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Letters to the Editor for 5/4/09

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Park plan raises questions

There have been plenty of reasons voiced and printed as to why Spirit Harbor should not be given a special use permit (see The Gazette article, “Citizens Appeal Rec Park Decision” in the April 24-26 edition).

It seems the definition of this development is described in different ways, depending on what side the person who is describing it is on. I find that calling Spirit Harbor a recreation park is kind of misleading.

For the safety of the residences, according to what the developers have stated, the Spirit Harbor community will be essentially gated and not open to the public.

“Members” of the park will own their trailers, but not the land the trailers sit on. Developers have stated that the 154 trailers they are restricted to will only be on half of the 148 acres.

This land is very steep, so I am trying to picture all of these trailers and where they will be with the dirt roads going to them, plus all of the recreation that is planned. Is this a recreational park or a trailer park?

In addition to what the citizens’ appeal states, there are other things to consider when allowing a small town to be placed in the county.

Is this development really going to “fly” in this economy, especially noting that there is already a mortgage in place? What “national park” is it going to resemble?

Are the developers really going to get money from Virginia’s tobacco fund? What is it going to cost the county, now and in the future? Are these people buying trailers but no land really going to spend $10,000 each in the county as stated by the developers? Who did this feasibility study?

I think Grayson County can be developer-friendly and do development according to the comprehensive plan and with the advice of the planning board.

It may take some extra work and a vision, but it can be done. It is good to see that citizens care and act on it, not just complain.

Charlotte Hanes

Independence

Beware of weed killer toxicity

Nerve toxicity of weed killer is being ignored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Is it any ponder that "health care" is now the largest sector of our U.S. economy?

Get this, when the EPA assessed the risks related to the widely-used "golf course, playground, lawn and garden chemical" 2,4-D, it failed to assess nerve toxicity, mutagenicity and endocrine disruption effects as well as well-known effects on frogs.

According to a petition in November from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group, the EPA failed to consider infant exposure to the chemical via breast milk, and also overlooked data showing alcohol consumption, sunscreen and the insect repellent DEET all enhance absorption of toxin through the skin.

Evidently the government agency charged with keeping our environment healthy is fully aware that chronic disease statistics are good for the economy.

This common chemical is the same one Canadians have banned, only to bring lawsuits from Dow-AgriChemical in the name of NAFTA, which was reported in November 2008.

According to Chemical & Engineering News, about 46 million pounds of 2,4-D is used every year in the U.S., making it the third most-widely used herbicide in North America.

About two-thirds of it is used on wheat, corn arid soybeans the remainder is sprayed on golf courses, football fields, playgrounds and lawns, the NRDC said.

There are less toxic and more effective herbicides available, the NRDC pointed out when petitioning EPA for a ban, "but 2,4-D remains popular because of its lower cost."

Yes indeed, save money and spread poison. We must maintain the health care economy.

(Information supplied by “True Health,” a health-oriented information newsmagazine.)

Theresa Rogers,

Elk Creek

Baby in school is no distraction

I'm very agitated that people don't get their facts straight before calling in anonymously to newspapers.

I'm the husband of a teacher with her baby at school and would like to get a few things straight. I drop our child off on my way to work a little before 3 p.m., which is only three days a week, after her last class.

Her last class gets out at 2:11 so it is not disruptive to any of her students, and even with our child there she is still able to have parent-teacher conferences and do anything required of her as a teacher.

If she had a class do you think that administration or even the school board would have been incompetent enough to let us do this? I think not!

My wife isn't the first teacher to have her baby at school so, I don't think the comment was made by a concerned citizen or parent, but someone with a grudge against my wife, which is very childish.

Richard Dow

Galax