Letters to the editor – June 7th, 2017

Published 7:59 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More books, more success

Editor, Smithfield Times
Studies confirm that the number of books in the home directly predicts reading achievement. Children who grew up with books in their homes reached a higher level of education than those who did not. Price is the number one barrier to book ownership.

The Christian Outreach Program’s “Food for Thought” goal is to empower the Isle of Wight community through literacy by providing more children’s books in homes! Each month our clients are given the opportunity to select books to take home to their children/grandchildren. Our dedicated and caring volunteers help with book selection and encourage daily reading and the establishment/enhancement of home libraries. Many of the clients and their children are amazed and very appreciative that they are given books to keep and read together.

We primarily serve children from birth through middle school and appreciate gently read as well as new books. There is always a great need for preschool books, especially board books for newborns through age 3.

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Thank you to our community literacy partners who have contributed gently used and/or new children’s books this year: Macedonia AME (Pastor Gwendolyn Minor), Isle of Wight Academy (Janet Huber and Terry Garner, coordinators), Carrollton Branch of the Blackwater Regional Library System (Shannon Conroy and Megan Wilson), Smithfield Kiwanis Club (Kurt Frischmann).

And thank you to the many anonymous and generous donors (parents/grandparents/teachers) who have cleaned off shelves and delivered books to COP or the Isle of Wight Museum for others to enjoy.

A special appreciation goes to Jennifer England and Tracey Neikirk at the Isle of Wight Museum who consented for the Museum to be a collection place for books.

As we continue in our mission to empower community literacy, we seek more individuals and groups to partner with us! In addition to the Museum, children’s books also can be delivered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to the Christian Outreach building at 402 Grace Street.

Sharing literacy blessings provides opportunities for children to strengthen skills that may open many doors for future successes.

Beth W. Butner

Combatting Alzheimer’s

Editor, Smithfield Times
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Everyone is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, a fatal disease that is often misunderstood.

Did you know: * Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss. Alzheimer’s kills nerve cells in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think and plan. * Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. * Currently, there is no way to prevent, cure or even slow Alzheimer’s disease. * During the month of June, the Alzheimer’s Association asks you to uncover the truth about Alzheimer’s and take action. Visit alz.org/abam to: Get the facts about Alzheimer’s disease. Learn how to love your brain.

Discover how to go purple — the color of Alzheimer’s awareness — on Facebook, Twitter and more!

The Alzheimer’s Association provides education and support services to patients and their families. I got involved with the Association after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; she lived almost ten years after the diagnosis. I used the Association’s resources to help me understand and cope with challenges throughout Mom’s illness, decline and passing.

I hope you will join me in supporting Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month during the month of June.

Lin Harbold


Kudos to Legion

Editor, Smithfield Times
Kudos to the American Legion Post 49. Its Memorial Day service at the Isle of Wight Veterans Memorial was most impressive. It gave all in attendance room for deep thoughts of the “why” of Memorial Day and a better understanding of why the “Good Ole U.S.A.” is the best of the best places to live. This event reminded me of the place where I grew up, the Army that I served and the community in which I live. We need to be proud of our country and our heritage. Again, a “thank you” to the American Legion.

Stewart Tyler

Wandling supporter

Editor, Smithfield Times
I am writing to endorse John Wandling in the June 13 Democratic Primary. I met John nearly 20 years ago through our shared pastime of sailing. Over those years I have learned that as an Army veteran, John attended college on the GI Bill, furthered his education with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and spent his career in the IT field, retiring from the City of Hampton as IT Director. He is a devoted family man with more than 50 years of marriage to his wife Becky along with four children and nine grandchildren.

John is smart, and knows how to get things done. During his career as a software developer and IT Manager, John worked with both Republican and Democrat administrations at all levels of government, local, state and federal. His ability to understand and solve problems related to government processes in defense, law enforcement, finance and accounting, taxation, and revenue were major factors for his successful career.

I share John’s progressive point of view regarding nonpartisan redistricting, support for our public school children and educators, support for Career Technical Education as a pathway for better paying jobs, protecting our Chesapeake watershed for pleasure and commercial users, and conserving the rural heritage of our District.

John’s “People First Leadership,” which is consulting with constituents before moving forward, along with his intellect, work ethic and values are strong attributes for the job of Delegate.

With the threatened federal budget cuts regarding health care, restoring the Chesapeake Bay and many other areas, Virginia will need to step up to protect the people of Virginia and their natural resources. Now is the time to send a person to the Virginia House who can cross the aisle and get things done. That’s why I support John Wandling for Delegate.

James S. Groves

Backing Brewer

Editor, Smithfield Times
I am proud to support Emily Brewer in the Republican Primary for Delegate on June 13. She has always been a longtime supporter of conservative candidates and causes, and I know that she will not only work hard for the constituents of her district, but will move the ball forward to keep government small and stand up for our values. Emily is someone that we can count on day in and day out to stand up to the liberal Democrats who are running the governor’s mansion. She is the kind of ally I need in Richmond.

When I ran for attorney general, Emily actively worked to support my campaign against Democrat Mark Herring. We need folks who have a record of fighting for conservative values, and I know Emily does. In the State Senate, I represent one of the largest rural districts in Virginia. I have fought against the EPA and DEQ to protect agriculture and know Emily is the right choice to do the same. Emily will also stand up for our property rights and fight government overreach. She will work hard for you in Richmond and I look forward to working with her.

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain

Alphin’s her choice

Editor, Smithfield Times
My family and I own Dance’s Sporting Goods and we recently had the opportunity to share an evening with Rex Alphin at our shooting club, Sussex Shooting Sports, in Waverly. Rex is a long-time businessman and great Republican, not a politician. I believe Rex would be a great person for the job as delegate of the 64th District.

Marlon Dance
Colonial Heights

Wandling is her choice

Editor, Smithfield Times
My friend John Wandling is a candidate for Virginia House of Delegates, District 64. I have known John for several years, and I plan to vote for him. John is an honorable man who is passionate and committed to serving the constituents of the 64th District. John is also the only candidate who is retired. He will devote his time, talent and energy fully to serving as our state delegate.

John is smart and knows how to get things done. After serving three years as an infantryman in the US Army, John earned degrees in information technology and computer science, and had a successful career as a software developer and IT manager. His career has been spent working with both Republican and Democrat administrations at all levels of government: Federal, State, and local.

A huge factor in John’s success has been his ability to figure out and solve problems related to government processes in defense, law enforcement, finance and accounting, taxation and revenue. John’s successful experience will undoubtedly serve the 64th District well.

John has become an expert at getting things done. His IT project teams have been repeatedly praised for achieving results on time and within budget. John leads by example, trying to match team talent to team needs, and working to help his team succeed.

John has also pursued an active interest in sailing and in the seafarer’s life. Working part time, he has earned a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s license and instructor certification from the American Sailing Association. John is passionate about restoration and protection efforts dedicated to our invaluable resource, the Chesapeake Bay, and our local rivers and streams.

I hope you will join me in voting for John Wandling as the Democratic nominee to represent the 64th District in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Teri Jane McKenna

Supporting Brewer

Editor, Smithfield Times
The first time I met Emily Brewer, she was training a group of law enforcement officers on new investigative tools. As a 20-year law enforcement professional in Western Tidewater, my top priority for electing a new Delegate is whether or not they will support law enforcement. Emily has a record of supporting the law enforcement community and first responders in general. Between the increasing threat of domestic terrorism and the out-of-control opioid epidemic, I know Emily Brewer will be a strong voice for keeping our communities safe.

Not only does Emily have experience training public safety officials across the state, but she has always been an active member in the first responders community. Emily was a volunteer for the Driver Volunteer Fire Department. I am glad to support someone like Emily Brewer who has fought hard for public safety and I hope she can count on your vote in the Republican Primary on June 13.

Tommy Potter

Voting for Alphin

Editor, Smithfield Times
I’m voting for Rex Alphin because I know Rex shares the same values as I do. Rex is pro-life, pro Second Amendment, cares about parental choices in education and understands and appreciates the agricultural lifestyle that the 64th district is known for. Rex has owned and operated three businesses in his district, and has actually held an elected position in this county.

But more than that, Rex is a person who values honesty and integrity, and he lives by that. He is always willing to listen to issues objectively, and the passion he has for his community and the 64th district is visible on his face whenever he’s talking about why he decided to run.

I hope you will join me in voting for strength, honor, integrity by voting for Rex Alphin.

Laura Darden

Voting for Alphin

Editor, Smithfield Time
Rex is a third generation farmer, successful businessman and a loving husband and father.

When I was considering starting a church in Isle of Wight County, Rex Alphin was the first person to welcome me and share insights that influenced me to come to this area. Over the many years I have known Rex he has demonstrated the character and competence that it takes to be a great leader.

Rex understands the needs and concerns of the people of the 64th district. Rex is a true Republican, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and a man of integrity who will represent our district well.

Rex has a proven track record and experience to lead, having served in Isle of Wight governance for many years (Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors). Rex Alphin is the only candidate for this seat who has run three businesses in the district and has local governing experience.

The 64th District will be best served by electing Rex Alphin to represent us.

Please join me in voting for Rex Alphin for the 64th district House of Delegates on June 13 in the Republican primary.

John Hunter

The goals of ‘Relay’

Editor, Smithfield Times
Celebrate, remember, fight back, and celebrate more birthdays.

Celebrate. Our 2017 Relay For Life season was celebrated on Saturday, June 3 on the field at Isle of Wight Academy. Cancer Survivors proudly lined up to lead laps; our longest Survivor can claim 37 years cancer-free and our newest Survivor’s claim is just a few weeks. What an inspiration they provide to others facing treatment!

Remember. We walk in memory of the loved ones we have lost. Their names are on the luminaria that we lit as the sun went down for the day. This is a time of emotional healing and reflection for many of us.

Fight Back. We feel so helpless when we hear of yet another cancer diagnosis. By fundraising during the year, money raised will benefit the American Cancer Society’s programs for research, advocacy, and patient programs.

More Birthdays. Relay For Life of Isle of Wight/Surry is committed to celebrating more birthdays for all of us!

We want to thank with heartfelt appreciation all the many individuals and businesses who support our ongoing and never ceasing efforts. Our Team Captains and participants are tireless in their fundraising endeavors to make a difference in the lives of others and we are blessed to live in a community that supports Relay For Life!

Pam Jordan

Views taxes as rent

Editor, Smithfield Times
It feels good when you make that last house payment. Your house is finally yours. Except that it isn’t. You’re just renting it from the government.

They give it names like property and real estate taxes, but whatever they call it, it boils down to the same thing — rent. And if you stop paying rent, then you’ll soon see who “your” property really belongs to.

I remember a story about a girl who was the leader of some African country. She was looking at some farms with some soldiers and when she found one she liked, she told the people who lived there, “This is mine. Go find somewhere else to live.”

In Virginia, you can pay off hour house, but if you then stop paying rent because you can’t afford it, or because you figure you don’t have to pay rent to live in your own house, the government will come and say “This is mine. Find someplace else to live.”

So, in that respect, how is Virginia different from that African country?

Wherever you live in America, if you pay off your house, you should be able to say “this is mine.” But in Virginia, you can’t because you don’t own your house. You are just a renter.

Jim P. McAdaragh