Harrisonburg Best/Worst 2006

TM -- December 19th, 2006

As we reach the end of the year, I think it would be interesting to take a look back at the best and worst of Harrisonburg in 2006. I’ll post my list here as a jumping off point (and probably amend and add to it later). Please leave your Best/Worst lists in the comments section.

-This blog. I’ve thought Harrisonburg needed something like this since I moved here years ago. Finnegan actually did it. I feel lucky to be a contributor and daily reader.
-On that note, The Hookah thread was probably the most entertaining…
WNRN comes to Harrisonburg
Harrisonburg gets its own Craigslist
-Downtown. Specifically the Friday Nights on The Square and Dave’s Taverna’s Rooftop

Worst (thanks to Finnegan for some help on this section):
-The ever multiplying traffic lights (like those at Reservoir and University).
-The congestion of the Burgess Rd./Harrisonburg Crossing area
The alley between Finnigan’s Cove and the old Spanky’s remains closed and the hand-off of responsibility involved therein.
The other laments of the Downtown merchants.

Your thoughts? Feel free to expand to any category of life around the ‘burg at all. Have fun!


21 Responses to “Harrisonburg Best/Worst 2006”

  1. linz says:

    – Driving by the athletic fields at the old high school (Memorial Hall) and seeing them constantly in use by the student population, especially by intramural teams
    – Getting a kebab restuarant
    – turning old buildings downtown into apartments/condos

    – wrecks involving police chases
    – signs of racism toward immigrants by some community members in positions of power, as well as some of the resulting media coverage
    – vehicle tax hike

  2. finnegan says:

    I’ll echo linz’s first two “worsts,” especially the anti-immigrant sentiment that seems to be growing in the Valley.

    – Getting a Craigslist
    – First annual Citizen Academy
    – The slow, but steady progress Ron Copeland & co have made on OCP
    – News that the Blue Nile is expanding and moving downtown

    – The way the Allen/Webb race drifted miles away from the issues: the lowest point being the second Stark attack at the end
    – The stories of animal abuse in Harrisonburg

    And, this isn’t exactly unique to 2006, but the WSVA website would win my “worst local website” award if not for the Rockingham Co Sheriff’s Office website. WSVA would be better off with a free blogspot account for their news stories than the current list of news stories with no permalinks.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton of stuff. I’ll think of more later.

  3. writergirl says:

    I think the Sheriff’s website is far worse than WSVA’s. At least you can find most of what you are looking for on WSVA. The sheriff’s website is illegible. WSVA should do a blog like the Augusta Free Press for their news stories; I like that idea. Their website designer isn’t a pro though so don’t bash it too hard.

    I do think it is bad that the walkway still isn’t fixed. I work downtown and it made my Tuesday trips to the farmer’s market a little longer this summer. Then the parking deck construction made it twice as long. Hopefully the walkway will be open before the spring but I’m not holding my breath. I feel really bad for the bakery and Water Street Cafe; I’m sure both of those things hurt their business.

    I am excited to see all of the new things moving into downtown. The guys at Digico are very friendly and the new shop that opened next to them is owned by a very nice woman who sells a little bit of everything and has a lot of plans for her space.

  4. davidtroyer says:

    While we’re on the subject of websites, I am going to have to throw one out there for the DNR’s website. It just seems like the myspace of local newspaper websites with the inconsistent formatting, and ads that keep me from viewing it while at work. Oh, and I am tired of seeing that bunny rabbit with the sql error on the main page!

    Along the lines of best/worst, I think most of mine have been covered, but the whole WEMC debacle has been somewhat frustrating. As an EMU student, I feel more and more frequently disenfranchised with regards to the stake I have in the University, even at $21,000 a year. From the student’s perspective, the “loss” of WEMC is outside our scope of interest anyhow, as it is anything but student-run.

    I will enjoy watching the quality traffic of Craigslist increase over time. I would also say that I refuse to put the burgess rd/harrisonburg crossing traffic as one of my worst of 2006; the city has grown to the point where I have managed to avoid that part of town for all but a handful of times in the past year.

  5. writergirl says:

    Oh yeah! I forgot about the DNR website! While I actually find the bunny amusing, I can’t stand the pop-ups!

  6. linz says:

    Speaking of the DNR website, check out this screenshot I took a few days ago.

  7. danno says:

    Thanks to the Harrisonburg Craigslist, I found a place to live near downtown and within walking distance of my new job.

  8. briggman says:

    Hey you guys read republitarian.com! Cool…I see everyone took notice of my posting on there about how poor the site looks…seems the Sheriff’s Office reads it too…Farley’s gotten his picture fixed.

    How much did Bob Alotta cost county taxpayers to put most of that site up? Wait…he was a correctional officer (just not certified by Virginia as such)…wait, on WSVA he said he didn’t have to tell the public what he did in the Sheriff’s Department.

    Hey Bob: What/who was on that PC you removed from the crime scene at Ernie James’ house?

  9. finnegan says:


    What pop-ups? I’ve never seen a pop-up on the DNR site (Firefox).

    I hate that rabbit, by the way.

  10. writergirl says:

    I use Firefox too and I always get two pop-up’s on the DNR site. All other pop-up’s get blocked. Maybe they just don’t like me!

  11. David says:


    can you elaborate on your hints, I’m out of the loop but I think that I’d love to hear what your referring to.

  12. intherain says:

    Linz or anyone else,

    As good as these “best” lists are, a kebab restaurant, if it’s any good, would top mine. Where is this oasis of which you speak?

    I second and third the “worst” nominations for the DNR website. What a mess. When it does show up, it’s unnavigable. When you get somewhere, you can’t get back.

  13. finnegan says:

    writergirl, do you use the adblock plus extension?

    I just thought of another “worst” of 2006:

    Comcast – for buying Adelphia, creating weird problems, and then announcing a rate hike for January.

  14. writergirl says:

    You know, I’m not sure. I thought I had that extension, but I had to uninstall recently; maybe I forgot to put it back on. Going to check that now.

    On the Comcast note…I’ve noticed that some of you have said that you’ve already received bills that say Comcast and have had all sorts of problems. I just got my bill two days ago and it still says Adelphia. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any trouble with my cable or my internet service since the switch. However I am sick of getting mail telling me that I’m going to have to change my e-mail address soon, but then never actually going ahead and telling me how!

  15. briggman says:


    Ernie James was the former Executive Director of the Geimeinshaft and was murdered by Jamie Raymond just after I moved here in 1996. Bob Alotta, who knows more about boats that law enforcement and who is classified — although never worked in our County jail — as a correctional officer, and is not a certified law enforcement officer, appeared at the scene and removed, reportedly, a computer which contained the names of the clientele of the alleged JMU prostitution ring.

    I’m fairly uncertain that the contents of that computer were never disclosed…except for his “role” in the Triad program, I think the only responsibility of Mr. Alotta was the maintenance of the Sheriff’s website…when he wasn’t down at BRCC.EDU teaching classes…it’s a nice job, if you can get it.

  16. linz says:


    Enjoy! The kebab restaurant is Xenia’s. They might get your order wrong, but then you’ll probably get something for free. Mmm.

  17. linz says:

    Haha, well I guess dnronline reads this as well. “Navity” is now “Nativity.” However, is still up.

  18. linz says:

    Well, my link didn’t show up, but it says “Religion Calender.” :-)

  19. davidtroyer says:

    Linz or anyone else,

    As good as these “best” lists are, a kebab restaurant, if it’s any good, would top mine. Where is this oasis of which you speak?


    I have never been sure of the kebab restaurant’s name, but Xenia’s it seems to be. Of all places to be located (see traffic related worsts of 2006), it is in Harrisonburg Crossing on the Reservoir Street side facing South (near Qdoba’s).

    Honestly, these kebabs are amazing (they bake the pitas fresh), but expect to spend $5 on a kebab or $8 on a meal. The price was a shocker after living in Germany and eating 2 euro döner, but these kebabs are of a much higher quality.

  20. ALADIN says:


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