Renaming 5th Street
I think it is appropriate that during this year’s observation of Black History Month, the Lynchburg City Council will begin the consideration of fully renaming 5th Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Tuesday’s council meeting.
It is time for this historic black business district, which has been gradually becoming a part of the expanding downtown revitalization, to fully become recognized as MLK Jr. Blvd.!
As we prepare to welcome downtown back with the completion of the Main Street construction and COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, 2021 should also mark the recognition of the dynamic diversity in our downtown area.
May God have mercy
I want to thank you for your coverage of The March for Life at Liberty and also mentioning the virtual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Since Roe v. Wade was passed legalizing abortions, we have lost 60 million U.S. citizens. This number stands to confirm that abortion is being used as a form of birth control.
Who would think it would all lead to partial birth abortion and even letting those born alive after any abortion to die. Our country is in a dire state. Pro-choice politicians are blocking any legislation to protect the unborn/born after abortion.
In Virginia, pro-life representatives have presented The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to protect those babies born alive after an abortion. Democrats do not even want to bring it to vote. Other legislation to include abortion before birth has failed to pass. Massachusetts has legalized abortion up to birth and others followed. Pro-life politicians attempt to at least compromise on abortion but it has fallen on deaf ears.
Can a country that permits such atrocities stand? People act like they wonder what is happening to this great nation. We have turned from God in many ways and have been left to our own vices. May God have mercy on us.
Disparities in access
We talk about disparities and are working hard to remove them. But we rarely talk about the disparity in broadband access. Being from Amherst County, I know the struggle these communities face all too well. The greatest social determinant in healthcare is one’s ZIP code. Where someone lives should not impact their chance at success. We must work together to close the divide and to level the playing field for all Americans, including those here in Amherst County.
In Virginia, an estimated 697,000 people don’t have access to high-speed internet, and another 306,000 have no internet connection at all to a service that is as essential as electricity and water.
I’m proud of the efforts in Amherst, which include designating more than $1 million to build the necessary infrastructure. However, there is more work to be done to support the nation’s rural communities. With the help of private sector companies who are willing to tackle it head on, we are making progress. We appreciate the commitment of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, SCS Broadband and others.
Another company taking on the challenge is Dominion Energy, that has launched a rural broadband program to connect local Internet Service Providers to rural communities in Virginia. Through the initiative, Dominion will be providing the “middle-mile” fiber optic cables that are necessary for expanding broadband internet service into rural areas.
I urge all utility and technology companies to take this issue seriously and to please step up and help. The future of our nation depends on it.
Amherst Tucker serves on the Amherst County Board of Supervisors
Voting for yourself
I have to take some issue with the recent editorial regarding “some NoVa Dems reluctant to help rural Virginia” regarding school funding. While I agree rural school funding should be increased, I think it’s incredible hypocrisy to declare yourself not bound by state laws you don’t like, start a petition to secede from the state, call NoVa Dems “not real Virginians” and baby killers, then ask for more “free” money.
Seems like “free” is the only part of freedom they understand. I’m not saying localities need to shoulder the entire or even majority of the needed school funding increases, but they do need to participate in the process to some degree as a show of good faith.
A thousand years ago, I ran for vice president of my high school class at a small school where everyone knew each other. I told my mom I might vote for the other guy because he was my friend. She asked me if I wanted to win. I said, “Of course I do.” She said, “If you won’t vote for yourself, why should anyone else?” My point is rural Virginia needs to elect not only state but local officials who are more concerned with education than national social issues they have zero control over.
An educated workforce is the bedrock of the 21st-century economy. Coal, textile, furniture or any other low-skilled factory jobs aren’t coming back — period. The kids know it, they’re leaving in droves as fast as they can.
Rural Virginia has a lot of positives regarding quality of life. However, education is the answer for a beleaguered rural Virginia economy including keeping young people home. But honestly, if they won’t vote for themselves why should anyone else? Start with broadband for all.
I am happy
On Monday, Feb. 2, Mr. Irvan’s letter lamented Virginia has changed from a Republican run state to a Democratic run one and asked the question, “Are you happy now that you have just about done what Barrack Obama tried to do and Joe Biden will do — destroy us?” My quick answer, given the GOP now is a party of Q’s crazy conspiracy theories, Donald Trump’s incessant lying, and a lot of people who seem to believe in a God that’s unrecognizable to me. Also since GOP no longer seems to value honor, integrity and ethics.
I am ecstatic that the current crop of GOP politicos are not the people running the commonwealth.
Doing more with less
A friend’s father worked for the U.S. Forestry Service from the 1960s to 1980s He ruefully admitted later they had “sold out the forests to the timber companies.”
Fifty years later, that has not changed. What has changed is the world’s human population has doubled, while 70% of wildlife has disappeared from habitat loss, 30% of birds, and 95% old-growth forests since the Europeans arrived. Plant new trees? Those are crop trees, not a forest that supports life and diversity. Why not selectively cut big trees? That would reduce fire danger, while allowing for new growth and old growth at staggered intervals, support wildlife and carbon sequestering.
The construction industry is wasteful; we could do a lot more with less. It’s time to shift the U.S. Forestry Service’s focus from “resource management” to conservation.
Impeach the clowns
President Donald Trump was impeached. All of the left-wing liberal Democrats voted guilty, including our two Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. And seven RINO (Republican In Name Only) voted the same way. Blue Virginia and Lynchburg love these senators.
I say we need to impeach all of the Republicans and Democrats without pay. The people should petition the U.S. Supreme Court to impeach these clowns. Then we can get two new parties. The conservatives can call their party “America” and the liberals can call their party “Idiot.”
We know there is a great difference between conservatives and liberals. The conservatives believe in truth, justice and religious freedom. And the liberals believe in nothing but destroying America.
Two wrongs ...
People of faith know what is right and what is wrong. That is the job of faith. Personally, I do not believe there are right people or wrong people; however, we all have the ability to choose right from wrong if we do not distort our lives into self-serving realities or rationalizations.
An impeachment trial is a political process, not a civil court procedure. The impeached (if found guilty) does not go to jail, or have their freedom limited. However, I believe former President Trump was not found guilty due to partisan reasons — not ethical reasons. The Senate is the jury but we too (as voters) are jury. If we remove Mr. Trump’s stolen election statements (starting about eight months before Jan. 6), I believe the insurrection would not have happened. If we remove his encouragement to extremists like the “Proud Boys’ or the “Oath Keepers”, the insurrection would not have happened.
If Republicans had stood up against his unorthodox behavior that was full of corruption, lies, discrimination and violent language, the pressure of decency would have inserted some control on him. Trump being Trump is no excuse. The worse offense was him not stopping the insurrectionist for more than two hours. That is the greatest sin against God and country. Wrong is wrong within faith but not necessarily true within political practices.
What is the most upsetting is politics is becoming our new religion or diluting our faith — acting against our loving God that asks us to avoid revenge, hate, and violence. Politics will justify wrong by showing the wrong of your opponent. I say one wrong plus your opponent’s wrong creates two wrongs not zero.