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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Season Far From Over

Tropical storms and hurricanes by month
(North Atlantic region)

Lynchburg Red Cross Seeking Volunteers for Katrina

UPDATE: Beverly Gaydas of the Lynchburg Red Cross has revised the plan for the rush program for volunteers. Because of the real posibility of disease outbreaks, and other issues. The Lynchburg Red Cross will be taking volunteers only in work at the local office for now. This may change we will keep you posted.

We have just received a call from Beverly Gaydas of the the Lynchburg Red Cross. And she said one of the most current need is people. They are looking for volunteers to spend at least two weeks and hopefully three weeks assisting in the effort to aid those falling victim of Kathrina.

The Red Cross would provide a crash course two week training program, and would fly the volunteers down to the area that needs assistance. There would be no personal costs incurred, the Red Cross would provide meals, shelter, transportation and etc.

If you would like to become a part of the Disaster Service and Human Resource arm of the Red Cross (DSHR) you can contact either Beverly Davis or Mark Stewart at:

(434) 845-1233
2416 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg, Virginia 24501
Lynchburg Red Cross

Old City Cemetery

Old City Cemetery is a wonderful place to visit in Lynchburg. You may be thinking 'what...visit a cemetery?' But there is historical information to be had here, there is a Confederate graveyard, there are four museums, and wonderful gardens to visit. Enjoy the picnic area and fabulous swing. Learn about composting in the composting area.

The four museums are: Pest House Medical Museum, Hearse House and Caretakers Museum, Station House Museum and Mourning Museum. So check out the site, call and set up a tour and go visit this treasure in Lynchburg.

American Cancer Society's 2005 Men's Golf Tournament

9/8/2005 Ivy Hill Golf Club. 12:30 pm.

The Alvis Hylton Memorial Golf Tournament is an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. All proceeds will go to fund cancer research and patient service programs, as well as educataion, prevention, detection, and advocacy programs here in Lynchburg. For more information, please call Ashley Tanis in the ACS office at (434) 845-0973.

$400 per foursome.

Ahn Trio in Performance

9/7/2005 at 7:30 pm at Sweet Briar College Memorial Chapel.

Concert by the nationally acclaimed classical music ensemble, Ahn Trio, composed of three sisters: cellist Maria, her twin sister, pianist Lucia, plus the youngest sister, violinist Angella. They have been featured in Time, Vogue, Town and Country, People Magazine, and on MTV. These musicians are having a stunning impact on the concert and chamber music world. Tickets $3-$8 and go on sale August 25. Call 434-381-6120

Toxins in Breast Milk

I was disturbed by this article I read this week that gives the results of a recent study in Northwestern US and in Canada. Since people everywhere are exposed to these flame retardant materials, I think we need to be aware of it, even though the initial study took place on the other side of the country.

Urban Legends Filling up Email Boxes

Yesterday I was reading a news story about the upcoming event of Mars being closer to the earth than it has been in 60,000 years. Supposedly it will appear brighter and larger than the moon. Sounds pretty cool, eh? Well, unfortunately, this story is a hoax. In 2003, Mars did indeed pass closer to earth than it had in 60,000 years, but it did not appear larger than the moon in the sky.

Email has become a way to pass on information of all sorts. Letters to friends, information about Disaster Relief efforts, advertisements (both wanted and unwanted), news and the ever popular legends. The above-mentioned email started out based in fact, but as it circled around the globe, someone forgot to stop it when the date was past. On one day I got sent the Mars email four times from four different people who knew what space buffs we are.

So, here is my suggestion to you. When you get emails in your box about Bill Gates giving away money, spectacular space events, children with incurable diseases and if you pass on this email a company will contribute money to their fund, missing children notices and anything that seems remotely off key, take a few moments and check it out at . This site is a great place to check out the validity of email you have received. Do yourself a favor and your friends a favor, before you push that forward and send button, check it out! Otherwise, you may have a wiser friend emailing you back telling you that the email you just sent to the 100 people you know was a hoax.

Gas Pipeline to Virginia Down

The Daily Press is reporting:

The pipeline that supplies Virginia and rest of the eastcoast with fuel from the Gulf of Mexico is down. The Colonial Pipeline is hoped to reopen partially by this weekend.

It is unknown when the pipeline will return to full service. The pipeline runs from Greensboro North Carolina and Houston Texas. Already gasoline supply shortages are being felt in the Hampton Roads area.

To read more go to the Daily Press

NASA's Aqua Satellite: Shows Image of Katrina

From: NASA

"Warm ocean waters fuel hurricanes, and there was plenty of warm water for Katrina to build up strength once she crossed over Florida and moved into the Gulf of Mexico. This image depicts a 3-day average of actual sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, from August 25-27, 2005. Every area in yellow, orange or red represents 82 degrees Fahrenheit or above. A hurricane needs SSTs at 82 degrees or warmer to strengthen. The data came from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. The GOES satellite provided the cloud data for this image."

Image Credit: NASA/SVS

The Lynchburg Midtown Dream Crashes Against Reality

After a 190,000 spent of the Lynchburg taxpayers money, the Lynchburg planning Commission has roughed out a plan that incorporates the suggestions of their, out of town, Dover consultation partner.

On September 14, they are going to the citizens to explain their logic of eminent domain, restrictive building codes, tougher city property inspections, and a general attitude of why this is good for us.

They will sit before the citizens, who will be composed mostly of those who have a financial stake. Meaning those that will either be on or off, the gravy train of monetary gain or loss. The ordinary citizen of midtown will be most likely absent. The productive ones will be headed to their second job. And others, will be just trying to figure out ways to make ends meet.

The Planning Commission has a dream, a vision that was inspired by a 190,000 dollar ticket they bought from Dover. But sometimes you just have to wake up. The Plaza, the center piece of the plan, is owned by Sandor Development. Sandor Development would have a considerable stake in this plan was at all feasible.

Yet Sandor Development, a company that specializes in strip shopping centers is not buying into the dream. They point out simply that this an area of poverty and rising crime. You are just not going to find upscale business investors. The data is just the data. And although, the city wanted to kill the messenger of bad news, Sandor has stood its ground. And implied was the idea that Sandor had its own plan of development and the city could take it or leave it.

Sandor was not going to sell its property. And Sandor further expressed its displeasure that Dover, the grand planner, would not even return their emails. The city's response to this was well their job was done, you only get so much for a 190,000 dollars nowadays.

And while the city is planning to spend more money on consulting 78,000 is in the budget next year, were they not paying attention at all to Sandor.

Sandor was telling the city you have to solve the problems of poverty and crime first. What does that entail, bringing better paying employers to the city and provide the residents of midtown with job training to fill those jobs.

The city of may have a dream for midtown. A shape shifting one that will try to transpose how the city would look, but are they looking at how the residents are going to pay in increased property taxes, without a subsequent raise in the per capita income of the area.

Or is the city's plan an attempt to shove these lower income residents out of the city. The city council, an elected body, seems more in touch with the dream of midtown rather than the hard everyday facts that the citizens of midtown face, most primary the need is better employment.

And while the city claims a barebones budget, you just can't help to wonder why 78,000 more needs to be spent on a further dream. And with courtesies to guests, the planning commission plans to fork out another 2,500 dollars of our tax money. Who their guests are is anyone's guess. Perhaps, an added gift to the consultants.

We feel the city should take a hard look at what is important to the residents. The elections maybe in May, and they may feel secure with that fact of low voter turn out has insured their positions in the past, but the citizens may soon say, wake up from the dream city council and have a taste of our reality. If the city council cannot regain touch with the community, it may be time to vote them out.

Previous posts on the midtown plan:

Lynchburg Midtown Plan: The Beginning of the Controversy

Lynchburg Spends 190,000 Dollars on Midtown Plan: Do What?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Are There More Hurricanes to Come?

From the NOAA weather site there is an interesting article on the outlook for the rest of 2005. As we are now reeling from the effects of Katrina, the prospect for new major hurricanes are a very real probability.

Latest reports for CNN television reporting is that storm related deaths are beginning to come in. Mississippi has already reported 80 deaths. As I am watching the coverage, a person from North Carolina called in to CNN to report that her relatives were stranded in an attic and just broke through the roof. She also reported her relatives saw a woman hanging on in a tree.

WSET is reporting: Randy Johnson and the God's Pit Crew are planning a relief effort and through Saturday you can can contribute, clothes, non-perishables, bottled water, personal hygiene items, and baby care items at the following locations:

*In Danville at K-Mart on Riverside Drive.
*In Lynchburg at Tharp Funeral Home on Breezewood Drive.
*In Roanoke at Bonsack Baptist Church on Cloverdale Road.
*And in Forest at the Mustard Seed Cafe on Forest Road.

Photo credits: NOAA

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina: What You Can Do Now?

As the situation unfolds along the Mississippi river basin, and all are being faced with all of the unknowns of the total effect of the Katrina. One of the best ways to offer your help is with plain cash sent directly to the Red Cross.

Contact the Red Cross website or call 1-800-Help Now

When more formalized methods develop for you to help locally, we will let you know.
We know that the 750 members of Lynchburg Freecycle are standing by to help.

The current most immediate need is rescue. There are unknown numbers of people still stranded, and many are in desperate situations.

CNN telivision is now reporting that 1.3 million electric customers are without power, that safe drinking water is just not available, and it may be weeks if not months before those were evacuated maybe able to return.

Unknown tonight is the extent of lives lost, or even some words or communication with some small towns.

This maybe the worst tragedy in the United States, since the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

Hurricane Relief in the Planning Stage Locally

During the last several days, efforts have and are still being made to coordinate a response by three local groups for the impending needs of the huricane victims.

Lynchburg Virginia Blog is happy to report, that both Lynchburg Freecycle (thanks to Jeff and Melissa), and Lynchburg Area Blog have united in this effort.

Lynchburg Freecycle is composed of a growing membership of 750, and they are individuals in tune with helping those in need. Lynchburg Area Blog is responsible for the kick start of this effort. And we are following suit.

Currently we have been in touch with the United Way and the Lynchburg Metro Chapter of the Red Cross. As their needs are defined we will be providing you with more information, and how to take part in this effort. The members of Lynchburg Freecycle have been notified. When we find the specifics of how you can help, we will let you know.

Photo credit NOAA, projected huricane path

Hurricane Katrina

The News is breaking fast about Hurricane Katrina. Mom has been posting comments, about the the current developments. Follow the comments on this post for the latest on what is happening. Here are the current developments:

Read the comment section for the latest developments.

MOM said...
Bob,I am glued to the tv this morning. There are reports of major structural damage in downtown New Orleans and the pumps there are off. They hope to have them back up around 3 this afternoon. Gulfport,MS is getting slammed. They have a reporter who is out in it (crazy person) on Fox News. There are reports of a hotel that has collapsed in Harvey, MS with people trapped inside and reports of people trapped in attics with the bottom of their homes filled with water.
10:14 AM
MOM said...
Just in, the Mississippi levee has broken at the French Quarter.
10:16 AM
MOM said...
Correction, that is Harvey, LA where the hotel has collapsed. Also there are reports of boats being knocked into buildings in Gulfport, MS.There are reports of 911 calls of people trapped in buildings, but rescue people can't get to them right now.
10:33 AM
MOM said...
100 Windows blown out in Hyatt Regency New Orleans.Lake Pontchartrain Levee breaks in East New Orleans.
10:37 AM

Photo credit: NOAA

VITA Plans Big Deal

Over the next month or two, an unusual thing is about to happen in Virginia. VITA, or the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, is planning to award a multi-billion-dollar contract for state computer services.

VITA is a fairly new concept: since all state agencies need the same computer services, why not make one office responsible for all of it? Things like helping people with their desktop computers, designing web sites, and keeping track of licenses are things that all state agencies have to do. Centralizing all of this work could lead to a huge savings to state taxpayers.

Once you put it all in one place, the next logical question is: how cheaply can we do these things? VITA is trying to find out. Over the next month or two the agency is expected to negotiate a deal with a large computer services company. Industry giants IBM and Northrop Grumman are competing for the outsourcing effort's infrastructure -- or hardware -- side. IBM and Canadian firm CGI-AMS are seeking the enterprise applications -- or software -- contract.The details are still murky, but it should make for a drastic difference in the way a lot of state agencies manage their computer assets.

It's an unprecedented deal: expected to last seven to ten years and valued at over $1 Billion, the state hopes to modernize a lot of it's computer systems and services. States usually run ten years or more behind the commercial world.

Of course, there are always problems. Many critics complain about the lack of an open bidding process, although nobody has come forward to explain how a completely open negotiating process could work with dozens of state agencies and hundreds of software applications and software/hardware configurations.

It appears that VITA is doing a thorough job of it, however. Partnering with the Center for Survey Research of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at UVA, VITA is embarking on a long-term business research project. The first phase will query in-scope agency customers to determine how VITA’s service, products and costs are perceived by its primary market.

Knowing that you can't manage what you can't measure is a great step forward for VITA, and for the computer business in general. VITA has a big job ahead of it, cataloging all of the things that need managing, setting baselines and metrics for growth, modeling the business processes, and negotiating a major deal for Virginia taxpayers. Good luck to them!

Breaking News Out of New Orleans

10,000 people have sought safety under the Super Dome. Currently the dome is being damaged, and there are concerns about their safety.

Current reports from CNN are stating they are not sure the Dome will not be destroyed.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

State of Virginia Offers Get Rich Scheme

Last year the State of Virginia, quietly gave away 16 million dollars. They did this without a lot of publicly, and the citizens they gave the money, didn't have to jump through many hoops to get it.

We added a link to the state site that is giving the millions away. Actually we did it awhile back. It is among other links that we have slipped in, maybe without you noticing. We do add new links all the time.

Last year the 16 million dollars were awarded as money, stocks, bonds, dividends, utility deposits, insurance proceeds and tangible property. Some citizens made out as fat cats.

We even sent in a request ourselves. And have several emails back saying they were diligently tracking down funds for us. It was also interesting to see state workers, looking for things that we may have overlooked when they expanded the search.

And, they do this for free, we are just waiting for our fat check, maybe they have one for you. Check out Unclaimed Property Search by the State of Virginia.

Hurricane Katrina-category 5

Well, I spoke too soon. Katrina is now a category 5 hurricane. Keep a watch on this storm. She is a monster.

Hurricane Katrina-category 4

Hurricane Katrina went from 115 mph sustained winds to 145 mph sustained winds in a few short hours last night. There is now talk of it reaching cat 5 status before making landfall tomorrow morning in Louisiana. To do so, the winds only need to strengthen 11 mph.

Waves near the eye of the storm are topping 32 feet. New Orleans is 12 feet below sea level, so you can do the math. There are reports coming out of New Orleans that though many are leaving, there are those who can't afford to get out of town and who don't have transportation. We need to be prepared to help with the aftermath and if anyone reading this can house people trying to escape the storm or has family/friends nearer to where Katrina is going to make landfall who can help house people be sure to place a comment below.

And don't forget the very strong possibility that Katrina will affect gasoline prices for everyone.

40 years ago, Hurricane Betsy followed a very similar path and was a strong cat 4 hurricane when she made landfall. Now think of all the development and population growth that has occured in the last 40 years. This is not going to be pretty and we need to be prepared to do whatever we can to help.

People who have lived in Lynchburg for 40 years remember another devastating hurricane, Camille. Camille missed passing directly over New Orleans, but its effect was felt there. And then she continued inland to eventually devastate Nelson County, VA. Another interesting website shows the history of hurricanes in VA.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Horse Race for Governor of Virginia

You have to appreciate the Horse race for the new Governor of Virginia. And if you haven't been to Bacon's Rebellion and see what the contributors are posting there, you are missing a lot of entertainment value. So what new turns will Kaine make, what is Kilgore planning next, and don't forget about Potts.

Will a Pat Robertson energy drink fuel Kilgore to victory? Or will a picture of an empty seat, seal someone's fate?

Bacon's Rebellion has the skinny. We at Lynchburg Virginia Blog are glad we are not tackling the governor's race. The horses are swift and changes are often. Before I finish typing this sentence someone is whispering something new.

On our Chase of a Planned Story to be Released September 11.

On September 11th all of the contributors to Lynchburg Virginia will be focusing on stories related to the events of 9-11, 2001. Stories will be presented from a personal perspective.

I had to do some traveling in tracking down my part of the story.

Anyone who would like to share some of their own personal perspectives can email us at or leave a comment on this post.

We are interested in knowing how the events of 9-11 affected you, your family or your loved ones. 9-11 was a life changing event, affecting many in different ways. How did it affect you?

William Van Poyck,Virginia Death Row Inmate: Another View

After reading William Van Poyck two sites listed in the previous post, we decided to look at his case from another view. We read the conclusion of his circuit court appeal, we read news stories from Florida where he tried to free a prisoner and a guard was killed. And we read a ton of other things about him and his accomplice.

To begin, here is a part of the ruling on his appeal from the circuit court:

"Even more telling is the prosecutor's closing argument. Petitioner's being the triggerman played only a very minor role in the prosecutor's argument. As aggravating factors, the prosecutor advanced these things:

1) that Petitioner was on parole when the crime was committed;

2) that the crime was committed for the purposes of effectuating an escape from prison;

3) that Petitioner knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons.

4) that Petitioner had previously been convicted of a violent felony. The establishment of these elements did not require arguing that Petitioner was the triggerman. The prosecutor never argued that it had been established beyond a reasonable doubt that Petitioner was the triggerman."

Florida law at the time would still have the option of the death penalty even if he was not the shooter.

William Van Poyck had spent most of his life incarcerated, from juvenile hall to being an adult career criminal. Also found was that he was the planner of this crime. And, when Poyck and Valdes tried to free a prisoner who was in a locked prison van, the guard threw the keys in the bushes. This earned him three shots in the head. No matter who shot him, we understand why Poyck got the death sentence. The guard who was shot was a decorated war veteran.

Valdes, who was most likely the triggerman was later beat to death while handcuffed, by prison guards. Breaking nearly all his ribs and his breast plate. The guards were prosecuted. Can you imagine how you would react if one of your fellow prison guards was shot three times in the head?

William Van Poyck was transferred to Virginia after this incident. Florida considered Poyck at risk, and made that decision. William Van Poyck is now at Waverly prison in Virginia.

Poyck has been a master manipulator in jail. While in jail he had sued and had been awarded between 45,000 and 55,000 dollars claiming the conditions of his jail in Florida was too severe.
He has filed appeal after appeal, written books, short stories, and working on the appeals of others. His appellate lawyer described him as having "a sharp legal mind." He has attempted appeals on every basis imaginable, including insanity.

There is no doubt that Poyck is a very intelligent person and has crafted his approach to present a very heart throbbing appeal to the general public. This man is no angel, he would use any possible means to save his life, an option the prison guard did not have.

Some of the sources We read but not all inclusive:

find law, circuit court of appeals

Opinion Article

On Frank Valdes

A prison forum

St. Petersburg Times

Watching America

Watching America is an interesting website that gives us insight into what the rest of the world is thinking about us. These are stories from around the world, that people translate into English and post on this site. Check it out and see first hand what other countries are thinking about us.

Friday, August 26, 2005

William Van Poyck,Virginia Death Row Inmate: Tells His Story

We have a visitor to our site, who calls herself xwifeofacon. She is also regularly leaves comments on WSET news website.

In a comment to a previous post, she recommended that we should have a look at two sites.

We have looked, and read, and have been fascinated. The two sites present of a tale of a death row inmate who is desperately seeking not to be executed. He is in prison at Waverly Virginia, working it appears ceaselessly to have his death sentence to be appealed.

Having read through both sites, he presents a hard argument of why his life should be spared. We plan to go back and read deeper into his story.

William Van Poyck, the death row inmate, has written books, short stories, and also works on his appeals. He is also appealing to you to know his story. Thanks to xwifeofacon, we present these two links.

William Van Poyck website

His death row diary

Tennessee's Lost Sea

I love caverns and living in Virginia has enabled me to explore numerous caverns. Today I read about a neat cavern in Tennessee. I know that it is not in Lynchburg, but since TN is a neighboring state, I figured it was fair game.

100 years ago, a 13 year old boy discovered an underground lake. The Lost Sea is the second largest underground lake in the world and receives about 150,000 visitors a year. The total tour takes a little more than an hour and includes a walk through the cavern culminating in a glass bottom boat ride across the lake.

It is about 6 hours from Lynchburg.

Audiobooks for download

Here is an interesting story today on CNN. There are libraries across the country offering audiobooks for download for patrons to borrow. There are libraries in Virginia offering this neat service in Northern Virginia and in Eastern Virginia and in Salem. While it doesn't appear that any nearer libraries are offering this service at this time, it seems to be the wave of the future. So speak with your local librarian, who knows...maybe it will be available locally soon!

Just think, you can go online, pick out the book you want to listen to, borrow it and never leave your home. This would be great for people who are ill, unable to get out for whatever reason, and people who are out of town.

Ok, I'm the Police: Who are you?

If you look through the cases coming up for court, one thing you will begin to notice is there seems to be an increasing trend, of identity theft, fake idenity, making a false identity, and etc.

It appears that many of the individuals who are entering the sphere of identity misrepresentation, have many motives from credit card fraud, passing bad checks, and just trying to find a way they can drive a car, because they used up their real name with violations.

In the world of blogs in Virginia, you find many who obscure their real identity with aliases. While my name is my real name, Bob, I really do not go further in saying who I am. There are some who know who I am, exactly. And there are many in Virginia who blog under another identity from judges to lawyers, to Indian Chiefs. No I'm not kidding about Indian Chiefs.

Several in our local media, have asked to do stories on Lynchburg Virginia Blog, but when I cautiously said, I do not want to publicly expose who I am, that puts a damper on the whole affair.

There was one person, from our local press, who wanted "to ask questions," about Lynchburg Virginia Blog. Well soon after that request, I slammed that news source for an opinion article it posted. It was not my fault, they painted a bull eyes on their broadside, and I fired away. Well maybe it was my fault, but I just couldn't resist their off the wall position. I did agree to answer questions, but after that, they shied away much like a hurt puppy.

There are reasons why I do not say who I am. I have posted things, although true, would place a target on me. I shy away from real bullets. I really don't need any more holes in my body.

So why the heck am I telling you this? Well, do you want to know what your responsibilities are with presenting your identity, to police and others? Do you need to carry identification all the time? Some of these questions are answered by a story in the Roanoke Times.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bedford Republican Kick-off Dinner

The Republican Party of Bedford is sponsoring a "Campaign Kick Off Dinner" with special guest U. S. Congressman Virgil H. Goode Jr.

The dinner will be held at 6 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at the Nwe London Ruritan Club on Route 460 in New London, next to the Sheetz gasoline store.

The public is welcome to join area Republicans and enjoy barbecue and catfish, and meet many of area candiadates and officials. The cost is $15 per person. For more information and to RSVP, contact party chairman Matthew Braud at (434) 525-9634 or, or vice chairman for events, Sandy Cranston at 540-297-7052.

Corn Roast

Main Street United Methodist Church in Bedford will host an old fashioned corn roast. The menu will feature grilled hotdogs with choice of topping, home-made baked beans, roasted corn corn on the cob and watermelon.

The event will be held Aug. 28, 4 pm on the front lawn. All proceeds go to "Heart Heaven".

D-Day Memorial Concert

The National D-Day Memorial, on Saturday, Aug. 27, will hold an end-of-summer concert featuring the Bedford Community Orchestra. Local singer, Rick Dellinger will open for the orchestra. Dellinger will perform at 6:30 pm, with the orchestra starting shortly after 7 pm.

Folks are encouraged to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs. No food or beverage will be allowed in the plaza. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-16.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the National D-Day Memorial Foundation's downtown office at 202 East Main Street or at the gate the evening of the event.

Old School Freight Train

On Saturday, August 27 at 7:30 pm, Old School Freight Train, will be in concert at the Bedford Room of the Bedford Central Library. They have a unique blend of Latin, Celtic, bluegrass, and pop.

The concert is open to the public with a suggested donation of $5 per person. Seating is limited to 100 people.

Forest Fanfare

August 27th from noon-8 pm. Forest Fanfare will take place at the Forest Youth Athletic Association fields located at 3372 Thomas Jefferson Road.

Festival activities include live bands, artisans, and food vendors. For the younger crowd a children's area will have face painting, hair streaking and a bounce park.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening of pop and jazz music featuring Exodus and Brass5.

Admission to the festival is $5 per person. Children 5 and under are free. Parking is free and a courtesy van is available to transport persons with special needs.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Jefferson Forest Band Boosters, JFBB and Forest Youth Athletic Association, FYAA.

Region 2000 Local Government Council announce the formation of the Virginia's Region 2000 Partnership

LYNCHBURG, Va., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Region 2000 Technology Council,the Region 2000 Economic Development Council, the Region 2000 Workforce Investment Board, and the Region 2000 Local Government Council announce the formation of the Virginia's Region 2000 Partnership.

The Virginia's Region 2000 Partnership is a new approach to better coordinate regional economic and technology development, work force development,and public infrastructure planning in Region 2000, a 2000 square mile areathat includes the cities of Lynchburg and Bedford, along with the counties ofAmherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell.

The Partnership is a way to solidify the working relationships between these like-minded organizations. It is also a way to market a one-stopapproach to help the citizens of Region 2000 locate the appropriate contact they are looking for. A combined coordinating committee has been created to assist in the development of the Partnership.

A new website gives a brief description of the Partnership and serves to guide visitors to the appropriate organization based upon their interest. A new central phone number (434.845.2000) is also operational.

Gary Christie, Executive Director
Local Government Council 434 845-5678 x 11

Lee Cobb, Executive Director
Region 2000 Economic Development Council 434 845-1447

Here be the Chickens

After a look around for local news today, and being less inspired than usual. Some I think call it writer's block. Well, it seems with all the lack of gumption I have today, I could build a fair sized wall with those writer's blocks.

So I think its time, to practice a magic trick of misdirection. Let me misdirect you the site of Savage Chickens. Just when you thought every chicken joke in the world could be told. Doug Savage has condensed a zillion more jokes on those little yellow post it notes. His work has sent Gary Larsen back to the drawing room.

All right, this isn't a local site, but we all need a laugh sometimes. See what Gary Savage has created for your amusement.

Got a Yen For Local Radio Essays

Roanoke's public radio WVTF has availiable online local radio essays. You can hear interesting stories with local content. Some will move your emotions, others will entrance you with their story telling skills. All, we can assure you, will hold your interest.

The stories are not long usually around 500 words. So if you have a hankering to hear a good story about local subjects we recommend you try WVTF.

WVTF actively asks for new voices and stories. Look down their web page and you will see what you have to do to submit a story. And we will be listening, wanting to hear your story.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tommy Ricardo Steptoe: Convicted of Rape

From the Lynchburg's Prosecutors Office:

On August 23, 2005, Tommy Ricardo Steptoe appeared in Lynchburg Circuit Court before Judge J. Leyburn Mosby and was convicted of the rape and forcible sodomy of a woman in her home on 13th Street. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Bennett prosecuted the case.

The crime occurred on October 23, 2004. The victim came home to find Steptoe in her house without permission. Steptoe assaulted the victim numerous times throughout the course of the night.

After he left the next morning, the victim immediately contacted the police. She was treated promptly at Lynchburg General Hospital, where a forensic nurse examiner identified bruising as well as 8 lacerations in her genital area which were not consistent with consensual sex. The victim testified that she scratched Steptoe during the rape and fingernail scrapings were collected from her and sent to the state forensic lab in Roanoke for DNA analysis. The lab found Steptoe’s DNA under the victim's fingernails.

Judge Mosby found that this strong physical evidence supported the victim's testimony that the sex was against her will and by force. Mosby stated during his ruling that he found the victim's testimony to be credible and corroborated by the physical evidence.

Steptoe remains incarcerated and will appear in court again on December 9, 2005 for sentencing.

Spyware...Makes me say very ugly things!

Maybe something that happened to me this weekend will be of use to you, so I will share this painful experience. I was happily using my computer when I noticed a new search tool bar on my explorer pages, and when I tried to delete it, it would not let me do it. Then when Norton ran my weekly scan, it informed me of adware that had found its way into my computer.

Suddenly ads began appearing over top of my web pages, I had this tool bar that wouldn't go away, my web pages were coming up slower and when I tried to delete the offending file, it kept coming back! I did not have any anti-spyware on my computer, so I began canvassing friends and asking their advice.

I tried Adaware, Spybot, and EZPestPatrol. Each one found numerous things on my computer that should be deleted (I am talking over 100). After the third or fourth scan, it was down to three or four and the original problem was still there! I was afraid I was going to have to wipe my computer to get rid of the obnoxious Adware.lop. But then a friend recommended the Microsoft Antispyware. So I downloaded that and it cleaned up a couple more files, but the problem was still there.

Then I noticed an Advance Tools button. I clicked on it and finally I was able to delete the offending tool bar! Then I went back in and deleted the adware file that Norton had pointed out to me (I had done this before, but it kept coming back). Then I emptied my recycle bin (something else I hadn't done before) and my problems were solved!

So, my advice is get a good Antispyware program and run regular scans of your computer before you get infected. If you already have a problem like mine, maybe my three days of trial and error will be of use to you. Good luck!

Food, Fiber and Flowers

Booker T. Washington National Monument is a wonderful place to visit in the area. Admission is free and you get to tour the farm area, recreated to be like it was when Booker T. Washington was a child. There are animals to watch, buildings to tour and trails to walk. For children, they have booklet you can get and the children can use them as a scavenger hunt as they walk around. It helps get them really interested and paying attention to what is going on.

For homeschoolers, you can contact BTWNM and they will send you a list of classes they offer, again at no charge.

They also offer talks on various topics to the general public. All you have to do is show up.

For August 28th at 2 pm, the topic is Food, Fiber and Flowers. Tour the parks garden, crop fields and farm animal areas to learn about the cultivation and uses of plants, animals, land and labor on an 1850's tobacco plantation. Call (540) 721-2094 for more information.

The Worx in Forest at Benjamin's

August 27th 8-midnight

The second annual Festival in the Forest will be held August 27, 2005 at Benjamins on Route 221 in Forest. This is a benefit concert to raise money for Forest Volunteer Fire Department. The Worx, who have a huge following in Lynchburg and the surrounding counties, will be performing from 8 p.m. til Midnight. Tickets are $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. To purchase tickets call 434-546-1116 or 434-546-3441.

As an aside. Benjamin's is a good place to eat and the service is great!

Sentimental Journey at the National D-Day Memorial

August 27th at 7 pm.

Come out and enjoy an evening concert at the Memorial. The Bedford Community Orchestra (BCO), founded in 1989, is a non-profit organization serving Bedford County and surrounding communities. BCOs repertoire consists of orchestral scores representing the baroque, classical, impressionistic and romantic periods as well as contemporary movie scores, jazz and pop arrangements. The concert includes a full orchestra and will feature patriotic music. Bring your own chair. The Memorial and gift store will remain open until 10pm. Regular admission fees apply.SatOnly

Lynchburg Parks and Recreation

The Lynchburg Parks and Rec department is a great resource for families, for senior citizens, for people interested in nature. They keep our parks looking nice, they provide a variety of workshops for people of all ages on everything from crafts to nature watching to dancing to Spanish. This is a wonderful resource in our community and the events that they do charge for are very reasonable.

As a homeschooler, we have attended many of the workshops and the people who work at Parks and Rec do an awesome job! They know how to reach the kids and keep them interested. So check out their website for upcoming activities, information about local parks and more. Have fun!

Garden of Eden returns

A good news story out of Iraq is in the news today. Southern Iraq has marshlands and these marshlands are thought by many scholars to be the location of the Biblical Garden of Eden. During Saddam's rule, these marshlands were reduced to 10 percent of their original size, but now, they are being revitalized and this is a very good thing for the people in Southern Iraq.

Hey Kids, Big Mamma is Watching

School is just about in session for many in the Lynchburg area. And the hall monitor in some schools, may have met its match, Big Mamma.

Yes kids, Big Mamma is watching when you spend money for lunch. You better think twice about those sweets. Big Mamma knows.

News 10 is reporting:

Many area schools have devised a way through technology so you can keep tabs on what your child eats for lunch. In Floyd county you can get a food log of what your child has bought for lunch. When I was a kid only Santa Claus was watching my every move. Then, there was rumors of Big Brother. Well, kids Big Mamma is here now.

Larry, John, and Tina: A Triangle of Violence

A very telling story came out of the Roanoke Times yesterday:

When Larry Ferguson left Lynchburg, Sunday morning, he was headed to Forest to take his children to Church. Larry Ferguson tried to reconcile with his wife, he ended up beating Tina, with brass knuckles. He left her in a pool of blood unconscious on the floor.

Larry piled his children in the car, and took them to Church. While we can't get in Larry's head, to measure how his emotions moved him past reasonable thought. Larry was driven to do more.

As soon as Larry arrived at the house of John Preston Purvis, a friend of his wife, he had a gun in his hand. The door opened and he shot John in chest. John fought with him, he did get Larry's gun and Larry went to his car, he had another gun. The gun battle was on. Both John and Larry most likely shot each other.

Larry headed for the mountains. Most likely wounded, he ended up at a trail near the Peaks of Otter. There he took his 38 revolver, placed it to his head and shot himself dead.

The story of Larry, John and Tina is not a new story. It has happened before, many times. Deep inside we know those feelings, most of us can allow our reason to overcome our emotions. But sometimes, when things go bad for people, things happen. And when the rollercoaster of emotions take over sane thought, there is no thrill of the ride. Larry ended up dead.

Tina beaten badly, will recover from her physical wounds, but the deep emotional scaring will never heal. John, hopefully will recover from his wounds, but the haunting of the events will never leave him. And, the children, what about the children? There lives have been changed forever by one black Sunday in their lives. A change no child should have to suffer.

Local Sci-Fi Club

For those of you interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy, there is a Yahoo group for "Science Fiction/Fantasy Fans in Roanoke" They take members from the entire region, and they are always organizing cook-outs, games, art shows, trips, and other events around SciFi. If you like this genre and are looking for things to do, it's a good place to drop by on the net. You can find the Yahoo group here. Or you can email Keith Stanley for more information.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Species News

We often hear in the news about more animals joining the endangered species list. It is rarer to hear about finding new species, about animals being removed from the endangered list and about animals thought to be extinct, turning up again.

This is not to say that there isn't a lot of work that still needs to be done, but it is good to hear about successes from time to time.

North Americans and Asians See the World Differently

An interesting study has shown that there are cultural differences that lead us to view pictures in different ways. Asians tend to look more at the whole picture and at the relationship between the 'main' item and the background. North Americans tend to focus on the brightest or most eye catching part of the picture. Read here for more info!

Region 2000 Technology Council Celebrates Region's 50th Location for Free Wireless Internet Access

From LYNCHBURG, Va., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/

"LYNCHBURG, Va., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Region 2000 Technology Council will hold a wire-cutting event at the Riverfront Festival Park (JeffersonStreet) August 31 at 11:00AM to celebrate the 50th location of free wireless Internet access to the citizens of Region 2000 through the group's Broadband Hot Spot program."

"Members of the Technology Council and Hot Spot owners from around the region will be present to demonstrate the technology and answer questions. Local VIP's have been invited to attend the event. The public is welcome to attend."

"Jonathan Whitt, Executive Director of the Region 2000 Technology Council states, "This is an exciting program, we are pleased to now have fifty locations within the region where the public has access to free wireless Internet service. Downtown areas, libraries, business districts, our college campuses, anywhere the public congregates are all logical locations for hotspot wireless Internet service and most of those areas now have service..."

To read more go to the PRN newswire.

It's a Zoo Out There!

Okay, there are a lot of zoos out there and I am going to point out a couple more good ones and tell you how to get a good deal on zoo visitations.

My children love daughter wants to be a vet when she grows up and my son wants to protect endangered species, so whenever we travel, zoos are high on our list to visit. Now some zoos are private, like the Metro Richmond Zoo I told you about recently. The Washington National Zoo is free.

But then there are many zoos that belong to a network of zoos called American Zoo and Aquarium Association. If you go down the list you will see Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke and Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk are on the list. If you go to Mill Mountain Zoo and get a family membership for 45.00, you will receive free admittance to Mill Mountain Zoo for the next year as often as you like (see site for other perks) and you will be able to go to other AZA zoos around the country for 1/2 price or free.

There is a great zoo in Asheboro, NC. North Carolina Zoological Park is huge and well worth the drive. You could spend two or three days in this zoo trying to see everything! So support your local zoo (and you can visit the Mill Mountain Star while you are there), and then when you are traveling to visit family or going on vacation or just want a brief out of town trip, look for another zoo near you!

Rising Gas Prices Lead to New Levels of Crime

Bob has been following the rising gas prices here and around the country (along with everyone else). It is amazing how that amber liquid affects all of us and in so many ways. It is not just what we pay at the pump, but it is what we pay for most everything.

As the price of gas rises, so does the price of consumer goods. As the price of gas rises, we have to think more and more carefully about where we are going and why. As a rural resident, I am having to make choices about whether my children will be able to play soccer and take gymnastics due to the amount of driving involved. And as we all clamp down on what we are doing, this of course affects employment numbers, the amount of people on sports teams, and the amount of visiting we can do.

Unfortunately, the rise in gas prices also affects the level of crime. There are more drive-offs at the pump as people fill up and then drive away without paying. Everyone loses here. In the state of Virginia, you can lose your license for driving away without paying. The gas station owner only makes about 1 penny of profit on each gallon of gas...1 penny!!!! So when a person drives off, they are hurting the gas station owner who has to pay for that gas for them. In Alabama, this led to further severe consequences when the gas station owner tried to stop someone from driving off with 52.00 of unpaid for gasoline. The owner lost his life.

There are no easy answers in dificult times like these, but we need to remember our humanity, stick together and help one another as much as we can.

Lynchburg Virginia Blog: Reaches Around the World

Each of the little dots you see on this world map is where the last 100 vistors came from to visit our local Lynchburg Virginia blog.

We find it quite amazing that our little local blog would have such world wide appeal.

Technorati the premier blog directory monitors 15.8 million blogs and the number grows by a blog a second. Out of that universe of all blogs monitored, we rank 377,209 according to Technorati's rating standards.

In the last week we moved up by 100,000 closer to the top.

Because our blog is local and directed to a Lynchburg area audience, we never expected such a high ranking. Our local readership accounts for near 85% of all our visits.

We want to thank all who visit and contribute here, in making Lynchburg Virginia Blog more useful to the residents of the Lynchburg area.

Rev. Pat Robertson: Says American Operatives Should Assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

ABC News is reporting:

"VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. Aug 23, 2005, Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." To read more go to ABC News.

We have previously reported on Chavez threat to stop exporting oil to the United States. Venezuelan oil accounts for 1.3 million barrels of oil the U.S. receives daily.

Rev. Pat Robertson has also been recently been promoting a new business adventure for a health drink he states retards the aging process. A religious group has pointed out that this is a for profit enterprise of Pat Robertson and should not be promoted on his not for profit show.

Link To Pat Robertson's Health Drink

Lynchburg Murder by Knife: Linda Bailey Buffaloe

From the Lynchburg's Prosecutors office:

On August 22, 2005, Linda Bailey Buffaloe entered a plea of guilty to the charge of voluntary manslaughter and received the maximum statutory penalty of ten years in the penitentiary as part of a plea agreement with the Commonwealth.

The crime occurred in the early morning hours of October 4, 2004. Buffaloe and her live-in boyfriend, Gregory Campbell, both returned to their residence at 613 Wilton Avenue after a night of drinking and partying. Sometime around 2:00 that morning, the couple began arguing and fighting. Buffaloe awakened one of their other housemates, Milton Penn, shortly after 2:00 a.m. and told him to come check on Campbell. When Penn entered the couple’s bedroom, he found Campbell unconscious in the floor and bleeding from the chest. A short time later, Campbell was declared dead of a single stab wound to the chest.

A knife was recovered from the kitchen of the residence and DNA examination revealed Campbell’s blood on the blade and Buffaloe’s DNA profile on the handle. Despite this strong physical evidence against Buffaloe, she refused to tell police what happened in the bedroom, admitting only that Campbell was picking on her and she was afraid of going to jail if she said anything more. There were no witnesses to the incident. Police records indicated a lengthy history of violence between the couple.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Jeff Bennett and Gretchen Hutt believed that the evidence strongly supported the crime of voluntary manslaughter. They offered the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for the maximum sentence of ten years and thereby avoid a possible murder conviction in front of a jury. Buffaloe accepted the agreement and entered her plea this morning in Lynchburg Circuit Court before Judge J. Leyburn Mosby.

School Almost Back in Session: Be Safe Around School Buses

Here are three rules of the road for stopping for Virginia School Buses.

From the Virginia DMV:

When approaching a school bus with flashing signals or flashing signals and an extended stop sign on a public or private road, you must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.

You must also stop if the bus is loading or unloading children and the signal devices are not functioning properly.

You do not have to stop, however, if you are traveling in the opposite direction on roadways separated by a physical barrier or unpaved median area.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Are You Lynchburg FreeCycling Yet?

The trading has been brisk at Lynchburg FreeCycle. Now at 720 Lynchburg area members and growing everyday. Recently, a 1987 Plymonth Van was given away.

It is amazing how this exchange system is making an impact in our area. This is how it works, if you got something to give you just post it, and someone will find your ad and pick it up. If you have needs you post that too, and hopefully someone may have something to fill your needs. So, how much does this cost. Well, its free. There are no charges at all. And this is not a barter trade either. All the members, either give or receive useful items on a gratis basis. An easy way to join is punch the button for freecycle on the bottom of the right hand side bar. Or if you like you can press this button.

Feds Bust Major Crime Ring

Off the Lynchburg track:

FBI undercover agents, who staged a faked a wedding arrested 87 people on charges of smuggling counterfeit money, drugs and cigarettes into the United States in cargo containers.

The currency was made in North Korea, the fake American cigarettes were made in China, and who knows where the drugs were made. And there was a plan to ship rocket launchers and automatic weapons out of our country.

The fascinating tale can be read from an AP news release found here.

Lynchburg Area: Granted 285,000 From Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

Out of a total of $915,000 awarded to Virginia, for affordable housing projects. The Lynchburg area has been granted 285,000.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta is reporting:

"AHP funds are increasingly becoming a more critical piece in community efforts to build housing that is affordable to Virginia's residents,'' said Lynn Brazen, FHLBank Atlanta director of community investment services. "

The awards announced today are from a competitive grant program, that centers on housing improvement for single and multi-family dwelling. The awards are used for low to moderate income families.

"Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation (LNDF) will use AHP funds to assist 60 low-income homeowners repair and maintain their houses located in the Central Virginia Planning District."

The Bank of the James is the sponsor for the funds that will be used by Neighborhood Development Foundation Grant. Areas included in the grant are Amherst, Bedford, Bedford City, Campbell, Appomattox, and Lynchburg City.

Five More Interesting Facts About Lynchburg Virginia

See also: Five Interesting Facts about Lynchburg

From the City of Lynchburg website:

1. "In October 1868, Dr. Malcolm (Mahlon) Loomis, a part-time resident of Lynchburg, used a vertical antenna, a high-frequency detector and a sparkgap transmitter to successfully send electro-magnetic waves through the atmosphere, thus inventing radio, six years before the birth of the "father of radio," Guglielmo Marconi. Despite records that indicate Loomis invented the radio, he lacked the necessary funds to perfect his equipment and gain recognition for his invention."

2. "Extending from Church Street to Court Street with 139 steps, Monument Terrace was built in 1924 as a memorial to citizens who fought and died in American wars. At that time the original basin, located at the base of the monument steps, was replaced with a listing of Lynchburg's WWI dead and Charles Keck's representative of a doughboy, 'The Listening Post'."
(In Rome, another city of Seven Hills, the famous Spainish Steps is also composed of 139 steps.)

3. "Packet Boat "Marshall," located in Riverside Park, carried General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's body to Lexington after he was mistakenly killed by his own sentry. On May 10, 1863, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad brought Jackson's remains to Lynchburg and made the transfer to the packet boat with the appropriate ceremonies."

4. "From April 6 to 10, 1865, Lynchburg served as the capital of Virginia. Under Governor William Smith, the executive and legislative branches of the Commonwealth moved to Lynchburg for the few days between the fall of Richmond and the fall of the Confederacy."

5. "The Society of Friends, or Quakers, was the first religious group to settle in Lynchburg. Although Charles Lynch, Sr. was a Roman Catholic, his wife, Sarah and daughter were instrumental in founding the South River Meeting House of the Society of Friends, the city's first house of worship. Although there were many Quakers among early settlers in Lynchburg, the numbers decreased as agriculture and industry in the South became increasingly dependent upon slavery, which the Friends opposed. The Meeting House, located on Fort Avenue, was restored and is now part of Quaker Memorial Presbyterian Church. "

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lynchburg Virginia and Poverty

Wiki reports these Lynchburg figures:

"The median income for a household in the city is $32,234, and the median income for a family is $40,844. Males have a median income of $31,390 versus $22,431 for females. The per capita for the city is $18,263. 15.9% of the population and 12.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.4% of those under the age of 18 and 10.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line."

This broken down in plain English, means that over 1 in 10 seniors are below the poverty line, over 2 in 10 of our Lynchburg youth barely reach the level of subsistance living, and on the whole, over 2 out of every 10 people you see on the street are just getting by.

Sometimes I wish, that our city was more responsive to poverty. We need a stronger job market, we need new approaches against drugs which are playing havoc in our area, and we need to excel in education and teach people how to make good decisions.

Poverty is relative, our conception of poverty differs sometimes greatly by what is happening in the rest of the world. The picture you see is a 1993 pultizer prize winning photograph, taken in Sudan. Kevin Carter took this photo, he had to chase away the vultures that had flocked by this child. One remained. He then watched the child crawl a kilometer to an aid station. There was no word to what happened to the child. The question was asked, how could he have left this child crawl?

Kevin was haunted by the images he took. They were burned into his mind, which eventually ended in his suicide. A note explained his anguish. The Sudan hasn't changed. It is a country without laws and the government rules from Kenya, if you call that ruling. The Sudan is a hotbed for terrorist, twelve year old children carry guns, and act as toll keepers on the roads. If you fail to pay the toll keepers you die.

Yes, when you look at Lynchburg things could be worse. We have alot to be thankful for. Yet we need to do better. We have the capacity for change, and change is needed. And someone is asking the question, are we going to let our fellow residents crawl from here?

To read more on Kevin Carter go to these sites:
Broken Messenger: See the August 19th post

I am unaware of any copywrights for the picture and the picture has been used often on the web.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

On the Blueridge Parkway:"Thar's bears in them their woods."

Being quite thirsty today, I sent BillyBob on a mission. "Ok, BillyBob would you mind running to Walmart to get a case of cheap drinks?" BillyBob hemmed and hawed grasped his suspenders looked me dead in the eyes. And with a look that would put a begging dog to shame said, "Can I take the camera one more time?"

So here I sat just waiting for BillyBob, and I mean waiting. Hours passed, soon I was wondering if BillyBob would ever come back. Then after losing hope, I heard my car approaching. BillyBob stumbled as fast as he could to get inside.

"Thar's bears in them their woods." I looked at BillyBob, and said "What the heck are you talking about?" "Well," he said, "I kinda took the long way to Walmart up the Blueridge Parkway and down to Bedford, then made my way back to Lynchburg."

"Did you get a picture?"
Well, yup get it on the puter." He had a grin that grew from ear to ear.

I kept looking for the bear. "It twas a black one, sashayed right in front of me."
"Where is the bear, BillyBob?"
"I chased it through the woods, never did git a picture, but there was this turtle on the road when I hankered back."
"Ok BillyBob, what are these pictures of trees?
"That's the Avenel House."
"I can barely see it."
"Just peek round those trees."

I added the picture of the Avenel House to MOM's post. BillyBob went on tell me how he got the chainsaw so he could get a better picture, but the Bedford Sheriff had his eye on him.

"BillyBob, where are the drinks?"
"Whoops," he said, "I knew I was a forgetting something, got a Halifax cantaloupe though."
He handed me a bag of rinds.

What is on the Agenda of the Lynchburg Circuit Court Monday?

update: A jury trial for Linda Bailey Buffaloe is set for September 12th. Now, WSET is reporting on its morning Aug 23 tv report that she has pleaded guilty, without explaination. According to WSET, she received a 10 year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.

As the Lynchburg Circuit Court convenes on Monday, at 9:30 am, Linda Bailey Buffaloe will be facing a bench trial, that will determine her fate in a First Degree Murder Charge. On State's side will be Commonwealth Attorney Jeffrey Bennett. Advocating for her defense will be attorney Sharon Eimer, public defender.

There will be one other bench trial for a person accused of possession of cocaine. And two bond hearings. Theodore Tyrone Turpin, whose bond status is being determined faces the following charges:

Firearm - Possession by Convicted Non-violent Felon Firearm - Possession of while Possessing Schd. I/II Drugs Possession with Intent/Cocaine Possession with Intent/Other Schedule I or II Drug Possess Marijuana Trespass

Friday, August 19, 2005

Computers VS Books

I love books. One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes is "Time Enough At Last" with Burgess Meredith. And what Star Trek fan can forget "Court Martial" and Samuel T. Cogley's love of books? But even with my great love of books, I see the logic in schools switching away from cumbersome and expensive textbooks to lap top computers for their students.

This makes sense on several fronts. First, lap top computers are about the same price, perhaps even cheaper than a student's textbooks (which cost $50-$100 a piece). Students average 6 textbooks a year.

Second, how many of us, as parents have been dismayed by our children's back packs loaded down with heavy textbooks? (I homeschool now, but my two oldest children both attended public schools).

Third, it is important for children to learn how to use computers for other things besides video games and what better way to do this than to put them in their hands every day and requiring new skills from them.

Fourth, textbooks are sometimes outdated when they are published. And talk about the environment...what about all those trees we cut down and turn into textbooks that may be used for a few years before being tossed (and yes, I do mean tossed) into a nearby dumpster?

And finally, think about the way we live and learn today. An interactive website is going to be much more intriguing to a child than a textbook, and perhaps will encourage them to look beyond what is necessary for their assignment.

Computers play a big role in our homeschool day. My son is learning typing. There are a wide variety of computer games that are educational on the market and for great deals, you should check out this site.

I applaud the education system for making these changes to enhance children's education and I am glad to see that books are still on the agenda for extra reading! many books... so little time!

Deliquent in Child Support: In Richmond, The Newspaper is Going to Advertise More Pictures

Reported by WRIC Richmond

Soon in Richmond, if you are behind in child support you may see your picture on a full page ad. We reported to you how this was done in the Virginia Pilot in the Hampton Roads. With success there, Social Service is going to do the same in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Well now, you may be wandering will it happen here? If you have been sneaking by without paying support. Don't be surprised to wake up one morning and be greeted with your picture on Lynchburg News and Daily Advance. If you are picture shy, perhaps you should go see what you need to do to catch up your payments.

Another Sidestep from the News in Lynchburg: To a Mother in Iraq

After our post about a Lynchburg mother's vigil, we have had a number of requests to make a comment on Cindy Sheehan. Cindy Sheehan has been standing resolutely asking to talk to President Bush. There are a number of things we can say. We do understand there is no fathom that could be placed on a mothers grief.

One remarkable answer to Cindy Sheehan comes from Iraq itself, from another mother:

From "The Iraq Model" you have to scroll down to find the response to Cindy Sheehan, here is part of it:

"I know how you feel Cindy, I lived among the same pains for 35 years but worse than that was the fear from losing our loved ones at any moment. Even while I'm writing these words to you there are feelings of fear, stress, and sadness that interrupt our lives all the time but in spite of all that I'm sticking hard to hope which if I didn't have I would have died years ago."

"Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours."

And the story goes on to read the full response to Cindy Sheehan go to the highlighted link above.

Homeschooling: Get the Facts

As a homeschooler, I often have to field questions from friends, family, and strangers about what I am doing and why. I am truly blessed to be able to spend this precious time with my children and it is a joy to see them wanting to learn and helping to guide them in this process.

Homeschooling really isn't that new of a concept, rather it is an old concept revisited. The first public school in America was founded in 1635 in Boston and before that children were taught at home by their parents or by tutors. Even after public schools were built, many children were still taught at home, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison are just a couple that come to mind immediately.

Homeschooling is becoming more prevalent and the numbers are rising. Still the questions and doubts and criticisms come. Here are some great answers to help out people who are homeschooling and people who are thinking of homeschooling.

If you have questions for me regarding homeschooling, I will be glad to try and answer them or at least point you in the right direction!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Mother’s Vigil, A Child’s Peril: About Her Son From Lynchburg

The story was told so smoothly, that melted butter would be envious. Its about a Lynchburg native Charles Brandon Inge, who now plays for the Detriot Tigers. A story of Charles, his mother and the team's managers. A story that will draw you in, absorb you, and make you feel. Feel so much that you will understand a complex relationship filled with emotional rifts that are felt by all involved. And a story, telling of a mother's painful vigil for her son.

From Yardwork's story the begining:

"Outside the Fox Theatre on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, a mother forlornly sits in a lawn chair, her face drawn and tired, her hair unkempt. Her name is Sharon Inge, and she has been sitting here for nine days straight without respite. All to save her son.
“I will sit here until they agree to see me,” she says.

“They,” in this case, are Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski and Manager Alan Trammell, the men who, in Inge’s eyes, are destroying her child."

To read more go to the story by Yardwork, it will be an experience you will not soon forget.

Big Screen Movie Matinee

The City of Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Department's Senior Adult Programs is offering a free movie, "Million Dollar Baby," to seniors on Wednesday, August 24 at 1 pm. There will be popcorn and soda available for 25 cents each.

Bedford County Parks and Rec will be taking participants from Bedford to the Miller Center Auditorium for this event. This is an air-conditioned auditorium with ample seating and is handicap accessible.

They will also be offering free blood pressure screenings provided by Seven Hills Home Health. To register in Bedford County, call 586-7682. To register in Lynchburg, call (434) 455-5858.

Annual Poetry Reading

Saturday, August 20, from 7-9 pm the seventh annual poetry reading will be held in the amphitheater at the Peaks of Otter.

The reading will spotlight local adult and teen writers. The featured poets are Christian Hall, Karen Nichols, Thelma Ragland, Darryl Updike and Sandra Ludwig. Each poet will read her or his original poems.

There will also be featured three local musicians, Erika Blatnik, Elizabeth Chidester, and Phillip Raintree. They will be playing guitars and singing their original songs.

The program is FREE and open to the public. For more information contact Ranger Sandra Ludwig at 540-586-4496.

Firemens Day Lyn-Dan Heights

August 20th, the Lyn-Dan Heights Ruritan Club (old English Tavern Road) will hold "Firemen's Day" from 5 pm to 10 pm.

Food will be available. Music will be provide by Blue Grass and Gospel Music 7-10 pm by the Epperson Brothers Brand, New Jerusalem Quartet and others. 50/50 tickets will be sold during the event.

Lyn-Dan Heights Fire Department will have equipment on display. All profits from this event will be used by the Lyn-Hgts Fire Department for operational expenses. In the event of inclement weather, activities will be held at the fire hours on Lawyers Road. Free admission to the Ruritan grounds.

Old Time Bluegrass Festival and Competition

Vinton 2005 annual Old Time Bluegrass Festival and Competition will be held August 18-21. It sounds like a great time for fun, family and good music.

FreeCycle: Finds Another Thankful Participant

We have talked to you before, about the advantages of the Lynchburg group FreeCycle.
FreeCycle is the exchange method, where unwanted things find homes with those who can use what is destined to be thrown away.

In the picture (click to enlarge), is an example of how this works. We were looking through the ads on freecycle. And found seasoned firewood free for the pick up.

We sent off a email and almost before we knew it, we were able to help, a friend get a load of wood for his heating needs next winter. There is a rumor that MOM, one of our contributors, has had a big part in Lynchburg Freecycle. Lynchburg Freecycle is continuing to grow. Everything from cars to school clothes can be found in the posts. They now have 600 members in the Lynchburg area and as people find out about it, the number of members continue to increase.

We have warm thoughts about Lynchburg's Freecycle as does my friend. "Thanks for the wood," he wants to tell the person who offered it.

I Books Bring Out Virginia's Beasts

If you haven't heard, there was turmoil, havoc, and chaos at the Richmond International Raceway when 1,000 people scratched, banged, and trampled each other trying to get an I Book for 50 dollars.

The news about this has been making its rounds, tee shirts are even being sold on Ebay. I would give you the link, but if you wore the shirt you could be arrested in Lynchburg. The shirt was pretty graphic. So have fun searching if that is your thing.

The savagery of the event has caused the story to grow legs and now can be found on CNN.

DVDs Now Available at Both the Lynchburg Main and Branch Libraries.

From the City of Lynchburg:

The Library has a collection of over 700 adult and youth DVDs. Patrons may borrow the DVDs for up to 7 days, with a limit of one (1) adult and one (1) youth title per card.

The collection includes musicals, westerns, award winning foreign films, Academy Award winners, popular children’s titles, and a young adult collection.

The 8,000 VHS titles are still available, but emphasis is now being placed on the DVD format. VHS tapes may be borrowed up to 7 days, with a maximum of five (5) adult and (5) youth titles per card.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Free Mammography Screenings

Mammography is an important test for any woman after age 40. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is sponsoring a free day of mammography screenings for uninsured women.

The screenings will be available from 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24th at the Mammography Center, 20293 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg.

Every woman who has a free mammogram also will receive a free Mary Kay gift bag.

Call 434-947-4048 and ask for the free day appointment.

Take the time...take care of yourself!

Youth Orchestra Auditions Scheduled

The Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings will hold auditions for new members on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Court Street United Methodist Church. The Junior Strings practice on Tuesdays at Court Street United Methodist Church from 4-5:15 pm. and the youth orchestra rehearsal follows from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Instruments needed include all strings, flute, clarinet, oboe, French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion.

To schedule an audition time please call 434-845-6675 and leave your name, phone number and type of instrument you play.

Sedalia Country Fair

The Sedalia Center located off of 122 between Beford and Big Island has been a real boon to the area. They frequently have activities going on there that encourage art, community and fun. This weekend is no exception.

August 20th, they will host the Sedalia Country Fair. This old-fashioned country fair will feature wagon rides, working draft horses, sustainable farming exhibition, old time grain threshing, sheepdog herding, tractor show, and old-time farm implements, petting zoo, children's activities.

Call 434-299-5080 or visit for more information!

The 5th Annual Jamboree by the James

This is a little early to be talking about this, but it is never too early to get your tickets! This concert will take place at the River Front Festival Park in Downtown Lynchburg. Gates open at 4 pm and the show starts at 6 pm on September 17th.

Travis Tritt will be performing with special guests Cowboy Crush and Pointe Blank. There will be food, music and fireworks. Tickets are available online through and at all Apple Market convenience store locations.

Bedford County Farm Tour

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 20 from 10 to 3 and plan on taking part in the Farm Tour 2005. White Rock Vineyards and Scott's Strawberry Farm have been selected for this year's tour.

The tour will feature farm equipment, farm animals, vineyard and winery tours, hands-on history, Master Gardners and more.

Enjoy food samples and informative demonstrations. This is a free family event, and you are invited to bring a picnic lunch and a camera, but please leave your pets at home. Water and restrooms will be available.

For more information, contact the Bedford Extension Office at 540-586-7675.

Run Willy Run!

I loved the movie Forrest Gump and this gentleman did too. He dreamed for years of making a run from coast to coast across the USA and he began in May. He plans to be done October 14, 2005.

Check out Willy's website for more information about what motivates him.

Is Child Support Hunting You? Social Services May Advertise Your Picture

WVEC is reporting in Hampton Roads:

Social Services has place a full page ad in the local paper the Virginia Pilot. "The ad displays pictures of dozens of fathers and mothers who owe child support. Each parent featured in the ad failed to show up in court, and warrants have been issued for their arrests. "

Will this happen in Lynchburg? If you are behind in your child support, would you want to risk it. The smart thing to do is to come forward and face your responsibilities, before your picture appears in the local press.

Lynchburg Gas Prices Continue to Rise: Expect More

There has been no good news to report about the present rising gas prices in Lynchburg. Now, there are two reports that promise to spike the price at the pump higher. Iran has promised to use gas as a political weapon if it is sanctioned, and in Venezuela, Chavez is threatening to stop exports to the U.S. We currently get 1.3 million barrels of oil a day from Venezuela.

Just the prospect of these threats will most likely push our Lynchburg prices higher. And if either of the threats materalize, we hate to think what will happen to our prices. When the mere prospect of a hurricane now makes the prices jump at the pump, we are sure we will all be reeling when we empty our wallets at the gas station.

Graph credit: AAA

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Liberty University Loosens Up!

From CNN news...Liberty University has relaxed its dresscode for the upcoming schoool year.

This is interesting, but seriously folks, is this news? Are any other schools around the country having articles written about them for relaxing their dress code? Sometimes I wonder at what the media considers to be newsworthy and why.

Lost man Found In Lynchburg

A man who lives a 160 miles from Lynchburg got lost when he left his home in Clarke County. The State Police had even mobilized its air arm in the search for Everett Leon Joyce, 86. He had been missing for 3 days.

This was not the first time Everett had become lost. It was reported that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and has disappeared three times before, but for shorter periods of time.

He was found at Lynchburg General, where he was treated for some minor wounds to his hands. How he ended up at Lynchburg General is still unknown.

To read more go to The Winchester Star.

Lynchburg Police Chief: Now President of Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police

Charles Bennett was named President of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. This honor was bestowed in Portsmouth, Virginia on Tuesday, August 9, 2005.

The Lynchburg Ledger Online is reporting:

"This honor bestowed upon Chief Bennett reflects positively on the Lynchburg Police Department and indeed on the entire City of Lynchburg. " To read more go to the Lynchburg Ledger Online.

There is Something Spooky in Lynchburg

Don't be scared, be real scared. At least that is what one website is saying. Apparently, there are reports of ghosts in Lynchburg. A look at the census bureau did not bear this out, perhaps we should inform them of these shadowy inhabitants. I was never one to believe in things that go creak in the night. Well maybe Halloween, I might make an exception. It seems like some ghosts have come to my door asking for candy.

Juciee News Daily is reporting:

"Lynchburg - Randolph - Macon Woman's College- A girl was murdered on campus 25 years ago and it is said that some nights you can hear her running and screaming.

Also, is said that the Smith Banquet Hall is haunted by the headless ghost of a Washington and Lee U. student who was on his way here for a dance and got decapitated in a wreck.

Lynchburg - William Bass Elementary School - voices and doors opening and closing are some of the events here."

And in Bedford where MOM previously placed a post on the Avenel House:

"Bedford - Avenel House - Reports of seeing ? The White Lady walking around the property, sometimes accompanied with a gentleman (also in white). An apparition of a black man has been reported to be looking out an upstairs window. "

These ghost stories are news to me, but I doubt any of us will be seeing any ghosts until Halloween.