COMMENTARY: TIME TO NEGOTIATE? It was 1991 and I had taken a consulting job in Israel. Myself and two compatriots from here in Virginia...

COMMENTARY: TIME TO NEGOTIATE?

It was 1991 and I had taken a consulting job in Israel. Myself and

two compatriots from here in Virginia lived and worked together

managing the construction of about 600 American-style houses.

The Israelis were building houses as fast as they could due to

Russia’s Glasnost and the arrival of 12,000 Jews a month into the

country.It was 1991 and I had taken a consulting job in Israel.

Myself and two compatriots from here in Virginia lived and worked

together managing the construction of about 600 American-style

houses. The Israelis were building houses as fast as they could due

to Russia’s Glasnost and the arrival of 12,000 Jews a month into the

country.I worked in the small village of Ofakim, about 20 miles east

of the Gaza strip. Coats in the morning and t-shirts in the afternoon.

Each evening dinner was eaten with the Israelis at Kabbuitz Galon

and the conversation because of the Gulf War raging about 530

miles away. The scuds came and went and were fun to watch from

the hillside outside our guesthouse – I would rather be there than in

a bomb shelter, a lot of space out there to find my head.On my 37th

birthday my new found friends and work mates took me to an

English pub in Tel Aviv. Early in the evening the crowd was hushed

and the bartender announced the coalition forces had taken Kuwait.

We danced on the tables. An awful event and a parent’s worst

nightmare happened some 12-years later. While I was in the

hospital in 2010, chatting with my doctor, Stephen Corrie, and

while watching scenes of the Arab Spring, he told me about his

niece, Rachel Aliene Corrie, who was part of the protest group

International Solidarity Movement.I felt a connection, however

slim, because of knowing her uncle and knowing the place where

she died. She and he friends were protesting the lasted incursion by

the Israelis into the Gaza as retribution for firing a mortar into the

Israeli airspace. They were moving in with armored bulldozers to

take down a village on the border. Rachel and her friends lay in

front of the machines to stop them; when the dozers moved forward

one of them crushed her to death. She was a great activist, and I

don’t want to diminish her name by using her as a metaphor for

being hard headed or not knowing when to begin negotiating for the

best outcome; there was no negotiation for Rachel. Jimmy Carter

did that with much success in the Middle East in 1979.I’m not

saying if I’m for or against the Megasite (I refuse to call it Matoaca),

I’m just worn out I guess. I think it’s time to get into serious

discussion. If you don’t want it, you need to offer a solution. As

some say, “it’s a done deal.” Do we know what that deal is?

Everyone is guessing. I had my opinions but I’ve eased up on my

own conspiracy theories. Solutions?:  • Leave it alone? • Park same

as leave it alone • Huge buffers and user    restrictions, no smoke

stacks,    polluters etc. • Same for road, buffers, and

safety precautions. •  Make sure East West     Freeway R/W is

delineated                      and purchased now, no more     cloud over

landowner             property.Citizens should get what they want; don’t

wait until the ship has sailed. If you remember Branner Station –

the Supervisor, Planning Commissioner and School Board Member

– did most of the negotiating. Mike Sawyer and the Community

Association negotiated a boulevard with a trail instead of a five lane

highway from West Hundred Road to Chester Road.