The proposed sand/gravel extraction site at Black Marsh Farm and the idiocy of Gilbert Shelton and others, part deux.
Editor’s Note: Another guest blog from “notgilbertshelton”:
In my previous blog post, I did not touch on all the comments made during the Planning Commission meeting due to the length of the article. I want to continue and discuss a few more.
After being assured by that infamous multi-named poster from Bowling Green, Paul Reilly/oharascarlett/nativetxlady/Jason Soiman/Susan Sili, that Gilbert Shelton was not confused at the Caroline County Planning Commission meeting, I acquiesce and state emphatically: Gilbert Shelton does not have any problems with old age or confusion. He has absolutely no excuse for his remarks. I guess he just lied—about the reclaimed land not being farmed at Flintsher and stating Vulcan was investing $2,000,000 instead of $10,000,000 and about a bird refuge being on White Marsh which is actually rented for hunting. I guess suggesting that Vulcan would barge all their equipment out before January 1 so they would not have to pay taxes that year is rational. I guess talking about the fictional elderly Raines couple is okay, too. And I guess there is some logical reason he referred to the “Kelo case” twice. (And if anyone out there can figure out why, please post a comment so that I will know.) One thing I want to note, Gilbert Sheldon (to his credit) said “to ensure full disclosure” he noted that the company that he had previously worked for had audited Vulcan Materials Company. (Even after that, Nancy Long, mayor of Port Royal, did not disclose that her husband, Alex Long, is suing Albert Wachtmeister, owner of Black Marsh.)
Wayne Rogers, the general manager at Four Winds Campground, and some other lot owners spoke against the mine. One thing Mr. Rogers was concerned about is the Four Winds Golf Course being adjacent to the mine. I want to note that the driving range at New Post was beside one of Mr. M. R. Fulks’s mines and that the many people who used it did not seem to mind. (The mined area was reclaimed a few years ago and the driving range moved last year a mile or so south on Rt. 2.) But in response to any other complaints from Four Winds, oh my, where do I begin? Four Winds is supposed to be a campground for temporary camping with no permanent structures. Each lot measures 2000 square feet. But guess what? There are year round residents and homes built in this campground. I do believe Mr. Rogers lives there year round. The lot owners who have buildings or additions have not applied for building permits so buildings and additions are not calculated in their property tax (and then of course, the county does not get any money for building permits.) Most trailers are registered in other places so they do not pay personal property to Caroline for these. There are children, whose parents own or rent a campsite, going to school in Caroline County. Who do you think is paying for the overwhelming majority of the cost of the numerous emergency calls to this campground, their children attending school in Caroline, and their part in the deterioration of the roads in Skinkers Neck? Well, that would be Mr. or Ms. Caroline County Average Homeowner, not the residents of Four Winds.
And then there were the two owners (I did not get their names) of a previous section of Four Winds that borders Black Marsh. They are doing business as Four Winds Plantation and they want to have 211 acres with 2181 plats rezoned. For what? Do they want another campground (that is what it is zoned for now) or maybe a mobile home park? I think that is enough said on that subject.
Concerning Senator Warner’s opposition, I did not mention before that his property is 1.5 miles from the proposed Black Marsh mine site and around a bend in the river. He has two King George mines closer (at 0.5 miles and 0.77 miles, respectively) than the Black Marsh site and he is trying to influence what goes on in another county.
John Clarke, a partner in Haymount, spoke against the mine, and said that Mr. Wachtmeister had not approached anyone at Haymount about the proposed mine. And then he turned around and said that Mr. Wachtmeister had spoken to him about it in December at the grocery store. It is my understanding that Mr. Wachtmeister approached all homeowners in Skinkers Neck and the Four Winds management to tell them about the project in December and January. Mr. Clarke is concerned about the Haymount “development” which I restate has not built a single structure since final approval on January 26, 1993. The money held in an escrow as a bond for highway maintenance has been depleted, according to VDOT. The closest point of Haymount to the proposed mine site at Black Marsh is 0.92 mile and the closest point of Haymount to the nearest King George mine is 1.02 miles. As a side note, I was against the Haymount project at the beginning. I was against it for a simply selfish reason: I did not want to live in a town. I acknowledged that George Fisher (the original owner and now a partner) had the right to do what he wanted with his land as long as it did not physically harm his neighbors but I did not want to live in a town. I even went to two meetings about it and then I just decided, “What will be, will be.” The attacks on 9/11, then the economy, then the decision of the first developer, and again the economy have put a hold on this project. I empathize with John Clarke because I know he has put a lot of time, effort, and money into this project but he certainly should know how it feels to have people trying to dictate what you do with your own land.
These comments in The Caroline Progress were attributed to Gilbert Shelton, of the Caroline County Countryside Alliance: “In addition to evidence that Indians inhabited the area, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson had extensive fortifications throughout Skinkers Neck to ward off possible attack by Union forces, noted Shelton.” Kay Watson, who spoke in favor of the mine, repudiated (or as you Palin fans say, refudiated) the claim of any Civil War fortifications near the river by referring to maps made by Jedediah Hotchkiss, General Stonewall Jackson’s cartographer. She said his maps show no camps or emplacements near the river, only on the hills around the river where there are still remnants of gun emplacements. Also, she acknowledged finding Indian artifacts on Black Marsh Farm (where she said her father and uncle were born) but that Indian artifacts are not exclusive to Black Marsh. Mrs. Watson said, “My father found Indian artifacts all along the river from Spotsylvania to Port Royal.” Mr. Jim Raines, who spoke against the mine, supported this statement when he said that he and his father would find them when working the fields on the farm where they lived (Jane Raines Kizer’s farm). I guess the next thing that the socialists decide to do will be to stop farming along the Rappahannock River because of destruction of the Indian artifacts.
Most of the speakers who spoke against the mine were from King George or Port Royal or Portobago, not local residents. I certainly hope that the Planning Commission can see the forest for the trees.
“Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.” -Ayn Rand