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Sunday, May 12, 2013
More than one smart way to take a train
“Smarter ways to beat Elm Avenue congestion” (April 29 commentary) contains good advice if motorists would take it. RIDE Solutions, MetroBus, bicycling, etc., all could be a part of reducing congestion on our traffic-choked highways.
But I’m always surprised how little attention is paid to starting a thrice-weekly bus or van service to connect with east-west rail service at Clifton Forge. Much publicity has been accorded to the SmartWay bus to Lynchburg, but almost nothing to connections with the Cardinal, which operates between Chicago and Boston via Clifton Forge at a more convenient time of day than the Lynchburg bus.
The Cardinal departs Clifton Forge at 12:23 p.m. eastbound and 4:10 p.m. westbound Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. This train serves many West Virginia and Ohio destinations, Indianapolis and Chicago westbound; and Staunton, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Alexandria and Washington, D.C., eastbound, as well as the Northeast Corridor to Boston.
Yet no publicity is given to this train, and it is not even in the RIDE Solutions database. Are we missing something here?
K12 objected to registration fee
A Roanoke Times editorial about the online public school Virginia Virtual Academy makes many inaccurate claims (“A raw deal on virtual schools,” May 3). It is children, not online learning provider K12 Inc., who benefitted most from VAVA.
It’s disappointing Carroll County decided to no longer offer VAVA, but it was not because of K12. In fact, K12’s VAVA program boasts high parent satisfaction and a long waiting list, and thousands of districts in the U.S. have chosen K12 for courses and digital learning programs.
The Times suggests K12 “promised” Carroll a $500 registration fee for out-of-district students. Not true. The fee was imposed by Carroll over K12’s objections. K12 does not believe any family should pay for access to a public school. Our priority is to put students first.
The real problem is lawmakers’ failure to provide the structure and support necessary for these much-needed digital learning programs. We hope they act quickly. Many children choose online schools because they struggled in traditional schools, experienced bullying or have disabilities or special needs. Parents want options like VAVA for their children, and the dedicated teachers and educators at K12 want to serve them.
Senior Vice President, Public AffairsK12 Inc.
A change in law won’t change biology
Marriages and families are already in trouble in our society. We do not need another issue to redefine marriage. Marriage between a male and female is so central to human culture that it touches virtually every aspect of our laws and customs. To redefine marriage is to redefine the entire society.
Same-sex marriage is not normal. Male and female bodies are different, and both are required for reproduction. Biologically, homosexual unions cannot reproduce.
This isn’t bigotry; this is biology. Same-sex and opposite-sex relations are different. Passing a law that says they’re the same will not change that.
Hillary Clinton says gay Americans “are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.” I do not believe anyone questions their citizenship. Many have contributed a great deal to this country, and I respect that. But the rights of citizenship are not the issue. The issue is redefining marriage.
When the foundation of marriage is out of the way, the meaning will be destroyed.
Liberal judges will rule that three men or three women can marry legally, or five men and two women, or four and four. Once this is all in place, there will be no turning back.
A real gift for telling tall political tales
Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you. If you’re Gov. Bob McDonnell or Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Do these gentlemen actually believe that the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia are buying that bag of goodness they are spreading around about forgetting about certain gifts or not knowing that the gifts should have been reported?
I don’t care what political party you are affiliated with, this has a very distinct aroma. I certainly believe both of them, and I also just made a really good deal on a bridge.
Climate change should be our top priority
Thank you for printing Andy Schmookler’s excellent op-ed piece on climate change (“If this is early stages of climate change, what’s next?” May 6). When will the powers-that-be wake up and realize that combating climate change should be our primary concern?
We need a task force to address how to live in a new and dangerous environment instead of focusing on petty politics.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday