Thursday, September 21, 2017

It’s Not Just the Terrible Drinking Water That Needs Fixing in Gloucester County

Most Gloucester residents know how bad of a job our local government has done providing Gloucester with safe and quality public drinking water, but few realize just how many other areas our local government has mismanaged for years and continue to mismanage today.
One of those areas is utilization of the old Page Middle School and bus garage properties, associated construction and use of taxpayer dollars to fund Crony maneuvers and deceptions to vacate the properties. Kiser and the two boards back then began the mismanagement several years before they built new Page Middle School on T.C. Walker Road against the will of a majority of the community. Most people in Gloucester know that story, so we will focus on what is taking place right now. The following is our brief analysis and opinion about what is going on in this area of our local infrastructure.
The current boards, paid for a study to determine where the best place would be, out of three school board owned properties, to build a new bus garage, county garage and utilities department complex. The initial results deemed the old Page and bus garage properties to be the best and most economical option; that is until school board member Charles Records and supervisors John Meyer, Phillip Bazanni and Ashley Chriscoe got done manipulating the results of the study. Just like when Kiser and his corrupt crew were violating the community's trust, this location study was done for no other reason than to check a box in the process of deceiving the people of Gloucester. From here on we will refer to the current group of deceivers collectively as the Crony Four, because they “are”, the definition of Crony Capitalists with Socialist tendencies and have steered this latest ploy against the taxpayers.
The old Page property still has a VDOT approved entrance/exit and was so depicted in the initial study findings. The Crony Four had that changed. They added the made up, so called requirement of obtaining a right of way from adjacent property owner Harry Corr and reconstructing the Route 17, T.C. Walker intersection to the mix. Part of the so-called reconstruction entails leveling the north and southbound lanes of Route 17 in the vicinity of the intersection. This one made up item alone drove the estimated costs up by several million dollars, making it "appear" cost prohibitive to build on the old Page and bus garage properties. That was the goal, but the real picture is likely quite different than it appears. The very expensive Route 17 leveling is most likely a VDOT requirement to build a thoroughfare road for a large business park or residential development, but it is certainly not a requirement for the construction and uses contained in the initial study findings. We strongly believe the old Page property is wanted by an adjacent landowner and the Crony Four and their predecessors (the Kiser Crew) have and are doing everything possible to make sure they get it; no matter how much it costs the taxpayers in the long run. 
Once the Crony Four added enough fake requirements and costs to rule out the old Page and bus garage properties, they proceeded with cutting the size of the recommended complex. The first thing they did was remove a new yard and facilities for our public utilities department; further demonstrating both boards lack of concern about our crumbling water and sewer infrastructure, our utilities department employees who are trying to hold it all together while significantly understaffed and ultimately demonstrating their lack of concern about the people of Gloucester.
The Crony Four’s plan is to allow utilities to temporally use the old bus garage and its property until it is needed for “economic development reasons”. They seem to believe, or know, a developer will come along who is willing to pay to relocate Utilities’ operation in return for the old Page and bus garage properties, but if they know this, why don’t they let us know what the ultimate plan for the properties is. We believe it is because the Crony Four are doing all of this to take care of one or more of their friends or associates and Charles Records seems to be at the forefront of the current effort?
Over two years ago, we began to believe Charles Records ran for the school board for the sole purpose of trying to remove ownership of the old Page and Bus Garage properties from the school board. At the end of his four year term on the board, it appears this member of the Crony Four has been successful in doing just that and ironically, he is not seeking re-election this November.
During a joint meeting of the school board and board of supervisors on Sept 19th, County Administrator, Brent Fedors presented a timeline of future actions that includes a completion date for turning the old Page and bus garage properties over to the county. They claim their intent is to turn the old Page property over to Gloucester’s Economic Development Authority, but no information has been provided outlining what the GEDA intends to do with the property. This is troubling; especially since the GEDA already has comparable properties in the Gloucester Business Park that have gone unsold and undeveloped for years. What is so special about the old Page property that justifies the amount of tax dollars and time that have been waisted to obtain it from the school board? Wouldn’t you like to know?

It is not too late to put a stop to what they are doing, but "all" of us must let them know we will not accept what they are doing. Be sure to pass this on to other people in the community.
Look for more from us on how our local government is continuing to waste our tax dollars and allow our infrastructure to crumble in order to satisfy the greed and desires of a few. We will also be providing info on the Gloucester High School master plan in the very near future. If you care about the future of our County and Country; get involved, become informed and speak out. Demand transparency, make the ones we elect answer the hard questions and hold them accountable for their actions.

The following are presentations and meeting video segments pertaining to the latest transportation complex location study:








Monday, September 18, 2017

County Administrator Responds; Is Gloucester County’s Public Drinking Water Making You Sick?

Gloucester, VA - Picture taken for the new Gloucester Links & News website.  Gloucestercounty-va.comThe following is from Gloucester County’s Administrator. It sounds great, but what about keeping the public informed?

Mr. Hogge –  
Treatment Process Improvements at the Surface Water Plant have been designed, procured and awarded to address this issue.  We will be converting from chlorination, using liquid chlorine, to chloramination using liquid chlorine and liquid ammonia. The project is currently under construction and we anticipate completion, and process conversion, by the end of 2017. 
Brent 
J. Brent Fedors
County Administrator
Gloucester County, Virginia
6467 Main Street
Gloucester, VA  23061
(804) 693-4042
Here is a link to EPA info on the pros and cons of chloramination:  http://www.mawc.org/sites/default/files/page_attachments/pdf/Chloramine_General_Facts.pdf

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Is Gloucester County’s Public Drinking Water Making You Sick?

Gloucester, VA - Picture taken for the new Gloucester Links & News website.  Gloucestercounty-va.com Gloucester County, Virginia public water customers, located in two different areas of the County’s public drinking water distribution system, received notice with their September first water bill that excessive levels of disinfection byproducts (DBP’s) had been detected. What are DBP’s you ask; DBPs form when disinfectants such as chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide or ozone react with organic and inorganic substances present in raw water. Sound complicated? Well it is, so we will keep this as down to earth and simple as we can. 

The DBP identified in the notice, Trihalomethanes (THM), are not good. In fact, if consumed over extended periods of time or in large enough quantities, THM’s can cause numerous health issues. According to the not very informative notice Utilities sent to affected customers; some people who consume THM’s for an extended period of time can develop liver, kidney and central nervous system problems and may have an increased risk of getting cancer. A clinical and epidemiological review published by the National Institutes of Health says THM’s from chlorinated water have been associated with spontaneous abortion, low birth weight and birth defects. Some studies suggest exposure to chlorine vapors, including THMs, especially while showering, bathing or working in Gloucester’s surface water treatment plant may lead to asthma, other respiratory disorders and may harm the lining of the respiratory tract.
For the most part, THM’s are not noticeable to the average person and without mandatory testing we would likely hear even less about them. There are ways you can protect yourself from THM’s. The best and most effective method of eliminating THM’s and many other harmful elements found in public water systems is a whole home filtration system. These systems filter all the water that enters the building to include showers and outside faucets. A less aggressive method of getting rid of THM’s are individual facet/sink filters. These are great to get rid of the junk in the water you drink and cook with, but do nothing to get rid of the stuff in the shower. Boiling water for 5 minutes or longer will also eliminate THM’s from your water, but be sure not to breath the steam.  
The DBP notice from Utilities asks each customer to share the information provided with all other people who drink the affected water. I wonder if the York River Oyster Company restaurant is notifying their customers and if Gloucester Point Baptist Church is notifying its members, as they are both connected to the Terrapin Cove Road waterline that tested high in THM’s. The other location where high levels of THM’s were detected is on Clopton Drive in Gloucester County.
We cannot speak for the customers on or near Clopton Drive, but we know with absolute certainty that this is not the only time the waterline along Terrapin Cove Road has been found to contain high levels of THM’s. We also know with certainty that water containing excessive levels of THM’s was most likely consumed for years at T.C. Walker and Achilles schoolhouses and possibly at Gloucester High School. Wonder if that has anything to do with the increased number of school employees being diagnosed with cancer over the last few years. It is time to stop kicking the dirty water can down the road, but it does not look like the elected and hired people in our local government plan do anything to repair our neglected infrastructure anytime soon. Remember that when you vote this November.
Here is Gloucester County’s High DBP level notice:


Friday, September 1, 2017

Moon Beam Bagels, Stories From The Campfire

Tales from the Camp Fire
This is a fictional story for your reading enjoyment
This is the story of Moon Beam Bagels
Once upon a time there was a local civil servant named Dogwood that worked in a local office for the director answering phone calls and directing people to the correct office.  Dogwood was very unhappy with his job and everyone knew it. Dogwood's boss had a problem that Dogwood could help with.  They schemed and found a way to make Dogwood’s boss happy and Dogwood would get a fake injury and collect workers comp to be able to leave his job and open his own business “Moon Beam Bagels” where he could be his own boss and not have to answer the phone any more.
Dogwood found a vacant building in midtown and opened Moon Beam Bagels. Dogwood did not think everything through.  He was able to buy a Bagel machine that could make 50 bagels an hour and work four hours in a day and try as he might he was not able to make enough bagels to pay the rent and the staff and buy supplies.  Dogwood worried about this until he was offered a deal he could not refuse. We like your bagel business and we will give you money for you to claim as income to keep Moon Beam Bagels open you just have to make us silent partners and hire who we tell you to.  But I can only make 50 bagels an hour for four hours a day and this cannot be increased.  Not a problem just do as we instruct.  So Dogwood took the money added more space in the shop making it three times larger.  Hiring the extra staff not to work and kept on making bagels. The money kept on coming in and Dogwood was happy.  Dogwood even tried to expand the business to a new site.  If I can sell my 200 bagels faster each day I will not have to stay open but during the morning.
Did I mention Dogwood was not a good business man and had no experience in a commercial kitchen?  He was posting pictures on Face Book that showed that he did not understand the importance of using the right kitchen tools and keeping everything clean.  Someone shared this information with the Health Department.  Dogwood’s friend when dropping off some cash told Dogwood about the inspection. Dogwood closed Moon Beam Bagels on a holiday weekend to clean the shop so it would be spic and span for the inspection on Tuesday.  The inspection was done and Moon Beam Bagels passed with flying colors, with instructions to remove the pictures from the web site and to be careful what he posted in the future.
The last time the person telling the story around the camp fire was in the store the floors were dirty,  the place was understaffed, the bagels?  Okay at best.  The argument was given that they were busy and it was hard to keep the floors clean.  The response “I was the first customer of the day.”  There were no replies.
I hope you enjoyed this work of fiction.  If it reminds of any business in Gloucester, VA it is just a coincidence since this story is made up?
Sincerely,
Alexander James Jay

The Untold History of Public Education, Part 3




Although I am not in agreement with the author of this video as he seems to be against any form of Christian based education in any form, I am not posting this video to either argue that aspect for or against.  What is shown here is past, present and future plans of public education.  In the future, I will be showing and it has already been partially shown, the system is rigged in a way that it can not be fixed.  That is right, no matter what anyone does, the system is rigged so that it can not ever be fixed.

  So throw all the money you want at public or private education,   It will not get any better.  There is only one plan that will work.  A mass exiting of adults taking their children out of this insane system of pure indoctrination.  Sending your children to be with people you do not know, to be trained in areas you have no idea about, is insane.  Public schools are teaching a new religion and yes, they do call it a new religion, but not at the media level where you will be offended.  That is only at the highest level that it's called a new religion and it's designed to replace all other religions.  That new religion has a name and it's called humanism.  Yes, that is a new religion and you are sending your children to school to become a part of this new religion.  Evidence on this coming soon.

  Any teachers offended by any of this, not to worry, we are still working on a sensitivity program for you.  The same for our elected school board.  Folk's do not send your children back into this horrible public system of deceit and corruption.   Also, take the time and do your own research.  We have asked the local school board to look at all of this information and we invited them to a public dialogue.  So far, they refuse to respond.  I would love it if all of this could be refuted and proven either wrong or somehow not correct.  But their silence is proving the information we are covering scares them because it is true and shows the fraud they are part and partial to.

  But lets be fair.  Many of them have no clue about a lot of this.  Some should.  It may very well be that their eyes are now being open and they will soon learn that there is nothing they can do about it and except maintain the deception.  I would like to think that many of them are seeing the real issues now and are starting to look for answers.  Keep your fingers crossed and pray they are on our side.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Who Controls The Children In Education? Part 2




Here is a must watch video.  It's nearly an hour long, but you need to see the entire video to see what this teacher uncovered about local, state and federal involvement in our, actually their, educational, or better put, propaganda and indoctrination system.  If you think there is any real control over the educational system at any level by our local officials?  Think again.  This woman documented more than you would ever expect.  Now the video is comparatively old, 1990's, but the situation has not gotten any better.

  What we keep hearing is that more money must be thrown at the school system to improve education.  This is a broken record and a full out scam.  This ploy has been used now for the past 100 years and it works very well.  If you listen to this teacher, sending your children to public school is a horrible idea.  Think private schools are better?  Wait til the end as that question is answered in the video.  We viewed this video in it's entirety and we were shocked with what is revealed in here.

  Teach your children at home otherwise you are going to seriously dumb them down and hurt their real potential of what your children can really become.  It's by design and it's well documented.  What we are going to continue to put out is all very well documented.  Again, for any teacher that may find any of this offensive, we are working on a sensitivity class for you, so do not worry about any of it.

  Coming up we will be showing the shocking history of indoctrination education since the early 1900's and who has been behind it all.  Yes, it has always been the plan to dumb down the population.  Those behind financing education did not want competition in their future.  They planned well and have pretty much succeeded in those plans.    

Friday, August 25, 2017

Our Present Educational Crisis, Part One, Common Core




In the above video, a mother from Arkansas destroys common core education in front of her local
officials.  Watch the video.  It's pretty shocking, especially if you do not really know what common core is about.  It's not about education folks.  It's about the full fledged dumbing down of our youth.  It makes no sense whatsoever.  And the school boards all across this country are all screaming for more money.

  Here is the bottom line on what is really going on.  For the past 100 years education has been on a very steady downhill curve.  It's by design.  Can you think of a better plan to pull more money from people than to tell them you need more money to fix issues with education?  This ploy has been used on us for the same amount of time.  The state of education is falling, we need more money to fix it.  It never gets fixed.  It continues to get worse.  We need more money to fix this.  For a century we have been throwing money at a system that just keeps getting worse.  Blame the parents.

  Over the next few months we are going to cover many areas on the present state of education in this country and in Gloucester.  That is if you want to call it education.  It's going to offend a number of people, especially those employed in the field.  But hey don't worry about that, we are working on a new sensitivity program for you so that you will no longer be offended, instead you will back everything we say.  On some early advice, we recommend a mass exiting of all students from the public school system as fast as possible.  You will fully understand why when we are done with this series.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gloucester County Supervisor’s Trees Destroyed By Tree Trimmers

I never cease to be amazed at the things that happen in this county. The following entry is contained in the Gloucester County, Virginia Utilities Department June report:

“Resolved the complaint from adjacent property owner that tree removal for replacement of Pump Station #12 with Smith & Loveless package station  encroached on their property by requiring the contractor plant replacement trees to satisfy property owner;”

I’ll be damned!! After obtaining way more land than needed, in what I and others consider nothing short of a public corruption property deal, they encroach upon the adjacent property owner’s land to make room to install a new sewer pump system.

As many of you may know; I served on the Gloucester County Public Utilities Advisory Committee for a couple of years or so. I resigned from the committee in 2016 after the committee and the Board of Supervisors approved what I and others strongly believe was a public corruption land deal between Gloucester resident Charles Kerns, Jr. and the Utilities Department. We consider the deal to be public corruption primarly because it appears evident the Gloucester County tax assessor or another person or persons with access, lowered the assessed value of Utilities Department properties and increased the assessed value of Mr. Kern’s property. Click here to read the Gloucester County public corruption land deal story: http://www.gloucestercounty-va.com/2017/03/gloucester-county-va-real-estate-tax_50.html

At-Large Supervisor John Meyer, who is also the owner of the destroyed trees, had this to say in response to an email I sent to the Board of Supervisors about the tree debacle.
.
“No less amazed than I.  The professional tree service 1) did not know where the property line was and 2) allowed the large trees they were cutting to fall across the property line, wiping out a half-dozen smaller trees in the process.
The County did hold the tree-service responsible and they did replace the trees (six-footers) at no additional cost to the County.
Next time you head down Belroi, take a look at the way Dominion Power mangled the trees between the 1st entrance to Courthouse Square and the Summerville Apartments.  Somebody on their payroll doesn’t like trees!
John”

Proper communication with the tree company and supervision of the trimming by the Utilities Department would have likely prevented the destruction of Mr. Meyer’s trees. As for Mr. Meyer’s complaint about the appearance of trees on Belroi Rd; well I guess now that it has happened on the road to his estate he can see something that has been the norm for decades. First, it is far cheaper to trim trees than to completely remove them. Second, if Dominion hated trees as Mr. Meyer suggests, they would find a way to cut all of them down instead of just trimming them. Maybe the Board of Supervisors can drum up another corrupt crony capitalism deal to get the power lines buried down Belroi Rd. Then the trees Dominion Power chopped up can grow out again, so VDOT can come along and chop them up again. Isn’t it just awful living in an aesthetically imperfect world? But then again; in a free society no individual or class of individuals has the right to determine what should or should not be considered visually appealing to other people; not even the elected class.   

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point
Kennysr61@gmail.com

Crony Capitalism
BusinessDictionary.com defines crony capitalism as; an economy that is nominally free-market, but allows for preferential regulation and other favorable government intervention based on personal relationships. In such a system, the false appearance of "pure" capitalism is publicly maintained to preserve the exclusive influence of well-connected individuals.
Sound familiar??

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Gloucester County Employee Resigns After Exposure To Carbon Monoxide

When I served on the Gloucester County Public Utilities Advisory Committee, one of the areas I found to be unacceptable was our Utilities Department’s workplace safety program, or literal lack thereof. Insuring that our employees are properly trained on workplace safety and making sure they religiously follow applicable rules, regulations and procedures established to protect their health and life should always be at the top of operational priorities. This is especially true for operations involving confined spaces in sewer pump stations and manholes due to the extremely high probability that they contain at least one of numerous deadly gases.

The Gloucester Department of Public Utilities' May report contains the following entry:

“filed incident report for Mr. Jackson’s exposure to elevated CO levels in the wet well of PS #11 on May 5th;”

After reading the entry I sent an email containing my concerns to the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator and the Director of Utilities which resulted in an email conversation with the director. After that conversation I continue to believe there is still need for improvement and believe you will too after reading the email conversation that can be found below. Mr. Jackson resigned from the Utilities Department a few weeks after the incident.

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point
Kennysr61@gmail.com

Email Conversation   
From: Kenny  
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:49 PM
To: Board of Supervisors <BOS@gloucesterva.info>; Fedors, Brent <bfedors@gloucesterva.info>; Dawson, James C. <jdawson@gloucesterva.info>
Subject: Carbon Monoxide Exposure Incident
 
Greetings,
 
The May 2017 Utility Department monthly report contains the following comment: filed incident report for Mr. Jackson’s exposure to elevated CO levels in the wet well of PS #11 on May 5th;
 
This is a very concerning, dangerous and preventable incident. Was air quality testing performed before and during Mr. Jackson’s entry into the wet well? Was ventilation performed before and during his entry? Was Mr. Jackson connected to an appropriate retrieval system? What was the source of the carbon monoxide?
 
Respectfully,
Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.

From: "Dawson, James C." <jdawson@gloucesterva.info>
To: Kenny; Board of Supervisors <BOS@gloucesterva.info>; "Fedors, Brent" <bfedors@gloucesterva.info
Cc: "Curry, Garrey, Jr." <GCurry@gloucesterva.info>
Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 1:26 PM
Subject: RE: Carbon Monoxide Exposure Incident

Mr. Hogge,
 
Thank you for your inquiry.
 
Air quality in the wet well was sampled before entry in compliance with OSHA regulations and the results are documented on the Confined Space Entry Permit for that space entry. The wet well vent fan was operating and Mr. Jackson was wearing a properly calibrated “sniffer” while he was working in the wet well. Mr. Jackson was connected to a retrieval system.
 
Mr. Jackson was pulling rags off the bar screen when the “sniffer” he was wearing alarmed for carbon monoxide (CO). He immediately began to exit the wet well. The alarm cleared before he could exit the wet well but he waited a few minutes to see if the alarm returned before resuming his pulling rags.
 
There were no known sources of CO in operation while Mr. Jackson was working in the wet well so we believe the CO came from the accumulation of rags on the bar screen which were last pulled on May 1st.
 
Mr. Jackson reported some discomfort shortly after completing the work at PS #11 on May 5th so we filed the incident report and offered to send him to a doctor on our Workers Compensation Panel of Physicians.
 
James C. Dawson, P.E.
Director, Dept. of Public Utilities

On Jul 7, 2017, at 9:02 PM, Kenny wrote:
Chris,
 
Thank you for the timely and detailed response. It is refreshing to hear that at least some OSHA confined space entry procedures are being practiced. However, your response seems to suggest Mr. Jackson may not have fully exited the wet well once the alarm sounded and that other OSHA requirements for an atmospheric alarm during an entry may not have been followed.  
 
According to OSHA regulations; if a hazardous atmosphere is detected during a confined space entry, all employees are supposed to leave the space immediately, the space is supposed to be evaluated to determine how the hazardous atmosphere developed and measures are supposed to be implemented to protect employees from the hazardous atmosphere before anyone is permitted to reenter the space.
 
Nothing in OSHA confined space requirements or guidance provides any latitude at all for any employee to unilaterally disregard an atmospheric alarm and to ignore prescribed and proven safety measures.
 
Utilization of only an exhaust fan to clear the air in wet wells and manholes is problematic to say the least. When air is drawn out of a confined space, much of the area within the space lacks circulation. Inadequate air circulation severely limits the effective removal of contaminated atmospheres within the space. When using only an exhaust fan, clean air is typically only drawn in at the hatch opening and the lethal pockets and layers of bad air outside of the confined flow path between the hatch and the exhaust fan will be left in the confined space.
 
Forced air blowers providing the proper CFM of clean air through a properly configured duct system are far safer than utilizing only exhaust fans because clean air is being forced into the space. When clean air is forced into the space it creates adequate circulation and dilutes the atmospheres, resulting in harmful gases being expelled more completely and efficiently. Utilizing a blower or combination blower and exhaust fan, instead of just an exhaust fan, will also allow the flow of clean air to be directed to best cover the area in the space where the employee will be working; therefore better protecting the employee.    
 
In your response you made it a point of stating a properly calibrated detector was used. I can’t help but wonder, by its exclusion from your response, if the detector used by Mr. Jackson was bump tested prior to being used that day. As I am sure you know, daily bump testing is not addressed in OSHA confined space entry requirements, but is highly recommended by most if not all reputable detector manufacturers. Taking a few minutes to verify a detector is working the way it is supposed to before beginning to use it each day is a small price to pay to prevent injury or death.  
 
Depending on the model, body worn detectors can certainly have their benefits in certain confined spaces, but based on personal experiences, I recommend against relying solely on body worn detectors to keep employees safe when working in active wet wells and manholes. I also recommend increased training for at least those employees designated to enter, supervise and attend confined spaces.
 
Respectfully,
Kenny Hogge, Sr.

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