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Northern Virginia Daily


Last Saturday night, at the invitation of a friend, I had the pleasure of attending the benefit at the Warren County Fairgrounds for the Debbie Llewellyn Recovery Fund.

Though I am not acquainted with Mrs. Llewellyn, after I learned of her serious medical situation, I was eager to attend and participate in the fundraising for her and her family. As a result I think I now know quite a bit about Debbie Llewellyn, resident of Warren County.

After reading the event program and seeing close to 50 names on the committee list, 49 sponsors and 30 patrons, it became obvious to me that this dear lady holds a special place in many hearts, not only within her circle of family and friends but also in the wider community.

As I entered the big tent and saw nearly 250 silent auction items, I knew that this event was the effort of many magnanimous people. I know from experience that it takes a lot of coordination and time to solicit and obtain those auction items and that it was most certainly a labor of love for this committee.

As the program opened I listened to the remarks of her pastor, Front Royal officials and her brother's touching poem, "This Passing Storm." I was struck by the courage of her family members and the outpouring of warmth and genuine concern from everyone. I learned that she is a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, active in many community organizations and has helped many people herself with her own generosity.

You see, I had gone to this event knowing very little of this lady and her plight, but I left with a deeper understanding of the journey she and her family are now on. I pray that it is the road to a full recovery for Ms. Llewellyn.

My hope is that the final tally from the event is huge and that it will go a long way in helping the Llewellyn family during this crisis.

Pamela S. McKinley
106 Cooper Lane
Stonebrook Farms
Aug. 16, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


I noticed an article in the regional section on June 22 about Front Royal's supplying water for the new jail. Basically, it read as follows: The regional jail, scheduled to open in 2014, would used about 50,000 gallons daily for a 375-bed facility and upwards per day for an inmate population of 623, as attributed by Doug Stanley.

Surely this must be a misquote for numbers of inmates because this would be 248 inmates more than building capacity. Instead, I believe he was allowing for 248 personnel, the number needed to care for the 375 prisoners.

If I am correct, the tri-counties will employ two workers to provide care for every three prisoners. Allowing modest average pay of $35,000 per year per employee (it will cost more that this figure) for 248 employees, payroll would cost more than $9 million per year, including taxes required to be paid by employer (Social Security, Medicare, FUTA and SUTA).

If each county paid one-third of the total payroll (Shenandoah County will pay more than one-third as it is the biggest county), each county will have an additional payroll exceeding $3 million each year.

If Shenandoah County has to close all dump sites locally on Thursdays and Warren County closes its dump sites of Wednesdays to alleviate funding shortages, how do they propose to support, maintain and pay for the tri-county jail if they are unable to keep open dumpster sites, which law-abiding residents use daily?

The answer should be obvious to everyone: higher taxes. Isn't about time someone from these three counties levels with residents?

Phyllis Habron
1481 Hahns Lane
Toms Brook, VA
Aug. 3, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily


I am finding the Northern Virginia Daily coverage to be saddening.

The only thing I could find about the Valley League championship series was a score. This is a local event and should be covered by the local paper. But they find it more important to talk about two media darlings that no one cares about, famous just because they crashed a White House party.

What should I expect when the section called Valley Scene has stories about California or Oregon a lot of the time. How about covering our area and our news just a little, please?
I also thought your coverage of Little League and other youth baseball was inadequate.

William Sibert
1208 N. Shenandoah Ave.
Apartment 1
Front Royal
Aug. 13, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


I like to write the editor about politics. We should be free to express thoughts about almost anything, so long as others are free to respond. But some mileposts of life, such as passing an 80th birthday, inspire reflection.

I hailed from a farm near a small town in the Midwest. Coming here was a little like coming home. There are lots of good folks around (even if most of them Republicans). Newcomers are usually received well (even if they are likely always to be considered "transplants"). A friend and I were discussing a mutual acquaintance I referred to as a local. She disagreed. I noted that he was nearly 90 and that his family had been here before him. She said, "But that was only 100 years ago."

I cherish the times with my family and friends (even if memories must fill the gaps left by those who have passed on). I play a little golf and enjoy yard work (most of it). My sight and hearing are pretty good (though my wife may question the latter).

I admire the devotion here to heritage and history -- the Woodstock Museum and its counterparts, the series of Civil War battlefields (though I've been reluctant to mention that my great-grandfather was a member of Wisconsin's famed Iron Brigade or that I believe Phil Sheridan was one of the greatest generals).

I savor the great orange moon rising over the mountain, the redbuds, the heady scent of honeysuckle on a summer night, the programs at Wayside, Shenandoah University and Orkney Springs.

I deplore some of the things Virginia has done. But who wouldn't have a warm spot for a state that produced George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, my kids and grandkids, the Carter family, Patsy Cline, the Statler Brothers, Mac Wiseman, Ralph Stanley -- and Les Irby of radio station WSIG.

Older isn't as golden as some would have it. But nuggets can still be found here and there.

Bob Lowerre
403 Spring Hollow Road
Aug. 15, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


Midterm elections should be a time for serious debate on the issues. Unless there is an intervening issue, the economy will be the focus of any debate.

I can recall a debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot in the 2000 election in which Perot said that implementing NAFTA would result in tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S. Al Gore laughed it off.

Since that debate we've witnessed millions of jobs lost to countries where cheap labor is plentiful. We've lived through an era in which the greatest transfer of wealth in human history has taken place. So, the upcoming debates should be enlightening as the politicians and candidates relate their visions and plans to move us beyond the Great Recession.

Some questions might be: How will we deal with open borders and the unimpeded flow of workers from around the world? What will be the impact of open borders on our internal security? What is the plan to put the millions of unemployed back to work? Is there a plan to help U.S. citizens find work in foreign countries? If not the U.N. or the WTO as the one-world government then what is the plan? When one-world government becomes available will there still be lesser governments? What part(s) of the Constitution will need modification to comply with one world? Would you need a one-world visa to travel between Georgia and Tennessee? Would Medicare and Social Security be available through one world? Would we be subject to a one world tax? Would One World leaders be appointed or elected? What might the organization chart look like? One currency? What individual rights would we have under one world? What is the projected timeline to put the North American union in place? To have useful debates should we invite WTO representatives?

No debate would imply that a great conspiracy is happening right before our eyes. The emperor has no clothes and all of that ...

Roy Ellis
4 Blackwater Lane
Aug. 9, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


On Aug. 14 I truly witnessed one of the greatest outpourings of generosity I have seen. It probably was the greatest in its category.

I attended the fundraiser at the Warren County Fairgrounds for Debbie Llewellyn and witnessed the outpouring of love for this individual. I have never met this family, but they truly must have touched the lives of many people.

When we read the newspaper and listen to the news (which I might add I do very little any more), we are led to believe we are going to hell in a hand basket. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what America truly is. We roll up our sleeves get down in the dirt and by the sweat of our brow we help each other.

Whom do people turn to when they need help? The good old USA. From reading the papers we might think Front Royal and Warren County do nothing but fight and bicker. I noticed items donated by officials, the chief of police, businesses, a big entertainment group, the Hubcaps gave a big discount and the list could go on and on. So many volunteers to help another in need. Thank you, each and every one, for a great night of entertainment and all it took to make it work.

Wouldn't it be great if this spread to Washington? Our lawmakers could stop pointing fingers to blame each other and work together for the good of our world, especially our own? Even if they don't, we, down-in-the-trenches-workers, can and we do.

This only a tip of the iceberg of what goes on in our country and in our back door. Give credit where credit is due. All teenagers are not hanging out on street corners and doing drugs.

These are the things we need to see and concentrate on. We can change the world, one person at a time.

Earl Cutlip
3094 Oranda Road
Aug. 15, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


Your editorial Aug. 7 responding to Del. Todd Gilbert's remarks at the Young Farmers Expo commented that cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay should not be an "us-vs.-them" issue.

Everyone living in our area contributes to polluting the Chesapeake Bay as well as our own streams and the Shenandoah River -- our river. We depend on the river and its tributaries for irrigation, boating, fishing and sustaining wildlife. Many also depend on the river for drinking water. Unfortunately, the Shenandoah River and its major tributaries are polluted.

Some sources of pollution, including local sewage treatment plants, are regulated, and our towns have been required to spend millions of dollars to reduce their discharges to our river.

One of the larger remaining sources of sediment, bacteria and nutrients to local streams is agriculture. Unless water pollution from on-farm sources is significantly reduced, agriculture will be a target for further regulation. There are voluntary ways to avoid that.
Many local farmers are good stewards of the land and river and take voluntary steps to reduce runoff and erosion, but on other farms livestock still have unfettered access to streams, and other basic conservation is not practiced.

There are proven steps farmers can take to improve water quality and increase farm productivity, such as improving nutrient management and grazing practices, fencing cattle out of streams, practicing no-till and planting cover crops.

Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the USDA have a long history of helping farmers balance their desire to be good stewards and their need to keep costs down and remain profitable. Federal and state funding and technical assistance are available to help farmers implement appropriate management practices.

In 2009, $821,000 in state cost-share funds were provided to help local farmers install conservation practices. However, only a small percentage of eligible farmers participate in these programs.

If more local farmers take full advantage of the financial and technical assistance available to help reduce their contributions to polluting our river and streams, additional regulations should not be necessary.

Joan Comanor
Lord Fairfax
Soil and Water
Conservation District
722-B E. Queen St.
Aug. 17, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


This is an open letter to all dirt bags. The particular dirt bag I am referring to is the moron who threw this tiny kitten on the side of the road near the stop sign on Fehr Lane in Maurertown.

My daughter, out walking her dog, found him -- wet and screaming and starving. She looked for more, but they were probably thrown out at various other stop signs along the way. A disgusting act of cruelty and cowardice.

Through all-night feedings with an eye dropper and goat's milk, I'm happy to say that Roadie (aptly named) is doing well.

Of course, being a cat, he will have no memory of being thrown on the side of the road at two-weeks-old, but, I hope the memory of it lingers in the very small mind of the ignorant dirt bag who did it.

Linda Graham
212 Maurertown Mill Road
Aug. 18, 2010
Northern Virginia Daily


Most folks have a hard time backing illegal aliens. After all, the name does include the work "illegal." But would you be surprised to learn that your favorite politicians and big business don't have the same problem?

Laws penalize businesses that hire undocumented workers, but voters have never demanded that their presidents implement these laws As long as the president is a member of our personal political tribe, he's OK. The Bush administration levied no fines in 2004 against any company that hired undocumented workers.

While an immigrant doesn't vote, he probably has friends and family who do. Because Hispanics now surpass black Americans as the nation's largest ethnic group, many believe the Bush administration's refusal to enforce immigration laws was an effort to court Hispanic vote before the 2004 elections.

Similarly, in 2005 Bush signed a bill that required Homeland Security to hire 10,000 more border patrol agents. The Bush administration again "sold out Americans" by ignoring this mandate and provided for the hiring of just 210 new agents in the 2006 budget. Today, our borders still remain under patrolled.

Presidents also know immigrant labor is a gift to business. Cheap labor results in higher profits and windfall political contributions from the business community. When thousands of companies pay below-market wages to tens of millions of undocumented workers, high profits make the economy look strong.

The Republican administration easily convinced voters to support its "pro-business" agenda. Unfortunately, these voters included millions of workers who paid the price as employers systematically replaced them with cheap illegal labor. Many more of these voters still pay the price as their wages drop or stagnate from unfair competition with cheap labor.

Our economy and our country cannot stay strong when politicians and businesses work together to promote the decline of American workers and their families.

It's time to hold Republicans and businesses accountable. We wouldn't even raise this issue if they'd just stop exploiting undocumented workers and wage earners.

As a voter, I change my mind when the facts change. What do you folks do?

Stephen Kish
119 Longcroft Road
Aug. 17, 2010


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