Judge Clifford Weckstein retiring brings back video memory

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Judge Clifford Weckstein retiring brings back video memory

A memory of Judge Clifford Weckstein came rushing back as I read in The Roanoke Times that he was stepping down Thursday after 28 years as a circuit court judge in the Roanoke Valley. Anonymous juries were a topic at a 2009 Virginia Coalition for Open Government (VCOG) annual meeting in Staunton where Judge Clifford […]

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Gov. McAuliffe on release of Virginia ABC admin review into arrest of Martese Johnson

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The following documents include statements issued by Virginia ABC related to an interaction in the City of Charlottesville on March 18, 2015, between Virginia ABC special agents and University of Virginia student Martese Johnson. Virginia State Police Administrative Review Release Statement, September 22, 2015 (PDF) Virginia State Police Administrative Investigation/Review on Martese Johnson Arrest, September […]

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Cuccinelli’s transparency election promise at the 2009 VCOG annual conference

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cuccinelli's transparency election promise at the 2009 VCOG annual conference

If I didn’t remember anything about the 2009 Virginia Coalition for Open Government conference I remember this. Then Senator Ken Cuccinelli’s promised transparency. In today’s Roanoke Times Lawrence Hammack, another open government wonk, has an article about Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s opinion on the appropriation of public funds to nonprofits without proper contracts. The purpose […]

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Where’s Roanoke City’s budget?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Where's Roanoke City's budget?

The Virginia Coalition for Open Government looked on the websites of 134 cities and counties to rate how easy it was to find their annual budget – That is if it was online at all. If it was online how many clicks did it take to get to it? Was it hidden or did it […]

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Part I: Big Bird, Mill Mountain and smaller government

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Part I: Big Bird, Mill Mountain and smaller government

Poor Big Bird looks to get his feathers plucked should presidential Republican candidate Mitt Romney get the November nod. It’s for sure those PBS dollars are the cause of the $16 trillion deficit and you know Big Bird is a <gasp> liberal. You can tell by the way he walks. The Mill Mountain Advisory Committee […]

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Cuccinelli on Virginia’s failing integrity grade, transparency – Part III VIDEO

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cuccinelli on Virginia’s failing integrity grade, transparency - Part III VIDEO

In Part III see the video below shot at the VCOG Annual Meeting in October 2009 when he was running for Attorney General. March, 2012: Cuccinelli first saw the printed copy of the Center for Public Integrity report that gave Virginia an “F” during an interview with the Roanoke Free Press last Tuesday. He dismissed the […]

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FOIA: When a little information means a lot

Friday, November 11, 2011

FOIA: When a little information means a lot

It is an understatement to say to citizens “get involved early – very, very early. Don’t wait for a public hearing at a city council meeting to object to an issue on a  rezoning, chickens or anything else. What is early? Work sessions are where it begins. Council briefings work the same way but this […]

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City council shouldn’t be chicken to make decision on chickens

Friday, November 4, 2011

City council shouldn't be chicken to make decision on chickens

Monday’s city council meeting has another “closed session” on the 12-acre parcel in northwest city incorporated in the Countryside Master Plan. The parcel lies between two neighborhoods and is designated for agriculture. The Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op proposes 400 free range chickens, hoop houses and small packing house and store. The chickens have drawn the ire […]

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City Council backslides in transparency

Sunday, October 16, 2011

City Council backslides in transparency

Make a decision Roanoke City council. The Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op and the neighborhood deserve an “up or down” vote on the farm with or without chickens. Now comes the “closed session” scheduled following the 2:00 p.m. council meeting Monday. The neighborhoods include Countryside and Miller Court. Voices from beyond these boundaries have also been […]

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Retiring city attorney’s little known sense of humor

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Retiring city attorney's little known sense of humor

The tall lanky graying man that sits next to the Director of Finance Ann Shawver during council meetings rarely speaks unless spoken to – Not your typical attorney. William Hackworth, 63 is retiring as Roanoke City’s attorney after 23 years. He became a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington but hated […]

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What they really think of us Roanoke citizens

Friday, June 17, 2011

What they really think of us Roanoke citizens

The Countryside neighborhood has not heard a word from the Roanoke City Planning Department or anyone else regarding progress of the project. The Countryside Master Plan goes before Council on Monday at the 7:00 p.m. meeting. It will be adopted into the city’s comprehensive plan the same as other neighborhood plans though it is actually […]

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The “organized crime” theory of leadership

Monday, May 9, 2011

The “organized crime” theory of leadership

Society has created structures in which entities “owe no obligation of truth” to large groups of people based on such factors as race, geographical origin, economic status, or the mere fact that they are our “followers.” The entity has no obligation of honesty to anyone except a select few. They may even betray those when […]

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