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Letters

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

After more than three years of research and development, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has released draft stormwater regulations that will allow local governments to regulate polluted runoff resulting from land development.

These regulations will help localities protect our groundwater and streams from the dirt, bacteria, fertilizers and chemicals that wash off lawns, roads and parking lots every time it rains.

Why do we need regulation?

* We need healthy drinking water: The majority of Shenandoah Valley residents obtain their drinking water from surface waters.

* To protect fishing, recreation and tourism: The flash of hot, dirty water that comes off parking lots, roads and roofs after a rainstorm decimates good fishing streams.

* To save our water supply: Improved stormwater management helps recharge groundwater by letting the rain soak into the ground while heavy runoff from developed areas makes periods of flooding more intensive and damaging.

No time to wait. Only 31.3 percent of the commonwealth’s total rivers and streams are monitored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. However, more than half of these waterways are already impaired. Increased stormwater runoff will only continue to worsen pollution and have a heightened impact on our unhealthy waterways.

Farmers and municipalities have made progress in cleaning up our waterways — almost every form of point-source and agricultural-related pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed shows a downward trend. However, pollution related to stormwater runoff is rising at an alarming rate.

Cleaning up our water takes everyone’s participation. The construction industry needs to do its share to prevent increased pollution from stormwater runoff. While local residents are paying higher fees to construct new sewage treatment plants, runoff pollution from developed land is increasing. The proposed regulations require developers to join the agricultural community, industry and local governments in taking steps to reduce pollution in our streams and rivers.

Surveys leave no doubt. Virginians want clean water. We urge DCR to adopt and implement the proposed regulations now. You can learn more and submit comments in support of these regulations before Aug. 21 by visiting DCR’s Web site: www.dcr. virginia.gov/lawregs.shtml.

Kim Woodwell
Executive Director
Shenandoah Forum
1292 Jadwyn Road
Maurertown

Leslie Mitchell-Watson
Executive Director
Friends of North Fork of the Shenandoah River
P.O. Box 746
Woodstock
July 29, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

For eight years President Bush II ruled our Imperial City on the Potomac (ICP) as an absolute Renaissance prince, albeit barely snatching elevation himself and latter commanding a minority in Congress.

Now the Democrats ostensibly have control of the ICP, but they cannot change anything — because they must be bipartisan and can’t agree among themselves anyway.

Maybe the problem is that so many of the ICP Democrats are risk-averse and/or beholden to our kleptocracy. Meanwhile, the public is increasingly disappointed with the Democrats and if again left no alternative but to choose the lesser of two evils, in 2010 and 2012, may well select the greater evil — out of bitterness and despair.

This is the way republics die.

John R. Cole
121 Winifred St.
Edinburg
Aug. 4, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Too much opining has been leveled at the Gates-Crowley incident that is driven by ignorance of the law and bias of the pundits. But one thing is clear: President Obama admitted that he may have been biased, stating that Professor Gates was “a friend of mine,” and admitting that he didn’t “know all the facts.” But what has been left out of the criticisms against Obama is that he knew one thing: He knew the law.

Sgt. Crowley should also have known the law, but he failed to exercise it. A person legally residing in his own home cannot be summoned by a police officer and, after providing identification, be arrested for “disorderly conduct” or for “disturbing the peace” (Gates was angry and yelling, but on his private property). The law was clearly on Gates’ side in this incident, as was shown in the obvious reaction of the prosecutor’s dropping the case.

Crowley was not ignorant of the law, but he was insulted by Gates’ angry words (insulting a police officer is not a crime), so Crowley did indeed, along with the other officers present, act stupidly in arresting a man who did not violate any law.

This was, in the end, a matter of two alpha males overreacting in a situation that was not fully described to the officers by the dispatcher with the details provided by the neighbor who called 911. Had Crowley known that the witness to this event saw suitcases with the men, he may not have been inclined to believe that this was a break-in. His approach may have been different towards Gates, noting that upon seeing him, he seemed an unlikely burglar. But lack of common sense, along with two strong egos, led to the one with power to exercise that power wrongly.

Gates and Crowley both owe each other an apology. President Obama, for his part in broaching the subject of race relations in this country, owes no one an apology.

TODD MEDCALF
110 Willow Oak Circle
Stephens City
July 29, 2009

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