Letters to the editor – May 10th, 2017

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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 The President’s Executive Order also ordered the Secretary of Interior to review all areas permanently withdrawn from oil and gas leasing under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, including the Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons off the Virginia coast.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

GOP leaders oppose Alphin

Editor, Smithfield Times
We, the leadership of the Republican Party of the 4th and 3rd Congressional Districts of Virginia, are writing you today in an effort to inform and educate our Republican Voters in the 64th Legislative District of the Virginia House of Delegates, who will be voting in the Republican Primary on Tuesday, June 13. Rex Alphin is opposed by the leadership of the Republican Party whose constituents represent the broad spectrum of the Republican Party who are opposed to liberal values and policy. Mr. Alphin’s voting record as a member of The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors speaks for itself. He has continually voted for liberal proposals that came before the Board. This is his record. In May 2011 he voted to raise the Real Estate Taxes in Isle of Wight by 25 percent and then again in September 2012 he voted for yet another Real Estate Tax increase. In October 2016 he voted to raise the Machine Tax from 70 cent to $1.70 per $100. Mr. Alphin has never seen a tax hike he did not like! With his constant tax hike voting record, he is voting more like a Democrat than a Republican. Mr. Alphin has never been involved with the Republican Party until now since he is seeking higher office. He’s never served as a member of any Official Republican Committee, nor has he supported our conservative values while serving on the Board of Supervisors. We as Republicans have a set of values that we strive to uphold which Mr. Alphin does not share. If Mr. Alphin receives our nomination in June, we will be nominating a person who does not share in our beliefs or the principles of the Republican Party. Based on his own record, we know what he will do in Richmond as a Delegate. We already know how he legislates by the way he has voted as a Board Member, and we know this will not change. As a Delegate at the General Assemble he will continue to raise taxes on all of Virginia. As Republicans, we must stand firm on our beliefs and way of life. We cannot afford to nominate Mr. Alphin to represent our Party. Jack Wilson
4th District Chairman State Central Committee Barbara Tabb, Carey Allen, Carole de Triquet, Steve Trent Unit chairmen Brandon Howard (Hopewell) Dean McCray (Dinwiddie) Wayne Cunningham (Prince George) Debbie Trimmer (Petersburg) Peter Churins (Charles City) Walt Brown (Franklin) John Kinsey (Emporia) Steve Trent (Suffolk) Carole de Triquet (Chesapeake) Vernon Teall (Sussex)

Voting for her friend

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Editor, Smithfield Times
I am neither Republican nor Democrat and definitely not extreme in either direction of ideology. Sometimes I am conservative in my thinking, yet other times I have a more open liberal viewpoint. Whichever party, I vote for the people I believe most closely feel as I do about most issues, and these days, frankly, I lean to left of center. No one ever matches exactly, and I believe there is always room for compromise so that most people are best served. Whatever one’s race, faith, orientation, age, etc. we all deserve equal treatment by — humanity — and I want a representative for all. I am sure I do not agree with my long-time neighbor and friend, Rex Alphin, on certain issues, but I will be voting for him in the June 13 primary because I know his character. Rex is honest and sincere. He listens to different points of view, and he is a man of highest integrity. I would like to see a candidate who is not afraid to consider alternate ideas and would be willing to compromise for the greater good, as I believe Rex has done during his tenure on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors.  This is how I see Rex, and this is why I will cast my vote for him in the primary. I hope others will consider voting for him, too. Barbara A Herrala

Alpin supporter

Editor, Smithfield Times
Rex Alphin is by far the best candidate for the seat in the 64th district. In the 40 years of our friendship, I have known Rex to be consistently a man of character and integrity. His word is his bond. He listens to people, always wanting to know what others think. This helps his opinions to become well-rounded and wise. Rex is a solid, life-long citizen of the district, having been a successful businessman here, with his home and all his businesses in the 64th. Rex is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and he is experienced as an elected official, having served in Isle of Wight governance for many years (Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors). Rex Alphin is a proven leader with deep and abiding ties to the district. Rex understands the needs and concerns of the people of the 64th. He believes in a government that provides its people with an opportunity to be successful. Rex is a third-generation farmer, a solid family man. With no real desire to disparage his opponent, I must add that Rex Alphin is the only candidate for this seat who has run a business (three of them) in the district. He is the only candidate with local governing experience. The 64th district will be best served by electing Rex Alphin to represent us. Lindsay Poteat

And another

Editor, Smithfield Times
The 64th district in the House of Delegates represents the best that Virginia has to offer through its proud rural heritage and conservative values. It is important that we hold dear to those values while at the same time look for ways to promote economic development, a good education for future generations, and the protection of our rights under the Constitution. It is for these reasons that we should elect Rex Alphin to represent us in Richmond. Rex has a heart for public service and believes that it is a requirement to know your neighbors in order to represent their concerns. During his life he has come to know Isle of Wight County and the 64th district very well as a third-generation farmer. Since 2011, he has served on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors fighting to keep taxes low, while continuing to advocate for quality services within the county. Rex is a conservative who believes in the importance of the Second Amendment, reducing unnecessary regulations, promoting school choice, and recognizing the value of all life. He has also served on various committees across Hampton Roads during his time as a supervisor and has gained valuable experience working to find collaborative solutions to regional issues. These principles and skills will make him an influential voice in the General Assembly. I hope the citizens of the 64th district will join me in voting for Rex Alphin in the Republican primary on June 13. Caleb J. Kitchen

Must be a left winger

Editor, Smithfield Times
A letter that was published in a recent edition was about the military being democratic and allowing members to quit at any time, and how ignorant the chairman of the Joint Chiefs is as compared to the writer’s unbelievable knowledge about war and nuclear war, leading one to believe that he or she is superior in knowledge and intellect. It has been my experience in life that a person of his intellect and knowledge must have been educated in our today’s vast left wing liberal university system. This person reminds me of a child who does not get his way at the playground and takes their toys and goes home, complains about being brutalized, and the parents call the police complaining about lack of child protection by the police. I cannot call this person an idiot in the letters to the editor, so I will just let him use his superior intellect to figure out my opinion of him. I find it hard to believe that people actually think like this person. When I was growing up in the Deep South on a chicken farm, family and the school system taught children to respect parents, their elders, the military and one’s own self. I personally believe that all young people (male, female, and those that just choose a sex) should be inducted into the military (no exceptions), have to attend boot camp run by the Marines for 16 weeks and then serve out the remainder of two years deployed wherever the marines need them. Then, they could apply for and go to an institution of higher learning. On second thought, this person is an idiot. During the Vietnam conflict, he would have gone to Canada and caused someone else to be deployed there and possibly lose their life. Then, they would have come home under President Carter’s amnesty program and complained about their hardship. I probably should stop writing about this as the more I write, the less respect I have for the left wing liberal way of thinking. Ray Baxter

Two types of intervention

Editor, Smithfield Times
Interventions can be the difference between life and death for a drug addict or an alcoholic. Not every person in need of rehab is going to initially jump at the chance to get clean and handle the issues that drove them to addiction. While some addicts or alcoholics have been so badly beaten and battered by their lifestyle that they grasp at the first opportunity to deal with their problems, others need some type of external help in order to seek help. Interventions are extremely helpful tools for families who are dealing with a loved one who is completely against getting help and resistant to going to treatment. There are two types of interventions; one where the family sits down with the addict and has a professional interventionist conduct a family intervention, where the addict is confronted and offered drug rehab. If they choose not to attend drug rehab, the family gives the addict consequences for their choice. The other type of intervention is done by an interventionist and conducted on a one-on-one basis, where the interventionist works with the addict alone to get their agreement to go to treatment. Once the interventionist, in either case, gets the addict to choose help, they will escort them to the treatment center the family has picked out and gets them successfully checked in. Often, interventionists can be more successful in handling the addict than the family since, in many cases, the interventionist is an ex-addict himself. By having gone through addiction, the interventionist can level with the addict, speak from their reality and truly understand and have empathy for what they are going through. The interventionist is also a neutral party and not heavily emotionally involved in the situation like the family is. If an addict is struggling with addiction, but refuses help, interventions can be a powerful tool used to save their life. For more information on interventions, or if you are in need of a referral to a treatment center, call us at (877) 841-5509. Luke Nichols
Clearwater, Fla.