nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Subscribe | Special Sections

Opinion arrow Letters to the Editor

| 0


Northern Virginia Daily


The good news from the Gulf of Mexico is that the oil-spouting BP well has finally been sealed and that the devastating impacts of the massive oil spill on beaches, wildlife habitats and the marine ecosystem are gradually abating.

The bad news is that there are no immediate plans to abate a much larger, deadlier and continuing spill smothering life in the Gulf.

Each day, the Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico millions of tons of animal waste from Midwest factory farms and animal feed croplands. The nitrates in animal waste and fertilizer runoff produce vast algal blooms that suck up oxygen from the water, killing all marine life. The pesticides seal the deal. According to Wikipedia, the resulting "dead zone" extends more than 8,500 square miles, roughly three times the size of the BP oil slick. We react dramatically to unanticipated threats like the BP oil spill and accidental deaths. Yet we tend to accept and tolerate the much more damaging, but routine, threats from animal waste discharges and deaths from killer diseases linked to meat and dairy-laden diets.

Nelson Vrooman
1022 Lower Valley Road
Aug. 5, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


I got an e-mail from state Sen. Mark Obenshain today saying there was good news in the back-to-school sales tax holiday coming up this weekend. He proudly proclaimed that for those on tight budgets they could really use the savings.

Hmmm ... So, I thought what might we use it on. Let's see, since the savings is limited to the tax on $100 per article of clothing or shoes and $20 per item of school supplies, then folks might save enough for a high-caloric meal at a fast-food restaurant. That would be nice, don't ya think? All the while, we are losing teachers' jobs by the hundreds statewide. Makes no sense to me.

Michael Cash
315 Indian Spring Trail
Aug. 6, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


My wife and I ran a broadcast equipment company for several years. People should understand just because someone talks a good line and says the word "Jesus" a lot, it does not mean that this person is honorable or moral. Dr. Art Stamler, the former owner of WAZR radio and WAZT-TV, was one of our first customers. Stamler is an honest and decent person whom I grew to consider a friend. Unfortunately, I would soon learn that a great number of other "Christian" broadcasters were not to be so trusted. Many were in it for the money but at least they paid their bills. Then there were the "Jesus will provide" types. When you stopped trying to collect, "Jesus had provided."

The worst of these though were the ones leading moral and religious crusades while serially never paying their debts unless there was absolutely no other choice. If one should suggest going to collections to collect a just debt, you will hear remarks such as "pastor-so-and-so is such a good man ... people just wouldn't understand ... we could convert that to a 'love' offering." In your article (July 31 issue), Pastor Jay Ahlemann, Stamler's debtor, seems to have nothing to say about the debt that he owes Stamler other than to complain and to say that the collection attempt comes at an "unfortunate time" for him. Good! One should ask why he can only see this from his own selfish perspective. He is the one who incurred the debt. He doesn't even try to thinly veil the situation with excuses other than a minor allusion to "the economy." It is all about him and his grandiose plans. He's going to pay the debt some day on his terms. Maybe, but first those big plans.

It would be appreciated if Pastor Ahlemann could explain how conversion of another's property without paying for it fits in with a moral crusade or the Eighth Commandment: "Thou shalt not steal."

Jon Hall
253 Spring Oaks Lane
Aug. 6, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


Well, well, well.

Once again, the New Market Volunteer Fire and Rescue professionals make the headlines, albeit not the kind they would wish. Is it something in the water in New Market that causes such ongoing absurd behavior or something in the DNA of the residents? I suspect the latter. Fire and rescue operations entrusted to beer-swilling buffoons, (remember them, come fund raising season), other municipal services handled by "Hee-Haw" rejects.

New Market, Virginia: a pathetic joke.

805 N. Beverly Ave.
Aug. 7, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


This is an open letter to the Board of Supervisors of Shenandoah County. Strasburg has passed it and uses it with some success, and now Mt. Jackson proposes to pass it.

Supervisors, do you have the courage to follow suit? I'm talking about the small piece in the Aug. 12 issue, Region section titled "Mt. Jackson, Four new ordinances introduced."

The one I write of was the spot blight ordinance that allows a jurisdiction to clean up unsightly messes such as unmown lawns, unused appliances and miscellaneous junk on porches and in yards, collapsed barns and other out buildings, abandoned farm machinery, falling down or abandoned houses and other unsightly miscellany included junked cars left in yards. Sadly, Virginians like to make jokes about their neighbors to the north, but if you want to see roadside blight just drive around the Virginia Scenic Byways in Shenandoah County and you can find all the roadside blight you will never want to see and more.

It is hard to drive a mile on any road in the county without being subjected to the sight of junk in a yard or a field, too often adjacent to places that are lovely and that people obviously take pride in caring for. I'm sure that folks who take pride in their property would love to have a legal tool to clean up some of the messes that pull their property values down.

Supervisors, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. It has been invented for you. Fairfax County has already done it on a countywide basis and information on their program is available on the Internet for all to see at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code/property/blight/. Fairfax has a blight abatement statute established under Virginia Code Ann. 36-3 (Supp. 2008).

There does not appear to be any statutory reason why Shenandoah County could not establish a similar statute under the same state code. I hope that folks who agree will write and say so. Our county is too beautiful to be abandoned to blight when tools to correct it could be readily available.

Al VanDeGriek
P.O. Box 67
Aug. 15, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily


On Aug. 2 your paper reported on a talk given by Del. Todd Gilbert at the fifth annual Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Summer Expo. Gilbert said that the biggest issue for agriculture is opposing urban legislators who want to clean up the water going into the Chesapeake Bay and who blame farmers for the problem. He implies that anyone downstream -- on the Shenandoah River, the Potomac River or the Chesapeake Bay -- has no right to clean water and said that the legislators are just elites who "stand around at wine-and-cheese parties and complain ... about agriculture" pollution. Gilbert's message to young farmers to fight for their right to pollute is outrageous and unacceptable. If the water that farmers rely on were polluted, they would certainly want something done to stop it.

Chesapeake Bay pollution is a serious problem. Fisherman and others who live on the bay deserve clean water. Gilbert should be providing leadership to help farmers develop new farming practices that reduce pollution runoff so that they can continue to enjoy their way of life. Presumably farmers like to eat fish and would prefer that they come from unpolluted waters.

Gilbert is being irresponsible in encouraging young people to ignore the rights of other people. Voters should think about his behavior at the next election.

Sandra Z. Wilson
297 Hickerson Hollow Road
Front Royal
Aug. 8, 2010


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.

Opinion Sections

Editorial Cartoons Editorials Guest Commentary Letters to the Editor Linda Ash Online Comments Op-Ed Reader Commentary Syndicated Columnists

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

2014 Virginia Press Association Grand Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com