Letters to the editor – September 21st, 2016

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Here we go again

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Here we go again! It seems the Day’s Point Road corridor is prime real estate for development. The latest is that Joe Luter IV wants to develop part of Aberdeen Farm as a wedding venue. Over the years, this has been used for events. The residents were not happy, but no one has formally complained because the events were once in a while. Now, it is proposed for huge expansion — up to 48 weddings a year, up to 300 attendees until 12:30 a.m., plus a conference center.

    The powers that be defeated the last request for commercialization for a variety of reasons, all of which apply to this request as well.

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    People are fearful that this cannot be defeated because the Luter name is attached. We are all aware of the good that the Luter family has done. However, this is not one of those good things. Mr. Luter IV is quoted as saying this is “just a hobby.” So, we are supposed to be inconvenienced and endangered because of a hobby?

    This request has larger implications than the last one. Farm Road is going to be slammed. They will not be able to get away from the events. Even those people who own homes in Gatling Point located along the Pagan River will not be able to sit on their decks during weddings because the music will easily be in their homes.

    Folks, we can stop this. Come to the Planning Commission on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. and voice y our concerns.

Lynn and Bill Faulkner


This isn’t the solution

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    The old saying that “Truth can be stranger than fiction” could not be more appropriate to the new Middle School plan to move to “Project Based Learning”. Eliminating graded homework and tests is not a solution to our failing public schools. It can be understood how students and teachers might find this to be an attractive idea as it comes down to less effort and work. How our school board members and parents find this to be a good idea is beyond comprehension. 

    If our students are not challenged and held to standards, most will perform at a lower level. This is another educational experiment that will fail and the fact that it is being contemplated is quite amazing. The School Board needs a wake-up call. It would be good to know what members approved this and we would urge the Times to publish where they stood by name.

Bruce Gearey


    Porcine posse

    Editor, Smihfield Times

    Just over four years ago, I painted one of the eight porcine art pieces displayed in town. Mine is the “Sweet Swine of Avon,” a tribute to William Shakespeare, and it stands in Hayden’s lane. Painting it took me more than 200 hours and a good deal of cash for art supplies. Since June 2012, I have repaired “Sweet Swine” four times. Somehow, I consider myself lucky in that “my pig” (it’s hard to let go) was not abused like the pig outside of the Museum (Magnolia) where an individual sat astride on top and kicked off the ears. Today, on a mission to wash and wax “Will,” I discovered not only many mars from folks “riding” the pig but a huge crack under his chin where it seems obvious that someone was trying to dislodge him from his slab mounting (to steal?) by trying to lift up the front of the statue. It is, I believe, beyond repair, but I am hoping to stabilize the statue for a bit longer; I was hoping for at least five years!

    So, my plea is this. Please be a public posse of the porcine art statues and ask folks you see to NOT ride the pigs; after all, they’re pieces of art. Will this discourage the type of destruction we have seen? Probably not. But could it help? I hope so. I am always asked, “Who would do such a thing?” Fortunately, I do not know.

Brenda Joyner


A legacy being lost

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    I really don’t like it, but change is happening every day in the town I grew up in. I’m sure we have all had transitions in our lives. This is one I am sad to see. It feels like a death. It’s a void that will never be filled. It’s sad to see that houses will soon go where tall, majestic trees once stood. It is sad to know that people consider the almighty dollar to have a more powerful call than the peace and serenity of Mother Nature. It’s sad to know that arrangements made years ago can go through without a thought about how they might negatively impact the future. Of course more houses will bring people, which will bring more money, but at what ultimate cost? 

    I write this in the full knowledge that my words are in vain. Trees will be killed, houses and businesses will be brought in whether or not I like it or approve.

    Let those of us who remember Smithfield and Isle of Wight as they once were never forget. Let our memories be passed to our children and grandchildren what a beautiful place this used to be. Let us remember in our dreams what once was.

Reid Lundie


Water rates are too high

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Well, Isle of Wight is increasing water bills. I already pay more every two months than I pay for electricity from Dominion Power. It’s only my wife and me, and we don’t use that much water, but the county keeps going up every three or four months on my water bill.

    The county is charging the highest rates in the state. It’s time the county started charging reasonable rates to citizens instead of giving developers a break.

Willis W. Carter


The worst leadership

    Editor, Smithfield times

    I found out on the 12th that I’m part of Hillary’s bucket List of “Deplorable Americans.” I wear that badge with honor, handling a million-plus messages from 1957 to 1977, all above reproach. Sadly, she can’t say the same, with 2,000-plus classified emails on her unauthorized personal server, which included 20-plus that were “Top Secret,” then the hard drive was cleaned, though the contents were under subpoena by the Congress.

    She like her husband, have both been caught lying under oath, and yet they are not held accountable. Double standard? UBetCha. Tuesday, Sept. 13, President Obama bragged he was in the Situation Room with Secretary Clinton during the Osama Bin Laden raid on May 2, 2011, but didn’t explain why both of them were absent from the Situation Room on Sept. 11, 2012, during the Benghazi 13-hour ordeal in which no help was sent. My understanding is that four times, troops on the Tarmac changed in & out of battle dress into civilian clothes because we didn’t want to insult the Libyan government by sending in troops in uniform. This is leadership at it’s worst. Whose responsible? No One to date. Over 600 requests were sent to the State Department from Ambassador Stevens to increase security. No one was held accountable.

    Seven years of scandal and cover up from attorney generals, ATF gun running, IRS, State, Defense — a list as far as the eye can see. There are currently a little more than 7 percent of the population, who have, or are currently, serving in uniform (The Saying – “All Gave Some, Some Gave All”, will always be sacred). You be the one to tell them it’s okay to to thumb One’s nose at The oath of office, the U.S. Constitution, our military, and Old Glory

Earle Southard


Thanks to blood donors

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    The Smithfield Community Blood Drive at Trinity United Methodist Church was held on Thursday, Sept. 15. The Blood Drive had 76 donors sign in. The end results were 61 whole blood donors and 6 double red cell donors for a total of 67 units of blood to the local Mid-Atlantic Region. 

    A Special Thank You to the Ladies of Trinity United Methodist Church for being the sponsor and providing the Canteen and the Masonic Lodge #18 with set up and take down. Special Congratulations to Cindy Huff receiving her one-gallon goal pin and Robert Wilson for receiving his 13-gallon goal pin.

    A sincere Thank You to each “Hero” from across the area who unselfishly gave a short period of their time and rolled up their sleeves to donate the Gift of Life and thanks also to all the patrons, businesses, and organizations that supported the Community Blood Drive.

    The next Community Blood Drive at Trinity United Methodist Church is on Thursday, Nov. 10 from noon to 6 p.m. The Sponsor and supporting Canteen will be Smithfield Baptist Church’s Johnny Barlow Sunday Class and the Smithfield Christmas Store. The Christmas Store will be giving out a newly design Christmas Ornament to everyone who donates blood. We always have fun seeing old friends and meeting new friends, and the great food is always an award in itself. So, set the date, join us and donate.

    Blood to save lives is needed every two seconds in the United States and our own Mid-Atlantic Region uses 600 units a day. Again, Thank You, Smithfield community donors, for your support.

Willie Rountree