Letters to The Editor – October 31st, 2018

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Voting Democratic

Editor, Smithfield Times
Recently I decided to look up the definition of Humanism since it has always been an interesting philosophy to me. The definition included a short phrase that seemed to sum it up quite well, “Humanism believes in the potential value and good of the human being.”
This definition also explains why I have been a life-long supporter of the Democratic Party, because it is the political party that puts people first!
Vote Democratic on Nov. 6 to put people first!
Joe Puglisi

Education Week

Editor, Smithfield Times
I have been a public school teacher for 25 years. Twenty of those 25 years have been here in Surry County, and five in Sussex County. I have also served as president of the Surry County Education Association for eight years, and as co-president of the Sussex Education Association for four years. Like my colleagues, I do what I do because I love the work and the chance we all have to make a difference every day.
November 12-16 is American Education Week, a time set aside each year across our country to salute our public schools. Partnering with parents and community members, the public school employees in Surry County aim to help all students thrive.
On a typical school day, students are often greeted by someone, such as a bus driver, custodian, or teacher’s aide before they even get to their classroom. Why? Because educators care about students: We value each one and want them to know we’re here.
Many teachers arrive early and stay late every day. Most of the time it’s to prepare for the next day or to work with students. We do it because we care.
You may have noticed that many of us have been wearing red every Wednesday to show support for public education, and we invite you to join us. Show local educators you appreciate the important work they do. Show the state it’s time to adequately fund schools. Show our students we believe in them and will do all we can.
We work for you, and for all of us, and we need your backing. Please wear red and support the Surry County public schools during American Education Week.
Vanessa L. Scott
Surry Education Association

Alarmed by disbelief

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Editor, Smithfield Times
I was alarmed by the letter printed last week regarding the nefarious conspiracy by thousands of scientists around the world to grab power through regulations to slow anthropogenic climate change. My alarm came from the realization that there are people who actually believe such a plot exists.
I urge anyone interested in the science of global warming to visit the NASA climate change website: https://climate.nasa.gov/. Those who still refuse to accept that anthropogenic climate change is real should consider the other benefits that would come from a shift away from fossil fuels.
Environmental: Beyond blunting the effects of global warming, a shift away from fossil fuels would result in cleaner air, less acid rain, and less degradation of the landscape from mining and drilling.
Economic: Solar and wind already are cheaper than coal and are becoming competitive with natural gas. Already there are nearly twice as many people employed in the solar industry as in the coal industry. Hybrid cars are now similar in cost to internal combustion engine cars, and all-electric cars are likely to reach that milestone within the next few years. Despite the United States being nearly self-sufficient in oil production, the price of gasoline remains linked to world oil prices and is still subject to surges due to supply disruptions overseas.
National Security: The United States is nearly self-sufficient in fossil fuel production, but our allies remain dependent on Russia and the Middle East.
There is a cartoon that shows a conference on climate change with a slide being presented on the benefits from shifting away from fossil fuels. A man asks the question, “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?”
Greg Vassilakos

‘Thank you’ to supporters

Editor, Smithfield times
On behalf of the Board of the Education Foundation for Isle of Wight Public Schools, I would like to thank everyone who helped make our School House Rocks event, held on October 20th at the Smithfield Center, a successful (and fun!) evening.
We are still receiving donations, but it appears we will be able to give a significant amount of money to the students and teachers of Isle of Wight County Public Schools in the form of classroom grants. We have received many grant applications from the teachers this year and are enjoying reading their innovative ideas for hands-on learning projects.
Whether you bought a ticket, donated an auction item, or signed on as a sponsor — your participation was essential to the success of the event. We thank you! If you were not able to attend, but would still like to help our students and teachers, please visit our website www.iowfoundation.org to donate.
Once again, we appreciate the community’s support of our 12th annual fundraising event for Isle of Wight Public Schools.
Amy B. Britt
IW Public Schools
Education Foundation

Murderous attack

Editor, Smithfield Times
We are devastated by the tragic news of the murderous attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that took place during Sabbath Services on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Virginia Interfaith Center stands together with the victims, their families, the community, and the country. We share the horror and heartfelt sadness over the slaughter of innocent people who were worshipping peacefully on the Holy Sabbath. It is even more disturbing that the attack took place during a baby naming, a most joyous occasion when a family is celebrating the gift of bringing new life into the world.
We mourn the loss of innocent lives and convey our concern and outrage. The shooter killed 11 and wounded 6 people with a semi-automatic assault rifle. This is the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the United States.
We join in prayers for recovery for the injured, prayers for those who have lost their lives, and prayers for the courageous law enforcement officers and first responders who were injured in this horrific incident.
Kim Bobo and Rodney Hunter

Virginia Interfaith Center