Letters to the editor – May 3rd, 2017

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Big on dual credit

Editor, Smithfield Times
In reference to Herb DeGroft’s letter last week in The Smithfield Times regarding the CTF initiative:

My 19-year-old granddaughter, who lives in South Carolina, took advantage of high school dual credits. She has two years of college credit under her belt. She is a freshman or first year student at Clemson College in South Carolina. At 19 years old, she will have a total of three years of college credit as of this month.

She is a very sweet, petite young lady who wants to pursue being a doctor specializing in arthritis. She suffers with rheumatoid arthritis and can identify with other young children who are also suffering.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

She is a past student of Isle of Wight County and moved to South Carolina and took advantage of high school dual credit there. It will be Isle of Wight County’s loss.

Yes! I am the same Marie Bailey who ran for the Newport School District a few years ago. I love children and want the best education for Isle of Wight students then and now. I took a stand then for dual credit at no cost to students and I still do. South Carolina did for my granddaughter what Isle of Wight County would not if she had continued living here.

How many student have we failed by not having dual credits? They are the future! You have heard it takes a village. It also takes a town and county. Let’s wake up, School Board and superintendent.

Marie Bailey

Drive-Thru prayer

Editor, Smithfield Times
Sweet Haven Holy Church of God on Brewer’s Neck Blvd held a Drive-Thru Prayer ministry. I had never heard of such an event. On 14 April, at 8 a.m. in the morning, I drove through the parking lot, stopped my car, and the Bishop’s wife, Lady Shirley Johnson, came to my driver-side window. She shared prayer and encouraging words, plus a knapsack full of goodies! 

What a blessing! 

I would like to thank Lady Johnson and the church for providing this service. What a great idea! Thank you!

It is my understanding when Bishop Johnson first offered the Drive thru Prayer idea, he was flown to California and appeared on the “To Tell The Truth Show.” It might make a good local humanitarian newspaper article!

Dolores Watkins

Rex Alphin ‘blew it’

Editor, Smithfield Times
As the date for the Republican Primary for the office of delegate of the 64th District grows closer, I have read much of the support around here for candidate Rex Alphin. I would like to offer a personal viewpoint.

As this newspaper well knows, my family was the subject of a very public county debate in the last five years over the right to use one’s own land as one sees fit, without injuring any other party. Isle of Wight County staff came down on us over the issue of camping here on our farm. We learned that it is illegal in Isle of Wight to ever camp, even one night, on our own land without a “commercial campground permit,” which just to apply for costs $1,350.

This newspaper and public opinion generally was heavily against such an infringement of our private property right, and justifiably so. Several county officials made snickering comments about existing incidents they knew of personally. My husband made six appearances at county meetings over eight months to plead this case. County staff dominated those meetings and spoke at length to defend this policy, while limiting speakers of support to three minutes. The ordinance has not been reversed.

Supervisor Rex Alphin was on the board during this time, serving as chairman for some years. He was asked publicly to support the restoration of this right to Isle of Wight citizens and was asked personally to support us privately. He refused, and has never even made a motion of support. Apparently, he is OK with denying this simple freedom. In his version of America, camping out at home should be denied, unless more bureaucracy and fees prevail.

His literature and supporters speak of conservative values, of “rural culture,” and “unleashing freedom.” In my opinion, these values have not been demonstrated here in Isle of Wight County on a very simple issue. He could easily have been a leader here and fixed this travesty, but instead, he sat there and let the hired county staff intimidate the elected officials we voted for, oppress citizens and get away with it. He had a chance to do the simplest thing for taxpaying county citizens, and he blew it. State politics is no place for another go-along to get-along representative. If he is elected, what other rights will be lost with his consent?

Carol Ferguson

Supporting Alphin

Editor, Smithfield Times
I am writing today to ask the constituents of the 64th District to vote for Rex Alphin at the polls on June 13. I have known Rex all my life and can think of no one with the integrity and concern for the people of this District more than Rex. Rex and his sister babysat my sister and me early on. Later in life he would be my Scout leader and teach many lessons about life, freedom, ethics and God. I know Rex will always do what is right for the Citizens of the 64th and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

You know, politics is not a pretty thing. It is no wonder that we find it harder and harder to find good people that are willing to put aside a personal life and enter the fray that is the modern day political process. As an elected representative in Isle of Wight, Rex has always sought out the advice of the people he represents. Can he please everyone all the time? Probably not, as that is the nature of the business. If it were that easy, everyone would want to do it. But he has always sought to do what was best after studying the facts and weighing all the options.

Washington is full of elected officials that have long forgotten those they represent. To some extent, that has happened in Richmond as well. It is different with Rex. He has roots in this community that run for generations. As a successful businessman and community leader, he knows that what he does affects the people not just now, but for future generations. His roots keep him grounded in the people he represents. Rex will not be swayed by the lobbyist and outsiders to do harm to his constituents and his community. Why? This is where he will always return to. And he will want his kids, his grandkids, and the generations to come to enjoy the freedoms and great life we grew up with and the generation before us enjoyed.

Kevin Duck

Not worth the risk

Editor, Smithfield Times
Nearly seven years to the day after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, I was disappointed to see President Trump sign an Executive Order to review the 2017-2022 Five Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program, protections put in place for sensitive offshore areas, and regulations put in place to ensure that disasters similar to Deepwater Horizon never take place.

The 2017-2022 Leasing Program was developed collaboratively with significant input from local leaders, businesses, the Department of Defense, environmental stakeholders and many others. Following this collaborative process, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management determined that oil and gas exploration off the coast of Virginia was not consistent with the needs of the community or the requirements of the Department of Defense.

The President’s Executive Order also ordered the Secretary of Interior to review all areas permanently withdrawn from oil and gas leasing under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, including the Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons off the Virginia coast. These unique habitats host a vast array of marine life and offer opportunities for research, conservation, and recreation. It is critical that we protect these areas, and it remains to be seen whether the President even has the authority to withdraw protections for these areas.

As the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster demonstrated, we must exercise extreme caution in offshore drilling. I have long believed that it is simply not worth the risk to Virginia’s fishery, tourism and recreational economy, to our region’s relationship with the Department of Defense, or to the health of our coastlines and the Chesapeake Bay to drill for oil that would yield nothing more than a few days-worth of national oil and gas supply.”

Rep Bobby Scott
4th District

CBF opposes offshore drilling

Editor, Smithfield Times
Regarding reports that the Trump Administration has proposed opening areas of the Atlantic coast to offshore oil and gas drilling:

The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, and drilling offshore poses unjustifiable risks to the Bay, its living resources, the tourism economy, and the many jobs dependent on clean water.

Offshore drilling creates a new pollution source, one capable of significant, even devastating environmental damage from drilling, transportation, storage or refinement.

The waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake play a critical role in supporting the Bay’s natural resources. A significant portion of the blue crab population utilizes these very waters during their early life cycle stages. The crab larvae can float miles out into the ocean on the water’s surface after they are spawned at the mouth of the Bay. An oil spill could destroy an entire year class of blue crabs. The economic impact from any spill could be huge, hurting commercial watermen, recreational fishing and tourism.”  

The proposal to open the Atlantic Cost to offshore oil and gas drilling is a direct attack on the health and economic vitality of the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation strongly opposes the proposal.

Kim Coble
Vice President
Chesapeake bay Foundation

Shame, shame

Editor, Smithfield Times
In reference to the letter titled “Before we go to war.” I would like to inform this individual that the United States does not avoid any “nuclear weapons countries.” To any country that poses a threat to the safety and security of this country, to them a job before they do it to us. When Congress says go to war, the military goes, and as to saying the soldiers have an “equal vote” on this, there is no equal vote. He needs to look up the meaning of “army.”

Recruits do what they are told with no so-called “vote.”

This man apparently has not been in the military nor does he know how it works.

I think that his letter is a slap in the fact to all military forces. Could this letter come from a very liberal mind?

To write a letter and say that the “joint chiefs” is a street gang: I question whether this man is a citizen of this country. This is nothing but liberal thinking, far left.

To say that a soldier could quit when trouble comes, and run home — what would happen if all the military just quit when Hitler (sic) bombed Pearl Harbor? Where would this individual’s life be if the soldiers that fought on the grounds of this country to secure freedom had all just quit?

Narrow mindedness is in us all. It just shows up a whole lot more in others. Shame, shame.

Earl Scott

Kids need Kiwanis

Editor, Smithfield Times
For more than 100 years, Kiwanis International has been active in communities around the world. In Smithfield, the Kiwanis Club has been helping kids for 41 years. You might know some of our members. You’ve probably seen us in the neighborhood, in church or at the grocery store.

Some of our projects include a division Fishing Clinic for children, a pancake Breakfast with Santa, a Christmas Toy and Book Program and scholarships for high school seniors. In addition we support several local organizations and charities dedicated to serving children including summer camps, CHKD, Westside Robotics, Bright Beginnings, CHIP, IOW Education Foundation, American Legion Boys and Girls State, and Scouts, to name a few. Along with clubs for adults, we offer a Terrific Kids club at Hardy Elementary, and Key Clubs at SHS and IWA.

We believe we can make a difference in the world, in our community and in the life of a child. We believe everyone can benefit from helping others. The demands of a family, a job and a social life can interfere with best of intentions to help others. Yet more kids than ever before need our help. With more Kiwanis club members we can help more kids. And we know kids need our support. We meet Thursdays at the Smithfield Station at 12:15. Consider attending a meeting to learn more or visit www.smithfieldkiwanis.org

Connie Chapman

A generous community

Editor, Smithfield Times
Not only is Smithfield a great and safe place to live, it is a wonderful place for giving back to our church community.

Congratulations to all the golf committee members, hole sponsors, golfers, participates and volunteers in meeting our goals with the 6th Annual Trinity United Methodist Church Charity Golf Tournament! Your generous contributions will go a long way in helping worthy causes in the church like Christian Outreach Program, Hands and Hearts and Youth/Adult Missions.

On behalf of the Trinity United Methodist Church Golf Committee, I would like to thank all for the generous contributors to our annual charity golf tournament.

Trinity United Methodist Church appreciates your investment in our mission and your compassion towards helping others in our community.

For more information on how these wonderful donations are helping to make a difference at Trinity United Methodist Church, we invite you to visit our Web site at www.mytrinity,org.

We hope you will again join us next year on April 20 in supporting TUMC in this wonderful and fun event. Your generosity here in Smithfield is so appreciated.

Ted Bright