Northern Virginia Daily
First of all, I applaud our Board of Supervisors for opposing the increase in the speed limit on the Shenandoah County portion of I-81 to 70 mph. The number of fatal crashes that have occurred over the past few years on this stretch of highway warrants a reduction in speed limits if anything.
But could Del. Todd Gilbert please explain his vote for this measure and his apparent surprise that our supervisors would oppose it? He is quoted as saying "I would've loved to have heard their collective concerns before we voted on the bill," Really, Mr. Gilbert, why would this surprise you?
Should I remind you that back in August 2009 you asked Sheriff Carter to increase his speed enforcement program on I-81 in Shenandoah County. You also addressed a letter to the superintendent of the Virginia State Police, asking his department to focus on tractor-trailer speed and safety enforcement in Shenandoah County.
At the same time Sheriff Carter asked you to designate I-81 in Shenandoah County as a "highway safety corridor." In support of his request, you submitted a letter to the commissioner of transportation asking that this be done. At that time you stated, "We should use every tool at our disposal to make the interstate a safer place and I hope we can take advantage of this safety program right here in Shenandoah County."
Your vote for this measure with likely negative consequences on motorists' safety was the only surprise.
1375 Ridge Hollow Rd
Feb. 10, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily
Once again, it takes a snowstorm to bring out the whiners and the idiots.
The whiners are those for whom streets are never cleared quickly enough, or well enough. The idiots are the drivers who pass me and throw up the snow, ice and slush on to my windshield.
Your "Region" article in the Feb. 11 issue comments on the "lousy job" the town of Front Royal made of clearing its streets and roads. The whine: It's hard on my vehicle. Poor thing.
Actually, the optimum speed on most town streets during and shortly after the storm was 12 to 15 mph. Why would anyone exceed this speed, putting their suspensions and themselves, not to mention others, at risk? Under undeniably bad (and extremely rare) conditions, driving slowly and carefully, you could get to most anywhere you had to go to in Front Royal in good time by traveling just 10 mph below the town speed limit of 25.
Driving in Warren County on all but the main roads dictated about a 15 mph maximum to be safe, even in an an-wheel-drive SUV. As in town, weather conditions caused icing beneath the snow, and ultimately "washboard" conditions, post plowing, in some places. Whiners: Be aware that during storms, temperatures dip, and, well, you know, that's when moisture freezes.
In both town and county, "idiots" drove at excessive speeds on slippery roads. You saw them everywhere: in snow banks and drifts, head-on into trees, up the back of other vehicles. The police must have a myriad stories.
The whiners? Who knows. But Mayor Eugene Tewalt and Town Manager Michael Graham were right to defend their employees' efforts. Particularly, in these budget deficit times, who in government would purchase expensive snow-removal equipment that may be used, as Tewalt said, "once every seven years"?
Question: Wasn't this the heaviest snowfall since 1918? (Daily). Do the math.
To the idiots: Slow down. To the whiners: Give our public servants a break. And maybe stay home.
Quoting Graham: "People can complain, but my God...!"
Amen to that.
Malcolm Barr Sr.
3577 Rockland Road
Feb. 12, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily
I hope everyone had a merry "imported" Christmas. Not a slur folks, but while every Christmas tree in America likely had gifts under it, "imported" from China, Mexico or other foreign countries, 85,000 more American workers lost their jobs in December.
Did President Obama and congressional members purchase to give or receive "imported" gifts for Christmas? I can just see these people in Wal-Mart and Target purchasing "imported" Christmas gifts.
For every "imported" product purchased, another American loses his job. Congress has put China and Mexico in a win-win situation while putting American workers in a lose-lose situation.
Are Chinese and Mexican stores flooded with American-made products? Japanese stores? Taiwan stores? Of course not. There is no foreign country flooded with American-made products and never has been.
Congress has created an $80 billion trade deficit with foreign countries with over taxation and overregulation of the American industrial base, causing more than 50 percent of it to disappear to foreign countries whose corporate taxation is about one-fourth of what it is in America.
This means there's $80 billion worth of foreign products in America while there are little or no American products in foreign countries.
Are the suits and shoes the president and congressional members wear American-made or are they "imported" too? How many drive American-made vehicles?
In the past three years, 15 million Americans have lost their jobs with little hope of finding another job because without an industrial base, there are no jobs. This is inexcusable and unacceptable.
What would be different today if John McCain and Sara Palin occupied the White House and the Republicans controlled Congress? Absolutely nothing.
We have a corrupt Congress that deals with each other face to face on a daily basis with each member knowing all the other members are corrupt and can be "bought" with a suitcase full of cash -- and these members represent "our" best interests? That's a scary thought.
I propose that Americans cease purchasing "imported" products and impeach Congress and the president for "economic treason" against the American people.
101 Perry Trailer Park Road
Jan. 25, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily
Bushwhacked. We were Bushwhacked. The dictionary tells us that means ambushed, attacked suddenly. The trusting American people were Bushwhacked by a combination of an impotent government and the greed of the great banks and Wall Street.
Have we learned our lesson? Hardly. Gov. McDonnell says one of our problems is too much regulation. State Sen. Mark Obenshain tells us a solution for our woes is for government to get out of the way and let the market take care of it. In other words, what we need is a new dose of Bushwhacking.
More than 100 years ago, the robber barons were plundering the country. The ordinary folks got by on the scraps from their tables. Along came a reformer who knew this was wrong -- a Republican named Teddy Roosevelt. He recognized the consequences of unbridled greed. He devised a system of regulation to stem the worst abuses of the era.
The Republican barons would have none of this. They cast Roosevelt aside and turned to a much more manageable William Howard Taft. There followed the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression.
Another Roosevelt, Franklin, followed his cousin's footsteps by using the resources of the government to address the worst economic crisis America had seen. He was only partially successful. The Depression persisted until World War II, a period of about 10 years.
A similar cycle recently brought us to the brink of a new economic abyss. There is a broad consensus that only a massive government intervention avoided a catastrophe. It's been costly. Some measures taken have been criticized. Recovery has been slower than hoped.
But have we been shown what the costs of a depression -- in human and monetary terms -- would have been? Ask survivors of the 1930s. What would our fate have been if, instead of an Obama, another Hoover had been elected?
Let's think at least twice before we again turn things over to the Bushwhackers.
403 Spring Hollow Road
Feb. 15, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily
Childhood obesity is an ongoing struggle for our nation. Unfortunately, children just aren't as physically active as they used to be. They are more interested in computer games, video games and watching the latest DVD on their plasma television then running around outside.
Our nation has come a long way in the last 15 years as we progress into a digital society. We have lightning-fast Internet speeds, instant messaging, iPods and easier ways of social media communication. While all of this is worthwhile, our children are still inactive and need to exercise more.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. As a nation, we do not follow this guideline. Virginia requires students from grades kindergarten to 10th to participate in physical and health education. However, elementary school children are only required a physical health education class 60-90 minutes per week. This gets young children to exercise once a week, but what about the other six days?
As a society we should care about the health of our children because soon they will be our society. Parents have the responsibility to establish healthy lifestyles for their children at an early age because children are our nation's future. Exercise should be part of a child's daily life so they can continue these habits throughout their adulthood and lead healthy, active lives.
There are many ways to get kids to participate in one hour of activity every day. Although money and time are limited, exercise is quality time for families. It is often inexpensive or free. Parents should use their local resources such as parks or community centers. A few ideas are walking the family dog, gardening, swimming, hiking, fitness video games and biking. Parents can also walk their child to the bus stop in the morning or enroll in a local gym together. There are many ways to exercise with your children and if one looks hard enough, we can all find something that works for us.
22424 Stablehouse Drive
Feb. 17, 2010