Friday, September 26, 2014

Battle of the Hook, 2008 Special Video

Photo By; Chuck Thompson of TTC Media, All Rights Reserved.

Sometimes digging around areas you find little gold nuggets.  Well while we were digging around the county's special interest video archives, we found this little nugget and could not help but put it up for everyone to see.  Being big fans of the American Revolution and the great job that many within the county did putting both Battle of the Hook reenactments together and making these events happen, we had no choice but to share this.  This video is from the first event that occurred in 2008.  We have not seen anything from the 2013 event.  Which also reminds us, there is a brochure out circulating in the state of Virginia for Gloucester County tourism that lists Battle of the Hook as an event for 2014 and will be in October.  It's a very old brochure and there will not be a 2014 Battle of the Hook event for 2014.

  These events were very costly and very difficult to produce.  It take about 5 years to get groups together for this kind of event.  It takes at least one year just for the planning and staging.  Would we love to see another one?  Of course.  Can it be done yearly?  No way.  Will there ever be another one?  We are not counting on it, but would love to see it anyway.   We have a very large selection of photos from both events posted all over the net and a decent number of videos too.  We still have a lot we have not yet shared.  One day we may get to them.

American Revolution a
American Revolution a (Photo credit: Battleofthehook)

Gloucester, VA School Board Meeting Video, September 9th, 2014

Gloucester, VA Planning Commission Meeting Video Sept. 2014

Planning commission video for the month of September, 2014.  One of the many areas to watch so that you know and understand where your tax dollars are going.  If you are not keeping on eye on everything, how do you know that maybe, just maybe, you are way overpaying taxes?  It's everyone's job to stay on top of these issues.  We just try to make it a little easier.

Gloucester, VA General News For September From The Town Crier And Job Listings

Winter Homeless Shelter Efforts Continuing: The Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team is back in action and planning for the 2014-15 winter season! Last year's effort was a success with 30 homeless individuals spending at least one night in the GUEST program. Plans are to open a homeless day shelter close to the Gloucester Moose Lodge (6536 Moose Drive). To prepare the home for use, the following is needed: (1) volunteers to help with interior modifications; (2) volunteers (individuals, church members and civic organizations, etc.) to assist with staffing the facility during operational hours; (3) monetary donations always, always welcome and needed!  Call 804-803-1755 to help! 

Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society is currently seeking a part-time Bookkeeper (20 hours a week/flexible). Must have people and computer skills including QuickBooks and Excel. Send resume and salary requirements HERE.

Gloucester County: Subscribe to Gloucester Connection Employment Opportunities e-mail service and receive automatic notification of all new job vacancies as soon as they are announced. Be one of the first to know and never miss an opportunity! Available job opportunities have been posted to the Gloucester County employment website.

Featured County Jobs: Network VOIP Administrator and Specialty Instructor. For more information or to apply on-line visit:

Gloucester County Public Schools: Featured jobs include: Special Education Teacher for the Visually Impaired, Physical Therapist, Elementary School Principal, Language Arts Teacher and School Counselor. Please call 693-5300 for more information and visit the GCPS Human Resources Department website.

Gloucester, VA County Government August Departmental Reports, 2014

Gloucester, VA Board of Supervisors &School Board Joint Meeting With Notes, Sept. 2014

Open letter to Gloucester County.

In the July and first September Board of Supervisors (BOS)  meeting I spoke during the citizen comment period and gave the BOS a list of things they need to do to make Gloucester County "The Land of the Life Worth Living."

Based on the grades on the two report cards I was told that I should provide you with ways to improve your grades. 

Before I do that I have to make a comment about the September 16th joint meeting.  Does anyone on the School Administrative staff have a degree of any kind?  The staff went into joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors totally unprepared.  I know I would not have any degree if I went into a test as unprepared as the School Board Staff was last night.  With the salaries we pay can’t we get someone with a degree or at least someone that knows why they are going to a meeting as employees?  If I was a member of the School Board I would be embarrassed.

I am going to look at the second item that I am grading the BOS with:  Hold Department Heads and Supervisors to high standards and get rid of them when they break the rules.  You cannot hold lower level employees to high standards if they are not practiced at the higher levels.

There were numerous examples provided in the two September meetings.

I will start with the meeting on the 16th.  The School Board staff did a great job of not having prepared anything in my opinion with a standard answer that we will get back with you later with an answer.  Do not have any more meetings with them if they do not come prepared as it's a total waste of your time.  If they do, tell them the meeting is over and that you will develop a budget for them without their input.  You give them about $10 million less than they want one year and maybe they will get the hint they need to provide open and honest communications with you.  I do not think it will happen a second time.

In my opinion the County Staff is equally lazy and predictable and like to talk in circles for several minutes without answering your questions hoping you will forget the question or answer they are not responsible.

First, tell them you want an executive summary answer, 20 words or less, and if you need more information you will ask another question again with a short answer.  I like what Mr. Meyer said about the flood document that it needed to be a pamphlet that anyone could read quickly and not a novel as it currently exist.  Hold the staff accountable and make them reduce the document to a size anyone can read and understand; we are not paying them by the pound.  What are they trying to hide?  If it is above the 6th – 8th grade reading level they are trying to hide something.  This is the level that most documents are written that are readily used by most of the population.  Above this level it is a coffee table book that is not read.

Second, when you have employees that tell you they are not responsible for what they are presenting to you?  Tell them it is with great sorrow that you accept their resignation effective immediately?  I think it was an ms ditzy that said that; I would have to go back to the agenda to get the persons actual name.  If they are responsible for preparing the document and tell you something like that then they are very much overpaid and need to leave.

Third, when they do this;  stop the speaker telling them they are done; then ask Ms. Garton to get someone qualified to make the presentation.

If you use these suggestions I do not think you will continue to have problems getting answers and employees giving you the required respect.

I am a tax payer and you need to be held accountable to “We the People”.

I have a voter registration card and know how to use it.
Respectfully submitted by

Wayne Crews
Gloucester Point District

P.S.  The school population is increasing because of the new superintendent? What has he done for us for him to make this kind of statement and can he provide proof he is responsible?  You have to go to the meetings or watch them on TV.  More entertaining than anything else on TV in the time slot.  I think the meeting made the top Nelson rating for the night in the time slot if not it should have.

Governor McAuliffe Awards $6 Million in School Security Equipment Grants

McAuliffe speaking at Frying Pan Park in Hernd...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Governor Terry McAuliffe today awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to protect students and teachers in 100 school divisions and six regional educational programs. The grants will pay for video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades in 373 schools and other buildings.

The criteria for making the awards — developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the state Department of Criminal Justice Services — gave priority to schools most in need of modern security equipment, schools with relatively high numbers of offenses, and schools with equipment needs identified by a school security audit.

"Investing in security improvement that will protect our children while they are in school is critical towards building a new Virginia economy where students can learn and succeed," said Governor McAuliffe."These grants will result in safer environments for teaching and learning for thousands of students and educators."

The divisions and regional educational programs awarded grants, as well as the 373 schools and other buildings that will receive needed security upgrades are as follows:
·       Accomack County — $100,000 for security improvements at Kegotank Elementary, Nandua Middle and Pungoteague Elementary
·       Alexandria — $41,668 for Charles Barrett Elementary, Cora Kelly Magnet Elementary, Jefferson-Houston Elementary, John Adams Elementary and William Ramsay Elementary
·       Alleghany County — $45,444 for Alleghany High and Clifton Middle
·       Amelia County — $100,000 for Amelia Elementary, Amelia High and Amelia Middle
·       Amherst County — $93,446 for Amelon Elementary, Amherst County High, Amherst Middle, Madison Heights and Monelison Middle
·       Appomattox County — $33,360 for Appomattox County High and Appomattox County Middle
·       Arlington County — $22,240 for Gunston Middle
·       Augusta County — $56,722 for Buffalo Gap High, Riverheads High and Stuarts Draft Middle
·       Bath County — $27,708 for Bath County High and Valley Elementary
·       Bedford County – $88,785 for Boonsboro Elementary, Huddleston Elementary, Moneta Elementary, Montvale Elementary, New London Academy and Otter River Elementary
·       Botetourt County — $27,471 for Central Academy Middle and James River High
·       Bridging Communities Regional CTE Center — $19,314
·       Brunswick County — $71,280 for Brunswick High, James S. Russell Middle, Meherrin Powellton Elementary and Totaro Elementary
·       Buchanan County — $12,450 for Council High
·       Buena Vista — $3,000 for Parry McCluer High
·       Campbell County — $40,922 for Altavista Elementary, Altavista High, Brookville High, Brookville Middle, Concord Elementary, Rustburg Elementary, Rustburg Middle and Rustburg High
·       Caroline County — $81,260 for Bowling Green Elementary and Caroline Middle
·       Carroll County — $99,623 for Carroll County Education Center, Carroll County High, Carroll County Middle, Fancy Gap Elementary, Gladesboro Elementary, Gladeville Elementary, Hillsville Elementary, Laurel Elementary, Oakland Elementary and St. Paul School
·       Charlottesville — $25,760 for Charlottesville Alternative
·       Chesapeake — $99,576 for Crestwood Middle, Deep Creek High, Deep Creek Middle and Western Branch Middle
·       Chesterfield County — $86,300 for Bailey Bridge Middle, Carver Middle School, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center, Chesterfield Community High, Chesterfield Tech Center, Elizabeth B. Davis Middle, Falling Creek Middle, James River High, Lloyd C. Bird High, Manchester High, Manchester Middle, Matoaca High, Meadowbrook High, Midlothian Middle, Monacan High, Providence Middle, Robious Middle, Salem Church Middle, Swift Creek Middle, Thomas Dale High and Tomahawk Creek Middle
·       Clarke County — $67,223 for Boyce Elementary, D. G. Cooley Elementary and Johnson Williams Middle
·       Colonial Heights — $73,375 for Colonial Heights High, Lakeview Elementary, North Elementary and Tussing Elementary
·       Craig County — $28,480 for Craig County High
·       Culpeper County — $100,000 for Culpeper Middle and Floyd T. Binns Middle
·       Cumberland County — $57,514 for Cumberland Elementary, Cumberland High and Cumberland Middle
·       Danville — $99,990 for George Washington High
·       Dickenson County — $64,353 for Ervinton Elementary and Sandlick Elementary
·       Dinwiddie County — $99,292 for Dinwiddie County High, Dinwiddie County Middle, Dinwiddie Elementary, Midway Elementary, Southside Elementary, Sunnyside Elementary and Sutherland Elementary
·       Enterprise Academy/Newport News — $1,467
·       Fauquier County — $5,888 for Cedar Lee Middle, Margaret M. Pierce Elementary and Marshall Middle
·       Floyd County — $94,414 for Floyd County High
·       Fluvanna County — $20,646 for Central Elementary
·       Franklin — $57,577 for Franklin High, J.P. King Jr. Middle and S.P. Morton Elementary
·       Franklin County – $65,338 for Benjamin Franklin Middle-West and Dudley Elementary
·       Frederick County — $4,562 for Frederick County Middle, James Wood Middle, Middle School Alternative Program and Robert E. Aylor Middle
·       Giles County — $79,222 for Eastern Combined Elementary, Giles High, Macy McClaugherty School, Narrows Elementary and Narrows High
·       Gloucester County — $98,714 for Abingdon Elementary, Botetourt Elementary, Gloucester High and Petsworth Elementary
·       Grayson County — $41,755 for Baywood Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Fries School, Grayson County High/Career and Technical Center, Grayson Highlands School, Independence Elementary and Independence Middle
·       Greene County — $36,915 for William Monroe High and William Monroe Middle
·       Greensville County — $67,920 for Belfield Elementary, E.W. Wyatt Middle, Greensville County High and Greensville Elementary
·       Halifax County — $16,390 for Governor’s Career and Technical Academy and Halifax County Middle
·       Hampton — $64,891 for Benjamin Syms Middle, Bethel High, C. Alton Lindsay Middle, Hampton High, Jefferson Davis Middle and Phoebus High
·       Hanover County — $53,218 for Beaverdam Elementary, Henry Clay Elementary, Liberty Middle and Patrick Henry High
·       Harrisonburg — $37,682 for Waterman Elementary, Keister Elementary, Skyline Middle/Smithland Elementary, Spotswood Elementary and Thomas Harrison Middle
·       Henrico County — $72,880 for Glen Lea Elementary, Highland Springs Elementary and Varina Elementary
·       Henry County — $53,900 for Bassett High, Drewry Mason Elementary, Fieldale-Collinsville Middle, Laurel Park Middle and Magna Vista High
·       Hopewell — $100,000 for Carter G. Woodson Middle, Dupont Elementary and Harry E. James Elementary
·       Isle of Wight County — $33,989 for Windsor Elementary
·       Jackson River Technical Center — $63,920
·       King William County — $26,593 for Acquinton Elementary and Hamilton Holmes Middle
·       Lancaster County — $80,000 for Lancaster High, Lancaster Middle and Lancaster Primary
·       Lee County — $41,564 for Elydale Elementary, Jonesville Middle, Lee High and Pennington Middle
·       Loudoun County — $33,989 for J. Lupton Simpson Middle, Seneca Ridge Middle and Sterling Middle
·       Lunenburg County — $26,400 for Central High and Victoria Elementary
·       Lynchburg — $99,911 for Linkhorne Middle and Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle
·       Manassas — $94,763 for George Carr Round Elementary, Grace E. Metz Middle, Mayfield Intermediate and Osbourn High
·       Martinsville — $57,661 for Albert Harris Elementary, Clearview Early Learning Center, Martinsville High and Martinsville Middle
·       Mathews County — $1,232 for Mathews High and Thomas Hunter Middle
·       Middlesex County — $94,414 for Middlesex High
·       Middle Peninsula Regional Alternative – $4,428
·       Montgomery County — $100,000 for Blacksburg Middle, Christiansburg High, Christiansburg Middle and Eastern Montgomery High
·       New Horizons Regional Technical Center — $94,414 for Woodside Lane Campus
·       New Kent County — $62,494 for George Watkins Elementary, New Kent Elementary, New Kent High and New Kent Middle
·       Newport News — $17,523 for Point Option Alternative, Booker T. Washington Middle, Crittenden Middle, Denbigh High, Ethel M. Gildersleeve Middle, Heritage High, Homer L. Hines Middle, Huntington Middle, J.M. Dozier Middle, Mary Passage Middle, Menchville High and Woodside High
·       Norfolk — $90,300 for Bay View Elementary, Chesterfield Academy Elementary, Granby Elementary, Ingleside Elementary, Jacox Elementary, Larrymore Elementary, Lindenwood Elementary, Little Creek Elementary, Mary Calcott Elementary, Norview Elementary, Oceanair Elementary, P.B. Young Sr. Elementary, Poplar Halls Elementary, Sewells Point Elementary, Sherwood Forest Elementary, St. Helena Elementary, Suburban Park Elementary, Tarrallton Elementary and Tidewater Park Elementary
·       Norton — $78,568 for John I. Burton High
·       Page County — $100,000 for Luray High, Luray Middle, Page County High and Page County Middle
·       Patrick County — $20,470 for Blue Ridge Elementary, Meadows of Dan Elementary, Patrick County High and Patrick Springs Elementary
·       Petersburg — $79,957 for Peabody Middle, Petersburg High and Vernon Johns Jr. High
·       Pittsylvania County — $86,948 for Chatham High, Dan River High, Dan River Middle, Gretna High, Gretna Middle, Kentuck Elementary, Stony Mill Elementary and Tunstall High
·       Pittsylvania Regional Alternative Center — $1,120
·       Poquoson — $43,593 for Poquoson Elementary, Poquoson High, Poquoson Middle and Poquoson Primary
·       Portsmouth — $28,156 for Churchland Academy, Churchland High, Churchland Middle, Cradock Middle, I.C. Norcom High, Victory Elementary, William E. Waters Middle and Woodrow Wilson High
·       Powhatan County — $24,768 for Powhatan Elementary
·       Prince Edward County — $79,029 for Career and Technical School, Prince Edward County Elementary, Prince Edward County High and Prince Edward County Middle
·       Prince George County — $79,680 for N.B. Clements Jr. High and Prince George High
·       Prince William County — $24,057 for Belmont Elementary and Woodbridge High
·       Pulaski County — $58,436 for Dublin Middle, Pulaski Elementary and Pulaski Middle
·       Radford — $35,200 for McHarg Elementary and Radford High
·       Rappahannock County — $13,488 for Rappahannock County Elementary and Rappahannock County High
·       Richmond — $71,474 for Bellevue Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary, G.H. Reid Elementary, George Mason Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary, Ginter Park Elementary, J.E.B. Stuart Elementary, James H. Blackwell Elementary, Mary Munford Elementary and Southampton Elementary
·       Richmond County — $63,108 for Rappahannock High
·       Roanoke — $67,072 for Fairview Elementary, James Madison Middle and Lincoln Terrace Elementary
·       Roanoke County — $94,414 for Northside High and Northside Middle
·       Rockbridge County — $62,939 for Central Elementary, Mountain View Elementary and Natural Bridge Elementary
·       Rockingham County — $38,948 for Montevideo Middle, Spotswood High, Turner Ashby High and Wilbur S. Pence Middle
·       Russell County — $79,970 for Honaker High, Lebanon Elementary, Lebanon High and Lebanon Middle
·       Scott County — $31,331 for Dungannon Intermediate, Gate City Middle, Rye Cove High and Twin Springs High
·       Shenandoah County — $54,589 for Ashby-Lee Elementary, Central High, Sandy Hook Elementary, Triplett Business and Technical and W. W. Robinson Elementary
·       Smyth County — $26,370 for Marion Senior High
·       Southampton County — $38,863 for Fresh Start Center, Meherrin Elementary and Nottoway Elementary
·       Spotsylvania County — $12,322 for Battlefield Middle, Post Oak Middle and Spotswood Elementary
·       Stafford County — $100,000 for Brooke Point High, Colonial Forge High, Mountain View High and Stafford Senior High
·       Staunton — $99,288 for Robert E. Lee High and Staunton City Preschool Programs
·       Suffolk — $72,090 for John Yeates Middle
·       Sussex County — $31,370 for Sussex Central High and Sussex Central Middle
·       Tazewell County — $99,365 for Tazewell County Career and Technical Center and Tazewell High
·       Virginia Beach — $62,483 for Holland Elementary, Independence Middle, Lynnhaven Middle, Parkway Elementary and White Oaks Elementary
·       Waynesboro — $47,207 for Westwood Hills Elementary
·       Westmoreland County — $8,800 for Montrose Middle and Washington and Lee High
·       West Point — $49,600 West Point Elementary and West Point Middle
·       Williamsburg-James City County — $6,542 for Berkeley Middle
·       Winchester — $83,805 for Daniel Morgan Middle, Douglas Community Learning Center and John Handley High
·       Wise County — $85,166 for Coeburn Middle, Coeburn Primary, J.W. Adams Combined, Powell Valley Primary and Wise Primary
·       York County — $95,884 for Bethel Manor Elementary, Dare Elementary, Grafton Bethel Elementary, Seaford Elementary and Yorktown Elementary
“Schools today must plan for a wide range of scenarios, including armed intruders, natural disasters and the accidents that inevitably occur in even the safest schools,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “The enhancements and systems supported by this grant program will help our schools meet this challenge and will result in safer environments for students and staff.” 

The School Security Equipment Grant program was established by the 2013 General Assembly in the aftermath of the December 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

The 2013 legislature directed the Virginia Public School Authority to issue bonds to fund $6 million in competitive grants statewide in both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years for the purchase and installation of school security equipment. The 2014 General Assembly subsequently authorized an additional $6 million grant competition in 2015-2016.

The first round of grants announced in September 2013 helped pay for new security systems and upgrades in 456 schools and other educational facilities.

School divisions and regional educational programs were invited in June to apply for the second round of grants. The largest grant a school division may receive under the program is $100,000 and a local match of 25 percent is required of most divisions.

To encourage the installation of equipment and systems during the summer months and to expedite the spend-down of the grant funds, school divisions and regional programs were allowed to apply for grants to reimburse eligible expenditures incurred on or after May 22, 2014.