Letters to the editor

Posted: October 9, 2012

When Farris comes a-knockin’

Who’s that knocking on your door? Why, it’s Patrick Farris!

Oh, go ahead, open your door and talk to him!

I got to know Patrick four years ago when he ran for City Council. Patrick was so determined then that he tied the vote and forced a coin toss. He did it his way with energy and perseverance that was amazing.

It is his commitment to his community that is reflected in his intentions and belief in Winchester’s future. Patrick’s vision is always a positive one. He focuses on what needs taken care of and how to keep Winchester moving ahead.

It is that new vision, energy, and independence that will help City Council do its job moving Winchester in a positive direction. Reaching out to all the citizens of Winchester is a lot of work, and Patrick Farris doesn’t shy away from it.

And so when opportunity knocks . . .

Noreen Hampton


Do ya ‘Dig Pink’?

Handley High’s volleyball program is hosting its inaugural Dig Pink volleyball event on Thursday, Oct. 11. Both the JV and varsity teams will be hosting Millbrook in competition that begins at 6 p.m.

The Handley volleyball program will be joining thousands of middle school, high school, and college teams in Dig Pink events across the country to promote breast health education and raise funds for cancer research. Members of the Handley, Millbrook and greater Winchester community can support the cause by wearing pink to the match and contributing to the fund-raising effort.

“Dig Pink” T-shirts and buttons will be sold, as will baked goods. In addition, a silent auction will be held. The evening’s proceeds will benefit The Side-Out Foundation, a national nonprofit located in the Washington metro area established in 2004 to unite volleyball players and coaches to work toward the common goal of furthering breast cancer awareness, education, and patient services.

Some have asked why the events are called “Dig Pink”? A dig in volleyball is a skillful play to keep the ball alive and from hitting the ground. The symbolism of a dig being tied to a cause that contributes to keeping women alive through awareness and research has volleyball teams across the nation “digging pink” in their matches throughout October.

As a radiologist with a wife and three daughters, I am pleased that Handley’s volleyball program has joined this initiative. I believe this event will provide a wonderful opportunity for all the players, coaches, parents, and fans to turn an ordinary evening into something that helps to make a difference in the lives of others.

While Handley and Millbrook fans will be cheering for their teams to win in the volleyball competition that night, all who support the cause will leave the Handley gym feeling like a winner.

Winchester Radiologists, PC is proud to sponsor this important event. We hope you will join us.

Dr. David M. Snow


And why not ‘Atlas Shrugged’?

Usually The Alamo gets some great movies. It took them awhile to get “2016: Obama’s America,” but they finally got it. So kudos to them for getting it; sorry, it took them so long, though.

I have just sent them an email inquiring about “Atlas Shrugged Part 2” to see if they were going to be showing it on opening night, Oct. 12. But the general manager replied back with this: “We do not have any plans on showing ‘Atlas Shrugged Part 2.’ Thank you for your interest, please let me know if you have any other questions.”

I guess this means that everyone who wishes to see this new release that is supposed to be far better than the first one will have to travel to Ashburn, Manassas, Herndon, or Leesburg and spend their money there instead of at The Alamo. I do not think it is too late for them to get it in order to be able to be part of the opening night.

It makes me miss our other cinema houses. I cannot wait until the new one opens so we have a choice, and maybe they will show movies that The Alamo refuses to show. Maybe my family’s money will need to be spent there.

Tim Chapman

Frederick County

Sense of urgency in Frederick?

There has been some good economic news lately. Congratulations to the Frederick County Economic Development Commission for helping to bring McKesson to town. A California company expanding in a right-to-work state — conservative principles and fiscal responsibility pays dividends. Speaking of which . . .

Frederick County has a surplus of more than $13 million. We took in $8 million more in revenue and spent $5 million less than expected. The largest part of this revenue came from property taxes ($6.7 million).

Our county budget was amended this year to increase our property tax rate by 4 cents per $100. This was to generate $3 million to pay for a state-mandated 5 percent salary increase for all government employees. The Board of Supervisors increased their pay to also cover any additional taxes the employees would incur.

The first action from the county administration is to request a public hearing Oct. 10 to discuss how to spend our surplus tax dollars on more employee bonuses. Is this the highest priority in the county? Shouldn’t we have a hearing on how to return tax dollars to the residents? How about a public discussion on paying down debt?

The board moved very rapidly to increase our property tax rate earlier this year. I would ask that the same sense of urgency be taken to return the tax rate to where it was (.545) before the upcoming December assessment. It would be a welcome Christmas present. Then again, it’s our money!

Additionally, keep the Fiscal 2012 budget where it is with no new increases. I would ask the board to make good use of this surplus. There are priority items that need to be addressed: maintenance on equipment and facilities, replacement vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office, and maybe merit pay for our best employees. Also, please refrain from increasing the size of government, especially until Jan. 1, 2014 when the new provisions of the Virginia Retirement System’s Mandatory Hybrid Retirement Plan are in place.

These are a few simple things:

 Lower taxes — Reduce our property tax rate, and return money to the taxpayers.

 Limited government — No increase in the 2013 budget.

 Fiscal responsibility — Use surplus funds on priority items!

Jay L. Marts

Frederick County