Letters to The Editor – September 12th, 2018

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A public Restroom

Editor, Smithfield Times
Smithfield has a public restroom, and if you want to be known as a tourist town and you want to be thought of as tourist-friendly, you indeed need to accommodate tourists with a public restroom.
So, besides tourists, who benefits from having a public restroom? Is it not obvious that the whole town does? So, how in the name of common sense can it be a private business, in this case the Ice Cream Parlor, that is responsible for cleaning this restroom? I do not know how this arrangement came about, but I would have to deem it ill conceived.
The Times article mentions it would cost $1,000 monthly to hire a cleaning service for the restroom. And it would have to be paid for by the Parlor’s owner. Can this get any more absurd? Come on, Smithfield. Assume the responsibility that should be yours.
Finally, before you jump to conclusions, the Parlor has its own restroom facilities, which can be used by its patrons.
Willamena Thomas

Kudos to Smfd. Police

Editor, Smithfield Times
Recently, while visiting the Smithfield Police Department, my adult special needs son, Morgan Carr, was engaged in a conversation with two police officers. My son enjoyed talking with them. One of the officers asked me if he could have a police “goodie bag,” which included toy gadgets, police logo, stickers, a wristband, a toy police cruiser — all of which he was excited about.
In the days that followed, he still tells everyone about his encounter with the Smithfield Police. Thank you for making his day!
Janet Jones

Community conversation

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Editor, Smithfield Times
Lately it seems that our attention has been focused on policy and other issues at the national level. While this is important, we should not forget the issues that face our local community on a day-to-day basis. It’s here, at the local level, that we can often have the largest impact.
Meeting with our neighbors to learn more about each other and the issues affecting our community is an important component of local politics. That’s why I am working with the Carrollton branch of the Blackwater Regional Library to host a three-part series called “Community Conversations.”
The first session will take place at the Carrollton branch on Sept. 17 and will give all those participating a chance to meet one another and discuss how to find credible information and news sources. On Oct. 15, we will host Virginia Legal Aid Society as they share with us more information about Medicaid expansion and how we can get involved at the local level. The final session, on Nov. 19, will focus on mental health and its impact in Isle of Wight County.
All Community Conversations begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration is encouraged. Please call the branch at 757-238-2641 to sign up. We hope to see you there!
Melissa Eggen

Customer service

Editor, Smithfield Times I would like to publicly recognize two individuals at the Rite Aid Pharmacy on South Church Street for going above and beyond that which is normally expected of them.
Late Sunday afternoon on Aug. 26, I realized I was completely out of my blood pressure medicine. Thinking the pharmacy stayed open u ntil 7 p.m., I hurried down there and arrived just after 6 :30. When I arrived, the gate to the pharmacy department was already down. They close on Sundays at 6 :30.
The pharmacist, Lawrence Thomas, and assistant Dee Christey, were still there and saw my concerned actions to get their attention. When I explained that I was out of my medicine, he opened the window and proceeded to fill my prescription. Now, that is what I call great customer service! Small town businesses really do care for their customers. Thank you so much.
Levona Lupton

Bicycling etiquette

Smithfield Times
With completion of construction nearing for the Battery Park Road segment of the Nike-Park-to-Ringo’s-Donuts multi-use path, this is a good time to review basic etiquette for bicyclists passing slower bike and pedestrian traffic.
• Keep to the right.
• Pass on the left.
• When approaching a slower party from behind, say in a loud clear voice “On your left!” Do this when well back from the slower party (approximately 30 feet) in order to allow time for the message to be comprehended and acted upon.
• Do not ring a bike bell, honk a horn, or yell “Beep! Beep!” “Excuse me!” or “Coming through!” as notification of your intent to pass. None of those clearly convey the message that the slower party should move to the right.
Regarding the future multi-use path segment from Battery Park Road to the Cypress Creek bridge, clearly the most logical route is along South Church Street, but I am more concerned about the width than the route. The path should be at least eight feet wide in order to allow bikes to pass safely at speed. A width of ten feet would be better. A pair of six-foot-wide unidirectional paths on opposite sides of the street might be acceptable, but a single, wider path is preferable. The width of the legacy sidewalk from Royal Farms to the Villas of Smithfield should be increased at the same time that the future segment is built.
Greg Vassilakos