Letters to The Editor 09-25-19

Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A sidewalk is nonsense

Editor, Smithfield Times
As noted in your recent editorial, there is a need for a pedestrian path along South Church Street between the bridge at Smithfield Station and Battery Park Road, and the question of whether the proposed bike path should follow South Church Street or Lumar Road and John Rolfe Drive is worthy of debate, but to suggest that a narrow sidewalk is a viable solution for combined pedestrian and bike traffic is total nonsense. Such a solution is viable only where bike and pedestrian traffic is very light.
I have seen much grousing in your paper and elsewhere about the cost of the bike path and other local government projects. There is very little attention paid to the biggest driver for rising tax rates, which is new residential housing. Taxes on residential housing do not generate enough revenue to cover the cost of infrastructure and government services for the residents unless the assessed value of the housing is very high.
There is eternal optimism that new residents will attract more retail business to close the deficit, but local residents continue to travel to Newport News, Hampton, and Suffolk for much of their shopping. Our local government leaders should keep this in mind when evaluating projects such as the proposed Sweetgrass development.
Greg Vassilakos

Vote Democratic

Editor, Smithfield Times
Instead of criminalizing women and doctors and ignoring the role that men play the way state anti-abortion laws from Republican majorities have done, why we can’t we all work together to prevent unwanted pregnancies? 

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This November there are three candidates that believe this is possible. Herb Jones is running for State Senate in the 3rd district, Becky Raveson in the 14th and Michele Joyce running for delegate in the 64th propose that what has gone under the moniker of “Sex Education” be relabeled and taught in terms of the ramifications of early (and often unwanted) pregnancies. 
Instructing students on the personal, economic and societal costs would result in fewer abortions as well as open up educational and economic possibilities for these young women.
Their approach is to unite, not divide, to work together across the aisle to achieve the best outcomes for the citizens of Virginia. Vote Democratic on Nov. 5!
Joe Puglisi

Supporting Rotruck

Editor, Smithfield Times
As an Isle of Wight resident, what do you do when you believe your school board representative, Victoria Hulick, violates policy and law, when she is the policymaker? You vote her out. In my view, the School Board for five years has decided the safety and security of the staff and students is not important and refuses to review annually all nine schools’ crisis plans that they are bound by county policy and VA code 22.1-279.8 to adhere to each year by Aug. 31 of the upcoming school year.
On Sept. 12, Lawrence Rotruck, who is opposing Mrs. Hulick in November, told the School Board that this review is the only measure that the Board has to do annually to ensure the safety of the staff and students and that they know what to do in cases such as a fire, tornado, etc. Mr. Rotruck then alleged that Dr. Thornton had lied to the School Board and falsified the state report when he had certified in writing to the state, the schools’ crisis plans had been reviewed by the School Board even though Dr. Thornton knew they had not. Through the Smithfield Times investigation in the past, Dr. Thornton was discovered as responsible for the Nightlock mistake and it was reported in the Smithfield Times that Dr. Thornton exceeded his purchasing authority when he signed a contract that was over $100,000 dollars.
In my view, Mrs. Hulick has changed the policy and regulations in the past that Dr. Thornton has violated. Will she cover up again for him? Remember Mrs. Hulick and Dr. Thornton decided to put the Nightlocks back on last year, even though they knew they were still in violation of State Fire code. When is Mrs. Hulick and the Board going to review the schools’ crisis plans and are they ever going to hold an employee accountable for his actions? If you want someone that will follow policy and law and hold employees accountable, vote Rotruck.
Lester Frisse

To all who donated

Editor, Smithfield Times
Thank you to everyone who made generous donations of gift cards, gift certificates and event tickets for our fund raising raffle! The proceeds were given to our employee and her family as they continue to battle her husband’s long-term medical issues. He is showing small, continued signs of improvement but has a long road ahead of him. The thoughts, prayers, and generosity of our business associates, friends and clients helped make this project a great success.
Dr. & Mrs. Ryland B. Edwards Jr.
The Oaks Veterinary Clinic

A 35th anniversary

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Parish of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church celebrated its 35th anniversary last Sunday. A special Mass was celebrated and was followed by a luncheon in the church commons. Founders recalled the church history from when Smithfield’s Christ Episcopal Church extended use of its facilities for liturgy and meetings while the new congregation built its house of worship in Smithfield. The fun family day ended with games and pony rides for the children.
Anne O’Kane