All we have left are photos and fading memories...
Love to Love, Live to Love. No Regrets. c.o.v.2006
Charles Oliver Volpe
10/18/89 - 04/23/06

Here is an article in our local paper about the City Council's actions with regard to the
dangerous conditions that exist at Jordan's Point (I want to point out that this discussion
took place in the "work session" before the meeting) - It seems that the City of
Lexington's City Council is more concerned with aesthetics of the park, than the lives of
our kids. Particularly Councilman Gianniny -

"There was some discussion among Council members concerning the placement of warning
signs in the park and that they might detract from the park's atmosphere. "I want the place to
be safe but don't want signs all over," Councilman Jim Gianniny said. "There needs to be a

Well, let's see if I can help Mr. Gianniny with this concept of balance - There are no less
than 32, yes you heard it right...32 signs in the park - (not counting the signs on the two
pods out on the soccer field) - While pondering the senseless death of my son Charles (a
past student of Mr. Gianniny 's 8th grade Geography class), I decided to count and
photograph the signs in the park.  While Mr. Gianniny doesn't want signs all over the
place, I think 32 signs would qualify as signs all over the place - I think the balance was
lost long ago...

The News Gazette

WEDNESDAY MAY 31, 2006 Last modified: Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:34 AM CDT

Signs Going Up At Jordans Point In Wake Of Drownings
By Roberta Anderson

What measures are governments obligated to take to ensure the safety of their
citizens? And how can it be determined when a particular situation poses sufficient
danger to require government intervention?

Lexington City Council wrestled with these and other questions last week when it
took up the topic of public swimming in the Maury River at Jordans Point Park. The
river has claimed four victims in that vicinity in recent years, including 16-year-old
Charles Volpe in April.

This recent death, however, brought to the attention of public officials a practice
that had apparently gone unnoticed up until now. "Kids are increasingly doing
what is called dam jumping," City Manager Jon Ellestad said. Dam jumping or dam
diving involves climbing on top of the concrete dam that still spans the river at
Jordans Point and jumping 7 or 8 feet off the dam into the river on the downstream
side. Until the recent tragedy, Ellestad said, he and other public officials, including
Director of Public Works David Woody and Lexington police Lt. Steve Crowder,
were not aware of the "sport" of dam diving at Jordans Point.

Weather conditions during the weekend of the recent tragedy had created
particularly deadly conditions on the river and around the dam. Heavy rains had
increased the speed of the water currents and raised the level of the river. Volpe
and a companion were swept over the dam by the rapid water. Crowder said he is
continuing his investigation into the recent drowning in light of the reports of dam

"Swimming in a river is always going to be more dangerous than swimming in a
pool," Ellestad told Council last week. The city manager said he believes that
closing off all access to the river from Jordans Point is not appropriate. However,
because of the recent tragedy, Ellestad recommended that "No Trespassing" signs
be posted on the dam and that regular police patrols through the park be
established to enforce the regulations.

By Tuesday morning, the city's public works department had already placed posts
for the "No Trespassing" signs as well as for a sign warning about the possible
dangers of swimming in the river. Crowder said Lexington police will regularly
patrol the area and strictly enforce the no trespassing law. Warnings will not be
issued for first offenders. Rockbridge County sheriff's deputies are working in
cooperation with the Lexington police and are patrolling the north side of the river. .

There was some discussion among Council members concerning the placement of
warning signs in the park and that they might detract from the park's atmosphere. "I
want the place to be safe but don't want signs all over," Councilman Jim Gianniny
said. "There needs to be a balance.

"Short of tearing down the dam, I think the city is taking the most appropriate
action possible," Crowder said.

Last week Ellestad told Council that he has been asked about the possibility of
removing the dam. The structure is owned by the city. "But who knows how many
hoops we'd have to jump through (to remove the dam) beginning with the Army
Corps [of Engineers]," Ellestad said. "And there is no way to prove that it would
necessarily do anything to increase safety."

"This summer will be the test," Councilman Tim Golden said regarding the city's
efforts to make Jordans Point a safer place.

Happily I must point out that Gianniny and Golden are no longer on the City Council
and Mayor Knapp has been replaced by Mayor Elrod. I must say that the current
group has been represented as a more serious group of individuals. I would bet that
with a push from the public, this menace can be torn out. Please contact the current
members and let them know how you feel.

Click here to contact me by email
How many of these striped ones
can you have - diagonal is nice -
two to make sure you don' hit golf
balls - no drinking of alcohol - the
one above here - well it's a triple
Mr. "G" - Charles
had more respect
for you as his
teacher, than you
displayed here for
him as a human
being - shame on
you! Not one
warning sign up
about hazardous
currents - just
protect your rear
legally with the
dam signs - Good
Job City Council!
City Council & Signs