Chesapeake Gun Buy-Back

26 11 2008
This is a terrible idea. There is absolutely no evidence that suggests gun buy-backs actually work. Also, wouldn’t criminals be inclined to break into houses and steal more handguns, therefore leading to an increase in crime. this would be especially easy if any of them happen to still know who has them from when Roanoke printed the list of CCW holders of everyone in Virginia. This gun buy-back will not help fight crime. Why would a criminal take $100 for a gun that he could easily sell on the street for $500? Or he could use it to rob someone and make even more. Come on Chesapeake, try putting more cops on the street in problem areas and getting convictions for these criminals. Chesapeake, try reading “Gun Buy Back Program Benefits Questioned” by John Hoffmann, published by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJ 179755). It’s researchers theorized that the buy-backs prompted drug addicts to steal guns to pay for drugs. Also, criminals would sell old guns to help buy new ones. They studied the 1991 and 1994 St. Louis buy-backs and determined that the guns bought back were not the same type the were used in gun crimes, therefore deeming the buy-backs a waste. (They tend to be antiques, collectables, or revolvers turned in by family of gun owners) The only purpose these programs serve is for great photo opportunities for police. Austrailia, where they forced people to turn in all of their firearms 12 years ago has destroyed merely 640,000 guns. They continue to have gun buy-bakcs and turn-ins. Their armed robbery rate has since risen drastically. Guns are not being used at frequently, but I would be just a scared with a knife in my face as a gun.




Chesapeake to get new Police Cams

26 11 2008
Finally, somebody will actually be able to see what the Chesapeake Police are up to. This would certainly have been useful in the Frederick case. I am also sure that it would have led to many other cases, who’s Plaintiffs would actually have more than their word vs the officer’s word. In Norfolk, for example, I feel that a cam such as this is the primary reason the charges were dropped against the “Hoola-Hoop” Lady. A personal system like this is great for increasing accountability for police officers. There will no longer be he said/she said.
VIEVU Police Personal Video System




Local Money

26 11 2008
Chesapeake voted to allow the “Dominion Bike Path to Nowhere” plan, allowing the exhorberantly priced bike path to be built into the bridge. This bridge could be done another way. I had an idea of a zig-zag style ramp to get up to cross the water, allowing the rest of the path to be ground level, but they told me that the zig-zag structure would cost the same as the bridge. Why this path needs to be able to withstand heavy truck traffic, I will never know. I would think that a simple steel structure could be mounted on the side or underside of the bridge, negating any need for extra pilings. But, I tried. Virginia Beach on the other hand, is a bit split personallity when it comes to saving money. They decide to look at schools that they could close to save costs and then, in the same breath, decide that they will spend $5.1 million to relocate the Virginian-Pilot so they can build another overpriced phase of Town Center. Congrats however, to Bill DeSteph and Reba McClanan, who voted against the relocation proposal.




Recycle Hampton Roads

26 11 2008
In a recent report, Hampton Roads’ recycling rate actually dropped over 2007’s rate. The report attributes this to the closure of SPSA’s yard-waste facility, a victim of NIMBY, although it was there first. In my opinion, the decrease could have been prevented if some cities stepped up their game. Norfolk has the big blue recycling bins. They are amazingly easy to use. In fact ours usually fills up while our garbage can only sits half full. My grandfather actually traded in his full size garbage can for this cute little mini can. Chesapeake, on the other hand, does not participate in curb-side recycling. They rely on the good-will of residents to drive to drop-off points. Consequently, Mt. Chesapeake (their landfill) has grown to a size much taller than the trees and is visible from I-64. They should be ashamed of themselves.




Virginia Beach to object to Uranium mine

26 11 2008
While to find fault with their argument about hurricanes hitting the near-Appalachian region with force, I do support their objections. Nuclear Power is the dirtiest power source imaginable. While proponents of it disagree, I stand by my assertion due to the fact that while coal residue settles eventually or gets absorbed by plants, nuclear waste stays with us for millions of years. Nuclear power’s beginnings are dangerous as well as the byproduct and the production itself.Rather than spend money of furthering this incredibly dangerous power source, we, especially Hampton Roads, should be promoting truly clean power. Hampton Roads has an especially large stake in this. Dirty power, including the so-called ‘clean coal,’ is contributing to Global Warming. I do not believe that people are the sole cause of global warming, but we certainly aren’t helping. Even if we contributed absolutely nothing to Global Warming, we, as moral people, should make an effort to be good stewards to the planet. On that note, Hampton Roads as well as Virginia, should push for truly clean energy. Imagine instead of off-shore drilling, we built off shore wind turbines. Virginia Beach could profit from that as well as waves-to-power technologies. Suffolk and Chesapeake, with their quantity of open fields, could benefit from a full-scale solar plant. The Urban areas of Hampton Roads could benefit from an increase in private solar use, lessening the need for electrical and gas infrastructure. If we could power ourselves with clean energy, we would only need to fall back on clean coal plants and nuclear for nighttime or inclement weather power. That right there would reduce the amount of CO2 released into our air. It is possible. It does require government assistance however. The Local, State, and Federal government should tax industries that create pollution and earmark that money to be used for furthering clean energy. Normally, I would be against government telling business what they should or should not be doing, however, this cause certainly benefits all of us. If sea levels do indeed rise within the next hundred years (as predicted), most of Hampton Roads would be under water. I think that as far as weighing costs is concerned, that it would be cheaper to fund clean power than it would be to raise every structure in our area by 5 feet including roads and infrastructure.




AIG – Its about time

26 11 2008
AIG or American International Group, Inc, announced that it will pay its top executives $1 per year for this year and 2009. In turn, the executives will receive and an unspecified amount of stock. There will be no bonuses at all for the year-end of 2008 and no salary increases for its top 50 executives. Excellent! This company affects the lives of ALL Hampton Roads residents, either as customers or taxpayers, footing the bill for their $150 billion bailout. I think that all executives of any for-profit corporation should be held to this same rule. No top executive should receive salary pay, but instead should be compensated solely with stock. This would lead to more reasonable corporate business policies. All executives would receive an amount of money that is directly related to how well the business is run. An exception to this would be new executives, to be allowed to make changes to a company without worry about what the previous executives did.




Good Job Dollar Tree

26 11 2008
Dollar Tree, a Hampton Roads native, reported a healthy 20% growth in profits. Not only is this a great thing, economy considered, but I have to commend them for the variety they have kept at only $1. A couple years ago, a friend of mine told me that he thought that Dollar Tree would go out of business, due to their self-imposed $1 and item limit. As prices continue to rise, their profit margins would shrink. But Dollar Tree thought different, and continued to expand their selection and their stores, and now, when everyone is looking to buy smarter, they have surpassed the norm. I went into a Dollar Tree a couple of weeks ago; I had not been in one in a few years. In the past, I had only found cheap toys and random household items that were neither useful or well-built. This last visit, however, I was suprised. I found a wide selection of household items that seemed of decent quality. It was, in my opinion, a $1 K-Mart. They had everything that one might need on a day to day basis. They even have food now. Just the basics, but enough for a family (or college student such as myself) in hard times to get by without debt. So congrats Dollar Tree, on a [local] job well done.