Archive for June, 2007

Entry for June 28, 2007

June 28, 2007

From the BURG site yesterday,

Phase I Site Plan Review: approval denied
The town’s engineers have completed the first review of Phase I of the South Main project, six days before the 60 day legal time limit expired. This is the “lifestyle center” portion of the shopping center, which does not include the big box store or its parking lot. The engineering staff found about 200 separate items needing correction or explanation. These are listed in the zoning administrator’s
letter to the developer. The developer now must address these items and resubmit the plans, which will initiate a new 60-day review.

Over at BURG’s Google group, two ananymous posters have joined the discussion, both of whom take a rather dismissive tone towards group members that seems to raise hackles rather than persuade. For instance, “Kire” talks about

self-appointed guardians of culture and that these guardians generally represent only
the more affluent portion of the population. In other words, these folks won’t shop at a WalMart (for example) and would prefer that nobody else have that choice either.

She goes on to say that those who have ot shop at Wal-mart will be

banished to Christiansburg.

Those who choose to shop at Wal-Mart , according to Google’s map function, have to drive another 4.3 miles from the intended development. Compare this to 7.9 miles between the two locations in Roanoke, the biggest city in Southwest Virginia.

Perhaps the problem the owners have in finding occupants is the price per square foot of $32. contrast this with $10 aat Hethwood, $15 at Town Centre or even $25 at Lyric Center.


Entry for June 27, 2007

June 27, 2007

“Real Greek Olives” copyright by Jackson Chang, uploaded on Flickr november 5, 2005.


Sometimes a craving comes for salt, not sweet,
For fruits that you can eat
Only if pickled in a vat of tears —
A rich and dark and indehiscent meat
Clinging tightly to the pit — on spears

Of toothpicks, maybe, drowned beneath a tide
Of vodka and vermouth,
Rocking at the bottom of a wide,
Shallow, long-stemmed glass, and gentrified;
Or rustic, on a plate cracked like a tooth —

A miscellany of the humble hues
Eponymously drab —
Brown greens and purple browns, the blacks and blues
That chart the slow chromatics of a bruise —
Washed down with swigs of barrel wine that stab

The palate with pine-sharpness. They recall
The harvest and its toil,
The nets spread under silver trees that foil
The blue glass of the heavens in the fall —
Daylight packed in treasuries of oil,

Paradigmatic summers that decline
Like singular archaic nouns, the troops
Of hours in retreat. These fruits are mine —
Small bitter drupes
Full of the golden past and cured in brine.

A.E. Stallings
The New Criterion
June 2006

Nice poem, eh? I wasn’t familiar with the word “indehiscent” which refers to the fruit of plants which don’t open to release the seeds, as opposed to those, say of beans.

Stallings (website), who lives in Greece, directs a poetry workshop for The Athens Center on Spetses, one of the Salonic Islands. It’s taking place right now. Maybe next year?

Entry for June 26, 2007

June 26, 2007

EPA minimized health risks after 9-11. some links of interest.

Entry for June 25, 2007

June 26, 2007

Dinner at Jim and Darcy’s after my return to Blacksburg.

Entry for June 24, 2007

June 26, 2007

Dicrotic glass by Nancy Wasserman, sister of journalist Harvey.

Entry for June 23, 2007

June 26, 2007

Chalk art by Julian Beaver

Entry for June 22, 2007

June 22, 2007

In Charleston WV for Festivall. Tonight Becky and I went to a Gershwin concert and out to the Blues and Barbecue

Entry for June 21, 2007

June 21, 2007

Illustration from Black Agenda Report, June 20, 2007

A chatty piece by in today’s New York Times by reporter Linda Greenhouse, who writes about the Supreme Court ( “Supreme Court Memo: Precedents begins to fall for Roberts Court: The question is not whether the court will overturn more, but how often, by what standard and in what terms.”) alerted me to the second case overturning precedent.

Of course, that’s not counting the Gonzales v. Carhart decision on partial birth abortion, “by stealth, without having the grace to admit that is what they were doing,” in the words of Ronald Dworkin “The Court and Abortion: Worse than You Think,” The New York Review of Books, May 31, 2007) as there was little effort to reconcile the decision with one in 2000 overturning of a nearly identical Nebraska law.

I say chatty, because nothing in the article gave the name of the decision or much about it. For that, turn instead to Margaret Kimberley’s (email), whom I mentioned June 19 and read her June 20 column in the Black Agenda Report, “Supreme Injustices.” I’ll write about the actual decisions later, as the library closes soon. But just let me give you her conclusion, which is chilling:

It is obvious that the current Supreme Court is quite simply not the place to get justice. Good cases that can undo great wrongs should not be heard there unless or until there is a Democratic president who can change the makeup of the court. ..

The hope for justice rests with the Democratic party, a sure sign of desperate whistling past the graveyard.

It must never be forgotten that many of the sentencing disparities and draconian drug laws that have now decimated the black community originated with the Clinton administration. Yet the Democrats at their most craven, compromised and triangulated are better than Republicans. Judicial appointments are one of the clearest examples of the Democratic lesser evil being preferable to the Republican evil that scores an eleven on a scale of one to ten. There is no hope of any semblance of justice unless a Democratic president is making judicial appointments.

If the next resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has the letter R behind his name, racism and the most extreme forms of punishment that go along with it will continue to rule on the bench. The traditional depiction of justice with a blindfold will have to be exchanged for one with her eyes wide open and her thumbs on the scale.

Entry for June 20, 2007

June 20, 2007

Tonights book group at Sig featured Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. Here’s a review from Time Magazine written at the time of publication.

Entry for June 19, 2007

June 20, 2007

Poster from Zwartboek, showing through Thursday at the Lyric Theater in Blacksburg.

Good news from Blacksburg: a determination that the Fairmont development had no vested rights and is this subject to a special use permit.

Kay Kay had a margarita party at her house on Airport. Barry and I had already decided to see Zwartboek, so I just ran by with fixings: black bean tortilla chips, mango salsa and guacamole. I had part of said margarita, before I had to leave.

One of the protagonists, the Nazi Ludwig Müntze looked like the actor who played Georg Dreyman in Das Leben der Anderen, and sure enough it was: Sebastian Koch. I found the film riviting; some critics was it as soft porn. Go figure. Salon has an interview with the Dutch director, Paul Verhoeven, although Werner Von Braun, did not, as Verhoeven states get tried and deported.

By the way, Happy Junteenth. Margaret Kimberley, an editor at Black Agenda Report has a piece on the holiday at her blog, Freedom Rider.