First of all, I want to thank you for allowing me and others to write down the questions of the day, and you almost always print them locally. I also thank the locals for reporting on our community.
The Virginia Legislature passed a bill at the first special session of the unnecessary long in 2020, which is at least one of the stupidest and most dangerous laws in Virginia’s history.
It is HB 5058. It effectively prohibits the enforcement of certain traffic laws, such as vehicle lighting defects. Now, the deputy sheriff cannot legally stop the driver because of a broken tail light, a broken brake light, or some other defective equipment prohibited by the law. The original bill passed by the Virginia State Assembly even banned parking due to poor headlights! But the governor revised it (Governor Northam should veto it completely) to allow parking at night due to poor headlights. We should all be grateful!
The bill may affect public safety on highways. Dangerous vehicles have come out, and now drivers must be more vigilant.
In 2021, a representative introduced a bill to repeal or drastically modify this stupid and dangerous law. It’s Del Scott Wyatt. His bill was rejected in the subcommittee. (One of the representatives who voted to repeal this stupid law was Jason Miares.)
The election is very important. Voting is very important, that’s why I voted in advance. This is not the only stupid bill passed by the Richmond Democratic majority. HB 5055 requires the police agency (thankfully not the sheriff) to establish a civil review committee to investigate police misconduct. I personally agree with this idea. The police should be responsible. However, for retired or former law enforcement officers who are left in good standing, the committee has no requirements. A civilian review committee can now be crowded with anti-police activists.
I do have some concerns about Glenn Yankin. But I do think he brought a new face to politics. I think he has tried so far to maintain a positive attitude in his campaign. So I voted early: In this election, Youngkin is governor, Sears is LG, Miyares of AG, and Del. Wyatt. The election counts.
For a small town that urgently needs to improve sidewalks, street lighting, downtown parking lots and underground utilities, its central business district has a series of underutilized commercial buildings, Ashland now has the country’s most expensive, oversized and It can be said that the poorly designed city hall accommodates more than a dozen professionals and their employees who have not done anything to improve the situation in 20 years. No financially responsible company will bear such a debt burden for so few employees. Our new city hall with a cost of over US$8 million and an architect’s fee of US$500,000 have pledged to build a “green building”, as well as a new city hall and a farmer’s market area.
This building is hardly green because its structural frame is entirely made of steel. This material can be recycled, but the energy cost of its production, manufacturing and recycling far exceeds the use of wood.
Without involving the Virginia Building Code, the structure could have been designed to fully adapt to the procedures of its timber frame structure.
If the magnificent two-story entrance reception area with two huge stairs and huge east-facing glass gables is eliminated, the entire building may be only one level, eliminating expensive stairs, masonry elevator shafts and elevators, and the hugeness obtained from glass Thermal gable and sprinkler system in the morning.
Except for hindsight, the acoustics of the Council Chamber was not considered because the shape and height of the room made it an echo chamber, where acoustic restoration was applied instead of acoustic design.
The green building uses northern light to reduce lighting costs. The only northern light in this building is provided to the assembly hall where most meetings are held at night.
The HVAC duct system is completely hidden in the buildings, and these buildings cannot enter the flat drywall area at 14 feet in the air and cannot be cleaned. I can’t imagine how much dust will accumulate over the years.
The huge steel flower pots outside surround the buildings made of Corten steel. These buildings are naturally rusted to provide a protective surface. Unfortunately, they are placed directly near the concrete sidewalk and have begun to pollute the sidewalk. I questioned why planting machines were used in the first place, because they were overbearing and expensive, and I saw that the buildings had at least five different uses, and it required a $1,000 crane per day to install them in place. I hope the contractor will bear the cost. In any case, are flower pots a safety measure, just like the steel pillars around the Supreme Court? Really, I must ask!
The huge over-scale precast concrete columns are slow to respond to citizens’ objections to the overall design. I guess that when the installation cost is only 1/10 of the classic fiberglass column, the cost per column is about 5,000 US dollars, and it will be more attractive ,intimate.
The architect designed a monument for himself, rather than considering appropriately scaled buildings or their users. The lack of scale is obvious; it overwhelms everything around it.
The open huge reception desk ignores the obvious spatial personalization that existed in the old building. It is minimalist in design, and its users have personalized the space, as expected, so now it is Messy, not minimalist.
The characteristic farmer’s market we promise is…a parking lot! It has not considered its potential use. I have to ask, are they out of money?
There is a “decorative” masonry wall on Thompson Street. It is too high to sit down. It is of no use except for placing an electric meter. This is another afterthought.
I can continue to criticize the placement of public utilities, as well as the lack of thinking, prohibiting the design and implementation of this building without spending money, but I will make a very serious suggestion here. Find a small dot.com company that needs a headquarters building. Rent it to them and find a place for the town staff on any of the underutilized second floors of the downtown buildings. This will bring young, well-paid professionals to the city, increase the passenger flow of the retail stores we own, and rent back to the council meeting hall to minimize use. Tell your council members to put pressure on town workers to help them maximize the potential of the building to support local businesses and corporate-owned real estate so that the city center can flourish. There is no chicken or egg dilemma here. In order to support buildings like the New City Hall, town staff and councils should first address Ashland’s existing problems, improve infrastructure, and assist companies in developing assets and obtaining financing.
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Post time: Nov-08-2021