Board of Supervisors’ Retreat

Board of Supervisors Retreat Tonight, July 31st

Prince-GeorgeA reminder that the Prince George Board of Supervisors (BOS) will hold a retreat this evening beginning at 5 pm to discuss various planning matters including schools, utilities, and growth planning.The Retreat will be held at the Central Wellness Center (old JEJ Moore School), 11033 Prince George Drive, Disputanta, 23842. The meeting is open to the public, but there is not the usual public comment period which is part of the regular meeting agenda of the BOS.

The Agenda can be found at this link.

Not much happening in Prince George

That really isn’t true.  About as much is happening here as anywhere else. We have a twice weekly newspaper, a weekly newspaper, a daily local newspaper, and a daily newspaper out of Richmond, VA, the Times-Dispatch aka, the RTD.  So we can be as up to date as we want to be.

In Prince George, some of us have high-speed broadband. Others rely on cellular broadband or satellite broadband, so we have some connectivity.  So most of us have access to the great journalist platform Facebook and, better yet, Twitter.  Most of us have some idea what is going on, though it is not as momentous as what is happening in Trump Tower or at 30 Rock.

We are rural enough that part of our county is covered by the local electric co-op,  which is installing fiber optic cable in its substations and is about to launch a 78 home pilot project to test the commercial feasibility of providing lower cost, higher data to its rural customers.  That might get Comcast (rather xfinity)  off its ass to provide wider access to its broadband service and to restructure its prices.  The underserved rural broadband population in the United States is estimated at 80 million households by the co-ops so they may have something there.

A neighbor had a young lab come onto her property with no ID but with a shock collar (probably for an electronic fence because every country person knows that you don’t train a lab with a shock collar) so after a few phone calls, a posting on Facebook, and chats with the Animal Adoption Services Center (no longer the “dog pound”) the lab was reunited with its family.  Pro tip … be wary of electronic fences.  An excited dog will charge out, but an unexcited dog will not charge back in.

Yes, we uncharacteristically received about 10 inches of snow and temps down around 1 degree for a couple of days.  Let’s see, I believe this is Storm Helene.  Gotta love those weather marketers for naming rain and snow events.  So, every four wheel drive yahoo on the wood had to rev his or her stuff at breakneck speeds to show they can conquer the elements.  Me, I stayed home: read, cooked, watched TV, coaxed my Aussie outside to do the right thing, and enjoyed the lay-by.  Oh yes, got to nurse a stomach bug for a couple of days, but who’s counting.

I had some time to think about a few off the wall things like … my cell phone spies on me enough.  I don’t think I want my fridge, a robot floor sweeper, or one of those Echo things spying on me too.  Had never thought too much about the Internet of Things, but I don’t think I want to be held hostage by a driverless car either.  Maybe the stomach bug is invading my thought processes.  I have always wanted a cook and chauffeur.

Sadly, in the past month or so … two relatively young professionals have committed suicide.  This kind of thing really shakes any community, but in a community like Prince George the ripples are gut-punch strong and lingering. So being this bucolic, rural habitat doesn’t protect us from pain, depression, illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, or any of the human ailments that plague modern society.

What is going on in your bailiwick?


as resolutions go …

I really didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year … other than I wanted to write more, write better, and underlying that, to be more perceptive and to be more conscious of events and topics that excite my interest.

patscat0001The proposition occurred to me that I should write daily, and perhaps I should, but that seems a bit more contrived that I wanted.  I know that advice to would-be writers by writers is to write, write, write.  And I get that.  Practice may not make perfect but it does give one more experience expressing precisely what is intended.

I do write almost daily … mostly newsletters and blogs from some of my volunteer organizations … not creative, though I try to be creative enough to invite interest.  I know … no one reads newsletters.  But by Jove … there must be newsletters.

So, I am resolved to write more, more frequently, more intensely, more personally.

And yes, I do plan to exercise more.

We Need A Government For Us

Happy to repost this blog from Rick Cooley.  I don’t agree with him on everything, but I am in total accord that our fourth estate is failing miserably in its duty to inform and be a clear-eyed reporter of the issues and players in our governmental and cultural milieu.

The recent conduct of business as usual in Washington, particularly the government shutdown caused by failure to pass a budget and the impending default that may result due to a failure to raise th…

Source: We Need A Government For Us


I visited the Prince George county offices this week to return a meeting room key.  A routine matter I have performed many times.  On this visit I decided to park in the far corner of the lot in front of the courthouse.  There was shade to keep the car cooler and a chance to get in a few more steps.

On my somewhat shortly lengthened journey I crossed over the memorial square with its unsheltered benches and fountains, all dedicated to deserving families and loved ones. I found, again, the paver donated by the Prince George Democratic Committee.  I then remembered  that once before I had seen a paver that intrigued me, but couldn’t exactly remember why.  About 25 minutes later I found it.


Opechancanough, ? 1546 -1646.  Obviously, I assumed, Native American. Just today I remembered the paver and the photo I had taken.  I had been watching the PBS Fourth on the Mall celebration with no reference  to the peoples watching the Europeans disembarking on these shores.  On to Wikipedia, learning that Opechancanough was a Powhatan chief  of a major village along the Pawmunky during the arrival of the Jamestown settlers.  He was never enamored of or even very tolerant of the late comers in his midst.

How would he have vetted us (European immigrants) had he had the chance? Would he have been swayed by the arguments of freedom to travel, free trade, this land is your land, this land is my land rhetoric? Unlikely.

A greater mystery to me is who paid for this paver? I would like to know who made the effort to recognize that it is the Europeans and their slaves who are the immigrants.




the passing of titans

A reflective day in Prince George.  It is late spring and today will be sunny and perhaps in the 8os.  We have not had much sun in the last three weeks and sweaters have been the garment of choice.  So a day like today could be about getting out the mower and snips to tackle the yard, which is likely to happen at the Woodward estate later today.

Why the reflection?  A county icon has passed … Ben Kanak.  Ben was a second generation American farmer and businessman who, until late Fall, had still farmed the same farm he had inherited from his immigrant parents.  Born in 1922, Ben had ten siblings, all of whom he had survived.  He had survived his devoted wife, many decades his junior.  Ben was part of the flora and fauna of Prince George County.  It is hard to imagine the county without him in it.

He joins the other icons Henry Parker, Sam Bland, the Burens, Martin Robertson, John Minor, and Dennis Sebera, in being memories in our midst.

Kanak Farm 2

I thought of Ben almost daily because his farm is on the road between our home and the courthouse area of the county (we don’t have any cities or towns in Prince George) and because I know his 90 year old father-in-law and wife.  Whenever I passed his farm, I scoped out the fields to determine if he was out driving one of the large farm machines he piloted, or to see what he had planted.  Now, I pass his farm expecting to see him plowing or checking his mailbox near the road.  Now, I pass his farm wondering what will happen to his  beloved ‘Century Farm’ in this era of corporate farming and Youtube, and Starbucks.

Those who leave memories are still among us.


Improving Immunization and Fighting Polio in Pakistan — Rotarian Economist

‘We’re (this) close’

Polio remains endemic in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Apart from polio campaigns, broader support for immunization is essential to eradicate polio. Two weeks ago (on April 21, 2016), the World Bank approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $50 million to increase the availability of vaccines for infectious diseases, including polio, for children under […]

via Improving Immunization and Fighting Polio in Pakistan — Rotarian Economist

Some rhetoric for consideration

“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”

Hillary Clinton quoted these words in a recent speech in Madison, Wisconsin.  This is language from Justice Kennedy’s opinion  in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 landmark case upholding gay marriage.

Two segments of this passage arrest me ..

“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.”  Even if we do see injustice we can shrug the issue away because it isn’t a problem we share, we are too busy, someone will do something, or it is just insurmountable.  There is less of an indictment of us if we are unaware of the injustice, but how often, really, is that the case? It could be that we need to be more curious as much as we need to be more caring.

” … a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.” This is a most genuine and germane description of the mandated role of our Supreme Court.  It is not to be an atavistic literal interpreter of the mores and inclinations of the founders, but to be the link between the political vision of the fathers and the continually emerging realities of a maturing nation “to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”

Yes, the Supreme Court really matters.  The people appointed to serve as Justices are the moral defenders of liberty.   Their intellect and logic must be mindful of the past, but also attuned to an advancing understanding of humanity.


Am I an influential person?

“9 Habits of Profoundly  Influential People”:

WIN_20151207_18_17_44_Pro (2)Somewhere in the blur of the last few months I read an article, caught a meme, or was captured by an infographic touting habits shared by influential people.  There being only three other people who share my little 6 acres, I doubt these ‘habits’ would be recognized by my family as traits exhibited by me. In my little sphere I am pretty influential because I am the cook.  I am curious about what you think about these habits as descriptors of those with profound influence:

  1. They think for themselves.(Influenced by what they know.)
  2. They are graciously disruptive.(Like to disrupt to make things better.)
  3. They inspire conversation. (Multi-directional.)
  4. They leverage their networks. (Lasting connections.)
  5. They focus only on what matters. (Not trivial.)
  6. They welcome disagreement.
  7. They are proactive. (Seek things out … early adopters.)
  8. They respond rather than react.
  9. They believe.

My apologies and appreciation to the creator of this list.  I ask your forgiveness and will cite you if I can determine the source.

Thoughts from the blogosphere?

Divide and Conquer (Your Prose)

Every time I read The Daily Post I learn something.

The Daily Post

Reading, like breathing, is a continuous process that’s made up of numerous discrete acts. (If you’re like me, the same is true of eating gummy bears.) Whatever style we write in — from the most traditional to the more experimental — our job as writers is to make the experience so smooth for our readers that they don’t even notice the little seams that hold it all together.

We do this in ways both big and small. We make sure our grammar doesn’t call attention to itself (unless we want it to, like in some forms of poetry). We keep our posts clean, and their format easy on our readers’ eyes. We embrace the screen’s white space.

Dividing your text into smaller units is another way to make the reading flow and engage and push your audience onward. I’m not talking about breaking down walls of text into paragraphs — unless you’re James Joyce you’re hopefully doing this…

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