Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
An odor most foul
Nearly every day this fall, my husband and I have been trapped in our home in Pearisburg, unable to enjoy our daily walks.
Why? Because of the acrid smell of ammonia coming from Celanese.
I’ve lived for eight years with faint traces of chemicals in the air, but this year, the stench is more intense and frequent.
It’s been especially offensive these last few weeks as we’ve tried to sleep with our windows open to enjoy the cool autumn air. It’s been so bad that we’re considering moving to Blacksburg.
And we’d have good reason. According to an article in The Roanoke Times (“DEQ regulators again cite Celanese,” Jan. 28, 2012), Celanese has been cited three times by the Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for faulty monitoring of nitrogen oxide emissions: in 2008, in 2010, and 2011.
I’ve complained to my congressman, Morgan Griffith, whose office said he’d look into it. I’ve complained to Celanese, whose officials have come to our home to tell us that what we’re smelling isn’t dangerous. I don’t believe either one.
This stink continues to taint a lovely place to live. My favorite slogan in town is this: “Giles: You love coming home.” I’d like to feel that way again.
It depends on your definition of ‘radical’
Re: “The race for lieutenant governor,” Richmond Times-Dispatch news stories, Sept. 15:
The stories portray E.W. Jackson as a “controversial” radical while casting Sen. Ralph Northam as a “conservative-tinted Democrat.”
Northam’s conservative credentials are a pale tint when rated by the American Conservative Union; his voting record earned conservative scores of 8 percent in 2011 and 15 percent in 2013.
In fact, many would consider his vote in favor of SB701 quite radical; this bill would have extended protected status in employment to include perceived gender identity. Perceived gender identity is allowing California and Massachusetts schools to open sex-segregated facilities to both sexes despite anatomical differences.
Concerning education, The Times is perhaps correct in labeling Jackson as radical; his website states that Virginia should “recognize and establish the right of parents to determine where and how their children are educated.” Thirty years after the “Nation at Risk” indictment of our K-12 failures, it’s high time to leave behind the one-size-fits-all mentality and give parents the opportunity to choose the best schools for their children.
Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain are also for parent power in education; that sounds like radical common sense to me.
Go after those litterbugs
I just read the litterbugs in Roanoke County article (“Litterbugs beware in Roanoke County,” Sept. 28 news story). I commend the county for strengthening and enforcing litterbug laws. The automatic penalty for littering should be eight hours of community service picking up trash alongside a road or other appropriate area.
That would give offenders time to think and modify their behavior.
House Republicans have let us down
I am deeply disappointed in House Republicans. Along with their Democratic colleagues, they were voted into office by the people to do a job: run the country. Yet they have cast aside all concern for people’s daily lives and livelihoods in an attempt to withhold affordable health care from millions of their fellow citizens who either can’t get it or can’t afford it.
It is outrageous that they are making a conscious decision to hold the operation of this country hostage to what amounts to a toddler’s breath-holding spell.
The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Conservatives couldn’t come up with a good plan for sensible health care in this country, but when a liberal president essentially co-opted a conservative solution from the ’90s, it was suddenly a harbinger of the apocalypse.
Their collective temper-tantrum is a complete abrogation of their responsibilities to Americans, an affront to what we have a right to expect from our legislators, and an episode that I am hopeful a critical mass of the electorate will recognize for what it is, and will exact their judgment in the next election.
Turn ’em out for a Congress that cares
This thing about a government shutdown is so ridiculous. The American people put our Congress in Washington to represent us. They care nothing about us; they squabble with each other about what they want.
I think they should be fired and sent home. Maybe there are some people in our country who could be sent to do what is best for us and our country.
What should ‘family’ be about, anyway?
Tom Phelps wrote about an attack by homosexuals on the traditional family (“Gay marriage reflects moral corruption,” Sept. 19 letter). But look at what really affects the family: divorce, spousal abuse, child abuse, paternal uncertainty are just a few of the factors.
Let’s paint a picture. Two caring, responsible, empathetic, financially independent, dependable, emotionally invested, loyal and loving men (or women) are together. They decide they want a child.
So, they set aside a college fund for the child. They find a house in a safe neighborhood with a good school. They help with homework. They eat dinner together.
They teach the child to ride a bike, and put a bandage on scraped knees. They attend high school graduation and take the child to college to become a successful adult.
How is this destroying “the family”? Bringing a child to a stable home and helping that child become a successful adult is what the family is about. It’s about love, commitment, happiness and open-mindedness. So what if it is two men or women?
Open your minds. Traditional is not always feasible, especially when it comes to the complex dynamics of families.
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall