Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy ~Rescue 34~

 
I am headed up to the NJ Shore to work with and train with the Point Pleasant Rescue Dive Team which I have trained with for years. They are a great group of volunteers who have always been prepared and ready to help the community when ever needed and were ready when Hurricane Sandy hit the shore.
-----------------------------------------------
 
The news was everywhere...Hurricane Sandy was coming and it was going to be bad. We started out on Sunday preparing for the storm to come. The skies were already dark with clouds swirling overhead. The wind was beginning to pick up just a bit. We took a quick drive around the area to check conditions. The Manasquan Inlet was washing over the sea wall at hightide…flooding the area where the fishermen set up their posts. The waves were high and pounding the jetty.
.
As we stood there watching the waves pound the jetty, we noticed an incoming vessel. We couldn’t help but think to ourselves, I’m glad its not me on that boat. The captain of the boat made all the right choices entering the inlet and we were happy to see him motor his way past us. As it turns out, this was the boat that had just picked up a surfer that was being pulled out to sea by the storms surge. Nice job Captain.
 .
Stopping at the RR Bridge we could see the water had reached the bottom of the bridge. Windows were boarded along each street and boats were being pulled from the area as quickly as possible. It was time to get back to the squad and do more work.
.
We made a new cradle for our boat that was still in our parking lot. Just to be sure she could withstand the winds, we also tied her down. We spent the remainder of the day stocking supplies and prepping as best we could for the upcoming storm.
.
 As Monday morning came, we could see the effects of the storm strengthening. We made a quick run down to the beach and to check out the damage that was already being caused by the winds and waves. We spent some time watching Al Roker give his reports, as we watched the waves behind him slowly eroding the dune he was standing on. Power lines were already down in the area and wind was racing. The ocean was at the boardwalk in many areas. Already washing over and breaking thru the sand dunes protection.
 .
Our day Monday was spent like so many other Rescue and First Aid teams, transferring people to shelters and doing our best to provide help where needed. As the day wore on, the weather worsened. The local gas station had its roof ripped off of the pump area, trees were falling left and right, power line after power line fell and the wind gusts were up to 60 mph.
.
Around 11:30 Monday evening we got a call of people trapped in a flooding house. The trucks could no longer make their way thru the debris and high water. It was time to take out Rescue 34, our inflatable RIB. Chet, Bob, Gibby, Sabrina and Joe geared up and headed out.
.
It was the height of the storm. Winds at 70mph, rain blasting your face, and debris everywhere. We decided to place the boat in the water along Arnold Avenue. The streets were flooded from less then a block past the RR Tracks all the way to the beach. We made our way past sunken canoes, trees, downed lines, boats and flooded cars. We found the house and drove the boat right up to porch. We got the man and wife and their 2 cats and a dog into Rescue 34 and headed back to the waiting ambulance. Sometimes you can find humor even in the middle of a tragedy. As we slowly made our way back, wind whipping at our faces we all began to sing “Row Row Row your boat..” Twisted maybe, but it made everyone laugh and eased the tensions of the family with us.
.
We transferred our family to the ambulance and decided to head back out to check on a few houses where we could see flashlights moving in the darkness. As we were walking Rescue 34 out into deeper water a nearby transformer blew. It lit the sky with this eerie bright blue glow. It was so bright we could see almost to Ocean Avenue along the beach. It was like a full moon rose for just a minute. Bright blue, then almost green, then dark blue...fading to darkness. It made you realize just how dark it was with no power or lights anywhere.
.
A few houses we found with people refused to leave. Assuring us they were fine and wishing that we stayed safe. As we moved back towards the ambulance area, we saw a truck coming towards us. One of the houses had a bad gas leak and we needed to get one of the workers to it asap. As we neared the house, we found it also had a family still occupying it. Mother, father, three children and 3 dogs! We cleared the house and brought the family to the ambulance.
.
We were ready to go back and check more houses when we were called back to the squad building due to worsening conditions. Back at the squad building, we cleaned our gear and made ready for the next call if needed. We made it through the night like the rest of the Point Pleasant Beacharea, by riding out the storm. Answering a few calls and hoping for the best.
.
The next morning we had a request for another rescue. It was daylight and things had quieted down quite a bit. However the area was still massively flooded. Once again Rescue 34 was the way to go. We had a person trapped on the second story of a house. Inside the house was a jumble of furniture and debris. We cleared the way and got our victim to the waiting boat.
.
As we slowly made our way back to the ambulance, the view around us was unimaginable. Cars washed up on lawns. Sunken boats. Hot tubs, swimming pools, lawn chairs, anything you could imagine, floated along in the flood waters or were washed up into the most unlikely of places.
.
The storm was over.
But its devastation was all around us.
Now its time to cleanup. To rebuild.
To be thankful for those who were safe and to remember those we lost.
.
P.S. A few years back the Dive Team was raising funds by way of coin donation Jars at local 7-elevens and other businesses to purchase a hard-bottom inflatiable boat for the team to respond to distress calls and serve the community. Donations were good but one day the team received a phone call from local resident and President of Nassau Broadcasting, Mr. Mercatanti, who said he wanted to help the Dive Team in it's efforts serving the community. Mr. Mercatanti stepped up to the plate on completed the cost of what is now known as ~Rescue 34~ and described above......
 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oh, those Liberal Democrat friends......



My Liberal Democrat friends at work continue to tell me that the “Deficits and Debt are not important” and that the government must infuse money (borrowed) into the economy to improve it… That by bailing out large banks, GM motors, Chrysler, and numerous “Green energy” pet projects, we stimulate the economy and create jobs… Remember, “Deficits and Debt are not important”…

They explain that by providing more services like increased use of Food Stamps this will also stimulate the economy. Anybody remember when Pelosi said that for every dollar spent on Food Stamps it returns $1.79 to the economy? “It is the biggest bang for the buck when you do food stamps and unemployment insurance. The biggest bang for the buck,” … Remember, “Deficits and Debt are not important”…

So if this is true why don’t we place everybody on Food Stamps? Imagine the Billions we could produce if each dollar spent returns $1.79 to the economy and all of us were on Food Stamps?!!! I sure would spend money elsewhere in the economy if I did not have a food bill each month!... Remember, “Deficits and Debt are not important”…

Think of all the business created now that the government provides 17 million plus free cell phones to voters, I mean citizens. If we gave free cell phones to everybody imagine the explosion to that sector of the economy? I sure would spend that monthly bill money somewhere else in the economy! Remember, “Deficits and Debt are not important”…

Come to think of it didn’t Pelosi include unemployment insurance in that statement about returning $1.79 to the economy for every dollar spent on Food Stamps and unemployment insurance? Then we need more people un-employed!!! Let’s get another 100 million people collecting unemployment checks and imagine the economy taking off then!!! Remember, “Deficit and Debt are not important”…

Boy, if we only knew it was going to be this easy!!!...

 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

With the election being the main focus for so long it's great to have the opportunity to speak with friends about issues we have supported and worked for all along. Received this from and friend and GOOD STUFF!!!

One of the chief benefits that the nation would receive under a Romney-Ryan administration is a return to what I call “energy realism.” By that I mean understanding that oil and gas are the key drivers of our national economic engine and will be for decades to come.

In sharp contrast to this view are the policies of President Barack Obama who has attempted to “remake” America’s energy reality through top-down, central planning strategies that chase after a pie-in-the-sky “green jobs” economy. He has piled on the tax increases, regulations and green subsidies for companies like Solyndra and others. Remember, Obama is the one who pushed hard for but failed to pass cap-and-trade, warned that he would “bankrupt” anyone who wanted to build a new coal-fired power plant, has done nothing to open up federal lands for oil and gas development, and killed the Keystone XL pipeline that would have connected U.S. refineries to vast new oil deposits in Canada. Makes you wonder if the president is running our energy policy for our country or for special interest groups.

It is really ironic when you have a president continuously advocating for “corporate welfare” for Big Oil when, as the Congressional Research Service pointed out in a report last year, the most expensive energy tax breaks are not for U.S. oil and gas companies but for renewable energy startups. Yes, and we’re always shocked -- shocked I say -- to find out that a lot of these green subsidies go to “investors” who are politically connected to the White House.

So when you hear Obama talking about an “all of the above” energy policy, he’s probably looking at a list of DNC-linked donors, bundlers and crony capitalists.

Here’s Obama in the Oct. 3 debate with Romney:

The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. Basically, they get deductions that those small businesses that Governor Romney refers to, they don’t get. Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money, when they’re making money every time you go to the pump?

Two major problems with this scapegoating of oil companies for Obama’s own economic failures:

The first is that there truly are no government “subsidies” or “corporate welfare” for Big Oil. What we’re talking about are for the most part legitimate tax provisions that apply to virtually all American manufacturers and producers.

The second problem is that, in truth, Obama fails to mention that his plans call for raising taxes on our biggest domestic oil and gas producers by more than $40 billion over the next few years.

Let’s see if I understand this. Obama wants to selectively raise billions in new taxes on one of the most productive sectors of the U.S. economy, one that employs more than 9 million Americans with good paying jobs? At a time when sluggish GDP growth has brought job creation to a virtual standstill?

The oil and gas industry also sends $86 million dollars a day to the U.S. Treasury, and many more millions daily to states like North Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and others enjoying an energy boom. Here in Virginia, where the energy industry amounts to an $11.6 billion sector, there are more than 128,000 jobs provided or supported – with an average salary of $57,281 for non-gas station oil and natural gas employees. Just think where we’d be today if Obama hadn’t put energy resources off the coast of Virginia on his list of “none of the above” places to develop.

What the White House also fails to see is that, if you want a technological solution to greenhouse gases, the free market is the best way to get there. The U.S. oil and gas industry invested $71 billion in greenhouse gas-reducing technologies from 2000-2010. That’s nearly twice as much as the federal government ($43 billion) and almost as much as all other investors combined ($74 billion). When private industry invests in green technologies, it does so with a market test in view. Not so with government planners, whose idea of a sure thing has ended in multiple failed businesses. But of course when you’re picking winners and losers in the economy, from the commanding heights of the Obama White House, you also get to hand out a lot of favors.

Voters will do us all a big favor on Nov. 6 by putting Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in charge of America’s energy policies. And none too soon.

Friday, November 02, 2012


Mayor Bloomberg was to allow the NYC Marathon to proceed and use valuable energy assets and equipment while hurricane Sandy victims suffered from lack of fuel, electric, food, shelter, and security...

Mayor Bloomberg, you are NO RUDY GIULIANI !!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012

W.W. Parrish "Porter and Ale" 1860 era bottle....



This past week I had the opportunity to Scuba Dive up in New Jersey with my Instructor and friend Chet at a favorite dive site in the Atlantic Highlands of New Jersey. We have been diving this river for 15+ years and continue to find bottles from the 1850's era and this was an interesting find....
.
We had very poor visibility underwater 18-24" and at 20 feet down it was almost total darkness. many of the bottles found in this area are "encrusted" with marine growth such as sponge, etc. and while searching I came along this bottle covered with growth. As I moved it I felt the shape of a bottle so took a look. At first I saw the color and then cleaned off the neck to see the "blob" top which told me it was old. But the length was very short so I expected it to be a broken bottle like many we find in this area. (many people would throw broken bottles in the water to get rid of them) I then found that it appeared to be intact so kept it to look at it on the surface....
.
Turns out this is a bottle from "W.W. Parrish Jersey City N.J." and has "Porter and Ale" on the backside. It is 6-1/2" tall and no chips or cracks with little sand scratches. It is from the 1860 period (civil war era) and called a "Pony" bottle.......










.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Easy "Cheap" credit the problem?....


As I sit here watching the Summer Olympics a commercial comes on telling me how GM General Motors has had one of their best quarters and sales of GM vehicles have been thru the roof. Funny because last week it was reported that GM motors has a new finance company that are making car loans to just about anybody walking thru the door and the majority of the loans are made to those who are on the lower end of the credit rating scores.

Commentators were quick to point out the double benefit of this practice being that GM is able to report increased sales of automobiles, thus making a flashy commercial to broadcast during the Olympics, and the resale of relatively “New” vehicles once they reposes them from those who obviously could not afford them in the first place…

I am also reading for the second time “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis which explains a lot of what went on with the subprime collapse and it appears we are headed right back in the same direction as evident with the GM financing to those who can’t afford the cars they are buying. Another example is one provided in “The Big Short” regarding the practice of providing “Free Checking” by the banks…   

And he explained that they avoided free checking because it was really a tax on poor people—in the form of fines for overdrawing their checking accounts. And that banks that used it were really just banking on being able to rip off poor people even more than they could if they charged them for their checks.”

Lewis, Michael (2010-05-12). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (p. 20). Norton. Kindle Edition.

So here you have it. Many have always made profit off of lending money to those who need it or those who want it to improve their status. The dangerous one is the guy who uses credit to “keep up with the Jones”, get that new smartphone, or make that major purchase to have that house comparable to what took generations before us decades to be able to afford…

But is it the fault of the person doing the lending or the person spending by use of credit to make purchases that will take months\years\decades to pay off? Many people get caught up in the experience and rush of shopping and even justify this overspending by use of special credit promotions that make it almost foolish not to take advantage of these promotions. I have seen people walk around the store looking to spend another $100 to put them over the $299 minimum required to get that 12 months no interest offer. Seems like a good idea in taking advantage of “interest free money” but already the consumer is in the hole for spending the unnecessary $100 to get the offer and if the total purchase is not paid off in the 12 month period full interest is required. Fault of the “lender” or the “borrower”…



Many of my Liberal friends are quick to point out that wages have not increased across the board for everybody as it “Should” in their perfect world. First let me say that I look at CEO’s pulling down millions in bonus as incentive programs are eliminated to temporally raise stock prices and quarter bottom lines, but what happens to long term productivity? It has become evident that many in the “Middle class” have dealt with little wage increases by way of cheap credit to get the “Toys” they wanted before they could actually afford them. With that many people have gotten themselves in trouble and never really able to get ahead as they should.

Do people really need the new Smartphone that can do more than what many computers could do just a short time ago? Technology is a great thing and very valuable if you can make it work for you. I see friends who can run their companies with these phones and make very nice money by being smart with these phones. I take grief at work for being the guy still with a “flip-phone” but without running a business with it all I need is a portable phone and the smaller monthly phone bill…

More to come (?)…..

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Staunton VA 4th of July Parade ~2012~



Nice sunny day for a 4th of July Parade in Staunton VA and had a good turnout even with it being the middle of the week...













Military personnel got standing ovations all along the parade route as well as several people stepping up to shake their hands and show appreciation for their service to our country...
.

.


Congressman Bob Goodlatte walking the parade route in Staunton VA...
.



I walked the parade route several times looking for the Democratic Party parade float and did not see anyone marching in support of the party or it's candidates. I also could not find or identify any campaign workers for any of the Democratic party candidates running this November. I eventually found the Staunton\Augusta County Democratic Party table along the parade route with a surprising small amount of campaign literature and support items (ugly Tim Kaine signs). This in stark contrast to the 2008 election cycle where the DNC and Obama sent  considerable amounts of money and support into the Shenandoah Valley...
.
This also being in stark contrast to the representation provided by the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party who had a impressive showing by citizens who organized themselves and supported themselves along with help from other citizens in the valley.





.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Unions" just another form of government?...



I saw this sign out front of one of the major distribution centers here in Stuarts Draft encouraging workers to sign the "Union card" calling for a union to be formed at this location. Here we have a force which claims to represent you but infact takes money from the paycheck that you earned, spends it as they see fit claiming they know  better than you what is good for you, and restrict your ability to grow and improve yourself...

Ironic...

This the day after the federal government grew it's ability to do the exact same thing to us because of the ruling passed down by the Supreme Court regarding "Obama-care"...

Also Ironic is the low popularity of private unions as well as the low popularity of Obama-care with the true workers (private sector) of the United States...





.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

SWAC-Ambush at the Golden Corral...


Did Congressmen Bob Goodlatte know what he was getting into when he accepted the invitation to the "SWAC-Breakfast" this past Saturday at the Golden Corral?...

The "SWAC-Breakfast" is a new  political forum that is made up of several local political "activist" and made up primarily of a former Republican committee chairman, a Democrat committee chairman, and others who once were active in local party activities.

As reported by the faithful reporter from the NewsVirginian, Bob Stuart, he described the confrontation between the congressmen and his Republican primary challenger who was waiting for him at the SWAC-breakfast.

"She said that if Goodlatte was for decreased spending, she wanted to know why he voted for an increased debt ceiling and for federal health care as part of an omnibus spending bill. Kwiatkowski then pounded her fist on the table at the Golden Corral and said, “You need to cut spending! You need to cut spending!”

The organizers of the SWAC-Breakfast club have hosted a breakfast forum for the primary challenger, Kwiatkowski, in the past as well as a breakfast forum for the Democrtatic party challenger to Goodlatte as well....

Did the Congressmen walk into a local breakfast gathering to meet and talk with his local constituents or did he walk into a "ambush" set up and hosted by the "SWAC-Gang"?...


Goodlatte confronted by opponent at local political breakfast
By: Bob Stuart | News Virginian Published: April 29, 2012

Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s talk before the SWAC Political Breakfast on Saturday morning briefly turned into an impromptu discussion with his opponent in the June Republican primary, Karen Kwiatkowski. Kwiatkowski questioned the fiscal conservatism of the congressman, whose 6th District includes much of the Shenandoah Valley.

She said that if Goodlatte was for decreased spending, she wanted to know why he voted for an increased debt ceiling and for federal health care as part of an omnibus spending bill. Kwiatkowski then pounded her fist on the table at the Golden Corral and said, “You need to cut spending! You need to cut spending!”

Goodlatte, who introduced a balanced budget constitutional amendment last year that failed to pass the House, responded by saying that if “you balance the budget in one year, you never have to borrow more money. Each year the budget is not balanced, you will need to ask for more resources.”

When asked by another questioner why he would not debate Kwiatkowski, Goodlatte said he has chosen to conduct his re-election campaign by “reaching out to my constituents like today. I expect my opponents will do the same.”

Kwiatkowski said the lawmaker and his office have refused to honor debate requests. She described the incumbent as “weak and hypocritical.”

Goodlatte said he is running on his record of 20 years, and believes that if Republican Mitt Romney is elected president in November and the U.S. Senate becomes a majority Republican body, federal spending will be cut. For much of his talk Saturday, Goodlatte detailed what he described as the excesses of the Obama administration. He described the administration as the “worst in our nation’s history.” Goodlatte said that he considered then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama as the “most liberal and inexperienced person” ever to run for president when the Democrat campaigned four years ago, and that his hypothesis has proved true.

Goodlatte said that he is cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will overturn federal health-care reform legislation. He said Obama has done an “abysmal job on the economy, regulating sector after sector.” The overreach by Obama is at its worst on executive mandates regarding the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency, the congressman said. Goodlatte said the EPA’s imposing of mandates onChesapeake Baywatershed states is wrong. “The federal government has the authority to set standards, but the states have the right to implement them,” he said. He said the EPA has failed to provide a cost-benefit analysis of what it is asking states to do with nutrient-pollution reduction in the bay.

One member of the audience, military veteran Andrea Jackson, wondered aloud why those in Congress are unable to work together in a more bipartisan way. She said she wished the “bickering” would stop inWashington.

Goodlatte pointed to a list of bills passed by the House and stalled in the Senate. “We would love to sit down with the Senate and work out our differences,” he said in response toJackson. Goodlatte called Saturday’s breakfast a good discussion of the issues, and then he left to attend a full day of activities in his district.

What to do with that "SWAC-promise"?....



Operation Drumbeat asks the oh-so-important question of if Supervisor Karaffa has already ruled out any increase in the real estate tax rate on Wednesday night, how will he fill the budget shortfall that the county now faces? Will he vote for a massive property tax increase or will he find ways to cut spending and waste within the budget?......

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Is raising Tax-rates the correct thing to do?.....


There is much in the news right now about many local governments looking to raise their tax rates to cover the budget shortfalls they are looking at. Just as our federal government is looking at massive budget shortfalls and incredible deficits, our local governments need to understand that we can not continue to spend more than what we take in and there is little room to increase revenues by raising tax rates. Americans for Prosperity came out with this today and well worth looking at....



Right now, several localities are proposing various tax increases that will have a negative impact on families across the Commonwealth. At a time when families and businesses have cut back on spending, in addition to feeling the pinch of rising gas prices, it is appalling that localities would consider raising taxes. Bottom line, Virginia's cities have a spending problem, not a tax problem.

Principles are not always popular, and we need to ask local government offices to stand for the principles of limited government and economic freedom, and to cut spending rather than raising taxes.

The following are just a few of the localities that are proposing some form of a tax increase. To find out more about your locality, check out or website.

Augusta County is proposing a three cent increase in real estate taxes and a 32-cent increase in taxes on cars and trucks. If the tax increases are approved later this week, taxpayers would end up paying;

a rate of 51 cents per $100 on real estate
$2.57 per $100 personal property taxes on cars and trucks
Call your board members at (540) 245-5610 to let them know you are against these tax increases.

Lynchburg City is trying to increase the city real estate tax and add a new storm water fee that could result up to a 13-14 percent increase combined. We’re standing with City Councilman Jeff Helgeson against the fight. Stand with us by contacting the board by clicking here.

Pittsylvania County budget proposes a 50-cent increase in the personal property tax and an increase in the real estate tax rate by four cents. In addition, several fees for homebuilding, and water and sewer will increase as well.

Fluvanna County is proposing a 20 percent increase, which would raise the tax on the average county property to roughly 350-400 dollars. Click here to call or e-mail the board members.

In addition, the following localities have all proposed a tax increase on tobacco sales.

Buena Vista: Tobacco tax proposal that equals 30 cents per pack of cigarettes. Call the city council to express your concern: (540) 261-6121

Danville: Tobacco tax proposal that equals 30 cents per pack of cigarettes. Find your Council person here and tell them to oppose this tax increase.

Williamsburg: Proposed cigarette tax hike of 30 cents. Click here to contact the city council.

Emporia: The proposed tax increases would increase to 50 cents per pack in the city of Emporia. Click here to contact the city council members.

Newport News: Proposed cigarette tax hike of 85 cents per pack. Click here to contact the city council members.

Poquoson: Proposed cigarette tax hike of 25 cents per pack. Click here to contact the city council members.

Town of Bridgewater: Proposed cigarette tax of 20 cents per pack. Click here to contact the board of supervisors.

There are dozens of cities and counties that are proposing various tax increases. Click here and tell your local officials to cut spending now.

Sincerely,

Audrey Jackson
State Director
Americans for Prosperity

Friday, April 13, 2012

Senator Webb can even see what would happen....


Even Democratic Party Senator Jim Webb understands what would happen to the gas prices we would face if they were to eliminate the government "subsidies" to the oil companies. There has been much talk about the profits that the oil companies have been getting but little follow up with the facts showing that the oil companies have one of the lowest profit margins when compared to other industries as well as the incredible amount of taxes already paid. Many tend to point to the profits made by the oil companies but yet avoid mentioning the Billions paid to federal and state governments at the same time...
.
Unfortunately our President has decided to make this a campaign issue and practicing the art of only mentioning select data and avoiding the truth were needed to maintain the agenda. Fortunately Senator Webb saw that by eliminating "subsidies" for companies seeking out additional sources of energy would only raise the retail price of the product at the pump...
.
Now if we could only get Virginia's other Senator, Mark Warner (D), to understand that Virginia needs to develop and provide the large resources of energy we have offshore...
.

Additional info over at RollCall...

“Is this the best we have to offer folks who are staring at $4-a-gallon gasoline?” McConnell asked before the vote. “A bill that even Democrats admit won’t do anything to lower the price of gas? And a process that blocks any other idea from even coming to the floor for a vote?




.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Jose Wejebe ~Spanish Fly~ R.I.P.


I recall sitting across from Jose in a little "Puddle-jumper" of a plane that goes from Key West up to Miami when I was on a trip up to Virginia to see my parents and watching Jose looking out the window as soon as we got any altitude. I leaned over and asked him if he was checking the "weed-lines" for fish and he returned a very BIG smile that I remember to this day... Once we got to Miami where the plane debarks right on the ground and with no ramp-way, I look back to see Jose stopping and talking with several of the ground\maint airport workers that gathered to meet the plane upon arrival and again there was that very BIG smile on his face...
.
My longtime friend and charterboat Captain Mike told me of a time where he had a family fishing with him and there was a young boy 12-14 years old who was a victim of a severe form of cancer. The parents told Mike that the boy would be going back into the hospital the following week and would not be leaving because of his disease...
.
Now Mike is already known to be one of the most intense Captains when it comes to finding fish and never allowing the angler to slack or "whine" but yet in a way that makes the angler comfortable and enjoyable experience. It soon became known to Mike that this young boy was an avid follower of Jose and his ~Spanish Fly~ television show and followed it every Sunday...
.
During the ride back to the dock at the end of the day of fishing Capt Mike called Jose and told him of his charter and their special angler and the situation. Jose dropped what he was doing and met the boat when it got to the dock and spent several hours with the young angler and fan making it a truly memorable day for the boy...
.
Nice work Capts..
.
This past week Jose Wejebe died when his private plane crashed while taking off at a small airport in the Florida Everglades. His weekly television show ~Spanish Fly~ has a incredible following and by far showed this man to be one of the most informative sportfisherman in tactics, equipment, attitude, and love of this sport... He will truly be missed by the sportfishing community and all who have met & followed him by ~Spanish Fly~...
.
AdiĆ³s y vaya con Dios mi amigo...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What the Oil\Natural Gas Industry means for Virginia.....


With gasoline prices here in Augusta County right at the $3.99 gallon point it's once again time to look at what this industry already means to the citizens of Virginia as well as the potential to all of us...
.
API has come out with additional facts regarding the industry in Virginia and what more can be done...

More than 128,000 statewide jobs provided or supported – with an average salary of $57,281 for non-gas station oil and natural gas employees.

$6.5 billion contributed to
state labor income.

$11.6 billion contributed
to the state’s economy.
.
Virginia already has a strong economy and low un-employment rate as compared to the rest of the country and this may be the result of a state government that aggressively looks towards developing its energy industries. This was obvious at the Virginia Energy Summit a few years back...
.
Imagine where we could be now if we were allowed by the Federal government and the Obama administration to drill for the know Oil\Nat gas resources off the coast of Virginia as well as other energy sources?...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yancey Fire Department got their higher rating but at what cost to others?....


The Yancey Fire Department now has a higher rating but has also lost it's volunteer status in the process. The County has increased and paid for a paid staff but at what cost to the rest of the districts in Augusta County? Operation Drumbeat has link to NewsLeader article...

Monday, March 12, 2012

“You can stand with oil companies, or you can stand with the American people.”



Recently some of the best "Political" conversations have been in the break room at work where it is possible to sit with other "middle class" workers in varying economic situations and talk about current "political" events... It has been a pleasure to watch several of my co-workers who have been and some who are still JMU students, and were past supporters of Candidate\President Obama and now have a better understanding of the real "Hope & Change" he was selling as Candidate Obama...
.
One of my friends sent me his observations of the recent speech by our President regarding the war he is obviously promoting between the evil oil companies vs. the people...
.
A few weeks back in New Hampshire, President Obama said in a speech, “You can stand with oil companies, or you can stand with the American people.” A choice between oil companies and the American people? Hardly. President Obama should get an A+ for playing politics, however when it comes to leadership and economics, he deserves an F.

This administration will say and do almost anything to increase oil and gas companies’ tax rates. But the question is why would we ever want to do that? The oil and gas industry is one of the few areas of our economy supporting economic growth and lots of jobs, more than 9 million jobs in fact. The industry also pumps over $1 trillion into the American economy. Best of all, U.S. oil and gas companies are actually positioned to stimulate the economy in the future without having to use government IOUs.

So why do some people not understand that placing new taxes and regulations on this industry will have dangerous repercussions? It’s because President Obama continues to frame the issue as oil companies vs. Americans as if it’s a zero-sum game. This may sound good in a speech, but let’s think about that for a second. These oil companies that President Obama so openly vilifies are actually American businesses that employ millions of American workers and contribute to the American economy. Let’s not forget to mention they provide American energy so we can drive to work and transport goods.

Most troubling is that Obama’s agenda of higher energy taxes and more regulations disregards basic energy research. According to a statistic from the American Energy Alliance, repealing oil and gas sector tax provisions would reduce household earnings by almost $35 billion over the next 10 years. Another study from Dr. Joseph Mason at LSU shows that eliminating these provisions would bring in $30 billion in federal tax revenue at the expense of $341 billion in economic output.

The math clearly doesn’t match Obama’s rhetoric. More than 20,000 new jobs have been created by the U.S. oil and gas industry since the recession started, yet this president continues to use “oil companies” as a scapegoat for his own failed economic policies. American energy can help create more jobs and help turn the economy around, but it will take real leadership from a reluctant White House. It appears President Obama needs some more education on American energy and the vast potential it holds for our economy.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Augusta County takes control of Yancey Volunteer Fire Department...


Many could turnout to protest the higher insurance rates but nobody could volunteer to staff their own firehouse?...
.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sinker Sales 2012....


The Point Pleasant Scuba Rescue\Dive Team had their annual showing at the Fishermen Flea Market this year where they sold over 2,200+ lbs. of lead sinkers to raise funds for the team...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Augusta BOS looking for their own numbers?...



Operation Drumbeat has an interesting piece on the Augusta BOS seeking to get their own numbers by doing the re-assessments inhouse.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Have not seen a defense that weak since the Clinton administration budget cuts....

Went to the JMU (James Madison University) vs. VMI (Virginia Military Institute) hockey game in Charlottesville last night and even with the lopsided score it was good to get in the next to last game of the local season....
.
JMU came out of the starting blocks with a score in the first 50 seconds and followed up with another 9 goals in the first period...
.
The "Keydets" just failed to clear out the area in front of their goal and allowed the JMU forwards to have their way

VMI did manage their first goal with 3 minutes left in the 2nd period after coming alive after a timeout where it was obvious that the game plan had been updated to address the scoring by JMU in the first period...
.
The Main Street Arena is a great place to watch a game for you can get up close to the game and the players. Looking forward to next seasons games here...
.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

JMU Hockey and the "Hockey Stick" manmade global warming theory...

Went to the JMU vs. Radford Ice hockey game last night at the MainStreet Arena in Charlottesville and saw a good game along with reading about Michael Mann, author of the "Hockey-Stick" graph on man made global warming, being in town giving a enviro-talk to the students of UVA...
.
Great game with Radford coming out and delivering two massive hits in the first 20 seconds of the first period to set the tone of play. Radford controlled the first period with what must have been a 3 to 1 shots on goal ratio and the first score in the first half of the period. JMU Dukes did get it together towards the end with a score 9 seconds before the end of the period...
.
In the 2nd period JMU came out like a new team and continued to crash the Radford net and this resulted in a 5 to 3 lead for the Dukes at the end of the 2nd period. There was a very interesting call where the Radford goalie performed a "Poke-check" in front of the net (No doubt the result of a prior suggestion by fellow hockey fan Chris Green to the Radford coach after a prior game) but lost his stick and pushing the puck away from the JMU player and the Ref granted the JMU a penalty shot which was stopped by the goalie.....
.
In the 3rd Radford tied it up after the JMU goalie attempted a poke-check but ended up feeding the puck to the trailing Radford wing who promptly deposited it into the JMU goal. Radford ended up scoring the final goal and winning the game in front of a pretty good crowd of people gathered...
.
During one of the intermissions I sat and read an article in the local C-ville about climate scientist Michael Mann had returned to UVA to give a keynote lecture regarding those who question his climate research and conclusion of man made global warming. "“Contrarians
or deniers, I think that there has been some tendency to give those who denythe scientific consensus far too much prominence in the public discourse.”
.
Now I was in his backyard and old stomping grounds of UVA where he once was a climate scientist and eventually came up with the famous "Hockey Stick" graph showing the dramatic increase of global temperature that he concludes comes from man made gasses, and I was reading a local weekly C-ville paper, so what should I expect?...
.
By Mann's and the C-ville papers definition, I am one of those "deniers" who continues to question the conclusion that global warming is caused by man made gasses. I do not dispute that there is global warming but do question that it is caused to the extent that some claim is responsible for much of the warming now being experienced.
.
Anybody remember back in the 70's when we were told of the coming Ice age that would cover much of the U.S. ? If we have made such a dramatic swing in such a short period of time how do you think we could ever slow down or possible stop this "man made" warming? ....
.

Friday, January 20, 2012

$14 Trillion or $15 Trillion debt... Who cares?... It makes no difference...



Had a conversation at work the other day and it turned to the next $1 trillion we are about to add to our national debt bringing it to over $15 trillion dollars owed... Now there have been many examples of how much a trillion really is but the conversation got to a point that if the additional $1 trillion is not really felt at the immediate paycheck level what difference does it matter?...
.
The average person has not really felt the effects of the last trillion that was added to the debt for it has not hit them directly in their pocket. This is obvious at work for even at the last "Black Friday" we saw a considerable increase in sales over last years numbers and the customers continue to spend as long as the credit card swipes and the approval is instant as it is anymore. I mean let's face it. With the economy as bad as they say it is do you really need to buy that new ratcheting screw driver that works both directions? Thought we did not have any manufacturing jobs in America anymore and who needs a screwdriver like that?....
.
It looks like Congress will approve to add another $1 trillion to our national debt this week but will anybody notice? If adding another trillion to our debt resulted in every person seeing $50 missing from their paycheck every week there would be such outrage in the first month we could not imagine. Just look at what happened when Bank of America attempted to raise their fees by just $5 a month...
.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Chairman of the board.....


Both the NewsVirginian and the NewsLeader have coverage of the new Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors....