Reader Commentary

Commentary: The ‘bathroom’ decree is unconscionable

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, locker rooms, and every other facet ...

Commentary: Cuts to respite care program impact our seniors

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 Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging. Such a reduction in services for some of our most vulnerable citizens is ...

Commentary: Students suffer when school budget is not fully funded

  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. This isn't Northern ...

Commentary: Virginia lawmakers ‘medieval’ in world view

I’m convinced that our Virginia legislators are stuck right in the middle of the Middle Ages in their view of the world. Here’s why I think so. Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently used an executive order to return voting rights to ex-offenders who have served their sentences and returned to ...

Commentary: Teachers shape the future

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” -Henry Adams 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 ...

Commentary: We must support foster youth after they exit system

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. I am a ...

Commentary: Gun show brings in law-abiding masses

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 ...

Andy Schmookler: When the talk and the walk are opposites

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. Yet in ...

Commentary: Celebrate Earth Day by enjoying the Shenandoah River

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 ...

Commentary: Let’s remember the words of the prophets

All societies need their prophets and politicians.  To find a person who combines the qualities of both is quite rare. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was indeed a prophet and not a politician, although he certainly had a profound impact on the politicians of his day. Dr. King, by his ...

Commentary: Turning taxes right side up

In considering local tax hikes, our elected officials should let the Founding Fathers be their guide. The Federalist Papers were written in 1787 to persuade the voters of New York to adopt the Constitution approved in Philadelphia that same year. On average, those voters had fourth grade ...

Commentary: GOP needs to return to core principles

I have been a Republican my entire life. Notice, I did not specify my adult life, but my entire life.  From crying myself to sleep at the age of 10 when seasoned statesman George H.W. Bush was unseated by a philandering, pot-smoking draft-dodger, to working my first political campaign for the ...

Commentary: Property owners will make tax decisions on election day

It is exciting drama watching the Shenandoah Board of Supervisors decide on the tax rate for the coming year. But it also is scary. Let's remember that it is the property owners who pay. Do you remember the California city where the public employees and the City Council got together and, ...

Commentary: Trump points out signs of American decline

There's no end to the commentary that warns us off Donald Trump! Boastfulness, bigotry, racism, genderism, and fear-mongering are but a few of the attributes which his critics assign to him. But I believe there is a much larger picture out there, one that critics do not seem to see: the ...

Commentary: Strong schools boost local economy

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 ...

Commentary: Trump may have done country a great favor

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 ...

Commentary: Liberals also have fears

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 ...

Commentary: Who honors the Constitution?

It is not the Senate Republicans who follow the Constitution. Regardless of their full-throated love of the document that forms the basis for our system of government, they are in defiance of its stated provisions.  They claim that Obama, with almost a year left in office, is a lame duck ...

Commentary: Beware of politicians expressing hate

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. The extremes on the right of our political scene, especially represented by ...

Commentary: The forgotten children in the boundary debate

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 ...