We Need A Government For Us

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

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

Source: We Need A Government For Us

Apprentices filling workforce need at Rolls-Royce plant in Prince George

This article surprised me.  I am fairly informed about opportunities in the County, but was totally unaware of the apprenticeship program. it seems like a great opportunity for Prince Georgians.  Why not, Rolls Royce is in Prince George County.

“As Rolls-Royce North America continues to equip the latest expansion of its Prince George County plant with high-tech machinery, the company also is recruiting people into an apprenticeship program for manufacturing precision aircraft components.”

Source: Apprentices filling workforce need at Rolls-Royce plant in Prince George

What if Petersburg became a town?

Prince-GeorgeThere have been a number of articles recently in both the Richmond Times-Dispatch and in the Petersburg Progress-Index noting that Petersburg leaders are quietly discussing reversion as a slight, but not likely, possibility. Surrounding counties are also discussing the aspect of such a reversion, Prince George included.

In reversion a city, if it meetings threshold requirements, may become a town within the county in which it is located. Three cities have already reverted South Boston, Clifton Forge, and Bedford.  South Boston was finally allowed to revert after Halifax County had unsuccessfully fought off the reversion in court.

Basically, when a town reverts it melts back into its county, retaining a town council, certain town officials and other distinct privileges.  This is after a petition to the General Assembly and a special court appointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia to evaluate the merits of the reversion case and to determine the particulars about how debt, taxation, and other matters will be transitioned.

But were Petersburg were to revert … to which county would it melt into?  Ostensibly, originally Petersburg came out of Prince George County which was created by royal grant in 1703.  Petersburg was incoporated in 1748.  Chesterfield County was created in 1749 and Petersburg later was enlarged.  Did that come 28 acres come from Prince George or Chesterfield. It was one or the other because Dinwiddie County was not created until 1762. Of course, there were subsequent annexations from Prince George and Dinwiddie in the centuries which followed.  All of these dates are from Wikipedia and are used only for illustrative purposes to denote the convoluted history of our counties and the City of Petersburg.

A big task might be to determine what parts of Petersburg revert to which counties and aneighborshorseswhich counties have the economic resources and population to absorb which parts of Petersburg?  Petersburg might become the first town in Prince George in Prince George County. That would end the pride I have in telling family and friends who live in other states that Prince George County has no towns or cities.  We have goats, cows, and horses such as those who belong to my neighbors.

Stay tuned.



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

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


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

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

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




the passing of titans

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

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

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

Kanak Farm 2

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

Those who leave memories are still among us.


New app, ‘Ready Virginia’

It is another messy, but quiet day in Prince George, VA. Two of the local papers today are focused on storms.  Elliott Robinson has two huge articles on Richmond.com  on Essex and Waverly and how they are recovering (or not) from the tornadoes three months ago.

Below, the Petersburg Progress-Index focuses on preparedness as we enter hurricane season.  The subject of this article makes sense for any kind of natural or man-made disaster.

via Virginians urged to be hurricane ready – News – The Progress-Index – Petersburg, VA

Improving Immunization and Fighting Polio in Pakistan — Rotarian Economist

‘We’re (this) close’

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

via Improving Immunization and Fighting Polio in Pakistan — Rotarian Economist