These distinguished men worry me

"...But some committee members seemed to have their minds made up Friday. Del. Johnny Joannou, D-Portsmouth, said the existing one-term limit serves as a check on executive power. The only way to balance power under a two-term governor is to make the legislature a full-time body, he said."

A full time body? Heavens to murgatroid! Are we, the people, slavedrivers? You cannot ask the body of representation to work FULL TIME in your interests can you?


It's time to clear the air

This lil' ol' Suthin City has a secret. Not a big secret, but one that is not often spoken about.

Considering it's location, it's reputation, and it's "biblical" activities: Roanoke has been called the "San Francisco of the Blue Ridge."

Roanoke has a sizable gay population, it's no secret - just unspoken (save for the few Pride events).

Well, it was.

Courtesy of Google News Alerts (for Roanoke, go figure):

Roanoke’s gay native son Will Trinkle runs a successful business in rural Virginia, but a new anti-gay law is testing his hometown loyalty

An interesting article to say the least. It makes this town sound idyllic, yet bass-ackwards in mindset. And yes, the last name is Trinkle, and yes it is that Trinkle.

I won't get into a discussion about tolerance, religion and it's laws, and all the rest of the trappings - but some of the most successful folks I know in this town are gay. Take that for what it's worth.


15 years ago. and still waiting

Nearly 15 years ago, Mayor Bowers' Capital Improvement Program recommended bringing Amtrak into the city. This was part and parcel of the Hotel Roanoke renovation, and the Conference Center development, along with recommendations for a railside linear park (the Downtown Railwalk, work in progress), a downtown streetcar plan (I believe this was about the time that trolley-styled motorcoaches were seen around downtown), and enhancing both the Transportation Museum and the area surrounding.

Fast forward to 2007 - The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center stands, and is externally a jewel - internally a rotten prune. The Virginia Museum of Transportation is a true goldmine of history, but not exactly a destination. Still debating the trolley concept - in those rare moments your not laughed at for even thinking of it (not that Providence, RI proves the darn things work!) and still not one sign of Amtrak.

In light of the failure of Roanoke's leaders to secure even ONE train (the impending TDX notwithstanding), I propose something different. We already have some world-class rolling stock at the VMT, why not put it to good use.

Rail Cruise.

Simple concept - think of the Orient Express, launching directly from the O Winston Link Museum - trip includes a 3 night stay at the Historic Hotel Roanoke (2 nights prior - 1 night after), guided tours of downtown Roanoke and the Mill Mountain Star - then a 4 day excursion trip to destination unknown (at this point anyway). And in keeping with the City's focus on being a retirement hotspot, I can assure you - this is something the retirees love to do.

Just one of the many things some forward thinking folks with the money behind them can bring to Roanoke. Granted, it's not the commuter rail we are hoping for, but at least it's a train in a grand old railtown.

Something to think about while we wait at the station....

PS: Support The TransDominion Express, it can only help.