Articles from December 2008



Nice to see that some things are changing in Caroline County…

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Caroline Because of budget constraints, the Caroline County newsletter will not be delivered in the mail to residents, county officials announced. Until further notice, the newsletter only will be posted on the county’s Web site:
http://www.co.caroline.va.us.

One thing that annoyed the heck out of my last year was that a week before the November 2007 elections, the County decided that it would be a great idea to send out those newsletters out talking about how great every Board member was. Nice to see one district figured it out even with the paid advertisements from the county.

A great Caroline County achievement: The Caroline Progress plagiarizes Wikipedia.

At least we know they have Internet access there.

From a story in this week’s edition of The Caroline Progress about an Arby’s opening in Carmel Church:

There are now close to 3,000 Arby’s in the U.S. and Canada. In 1964, Arby’s was founded in Ohio by Forrest and Leroy Raffel who intended to create a fast food franchise based on a food other than hamburgers. The Arby’s name is derived from “Raffel Brothers” or “RB.” By coincidence, the initials can also stand for “roast beef.”

Arby’s, oriented more towards adults than other fast food restaurants, is known not only for roast beef sandwiches but also for chicken sandwiches, curly fries, and popcorn chicken. Included on the menu are appetizers, salads, Market Fresh (deli-style) sandwiches, wraps, and submarine sandwiches.

And from the Arby’s page on Wikipedia:

Arby’s is a fast food restaurant chain in the United States and Canada that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. It is primarily known for selling roast beef sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, curly fries, and popcorn chicken. The company’s target market attempts to be more adult-oriented than other fast food restaurants. The Arby’s menu also includes appetizers, salads, Market Fresh (deli-style) sandwiches, wraps, and submarine sandwiches.

[…]

Arby’s was founded by Forrest and Leroy Raffel in Ohio in 1964, who were determined to own a fast food franchise based on a food other than hamburgers. The brothers wanted to use the preferred name of “Big Tex”, but that name was already being used by an Akron businessman. They eventually decided on the Arby’s moniker, based on R.B., the initials of Raffel Brothers,[5] thus Arby’s, LLC, was born. By coincidence, R.B. can also be short for roast beef, the company’s main product, a point which was used when the backronym “America’s Roast Beef, Yes Sir” was used as an advertising campaign in the 1980s.

And if you were wondering about Wikipedia’s copyright requirements:

If you want to use Wikipedia materials in your own books/articles/websites or other publications, you can do so — but only in compliance with the GFDL. If you are simply duplicating the Wikipedia article, you must follow section two of the GFDL on verbatim copying, as discussed at Wikipedia:Verbatim copying.

If you create a derivative version by changing or adding content, this entails the following:

  • your materials in turn have to be licensed under GFDL,
  • you must acknowledge the authorship of the article (section 4B), and
  • you must provide access to the “transparent copy” of the material (section 4J). (The “transparent copy” of a Wikipedia article is any of a number of formats available from us, including the wiki text, the html web pages, xml feed, etc.)

And, of course, this isn’t the first time that The Caroline Progress has been caught plagiarizing someone. The last time it was The Free Lance–Star.

Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) suffers a setback.

AP (via Drudge):

The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth.

The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election.

[…]

At least one other appeal over Obama’s citizenship remains at the court. Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa., argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama says and the Hawaii secretary of state has confirmed.

Of course, the new icon of the right, Philip J. Berg, is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist that believes the United States government (AND BUSH!!11!) was responsible for the September 11th attacks (from Michelle Malkin):

Here’s an excerpt of Philip Berg’s 9/11 Truther manifesto for all of you who have made him your new hero:

“It is time for the nations of the world to come forth and take the leadership because of the failure of the United States Government and the States where crimes were committed on 09/11/01, where no thorough investigation and indictments occurred, to investigate, arrest and prosecute the people responsible for the murders on 9/11/01, specifically including George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. ”

“Bush and his cronies made 9/11 happen or let it happen. And, if they let it happen, then they made it happen. Either way, they are responsible; and more important, they have completely and unequivocally covered-it-up!”

…That an event such as 9/11 was desired by powerful Administration figures, including Cheney and Jeb Bush, the President’s brother, is a matter of record, as the Project for the New American Century’s [PNAC] blueprint for worldwide U.S. dominance entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” stated that the program they advocated could win popular support only with the help of a “catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor” which (we are supposed to believe to be coincidence) came to pass just 8 months after many of the co-signers of the PNAC document assumed high positions in the new Bush Administration in January 2001.

As President John F. Kennedy stated, “Things do not just happen; they are made to happen.” There has never been an investigation of 9/11 that had not concluded, before it even began, that the Official Story convicting Osama bin Laden and absolving the Administration and the military of complicity of anything worse than “intelligence failures,” which thereby made the outcome a foregone conclusion.

It is time that the men who had the motive, means and the opportunity to commit the terrible crimes of 9/11, and who have profited by it politically as well as financially, be exposed for their role and held to account.

The world has suffered since the horrific acts of Bush and his cronies on 9/11, that being the events of 9/11 and the aftermath, the illegal act of war against Afghanistan and Iraq that has caused the death and injury of hundreds of thousands, including thousands of U.S. troops; the destruction of property and the enormous costs involved.

Saddam was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death after being convicted of murder in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from an Iraqi town where assassins tried to kill him in 1982. This number of killings that Saddam Hussein was found guilty of is far less than Bush and his cronies caused to die on 9/11.

The 148 Iraqi deaths for which Saddam was tried pales in number to the 750,000 dead at the hands of George W. Bush as a result of this illegal invasion of that country which includes babies, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, elderly grandmothers and grandfathers, killed without remorse by George W. Bush and his war profiteering supporters.

Bush continues the war in Iraq to keep the world’s attention there and not on the atrocities caused by him on 9/11, including the possibility of Bush sending up to 40,000 more troops to Iraq, even though a majority of the American people are against this increase.

The world must act now because our own government has failed us. We cannot relent until real justice is reached. Only by exposing the truth of 9/11 and revealing how it was used as the “trigger event” to justify the neocon’s imperial policy can we put these events in proper prospective.”

I think some conservatives need to realize that when you lay down with dogs, you’re going to wake up with fleas…

Plaxico Burress on gun safety.

Slight language warning:

H/t: Little Green Footballs (LGF)

Quantum of Solace: All action, no plot.

Just saw the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

While most of the action scenes are pretty good, although the constant changes in camera angles can make them a little hard to follow at times, the storyline sucks.

The previous film, Casino Royale, actually spent time developing the characters, presented a legitimate villain (a financier of terrorism), and had suspenseful scenes. It was good change from the usual gimmicky villains and plots of the previous films.

I expected the same from Quantum of Solace and it failed to deliver.

Seriously, what was the villain planning in this one? Horde water and extort money out of the Bolivian government?

Wow, I’m so scared!

The only storylines that were really interesting were the ones continued from Casino Royale, specifically Bond out looking for revenge. But even that really didn’t go anywhere.

Ugh, maybe next time.

More proof that The Free Lance–Star doesn’t know jack about Caroline County.

As per standard operating procedure (SOP), get your own link:

The vast expanse of forest at A.P. Hill helps buffer noise from firing ranges. So the post has been working with conservation agencies to obtain conservation easements on land outside the gates to maintain that separation and restrict incompatible development.

I’m sure the folks at Port Tobago (just east of Port Royal) would love to know that the forest dampers the noise from the new explosive disposal training facility that’s right across the road from them.

I’m sure the folks in Bowling Green would also love to know that they don’t hear any of the noise from A. P. Hill because of the forest, either.

Out of curiosity, is the town of Bowling Green an “incompatible development”? Are they going to annex the town and bulldoze it? (Fingers crossed!)

Fort A. P. Hill has a lot of nerve to be whining about development around its borders when they bring nothing into the county.

The civilian staff that they hire is nonexistent compared to other places (e.g., Dahlgren). They bring in no commercial development compared to Dahlgren either. They pay a couple thousand dollars every year ($3,140 in FY07) in return for their tax-exempt status. If that land was privately held, the county would probably getting a hundred times that amount.

Why are we [the county] paying this guy $18,693.20 a year?

Jeff Sili at the November 13, 2008 Board of Supervisors meeting:

Well, look what yours truly (this enterprising hate-blogger), found in five minutes of looking at the county’s web site. Caroline County Zoning Ordinance, Article XV, Section 19, Resource Sensitive Area Overlay District, Purpose and Intent (p. 15-56):

The purpose of this district is to protect and promote the public health, safety and general welfare by encouraging the most desirable development and use of land along the Route 17/Rappahannock River Valley corridor that reflects the historical development patterns within the corridor, to encourage architectural designs and land development patterns which result in functional and attractive relationships between buildings, cultural, historical, natural and scenic resources and the surrounding areas, and to preserve the agricultural use of land that dominates the corridor.

It is the intent of this district to implement the Resource Sensitive Area designation of the Comprehensive Plan.

And the Permitted Uses in the Resource Sensitive Area Overlay District, Section 19.5 (Ibid., at p. 15-57) [emphasis mine]:

All uses permitted by right or by special exception/use in the underlying zoning district(s).

And the Caroline County Comprehensive Plan, Chapter Eight – Land Use (p. 8-9 – 8-11):

RESOURCE SENSITIVE AREAS

The land bounded by the Rappahannock River, Portobago Creek, the Fort A.P. Hill Boundary and Snow Creek (collectively the “Corridor”) is an unusual, if not unique, area for a number of reasons.

The area is the location of significant wetlands. These wetlands function as habitat for numerous species, including game species and threatened or endangered species. Eagles nest along portion portions of the Corridor. The area is a watershed for the Rappahannock River, a significant tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The Rappahannock River is an unusually scenic river that is used for recreational purposes as well as water supply.

The area has attracted people for centuries, resulting in rich archeological resources ranging from prehistoric to colonial artifacts and sites. Because so much of the area has remained in private hands through the years, these resources have remained largely untapped.

The Corridor area is separated from the balance of the County by Fort A.P. Hill, which results in the funneling of commercial traffic into other jurisdictions such as Fredericksburg and Tappahannock. Because of the planned location of a commuter station near Fredericksburg, there will be an increase in the pressure for development within the Corridor. Traditional forms of unrestricted large lot subdivision development within the Corridor have not achieved the results desired by the County.

Large lot development still require that County services be extended to the Corridor area. Fire and police protection must be provided. Schools must be provided, and school buses still must travel to the most remote ends of the County. Unrestricted large lot development often leaves control of significant archeological features in private hands as well as leaving significant environmental features controlled by individuals and often unavailable to the public. Such development has the potential for increased runoff into the river and the unregulated destruction of both the scenic natures of the river and significant habitat features such as eagle roosting trees.

Unrestricted large lot development within the Corridor will likely preclude the achievement of other goals deemed significant by the County. Farms may not be protected or preserved, they may simply be divided into large housing tracts. If overall density is kept too low within this portion of the County, then the goals of stimulating new commercial development will not be achieved and the money of County residents will continue to be spent in other jurisdictions and the accompanying tax dollars associated with such expenditures will benefit those other jurisdictions.

Finally, because development pressure generated by the proximity of the commuter rail and the beauty of the Corridor is likely to be strong, detailed planning for this area is warranted.

Consequently, the Corridor is designated a “Resource Sensitive Area” (Figure 8-9) in which the following additional objectives are to be pursued:

OBJECTIVES

Objective 1

Encourage the use of innovative designs and planning to achieve goals which may be especially important within the Corridor. Encourage the use of planned unit developments, which cluster units and permanently preserve large areas of open space. Such developments should be designed to achieve the following:

  1. To develop according to a design derived from the natural forms while striving to preserve
    existing terrain, vegetation and other natural features;
  2. To develop a mixture of private and public uses that are organized in such a way as to be compatible with each other and with surrounding areas;
  3. To develop creatively, producing an efficient network of streets, walkways, utilities, and open areas;
  4. To develop a broad range of housing types and styles;
  5. To develop communities in which the social and community interaction is encouraged through a balanced mixture of compatible uses and through the provision of public or quasi-public facilities intended to foster social interaction;
  6. To develop according to high standards of land planning and site design in order to create
    distinctive visual character and identity for integrated development;
  7. To develop so that facilities and programs reduce reliance on the private automobile as a
    means of transportation and reduce the effect of development on the transportation network; and
  8. To develop so that necessary public facilities will be available contemporaneously with occupancy of new development by its citizens.
  9. To encourage the preservation of agricultural/forestal lands by preserving open space and reducing the potential for interface problems between agricultural/forestal and nonagricultural/forestal uses.

In general, the County desires to stimulate a flexible approach to land development that encourages the comprehensive design and integration of residential, commercial, cultural and recreational uses in a manner that will achieve the greatest harmony with the existing ecological balance in the area.

Objective 2

Require any development within a Resource Sensitive Area to document its likely impact in the following areas and to mitigate such impacts through necessary on-site and off-site measures:

  • Archeological resources;
  • Wetland resources;
  • River frontage and access;
  • Drainage and water quality;
  • County infrastructure and resulting fiscal impact;
  • Botanical and Wildlife habitat with special attention to threatened or endangered species;
    and
  • Existing Agricultural or timbering operations.

In undertaking assessment of these impacts the developer should consider the impact of other existing and planned developments within the Corridor as well. The County should strive for a design concept that utilizes carefully planned communities to attract residential density into towns, which significantly reduce the resource impact of such development. These towns should be developed in a context that resists the development of immediately adjourning development for the distance necessary to accommodate any unfiltered residual impacts. Thus, significant development cannot be located immediately adjacent to areas already identified for development but instead must provide sufficient separation for full mitigation. Moreover, “infill” development must also overcome such impacts on the area’s resources. Designs, which result in substantial “greenbelts”, are to be particularly encouraged.

Objective 3

Require that all development within a Resource Sensitive Area limit the number and extent of accesses to the Rappahannock River (or any other significant adjacent waterbody) and specifically plan where public access to that waterbody may be appropriate. Development fronting upon the river should be required to reduce its visual impact on the river so that, in any event, the minimum necessary river frontage is opened or developed.

Objective 4

Recognizing that the studies required for development within the Resource Sensitive Area, the reservation of substantial open spaces and the limitations on development necessary to adequately protect the resource area are sometimes expensive, the County should, in cases where it is appropriate to do so, permit developments meeting the objectives set forth herein, but only when such development independent of other County revenues, generate sufficient revenues to provide the infrastructure necessary for support of such density, including but not limited to, adequate water and sewer facilities, public roads, and sites for schools and other municipal facilities.

Objective 5

Because of the importance of achieving the objectives set forth for the Resource Sensitive Area, developers should be encouraged to proffer resource related mitigation measures and to commit in detail to the parameters of any proposed development.

Objective 6

Encourage the “scenic” designation of Tidewater Trail (Route 17) in order to preserve its natural charm, beauty and historic character. The County recognizes, however, that Route 17 is a primary transportation link to Tidewater Virginia. As such, this road must continue to be used by all types of vehicles, including trucks and other commercial vehicles.

The goals and objectives set forth in this section are to be applicable to residential development and commercial uses, such as fast food restaurants, convenience stores or other commercial uses arising from residential development. These goals and objectives shall not be applied to, other commercial uses arising from residential development. These goals and objectives shall not be applied to, otherwise limit or interfere with, any use, such as agriculture, silviculture, horticulture or sand and gravel extraction operations, permitted by right or by special exception within the zoning district in the Corridor.

Especially note part of the last paragraph: “These goals and objectives shall not be applied to, otherwise limit or interfere with, any use, such as agriculture, silviculture, horticulture or sand and gravel extraction operations, permitted by right or by special exception within the zoning district in the Corridor.

Nice to see Jeff Sili is doing his job!

Pop quiz: How are Caroline County and the federal government alike?

Both of them built visitors center that went over-budget and took forever to complete (Citizens Against Government Waste Press Release):

The nation’s premier taxpayer watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today expressed dismay over the exorbitant final price tag for the Capitol Visitors Center (CVC).

Initially conceived in the early 1990s and projected to cost $71 million, the CVC has become an example of out-of-control government contracting and mismanagement. After costs ballooned and construction schedules spiraled out of control, the three-level, underground monument to congressional excess finally came in at a whopping $621 million and three years behind schedule.

“The mismanagement and bloat associated with the construction of the Capitol Visitors Center is emblematic of the rampant waste in the nation’s capitol,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “This boondoggle should give pause to anyone contemplating the expenditure of hundreds of billions more taxpayer dollars for any federal infrastructure projects as part of any new stimulus package. Like the federal budget itself, Congress used the CVC as a warehouse for tens of millions of dollars in extravagant bells and whistles for itself. Even more reprehensible, members of Congress seeking to add special features for themselves used security concerns surrounding the September 11 attacks to justify their extravagant add-ons and constant change orders.”

H/t: Matt “threat to Democracy” Drudge


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