Celebrating what is good and true in U.S.

Recently in The Mechanicsville Local two accounts of the paperboys appeared -- one by Jim Ridolphi and the other by John Hopkins. They reminded me of the Norman Rockwell era.

Both stories were true. Both stories were different.

Having been a paperboy, I could identify with things from both stories because I started newspaper delivery at age 8. Good memories of the past, reminding me of the wonderful maturing experience that this job had for thousands of boys.

Thank you, Jim and John, for writing about that character-building experience.

Sadly, we must say goodbye to the 20th century; that is history. All that was good and right in those days are gone -- just like the bicycle paperboys.

Welcome to the 21st Century with “instant information”, fast food, and “expert hypercritical analysis”.

Every matter known to mankind is now in our hands through “smart phones”.

Our nation is so divided that even these two paperboy stories can divide Americans: probably did! We have been taught to look for wrong and evil. Then perfect all transgressions through public shame.

These very simple accounts of the paperboys are great examples of how we can get back to celebrating what is true and good about America..

Consider this: Both accounts are true, and both are different, and both accounts are valuable. The founding fathers of this great nation understood respect and civility. They practiced the art of “great conversations,” which gave birth to American Liberty and freedom.

We are living in the greatest experiment in human history. The question remains “Can We Keep It?”

Oscar Walker


School board starts talks on salary hikes

While I appreciate the number of residents who participated in the Public Comment portion of a recent Hanover County School Board meeting, I was vastly disappointed by how few stayed for the rest of the agenda.

I don’t know how many in this county are aware that the school board held a vote to begin the process to increase their own salaries.

Currently, each board member earns an annual salary of $8,000. The documentation provided on BoardDocs and in the Resolution pointed out that this amount has not changed since 2003 and that Henrico and Chesterfield counties and Richmond City School Board members earn more -- in the case of the first two counties, significantly more.

However, as board member Sue Dibble pointed out, these comparisons are not necessarily appropriate:

The data is listed in the order of area, annual salary, number of students, number of schools, number of members, elected/appointed, and cost per student.

Hanover -- $8,000; $18,000; 25; 7; appointed; $0.44.

Richmond City -- $10,000; $24,000; 40; elected; $0.42.

Henrico -- $19,359; $50,000; 72; 5; elected; $0.39.

Chesterfield -- $17,549; $61,000; 64; 5; elected; $0.29.

Currently, Hanover County pays the most per student for appointed members to support significantly less students/families. As well, we’re one of only a handful of counties left where board members are appointed and not elected -- which means less time and money by the board member to secure their position.

If this proposal is approved by the Legislature (step 1) and then the board itself (step 2), it’s a dramatic increase and not at all warranted. What additional services could be provided in the preschool program or special education or school supplies and technology as opposed to this excess?

I understand the sentiment of board member John Axselle that no employee would stay in a job for 13 years without a raise. But as his employer, this salary is appropriate in this marketplace.

If Mr. Axselle is unwilling to serve for that salary, then he should look for a new job and let someone willing to do the work for the prevailing rate be appointed.

I encourage all residents to reach out to their board members to voice their opinions on this subject. Contact information for board members can be found online at: http://hcps.us/about_us/school_board or by calling the School Board Office at for that information at 804-365-4500.

Rebecca Huber


Sanctuary city vs. new gun laws addressed

In May 2018, I submitted a letter warning the left to mind what they wish for in their zeal for sanctuary cities against federal immigration law.

After last month’s elections, dozens of localities in Virginia are considering or have declared themselves sanctuaries for the Second Amendment.

The sanctuary cities against immigration law did not just put forth a resolution and go home. They have stopped cooperating with law enforcement in detaining illegal aliens who have committed other crimes.

Since Hanover just passed a resolution a sanctuary county, the sheriff should refuse to give state and federal authorities any access to gun registrations and any related data.

To pass the resolution and stop there is nothing more than virtue signaling.

In order to really stand up for the Second Amendment, these localities should be prepared to take it to the next level and go as far as the left has gone on immigration.

Once it makes court, how can the left say, with any credibility, that immigration laws can be ignored by localities at will, but new gun laws have to be strictly adhered to everywhere?

Nat Atkins


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