Opinions

Thanks to Fluvanna Review
The Lake Monticello Wildlife Committee wants to thank the Fluvanna Review and reporter Page Gifford for the recent article regarding the pollinator program at the Fluvanna library and the trip to the pollinators’ garden afterward. Master naturalist Walter Hussey, beekeeper Amber Houk, and master gardener Sue Tepper gave important information about the value of a number of different kinds of pollinators and the native plant life they need for food. There is always a need for a better understanding of the gifts of nature through outstanding and educational programs like this one. An upcoming program about the decline of the monarch butterfly population is planned soon.

Sarah Litchfield
Lake Monticello Wildlife Committee

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Garrett unresponsive to constituent
I’m writing to the Fluvanna Review because my phone calls and emails to Rep. Thomas Garrett have gone unanswered.

On Mr. Garrett’s website, it says, “Serving Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.” On the House of Representatives website, it says, “Representatives carry out a broad scope of work in order to best represent their constituents.” [emphasis mine]

After Mr. Garrett voted for the health coverage plan that the House narrowly passed, I pointed out to him, in voice mails to his Charlottesville and Washington offices and in two emails to him (in which I selected the option “Yes, please contact me”), that analyses of the bill calculated that health insurance rates would rise, especially for those with pre-existing conditions, and that 23 million people who currently have health insurance would no longer be able to afford it. I asked why he thought that that was a good thing and how it constituted “serving” his constituents. After receiving no reply to my emails and my first phone call, I also wanted to know how he could possibly be “serving Virginia’s 5th Congressional District” when he won’t communicate with his constituents. Again I received no reply.

If Mr. Garrett worked for a private company, he would have been fired by now. But since he’s an elected official, he has two years in which to do untold harm to his constituents, who have no recourse other than to plaster pictures of him, with the caption, “Have you seen…?” on milk cartons.

Accountability? None. Democracy? Weak. Irresponsibility? Definitely.

Deborah Weiss
Lake Monticello
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Bryce Reeves the clear choice

Virginia needs leaders who will always uphold our beliefs and continue to be our voice in Richmond. Bryce Reeves is that leader – he’s someone who stands up for his principles without wavering.  Reeves has consistently defended our religious liberties and has fought to safeguard rights of the unborn. He has never backed down or taken the easy way out.

Based on her 2016 rating of 78 as assigned from The Family Foundation, Jill Vogel has not been faithful when it comes to protecting our conservative values and with her votes liberals have been allowed to further their harmful agenda.  Conservative voters have a moral responsibility to elect a lieutenant governor in whom we have confidence to firmly uphold our values and Reeves’ consistent high ratings make it very clear that he is the right choice.

The Virginia Senate barely holds a Republican majority and we cannot risk having a lieutenant governor who is weak on conservative principles and who may return to her well-known establishment ways and vote with Democrats on those critical tie-breaking votes, supporting their liberal policies on many social issues.

That’s why I am voting for Bryce Reeves for lieutenant governor on June 13, and asking for you to do the same.

Thank you!
Robert Harris
    Lake Monticello
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Pool proposal too vague to support
We will vote “no” on the as-yet incomplete swimming pool initiative.  Here’s why.
We are disappointed that the LMOA Board has chosen to ask residents for permission to spend nearly a million dollars on a new swimming pool without giving us any information about the location, size or features of the pool.

Everyone remembers that we were given very detailed plans regarding the proposed renovations of the Ashlawn clubhouse and replacement of the Eagle’s Nest and golf cart barn – before we were asked to vote for a dues increase. Now, we are being told, “The money has to be approved by the residents. Then we can get plans going.”

The Board assures us that the cost estimate includes a generous reserve, even though no definitive plans are available on which to base the estimate. We have been told it is less expensive to dig a new hole in a different location rather than remove the existing pool and build there, even though no engineering studies and utility surveys have been done and even though the deck and several feet of the existing pool wall would have to be demolished and toppled into the existing pool before it is buried.

The Board assures us that they will “hold surveys and town halls for community input.” Well, there goes the reserve. Experience has taught every successful project manager that open-ended plans consume all available resources, if not more.

Why is the Board making this so difficult? Had they proposed a direct replacement of the pool at the same location, we would have voted in favor of the proposal. It is simply unthinkable and unacceptable to move the pool to a new location, even elsewhere on the Ashlawn clubhouse grounds, that is any closer to residential dwellings than the existing pool, or any closer to vehicular traffic, which would endanger child safety.

We accept the analysis that a new pool is needed. We encourage the Board to return to their past practice of being good stewards and develop a definitive plan that we can support, before they ask for our money.

Denny & Nancy Avers
Lake Monticello

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Insist on intelligent health care change
In a recent study for the Progressive Club, I uncovered numerous facts about our American medical culture that may be of interest.  I present it here in brief, hoping this will further inform public discussion.
Health care is complex, a $3 trillion expenditure of our $18 trillion annual GDP, or about 17 percent of all goods and services in this country as of 2015. Warren Buffett called medical costs “the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness.” That averages about $9,000 per capita annually, more than twice the $3,600 spent in the average OECD countries (Western-oriented industrial economies; Canada $4,608, France $4,407, all in equivalent purchasing power).  Yet we don’t live as long, have more chronic conditions, and have poorer health outcomes despite spending so much more.

The Legatum Institute in London developed a prosperity index – a composite measure of wealth, education, economic growth and personal wellbeing. In 2016 the U.S. ranked 32nd, just below Thailand and Kuwait, and far below most European countries.  Japan ranked fourth, Sweden sixth, and Canada 16th.  So despite our wealth, our wellbeing is lower than many “almost peer” countries, with our average age at death being 73 years, a ranking of 43rd.

Importantly, we can learn from other countries that are doing better at lower cost. The numbers prove it. Our health care system is wasteful, unfair, inefficient, and unethical, and denies resources to other national priorities.  The Peterson Foundation reports costs result from greater use of technology and unwarrantedly high prices, not the number of doctor visits or hospital admissions. Others add uncompetitive pricing, multiple payers (federal, state, private, public, insurance companies, employers and out-of-pocket sources), and unneeded services as causes. Add a comment

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