Sunday, October 4, 2015

Yorktown Beach Flooding: October 3rd, 2015

On Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 we went out and hit the beaches of Gloucester Point and Yorktown, Virginia to take a number of pictures to show the flooding or, shall we say sea level rise, hitting our shores.  Above is a slideshow of various areas around the Yorktown River Walk area and include street flooding during the high tide.  When we first went over to the area, there was some standing water in the road but as the tide came in so did a lot of water that caused some issues for the various vehicles that decided to tempt their luck and drive through the waters on the road.  You can see what we are talking about at towards the end of the slideshow.  We also played around with some of our camera features which is why some of the pictures seem off color compared to the majority.

Gloucester Point Beach Flooding: October Hurricane 2015

Over the weekend, October 3rd and 4th, 2015, the road going down to the Gloucester Point Beach has been closed to traffic.  Boats were also restricted and could not use the public access points.  There was considerable flooding all along the beach and parking areas as well as the main road.  At one point during high tide, the main road itself was under water.  It resided very quickly as the tide went out but nevertheless it was pretty much a mess.  We have taken a number of photos both here at the Gloucester Point Beach as well as at Yorktown showing how high the waters came up.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gloucester, VA: Can We Trust The School Board? Failed Utopia

Can we trust the school board?  You may need to watch this video several times over and really listen to what John Hutchinson is actually saying and not what you may think he may be saying because when you first hear him you are likely to get the wrong message.  John Hutchinson appears to be addressing the issue of a Homeland Security audit.  On the one had he is.  On the other hand, it's not anywhere near as comprehensive as you may have been led to believe.  It's a very clever tactic used to send you the wrong information and making you think that the School Board has done everything in their power to ensure the safety of the students, teachers and staff.  We are going to show you that this may not be the case and give you the proper tools to figure it out for yourself.  Let's start with a video on body language.

Now let's go back to the joint meeting between the school board and the board of supervisors.  Let's discuss John Hutchinson's location of his hands when he was talking about the Homeland Security evaluation.  His one hand was in his pocket.  If you will also look again at how his head was dodging back and forth, he did not appear to be actually looking at anyone but instead below the level of anyone before him.  What did you just see in the video here on body language?  I am not suggesting he was lying.  I am suggesting that he may have been trying to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone listening.  Again, listen to what John Hutchinson says.  The security evaluation was a transportation evaluation.

  That means John Hutchinson was talking about the security for the bus system where Gloucester received high marks and why John did not want to get into specifics is because that would have revealed the slight of hand he just pulled in our opinion.  That is a trust issue.

  So does Page Middle school meet Homeland Security guidelines for safety?  Is there such a thing as guidelines for safety from Homeland Security?  Yes there are actual guidelines for safety and we have those guidelines and we are going to share them with everyone here reading this.  You can make up your own mind after doing the proper research whether or not the school board has done due diligence in ensuring the safety of the students.  The guidelines are 317 pages long and very comprehensive and well done.  It's a very impressive document.  At the end of the book is a checklist that you can take with you and conduct your own evaluation.  What we see is failure after failure after failure here to meet most of those guidelines.

  What will they argue back on this?  The Homeland Security guidelines are just that.  Guidelines.  As we understand how the federal government works, if they are mandatory, then the federal government would have to fund each project.  So guidelines are setup instead allowing states and localities to determine what the priorities should be.

Homeland Security Building Recommendations 

So above is the Homeland Security guidelines for schools.  Look through it and learn what those guidelines are and then take a copy of the checklist to Page Middle school and see how it stacks up.  We can tell you that one local resident pounded on the school board about these issues and even provided the school board with the exact information above before Page Middle school was constructed.  The School Board ignored these recommendations and that you can easily prove to yourself.

  To make it easier for you we have made a separate checklist that you can download for free from our slideshare site.  It's the same checklist as in the above Homeland Security book we just made it easier to print out for you because we want you to see all of this for yourself.

Homeland Security Building Design Recommendations Checklist 

We apologize for the annoying auto play of the Bos, School Board, meeting video as it is out of our control and the default option from the county that can not be changed even though it shows as an option.  We did not choose the auto play option which means it's supposed to be off.  Technical difficulties the county needs to address.  This is only one area in that video from the BoS/School Board where we have a lot of issues.  More stories coming very soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gloucester High School's Untold Transgender Issues

English: A purple transgender ♀+♂=⚧ symbol sur...
English: A purple transgender ♀+♂=⚧ symbol surrounded by a triangle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone is sick of the story about Gavin and her fight to use the male restrooms at the Gloucester, VA High School.  We feel pretty much the same way, but we have noticed that mainstream media continues to fail to bring various aspects of this story to light for readers which is why so many are sick of reading about this fight.

  Today we are speaking for those who can not speak for themselves.  The other side of the story no one else wants to publish nor dares too.

  Has anyone noticed that the teachers and staff at the Gloucester High School have not been interviewed for their opinions on this issue?  Let's look at some concepts here.  If teachers and staff should have to use the same restrooms as the students then having a transgender walk in while one of them are in there can represent a real issue that is simply being ignored by the press and the ACLU.  What about the rights of any adults that may need to use the restrooms of the school?  You are dealing with a minor in this situation and if the transgender student has an issue with that adult all kinds of accusations can fly creating havoc.  Of course this can happen without transgender students but is much less likely and there are other bathrooms for teachers and staff.  However, teachers and staff still need to monitor these areas for potential trouble.

  Now you will not get any of the opinions from any of the teachers or staff of the school unless it supports the issue.  Anyone giving the perceived wrong opinion is likely to be fired or come under heavy media scrutiny and potentially sued.

  It is the obligation of those charged with deciding this issue in maintaining the moral factor for all students and not trying to figure out the questions of some perceived rights of some few across the nation.  It does not matter what other students may think of the issue and whether some come out and say they have no issues with the situation as they are minors.  It is our obligation to make many decisions for minors or they would "NOT" be minors would they?  Let's look at it another way.  As a male one may not care if the females want to come into the bathroom while a male is in there.  But, would the female students want a male walking in on them?  Not likely.  Males may have motives for their seemingly liberal answers.

  The precedence that could be made here is far reaching.  If Gavin is allowed to use the male students restrooms then what is to stop any female student going into the male students restroom with a male?  Here is the claim that can be made if she is caught.  She is a transgender male who is gay and went into the male's restroom with her gay male boyfriend.  Is Gavin a gay male transgender?  That question is not being brought up.   Again let's look at the idea as though this is a member of the staff at the school.  A female janitor who wants to clean the male students restrooms while the males are in there.  The female janitor's explanation is that she is a transgender male.  What is the decision now?  How is this different?  Do we make the same provisions for cross dressers?  Could start a real trend.

  There is a similar case right now in Texas.  A male who claims he is a female and wants to use the female student's locker room.  Oh but that is somehow different?  No it isn't.  It's morally wrong and the mainstream press not addressing these issues is equally morally wrong.  It is all a part of tearing down the moral fabric of this and every other country across the world.

  If Gavin can not use the men's restroom at Walmart or Lowes or any of the local restaurants then why should the school be any different?  It isn't.

This fight is nowhere over and it is best that people do get involved in this fight until it is finally put to rest.  Are we going to continue to allow the few to dominate the many on supposed conceptual arguments of rights?  Do we ignore the morals of this nation?  It is an adult's argument to begin with.  Minor's need to be protected here.  And how many people notice that every picture of Gavin, she is always wearing earrings?  Yes some males have earrings but most males that have earrings usually only have one ear pierced not both.  Gavin has both pierced and another facial piercing as well.  I am not buying her story.   The word heard on the street which we can not verify is that Gavin's parents are betting on receiving a lot of money from the lawsuits here so is that the main incentive?  It is also heard that they have plenty of plans on how they want to spend all of that money.   

Gloucester, VA Public Library Debate Over Leasing's High Costs

Public libraries are a key element in promoting literacy and intellect, building a community and providing free and open access to a vast amount of information the public would otherwise face challenge and expense in obtaining. Gloucestercurrently has two public libraries where the community may access only a small portion of information actually available. The quantity of information contained in public libraries is highly dependent on local community financial investment. Upon glancing at the amount of money Gloucester annually invests in our public libraries, it is evident their importance to the community is realized by our elected leaders. Unfortunately upon a closer look at how the money is actually spent it becomes clearly evident the taxpayers are getting very little return on their investment. In fact, we are throwing away several million dollars to lease library spaces instead of owning them.
This year the Board of Supervisors (BOS) budgeted $996,982 to operate our two public libraries. $577,630 is for salaries and benefits and $253,226 for rent, leaving only $166,126 for library operations. The larger of our two libraries is located in the MainStreet Center and owned by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust (GMSPT). Rental of this 24,000 square foot library space initially began in 2004 for a period of 10 years, with four five year renewal options for up to a total of 30 years. The BOS renewed the lease for five more years in 2013 which became effective in 2014. This year we will pay the GMSPT approximately $190,000 in lease associated payments to rent the library and among other things, to pay 23% of the property tax charged on the entire Main Street Center. Our second library, located in the York River Crossing Shopping Center, is rented to Gloucester under a similar lease agreement. This year the People will pay approximately $63,000 in lease associated payments for this 3,916 square ft. library space.
Should Gloucester continue leasing the Main Street library for the full 30 years, the taxpayers will have paid the GMSPT close to $6 million in rent. A new 24,000 square foot library constructed at $2.50 per square ft. would cost the taxpayers approximately $6 million and would convert the annual rent obligation from $190,000, to an annual library capital improvement fund contribution of approximately $50,000; rendering an eventual annual savings of at least $140,000. Similar, but smaller scale results could also be realized by constructing a second library instead of continuing to rent. Over the years Gloucester’s administration and elected leaders have made some deals and decisions that have proven to be contrary to the long term financial interests of the overall community. Just think, if the earlier decision makers had truly acted in the community’s best interest, they would have built a new library and the benefits and savings of such would be enjoyed financially stress free today. Unfortunately, we now appear to be locked into a carefully designed financial cycle that will be very hard to break without a significant cash windfall, as we currently cannot afford to rent and build a new library at the same time. The current BOS has an obligation to address this issue and initiate a process that will result in construction of the larger of two new libraries within the next six years, with construction of a satellite branch beginning not far behind. Hopefully the current BOS becomes the Board that did what was best for the entire Gloucester community; otherwise we will just keep paying more for library rent than for information quantity and quality.
Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.

The Constitution’s Week in Review – 11 Sep 15

4th Amendment.

The ACLU and I don’t agree on a lot of issues, but here’s one where we are of like mind: civil asset forfeiture. The Oklahoma ACLU studied the civil asset forfeiture records for counties lying adjacent to Interstate 40, which sort of bisects the state East to West, and found that of $6 Million in assets seized from 2009 to 2014, only about $2 Million came from people eventually charged with a crime; $4 Million came from people never charged with anything.

Operating under the belief that no one these days carries large amounts of cash unless they have engaged in or plan criminal activity, “policing for profit,” as it is sometimes called (another sheriff called it “pennies from heaven”) is a clear affront to 4th Amendment protections against warrantless search and seizure.

An attempt in Virginia this year to tighten the rules and provide more protections for citizens failed to pass. In Oklahoma, one brave Republican State Senator has introduced legislation to make this less lucrative (for instance: all proceeds go to the general fund rather than to the jurisdiction making the seizure) and, predictably, law enforcement agencies are fighting it hard, as they did in Virginia. Here’s a great rundown on the issue, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.

Most people seem to take the position that this doesn’t affect them since they would never carry large sums of money, not realizing that “asset” includes more than mere cash; vehicles, homes and other property is also routinely seized. Everyone and anyone could be affected by this. If this bothers you, you know who to talk with.

Article 2 Presidential Powers.

I’m giving a presentation on Monday to a local Republican Women’s Club. They asked me to speak on Presidential Executive Orders. As if on que, President Obama issues anothercontroversial one, this time ordering paid sick leave for all federal contractor personnel. Apparently the President believes he has the statutory authority to unilaterally change the conditions for federal contracts, just not during his term of office. He has set this E.O. up so it takes effect after his predecessor takes office in 2017. Nice. I wonder if the new guy (gal?) will leave this in place?

I’m not going to go into any detail here on Executive Orders, I’ll save that for Monday’s presentation and maybe a future Constitutional Corner – it is rather complicated. But this order of President Obama may end up like Executive Order 12954, issued by President Clinton in 1995. Clinton attempted to stop the federal government from contracting with organizations that had strike-breakers on their payrolls. A federal appeals court invalidated that order because it conflicted with the National Labor Relations Act. A second order of Clinton’s, E.O. 13155, was also overturned. This one is going to cost the government a lot more money, we’ll see if Congress lets it ride. The most famous failed Executive Order was Harry Truman’s attempt to take over America’s steel mills. Shot down by the Supreme Court itself.

Transparency in the Judiciary.

The Supreme Court has placed themselves under great scrutiny of late, due largely to a series of questionable opinions, which have caused some (including moi) to re-examine our presumed “law of the land” doctrine. Another factor which often places our court system in an unfavorable light, is the fairly common prohibition of cameras in the courtroom. The rule makes it possible for courtroom artists to make a living, but otherwise tends to cloud the court in an aura of secrecy and non-transparency. Sure, most trials and hearings are open to the public, but who wants to take the time to attend unless you know someone involved in the case? And maybe there won’t be room if you get there late. Why not be able to watch from the comfort of your own home, with beer and chips at hand?

Every few years the prohibition of TV cameras during Supreme Court proceedings returns to the headlines and, of course, the media wants the proceedings open to photography of all kinds (did you know you can download audio recordings of Supreme Court oral arguments?). The Court, naturally, wants to retain a sense of decorum and avoid the circus atmosphere that accompanies trials or hearings with wide public interest (i.e., O.J. Simpson); but fourteen federal trial courts recently completed a four year study of the effect of video cameras, it will be interesting to what the study concludes.

What caused me to mention all this, however, was not the Supreme Court issue, but ratherthis article about the alleged questionable behavior of a municipal court judge in Georgia, caught by a hidden camera. I don’t attend trials or hearings as a practice, much too busy for that; and I’ve not been a defendant in one since 1968 (traffic court – boy that seems a long time ago), so I can’t say whether the judge’s behavior here was especially unusual or unprofessional. But here’s a case where a camera might have done some good in bringing questionable performance to light.

That’s all for now. We had a great time this morning on WFYL radio discussing “Kim Davis and the Rule of Law; we actually had two, count ‘em, two call-ins. Hope you joined us on “Listen Live.” If you didn’t, the podcast should be up on the website soon.

Time is fleeting to join us on Constitution Day to hear Dr. Herb Titus give us his view of the future effects of Obergefell v. Hodges. Herb is a great speaker, you won’t be disappointed. Go to and sign up for Lessons in Liberty.

Attendance is also climbing for my first-ever “youth-only” Constitution Seminar (19 September), held in partnership with Constituting America. There is still room, but the class looks like it might actually fill. Don’t delay if you know any local ( to Tidewater Virginia) 14-18 year olds who need to learn their “Supreme Law of the Land.”

Gary Porter
Executive Director

Governor McAuliffe Announces Decrease in Virginia Unemployment Rate

August was 17th consecutive month of year over year employment growth

Governor McAuliffe announced today that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage point in August to 4.5 percent, the second consecutive monthly decline. At 4.5 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is at its lowest level since September 2008 when it was 4.3 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which was down 0.2 percentage point in August to 5.1 percent.

The average weekly wage for private employers was $940.55 in August, 7.6 percent above a year ago.

“We are seeing tangible results from our work to build a new Virginia economy by fostering growth at Virginia businesses around the Commonwealth and attracting new, high-growth industries,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The new jobs numbers demonstrate continued progress creating good-paying jobs all across Virginia. This is great news, but with federal shutdowns, sequestration and budget battles looming, we still have much work to do to diversify our economy and chart a course for sustainable growth well into the future.”

“The private sector continues to lead the rebound of Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “This is especially good news as the Commonwealth needs robust private sector job growth in order to diversify our sources of prosperity.”

From August of 2014 to August of 2015, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 41,100 jobs. Over the year, employment grew 1.1 percent. For the past three months, over-the-year employment growth has exceeded 1.0 percent. Over-the-year August job gains were recorded by both the private sector, which grew by 37,200 jobs, and the public sector, which grew by 3,900 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 9 of the 11 major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Page Middle School Designed Backward

Charles Records Recent Statement To Us:  " I am a Professional Engineer and Gloucester County Public Schools has employeed dozens of other Professional Engineers, licensed by theCommonwealth of Virginia, to design this project. As a Professional Engineer, our singular duty is to protect the Life, Safety, Health and Welfare of the General Public and it is not a duty I or any other Professional Engineer takes lightly. It is a slap in the face to suggest otherwise."

I am not sure if Charles Records was taking responsibility with the above statement but either way I find it funny as all get out and I am going to explain why in this article.  The school was designed backward from everything we are looking at.  Let me explain this in detail here and show some more serious issues because of this backward design.

  From what we remember of the information about the design of this school Dr Ben Kiser traveled to Finland where he did some studies of their school designs and was apparently so impressed for some reason he wanted to build the same type of school here.  So what we need to do is actually look at the reason why anyone would want to copy FInland's model, especially when you take into consideration that Finland is a very cold country.  Much colder there than it gets here.  Summers as I understand it get into the 70's.

  But there like here, winter months have much shorter days than summer does.  So the objective is to maximize sunlight for several reasons.  One of many reasons for maximizing sunlight is for mental health.  Depression due to a lack of sunlight is a common issue in Finland.  It is not as bad here but has merit all the same.  The other is energy savings.  By maximizing sunlight, you can cut back on heating costs.  Heating is not as expensive as cooling.

  So how do you maximize sunlight?  You build your structures with a lot of glass.  You want that glass on the southern side to capture the maximum amount of sunlight as possible throughout the day.  Where is the majority of the glass in Page Middle School?  It's ............ on the northern and eastern side of the building.   It minimizes the amount of sunlight, not maximizes it.  Just like seen in the picture above.  The picture above was taken at about 3:00 PM in the beginning of September the 3rd to be exact.  Now come December through March, where we have the shortest days of the year, this is going to be a dark area instead of filled with light the way they are built in Finland.

  In Finland, during the warm months, their structures have canopies or awnings to block excessive sunlight from coming in to minimize their cooling expenses.  Page Middle School lacks these awnings, but since the glass is on the northern side, it does not need them as it is not maximizing the sunlight.  So what we are now doing is trying to heat and cool a structure that maximizes expenses and minimizes savings when it should be doing just the opposite.

  This creates a number of other issues that equally maximizes our expenses and minimizes savings.  As we already pointed out the maximum amount of sunlight is on the southern side of a structure.  The northern side has the least amount of sunlight coming in.  Again what does that mean?  With Page being over 2 stories high, shadows are maximized on the northern side of the building.  So what?  During the cold months the courtyards in the back of the school as well as the parking lot where the buses come and go is getting the least amount of sunlight which means it gets the maximum amount of freezing time.

  When little Johnny and Sally are getting off the buses or on the buses, this is the area with the maximum amount of frozen ground and potential ice problems.  The front of Page which gets the maximum amount of southern sun will be the safest areas to walk.  But that is not where the majority of the students will be coming and going.  The majority will be subject to the worst areas of the property.  This also means that the school board will have to use more chemicals to keep the areas free of ice and snow.  Anyone know what those chemicals do to concrete and asphalt?  It deteriorates them at a very accelerated rate.

Again as seen in the above picture, the maximum amount of sun is not being produced as the design is backward.  This is the northern side of Page Middle School.  Picture taken from the second floor looking out into one of the courtyards.

  During the short months, this will be the shadow view of about 11:00 AM.  The glass on that back north western corner is just not producing any sunlight at all for the open design.  Instead it maximizes cold which maximizes costs and minimizes comfort of the students, teachers, and staff as well as minimizes savings.

And the lack of a drop ceiling is yet another question as to why anyone would want this?  The purpose of a drop ceiling is to minimize heating and cooling expenses.  Instead we have wide open ceilings that maximizes costs and sacrifices comfort for everyone.  Is it more appealing?  That is up to the individual to consider.

The mantra we keep hearing from the school board is that it is now all water under the bridge and we need to be proud of this new school.  The more we continue to look at it the more we see it as the "THE GREAT MONUMENT TO STUPIDITY."

  Now if Charles Records has a reason why the design of the school is the way it is and how it is saving us money instead of costing us more money than it should we would love to hear it and we will be happy to publish it.   To us it looks like it was designed backward which is costing us all a lot more than it should at so many levels.  We look forward to hearing from Charles Records on this or anyone else who has sound reasons for this design.

  Let us make one thing very clear.  As far as construction goes we have no issues with what we have seen so far.  From the looks of it, Oyster Point Construction Company, did an outstanding job with the designs they had to work with.  They should be commended for the quality of the work.  We are not questioning any area of the construction.  We are questioning a great deal of the design work.  We do not doubt that safety was taken into consideration as far as implementing the design work.  It's the many areas where the design simply is not appropriate for a Middle School and its students, teachers and staff, or where costs are concerned and we have seen a number of areas where there are, in our opinion, final design flaws that need to be addressed right away with some we have only reported to county authorities.  And with that said, this is why we call Page Middle School, The Great Monument To Stupidity.

  We are nowhere near done with our reports on issues we see and keep hearing about regarding Page Middle School.