Letters to The Editor – October 24th, 2018

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Main St. a botched job

Editor, Smithfield Times
The dust and dirt on Main Street continues with no solution in sight.
When the dirty street produced a dust storm, the town staff told the people to wait upon the Lord. The people were told that the Lord would send a great rainstorm, which would cleanse us of our misery. The town staff failed to tell the people that the Lord would then shine upon them, the street would dry out and the dust would continue.
This street project is a botched job. Those who plan, coordinate and execute these projects do not anticipate well. We have waited two years for the street restoration, and this is the product you produce?
The town is, and should be, proud of its efforts to preserve its historical sites and architecture. However, this enthusiasm should not apply to infrastructure. Just as we use electricity instead of oil lamps to illuminate, so should our roadways be state of the art.
So, what now? We need to get street sweepers to polish the roadway until the street is restored to the condition that existed two years ago before this long nightmare began.
During this long ordeal, the mayor has thanked us for our patience. Enough already.
One last lingering thought: If a gravel street is such a good idea, why was this surface not used for the Church Street beautification project?
Robert Redlin

Rezoning up next?

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Code of Virginia states that the planning commission shall prepare a Comprehensive Plan for land use and shall review the Comprehensive Plan at least every five years to determine whether it is advisable to amend the plan.
Two observations emerge from the above statements:
1. The Supervisors ignored the code and assigned the review task to county staff.
2. The review does not require the plan to be amended.
The review process is an opportunity to compare previous assumptions and trends and amend the plan as necessary to correct outdated or erroneous assumptions. Wholesale changes are not required.

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I have personally attended multiple sessions of each public engagement in the public forums conducted by county staff. While the graphic representations are exemplary, some of the assumptions and data interpretations from previous forums are questionable.
For example, many previous citizen comments included the need to limit expansion in the north end of the county and include more improvements in other parts of the county. Indeed, many aspects of the 2040 Plan that were soundly rejected by the citizens have reappeared in the recommended scenarios. This appears to be a complete overhaul of the previous plan, not simply an amendment. The changes are presented at the forums as the only options. The options to propose different changes or reject the proposed changes should be offered. 
As noted in the paper recently, the traffic congestion in Carrollton is already poised to increase. The present scenarios include increased high-density zoning for housing in the area and will only exacerbate this problem. In addition, the proposed higher density will further burden the most overloaded school in the county. Previous survey results called for an emphasis on education. The proposed plans cannot achieve this without large tax increases for school expansions to balance the teacher/student ratio. There are other areas of the county where the traffic congestion is lower and the schools are not already overstressed.
The adoption of a Comprehensive Plan also leads to a rezoning plan to comply with the land use plan. This makes the Comprehensive Plan a pre-zoning plan.
Rick Gillerlain

Celebrating IW history

Editor, Smithfield Times
Our county is now struggling with how to continue our popular annual “Olden Days” event following, apparently, some outcry from African-American residents that it conjures up memories of more unhappy times.
I’ve also heard a rumor that we are considering for next year a “1950s and ‘60s” themed event to accommodate the wonderful array of old classic cars that has been a mainstay in years past. But I think a “segregation era” focus, ugh, might not be the best way to bring us together.
A suggestion: Let’s do simultaneous history-intensive events in both towns!
A “Founders Day” in Smithfield could recall its 1750 birth and a “Railroad Day” in Windsor could mark its 1859 origin as “ Windsor Station” along the Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad.
Same-day events, perhaps Smithfield in the a.m. and Windsor in the p.m. could bring the northern and southern parts of our county together in one great annual event. Even the classic cars could start in Smithfield and motor along Courthouse Highway to Windsor with perhaps a short midway “pit stop” at our historic county seat. 
Smithfield would commemorate our colonial story, bringing Indians, African-Americans and our English settlers together and maybe our supervisors could even invite some real Brits from Isle of Wight UK to help us commemorate. Windsor would celebrate our county’s more modern heritage: the railroad, the paper mill, airport, intermodal park and other developments. The Windsor Mayor could even ask Norfolk Southern to bring in their famous “611” steam locomotive that once stopped in Windsor during the glory days of American passenger rail travel. 
Both celebrations would avoid the obvious pitfalls of inviting remembrance of other, more unpleasant, times like slavery, the Revolution and the Civil War.
What a wonderful and all-inclusive way to bring the citizens of Isle of Wight County together!
How about it? What do you think?
Albert Burckard

Health Fair helpers

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Isle of Wight County Commission on Aging would like to thank all of our sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers for their participation in making the 2018 Senior Education Health Fair a success. Without the support of Riverside Health System, Sentara Health System, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation and the Smithfield Center, the Commission on Aging would not be able to continue providing these events for the Senior Citizens of Isle of Wight County.
Thank you again for your continued support.
Brenda Reynolds
IW Commission on
Aging Committee

Climate change is just natural

Editor, Smithfield Times
Climate has been changing since God created “this orb” we call Earth, and will continue to evolve. There are two natural phenomena man has absolutely no control over — sun spots/storms and volcanic activity. These two, per an astrophysicist I heard several years ago, contribute 99.9 percent to Earth’s climatic activity. Man’s is infinitesimal.
Recently, a 10,000-foot earth bore in Antarctica showed evidence of past millenniums when our Earth was significantly warmer. Likewise, when 11,000 years ago, the glacier that was about two miles thick here in the northern hemisphere began to melt, what was mankind’s impact? Negligible, because man was in existence in minute numbers, at best.
Yes, we need to care for our Earth, the only one we have. But, Al Gore and his minions are scam artists that make Bernie Madoff look like a small-time “Carnie snake-oil” salesman, I think.
Epidemics cause greater loss of human life than anything else: the Plague, Influenza, Pneumonia, Waterborne/Insect diseases, etc. Of course Hitler, Stalin and Mao were pretty good at killing millions, too, in our lifetime.
Herb DeGroft