‘Compromise’ involves both sides of issue

In a recent letter to the editor, Pattie P. Bland mentions that "compromise" ought to be part of the discussion regarding the debate over firearms and sanctuary counties. Sure, I agree with those noble and lofty sentiments -- as do most other rational people. The problem, though, is that a true compromise involves two “sides” giving up something in order to make a deal that generally benefits everybody.

We on the pro-2nd Amendment side are always the ones who are expected to "give up" something to the anti-gun people every time something happens -- but they never give up anything at all.

First, it is scary-looking rifles and "ugly" accessories, then ordinary magazines that happen to hold more than 10 rounds and then they will want to eventually ban most semi-automatic pistols.

Down the road, they'll go after lever-action rifles, shotguns and perhaps revolvers.

Of course, self-defense rights will be attacked and the leftists will demand that we "compromise" on places where concealed-carry is allowed -- even though people who have carry permits are among the most law-abiding citizens anywhere.

Furthermore, they will expect us to submit to mandatory registration schemes, while calling it a "universal" background check -- and we all know that criminals will never obey any such requirements.

Making instant felons out of fathers handing down to their sons an heirloom rifle or mothers passing on a self-defense pistol to their daughters is not compromise. It is tyrannical idiocy.

Compromise? Not at all, especially when the wannabe tyrants are not giving up anything at all -- while they inch us closer to their totalitarian objective of a disarmed citizenry. That is a one-way road that goes in the wrong direction.

Jeff Kleb


America needs a president for the people

Let’s make America great again. It’s time to change that quote because those were the “good” old days. It’s like new parents saying we'll be glad to get back to normal pre-pregnancy days. They will never get back to those days. They must make a new start to be responsible for the care, love and safety of their child for at least the next 18 years. It is a very difficult adjustment.

It’s likewise for the USA. A quote was “The Business of America is Business.” Now it should be “Wake up America. The Business of America is its People.”

The USA is gazillions in debt, should declare bankruptcy. They must not lend or give money to the rest of the world (that does need money) but should give that money to the people of the USA who also need money now: the homeless, those living below poverty, the hungry, health plans that give everyone on low incomes the basic need for health free or low cost.

Come on, America, wake up. Donald Trump has gotten fat and an orange face from tanning and hair that needs trimming in the back (front is OK). He is self-absorbed. We need a new president who has the interests of the people of America.

Joan Austen


Growth at issue with longtime resident

In response to Karri Messina: I do absolutely agree with what she has said; however, I would like to point out I did not like it when Foxhead was erected taking up all that space adding tons more traffic to our area either.

I’ve had family here since the 1950s and we had Forest Lake Hills and that was all there was. Route 301 was a two-lane road I can go on and on.

I consider where you reside as a johnny-come-lately no different than this Wegmans thing.

I have never consumed space in a subdivision, but I have been here since 1962 when there was one traffic light in the entire county.

Hanover County is becoming a disaster area for development and the definition if anybody wants to know of progress is the absolute destruction of a lifestyle while the developers just run off with the money and laugh at us sitting in traffic.

I have spent decades watching it happen, and Foxhead is one of those devastations of a lifestyle. It’s not going to end, Ms. Messina.

Tax dollars are needed so we can build more schools and many other things because of so much influx of people. They come here and they expect the same services they see in Henrico and Chesterfield.

Our local job and our state leadership’s job is to bring tax dollars in from wherever they can find it.

We have one area that I find development a good idea that’s right along Route 1 and Interstate 95, and there was a lot of talk of doing an outlet store concept like is in North Carolina along I-95, but that has failed for the most part .

What was the internet and all so we welcome Wegmans not exactly in that area. I wish them to find a spot closer to 95 like in the area of Bass Pro Shops would be ideal. Then come on in; we need the taxes but not where this is.

It’s a disgrace to put Wegmans there but those that have moved here later after all this development got off the ground into one of these huge subdivisions causing more space to be taken up than Wegmans, well, really shouldn’t say a whole lot.

There was a time when almost all the students in the schools lived on a farm and that was the 1960s.

I do not think any large subdivision dwellers -- although all of you are a wonderfully nice good people -- should have any right to speak against anything similar to what you moved into, causing the same amount of damage or more.

Larry Johnson


Happy to live near helpful, happy people

My devotion this morning from Jesus Calling stated: “Every day I manifest My grace in countless places and situations, but the media take no notice. I shower not only blessings but also outright miracles on your planet.”

I needed to write to you earlier, but then I thought for a new year this miracle may touch more people.

On Dec. 11, my husband and I lost both our dog and my husband’s wallet.

Having moved from a farm in Goochland County to an active senior community in Mechanicsville was difficult for our almost 9-year-old dog. She escaped once and Hanover Animal Control brought her home. We thought maybe she was trying to get back to her old home.

In our search for her, my husband lost his wallet. Canceling credit cards is easy, but getting a new driver’s license can be a hassle.

We were fortunate to have an animal lover, Debbie Peak, drive down Bell Creek Road. She saw our dog and knew the dog would probably get hit by the cars driving by.

She actually turned her car around and drove back. She took our dog straight to Ashland to the animal shelter.

I had gone back home to call Animal Control and my call was forwarded to the shelter. As I was describing our runaway, the woman on the phone said, “I think your dog just came in.”

After I told her the dog’s name was Fancy, she confirmed they had our dog. Debbie Peak even volunteered to bring her back to us.

When Debbie came into our home with Fancy, she would not even take a reward. She opened her jacket to show she had on a “Tommie the dog” t-shirt.

You will recall Tommie was the dog terribly burned and killed.

Debbie has two cats -- not even a dog.

We were very grateful to this first angel of the day.

We went back through nearby neighborhoods to look for my husband’s wallet, to no avail. We then had to run an errand. When we returned, there was a voicemail from our neighbor saying a gentleman had come knocking on our door looking for my husband. Our neighbor said we obviously weren’t home and asked if he could be of help.

The gentleman said he had found my husband’s wallet and wanted to return it. He left the wallet and his card with our neighbor.

My husband called our second angel, Christopher Verlander, who wouldn’t take a reward or even an offer for lunch or dinner. Since he is a contractor, he asked that my husband give his name and number to anyone needing a general contractor. We can vouch for his honesty and hope people will consider him for a residential job.

We are so glad to be living in an area that has such helpful, honest people. There are no coincidences. God is at work through His people in the world, especially here in Mechanicsville.

Happy New Year!

Betsy and Preston Young


Classic NIMBY on Distribution Center plan

The “press release” by Karri Messina of Fox Head, while well intended, is typical of many citizens who are ill-informed of the history of Hanover County, lack basic comprehension of economic development and governance in Virginia. Allow me to make the following points:

l The subject property was rezoned in 1995, before there was even a Fox Head subdivision.

l Homes can physically be built anywhere.

l Manufacturing, assembly and distribution facilities can’t be built just anywhere. Location, workforce, utilities, roads, taxes and how receptive is the community are but a few of the issues evaluated in locating a facility.

l Hanover has a targeted growth rate of 2.0% annually, far more modest than Chesterfield and Henrico have experienced.

l Hanover does not provide utility service to the whole of the county, unlike Henrico and Chesterfield … but has designated only parts of the county for such service which must include residential, commercial and industrial areas.

l Hanover consequently has protected it’s rural nature, farming history and bridled it’s growth based on it’s Comprehensive Plan.

l The Hanover County Board of Supervisors is to be commended for its support of the Comprehensive Plan; otherwise, there would be the potential of development of all kinds, anywhere and everywhere in the county.

l It has been the goal of the county to provide a 70/30 residential/non-residential tax base to provide stability in the tax rates while addressing the needs of its citizens. When was the last time the tax rate rose?

l The county government (unlike Henrico) does not maintain or provide most of the funding for roads … the state does. The state never has enough money for road building and consequently, only builds roads long after the need is evident, not before.

l The Rutland Shopping Center was not the cause for the $20 million road improvement on Atlee Station Road … that project had been forecasted on the Comp Plan for 20 years, even before there was a Rutland Center. The Rutland Center ultimately paid for a portion of the road extension.

l Road access is a key factor for a distribution center. Locating between two interstate interchanges is ideal. If you want to enjoy trees you do not own, then locate beside a Recreational Park, not an Industrial Park … you can find those on the Comp Pan too.

l This Distribution Center will have 25 acres under roof + loading/unloading areas + parking + expansion plans + stormwater retention + buffers. You can’t just put something this massive just anywhere.

l The center will likely operate 24/7, which means its impact on peak traffic will likely be less than the 300 homes in the Fox Head subdivision.

l Speaking of workers. When was the last time you were in a state-of-the-art distribution center? They are very sophisticated, highly automated and require particular skill sets from employees to operate and manage them. No, they aren’t nuclear scientists, but they aren’t minimum wage workers either. The jobs being created will pay wages and salaries significantly above minimum wage and significantly higher than the regional median income.

l There is a good chance some of the cars in your daily commute won’t be leaving the county to work but staying here where they live, joining other distributions centers such as Amazon, Vitamin Shoppe, Supervalu and Virginia ABC Warehouse.

Hanover has worked very hard not to become a bedroom community. Unfortunately, there have been many beds filled with folks who don’t appreciate the struggle or understand the battle (competition) and can’t see beyond their back yard. The problem is not about the effort of the county but the lack of comprehension of the citizen.

Kudos to all who made this site selection happen, especially the economic development team, county administration and the board of supervisors … they could have put houses there but preserved this valuable land for the right opportunity.

John Fairburn


Resident: tax base sellling off what’s special

This past week, you published a very distressing letter from Karri Messina of Mechanicsville.

Distressing because what she says is so very important and which, in all likelihood, will be ignored by the very ones who should see it.

The way that Hanover County is being mutilated by those who profess to love and care for the county but who only see the tax base at the expense of so much else -- the natural environment, the history and the beauty of this place is sickening.

For many years, one repeated phrase by the powers-that- be is “tax base”.

Yes, the tax base is vital to the county but the things that make Hanover so special are being sold off to the highest bidder -- and that breaks my heart.

Sandra Shirey


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