Letters to The Editor – January 16th, 2019

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Congress is to blame

Editor, Smithfield Times
I recall from civics class many years ago that Congress has sole responsibility for approving laws and funding the government. The Chief Executive, the President, is obligated to carry out federal laws and to the extent that Congress provides funding. He is powerless to run the government without funds. Congress is expected to develop an annual budget and approve funds to run the federal government, but lately, Congress seems to get caught off-guard and has often been delinquent in authorizing timely funds.
Unless the President refuses congressional funds by a Presidential veto, he can only execute functions that Congress funds. Delinquent or incomplete funding by Congress can lead to government shut down and interruption of laws that Congress itself passed. Congress ties its own hands with rules like the Senatorial filibuster, which allows the minority party to obstruct the entire process.
It has become an urban myth that Presidents shut down the government. In fact, it is Congress that withholds funds for government operations, something it had a year to plan for. It has been called “power of the purse” and, like all powers, should be used with prudence. 
The ultimate cause of an irresponsible, crippling shutdown is that voters elect members of Congress who see political ambition, party loyalties, partisan discord and gamesmanship as higher priorities than their oath to serve the needs of the Nation and its citizens. Citizens need to review their civics notes and get the story straight. Which elected leaders are failing the Nation and who put them there?
Charles Spann

Bloodmobile supporters

Editor, Smithfield Times
Thank you to all who came out for the Smithfield Community Blood Drive this past Thursday, Jan. 10. We collected 81 units of blood and utilizing 3 products per pint, the drive saved up to 243 lives! Thank you to all of our donors. It is SO very appreciated! 
Thank you to the Women’s Club of Smithfield for your canteen sponsorship and the wonderful volunteers for check-in. Thank you to Trinity United Methodist Church for the gracious use of your Fellowship Hall. Thank you to Darryl Warren for helping with signage. And to the Masons, huge and continual thanks for the setup and take down support. Thanks to the Masons, we’re assured tables & chairs are waiting from check-in through Canteen carbo-load.   See everyone Thursday, March 7, for the next drive. Please note March’s drive will be at Smithfield Baptist Church, HYPERLINK “https://maps.google.com/?q=100+Wainwright+Drive&entry=gmail&source=g”100 Wainwright Drive.
Leigh Abbott-Leaman

Staff was wonderful

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Editor, Smithfield Times
I would like to thank God for all the doctors and nurses at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, in the emergency room, second floor neurological center and the fourth floor CCU for all their hard work. I offer my deepest feelings of gratitude and respect. I was a recent patient and got to come home on Christmas to be with my family. I will always treasure the kindness of all the nurses and doctors toward me. Thank God again for all their hard work.
Aldora Harper

The Four Chaplains

Editor, Smithfield Times
All local Smithfield residents are invited to a “Four Chaplains Day Service” at the Healing Waters Center, 12712 Smiths Neck Road, Carrollton on Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. The service will be sponsored by American Legion Post 49.
This interfaith service honors the memory of four United States Army Chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel as the troop ship U.S. Army Transport (USAT) Dorchester sank near Greenland on Feb. 3, 1943, during World War II. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.
The heroism and sacrifices of Chaplains John P. Washington, George L. Fox, Alexander D. Goode and Clark V. Poling in World War II has been acknowledged nationally for several years with services, social events, press coverage and scholarship awards. This is the first observance of that event in Hampton Roads.
The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation was founded to honor these war heroes, and HYPERLINK “http://www.fourchaplains.org/” http://www.fourchaplains.org/ provides more information on this Foundation. For more information about the local service, contact Pastor Marcel Berrios at 757-356-1515 or HYPERLINK “mailto:berrios.marcel@gmail.com” berrios.marcel@gmail.com.
Tom Mastaglio
Publicity Chairman
Post 49