Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Roanoke's Spaceport (or Jail?) is U,G,L &Y!

"U - G - L & Y, you ain't got no alibi, you ugly (stomp, stomp or clap, clap) you ugly!" was a cheer we used back at dear old Handley High in the 80s. And I've already blogged on how wonderful the renovations and additions are at HHS. But within hollering distance we see Roanoke's new spaceport/jail being "assembled". I can't use "built". It is the ugliest damn thing I've ever seen, and that's compared to our dreadful downtown. Decay on Main Street and Dome Pods on "Back Street". It's like left over props from Star Wars. "Luke, have you fixed those hydrators?"

While I agree that we might need improvements to our jail, or even perhaps a new facilty, and I know this got lots of beds for the buck, I can't imagine choosing this option. For one thing Roanoke simply operates a "revenue" court at times. I know for a fact a current councilman scolded a former City Judge for not raking in enough cash. On multiple times actually ... although the first times were rather informal.

Of course District Judge Whaley has set the bar rather high for stuffing the jails plus providing free labor to his Randolph County Engineer brother-in-law. There is probably no way a county of our size needs this many jail beds yet perhaps as time allows either myself or a helpful person could track down some comparisons. Peace ... or War.

UPDATE : April 2, 2006 - I have continued thinking about how Roanoke took potential parking for a still longed for downtown "revival" effort to create the spaceport/jail. I tried to rally the powers that be several years ago on the idea of taking the old Deli building, I think Lamar Davis owns it now, and tearing it down. I'd thought the City could put a courtyard/walk through to that parking out on backstreet. Of course comprehensive reforms like codes and nuisance enforcement and all of that was in the mix, although I was holding back on those ideas. Finally, to put any jail, especially this ugly thing, where folks can see it seems plain short sighted. Most places I've seen tend to hide their jail! Razor wire, geo-domes, ... right in the business district. WTF were/are these "leaders" thinking?