Promises, promises



Phil Francis the duplicitous superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, has assured Congressman Rick Boucher that the out-of-control Criminal Interdiction Team of the Park Rangers will not be back at FloydFest this year.

Take the promise for what it's worth. Last year, Francis told Boucher the CIT unit was not dispatched to FloydFest in 2007 even though the Parkway's chief ranger had already admitted the unit was present and operating.

Francis later called Boucher back and said he had "misspoke," which is bureaucratic slang for "I got caught in a lie."  Francis also claimed two widely reported incidents, one involving Floyd County Sheriff Shannon Zeman and the other a run-in between a over-zealous Park Ranger and me, never occurred.

Which tells me Francis is a serial liar. if he said part of the Parkway runs through Floyd County (which it does), I'd confirm it with a second source.

We'll see what happens at FloydFest later this year.

Phil Francis the duplicitous superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, has assured Congressman Rick Boucher that the out-of-control Criminal Interdiction Team of the Park Rangers will not be back at FloydFest this year.

Take the promise for what it’s worth. Last year, Francis told Boucher the CIT unit was not dispatched to FloydFest in 2007 even though the Parkway’s chief ranger had already admitted the unit was present and operating.

Francis later called Boucher back and said he had "misspoke," which is bureaucratic slang for "I got caught in a lie."  Francis also claimed two widely reported incidents, one involving Floyd County Sheriff Shannon Zeman and the other a run-in between a over-zealous Park Ranger and me, never occurred.

Which tells me Francis is a serial liar. if he said part of the Parkway runs through Floyd County (which it does), I’d confirm it with a second source.

We’ll see what happens at FloydFest later this year.

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28 Responses

  1. You fightin’ hillbillies need to show some manners and take this nonsense to David’s blog. You have hijacked a completely unrelated blog, a completely unrelated issue, and turned it into your pet gripe session in the foolish faint hope of stirring up more attention. Better yet, start your own blog and we can all carefully step around it. I can’t wait for spring when hopefully you will all head out and get the stink blown off ya!

  2. The drama king (David) & queen (Grechin) of Frankin Pike I see are at it again. Remember king and queen…what goes around comes around!!!

    On to more important issues, does anyone know what has happened to the two female deputies in Floyd. We used to hear them on the scanner, but haven’t in a long while.

  3. Turn on your spell check, load up Google Blogger, and have at it son. The world may just be hankering for your insights and vague threats. Here, you just look foolish.

  4. Ouch!!! Stepped on some toes did we??? My bad, Franklin Pike and no threats issued. Just stating a fact!! I’m trying to change the subject and Buddy gets ugly.

  5. Hi gang,

    David sent me. Let’s start with the inciteful title of his misguided article. There is no disaster if you don’t have a few minutes to pay for what you received. Blame the machine and then follow the jerk train back to Silly Con Valley where David drank too much Kool Aid.

    I read some of the other comments here that state the obvious points I raised with David, on his blog that is his own little kingdom of self promotion. Hey, he’s nice enough I guess, but I’d be wary. I was dismissed behind the curtain but Tom King did finish his story which I believe means you can drive off without paying and not caring about getting a receipt. I still don’t know if Gretchen had to pay, for the first time, after the lawman intervention. The argument that “I can’t be sure if I paid or not….” is too silly to say out loud.

    Avoid disaster:

    1. Get a receipt
    2. Get a receipt if the machine doesn’t give you one.
    3. If questioned, show the receipt.
    4. If questioned and you don’t have a receipt, look at the back of your magic card and call to play with another machine to prove to the officer you just got charged for the gas in question.

    Or just get human and do it the old fashioned way, cut up the credit cards if you can’t resist the pay at pump option. If you go back to writing checks, practice recording who you wrote the check to and the amount in your register, before you leave the scene. You can not just wave your checkbook at the clerk to have them turn on the pump and then drive away later.

    Thanks for the rant space Doug, blame David for the suggestion.

    He still owes the store a public apology.

  6. I know a lot of the angst here is due to David not letting people rant on his blog. He moderates comments and if he feels his wife is being attacked he has no problem deleting the post. His site, his rules. So some people come here to blow off steam that they couldn’t get posted on David’s blog. David exacerbated this issue by mentioning this blog and it non-moderated nature for which I told him he probably owes the blog maintainer dinner or a bottle of wine.

    I think Bubby has the best idea. If you really want to rant on the David/Floyd Express issue you should ask another local blogger to take up the issue OR start your own blog. It is a better forum for the debate and can link to and possibly be linked from David’s blog. Alternately friends of the owner of the gas station might be able to help establish a solution that will satisfy all sides. (A sign on the troublesome machine, Better warnings. etc.)

    But all in all except some bruised personal feelings I expect everything will calm down fairly soon.

  7. Whoa! It appears that the core message here has been lost somehow! Call us interlopers, but the majority of us are well-intentioned, contributing citizens. I don’t care who you are, how long you and your family have lived here, or what your business happens to be… Nobody should have to endure embarrassment and public humiliation due to unsound business practices. I personally wouldn’t chance it, but the bottom line is, the rest of you can decide for yourselves! I moved to Floyd because of the laid-back atmosphere of acceptance, the live-and-let-live attitudes. I am frankly quite shocked at the Hatfield and McCoy like tension that this has evoked! What gives?

  8. He didn’t mention him by name and suggest he gets preferentail tratment from town and county officials for his signage did he? (just kidding Carol)

    I appreciate what Doug has done on the Parkway/Floydfest issue as well. I am sure Blackridge Road will be the preferred route to Floydfest this year as the Parkway officials seem convinced that they are doing the right thing.

  9. Mr. Hollandsworth stands behind his products and employees, it’s not always easy. I imagine they have been instructed to call the law on drive-off’s, the sign at the pump clearly states that drive-aways stand to lose there license if convicted. A little dose of good sense and manners goes along way.

    I’m proud to live in Floyd where it’s normal, not an exception to be good to your word. Let’s buy local!

  10. I am increasingly convinced that Superintendent Francis is not in charge of the CIT. Police units like this are getting funded by Homeland Security agency money and whoever pays, calls the shots. The question for the Parkway, the National Park Service, and our Congressman is, “what compelling crime problem exists on the Blue Ridge Parkway that would require a special police unit (CIT)?” For nearly 80 years good old community-based rangers have done the job.

    And if we have a terrorist problem in Floyd, we’ll let the Feds know if we need any help (not likely).

  11. Many of us here in Floyd County applaud the leadership you have taken on this issue and on many other important matters that affect us all. I believe Blue Ridge Muse plays an increasingly important role as a much-needed community advocate.

    I also thank you for allowing this site to be used for open debate on issues. I had an unfortunate experience recently with another county blogger who used his blog to trash a respected local businessman and then chose to censor comments on the site if they were critical of him. There is a big difference between public service and public egomania. Thank you for using your site to promote community good and not for personal grudges.

  12. Ms. Anderson I notice that you are quick to jump into local debates, having read your comments here and on other discussion forums, including The Roanoke Times. You raise an interesting point on the role that bloggers do play versus the one that they should play. I find a disturbing arrogance in some bloggers, an attitude of superiority that gives the clear impression that they look down on others. I’m familiar with the incident involving David St. Lawrence and his use of a blog to try and damage the reputation of a local businessman and disrupt his ability to make a living. He took a simple misunderstanding and used it urge others to not do business with an established local market. I also find it distrubing that if you try to debate him on the issue, he "moderates" the comments and, as you noted, edits those that are too critical of him. I don’t find that kind of censorship here or on Fred First’s blog. Perhaps we should organize a boycott of Mr. St. Lawrence’s framing business and the art shop that his wife is involved with. Maybe then he can feel the pain that he is so willing to inflict on others.

  13. I see your point Doug but I also don’t believe we as citizens of Floyd should sit back and let a prominent local businessman be slandered just because a latecomer to the scene holds a grudge. Roger Hollandsworth and his family deserve better.

  14. I just moved here from the city looking for peace and friendly people. It’s not what I thought. I’ll be looking for another place to live and do business.

  15. Jane, the longer you view this blog, the more apparent to you it will become that it’s always the same ol’ cast of characters here throwing out the “You, sir”‘s and the “Then by your logic”‘s. Don’t judge the rest of the county (or its ex-pats) by what you read here.

  16. I say Amen to that! That is exactly what I have observed. There are loads of nice people all over the place. Get out in the town and enjoy them; they will welcome you with open arms and go out of their way to make you feel at home. That’s the Floyd that I have grown to love.

  17. Blogs (especially the forum/comment section) are not a good way to judge a community in my opinion. Mountains are made of molehills in matters that really would be better dealt with privately/in person. Don’t let the sniping on here discourage you from giving Floyd a try. While some outsiders look at Floyd as some hippy/artistic nirvana that isn’t the reality and Floyd has some issues. The big one (in my view) is that Floyd has a number of locals for whom being FROM Floyd is the MAIN thing. They will not take opinions or concerns you have seriously because you aren’t from here. This will not change after 5, 10 or 15 years of living here. Thankfully this group is a shrinking minority. All in all Floyd is a pretty sweet place to live.

  18. For your information Mr. T-Bird my earlier post was the first time I have ever posted a comment on a blog. I just don’t like to see a local business smeared over what was obviously a misunderstanding. And I’m a newcomer not a native.

  19. I am not a local for whom being from Floyd is the main thing. I am a newcomer. We moved here two years ago and as a newcomer I can also be shocked that a local businessman was held up to ridicule when the matter could and should have been settled privately. It was not a local that chose to use a blog to raise the issue. My husband and I have found Floyd to be an open and friendly place and we have been welcomed by locals and newcomers alike. I believe it oversimplifies the situation to blame this debate on the locals. I can easily see where some locals would be offended by the remarks directed at the local express mart. I have not yet shopped there but will make it a point to do so in the future because I feel it is important that we show support for this man and his family because of the attacks on his integrity. I agree with others here that Mr. St. Lawrence was wrong to make this a public issue without first trying to resolve it privately. From what I read on his blog, his wife was not arrested and those who witnessed her encounter with the sheriff’s deputies felt the matter was funny, not embarrassing to her. I can understand that Mr. St. Lawrence was upset about what happened to his wife but rushing home and dashing off an angry blog post was not the way to resolve the situation.

    I have also disagreed with Mr. Thompson when he chose to use his blog to go after AEP, UPS and other entities. Bloggers need to take responsibility for their actions.

  20. I’m putting a stop to this debate before it get any nastier or more personal.

    I’m still not sure why it ended up on Muse, especially on a thread about abuse of power by the Parkway Rangers. I’ve send a strongly-worded email to the poster responsible for bringing it here. I’m happy to have free-ranging debates on topics that originate here on Muse or on topics that concern our readers but the tone of this discourse is disturbingly personal.

    I’m surprised at the acrimony displayed here. There appears to be a lot of surpressed anger at work. Such anger, frankly, bothers me. There is a big difference between passion and anger and when anger replaces passion any chance for a meaninful debate is lost.

    If anything constructive can come out of this episode, I hope it will be a realization by both sides that nothing is resolved when approached in anger and that misunderstandings like this one are best resolved privately, not publicly.

    This discussion thread is closed.

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