Corridor H and the new Congressional Chair lineup
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 10, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Interesting lineup on the new Congressional leadership that will take over in January and will control the purse or be able to control the future of Corridor H. Looks like Corridor H will have a bright future in the Congress at least for the next two years...

Senate: Pro:

Appropriations Committee Chairman: Robert C. Byrd, WV. "If it isn't locked, cemented or anchored in DC, it moves to WV".

Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair: Dan Inouye, HI: Supporter of major projects and personal friend of Robert C. Byrd

Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chair: Joseph Lieberman, CT: WV leaders and many in Congress, as well as many leaders in Homeland Security view Corridor H as the evacuation gateway for Washington DC. Expect this angle to be played to force VDOT to include it in the plans.

Senate: Con:

Budget Committe Chair: Kent Conrad, ND. Strong fiscal responsibility advocate

House:

Appropriations: David Obey, WI: Libertarian-type Democrat but backer of environmental, health insurance and worker rights.

Transportation and Infrastructure: James Oberstar, MN. Avid proponent of highway projects and every type of infrastructure improvement.

Homeland Security: Bennie Thompson, MS: Supports government and construction programs that benefit economically disadvantaged populations.
Roger Z
November 10, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

Appropriations Committee Chairman: Robert C. Byrd, WV. "If it isn't locked, cemented or anchored in DC, it moves to WV".





Hah! That reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy's description of taking his family on vacation to Hawaii! Generally, I'm pretty certain the Democrats wouldn't tamper much with ARC, though I'm not really enthusiastic about ARC's road building agenda. One of the odd quirks of American politics is how difficult it is to build highways where they're needed (eg, around burgeoning cities) and how easy it is to build them in areas that are supposedly "environmentally sensitive" (eg, the southern Apps). Since working with ED back at Tech, I'm convinced the ARC won't be satisfied until they reduce the entire Appalachian range to a 10x10 mile grid of highways. Someone there needs to start reconsidering their economic growth strategy for the Apps.
dmh
November 10, 2006
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
127 posts
Among the few things we can be certain about after Tuesday is that Corridor H will now be finished. Sen. Byrd will assure the funding stream to finish the few remaining segments. I can't wait to make my 2 1/4 hour trip from Arlington to my house in Canaan.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 10, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Two weeks ago I made it from Dupont Circle to my door at Snowshoe in three hours, forty five minutes. Finally it breaks four hours. If Corridor H was built as an extension of I-66, it would be less than 3.5 hours door-to-door. Will the next project be bypass highways around Moorefield and Petersburg?
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
dmh
November 10, 2006
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
127 posts
Construction is underway on the Moorefield-Forman, the first part of the route that will avoid both Moorefield and Petersburg. The next segment due to commense next year, Forman to Bismark, will complete CH from Wardensville to Bismark. The Bismark to Davis road is flat, straight, and depending on weather/police conditions, a road where 70MPH is very safe. I am not convinced we will soon see the Wardensville-I66 connector built but then again, Sen. Byrd is sitting in the cats bird seat.
bawalker
November 10, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Being a resident of this area and seeing the evacuation route over-hyped, lied about, and over-played, I don't for see the Wardensville segment to VA ever to be built sooner than the next 25 years. In fact just about all of the out of staters who are in this area, laugh at the notion that Hardy County is a focal point for evacuations. One lady who was a DC/MD native for 45 years who now lives here said the sole fact that there isn't cell service, walmarts, subways, or even lit sidewalks will keep the DC social yuppies from ever coming here and or staying here en-mass. Hey, those were her words.

In fact a few others I have talked too in regards to the dams up here, have told me that if there was ever an attack on DC, those that weren't killed in the attack, or weren't killed trampling each other to death would deflect off of the 'north mountain barrier' by taking I-81 N/S after piling off of I-66. In fact me and that lady had a pretty good chat with her DC-insight to if there was ever an evacuation her thoughts are that those in the Baltimore area would be high tailing it out on 95 N & 70 W, possibly taking US340 south into the Charlestown region, only to take Rt 7 west. Those in the Potomac, MD area would probably hit up the same routes as the Baltimore crowd.

For the western DC suburbs and residents, people will start packing I-66 W, but many will start filtering out before they get to I-81 by taking routes like 522 n/s at Front Royal, or even taking US 17 n/s at the Warrenton exits. If 81 grows to 6 lanes as proposed, that would double capacity and people will be heading n/s and filling up towns like winchester, newmarket, harrisonburg, martinsburg, roanoke, etc. Then for the eastern DC/southern DC crowds there is the I-95 south routes to Richmond before hitting I64 W.

Like it or not, no more than a thousand or so people would come through Wardensville, and most of them would probably be everyone reading this and family. Those who know how to get to Canaan, who have second homes up there, etc. The general panicing stompeding mass of people will take Rt 50 W before they take CH simply because CH doesn't and more likely won't ever get beyond the WV line. CH may be nice and cozy to drive on, at the moment it's nothing more than a financially bloated inter-county connector. When it's 'finished' in that either Byrd croaks (darn, hasn't happened yet) or VA kicks him in the nads for trying to push it in VA, it'll be nothing more than a tri-billion dollar, under-utilized highway allowing mostly residents in the panhandle to go back and forth across the panhandle.

On the VA side, there is far more resistance to highway projects than there is on the WV side. Heck, Winchester, VA has been trying for like 15 years to do an eastern loop of Rt 37 around Winchester but it's a project that is virtually dead, no matter how bad officials want it. The homes/businesses and land it would consume/displace is far too great. Heck numerous groups have pretty good leeway in their opposition to widening of 81 and have stonewalled it sending it back to the drawing board too many times. And to think a roadway of about 15 miles that they don't want, costing billions cutting mountainous areas, coming close if not trying to cut through Bell Grove Plantation, you'd have residents out there in arms with shotguns peppering every supporter of the highway.

The idea of it being an extension of I-66 is essentially dead due to the construction of the currently completed sections. Such as having non-exit turn offs/entrances on the highway to personal property which isn't allowed on interstates. *IF* going into VA ever came to fruition, it would take a southern turn and probably adjoin 81 somewhere around the Toms Brook area, if not even further south closer to Woodstock. Any place it comes to join near 81 will be a fight as land developers have sold land and housing developments have sprung up creating vastly more people that the highway would adversely affect.
Roger Z
November 10, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
You should see the plan for I-71, or I-79, or whatever they're calling it these days, connecting Mount Airy, NC up into Roanoke. It's got about as many turns as Route 50 from Romney to Scherr. Only this is supposedly an interstate, going across the Piedmont.
bawalker
November 11, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I-79 is from PA to WV and I-71 is from Kentucky to Ohio.
Roy
November 11, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I think he means I-77. It connects I-81 to Charlotte and bypasses Mt. Airy. Or are they building a direct route between Roanoke and Mt. Airy?
dmh
November 11, 2006
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
127 posts
bawalker, I appreciate your insights about local feelings about CH but I don't think you understand the appropriations process. Sen. Byrd is now the chairman of the most powerful committee in the Senate. Every single Senator, including those from Virginia, will come hat in hand to the august senior Senator, asking for funding for their particular pet project. Now I don't know if Sen. Byrd is intent on funding the road from 66/81 or not, but if he is, no one will stand in his way. The Virginia delegation and Gov. Kaine will suddenly see the wisdom of build the extensioni to CH. It is simply a question of whether Byrd wants it at this point.

Evacutation routes are entirely beside the point, although I do disagree with you and your former DC friend. In fact there would be a substantial number of evactuees from DC to WV, but the chances of such a catostrophic event is highly unlikely to ever occur. The greater need its that during the next 25 years or so more and more people in this area will relocated to eastern WV. When I moved here 25 years ago no one in their right mind would think of Manassas and Gainsville as bedroom communities for DC. In 25 years, Wardensville will be a bedroom community for Manassas and Front Royal.
bawalker
November 11, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
This is exactly why my personal goal is like that of a wealthy man (grew up as a local, lives in NY) originally from this area. Someone who has bought thousands of acres on mountains, along the roadways, and is simply doing nothing more than renting it to farmers. I know this man and he's stated many times, he abhors development and aims to keep as much development and growth out by buying land and kicking developers off if it.

As my business grows and affords such items, I really would like to continue buying as much land as possible and leaving as secluded wooded land and fields. Slowing the rate of growth to a proverbial crawl. I think it's a worthy goal to buy 10,000 acres of land in my lifetime and simply give it to my future children as inheritence. I'd be laughing all the way to the grave knowing that if I had 10,000 acres of land that developers wanted, but couldn't touch.

Too many locals are already realizing how much they regret selling off land to developers to build developments (which aren't selling so hot right now) which house tons of people on what was once their family land for generations. I and many others feel like it's more than a sale of land, it's like a part of the family has died and their grave trampled on seeing someone else live where you played and what was once yours, etc.

As for Byrd, his time is long over due to be in a wheelchair in nursing home run by the underfunded states getting abused by orderly's there for their minimum wage jobs. Byrd stopped representing the people long ago and from my short life of having learned about him, he rarely if ever had any real leadership skills to lead the state at all. Until he's ousted from office or dies in office, he'll do nothing more than rob the nation of money just because he can to post his name on another self egotistical monument of himself which was acquired by stampeding every single hard working WV citizen in his path. In all of his years of so called 'bettering WV', we still are ranked among the nations lowest in many economic categories. With billions (if not trillions) spent there's squat to show.

In regards to CH, yes it may make getting to Moorefield safer and faster, may make getting to Canaan/SS/TL much faster and safer, but that is beside the point. Those that wanted this road wanted it and when in the mid 90's when most of this community stood up against it, it did nothing more than piss off those like Byrd and other politicians to harden their resolve to build it. So much for 'serving the people'. No matter how much this pisses off the DC-ites and others, we here in WV know what is best for us and how to take care of ourselves. We don't want nor need those in DC telling us get ready to be a bedroom community for DC. I'm afraid if anyone tells too many WVians that, those DC folk might get loads of buckshot in the a** as they get run out.
fishnski
November 11, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
When I was growing up in school they taught population control. 3 kids per family..What happened? Flood this country & develope this country as fast as we can is what has happened! I feel your pain Brad...From how congested our beaches are getting, to the Bulletproof windows at the banks & convenience stores in Beltsville,Md where I grew up. Good luck Buddy!
Roger Z
November 11, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
No, there's a new highway being built that comes up from NC (maybe Greensboro, I can't remember) and is supposed to run right into Roanoke. But it looks like a slalom course on the plans. It's I-7X, I thought it was I-71 because it's the extension from OH to WV. Eventually it's supposed to run from Detroit to Myrtle Beach, I guess so the Ford execs can get to the golf courses faster to avoid any work needed to save their company or something like that.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 12, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Brad it is obvious you are passionate about the subject. However, on the issue of the evacuation, it IS consistently presented in the senior decision-making spheres of our government as a valid and as an imperative reason to improve the road system exiting Washington and this includes CH. Actually, there is very little debate on this issue.

Being the window of opportunity for political decisions as it is, the membership of your senator as well as the jelling of the political will of several major players (construction industry, developers, Congress, homeland security etc), could become a locomotive that rolls over anything in its path.

Virginia doesn't like it? They may not have a choice. All it takes is a sentence in an appropriations bill (I could almost think of the verbiage...) such as.... "notwithstanding any appropriations or construction funding under this act for road infrastructure improvements for the Commonwealth of Virginia, no outlays for any such appropriations or construction funding will be allowed until the Commonwealth commits to the extension of Corridor H from its present projected end at the WV/VA Line to the end of I-66... and so on and so on... It could be that whether they like it or not, CH could become their No. 1 highway project...

Your senior senator is literally the third most powerful figure in the US Government. I am sure he will be taking full advantage of this opportunity...

As far as the shotguns... I am sure you're not seriously contemplating that... There's more federal presence in your state than meets the eye.
RyanC
November 12, 2006
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
I understand Brad's views, and I'm adamantly opposed to overdevelopment in any way, shape or form, as well. Corridor H serves many purposes, and I know I'm not the only person that would fight to ensure that any future exits aren't dotted with Walmarts, McDonalds, dollar stores, or other distasteful development.

However, as a property owner and taxpayer in WV (as well as in Baltimore) I'm sick of hearing the 'shotgun' threats. This is about the 3rd time you've made sch threats on this board. Many resort areas in WV (Canaan, Showshoe, Lost River, and many more) already have a huge presence of us evil city slickers. And we are taxpayers, too. And trust me, we WILL be heard, and we will most likely get what we want. Considering the large federal presence in WV, in addition to many of the 2nd homeowners in the area being affliated with the federal government or related industries, your threats don't exactly scare us.

Basically, what I'm saying is the majority of posters here are from DC (and to a lesser extent, Baltimore). While I do respect and agree with many of your views, this probably isn't the best place to bash "DC people". While civil disobediance has a rightful place in the political arena, threats of violence don't. And they aren't going to help anyone's cause. And they are also very insulting to people that have invested considerable time and money (and as you know, neither grows on trees) in real estate in order to enjoy the many things that WV has to offer.

And I honestly do feel that much less corruption and incompetence would be happening in local governments in the area if 2nd honeowners/occupiers had at least limited voting rights. I predict that there will, over time, be a movement in that direction.
Roger Z
November 13, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

There's more federal presence in your state than meets the eye.




Geez, Lou, all I can think of after that statement is a sequel to "The Hills Have Eyes." Instead of a mutant cannibal family, though, this time it's a mutant cannibal clan of FBI Agents.

"Ryan, I just can't get any cellphone reception along this new road. Maybe we should listen to that pleasant, toothless gas station attendant a ways back and take the old dirt road across Lost River Mountain, near the site of the old radioactive waste dump..."
Tucker
November 13, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
"And I honestly do feel that much less corruption and incompetence would be happening in local governments in the area if 2nd honeowners/occupiers had at least limited voting rights. I predict that there will, over time, be a movement in that direction" --RyanC

What corruption and incompetence are you talking about.... can you name some examples? Can you name some of the local candidates of last weeks local elections? Do you know what issues they were running on? Do you know who won the local elections? Do you know what the major issues are right now in the WV county you say you are a "citizen" of? Go ahead look the names up... and report back.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 13, 2006
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Tucker
November 13, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
..."I'm shufflin' thru the Texas sand,
but my head's in Mississippi"...
schlittenfahrten
November 13, 2006
Member since 07/26/2005 🔗
24 posts
OK Mr Tucker...

On the other hand, do you know how much the citizens of WV get from the Federal Government for every dollar they pay on taxes? (Hint: Third highest in the country) What do they have to show for it?

Do you know the percentage of registered voters in West Virginia who believe vote buying happens either very often or somewhat often? (It's over 60 percent)

What was the county that most recently was the target of a never-ended FBI probe into vote buying? (Hint: rhymes with Hogan)

How many cartons of documents were subpoeaned by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia on the most recent probe of a US congressman's alleged diversion of 178 million to non-profits who also happened to be major contributers to his campaign? (Hint: Over 160)

Which WV Governor pled guilty to receiving a bribe relative to a refund of a workers compensation tax from a coal executive and served over three years in federal prison? (Hint: Rhymes with Lore)

Dude, no way in hell you can deny that WV has one of the most corrupt governments in America. Any, I mean any way that we could get people coming in with a fresh outlook and demand accountability where there was none before, it is welcome
fishnski
November 13, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Are you Schlitten us?!? Or are you just Fahrten around?
Tucker
November 13, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
tushay(sp)...thanks for the report, I'm sure a lot more could be added...I was really refering to county elections, specifically Tucker County...I probably shouldn't have even made that post...sorry...I hope you all will still come and save us poor ignorant folk...schlittenfahrten...that is an interesting name...German decent???
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 13, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Bringing the discussion back to skiing.............

Besides possible completing Corridor H and making Canaan Valley a scant two hours from Gallery Place, would it make it easier to develop MPC?
yellowsnow
November 13, 2006
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
"Don't buy another vote....I'm not paying for a landslide" - Joseph P. Kennedy
Tucker
November 13, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
wooo...stop the train...shlittenfahrten...is that your last name...you got family in WV..it has just occured to me that we might be kin...I to am a schlittenfahrten...this is amazing...who else here is a shlittenfahrten...we should have a big'ol family reuniun...a shlittenfahrten party...we'll have hot dogs...hamburgers...and don't forget the baked......potatoes???
bawalker
December 7, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I figure this may be resurrecting a dead horse only to beat it to death again, however there is more at stake than just beating the dead horse. More along the lines of standing up for what one believes in, not backing down, and doing so in a right and moral way. Plus, after taking a month long break from posting, I wanted to come back in style with a bang of a post for my 1000th post. Plus it was a bit ironic that it's also close to my 3 year anniversary being on here.

Anyhow, I wanted to address things a few people wrote in their posts, which seemingly is far off in interpretation of what I actually wrote. Then again, maybe I stepped on some ego toes accidentally and some people decided to squeal over it? Who knows. Anyway, I do find it a bit funny that Ryan reacted with as much staunchness as he did especially over the shotgun comments. If you think I am making the shotgun comments, feel free to take a look back over the threads. Does it say I bawalker will be standing there with a 12 gauge shotgun aimed at your person, car, property pulling the trigger? Nope, didn't think so.

While that is said with some jest and some seriousness, there is a far more seriousness aspect to it. Many locals abhor the trampling of locals by the out-of-staters. dmh probably proves that many times over with his adamant stance that the locals move over or get out of the way so he as an out-of-stater have equal rights on this or that. These same folks in fact are beginning to grumble and moan with anger at how this state, county, and area are being raped of things that make it special and unique to appease the weekend/bedroom comm crowd.

Actually the issue at hand isn't even Corridor-H itself. Yes I obviously oppose it's extension based on the truly absurd and mostly untruthful reasons. I do oppose Mr. Bryd's activities more so on a regular basis and find him to be closer to senile daily as his aids seemingly do more of the decision making than he does. The issue is not even the whole evacuation mentality that most of us know is over-hyped to begin with to appease the rest of the nation to make it appear we are safer to calm the anxious nerves of those who are forcefed what they think by the media outlets.

The whole issue centers around those who have posted on here and others in the VA, MD, and other states who come through WV thinking that because they have some small tie to this state, that they can walk in here expecting or demanding locals to listen to them instantly. Sorry but those who think that are fooled out of their minds. Leaving the NoVa area and coming this far west means enjoying a shift or change in culture and lifestyle. I see that everytime I go into NoVa or MD to do work. Life is faster paced, worries are on more self centered issues, and so forth. Those in that area (most anyway) come this way treating us locals as they treat those in the DC area. Me and many others up here don't tolerate that. When I visit those areas, I go in there respecting peoples lives, their properties, and their way of life. I only ask that people do the same to the locals here.

We aren't dumb, more stupid, or one toothed rednecks drooling at the lip thinking your pocket change makes us rich. True, we may have less financially, but we have far more joy in the lives we live in such a peaceful and wonderful area. I have no problem sharing that with anyone out of state. However you come here to live as a WVian, respect this way of life, help work to keep it as is, NOT to come here to live as a DCer in a different environment. Either learn to respect us, listen to what we say because we just MAY know what we are talking about concerning the area we live... or move to Vail where the snotty, snobbish attitude rules among the rich. If people who come here can't simply do that, then people like that aren't welcome here.

Don't like that or what I have to say, tough luck. Go live elsewhere trying to usurp others voting and living rights elsewhere.
fishnski
December 7, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Good luck trying to defend your beloved WV again'st AMERICANS...We can't even defend the good ole USA from foreigners!....You may need to upgrade that shotgun....Remember & be carefull..everything you post is on record & if you are serious about a political future your posts might come back to haunt you.....& then again might get you the job..your call!
Roger Z
December 7, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well, Brad, look, I agree with you for the most part about it sucking to see the way of life go and being run over by ungrateful city folks and all, but the writing's on the wall buddy. Hardy County is to DC in 2010 what Fairfax County was in 1950, that's just the way these things go. NoVA, remember, was once a place not much different than yours.

America is nothing if it isn't people relentlessly out churning up new grounds to seek their dreams, and I suppose it's something too when you see people standing for what was their's and what might be their's, but it's the there, the other "there," that matters. There's always another place to go. And people will resent you when you move and you will find things to resent about them, but ultimately our children and our grandchildren make the place their own and it's not ours anymore then, anyway.

There's a big country waiting for you, if you get tired of watching the tide roll across your beach. And there's some places that exist that you don't even know about right now that would melt your heart if you could "come to" instead of "stayin' on." Your ancestors weren't born in WV, they came there. It's time to come on, too, just like they did. Maybe that's the best way to honor their memory.
fishnski
December 7, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Brad is trying to build a legend here & you just basically told the man to "Get a Life!"...Meanie!.........PS. Well said
bawalker
December 8, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
If you can't speak passionately about something you believe in, what's the use to be a leader? Oh yeah, sit on ones rear, collect bribes and chat with pages. lol Seriously though, making threats is one thing and I don't condone that on anyones part. Unless it's a threat of "If you try to take my land, I'll take you to court..." in regards to what is happening with the dam situation (pun intended).

Roger, while what is happening now does seem to be more for the future generations, many people who are doing what they are isn't in the best interest of themselves, their state, their grandkids, or neighbors. While I doubt I or anyone will ever overcome the outward tide of people from the cities, I can use the capitalistic system to my advantage to make as much money as possible to buy up as much land to add to my family's land thus creating a 'front' forcing people to keep on going past. Or at least prevent development from not happening there in my lifetime anyway.

Like it or not, that definitely is an ability I can use to slow the tide of development in this county at least. Gotta have land left FOR grandkids to enjoy someday. I wonder if I can buy up most land surrounding the national forest... *idea*!
bawalker
December 8, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I wonder if someone will ever make my legend into a country song? Weedkillers that double as nightly shots!
kennedy
December 8, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Quote:

Good luck trying to defend your beloved WV again'st AMERICANS...We can't even defend the good ole USA from foreigners




Dude! I'm a foreigner!!
bawalker
December 8, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
LOL I can honestly say I saw that coming.
fishnski
December 8, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Sorry Kennedy..I meant Illegals...I meant an invasion of 1 country into anothers..By the MILLIONS!!Half of a country Millions! Anyway, you came here legally...Which was a grand pain in the butt I'm sure. It took time,Money...& a whole lot of patience & Fortitude....Meanwhile 20 million snuck across the border while your process was going on, Bringing with them desease, Gangs & Drugs & possibly a weapon that could wipe out New York.& Yes a lot of money to greedy developers & everyone else scarfing up on cheap labor at the expense of US Citizens. you have paid your dues..God bless you & America....you are no longer a foreigner!....Now if you stowed away on a ship or something or just visiting...Disregard
Roy
December 9, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
Quote:

Bringing with them desease, Gangs & Drugs & possibly a weapon that could wipe out New York.& Yes a lot of money to greedy developers




We didn't need foreigners for that. We have Timothy McVeigh, the bloods and crips, and a host of many other homegrown criminal celebrities.
dmh
December 9, 2006
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
127 posts
Wow, what an honor to be vilified in bawalker's 1000 post. I will cherish the memory forever.

The point is not that out-of-towners are trying to take over and corrupt the traditional way of life enjoyed by WV natives. The point is that a change happens. That is the nature of this country and that is the nature of this economy. The challenge is to manage that change so as little harm is done to the things that need to be preserved and but not to stifle useful innovation and growth. I for one would be quite happy if Tucker County decided to stop all development in Canaan Valley. But that is selfish, would not serve the interests of those who live there and who are desperate for an alternative to timber and coal, and who are poised to reap real economic benefits from the natural beauty of the place, its skiing and other recreational activities, its fortuitous location near enough to the DC metro area to attract people like me and others on this site. Managing growth and change is very difficult but it won't be successful if those already there simply say go away and leave us alone. That won't happen and it risks those who do have legitimate concerns being left out of the discussion. So bawalker, find a way to make your views known. That is the right of everyone in this country. But if yoru only solution is to shout go away, you will so find you don't have a place at the table when the decisions are being made.

Fishnski, I can't tell if you are intentionally being a caricature of a raving nativist or if you are serious. Which is it?
tgd
December 9, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Quote:


The whole issue centers around those who have posted on here and others in the VA, MD, and other states who come through WV thinking that because they have some small tie to this state, that they can walk in here expecting or demanding locals to listen to them instantly. Sorry but those who think that are fooled out of their minds. Leaving the NoVa area and coming this far west means enjoying a shift or change in culture and lifestyle. I see that everytime I go into NoVa or MD to do work. Life is faster paced, worries are on more self centered issues, and so forth. Those in that area (most anyway) come this way treating us locals as they treat those in the DC area. Me and many others up here don't tolerate that. When I visit those areas, I go in there respecting peoples lives, their properties, and their way of life. I only ask that people do the same to the locals here.





Brad: you are not being at all fair. You make up a strawman of these terrible, rich, self-centered, and disrespectful "DCers" who are hell-bent on changing the wholesome good lifestyle you enjoy in West Virginia. Oh that is terrible. However, "DCers" are not all alike, don't all have imperialistic ambitions regarding Hardy County or Tucker County. I don't believe West Virginia rural life is as wholesome as you have described either. Who has more crystal-meth labs? Tucker County or Fairfax County - the answer might surprise you. Anyway, who owns the land targeted for development now? Most likely locals - or the timber and energy companies that really have been "raping" West Virginia for more than a century.

I don't care to change a thing about Hardy County or Canaan Valley. It's fine to me as it is - I don't live there, work there, or try to raise a family there. Speed traps in Wardensville - fine. I'll drive 20 mph until I'm clear of town. Corridor H? Well I drove to CV for years without it, I'll keep coming whether it's ever finished or not. Treat locals like crap? Excuse me - never done that. I've made some good acquaintances in Canaan Valley - can't say friends yet (real friendship takes time - especially for a "weekender"). I patronize local businesses - and encourage others to do so. I am guilty of paying Federal income taxes - which are subsidizing are good deal of the changes (good and bad) in West Virginia.

Are there plenty of self-centered a##holes in DC - you betcha! There are over 1 million people living in Fairfax County alone (all types mind you - please don't stereotype us, and Andy - this is not an invitation to rant). You know, I bet there are a few a##holes in Wardensville too. I don't have a clue as to the arse to not-arse ratio per capita between your home town and mine. I doubt it's that much different.

Don't stereotype "DCer's" - very little on this board leads me to believe posters are stereotyping you.

Tom
tommo
December 9, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
BAWalker: I've also held my tongue for a couple of days to reflect on this post. And after reflection, I still think that it is the most arrogant post I have ever read on DC Ski. It's also the first and only one that has ever made me truly angry.

First of all, no one has appointed - or elected - you to be spokesperson for the area. You may believe that outside people, money and ideas are not welcome, and are certainly entitled to your opinion, but facts strongly suggest that your opinion is in the minority. Many folks clearly embrace and welcome change and, yes, even choose to profit from it. It's called "capitalism." You are in no position to say who is, or is not, "welcome" in your county.

Second, and most curious, is that you target your rant at the DC Ski message forum community. That means me, and RogerZ, and TGD, and JohnFMH and, yes, even Mountain Masher and Fishnski, and all the rest of us. Are WE really the selfish, outside interlopers that are destroying your bucolic way of life? While views here cover a range of opinions on a wide array of issues, I don't think ANYONE has ever expressed a desire to treat the current inhabitants of any area in a way that is disrespectful.

Third, you may in fact know a good deal about life in Wardensville and the lifestyles and cares of other who live there; you even state that we need to adopt your personal views if we have the temerity to even visit. You blast us for supposedly not understanding your way of life or appreciating the zen. Then you blast OUR way of life and OUR communities and throw out a whole range of unfounded insults. Do YOU really know what life is like in Arlington, or Charlottesville, or Owings Mills, or Damascus, or Germantown? Have you lived in Vail? The arrogance to suggest that we are somehow less happy or caring is astounding. Why don't you LEARN a bit about something before you speak? Many of us live in highly interconnected communities that are vastly different from your self-rightous portrayal. And, by the way, if you come here to visit, or watch our H.S. athletic events (football on Friday nights is the biggest thing going - the whole community turns out on a weekly basis. Did you know that? And Churches are the center of the town. Do you know that?) we will welcome you with smiles and hospitality. We also welcome you ecomomic input and ideas. And, by the way, if someone here is selling property and you choose to purchase, we WELCOME you and are very glad that both you and the seller have apparently found benefit. Is that somehow a "shift in culture and lifestyle?" Apparently so and I'll let others judge which is better.

In the end, it comes back to the very attributes that you claim are so strong in your area but, based on your rant, are, ironically, utterly missing: respect for others, their opinions and ideas, pride in the local community, and an honest desire to make things better, each day and for our society at large. TGD has is right - wake up and look around you - much of the change you fear is from within, not always from without.

In all things, the only constant is change. Darwin observed it long ago - evolve or perish. Yes, West Virgina (and every other area of the world) changes. Change cannot be stopped. The goal is, then, to make change for the better rather than for the worse. It is hard to undersand how personnally attacking the citizens on this forum is going to assist change for the better.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Brad,
As others have eloquently stated, your rant is misplaced for most of us that live DC or Northern Virginia.
What surprises me is your tone and passion. You have always been a great DCSki source of info...corridor H, snow in Hardy county, warnings about speeding near Wardensville, learning to snowboard, etc. Your past personal concerns centered on the government's efforts to create a lake taking some of your family's land.
Has something happened with this? Is this really the core of what has you so riled up? I want the old BAWALKER back on this forum. I have enjoyed your posts in the past and hope to once again in the future.
The Colonel
fishnski
December 9, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Soooo..you are implying that there is no way that I can be serious, So in fact I am caricature of a raving nativist? Whatever makes your boat float Buddy....Snowball Fight at High noon Timberline...be there!.......Whatever happened to your mini snowboard park that you were trying to build Brad?...Following the Colonel's lead!
Roger Z
December 9, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Just to show that this isn't just a NOVA/WEVA (West Virginia) thing, I stumbled across this from Park City Ski Resort's new blog (which, it should be noted, seems to be a pretty darn good place to an the inside scoop on mountain conditions):

http://parkrecord.blogspot.com/2006/11/is-summit-county-broken.html

Check out the response section to this blog post. Does it sound familiar?

And yes, I'm web grazing to avoid Christmas shopping today...
RyanC
December 9, 2006
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
The second homeowners and folks that move to West Virginia are NOT trying to change locals' way of life or exploit them or the environment! The people exploiting WV are greedy local landowners and coal/timber interestes.

Your arrogance is misdirected. But, as a property owner in Tucker County, I sure as hell have a right to ensure that my interests are looked after, whether you, as the self-annointed spokesman for local WV interests, likes it or not.

Well...I have to go now, my chauffer is getting ready to drive me to dinner in my Bentley (since all of us evil out-of-staters are filthy rich, and all you locals are poor victims, right??).

As a sidenote, I would bet that many "locals" in the Canaan Valley area (and probably other areas along the Corridor H route) probably have a higher net worth than us second homeowners. Most of us don't own acres upon acres of land. Not to mention that our salaries may be higher, but the everyday cost of living in Baltimore/Washington rivals that of New York & San Francisco, which negates many benefits of a higher metro area salary.
Bumps
December 9, 2006
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
Hmmm. as a born and bred WV'n Appalachian boy with 90% of his family still living in WV. I have a couple points:
1st. I agree with Colonel. I miss the kinder gentler BA.
2nd: Having lived both in No VA and WV I rate the PIA per capita about the same.
3rd: Many WV folks wanted and pushed hard for Corridor H. Trust me it wasn't No. VA pushing for it. 99.99% of No va.s could give two $hit$ about WV. It's only the .01 % of skiers, hikers, bird watchers, leaf freaks, fishermen, craftsman hunters and camping folks who care.
4th: BA how many kids you graduated High school with that stayed in the area? How many have decent jobs? You are lucky you are located less than an hour from major industry; I'm betting many folks work in the Winchester area. Go another 2 hours into the state and it's a much harder place to be successful.
5th: I remember when the chicken processing plant went into Moorefield and how it instantly improved the prospect of farming industry to be profitable in that area. Many folks are hoping Corridor H will improve help bring in other industry (Hopefully, green friendly) to improve the average WV resident living condition in other areas. Most don't have a lot. Take a drive and remind yourself of the living condition of those less fortunate in the state than you are. Take a look at the average income by county, which by the way is about 12K lower than the overall US average.
Income by County
Here's another page with some interesting facts about farming in WV. You'll see the Profitability of Hardy county I was talking about.
Farming facts
6th: Changing of Appalachian culture is reality. It has less to do with "outsiders" than it does with changing times. The mountains slowed much of the industrial age, but it can not stop the information age.
bawalker
December 13, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I did want to come back here and say that I think when I typed that other longer post a few days ago, I definitely did so in a manner that reflected how my last few weeks have been. Not so good. On top of that, I think what I wrote came across bad, (not how I envisioned it in my mind) and then to top things off, everyone else mis-interpreted it. So combine all of that together there is a bunch of misunderstanding, communication, attitude causing one nasty flareup. That definitely wasn't my intentions at all.

I didn't mean to come across and make it sound like I was vilifying, calling out, or criminalizing anyone else here on the board either. In fact in the past 3 years, I've learned that this board contains probably the best from the DC, northern VA and other city areas. Plus I definitely wasn't aiming to create any sort of divide or division between city folk and country folk, because as I've learned, many 'home grown' individuals here in Hardy Co are just as rotten and corrupt as the most corrupt person in DC.

It seems like my times between postings get greater and greater as my daily workload keeps growing. Although most of that is due in part to building a new house in Lost City right smack dab in the middle of where the proposed dam/lake would be. So in the past two weeks, I've dealt with some of the corrupt individuals hands on as they tend to work for a general contractor I'm dealing with and so forth.

I guess what I wanted to say originally was that in regards to CorridorH (hrm, I think that is what started this thread? lol) the different lifestyles between those in Northern VA and those in the country really seem to become black and white. It's very understandable that those who come from NoVA have a different perspective that completing CH and making it one big highway straight on through this area makes it a great convenience for getting to TL/Canaan. On the flip side is that there are those here in this area who take their land to be one of the most valuable possessions they have. They want to keep farming it and surviving that way. They want it to be there so that their kids and grandkids can play on it knowing their greatgrandparents lived and played there.

I know this may get back into another thread where I mentioned how Asians came into this area and failed at running a restraunt due to somewhat 'racist' attitudes towards them by the locals. But I truly understand their desire to keep this are in as much the same condition as possible. I know that is my desire to make sure Wardensville, Baker, Lost River, Moorefield and other area's don't get subidivisions on 1/8th of an acre or something like that. I'm not against growth because, as the human race grows, it's an inevitable issue that more people will be packed on more per mileage ground than ever before. However it's my desire to make sure that as things grow, they aren't done so in a manner that will devastate the things and lifestyle that defines who we are in this piece of WV.

There is no doubt that as NoVA expands outwards, that in the next 50 or 100 years Wardensville may be a bedroom community to Winchesters rich. Maybe not, I don't know. But dozing over homes and mountains to make a 4 lane roadway whose purpose is highly debated by everyone from the locals to congress seems to indicate that there might be a better way to approach that. In regards to CH, I remember the opposition group proposing some major overhauls to existing Rt 55 that would give 3-4 lanes in various spots, removing grading, installing bridges, and such while minimizing the amount of land taken and disturbed to give the nearly same type of capacity for traffic.

Anyway what all of this boils down to for this post is that I'm not some backwoods hick that is barefoot and swinging a pitchfork at anything or anyone strange. Rather I welcome moderate change, welcome those not from this area, and find that many of those from this area need to be tossed out for their corruption. It's those (especially unscrupulous Realtors and developers from out of the area) who come here, prey on those in this area, run them out, trash the way of life here and try to make this area a playground for those that come have no respect and leave. As for the out of staters that come in here, settle down, and establish their own life and families here, I think that's great. Some of my best customers and I might add are some of the nicest people are those who have came here to permanently or at least semi-permanently establish a life here enjoying WV for what it is.

Well, now I need to get back to the process of building a home here. It's not necessarily fun dealing with some of the locals who are in the general contracting business because of their ties to corrupt local politician figures. Especially being this house is going up in the middle of the proposed dam.

I know RogerZ will like this. The only neighbor who wants the dam is a young couple I went to high school with. The gentlemans dad is a teacher at that school and a brownnoser to the former crooked county commissioner. That commish pushed hard for decades to take our land. Anyhow, last week when ground was being broke, dump trucks and dozers were in clearing out the road and a spot to build the house, many of these people in the community were driving past and gawking. Even the former county commish who is dirtier than the topsoil being removed drove past. Well a day later the father of that neighbor cussed out a co-worker and fellow teacher over why we are building a house knowing the dam is going in. He angrily said what we was doing was futile and a waste of time/money.

I like think we have now set a psychological impact throughout the area of those few corrupt people who are pushing for the dam. Hopefully an impact that deals a blow to their psyche thinking that they own and can take anything from us illegally or not. In the good news, others that support our efforts against the dam applaud our risky action and in fact, those that come in here to do work, are finding out more about the dam. So it's a good tool to spread the word. I figured I'd give out that little up date.
Clay
December 13, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
While I did not comment on your previous post, I think that you showed great class in this post. What you are going through can not be easy and our real life sometimes spills over onto what we write on these boards. Combine that with the internet's inherent lack of face to face communication and sometimes unnecessary friction arises, when no ill intent was intended.

Everybody has a bad day (or two or three) and I, for one, look forward to seeing more of your posts.

Clay
bawalker
December 13, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Thanks for the comments. Just to add in more about the dam situation (pun intended), here is part of an email I wrote to a friend the other day that details the specific issue we are dealing with and the dirty people/politicians here in this county. This should give everyone an idea of how deep the issue of the dam runs and how bad we fight for what we have.

****************************

Clip from an email to a close friend...

Quote:

Interestingly enough, this whole house situation seems to be going good for us in our fight against the dam. I can't remember if I told you this or not, if I have, just refresh your mind as the story goes along. Well back when we was filling out information for the building permit, this was the stickiest situation. Because if the county planning commission denied the building permit, then the house couldn't build there thus creating a really large nightmare. Normally if you meet the requirements with the perc test and such, you have no problem with a building permit. However again, with this county, it's crooked people in all offices we are dealing with potentially bad situations. The assistant planning commission director is actually a broth-in-law to the only neighbor who wants the dam as I mentioned in the first paragraph. This guy married into that family (did I mention my neighbors uncle is a new county commissioner who replaced the worse, more dirty one in `04?) and that same family has attended church where I do.

Well after the building permit was issued, that asst. director called my mom out of the blue late one evening telling her that did she know this is where a dam was going to be built and that his brother in law will be selling out and that she'll have to tear it down anyway, etc etc. Well my mom reamed this guy on the phone asking if this is how Christians treat Christians... intimidating them to get a big money project through. She said we aren't intimidated and that the dam hasn't went in for the past 40 years and it won't ever go in and that there is nothing that this county can do to stop the house being built. She told me later that this same assist. director made an indirect threat to her on the phone by saying "Ma`am, I wouldn't be making verbal threats on the phone to me, you can goto jail for that." She said "What threats? I'm telling you no one can stop the house from being built here as we legally passed all requirements for a building permit." and then hung up.

We are pretty sure that there was a lot of unethical talking going on behind the scenes with this guy and others higher up the political foodchain who realized we got a building permit that they would have liked to block. They didn't catch it in time and then tried to intimidate us to back out.

Anyhow, that brings me back to the current state of construction. Well when a big D5 dozer was on site and 26 loads of shale were being hauled in, our road went from a 1 lane country road to nearly as wide as the 1.5 lane wide county road. This drew some attention. I personally saw the few political people who were for this dam drive past to observe. Even the former county commissioner who had no business up that road, drove past, stopped, and looked at what was going on. I could just feel it in the air, that we were creating such a psychological impact on these people who had become so egotistical, who were becoming close to thinking that they were like gods that they had planned to take this land from us. Here we are building a house on it and proverbially "flipping them off" by not backing down from the intimidation of a dam AND not just sitting still waiting for it to come. We have become proactive in taking a very public stance at doing something to spit in the face of those dirty politicians efforts to build the dam. I'm hoping that deals the crooked politicians a major psychological blow.

This is the part you'll love. Remember that neighbor who is for it? How his dad is a brown noser to that former county commissioner? I learned last week after the roadwork was done, that this guy approached another teacher at the high school who is part of our www.savelostriver.org committee and who herself will lose 200 acres to the dam. She told my uncle that this guy/teacher cussed her out there in school. From my understanding he got super irate demanding to know why a house was being built there were a dam was going in. That we should be allowed to build and that the dam is imminent (sp?) and it'll be torn down anyway so there is no use to build. He is so intent on seeing us out of there as well because he thinks his son and daughter in law will get some massive chunk of nearly a million dollars for their small 12 acre plot. Plus I'm sure there will be some sort of under the table kickback to him from this former county commish and others are trying to funnel the money for this.

Interestingly enough, the house the guy and his wife live in, was once owned by another member that went to our church and his wife. They were in their 80's before he died and before then, the father of this guy smoozed this older gentleman around. Going as far as to say "This guy is more of a father to me than my father I never knew..." publicaly. I'm not judging his relationship with that older gentleman who was a friend of our family, but I seriously have to wonder if his motives were anything but pure. I'm apt to believe that he smoozed this guy to get his son the property thinking they could get a foothold to get the dam in here. After 10 years of smoozing and finally getting the property after the older gentleman's death, I can imagine that us putting a house up is sending this guy into a red irate anger at us. Because I can see it spoiling his plans for the past 20 years to make some sort of big financial (possibly illegal?) pay-off of supporting the dam?


Bumps
December 13, 2006
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
NO harm; no foul. I think you have taken a chapter from the great general Sun Tzu. The clever combantant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not alllow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
RyanC
December 14, 2006
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
I'm certainly opposed to using eminent domain unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (in this situation, as with Snowshoe's proposed sewer plant, it clearly isn't). But...out of curiosity, how many hundreds of thousands of dollars would this person who would supposedly lose 200 acres receive? I know I'm looking at this from a different perspective (example: a 1 acre lot in my section of Baltimore County- Towson- to be exact, goes for $300k++), but it would be hard to sympathize with someone that's 'losing' their land if they're receiving millions of dollars in compensation. Just as I don't feel bad for the pro footbal players for playing in below 0 weather- after all, they make more $$ per game that I may make in my lifetime!

On the surface I can't help but think "200 or 400 acres, or whatever, thats more land than any of us city slickers/second homeowners would ever be able to afford to buy in our lietime". Meaning, if these folks were compensated fairly, they would never have to work another day in their life. That's more than I, and most folks on DCSki can say.

Nonetheless (disclaimer: this is my OPINION only, based on what I've read on DCSki!!), it seems clear that the local government and corporate/developer interests are operating outside of the law, as they are in the case of Snowshoe's sewer plant. All of us, locals and transplants/2nd homeowners alike, should stand united against such practices. As I've said before, generally speaking, you don't have to screw either group in order for the other party's interests to be represented (i.e. good jobs CAN be created in WV without raping the environment!). WV has the potential to become a national model for sustainable growth, or things like this can continue and f*ck up it's reputation even further.

RC
bawalker
December 14, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Actually it's interesting you mention how much per acre people would receive out of this. There have been *no* publically announced set figures for this. However, through using the Freedom Of Information Act to get public documents from various organizations, we have seen several figures that amount to about $1,700 per acre that they would be willing to 'offer' or 'compensate'. If that figure was to hold up, that'd be around $510,000 to divide upto 10 ways for all the families involved. My family would get an estimated $54,000 for 32 acres of pristine wilderness land bordering national forrest. However, that is just speculative based on informal documents from one agency to another. Considering housing developers are selling land upto $20,000 an acre here in the county, residents affected should be getting no less than $16,000 per acre.

Although those $1,700 per acre numbers may be jaw dropping, they are not out of line based on other figures that residents at other dam sites were eventually paid. Some were farmers that sold out in other locations getting their land taken from them for pennies on the dollar.

I sat down roughly figuring things in my head a while back. Lets say the dam didn't go in, and this 275-300 acres of pristine farm land that borders the national forrest with a natural trout stream running through it was sold off on 10 acre lots with amazing $250,000 homes on each. That would be $180,000 per 10 acres of land (if it sold for $18,000 per acre on average) plus a $250,000 home on it for a grand total of $430,000 sale per 10 acres. This is not out of line, being a new housing development in Lost River has TWO $475,000 homes in it that haven't sold in a year.

Anyway, if that was the case, then the average price per acre would be running around $43,000. Take that multiply it by 275 and that would give $11.2 MILLION dollars that the local gov could be paying out for the true value of that land. However being that the state is the one that pays for compensating people in eminent domain cases, we've found out that the state of WV is nearly bankrupt for having funds to buy out anyone. In that realm things look good. But doesn't mean that they won't try to steal the land from us and the neighbors for a thousand or two per acre.
Roy
December 14, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
Considering the dam situation, if they built it, would there be dam tours? Would they have any dam parking? And could you buy some dam bait to fish in the trout stream?

I'm not belittling your situation but as often as you used "dam situation", somebody had to use the Vegas Vacation lines.

Even as a kid, I have always thought that eminent domain was one of the worst laws ever created (along with prohibition and the new Internet Gambling Laws). The Snowshoe sewer facility falls into the misuse of this law along with that beach town (I can't remember the name) where the city is using eminent domain to kick out long-time residents to allow developers to build a mall. How is another mall good for the public?

While the law's original intent was to allow governments to expand facilities and roads for the betterment of the public. It should be used in situations as taking 50 feet from a person's land to expand a 2 lane road that is already jammed with traffic. This will help that landowner because now they will be able to get out of their driveway more safely.

While as a skier I enjoy the benefits of Corridor H, I agree that it is/was built on a bad premise. Yes it was a pain to get behind a semi on those curvy roads. But what was the real harm? It took longer to drive to Snowshoe? I've never been behind one that caused hours long traffic jams, impeding fire and ambulance services or any other public safety service.

Corruption is everywhere in all governments. Even those that may seem to be doing more good than harm. When a senator can add a bill, that most senators and representatives would care less about, onto another bill that everyone feels strongly about and will vote to pass, we have a corrupt government. No offense to lobbyists, but they make a living kissing butt to senators and representatives to get them to vote for their industry, companies, etc. How is this being a representative for the people? When a Texas oil lobbyists is convincing a senator from West Virginia about voting for his industry, how is that senator representing West Virginia.

While the founding fathers of this country had great intentions, we have, over the years, stretched and skewed many of these ideas to fit our on personal beliefs and desires. (Gay marriage? Who is really getting hurt if two gay people get married?)

While I love my country and feel it is the best place to live, it is still run by the few, not by the people. And for the people to be heard, it costs us more money and time to get what should be our given rights as Americans.

Yes I have a lot of frustrations but mostly because I haven't gotten a ski day in yet so my anger is building and I need to get out there.
Roger Z
December 14, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
It's a good question Ryan. The problem is that "fair market value" does not always equate to "replacement value." Think, for instance, of a homeowner in a blighted area of DC who gets "fair value" for their house. They probably get $175K or so if they live in Anacostia. Now, where exactly could they get a comparable house for the same price? Front Royal, maybe.

The same holds with farmland. Local governments will often call the price "fair market value" based on how much crop yield is expected over, say, a thirty year period, which fails to take into account option (conversion) value. Should a farmer get paid option value? Gut instinct says no, but unfortunately farmland is priced on the market for both its yield and its conversion value. So a farmer might get $1,000 or $2,000 an acre under "fair market value" rules but be unable to buy any comparable land for less than $3,000 or $4,000 an acre. The result is that they wind up in a much worse situation than before their land was seized.

I like an idea I've heard floated around of replacing "fair market value" in eminent domain cases with "replacement value." I think it makes a lot of sense and would slow eminent domain abuse down substantially. Just a thought.
bawalker
December 14, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
That was something we discussed with a lawyer back in 2004 when this became an issue again after the early 90s. One lawyer said that even though the law says fair market value which is open to wide of an interpretation, and an abuse, that he has in the past and does win cases where he seeks equal compensation/replacement value. Not that we are considering selling out, but more just being prepared if court case after court case was lost, etc. In the case of fair market value, they'd have to spend around $600,000 on all the property compensating the people for their acres and houses. But by replacement value, that value would jump into the millions for all the residents affected. They definitely can't afford that now.
bawalker
December 14, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I've actually been waiting for those Vegas Vacation lines to appear for the last month or two when I used that dam pun.
RyanC
December 14, 2006
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
Quote:

Actually it's interesting you mention how much per acre people would receive out of this. There have been *no* publically announced set figures for this. However, through using the Freedom Of Information Act to get public documents from various organizations, we have seen several figures that amount to about $1,700 per acre that they would be willing to 'offer' or 'compensate'. If that figure was to hold up, that'd be around $510,000 to divide upto 10 ways for all the families involved. My family would get an estimated $54,000 for 32 acres of pristine wilderness land bordering national forrest. However, that is just speculative based on informal documents from one agency to another. Considering housing developers are selling land upto $20,000 an acre here in the county, residents affected should be getting no less than $16,000 per acre.

Although those $1,700 per acre numbers may be jaw dropping, they are not out of line based on other figures that residents at other dam sites were eventually paid. Some were farmers that sold out in other locations getting their land taken from them for pennies on the dollar.

I sat down roughly figuring things in my head a while back. Lets say the dam didn't go in, and this 275-300 acres of pristine farm land that borders the national forrest with a natural trout stream running through it was sold off on 10 acre lots with amazing $250,000 homes on each. That would be $180,000 per 10 acres of land (if it sold for $18,000 per acre on average) plus a $250,000 home on it for a grand total of $430,000 sale per 10 acres. This is not out of line, being a new housing development in Lost River has TWO $475,000 homes in it that haven't sold in a year.

Anyway, if that was the case, then the average price per acre would be running around $43,000. Take that multiply it by 275 and that would give $11.2 MILLION dollars that the local gov could be paying out for the true value of that land. However being that the state is the one that pays for compensating people in eminent domain cases, we've found out that the state of WV is nearly bankrupt for having funds to buy out anyone. In that realm things look good. But doesn't mean that they won't try to steal the land from us and the neighbors for a thousand or two per acre.




Thanks for the clarification Brad. In theory, at least, affected landowners should be getting market value, which would seem to be close to your figures. If not, then that's criminal.

Eminent domain is being greatly abused in this country. Building dams (for what, who the hell knows) and shopping malls certainly doesn't count as "in the public interest" or for "public safety". It's more like Robin Hood in reverse...

Current events make me ask myself "Should I even buy a home/condo in Baltimore at today's inflated prices, or just continue to rent?" After all, what's the point in supposedly 'owning' when my home could be taken at any time for redevelopment, unpaid ground rent that I didn't know about (yes, this actually does happen in Baltimore). And to top it off, you get to pay about $10k a year in property taxes!!
bawalker
December 14, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
You are right, it *IS* downright criminal. What is worse about our particular situation... is that the vice chair of the Potomac Valley Soil Conservation District - Donald W Biller (search google), owns around 2000 acres in the surrounding area of where this dam would go. His very residence would be a mear 700 yards from the wall of the dam. His farming operation would surround the one side of the dam, on the other side were 'rumors' of a golf course and beach would go, would be on his farm land he bought there 10 years ago. See a little bit of a theme going on?

Heck, the first dam that went in which is the Kimsey's Run Dam which is 1.7 miles downstream from where the Lower Cove dam would go in, the former hardy county commissioner Michael Teets had family land that was taken for the dam. Ironically, the same time the dam was being build, he built a mansion up on the hill right beside the dam. After it was constructed, he now has a campground at the base of the dam and is looking to build a recreational area beside the dam on his family farm for tourists. See another theme going?
Roy
December 15, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
Quote:

Kimsey's Run Dam which is 1.7 miles downstream from where the Lower Cove dam




What is the supposed reasoning for building these dams so close together? What is it supposed to accomplish?
RyanC
December 15, 2006
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
Quote:

It's a good question Ryan. The problem is that "fair market value" does not always equate to "replacement value." Think, for instance, of a homeowner in a blighted area of DC who gets "fair value" for their house. They probably get $175K or so if they live in Anacostia. Now, where exactly could they get a comparable house for the same price? Front Royal, maybe.

The same holds with farmland. Local governments will often call the price "fair market value" based on how much crop yield is expected over, say, a thirty year period, which fails to take into account option (conversion) value. Should a farmer get paid option value? Gut instinct says no, but unfortunately farmland is priced on the market for both its yield and its conversion value. So a farmer might get $1,000 or $2,000 an acre under "fair market value" rules but be unable to buy any comparable land for less than $3,000 or $4,000 an acre. The result is that they wind up in a much worse situation than before their land was seized.

I like an idea I've heard floated around of replacing "fair market value" in eminent domain cases with "replacement value." I think it makes a lot of sense and would slow eminent domain abuse down substantially. Just a thought.




I agree 100%. The 'replacement value' approach would certainly slow down, if not stop, abuses. That's exactly why the system doesn't currently work that way!

We're told that homeownership is the way to the "American dream" (the "American Dream" being harder and harder to reach today), and those that struggle the most to buy a home are the folks often getting screwed here.
Roger Z
December 15, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

those that struggle the most to buy a home are the folks often getting screwed here.




Dang... I KNEW I should have struggled more to buy a home!

"Hey babe. My name's Roger, and I'm struggling to buy a home."

"Ooooohhh... it's so SEXY when a man struggles to buy a home!"

Or... did you mean "screwed" in the negative sense?
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