And why I’d like to continue on the Soil and Water Board
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
I’m originally from a neighborhood in the South Bronx. 143rd and Willis avenue was our first neighborhood. My Dad was the super for the building. We lived in what I described in a grammar school essay as a “picturesque” tenement. My dad said I was mistaken to use the word picturesque – I disagreed. My Dad was amused.
As these apartments were packed one on the other, 4 stories high, they were possible fire traps and there were notable tragedies for those tenements with no way to escape.
I think Congress is presently more like a tenement, hardly picturesque, my Dad I’m sure is nodding agreement from the hereafter, and our Republic is going up in flames for congress’ failure to follow its oath and to act In the manner dictated by our constitution.
My Dad who was a carpenter, electrician and a plumber often said a poor workman blames his tools.
The founders gave our Congress the tools to restrain a chief executive with a monarchical bent.
But our Congress doesn’t even use the tools the founders created for just this kind of circumstances.
Again about tenements. What saved tenements from the fear and danger of fire were fire escapes that not only could and did save families.
(Incidentally, these fire escapes, for us kids, was like having open air balconies – as good as any populating the elevator towers on the east side silk stocking district – it was our place of freedom and, yes, escape.) Continue reading
We received a report from the Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District that alleges actions by Loudoun Water halted the flow of water over Beaver Dam for two periods during the summer of 2015. The report begins:
The Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District Board passed a resolution, appointing the undersigned as Special Counsel, to inquire into whether Loudoun Water had failed to pump water into the Goose Creek Reservoir and whether, because of that failure, Goose Creek ran dry; otherwise, the assignment was to suggest what recommendations, if any, might cure this failure going forward.
John Flannery, one of our bloggers, submitted the report and will serve as the undersigned Special Counsel.
REPORT OF SPECIAL COUNSL_BEAVER_DAM_4_14_16_Approved_4_29_16
John Flannery 1984
In 1984, I was running for Congress, as the Democratic nominee for the 10th Congressional district, standing on the floor of the Democratic convention in San Francisco, when New York Governor Mario Cuomo challenged the convention and the nation to get on with the business of the American people. What he said then remains as urgent today.
As it was true of President Ronald Reagan, we shall soon experience a Republican leadership in our U.S. Congress who invoke the golden rule but their actions and words tell us that what they really believe is “social Darwinism” that, as the Governor said then, means the nation “should settle for taking care of the strong and hope that economic ambition and charity will do the rest,” so that “what falls from the table will be enough for the middle class and those who are trying desperately to work their way into the middle class.”
Republicans who so easily invoke Judeo-Christian “values” believe, not what Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount, namely, that the meek shall inherit the earth, but that only the strong shall.
I believe, as the Governor said then, that “we can make it all the way with the whole family [of men and women, children and seniors] intact.” This is a more worthy legacy for public service than what we’ve been getting. Millions now have health care who didn’t. The Republican leadership looks to deny that coverage. Continue reading