Letters to the editor – March 8th, 2017

Published 9:13 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2017

No taxes for restoration

Editor, Smithfield Times

I can’t see any reason for restoring an old dilapidated, privately owned house at taxpayers’ expense. There are more important things that need to be taken care of.

We senior citizens are having a difficult time living on our fixed income. Prices have increased for the past several years. Families are having a difficult time earning enough money to keep food on the table. Children are going hungry.

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Our taxes should not be used to pay for renovations of a privately owned home. Nor should our taxes be increased to pay to restore a privately owned home. The house and property may be in a historical district, but there are limits to what the taxpayers can afford.

Ruth PriceSmithfield

Kudos to SHS Band

Editor, Smithfield Times

We would like to commend the Smithfield High School Marching Packers Band and its director, Mr. Joel Joyner, for the exemplary way in which they conducted themselves during their recent trip to New Orleans and the Mardi Gras parades in which they marched. The two parades were the Knights of Babylon and the Krewe D’Etat. Both parades are available on YouTube. (The Band appears at the 0:23:54 time stamp in the Knights of Babylon video and at the 3:00:08 time stamp in the Krewe D’Etat video.) Congratulations to all the students, and the chaperones and staff who accompanied them, for such a successful trip!

Karen and Joseph SmithSmithfield

Affinity clinic is welcome

Editor, Smithfield Times

A thousand Virginians died from overdoses last year. These are our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters and friends, and they need help. It is clear that short stays in rehabilitation facilities need to be backed up by longer-term support in the community. I am pleased to see that Affinity Healthcare has chosen to locate in the county.

John WandlingCarrollton

Immigrant’s grandson

Editor, Smithfield Times

My grandfather, Albert Joseph Bialek, came to the United States from Poland (Galicia) in 1910. Per the Ellis Island website he boarded the ship Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse in Bremen, Germany (formerly Prussia). He had just completed his service in the Austrian Army. Poland at that time was divided into three spheres of influence by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Upon being discharged he returned to his father’s farm.

Officers from the Austrian Army made an attempt to reenlist him but tradition dictated that he could remain at home so long as he was sorely needed on the farm. Immediately after the officers departed, Albert’s father gave him his brother’s travel documents and instructed him to emigrate to the United States. His father knew that war was coming and he didn’t want to lose his son to it.

Given the fact that Albert entered the United States under the name Jan Bialek (rather than Albert) and later burned his immigration papers it is evident he was by definition an “illegal immigrant.” He went on to become a very hard-working brick mason and law-abiding citizen, raising 12 children with the help of his Polish wife Mary (nee Mazan) and the rest (as they say) is history.

Just as Cleveland is a city of neighborhoods, so is the United States a country of immigrants. In fact, all the major cities of America at one time served as incubators for immigrants to not only become accustomed to the ways of this country but also to intermingle with each other (often prohibited in their native homeland).

It’s a shame that the inner cities were handed over to the absentee landlords following World War ll. Just imagine how much stronger and united our country might have been had this unofficial tradition continued. Gentrification is not the answer. Preventing immigration is not the solution. Intense vetting is acceptable during these challenging times but to unfairly deny one person access to the United States makes us all orphans again. As a popular song goes: “let me in, immigration man.”

Joe BialekCleveland, Ohio

The end of Fed?

Editor, The Smithfield Times,

I heard the new show from Thomas Williams Thursday Feb. 23 and Thomas stated that the big banks such as Citibank, J.P Morgan, and Wells Fargo will be naturalized and will not affect their customers at all. This will end the Federal Reserve and America will come under the original Constitution again. This will come about within two months.

The Federal Reserve will go back under the Treasury. The times, they are a changing!

Linda Gould SteffeyCarrollton