Letters to the editor – September 27th, 2017

Published 7:43 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Voting for Jefferson

Editor, Smithfield Times
As a citizen of the Hardy District, I would like to let it be known that the Hardy District doesn’t need Herb DeGroft as a Supervisor. Mr. Jefferson has done a fabulous job representing the citizens of the Hardy district and will continue to do so after the election. Mr. Jefferson has been a constant presence at our community events and has always been available to hear any concerns the citizens of the Hardy District have. He speaks up when needed and fights for the Hardy District. 

Mr. DeGroft would not be a good representative of the Hardy district, first and foremost because of the racist email scandal from 2013 when he was on the School Board. Also, his own School Board members called for his removal from the board numerous times during his tenure. He is known for not following rules and policies, and goes about things irrationally. How, in his right mind does he think that representing the Hardy district, which has the largest minority population in Isle of Wight, is a good thing with him to do?

The emails alone should sway the Hardy citizens from casting votes his way. While the NAACP may have forgiven and forgotten, I have not. His digressions while on the School Board still reside in my mind as a major character flaw and make him someone I don’t want representing me or my district. My vote will be for Mr. Jefferson and I urge all the Hardy citizens to do the same. We do not need a self-centered pot stirrer who expresses racist views representing this district.

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Heather N. Forbes

It wasn’t hacking

Editor, Smithfield Times
In your article on Surry voting machines, I believe you and the Wall Street Journal both missed a vital component of hacking. Hacking is the unauthorized, often secret, access to a computer system by someone seeking either information they are not entitled to, or attempting to compromise the computer operating system.

In the case of the Direct Record Electronic (DRE) machine of the type previously used in Virginia, the computer expert hacker/geek was given free and complete access to the computer and was encouraged to defeat its password protection and manipulate the computer. This was done, but it is not hacking.

Also, hacking is usually accomplished over the internet. This is impossible in Virginia elections because our voting machines are never connected to the internet. None. Never.

I have been a poll worker for Virginia elections for over 30 years. During this time, no Virginia election machines or ballots have been hacked. Virginia election officials carefully record, report and safeguard each and every vote.

Stanley Barlow

Praise for BHAR vote

Editor, Smithfield Times
Last Tuesday, the Smithfield Board of Historical and Architectural Review (BHAR) met to consider yet another petition to raze the Thomas Pierce Home and outbuildings. Fortunately, members of the Board had prepared themselves well for this latest request; they made substantive and critical observations of their own, and rendered a 5-0 vote to refuse the owner’s latest petition.  

Key findings were: (1) the Pierceville Farm is extremely overpriced considering its currently appraised value for tax purposes; (2) the owner is directly responsible for the dilapidated condition of the house and barns; and (3) two separate and legitimate offers have been made for the house and 4-5 acres of the property — and rejected. Both of the other contracts with developers (for $2 million and $2.2 million) for all 50-plus acres were contingency offers, based upon securing rezoning of the property that would allow for high-density development.

The attorney for the owner was almost flippant in accepting BHAR’s vote. He reminded the Board that they were merely “recommending to Town Council” (Not true, The Board’s vote is decisive), and expressed his conviction that the owner’s prerogatives and petitions were soon to receive more favorable support. We would like to hope that he is not correct — but we know that hope alone is not a viable course of action.

Accordingly, we ask that citizens of the town and county join us for the Oct. 3 Town Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Voter presence, active support and persistence with factual argument remain critical to our just cause — and mission — to restore and preserve this Historic Farm. 

Mark P. Gay
Executive Director
Preserve Smithfield

An affront to veterans

Editor, Smithfield Times
I proudly served over 21 years in the U. S. Navy and am extremely disappointed in my home team for so many who took a knee yesterday. Many people see sports stars as heroes, but the only ones on the field yesterday are the ones who didn’t take a knee and proudly honored our flag. I, as well as many others I know, have decided to take a knee and boycott the Denver Broncos and the rest of the NFL until they decide to stand proudly and honor our flag and country. There are many other ways to express your point of view and make a difference. Disrespecting our flag and country is an affront to those who fought to defend them.

Gregg Mitchell

Thank you, blood donors

Editor, Smithfield Times
This is a huge “thank you” to the people of Smithfield and Isle of Wight County for another amazing Smithfield Community Blood Drive this past Thursday, Sept. 14. With over 95 sign ins, this was one of the strongest showings for September in several years. We were able to net 87 units and surpass the Red Cross goal for the second consecutive drive. Give yourself a hand, Smithfield!

We would like to extend a large round of thanks to the United Methodist Women of Trinity for their delicious and tireless Canteen Sponsorship on behalf of our donors. As always, we thank Trinity United Methodist church for the use of their facilities and Smithfield Union Masonic Lodge #18 for setting up and taking down tables and chairs. All of the “elves” who help make this happen, from flyers around town, Facebook shares and street signs are rock stars helping to save lives. We see you and your handiwork. We appreciate you!

Next up will be our Nov. 9 drive, generously sponsored by Elaine and Jim Abicht and The Christmas Store. Our Canteen Sponsor will be the Johnny Barlow Sunday School Class of Smithfield Baptist Church.

Blood to save lives is needed every 2 seconds in the United States and our own Mid-Atlantic Region uses over 700 units a day. Every unit of blood given will save three lives. Thank you to all our heroes who make our community proud by taking the time out of their day to donate the Gift of Life.

Leigh Abbott-Leaman

Keep moving

Editor, Smithfield Times
I’ve been told we are on the roller coaster downhill. Unfortunately, there is no brake to pull to stop the fast rise as we approach those golden years.

I know it costs a bushel of gold to keep up the style of life we are used to, but we are truly rich if we have good health. Good health to enjoy our grandchildren. They move so fast when they are young. What happened to us? Our old bodies just don’t want to get up and go some days, especially when the weather changes so quickly. We reach for the BC’s with arthritis or the Tylenol Extended Relief, whichever works the best.

Just don’t sit in that Lazy Boy recliner too long. Get moving. Walk to the mailbox — the long way around. Get a hobby. Plant a garden. My husband told me this past January that I didn’t have enough to do on our small farm so he (we) ordered 100 chickens. That will get you moving every day. Feed and water, clean the pens and gather eggs, wash and carton them. They taste so much better.

Whatever you do, stay busy. Go fishing, work in the garden, play with the grandchildren, teach them about family. Most important, pray with them, teach them morals and the word of God, just like our forefathers before us.

Marie Bailey