Casinos bring problems citizens fear, oppose
I am appalled at the comments of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who recently suggested that people are fighting the casino proposals because of “NIMBY-ism” (Not in my back yard). This completely is misinformed. Granted, one person created a flyer that used language that was inappropriate. However, it is a shame that Stoney would make assumptions that the actions of one bad apple represent the rest of the citizens. That flyer does not represent my opinions or those of the many citizens who are working hard to prevent any casino from being located in our wonderful city. We do not want to see a casino destroy any neighborhood. This is about having a long-range vision for our city that involves positive, uplifting economic development instead of casinos, which are known to destroy local communities and economies. I am disappointed to see our elected leader fall to the temptation of dirty money from casino companies. Let us learn from other cities throughout the country whose local economies and communities have languished when a casino was built. We must learn from the extensive research that working in and patronizing a casino degrades mental health. We must recognize the immense environmental impact of building a casino with extensive impervious surfaces, particularly when bulldozing precious wetlands and forests that are key to our ecosystem. Let us learn from the evidence that for every dollar of tax revenue from a casino, a city must spend triple that amount on addressing the negative consequences of that casino. Richmond has gained a positive reputation for being an outdoorsy and inclusive city. A casino is a major step backward.
Patricia Kinser, Ph.D.
Rasoul: Strong advocate for health care needs
Supporters who have worked with Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, know firsthand that not only is he an excellent leader, he is a steadfast collaborator and a true advocate for better, more accessible health care in Virginia. He lives and promotes the values of integrity and meaningful progress every day.
Rasoul has a keen sense of finding solutions to problems that we all face, and then fighting to get it done in the legislature. His approach to public policy includes paying attention to even the smallest decision and how it will impact citizens from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Rasoul not only has fought for greater accessibility to medicine in rural and urban communities, but also for medicine that is patient-centered. Virginians want to be treated with compassion and dignity, and they deserve choices. People also want to truly be well and not rely on an old and sick care system of medicine — they want health and restoration. Recognizing a lack of medical providers in Virginia, Rasoul championed legislation to allow physician’s assistants to help meet our patients’ needs, and he diligently fought for the licensure of qualified naturopathic doctors to serve as they do in other states by providing preventative and restorative medicine.
Rasoul consistently has stood on the right side of history, offering compassionate and meaningful solutions in health care that are patient- and person-focused. And at this time in history, he is the type of reliable, collaborative, solutions-focused leader — and truly good man — that Virginia needs for our next lieutenant governor.
D.C. built specifically
to be nation’s capital
Washington, D.C., should not be a state. Unlike other national capitals (Rome, Paris, London, etc.) it did not start as a normal settlement, which later became a capital: It was conceived and specifically built to be the seat of government.
Thus it was built of, by and for government; it is the place populated by legislators, government officials and bureaucrats who are able, and have the constant incentive, to attack and erode the liberties of the people. It should be kept under strict control.
Naturally, its residents, although living there at their own free will, should be allowed to vote in the affairs of state — but let their votes be sent to be counted as parts of Virginia and/or Maryland, not added together and used as a bloc to rule over the rest of us.
Governor’s schools set
for academically gifted
Giftedness comes in many forms, including musical, athletic, dramatic and intellectual talents — often in various combinations. School orchestras enlist those youths with musical talent, athletic teams recruit the best athletes. Ethnicity is not a consideration because it plays no role in the performance of these activities.
The Virginia Department of Education defines gifted students as those who demonstrate, or have the potential to demonstrate, superior reasoning; persistent intellectual curiosity; advanced use of language; exceptional problem solving; rapid acquisition and mastery of facts, concepts and principles; and creative and imaginative expression across a broad range of intellectual disciplines beyond their age-level peers. How does ethnic diversity of admission to the Virginia Governor’s School Program for the academically gifted help fulfill this mission of excellence?
Let’s continue to select students for the state governor’s schools for the academically gifted using time-honored standardized testing and classroom achievement. Judge these promising students as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. hoped we would: “... not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”