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Letters


September 27, 2018


Posted 2018-09-27

   In doing my homework about the proposed road to the entrance of the Seven Bends State Park in Woodstock, I have safety concerns for what is being considered.

   There are two entrances to the park, one from South Hollingsworth Road and one from Lupton Road in Woodstock.
The latest meeting of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation was held 30 Aug. 18 and led by Lynn Crump, an environmental specialist from DCR.  There was discussion of both park entrances as well as the safety aspect of the roads leading to the entrances.

   One of my concerns for using the Lupton Road entrance is that this route would take traffic from East Reservoir Road to Water Street to Hollingsworth Road to Lupton Road.  Much of that is through a town residential area.

    An educated guess based the DCR 2015-2016 attendance figures project 12-16,000 vehicles per year (or 1500-2000 cars each month for the popular eight months of the tourist season in our area) but concentrated mostly on weekends.

    The low-water bridge at Lupton Road was replaced so it could carry heavy equipment to be used in rebuilding the park facilities.  This is a single lane bridge.  This brings up my second concern.  The present road going to the bridge is a single lane road with one side going down a steep bank with no shoulders and the other side going up a steep bank.  There is one small turnout area to allow another car to pass.  But what if that vehicle is a fire engine or an ambulance?   Someone would have to back down the hill and around a big turn or back up the hill and around a big turn.  This cannot be a safe passageway to get to the Seven Bends State Park.

   Safety should be the first priority when inviting the public to enjoy our beautiful area.


Jo Stickley
Woodstock

 

    In regard to an article in this publication last week, I consider the decision to possibly pay Hockman Farms $6,000 for an extension to be objectionable to say the least.

    This is nothing less than a blatant attempt at extortion by greedy opportunists and ingrates. To capitulate to their monetary demands is inexcusable.

    While the continuing disregard by the majority of BOS members to proper usage of tax revenue is certainly not unexpected, it is indeed appalling.

    Instead of praising the Hockman family, Supervisor Morris should have admonished them for lewd, covetous behavior.

    Credit Supervisor Walker for calling this situation as it is.

    What a shame we don’t have more like him. Oh, wait, we did.

Mike Wakeman

Edinburg

 

    While reading Dr. Curtis’ commentary (The Free Press, Sept. 20) against local and state support of the Equal Rights Amendment, I was struck by the consistent use of hyperbole and misinformation that is employed whenever the issue of women’s rights is raised.  

    There are roughly 165 million females in this country and they now constitute well over half the total population.  I don’t assert that I am speaking on behalf of all of them, but I feel confident that my position aligns with the women who do value facts over fantasy, make up their own minds once they understand the issues, and vote accordingly.  

    Dr. Curtis seems to have addressed himself to those he believes can’t think for themselves and must be told what the current party line is that they should espouse.

    While it’s true that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts. For the record, here are a few real facts that can be easily found elsewhere and can’t be politicized or fantasized away, the reality that American women have been dealing with for over 200 years.

    The Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that the rights it protects are held equally by both men and women.  At the time it was written, women were denied most legal rights including the right to vote, own property, keep their own wages and have custody of their own children. The one and only right that is now protected is the right to vote, guaranteed by the 19th Amendment, and that took almost 100 years of protest to achieve.

    Our Constitution differs from legislation. It is the law of the land but it is also a statement of the principles of our democracy. An Amendment is necessary to guarantee, as constitutional law, that those principles—“all men are created equal,” “liberty and justice for all,” “equal justice under the law,” “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”—apply equally to women.  To argue as Mr. Curtis does that “the equality of all persons, including women, is widely supported and is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, state and federal laws” is disingenuous.  The 14th Amendment was not written to guarantee protection from sex discrimination and has never been interpreted to grant equal rights on the basis of sex.  State and federal legislation, as we all know, can easily change according to political climate.  

    As long as women don’t have the protection of the ERA, they are forced to continue to fight long and expensive legal battles to prove their rights are equal to those of men. Remember “Equal pay for equal work?” Is that an example of one of the “unnecessary lawsuits and frivolous requests for change” that Dr. Curtis makes reference to?  Try telling that to any of the countless women who today are still earning only 80% of what a man earns doing the same work, in spite of legislation to correct this.

    It is true that Virginia could be the 38th and last vote necessary for ratification of the ERA, more than four decades after it was approved by Congress and nearly a century after it was first introduced.  Why has it taken so long?` The answer lies in fear mongering and deception on the part of those who are threatened by any perceived challenge to traditional gender roles.  The wording of the Amendment is quite simple and straightforward: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” There is no mention of liberal agendas, abortion, or any of the other fantasized “unforeseen local adverse consequences” alluded to in Dr. Curtis’ commentary.  

    Women in countries as diverse as France, Japan and Cuba enjoy equal rights under the law. There should be no controversy here when women of all colors, religions and political persuasions ask that their rights as U.S. citizens finally be recognized in our Constitution as equal to those of men.

Dr. Naomi Knappenberger

Edinburg