Letters to The Editor – January 23rd, 2019

Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A lien for lunch?

Editor, Smithfield Times
I read in last week’s Smithfield Times that Isle of Wight has $72,000 in unpaid school lunch bills and no one knows how to go about collecting this debt. First let me point out how irresponsible I think it is for a parent to send their child to school without providing a lunch or lunch money and second let me propose a means of collecting this debt from these deadbeat patents. Add this unpaid debt to the personal property tax of the parents. If these parents can afford to drive or own property they can afford to feed their children.
Robert K. Goodin

Shame on these parents

Editor, Smithfield Times
I was appalled when I read the Front Page article about school lunch charges that now total $70,000.
Isle of Wight County citizens send their school-age children to school every day from September to June. A large percent of the county’s taxes we pay every year are allocated to educate our children, plus transporting them twice a day from their homes. So, now as years keep passing, taxpayers are to come up with more money to pay for lunches because parents neglect to provide for their offspring.

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Mr. Thornton, do your job or resign. Hire a school social service person to investigate these parents who don’t provide food for their children while they are at school. This is truly child neglect and should be addressed as such. And if the mothers of these children have their hair and nails done each week, shame on them. Cable or dish TV also is unnecessary. As one of nine children, I ate oatmeal for breakfast and carried a peanut butter and jelly or a banana sandwich every school day for lunch. I survived and am better for it.
Put your children first. They are a gift from God. You have one chance in life to raise your children with God’s help, and he will provide if you ask him.
Marie Bailey

A fan of roundabouts

Editor, Smithfield Times
Our reluctance to accept safe and efficient roundabouts (or traffic circles) at our roadway intersections confounds me.
There are good reasons why VDOT advocates them: they work, they are sustainable, they are safe, reliable and they save electric power costs.
If you have ever waited at a “stop” light for interminable minutes when there is no other traffic and wondered why this dumb light, that is totally oblivious to reality, is preventing you from driving ahead into a completely empty traffic intersection, you know what I mean. After all, they don’t call them “go” lights do they?
And consider the gasoline and money wasted and the pollution caused as you sit there with your motor running wondering why the heck some traffic engineer in Richmond is making you late for your appointment.
We have eyes, we have brains, we know traffic rules (most of us anyway), so why do we just sit there letting this stupid machine control our life and waste or time?
We don’t have to. Traffic circles are the answer. They need no electricity, they work day and night during power outages, they allow traffic to move rather than not, they let us use our God-given senses to control our own actions and make our own decisions.
I recently spent two weeks driving around in Israel from one end of the country to the other. There was nary a traffic light, just roundabouts at virtually every major intersection. The only traffic lights I encountered were at very high-speed intersections where they were probably needed. We also drove through several Palestinian areas and saw nothing but traffic circles. So if the Jews and Muslims, who seem to disagree on almost everything else, can agree on this, why can’t we?
Citizens, rally to the cause and demand this roundabout! Let’s give common sense, safety and our own good judgment a chance!
Albert Burckard