March 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Wildlife: Parks: Richmond Times Dispatch: Most messages back Ralph White

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Wildlife: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Wildlife : April 1, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Wildlife: Parks: Richmond Times Dispatch: RPCV Ralph White, accused of insubordination for unlocking park gates to allow paddlers and dog walkers in after hours, will be suspended for two weeks without pay : April 2, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Wildlife: Parks: WAVY: RPCV Ralph White suspended for opening locked gates : March 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Wildlife: Parks: Richmond Times Dispatch: Most messages back Ralph White

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Most messages back Ralph White

Most messages back Ralph White

Most messages back Ralph White

Most messages back White

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Mar 28, 2005

The Times-Dispatch has received numerous calls and e-mails from people commenting on park manager Ralph White's case and on the parks themselves. Here is a representative sample:

# Nat Hamner of Henrico County: "When the policy is absurd, men of principle will focus on doing the right thing. . . . These locks contradict decades of efforts by Ralph to bring this Park closer to the citizens of Richmond. . . . Whoever set this policy was obviously not a landscape painter, fisherman, runner, hiker, hunter or paddler."

# Grace A. LeRose of Richmond: "Without Ralph, the Park would be another City wasteland. . . . He has forged alliances with outdoor groups, . . . schools, volunteers, businesses and neighbors to be partners in protecting and enjoying the most beautiful real estate in the City. He did this in SPITE of the City."

# Buzz Kraft, owner of Richmond Raft Co.: White has "worked hard to improve the James River Park" but it's "unfortunate he is disrespectful of the time and efforts of law enforcement and acts outside the law for his personal beliefs when the City is trying so hard to control crime."

# Ed Peeples of Richmond: White protects the river, and "that is one of the pillars of the economy in our community."

# John Coe, former president of the Richmond Audubon Society: On any day, you can find White leading children on nature hikes, cleaning toilets or otherwise at work in the park. "Ralph is James River Park." Allowing people to enter parks a half hour before sunrise and leave a half hour after sunset would be reasonable.

# Charlie Slade of Richmond: City officials are over-reacting to White's opening two locked gates against orders. "The reaction was exactly what one would expect from a group of pinheads that has never set foot in the park."

# Betsy Slade, Charlie's wife: "I bought this house so I could walk down the street and be in the Pony Pasture." If city officials had their way, they would turn the park into "soccer courts and high-rise apartments." Times to enter and leave the park must be more flexible. Many canoeists don't get back till after dark, and many people walk their dogs before dawn.

# Cary Adams of Richmond: City parks officials have a "long-held bias . . . in favor of athletic use of parks and against nature and recreational use. . . . The current Parks Dept. Management considers James River Park and its supporters a nuisance; they are the ones who should be disciplined."

# Rob Snyder, address not indicated: "Locking the gates after dark and considering using [the park] after dark . . . is only going to penalize the people who use and take care of the parks. . . . If locking the gates causes the 'criminal element' to go somewhere else, the original problem of criminal activity still exists. Shouldn't the focus of this operation be to eliminate the crime, not move it 'somewhere else?'"

# John Butcher, Riverside Drive, Richmond: "It would be a travesty for the managers at parks and recreation, who have demonstrated their disdain for the safety and convenience of the citizens they serve, to discipline Mr. White on the ground that he has defied them for the sake of those citizens. Indeed, I suggest that you consider putting Mr. White in charge of all our parks."

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Richmond Times Dispatch

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Wildlife; Parks



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