Letters to the editor – April 26th, 2017

Published 5:37 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Is CTE still ‘just an idea?’

Editor, Smithfield Times Wonder if it caught anyone’s eye or ear when at an earlier School Board meeting, Mr. Mabey, as quoted in the April 12 Smithfield Times regarding the CTE initiative, “This is just an idea. We Have to have a place to start.” This was part of presentation that should have caused some School Board questions, don’t you think? At this late stage in the planning process for the CTE initiative’s implementation in September, why is it just an idea?  Counselors and School Administrators scheduling students for September classes should have the CTE program in their hands now. Some very astute students want to have their four-year “plan to graduate” in place now. Am I not aware of this existence already? I hope I’m wrong for the sake of those students who “need to know” now. Additionally in the same edition, the Our Forum “Closer Ties with Camp Encouraged” hopefully caught your attention, too. For decades Isle of Wight County students and their families have been cheated out of the multiple benefits of the “Dual credit college level high school” courses available.  If the two entities could have ever overcome the personality, turf and cost issues that existed, the value to have been gained would have been tremendous! I think in the past that disinterest existed on part the of parents also, primarily due to little if any advertising or marketing by all parties. Parents just didn’t know they could save $25,000 to $35,000 of college expenses if their student child got two years worth of credits thru the “Dual Credit” program with P.D. Camp.  Southampton county schools have succeeded for a decade or more in doing so, but a majority of our past Isle of Wight School Boards and administrations just were not interested to work it out. This same “can’t be done” attitude is now heard from administration and some School Board members regarding the CTE initiative dovetailing with PDCCC.  Leaving Pruden presents great opportunities that should not blithely be cast aside. “Real” effort, I think, is not being expended to work out the coordinating details to make it work to the benefit of our students, in my opinion.  I truly hope the School Board is really on top of this significant initiative and change. Herb De Groft Smithfield

Why she supports Relay

Editor, Smithfield Times
When cancer strikes, your life changes in the blink of an eye. One day, you and your family are carrying out your daily routines. All of a sudden, because of three little words, one diagnosis, what was once your “normal” fades while medical appointments, natural remedies, dietary changes, surgical options, chemotherapy and radiation education take center stage. Your world turns upside down. Your priorities shift. Everything changes. I’ve seen people fight cancer with all their might and win. I’ve seen people fight cancer with all their might — and lose. The losses are heartbreaking, and leave me with a longing that can’t be quenched. But they make the wins a little sweeter. When I lost my mom to cancer when I was 28 years old, I felt completely helpless. She was gone, and there was nothing I could do to change that. A few years later, I attended a Relay For Life interest meeting. I found myself in a room full of others whose lives had also been touched by cancer in one way or another; people who understood my experience; people who had a plan of action to keep cancer from claiming more lives. I was hooked. There are several reasons that I continue to participate in Relay For Life. First of all, it is a fun, family-friendly, non-running event (you can run if you really want to, but I never have). My daughters have been part of Relay since they were in strollers. It’s also a community event. Businesses, churches, schools, friends, and families are all welcome to participate in one way or another, whether through volunteering, donating goods, or becoming a monetary sponsor. There is a place for everybody at Relay. But the strongest reason I keep returning to this event year after year is because it has given me an incredible outlet to actually make a difference in the future of cancer prevention, treatment and research. I still can’t bring my mom back. But I can do something to protect her grandchildren. Please join me on Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. (or anytime in between) at Isle of Wight Academy for the 2017 Relay for Life of Isle of Wight/Surry. Join others to celebrate our wins, remember our losses and to make a difference in the fight against cancer. You won’t regret it. Melanie Cena

Not self, but others

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Editor, Smithfield Times
There is no doubt we live during a time of great unrest where 50 percent of a community thinks and feels one way and the other 50 percent the opposite way! We are drowning in disagreement and negative spin! There is within our community a group of people that feel that the work being done by Smithfield VA Events is self-serving to those “unpaid volunteers” on the Board and the few paid staff who organize and perform the directions set by the Board. I believe that in our community is an even larger group of people that see what SVAE does and they support it! Over 40 Organizations from all over our community provide volunteers to put on the three Events run by SVAE. In six years, the list of groups and volunteers has not gotten smaller but has grown! I found myself on Sunday morning at Windsor Castle Park, the day after this year’s Wine Fest, I overheard two SHS Band Booster parents announce as they walked in with their son, they were “ready to help break down the party!” They were excited that funds raised by the event were going to help purchase Band Uniforms. They were grateful! Wanting to be a part! They were supporting their community! Lions Clubs from the area come out and support the Festival. The funds they raise help those in our community to buy eye glasses, get eye exams and continue the annual blood sugar and sight screening that takes place at all our county schools. The Rotary Club of Smithfield convert their volunteered hours to donations to support their community projects and scholarships. Last October Smithfield Music donated $12,500 to IWS systems Art and Music departments. Giving back to our community, at times, is a quiet selfless enjoyment for people that need no pat on the back. “Not Self but Others” is a motto I choose to live by like so many others in our Community. John Payne

Before we Go to war

Editor, Smithfield Times
Since America seems to have a habit of invading any country that doesn’t have nuclear weapons, I think we need a new rule to rectify this situation. Before any president can send the first “warm body” overseas in any conflict, he should get the consent not just of Congress but of the military too. Everyone would get an equal vote, from the newest recruit to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And why do they call the, the “Joint Chiefs?” I thought that was a street gang in Detroit. Anyway, if a majority of the military votes “yes,” then we go. But if they vote “no,” then we don’t. But even if they vote “yes,” any individual soldier should be able to say, “Take this war and shove it.” Whether there’s a war on or not, they should be able to quit the military just like any other job. So that’s my new rule. But actually, that’s two rules since getting the consent of Congress counts as a new rule. And it goes without saying that there should be no draft. Jim P. McAdaragh

Voting for Brewer

Editor, Smithfield Times
There is a clear choice for me in the 64th District when I vote in the primary on June 13th. It’s Emily Brewer. She represents someone who desires a smaller, more efficient government that does not stand in the way of its citizens succeeding and prospering. She has committed to making it simpler for small businesses to start up and succeed by cutting regulation and the red tape that goes along with it. As a small business owner, she understands small businesses are the backbone of our Commonwealth’s economic engine. On the tax front, Emily has committed to voting to not raise taxes. Her opponent, Mr. Alphin, has voted to raise personal property taxes three times during his tenure as a member of the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors. Under Mr. Alphin’s watch, personal property taxes rose 63 percent. For those folks who are supporting Mr. Alphin, ask him about his voting record on taxes in Isle of Wight County. I believe Mr. Alphin will vote to raise our taxes in Richmond just like he did in Isle of Wight County. Emily Brewer will vote to cut taxes! I believe Emily will work to help improve our public schools and ensure families have options in educating their children (i.e. public, private, and homeschool). Emily has also committed to pursuing to eliminate wasteful spending in Richmond. She will not continue to burden Virginians with the poor decision-making that has led to more debt, more spending, and higher taxes. Lastly, she is a staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights and will not waiver when it comes to the right of any Virginian to defend themselves and their families. Ken Wagar

An Alphin supporter

Editor, Smithfield Times
I fully and whole heartily recommend Rex Alphin for Delegate of the 64th District. I would like to share a few thoughts as to why I feel so strongly that he is the only qualified candidate for this district. First of all, there has to be a connection with the area, because that’s where your love for the people, the land and the community that you serve, comes from. Mr. Alphin was born and raised in this district. He attended school here, and the love and passion that he has for his district cannot be matched by anyone. It’s who he is. When he was the owner of a small business, he was connected to the people and has since carried that connection over when he served on the Planning Commission. When he ran for Board of Supervisors and was elected by the people of this county, it was easy to see that the people returned the love and respect to him. Once you have a passion for people, you are then grounded to serve. All farmers know that there is a time to plant, cultivate, and a time to harvest. We need to support and say with confidence that Rex Alphin will be a strong Delegate for the people of the 64th district. Donna N. Jones

Alphin is their choice

Editor, Smithfield Times
With the partisanship in politics we experience today in national, state, and local elections, we need candidates with the values, experiences and intellect to find common ground for appropriate compromise for the good of our localities, state and nation. Rex Alphin’s rural upbringing of hard work, fairness in dealing with others, and his experiences as a small business owner, farmer and local county leader have given him the insight into what works in bringing people together for the common good and compromise so that everyone gains fairly and loses minimally. Rex will represent us in the House of Delegates with good common sense, hard and smart work and fair representation for all of his constituents and our great state of Virginia. Please join us in voting for Rex Alphin. Harold and Nancy Blythe