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Thread: Va Dept of Forestry - Major response needed.

  1. #1
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Va Dept of Forestry - Major response needed.

    Want to OC in a state forest - you can't!
    Not yet - no change in spite of getting virtually 100% pro response through the previous slow process.
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...highlight=VDOF

    This all began about a year ago with VGOF soliciting comments, having open meetings and then procrastinating on reaching a decision. Result was that they determined they needed to change the wording and are starting the entire process overAGAIN!
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...highlight=VDOF

    Major foot dragging at VDOF and nothing concrete has come forth yet. These people need to be pushed apparently, be held accountable. VDOF could not move more slowly if they were tied to one of their own trees.
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...highlight=VDOF

    Call, write and email VGOF
    and tell them to do the right thing and resolve it, bring it to a conclusion. They have a mandate, all they need do is follow it in a timely fashion.
    http://www.dof.virginia.gov/info/email.htm

    When are we going to have a new comment period, hearings, a resolution? I say again - WHEN?

    We want to be able to OC or CC in state forests in accordance with the spirit of preemption and be in compliance with all laws.

    Contact information:

    Central Office in Charlottesville, Virginia at: 434.977.6555

    FAX our Central Office in Charlottesville, Virginia at: 434.296.2369

    You can mail VDOF at:

    VDOF Central Office
    Fontaine Research Park
    900 Natural Resources Drive
    Suite 800
    Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-06-2010 at 03:36 PM. Reason: reworded
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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    I'd point out, y'all, that the reason OC is legal in Virginia is that Article 1, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia prohibits any infringement of the right of Virginians to keep and bear arms. I'd tell 'em that the Department's policy is in contravention of our Constitution and is therefore void. I think the Governor and the Attorney General ought to know about this, as well.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    I'd point out, y'all, that the reason OC is legal in Virginia is that Article 1, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia prohibits any infringement of the right of Virginians to keep and bear arms. I'd tell 'em that the Department's policy is in contravention of our Constitution and is therefore void. I think the Governor and the Attorney General ought to know about this, as well.
    So are you saying that the state agencies that have created rules. policies, etc. regarding the open carry of firearms are acting in an unconstitutional manner? As in we do not have to fight to get them added to the language of preemption because they are contravening the state's Constitution?

    And if that is what you are in fact saying, how do we get a ruling on that without someone having to get "all arrested and stuff" first?

    stay safe.

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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    So are you saying that the state agencies that have created rules. policies, etc. regarding the open carry of firearms are acting in an unconstitutional manner? As in we do not have to fight to get them added to the language of preemption because they are contravening the state's Constitution?

    And if that is what you are in fact saying, how do we get a ruling on that without someone having to get "all arrested and stuff" first?

    stay safe.
    1) That's my opinion. It is not "the state of the law" as implemented. In my opinion, there is no "wiggle room" on the word, "infringement", and our Constitution does not provide for "reasonable regulation", to use Justice Scalia's phrase.

    2) Simple answer is, we can't (at least my means of judicial processes) - the whole shootin' match in the suit against GMU is the issue of sovereign immunity from declaratory judgment actions. I think we need to get more involved in election of state senators and delagates, and specifically in the appointment of judges. The reason our legal system gets mucked up, again in my not-so-humble opinion, is intellectual dishonesty among some judges who think their job is to preserve the wealth and power of the class of people who put them in that job, rather than an honest and fair-minded application of the law as written and received. (Judges ought always to read and re-read the OT book of Amos, in my opinion, to see what happens to nations who "trample the poor in the dust and sell the widow for a pair of sandals".)

    Now, of course, if someone has already charged with a crime involving the ownership, possession, or use of a firearm in Virginia, the Constitutional provision could certainly be brought in and made the subject of appeals. But I wouldn't advise anyone to do something against "the law" as implemented.
    Last edited by user; 11-07-2010 at 07:05 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I was wondering, later last night, if something like the Heller petition might work - I want to but can't because of this law/rule/policy so hows about we get rid of the law/rule/policy?

    At least it would not need as cherry-picked a plaintiff as they did in Heller.

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Continued pettytTyranny requires a real response. We need a constitutional change.

    This is very disturbing.

    We really need to limit state agency authority to use administrative code to deny fundamental rights to citizens of the Commonwealth.

    Last week I saw three constitutional change questions on my ballot. I think that the only way we fix this is via a change to Virginia's Constitution.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, write letters and make phone calls pushing to have the VDOF "rule change" expedited.

    Our governor is aware of the agency "loophole" and has chosen to be silent on the issue publicly. Been said before that he could correct the problem with a stroke of his pen.

    Change/clarification in Va Constitution - not holding my breath for that one either. Not really so interested in being a test case, so what to do - see first paragraph and repeat as necessary.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Meanwhile, write letters and make phone calls pushing to have the VDOF "rule change" expedited.

    Our governor is aware of the agency "loophole" and has chosen to be silent on the issue publicly. Been said before that he could correct the problem with a stroke of his pen.

    Change/clarification in Va Constitution - not holding my breath for that one either. Not really so interested in being a test case, so what to do - see first paragraph and repeat as necessary.
    I happen to agree with User 101%. That doesn't mean much though. He's the expert, not me.

    I am an expert pain in the backsides though and VDOF is a result of VCDL's hard work and me poking them with a sharp stick once in a while.

    We do need to follow User's recommendations now and in the future but need to hit VDOF hard now.

    I'd guess VCDLwill be aiming at bringing State Agencies under preemption this year. We need to push that with all our support.

    I've never liked the way Judges were appointed in Va but until that changes, we need to be very involved in the process. At this time it is essentially a political favor to become a judge and the simple truth is, many judges seek the appointment because they aren't a very good attorney.

    The late and not missed Judge Wallace from Henrico who was responsible for the Sutherland Ruling being reversed, is a golden example of that.

    It all boils down to how much muscle gun owners can muster.

    For good representatives and Judges...reward em.
    For the bad ones...throw the Bastards out!

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Office of the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore
    Patrick Henry Building
    1111 East Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

    For regular U.S. mail, please use the following address:
    P.O. Box 1475
    Richmond, VA 23218

    Phone Numbers:
    (804) 692-2511
    Fax Line: (804) 692-2466

    You can also email our office at Agriculture&Forestry@governor.virginia.gov
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    My email just sent, short and to the point:

    Secretary Haymore,

    It is time for your agency to honor the will of the people as evidenced through public comment, and the Constitution of Virginia (Section 13), by allowing the open carry of self defense sidearms in state forests.

    Please let me know what you are doing to make this happen.

    Thank you,

    XXXX XXXX
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Postcard Sent

    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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    Question Huh?

    "Call, write and email VGOF and tell them to do the right thing and resolve it, bring it to a conclusion. They have a mandate, all they need do is follow it in a timely fashion.
    http://www.dof.virginia.gov/info/email.htm"

    Because we know how effective all those calls, emails & faxes were to DOI Sec'y Norton to repeal the Parks ban.

    'Stroke of the pen' was the oft cited rallying cry of those who called, faxed and emailed NPS. It wasn't true then, and it's not true here. If you're trying to fix a regulation that is lawfully promulgated you can either go to court, go through the administrative process or get the law changed. Agency staff do respect and react to some things, but letters, emails and faxes from citizens are not among those things.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Y View Post
    "Call, write and email VGOF and tell them to do the right thing and resolve it, bring it to a conclusion. They have a mandate, all they need do is follow it in a timely fashion.
    http://www.dof.virginia.gov/info/email.htm"

    Because we know how effective all those calls, emails & faxes were to DOI Sec'y Norton to repeal the Parks ban.

    'Stroke of the pen' was the oft cited rallying cry of those who called, faxed and emailed NPS. It wasn't true then, and it's not true here. If you're trying to fix a regulation that is lawfully promulgated you can either go to court, go through the administrative process or get the law changed. Agency staff do respect and react to some things, but letters, emails and faxes from citizens are not among those things.
    Beg to differ on all points.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell most assuredly could correct this with an executive order = stroke of the pen."

    What is presently being done is precisely the administrative process. Problem is that VGOF is NOT proceeding in a a timely fashion and abused the process IMO to ignore the results from the previous submission; hence, the reference to a mandate.

    Thirdly, we are working to change/clarify the law.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-11-2010 at 09:17 AM. Reason: addded
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Beg all you want

    Differ too.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell most assuredly could correct this with an executive order = stroke of the pen."
    Cite to authority?

    Efforts pursuant to an administrative action need to focus on where citizens can have influence. DOF is not directly answerable to the citizen now are they? Who do we know of that are?

    Work smarter. Not harder.

  15. #15
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Y View Post
    Differ too.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell most assuredly could correct this with an executive order = stroke of the pen."
    Cite to authority?

    Efforts pursuant to an administrative action need to focus on where citizens can have influence. DOF is not directly answerable to the citizen now are they? Who do we know of that are?

    Work smarter. Not harder.

    Ask and ye shall receive: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/E...%282009%29.pdf


    DOF is answerable to the Executive, legislative and judicial branches. They (DOF) have policies and procedures in which they solicit citizen input and how/what they will do as a result of this citizen input.

    What is in your wallet?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post

    Ask and ye shall receive: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/E...%282009%29.pdf


    DOF is answerable to the Executive, legislative and judicial branches. They (DOF) have policies and procedures in which they solicit citizen input and how/what they will do as a result of this citizen input.

    What is in your wallet?
    Non responsive. EO cannot undo, or do a lawfully promulgated regulation. The pdf even has statutory code quoted in it. Wherein does it say the Governor can 'stroke his pen' and undo this or any regulation?

    Whether or not we believe the regulation to be unconstitutional is not relevant. What is relevant is what we can prove in court, undo by administrative process or legislation. During the course of the administrative process there are certain times when the agency will solicit citizen input, however, the agency and the staff are not subject to, nor answerable to the citizens. However, your last response did contain helpful text in this regard - that is to say, who the agency would be answerable to.

    As I said before and it remains true. The whole stroke of the pen / and emailing the agency head is tilting at windmills. www.ourcivilrights.org proved this back in 2003-2004.

    see http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&ct=clnk&gl=us

    Focus on who you can influence.

    Why are you worried about what's in my wallet?

  17. #17
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Y View Post
    Wherein does it say the Governor can 'stroke his pen' and undo this or any regulation?
    Nowhere, but...

    Wahl, Warren (DCR) to Gary, Joe, me
    show details Apr 13
    Dear [Me]:

    Please pardon the tardiness of my response. I was out last week and just saw your e-mail yesterday and was checking for developments that may have occurred in my absence. You will see to what I refer below.

    First let me answer your stated question directly. The regulation to which you refer is §4VAC5-30-200.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...g+4VAC5-30-200

    This regulation has been in place in some form since at least the late 60's and probably longer.

    §10.1-104(4), link below, is the Code of Virginia section from which the Department derives its authority to make regulations.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+10.1-104

    Now follows the internal details in which you may or may not have interest. When Governor McDonnell was the Attorney General he opined that §18.2-287.4 COV stated the entire intent of the General Assembly to limit the ability to carry firearms on public parks and therefore it superseded our Department's ability to restrict it further. There were more nuances, but that is the heart of it. Former Governor Kaine did not accept that opinion and directed our agency to continue enforcing the regulation as you presently see it. This obviously elevated the point at which the decision had to be made and was the last direction we received on this issue.

    Shortly after Governor McDonnell took office, we sent a reminder "upline" of the status of this situation assuming his position had not changed. Governor McDonnell has not yet provided additional direction. So, we are proceeding as last directed and enforcing the regulation as it exists.

    The following is purely speculation on my part and please do not mistake it for anything more certain. I suspect the Governor may be dealing with this issue in a far broader manner and may not want to highlight simply a state park issue at this time. I suspect from your question, you may be pleased by the ultimate outcome. As a result, I respectfully suggest, we should probably all give the Governor the opportunity to deal with this in the manner and time frame he believes to be appropriate. Clearly, our agency is obligated to do so under any circumstance.

    I hope this is helpful. If there is any further information we can provide, please write back.
    Last edited by t33j; 11-11-2010 at 10:25 AM.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Quote Originally Posted by t33j View Post
    Nowhere, but...

    Wahl, Warren (DCR) to Gary, Joe, me
    show details Apr 13
    Dear [Me]:

    Please pardon the tardiness of my response. I was out last week and just saw your e-mail yesterday and was checking for developments that may have occurred in my absence. You will see to what I refer below.

    First let me answer your stated question directly. The regulation to which you refer is §4VAC5-30-200.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...g+4VAC5-30-200

    This regulation has been in place in some form since at least the late 60's and probably longer.

    §10.1-104(4), link below, is the Code of Virginia section from which the Department derives its authority to make regulations.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+10.1-104

    Now follows the internal details in which you may or may not have interest. When Governor McDonnell was the Attorney General he opined that §18.2-287.4 COV stated the entire intent of the General Assembly to limit the ability to carry firearms on public parks and therefore it superseded our Department's ability to restrict it further. There were more nuances, but that is the heart of it. Former Governor Kaine did not accept that opinion and directed our agency to continue enforcing the regulation as you presently see it. This obviously elevated the point at which the decision had to be made and was the last direction we received on this issue.

    Shortly after Governor McDonnell took office, we sent a reminder "upline" of the status of this situation assuming his position had not changed. Governor McDonnell has not yet provided additional direction. So, we are proceeding as last directed and enforcing the regulation as it exists.

    The following is purely speculation on my part and please do not mistake it for anything more certain. I suspect the Governor may be dealing with this issue in a far broader manner and may not want to highlight simply a state park issue at this time. I suspect from your question, you may be pleased by the ultimate outcome. As a result, I respectfully suggest, we should probably all give the Governor the opportunity to deal with this in the manner and time frame he believes to be appropriate. Clearly, our agency is obligated to do so under any circumstance.

    I hope this is helpful. If there is any further information we can provide, please write back.
    Thanks T33j. My point here is that for the undoing of the regulation to be binding it must be legal. For it to be legal, the regulation to strike or amend the current regulation must be promulgated in the correct way. You don't want a repeat of the Brady environmental impact statement lawsuit against NPS... My personal opinion is that Heller & McDonald by logical extension most certainly undoes the legality of this regulation but that doesn't wash in a court. Yes, the DOF is dragging their feet and obfuscating in every possible way, that is what government does.

    The Governor no more has the legal authority to say 'don't enforce the open carry admin. ban' as he does to say 'don't enforce the murder law'. The regulation needs to be stricken, not amended. Whatever the administrative process does, it has to be pursuant to what the General Assembly laid out. If the Governor could 'stroke of the pen' eliminate this regulation then would he only use that power for good? That wouldn't be a functioning republic now would it?

    Focus on the targets we have influence over.

    And for the record i think DOF is acting in bad faith here, not out of negligence or incompetence but rather out of outright hostility to the Constitution and citizens. That said, we need to focus our efforts where they will be effective.

  19. #19
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Y View Post
    Why are you worried about what's in my wallet?
    I'm not "worried" and mean no personal affront - it alludes to what a person's motivation might be. I can't decipher yours on this - you criticize the efforts, but offer no better means.

    From t33j's posting above, it seems apparent that we are getting someone's attention.

    As I pointed out earlier, their is a multi-pronged response going on at several levels.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    'stroke of the pen' cite to authority please?


    "- you criticize the efforts, but offer no better means."

    from the previous post:
    "Focus on the targets we have influence over."

    I'm not saying don't pursue DOF, I'm saying the state forester & DOF generally isn't where the respective target audience here is going to have the most impact.

  21. #21
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Y View Post
    'stroke of the pen' cite to authority please?


    "- you criticize the efforts, but offer no better means."

    from the previous post:
    "Focus on the targets we have influence over."

    I'm not saying don't pursue DOF, I'm saying the state forester & DOF generally isn't where the respective target audience here is going to have the most impact.
    Never said that DOF was the only area of influence in this matter - quite to the contrary. Public reaction does carry over into other spheres though.

    We differ as to whether the governor could direct a solution - did you read the response to t33j noted above?

    In any event I don't think we are going to answer the question here, on this thread, as to the effectiveness of this particular approach. We may just need to agree to disagree as we fight for the same things.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Y View Post
    Differ too.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell most assuredly could correct this with an executive order = stroke of the pen."
    Cite to authority?

    Efforts pursuant to an administrative action need to focus on where citizens can have influence. DOF is not directly answerable to the citizen now are they? Who do we know of that are?

    Work smarter. Not harder.
    I've been working on this for a year. Grapeshot and others just as long. I didn't notice you doing anything at all. If it hadn't been for those efforts they would have already had CHP only and you'd still be talking about what we should do.
    Last edited by peter nap; 11-11-2010 at 11:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Never said that DOF was the only area of influence in this matter - quite to the contrary. Public reaction does carry over into other spheres though.

    We differ as to whether the governor could direct a solution - did you read the response to t33j noted above?

    In any event I don't think we are going to answer the question here, on this thread, as to the effectiveness of this particular approach. We may just need to agree to disagree as we fight for the same things.

    I'm unclear what you're saying now. Previously you said the governor could undo this regulation with the stroke of a pen, I asked for a cite to authority and have reiterated it.

    Above you say we differ on whether a solution can be directed by the Governor. That is not the same thing, the Governor can direct an agency to act --within the statutory framework--. We do not differ on this account, we differ on the 'stroke of the pen' striking of the regulation. That is a myth, urban legend, red herring, white elephant, flying pig. The governor is not vested with that authority. Directing an agency within the statutory scope? Yes. strike the regulation by 'stroke of the pen' / EO - again, cite to authority...

    I may not have articulated my previous post sufficiently with regard to the target audience and their respective influences. This is a noble effort, DOF is just plain bad. That aside, they should not have their firearm prohibition, and efforts are underway to curtail them. Citizen activism comes in many forms and when properly focused can be a powerful tool against government. That said, citizen input is only minimally effective against the power of an unelected bureaucrat. It is highly respected by elected positions though. This kind of activism can pay dividends but history shows us that leveraging it against unelected bureaucrats is less than effective.

    I'm honestly not sure what you meant in the first sentence by public reaction but that leads me to believe there is a PR effort behind this. That would be good if there was but that's really a separate issue.

    You previously said: "- you criticize the efforts, but offer no better means."

    I counter that I have offered suggestions to better leverage the influence of this target audience - that is, the user community here, yet you do not seem willing to consider it.

    Rather than agree to disagree, why don't we both agree to at least try the other's respective suggestions? I would be happy to email the unelected bureaucrats if you would refocus to elected officials. Fair enough?

  24. #24
    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    I smell a peace proposal.

    I do not give a particular fig which effort results in getting this situation fixed, so long as it DOES get fixed. Until such time I support both paths to a solution. If I can remember, I will ask the Gov. the next time he is at my office. We see him here monthy more or less.

  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    .....................

    ........................Deleted by Grapeshot
    .....................................
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-11-2010 at 01:44 PM. Reason: deleted
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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