The Mechanicsville Local – 08/31/2011 © 2011 by Richmond Suburban Newspapers. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the publisher.
DELIVER TO: Postal Patron Mechanicsville, VA 23111 PRSRT. STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Mechanicsville, VA Permit No.141 STOPS AT EVERY HOME IN TOWN Vol. 28, No. 18 | Richmond Suburban Newspapers | August 31, 2011 After the storm: regrouping By JimFields email@example.com Like a bad country song, Irene came calling Saturday, and when she said "Goodnight," she left property damage not seen since her first cousin Isabel visited in September 2003. Power lines came down, trees fell, and roof shingles and siding flew off homes. As of early Monday afternoon, Dominion Virginia Power had restored power to 600,000 of the 1.2 million customers that lost power. "We have 6,000 people working to restore power and expect to have 90 to 95 percent of those who lost power back on by Friday," said Rodney Blevins, vice president see IRENE, pg. 4 Melody Kinser/The Local A tree was split in the front yard of a home on Atlee Road. AAA bond rating Safety No. 1 priority on Tuesday may be at risk HCSO focus will Superintendent By JimFields firstname.lastname@example.org Hanover County's AAA bond rating may be in jeopardy. That's what members of the Hanover Board of Supervisors learned last Wednesday. Deputy County Administrator Joe Casey reported that last month Moody's listed Hanover AAA rating as under review for a possible downgrade. "Earlier this month, Moody's modified the county's rating status to negative outlook, which means it could be downgraded over the next one to two years," Casey said. Every AAA county in Virginia, including Henrico, as well as the state, got the same bond rating notice Hanover did. "All of this is happening because of the federal government's debt/budget crisis," Casey said. He said one of the reasons Hanover has a AAA rating is the county is not that dependent on the federal government. Casey cited several reasons for Hanover not being dependent on the federal government, including: Only 170 federal workers live in Hanover (.4 percent of our workforce). Few Hanover employers rely heavily upon federal contracts. see BOND, pg. 4 be on bus stops By Melody Kinser email@example.com When Hanover County Public Schools students head to the bus stop on Tuesday, the Hanover County Sheriff 's Office will be out in full force to ensure their safe arrival at school. "Getting them there safely to a good, safe learning environment" is the goal of the Sheriff 's Office, according to Capt. Michael J. Trice. "Our main area of concern is the school bus stops. We want to make sure peo- Letter from sheriff -- Page 2 Bus routes -- Pages 28-45 extends welcome (Editor's note: The following was submitted by Dr. Jamelle S. Wi l s o n , superintendent of Hanover County Public Schools.) WILSON Dear Photo courtesy of Hanover County Sheriff's Office Patrols will be increased on Tuesday as Hanover County Parents Public Schools children begin the 2011-2012 school year. and Community Members: As the new superintendent ple don't pass the school he added. Trice said motorists need of Hanover County Public bus. Blinking lights will start see HCSO, pg. 17 see WELCOME, pg. 14 shortly around school zones," Bobalicious is Mechanicsville's Premier Family Friendly Frozen Yogurt Spot! Bring this page in for 15% off your total purchase. 6493 Mechanicsville Turnpike � In front of CiCi's Pizza Real Estate Professional Only 7 days left before our children will be heading Back to School. I wish for each and every child a successful 2011-2012 School year. Judy Kilgour The Local Pick: INSIDE 569-0238 303 Lexington Rd. Stonewall Court $279,000 6401 Sledds Lake Rd. Sledd Run $179,250 9 COMMUNITY Local quilt shop featured in national magazine. 2400465-01 7163 Brooking Way High Point Farms $209,950 7284 Hill View Dr. Windy Hill Estates $285,000 firstname.lastname@example.org Visit Judy Kilgour at the following: www.judykilgour.com or judykilgour.lnf.com The Mike Chenault Group Superior Service, Excellent Results! GREEN RIDGE 16 NEIGHBORS Kings Charter residents learn about redistricting. Jim Remo 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath Colonial offers family room with fireplace, dining room with hardwood floor, chair rail and crown molding; master bedroom with full bath & 2 walk-in closets plus a 2-car attached garage and irrigation system. $235,000. Call Jim Remo 804-726-4524 to see it today! 22 STREET TALK Residents share experiences of the earthquake. Don't Move � Improve � Vinyl Siding � Replacement Windows � Roofing � Aluminum Trim � Seamless Gutters Member of BBB www.mitchellsidinginc.com email: email@example.com Ashland Police join in nationwide crackdown on impaired driving The Ashland Police Department has joined with nearly 10,000 law enforcement agencies across the nation in support of "Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over" impaired driving crackdown, which started on Aug. 19 and continues through Sept. 5. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,839 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2009. The number of alcoholrelated fatalities has decreased, but the statistics are still too high. "All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and loss of a loved one because of this careless disregard for safety of others. You will see the Ashland Police officers night and day proactively enforcing traffic laws and impairing driving" Chief Douglas Goodman said. In Virginia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 gram per deciliter or higher. On average, there is a fatal crash every 48 minutes across the country; one-third of those involve a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC that is above the legal limit. For more information, visit www.ashlandpolice.us or www. stopimpaireddriving.org. 48 SPORTS R-MC preview. Free Estimates Call Dan Mitchell ALSO... Incident Reports........3 Letters to the editor...6 Obituaries ..........10-12 Celebrations ........... 26 Calendar ................. 27 TV grids..............53-55 730-1016 2 The Mechanicsville Local August 31, 2011 SHERIFF'S REPORTS | Crime, Accidents, Fire & Rescue August 3 Suspect was found in possession of controlled substance on Mechanicsville Turnpike. Unknown suspect fled the scene of an accident on Atlee Rd. item at location on Hanover Courthouse Rd. Suspect was driving under the influence of alcohol at location on Mountain Rd. � COMPUTER August 8 Unknown suspect stole item at location on Cold Harbor Rd. Suspect violated a protective order on Mechanicsville Turnpike. Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Cold Harbor Rd. Unknown suspect damaged property at location on Ellerson Mill Circle. Unknown suspect damaged property at location on Pole Green Rd. Suspect stole items at location on Bell Creek Rd. Suspects assaulted each other at location on Pickett Ave. Unknown suspect stole item at location on Mechanicsville Turnpike. Suspect assaulted victim at location on Westhaven Dr. Suspect damaged victim's property at location on Gold Ridge Lane. Suspect was in possession of alcohol and under 21 on Laurel Branch Circle. Unknown suspect damaged property at location on Howard Dr. Unknown suspect stole item at location on Hanover Courthouse Rd. Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Theme Park Way. Unknown suspect stole items at location on Theme Park Way. Suspect stole items at location on Greenwood Church Rd. FREE with any Labor Repair Service Exp. 9/14/11 OPTIMIZATION � August 10 Suspect was found in possession of controlled substance on Mechanicsville Turnpike. Suspect attempted to cash counterfeit check at location on Mechanicsville Turnpike. Suspects stole items at location on Bell Creek Rd. Unknown suspect stole item at location on Bell Creek Rd. Suspects assaulted victim at location on Pole Green Rd. Offer not vaild w/products on sale. Must have coupon present to receive offer. August 6 Suspects were contributing to the delinquency of minors on Woodbridge Rd. Suspect violated protection order at location on Powhickery Dr. Homeowner & Contractor Equipment Rentals You'll do better renting from Mechanicsville's Independently Owned Rental Store! Why...? We accept reservations! We don't charge a security deposit for most rentals! Many items offer extra time for free on weekends! Often a price advantage over many competitors! Larger inventory than the big box rental departments! Friendly personnel with years of equipment experience! On-staff service technicians keep equipment top-notch High-quality, user-friendly equipment! You can do it! -call or visit store for details- August 4 Suspect attempted to obtain money fraudulently on Mechanicsville Turnpike. Unknown suspect stole items at location on Mary Esther Lane. Unknown suspect stole item at location on Bell Creek Rd. Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Lee Ave. Suspect threatened victim at location on Brandy Hill Trail. Suspect assaulted victim at location on Peaks Rd. Unknown suspect stole item at location on Lewistown Rd. Unknown suspect stole items at location on Theme Park Way. Suspect fled the scene of an accident on Bell Creek Rd. August 7 Suspect broke into location and assaulted victim at location on Pohite Dr. Suspect assaulted victim at location on Epps Rd. Suspect used victim's vehicle without permission at location on Wynbrook Lane. Suspects were contributing to the delinquency of a minor on Woodbridge Rd. Suspect broke into location on Lakeridge Pkwy. Suspect stole items at location on Lewistown Rd. Suspect was in possession of alcohol and under 21 on Theme Park Way. Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Theme Park Way. Suspect was drunk in public at location on Theme Park Way. Suspect was drunk in public at location on Theme Park Way. Suspect was in possession of alcohol and under 21 on Mountain Rd. Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Patrick Henry Rd. Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on I-295 August 11 Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Cold Harbor Rd. Suspect threw objects at a moving vehicle at location on Cold Harbor Rd. 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Contact Lisa Brazier at 241-8073. PRICE REDUCED! August 9 Suspect was in possession of alcohol and under 21 on Robin Rd. 2400348-01 Cindy Strobel Kathy Holland The Sister Team Tami Baldacci Dianne Blary Lisa Brazier Patrica Diaz Melony Fuller Cindy Gibson Danis Goins Rita Grant Wayne Hufner Tamesia Johnson Julie Lawson Virginia Leabough Robbie Llewellyn Stacey McCauley Stephanie Miller Carrie Proost Deanna Rogowski Carrie Ruch Mike Sotos Cecelia Walker The Mechanicsville Local August 31, 2011 3 A Better Choice Driving School Serving Mechanicsville for over 10 years! A family owned and operated business! Offering Teen and Adult Behind-the-Wheel, Driver Improvement Courses, 36-hr Driver's Ed, Driving Recertification Class and Private Driving Instruction! Call us at (804) 869-6503 "We care about our customers." Kersey Creek Elementary Open House slated Open House activities for Kersey Creek are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1, with two sessions: one for students whose last names begin with A-K from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and one for students with last names beginning with L-Z from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Students may bring their school supplies to their classrooms on that day. Supply lists are available on the school's website at http://www.hcps.us/ kces/. School fees ($4 art fee for all students and $5 recorder fee for students in grades 4 and 5) may be paid in the cafeteria. Lunch money also may be deposited into students' accounts. Agendas ($4) for students in grades 2 through 5 will be on sale. The 2011-2012 Yearbook also will be on sale for $ 18. "We had trees and power lines down, people without power, and 21 roads are still blocked. There were 60 houses that suffered tree damage and 10 were destroyed." Most of the houses destroyed were in the Mechanicsville and Black Creek area. "We had several houses destroyed by trees falling on them," he continued. "The trees were so big that they just split the houses in half." Jones said there were no serious injuries, but some people were transported to Memorial Regional Medical Center as a precautionary measure. Two of those transported were overcome by carbon monoxide Monday morning as a result of an emergency generator they were using at a home on Midnight Drive. They had signs consistent with exposure to carbon monoxide, including flu-like symptoms and were extremely lethargic. "They're lucky to be alive," The PTA will be enrolling members ($5 per person) and selling student spirit wear at Open House. PTA members also will be available to help you sign up online with various businesses (such as Food Lion and Kroger) that support KCES by donating a portion of sales to the school's PTA. The school nurse will be available to receive students' Jones said. "They had lost power at their home because of Irene and were using a gasolinepowered generator to supply electricity. The generator was placed outside an open window, and the exhaust fumes were carried inside the house." The county is dispensing free ice and bottle water at Cold Harbor Elementary School and Montpelier Civic Center. There is a limit of two cases of water per family. Plans are to give away ice and water through at least Friday. Hydrants also are open at Patrick Henry High School and Cold Harbor Elementary for residents needing water for farm and other animals. "Our emergency response teams, fire and sheriff 's office all responded well to Irene," Hanover County Administrator Cecil R. "Rhu" Harris Jr. said on Monday. "We had extensive preparation before she arrived, including bringing in extra paid and volunteer help. It was all worth the effort." medication in the clinic. Appropriate documentation (parental form authorizing medication to be administered and physicians' orders) must be completed in order for medication to be administered at school. For more information, email Dr. Deborah Waters, principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school office at 723-3440. "As of this time," Harris said, "we have some roads and streets that are impassable. As far as I know, we had some homes destroyed and property damage but no fatalities. I believe those people transported for medical reasons were only minor problems." Across Virginia, four deaths were caused by Irene, including an 11-year-old boy in Newport News who died Saturday when a tree crashed through his apartment. The Town of Ashland made it through Irene in good shape. "At the height of the hurricane, I believe we only had about 20 percent of the town residents without power," said Ashland Town Manager Charles W. Hartgrove. "We have a couple of streets with downed power lines blocking them, and we are waiting for the power company to come clear the lines so we can reopen the street. All in all, Ashland came through Irene in pretty good shape." IRENE Continued from pg. 1 Train For a Career In Health Care! Medical Assisting Practical Nursing Medical Billing & Coding 7001 Broad Street, Richmond 800-495-9851 Day and Evening Classes l Job Placement Assistance | Financial Aid if Qualified Accredited School, ACCSC | Additional Certification May Be Required. Contact me for a quote today. of Distribution Operations for Dominion Virginia Power. "We hope to have the power back on for all of our customers by the end of work Saturday." In Hanover County, the number of homes that lost power was estimated at 38,000. The Spring Meadows and Meadow Gate areas are under a boil water alert from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Homeowners should empty icemakers and then discard the first batch of ice made. When using water from the tap, they should let it run before using. If your refrigerator dispenses water, run it until it is empty and then let it refill. Dirty dishes should be wasted with soap and hot water or run through a dishwasher. "We answered 1,183 Fire and EMS calls Saturday," Hanover Fire and EMS Battalion Chief Willie Jones said on Monday. Brandon Hedrick (804) 559-1200 7233 Mechanicsville Tpke. Mechanicsville BOND Continued from pg. 1 Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Columbus, OH. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review, and approval. Products and discounts not available to all persons in all states. Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark, Nationwide Insurance and Nationwide Family Plan are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Potential savings based on comparison to major national competitors, for a teen driver on their parents' policy, conducted 2008. ADP-7402 (08/10) We have received few stimulus funds and receive a relatively low amount of funding for human services. Many local governments that are not under review have far greater numbers of federal workers, businesses with federal contracts and/or receive higher direct federal funding. The ratings likely will have no immediate effect on Hanover because no further debt will be issued by the county this fiscal year. Neither Standard and Poor's or Fitch, the two other primary rating services, has issued comments on Hanover's existing AAA rating. "The county's debt payment is structured to be paid off quickly," Casey said. "Rating agencies like that, and it increases our ability to issue debt. When debt is issued, the county doesn't defer principal payments, which remain level throughout the debt's term." Despite the status change by Moody's, Casey said he believes Hanover will maintain its triple AAA ratings. He cited the county's long-term, conservative financial plans as a key reason. Casey also pointed out that housing values had remained high in the county and foreclosures low. 4 The Mechanicsville Local August 31, 2011 www.pearsonhyundai.com HYUNDAI BOARD OF EXCELLENCE #1 IN SALES IN RICHMOND MARKET FOR 25 YEARS Assurance Outstanding Sales & Customer Service TO CHOOSE! 100 OVER 2012 SONATA GLS 47 MPG $ * OVER TO CHOOSE! 75 2011 SANTA FE 33 MPG $ * MO** Automatic, Air Conditioning, AM/FM, Power Windows, Power Locks, Cruise Control, XM, Blue Link and More! MO** Automatic, Air Conditioning, AM/FM CD, Power Windows, Power Locks, Cruise Control, XM, Blue Link and More! 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ALL PRICES EXCLUDE TAX, TITLE, TAGS & $289 PROCESSING FEE. 2012 ACCENT GLS, 2012 ELANTRA GLS, 2012 SONATA, 2011 SANTA FE, 2011 VERACRUZ LEASE 36 MONTHS, 12,000 MILES PER YEAR WITH APPROVED CREDIT; $2,599 DUE AT SIGNING FOR 2012 SONATA; $2,699 DUE AT SIGNING FOR 2011 SANTA FE; $1699 DUE AT SIGNING FOR 2012 ACCENT; $2699 DUE AT SIGNING FOR 2011 VERACRUZ; $1999 DUE AT SIGNING FOR 2012 ELANTRA. LESS DOWN PAYMENT WILL ADJUST MONTHLY PAYMENT ACCORDINGLY. SEE DEALER FOR DETAILS. *EPA ESTIMATE. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. PICTURES FOR ILLUSTRATION ONLY. ALL MAKES ARE EPA ESTIMATES. SALE ENDS 9/5/11. The Mechanicsville Local August 31, 2011 5 OPINION | The Local Views From the editor No, it wasn't the washing machine Surreal. That's probably the best word to describe the earthquake that shook our area last Tuesday. This writer was in good company at the time though. I was with a crew at the Doswell Volunteer Fire Department, Station 4. Was about to wrap up an interview with a firefighter who, as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, was in New York City days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. When the building began to shake, one of the men said, "Who's washing clothes?" An immediate response from another was "That's not the washer. It's an earthquake. The whole building is shaking." OK, one of us (yes, it was me) was stunned. The men rose to their feet to assess the situation and, being the professionals they are trained to be, kept their composure as they started making calls -- or attempting to -- to check on their coverage area. The status of their family members -- just like the rest of us -- was a priority too. Finished the interview, got a photo of the firefighter, and got in the car to head back to Mechanicsville, not knowing what to expect along the way. Head was spinning with the possibilities -- and cell service was sporadic due to the overload of calls. Driving Interstate 95 was just like any other day. Traffic was moving smoothly. Having crossed the San Andreas Fault Line with a good friend who lives in Southern California several years ago, you just don't know what to expect. Speaking of the friend in California, she was the first to send an "Are you OK?" text. Seemed ironic at the time. She has experienced a swaying chandelier in her dining room as the only sign of a quake. Upon returning to Mechanicsville, it was time to get to work. Facebook activity proved what an impact social media has on our lives today. We solicited your thoughts/comments on the situation and you responded accordingly. We do appreciate how you embrace The Local in that regard. Despite the Hurricane Irene issue, there just seems to an increased vulnerability when the earth moves. Melody Kinser LETTERS | Reader Views Bob McDonnell, like most of his Republican colleagues in Capitol Square, likes to talk a lot about reducing the size and scope of government. Unfortunately, talk is all it is. No sooner did Bob McDonnell announce a nearly $545 Third party? I'm still waiting for the second one. million budget surplus than he came forward with new Joseph Pierro proposals to spend it. Mechanicsville Why am I not surprised? The most notable feature of this latest spending spree? see LETTERS, pg. 8 The creation of a new emergency fund to cushion the shock from expected cuts in federal money to Virginia. Allow me to suggest a novel alternative: Since the Commonwealth has managed to confiscate more of its The Local welcomes your signed letters to the editor on topics of citizens' wealth than it needs to pay its bills (the definition interest to Mechanicsville residents. Letters must include your of "surplus"), how about returning that excess to the people address and a daytime telephone number. We reserve the right to who earned it in the first place? edit letters. We do not guarantee that every letter received will be As for possible reductions in federal funding, if the published. Letters reflect the opinions and positions of the writers and not The Mechanicsville Local. McDonnell administration would try cutting spending from a state government that does too much at too high a Send letters to: cost, that "aid" (which Washington borrows on our hyperThe Mechanicsville Local, 6400 Mechanicsville Turnpike, extended credit, further fueling the crushing national debt Mechanicsville, VA 23111 under which we Virginians -- as citizens of the U.S. --a re Fax: 730-0476 E-mail: email@example.com already burdened) would not be necessary. Spending plan no surprise Editorial & Business Office: 6400 Mechanicsville Tnpk. Mechanicsville, VA 23111 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1118 Mechanicsville, VA 23111 Phone � (804) 746-1235 Toll free � (877) 888-0449 Fax � (804) 730-0476 Joy Monopoli Publisher Melody Kinser Editor Charlie Leffler Sports Editor Jim Fields Senior Staff Writer Pam Sanders Sales Manager Online: www.mechlocal.com For news: firstname.lastname@example.org For advertising: email@example.com For classifieds: firstname.lastname@example.org � 2011 by Richmond Suburban Newspapers. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the publisher. Letters to the Editor 6 The Mechanicsville Local August 31, 2011 Redistricting plan has three senators representing county By Jim Ridolphi For The Mechanicsville Local Virginia's recent redistricting altered Hanover County's political landscape, and the county is now represented by three state senators. The Hanover Business Council hosted the trio at its regular meeting Thursday at Randolph-Macon College. Longtime Hanover Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-4, was joined by Sen. Walter Stosch, R-12, and Sen. Donald McEachin, D9, at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Greater Richmond Chamber's Hanover Business Council. Even with the recent news that Virginia will end this budget year with a surplus, all three senators said the sluggish economy is still forcing lawmakers to make tough choices and continue to search for cuts in state spending. McEachin, a longtime Democratic leader in the Senate, acknowledged his views might differ from the majority of Hanover voters. He said that's not necessarily a bad thing. "I think I need to hear different voices," he said. "While I dare say the vast majority of you are not Democrats, your opinions and voices are welcomed and my door is always open." The senator represents the Ashland area of Hanover, something he requested in the recent redistricting process. "You were not assigned to me. You were adopted by me," McEachin said, referring to the Hanover districts represented see SENATORS, pg. 13 Fall Optical Sale! Transitions + Crizal Avanc� = 35% Off THE HUNTERDALE $121,950 Ask about Free Upgrades! Add Virginia Eye Institute to your back-to-school list. This fall, our optical shops are offering 35% off Transitions and Crizal Avanc� Lenses, special package pricing on sports frames, kids packages, and 35% off all second pair purchases*. Ask one of Virginia Eye Institute's licensed opticians for details. * Contact Lenses are considered a first pair and may be used to receive the 35% off. th NO MONEY DOWN ANNIVERSARY FINANCING ARRANGED LOWEST RATES Huguenot Bridge (Richmond) 804-287-4234 Hanover (Mechanicsville) 804-484-6322 St. Mary's Hospital (Richmond) 804-484-3209 Puddledock (Prince George, off of Temple Ave) 804-733-7382 Ironbridge (Chester) 804-285-5333 www.VaEye.com Limited time offer. Builder reserves the right to make changes without notice. See disclaimer on builder's web page. New patients welcome. Most major insurances accepted, including TRICARETM. Davis Vision, OptumHealth Vision, and Blue View vision plans accepted. Limited time offer. Select pairs only. Does not include Maui Jim or Costa. Discounts cannot be combined with other discounts, insurances, or online purchases. The Mechanicsville Local August 31, 2011 7 Lab Rescue fundraiser to be held Sept. 10 at Ashcreek pool A fundraiser for Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Ashcreek Neighborhood Pool on Linderwood Drive in Mechanicsville. For $10 per dog per session, your dog can enjoy a leisurely swim in an in-ground swimming pool. There is a limit of 30 dogs per session. To register, go to www. labrescue-richmond.org. Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond is a nonprofit 501�(3), all volunteer organization serving Richmond and nearby counties. Abandoned and abused Labrador Retriever dogs are rescued and provided with foster homes and veterinary care until they can be adopted into new, loving homes. LETTERS Continued from pg. 6 GOP minds must prevail U.K.'s problems a wake up call To see what becomes of a society that doesn't make social issues a priority, we need only to look toward the U.K. After days of riots, looting and violence, officials in Britain are desperate to bring stability back to the region. And Prime Minister David Cameron says the best remedy is a moral one. "This has been a wake-up call for our country. Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face. We have been too unwilling for too long to talk about what is right and what is wrong," Cameron said. "We have too often avoided saying what needs to be said, about everything from marriage to welfare to common courtesy." He traced the collapse to "Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control. Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged sometimes even incentivized by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally demoralized," the Prime Minister said. It's a shame that it took such widespread unrest to bring people to this conclusion, but the important part is that they've arrived. We can only hope that both Democrats and Republicans do the same. As for those in the GOP who want to focus exclusively on the economy, if Republican leaders go wobbly on social issues, America could just as easily end up just like England. 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Now Open Sundays 11�9 8036 Mechanicsville Turnpike Mechanicsville, VA 23111 www.brunettiexpress.com August 31, 2011 2372065-01 9167 Atlee Road Mechanicsville, VA 23116 www.brunettisrestaurant.com 804-730-2339 804-559-7777 I've been happy to see some reasonably balanced political cartoons in the past few weeks in The Mechanicsville Local, given the generally Conservative orientation of the paper. A recent cartoon with a caricature of Nero (as the Tea Party) fiddling while the country burns shows an important potential end if rational minds do not prevail in the Republican Party. To that end, I strongly encourage all of my Republican friends, most of whom I certainly consider to be rational, to vote. A recent newscast reported the figure given for Republicans who approve of the Tea Party to be under 25 percent. Frankly, I'd be thrilled to see perspicacious, conciliatory nominees who could actually be a good president if elected on both sides, rather than candidates who would certainly further polarize this country. But the nominees who go to the general election will be elected by the majority on each Why do you call me a hateside only of those who actually monger? I do not hate anyone go vote. Dr. Charles W. West nor do I advocate hate toward Mechanicsville any one or any group. I have given no misinformation in my letter. My point is just as valid as yours. How long has science been trying to find something conI am writing today to thank clusive about homosexuality? In Del. Chris Peace of the 97th the 1950s, people like Alfred District for his continued and Kinsey, whose curiosity about committed support of family human sexuality, produced sovalues in the Commonwealth. called "research" but no concluSince his election, he has sive data but did cause public received a 100 percent rating outrage. It is now 2011, and no confrom The Family Foundation. As evidenced by his legis- clusive answers have been found lative track record, Del. Peace yet, if anything significant were is a steadfast supporter of the to be discovered it would be American family and of the really big news. There is ongorights of parents to control deci- ing research and studies and sions that affect their children's still no conclusive answers. What about other biologiwell being. In 2007, Del. Peace defend- cal studies, like the study of ed Virginia parents by putting "violence" as a trait believed to forth an amendment to a bill that would have required all girls entering the 6th grade to receive a vaccine against the HPV virus. This amendment allowed parents to "opt-out" of the vaccine, giving them the authority to make their own decision regarding their child's health. By offering this amendment, Del. Peace maintained that parents are responsible for making important decisions that affect their children's well being. I am proud to have a delegate with a legislative record that protects the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government, and religious liberty. Del. Peace has proven his dedication to Virginia families, and I hope that residents of the 97th District will continue to allow him to serve us as our delegate. Melvin Adams King William No hate in making point Thanks given to Del. Peace be genetically defined and different in certain individuals, directly related to their environment, and other studies looking to find genetic causes for why people commit infidelity? There are studies to find genetic causes for pedophiles and what about studies to find genetic causes for alcoholism or drug addiction. The studies go on and on but with no conclusive answers! Science has not found the cause of homosexuality. People continue to look for "answers" because they do not like the true answers they already know. There is no comparison between human beings and animals. It would be like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges. Therefore, this statement has no validity. Saying that some animals may be homosexual does not make it fact. Are there biological studies which prove that animals can be homosexual? How can we prove it in animals when we cannot prove it in man? Animals perform all kinds of behaviors that I do not expect human beings to do and visaversa. Even having learned classification of species in school, I do not believe that man is an animal. The Bible says that mankind was made a little lower than the angels and higher than the rest of creation. Is this something new f