Letters to The Editor – August 22nd, 2018

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Why the Screening?

Editor, Smithfield Times
It appears we are well on our way to our second solar farm in the neighborhood. Before we get too far, we need to prevent another ugly eyesore like Longview. What non-elected entity or agency requires the Black screening on the fence? What are they trying to hide? North Carolina has many solar farms and none of the five that I have seen have any screening on the fence. So I guess we can say it’s a local regulation. Why?
William Bell
Isle of Wight

511 signal is poor

Editor, Smithfield Times
I read with interest plans to spend almost $4 billion to add four new lanes to the HRBT to be completed by 2025 when an expenditure of a fraction of that amount would help alleviate the morning and evening congestion at the tunnel immediately.
As one who makes the 49 mile daily commute to Town Center in Virginia Beach, I am faced with the four choices of the HRBT, High Rise, Downtown or Midtown tunnel and rely on VDOT’s 1680 AM station to decide which is the least congested. Unfortunately that is the same frequency as a Spanish language channel that often drowns out the weak traffic information signal and forces one to use the 511 service, whose phone tree is guaranteed to raise your blood pressure since its 1980 voice recognition technology is feeble at best. 
By increasing the power of the 1680 AM signal or, even better, moving it to FM, commuters would have real time information to help chose the most efficient route to the Southside. While I certainly am in favor of adding lanes to the HRBT as a long term solution, improving the traffic information flow seems an inexpensive and efficient solution in the interim.
Ed Hipp

Remember the ’33 storm?

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Editor, Smithfield Times
Tomorrow, Thursday, August 23rd, is the 85th anniversary of the “benchmark” storm that we measure all others by.
It was the worst hurricane to hit our area in recent recorded history. Other storms, such as in 1749, may have been worse but the historical record of their damage is scant. For example, the 1667 “Harry Cane” created a large sand bar on the land grant patent of Thomas Willoughby. This eventually became the popular, beachy resort (at least in the 1920s) “spit” in Norfolk. Little is known about this storm but it shows that sometimes hurricanes maybe can do good things!
But the ‘33 hurricane hit Isle of Wight County hard. The only permanent damage I know was the loss of the front rampart wall at Fort Boykin and also a small missing part of the wall at Fort Huger.
Perhaps some of our long-term residents know more?
Albert Burckard

Working together

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Surry County Concerned Citizens’ Association was formed with a goal of “Making Surry County Better” for all citizens. Our citizen members believe that this can be accomplished by providing all citizens an open forum to discuss matters of our community and promoting a unified community.
The Association meets every fourth Thursday of each month. The Association’s next meeting is on Thursday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. and located at the Dendron Community Center, 2850 Rolfe Hwy. Dendron. Come join us for an open conversation and an opportunity to know one another better.
There are also several important government meetings this month in our county, all held at the County Government Center, 45 School St., General District Courtroom at 6 p.m. On Aug. 22, the Board of Supervisors will receive a grocery store update. On Aug. 28, a citizen input will be invited concerning the search for a new county administrator. And on Aug. 29, the Economic Development Authority meets.
Please join us at some or all of these meetings. Become informed, express your opinion as all citizen voices are important to be heard to Make Surry County Better for us all!
Thomas Byrd
Concerned Citizens’ Association

Carrollton recollections

Editor, Smithfield Times
My wife saved and marked your “Short Rows” article about Mr. Reynolds Parker and ask that I add the article to our family collection of memorabilia. I am glad she did. It brought back pleasant memories of our move from Hampton to my wife’s family farm, which is located a short walk from the old Carrollton store and Mr. Parker’s garage.
There were many times that I would stop by the porch at the store to talk with Mr. Parker. Mostly it would involve some mechanical problem I was having with equipment or one of our vehicles or his collection of same.
One of his collections, an 8N Ford tractor, was of particular interest to me. It was parked out in front of his garage and I learned that it had been there for a long time. He kept it in good working order but had never used it for work. I tried to buy the tractor several times but he would not sell. After much discussion I learned that a person had left the tractor with Mr. Parker for safe keeping with the intent of returning. I was told it had been 16 years since the man left. Regardless, Mr. Parker would not sell — a testament to his “impeccable integrity.”
I was honored to be a part of what you referred to as the “gathering place.” I suspect I was accepted more for my wife’s longtime family friendship with Mr. and Mr. Parker rather my naïve and boisterous additions to the conversation.
Thank you for preserving this piece of our local history.
Ernie Gillespie