Letters to the editor – July 20th, 2016

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Gun range opponents

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    As residents of Walters my wife and I want to thank you and your staff for the coverage you have given our cause. We are terrified at the prospect of a large public shooting range being placed directly across from our home. Our livelihood and property value is on the line. After retiring from the military I wanted a home in the country away from the bustle and noise of city life. My wife is a farmer and a beekeeper and this property suited our purposes to a T due to the current rural conservation zoning. Had we known that the property directly across the street from us was going to be a large commercial enterprise we would never have purchased this property.

    That the County would even consider allowing an enterprise of this type to be constructed in a residential area is mind boggling to us. If this Conditional Use permit is approved, it is for the property and lasts into perpetuity. The residents of the county need to be aware that, if this can be done in our neighborhood, it can be done in theirs.

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    Many questions were posed by us at the Planning and Zoning meeting and those questions still remain unanswered. Is the current zoning for AK9 commercial? If so, how does that meet the use requirements under Rural Agricultural Conservation zoning? How can they store ordinance and explosives at their facility when there is not a single fire hydrant on Burdette Road? What is the county’s plan to handle the traffic to a large commercial enterprise on a narrow, unmarked road with no posted speed limit? If the dog kennels were so loud that they had to be enclosed because they violated the county noise ordinance, then how can you justify a large outdoor shooting range on the same property?


    These are just some of the questions we as residents of the county feel need to be answered. It has been brought to our attention that a large group of folks from outside the county may be present at the Board of Supervisors meeting to speak in favor of the range. They see it as a Second Amendment gun rights issue. It is not. This is a community and homeowner issue. It is an Isle of Wight County issue.

    Roger and Kimberly Epperson


‘Some validity’

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Although some seem to think that Ms. Tynes’ comments regarding the Olden Days event are offensive and insulting, the comments that her out-of-town friends shared with her have some validity.

    I am an African American who moved to the town in 2002 after living in major metropolitan cities in Illinois and Florida. Eager to learn what the town had to offer, I attended Olden Days during my first year as a resident. It was like being in an Antebellum/Civil War reenactment at times. Yes, there were some nice crafts and good food, but I did not feel that it was an inclusive event and I have not gone back.

    It was suggested that if the event offends black residents of Isle of Wight County, we should speak up. I’m speaking up and I invite others to do so, as well.

    Joycelyn Spight


Three times successful

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Many thanks to each of our neighbors in the Day’s Point area for their efforts in fighting the rezoning of Monette Parkway. We fought three times to keep our neighborhood the way it has always been, and three times we have been successful because of our neighbors’ grass root efforts and their passion.

    We have voiced our desire to keep what we have and we have been listened to by each committee we went before. We hope the owners of the property have finally heard us and that this issue is finally put to rest.

    “Thank you” to all who assisted. They are the stars of Isle of Wight.

    Lynn & Bill Faulkner


Other road needs

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Herb DeGroft got it right last week in his letter about the futility of the Nike Park bike path. Rather than, on any day a swarm of riders as advocated by trail supporters, we would be lucky to have a dozen users.

    Herb is also right about possible use of the funds for “decrepit” county roads. As an example, he could have cited the unpaved one-mile section of our historic Gayle Way in Carrollton. This road is used daily by 14 real estate taxpayers and 10 households living in substantial homes. Come try our resident-maintained road and tell us why we have been on a VDOT rural road improvement waiting list for more than 15 years.

    Gerald Naber


Yes, we are sinners

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    In response to “We are not all sinners:” Well, we are all sinners according to First John 1:8-10. My Bible is the NIV version and it reads, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our signs, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our signs and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”

    So, we can see that being aware of our sins is the first step into forgiveness. If we don’t have this guilty feeling of sin, we will never ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Without the forgiveness through Jesus Christ, there is no salvation. So, from this, I feel that if the pastors, preachers, priests, etc. don’t from time to time point out that we are all sinners, then they are in fact not doing what they were called to do.

    Jim Cofer


Sinners we are

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Unlike Ms. Price — “We’re not all sinners” — I do agree with the bible. I may not like everything that is presented because it shows me how sinful I have been, and continue to be.

    Adam’s sin was that he disobeyed God, and each time we disobey God we sin also. There was no sin before Adam, so he was the first sinner, and his lineage (children) followed in his path.

    Even “good people” transgress (sin) without intent, and “fall short of the glory of God.” I have not committed any of the mentioned acts of murder, rape, spouse beating, but I have told a “little white lie” to protect someone else’s feelings, or I may have forgotten to return a pen to my past employer 20 years ago (stole it).

    Sin is sin, so if we disobey God in any manner, for any reason, we have sinned and we are sinners.

    Even though we are all sinners, God has provided a way of forgiveness through his son Jesus Christ.

    I can only pray that the writer will seek guidance through a knowledgeable family member, friend or clergy.

    If by some chance anyone has not looked at the world recently, it is a sad place — Dallas, Baton Rouge, Paris, Istanbul — and if my pastor ever quits preaching the Bible because he thinks it offends me or someone else, I will do all that I can to have him removed from the pulpit.

    Wilbur Sullivan