Blackwater Lodge High Resolution
Aerial view of Blackwater headquarters near Moyock in North Carolina.
<-- Click here to zoom in even more (use scroll handles to look around).
Yes, Jan - I was just going to send you notes from my call to Sherry ****
(she sent fotos in Dec), from Saturday night. So I'll Give You Names and numbers first here, then give you the lowdown on my weekend talk with Sherry.
(Names/ Numbers suppressed )
With Sherry, I discussed BW and EIRs. I got the impression we're (Calif) way ahead of North Carolina on this score, IF all players follow the rules. In Moyock, as you'll see later, BW goes around any hurdles. Sherry said, "They don't take 'No" for an answer." When asked to perform some studies BEFORE a permit is issued, BW refuses, citing expense as rationale for putting off testing until AFTER a Special Use permit is granted. (??) Even then, they "do only what's required by law, no more."
On expansion, "They started with seven people on 300 acres. Now its a city." "They built a hotel recently.... they're housing a bunch of Jordanians. There are Many other international clients."
Recently BW invited all the neighbors to dinner. "They really put on a Dog and Pony show." At the dinner, folks were told the Potrero facility was already a done deal. Sherry got the impression it had been built. Within the year, they were told, shifting many programs and trainees would "take the pressure off here." (Hence, "shifting the pressure" to Potrero???)"They spoke as if it was already there."
On placating neighbors (aside from feeding them a meal), "Neighbors objected about a new strobe lighting, 24 hours a day. Now they promise it will only be used for night flights." The light has been off for a week. It had been shining into people's homes all night. BW also took down the big, intimidating sign everyone protested over.
On visiting/using anything of BW's (in Potrero, shooting range, hiking trail, nature-viewing, sage-gathering)-- Neighbors in Moyock are NOT Allowed onto BW property for ANYTHING. Sherry was clear on this. Sherry's mother, over 80, accidentally drove up to the gate. They made her get out of her car and searched the vehicle.
A local Mennonite carpet cleaner got lost, drove up to BW's gate. They drew guns on him and screamed profanities.
They are rude to residents, even at the grocery store, "just plain arrogant."
On road-- "It's a 2-lane road. When neighbors complained (about the deterioration BW caused), they only repaved a very small percentage of the roadway, just patches." They "did a crappy job on the road here. A traffic study was done. It was in the local paper. Their guys drive 70, 80 miles an hour down the road." BW brought in a meter to slow their personnel down. "Ten thousand dollars. They can brag to the county commissioners."
On benefits to the county which BW had trumpeted before getting expansion permitted--"BW doesn't do shit for paying taxes." Residential land use ( One home per 10 acres) there would bring in far more revenue. "They tear up the road something fierce. It's not worth it to the county."
It has brought menial jobs to the county, custodial work, mowing lawns. One man got a prized, more highly paid position. He's the "retarded son of one of the (now former) county commissioners."
Recently, BW applied for a land use permit from the county, a "very strict Unified Ordinance" document, a change to the county's "Growth Plan".
"Of 18 or so requirements, BW couldn't meet 15." BW was granted the permit despite this huge shortfall. "Who"d they pay off, politically?"
Sherry told me that if BW doesn't act upon their new permit by next Feb it will expire. Sherry wants to know what kinds of permits they'll need in Potrero. She'd like to be sent anything our group has on that sort of thing.