Every year I ask the students in my "Wealth and Poverty" class to play a simple game. I have them split up into pairs and imagine that I'm giving one of them $1,000. They can keep some of the money only on condition they reach a deal with their partner on how it's to be divided between them.
Mike Gochenour, |
Wm. E. Keister,
E. Earl Keister,
Same ol', same ol'. Tax increase needed for schools and the public meeting is held "in the school buildings row."
As a taxpayer, father of a second grader, and voter in Shenandoah County, I urge you to support the new school budget put forth by the Shenandoah County School Board.
I would like to correct a few misconceptions that I have read in letters to the editor this week.
Here are a couple of suggestions on the subject of teachers vs. the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on raising revenue for higher salaries.
OK, enough of the teacher bashing. Already it seems like every time I pick up a newspaper someone is bashing our teachers.
Editor: I am wondering why the Board of Supervisors found it necessary to attack our county wide elected sheriff at the meeting last week. It is my understanding that the sheriff, by law, must inform the Board of Supervisors of...
Conservation easement programs are an excellent way to help farmers save their farms. However, some landowners are unable to simply donate development rights. That's why it's critical that we have a program that makes it possible for land-rich, cash-poor farmers to protect their land. Especially when you consider that what they are doing so clearly benefits all the citizens of Shenandoah County in the long run.
Since the inception of the Conservation Easement Authority we have not purchased wealthy farms or enhanced the bank accounts of affluent land owners. Instead we have helped a hard-working, dedicated, third-generation farm family keep their family farm in agricultural production. This family donated over $300,000 of potential development rights in order to pass their farm, Pleasantdale, to the next generation for the future of agriculture production.
It would be a breath of fresh air if the radical right would get a new line when demagoging progressives other than that old time worn nonsensical socialism/communism routine. Such rhetoric stems from either profound ignorance or gross embellishment to the point of lying. It reveals that they no longer live in a world of rationality.
In the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, one thing is certain and Americans will have to live with it: no military solution is possible and the best way forward for the United States and its allies - meaning those in both the European Union and NATO - is to try and stabilize the situation by diplomatic means.
In seeking to respond to Supervisor Cindy Bailey's April 12 letter to the edito, "Teachers Don't Leave Because of Money," I am reminded of the conundrum of the mosquito in the nudist colony: I know what to do; I just don't know where to start.
In regards to Saturday's letter, "Teachers don't leave because of money" -- they leave because inadequate compensation is the very last straw. As a county, we want good jobs for our citizens. We should be praising a job that rewards education and provides living wages and benefits. We should be looking for businesses and industries that will provide similar excellent jobs. Let's emotionally support all our citizens instead of tearing each other down.
We now have Sunday hunting along with open season on school teachers and Shenandoah County employees it seems.
I am the newly elected Shenandoah County School Board member representing District 4 and I wanted to introduce myself.
Please, for the love of Cronkite: Give us a break from the missing plane. Yes, we all wonder what happened to it. Yes, our hearts go out to the families seeking resolution. But really, CNN ... enough. Put your hands up and step away from the story.
Shenandoah County Supervisor Cindy Baily's letter to the editor in Saturday's paper -- "Teachers don't leave because of money" -- prompted nearly 100 comments online at nvdaily.com by noon on Monday. While there were several comments in support of the...
Conservatives and liberals had entirely different reactions to the recent confrontation between Attorney General Eric Holder and Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert. After the event, Holder expressed his view that no previous attorney general or president had ever had to deal with such treatment and that the reason had to do with race. Gohmert, on the other hand, said he was just performing congressional oversight because he didn't think Holder was doing his job.
WASHINGTON -- After writing close to 3,000 columns, I've learned that people sometimes read what they're looking for, often as a result of a headline, rather than what I wrote.
PHOENIX -- From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement's brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other states' legislatures. It would use the Constitution's Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution's Framers thought their document guaranteed.
Let's put these sacrifices into perspective. How many days in one year do teachers work? How many days do other people work in one year in this county? If it snows and roads are dangerous, do teachers have to transport their children to daycare or a sitter?
A few years ago, a columnist who works for one of the largest newspapers in the country told me over breakfast that he never checks reader response to his work.
Has the time come to face the music and dance? Yes, says Diane Francis, editor-at-large at the National Post in Toronto. Her book "Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country" is both provocative and persuasive.
By Rachel Marsden PARIS -- First, Cubans would receive fun little text messages about baseball and music. Then, one day -- bam! -- they would learn via cell phone that they'd been living in a dictatorship for over half a...
Last week a majority of the Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to pour as much as $3.6 million into a political party or $800,000 into a political campaign.
Organized efforts from the left to surrender American freedoms in favor of some twisted sense of federally mandated social equality are undeniable. After all the struggles this country has endured, there are some who still support federal control over earned freedom. It denies common sense! Although difficult to imagine the end result of this capitulation from the left, I'm sure it will be a far cry from freedom.
For years, Republicans benefited from economic growth. So did pretty much everyone else, of course. But I have something specific in mind. Politically, when the economy is booming -- or merely improving at a satisfactory clip -- the distinction between being pro-business and pro-market is blurry. The distinction is also fuzzy when the economy is shrinking or imploding.
Imagine that the American people elect as president someone promising to institute an important reform to address an obviously major problem - a problem that every year costs the nation a trillion dollars and tens of thousands lives.
One day in November 2010, I went to visit my 94½-year-old brother. He mentioned an event that had occurred in July 1945 when he visited me in Manila. I wasn't interested because it was old. That was the only conversation we had.
Health care surveys routinely show that given the choice most people would prefer to spend their final days at home. Yet that choice, and others critical to your own healthcare decisions, are often taken away when a person's last wishes are not documented and expressed to family, loved ones, and physicians.
WASHINGTON -- Rush Limbaugh can relax. The popular "demon of the right" has been replaced at least through the midterms by the Koch brothers, Charles and David. Who?
Eleven years ago, Richard Stearns went to Washington.
The Northern Shenandoah Valley has not been spared from the heartbreak and pain that the heroin epidemic is causing around the nation. There have been at least 11 deaths here linked to this hideous addictive drug since the beginning of this year - and folks, it's not going to go away anytime soon.
The Virginia State Conservation Easement program began as an excellent way to "save the farm" of struggling land rich, cash poor farmers. I strongly believe in landowner/farmer decisions to place a conservation easement on his property.
WASHINGTON -- The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable people -- those who believe that whatever wrinkle in the tax code benefits them is an eternal entitlement. Tax reform's Senate champion is Ron Wyden, the affable, cerebral and tall Oregon Democrat who once wanted to be the NBA's greatest Jewish power forward since ... never mind.
In his 1972 epic on the origins of the U.S. war in Vietnam, the great journalist David Halberstam told of then-new Vice President Lyndon Johnson's coming back from his first meeting with the top people President John F. Kennedy had picked to serve in his administration. Johnson was dazzled by how brilliant they all were and told his mentor Sam Rayburn how smart each Kennedy appointee was. After listening to his fellow Texan, Rayburn said: "Well, Lyndon, everything you say may be true, but I'd feel a whole lot better if one of them had ever run for sheriff."
Five justices on our Supreme Court just made it possible for those with the most money to have the most say in all of our elections -- federal, state and local.
You see, Shanesha Taylor is poor and much of what passes for discussion of the poor in this country is less about people than about types, cardboard cutouts from the overheated imaginations of those who have little idea what poverty even looks like. So study Taylor's picture in order that you might understand what so many won't: She is not a type. She is a human being.
WASHINGTON -- H.L. Mencken gets a workout in election years when voters are reminded by pundits of the curmudgeon's observation that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
I have the greatest respect for educators who put the time into teaching and preparing our children for the world they will be entering, and this letter does not reflect on all teachers.
But it is amazing to me that the same teachers who have been teaching our children are saying that if they get more money they will do a better job of teaching. Are they holding our children's education hostage for more money?
There's no way we didn't see this coming. This week's 5-4 Supreme Court decision, split along partisan lines, has guaranteed that money will play an even bigger role in American politics. Big donors -- who are overwhelmingly conservative Republicans -- can now contribute to as many candidates and party committees as they want, in every election cycle.
There is no subject that brings in more reader reaction than when I write about serial killers. The answer to why we are so fascinated by these multiple murderers is mercurial, depending on whom you ask.
Even a former cornerback who failed to graduate from Whatsamatta U. can deduce what will happen to college football in America.
WASHINGTON -- The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking -- some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits -- askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination
There is something truly spectacular about Sheldon Adelson. Witness the parade of Republican supplicants paying tribute in his Las Vegas lair. They would include Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Many, many thanks to Daily reporter Joe Beck for his insightful article, "Smuggling Cases Bring in Big Money," which clearly explains the forfeiture process which has enabled Sheriff Timothy Carter to quietly amass "eye-popping" millions of dollars orchestrating illicit cigarette busts.
Finally, someone has come up with a way to settle the debate over climate change: Put the people on the wrong side of the argument in cages.
America is not yet an oligarchy, but that's where Charles and David Koch and a few other billionaires are taking us.
Jeremiah Denton, the Vietnam War POW who has died at age 89, uttered one of the great statements of defiance in American history.
Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
If you're not visiting nvdaily.com, you might not know what your neighbors are saying about the news of the day. Their comments, posted through their Facebook accounts, range from being thought-provoking, funny and delightful to read, to, well, not so much. But there's a whole community of people offering up their opinions and ideas online, and we're happy to provide that forum.
WASHINGTON -- The past couple of weeks have marked a turning point in American ugliness as the mob has turned its full fury on first lady Michelle Obama.
Joseph Napolitan, who essentially created the profession of campaign consultant and who departed these earthly precincts this past December, was a wise man. He used to tell Democratic candidates and officeholders whom he counseled "to never underestimate the intelligence of the voters, nor overestimate the amount of knowledge at their disposal."
His point was that it was the candidate's and the campaign's responsibility to inform and educate voters and that if by election day, "the voters still do not understand what the candidate is trying to tell them, then it is the candidate's fault -- not the voters'." That is as true today as it was when Napolitan wrote it more than 50 years ago.
What excuses will they make this time?
Interviews with a half-dozen other shelters and rescue operations in the Cleveland area revealed the same sad scenario: As the unemployment -- and underemployment -- crisis continues, more family pets, many of them beloved, are ending up homeless.
The first shocking headlines after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared revealed that two men had boarded with stolen passports. "Stark evidence of security gap," blared The Christian Science Monitor.
It was passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court. But the individual mandate -- a requirement that every American buy the kind of insurance deemed appropriate by the federal government -- is being repealed by the American people.
Justice is supposed to be blind. But what happens when it turns out to be blind, deaf and dumb?
WASHINGTON -- Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: "If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus." Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 1918 it disappeared from the map of Europe.
Conservatives traditionally have regarded minimum-wage laws with skepticism -- and for good reason. Attempts by government to interfere with market forces in setting wages rarely work out as intended. But a group of conservative pundits and activists recently joined President Obama and others on the left in calling for hefty increases for low-wage workers.
PARIS -- There's no faster or easier way to shut down legitimate debate than to slap an undesirable label on someone based on their views. Criticize same-sex marriage and you're a bigot. Take issue with immigration policy and you're dismissed as a racist. In the latest incarnation of this phenomenon, any conservative who dares to criticize U.S. President Barack Obama's stance against Russia on the issue of Ukraine runs the risk of being called a Putin-loving communist.
This past weekend saw an amazing pair of events demonstrating that community theater is alive and thriving in the valley.
When President Barack Obama and other Democrats began talking about raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, I didn't believe them.
We are witnessing a reversion to tribalism around the world, away from nation-states. The same pattern can be seen even in America -- especially in American politics.
Heralding the dawn of the Internet, a public service announcement once assured us that, for those online, there are no bodies, no physical disadvantages; there is no gender, no race; "there are only minds."
As of this writing, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments from two corporations challenging the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are asking the court to exempt them from the requirement that employer health plans cover at no extra cost to the consumer all birth control measures covered by the Food and Drug Administration.
Will Hillary Clinton be elected America's next president? The polls suggest she will.
In his recent 2014 State of the Union, President Obama emphasized his commitment to preserving our public lands, and willingness to use his authority to protect them. Thankfully, Obama has already acted on this commitment by protecting public lands along California's northern coast and calling on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund in his 2015 budget.
President Obama has ramped up his second round of economic and financial sanctions on Russia, and on Vladimir Putin in particular. Some of this is already working. But if anybody believes it will be easy to financially deflate Russia, they better think again.
WASHINGTON -- This week's meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama holds great promise in a time of turmoil, though not necessarily in the ways some may hope.
We are looking for letters that are well written, thoughtful and thought-provoking on a variety of topics. We will edit letters, but we will not rewrite them.
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