Reader Commentary

Commentary: The ‘bathroom’ decree is unconscionable

May 19, 2016

We are removing our children from the public school system in Virginia and will be homeschooling them for the rest of their K-12 school career. This action is in direct response to the federal government’s unconstitutional and dangerous decree that bathrooms, lockerrooms, and every other facet of school life cannot be segregated based on a child’s actual gender.

Commentary: Cuts to respite care program impact our seniors

May 18, 2016

Recently we learned that the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors voted to make a significant reduction in funding for the Other Place Respite Care Program, which is part of the Agency on Area Aging of Shenandoah County. Such a reduction in services for some of our most vulnerable citizens is reprehensible.

Commentary: Students suffer when school budget is not fully funded

May 11, 2016

Every year during budget season in Shenandoah County, the discussion is the same. Are we going to raise taxes or are we going to cut? Public departments request more while vocal constituents strongly oppose, stating those agencies should function on less.

Commentary: Teachers shape the future

May 4, 2016

It is a memory common to most people – one or more special teachers who “made the light come on” and awakened in them the curiosity that brings learning to life. While most of us are grateful to and for that teacher, few of us ever consider that the teacher in question also had a teacher who made the light come on presidents captures the influence of teachers across generations, dating back to the furthest reaches of our past, and extending indefinitely into our future.

Commentary: We must support foster youth after they exit system

May 3, 2016

Virginia has about 5,038 children in the foster care system. Out of those children, 2,856 of them are exiting out without a place to call home and a family to depend on. No direction to life, and their only source of help financially and guidance are terminated without consideration.

Andy Schmookler: When the talk and the walk are opposites

Andy Schmookler

April 29, 2016

Which party do you think of when you hear the phrase, “defender of the Constitution”? I would wager that members of both parties would immediately think of the Republican Party, because they are the ones who most loudly proclaim their deep allegiance to our founding document.

Commentary: Gun show brings in law-abiding masses

Richard Hoover

April 29, 2016

Big April 22-24 weekend at the packed Nation’s Gun Show, held at the Dulles Expo Center and attended by thousands of white, black, Hispanic and Asian Americans. Young and old, there were lovers holding hands, singles, parents and children — families buying guns, hauling ammunition to the parking lot.

Commentary: Celebrate Earth Day by enjoying the Shenandoah River

Mark Frondorf

April 22, 2016

Today, our 46th Earth Day, we celebrate the rich network of natural resources we depend on and renew our commitment to its protection. Shenandoah Valley’s very own, President Woodrow Wilson, recognized the importance of this half a century before the first Earth Day by creating the National Park Service to conserve the beauty of the land and water for future generations.

Commentary: Strong schools boost local economy

March 22, 2016

In the last few years it has become clear that there are two very philosophical differences of opinion about public education and community/economic development in Shenandoah County. On one side there are those that seek to perpetuate a notion that Shenandoah County is a dying, aging community with taxes that are too high; believing the only solution to lack of economic development is to cut spending and lower taxes. There is never any talk of diversifying revenue streams or making investments in economic development. This “only cut spending” approach would in effect further magnify the problem underfunding essential services and discouraging businesses from locating here.

Commentary: Trump may have done country a great favor

March 18, 2016

By now, everyone has seen and heard about the meltdown going on in the Republican presidential nomination process. Every week brings a new outrage, and speculation that this will be the final blow the Donald Trump candidacy cannot possibly survive. We hear condemnation of whole races and religions, outrageous, unsupportable policies, inciting violence, braggadocio, outright fabrications and contradictory statements. No reality can rupture the fantasy.

Commentary: Liberals also have fears

March 16, 2016

Some Virginia parents want control over the books their children are exposed to in school. That is understandable but banning certain books is not the answer. Also, the attempt to ban books raisesthe question of who is responsible for teaching young people self-control. It also asks of what are parents fearful.

Commentary: Beware of politicians expressing hate

March 5, 2016

Young citizens, please register and vote, but, before you do, be certain to read “The Rise and Fall of Adolph Hitler” by William L. Shirer and “Narcissists Among Us” by Joe Navarro, both available in e-book format.

Commentary: The forgotten children in the boundary debate

March 2, 2016

As Shenandoah County considers solutions to the capacity issues in our schools, it is probably helpful to consider how we would look at this if we were talking about anything other than children. If a business had three facilities, two of which were overcrowded and one of which suffered from unused capacity, the solution would be painfully obvious. However, our schools deal with children, and not commodities, and that makes the solution slightly less obvious and considerably more painful.