Reader Commentary

Commentary: GOP Medicaid expansion in Virginia?

October 2, 2015

Can we trust Virginia’s GOP establishment leaders when they vow to fight ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, although evidence shows that they’ve actually promoted it? Adding to their dishonor, the GOP establishment in Richmond, Winchester and Frederick County united with Democrats to replace our current 29th District Republican Del. Mark Berg, who’d become Virginia’s best defense against Medicaid expansion.

Commentary: When the good outweighs the bad

October 1, 2015

On Sept. 23, my 8-year-old-son, Noah, was hit by a car while crossing Warrior Drive in Frederick County near Stephens City on his bike. I was riding alongside Noah, pulling my 2-year-old daughter behind me, but we were separated while crossing. I watched and waited for Noah on the other side of the road, but when I moved to allow cars to turn, I lost sight of Noah for a moment … and in that moment, I heard a crash.

Commentary: Revel in the beauty of America’s diversity

September 28, 2015

“There but for the grace of God go I.” This was but one of my mother’s many cautionary sayings along with “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” and “Don’t put all you’re eggs in one basket” etc., employed to bring my brother and me up short, and make us think before we acted, spouted off or cast aspersions against another.

Commentary: A call to arms for our county’s parents

September 24, 2015

In front of our County’s Old Courthouse stands both a statue and a bust of Peter Muhlenberg. A clergyman, soldier and legislator, Muhlenberg is most remembered for his famous call to arms on Jan, 21, 1776, in which he rallied his fellow Virginians to the defense of a nation about to be born.

Andy Schmookler: Left, right divide is hurting our nation

Andy Schmookler

September 11, 2015

As far as I know, I’m the only liberal-leaning columnist who regularly writes with mostly conservative readers in mind. There’s a story behind why that is – a story about love, and one that makes me sad.

Commentary: Is Trump unifying force our nation needs?

Richard W. Hoover

September 9, 2015

I wrote a column last spring on the need to find a president who could bring our divided county back together. I gave historical examples: Roman Emperor Trajan and President James Monroe — unifiers who reconciled critical social, military and political elements long thought to be irreconcilable. I concluded that neither Democrats nor Republicans had yet found such a candidate and urged them to look harder.

Commentary: Schools capacity meeting is important

August 31, 2015

As Shenandoah County’s children prepare to return to school on Sept. 8, the School Board is currently considering the capacity issues facing our schools, and considering short-term solutions that could have far-reaching impact on the education of our county’s children. Most of us are aware of the problems of overcrowding at the north and central campuses, and excess capacity in the south, but only a handful have been following the School Board’s efforts to resolve them. Parents owe it to their children to pay attention to this process and make their voices heard.

Commentary: Bullying tactics may cost water customers dearly

August 21, 2015

Does the Frederick County Sanitation Authority (FCSA) have the right to steal water from the Town of Stephens City? That is the heart of the issue right now between the FCSA and the town. This issue affects every water customer in Frederick County, because the lion’s share of the county’s water supply comes from water that belongs to the town.

Andy Schmookler: Mark Obenshain: Virginia’s Scott Walker?

Andy Schmookler

August 15, 2015

Months ago, when I publicly characterized the Virginia state senator from my district as “the man who would be Virginia’s Scott Walker,” I had no idea that there was or would be any direct connection between those two politicians. But now Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has announced that Mark Obenshain will be the chairman of his presidential campaign here in Virginia. So the link turns out to be more direct than I’d thought.

Commentary: Medicaid expansion makes sense, morally right

August 5, 2015

Healing the poor: What would Jesus do? Few people would have any difficulty responding to this question. Jesus’s commitment to healing the sick, without discrimination, and caring for the poor fills the biblical narrative about his life and teachings. How does it happen that the good people of Virginia, and/or our elected representatives, have gotten it so wrong?

Commentary: A stroll down memory lane

People’s Drug Store, at right, and other shops are shown in this old photo of Strasburg's East King Street.   Photo Courtesy of Strasburg Museum

July 18, 2015

As a kid growing up in Strasburg during the ’40s and ’50s, I traveled many miles up and down Main Street, which was also Route 11 — before Interstate 81 was established. I have myriad memories of people and the businesses that occupied the Main Street area. I may have forgotten a name or two and possibly a location, but hey, I was a kid a long time ago.

Commentary: Shenandoah County needs to invest in our schools

July 8, 2015

Here’s a sobering fact: in the last 10 years, the median age of a Shenandoah County resident increased from just under 41 years to almost 44, compared to a statewide average of 37.5 years. These differences may not seem like large increments, but if the trend-line continues and Shenandoah County’s population continues to age, it will have real implications for the economy.

Commentary: Honor our nation’s founding — by voting

July 2, 2015

As we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the founding of our nation on July 4th, its birth certificate being the Declaration of Independence, one of the best ways to honor that event, and the American and allied soldiers and sailors who fought in the War for Independence, is by being an informed and active voter.

Richard Hoover: We need to cherish our history

Richard W. Hoover

June 25, 2015

Growing up in the North, I believed that everything Confederate and southern was just as American as everything Union and northern. I knew, for example, that those who actually fought the Civil War, long afterwards, had treated their old enemies with respect. As a boy, I read of reconciliation at veterans’ reunions and of the South’s patriotic outpouring in the Spanish American War, a southern outpouring of love for America which continues today, much of it manifested by volunteering for military service. I was aware how northerners and southerners read and respected each other’s history, and I embraced it all.

April Moore: Climate change is a matter of morality

April Moore

June 25, 2015

When Pope Francis called upon us all last week to act to confront the challenge of climate change, I was thrilled. But not everyone was. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, for example, said that the pope should stick to his own business, like matters of morality.