Opinions

Seize unique voting opportunity
Support law enforcement. This is a popular slogan. For those of us who have been saying these words, we have a chance to prove our support on Jan. 10. That is the day of the special election for our vacancy in the Virginia Senate.

Ryant Washington is a candidate for that office. He is a local law enforcement officer and a former sheriff of Fluvanna County. Mr. Washington needs our support, and so does Virginia. The Virginia legislature does not have any former sheriffs currently serving. What a unique opportunity we have to help put one in office.

Mr. Washington is the only candidate for this position with a long and distinguished record of leadership in public service. He has successfully held elective as well as appointed positions. Mr. Washington is a proven leader whose law enforcement success helped convince my wife and me and many of our neighbors to move to this county which has a history of low crime rates. While many men and women in law enforcement, other public services, and the local citizenry deserve credit for that accomplishment, ultimately the leader of the sheriff’s department is in the position of highest accountability.

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Elect Ryant Washington
The November presidential election may be behind us, but for Fluvanna residents a very important special election takes place on Jan. 10.  A vacancy in Virginia’s 22nd Senate District was created when the incumbent Tom Garrett won a seat representing Virginia’s 5th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For residents of Fluvanna, there is no better candidate to fill that vacancy than our own Ryant Washington. Washington’s public service goes back to 1990 when he first began his career in law enforcement. With experience as a Virginia state trooper, Fluvanna County deputy sheriff and later as sheriff, Washington knows how to manage the challenges facing our public safety efforts.

In addition to public safety, Washington’s experience on the Fluvanna Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors helped him to understand the challenges faced by small businesses in a rural area. He is committed to making Virginia a place where current businesses want to remain and new ones are attracted.

I could easily go on, but suffice it to say, Ryant Washington, your Fluvanna County neighbor, knows more about the needs of Fluvanna and has had more experience addressing those needs than his opponent in this very important special Senate election.

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Washington for the 22nd District
It’s impossible to attend a Fluvanna Board of Supervisors meeting without hearing grumblings about our state representatives in Richmond and the unfunded mandates they bestow upon our county.

We now have the opportunity to send someone to Richmond that actually understands the economic struggles we face in Fluvanna. It’s hard to imagine a lawyer from Lynchburg can do that for the mostly rural areas of the 22nd District.

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Fluvanna schools on top

It is never too late to express congratulations and gratitude to everyone involved in Fluvanna’s top showing in the 2015-16 SOL pass rates in reading and math: the Board of Supervisors, the Fluvanna School Board, Superintendent Gena Keller and her team of dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff and, of course, the hard-working, learning students themselves.

The schools’ pass rates bettered those for Virginia as a whole and those for Charlottesville and Albemarle, Buckingham, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange Counties. Guess we can lay claim to best in Central Virginia.

It is a stunning and welcome turnaround from just a few years ago when SOL pass rates were lagging, school budgets were strangled, teachers were leaving and morale was in the toilet.

We hope the cooperative spirit continues. It augurs well for a future of capable, well-equipped young adults and for the society in which they will take their place.

Ron Krauss
Lake Monticello


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Blame party for not listening to people
Sadly, I saw the Trump takeover coming. I had a bad feeling as I realized that the Democratic National Committee had been scheming for Hillary’s coronation for years. They seemed to stifle Bernie Sanders at every turn through electioneering during the primaries. Things could have gone a lot differently if the primaries were totally free and fair. That, coupled with the media who dismissed him from the start, proved to be too much to overcome.

Bernie would have thousands at his rallies, yet the media was mum until they finally had to give him a little coverage. Too little, too late. They seemed to relish the dung hurling circus that Trump, the greatest media manipulator of all time, was providing them. It was great for ratings, which translates into more money. It’s all about the cash, right? What kind of scandals would Bernie have provided for the talking heads to ruminate about? None!

The fact is that Bernie’s message of bringing back the middle class and reining in oligarchs would have resounded with the same folks that supported Trump. But the message never got out. People were angry, and Queen Hillary wasn’t going to assuage that frustration.

To paraphrase George Carlin: “We can choose between 20 kinds of bagels, but we only have these two to choose from?”

Bernie would have been successful as a third party candidate – one that people could support rather than the old and tired “lesser of two evils” nonsense.

But going forward I agree with President Obama: “The sun will rise in the morning.”

We will survive. Humanity always does. But in the short run, I feel bad for every minority group in this country – Blacks, Latinos, LGBTs, Asians, Native Americans, not to mention the poor, the elderly trying to live on scant means, and the sick.

I don’t hate Trump, and I hope and pray to any and everything sacred, that he can rise to the occasion of being a true leader. What we need now is compassion and understanding at all levels.

Mark St. John
Lake Monticello

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