Our tax dollars are not hard at work here
I have lived in Shenandoah County all of my life. I bought a house last year in Strasburg out on Coal Mine Road. It is a beautiful area, but ever since I have lived here, I have noticed the sheer stupidity of the people who make decisions in the county. Only one year after living here, the county decided to raise taxes. The taxes go up, but you certainly don't benefit any. Here is a prime example of my tax dollars hard at work. Yesterday on my way home, I noticed that Coal Mine Road has been graveled. This would be great if the road was a gravel road, but it wasn't. It was asphalt. Now I have to drive through miles of gravel to get anywhere. The gravel does nothing but cause dust, chip the paint on my vehicles, and what upsets me the most is six months later the gravel will be in the ditch. If I wanted to drive on a gravel road I would have bought a house on one. It would appear to me that if we have money for a multi-million dollar jail, we have money to pave a road properly. Although I will give VDOT credit for doing something, heaven knows I never saw them when it snowed. I guess paving the road right and having a local dumpster that is open is too much to ask in this county.
County, businesses kid-, family-unfriendly
The sun simmered asphalt as I slipped my baby into the front carrier, grabbed my 2-year-old's arm, and started the hike along one-third of the parking lot into the Walmart Supercenter. I passed a plethora of handicap spaces - all empty. That was almost two years ago. Last year, the real trouble began.
My baby was an early walker. At 9 months, Ezra was coasting without holding walls or furniture; by a year he was already cruising! With two toddlers, I found trips to Walmart unbearable.
In states like Ohio, major stores have parking for mothers of young children or expectant mothers. I did not realize the consideration of so compassionate a choice until I became pregnant. In addition, many of their stores had shopping carts that seated more than one child. Food Lion in Woodstock has two such carts, even though they're in need of repair. But does the largest area store? No. Walmart has handicap parking spaces and shopping carts for elderly, overweight, or persons with major health issues; however, there are no similar considerations for families with young children.
Not even Shenandoah County is a kid-friendly or family-friendly place. A 2009 Census reveals that 22.1 percent of persons are under 18 years old; 18.1 percent are 65 years old or over. The median age is 42.2. Many local businesses have closed their doors to expectant mothers and mothers with young children! Walmart, for example, does not sell maternity clothing in-store. Shenandoah Memorial Hospital shut down its family birthing center on June 30, 2009. And, a majority of businesses close their doors so early in the evening that if a couple with young children wanted to escape the mayhem for even an hour over tea and scones while someone watched their children - they could not. Even the county government seems more concerned about the RSW Regional Jail than improving the school system so that we do not need such a jail.
It would be interesting to note that I wrote to Walmart on this issue nearly a year ago now. Their response? Silence. Will we continue to be silent on such injustices within our own county?
Sarah Kohrs, Mt. Jackson