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The Mechanicsville Local - Letters to the editor: Week of 9/30/20

The Mechanicsville Local - Letters to the editor: Week of 9/30/20

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Students’ wishes should be priority in renaming schools

Much appreciation to Windy Collawn for making the committee’s school name selection process transparent to the community with her letter appearing in the Sept. 23 issue of The Mechanicsville Local.

What I wish to highlight with my own correspondence are the lengths to which both Collawn and Dr. Carol Cash, lead representative of the committee (whose remarks to the Hanover County School Board are detailed in Jim Ridolphi’s comprehensive article in the same edition), went to champion student input. They both emphasized the thoughtful consideration that all the young people involved gave this significant task.

Because Hanover County’s youth are the community members with the most at stake in this issue, I believe it is proper to give their hopes and desires the greatest weight.

Of course, Mechanicsville Middle School or Mechanicsville High School would be perfectly serviceable names, however, they are not inspirational, nor are they unique.

The youngest members of the selection committee were clearly seeking more aspirational handles for their educational institutions, ones that reflect students’ roots but also their futures.

In a county where Patrick Henry is justly revered, we must answer the call to honor and support the children taking up his torch. After all, they are the ones who will be the driving force in America's transformation in the years to come.

If anyone should be polled about which names are adopted, it is the students themselves, and the greater community should uphold their choices.

Thank you for taking the time to review my musings on the matter.

Penelope Fleming


Defending appointed school board

As a tax-paying citizen of Hanover County, Dr. Richard Ryder should be glad his tax dollars are going to support one of the best school systems for its size in Virginia.

The last time I checked, every school in Hanover County was fully accredited. Dr. Ryder is getting his money's worth.

An appointed school board is insulated from day-to-day politics and can concentrate on its responsibility to administer the budget and oversee the operation of the system. They can ignore the political wind.

A change to an elected school board would create seven more politicians. These seven new politicians would have to worry more about politics than education. They would change policy every time the political wind changed.

The appointed school board has served Hanover County well.

The City of Richmond has an elected school board. The members of their school board are selected and elected by the Education (Teachers Union) Lobby. The members of the Richmond City School Board are more interested in liberal politics than education and their schools reflect this.

We do not want this in Hanover County. We have good schools and we want to keep them. We must ignore the current political wind and keep what we have.

Larnie Allgood Jr.


Using fear to manipulate people limited

I think most of us agree that the Trump administration is filled with incompetency and dishonesty. But many of us rationalize a vote for him based upon him appointing conservative judges.

When the Republican majority Senate refused to consider Merrick Garland for the United States Supreme Court, there were over 200 days left in the Obama administration. They said they wouldn’t confirm a new judge in an election year. It smelled like cheating to many of us.

Now we have a vacancy with less than 60 days before the election and they have changed their tune and will force a quick vote. This is more cheating, now mixed with rank hypocrisy. Supporting this tactic and this administration is saying that the ends justify the means.

If we justify support of Trump as being pro-life, how do we think about the 200,000 deaths, with many more to come, because of Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic? We lead the world in cases and deaths from the coronavirus, despite our vaunted medical system.

We have a choice this fall. We can support Joe Biden, an earnest and experienced servant of the people. We can support Mark Warner, who has stood up to Trump in his activity on the Intelligence Committee and in many other ways, and who has now served 12 years honorably. And we can vote for Qasim Rashid or Abigail Spanberger, depending on which part of Hanover County we live in.

Spanberger has done a good job of resisting the temptation to go too far to the left. Rashid is a civil rights lawyer and author who wants to extend democracy.

Supporting these candidates will show those who are afraid of democracy that their ability to manipulate people with fear is limited.

Bill Butler


Eyes open to Trump’s successes

In response to JM Thomas’s recent letter, “Trump support: eyes closed to evidence”, I like to think my eyes are open.

Supporting Donald Trump acknowledges just a small fraction of his accomplishments:

 lowest unemployment rate (pre-COVID)

 highest labor participation rate in 15 years (pre-COVID)

 signed into law making cruelty to animals a federal felony

U.S. becomes energy independent

 signed two acts giving law enforcement new tools to fight sex trafficking

the 25% lowest paid enjoyed a 4.5% income boost. Outpaces highest paid workers. (pre-COVID)

 signed act to fund cleaning plastic and garbage from the oceans

signed act for transparency in hospital billing

 revamped the Veterans Administration

 Administration will provide HIV drugs for free to 200,000 uninsured

 signed First Step Act, criminal justice reform to help former inmates with 90% of those benefitting from retroactive sentencing reductions (Biden’s 1994 crime bill called for mandatory minimum sentences)l made HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) a priority

 poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans lowest ever recorded level (pre-COVID)

 not one but two peace accords signed (Nobel prize?)

Given the opportunity with four more years, I have no doubts that he can work to restore the economy to pre-COVID levels.

In closing, a quote from Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without”.

Chuck Williamson


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