Letters to The Editor – April 4th, 2018

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tariffs will hurt locally

Editor, Smithfield Times
Today, the Chinese government has started adding tariffs on incoming American products, This is being done as a response to the unilateral tariffs announced by our President on Chinese products. The impact on Isle of Wight County of these Chinese tariffs could be devastating since they are focused on American pork and agricultural products. Last week Senator Tim Kaine was visiting and we asked for his help in preventing this from occurring
Senator Kaine feels that, as described in the Constitution, tariffs are the responsibility of the Congress and not the president. Therefore, he is going to be working to make sure that any tariff process is started and voted on by that body rather than being based on the whimsy of the President. Thank you, Senator Kaine, for your commitment to help overcome this unfair burden on our local economy!
Joe Puglisi

Please share the road

Editor, Smithfield Times
We are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. We are brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, and friends. We see you in the carpool lanes at school. We’ve shared stories at barbecues, in church, and when we see each other at the store. We have kids who might be on the same team or been in scouts together. We are also cyclists. We are the Lycra-clad athletes who emerge onto the roads when spring finally arrives. We ride for exercise, for camaraderie, for the fresh air, and for the challenge. We ride together, we ride alone, we ride simply for the joy of it. 
But, we always ride with fear. We ride in fear of the approaching cars tht may be in a hurry; fear they may not give us the space we need to safely stay on the road. We ride in fear of the distracted driver who may not notice us on the road. We ride in fear of an angry driver who refuses to share the road, or the one who throws things from their window at us as they shout when they pass, often much too fast or close. We ride with our identification just in case we get hit and left where we land, so whoever finds us can call for help. Our families and our friends wait in fear they will get the news we’ve been injured or killed while riding.
So we ask you, we beg you, please understand there will be cyclists legally sharing your roads. Understand cyclists are humans; padded-short wearing, pedal-pushing, vulnerable humans, who have families that love us and would be devastated if we did not return. In Virginia, the law says give us at least a 3-foot gap when passing. It adds just seconds to your trip, but saves lives. In return, you’ll get a wave, a smile, or a peace sign, and our gratitude.
You are correct that cyclists have a responsibility on the road also. Bike shops, cycling groups, and online forums all work diligently to make sure cyclists new and old are educated about rules of sharing the road. We must work together to make sure we all arrive at our destinations joyfully and safely.
For more information about safely sharing the road, you can visit http://www.virginiadot.org/programs/resources/bike/BPAC150422SharingtheRoadinVirginia.pdf.
Cristin Emrick

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Editor, Smithfield Times
I wanted to thank everyone who came out to my yard sale on Saturday and gave donations to help fund my trip to Dallas to dance with the American Ballet Theatre. Thank you for the love and support. A very special thank you to Meredith Parks and Southside Ballet Studio for the use of the property and the support. 
Maddie Tucker