Reader chides Wittman over Trump military cuts

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st, continues to stand silent as President Donald Trump turns his back on military families as well as destroying construction jobs in Virginia so Trump can build his useless border wall.

Here’s a list of construction projects on Virginia military bases that have been canceled to build Trump’s border wall — the wall Trump said that Mexico was going to pay for:

Joint Base Langley-Eustis: Cyber Operations Facility, $10,000,000 funds lost;

Norfolk: Replacement hazardous materials warehouse, $18,500,00;

Pentagon: Pentagon Metro entrance facility, $12,111,000;

Portsmouth: Replacement hazardous materials warehouse, $22,500,000:

Portsmouth: Ship maintenance facility, $26,120,000.

Trump has removed more than $89 million in construction funds from Virginia, money that would have provided jobs for construction workers and income for Virginia materials suppliers.

Rob Wittman’s response to this attack on Virginians? Silence.

Meanwhile, Wittman tells us in his constituent reports how much he supports military families. In a recent report, he told us he had received an award for his support for military families. However, his actions tell a different story: Wittman stands silent as Trump cancels projects to benefit military families.

Among the military construction projects that Trump has canceled, with Wittman’s approval, are several schools and child care centers on military bases, including a child care center at Andrews Air Force Base and schools at Camp LeJuene and Fort Campbell.

Now we know why Wittman will not hold open-to-the-public meetings.

Joe Schlatter.


Class reunion rekindles lessons from the 1970s

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I recently attended George Wythe High School’s Class of 1974 45th reunion that was held at one of Richmond’s finest hotel and conference centers.

I was honored to help serve on the class reunion committee. We met many Sunday afternoons to plan a memorable three-day reunion weekend. Everyone on the committee had some special talent that helped reach our common goal of reuniting.

Our class was unique in that many of us were brought together by busing and forced integration. Many from the class had never been in school with a person of another color. We dealt with the social climate of the times and learned through our many experiences that anything is possible. We competed on the athletic fields, where we had demanding coaches who stressed fundamentals, winning and, above all, good sportsmanship. The music programs were connected to the Richmond Symphony and opened up many doors for aspiring musicians.

A fellow classmate and I invited former teachers Agnes Showalter, Brenda Epperson and Jim Tucker to join us for lunch, along with former principal Angelo Setien. We talked of yesteryear and caught up on the highlights from the past 45 years. These were very influential faculty members of our era.

The Class of 1974 grew up in an era before the computer was in the classroom; social media and cellphones didn’t exist and classrooms were not air-conditioned.

As we were wrapping up the dinner and dance at midnight, one longtime classmate who became a partner in a local law firm said, “I guess we learned a lot not only in school but about life.”

As for the Richmond Public Schools students today, I hope they will enjoy their years while in school and seize the opportunities that await them. Anything is possible. No excuses.

Support RPS.

Mark Person.


Reader skeptical

of U.S.-Taliban deal

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

United States government negotiators are meeting with the Taliban. Isn’t that like making an agreement with the devil, who often is referred to as the father of lies? Do they seriously expect that an organization that murders innocent men, women and children can be trusted? There is some intelligent input. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was quoted as saying, “Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless.”

I expect U.S. negotiators to soon come up with a sweet deal like they made in Korea and Vietnam. “If we withdraw, will you stop trying to kill our soldiers?” I suspect that is the one agreement the Taliban will keep.

Marshall S. Vaughan.

North Chesterfield.

Don’t ignore impact

on the environment

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I am very disappointed by Peter Foster’s recent Letter to the Editor, “Green New Deal could be too costly for many.” He is apparently unaware of the large unrecovered cost to the environment from burning and releasing methane into the atmosphere. An EPA report estimated the current methane cost should be nearly 30% higher if the environmental impact of burning methane is included. In fact, the future cost to the environment from storms, floods, fires, migration, water shortages, droughts, etc., exacerbated by the burning of nonrenewable carbon will certainly be much more costly to the world. Foster ignores current and future costs and offers nothing to reduce or address the impact of carbon dioxide and leaked methane pollution on global warming.

I would strongly suggest Foster spend his time promoting alternatives to methane, oil and coal, such as solar, wind and biofuels. He also could encourage improved home energy conservation and better building design and operation rather than extol the artificial low cost of methane as a fuel.

A partial solution included in the Green New Deal is imposing a small but increasing carbon tax that would be refunded entirely to each household. This proposed bipartisan legislation, the Energy Innovation and Dividend Act, is in the House of Representatives and is endorsed by 50 representatives. It would reduce our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources, help businesses and families plan for the future, slow the increase in carbon dioxide air pollution and, most importantly, reduce future global warming. Furthermore, a household impact study concluded this act would benefit moderate- and lower-income families more than higher-income families by increasing their expendable income. The result would be a win-win for all of us and improve the future prospects for the entire planet.

L. Fred Roensch.


Reader touts value,

power of natural gas

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In his recent letter, “America could lead on renewable energy,” correspondent Lee Brinson asked for points of agreement in the debate about energy. While Brinson ignores numerous developments making coal environmentally friendly and still very inexpensive, he also ignores the incredible value and power of natural gas.

We risk economic disaster if we scuttle fossil fuels, especially natural gas. When used in electricity generation, natural gas burns 60% cleaner than coal, which is why, as the country has used this resource to replace coal, overall greenhouse gas emissions rates have declined.

Like it or not, fossil fuels, especially natural gas, are our best options for the foreseeable future.

Chadwick R. Gore.

Falls Church.

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