could get it. And while I will agree the Williamson Rd branch is small, with a circulating system, 3/4ths the books could be warehoused and pulled when needed. Although with the gas prices lately..

You know what you find in Barnes and Noble, Borders and all the rest you don't find in a library - the genetic need to be quiet. Thats why people like the retail outlets, they can come and go as they please - make noise, discuss things - get something to drink and generally relax. Plus, the locations are usually amenable to traffic. Take B&N at Tanglewood. It's next to Kroger, and has the movie theatre directly behind. Mom goes shopping, kids go to the bookstore to wander for a while, or Mom feels safe dropping the kids off there for a little while before the movie starts.

The library? 419, Downtown, take your pick. Not the most accessable locations, not really near much of anything. Adding parking is one idea, allowing for smoother transitions between the Market area and Elmwood park and the library itself. Of course, there is a parking garage directly across the street. Not that a deal could be struck or anything, heavens no.

Perhaps more study needs to be done, rather than use some clear headed business logic. Plus, with that lovely motel next door, well - who wouldnt want to drop your kids at the library?

Let's all ignore the fact that not one library system can hold its own, even the New York City Public Library system has problems.

And now you see why I held off on this for a while, trying to keep the crabby out of it is not easy. It's a library, not the Vatican - make it user-friendly, like the librarians are, and accessable. Simple.

Oh, and the library of old I was talking about? This shot says it all.

(edited to include photo, blogger acting skitzo today)


Political stories from The Roanoke Times- Grandstand 2006: Roanoke City Council

Political stories from The Roanoke Times- Grandstand 2006: Roanoke City Council

If I had to choose, aside from myself for Overlord, at this point I would most likely go with the Revercomb/McConnel option. They appear to be the only ones talking about changing the way the city itself does business.

Again, there are a few ideas I wish they would bring up in terms of Real Estate taxes and other taxes, but if they brought them up, what would be left for your poor Overlord to do?

Of course, Im not going to tell you who to cast your ballot for, with the sole exception of this: