Letters to The Editor 12-18-19

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Know when to stop


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Editor, Smithfield Times

Respecting your editorial of Dec. 11, it truly appears that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mr. Luter and Lawrence Pitt gave us a precious gem, and it is vitally important that those in positions of town financial, political and other influence who would “improve” the park into oblivion (and “leave their mark,” as you said) be kept in check. How to do that is the big question. As any competent artist or cook will tell you, you have to know when to stop “improving” your work, lest it be irretrievably turned into something muddy or unpalatable. Same with the park!

Dave Goodridge



Onward, downward


Editor, Smithfield Times

 Thank you for your editorial, “Keep park uncluttered,” in the Dec. 11 issue.

The subject is one about which I have been privately grousing for some time, because I do not think that Mr. Luter’s generous, thoughtful and — so far — scenic gift is being revered as it should be.

 Well-meaning busybodies conjure up clutter, the construction and maintenance for which taxpayers will ultimately bear the cost, while the “feel good” person congratulates himself or herself with a pat on the back because they are “activists,” a word that is now on my list of pejoratives.

 While the threat of clutter goes up, scenic trees go down, so that “Event” attendees and other visitors to Windsor Castle Park can have a stellar view of the oh, so fabulous structure of Smithfield Station.

 Decades ago the President of General Motors declared that what was good for GM was good for the country.  Presently and locally, we are now to believe that what is good for Smithfield Station is good for Smithfield.

 What we are getting: emboldened “activists;” more clutter in the Park; ever-increasing taxes (including for superfluous ballfields and money-gobbling bike and hikes); fewer trees; and a Town Council that seems to say “Yes” to every request that comes along.

Onward and downward, Smithfield!  Onward and downward.

Allan C. Hanrahan



Be honest about history


Editor, Smithfield Times:

In these times of “alternate facts”, it would be glaringly remiss to just let the letter(Dec. 11) this week, “Slavery Not Significant in Va. Past”, fade on by. Just because Thanksgiving is the loveliest, non-materialistic, and most family-oriented holiday we have, does not mean that it isn’t high time we as a Nation acknowledge the Pilgrims’ history has been major-league whitewashed. It was fun as a child to make pilgrims with tall black hats and buckled shoes, out of construction paper, and hand-print turkeys, and the like. But it wasn’t the truth of the matter. Letters like Ms. Evans’, as grammatically well-written as it was, aren’t factual, and are dangerous to ignore.

A quick googling of “Slavery In Virginia” affords scads of information, notably that slavery began here almost upon those Pilgrims first stepping onshore, in the early 1600’s. In 1661, Virginia passed a law authorizing slavery. More than two hundred years later, slaves were more than 30 percent of Virginia’s overall population. These are very significant facts. The history that has been taught in our schools regarding the treatment of Native Americans has been a cover-up. And Ms. Evans would have us go on in blissful (if you’re white) denial of the further ghastly treatment of African Americans in Virginia. Four hundred years after the travesty of slavery began, it might be time to be honest with school children that our past wasn’t pretty, despite the fact that we have tried in it’s aftermath, better than many nations, to honor our Constitution: All men are created equal. We are to this day still working this out, and have a lot to do yet.

Carolyn Torre