A couple of red herrings

Fear and Loathing in Waynesboro column by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

Nice, provocative lede to the “Can’t just blame it on the rain” story on Day One of The News Virginian’s Stormwater Strain series.

“Trash, cigarette butts, oil and antifreeze assault Waynesboro’s stormwater system,” writes the NV’s Jimmy LaRoue, making us think that these are the reasons why we have stormwater-runoff problems in Waynesboro.

Well …

And then we read on, and see that the concern noted has to do more with environmental impacts on the South River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Which has nothing to do with why water ends up in people’s yards and basements, for those keeping score at home.

Trash, uncollected leaves, sure, they can both have impacts, because larger objects can collect in the pipes and clog things up to a point where water in heavy-rain events has nowhere else to go but out into roadways and yards and homes. But as much as can be said to the issue of how much a refocused stormwater-system maintenance effort could have a positive impact on stormwater-related flooding issues, there’s more political red herring here than anything of substance.

The same can be said of the discussion toward the end of the “Can’t blame it on the rain” story in which LaRoue reports to us that Invista officials insist that their plant is not part of the problem, repeating an oft-cited line from Invista that I’ve asked a number of city officials about. And as I indicated personally in my endorsement interview with the NV editorial board back in April, the answer to my question to officials, including the mayor, the city manager and the public-works director, regarding what the city has been able to independently verify regarding that assertion, was uniform: We have not been able to verify that for ourselves.

LaRoue was there in the interview when I talked with the editorial board about that point, and I’d like to think that he would have picked up on the line of discussion and made some inquiries to that effect in his own reporting on the subject. I’m parsing words here, but one way to read his phrasing – emphasizing that “company officials said” and “company officials insisted” – would be to glean that he did pick up on the point that it’s Invista making these statements, and we have no other verification of what they’re saying other than what they’re saying.

Personally, if that is the case, I think LaRoue should stop dancing around the issue and just say it loud and clear.

Seriously, because it’s OK. I’ve been doing it for weeks, and nobody’s lopped my head off yet for doing it.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.