On National Donor Day,

sign up to save lives

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary federal agency responsible for oversight of the organ and blood stem cell transplant systems in the United States, including initiatives to increase organ donor registration and donation. This Valentine’s Day, show some heart by celebrating National Donor Day.

This annual observance shines a spotlight on organ, tissue, marrow, platelet and blood donation — and the people who make it possible. Signing up is the ultimate gift to the 113,000 people currently on the national transplant waiting list. One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 individuals.

Because of the generosity of donors and their families, 2019 saw more lifesaving transplants in the U.S. than any year in history. We encourage everyone to show some heart by signing up as an organ, eye and tissue donor today, and talk to family members about this decision.

Learn more by visiting organdonor.gov or donaciondeorganos.gov.

Pam Kania.

Regional Administrator,Health Resources and Services Administration.

Donor grateful for gift

of extended life

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Thank you to the Richmond Times-Dispatch for publishing information concerning organ transplants in 2019, including recent information concerning liver transplants. It is a need. I was one of the 8,372 people who received a donor liver from a deceased loved one’s family. With the world-class surgery, preparation and recovery health care procedures at Richmond’s VCU Medical Center and the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center (and excellent diagnostics and preparation from the Hampton VA Medical Center), I am alive today.

I found my illness becoming a grim downward spiral. My hope was to wait to receive a successful transplant. I know as a veteran that every day is “borrowed time” and I prayed with the hope that “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” would include giving me a little more time. I know and am grateful for my wife, my family and loved ones and church members and co-workers and the people whom I don’t know who have done the same — since here I am.

This transplant success meant that after the operation I got to see my daughter get married, some brand-new grandchildren and my family for another year. I still pray thanksgivings for my health and the generous organ donor and his family.

I encourage everyone, please check the organ donor box when getting or renewing a driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles for the thousands who need this gift to be with their loved ones.

Bruce Pollock. Williamsburg.

Gasoline production adds to car’s carbon footprint

Editor, Times Dispatch:

In his recent Letter to the Editor, “Electric cars only part of the pollution solution,” Peter Burke pointed out that the electricity used to charge the vehicles is generated “on a large scale” by power plants using nonrenewable fuels. While it’s true that only 25% of electricity on our grid is generated by wind or solar power, the refineries use much more fossil fuel to produce gasoline than the power plants do to generate electricity. What Burke fails to mention is that when both of us are driving, my electric car has no carbon footprint, while his gasoline-powered vehicle is continuously spewing out pollutants. The bottom line: less pollution to make electricity, no pollution to use electricity. That certainly can’t be said for the gasoline engine.

Robert A. Lee.


$16 small price to pay

for peace of mind

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I have a 2004 Ford Taurus with 104,000 miles on it. I gladly spend $16 per year to have my brakes, tires, ball joints, tire rod ends, exhaust, lights, wipers, emission controls, etc. checked for safety. I also am happy that those I share the road with have had their cars likewise checked for safety. Why in the world does Gov. Ralph Northam want to remove a requirement that obviously saves lives? Two years is too long to go without a safety inspection. At an average of 10,000 miles per year of travel, a lot can wear out or become defective on a vehicle.

Robert Lusk.

Glen Allen.

Second Fleet needed

to keep America safe

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Thank you to Deputy Opinions Editor Robin Beres for her column “Old adversary: New challenges,” on what many of us who were raised and worked against the Soviet Union in the Cold War always have known and the politicians have overlooked. The Cold War between Russia and the United States never was over. The ending of the KGB never happened. “Russia never stopped being a threat” is an accurate statement. It’s about time the Navy recommissioned the Second Fleet, headquartered in Norfolk. We need the newly reinstated fleet to patrol our East Coast. The Soviet Union might have changed its name, way back before many of our readers know of, but the Russian ships are back. The White House and Congress need to wake up to being fooled by a country with strong bear claws and fists.

Oliver Hedgepeth.

North Chesterfield.

Vehicle-generated data should belong to car owner

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

A recent article reprinted from The Washington Post, “What does your car know about you? We hacked a Chevy to find out,” brought to light an important issue that affects drivers across the country: car data ownership.

According to the article, modern vehicles can generate up to 25 gigabytes of data per hour from sensors all over the car. New advancements in technology make the driving experience more enjoyable, convenient and safer. But a conversation must be had about who has access to and control of the data cars generate.

This issue has several implications for drivers. Like many other industries that continue to grapple with consumer data, carmakers must work to ensure drivers have control over the data their car generates. You own your car, and — by extension — should own the data it produces. We’re heading toward a future where only automakers have exclusive access to and control of this information. But when it comes to controlling car data, you should be in the driver’s seat.

It’s time for Congress to act and make car data control a driver’s right.

Paul McCarthy.

President and COO,Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.

Research Triangle Park, N.C.

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