The outrageous judiciary “opinion” about FOIA

sunshine week right to knowA judge has ruled that he feels that the complaint about the Pittsylvania Agriculture Board being in violation of Virginia FOIA was politically motivated more than an actual complaint.

“It is apparent this case is … more about politics than it is about legality,” Reynolds said. However, he did find the board violated FOIA by not giving proper notice of going into and coming out of closed session during its meeting April 8.
<blockquote>FOIA is being used as a “club” by individuals not happy with the board’s performance, Reynolds said.

What gave this judge that idea seems to be unknown, since the law itself does not anticipate such a ridiculous defense of the illegal actions of the board.

You might remember that citizens were effectively kicked out of a meeting back in April of this year, after the board claimed it was going into executive session. There was a raging thunderstorm at the time, and after waiting some amount of time, the citizens left without knowing what the outcome of the session was.

This is simply more excuse-making behavior of the judiciary and the executive branch to make excuses for the administrators of our public boards and commissions that are required by law to follow FOIA laws.

We have had many examples of this behavior and other behaviors recently, from the Martese Johnson case, to the recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling that effectively removed what was understood as the duty of the government to redact portions of records they deem to be under one of the exemptions provided for by law.

The Governor himself has given lip service all along about transparency, and it is striking how this flies in the face of his own administration surrounding these issues. From criminal investigations to materials in those investigations, even families of victims have been forced to sue their own government to obtain what otherwise should be an easy request.

It’s pretty simple really. Quit inserting your own opinions of the law and people’s actions surrounding it by legal means, or give up your job, because you are certainly not fulfilling your job description and promises you made when becoming a public servant.

After all, you promised us that you would abide by all the laws, not just the ones you like or agree with. That’s the real message here.


Medicaid expansion in Virginia would help mothers, children and mentally ill citizens

Among the approximately 400,000 people that would be helped by the extension of Medicaid connected to the Affordable Care Act are the people who need the most help. Mothers, children and the mentally ill in our communities.

The obstruction of this clearly shows the Republican majority in Virginia’s legislature have little concern for those in need, instead considering the most important thing is their careers and their next election.

Shame on you, Bill Howell, Tommy Norment and the people who enable this nonsense.

What does Charlottesville candidate Michael Signer have to say about transparency in government?

We may not know, because Signer’s Twitter feed is “private”, just like the information was about Martese Johnson and the ABC officers who bloodied him.

The report clearing the ABC officers was not released and the “prohibition” of release has become an embarrassment. Information is not “prohibited” from being released, it is in the control of the custodian of records.

It was finally released when the Governor claimed all “releases” had been granted. Personnel policy is once again being used to hide illegal actions.

Over to you, Mike.

signer twitter

About that smoked pork picnic I cooked

First of all, I am so glad I got back to smoking food. It really is one of my favorite things to do.

That is a whole picnic pork roast, coated in rock sea salt and my homemade sauce. The recipe for it is below.

Thrown Together Sauce

1/2 c. ketchup

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. vinegar (your choice) Hot)

1 tsp. lemon juice

hot sauce of your choice to taste (I used Franks Red Hot)


This sauce is easy to make and in fact, I made it up on the spot. Slather the sauce all over the roast and place on prepared smoker rack or Weber grill with your favorite water-soaked wood chips. I used apple this time.


Biosolids OK for your farm field and food, but treated as “Haz-Mat” when spilled

In Goochland County, biosolids were spilled in the road right-of-way , but don’t worry.

Tomorrow, they’ll spread it on your food growing fields so it’s back in the food chain. And hazardous material response?

That’s due to the “…which reduces, but doesn’t completely eliminate, disease-causing organisms…” said one unknown haz-mat crew member. Feeling better now?

Oh, one last thing: Soil and Water Conservation Districts are paid every year by the government to clean up rivers and streams contaminated with human coliform bacteria.

Washington State:

People and pets in the area should avoid direct contact with the spill area and Swauk Creek below the spill until potential risks to health have been determined by the health department, according to a news release.

The biosolids have been treated by King County to meet Class B requirements which reduces, but doesn’t completely eliminate, disease-causing organisms.