Letters to The Editor – July 4th, 2018

Published 3:59 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

Olden Days origin recalled

Editor, Smithfield Times

Thank you for your look back to the first Olden Days. I agree that the festival of today needs reworking, but the name — a Smithfield brand 25-plus years in the making — should be retained.
I was privileged to serve on both the Historic Smithfield and Spirit of Smithfield boards back in the early ‘90s. As you reported, both organizations were created to bring new life and new purpose to what was then a sad and decaying Historic District.
The two groups understood what Smithfield could be, with its remarkable collection of historic buildings, its wonderful setting on the Pagan River, and, although needing a lot of loving attention, its largely unspoiled downtown commercial district.   Olden Days began as a true community event, coordinated by Spirit of Smithfield. Beyond the raft race, the Virginia Symphony concert, and the costume ball, we were so proud that the entire community joined in, without any prompting.
Downtown churches put on pancake breakfasts, spaghetti dinners, and a fish fry. The Volunteer Fire Department gave kids rides on the old fire truck. A school group put in a dunking booth — with teachers volunteering to be the targets. There were carriage and pony rides, a real blacksmith in the backyard of the Old Courthouse and a costumed cook preparing meals on an open fire in the Windsor Castle kitchen. In a simple, wonderful event, a young couple organized an ice cream social, just for the little kids who, dressed in homemade old-fashioned attire, enjoyed their treats in the garden of the Berryman Mansion. 
And, the first morning of the festival, a gentleman from the County showed up in a period costume — and with a big wheeled bicycle — and the Olden Days logo had come to life.
Our takeaway from the first Olden Days: lots of people loved Smithfield as much as we did.
As options are weighed for the future of the festival, perhaps we should consider Olden Days returning to its roots.
Brad Face
Olden Days Founding Chair

Successful ‘Y’ fundraiser

Editor, Smithfield Times
On behalf of the Luter Family YMCA, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the fundraiser held on June 22 at the Cockeyed Rooster. The event was a huge success with 100 percent of the proceeds ($2,430) going to the Livestrong at the YMCA Program. This 12-week program offers adults affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person.
I especially want to thank the owner, Chris Christou and the staff of Cockeyed Rooster for their overwhelming support. Their generous giving is a tribute to the commitment to the services we provide through our Livestrong at the Y program. They are the reason so many people and businesses give freely of their time and money.

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A special thanks to the many volunteers and staff of Cockeyed Rooster and the YMCA who contributed to the event’s success. Volunteer YMCA board members, Livestrong Alumni, and Y staff helped before, during and after the fundraiser. Joe Kendra, author, TV personality and homicide detective visited for a guest appearance and Zach Thompson played the saxophone to round out the perfect evening.
Again, thank you for supporting our fundraising event. Together, we make a positive difference for those dealing with a life-limiting illness.
With sincere gratitude and appreciation,
Kathy Peterson
YMCA Branch Executive
Luter Family YMCA

Why not use the same hole?

Editor, Smithfield Times
So if HRSD already has the money to drill a big hole under the James River to run sewer pipes from Surry County to the Peninsula, why can’t Dominion Power just use the same hole for their electric lines? What a beautiful solution to solving the dilemma of those big ol’ ugly steel towers desecrating the historic Jamestown viewshed.
And save us a ton of money! Is this a case of one public monopoly not even knowing what another one is doing? Maybe somebody from the Surry Nuke Plant could just call somebody at HRSD. Am I missing something?
Albert Burckard

Chase for Pope

Editor, Smithfield Times
As the Former Chief of Emergency Services for Isle of Wight County, I was charged with the task of protecting the life and property of Isle of Wight residents during major storms or other large events. One person in the Sheriff’s office stood by my side during those events and that was Mr. James Pope. During the storms, Mr. Pope was in the Emergency Operations Center building critical relationships with fellow department heads and state agency representatives. He was designated as a liaison with the Isle of Wight Sheriffs Office as a Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management.
Mr. Pope was instrumental in working with local, state and federal official as we planned our responses to events at Surry Nuclear Power plant. He attended training on the State Level and often acted on my behalf in my absence. Each time Mr. Pope made sound decisions that garnered him the trust and respect of career personnel and our volunteers. It was Mr. Pope who worked with me to make critical decisions during these times of crisis.
During large-scale events, such as the annual County Fair, James Pope managed every aspect of security for that event. He attended every meeting with County officials, and has for the last several , years always ensured we had a safe County Fair. During my tenure with Isle of Wight County, I came to trust James and saw great leadership qualities in times of crisis. No other person in the Sheriff’s Office commands a better knowledge of emergency response planning than James. I fully support James Pope for Sheriff of Isle of Wight County.
Rusty Chase
Retired Chief of Emergency Services (retired)
Isle of Wight County

Pope for sheriff

Editor, Smithfield Times
This letter is in support of James Pope for Sheriff in the special election on July 24. I know James to be a person of integrity who has proven his dedication to the citizens of this county over the past 14 years as a deputy sheriff. His leadership skills, work ethic and performance were qualities that were recognized in his promotion to lieutenant after only six years as a deputy.
Safety in our schools is one of his priorities. He plans to put resource officers in our elementary schools on a full time basis. This is so important in today’s environment. It is so much better to prepare for a tragic event before it happens than react after it does.
James’s philosophy of hiring within the county, when possible, is one that will help with retention of deputies. This certainly saves money in training and equipment for new deputies as well as a more experienced staff.
The growth in the northern end of the county has certainly put a big demand on the Sheriff’s department, but James is committed to serving the whole county.
I believe James’s dedication to law enforcement in Isle of Wight County, his experience, leadership and vision for improving the Sheriff’s office make him the better candidate for Sheriff. He has been working for this opportunity for several years and I hope you will join me in voting for James Pope on July 24.
Robert C. Claud Sr.

Don’t change the name

Editor, Smithfield Times
Changing the name because one person decided it is in some unexplainable way racist is just political correctness run amuck. It should not be changed. Maybe change the name of Smithfield because it was founded by a slave owner if you change Olden days.
Volpe Boykin