Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thorough trashing

Virginia Right does a brilliant job examining the numbers behind the recent Public Policy Polling poll between Tim Kaine and George Allen.
You poll more Democrats, and the Democrat has a lead.
If you poll based on political reality, George Allen leads.
This poll called more Democrats than Republicans, which is not accurate at all and completely out of touch with the political landscape of Virginia. 30 more people in this Democrat skewed poll picked Kaine. The 5% “lead” is actually 30 people out of 600. This was done to give the left wing media the opportunity claim Kaine won the Associated Press debate.
The numbers have not moved. This race is dead even. Period.

Monday, November 7, 2011

David Karaffa, Eve of Election

"The People Have a Choice Here in Augusta. "

David Karaffa and his wife, Katie.

This Tuesday’s election has caught attention in the last week. Many things have been said by me, my opponent, the newspapers, blogs, and emails. Boiled down, the people of Beverley Manor, and three other districts, have a choice here in Augusta. Do we continue with what we have had for the last four years on the Board of Supervisors or do we change direction with new representation.

I am honored to have the endorsement of The News Virginian and of Jim Bailey, Republican Supervisor of the Beverley Manor District from 2001-2007. I have also had the privilege of multiple Volunteer Fire Fighters on my campaign along with Letters to The Editor in both newspapers supporting my bid for supervisor.

I am married to my beautiful wife Katie; we have two children, Grace and Hope. I have a degree in applied sciences from Blue Ridge Community College with a focus in nursing. I am a conservative, and I am running as an Independent for the Board of Supervisors. As an Independent, I am answerable to the people not constrained by party affiliation. I believe in small government, property rights, and government transparency, low taxes, and proper funding for education. I am pro-life and believe in our right to bear arms. If voters are confused about whom the Republican is in this race, it probably stems from the fact that my ideas and principles are directly in line with common sense conservatives. But I am more than that, I think outside the box. I don’t believe in voting as a block or gang, however I do believe in working together for common goals. I believe government has its place in our society and that the role of an elected Representative should be making sure core services are provided responsibly and efficiently, holding down growth of government, and shrinking its intrusion into our lives.

I have many ideas on how we can improve Augusta County. For example, I support immediately beginning a new property assessment and implementing a tax holiday for new small businesses in their first year. I have a proposal on how to lessen the burden of accounting for small business assets, incentives for volunteer fire fighters to increase their ranks, and changing the county budget to a zero based process. I am also in favor of staggering the elections of our Board of Supervisors here in Augusta.

This election is about new ideas and a new direction and an opportunity to put conservative values back on the Board of Supervisors. I ask you, the voter, to take the time between now and tomorrow to research the issues and make an informed decision before coming to the polls.

Thank you.

David A. Karaffa

Candidate Beverley Manor District

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Healthy Dose of 'Vitamin I'

Independent Candidates Offer Fresh Vision

David Karaffa brings a solid Conservative perspective to the process of solving problems facing local government.

On the Appalachian Trail, 'Vitamin I' refers to Ibuprofen, the friend of hurting hikers. Ibuprofen allows people to hike on, not listening to their aching knees and ankles, often hurting themselves in the long run.

The 'Vitamin I' that I refer to, however, is the fresh voice of young Conservative candidates running as Independents in our county supervisors' races. Rather than mask the pain of our current situation, these candidates create constructive dialogue that must proceed the tough choices that will be required in the upcoming session. By spotlighting tough issues, these candidates alert us to problems that must be solved before they cause bigger pain down the road.

Consider the needs of our Volunteer Fire Companies. We are losing volunteers at a rate that could lead to the demise of this essential community protection that neighbors provide for each other. Investment is necessary to retain and recruit these fine people. A property tax credit of up to $750, reimbursement for mileage and for training expenses go a long way to show our practical appreciation for these first responders.

In a lean economy, government must ensure that essential education needs are met. Open budgets need to be scrutinized and seriously discussed by all who will be affected. Tough choices need to be handled wisely. David Karaffa, Kurt Michael and Marshall Pattie, along with sitting supervisor Tracy Pyles, will spend the time it takes to work with the school board, educators and the taxpayers to make the process clear and understandable.

State monies, paid by us the taxpayers, must be fairly allocated. To that end the unrealistic valuations of the last assessment must be corrected. The formula for allocating state funds depends on fair assessed values. Our inflated valuations cause us to receive less than our share. Our new supervisors will be committed to correcting this problem.

Economic development is a key element for all of these candidates, who see vital work for the next generation of Augusta County citizens as an imperative. We cannot afford to remain known as the county that 'dissed' Toyota. With involved individuals on our board we can attract new industry and still retain the unique agricultural character of our region.

With the recent loss of Roger Zirkle, a great gap was felt in our school board. With no time to place names on the ballot, Lee Godfrey, who had previously sought this office as a Democrat, began a write in campaign. Ms. Godfrey, unfortunately, represents a more liberal perspective than that of most citizens of the district. She has actively participated in anti-war rallys and could be a vote against Weekday Religious Education and issues of parents' rights should they come before the board.

Once again an Independent Conservative voice entered the race when local business owner Chris Foschini threw his hat into the ring. Now voters in the Beverley Manor District will be able to choose a candidate (also a write-in) who actually reflects their values and concerns. A parent, with one son in the Army and two younger children in Augusta schools, Chris wants to see practical steps to train students for their future lives as citizens. Observing that so many problems government attempts to solve are the result of bad financial decisions, Foschini envisions a mandatory financial requirement for high school graduates.

Chris Foschini for School Board

Running in Beverley Manor District of Augusta County

Chris Foschini.

Augusta County, Virginia – November 3, 2011 – Chris Foschini decides to put his name forward as a write-in candidate for the Augusta County School Board in the Beverley Manor District.

Local business owner, Chris Foschini, feels the conservative needs are not represented on the ballot this Tuesday for the Beverley Manor School Board seat. If elected, Chris Foschini will support Week Day Religious education, strict oversight of school funds, keeping Ladd elementary and Beverley Manor open, and integrating technology into the classroom thus saving school dollars.

Chris Foschini’s biggest concern is that young people graduating at the high school level do not have sufficient education about money management. Chris would push for mandatory financial education before graduation. “Our country’s financial crisis is a result of poor money and debt management. Part of the solution must be educating our young people to make wise decisions and planning when it comes to their financial future.”

Chris Foschini is married to his wife Stephanie, he has three children, one in the United States Army and two others currently attending Augusta County Public Schools. Chris Foschini and his family are members of the Assembly of God at Destiny Family Center in Stuarts Draft.

Lynn Has More [click to read] on the School Board Race.

"Foschini, who is married with three children, is a military dad with a son in the United States Army. His opponent, Lee Godfrey, is also running as a write-in candidate. Previously, she unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for Beverley Manor District supervisor and, in 2007, she was pictured in the Rockbridge Weekly holding a sign at an anti-war rally[1.]"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fiscal Health and Local Government

New Challenges Require Clear Vision

The next board of supervisors will face some tough choices. The problems facing local governments today require thoughtful solutions rather than simple slogans.

The local newspaper said it well: "The next Augusta Board of Supervisors will have to make some difficult decisions." The phrase: "Bring me men to match my mountains." comes to mind. Indeed, the need for informed individuals willing to hammer out the hard choices has never been clearer. The recent property assessment debacle proves that well.

Nichole Gelinas in City Journal writes about the indicators of health in local and state finances. Her article: Hidden in Plain Sight [click to read] says that disclosure requirements are a step in the right direction, but they alone will not fix the situation.

Fair and Honest Property Assessments

Think of our own local government and the recent property assessment battle. The historical pattern had always been one where assessments were performed in a rather casual way to follow the then predictable rise in real estate values. Governments planned expenditures based on this pattern and boards of supervisors rubber stamped the whole process.

In a steadily growing economy there was no need for questioning reality, after all. The can kicked down the road was highly unlikely to roll back on you.

After 2006, reality changed. The appraisal and budget process that followed underscored the need for lively and open debate. Tracy Pyles, supervisor from the Pastures District, took the bold and necessary step of addressing flaws in the process that would eventually come back to bite us. The assessors were using values derived from a real estate bubble that had already burst. There was no reality in letting tax rates be driven by these numbers. Furthermore, the inflated numbers created a false report to state revenue agencies, resulting in reduced payments to the county from state taxes collected. Northern Virginia localities saw their property values reduced in a more honest process and actually received increased state funding while Augusta's was reduced.

The inability of other local elected officials to throw themselves into this debate is telling. In low-crime Mayberry, Barney Fife can keep his service revolver empty and his bullet in his pocket. If revenues can be counted on to rise 'safely,' we can afford to let the supervisors kick the can down the road, or so it might seem. Actually the need for open and honest debate is even more important when we might plan honestly for a range of contingiencies. The best reforms happen quietly and in a timely manner. They may never show up in print.

The 2011 campaign for supervisor's seats in Augusta County should create no less than a mandate for the kind of debate that will monitor county vital signs BEFORE a fiscal disaster occurs.

First Responder Support Strategies

Recent audits of Augusta's fire stations uncovered problems that beg the question: "Why didn't the board of supervisors impliment key elements of a fire plan they commissioned?" David Karaffa, candidate for Beverley Manor District Supervisor proposes some strong steps to support our volunteer community. Property tax credit of up to $750 is a great incentive for someone like an artisan farmer who is willing to give her time to protecting the community as a fire fighter/EMT. Reimbursement for mileage and training also help her with practical support as she provides real safety to the county. Tuition credits for young first responders would enhance recruitment of the next generation.

Supporting the volunteer community now makes perfect sense. This 'stitch in time' response to volunteer support would help to preserve the ideal of self-protecting community service. At the same time, Karaffa suggests, we need to unfreeze and fill key paid positions.

Education as a Priority

Seeing an educated population as a key element of economic development, Karaffa says: "Education is vital for our economy, our children, our government, and our future. If elected, I will work side by side with the school board in terms of budgeting and other needs to make sure that every dollar put toward education is used to its fullest and not wasted. I will frequently be checking in with the school board representatives and will attend their meetings to hear the concerns of the parents in our community." Believe him. As the parent of two young daughters, he's concerned that monies reach the classroom. He's already going to more meetings than some people who are already elected and makes a practice of informing himself going into decisions.

Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability to the People

David Karaffa supports budget process where the people are given the opportunity to see the actual figures before the budget is voted on. Openness, he feels, would be a great deterrant to unnecessary and frivolous spending. A quesionable hundred-thousand dollar expenditure on new cell phones for county employees might well have been cut before unnecessary spending occurred. In an era of tightened belts and necessary sacrifice, it is refreshing to see a new generation of candidates who see tax revenues as the people's money.

Note: The Author of this post actively serves in the campaign of David Karaffa for Supervisor.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gearing up for November

Smitty from the Other McCain has a report on the Fairfax County GOP Veterans convention Saturday.
So, yes, we like us some elections in Virginia. This state provided a hefty chunk of the brain trust that founded the country all those years ago, as we crawled out from under the British thumb. It’s only logical that Virginia show leadership as we crawl out from under the Progressive thumb.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Getting ready for July 28th

Jason Bibeau will be seeking the Republican nomination for Augusta County treasurer at the mass meeting July 28th.
Sounds like he's fired up and ready to go.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Story of the Tracker

SWACgirl had the story and photos of Alan, the Democrat taping George Allen's appearances.
Make sure you get Allen's good side.
He might need some shots for the re-election bid in 2018.

Monday, April 25, 2011

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume III, Issue XVII

THYME's Guide to the Most Influential

If, as Jefferson states, "the most important level of politics is local," then it follows that the most important political figures are those who represent your own community.

While the 'other' weekly news magazine looks for its 100 most influential people, THYME went looking for the heroes of hometown politics. We didn't have far to go.

Augusta County, Virginia is situated at the junction of two major US interstates but is still a fine mix of rural and urban elements. Manufacturing, Agriculture and Transportation exist in a balance that makes the area desirable as home or as a potential business location.

The mix that makes Augusta rich in potential also creates unique challenges for local government. Old paradigms are not adequate for addressing these challenges.

Fortunately Augusta is seeing a renaissance in citizen involvement in the process that should inspire people across the fruited plain.

Every Election Matters Now

Typically 'off-year' elections were uninspiring events with low turnout and predictable outcomes. That was before Augusta's current board of supervisors rubber stamped a fatally flawed assessment and set in motion a citizen protest directed at their lack of having a voice in Verona [the seat of the Government Center].

The unrealistic assessment numbers resulted in reduced distribution of state revenues. Public safety and education resources were understandably stretched. Pastures supervisor Tracy Pyles is already in the fight, having previously introduced a motion to discard the new assessment. This election cycle sees some new candidates stepping forward to seek seats in other districts. David Karaffa is running for the position in the Beverley Manor District and Dr. Kurt Michael in adjoining Wayne.

Here are candidates who are stepping up to create solutions in such areas as fire protection. They are putting together real proposals for real problems. They deserve a hearing and your vote on November 8th.

Look for another important hat being thrown into the ring on April 30th. Augusta County will become a model for other localities to follow. Jason Bibeau invites all concerned citizens to come out to the Government Center at 9:00am this coming Saturday. THYME will have more on this important story as it unfolds.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Karaffa Kick-Off

David Karaffa will be announcing his candidacy for the Augusta County Board of Supervisors on Saturday, January 8th at 10:00am at the Government Center in Verona.

The entire event will last about 20 minutes and all local media are invited to attend. Come out and hear what David has planned for Augusta County. Please let your neighbors know, all are invited.
Also Posted at YankeePhil

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A midair collision between a small airplane and a medical helicopter killed two people Friday near the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, authorities said.

Both occupants of a 1967 single-engine Cessna 172L were killed when it plummeted into a farm field after clipping AirCare 5, a medical transport helicopter, at about 2:30 p.m., authorities said.
A plane similar to this was involved

See more here and here 
Cross Posted at Yankeephil