I wish Supervisor John Roark had given me a headsup that he was on his way to the courthouse Thursday night. I would have cranked-up the theme song from “Chariots of Fire” on my iPhone as he swung open the doors and made his dramatic entrance through the crowd Thursday night. No one expected him to attend after being hospitalized that day with a serious knee injury. But John often defies the odds. No one can accuse him of not doing his homework and not taking his County duties seriously.
We don’t publish a lot of stories about business transactions because they’re private, and it’s often hard to get details. But we do make exceptions, especially when it involves a long-time business. I reached-out Monday morning to Lynn Daniels at Bevell’s Hardware. She confirmed rumors that the store is for sale. Bevell’s isn’t just a business -- it’s an institution. Sure, we miss the model trains, but how often have we also run down there to pick-up something that would take forever to find and buy at the chain stores? And who else has done more for Blackstone than Bobby Daniels? Lynn tells me negotations are ongoing with a potential buyer. Best wishes to the Daniels family. Running a business in small town USA is more challenging then ever before -- and that was the case before the pandemic. Lynn says Bobby bought Bevell’s in 1977.
I like most of what I’ve read about Crewe’s proposed charter changes. But I do NOT like any town giving hiring and firing of the police chief to the town manager. Don’t get me wrong -- I like Crewe’s Brian Thrower and have been impressed by him so far. But the police chief, who oversees the department where all employees carry guns and tasers, and drive cars with “CREWE” on them, should be answerable to the ELECTED COUNCIL -- not the appointed manager.
Yes, you can vote NO on both questions in Blackstone’s referendum. If you want to waste your vote, vote YES on both, but Town Council says it can’t afford to do both projects. The results are going to be interesting, but more interesting is what Council does with the results. Remember, it’s an ADVISORY (non-binding) referendum. It’s basically a fancy poll. But because it’s held during a Presidential election, voter turn-out should be high, and we all should get a feel for the hearts and minds of Blackstonians. My internal polling suggests that 100% of the Town’s 2,143 registered voters are tired of this debate.
I’ve always considered myself pro-private sector and willing to entertain the possibility of Nottoway selling its landfill. But after hearing the excellent presentation Thursday night by Landfill Supervisor Gary Easter, I’m with Supervisor Sherman Vaughn. The landfill is a vital function of County government. There are some functions that just aren’t going to be profitable, but we want them to be safe. I do worry about how much trash we Americans produce. There’s gotta be a safe way to incinerate trash and still not destroy the environment, right? In my opinion, we Americans are wasteful slobs. We have too much stuff. Maybe I think too much, but I worry about landfills and cemeteries taking up too much space.
Another thing about a private and potentially stinkier landfill: as the crow flies, the dump on Rt. 614 is about two miles from downtown Blackstone. The prevailing winds often come from the north/ northwest, so Blackstone really could be impacted if our landfill isn’t properly managed -- not to mention you folks in the country who live nearby. ***
Girls Gone Wild, Nottoway edition: A State Trooper called for back-up Thursday morning at Hardee’s. Apparently he was arresting a woman for the U. S. Marshall’s Office, which means we’ll never find out what happened. Getting info. from the feds is impossible unless it involves Trump. The previous day in Crewe, backup was required for the arrest of a woman on Lipscomb Street for an alleged stolen car from Enterprise Rentals.
Now that Juneteenth is a state holiday, it’d be nice to hold a festival here so our whole community can come together. Maybe bring back June Jubilee and call it Juneteenth Jubilee. Like I said, I’m an idea guy with little spare time for implementation. I’m trying to delegate more. With our diverse population, I believe a Juneteenth festival could be a really fun, worthwhile, and meaningful event.