Another day, another exercise in self-parody: Creekside Developers Mix Conservation, Commerce. Yes, a shopping strip has been placed next to Kernstown battlefield in the Valley.

“It’s good to be able to say you’ve developed something right next to a battlefield and everyone seems happy with it,” said Al Graber, the Winchester developer who began working in the area almost 30 years ago.

Indeed, it must be sweet. The conservation part of this - are you ready? - is that if you stand far enough away from the stores, they look like a little, uniform brick village (with no houses or trees and loads of parking).

“The property was originally zoned residential, and there was some movement on squeezing eight or 10 houses in there,” said Larry Duncan, Kernstown Battlefield Association president. “Knowing Mr. Graber’s ... history of doing top-notch commercial development, it was a relief to know he had acquired the property.”

It hadn't occurred to me before, but these battlefield preservation societies can actually provide cover for developers. All they have to do is pervert the meaning of preservation. And take contributions from "interested parties."

Let's check back in 10 years when the stores are boarded up because of the ebb and flow of commerce.