Letters to the editor – February 10th, 2016

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Why a fuel surcharge?

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Does anyone else find it crazy that, with gas and diesel prices at prices lower than we’ve seen in many many years Bay Disposal still finds it reasonable to charge us a monthly fuel surcharge?

    Kurt Frischmann

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    Tennis, anyone?

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    I read the article in The Smithfield Times about the $2 million offer for ball fields. I would like to suggest that some of that money be spent on tennis courts.

    Before I moved to Smithfield, I had lived in England several years. People of all ages played tennis. I even got to go to Wimbledon to see the tennis matches several times and even took lessons from a Wimbledon alternate and had a Billy Jean King racket at one time.

    I just wanted to suggest this since it is cheaper and safer on the bodies. I’m only 86 and I’m anxious to play again.

    I’m sorry about the writing, but the typewriters and I just aren’t compatible. I live in Magnolia Manor Retirement Home and we have several vacant lots nearby.

    Carolyn Blomgren



    Build the sport complex

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    It appears that the greatest philanthropist Smithfield has ever known, Joe Luter, has done it again. He is offering $2 Million to build a ball field for the kids in Isle of Wight County. On top of that Smithfield Foods has also committed another $1 Million, There are a couple strings attached. Mr. Luter wants the facility to be named after his father and demands that Isle of Wight county chip in a meager $250,000, which they can pay over 10 years. I know that the county is in serious financial condition, but for sure the county leaders can figure out how to find $25,000 a year out of their $100 Million budget. Just a few months ago they found monies to give everybody at the Courthouse a raise and even found money to pay a sizable severance package to our former county administrator.

    But our county chairman, Rex Alphin, and the Rushmere representative, Rudolph Jefferson, can’t seem to agree that the $25,000 per year outlay benefit the entire county. Chairman Alphin is not sure the facility will be beneficial to his end of the county and Mr. Jefferson, though the proposed facility is being built in his District, prefers it be built at Tyler’s Beach, or Hardy Park, or Camptown.

    I would propose that Mr. Alphin or Mr. Jefferson talk to Mr. Luter or some other philanthropist to find a couple million bucks to build this type facility where they want it. If they can, I will be the first one in line to support raising our taxes enough to cover the $25,000 per year, 10-year outlay, for the county’s share of similar structure(s) anywhere but Smithfield.

    I am sure that the Town of Smithfield or the Smithfield Recreation Association won’t discriminate as to who is allowed to use this facility or what part of the county the kids might come from. It is past time that our county Leaders stop thinking locally and start thinking about what is best for the county.

    This is probably the only opportunity this county will ever have for such a magnificent facility, and the county’s contribution is less than $1 per resident and for only 10 years. And it is for our kids! Why is there hesitation? Just do it — and now.

    Frank Hall



    The cost of stormwater

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    A recent article in a Richmond paper discussed The Storm Water Utility Plan being implemented in Chesterfield County in response to the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. A five-year plan beginning in 2017 will cost $35 million. The average expected cost for a single family residence will be $24 per year and $308 per year for an average commercial property.

    Given the wide cost variance between Chesterfield’s plan and Isle of Wight’s plan, I believe it is time for an accounting. What was or is the cost of our plan? How have funds been spent to date? What grants have been applied for or received? What projects at what cost have been completed or are planned?

    Perhaps the Board of Supervisors could have staff provide a clear accounting to the citizens who are funding this endeavor within the next 90 days.

    William Bell



    Election bears fruit

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    On Friday, Jan. 29 at about 7:25 a.m., I approached the intersection of Rt. 10 and Mantura Road in Surry County. Some problem had apparently occurred in the road ahead, and a detour was necessary to keep traffic out of the area. Who do we see establishing and working the roadblock at that early hour but Surry County’s new sheriff, Carlos Turner.

    Sheriff Turner was his usual calm, efficient, courteous and friendly self as he personally attended to this routine but nonetheless important task, setting a great example of community service and leadership by example for the rest of his department. Bravo to Sheriff Turner. November’s elections are already bearing fruit in Surry County.

    David Lloyd

    Surry Resident


    A survivor’s story

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    I was so honored when an organizer from Relay for Life asked me to tell my story, because it is one I don’t talk about that often anymore.

    I was just 26, new to the area, and engaged to be married. I had just left a job in central Virginia as a radio news anchor and television reporter. My fiancée was here in Hampton Roads, and we were ready to start our lives together, so I moved to Virginia Beach to be with him.

    We were in the middle of planning our wedding and life was great. I was feeling unusually tired and noticed several bruises on my arms and legs. I went to the doctor and had some blood work drawn and didn’t think anymore about it.

    Around midnight, the phone rang and I was told to go to the hospital immediately. After six hours of tests and more tests in the Emergency Room, I was admitted. Around 9 a.m. the doctor came and told me I had leukemia and we had to start treatment right away. I didn’t see my home again until sixty-four days later, two weeks before my wedding.

    Barely able to walk and completely bald, I was finally home. I kept my focus on the wedding so as not to think about what my body had been through. I was just so happy to finally marry the love of my life.

    And I did. My husband and I have been married for 13 years and have two amazing daughters. They are absolute blessings, as we were told our chances for children were slim. I am now just a few weeks away from my 40th birthday and have so much to celebrate!

    The toll of cancer wasn’t just physical, but financially we would have never been able to make it through without the love and support of our friends and family and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society. We used the money for a very expensive medication I had to take for three years.

    Without the support of events like Relay For Life, I don’t know what we would have done. My husband and I and our girls now live here in Smithfield and are so excited t o be a part of such a loving and caring community.

    Thank you for listening to my story and sharing the importance of Relay For Life.

    Kelli Thompson Tatum