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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Voter fraud?
Contrary to the assertion made in Mr. and Mrs. Hoover’s letter to the editor, I firmly believe voter fraud does exist. I do not know how prevalent voter fraud may be and will not try to  provide any statistical reports to back up my beliefs, but will point out the following line in the Hoovers’ letter: “Or look at studies published by Columbia University, The Washington Post and Arizona State University, among others, which came to the same conclusion – voter fraud is nearly nonexistent.”

“Nearly nonexistent” and nonexistent convey two different meanings. Nonexistent means that it does not exist. “Nearly nonexistent” does not mean that it does not exist. The inclusion of the word “nearly” definitely leaves an opening for argument that voter fraud does in fact exist. If you can remember following Obama’s election, there was a lady on national television who proudly proclaimed she had voted six times for Obama. Is this not voter fraud? The attempt to register 19 deceased individuals in Virginia, though not successful, is definitely an attempt at voter fraud. Though these 19 were identified, how many have slipped through and successfully cast fraudulent ballots? Add a comment


Second Amendment not for intimidation
As a firm believer in the rights of gun owners, I am offended with the incident outside the Democratic campaign office on Oct. 13.
The Second Amendment should not be used as a political statement, nor used as a tactic to intimidate others.
The actions of this individual, while legal, gave “ammunition” to anti-gun advocates’ requests for tougher gun laws.
My apology to Ms. Wolff that she had to endure this situation, and thanks to the sheriff’s department for their tireless work.

James Barfield
Lake Monticello

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Gun owners: Let’s talk
Many of you have heard about the event on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Turkey Sag office of Jane Dittmar, congressional candidate in our 5th District.  I was the woman that was sitting in Jane’s office when a Trump supporter parked outside, posted Trump signs, and began staring into the office.  Even though he was within his rights, this was an uncomfortable situation for me, especially when I was alone in the office.
At some point, the protester tucked his t-shirt behind his holster and stood in such a way as to be sure I saw his gun.  He has the right to do that.  It’s not illegal. Then his friend joined him and also made his weapon visible.  I didn’t want to overreact, but I couldn’t help thinking about stories where nothing was done about a person displaying a gun, and the results were horrific.  Later, since I am responsible for the volunteers in Dittmar’s office, I felt that I had to make authorities aware of the situation.

Neither Hillary, Jane, nor I want to take your guns away from you.  I would love to see more gun safety measures to protect gun owners and their children, as well as the public.  But that’s different from saying I want you to lose the right to carry your weapons. If your weapons were still muskets, as they were when the Second Amendment was written, it wouldn’t even be up for discussion.  But why didn’t this young man think about how I might feel?  I am an older woman just trying to support my candidate.  Why didn’t this young man go to some busy location to support his candidate?  Does his candidate encourage this kind of behavior, this kind of intimidation?

During this volatile election time, I urge Fluvanna gun owners to show some consideration and constraint on Election Day.  We are neighbors.  My hope is that I can influence you to consider how your neighbors might feel if you appear at the polling places carrying weapons.  You have that right, and I know that.  But we all have the right to be comfortable as we cast our ballots in this election.  After this election we will still be neighbors.

Su Wolff
Lake Monticello

Every vote counts
This election may be close. It could be a disaster for you if you don’t vote:

  • If you depend on Social Security. Trump and Pence want to cut or Social Security or “privatize it” to Wall Street investors. Trump now promises to maintain Social Security and Medicare, but would follow the Republican platform by gutting these programs. Garrett would support those cuts.
  • If you depend on Medicare or Medicaid, or if you couldn’t get medical insurance until “Obamacare” forced insurers to accept older people and people with pre-existing conditions. Garrett and Trump would reduce funding for these programs.
  • If you want quality education for your children and affordable college. Republicans would reduce funding for public schools and colleges. Democrats will support public education.
  • If you want reasonable jail sentences for first-time offenders and want the system to be fair to all people. Republicans want long sentences, not paroles.  They believe “safety” is more important than equal treatment for all people.  Democrats want equal treatment for people of all races, and want sentences that encourage offenders to get jobs and pay taxes.
  • If you want everyone to pay their fair share of taxes. Garrett and Trump would cut taxes for corporations and rich people. Republicans claim that tax breaks create jobs and investments and that money will trickle down to less-wealthy people. “Trickle-down” failed when Ronald Reagan tried it:  it made corporations and rich people even richer, but it failed to create jobs or investments. The rest of us were worse off than before. Democrats will make the tax code fairer to average working people.
  • If you want good relations with other countries. Under Trump and Garrett, other countries would stop cooperating with us. Our foreign trade would drop. We would be more vulnerable to attack.
  • If you want reasonable regulations to protect the environment and ensure health and safety. Republicans would cut the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Occupational Health and Safety Agency.
  • If you want the Supreme Court to be representative of the American people, not packed with extreme conservatives.

Every vote counts! So make sure you are registered and vote on Nov. 8.

Dave Miller

Domestic violence affects men too
Kudos to Ruthann Carr for her excellent and informative article on domestic violence, and thanks to the Fluvanna Review for publishing it in its Oct. 6 edition.

Domestic abuse and violence represent a serious problem affecting our families, children and our communities in general. Public awareness based upon clear and accurate information is the key to reducing and preventing it. Unfortunately the kind of information we see and hear in the popular media is often inaccurate, incomplete, and manipulated to serve particular political or social agendas. Therefore it only adds confusion and does not serve to effectively address and reduce the problem.

Carr’s article is exceptional. Her examples reflect the fact that domestic abuse is not limited to female victims of male perpetrators, but is also committed by women upon their male partners and by partners in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships as well. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in seven men age 18 or older in the U.S. has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in his lifetime. One in 10 men has experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Harvard Health Publications report on its website, Helpguide.org, that as many as one-third of domestic abuse victims are men.

The vast majority of services for domestic abuse victims in the U.S. are for women. Domestic abuse services do what they can to help male victims, but practically speaking the availability of shelter for abused men is minimal.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline recognizes the problems that men experience seeking help. Their website, Thehotline.org, provides very helpful resources, as does the Harvard website, Helpguide.org.

Domestic abuse services recognize that men are often reluctant to report abuse by women because they feel embarrassed, or they fear they won’t be believed, or worse, that police will assume that since they’re male they are the perpetrator of the violence and not the victim.  If you or someone you know is a male victim, take action and get help. Although it is particularly difficult for men to admit that they are victims, no one deserves to be victimized by abuse. 

Rick Bayless
Lake Monticello

Donations help people
Dear kind people who donate everything to Goodwill,

A very sincere thank you to everyone who donates clothing and household items and everything else. The difference you make is appreciated very much.

All of the time the words “thank you” are not enough, but when all you can say is “thank you”
It becomes more than enough.

Lily Thomas

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