Letters to The Editor – October 18th, 2017
Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Rescue hall a landmark
Editor, Smithfield Times
I am a native and resident of Rescue. Recently I heard that our Community Hall, a historic landmark in its own right, will be sold. The reasons given were decreased membership, lack of community involvement and an unsafe building in which repairs couldn’t be accomplished due to lack of funds.
Since the hall is owned by Rescue, one would assume that I received this information at a community meeting. The fact is, this news came via word of mouth. It was not made public until a half page letter dated Sept. 29 appeared in our post office. In a tiny town, little goes unnoticed, but there were many others shocked by this news. After obtaining from the courthouse copies of the minutes of the only two meetings available of the Rescue Community League (Aug. 29 and Sept. 19) I was floored that the last item recorded was “It was decided that a town meeting was not necessary.”
My roots run deep here. My third Great-Grandfather, William T. Carter (1833-1911), was a businessman in Rescue and local lore credits him with giving the village its name. I care about Rescue and preserving its charm, character and history.
When did this crisis begin and why wasn’t the community made aware in a formal, public fashion? If safety is a concern why did the minutes state that it was being rented two times this month? I firmly believe that if the community was brought into this beforehand many would have donated their skills and time to aid in its preservation.
Most of us here lead busy lives and stay to ourselves, but one thing has never changed, and that’s when there is a need, we all come together as one. It’s the heart and soul of this special little place that my Great-Grandfather always referred to as “God’s Country”. Rescue is larger than five people — the number it took to decide the Community Hall’s fate. We demand, and deserve, a public meeting.
Thankful every day
Editor, Smithfield Times
I am not “political.” I consider myself to be neither a Democrat nor a Republican (I’m not sure what that even means anymore). All I see in the news anymore is divisiveness between Democrats and Republicans, our President and, well, everyone — mass murders by crazy individuals, rioting in the streets over things that could be easily be resolved with a mature conversation between parties, and so many more instances of selfishness being alive and well in America.
But I truly believe that those who are creating the turmoil and strife in this country are in the minority. Day after day, year after year, I witness kind act after kind act in my own community by all sorts of wonderful, caring people, and not just after a crisis.
One of the events in Smithfield that I have been honored to be a part of is Souper Saturday. The Christian Outreach Program, a 100 percent volunteer organization, has been working to help others in need for many years and Souper Saturday is one fundraising event that it holds to help others with fuel assistance in the wintertime. This past Saturday, as I watched literally hundreds of citizens/organizations, both Christian and secular, come together prior to, during and after this event to ensure that other citizens don’t have to struggle to pay their heating bills, it occurred to me that this is truly what makes America great — average American citizens loving and helping other average American citizens.
If we as individuals would just focus on that one thing and not all the political “rhetoric,” I believe 99 percent of the divisiveness would cease to exist. I would like to just thank everyone in our community who came out on a drizzly Saturday to help their neighbors regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. In the words of my heavenly Father: “Give and it will be given to you, in good measure, pressed down, running over.
Many helped with forum
Editor, Smithfield Times
The Isle of Wight Citizens’ Association (IWCA) and the Carrollton Civic League (CCL) wish to express heartfelt appreciation to the community for their support of the Candidate Forum at the Smithfield Center last Tuesday, Oct. 10. Each of the five invited candidates for public office expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to interact with the voters of Isle of Wight County and 64th House District.
We thank not only everyone who attended to meet and hear the candidates speak but also the individuals and groups who helped conduct the event: The Carrollton Ruritan Club and Steve Haley provided the iced tea bar. The wonderful Smithfield Center staff Calvin Kelly, Amy Musick and Courtney Roggmann provided the administrative support and room set-up. We are truly blessed to have such a professionally run and welcoming venue for guests of our fair town and county.
Thanks also to Phillip Bradshaw for expertly moderating our sometimes a bit obstreperous audience, Pat Clark and Bobby Edwards for being our question card handlers, Curtiss Peterson for leading the pledge, Jim Henderson for timing the remarks and Joe Ferguson for letting us borrow his old fashioned “wristwatch” (whatever that is!) to referee the remarks of our future county and House District representatives. And a final note of appreciation to the Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department for allowing us to use their special ceremonial Stars and Stripes.
We wish also to remind everyone to inform yourselves on the important political issues that face our county and our Commonwealth and to vote for the candidates of your choice in the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
On this and that
Editor, Smithfield Times
Hats off again to Gina Ippolito and her crew and all the volunteers for another outstanding event at Windsor Castle Park. Approximately 3,200 tickets were sold and approximately 400 volunteers hosted by SVAE. The money raised by this event benefits the town of Smithfield and participating civic clubs. Thanks to all who participated. The boat ramp planning and fund raising is still in full swing. Although we are approximately a year later, we still anticipate starting the construction the first part of 2018.
The Joseph W. Luter Sports Complex is starting to wind down with only approximately 30 days left on construction. We will have to wait until 2018 to open the fields, giving them a chance to “settle in” and also VDOT still has to have a turn lane in before it will sign off on the ball fields. We will install the sewer line under the turn lane, so this will also hold up opening the complex.
In other matters, Windsor Castle Park restoration project is running along nicely. The manor house phase one work is complete as are most of the “red” barns. The outside of the caretakers’ house is complete and we are now in the process of trying to save the corncrib as it is the place most pictures are taken.
Hats of again to the trail doctors for maintain the trails and surrounding areas. Please remember, all dogs should be on a lease and please clean up behind your dog.
We want to wish Connie Chapman well as she has moved to a position with Isle of Wight County and had to resign her council seat. We welcome Steve Bowman who has now filled her position on the Town Council. We look forward to working with Steve.
Pinewood Heights is still on schedule and the last phase is still scheduled to start late in 2018. Thanks again to the homeowners and businesses that have endured the closing of streets for all the events that are held. We sincerely appreciate your patience to embrace our visitors.
We are very proud of our citizens as we just received our recertification as a certified crime prevention community. The Police Department thanks everyone involved.
T. Carter Williams