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Letters to the Editor for 10/26/09-10/28/09

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State, local candidates endorsed

I am voting for the candidates whom I feel are best qualified and who best understand our southwestern region of the state.

I am voting for Virginia Sen. Creigh Deeds for governor, Jody Wagner for lieutenant governor, and Steve Shannon for attorney general.

I feel they will carry the projects and ideals forward which U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Gov. Tim Kaine began. I applaud them both. They are running for these governmental positions because of their deep commitment to our state.

If you are voting in the Wilson District of Grayson County (Mount Rogers, Troutdale, Rugby, Flatridge, Grant, Mouth of Wilson, Bridle Creek precincts), please vote for Kate Irwin for supervisor.

She has lived in Bridle Creek for 12 years and has been an outstanding volunteer worker for the district. She understands the problems facing our county and will serve us well.

If you are voting in the Elk Creek District of Grayson County (Elk Creek, Independence, Comers Rock precincts), please vote for Brenda Sutherland for supervisor. She is running unopposed for re-election.

Locally, I support both candidates for the school board. They are running unopposed and I feel they are doing an excellent job for our children. They are: Shannon Holdaway (Wilson District) and Chairman Misty Cassell (Elk Creek District).

Call me if you have questions, (276) 744-7814.

Mary Lily Nuckolls

Galax

McDonnell's ideas old, unworkable

I write this letter in support of Creigh Deeds, Democratic candidate for governor.

Deeds will maintain the progress made by the past two governors and has a legitimate plan for our highway system, which seems to be crumbling over the years.

McDonnell, the Republican candidate, has mostly unworkable and old ideas that would not help our transportation system, and his plan might actually ruin our prospects for economic recovery.

Because he opposed federal stimulus money in the past, he would, as governor, probably oppose it again. Amazingly, many of those Republican governors who opposed funds have now asked for some. That is hypocritical. McDonnell, for those who remember, opposed Gov. Warner's 2004 tax package, which had bipartisan support and helped our finances.

Perhaps of more concern to me is our education process in the hands of a Pat Robertson's Regent University graduate.

How does he approach science education, history education, support our teachers' book choices for our students and how many posts in government would he fill with like-minded persons from his right wing supporters' culture wars?

His record in Richmond, regardless of his past writings, shows wedge issues did indeed hold sway with him.

The State of Jefferson and Madison (and not the men of David Barton's false history, of which I am sure McDonnell is a supporter) should not be in the hands of one who would question separation of church and state, hide birth control information, support faith over real science, not support choice and rights for women and subvert civil rights for all Virginians.

We need to see through McDonnell's false moderate front, similar to that of George W. Bush. We need an honest, forthright man with progressive plans in Richmond as governor. That man is Creigh Deeds.

Douglas M. Smith

Woodlawn

Privatizing ABC stores will cost Va.

I am writing this letter on behalf of many concerned Virginia residents. We all know the state is facing tough economic times. I find it rather disturbing that governor candidate Bob McDonnell is proposing to privatize our state-run ABC stores if elected.

He proposed to “sell” the state-run stores.

For everybody’s information, the state does not “own” the stores. We have 350 locations, all of which are leased on five-year terms. So, how can he plan to raise $500 million by selling something we don’t own?

If the stores were to privatize, the state would still be under obligation to pay out on the remainder of these leases. Do the math: 350 stores @ $1,000-plus per month for five years each? What would be left of the $500 million he proposes to raise?

Let’s not forget the fact that the ABC stores put in excess of $300 to $400 million into the state general fund every year. How does he plan to make up for that lost revenue?

McDonnell says he will be a “jobs” governor. By closing the state stores, he will put more than 1,500 people out of work.

I am well aware of the fact that our transportation system needs a major overhaul, but not at the expense of closing the ABC stores and eliminating $300 to $400 million-plus in annual income for the state.

Lynne Cornett

Independence

Defendant's past was ignored

After reading about the sentencing of Travis Hall [who pleaded guilty to burning his family's home], I found myself asking, "Is it newsworthy?”

Why would the newspaper drag this mother and children through the mud? Many times, when someone goes to the police and tries to do what's right, they're attacked again by the legal system.

And just because it's in the newspaper doesn't make it fact

Was it important to include the trash? The people who get off on reading about domestic disputes, violence and "headboards hitting the wall," as you reported, will find your article entertaining, but was it good reporting?

Was it fair to report about a minor's DNA? You didn't have to name the child, you had the family tree listed.

Hall says it was "stupid,” but that doesn't begin to describe burning down your own home.

Was this man given a mental evaluation? Did he pass? Has he been ordered to get mental health counseling?

There was much written about Hall's military service. It had nothing to do with the case. It's sad that someone with military training wasn't man enough to walk away, no matter how upset he was, and that he violated the family he was meant to protect. Hall's attorney got it right when he stated "Travis had gone from hero to zero."

I saw nothing written about the officer's testimony at the fire that night, or the investigator who processed the crime.

It doesn't look like [Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Goad] even attempted to present a case. Was this fair to the victims?

Hall also has been charged with abuse of a family member, neglect and abuse of a child, abduction of a child and many more. Did Judge Geisler even know of his history?

It's the job of the commonwealth's attorney to introduce it. It only took me about five minutes to find this on a legal Web site.

Finally, Judge Geisler was right on with his concern that our firefighters and police officers have put their lives in jeopardy — a very newsworthy statement.

Terri Sawyers

Hillsville