mercuex

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About mercuex

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  • Location
    Newport News, VA
  1. Virginia off-topic talk

    Va. wineries among top tourism destinations
  2. Hampton Roads Transportation

    Newport News Considers Light Rail Looks good to me ...
  3. Richmond Coffee House

    Rus is right. You know that assault weapons ban that sunsetted not long ago? Didn't make a bit of difference in the crime rates. Look it up. That's why no one cared to renew it. How about the Bay Cities? Washington DC? Both have highly restrictive gun laws and yet also have award-winning homicide rates. And what about the school shooting that just occurred in Montreal - the most European city on the continent? Or what about Norway, Switzerland, or Finland? All countries with high rates of firearm ownership and low homicide rates. You can't parade statistics around and make such dramatic inferences. "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" Adolf Hitler [1935] Here's the thing: a government that doesn't trust its populous is the one that restricts its ability to defend itself. The founding fathers knew this and that is why it's the second amendment, only after free speech. Does the state have the right to make a law on gun ownership that would be equally well suited in both Mississipi and Minnesota (similar gun laws but very different levels of violence)? If not, how about between Roanoke and Richmond? Or even Carytown and the Fan? We should not encourage greater centralization (and thus bureaucratization) that coerces an entire population (some 300 million) with wildly varying situations into uniformity. That would be both incongruent as well as coercive. The decision must ultimately lie with the consenting adult. And as Rus rightly points out, many of the weapons used for violence are not obtained legally. If one really wants to kill another, guns are hardly the instrument with a monopoloy on dealing death. It's like this thing with terrorism. Are our airlines really safer now?? The 9/11 hijackers attacked with box cutters, so we ban sharp objects. Then Richard Reid had his bomb shoes, so we make everyone take off their shoes. And recently after the near-catastrophe with the trans-atlantic flights, you can't even bring shampoo aboard. And at the same time, it's a well-known fact that much of that kind of stuff being brought aboard isn't even detected. Of course there are an infinite number of ways to bring about danger and terror to an airplane, and we will never be able to screen them all. When will we learn that it's the motivated person who is the real weapon, and not the box cutter?
  4. Richmond Coffee House

    Sorry burt, but I don't know Russian (as you probably guessed). What I'm learning here is this ancient and almost completely isolated language called Kartuli (otherwise known as Georgian). It's unrelated to Russian, Azeri, Turkish, Armenian ... the closest relative linguists THINK it MAY POSSIBLY have is ... Basque. So ... yeah ... Being away for awhile is sort of cool because when I get back in two years, there will be all these new things and I can stare gape-eyed at all of them in wonderment. Not the same if you watch it being built over time.
  5. Richmond Coffee House

    haha! Harasho! Dzalian didi madlobt, megobaro. Major retailer?! (drool) Any rumors or predictions?? Please let it be an FAO Shwartz lol
  6. Richmond Developments

    Woops! I can't believe I said Jefferson Commons. It's the name of a strip development in Newport News. Heh. About VCU I remember when I was there (in May. I just graduated and moved here.) I saw renderings of the new campus and I think they even broke ground awhile back. Looked really cool. Made me wish I was actually a business student. Cadeho - no offense meant. I actually agree with you in many ways about Shortpump, though something about it is clearly working and it just means that Richmond needs to get off its arse and play hardball back. Richmond has certain advantages that Henrico cannot ever have, and I think we need to take advantage of them more.
  7. Richmond Coffee House

    Cadeho has a point. Big venues are cool and fun and stuff, but they rarely create or sustain growth on their lonesome. What made MacArthur Mall so successful was the 20 year revitalization which built up a good critical mass which meant that MacArthur was a perfect way to announce to the world the downtown norfolk was back open for business. At the end of the day, the real salvation comes from ground-level business/commerce. And good bars.
  8. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    Nothing is free! A couple of dollars won't really deter people and will help sustainability a huge deal. I don't know how people think of public funds as being in the abstract, that they are somehow disassociated from the taxes that continue going up ... How much money would be siphoned from other good projects to make this thing "free?" How much would taxes have to get raised otherwise? How much of the new money would be wasted on pointless overhead, accountants, middlemen, bureaucrats, and their busybodies?
  9. Richmond Developments

    Hey Burt (et al) - Yeah my disdain for Richmond was more jealousy than anything else I think. I still would like to see Newport News (and HR) grow and improve, but my happiest city memories were in Richmond. I've learned to be more appreciative, I guess. I think this news is really exciting. I think I'll need to read up a little more on the project and Richmond happenings. I was reading some of Cadeho's predictions regarding shortpump and Richmond and it was really pretty depressing. Hopefully his declarations that Richmond is nigh dead aren't true ... and if Rockett's Landing and this Jefferson Commons thing really picks up, then I think there's real hope. I wish I could reply during the daytime but I'm living in Georgia (republic) right now (in the South Caucasus) as an NGO consultant and so I only have internet at work which is night for ya'll. I think that if Rockett's landing generates that hoped-for bump in traffic and activity downtown, a movie theatre may come. Honestly, though, I can't really see why it makes such a difference. Jefferson Commons is close enough to keep people from clamoring for another multiplex. If a theater does pop up, it won't be more than a 2-3 screen (which would be kind of a refreshing change, actually) and may be more of a Westhampton sort. That would definitely fill a niche downtown with all the first friday peacocks desperate to put their artistic appreciation on display by doing anything to make people gasp.
  10. Richmond Developments

    AH!!!! That's RIGHT NEXT to my old apartment!!!!!! I'm so stoked. You guys have no idea how much having to drive all the way out to the west end to catch a movie made me want to die! And I can't stand short pump! This is beautiful!!
  11. Miller & Rhoads Hilton Hotel/Condo Conversion

    I agree with you coupe. Frankly, my favorite thing about Richmond is its inordinate amount of culture and life for a city of its size. Not many cities can say the same!! What Richmond needs aren't big-city supplements like top tier pro leagues ... but just attractive, ground level awesomeness.
  12. Walmart at Town Center

    mistermetal - Unfortunately, the vast majority of modern planning codes are weighed heavily against multi-use developments. The very purpose of zoning was to split up different industries, originally to keep tenements from being built next to factories. Zoning laws, by definition, tend to favor sprawl and its usually a coup in itself when a city can even manipulate their own zoning ordinances to allow for the Town Centers, Port Warwicks, and City Centers to exist. Since the FX property is not part of the original TC site, it is subject to the old laws and has to proceed separately to get approval for mixed use. Its location near TC and the precedent set by TC helps a lot, but its still far easier for a big box retailer to develop than any kind of mixed use/urban village development. It will be difficult for the City to just rezone the area now that its been bought and developments are being tenatively planned. It would be messed up if the city pulled the rug from under the developer just like that (and its a hell of a process anyway). If it did happen, while we'd be happy here, there would be a lot of developers, even TC developers, who would feel pretty pissed off that the city was messing with land like that, setting a potentially dangerous precedent. Could scare money out of Pembroke.
  13. Hampton Roads Transportation

    There's an interesting (but not necessarily good) article on the Daily Press today about transportation and the importance of rail. The author, while managing to hit on several good points, does an excellent job of coming to the exact opposite conclusion of the sum of his arguments. For example, the premise of the piece is the necessary central role of rail in Virginia's future. He mentions the infamous $4 billion Dulles line as proof of the desirability of rail, though he does (rightly) question whether four billion dollars could be better used than in a single rail line. In the end - though he questions the massive appropriation for the Dulles line, and when one considers the strength of evidence against new tax hikes when Virginia is running a $1 billion surplus, AND there is clear signs of gross misappropriation in the way money is currently spent (transportation and not) - the author seems to believe that it is still those Republican haters who are determined to stymie growth in Virginia. If we raise taxes now, while we're in a bonanza, when would we not raise taxes?? And doesn't this all seem like a highly convenient (or decidedly inconvenient, rather) valve so that the ridiculous way that money is spent in this state can continue business-as-usual? Is anyone at all paying attention to this craziness??
  14. Hampton Roads Transportation

    Hm ... that cant be good for cross-river traffic/interaction ...
  15. Hampton Roads Transportation

    EZ pass or not, it'll be traffic hell anyway with that kind of a bottleneck.