The Harmony of David Updegrove

Kevin Rudy, Bob Rodriquez, Dave Updegrove, and Ray Sitter

Kevin Rudy, Bob Rodriquez, Dave Updegrove, and Ray Sitter

David Graham Updegrove had a bass singing voice that was crooner smooth and comforting to hear.

In his “real life,” David mostly worked the numbers on spreadsheets in long columns, recognizing the significance that any history of numbers means for a going concern and to the many divisions of tax officials.

Continue reading

On the the Senate – to try Trump

mconnell_impeach

I. PRELIMINARY REMARKS.

A. IMPEACHMENT PREP BY THE HOUSE.

The “delay” in passing the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate is “timely enough.”

Whatever advantage may have been obtained by Speaker Pelosi, by withholding the articles of impeachment until mid-January, I expect that the time was used:

a. To identify and prepare the managers,
b. To assign critical roles to try the case,
c. To draft the written and oral arguments to launch the prosecution at the Senate trial,
d. To prepare to present the evidence the House already found proving the articles of abuse and obstruction beyond any reasonable doubt. and, I hope,
e. The leadership and managers prepared a ground game to attack the unfair trial that the Senate Majority Leader has planned for the impeachment trial.

[The articles of impeachment]

B. THE DELAY OBTAINED SOME ADVANTAGES.

No question, Speaker Pelosi’s delay over the congressional recess, scared Senate Majority Leader McConnell to jump the gun, and say outright he was going to protect Trump at the trial. You don’t usually get a tribunal to confess it’s bias against your cause.

Next up, there’s Trump, who is so strong when bullying, but characteristically cowardly in defense. Continue reading

Fight Starting Right Now

fightfistFIGHT NOW.

You can’t bargain with a malevolent legislative dictator. Mitch McConnell.

There will not be any agreement. That’s what he‘ll say first thing Thursday Am.

You have to charge the senate, like you are real prosecutors, who know how to defend a case against a biased tribunal, and appoint the managers now, and make the motions you make at trials, demand the recusal of some senators, and subpoenas for witnesses for the trial, ones we’ve deposed and had public testimony, and you demand that Roberts enforce these necessary steps.

Let the Senate overrule Roberts if they can.

Try the case in the Senate and before the nation. All the jurors that matter.

Don’t create an impasse that you can’t break – giving McConnell the control of the game, by demanding he do what we already know he will never do. He has no shame.

Am I the only one who observed what happened to Chuck Schumer’s demand.

We humiliate ourselves by asking for anything from McConnell. What do we do when he says pound sand? Pout. Retire from the field?

Get into the trenches now and fight for what’s right, to restore the nation to its original promise.

The motions should be sent to the Chief Judge, to the leaders of the Senate, and to Trump’s counsel, as you would in any civil case. And ask for dates to be heard on these critical significant motions.

Happy Holidays

Lovettsville Holiday Tree, 2019

Lovettsville Holiday Tree, 2019

Happy Holidays is the apt agreement when you don’t know how another celebrates the spirit of the season. If you know, then Merry Christmas may be just fine. This past Friday, it was obviously all about Christmas.

On the other hand, you may know a friend, and the greeting for him is Happy Chanukah, not Merry Christmas.

For me, it’s a meditation on how we should all get along.

It must be obvious that any seasonal greeting that rests upon a faulty recollection or calculated guess as to who believes what runs the risk of being a quite inapt faux pas as we rush toward the winter solstice.

Some insist fervently on saying “Merry Christmas” without apology or seeming kindness to everyone, to Jews, Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Not to be too harsh, but that unconscious practice strikes me as not-very-Christian — as it’s not very loving of one’s neighbor. Continue reading

Record Support for Clean Streams

Free flowing streams of clean water

Free flowing streams of clean water

Only a few months back, the Loudoun County Soil and Conservation District, by a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors authorized $580 thousand dollars to underwrite the cost of best management practices (BMPs) for Loudoun County farmers and landowners, to keep our water free of waste and to resist the erosion of our top soils.

At its last meeting, only days ago, the Board approved eight cost share grants totaling an additional $146 thousand dollars.  The voting Directors were James Christian (Chair), James Wylie (Vice Chair), John Flannery (Treasurer), Marina Schumacher, and Jim Hilleary.

This year the Board has authorized about $726 thousand dollars of the Million Dollar grant authorized for Loudoun County from down state.

This is the largest dedication of funds to clean water and rich soil this district has achieved, and we have more authorized funds yet to approve. Continue reading

A Nation at Risk

Impeach_Trump_NixonImpeachment is a function of constitutional law – NOT politics – and the discipline is to consider whether the standards for impeachment have been breached.

The discipline necessary is to put partisanship aside and consider as Republicans did with Nixon, whether a chief executive has breached those standards, committed treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.

In the case at hand, we have the principals including Mr. Trump admitting the offense, while lying about the material facts confirmed by an array of witnesses.

Worse, the specific offense we are examining is a combination of extortion and bribery in order to distort a 2nd presidential election. Continue reading

A Towering Tree Grows in Lovettsville

Tree_basswood_full

Some evening when you are walking near the Lovettsville Town Council, right across from Andy’s Restaurant, look up and observe a natural beauty, about 100 feet or more high, and take a pix of a friend standing next to it, to save some record of its majestic proportions.

If you look on the ground toward the north of the tree, on the same side of the street, you can see its younger offspring already climbing to the sky.

The means to identify a tree for expert and amateur alike is to study the leaves, the bark, the twigs, and the fruit.

The leaves are often the first and most reliable indicator. Continue reading

The Soil and Water Board – what we do!

And why I’d like to continue on the Soil and Water Board

NPR_Farm_horse_jpf2

Serving as Director of the Soil and Water Board is a public service.  It doesn’t pay anything.  It’s not a political stepping stone.  It is all about an issue that many of us think is critical and care deeply about – assuring the quality of our water and soil.

This is the reason I ran for this office four years ago, and why I seek re-election to continue another four years. I believe we have been making a difference for the better. I want to continue in that vein.

This job and the Board we serve imposes no regulations on any one. Participation is voluntary. We serve farmers and landowners by underwriting the cost of keeping their streams and creeks clean for the welfare of everyone. These waters make their way to the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay and, along the way, folks in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties drink that water.

The overall objectives of Soil and Water are straightforward. First, we seek to keep “nutrients” (waste) out of our waters. We underwrite the cost of fences to keep our livestock out of our waters, and subsidize troughs in the fields, and the necessary power and water lines. Second, we are similarly concerned to avoid soil runoff and erosion.  We preserve and protect our top soil because its loss takes a thousand years to replace.  That’s why we encourage buffers, cover crops, and tree plantings. Continue reading

Our Young Really Matter – and we should know that

Angelina Eades, Elizabeth Marcheschi, Maryam Khan, Malcolm Woehrle, and Kendall Briscoe

Angelina Eades, Elizabeth Marcheschi, Maryam Khan, Malcolm Woehrle, and Kendall Briscoe

When one looks into the character of the younger generation, it’s like looking into a mirror of a time long ago, a backward glimpse into who you were when younger.

On the other hand, but, more significantly, if you take the time, you are looking forward into the future, embodied in the young person before you, an exciting discovery, because this person will cut a different path through life, a life perhaps more dramatic and promising.

Does this person have the capacity to be a surgeon, a musician, a lawyer, someone who will make a difference, and to have influence, beyond his or her own life, affecting the community at large?

We speak of the promise of our “children” but, as a child of the 60s, I learned that, for many adults, that meant knowing your place, not rocking the boat, not really making much of a difference, not invoking what undeveloped gifts may still lay hidden to be revealed later.

Maryam Khan, a Wodbridge Senior, was motivated to make a difference, and to help Nicole Clark, organize the march from Lovettsville to Hillsboro to relieve the suffering that is cancer, and thinking to detect the signs early. Continue reading

Loudoun Responds – Supporting Clean Streams

Paddocks keep livestock and waste out of our creeks

Paddocks keep livestock and waste out of our creeks

The former Secretary of State Madeline Albright has said that what oil was to the last century, water will be to this century, in terms of quality and sufficiency.

We focus on the “nutrients,” the waste that flows into our rivers and streams, and then the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.

On the other hand, we struggle to avoid and stem erosion, as it takes a thousand years to make rich top soil, so it’s nothing to waste.

Virginia has devoted a million dollars to Loudoun County to underwrite voluntary efforts by farmers and landowners to follow best management practices (BMPs) to keep the water clear and the soil rich close to home.

Days ago, at the last monthly meeting of the Loudoun County Soil and Conservation District, the Board authorized $580 thousand dollars to underwrite the cost of best management practices (BMPs) for Loudoun County farmers and landowners. Continue reading