Just a Giglio

I have been wearing many hats lately, and accomplishing much - but you are all going to have to wait a little while longer for the re-launch of Forgotten-Roanoke.com

Just a little. And I was hoping to have it back up and running before the City's kickoff.

Ah well..

I will not be attending the 5-minute parade, as I will be cleaning up SE Roanoke during the Clean Valley Day clean-up.. See the SE Roanoke blog for more information.


New Roanoke 1

"...here is a time when the operations of the machine become so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machines will be prevented from running at all."

-Mario Savio

There comes a point in history, in a life-story, in this reality that everything must stop.


Sit quietly for a moment.


The City of Roanoke bleeds. The city bleeds unyielding to all bandages and tourniquets placed upon the wounds.

7,500 jobs lost in a very, very short time - and still it has not rebounded, not moved on.

What we have here in Roanoke is beyond special - it's beyond mere understanding. We have a workforce capable of anything, but at the same time nothing.

A citizen population which for the most part considers itself under a "Cease and Desist" order by the city itself. Easily distracted by the smaller issues, to the detriment of itself.

A city council which is in no way representative of the citizens, just a small number of them.

In effect, the citizenry of Roanoke is obsolete. Not required for anything other than the taxes they provide and the menial jobs they fill.

And that last statement cuts across the board, across class and race and religion.

Yet, all is no where near lost. Lost has yet to appear on the radar for Roanoke. We still have things no other city on the planet can boast of. Natural beauty being key among them. Wise city forefathers with the forethought to bury power and communications lines underground in the most important area - downtown. Compassion for our fellow man. Vast resources that remain untapped.

We have both wisdom and foresight, yet it rarely is seen. Buried under the oppressive machine that is business in Roanoke. The status quo.

But as I said, all is not lost. There are easy fixes to most of the cities' problems. Remarkably easy.

It just takes vision - and that's where we need to begin.

We have brilliant people living here in Roanoke. People who can see clearly the change that is needed.

We need visionary leaders - not platitudes and beige-ideologues. We need people who can stir the silent masses, the obsolete, and begin moving towards a new tomorrow.

Thats the first step.

Listening for the exhalation of an entire city.


Sean, of Sean's Horse Farm and Family Blog, left a comment wondering if I had any solutions to offer instead of just deriding others efforts.

Well, yes. Several - but my solutions are works in progress, as I am actively working within the community to develop them.

However, it does bring me to move ahead with the next series of posts I've been mulling over launching over the summer. But I guess now is as good a time as any.

Coming later today - the start of the New Roanoke series. A comprehensive look at several probable futures for Roanoke, and how to get there from here.

Thanks Sean.


What a long, strange week it's been.

I know you have been waiting, some with baited breath, for this post. Well - I hope your not too disappointed.

Let's begin with this item, from last Sunday - "Many wary of market changes"

Well, considering that none of Center in the Square's "leaked" changes have anything to do with reality - including the turning of the parking area for the market into a "European-style plaza." If the city council does not see the reason to close Market St. off to traffic on weekends who in their right mind would think that they would allow it to be closed permanently?

And did anyone consult with 202 Market - I mean, if you are going to put a giant stage next to them, I would think they should be asked - considering they too will have musical acts.

Not to mention the complete "bad-will" publicity that would be garnered by shoving multiple vendors off the market. My question is this - if it was a signature building 25 years ago when it opened as Center in the Square, whats wrong with it now?

And the idea of moving the vendors down the center of Market St. was a no-go two years ago, despite the "raves" from 2005.

Mayor McCheese, or Emperor Nelson of the Mayonnaise tribe spouted forth multiple times this week with bland platitudes of little meaning. "My desire would be that the farmers and florists on the market remain in the market area as they provide a certain ambience(sic) that makes the market area unique and attractive."

Well, yes - but what does it mean? It means the mayor does not want the farmers to leave the market area. Area does not equal Farmer's Market. This from the future George Hamilton (if you were at the St. Pat's parade - you'd get that).

Then we had another missive from Valley Forward, who actually had a good run of media attention this week. Pres. John Lugar was not exactly rational when questioned following a meeting of the Mill Mountain Advisory Committee on Thursday . "This wasn't unexpected, and it clearly shows the committee is dominated by one well-intentioned person with a very strong personality."

Oh, well bless his heart. At least he did not come right out and call the entire meeting a sham, the vote rigged by those who do not share his "Valley Forward" ideals, and the city of Roanoke a hell-hole. You know he wanted to. But no, he keeps touting that line about being "well-intentioned". If it will take a high-priced inn on Mill Mountain to attract (and retain) more folks like Mr. Lugar and Associated - oh well. Bless his heart, he's so well-intentioned.

Oh but wait - we were treated to a column in the Times by one Robert Fralin, vice-chairman of Valley Forward on Tuesday. Wait - I've read this before. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is simply an old press-release with a new paragraph added. Nice of the Times to give them this much press though, they need it - as the other projects the claim to champion have little or no information available. I'm guessing by the time the summer is over, they are going to wish they never even brought it up. Oh, but do not forget - they have the Gallop for the Greenways which would have been a great way to show they care about Roanoke, had it not been overshadowed by the Inn debacle.

Again, I'm not hating the idea of something on Mill Mountain. A restaurant, a cafe - but not another version of the Hotel Roanoke. Rockledge closed as an Inn, what makes Valley Forward think that the New Rockledge would be any more sustainable?

Roanoke City made part of Fishburn Park an "off-leash" heaven for dogs, and from what I understand - the response has been tremendous. Unfortunately, the ForgottenDogs are not bright enough to understand the concept of "come" and "stay" are not likely candidates for such a facility, but I do wholeheartedly support such an idea.

Oh, and one last thing - I do have my own opinions about what to do with Mill Mountain, how to make Roanoke cool, what to do with the Market area, and so forth. And a lot of them have a base in the Roanoke we will be celebrating with the 125th Anniversary - you'd be surprised what the past can show us, to lead us into the future.

You will be hearing more about them in the future. Much more.