Letters to The Editor 04-22-20

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020


County should say real reason for bridge delay


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Editor, Smithfield Times:

Please don’t blame the slow work on the Bridge over Jones Creek on the spawning season for sturgeons, herrings and other fish as presented in The Smithfield Times article of March 4. Any delay in the construction of the bridge is, in my opinion, due to errors and omissions in the Construction Specification Manual for the Park to Park Bike Trail project.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission permit for this project was initially issued Dec. 9, 2014, when condition 18 stipulated that no instream work was to be conducted between Feb. 15 and June 30 of any year, to minimize adverse impacts to anadromous fish species. So the county has known for more than five years of this requirement and failed to plan accordingly. 

A simple solution would have been to start the construction of the bridge over the stream crossing and continuing in the opposite direction over the marsh.

The article elaborated protecting the Atlantic sturgeon as a consideration for the delay, among other anadromous fish. An adequate substrate is required by the sturgeon to spawn and deposit their eggs such as rock and gravel, as well as continuous water flow. These conditions are mostly found around the fall line near Richmond and not in Jones Creek.

Failure to identify that the sturgeon does not spawn in the area under discussion reflects on the inadequacy of the project’s environmental impact study conducted by the staff in coordination with other state agencies. Lack of funding is not an excuse to ignore environmental laws.

Will the county come clear, stating the real reasons for the delays, exonerate the fish as an excuse, and reveal the real cost of the project so far?


Jose E Hernandez




Inspired by chalk drawing in Battery Park


Editor, The Smithfield Times,

What an inspiration and joy in walking the sidewalk in Battery Park North and seeing all the words of encouragement and also scripture printed beautifully and well done in colored chalk.

Who was inspired to encourage and inspire others? I don’t know, but I suspect that it came from some of our young people who are the hope of our future.


Patricia Allen




School board suppressing citizens’ voices


Editor, Smithfield Times


Another instance of attempted suppression of citizens’ voices in the process of government by Isle of Wight’s school superintendent, aided and abetted by the school board, occurred at the April 9 meeting in restricted environment of Westside cafeteria.

Unlike our Board of Supervisors, who are providing for multiple means of citizens to be heard, our “lap dog” IWCS board has allowed Dr. Thornton to restrict citizen input to emailed remarks only. This is averse to guidance provided by Virginia School Board Association plainly shown on its website for citizen input by email or letter, or even by telephone if latter is technically possible.

Not only is the IWCS board kowtowing to its employee on this list, but also by suspending its own board policy on how citizens might participate at official meetings. It took prompting of a board member by Dr. Thornton and other administration personnel to enact a motion by the board to do so.

Would ‘ole Pravda types be smiling in their graves for this Stalinist move by this “me, too” IWCS board under its employee’s thumb! Why does the IWCS board continue to lick its employee’s shoes over his manipulations with them? Certainly, he is not God’s gift to education in IWCS.


Herb W. DeGroft