Literary: Letters To The Editor
I would like to thank the City of Winchester, Fair Housing Commission, the landlords and anyone else involved in this crusade for tenant rights. It is an issue that needs immediate attention. Unfortunately one factor wasn't included in the equation...What ramifications happen to the tenants?
Landlords are as tricky as an Enron CEO under a heatlamp. Not only will they pass every cost they incur onto the tenant. They will resort to unethical measures like my landlord has done to me. Making myself one of the first victims in the "Landlord Wars"...I have been displaced.
At first my rent went through two increases since the crusade started. An extra one hundred dollars a month. Then after six years and over $25,000 in rent paid, I get a sixty-day eviction notice. With the reason stated, the property is turning into strictly commercial. This is a slap in the face since I already run a home-ran business in the location.
Instead of fixing a neglected property for mandatory inspection. My landlord adds a new coat of paint. Adds another $500 a month onto the rent and moves in an insurance agent or accountant to bear the cost. Now he can take his extra money and fix up a property that needs to be inspected.
Every property I have looked at this week is double what I have paid for ten years. I now have to go through credit checks after I have tarnished my record with a bad three GOP years of business. I have to incur thousands of dollars in moving and relocating costs. I have to take time from my already demanding schedule to even deal with the problem.
This is the kind of action that will probably destroy my business and my sanity. I have done everything I can to operate a business correctly and minimize my overhead costs. Now my rent will double and my profits will drop another 75%. So thanks to everyone that has helped this process, especially my landlord.
If you see me living on the mall soon with the rest of the newly created vagrants, please say Hello.
How can we as a community, city, and state, let fire departments go in debt buying needed equipment. These departments survive by donations, dinners, and bingo. The state and cities cover the expense for the paid fire fighters, but what do they budget in funding? Our police departments receive budgets of up to a half million dollars per year. even though they remain the highest revenue maker for the city and states. Our volunteer services are in far more need of new equipment, than a $50,000 equipped, unmarked police vehicle that spends most of it's time catching speeders. Crime is easy to create, but fire can create itself, and it won't be an unnecessarily budgeted officer saving you. It will be a volunteer fire fighter or an EMT.

Sky High Productions Inc. is offering six limited edition prints, from internationally recognized artist Bryan Fleming. Half of all proceeds will be donated to local fire departments.


Why would "the city" need to do research to determine the effects of parking on downtown churches? Here let me save you some money and trouble. Every church in the downtown area has feasible parking. With the exception of a few churches, most have there own parking lots or utilize the street and business parking, during the off hours. Besides any parking concern over churches would be on mainly Sundays. I myself, along with others, live in the downtown area seven days a week. I pay two hundred and forty dollars yearly for a place to park my car. This is something I am not happy with. Since I have to walk, three blocks to get to my car every time I need it.

On July 7, I hope VDOT(The Department of Transportation) learned an important factor in carrying out their tasks. A group of men began a small reconstruction job on the I-81 bridge above Martinsburg Pike. This backed up traffic for over five miles to the Route 37 exit in Kernstown. Making many drivers very frustrated and stuck in the ninety degree heat. Trapped in their hot vehicles, like pizzas in the oven. Yelling and cursing the workers when passing by.The only question is why. Why would you want to expose people to this dangerous and stressful situation? Why as a VDOT employee, would you want to work all day on a hot asphalt road that doubles the effects of the heat. Why not get some lights. If you don't have any, buy them. Set up at night when it's cooler. There's less traffic on the road. No irate, screaming drivers. Turn on the lights and annoy everyone sleeping.

Where is everyone? When are they showing up? Didn't anyone advertise this? How much did you lose? These were all questions being said last weekend throughout the area. With the disappointing turnouts at two major music festival and a few concerts, one has to wonder what it takes to get people interested in music. All you ever here is there's nothing to do in northern Virginia. That's because when there is, no one comes to give support. People lose money & they don't try again.
Sky High Productions is trying to create something that doesn't exist here...a music scene. Do you ever wonder why bands make it on tv and radio. Because of the local support to the music scene. If you create a music scene, the scene creates rock stars. Look at the examples from big music scene areas: Richmond has launch Cracker, Timberland, Missy Elliot, plus five more. Charlottesville gave us Dave Matthews, Everything and a few others. DC & the Metro area have launched many and don't forget what & who Seattle did.
The Sky High End of Summer Blast music festival showcased 12 local Winchester bands that have the potential to be in heavy rotation on the radio. That's one of those songs that's played incredibly too much and drives you crazy every time you hear it. So why aren't we hearing about these bands? The same reason big stars back out of shows...lack of support.
The next question is why are people not supporting the scene. Let's look at the only function last weekend that did extremely well (as always) the wine festival at Great Meadows. Which had music and alcohol. Stompin', the concert in Strasburg and the End of Summer Blast advertised no alcohol. The Blues House Showcase was a complete success, and of course, they advertised beer and went through quite a few kegs.
For my parents and a few others, I tried to prove a non alcohol function could work. What cost me a large amount of money to find out was NO IT CAN'T! I was told at a local bar this week "Without alcohol, you're just a Girl Scout Jamboree. If you can't get drunk., they won't remember it. But once they get drunk, it's forgotten anyway." Over 100,000 people new about Sky High's festival alone. We sold tickets that were not even used. We had thousands of verbal commitments. What about Stompin' who advertised nationwide! I've asked people this week about the festival and they say...
"Aw yea. I'm gonna go to that. When is it?"
"It was last Saturday!"
"Ooops sorry."
Sky High's next festival advertising budget will not be spent on promotion. It will be spent on enormously huge guys to kick in doors, slap remotes out of hands, and drag people to the festival.

Ever since the serious beating of a pedestrian last year, which was an isolated incident springing from an argument at a local establishment. The downtown mall has been patrolled like the Gaza Strip. Being a resident and business owner on the mall. I am in no way, considering that the mall should not be patrolled. I just think the way it is being patrolled is getting severely out of hand. Patrol cars speed down the mall five to ten times an hour. Young teenagers are being harassed and subjected to full body searches. Bike patrols are riding through walking pedestrians. You do not break the law, to enforce it! Any traffic down the mall, causes an immediate risk to pedestrians. Especially when the speeds of vehicles are over the normal speed limit. This is a growing concern throughout the city. For so long, enforcement has tried to keep bikes and skateboards off the mall. This is a petty law, that is worthless and not needed. Is this a problem on the D.C.'s national mall? Of course not, and they have thousands more pedestrians. I am simply trying to say, with our current laws. During normal business hours. No patrol car should drive down the mall. No bike cop should ride down the mall. Unless there is an emergency situation. During after hours, the speeds of transit down the mall, needs to be reduced drastically.

Why do we call ourselves civilized? Because of our elaborate toys or our intelligent intellects? Because we have a vocabulary or can buy food? Maybe because we can comprehend and express our feelings. Go to work. Live independently. Is that why? Do these things make us civilized? What about the communication skills. The sharing and compassion. Getting along with each other. With ourselves. Being civil and respecting others. These our violent times. You can no longer brush off a verbal threat as a loud bark. Times are very different.
A parents greatest accomplishment is an intelligent, living child. Now children do drugs, have sex and kill each other by the age of ten. In elementary school I could run from a fight. Now children have gun fights at the playground. Can we blame it on our existence. Aren't we all products of the environment. I used to enjoy watching the fights on the Jerry Springer Show, but now it's so common that it's boring. Besides who needs television. A trip to a local bar will always produce some sort of confrontation for your amusement and someone else's heartache.
As much as I try to point the finger. It's not the agitators that create the incidents. It's our ability to cope with the agitators. We all look for hope and faith somewhere. We need something that we can depend on. Our fix to get us by. It doesn't have to be a drug, belief or action. But whatever the reason, we will create a fix to cope. No matter what society takes away or deems illegal, there will be a way to cope. Chemical, physical or mental. If it doesn't exist. We'll make it. In a way that answers my own question. We adapt to the elements and environments. Educating ourselves from the mistakes and chances we take. By definition, this makes us civilized, but our actions still classify us as animals, beasts and savages.
We cannot and will not be a collective. No matter how much we dream. Life is not a team sport. It is an individual game. Even if we are one of many players on the same team. Personal agendas have already been planned. A smile, like every thing has two sides. If you're hindsight is developed. It's only a defensive move. If you are clueless, either side could destroy you. Like the raindrop that hits the ground. Life can be over before you know it.

I know there has been some great opposition to the downtown jail and I would like to add some more. I have lived across from the jail for almost four years. I have a unique view of the entire property. In those four years I have seen a lot of occurrences. I've watched the neighborhood become one of the highest crime rated areas. Even with two police officers living on both sides of the neighborhood, it has done nothing to deter the crime.
Here is a basic day at the jail. One to twelve police cruisers are dropping off & picking up. One to three paramedic vehicles (rescue squads or fire trucks) are stopping by to do what ever it is they do. Usually with sirens on. Some of the most unruly characters are hanging out at all hours of the day and night waiting for rides to their "jobs". Every night crams the streets up with cars for the people attending ASAP and other various programs. If you're lucky you might get an accident, fight or argument on the street. This brings almost 24 hour traffic to the building. Now ad over 100 more reforming convicts and the staff to handle them. Where should we build our next parking garage?
My vehicles and property have been broken into and tampered with on numerous occasions. I have had to add many security devices to just feel safe. The area around the jail is filled with single and multiple family dwellings. Unfortunately most rent only, but I am sure they have experienced their fill of noise from the jail and crime from the area.
I'm not here to convince you on the success rate of reforming a convict. I will just point to the arrest around the corner on South Kent of a man acquitted for murder and convicted more than two times for distribution was busted with massive amounts of every drug on the market and thousands of dollars of mine and my neighbors stolen property. I'm takes a certain person to be a criminal and there's a good chance they will remain a criminal for life.
My point is, my life and my neighbors lives are compromised now. If you enlarge and ruin one of Winchester's oldest landmarks this will further compromise our lives and lower the property value of every property the city has spent years trying to increase in the area. Putting a crime reform center of that magnitude in that location is like having AA meetings in the back room of a liquor store.
I personally, will be the first to file a class action against the city and county for the reckless endangerment of my life. I'm sorry I forgot. This is now a country where the ones in charge don't listen to the majority of the speech.

I just found out I have to go to my second funeral in less than 2 months for another person I called a friend. I guess I wasn't that good of a friend. Because they both died of heroin overdoses and I didn't even know they ever were using it! What the hell would possess someone to even consume something like that? Doesn't it have a ratio like 10 out of 10 addicts die? I have been in the entertainment business now for almost 5 years. Not once have I ever seen the stuff or have even been offered by anyone. But I keep hearing there is a BIG epidemic and I keep finding out about people that have touched my life among others, keep dying. WHY!
I know a letter to the editor doesn't reach my target audience, but I am furious! I cannot stand anyone who lowers their self to live a life like this. I can't preach to them. They hide secretly among their kind. I have no patience for anyone like this. I don't have a reference of hard narcotics or overdosing. I can't explain or understand the infatuation, the benefit or the thrill. What I can understand is the pain it causes me and anyone else just to here the news of another death.
There are too many factors in life that already cause death. Why would you want to do something that any factor of the whole experience could cause death?
To everyone that reads this...If you know anyone that is using or pushing substances that can kill. Please take what ever action you feel appropriate. If it's turning your head...I hope you can live with it, because I can't.
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