Around the Novahood
IN NEED OF A BIGGER BOWL. . . .
Setting a state record, a goldfish weighing in at nearly 4 pounds was recently caught at Hunting Creek near Alexandria indicating NOVA residential qualifications. As goldfish are not native to the area, officials surmise that this fella was a discarded pet. Too big for his britches? The provenance of the piscatorial creature was unknown at the time of being hooked, suggesting an undocumented status.
While the state did not say what the lucky fisherman intended to do with the fish, the website thegoldfishtank.com reports they “are most likely not tasty.” The largest fish ever caught in Virginia is a flathead catfish, weighing in at just under 69 pounds.
Around the same time that the Virginia angler’s record was being certified, an angler in Missouri caught a 9-pound butterfly koi fish.
Virginia goldfish (4 lb.)
Missouri koi (9 lb.)
It is comforting to consider that homelessness for fish is not necessarily a negative development.
COUNTERPRODUCTIVE CRIME FUNDING
Since 2016, Fairfax County has invested some $12 million on Diversion First, the Commonwealth’s most ambitious criminal justice diversion program, steering low-level offenders with chronic problems away from jail — an effort that has been a blueprint for similar initiatives now sweeping throughout the state. The program includes a drug court, a veterans court, and other specialty dockets. But such success has bred reduced equitable state funding.
The state funding formula is geared toward rewarding local prosecutors’ offices on the basis of numbers of felony convictions and for seeking harsher felony sentences. “It’s maddening and it’s frustrating,” remarked the head of Fairfax’s Board of Supervisors. “We literally are getting penalized for keeping people out of incarceration and treating them.” Advocacy groups say the system effectively rewards a tough-on-crime approach that is out of step with the wave of criminal justice reforms that have emerged across the country following high-profile police abuse cases against people with mental health issues and other treatable problems.
This may finally change. A 15-month state-commissioned study of the issue launches this month. The current formula provided equal funding to Fairfax County with a 1.1-million population and Chesapeake City, with less than one-quarter of that population, because both had a similar number of felony convictions. Thus, jurisdictions are rewarded for competing in a race for criminal convictions instead of justice.
Intelligent design and thought in criminal justice is overdue.
‘BIBLE STUDY’ GROUP STUDIED CAPITOL MONTHS AFTER INSURRECTION
A Virginia man charged with joining the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol told an undercover FBI agent that he belonged to a “bible study” militia-style group and coordinated “surveillance efforts” on the Capitol more than a month after the riot. Investigators intercepted encrypted communications about post-riot surveillance, including “How do we feel about an Intel run around the Capitol tonight? Fewer of them out. Posture may be lowered. Good opportunity to expose weaknesses. Poke and prod. But have a legitimate reason to go. Visit a restaurant or something. Get something cheap. Walk around a bit.”
In May and in June, according to the undercover agent, he and the principal discussed making and testing Molotov cocktails, and repeatedly talked about engaging in violence against groups that don’t share his views. “My goal here is to outline the current ‘state of play’ in what could be called the second American Civil war,” he told the agent. The Alexandria resident travelled to Lorton with the undercover agent to reconnoiter a test location for the home made Molotov cocktails.
No evidence was offered to describe the bible group’s curriculum concerning a mix of explosives and religious study as anything but soulfully healing.
Categories: AROUND THE NOVAHOOD, crime and punishment, Issues, Local, police, POLICING, politics, prosecutors, State