Gaston county Sheriff’s Office

Gaston: No ICE detention facility

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No Doubt!

Both the papers are now reporting that a 1,500 bed federal detention center most likely will not be built in Gaston County.

We kinda wonder why our county officials had to travel to Washington “for discussions” about this project? Wouldn’t have been a bit cheaper for Sue Myrick and former Mecklenburg Sheriff, Jim Pendergraff to have visited Gaston?

 The Gazette, ever hopeful for downtown revitalization, expressed an interest for an “ala carte” project that would be less expensive.

Seems to us that the project tab of $150 million fits into “Big Plan” Palenick’s vision for Gaston — right along with the laundry list of a “conference center/hotel”, restaurants, a hidden homeless shelter, and an $18 million baseball field.

This is leaving us wondering what sort of earmarks that Ms. Myrick is planning to dangle for us as her re-election campaign gears up. Our schools who qualify for Title I funding are shrinking even when the number of poor students grows. The estimated $1.6 Billion (yes, billion) “Garden Parkway” is still an apple of David Hoyle’s eye, but without federal funding and passage of a Toll Authority from the state, that will be out of his lifetime. Maybe he and Ms. Myrick could talk – surely there is still a bit of money at the bottom of the pork barrel for good ‘ol Gaston.

   

WHAT? !!!

Permit guns in schools to stop massacres

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Yeah, that’s the title of a community columnist in today’s Charlotte Observer.

Mr. Lane is an older person, having grown up in a completely different age and time. His assertion that when researching his opinion for the above article link, that, “…What changed? When guns were readily available to students, when they were often actually inside the schools themselves, there were no killings — none! …”.

With all due respect for the Observer, offering opinions such as this person proposes, just brings out the nut-jobs and wackos from our area society.

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We already have school resource officers (county or local police officers) in most — if not all — middle schools, and every high school. We believe that “arming a responsible adult” is achieved by this practice in Gaston County already. We don’t need teachers, certified/tenured, or substitutes, packing heat in the hallways.

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Parking fees not as big a windfall as Gaston commissioners thought

Are we surprised by this?

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It’s ok to be optimistic — keep spinning away. We are all for user fees, parking at a distance lot helps the Gaston Healthcare Commission and contributes to a healthier community.

Maybe the rate is too low?

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Feds have an interest in locating immigrant detention facility here

Well, ok, so it is official now. The Sheriff of Gaston County likes the idea.

Let’s see:

Paysour Mountain ? Lots of land available – Dallas and Cherryville have big time support at the Federal and State levels ( ie, Patrick McHenry, US-NC 10th; state senator David Hoyle), definitely non-partisan.  Cherryville is such an open and welcoming community to begin with…

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The Equestrian Center property? Isn’t it under contract already?

Across the street from the proposed relocation of the Salvation Army Shelter and Old Boys Club?  palenick-project-downtown-gastonia.pdf

Yeah, that would rejuvenate Highland and the North side of Gastonia and certainly help out the Big League Dreams for Sims Park. It would really help the congestion at the 321/85 interchange.

Next to or near the Dole Plant? Bessemer City deserves job growth … hey, anything is better than nothing – there are a lot of vacant textile plants that could be torn down and the land reused.

On the old Firestone property site or In the old Firestone? Hmm, we just wonder…

Yeah, and it will be built with FEDERAL dollars, not local dollars !

And, it will benefit the community by CREATING more jobs – is that why the public safety services in the Gaston area have a hard time filling the current positions?

On JOB CREATION, it will demand more Sheriff’s deputies, more County Police, more Gastonia PD vehicles, and more Assistant DA’s. Is that what they mean by MORE JOB CREATION?

The above positions ARE locally funded – and given the Homeland Security disarray, no federal funds would be “found” to support the “support services” of such a facility.

So, a FEW local contractors will benefit during construction. Local government will have to be EXPANDED, and property owners who have investments (RE: Rental Units Available) will also benefit. Did we list all the special interests yet? 

The Gaston Chamber must be licking their lips. The Feds would HAVE to watch Gaston County NOW – 1,500 beds is larger than the LA facility (which is closer to the border than Gastonia).

Families who have a federal detainee (yes, that is what they are called – no different than a detainee at Gitmo) would move to Gaston to be near their loved ones. We are sure the local hospital will be thrilled about the needed extra services — oh, yeah, that is county funding too. Not to mention the need for more desks in the schools.

Yes, there is a deep and lasting impact…

Myrick: Gaston County an option for immigration detention and deportation center

Detention center plan is halted

Pendergraph had said federal project on way; Jones says it’s off

WOW

So, which is it?

The Gazette report?      sue-myrick.jpg

Representative Myrick’s continued federal suck up for an earmark?

Ms. Myrick continues to measure her effectiveness as a legislator by her ability to incite fear and mistrust in the population. While doing so, also ingratiates herself with the “insider elite” of the Bush Administration. (Re: CAFTA tie break vote = Bush visit to Belmont — more than a mere coincidence).  

Maybe this could be placed in the downtown section of Gastonia – it would really perk up the place don’t you think?

Other places with Federal Detention Centers:

Raymondville, Texas

La Villa, Texas

Los Angeles, CA

Detention Center Blues, article from In These Times

Detention Watch Network article

a few pictures of economic development projects:

federal-detention-center-la.jpg  Los Angeles, CA

fdc_seatac.jpg  “Sea-Tac”, Seattle, WA

Jury Duty

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Scams have been in the news lately. With the holidays about to roll up on us,  fraudulent activity also picks up speed.

Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to phone-related scams involving Medicare plans at this time of year. November 15- December 31 is the open enrollment/changeover time if people wish to change their drug prescription plans.

However, one scam that everyone 18 and older should be aware of is the Jury Duty telephone scam.

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The court systems do not call you to “verify” anything. NEVER give out personal information over the telephone.

If they want you –they send a sheriff’s deputy with a warrant to pick you up.  

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Courthouse Parking Fees begin November 12

Let’s see, at every property revaluation, let’s lower the tax rate by 3 or 4 cents, and tap into the reserve funds to balance the county budget.

Then, we can justify fee-for-service where only those who use the service have to pay the fee.

It is simple, democratic, and fair for all who would be using the service, right?

Well in this case the newly instituted parking fees for “close in” parking near the courthouse in Gastonia have a few detractors who don’t like the idea of walking or being inconvenienced by a few extra feet.

In the case of attorneys who frequent the courthouse, we are sure that they have already figured a way to incorporate their “inconvenience” into their fee structures. So, who really loses and who really wins in this instance?

Did the county consider the parking “spread” in their plans when the new courthouse was built? They considered future use of the courthouse — by building an additional floor for future use. But where to put all the cars that people drive to get to the shiny edifice? Well, let’s plan for a parking deck — and figure out how to pay for it sometime later.

As our attention turns from municipal elections to county-related issues this might be one question to ask candidates and incumbents for any office. As with all OPM (other people’s money) questions, what are your plans to manage future costs and maintenance?

We feel that the $80-100,000 per year fee generation is a bit overly optimistic on county staffers budget estimates, and who is to say that this particular designation for offsets will hold past any election rhetoric?

As for us poor people who occasionally need to go to the court house, the one-block walk or the cross-over from the Main Avenue free parking side of town is not that big of a deal, even for the in-and-out errands.