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The Mechanicsville Local Letters to the editor: week of 12/30/20

The Mechanicsville Local Letters to the editor: week of 12/30/20

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Debate centers on development vs. infrastructure

The status of the debate on development vs. infrastructure is simple. Development has exceeded the ability of infrastructure to handle the load.

How this happened and what can be done about it is in dispute.

Virginia Law empowers municipalities to enact a Comprehensive Plan for Development. This State Law relies on local government to use good judgment and restraint.

Good judgment and restraint seem to be lacking in Hanover County. Over the last 10, years every time our Hanover County Board of Supervisors said yes to development they could have said no. Good judgment and restraint?

A perfect example is the Hickory Grove development. In this development the county used something called TIA scoping to bypass VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) traffic requirements. This TIA (Traffic Impact Analysis) scoping process will not pass the giggle test. It allows the county to ignore VDOT and accept the developers’ traffic studies -- if you can believe it. A little research into this TIA scoping will be rewarding.

As Charlie Waddell says in his excellent letter, Hanover County is getting its fair share of state money. In spite of this, Hanover County is still 10 years behind on road improvements. It will always be 10 years behind unless something is done.

Mr. Waddell mentions federal and state grants. This is referred to as “Pie in the Sky”. Both the Federal and State Government are short on money. This means little “Pie” for Hanover County.

The Hanover County Comp Plan is a guide to orderly development. The Hanover County Board of Supervisors has the power to say no to any development for any reason. The decision to say no cannot be successfully challenged for any reason. Just because they approved one development does not mean they have to approve the next one.

Control of development in Hanover is in the hands of our Board of Supervisors. Every time they say yes they could say no. No matter what else you hear.

Larnie C. Allgood Jr.

Mechanicsville

Wearing mask isn’t about you, but everyone

It is ridiculous that after 315,000+ deaths, over 3,000+ daily deaths, and over 240,000 new daily cases, we would still have people complaining about wearing a mask in public and social distancing. The most intelligent quote I have heard lately is “To protect others, protect your family, protect yourself, wear a mask”.

This is not only about you. It also is about the people who have lost and about people who do not want to lose friends, relatives, their job, their business. And what about emergency workers, doctors and nurses? Have some respect for others.

After a year of death, destruction, failed business and loss of jobs, I cannot understand why anyone would still believe this is not serious. I figured when COVID-19 did not disappear on Nov. 4 as was the belief of some 74 million people, the reality of it being true may take over.

We all know that COVID-19 originated in China as per the excuse we keep hearing, and we all know the destruction at Pearl Harbor originated in Japan. The difference is that FDR listened to the experts, learned what to do, how to do it, and made it priority one to protect the American people.

Instead of acting like and doing what a president would do to get re-elected like using past accomplishments, Trump went the communist route and tried using his corruption skills to get help from Giuliani, Russia and the Ukraine to stop Biden from running for president. Three years wasted and

It backfired! His scheme failed and he got himself impeached. If at first you don’t deceive, try, try again and that he did by downplaying COVID-19.

He failed at the polls for (among other reasons) ignoring the advice of CDC experts and risking the lives of millions of Americans (Republicans included) by convincing people that COVID-19 was a hoax. He said don’t listen to the CDC and that it is your constitutional right to ignore local government and CDC guidelines that would have reduced the spread of COVID-19.

A similarity would be like the fire department spraying water into a building to extinguish a fire and another group spraying an accelerant into the building to keep it burning.

Trump again failed at overturning the election by failing to prove fraud or illegal activity. The conservative Supreme Court of the U.S. gave him a 9-0 defeat and a big embarrassment for the party.

Someone else acting this way would be considered armed and dangerous and probably shackled for the next 30 days or until the results of a mental evaluation is completed and made available.

Ted Mentz

Old Church

Thanksgiving Feast hosted sans guidelines

In most school years, the last classes before Thanksgiving break are unequivocally loose and often feature a feast or party in some fashion. In a typical setting, this type of activity would be perfectly acceptable but school is not taking place in a typical setting this year: It is taking place in the midst of a global pandemic that is only getting worse.

It is in this current setting that a Mechanicsville High School teacher hosted a Thanksgiving Feast in their class without any proper social distancing, further showing the flaws in Hanover County’s current educational plan.

In a statement made by a senior who took part in the Thanksgiving feast, speaking on the basis of anonymity, “Recently at Mechanicsville High School, I had a teacher that decided to host a party involving food to celebrate the holidays. This would’ve been OK if this teacher had set limitations on food items and enforced [proper] social distancing, but this teacher did not set guidelines of social distancing or pre-packaged foods for this party.”

It is almost unimaginable that this event occurred, considering the health challenges we still face, but it did. Even worse, this particular class was missing several students due to an active quarantine that was taking place in that very same class, as confirmed by further conversations with the senior. Despite the risks, the teacher still chose to host the party.

Even more concerning, according to the senior who took part in the feast, “This teacher did not ask for permission from the principal, stating that it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”

The students were told this information directly by the teacher, which implies that the teacher understood their actions would not have been approved by administrators. It is egregiously reckless to think that in the midst of a global pandemic, an educator was able to host an unsafe Thanksgiving Feast in a class, missing half of its students due to an active quarantine, putting their students in unnecessary danger.

What is even more shocking is that presumably the flimsy logic this was based on was that “they would rather ask for forgiveness than permission” or, in other words, they would rather put their students’ health in danger than not have a party for Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving Feast is just another example of how the Hanover County Return To Learn Plan is weak. The plan itself lacks effective structure to cover these types of situations and what little structure it does have is often ignored.

Further examples of concern are the Return To Learn Plan has guidelines for staff to verbally screen students as they enter the building, which is entirely ignored.

The Return To Learn Plan has guidelines for bus seating, which is inconsistently managed and in some cases ignored.

The Return To Learn Plan says students may not share food, which in this instance only takes one negligent teacher to put the lives of multiple children in danger.

John Wade

Mechanicsville

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