Spanberger advocates for coastal protections

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., recently stood with her constituents by voting to block expanded offshore drilling for the next year via the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Any expansion of offshore drilling has real consequences, and an oil spill is a valid possibility. A spill would be devastating to ocean life and to life in the Chesapeake Bay, including the blue crab population that lives in coastal waters as well as oysters, seagulls, fish and aquatic plants. Plus, an oil spill would have harmful economic effects for commercial fishing, recreation and tourism. Even without a spill, drilling releases toxic pollutants into the water and air. Additionally, offshore drilling increases reliance on fossil fuels at a time when we need to move swiftly in the opposite direction to renewable energy such as wind and solar for the sake of our planet.

There’s also a parallel effort in Congress to permanently protect our coasts from offshore drilling. U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., is leading a bill that would protect the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., is leading a bill to protect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This means that Virginia’s Spanberger will have another chance to vote and we’ll need her support again.

I am grateful to have people in Congress like Spanberger advocating on behalf of coastal communities and, more broadly, for our planet. Gov. Ralph Northam and many of the commonwealth’s cities and localities have voted to oppose offshore drilling and it is a nonpartisan issue. I appreciate Spanberger’s leadership and for standing with Virginians as we work to protect our coast and the Chesapeake Bay.

Sherry Ceperich.

Midlothian.

Sturtevant lags behind in conservation efforts

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

At a time when long-established safeguards that protect our air, water and land are completely under attack at the federal level, leadership at the state level is essential to preserve our environment, especially when it comes to acting to address climate change.

Unfortunately, Republican state Sen. Glen Sturtevant’s record on the environment in 2019 shows he failed to live up to this important obligation, according to the Virginia League of Conservation Voters’ recent Conservation Scorecard, which ranks all 140 members of the General Assembly based on their votes at the legislature.

The Virginia LCV scored a number of high-priority votes in this year’s publication on everything from addressing the climate crisis and working to ensure coal ash cleanup, to moving forward with efforts to drive Virginia toward 100% clean energy by midcentury.

Sturtevant’s unimpressive score of 58% this year clearly shows he is on the wrong side of conservation in Virginia. Citizens here in District 10 deserve better.

Jesse Hill Jr.

Richmond.

RPS could take a lesson from Southwest schools

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Who would ever think that an advertisement in the newspaper would prompt a letter to the editor? Well, one has.

The statistics and accomplishments enumerated in the advertisement on page A5 of the June 29 Richmond Times-Dispatch titled “Far SWVA Students Rank #1” gives more credence to my long-held belief that the issues and problems with the efficiency and effectiveness of the Richmond Public Schools system has less to do with teacher salaries, the amount spent on each student or the economic level of the student population. Rather, it has more to do with having knowledgeable, trained and committed teachers and administrators.

Perhaps RPS’s administration needs to make a short trip to far Southwest Virginia and seek counsel on how they are as successful as they are.

Nadine C. Wingfield.

Henrico.

Immigrant children must receive adequate care

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

As doctors who care for children, we strongly believe that immigrant children should have the right to sleep, maintain personal hygiene, obtain adequate nutrition, have access to play and remain with their families. We are outraged that children are being held in unhealthy and unsanitary detention facilities at the border. Detention of children is not only morally wrong, but fiscally unsound.

It is estimated that detention costs the taxpayer between $250 and $775 per night per child. We are concerned that the trauma the children are enduring will lead to permanent psychological harm. Cruel and inhumane treatment of children is not consistent with American values and should not be used as a deterrent to families crossing the border.

Elizabeth Wolf, M.D.

Bergen Nelson, M.D.

American Academy of Pediatrics,

Virginia Chapter.

Henrico.

May good people continue to do right by this nation

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I couldn’t help but notice the many references to God and the Creator mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech that were both reprinted in The Times-Dispatch on July 4. It was always understood since the founding of our country that the government of the United States of America should be filled with moral men who govern according to principles laid down by a higher power.

Political correctness has tried to dictate to us what is right and wrong. But in so doing, it ignores the ideals put forth by our Founding Fathers. In the end, political correctness is something that robs people of independence of thought, whether their opinions are good or bad. Political correctness seeks to remake society into something else altogether so that many of the values and principles that once guided our society are overthrown and replaced with new ones.

No generation of people has been or ever will be perfect. The best we can hope for is that men and women of good will try to do the right things going forward in the best interest of the people of this great country. God bless America.

Gray Poehler.

Midlothian.

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